Below is a firsthand account from Mariam Mikhail, one of the over 100 leaders that attended last week's HOPE Leadership Summit in Buena Park, CA and a HOPE volunteer. You can follow Mariam on Twitter @MariamMikhail24. Read her review of our first ever HOPE Summit and make sure to mark your calendar for this same event going down in Washington DC January 30th, 2016.
Last weekend, Saturday, October 24, 2015, The HOPE Association, with the blessing of HG Bishop Serapion held an event that helped people understand themselves better in their true call to leadership. If you think that you’re already on a mission to lead the world to Christ, think again. In the words of Steve Messeh, you may have fallen into the trap of your “shadow mission,” the substitute mission in your life that influences your decisions. Shadow missions alongside other topics were all discussed in this year’s first annual HOPE Leadership Summit.
The day started off with prayer followed by breakfast and networking. Fr. Cyril then gave the first lecture of the day about focusing on redefining the meaning of a leader. Dr. Mark Girguis then gave the second lecture, which emphasized the importance of and redefined the character of a leader. Next, everyone did a self-evaluation workshop about themselves and the characteristics of Leadership. This workshop helped each person evaluate their leadership strengths and determine the actions necessary to deal with a leadership opportunity. Steve Messeh then concluded the summit with his lecture that sought to aid us in identifying and overcoming our shadow mission, in order to carry out our true God given mission.
This summit did not seek to reinforce the world’s common view of a leader, but rather to redefine and teach the true definition of what it is to be a leader of Christ. Leaders are not people who are concerned with title or position, nor are they concerned with fame or honor. In order to be a true leader, we must lead using the example of the greatest leader of all, Jesus Christ. Our leadership should be sustainable, successful, and an investment in others rather than ourselves. To achieve this, we need to lead in a way that not only brings an entity of people closer to God, but in a way that also inspires that same entity of people to become leaders themselves. As sons and daughters of God, we are all called to lead in some capacity in our lives and when we answer the call, God will do great things through us.
The way we were able to do this was by applying our knowledge from the three lectures as well as become familiar with the Character of Leadership Model. After we evaluated the workshop individually, we then formed groups and discussed a leadership opportunity with a scenario that was provided to us. We were able to use the model, which was comprised of 7 elements: Faith, Justice, Temperance, Hope, Wisdom, Love and Courage. By knowing how well we can individually perform in each section, we learned how we could improve ourselves and become stronger leaders.
Aside from the lectures, there was also a quote wall where attendees were asked to post their favorite leadership quotes either from the lectures or something they once heard before. These quotes were full of wise words that exemplified the true qualities of a leader. By the end, the quote wall had dozens of quotes that made all three lectures very effective and powerful. These quotes included simple take-home messages that everyone was able to pick up from our speakers and share with others.
This turned out to be such a successful event and I am so excited to see this event expand and be even more successful next year. The HOPE Association has been able to change the lives of so many people spiritually and I am so honored to be one of those people.