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Day One at the Summit

Day One at the Summit

The Global Leadership Summit is always one of my favorite conferences each year and we are off to a great start this year. Bill Hybel's vision for training leaders and for positioning the Church as the hope of the world is inspiring and challenging at the same time.

Bill led off yesterday's lineup with a message about sowing seeds generously because not all of them are going to bear fruit. He also talked about the danger zone of missional living which is the middle part of the journey. You have great enthusiasm for the lift off and near the end you can see the finish line but it is in the middle where you are most vulnerable.

Condoleezza Rice is truly one of my heroes. She reminded us that freedom and democracy are not the same. We can have democracy but that doesn't necessarily mean that all those who live here are free. I loved her candor and sense of humor. She stands up for her faith and lives it out in tough political settings. I get it that she "loves policy" but hates politics. We are better as a country for her leadership.

Jim Collins is always good. They could have him every year as far as I'm concerned. He contrasted two expeditions to Antartica. One failed and one succeeded. He broke down the way the leaders thought and revealed how ultimately that made all the difference. I especially liked two illustrations. One was the 20 mile march--breaking big jobs into daily pieces and being fanatically disciplined to stick to it. The other was about how to gather empiracal evidence before you shot all your guns. Go live with the Eskimos if you have to gather data on how to survive the cold rather than be such an innovator that you risk it all on something unproven.

Marc Kielburger can rival Jim Collins in how fast he talks. He reminded me of the worth of helping children catch a vision early in life. Be the change you want to be! I loved his closing line: "Be the generation you've been waiting for."

Sheryl Wudunn touched my heart talking about China and specifically about the plight of women around the world. She's writen a book, Half the Sky, which is one I need to get and read. I'm really sorry my wife Belinda didn't get to hear her, my daughter, Kristen too for that matter. I'll have to make sure they see the media later.

Craig Groeschel was great as usual. He talked about the importance of the generations working together. He did a super job of speaking to both generations. To the older generation he gave lavish praise for their contributions but challenged them to remember that you haven't done a great job unless what you lead gets better when you are gone. To the younger generation he stressed humily and gratitude. Then he challenged them to remember they stand on the shoulders of the generation before even while they lead the world to a better place.

My favorite talk of the day was Carly Figorina sharing her story of coming to faith after speaking at the Summit several years ago. God's walked with her through some very tough stuff and it is a strong story of God's faithfulness and her faithful choices. I hope you can hear it some day.

I look forward to day two that starts in about thirty minutes. I better quit typing and get there!

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