Leaders in Zambia Search their Souls at The Global Leadership Summit

Over the weekend in Ndola, 420 leaders from both government and non-government institutions, the church and various businesses joined the 350+ cities in 120 countries that host The Global Leadership Summit.  IMG_1553The Summit, that is shown via videocast, was held at Ndola’s Bread of Life Church for two days. The national coordinator of the GLS Pastor Lawrence Temfwe welcomed leaders from Mufulira, Ndola, Kitwe, Luanshya, Kalulushi and Ndola by saying; “The GLS is the place where leaders are vulnerable. Here you will learn from speakers who hide nothing. You will hear from leaders who are honest about sin and brokenness. They will share weaknesses, loneliness, sadness or general lack of fulfilment of leaders. Most importantly they will share how their hope in Christ helps them overcome obstacles on their leadership journey.”

His summary was not far from what we experienced. In the first session, we heard Bill Hybels share about how all leaders have their blind spots and we need to know how to identify them and address them with unapologetic candour. He shared from his own experience and confessed that his blind spot was revealed by someone he was least expecting.  Sheila Heen strengthened Bill’s foundation on blind spots as she emphasized the importance of feedback. During our time of discussion we were challenged to identify a person who could give us feedback, with respect to our blind spots.

The GLS inspired us with practical ways to create high-quality customer service experiences. We learned about the three universal things consumers want which included time keeping; a concept Zambians struggle with. During the discussion time, this raised a cultural debate about African time. However, it was agreed that it was about time  churches show resolve and demonstrate excellence in time keeping. Brian Houston’s genuine faith, even in dark times of his life, was one of the highs of the Summit. Questions about why leaders in African churches rarely open up about their humanity were raised. In our discussions, we agreed that we were not angels but human beings and we will all go through dark periods in our lives. We were all challenged to stay focused on the mission God has called us to and to trust and to practice vulnerability.

Sam Adeyemi’s talk brought issues right at our door steps when he talked on how self-centred leadership has made many people, especially children, powerless and hopeless in our continent.  He preached with the African church leader and politician in mind:“Rather than pray for a car, why don’t you pray for grace to provide transportation for a whole city?  Rather than pray for clothes, why don’t you pray for opportunity to clothe a nation?  Rather than pray for a home, why don’t you pray for opportunity to provide homes for people in a whole nation?  He called on leaders to develop visions for cities and nations by empowering followers. This was the strategy of Jesus Christ.

My take from the Summit was the vulnerability of leaders. Whether it was Jim Collins or Bill Hybels, none hid the realities of life. They were not afraid to share their occasional shortcomings and how they learnt from them. The importance of mentors in our lives was a key growth area for me. Bill Hybels had Dr. B whom he acknowledged to us. Even the tough Pastor Greg Groeschel who looked like he had everything right had Andy Crisewell and Bill Hybels as heroes. Rev. Chanda; the host pastor said it best; “the GLS is a non-negotiable part of a leader desiring to be transformed or developed.”

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Group discussions time                                                                                                 Praise and worship