Get Yourself Ready for GLS

Go Big or Go to CanadaMost all of leadership and life is not be about you, but the Willow Creek Associations Global Leadership Summit (GLS) is about you.  You may not believe it, but there will be specific messages said from the podium for you.  The founder of GLS, Pastor Bill Hybels says most every year, “When the leader gets better, we all get better.”  This is the focus of the GLS…making you better.

In 2011 Hybels’ opening punch line directly undoubtedly related to actions I had taken just the day previous and decisions I was going to have to make the next day.  That punch line was for me.  There was no denying it.  I still have his quote from that GLS on my desk.  I don’t know what the other 399,999 participants of that year’s GLS were thinking at that moment, but it was for me.

You may just experience the same kind of GLS but you have to attend the GLS with the right mindset, heart, attitude and focus.  Here are a few steps you can take to help be ready for fantastic GLS.

Enter in.  Enter into the process of what this event may have for your life and leadership.  I’d even encourage you to come expectantly for how the line-up will speak into your world.

Come expectantly to learn and come expecting to hear from God.  I would even ask Him, “What do you have for me at GLS?”  Even before each day and each session ask that same question… “God, what do you have for me?”  Then be on the lookout for answers.  There will be answers.  When you find them write them down.

I have seen the Global Leadership Summit as my two-day, annual personal leadership retreat.  I use the time to reorientate my life, goals and directions before the new school year starts.  I hope you can enter in with the same expectation.

Experience.  Go to GLS as if you are actually at the event.  Don’t think, “I’m just watching this on TV.”  Be an active participant, even if you are watching the closed-circuit broadcast.  The remote location should not keep you from “being there.”

They are going to ask you to clap, answer and sing as if you are in South Barrington.  Do it.  Yeah, I think it’s goofy.  Get over it.  They might even do some goofy “church” stuff.  Again, get over it.  Don’t evaluate just experience.

Idea Page. As the GLS begins, designate a blank page on which you will note thoughts, ideas, wonderings, ponders, significant items and maybe even messages from God.  Keep that page with you throughout the time.  When you think a comment or idea might be applicable to you or from God, write it down.  Don’t evaluate in the moment, because you won’t have time, just write it down.  You will come back to it later.  I have found that some of the ideas I note aren’t even relatable to the speaker or topic, but they are in my head and I not it.  I enter expectantly and note feverishly.

Following each day, you’ll want to review this page.  There may be some items you delete, but there will be much to highlight, organize and savor in further thought.

Social Media.  Keep the twitter feed going on the GLS hashtag.  Yes, people judge folks on social media during presentations but ignore 2004.  Greater learning will happen for you if you are able to engage with the GLS hashtag on twitter.

Through the feed you will see key ideas, summaries, applications and others’ thoughts.  I find it very helpful.  There are a number of slow spots in the day, i.e. MC’s, lunches/snacks, introductions and “commercials,” and I use that time to review the twitter feed. You may not usually say this about social media, but it helps me better engage and enter in.

I’m usually attending the GLS on the West Coast.  With the schedule, I’m watching the feed an hour behind most of the rest of the country.  Therefore, when I’m reviewing twitter, I can actually get a heads up on the quality content of the coming speaker.  This has been very helpful and helped me focus and take quality notes.

You can also use the twitter feed following each speakers to see how other participants were impacted by various speakers and topics.  There are also people that will post summaries of each session.  I will be providing top quotes on this blog each evening.

Focus.  Do what you need to do to focus during these two days.  I relationships and being with large groups of people, but for these two days I try to get alone.  My entire organization goes to the GLS together, so this is difficult for me to do.  Being on my own allows me to focus during the seminars.

There are a lot of people at each location and you will have plenty of time to socialize before, after, during breaks and over lunch.  For the teaching, get alone, be ready, focus and go.

The Global Leadership Summit can be a mediocre use of two days most of our very busy schedules or it can be a time used to transform your life and leadership.  Don’t let it be a waste of time.  Let it be a life changer.