Session 1: 5 Critical Questions Guest Notebook Bio


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SESSION 1: 5 Critical Questions

Guest Notebook Bio:
Bill Hybels

Founder and Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois

  • Founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church and chairman of the board for the Willow Creek Association, Bill Hybels has navigated 35 years of ever-shifting organizational challenges.

  • He convened The Global Leadership Summit in 1995 following a God-given prompting to help raise and develop the spiritual gift of leadership in the local church.

  • An exceptional communicator, he challenges people to take their organizations to the next level and consistently pushes himself to get better as a leader, every year.

  • The author of more than two dozen books, including The Power of a Whisper, he trains leaders worldwide on strategic issues related to leadership, evangelism and church growth.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Len Schlesinger

President, Babson College; Harvard Professor; Former Vice-Chair, Limited Brands

Boston, Massachusetts

  • In 2008, Len Schlesinger was named president of Babson College, America’s top-ranked business school for entrepreneurship.

  • His unique career has flowed seamlessly between the divergent worlds of corporate management and academia. He came to Babson after eight years with Limited Brands, most recently as Vice Chairman and Chief Operating Officer. In the mid-1980s, he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Au Bon Pain.
  • His academic career includes twenty years of leadership and teaching in the Harvard MBA and Executive Education Programs. He also served as the Senior Vice President and Counselor to the President at Brown University.

  • On the editorial boards of four academic journals, Schlesinger has published numerous articles and case studies on business management. He is the author of ten books including the recently released, Action Trumps Everything.

Official Bio:

Leonard A. Schlesinger became the 12th president of Babson College on July 1, 2008. He came to Babson from Limited Brands, where he served in executive positions from 1999-2007, most recently as vice chairman and chief operating officer. From 1985-1988, President Schlesinger was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Au Bon Pain. His academic career includes 20 years at Harvard Business School where he served as the George Fisher Baker Jr. Professor of Business Administration, leading MBA and executive education programs. He also was architect and chair of Harvard Business School’s MBA Essential Skills and Foundations programs. President Schlesinger is well known for his pioneering research and publications on the “Service Profit Chain.” He is the author or co-author of ten books and has written more than 40 articles for academic audiences as well as for The New York Times, Fast Company, and Harvard Business Review. President Schlesinger currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a board member of the BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., a member of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Technology Center, a member of the corporation of the Winsor School, serves on the Board of Managers for StriVectin Holdings, LLC, and is a member of the President’s Council of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.  He also serves as an Advisory Council Member of The 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative, as well as a member of the Council on Competitiveness. President Schlesinger earned a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, an MBA from Columbia University, and a BA in American Civilization from Brown University.


Guest Notebook Bio:
Honorable Cory A. Booker

Mayor; Urban Reformer

Newark, New Jersey

  • Cory Booker became mayor of New Jersey’s largest city in 2006. Since then, Newark has experienced a reduction in crime, an increase in city services, and an improvement in education.

  • A Rhodes Scholar, he holds earned degrees from Stanford University, Oxford University, and Yale Law School.

  • He moved to Newark during his final year at Yale advocating for residents and youth in Newark’s Central Ward, serving on the Newark Municipal Council, and founding the non-profit organization Newark Now.

  • His leadership has been profiled in the Academy Award nominated film Street Fight and in the Emmy Nominated documentary series Brick City.

  • Recognized as one of America’s most promising young political leaders, he has attracted over $100 million in private philanthropy to the city.

Official Bio:

The Honorable Cory A. Booker, 42, is the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He took the oath of office as Mayor of New Jersey’s largest city on July 1, 2006 following a sweeping electoral victory.

Elected with a clear mandate for change, Mayor Booker has begun work on realizing a bold vision for the city. Newark’s mission is to set a national standard for urban transformation by marshalling its resources to achieve security, economic abundance and an environment that is nurturing and empowering for individuals and families.

