Archive for ‘Leadership Summit’

Leadership Summit: Day 5

by   |  02.07.13  |  COBA Alumni, Current Students, Leadership Summit

The fifth and final day of Leadership Summit was fairly low key as we all began to pack our bags and think about heading home.

In between taking pictures of the mountains, we got to listen to John Aden, Executive Vice President of General Merchandise for Wal-Mart, talk about his faith journey and what it looks like to live out that faith in the marketplace.

John Aden, Executive Vice President of General Merchandise, Wal-Mart, Inc.

Mr. Aden believes that it is only through a relationship with Christ that we can make a difference in our workplaces, a fact that he summarized by saying,

“We have to get close to Christ so we can see what He’s doing in the workplace.”

Mr. Aden went on to explain that bold living is a necessary part of making a difference in the market place, and he offered us some profound advice on how to achieve world-changing boldness.

Four Suggestions for Living Boldly:

  1. Remain in relationship with God
  2. Remember God’s presence and promises
  3. Encourage each other by being in deep relationships
  4. Step out in faith—boldly

Mr. Aden followed this inspiring discussion by inviting us all to write down a burden we were carrying and to throw it in the trash as a symbol of what we were leaving on the mountain.

This exercise was moving, because it allowed everyone who participated in Summit to go through the physical act of giving a specific burden over to God.  After five days of listening, it seemed fitting to end our time together by doing something so symbolic.

Praying over Summit Speakers

All in all, Leadership Summit was an incredibly transformative experience, and I would recommend it to all ACU students, regardless of their major.

Thank you to everyone who put in the time and effort to make this week possible!

Leadership Summit: Day 4

by   |  02.04.13  |  COBA Alumni, Current Students, Leadership Summit

The fourth day of Summit was my favorite. In addition to a lesson on leadership taught by Tim Johnston, we got to hear messages from Mike Haley, formerly of Focus on the Family, and Stephen Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer of Wal-Mart.

Mike Haley

Both of these men told incredible stories about the hard times they’ve been through and the way that God has sustained them throughout those times.

Of all the speakers we heard throughout the week, I found Mr. Quinn’s to be the most moving, in part because the night before his presentation, my friends and I had the opportunity to eat dinner with him and his wife, Linda.  Throughout the meal, the Quinns told us about their hobbies and their families, a conversation that I can’t imagine having with a senior level executive anywhere else.

Stephen Quinn, CMO of Wal-mart

Last year Mr. Quinn was named the top marketer in the world, and while he told us about some of his work as a marketer at various companies, his emphasis was on something different: Jesus.

Mr. Quinn truly believes that God has called him to serve others in the marketplace. As a result of this conviction, he allows God to open his eyes to individuals in his workplace who are suffering. As a result of this awareness, Mr. Quinn has been able to introduce many of his employees to Jesus.

Mr. Quinn summed this up perfectly when he said,

“You will never walk in perfect love until you invest in people.”

Are you investing in those around you?

Leadership Summit: Day 3

by   |  01.25.13  |  COBA Alumni, Current Students, Leadership Summit, Uncategorized

A group of students in front of a frozen waterfall at the end of our hike

We kicked off the third day of Summit listening to Dr. Rick Lytle, Dean of the College of Business, talk about inspiring a shared vision. Outside of the guest speakers who we got to listen to, this particular lesson on leadership was probably my favorite. One of the biggest things I walked away from was the simple idea that,

“We don’t think big enough, often enough.”

This is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp, because often as leaders we try to cover all the bases and make sure we don’t have any obvious liabilities. However, in this process it is very easy for leadership to lose sight of any big goals it may have.

One incredible example of a group who never lost sight of its big goals is Mission Lazarus, a nonprofit relief organization located in Honduras. Mission Lazarus was founded by ACU alum Jarrod Brown; luckily for us, Jarrod and his family were actually at Summit, where we had the opportunity to listen to Jarrod speak and then to work through a case study with him and his wife, Allison.

Jarrod Brown, of Mission Lazarus

Jarrod began his speech by talking about the kind of person he was when he was here at ACU. He explained that he’d been completely consumed with the idea of making money, and that God really had no place in his life. Immediately after graduating, he jumped on the corporate ladder and landed an unbelievable consulting job that most COBA grads would love to attain.

However, he began to realize he wasn’t fulfilled, and after visiting Honduras on a short-term mission trip, Jarrod began to feel God leading him towards permanent residence in Honduras.

