Friday, August 19, 2005

The Leader's State of Mind

Notes from The Leadership Summit 2oo5:

Session 1: The Leader's State of Mind, Bill Hybels
What precedes vision? For Bill Hybel's, it is what he called a "holy discontent," some issue or cause we can't stand to see left in its current state. This "furnace of frustration" becomes part of our purpose. Along the way to resolving this issue, a leader casts vision for others, builds a team, inspires and developers others, leads change, and intercepts intropy.

A key point of the session was pessimism vs. faith-based optimism. As bad as the current situation might be, leaders cannot let hope die. For me, there are correlations between what his points and my preious post.

Hybels also said several specific items that struck me. One, the cause can't afford my pride. To me, this means I need to not get in the way with what I think is best if the group conscious doesn't think so, or differs somewhat. Secondly, I don't need everything to be my idea. I didn't realize this was why I wasn't also happy for someone else when they came up with a clever idea, or made headway with an idea I had thought of (whether I told anyone or not) previously. Another reminder was to "engage team members more deeply." Even the term "deeply" made me reflect that these are people on my team, not simply task completers. Hybels also warned against grandstanding and "turf protection," two areas I know I have to watch myself.

The biggest impact from this session for me was understanding that my frustrations with specific situations at work are the very spark for leading change. Don't ignore them, don't medicate them away. Let them drive change, all while walking the fine line of staying hopeful about the eventual outcome.

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