Mayor Booker and his Administration have made meaningful strides towards achieving the City’s mission. As of July 1, 2008, Newark, New Jersey led the nation among large cities for reductions in shootings and murders, achieving decreases of more than 40% reductions in both categories. Radical transformation of the Newark Police Department under Mayor Booker’s leadership, together with the deployment of over 100 surveillance cameras throughout City, has led to Newark setting the nationwide pace for crime reduction.

Among other recent notable achievements under Mayor Booker’s leadership, the City of Newark has committed to a $40 million transformation of the City’s parks and playgrounds through a ground-breaking public/private partnership. The Booker Administration has also doubled affordable housing production.
Moreover, Mayor Booker has always been a champion and advocate for education reform for the children of Newark, N.J. This vision and passion for improving education for Newark children lead the largest unprecedented partnership with Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. On September 24, 2010, Mayor Booker launched the Partnership for Education in Newark, a significant commitment to improve public education by measurably improving academic achievement and rewarding academic success. Mark

Zuckerberg contributed a $100 million dollars to improve student success and champion great teachers. Mayor Booker believes that investing in educational excellence today will create the foundation for Newark’s prosperity and competitiveness in the decades ahead. Mayor Booker envisions this incredible investment and the steadfast commitment of Newark’s school leaders and teachers to improve youth outcomes will be the pathway to nationwide public education excellence; thereby, leaving an indelible imprint on education reform starting in Newark, N.J.

Mayor Booker’s political career began in 1998, after serving as Staff Attorney for the Urban Justice Center in Newark. He rose to prominence as Newark’s Central Ward Councilman. During his four years of service from 1998-2002, then-Councilman Booker earned a reputation as a leader with innovative ideas and bold actions, from increasing security in public housing to building new playgrounds. This work was the foundation for his leadership as Mayor. For this work, he has been recognized in numerous publications, including, among others, Time, Esquire, New Jersey Monthly (naming him as one of New Jersey’s top 40 under 40), Black Enterprise (naming him to the Hot List, America’s Most Powerful Players under 40) and The New York Times Magazine.

Reflecting his commitment to education, Mayor Booker is a member of numerous boards and advisory committees including Democrats for Education Reform, Columbia University Teachers’ College Board of Trustees and the Black Alliance for Educational Options. Mayor Booker received his B. A. and M. A. from Stanford University, a B. A. in Modern History at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and completed his law degree at Yale University.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil

Speaker; Thought Leader; Founder and President, Salter McNeil & Associates,

Chicago, Illinois

  • Founder and president of Salter McNeil & Associates, a leadership development firm whose mission is to produce inter-culturally competent leaders.

  • With over 25 years of ministry experience, Dr. Salter-McNeil is a renowned speaker, author and thought-leader in the field of racial, ethnic and gender reconciliation.

  • A frequent speaker at churches, colleges and conferences, she boldly declares a vision of unity, transformation and healing. She served as a presenter at the Lausanne World Congress in South Africa and as a scholar in residence at North Park University.

  • Author of two books, including The Heart of Racial Justice. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Christian Parenting Today, The African American Pulpit, Christian Ethics Today, and PRISM magazine.

Official bio:

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is called to the healing of people and the healing of nations. She is a dynamic preacher, evangelist and thought-leader with over 20 years of experience in the field of racial and ethnic reconciliation. Dr. Salter McNeil is the president and founder of Salter McNeil & Associates, a Christian company that partners with organizations to transform them into reconciling communities.

Their mission is to produce inter-culturally competent leaders on college campuses, in churches and in organizations around the world. They accomplish this through a comprehensive, biblically based process that includes spiritual formation, diversity assessments, multiethnic team development, skill building and executive coaching.

