Gold Nuggets: Leadership Summit 2009 – Day 2/2

Gold Nuggets: Leadership Summit 2009 – Day 2/2

bonoThe best from the Leadership Summit – Day 2 below. If you missed my previous article (Gold Nuggets – Day 1), please click here to read it. To get all my notes from Day 1 and 2, email me.


The Leadership Summit, hosted by the Willow Creek Association, is the largest annual leadership event in the world.

*Scroll down for quotes from Bono and Tony Blair!*

David Gergen was my favorite guest of the day. Mr. Gergen is editor-at-large at U.S. News & World Report and political analyst for CNN and PBS, and has served as a White House adviser to four presidents; Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton. He is also a professor at Harvard’s School of Public Leadership.


Thinking Forward: Third Culture Leadership
Dave Gibbons

  • “Third culture is the mindset and will to love, learn and serve in any culture, even in the midst of discomfort.”
  • “Obedience is more important than passion.”
  • “We often assess people based on their strengths. There’s more to people’s strengths… there’s their story. The most important thing is people’s story… do you have time to listen to them?
  • “When we love those who are hard to love, hard to get close to, completely unlike us–people will notice. It’s completely abnormal. That’s our calling. What’s noticeable about being normal?”


Aid vs. Trade
Andrew Rugasira


  • Aid is not really aid: “Between 1970-2000, Africa received $400 Billion in aid from the US. Is it any better? No, in fact the GDP decreased when aid increased.”
  • Aid undermines accountability: “Aid creates chronic dependence. When they become dependent on outside help, they are resistant to receive help from the inside…from NGO’s.” “Real partnerships will create lasting community transformation.”


Leveraging Your Past
Wess Stafford

  • “If the pain in your life is fueled by someone in your past who hurt you, there’s one word you need to know: forgiveness.”
  • “If you hold grudges against people who have hurt you, then you are allowing them to live rent free in your heart and your mind.”
  • “What people have done to us in our past should not define us.”
  • “Forgiveness may not mean forgetting, or that it was okay, or release from consequences of actions, or reconciliation. Forgiveness does mean giving up the right for revenge.”

Eyewitness to Power
David Gergen
(Interview with Bill Hybels)


  • “Not every reader is a leader…but every leader is a reader.”
  • Leaders can get so busy that they don’t reflect, journal, write, discuss, etc. “It’s easy to confuse motion with progress.” “The best leaders are the ones who think carefully about they want to accomplish, choose what they want to pursue, and actively pursue it with feedback along the way.”
  • “A teacher of leadership cannot make/produce leaders.” “…We need to influence and point to role models.
  • “The day of the Lone Ranger as a leader are over. Leaders no longer need to be alone. “Leaders today get the best results when they have a great team around them.” “The world is too complex..the role of leadership is about inspiring your team AND other leaders/groups outside your team. We must learn to partner and collaborate. We must build things together.”
  • “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Chip Heath
and Dan Heath (Interview with Craig Groeschel)

  • “When dealing with problems, ignore the True But Useless info (TBUs) and focus on learning from what is working and replicating it.”
  • “Big problems are rarely changed through big solutions…rather, it needs to be a series of small solutions.”
  • “To accomplish meaningful change, you must be convinced that there is a goal worthy of the pain of changing.”
  • “Sometimes we may not have a person problem…we actually have a situation problem. We tend to attribute things to a person rather than to their situation.” “We need to think broadly about people’s situations. Good leaders have the gift of seeing people’s situations. Sculpting the path is part of creating change.”

Bono, the Church… Three Years Later (videocast)

  • “We referred to the Church as the sleeping giant. Now that she has awoken, we didn’t know she could run so fast.”
  • “It’s an offense to Christ or any concept of truth and justice that we aren’t reaching people in need.”
  • “Had the church not woken up on the issue of AIDS we would not have 2 million Africans on anti-viral drugs.”
  • “I have a fear of denominationalism. I have been equally comfortable and uncomfortable in different churches…I like to go where the life is…what I don’t like are churches where it is a lifeless ceremony.”
  • “When you make a sermon, people don’t want things to be too complicated, they want you to be honest. They want a spirit of humility.”
  • There’s always resistance on the journey to equality.”

An Interview with Tony Blair (videocast)
Tony Blair
(Interview with Jim Mellado)

  • “Conventional wisdom says ‘to do’ the comfortable thing. The problem is that the comfortable thing to do can often be the wrong thing to do.”
  • “Part of leadership is having an inner core, an irreducible core, the thing that cannot be chipped away at. You cannot yield on what is at your core. You have to do what you know is right, even if it’s not popular. Your job is to stand by what you think.”
  • “The process of doubting is right. But there comes a moment when you need to lay aside the fear that comes with doubt and you have to be willing to take the responsibility of decision making.” “There are 2 types of people: (1) those who just provide commentary and, (2) those who actually step out and decide and lead.”
  • “By counting your blessings you can endure pain and disappointment. Whatever pain and disappointment you accumulate, it cannot compare to the blessings you have.  This isn’t to minimize the suffering in our lives…but what are we really complaining about.”
  • Leadership is a blessing and is a gift that you have to bless others. It is your duty to do if you can do it. The way that the world around you works, without the leader things don’t get done. The sense of joy in getting something done is worth all the pain along the way.”

The Simple Things
Bill Hybels

  • Consider establishing a time and place where you will meet personally with God every day. Most leaders don’t do this because they are too busy. “Leaders need something fresh from God every day.”
  • Commit to reading good gooks for at least 30 minutes each day.
  • Review your replenishment strategy. “Instead of doing something big, maybe you should do something simple… decide if you are on a net gain or in depletion mode?”
  • Say yes to God without knowing what the question is.
  • Your life matters.
  • This isn’t the pre-game, this is THE game.

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