2015 Global Leadership Summit


Last week I went to my first Global Leadership Summit that was a simulcast at Northridge Church in Plymouth, Michigan. Willow Creek Church has been doing this summit for over 20 years now out of Chicago. This was shown in over 100 countries across the globe impacting over 200,000 leaders! For this week’s blog, I really want to share with you some of the highlights and my favorite speakers from this fabulous two-day summit!


Northridge Church is my home, so I already knew the lay of the land, where to sit, when to get my coffee at the coffee shop and most importantly how the line at the bathroom works! Because there were so many new people visiting our church for this summit Northridge volunteers lined the walls to answer any questions that all of us had or might have had.


The first speaker was Bill Hybels; he is the senior pastor at Willow Creek and the brains behind this whole operation. Hybels has two best selling books and taught us the 5 Tangibles of Leadership. But what stuck out to me the most in his talk was when he said “Don’t hesitate showing love, tear down the professional cold veils.” This is something that I have personally questioned as I lead with my heart and emotions. However I have been told before that this has no place in the work environment, although I’ve never truly believed it. Hybels helped reassure me that leading with my heart and emotions is right on task and that I am indeed on the right path and to stop doubting myself.


The biggest surprise happened mid morning, we got SNACK BOXES!!! Nothing like snacks to make me happy! Plus they gave us an iced cold water bottle to gear up for the next half of our morning.


One of my favorite speakers was Ed Catmull; he is the co-founder of Pixar and the President of Walt Disney Animation Studios!!! Catmull talked to us about his “Braintrust Method” which can be found in his book “Creativity, Inc.”. (Which I immediately went and bought as soon as he was done speaking! Guilty!) Basically he believes that to get the most out of creative types (that’s me!) there needs to be no hierarchy, people cant be afraid to open up and express their ideas! Catmull tells us that when this happens, when everyone opens up and trusts others that is when all of the magic happens! However it’s rare. He also warns us to be careful of how you speak to people; you don’t want them to ever feel like a failure.


Northridge had a really fun plan to have food trucks waiting for us in the parking lot for lunch. That way we had multiple lunch options. Unfortunately only two trucks showed up each day, when we were expecting 4-5. However my lunch on Thursday was AMAZING!!!! I got a buffalo chicken wrap and frickles from Concrete Cuisine! Loved it! I would definitely visit that truck again!


The sessions started back up and that is when I was introduced to Dr. Brene Brown. As a fellow swimmer, she taught us that it is ok to be emotional, in fact leaders are supposed to be emotional. This just spoke so much to me and the insecurities that I had found myself facing lately. Brown has a book called “Rising Strong” coming out on Aug 25th, and I definitely recommend it, because if it is anything like her talk I just know that it will be powerful and insightful!


Albert Tate ended day one on a powerful note. He is a senior pastor in Southern California and was recently a guest speaker at Northridge a couple of weeks ago, so I was looking forward to hearing his presentation. His message was so powerful and he delivered this in a fun way. First he started out with a story that had this message, who do you believe, the truth or lies in truth’s clothing? Tate definitely ended the day with the promise of more tomorrow.


The first speaker the next morning was Horst Schulze who is the CEO of Capella Hotel Group and the Founding President of the Ritz-Carlton Group. He gave us a brief history about how he got into the hotel business and his goal of Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen. I personally thought that he was fantastic!


Have you heard of Hillsong?? Well the senior pastor Brian Houston WOW’d us with an interview from Hybels about how he started this ever-growing mega church. Also a big segmant that Houston and Hybels touched on was how music affects us leaders. We are such busy people, forever thinking, working and moving that they found the one thing we all have in common is that we use music to calm down. Which is completely true of me, certain music has different effects on me. If I’m having trouble sleeping Linda Rhondstadt instantly relaxes me and puts me right to sleep (my mom used to play her cd for me every night before bedtime when I was an infant on). Worship music causes me to cry uncontrollably. And Jack Johnson allows me to focus and work.


The final speaker was Craig Groeschel the founder and senior pastor of lifechurch.tv. Groeschel was a big ball of energy and taught us the 5 C’s that each and that each and every one of us needs to work on at least one of them.

  1. Build your Confidence

  2. Expand your Connections

  3. Improve your Competence

  4. Strengthen you Character

  5. Increase your Commitment


Sorry this post was so long, I not only thoroughly enjoyed being a part of the Global Leadership Summit and wanted to give you an overview. Overall this was a very long two days with a lot of inspiration, growth and overwhelming self-analyzing.

I will definitely be going again next year; I would love to know if anyone else wants to go as well.Katie K

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