Dr. Salter McNeil earned her Bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University, a Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Doctorate of Ministry from formerly named Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (now Palmer Theological Seminary) and a Doctor of Humane Letters from North Park University, where she currently serves as a Scholar in Residence. She is the author of the new book, A Credible Witness: Reflections on Power, Evangelism and Race (IV Press 2008). Through her speaking, teaching and writing, Dr. Salter McNeil boldly declares a vision that unites, transforms and brings healing to people from every tribe and every nation.
Together with her husband, Dr. J. Derek McNeil and their two children, she stands at the forefront of an international movement to advance the Kingdom of God. Previous books include The Heart of Racial Justice: How Soul Change Leads to Social Change (InterVarsity Press, 2005), coauthored with Rick Richardson, Associate Director of Evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and Women’s Liberation Jesus Style: Messages of Spirituality and Wisdom, contributor, edited by Stephanie Bibb

(InterVarsity Press, 2002). Dr. Salter McNeil has written articles for The African American Pulpit, Christian Parenting Today, Christian Ethics Today, International Urban Associates Newsletter and PRISM.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Seth Godin

Bestselling Author; Squidoo Founder; Renowned Marketing Blogger,

New York, New York

  • Named Business Week’s “Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age,” Seth Godin is the author of thirteen bestselling books, including his latest Poke the Box. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.

  • As an entrepreneur, Yoyodyne, his first internet company, was acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. It pioneered the use of ethical direct mail online, something Seth calls Permission Marketing.

  • He also founded, a fast-growing recommendation website, which allows users to create their own pages on topics of interest.

  • Godin has been a columnist for Fast Company and the Harvard Business Review and his daily blog entries are read by millions of people worldwide.

Official Bio:

  • writes the most popular marketing blog in the world;

  • is the author of the bestselling marketing books of the last decade;

  • speaks to large groups on marketing, new media and what's next;

  • and is the founder of, a fast-growing recommendation website.

Seth Godin is the author of thirteen books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work. His books have been translated into more than 33 languages, and his ebooks are among the most popular ever published. He is responsible for many words in the marketer's vocabulary, including permission marketing, ideaviruses, purple cows, the dip and sneezers. His irrepressible speaking style and no-holds-barred blog have helped him create a large following around the world.

  • His latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.
  • Seth's penultimate book, Linchpin hit the top ten on Amazon the first day it was released. Click here to read some of the interviews Seth did about the book.

  • Seth's book, Tribes, is a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It's about the most powerful form of marketing--leadership--and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter. The Miami Herald listed it among the best business books of 2008.

  • Meatball Sundae, Godin's book, is a Wall Street Journal bestseller. A meatball sundae is the unfortunate result of mixing two good ideas. This book explores how some organizations attempt to slap new marketing onto old and end up with nothing but a failed website.

  • The Dip, is his fastest-selling book to date. It's about quitting, but more important, it's about being the best in the world.

  • Small is the New Big was published in 2006 and has been nominated by Publishers Weekly for what may one day be a prestigious Quill award.

  • All Marketers are Liars made the Amazon Top 100 and has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

  • Free Prize Inside, was an Amazon Top 50 bestseller and a New York Times business bestseller. It describes how every single person in your organization is in the marketing department... and shows you how to make something happen.

  • Purple Cow, was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. It's all about how companies can transform themselves by becoming remarkable.
  • The Big Red Fez, Godin's take on web design, was the #1 ebook (worldwide) on Amazon for almost a year before it was published in paperback in 2002. The Miami Herald called it one of the best business books of the year.

  • Survival is Not Enough has made bestseller lists in Germany, the UK and the United States. With a foreword by Charles Darwin, this breakthrough book redefines what change means to anyone who works for a living. Tom Peters called it a, "landmark." The book was first excerpted in Fast Company, where Godin is a contributing editor.

  • Unleashing the Ideavirus is the most popular ebook ever written. More than 2,000,000 people downloaded the digital version of this book about how ideas spread. Featured in USA Today, The New York Times, The Industry Standard and Wired Online, Ideavirus hit #4 on the Amazon Japan bestseller list, and #5 in the USA.

  • Permission Marketing was an Top 100 bestseller for a year, a Fortune Best Business Book and it spent four months on the Business Week bestseller list. It also appeared on the New York Times business book bestseller list.

Seth is a renowned speaker as well. He was recently chosen as one of 21 Speakers for the Next Century by Successful Meetings and is consistently rated among the very best speakers by the audiences he addresses.

Seth was founder and CEO of Yoyodyne, the industry's leading interactive direct marketing company, which Yahoo! acquired in late 1998. Godin worked as VP Direct Marketing at Yahoo before leaving to become a full time speaker, writer and blogger.

