When you were growing up, are you doing what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do?
Not at all – I am currently in IT. I wanted to be a classical musician: conducting, performing, and teaching.
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?
The most ‘different’ job I had was cleaning post-construction mobile homes after being transported and setup on lots. Lots of sawdust, metal shavings, screws and other things that break vacuum cleaners if not picked up beforehand. Getting those nasty stickers off windows and bathtubs was my least favorite part, and I can’t stand that lemony scent of GooGone to this day. This also was the most BORING work I’ve ever done. I did this job by myself and there was no one to talk to but the radio – we didn’t have cell phones back then. I think what it taught me the most was how to distract myself away from the actual work and find other ways to stay motivated in order to meet the expectation of getting the work done and being meticulous about it. It always felt great once I completed the job well and in a timely manner. The way this transfers into my current work as an IT Director is that it has taught me to develop clear goals up front, so that I always know what it is I’m shooting for in the end, because sometimes the work it takes to get there is no fun at all.
Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?
I had a couple of Christian Professors over the past years that really challenged me to incorporate my Christian Worldview in practical ways – more than just asking WWJD but really integrating those principles as part of the everyday planning process.
Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?
The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James Hunter. This book simplified for me the servant leadership philosophy and importance of building relationships.
What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?
Big picture person, positive attitude, problem solver
What is your greatest strength in leadership?
Growing and supporting my staff. I fully recognize that I do not have all the answers or even most of them, and am still learning my limits (the hard way, unfortunately). I’ve found that by growing others and equipping them, not only is the ‘mission’ supported but individuals are stretching themselves.
What is your greatest weakness in leadership?
Delegating and asking for help.
What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?
Put myself last and often times leave the emotions at the door.
What is one misconception about your leadership position you think people may have?
That my position has the power to change the overall business model, when actually it is completely backwards… I can’t operate without a solid business model and vision in place to support.
If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?
Find other leaders and mentors with outstanding character and follow them. Fine-tune the skills you need to become decisive and practice them.
How would you have answered these questions?