Leadership, leadership, leadership…it’s all about leadership. It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about a large corporation or small business, the federal government or a family, a not-for-profit, including a University or a Church, or any small group, inside an organization or otherwise. A dynamic, thriving organization always has a great leader. You can count on it. And if things aren’t being accomplished and morale is low, you can point to the leader too.

Why is this the case? Why does the leader have such a significant impact? The answers are many. The leader sets the tone. He has control. She’s looked to as the example. Her standards are the organization’s standards. His work ethic permeates throughout. If his approach is constructive and collaborative, that’s how all will operate. If not, they’ll follow the different model, whatever is put forward.

I’ve been a student of leadership for many years, having had the privilege to be in numerous leadership roles over the last three decades. Over that period of time, I’ve studied it, not only in the many books that I’ve read, but the educational events I’ve attended, and the people I’ve observed.

The Leader I Was Then and Now

Having bought a very small company (me and a part-time secretary) in 1990 and growing it over a period of years, my leadership used to be all about me. It was me who used to conceive of the ideas and the strategies, then trying to motivate others to do the work. Although I was friendly (I think…it would be interesting to hear what they would say), I valued my employees for the work they did, not the people they were. Because managing and leading was difficult at times, I didn’t always enjoy it, often taking things out on others. In hindsight, I wasn’t a leader that I’d like to follow.

In 2006, I experienced a conversion, where for the first time in my life I felt the real presence of God and the love of His Son, Jesus Christ. I then embarked on a journey, which I’m still on today, that changed everything in my life, including my leadership.

Post-conversion, my leadership style is 100% about those in my organization, not me. It’s about helping them become the very best they can be, professionally and personally. They know that I love them for their “who”, not their “do”. That’s not to say that things don’t have to get done, They do and there is significant accountability. But leadership done right motivates people and creates accountability, as well as positive results.

I pride myself in making very few decisions, but instead asking questions that will help others in reflecting so as to then make the decisions instead of me. There is large scale collaboration for EVERYTHING we do. There is buy-in, genuine unity around not only our strategies and tasks, but our mission, vision, and values.

The Contrast is Enormous

The contrast in approach produces a big contrast in results. That difference is the result of employee morale, which has everything to do with them being fulfilled in their work (and in life). And that fulfillment comes from contribution and ownership, neither of which are possible without the right leadership.

I wouldn’t be the leader I am today without knowing the love of Christ. Tune in next week to see how that impacted me so greatly, as well as the organization I have the privilege of leading.

As always, please email me with questions or comments at Mark@MarkJosephMinstires.com.

God Bless you on your Path to Peace, Joy, and Fulfillment!!!

Mark Joseph