He holds an MBA from Stanford, and was called "the Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age" by Business Week.

Guest Notebook Bio:

Steven Furtick

Founder and Lead Pastor, Elevation Church,

Charlotte, North Carolina

  • In 2006, Steven Furtick moved his family, along with eight others, to Charlotte, North Carolina. Selling houses and quitting jobs, this core group believed that God would turn the city upside down through the local church.

  • In just five years, Elevation Church has seen thousands of professions of faith and grown to more than 8,000 in weekly attendance at its four sites. From 2007 to 2009, it was among Outreach magazine’s ten “Fastest Growing Churches in America”.

  • Furtick grew up in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, where at the age of 16 he had a tangible impression that God’s plan for him was to start a life-changing church in a metropolitan city.

  • Author of Sun Stand Still, he inspires people to activate an audacious faith - rooted in prayer and unbound by circumstances.

Official bio:

Steven Furtick grew up in the small town of Moncks Corner, South Carolina where at age 16 he realized God's plan for him to start a life-changing church in a major metropolitan city.

This vision became a tangible reality when Steven and 7 other families risked everything—sold houses, quit jobs and moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to plant a new church- believing that God would turn the city upside down for His glory. That risk birthed Elevation Church and has resulted in a remarkable return. Through God's favor and a relentless pursuit of a singular mission to see people far from God filled with life in Christ, in just five years, Elevation has seen thousands of professions of faith and grown to more than 8,000 in weekly attendance. Because of this explosive growth, Elevation Church was named one of the 10 fastest growing churches in America by Outreach Magazine in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Author of Sun Stand Still, the heart of Steven's message is revolutionary faith and how to approach every experience from a visionary perspective. As a young voice in the Church with wisdom beyond his years, his passion for seeing God's purposes fulfilled in our day is igniting a fire in the city of Charlotte and throughout the United States.
Steven holds a degree in communication from North Greenville University, and the Master Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in the Charlotte area with his wife, Holly, their three children.
You can follow Steven and access hundreds of resources to activate your faith at

Guest Notebook Bio:
Mama Maggie Gobran

Founder & CEO, Stephen’s Children Ministry; Nobel Peace Prize Nominee,

Cairo, Egypt

  • A Coptic Christian from Egypt’s middle class, Maggie Gobran was teaching computer science at American University in Cairo when she first visited the Zabbaleen – an impoverished and despised minority community of Coptic Christians who live and work among the garbage slums of Cairo.

  • Gentle but formidable, she sensed God’s calling to start a ministry to serve the children of the Zabbaleen.  She founded Stephen’s Children, a ministry that matches home mentors with over 13,000 children and supports 80 kindergartens (pre-schools) with medical clinics—all in the neighborhoods of the garbage collectors or rural poor. Today children from over 25,000 families are served through these strategies infused with prayer and Scripture memorization.
  • A Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Mama Maggie has spent over 20 years serving the poorest of the poor for Jesus’ sake.

Official Bio:

Who is “Mama Maggie”?

Some call her the benevolent “Mother of Cairo.” Others have dubbed her “St. Maggie.” But to thousands of children and their parents living in the fetid garbage slums of Egypt’s largest city, Maggie Gobran is simply known as “Mama Maggie” – a moniker that she admits is well suited to her mission. “This is all I want to be,” she says, “a mother to them all.”
Indeed, God has truly blessed and given us more than we have hoped for or imagined; the wonderful opportunity to reach so many destitute children in such a closed part of the world. My prayer is that God will continue to draw us closer to Him through thousands of more children who still need the love of Jesus Christ.”

-- Mama Maggie

Maggie’s story of devotion, obedience and love is the hallmark of the Stephen’s Children ministry. As the youngest daughter of an upper-middle-class family in Cairo’s Coptic Orthodox Christian community, Maggie grew up shielded from the realities of central Cairo’s squalid slums.
As an adult, Maggie became a successful professional, first on the management team of a marketing firm and later as a university professor of computer science. As she and her husband were raising their own two children, Maggie’s vision of “motherhood” began to grow as she dreamt of reaching out to children in need.
Maggie first experienced Cairo’s garbage slums through an annual Easter outreach aimed at distributing food and clothing to families. Maggie was gripped by the despair she saw, and haunted by the children’s hunger for love, acceptance, and value in society.

