A Hopeful Journey towards an Integrated Life

by Susie Lipps, Passion Talks 2021 Session Chair

Hope is like a golden cord that holds up our head up so our eyes can focus on the distant horizon even as we walk our daily, sometimes chaotic, road.  As leaders and influencers, we are called to bring hope to our circle of influence as we lead the way into the future.  But holding on to hope can be hard, and especially difficult during a disorienting season of a global pandemic! What would it take to develop and integrate hope into our daily life?  What if attending to our inner character development could produce the fruit of hope that would help us have longevity and influence as leaders? 

If you’re a mom, dad, friend, pastor, CEO or have any kind of influence, this session on Integrated Leadership is for you!  If you’ve ever lost hope, or wanted to give up, this session is for you!  Need some soul refreshment?  This is for you!  Together, we will consider the many ways our inner life is at the root of sustainable leadership; it’s at the root of going the distance as an influencer. The stellar line-up of speakers are leaders that are passionate about the inner life of a leader and the foundational necessity of attending to what is unseen as well as to the observable activities of leadership.   

We will kick off the session with a short lesson in character development from the vineyard taken from the metaphor of the tiny, hidden bud.  As the founder of Conversations in the Vineyard, I have spent much time contemplating organic metaphors from the vineyard that inform both the competency and the character side of our leadership and provide a framework for sustainability.    

Nancy Ortberg, a leader of leaders, CEO of Transforming the Bay with Christ, an author and witty communicator, will share the highlights of how our ability to connect and convene authentically builds community. The resulting collaboration is truly transformational and catalytic as we lead the way forward in hope.  

Bruce McNicol, President Emeritus of Trueface and co-author of The Ascent of a Leader, will help us understand how creating and nurturing environments of grace is critical to leading well.  Powerful, transformative environments of grace don’t just happen!  Great intentionality and attention to personal character development are core to this practice. 

Andrea Coli, teaching pastor at Crosswinds, founder of Lead Bold and former stand-up comedian, will lead us with humor and grace into the tricky waters of what it looks like to empty ourselves… to let go of that which keeps us from freely connecting with God and living into our full potential.  (You’ll love this… listen to Andrea on YouTube get inside the mind of a leader.  Sound familiar??). 

A committed educator, lifelong learner and humanitarian, a teacher of teachers currently serving at Redeemer University in Ontario, CanadaLisa Devall-Martin, will guide us into a contemplative space to practice quieting our souls long enough to pay attention to God’s voice and our inner experience. What if we could slow down and listen?  As leaders and influencers in a noisy world, we so seldom take time to reflect on the process of integrating our inner character with our outer competence.  Lisa will help us listen to and answer Mary Oliver’s poignant question, “What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” 

As a young mom, entrepreneur, and Executive Director of Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for LeadershipMichaela O’Donnell Long, in conversation with Denise Yohn, will explore the inner spirituality and resilience needed to move well through a time of transition.  Based on her research, guided cohorts and upcoming book, she will bring an encouraging and hopeful vision for our times of upheaval and great transition.  

Finally, we will wrap up our session with a panel discussion with all the speakers having a chance to interact with each other and answer questions from the audience…You!  


Join us on August 13th-14th for Passion Talks 2021


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