BILL HYBELS at Stafford. Leadership Q & A

My notes from the morning session with this amazing leadership hero!

Where are you?

Dangerously Over-challenged

Appropriately challenged

Under Challenged

You’re BEST, just North of appropriately challenged. Just beginning to be over-challenged.

People who are sharp, leadership oriented – you’ll LOSE unless you over-challenge them.

You have some people who are RETAIN & DEVELOP at ANY COST people.
Distinguished from good staff & great staff. These are people who it would rip the heart of the organisation if they went. They are rewarded differently and TOLD them who they are. ‘You have character, competence, fit our culture. We want you to be here serving till the Lord returns.” Identify these people!


Here are all the people in your dept.
If there was a 50% reduction – who would you lose? If someone HAD to go – who’s your end of the line person.

Why is this person always at the end of your line?

When/Why someone has to go…
It probably didn’t start as a dismissal issue. It starts with a problem.
What do you call ‘the problem with Fred.’
What’s the issue? How do you talk about it?

We have a ‘fit concern’ with Fred…
How many categories of that are there? How many issues are there really?

The organisation has grown faster than he has

Of all these and such issues – what time frame do you allow each of these issues to unfold before its addressed?

How long do you give to sort out an attitude?
Can you have a bad DAY? There’s grace for that! SHORT TIME.

But you can’t have 8 in a row… we don’t want that in our culture LONG. Because scripture talks about not being a grumbler.
If you hear there’s an attitude problem in that department – it needs to be resolved this week.

If there’s a character issue… VERY SHORT TIME. Zero tolerance.
Fred tells lies.
Deal with it – straight away.
You can’t have people who lie on your staff. It’s supposed to be setting an example. Character stuff is REALLY short. ‘You need to work this out with a counsellor etc, but this is not the place for you to work while you work this out.’

? When they love God and the church but are not growing at the rate they need to be for a growing church…it’s not a try harder issue, it’s a capacity… try to deploy in another area, train him up, MEDIUM to LONG time…

What about when the chemistry doesn’t fit?
You can have forthright conversations about that kind of thing. People jumping in all the time. Disinterested body language. Bad breath.

Ken Blanchard: When you’re thinking about bringing somebody onto the team – if there isn’t a positive emotional charge when they walk in the room, don’t hire them. Why? You need to be with people who fire you up.

You will do more coaching with someone you like than someone you don’t. You’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. You will bring minute corrections to them. But if you don’t, you won’t.

What about employment protection/ law?

How do you give people feedback, along the journey?

Make your HR standards better than the law requires. Have a great performance review system!

Jack Welch: ‘The kindest form of management is the truth.’
Everyone wants to know, ‘Am I doing good?’
Until you get told you are… you wonder.

You’re doing great – I’m going to tell you where you are doing great (A, B or C), and where you can improve if you want to..

Evaluations twice a year.
If you get a C – uh-oh! It’s a concern.
2 Cs in a row… C u later! Because there is a problem we can’t resolve. If you’re happy with C work in the church – you have a problem.

Talk about..
What was achieved?
HOW was it achieved?

“You got great results;
but you shouted at too many people and didn’t build team…”

The excellence & seeker focus = what differentiated Willow in the 70s and was their ‘competitive advantage’ –

But so many other churches are now doing great things

So now – it’s about Fantastic people doing Fantastic work for a Fantastic God. So finding, developing and deploying fantastic people is where it’s all at. That’s what will make you unique, and will help you reach your unique potential.

If you’re a 5 leader (pretty good) – the only people you will be able to gather & lead are 4,3,2 & 1s.

A 9 will not follow a 5 for long. They’ll be bored & frustrated.

If your staff is made of 5s, but you have 6, 7, & 8 people – they are not going to be engaged.

BUT if you read and are mentored and stretched and become an 8… you can lead everyone except a 9. So many more will be engaged. This is the way life IS!

If you’ve only got a few staff – you need to make sure they are top end! You can’t afford someone in the lower range.