Her heart pierced by God’s Spirit, Maggie’s vision for Stephen’s Children began with a prayer for other committed Egyptian Christians to join her in meeting both short-term and long-term needs of the impoverished families in Cairo’s slums. Mama Maggie’s humble spirit and loving heart allowed her to build close bonds with children and discover ways to meet their underlying needs. Her sacrificial leadership has now guided Stephen’s Children for over 20 years and helped reach over 25,000 families with Christ’s love and compassion.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Rev. Stephen Sundar

Founder, Tribal Revival Movement

North India

  • Raised in a Brahmin family, Stephen Sundar converted to Christ as a young man. He sensed God calling him to leave a business career in Chennai to serve as a missionary among the hill tribes of Maharastra and Andhra Pradesh.

  • In 1996, he formed the Tribal Revival Movement which now has employs 42 missionaries. As the mission grew, so did persecution.

  • A violent militia group caught Sundar and then beat and tortured him in their forest hiding place. Although he remains on their hit list, he continues to follow God’s call to spread the gospel.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Michelle Rhee

Founder and CEO, StudentsFirst; Former Chancellor, D.C. Public Schools,

Washington D.C.

  • Rhee began her career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching 3rd grade in Baltimore, Maryland. Convinced that effective teachers hold the key to student achievement, she is guided by a core principle: Put Students First.

  • She founded The New Teacher Project in 1997, working to reform teacher hiring practices and recruiting highly qualified teachers for difficult-to-staff schools.
  • In 2007, Rhee was named Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools, a system with 123 schools and over 47,000 students. Despite challenges and controversy, the district achieved unprecedented growth in test scores, graduation rates and reversed a trend of declining enrollment under her leadership.

  • In 2010, she founded StudentsFirst, a non-profit whose mission is to promote the interests of children in public education.

Official bio:

Michelle Rhee, Founder and CEO of StudentsFirst. Michelle Rhee has been working for the last 18 years to give children the skills and knowledge they will need to compete in a changing world. From adding instructional time after school and visiting students' homes as a third grade teacher in Baltimore, to hosting hundreds of community meetings and creating a Youth Cabinet to bring students' voices into reforming the DC Public Schools, she has always been guided by one core principle: put students first.

Each chapter of Michelle's story has convinced her: students of every background and ZIP code can achieve at high levels, and for our schools to become what children deserve, every educator is called to believe this. Even in the toughest of circumstances, all teachers are called to turn the incredible potential that fills their classrooms daily, into the achievements worthy of our children and country.

Teaching with Teach for America

As a Teach for America (TFA) corps member in a Harlem Park Community School in Baltimore City, through her own trial and error in the classroom, she gained a tremendous respect for the hard work that teachers do every day. She also learned the lesson that would drive her mission for years to come: teachers are the most powerful driving force behind student achievement in our schools.

 Bringing Excellent Teachers to Classrooms across America - TNTP

In 1997 Ms. Rhee founded The New Teacher Project (TNTP) to bring more excellent teachers to classrooms across the country. Under her leadership TNTP became a leading organization in understanding and developing innovative solutions to the challenges of new teacher hiring. As Chief Executive Officer and President, Ms. Rhee partnered with school districts, state education agencies, non-profit organizations and unions to transform the way schools and other organizations recruit, select and train highly qualified teachers in difficult-to-staff schools.

Her work with TNTP implemented widespread reform in teacher hiring practices, improving teacher hiring in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Miami, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia. TNTP placed 23,000 new, high-quality teachers in these schools across the country.

 Driving Unprecedented Growth in the D.C. Public Schools

On June 12, 2007, Mayor Adrian Fenty appointed Chancellor Rhee to lead the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), a school district serving more than 47,000 students in 123 schools. Under her leadership, the worst performing school district in the country became the only major city system to see double-digit growth in both their state reading and state math scores in seventh, eighth and tenth grades over three years.