Jarrod’s story struck a chord with a lot of the students at Summit. After all, most of us are currently studying business here at COBA, and a lot of us would like to get a great, high-paying job straight out of college. Because of the parallel that Jarrod’s story had with many of our own, the points he made about living for Christ really struck home:

  1. The most important investments you will make are those in your family.
  2. Don’t settle for the status quo.
  3. Live what you claim to be.

Listening to Jarrod, I was reminded of the unique opportunity that I have to be a part of COBA. I can’t imagine studying business anywhere else, and if I do anything but use that opportunity to bring God glory, then I am making a lesser choice. Instead of allowing myself to do what I want to do, I need to seek God’s will for my life and my calling, something that I can begin working on right now. As Jarrod pointed out,

“You need to decide who you are and what you stand for today.”

What do you stand for?

Leadership Summit: Day 2

by   |  01.24.13  |  COBA Alumni, Current Students, Leadership Summit, Uncategorized

Much like the first day, the second day of Summit was packed full of small groups, speakers, and team activities. However, on this second day the emphasis was on the role of leadership in the church.

In order to help us better understand this complex topic, Rick Atchley, senior minister of The Hills Church, delivered one of the most challenging messages I’ve ever heard on the desperate need for leadership in America’s churches today.

Rick Atchley, Senior Minister at The Hills Church

During his lecture, a lot of Mr. Atchley’s words made an impression on me. However, one of the biggest things I walked away with was his statement that,

“You must minister from your blessing instead of for a blessing.”

This point really got me thinking. I’m only nineteen, but throughout my life I’ve seen numerous individuals go into ministry and then get burned out. Mr. Atchley’s statement made me stop and think about how critical it is to allow ourselves to be filled by God before we try to serve and minister to others. I also wondered how often we as the church forget about this step and then wonder why we seem to have nothing to offer others.

In addition to hearing thought-provoking speakers like Mr. Atchley who caused me to examine and reassess my thinking, I also loved the case studies in which we got to participate.

The unique thing about these case studies is that they were written by our guest speakers and draw on real experiences from their lives. After discussing the case studies amongst ourselves, we then discussed these case studies as a class with the speakers who wrote them.

Throughout this process, we were given the opportunity to process the way we would behave before hearing how older and wiser individuals actually chose to handle things.

All in all, listening to Mr. Atchley challenged me to rethink my role in the church and in God’s bigger story for my life.

What is your role in that story?

Students participated in relays and other games during team activity time

Leadership Summit: Day 1

by   |  01.17.13  |  COBA Alumni, Current Students, Leadership Summit

Over Christmas break I had the opportunity to spend five days in Buena Vista, Colorado participating in COBA’s 15th annual Leadership Summit.

That’s right; I earned three hours of upper level business credit while listening to some of the most prominent church and business leaders in the world and living in the midst of this:

Because I was so busy hiking through the Rockies and eating dinner with guests like Stephen Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer of Wal-Mart, I didn’t have time to blog while I was at Summit. As a result, I’m now playing catch up, and while a couple of paragraphs come nowhere close to capturing the life-changing experience that is Leadership Summit, I’m going to do my best to give you some highlights from each day. Hopefully this meager snapshot will give you a better idea of the life-changing five days that compose Leadership Summit.

Leadership Summit: Day 1

Because Summit supports the perspective that leadership should transcend all aspects of life, our first day on the mountain was about leadership in the family. As a result, our speakers on this first day were very family-oriented.

This remarkable ensemble of presenters was made up of Greg and Erin Smalley, of the Marriage and Family Formation department of Focus on the Family, Glenn Stanton, director of Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family, and Lisa Anderson, director of young adults for Focus on the Family. Together, these speakers delivered powerful, humor-infused lectures on everything from the importance of communication in relationships to the top reasons young adults don’t mature.

While I was impressed with the messages delivered by all four speakers, my favorite part of the first day was actually the time we got to spend in small groups with mentoring couples. COBA invited four couples young couples to talk about what life had been like as they entered the real world, pursued careers, and started families. As a result, they were able to give us students some insight into how the next ten or fifteen years of our lives might play out.

As I listened to these incredible leaders share stories from their lives and advice on how to deal with other people, one of them reminded us of this quote from Teddy Roosevelt:

“People don’t care how much you know unless they know how much you care.”

