Every now and then an example appears that shows brilliance in dealing with a challenge in public. Sometimes we learn from the mistakes and sometimes its clear that this example is one to follow.
Recently when Bill Hybels had to confront a tremor in the organisaton of his church’s annual leadership summit the timing and focus of the issue were both public and awkward. The Global Leadership Summit that impacts leaders in over 75 countries annually is run from the Chicago based Willowcreek church. Speakers often come from varying points of the compass and include both business and church leaders. Their contributions range from those who have overcome personal adversity to community and government leaders.
For the 2011 event one of the key speakers was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. As the event drew near a petition was formed by some individuals concerned that the CEO of Starbucks shouldn’t speak at a church that they believed was anti-gay. Despite discussions with Starbucks to endeavour to work through the issue the perceived impact and threats from the group involved in the petition to boycott Starbucks meant that Schultz had to withdraw. For anyone that has had the privilege of reading his new book ‘Onward’ you will appreciate the disappointment that must have been felt by the GLS Willowcreek leadership. Yet the calibre of the way they dealt with the issue is found in this video.
Be inspired, go to a GLS, buy a Starbucks coffee and read “Onward”