Bill_hybels_summit_08In the last couple years I have had the privilege of being in a small group that meets every couple months that includes significant leaders from across Chicago including Bill Hybels.  I have for a long time been someone who admires Bill and learned many leadership lessons from him.  What has been fascinating and encouraging to me since getting to know Bill is that he is the same person in private as he is in person.  He thinks about leadership.  He talks about leadership. He is a leader.  And he passionately loves leading a church and movement of churches.  As I heard him talk in this first session about decision-making and axioms, this is not just content for a talk at the Summit, this is stuff he says and thinks about in private.  Here are some of my take-aways from Bill’s session on decision-making:

The biggest part of leadership is making decisions.  Many of us get to participate in life-saving decisions on a regular basis.  How a leader makes decisions is critical.  There is a clear path for making decisions by asking these questions:

  • QUESTION #1: “What does the Bible say about this decision?” The authority of God’s word has the first say about any decision we make big or small.
  • QUESTION #2: “What would smart advisers tell me about this decision?”  There are people that God has intentionally put around you to help you make critical decisions.  There are things they know that you do not know…rely on them!
  • QUESTION #3: “What have you learned from the pain of past decisions?”  Leaders should be adding to their learnings year after year.  Journaling is a discipline that allows you to chronicle the positive and painful decisions of the past and empowers you to repeat them or not repeat them.
  • QUESTION #4:  “Is the Spirit of God prompting me?” Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful mans death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”  When you are in step with the Spirit it will bring life and peace.

Successful leaders will take theses decisions and condense them and into axioms that they repeat and live by…

  • Axiom from Abraham Lincoln:  “The best way to deal with someone who has wronged me is to turn them into a friend.”
  • Axiom  from Bob Galvin: “Create motion for motion sake.”
  • Axiom from Coin Powell:  “Check your ego at the door” or “Promote a clash of ideas” (Colin Powell has 12 of these principles)

Axioms from Bill Hybels: 

  • “vision leaks”
  • “get the right people around the table and we will be fine.”
  • “facts are your friends”
  • “when something feels funky – engage!”
  • take a flier”
  • “this is church”

What are your own leadership axioms?  I’d love to hear them.  Leave a comment.

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