This is why relationships matter, whether in the family or in the workplace. At COBA, we understand that knowledge alone is not what makes a great leader. A great leader goes beyond knowledge, because a great leader is someone who cares.

Leadership Summit 2013 Wants You!

by   |  09.25.12  |  Leadership Summit

If you had the opportunity to spend a week in the winter wonderland of Colorado learning from some of the nation’s foremost experts on business, faith, and family, wouldn’t you take it?

Of course you would!

Buena Vista, Colorado

What if you got class credit for it?

Well then, you’d already be signed up.

The great thing about this theoretical event is that it is a reality. In fact, every January, nearly one-hundred-and-fifty students from all over ACU’s campus pack up their scarves and coats and head off to Frontier Ranch in Buena Vista, Colorado to participate in what could well be the most transformative class of their college career.

It’s called Leadership Summit.

Tim Johnston, Assistant Dean of COBA and one of the masterminds behind Leadership Summit, explained that even though Summit is put on by COBA, it doesn’t just view the world through the lens of business. Instead, Summit takes a step back and views the larger picture that makes up our society.

“What are key things happening in society?” Johnston asked. “The family unit is critical to society. Church is critical to society. Business is critical to society.”

Dr. Rick Lytle, dean of COBA, and former COBA professor Mike Winegeart work together with Johnston to bring in renowned speakers who will make these three areas of focus a reality for the students participating in Leadership Summit.

ACU Students at Leadship Summit 2012

Leanne Blair, a senior Accounting major, participated in Summit last year and really enjoyed what the speakers had to say.

“The best part about Leadership Summit is the speakers,” said Leanne. “ACU does a phenomenal job at getting influential speakers to Summit that you get to interact with on a personal level. You’re given the opportunity to hear lectures, ask questions and just hang out with big time CEO’s, presidents and the like, who openly share how they have integrated faith and business. It’s a rare opportunity where you and your fellow peers can grow in faith together… in COLORADO! Oh and there’s great food.”

While the 2013 speaker slate is not yet set in stone, many of this year’s speakers have already been determined. They include the following:

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley, who speak all over the country on marriage, will provide insight into healthy marriages and families.

Glenn Stanton, the director for Family Formation Studies at Focus on the Family, who will be working with Lisa Anderson, founder and president of LMA Consulting Group to discuss cultural trends and their effect on society.

Jarrod Brown, President and Co-Founder of Mission Lazarus, will be speaking about using business as a mission.

John Aden, former president of Mac Tools and a current Executive Vice President of Wal-Mart, will speak about faith in the workplace.

Mike Haley, who has been rated Leadership Summit’s number one speaker over the past several years, will once again be sharing a message on culture.

Rick Atchley, preaching minister at The Hills Church of Christ, will be talking about the necessity of strong leadership in the church.

As always, the diversity provided by Leadership Summit’s speakers is part of what makes the experience so transformational, and when that unique diversity is combined with cool Colorado air and the smell of pine trees, well, lives change.

“When you have a mountain top experience, it’s different,” explains Johnston.

Come experience that difference for yourself.

For more information, be sure to attend one of the Summit interest meetings, where chapel credit will be awarded. The meetings will be held at 11:00 in COBA Room 201 on the following dates:

Wednesday, September 26

Tuesday, October 30

Friday, November 16

Please click here to access the Leadership Summit website (which contains more logistical details), and feel free to contact Nuria Hall at nrp99a@acu.edu with any questions you may have.

ACU Students at Summit 2012

Leadership Summit speaker spotlight: Jose Zeilstra

by   |  12.06.11  |  COBA Events, Current Students, Faith Infusion, Leadership Summit, Special Speakers

We are excited to share with you a bit about one of our Leadership Summit 2012 speakers. Jose Zeilstra was featured in a Fortune article back in July of 2001 (just two short months before 9/11) titled ‘God & Business: Bringing spirituality in the workplace violates the old idea that faith and fortune don’t mix. But a groundswell of believers is breeching the last taboo in corporate America’.  (article written by Marc Gunther from Fortune magazine’s July 2001 issue; cited from CNNMoney’s website.)

Not only will Zeilstra be sharing about having faith in the marketplace with our students at Summit, she’ll also be sharing about her experiences as a survivor of Tower I on September 11, 2001. We are honored to have Jose Zeilstra as a guest speaker at our Leadership Summit 2012 this coming January.

Stay tuned for more Leadership Summit speaker spotlights and updates from Summit coming in January.