The graduation rate rose, and after steep declines enrollment rose for the first time in forty years. In her last year as chancellor, every eligible DC public school attracted applicants for the annual K-12 Out-of-Boundary, preschool, and pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) lotteries. Fourteen schools had waitlists for the first time. Ultimately, a record high of 5,219 families, representing an increase of 50 percent over 2009, expressed interest in DCPS programs located in all eight wards.

 Collaborating with Pioneers

Michelle Rhee currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the National Council on Teacher Quality, the National Center for Alternative Certification, and Project REACH of the University of Phoenix's School of Education.


Michelle has a bachelor's degree in government from Cornell University and a master's in public policy from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Guest Notebook Bio:
Dr. Henry Cloud

Clinical Psychologist, Best Selling Author, Leadership Consultant,

Los Angeles, California

  • Drawing on more than 20 years of experience in private practice, leadership consulting, and media, Dr. Cloud has the unique ability to connect with people.

  • A sought-after speaker for corporate as well as faith-based events, his approach to leadership, psychology and spirituality includes humor, compassion and “in-the-moment” confrontation. He is the co-host of the nationally syndicated radio program, New Life Live, and has been featured on numerous other television and radio networks.

  • In his organizational consulting and executive coaching practice, he works with CEOs and executive teams from a wide range of organizations – from family-held firms to Fortune 25 and Fortune 500 companies.

  • A prolific, best-selling author, he has written more than 20 books, including the two-million-seller Boundaries and his most recent books, Necessary Endings, The One-Life Solution, and Integrity

Official bio:

Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist and leadership coach with a unique ability to connect with audiences. Drawing upon his broad range of experiences in private practice, leadership consulting, and media, he simplifies life’s issues and gives easy to understand, practical advice. Its Dr. Cloud’s humor, compassion, and “in the moment” confrontation that make his approach to leadership, psychology and spirituality such a success.

Dr. Cloud has written or co-written more than twenty books, including the two-million-seller Boundaries and his most recent books, Necessary Endings, Integrity, The One Life Solution, The Law of Happiness, and 9 Things You Simply Must Do. His books have sold over four million copies. He has appeared on numerous radio and television broadcasts, including ABC News, PBS, and FOX News and has been featured or reviewed in the The Wall St. Journal, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, the Boston Globe, and more. Dr. Cloud co-hosts the nationally syndicated radio program New Life Live, which is heard in over 150 markets.
As a speaker, he is a favorite at corporate events, conventions, and public events on a variety of topics, speaking regularly throughout the U.S. and Internationally.
In his consulting practice, he works with leaders in a wide range of organizations and corporations, from family held firms to Fortune 25 and Fortune 500 companies. He has an extensive executive coaching background and experience as an organizational and leadership consultant, and spending the majority of his hands-on time with CEO’s and executive teams.
Dr. Cloud founded and built a health care company which operated treatment centers in forty markets in the Western U.S. for which he served as Clinical Director for ten years. In that context of hands-on clinical experience, he has developed and researched many of the treatment principles and methods that he communicates to audiences now. After selling the company, he has devoted his time to consulting and coaching, spreading principles of hope and life-change through speaking, writing, and media.

He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University, earning a B.S. in psychology with honors. He completed his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Biola University, and his clinical internship at Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. His philanthropic interests lie in the area of homelessness and the inner city, as well as missions in the developing world. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tori, and their two daughters, Olivia and Lucy.

Guest Notebook Bio:
John Dickson

Director, Centre for Public Christianity; Senior Minister, St. Andrews Anglican Church, Sydney, Australia

  • With a passion for exploring life’s big questions, John Dickson’s journey has been an eclectic one: from fulltime musician to author, biblical historian, television presenter and director of a multi-media think tank.

  • A senior research fellow in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, he is also the senior minister at St. Andrews Roseville, an innovative Anglican community on Sydney’s North Shore.

  • He serves as the co-director of the Centre for Public Christianity, an independent research and media organization promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith in Australia. Dickson has hosted of two major television documentaries on Jesus, The Christ Files and Life of Jesus.

