Global Leadership Summit
July 5, 2012
As an Army chaplain, I live in
the gush, rush and fuss of life.
The persistent deployments, the
multiple permanent changes of
station and the pains, drains and
strains of military life force me
to ask myself tough and probing
questions. The daunting challenge
for our Army today is that
we are now attempting to transition
from 10 years of asymmetrical
war to being a well-led fighting force standing
on the ready line prepared to react to all kinds of contingency
The piercing question I ask myself is, how do I -- or
we -- as a Chaplain Corps pour spiritual steel and concrete
into the members of our fighting forces who not
only live in the daily grind but as leaders in the profession
of arms must also find the strength to thrive. In
his book, "Great by Choice," Jim Collins gives insight
into such thriving when he asserts, "We cannot predict
the future. But we can create it." This kind of forward
thinking is leadership at its best.
The men and women who lead our armed forces
cannot afford to fail. America's destiny in many ways
is ours to bear. If there is a problem to solve, we must
solve it. If there is a battle to win, we must win it. Gen.
Douglas MacArthur said it well, "There is no substitute
Given the fact that we live in volatile, uncertain,
complex and ambiguous times, the call for adaptable,
agile, flexible, innovative and transformational leadership
is the pressing issue. It is not enough to create,
harvest, harness, employ and deploy such leadership
-- we must sustain such leadership in turbulent and
challenging times -- times of relative peace and in
times of war.
I have found that the Global Leadership Summit
hosted by the Willow Creek Association to be a viable
option in the sustainment, cultivation and refinement
of leadership. It is a tool that is worthy of exploration
in any organization.
In August 2010, when I was just beginning my tour
as installation chaplain at Fort Huachuca, my wife and
I were invited by Bob Morton to attend a Global Leadership
Summit. It was hosted by Thunder Mountain
The assembly of speakers in that 2010 GLS included
Bill Hybels, the founder and senior pastor of the Willow
Creek Community Church in South Barrington,
Ill. Willow Creek is one of the largest churches in
North America, with an average attendance of nearly
24,000. Then there was Jim Collins, a business consultant,
author, and lecturer on the subject of company
sustainability and growth. A third contributor was
Tony Dungy, a famous and successful former football
player and coach in the National Football League.
And then there was Jack Welch, a chemical engineer,
business executive, and author who served as chairman
and CEO of General Electric between 1981 and 2001.
The bottom line is that I found this summit experience
enlightening, intriguing and engaging. This is not
an event where you have pastors speaking to pastors --
attendees also get exposure to the best of the business,
academic and government worlds. This Christian- and
values-based summit is not churchy or preachy, nor is
it exclusive or intrusive. While Willow Creek is unapologetically
Christian, the summit experience shows
that leadership principles are trans-denominational;
they transcend culture and ethnicity, and are often
In August of 2011 we launched the first Global
Leadership Summit in the Army at the Main Post Chapel
here on Fort Huachuca. The after-action reports we
received from attendees were extremely encouraging.
The Religious Support Office will host our second
Global Leadership Summit, Aug. 9 -- 10, on
Fort Huachuca at the Main Post Chapel. The Chapel
community will provide scholarships for 200 attendees
so there will be no cost to attend. Soldiers, Family
members and Department of Defense workers and
contractors are invited.
The lineup of speakers for GLS 2012
includes, Bill Hybels; former Secretary of State,
Condoleezza Rice; and nationally
acclaimed business thinker and author, Jim Collins.
Marc Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children;
Sheryl Wuddunn, bestselling author, Pulitzer Prize winner
and business executive; Craig Groeschel, founder and
Senior Pastor of Life Church TV; John Ortberg, Senior
Pastor of Menio Park Presbyterian Church and author;
and Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of the Harlem
Children Zone will be presenting, among others.
More information about the Global Leadership Summit
is available at the Willow Creek WEB site, http://
May the Lord be with you.