Last fall the Austin New Church team and I spent a few days in Atlanta at Catalyst, a Cultural Leaders conference focusing on the next generation of church leaders. I can’t help but post some thoughts from Jim Collins (Author of “Good to Great” and “Built to Last”) on Building a Great Church. Here are just a few thoughts from his talk for those of you who couldn’t make it.
· Within every organization or company that is great…you will find a culture of discipline.
· Most overnight successes are really about twenty years in the making.
· It took 7 years for Sam Walton to open his 2nd store. It took Starbucks 13 years before they had 5 stores.
· How do the great typically fall? It’s not through complacency. It is typically over-reaching that derails great organizations. Going too far, too fast.
· A great organization is more likely to die of indigestion of too many opportunities rather than starvation of not enough opportunities.
· #1 sign of over-reaching and the start of decline: When you grow beyond your ability to have the right people in the right seats on the bus.
· It is the undisciplined pursuit of more that will kill an organization.
· We need to spend more time on who and less on what. If you have the right who, they will figure out the right what.
· The people who do well in difficult, unpredictable situations are never any better at predicting the future than anyone else.
· We are in turbulent times. The years 1945-2000 were an anomaly. The convergence of stability and prosperity. It is unlikely we’ll see this again in our lifetimes.
· The greatest CEO’s from the greatest companies in history had one distinctive characteristic that separate them from other leaders. The trait is HUMILITY. Humility is the key to level 5 leadership.
· If it is about you…you will not build something great. And only you know if you are all about you.
· If you make your church dependent on your powerful personality…you are being irresponsible.
· It may take 30 years to build a reputation. It only takes 30 seconds to destroy it.
· Every generation needs to determine their own practices to passionately adhere to the values that cross through all generations.
· Everyone on your team should be able to articulate their responsibility and not just their title.