Saturday, August 11, 2007


The final session on Saturday morning was highlighted by an interview with Jimmy Carter, worship leadership by Kirk Franklin, and a final message by Bill Hybels.


I've always had great respect for Jimmy Carter. Politically, he and I stand on opposite sides on many issues. But I can still learn from him. Bill Hybels frequently faces criticism for the guests he invites to the Leadership Summit. Inviting the former President was no exception. Personally, I like to hear from people with whom I don't agree. I like for people to mess with my mind. And anyone who has attained high levels of leadership success, certainly I can learn from him/her.

The interview with Jimmy Carter revealed some important leadership and life lessons that I need in my own life.

  • Carter has a tremendous passion for world peace. How often do I pray for peace?
  • Effective leaders can possess a gentle, humble spirit.
  • His courage in striving for racial reconciliation serves as a model for all.
  • Grace in the midst of defeat. Carter could have been bitter after his unsuccessful re-election bid. Instead, he and his wife moved on with their lives, living out their passions for resourcing the needs of the poor.


In his final challenge, Hybels talked about the power of inspiration. There were tons of takeaways for me in this message. He answered four questions.

1. How much does motivation matter in a person's work?

It matters a lot. Studies show a 40 percent differential when a person is motivated in his job.

2. Whose job is it to keep me motivated?

It is my responsibility. 1 Samuel 30:6--David encouraged himself in God. I must never blame anyone else for my sagging spirit. Nobody wants to follow a leader who mopes around.

10 ways to motivate myself:

  • I must stay crystal clear about my calling from God.
  • Make sure I leverage my spiritual gifts the way God gave them to me.
  • Make sure the players on my team are inspiring people.
  • Read biographies of people who beat the odds to accomplish great things.
  • Rub shoulders with e.i.p.'s (exceptionally inspiring people).
  • Participate in e.i.e.'s (exceptionally inspiring events).
  • Pay attention to physical disciplines.
  • Pay attention to my working environment (my office should be furnished with things that are conducive to an effective working environment).
  • Have inspiring recreation outside the work environment.
  • Practice daily spiritual disciplines that keep me spiritually fit.

3. What's the best way to inspire those around me?

The best way to motivate others is for them to see a motivated me. Inspiration is contagious.

  • Connect everyone I lead to a compelling cause, a grander vision.
  • Learn the inspiration language of everyone on my team.
  • Identify and reduce every demotivating dynamic I possibly can.
  • Celebrate every sign of progress toward our shared goals.

4. What would a church look like where every member was inspired?

Just take a look at Acts 2 and you will get a glimpse. Verse 43 says they all felt a sense of awe at what God was doing. It is these kinds of churches God is asking us to lead.

I look forward to the Summit every August. It's always a lift and is always filled with dynamic leadership takeaways. Next year's event is August 7-9. Will you pray about going next year?

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