  • He is the author of more than a dozen books including the newly released Humilitas: A Lost Key to Live, Love, and Leadership.

Official Bio:

John Dickson (PhD) is co-director of Centre for Public Christianity (, an independent research and media organization promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith. With a degree in theology (Moore Theological College, Sydney) and a doctorate in ancient history (Macquarie University, Sydney) he is a senior research fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University, where he teaches courses on Christian origins and the world religions. John is also the Senior Minister at St. Andrews Roseville (, an innovative Anglican community on Sydney’s North Shore. He has a wealth of experience as a local church pastor, public evangelist, and media presenter. He is the author of more than a dozen books including The Best Kept Secret of Christian Mission, Spectator’s Guide to World Religions, and Humilitas: A Lost Key to Life, Love, and Leadership (forthcoming). John is also the host of two major television documentaries on Jesus, The Christ Files and Life of Jesus. He lives in Sydney with his wife, Elizabeth, and their three children.

John specialises in the big ideas that have shaped our world and inspired men and women to live beyond themselves. His journey has been an eclectic one: from fulltime musician to professional speaker, author, pastor, biblical historian, TV presenter and director of a multi-media think tank.
He began his career as singer/songwriter for Aussie rock band In The Silence, touring and recording for seven years before temporarily giving music away to focus on academic studies and a wide-ranging career as a speaker and author. With an honours degree in theology and a PhD in ancient history John is also a Senior Research Fellow of the Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University. He is committed to delivering creative, engaging content grounded in careful thought.
John’s first book appeared in 1993 and he has since produced a dozen titles, including the award-winning A Spectator’s Guide to World Religions, Investigating Jesus and a number of others. He is the host of two major television documentaries on Jesus, The Christ Files and Life of Jesus, both of which aired nationally in Australia.
John is also co-director (with Simon Smart) of the Centre for Public Christianity (CPX), an independent research and media company promoting informed discussion about social, ethical and religious issues in modern life. Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd praised CPX as “a welcome development in the spiritual and intellectual life of Australia.”

A sought-after public speaker John speaks regularly in variety of contexts, including corporations, conferences, churches, pubs and universities. In addition to his passion for promoting the public understanding of the Christian faith, John is also fascinated by the paradoxical connection between high-level achievement and the historical virtues of compassion and humility, themes explored in his professional keynote address and seminar Humilitas: a Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership and in a forthcoming book by the same name.

John lost his father in a plane crash when he was 9, an event which he freely admits has shaped his passion for life’s big questions and still motivates him to be the best father, husband and man he can be. He values his family role above all others and lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and three children.
Guest Notebook Bio:
Howard Schultz

Chairman, CEO, and President, Starbucks Corporation,

Seattle, Washington

  • Howard Schultz joined Starbucks in 1982 when the company had only 5 stores. Building it from the ground up, today he is able to share his passion for coffee with customers in more than 17,000 locations worldwide.

  • In 2008, he made the unprecedented decision to return as Starbucks CEO – eight years after he stepped down – with a fresh determination to bring the iconic coffee company back to financial health without sacrificing its humanity.

  • Schultz has been recognized extensively for his passion, leadership and efforts to strengthen communities.

  • His business philosophy is anchored in a core belief: “It’s not just about winning but winning the right way”. In his new release, Onward, he unveils the compelling, candid story of the maturing of both a brand and a businessman.

Official Bio, sent by Starbucks for introduction:
Introduction for Howard Schultz

Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of

Starbucks Coffee Company

Nearly 30 years ago, a young New Yorker named Howard Schultz walked into a little whole-bean coffee shop called Starbucks and was invited to sample a French press of Sumatra.

