What we heard through simulcast while gathered in the Fellowship Hall of the Canton First United Methodist Church were nine internationally known speakers including Andy Stanley, Dr. Henry Cloud, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Laura Schroff, former first lady Laura Bush, Malcolm Gladwell, Randall Wallace, Bill McDermott, and Simon Sinek.
An amazing thing happened as we listened to these speakers; they developed a theme called “Beyond You Leadership.” Each developed the understanding that words alone cannot create this kind of inspiration from leaders. What is required includes fearlessly and selflessly being committed to empowering others around us.
Let me share just one example of a “big idea” lesson Andy Stanley shared. Here it is: the value of a life is not measured in the amount things one accumulates but in the amount of empowerment we give away to others.
Put another way, although we envy accumulation, we celebrate generosity. The next time you attend the funeral of someone you respect, listen for someone to praise his wealth or his corporate power or position. No, you won’t hear that, but you may hear how generous the person was, how much he loved his family and contributed to the good of his community.
A good question for each of us to ask today? What am I living for – accumulating fame, reputation or wealth? The truth is that the only thing we keep is the love we give away. Think about that.