Global Leadership Summit Notes

The following notes are what I scribbled at a recent two day conference called Global Leadership Summit. My husband and I attended along with about ten other people from our hometown. All the talks went through my teacher grid all the while thinking about Kazakhstan.  Many people gathered from all over to hear what was being said in Chicago which was simultaneously beamed out to thousands of people throughout North America.

I. Courageous Leadership for Catalytic Times, Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

In 1986 she and her husband were invited to speak about the black church in America to Birmingham, England.  One woman from Jamaica who was born in England stood up and yelled at her saying: “Where have YOU been?”  Implying that she was late. She went on to explain that they didn’t fit into the tight class system of England and they certainly were not welcomed back in Jamaica.  They were blacks without an identity.

The speaker did NOT know about their problem, she knew after that she needed to expand her global worldview as a Christian. This event was a game changer for her, a catalytic moment similar to what Chuck Yeager had accomplished with breaking the sound barrier flying in 1947.

McNeil challenged her listeners with “How have you responded to changes?”

Acts 1:8 was quoted “You will receive power to move outward from Jerusalem…” (home turf) where there is intercultural competency…to Judea (subculture of politics which can polarize in a church) to Samaria (that can be hostile to us, it is foreign such as prisons, sex traffickers, where there are child soldiers

She cited an example in Chicago where a priest had complained about a billboard close to schools where children would see the tantalizing ads.  The ad companies did nothing so he took it upon himself to paint over the objectionable parts.  The church is supposed to be counter-cultural, not go with the flow especially if it is harmful to the vulnerable.  We are to have the eyes of faith and not eyes of fear.

Are you ready to break through your sound barrier?

1)   Seek out your Divine Mandate

2)   Name catalytic events, God is always working on us

3)   Mobilize people to go, go to learn and NOT to help

Authenticity and credibility, invest self in culture

II. Poke the Box, Seth Godin, marketing blogger

Showed a picture of Betty Crocker in 1931 who was a legend in her time.  As if she was the best cook, helped sell many cake mixes on a mass produced level.

1940 Revlon had tv ads and sold more and then more ads which Godin says is the “tv industrial complex.” The mass marketing took off

Revolutions destroy the perfect

Death of industrial age, tribes – groups of people have formed where we have church, work and play in separate groups.

We all want to be in synch with one another [he used an example of clapping together]

Risky act with someone else’s wellbeing in mind, doing something FOR someone else

Henry Ford – mass production, our mentality now is “Keep line moving.”

Managers are different than leaders [this rang a bell with me about all the top heavy manager and senior managers that worked at the last university I taught at in Astana, Kazakhstan]

You are to fit in, to be ignored in this post-industrial age

There is no map or blueprint for being an artist.

Competence used to be important

Giving gifts, not favors

We have a chance to influence people and to Make a difference

We need you to lead us

Godin has an initiative to eradicate poverty – check out Live58.org

 III. Bill Hybels – Tough Callings

In Jeremiah 20, Jeremiah cries out to God, “You deceived me (in other words, “you sweet talked me”) and I bought it. Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet.

Sometimes our calling will not be easy.  We struggle between being faithful to God and aching for success, we all want to be successful.

Faithful vs. successful

Jeremiah in Lamentations 3, he writes that he is disappointed in God but after all the stresses, he comes up with “God’s mercies are new to me every morning.” Great is Thy faithfulness.

Rich Sterns took the helm of World Vision, meant to fix the ills of society because this world is broken.  This job as president of World Vision breaks your heart over and over again. Bill Hybels was on the selection committee to find the next person to take a low paying job with coach class flying and administrative skills needed to raise money for each disaster that arose.

A Canadian woman went on a journalism assignment to Somalia and she was kidnapped for 15 months before her family and friends freed her with paying the ransom money. She was deprived of food, ill treated, thought she was going to die.  After she got rehabilitated after her release, she went back to Somalia to help the children.

IV. Students First, Michelle Rhee, as an administrator of schools, she made a difference in Wash. D.C. school district by firing many principals and teachers and cleaning up the bureaucracy. She lost her post when the mayor of D.C. lost his re-election but he was ready to put his political career on the line to support whatever she did. She tolerated a LOT of hate and vitriol all because she wanted good teachers for her own two daughters who were in the public school system.  Some people would pull her aside and say that she was moving too fast.  She claimed she was not reforming the schools fast enough. She has a new project called studentsfirst.org.  She was in the movie “Waiting for Superman.” This Korean woman from Toledo, OH took on a hard job, tough calling.  Loved it and would rather have angry people than apathetic ones.  Amazing!!!

Of these four speakers perhaps the last one was the most impressive to me because this sort of shakeup has to happen in Kazakhstan.  Who has the leadership skills to do what Michelle tried to achieve?  She put students FIRST!!!

(to be continued)

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