The experience was transformative, and the next year Howard moved to Seattle to join Starbucks as its director of operations and marketing. The company had just four stores.
One year later, on a business trip to Milan, Howard was captivated by the romance of the Italian coffee bars. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to America, creating a third place between work and home. In order to pursue this dream, Howard left Starbucks to start his own coffee company called Il Giornale. And in August 1987, Howard purchased Starbucks with the help of local investors and led the combined companies.
In 1992, Starbucks went public and in 2000 Howard stepped down as CEO to become chairman and oversee the company’s international growth. During the next seven years Starbucks successfully opened thousands of stores in dozens of countries around the world.
Then, in January 2008, sensing that Starbucks had grown too quickly was straying from its core mission, Howard returned as Starbucks CEO to address a multitude of the company’s self-induced problems and navigate it through the financial crisis.
Howard oversaw a tumultuous few years of tough decisions and risky innovations, but in 2010 Starbucks had its most successful year in its 40-year history.
Howard’s new book, Onward, chronicles the journey of transforming Starbucks.
Guest Notebook Bio:
Erwin McManus

Activist; Filmmaker; Innovator and Cultural Architect, Mosaic,

Los Angeles, California

  • Passionate about unleashing human creativity, Erwin McManus has pursued a multi-faceted career as a pastor, author, entrepreneur and film-maker.

  • He serves as the cultural architect for Mosaic, a community of faith in Los Angeles and influences young leaders worldwide through the Mosaic Alliance and the Origins Network.

  • Committed to creating environments that expand imagination and maximize the creative potential in every individual, McManus is the founder of the leadership development and consulting organization, the Awaken Group.

  • In his role as the curator of McManus Studios, his ventures includes a line of accessories, Temple Bags, and the production of independent films including the 2010 Super Bowl commercial “Doritos Casket”.

  • A thought-provoking communicator, he is the author of numerous books, including Chasing Daylight and the upcoming Human which is scheduled for release in December 2011.

Official Bio:

erwin raphael mcmanus is an author, speaker, activist, filmmaker and innovator who specializes in the field of developing and unleashing personal and organizational creativity, uniqueness, innovation and diversity. In other words, he gets bored really easily.

He is committed to creating environments that expand imagination, unleash creativity, and maximize the creative potential in every individual and organization. Erwin is also the founder and catalyst behind the non-profit, Awaken Humanity. Convinced that the world is changed by dreamers and visionaries, Awaken Humanity serves the purpose of history by maximizing the divine potential in every human being.
As Curator of McManus Studios, Erwin and his team strive to inspire humanity to live their most heroic lives through the power of imagination, story, beauty, and design.
IMAGINATION: everything we design and develop must reflect the product of curiosity, dreaming, play, and risk.

BEAUTY: everything we design and develop must inspire through the elegant simplicity and

raw beauty of timeless art.

STORY: everything we design and develop must carry an authentic story that matters to us

and makes the world better.

DESIGN: everything we design and develop must reflect our commitment to elegance and functional art.
COMMUNITY: everything we design and develop must promote our need for each other and must be created out of collaboration.
CREATIVITY: everything we design and develop must reflect the power of imagination, innovation and promote the spirit of human creativity.
HUMANITY: everything we design and develop must promote the best of what it means to be

human, must contribute to creating a better world for everyone we touch and must take

responsibility for our part in creating a better future for all humanity.
Through McManus Studios, Erwin and his team of artisans bring art to life and inspire others to dream-risk-create.
Engaging such issues as culture, change, creativity and leadership, Erwin is widely known as a thought-provoking communicator. His travels have taken him to over 30 countries and he has spoken to over a million people from a wide variety of audiences, including the NFL, Golf Inc., California Builders Association, NYU, Columbia U, New Line Cinema, and FOX Home Entertainment. His work is featured in numerous films, articles, and magazines across the US and internationally.
Erwin serves as the Lead Pastor and Cultural Architect of Mosaic in Los Angeles. He is the author of An Unstoppable Force, a Gold Medallion Award finalist; Chasing Daylight; Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul; The Barbarian Way; Stand Against the Wind, Soul Cravings, and Wide Awake. He also serves as a Senior Research Advisor with The Gallup Organization.

Erwin is a native of El Salvador and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina and Southwestern Theological Seminary. He has an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Southeastern University. He and his wife Kim live in Los Angeles have two children, Aaron and Mariah, and a foster daughter Paty.


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