GLS18 Session Notes–Craig Groeschel–Becoming a Leader People Love to Follow

Published August 16, 2018

When a leader gets better, everyone gets better.

  • Leadership is influence. Everybody has influence.
  • You do not need a title to be a leader, leadership is always about trust and influence.
  • As leaders, we can make excuses or we can make a difference, but we cannot make both.

So how do we become leaders that people love to follow?

Forbes article:Employers and employees were asked the same question, “What do employees need from a boss to become a better?”

The bosses said 2 things…
1. Better at finances
2. Better at technology

Employees said 2 things…
1. Leadership: Where are you taking me?
2. Emotional Intelligence: How are you treating me?


As a leader, there is a big difference between being respected and being popular. You may be popular if you are respected, but you will never be respected if you are only popular.

3 Things You Feel Under a Good Leader
1. You feel valued
2. You feel inspired
3. You feel empowered


3 Ways to Create an Environment Where People Feel Those Things


1. We need a heart to care
  • You will never be a leader that others love to follow if you aren’t a leader who truly loves people.

Use these four words often: “I Notice” & “You Matter”

  • Use these four words often: “I Notice” & “You Matter.”

Story of Gold Star Friday. Every Friday, Craig gives members of his team little “gold stars” to let them know they are appreciated.

  • Appreciate people more than you should and then double it.
  • Some leaders will make you think that they are really important.
    But the best leaders will make you know that you are important.


2. We need a passion to inspire
  • There is a difference between inspiration and motivation. Motivation is pushing people do something they don’t want to do. Inspiration is pulling out of them what is already there.
  • Employees who describe themselves as inspired are twice as productive.
  • Humility inspires. Pride discourages.
  • Follow-through inspires. Be a leader who consistently does what you say you’re going to do.
  • Centered Leaders: The presence of a centered leader inspires. A centered leader is secure, stable, confident, guided by values, driven by purpose and obsessed with vision.
  • Passion transforms a job into a calling. When passion meets inspirations, an obsession is born.


3. We need a willingness to empower
  • The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.
  • The best leaders unleash higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.
  • You can have control, or you can have growth. But you cannot have both.
  • Delegate authority, not tasks. We need to give people ownership. Let your people soar. Give them freedom, and allow them to fail.
  • Decision making: As leaders, we need to be delegating more decisions. Use phrases like “I trust you,” “You decide on this one,” “I trust your judgment.”
  • The best way to find out if you trust someone is to trust them.
  • If you don’t trust your team, you’re either too controlling or you have the wrong people, either way the problem is yours to solve.

Jesus demonstrates all of these things.

Jesus had a heart to care.
Jesus had a passion to inspire.
Jesus had a willingness to empower.
And one more…


4. We need to have courage
  • We need the courage to be real, transparent, vulnerable, humble, integrous and honest.
  • We need to step into the role we are given and lead with passion and integrity.
  • As leaders, we feel pressure to be perfect, strong and right. People aren’t looking for that. People would rather follow someone who is real than someone who is right.
  • We’re going to do the best we can. And when we get it wrong, we’re going to say, “I’m sorry.”
  • The stakes are very high. It’s time for leaders to stand up.


*Disclaimer: GLS2018 Session Notes are only available in the United States*

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About the Author(s)
Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel

Founder & Senior Pastor


Globally recognized as a leader of leaders, Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of Life.Church, rated the #1 place to work in 2021 for small and mid-size companies by Glassdoor. Known for their missional approach to leveraging the latest technology, Life.Church is the innovative creator of the YouVersion Bible App—downloaded more than a half a billion times worldwide. In 2020, Life.Church provided free tools to thousands of churches who quickly transitioned to a virtual church experience in the wake of the global health pandemic. Traveling the world on behalf of The Global Leadership Summit, Groeschel advocates for building leaders in every sector of society. He is also the host of the top-ranked Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. A New York Times best-selling author, his latest book is  Lead Like It Matters

Years at GLS 2008, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021

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