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Archive for August, 2009


Gary Hamel notes from Dave Fergusson

I’m following Dave Fergusson now too and these are his notes on Gary Hamel’s talk at Willow’s Leadership Summit. Blue emphasis is mine…


1. Overcome the temptation to take refuge in denial.

  • Overcoming denial usually requires that we go through four steps: 1. Dismiss 2. Rationalize 3. Mitigate 4. Confront.
  • “Microsoft is only two years from being irrelevant” – Bill Gates

2. Generate dozens of new possibilities

  • We are in too big of a hurry to find a solution; we need to first spend time thinking through all the crazy possibilities.

3. Deconstruct what you are already doing.

  • Most churches end up doing the same stuff because they read the same books and use the same consultants.  We need to reconsider everything..spare the gospel.  Why can’t a sermon be created though an open-source conversation?  Why can’t we bring laptops into the sanctuary to take notes?  Why is the sermon more of a lecture and not a discussion?  Why…
  • Mental models of leadership teams are increasingly irrelevant but at the same time their power is increasing.
  • Is the challenge finding great leaders OR leveraging the people that God has sent us?
  • Young people want to work for corporations that functions more like the web where everyone has a voice and is judged by what they produce.

Jesus is the answer and He is the hope for humanity.  And the church is God’s plan A for delivering that message.  There is no plan B!

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Dave Ferguson's take on Leadership Summit

Bill-hybels09Over the last several years I have had the privilege of getting to know Bill Hybels on a more personal basis.  We are in a small group of pastors that gathers 4-5 times a year to spend time with each other for encouragement and to challenge one another.  I am have a tremendous amount of respect for Bil as a leader, pastor and a follower of Jesus.

The following are some of the highlights of Bill’s opening talk at the 2009 Leadership Summit:

  • I want to share some lessons with you that I am learning in this new reality.
  • I’m not sure we are going to experience the old normal anytime soon…if ever. The normal we all knew and loved has left the building.
  • In the middle of this new reality we hear the whispers of God saying, ‘this is why I gave you this leadership gift…for times like these.

In a single week the stock market lost 20% of it’s total value within a week.  As a result of that hundreds and thousands of people began to lose their jobs.  In the middle of that we made a critical decision that we will be an Acts 2 church for today.  We still believe that the church is the hope of the world and we will be the dispensers of that hope.  We are the church and we will still be the church!

When you head into a financial downturn you see the financial forecast going down and the financial needs going up.

  • Advice from Jack Welch:  “Cash is king!”  Cash simply gives you the time needed to make the important decisions you need.
  • At Willow they have 25% of the total annual budget in cash reserves.
  • Follow these “golden rules” if staff reductions are necessary:

    • Give as much as advance notice as possible.
    • Be clear about the cause for the reductions.
    • Be as generous as possible.
  • Suggested budget disbursement:  50% or less of total budget is for staffing; 10% is for Spirit-led initiatives; 15% is for debt reduction and 25% for ministry expenses.
  • People will still be extremely generous if the cause is compelling.

I have been learning a lot of lessons in regards to the people who work with me and for Willow:

  • Ask yourself, “Are we hiring fully yielded, rightly gifted, fired up people for the mission who want to see God do great things.”
  • Ask:  How many “key” seats do we have in our organization?  And then ask how many of our “key” people are filled by a fully yielded, rightly gifted fired up person?
  • Recommended book, How the Mighty Have Fallen by Jim Collins

This lesson started with a conversation with a friend where we both admitted to each other, “I’m a little worried about you.”  It remind me of a dangerous time when I wrote in my journal 20 years ago these words, “The pace at which I’m doing the work of God is destroying the work of God in me.”  We must reinvent replenishment strategies for the new reality.  The best thing you bring to your church or organization is a “filled up” person.  You need it and they need it.


And the moral of the story is…

I just had the smackdown laid on me for using the phrase, “And the moral of the story is…” Now I can assume the dude is way better at English than I, or he doesn’t know what in the heck he is talking about. Typically, when it comes to English, I think everybody is smarter than I ( I mean me). Regardless of whether or not I was wrong the issue is that I don’t even know this dude. The first time we even exchanged pleasantries was after he slammed me, and called me Aesop. I didn’t like it, even if he was right. The thing I hated the most was not that he made the criticism in front of people, but that he left me without the knowledge that I needed to not make the same mistake again.

I have a pet peave when it comes to leaders.  If you see a problem, then refrain from making the criticism if you don’t have a solution. There is a difference between offering criticism and offering a solution.  We tempt people to be prideful when all we do is mention where they fall short. We inspire them to be different if we show them a way out.

So, now I’m pissed off because I don’t know what I should have said. Now I’m going to go find this guy and figure out what in the heck I should have said, and then let him know the next time he offers criticism in a public and even humiliating fashion he better have a solution. Otherwise, he comes out looking like the jerk instead of the wise man.