Reflections from the Global Leadership Summit in Lusaka

As I reflect on the Global Leadership Summit that took place in Lusaka, Zambia, I was impacted deeply and left with lingering questions. The countless questions cycling through my mind are intermixed with inspiration and challenge. “How full is your passion bucket?” Pastor Bill Hybels asked as he spoke about the unstoppable force of passion. The analogy he used of a passion bucket caused me to reflect on my own passions and desires in my leadership experiences. As our passions fluctuate and are often affected by external circumstances, he explained that it is the leader’s responsibility to fill his or her own bucket. When our buckets are full, we will fill others’ buckets with more passion!

A question I was left with was, “Is the master pleased with your vision?” Jossy Chacko encouraged us to enlarge our visions, empower others and to embrace risk,. In a small group made up of a teacher, a college student, a CEO of a large insurance company in Zambia, and a 12 year old who just finished writing her grade 7 exams, we discussed our visions. As we each shared and supported one another, I could see our dreams enlarge and evidence of empowerment in mere minutes. It is now our responsibility to embrace the risk and faith that will allow us to succeed in our visions.


Some questions that flooded the church with over 1,200 leaders were; “What do leaders struggle with more, strategy or execution? What are they educated in, strategy or execution?” Without hesitation we all knew the answer. We know how to write brilliant strategic plans but we are struggling across the board with implementation. Thus, Chris McChesney spoke about the 4 disciplines of execution. He gave numerous examples which drove us to get deeply analyze these principles. One of the greatest take aways for our group was to turn our “Game on!” “Do the people who work for me feel like they are playing a winnable game?” “Do you feel like you are playing a high-stakes winnable game?”

Interestingly enough, our lunch break revealed even more than a conference room with the caliber of dedicated leaders. We weren’t dialoguing about our favorite speakers or a funny moment from earlier; the conversation was a cry of righteous anger for Zambia. We were digging into the problems that face our society and discussing solutions. The casual lunch group eating sandwiches and drinking coke under the shade of a tree as the breeze cooled us down, did not cool their desire for the justice in our nation. From one issue to another unsolved problem, to a different failed system to a lack of education and irresponsible decisions, anyone could see the passion buckets rising. The more the group discussed and urged one another, our buckets began to overflow. Though we weren’t able to fix the problems or injustice of our society then and there, we commenced the movement and filled one another’s passion buckets.

There is a common answer of “we’re surviving” when asked “how are you doing?” Through the speakers, group discussions, candid lunch chats and the passion that was through the roof by the last GLS session, it is evident that the leaders do not want to be stranded in a complacent society of just survivors. Are we using our talents to multiply and lead or are we burying or even spending our talents to survive? How will we as leaders move from surviving to thriving?

Abigail Temfwe