I opened my weekly interview series up to my readers last week. What an awesome idea! I got some great comment responses. Over the next few weeks, I’ll share two each Tuesday. Look for another one later today.
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 a kid, it seemed I always wanted to be something different. For a while I wanted to be an artist, then a basketball player, an architect, and then something with computers. I do work in Information Technology, but I feel that my vocation will be changing again very soon into a role with the local church somehow.
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?
I am different from most IT people in that I really enjoy talking to people and getting to know them. I waited tables in high school and had fun interacting with all of the different customers.
Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?
I had several mentor type people who had big influences on my leadership right out of high school and through college. Now I rely a lot on blogs such as this to learn from others.
Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?
It is so tough to choose. If I had to pick one, I would say that “In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day” by Mark Batterson had a profound affect on me. That book really got me started on the path to chasing after my lion. I am still in the chase I think as I persue changing careers from corporate world to church world, and I often think of this book and how it inspired me. It has taught me to take risks again where I have become so much more conservative over the years.
What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?
Relaxed, flexible, and purposeful
What is your greatest strength in leadership?
I just connect well with most people. I am extroverted and love to tell and listen to stories.
What is your greatest weakness in leadership?
Procrastination – It is easy for me to drop doing something in order to do something that seems more urgent or important. Often those things seem to be non-work related and distract me from the tasks that are already on my plate. So I find myself playing catch up a lot. Often I choose to be more like Mary than like Martha. Jesus says this is a good choice, but it often affects the things that need to get done, but are not the end of the world.
What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?
The hardest part of leadership for me is finding ways to refill myself. I have a hard time finding mentors who have something to invest in me. That is why I love blogs because there are people who can teach me something and challenge me who don’t have time to sit down and have lunch with me from time to time. I can comment and ask questions and often get responses. It is unfortunately less personal than a real life discipleship relationship and therefore not tailored to my specific personality. I also can choose not to listen if I don’t like what I am reading. So after pouring myself into others, sometimes it is tough for me to recover so that I can jump back in the game.
What is one misconception about your leadership position you think people may have?
I think that some people only see what is good about me, but do not see my flaws. I try to be as authentic as I can be, but often people only see me as bullet proof.
If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders, from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?
Plan to fail a lot, but don’t stop trying things. The more you fail, the more you learn and great things will come from it.
How would you have answered these questions?