Donald Miller // Author, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years & Blue Like Jazz
Donald challenged us to find our story. He said a story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. As leaders the story we tell is incredibly important. Because of our freedom in Christ we have the ability to write our story and we need to take that message to others. Part of writing our story is allowing ourselves to dream but to also know what our passions are. We want to write a beautiful story and we also want to allow others to write their beautiful story.
Scott Belsky // Founder and CEO, Behance & Author, Making Ideas Happen
Scott is all about helping others in the creative world make their ideas happen. He said that most ideas never happen because we constantly have this struggle and the odds are against us because:
- we love to keep coming up with ideasHe said that making ideas happen = creativity/ideas + organization/execution + communal forces + leadership capabilities. So much great stuff in here and not sure how to post it all, but in regards to organization, it's so important. He says that creativity x organization = impact. We also need to be able to prioritize our projects. We also need to be able to share our ideas/projects because along with getting feedback it also produces accountability. We as leaders need to share ownership and allow other to speak first when gathering ideas. We want to develop others through appreciation of their ideas.
- we have a lack of organization
- we have a lack of accountability
- we have a passion or emotion that is interfering with judgment
- we have a lack of leadership capability
- we have disorganized and isolated networks
- we have a lack of feedback exchange
Kay Warren // Author, Dangerous Surrender & Founder, HIV/AIDS Initiative, Saddleback Church
Wess Stafford // President, Compassion International & Author, Too Small To Ignore
Kay and Wess both brought messages raising awareness of children left as orphans, the power of adoption, and our calling as Christ followers to how we should respond to this problem. God is passionately concerned for the children, what our heavenly Father did for us spiritually, he expects us to do physically for the fatherless, and He adopted us because we were spiritually orphans and it gave Him great pleasure to do that. Not everyone is called to adopt, but many of us have not even asked the question, so we need to start by asking God if that may be His will for us as terrifying as a question it may be to ask. We at least need a shift and a transformation in our lives to how we respond and help the children.
Erwin McManus // Founding Pastor, Mosaic Church & Author, Wide Awake
Knowledge and wisdom isn’t enough to living the life God has for each of us. We look at Solomon who supposedly knew everything, but at the end of his life, he said it was meaningless. It’s not enough to just have a lot of knowledge, but we need to be living our life where God has us, that’s when life begins to have real meaning. He said too often we confuse fame and greatness; striving after fame, a lot of knowledge, doesn’t produce something of meaning. Solomon also says that there is nothing new under the sun, but Ervin begs to differ, because there is something new, God is constantly making all things new, he’s always creating. He’s created us to have dreams and those dreams are waiting to become our life, but we as leaders need to realize this as well, because we need to lead others with authenticity, and others can see whether our life is authentic or inauthentic, and we need to make sure we are showing the authenticity of God working through our lives.
Andy Stanley // Lead Pastor, North Point Community Church & Author, The Principle of the Path
Andy finishes out the conference with a message pointed at the heart of leadership. He says that we as young leaders have been fed some myths and these myths have inaccurately shaped how we lead; 1) great leaders are great at everything and 2) we need to focus on improving our weaknesses, so wing it with your strengths. We need to remember that the less we do, the more we actually accomplish and the less we do, the more we enable others to accomplish. As leaders we should only do what only we can do. When we drift from only doing those things we can do our effectiveness diminishes, the effectiveness of other leaders in the organization diminishes, and the ability of the organization to get and keep great leaders diminishes. Andy says we completely miss this idea of actually doing less to accomplish more because we’ve been taught that we need to be well-rounded, when actually we need to play to our strengths and delegate our weaknesses. He also says that we feel guilty about delegating our weaknesses but we don’t realize that our weaknesses are someone else’s opportunity. There’s someone out there that loves to do and thrives at doing what we’re weak at. He also says that we’ve been taught that we have to make all the decisions, but we need to realize that we’re not necessarily the smartest person in the organization, we’re just the leader. Then because of these other things we never get the opportunity to develop other leaders. We get so focused on wanting to do things right, but sometimes we need to let others just have the opportunity to try, even if that means they fail, make mistakes, waste some money, etc. We don’t do this because we’re afraid to give up the little bit of control. But allowing others to try keeps their passion alive because they actually got to try. We need to remember that God has called us and positioned us to do a few things, not everything. I loved when Andy was talking about his position and leadership with North Point. He said he fell into these myths also, but has come to realize that even though he may be the lead pastor, he doesn’t have all the ideas and isn’t the smartest, he just got there first.