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Bill Hybels: The 4 Lenses of Leadership

*Highlights from Bill Hybels’ opening session at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

1. The Lens of Passion

A passionate leader understands the effect their excitement has on every single follower.

Leaders, your followers feed off your passion—it’s like protein for the team.

It’s almost impossible to dam up the torrent of unbridled passion. It becomes an unstoppable force.

Leaders, how filled is your passion bucket? Do people feel the heat when they hang out with you or is it so low your team members have to poke you to make sure you’re still alive.

Whose job is it to fill the bucket? It’s yours.

How does a leader keep his/her passion bucket filled? For Hybels, it’s reading passionate books, hanging with passionate people and going to places that stir his soul.

2. The Shattered Lens

Maybe your past leadership lens is built around broken leadership stories? No matter your past or your leadership education/history—you can change and grow.

We need to build beautiful cultures in our churches and organizations.

An organization or church will only be as healthy as the top leader wants it to be.

God only treasures one thing in this vast cosmos…people.

When he entrusts us with these people—we must figure out how to develop them fully and create environments for them to thrive.

3. The Performance Lens

Leaders have to get stuff done. Speed of the leader, speed of the team.

Leadership requires continual adjustment regarding goals and performance.

Willow has gone back and fourth on the scale—sometimes focusing too much on goals and then overadjusting. There needs to be balance and clarity in what we seek to achieve.

It’s critical to measure the right things for your team to thrive.

It’s also critical to let your people know how they’re performing. Every team member wants to know how they’re doing. It’s cruel punishment to employ someone and not tell them how they’re doing.

4. The Legacy Lens

We have to help our teams perform at the highest level, but every once in a while we need to look back to see what we’ve left behind.

You will leave a leadership legacy. What kind of legacy will you leave?

Leadership is not fundamentally about time, but energy. What have you put your energy into?

You can restart and put more energy into the right things. Throughout history God has helped leaders write new narratives for their lives and change their legacies.

The thing about the leadership drug is that it’s so tempting to ride that drug all the time, but no matter how fired up we are about work God never intended our work to crowd out all the other areas of our lives.

Flourish at work, but flourish in your faith as well and in your marriage and with your kids and with your friends.

When you look in the rearview mirror, do you like the kind of legacy you’re leaving behind?

Legacies can be made new in a single moment in time. Take the repentant thief on the cross. His legacy? He got his last decision so right it changed his history.

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Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek, is well-known for his relevant and insightful Bible-based teaching. He is the author of 17 books, including Rediscovering Church and Fit to Be Tied (both co-authored with his wife Lynne), Too Busy Not to Pray, Becoming a Contagious Christian (with Mark Mittelberg), and The God You're Looking For. He is chairman of the Willow Creek Association's board of directors. Bill received a bachelor's degree in Biblical Studies and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity College. He and Lynne are the parents of two adult children & have one grandchild.