I had the privilege of attending the Global Leadership Summit the last two days. Day 1 was one of the most inspiring days I’ve ever experienced. Bill Hybels shared some great leadership insights. Len Schlesinger was next up and his talk was very powerful as well. The Honorable Cory Booker was next and he rocked the house! What an inspiring guy he is. Next up was Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil and she was a ball of fire, so inspiring and challenging. Seth Godin, marketing genius shared his magic and it was awesome. The grand finale of day one was a 31 year old pastor named Steven Furtick and he just smacked it out of the park! Day two started with three people talking about “tough calls.” Wes Stafford of Compassion International, Mama Maggie Gobran, the most humble person I’ve ever seen who left teaching college and all her affluence to work among the “trash children” in Egypt. What an amazing woman! Bill Hybels did a talk and challenge on Jeremiah and it was very good too. Michelle Rhee, an educational reformer who took on the Washington DC Public School System is one awesome leader! She told her story and it was so good. Dr. Henry Cloud, gave some stuff I wish I would have learned about twenty years ago. John Dickson spoke about humility and Patrick Lencioni about vulnerability. I had to leave before the last session but Erwin McManus was scheduled to speak and he is awesome. The worst leadership example I experienced was Harold Schultz CEO of Starbucks was to be interviewed by Bill Hybels about leadership at Starbucks. A special interest group sent him a petition signed by 700+ people who said they would boycott Starbucks if he was part of the Leadership Summit. So, Schultz disregarded the 160,000 leaders he was to share some wisdom with, was released from his contract and bailed. We were all told to buy his book and buy a cup of Starbucks and send him an encouraging email but the more I’ve thought about it, I thought he gave us a negative leadership lesson on what is wrong with this country! A few squeeky wheels, special interest groups intimidate people and we don’t have the courage to stand up and do the right thing. In my opinion, Harold Schultz’s decision disqualified him from being part of a summit that is based on having the courage to lead boldly. I learned I don’t ever want to be a leader that has to let outside forces dictate my decisions. I learned when worrying about losing a dollar or being labled can never be what I base my decisions on. They have to be made on substance. I believe he wimped out and missed a great opportunity to influences 160,000 leaders who represent probably a million people including their followers. He may want to run for the senate next, he’d fit in pretty well.
All in all it was a can’t miss event!