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The Intangibles of Leadership with Bill Hybels – The 2015 Global Leadership Summit Has Begun!

Bill Hybels opened the 2015 Global Leadership Summit with a talk on the Intangibles of Leadership based on Richard Davis’ book.

Hybels stress everyone wins when you grow as a leader.  Here are the five aspects of leadership that don’t get a lot of media attention, but are subtle essentials of leadership:

1. Grit – Grit is passion and perseverance over the long hall. Hybels gives the example of the children’s story, The Little Engine that Could.  This unlikely little hero painstakingly made its way up the mountain to bring the toys to the children.  “Grit can be developed, but its archenemy is ease.”  We must assign ourselves difficult tasks (lots of mountains!) to grow grit.  After all, gritty organizations are unstoppable.

2. Self-awareness – Blind spots can be devastating. Statistics show that each person has about 3.4 of them, so no one is exempt.  When we make decisions from a place of wounding, we remain tethered to the past and often we don’t even know it.  The good news is we can grow in our self-awareness.  Step one is to talk to your people.  Those closest to you can see what you can’t see.  “You cannot grow in isolation.” Growth in self-awareness “demands input from others.”

3. Resourcefulness – Hybels defines this as learning agility. You need those who are quick learners, endlessly curious, enthusiastic experimenters and collaborators.  Resourcefulness can be developed by putting yourself into situations that are abused, broken, dysfunctional and then staying with it to “figure it out.”

4. Self-Sacrificing Love – King David gives us the most astounding example of self-sacrificial love and leadership. When his key leaders sacrifice their lives to bring him water, he is overwhelmed with thankfulness and humility.  He refuses to drink the water and instead pours it out as a sacrifice to God.  He loved and led this motley crew (1 Samuel 2:2) into a deeply devoted, capable, army and family.  Hybels said, we live in an age of celebrity leaders, but we lack good ol’ fashioned love.  “Love changes the order of things,” Hybels says.  Don’t hesitate to show genuine love for others and tear down the professional veil.  “Love never leaves a heart the way it found it.”

5. Create a Sense of Meaning – Using Simon Sinek’s TedTalk and book on starting with the why, Hybels shares it is absolutely essential to know and be driven by your “white hot why.” To go from success to significance is to know what is in your “top box.”  Leadership matters so much in every industry and discipline.  “Life is too short to live without your white hot why.”

Leadership is about moving people from a current reality to a better place.  As Hybels, says, “Lead well.  The stakes are high.”


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Esther Laurie is a staff writer at churchleaders.com. Her background is in communication and church ministry. She believes in the power of the written word and the beauty of transformation and empowering others. When she’s not working, she loves running, exploring new places and time with friends and family. It’s her goal to work the word ‘whimsy’ into most conversations.