More than 230 people attended last Friday's Leadercast Live telecast, which included words from former First Lady Laura Bush. The event offered advice on how to become a better leader. Village Life photo by Julie Samrick

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Rolling Hills Church hosts national leadership event

By From page B4 | May 14, 2014

“The power of what we do is not just in the day-to-day. It’s in thinking big ways beyond ourselves to change the world,” SAP AG CEO Bill McDermott said during Leadercast Live last Friday. Gems of wisdom like these were peppered throughout the televised event from Atlanta, which was streamed to 750 host sites around the world, including Rolling Hills Church in El Dorado Hills.

The theme of the event was Building Leaders Worth Following. Presenters like award-winning journalist and best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell, Nobel Laureate and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former First Lady Laura Bush discussed leadership and how they’ve grown in their own lives.

Bush talked about how teaching made her a better leader.

“Nothing prepares you like experience,” she said of planning her whole life to be a teacher but not knowing what to do the first day she was actually on the job. She also discussed her husband, former President George W. Bush. “He believes laughter is essential in a leader,” she said. “It helps with team building and breaks tension in times of stress. Leaders also have to know popularity is fleeting.”

Rolling Hills Creative Director CJ Hatlevig organized the event at Rolling Hills for the first time this year after attending Leadercast Live at Bayside Church in Granite Bay last year.

“I love that the message is ‘lead well’ and ‘lead beyond you,’” said Hatlevig. “We should invest in leaders at all levels. We have someone here who is 16 and someone else who is 82-year-old. You don’t have to be a CFO or CEO to be a leader. You can be a high school student or be a stay at home mom. It’s all about investing in leadership potential and you can do that anywhere. I hope the 230 people in attendance can leave here and have a ripple effect.”

Hatlevig’s own personal advice for being a great leader is to get great mentorship.

He said the non-religious event was a perfect fit for Rolling Hills. “Lead well is a big thing for us; it’s a message given at our services,” he continued. “We invest in our community.”

The Leadercast Live co-hosts challenged viewers to take yousies instead of selfies. Instead of turning the camera on yourself (selfie),“Take a photo of someone else or something inspiring,” they said.

Tami Ortiz and her husband Chris liked the diversity of speakers and especially liked the yousie concept. “Leaders don’t do selfies,” said Chris. “Flip the camera on someone else.”

El Dorado Hills resident Steve Woehler owns a local construction business and said during the discussions, “I’m getting nuggets of wisdom that will help me be a better leader to my employees.”

Entrepreneur Dave Stewart said opportunities like Leadercast fell in his lap when he worked for big companies like Hewlett Packard. Now that he’s self-employed the El Dorado Hills resident makes a point to seek out opportunities like Leadercast. “You have to make an extra effort to take the initiative to meet other folks and provide educational opportunities,” he said. “I try to get out at least once per quarter to something like this.”

A ticket to the event cost $35 per person. Hatlevig said sponsorships by Chick-fil-A in Folsom and Elk Grove, Pete’s Brewhouse, Scott Ostrode and Fregoso Builders helped keep costs down.

Of hosting the event, Rolling Hills Senior Pastor Bill Search said, “Through a day long event we’ve been challenged, educated and inspired to become better servants. Jesus said if you want to be a great leader you have to be a great servant — and even though Leadercast isn’t a ‘religious’ event it maintains the spirit of Jesus’ simple teaching. If you want to lead well then learn to serve well.”

Next year’s Leadercast Live will be held Friday, May 8. For more information visit or

Julie Samrick

Discussion | 1 comment

  • Jason AndersonMay 14, 2014 - 2:11 pm

    Great write up Julie! A very inspiring event intended to help develop more true leaders in the world. Hopefully next year will see even more people in attendance.



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