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Global Leadership Summit: Pastor Craig Groeschel says good leaders 'think inside the box'

Global Leadership Summit: Pastor Craig Groeschel says good leaders 'think inside the box'

Life. Church pastor Craig Groeschel speaks at the Global Leadership Summit on August 8, 2019 |

Life.Church Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel encouraged church and ministry leaders to “think inside the box” and allow constraints to push them toward innovation and fulfilling their God-given purpose. 

“Leadership is influence, and everyone has influence. You are a leader and leaders make things happen,” Groeschel, who heads one of the fastest-growing churches in the country, told those gathered at the Global Leadership Summit on Thursday. “Where you are at this moment, you are not here by accident.”

“Leaders can learn from anyone,” he said. “Like never before, our world needs strong, consistent, bold, courageous and integrity-infused leaders. As leaders, what will we do? We will lead with profound humility and furious resolve. We will cast vision for a brighter future and inspire others to do more than they ever thought possible. We will strive for excellence, giving our best and demanding the best. We’ll seek wisdom to make difficult calls.”

“As leaders, we will grow and we will get better,” Groeschel declared.

The pastor identified several false assumptions many leaders make, the first being that “better always costs more.” But more does not always mean better, Groeschel said, identifying two phrases leaders can utilize as they advance their ministries. 

The first is “GETMO” — “good enough to move on.” 

“What you’re going to do is this: you’re going to look for the greatest level of return based on time, money, and resources invested,” he said. “In other words, we could still possibly make it better, but the additional cost isn’t worth the additional resource. We’re looking for the sweet spot; when we find the sweet spot, we say ‘getmo.’”

Perfectionists “have a problem,” and that problem robs them of more production, Groeschel said, adding: “Your problem is you care too much. Perfection is often the enemy of progress.”

“The pursuit of excellence will motivate, but the pursuit of perfection will limit you,” he said. “If we spend more on something, we aren’t really making it better, we’re making a trade. If we spend thousands to improve the quality, we’re trading money for improvement. That’s not really better. What is better? Better is a higher return for an equal or lower investment.”

Groeschel encouraged leaders to remember the term BTC: “Bend the curve.”

“What do leaders do? Leaders bend the curve,” he said, explaining that the first step in doing this is “thinking inside the box.”

“The problem with outside the box is there are unlimited options; it’s like trying to find something to watch on Netflix or Amazon Prime,” he added. “Constraints drive creativity. When you have options, you have to make decisions, and decisions drain your energy. You end up living with decision fatigue.”

“Constraints eliminate options; let the constraints motivate you and drive you to innovate,” he continued. “Ask yourself: where do you have tension? Where are you hung up and you need a breakthrough? Go ahead and look inside the box and allow the constraints to drive you ... I believe you have everything you need to do what you’re supposed to do.”

Originally launched in 1996 with a small number of people meeting at a rented dance studio, Life.Church has grown to average 85,000 weekly worshipers in several states.

Groeschel told those gathered at the Global Leadership Summit that God guides by what He provides, but also by what He withholds. “Embrace your limitations,” he advised. “If you had everything you wanted, you might miss what you really needed.”

Groeschel also urged leaders to “burn the ships” and refuse to give up when discouraged by the challenges ahead. 

“Leaders, step into your position and commit to whatever the vision, the assignment, the task is. No excuses, no retreat, no turning back," he said. 

“What are you called to do? What are you about? What does it matter? If you commit to the what and are consumed by the why, you will figure out the how,” the pastor added. “There’s always a way.”

Global Leadership Summit

“I'm stepping out my doubts, stepping away from those negative voices, I’m stepping away from those insecurities I have, and stepping into the calling and the authority, believing that at this moment, unworthy as I feel, I’ve been chosen to impart faith and inspire you to believe you can do more.”

“Step into the calling,” he concluded. “End the curve in your own mind, change how you see yourself, recognize you don’t have to know it all or be perfect. You’ve been chosen for this moment.”

Following Groeschel's message, country music band Rascal Flatts put on a surprise performance, singing "Life is a Highway" and "God Bless the Broken Road."

The Summit, broadcast live via satellite, focuses, on leadership, challenging individuals to achieve their personal grander vision — fully living out their values to make an impact. An estimated 405,000 people attended the event, up from 378,000 in 2018.

This year, the 24th Annual Global Leadership Summit was held Aug. 8-9. The two-day event challenges participants to maximize their leadership influence and offers fresh, actionable insight from speakers that include: TV host Bear Grylls, producer DeVon Franklin, justice advocate Patrick Lencioni, among others. 

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