Catalyst West Leadership Conference: Be Present

Southern California is beautiful in April. Irvine’s Mariners Church set the scene for one of the finest leadership conferences around. Catalyst West 2012 welcomed next generation leaders with the theme, “Be Present,” to put aside distractions and live fully involved in the moment. Don’t worry about the future, but engage the people and situations before you.

Share via Twitter.     Share via Facebook.     Share via Google+.

Catalyst West fostered an incredibly inspiring environment, from the stage and media incorporation to networking opportunities and spaces to rest while soaking in the moment and California sunshine. [Click here to see photos of the conference.] Dozens of speakers and leading figures from churches, organizations, social media and other industries shared profound truths and posed poignant questions. Catalyst does great work serving the next generation of leaders. Here are some of the best thoughts:

Catalyst West Highlights

Jon Acuff

  • “Don’t get lost in the comparison game.”
  • As you use social media, are you the director of your own reality show or are you fully present with the people around you?
  • Ignore the voices that say you’re not good enough. “Perfection is a dragon.”

Andy Stanley

  • You can’t shut it all out. You can’t take it all on. “Do for one what you want to do for everyone.
  • Go deep rather than wide. Go long term rather than short term. Go time, not just money.
  • Apprenticing: selecting, modeling and coaching for the purpose of replacing yourself (making disciples).
  • Jesus handpicked those to whom he would entrust his mission. He didn’t ask for volunteers.
  • “Replace yourself.”
  • You are responsible for passing along what you know to somebody else. You aren’t responsible for filling someone else’s cup. Your responsibility is to empty your cup.
  • “Success as a leader is seeing it work without you.”

Erwin McManus

  • Humans are the only creature with intentionality.
  • Intention requires will.
  • If you don’t know your intentions, others determine it for you.
  • “All art is an expression of the self.”

Donald Miller

  • We are designed to connect.
  • “When people are connected to the love of Christ, leaders will not have control.”
  • “Are 360 different denominations a movement of Jesus or Satan?”
  • “God doesn’t need you to have categories.”

David Kinnaman

  • Max DePree: “The first job of a leader is to accurately define reality.”
  • “We’ve substituted a cultural Jesus instead of a personal Jesus.”
  • The Millenials generation experiences over 10 hours cumulative media exposure per day.
  • The Church is losing the young generation between church and culture. Many of these exiles are creatives and scientists.
  • Technology allows young generation a different way to think about what they can make of the world.
  • To prepare the next generation to succeed, we must reconnect faith and work (a theology of technology).

Bob Goff

  • Leak Jesus in everything you do.
  • Quit Bible Study. Have a Bible Doing. Just do what you know.
  • We reorient each other toward Jesus.
  • Fear keeps us from being who we were made to be.”
  • Be not afraid.

Craig Groeschel

  • Delegating tasks creates followers. Delegating authority creates leaders.
  • “If you’re not dead, you’re not done.”
  • Respect is earned; honor is given.”

Tony Hawk

  • Embrace the evolution of the industry.
  • You don’t have to be the best at something to be a leader in the industry. You must be willing to do something that others aren’t doing.

Jeremy Cowart + Bianca Olthoff + Jeff Shinabarger

  • We should be known for the problems we solve.
  • Know when to use “yes” and “no” in the creative process.
  • Not everything we create will be remembered. Evaluate overall impact.
  • Social entrepreneurship: creating a new solution to real needs in society.

Nancy Duarte

  • The presenter isn’t the hero, but a mentor saying to the listener, “You’re the hero of my idea.”
  • Vibrant presentations juxtapose “what is” (current reality) and “what could be” (dream of something better).
  • The most memorable quotes move back and forth between “what is” and “what could be” at the phrase level.
  • “Why are we stuck in the middle of our stories?”

David Platt

  • “Leadership in the kingdom comes from overflow of love for the King.”
  • We have an incomprehensibly great God. We are a sinfully depraved people. We have a scandalously merciful Savior. We have an indescribably urgent mission.

Marcus Buckingham

  • “Too much of life goes unsaid.”
  • Leaders help people use what’s great about them every day.
  • Quality = beauty.
  • Leadership: Know me. Focus me (on what I can do best). Surround me with like-valued people.
  • “There is no perfect profile. Only perfect practices for you.”

Mike Foster

  • Be courageous. Safety is deadly. Are we living in our certainties or embracing faith?
  • Courage is boldly loving your story with your whole life.
  • Don’t let someone who failed their dream make you give up on yours. Avoid dream killers.

Brenda Salter McNeil

  • “Jesus isn’t daunted by the wrong answer.”
  • “No one person sees God by himself.”


What ideas stand out to you?


Check out photos from Catalyst West 2012.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.