How do you deal with the fall out when people have to go/get downgraded?
Nobody enjoys such conversations.
But every foot soldier deserves competent command.
Yes, you’ll hurt their feelings but he’s hurting others…

Keep this on the playing field of faith, and spiritual gifts. Everyone’s leadership has a scale, scripture calls it ‘a measure of faith.’
You can have two Pastors, one’s ready for the bigger deal, the other is just as smart etc., but wants to go slower and keep smaller.

You have to be true to how God wired you up.

How do you get volunteers who are giving ‘good enough’ to give GREAT.

Malachi 1. ‘God’s ticked with you…’
God sees the kind of lamb you’re giving at altar time. You’re looking for the smallest, half dead, leaning against a fence post – and offer that to him. You think God’s pleased with that?
It says God says would rather have you shut the door to the temple than bring a blemished lamb!
But there are times when I’m not singing my best to ‘How great is our god.’ But I’m not focused. I’m not giving my best I can.
When i use my spiritual gift. I know what a ‘good enough’ sermon is – and what an unblemished lamb looks like.
God has only ever given me his best. His best creation. Best to save me. Preparing the best eternity for me.
Why would I give him a blemished lamb?

If your teachers don’t teach on passages like that, people will think, ‘At least I’m bringing something.’

Be aware of what IS my best and what isn’t.

e.g. – the spiritual gift of Giving; (you have unusual satisfaction from giving to things that advance the kingdom of God). Teach on that – 8% of your people have this gift.

‘You will one day stand as accountable to God for how you steward that gift, as I will for my stewardship of my teaching gift.’

When you are doing the sound, do it the best you can, for God – make it an unblemished lamb.
Imagine what your church would be like if everyone brought an unblemished lamb

Every volunteer doing what the Spirit is whispering at their best.
Everyone singing their best.


Network. Saddleback’s SHAPE.

What’s your top three gifts?
What’s the ORDER?

Your TOP gift – using it energises you. You do it recreationally. (Evangelism)

Your middle gift = neutral (Teaching)

Third level might drain you. (Leadership)

Build your ministry around the rank order gave you.

How do you discover your gift?
DIVE IN! In the pool, swimming round, moving round, experimenting – you learn where the right gift in the right ministry with the right team – you have a ‘that’s IT’ moment. It’s built on servanthood. The church does not exist to help you to find your perfect gift this week. Wash some feet. Find the heavy end of a log and lift it.

How do you know what level of leadership you’re at (1-10?)
Is this a self awareness issue or a level of feedback? Both/and!

No matter what your number is – YOU CAN RAISE IT! – if you choose to. You read on it, you lead something, you hang around leaders better than you, you go where leadership is taught.

What to look for?

Look for INFLUENCE in a room, look for DRIVE (Energy enough to energise others). Look for INTELLIGENCE. (Relational Intelligence is what separates good from great bosses; understanding the feelings of your colleagues).

What about megachurch?
The megachurch phenomenon has screwed up Pastors.
Bill left something BIg (the company) to do something small, and it grew.
Don’t get into church work with an eye on making something BIG.
Be the BEST YOU, at the level God has for you, do what you’re called to do.
We are all called to build Acts 2 churches, locally & globally.

There are companies in the state who can show you how to get to 2000 in 36 months, by building in the right area, etc.

In certain parts of the world you can attain a scale and get wealthy too! You can be rich, visible and a christian celebrity now. That was unheard of 20 years ago. We are going to give an account to a guy who only had one robe, and a towel.

Just love people and build them up.

Eric Mataxes – Bonhoeffer. Great book.

How do you integrate a new, strong person into an established team?
Let the team be part of the process. All the leadership team has to be in on the hire, or it’s a no.
Get the people to hear their story.

How do you attract/ build a multi-cultural church?
Passionately believe that God has called you to Pastor a footprint of geography. Eg – everyone within a 20 min drive. So we want to reflect the diversity there is within that area. The church is meant to be a house o prayer for ALL nations, so you’ve not reached your redemptive potential yet.