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Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Summit: Session 1


from Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2008: Session 1, Bill Hybels, The High Drama of Decision Making Bill Hybels kicked off the Summit again with a talk on leadership.  He shared a formula that many leaders make/ should make when they make difficult decisions.  Here are the steps - what Bill said are really nothing new.  These are steps that leaders go through as they think about a decision:

  1. What would/ does the Bible say?
  2. What would/ do good advisors say?
  3. What does your experience tell you?  (the pains of poor decisions, the gains of good decisions)  He encouraged leaders to chronicle your decision-making process as well as the results of those decisions.
  4. Is the Holy Spirit prompting me?  (Romans 8:6) Bill recommended a trial decision-making experience in which you "try on" the decision and see if it leads to more peace and life, or does it lead to fear and anxiety.

Lastly, in this "intro" Bill reminded us to take responsibility for our decision-making, particularly when we've made the wrong decisions.  Admit it.

Then, Bill moved into what he calls leadership Axioms.  (see his new book by the same name).  Axioms are really this leadership process formula (above), condensed into axioms or proverbs or "micro-waved wisdom."  These are ways to make and guide decisions through key axioms that have become truism as we make future decisions.  The first example was from Abraham Lincoln:  "The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend."  A second was Bob Galvin, "Create motion for motion's sake."  He also mentioned Colin Powell (Bill interviewed him last year on his leadership principles).  Powell has about 2 dozen of these that guide his decision-making like "Check your ego at the door" and "promote a clash of ideas."

Then Bill began to share a few of his own axioms (of which he has 76).  Before he did, he asked this question, which I think is poignant and helpful:  "Do you reflect enough on your own leadership to develop your own principles/ proverbs/ axioms on which to make decisions based on your values." [paraphrase]

  • Vision leaks.
  • All I have to do is get the right people around the table and we'll be fine.
  • Facts are your friends.
  • When something feels funky, engage.
  • Take a flyer.  [means take a calculated risk, pony up,
  • This is church.

Bill also took some time in the middle to talk about the Reveal study, and the major changes happening at Willow.  He shared openly and honestly about how difficult, and yet exciting these changes have been.  You can read more about it at the Out of Ur blog.

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