Case Studies

Leadership Interview: Pete Wilson

One of my favorite things to do is to interview great leaders, and today I had just such an opportunity.  Pete Wilson (@pwilson) is considered by many to be one of today’s most visionary leaders. He is the Senior Pastor at CrossPoint Church, one of the fastest growing churches in the country, is the author of the bestselling book Plan B, and is one of the the most candid,  insightful and humble leaders you’ll ever have the opportunity to listen to – we all have a lot to learn from Pete Wilson. Bottom line – If you’re a leader then you need to watch this interview. Please let me know what you think in the comments section below…

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    Bridget Haymond

    October 14, 2010 at 10:32 am

    It could be easy to say that Pete Wilson is just a natural born leader, but it is clear from this interview that he has worked hard, learned from his mentors and continues to apply sound leadership principles in his pursuing his passion for leadership.

    I really appreciate Pete’s insights into the necessity of self-leadership and his honesty in admitting that this is his own area of struggle. And I agree 100% that leaders everywhere need to find ways to motivate people that go beyond money and benefits. I really believe that leaders need to tap into people’s desire for significance and purpose. Whether paid work or a volunteer role within a church, placing people in positions where they can maximize their strengths, know that they are truly valued and that they play a significant role in fulfilling the vision will go a long way towards preventing burn out and loosing incentive.

    Great interview Mike!



      October 14, 2010 at 10:44 am

      Hi Bridget:

      Thanks for the insights. Pete makes some really great points throughout the interview and I think you highlighted a few of my favorites. His hard work and diligence is evident in both his commitment and the success of his ministry. I think his comments about what business leaders can learn about employee motivation from non-profits is priceless, and his candor about recognizing and dealing with his weaknesses through intentional self-leadership is truly refreshing. Thanks so much for your comment Bridget.


    Jennifer Seward

    October 14, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I love Pete Wilson! I actually go to Cross Point Church in Nashville and I've never had a better experience at a church or with a Pastor! He is easy to talk to and relate to! His leadership is remarkable! Pete is reaching people through not only speaking but through videos, blogs, websites and other social media outlets. We are living in a new era of technology and understanding and Pete has his finger on the pulse of how to relate/reach individuals. Pete has put real life circumstances into his teachings that relate to Biblical teachings. Many of us have a hard time understanding the context of the Bible. Pete takes a few verses and brings to life what God is trying to tell us through great analogies and touching stories.
    I just wanted to share that Pete Wilson and the great church of Cross Point has changed my life in so many ways! God Bless Pete on his journey to start new churches and touch lives everywhere. He is an outstanding leader!!!



      October 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Jennifer:

      Thanks for sharing. I'm sure your thoughts are echoed by many and that Pete will be most appreciative. Thanks for stopping by Jennifer.


    Mark Oakes

    October 14, 2010 at 12:37 pm


    There were a number of excellent points that Pete highlighted in his interview. I think the most important one, however, was his comment on 'Self Leadership'. I agree 100%.

    As I'm fond of saying; "We can't draw water from an empty well". Leaders owe it to themselves and those they lead to continually improve, rejuvinate and reinvent themselves on a continual basis. The rate of change today sets the stage and a parallel mandate for leaders that they MUST lead themselves first. This, in turn, lays the foundation upon which they will be able to successfully lead for years to come.

    I like your new interview format. Well done




      October 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Mark:

      Thanks for interrupting your rejuvenation efforts to share your thoughts :). I agree that Pete was spot-on with his emphasis on self-leadership as well as the other points he addressed. I also appreciate your comments on the new interview format. Other than the fact that my face was made for radio, I think this format is a bit more engaging than the written interviews. Thanks for stopping by Mark.


    Rob Cizek

    October 14, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Great stuff! Thanks to Mike and Pete for putting this together and posting.


    Dan Rockwell

    October 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this post. I appreciate all that you give back to the community. I wish you continued success.

    I'll echo the idea that nonprofits and for-profits can learn from each other. In particular, I think it's time for theological schools that train church leaders to get their heads out of the sand and begin training their students in leadership principles.

    I really loved Pete's candor when he said he is a people pleaser. It takes confidence and integrity to be that open.

    Best to you,

    Leadership Freak
    Dan Rockwell



      October 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm

      Hi Dan:

      Thanks for your comment and the kind words…Pete is an extremely engaging and effective leader, and part of what makes him appealing is that his candor and humility are absolutely authentic.

      My take on the practices of Christian Universities, Bible Colleges, and Graduate Seminaries might be a bit different than yours though – In my opinion there is no better source of leadership training than an in depth study into the life of Jesus. Nowhere will you find a better model for servant leadership, vision casting, discipleship, good decisioning, discernment, self-leadership, intentional leadership, crisis management, character based leadership, etc. In fact, I would submit there is no better example of how to leave a lasting impact through a sustaining legacy than what was modeled by Jesus. That said, just as is the case with secular universities there is also room for improvement. In the end, I think the test is not as much where they were educated or what was disseminated in the classroom, but rather what is lived out in the hearts and minds of our leaders that ultimately matters. I appreciate your wisdom and insights as always Dan.


        Dan Rockwell

        October 15, 2010 at 8:47 am

        Hi Mike,

        Your comment re: leadership and Jesus are right on. Perhaps my problem is when I earned my undergraduate degree in Theology I was to dumb to know that I didn’t know.

        What lacked was a clear focus on leadership within a theological context.

        I think we mistakenly believed that studying Jesus some how translated into competency in other areas. It definitely didn’t in my case.

        However, since my formal education, I have come to know enough about leadership to actually see Jesus as a masterful leader.

        You have my respect,




          October 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

          Hi Dan:

          Your comment touches on the statement "You don't know what you don't know." Interestingly enough, I think what you actually communicated is that with time, experience, life lessons, and a continuing pursuit of knowledge you came to a place of "knowing what you don't know" and decided to start closing some of the gaps. All great leaders develop a sense of their blind-spots and weaknesses as they mature. Most of us when going through our academic years simply aren't experienced enough to understand the gravity and totality of what we're being fed, or not fed as the case may be…Thanks as always for sharing Dan.


        Scott Gould

        October 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

        Right with you Mike.

        I find everything, in my realm on marketing, I get the best advise and insight from Christ.

        Thanks for this interview, it was very useful




          October 17, 2010 at 4:39 pm

          Hi Scott:

          Glad you found the interview useful. I found Pete's insights to be spot-on, and his candor truly refreshing. Thanks for stopping by Scott.

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