Here at the Global Leadership Summit in Willow Creek,Chicago, her husband Brian gave the most extraordinary, vulnerable and honest responses to Bill Hybel's interview (notes here) He was signing books at the end of the break and as I turned a corner, there she was! Not being mobbed by fans, but just chatting with a couple of people.
Not sure if many of you realise this, but I'm actually an introvert, and quite shy. No really, I am! There's no way I would confidently walk up to someone I admire and begin a conversation!
So I walked away. But as I was walking, I thought about how much I'd regret not being brave enough to say Hi..or to thank her for her teachings, and let her know how much they mean to me and how they have guided me...or perhaps even having a picture taken with her?
So I gathered up my courage, I turned around (doing it scared) I smiled and asked if I might please have a picture with her. She was so sweet, said "of course", asked me my name and where I was from. We had the photo! Then I gushed and babbled for a few minutes more (Embarrassing!!! - but I hope she heard my thankful heart)
So If I'd been able to more clearly articulate how much I admire her, this is what I might have said:
• Thank you for your book "I'll have what she's having", which a dear friend bought me (seeing something in me that I didn't yet see myself), and which really began my own personal journey of speaking and leading.
• Thank you for being the first woman to role model to me who I could perhaps be - causing me to discover who God made me to be and what I have to contribute.
• Thank you for leading the Colour conference with a consistent and empowering message of sacrificial, intentional love for God and for all people.
• Thank you for not fighting the men, but for showing me "another way" - to work alongside the men, to value them, to never disregard or disrespect them in order for us women to have a voice and a place.
• Thank you for being fun and kind. Thank you for being feminine, and for talking about your hair and your boots, your family and your real life.
Craig Groeschel, one of the fantastic GLS speakers, spoke about leaders increasing their capacity, and encouraged us that one way to do this is to expand our connections and relationships. He asked: Who do you listen to? Who are you influenced by? And then he said "that's who you are becoming." It's not about copying what they do, but rather learning how they think. Bobbie continues to be that for me - I'm not in actual relationship with her of course but I consider that she is someone that mentors me from afar, through her books and podcasts.
So, who's your hero? and Who do you listen to? Who are you influenced by? Who's actually in your life and influencing it, and who would you consider mentors you from afar? I'd love to know!