I subscribe to Ron Edmondson’s blog. On Tuesdays he interviews a leader using a ten question format. This past Tuesday he asked his readers to do the ten questions on themselves and leave it in the comment section. This is what I am going to leave there. Perhaps this will let you get to know me better.
- When you were growing up, are you doing what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do? When I was in high school I wanted to be an agricultural engineer. I grew up on a farm, loved farming and thought that would be an excellent career. Went to college and my track changed significantly. An aside, nothing like the sound of a John Deere 70!
- What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now? While I was in seminary I sold life insurance. I was pretty good at it. In fact one year I was # two sales person in the company and that was working part time at it. It taught me how to listen to what people’s dreams and hopes were for their lives and families. It has helped me be a better listening in the ministries I have served in over the years.
- Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you? Although it has been from a distance it would have to be Bill Hybels. I first attended a Leadership Summit in 1998 and haven’t missed one or one session of the Summit since. The summer of 1998 was a turning point for me. A lot of what I have learned in leadership has come through the Summit. I did read a book on Transformation Leadership about five years ago. The authors of the book made an observation about successful leaders having some management acumen. As a result I have become a HUGE fan of Manager-Tools.com! Mike & Mark know what their talking about, and their management podcasts have made me a better leader.
- Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry? Recently I’d have to say Simple Church by Tom Rainer. Our whole ministry has been changed as a result of our staff and elders reading this book. It has helped me personally realize that I can’t do everything I’d like to do so need to pick & choose in ministry.
- What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic? Wholistic thinker, Strategist, Hard working, Compassionate.
- What is your greatest strength in leadership? I think I do an excellent job of leading in a collaborative manner. I’m not a dictatorial leader, but really want to lead from the middle of the pack helping my team be the best they can be. I love how Tim Stevens describes his role at Granger. That’s what I want to be doing, resourcing the best ministry team in the world.
- What is your greatest weakness in leadership? Like I’ve seen from many of the people that have been interviewed on Ron’s blog, I tend to be a people pleaser. The other issue I struggle with is not having a penchant for detail. Sometimes that can come back to bite me when I haven’t read a document like I should, or done the planning that is needed in a situation.
- What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership? Give my direct reports negative feedback. No question about it. That is hard, but necessary.
- What is one misconception about your leadership position you think people may have? I think people have an impression that I have more power than I really posses. It really is a team matter, not me out there making decisions on my own that effect the future of the organization.
- If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be? I think it’s important to be around other leaders and to read from other leaders. I read books and blogs on leadership and I try to hang around leaders. I follow them on twitter & Facebook.