10 Transformative Takeaways from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit

Two weeks ago I attended Willow’s Leadership Summit and I’m glad I did. In my prior post I wrote about the 4 books I bought because of the Summit. In this post I list the 10 transformative insights I learned.

The insights are mostly paraphrases from each speaker’s respective talks, with their names in parentheses.

  1. MarginMake margin and Jesus will throw stuff in. (Bob Goff) Bob made me ask myself if my busyness sometimes hinders Jesus from throwing some really important stuff my way. Or, my busyness causes me to miss what He has already thrown my way.
  2. PerspectiveSee people for who they are becoming. Jesus called Peter, even with his impulsive nature, the rock upon which the Church would be built. He did not view him as a wuss. (Bob Goff)
  3. CourageYou can either choose courage or comfort. (Dr. Brene Brown) Wow, what a powerful quote.
  4. LeadershipI’ve never told anybody “That’s an order.” (General Colin Powell) This one made me think that if we as pastors must remind others that we are in charge, maybe we aren’t.
  5. OptimismPerpetual optimism is a force multiplier. (Colin Powell) There’s a lot of brain science that supports this one.
  6. VisionEvery vision God gives you will face resistance. Many visions die a silent death and are aborted because of fear. Visions from God are holy commodities and must be treated as such. You can’t wait for everybody to get it before you move on your vision. (Bill Hybels) If I live for my own generation then my vision will die with that generation.(Oscar Murio)
  7. Staff cultureStaff culture is only as healthy as the senior pastor wants it to be. (Bill Hybels) This statement reminded me that we can’t delegate to somebody else our responsibiity to take the lead to create a healthy staff culture.
  8. QuittingSome of the most rewarding experiences come late in the marathon of leadership and life. (Bill Hybels) This reminded me that of Peter Drucker’s 39 books (he’s considered the founder of modern management) he wrote 2/3’s of them after his mid-sixties.
  9. Developing othersMultipliers get on average two times more productivity than what diminishers get from their followers. (Liz Wisemen) Perhaps the challenge in growing churches is not simply to hire more staff, but for leaders to hone their skills as multipliers, thus increasing their current staff’s productivity.
  10. InfluenceThe size of the harvest depends on the number of leaders. Otherwise, my reach of influence will be limited by my capacity. (Oscar Murio) This one challenged me to up my investment in rising leaders.

What were some of the transformative insights you took away from the Summit (or from a recent leadership book you read)?


I just learned 10 helpful insights from Willow’s Leadership Summit. (click hereto tweet this quote).


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