The Global Leadership Summit is a two-day event that is telecast LIVE from Willow’s campus near Chicago every August to more than 600+ locations in North America. Throughout the fall, Summit events take place in an additional 128 countries—translated into 60 languages. This is the 23rd annual Global Leadership Summit being broadcast around the world to more than 400K people.

Below are my notes for Bryan Stevenson, Founder & Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative:

4 Keys To Becoming A More Effective Leader

#1 Proximity

  • You can’t be an effective leader from a distance. It’s the proximity to the problem that allows you to effect change.
  • Only in proximity that we understand enough to lead.
  • When you get close to the people who are suffering you begin to understand the nuances and begin to figure things out.
  • Only in proximity will we really begin to understand what it means to lead.
  • A leader can’t effectively lead from a distance.
  • Our people need to understand that someone is with them.
  • Leadership demands we don’t run away from the problems.
  • Answers come in proximity.
  • There is power in proximity

#2 Narrative

  • Leaders must change the narratives that sustain the problems we address.
  • Behind the policies are narratives that shape how we think.
  • You must learn to understand the narratives that are at the source of the problem and change the narrative in order to fix the problem.
  • Concerning slavery, the biggest problem was not involuntary servitude but the narrative that black people are different from white people.
  • True narrative change can provide redemption.
  • True narrative change can liberate us. there must be repentance before redemption.

#3 Hopefulness

  • Leaders must remain hopeful.
  • Hopelessness is the enemy of justice.
  • You are either hopeful or you are part of the problem.
  • It takes courage to stay hopeful in daunting situations
  • When something makes your tired, tired, tired….you have to be brave, brave, brave…

#4 Willingness To Be Uncomfortable

  • Leaders have to be willing to do uncomfortable things.
  • We are biologically programmed to stay comfortable.
  • Effective leadership happens when leaders are willing to do uncomfortable things.
  • Leaders have to place themselves in uncomfortable situations and be a witness.
  • It is in brokenness that we truly understand what we need to do to lead.
  • Each of us is more than the worse thing we have done.
  • The opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s justice.
  • True leadership is measured in how you treat the poor and neglected.
  • Don’t think of your income as a measure of your ability to lead.
  • Our character can’t be judged by how we treat the rich & powerful but by how we treat the poor and broken.
  • Leadership requires that the people we are serving know we are with them.




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