GLS21 Notes: Expanding Your Leadership Capacity

Published August 5, 2021

There is one thing that all leaders have in common—complex problems! The longer you lead the more complex and difficult the problems can be to solve. There comes a point in your leadership when you must grow and change in order to move your organization forward, reach more people and have a greater impact.

In his talk at The Global Leadership Summit, Craig Groeschel asked leaders to consider two questions to help them grow in their capacity to lead through the pain and uncertainty that challenges bring.

Enjoy these official session notes to help you dive deeper into what you learned!

Craig Groeschel


Growing in Your Capacity for PUC
    • Everyone wins when the leader gets better. Are you ready to grow in your leadership?
    • The next time we endure a global pandemic, all the unrest, you will have experience.
    • I was looking for the one word that describes the essence of what every growing leader must endure. I couldn’t find the word I was looking for, so I made up a word: PUC.
    • I like it because it sounds unpleasant. It is memorable. You must grow in your capacity to handle Pain, Uncertainty, Chaos (PUC).
    • How many control freaks do we have? As leaders, we want simplicity. We want healthy systems. In order to grow, we must be able to endure chaos. Anything that grows will have a little bit of chaos.
    • You can have control, or you can have growth, but you can’t have both.
    • Too much control stifles growth. Some of you are in a bureaucratic nightmare. Rules, policies and procedures are organizational scar tissue. When someone is dumb, manage dumb. Lead them; don’t make another rule.
    • I was trying to manage everything, and I had a leader in my organization come and tell me that I was getting in the way of progress. If we’re always controlling, we rob others of the chance to grow.
    • I don’t interview like I used to. I endure significant seasons of chaos so other leaders could grow and become excellent talent spotters.
    • We kept them by enabling them to lead. You get there by trusting, empowering and enduring chaos.
    • The best leaders don’t obsess about controlling outcomes. The best leaders obsess about empowering leaders.
    • The mark of great leadership isn’t measured by how much you control, but by the leaders you empower.
    • What are you controlling that you need to let go?
    • If you don’t know, ask the person that works for you or around you. They will be happy to contribute to your education. If you want to grow, you have to let go.
    • The only thing that we know for certain is that the future is uncertain.
    • “Uncertainty is not an indication of poor leadership; it underscores the need for leadership.” – Andy Stanley
    • Because our world is uncertain, a good leader plans for unforeseen challenges. A great leader also plans for unexpected opportunities. Wherever there is uncertainty, there is always opportunity.
    • The most significant and impactful things that we have done were born in uncertain times and were things we never planned to do.
    • 2001—we pioneered the multisite movement.
    • 2006—we created a church online platform. We didn’t plan it.
    • In 2020, we gave it away to 45,000 churches. We didn’t plan on giving away the YouVersion Bible App to billions. We didn’t plan on a podcast.
    • Create margin for opportunities that you cannot predict. Create margin today for opportunities coming tomorrow.
    • We didn’t just see the idea. We were able to execute because we had the margin.
    • If you have margins, you can seize the opportunity.
    • “Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until later.” – Bob Goff
    • What’s the problem? The world is incredibly uncertain, and I feel it.
    • In uncertain times, leaders often have a goal to not fail. It’s a bad goal. The cost of inaction is almost always greater than the cost of a mistake.
    • We were about to break ground in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the middle of the pandemic. We had to decide if we were going to break ground or if we were going to retreat. We got together and asked difficult questions. I told our team, “If we’re going to make mistakes, I want to make aggressive mistakes. I want to make mistakes in faith rather than in fear.”
    • What risk do you need to take?
    • There’s always risk. The world could fall apart. It just did. There is always uncertainty, which means there is always opportunity.
    • What idea, theory or hunch do you have? If it is still in your heart, maybe it is for a reason.
    • If you wait until you’re 100% sure, you will most always be late.
    • There is no pain like leadership pain.
    • There are always opportunities, but always at a cost. With more influence are more resources and opportunities, but also more challenges and burdens. With more people working for you, you can accomplish more, but you get all the drama too.

2 Corinthians 11:23-28: I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not. 27 I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. 28 Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of my concern for all the churches.

Learn more from Craig Groschel at The Global Leadership Summit: Special Edition half-day event coming up on February 24, 2022. Get Tickets >>
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