21 Unforgettable Quotes From This Year’s Leadership Summit

195fbff6e89aa01b89abca97c01ee06e“Everyone wins when a leader gets better.” This is just one of many though-provoking truths I overheard at this year’s Global Leadership Summit. Every August, for the past 21 years, the Willow Creek Association puts on a 2-day conference from Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, highlighting the best leaders from the world of business, politics, athletics, entertainment, education, philanthropy, and the church. The W.C.A. believes that leadership is vital for church vitality. I whole-heartedly agree. So for the past 11 years, I’ve invested into my own leadership to attend one of the 230 U.S. sites that simulcasts the Summit. And every year I’m glad I did.

Many years ago I heard Dr. John Maxwell say, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” These 6 simple words became foundational to my thinking and ministry. Dr. Maxwell was one of this year’s faculty at the Summit and every August, I attend and fill my notebook with notes and quotes that serve to inform and inspire me throughout the year. Here are 21 of the most unforgettable quotes I heard at this year’s Global Leadership Summit.

  1. “Too many Christians value their positions on issues more than God’s command to walk in love.” – Wilfredo De Jesus
  2. “Intentionally, every day, add value to people.” – John Maxwell
  3. “Leadership is moving people from here to there, because staying here is not an acceptable option.” – Bill Hybels
  4. “True humility is agreeing with God about who you are. True dependence is agreeing with God about who He is.” – Danielle Strickland
  5. “There’s a big difference between knowing a thing, and knowing the data behind the thing.” – Chris McChesney
  6. “There will always be more good ideas than there is capacity to execute them.” – Chris McChesney
  7. “Are we going to spend our lives connecting with people, or correcting them?” – John Maxwell
  8. “The number one driver of morale and engagement is whether a person feels they are winning.” – Chris McChesney
  9. “The biggest problem is not figuring out where you want to go. It’s deciding what to leave behind in order to get there.” – Bishop T.D. Jakes
  10. “Connectedness increases your capacity.” – Henry Cloud
  11. “It is cruel and unusual punishment to employ a person and not tell them how they’re doing.” – Bill Hybles.
  12. “Everything worthwhile is uphill. Everything.” – John Maxwell
  13. “No one speaks about accidental achievement.” – John Maxwell
  14. “In the moment, urgency always trumps importance.” – Chris McChesney
  15. “An organization will only be as healthy as the top leader wants it to be.” – Bill Hybles
  16. “The ideal team player is humble, hungry and smart.” – Patrick Lencioni
  17. “When people hear your vision, they should know the size and scale of your God.” – Jossy Chacko
  18. “There are no do-overs. But there are make-overs.” – Bill Hybels
  19. “You can’t turn away from the voices calling out. You need to let your heart break, and take it in.” – Melinda Gates
  20. “All lives have equal value.” – Melinda Gates
  21. “Leadership matters…disproportionately. So we need to get better.” – Bill Hybels

For me, attending the Summit every August is a no-brainer. I take notes. I tweet tweets. I re-connect with friends and leaders in my city. And I intentionally invest in my leadership. As was stated, “Everyone wins when leaders get better.” With God’s help, I want to be one of those leaders that inspire people to move from here to there, and daily add value to them along the way. Why not join me, and the 180,000+ other leaders, at next year’s Summit? You, and the people you lead, will be glad you did.