More thinking. More wrestling. All good.

Refreshed PrinciplesIt is necessary to think through what you learn and see what rises to the top. When the scattered work days return, the quiet absorption of a leadership summit slips away, almost un-noticed. But, we need to take another break and determine what will be different going forward.

For me, after my third Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, here are three principles I will try to adopt, renew, and use:

Face Challenges with High Standards. Many challenges arise every day. They test us. People watch to see how we respond. Whether it is in how we work with people or respond to change, we need to stiffen our backbone; show strength while acting with grace; and solve whatever is in front of us. Responding to a challenge during a leadership summit places a new level of intensity to the response, and Bill Hybels lifted everyone up with his approach.

We cannot shirk a challenge. We cannot respond with a whimper. We need to act with the highest of standards and rise above any fray.

Practice Humility Every Day. It is a balance. We want to exhibit and show our abilities, our insights, and our smarts. If it is overdone, we become over-exposed or, worse, viewed as all glitz and no substance.

Humility is more though. It is being unafraid to get our hands dirty. It is being unafraid to serve. It is being unafraid to listen to critical conversations. It is being unafraid to show vulnerability.

We need to listen always, serve continuously, and mentor often.

Unleash Inner Spirit, Bringing Creativity to Life. Some may view religion as a set of rules, and there are certain standards. Some may view religion as a guide, and it is. Religion should not be restrictive; it should be enabling. However you define religion, it should be tapping into your inner Spirit and unbridling it.

We all have a spirit in our core. Whether or not we use it fully is, ultimately, our responsibility.

We all have a story to tell and show. Whether or not we choose embrace and live it is, ultimately, our responsibility.

Opening ourselves up to a higher calling enables our creativity, our innovation. Letting that Spirit in releases our inner core, enabling us to do new things, offer improved ways. It empowers a meaningful, inspired life.

We need to take the time to nurture, listen, and grab that Spirit inside us. We are better when we do.

Some of these principles may be already present, but it is good to re-commit or refresh them for the weeks and months ahead.

Principles define conduct while enabling a way to live life, do work. They have a binding component but also a freeing element; they serve as a guide to maneuver through life in a consistent, giving, and meaningful way.

Principles should not become stale. Rather, they should be enlivened by our actions to reach higher and embrace our responsibilities more fully.