Day Two of the GLS ended earlier tonight, and although I’m exhausted, I have plenty of ruminations as a result of all the tremendous content. Here’s my response to some of the things I heard tonight (Yesterday’s reflections can be found here).
1) The Land Between is terrifying and transforming – Jeff Manion started off the morning with a moving account of Moses, Elijah, and pretty much anyone who has ever been in leadership and wanted to quit.
I think all of us could relate to the Land Between, otherwise known as the “confusing middle”, “liminal space”, and “hanging between two worlds”. For leaders especially, referencing to the Moses story (and the leadership challenges therein) made it all the more real.
There were many tears at our site, that’s for sure.
2) Dan Pink’s talk on Motivation was enlightening, although it raised questions for me – The gist of his message was that the most powerful motive that we share as humans is not so much 1) biological or 2) carrot-and-stick, but instead, we’re driven to do things that inspire us or give us a sense of meaning.
He recommended giving employees autonomy, mastery, and purpose, thereby creating a culture of allowing people to do things they feel compelled to do.
One question I had was how do we balance the needs of the organizations and the wishful tasks of an employee? For instance, I might want to do something within the organization that brings me life, but what if that very life-giving task is unnecessary within our organization?
Moreover, what if I spend my autonomy doing something, but it’s not excellent or as good as someone else will do, and therefore, I really ended up wasting my time?
Something has to give when it comes to expectations of an employee, and freedom of an employee.
I think this is a tension we manage, and not a problem to be solved. I’m quite proud of using this statement. 🙂
But yes, I had the same type of questions for Terri Kelly and the Gore Company, who seem to be the religious equivalent of Quakers (in terms of organization), in my estimation.
3) Blake Mycoskie’s story of TOMS shoes is pretty dang cool – TOMS shoes is a for-profit enterprise that also does humanitarian work (gives one shoe to an under-resourced child) for every shoe that’s bought. These shoes have become wildly popular, as has Blake.
I’m always a bit conflicted over these interviews with young, entrepreneurial leaders.
On one hand, I’m incredibly inspired to dream and think outside the box.
And on the other hand, I feel guilty that I’m not doing enough with my life.
Again, another tension to be managed (I think I’ve used this phrase about 20 times over 24 hours).
Either way, Blake has blazed a trail for capitalism and generosity to work hand in hand. Very nice.
Btw, as Bill Hybels pointed out, Blake is single and ready to meet someone.
4) Jack Welch is a engaging, smart, convincing, and in many respects, larger than life – This interview was thoroughly entertaining to watch.
First off, Hybels is a masterful interviewer, and it seemed like the two had a lot of fun.
Second, Welch oozes management wisdom… Doug W was explaining how influential Welch has been, and I was struck by the convictions that Welch holds in regard to management… the convictions certainly showed throughout the interview!
Again, I’m still wrestling with management – how do we give people freedom but also specific expectations? Is erring to one side better than the other? Is there an old school (Welch) and a new school (Pink et al) as Doug suggested?
5) Above all, another breathtaking year – I was a zombie for the last two sessions with Bill Hybels and TD Jakes, so I wasn’t fully present.
But in sum, the GLS was quite stellar. My expectations were met, and I had high expectations after last year. Fulfilled expectations produce a good feeling.
This being my second GLS, I’ve decided I want to make this a yearly commitment for me – the stimulation related to leadership in particular is something I don’t readily acquire (i’m not a big reader on topics of leadership), and I can’t think of a better venue than the GLS.
Someday I’ll share some of the specific action steps I wrote down… but for now, I’ll leave that to when I’m back at church on Sunday and Tuesday.
SIDENOTE: I still can’t stop talking about Northpoint to people. I see NP as leading the way in practical church leadership. Our staff is probably sick of me talking about NP. END of SN
Anyhow, it was special to attend the GLS with other folks from New Life Fellowship, and I hope we can bring others out next year.
Again, a special thanks to Christ Tabernacle. These guys were wonderful hosts, and the pastors and staff there were such a delight to be around.
Also, a special thanks for the WCA for bringing together a quality experience year after year. You guys are amazing.