I recently attended the Global Leadership Summit (GLS), brought to South Africa by the Willow Creek Association (WCA). Bill Hybels, the founder of WCA shared some hard-fought leadership lessons that leaders everywhere can benefit from. In the next few weeks I would like to share a few of Bill’s leadership lessons mixed with some thoughts of my own. 


High visionary leaders often experience a huge disconnect with their team.  Team members seemingly bought into the leader’s vision, either during the recruitment phase or at strategic planning sessions. However, as the team start working on implementing the vision practically, visionary leaders frequently:

  • assume that member of the team do not “care” for the vision as much – that they “look” for obstacles and “ways” to slow down the implementation of the vision;
  • disconnect from the team and thinks there are “better”, “more suitable” people out there who would be “thankful” for the privilege of implementing the vision.

Members of the team tell another story. They talk about experiencing that their efforts are unappreciated, their concerns not taken seriously and that the pressure never lets up, that praise is lacking and criticism plenteous. Most describe feeling like:

  • a “number”;
  • a “cog” in the wheel;
  • a “grunt” – meaning, an invisible, unappreciated and expendable individual.

Leadership Reflections

  • Do you assume your team do not care for your vision of the organisation as much as you do?
  • Are you disconnected from the team and think there are more suitable people out there that could do the job better?
  • If I were to ask your team members how you make them feel, what would they tell me?

In the next post, we will explore how you can fix this negative culture and bring God’s view of people into the picture.

To learn more about the Willow Creek Association and Bill Hybels, go to www.willowcreek.com

Happy leading.