Dave Kier: Leaders as Influencers

This Leadership Tip by IBEC board member, Dave Kier, perhaps would be better read in December. Yet, it is still valid for the first month of the year.  It is not too late to do a “managers analysis.”

Larry W. Sharp, BAM Support Specialist, IBEC Ventures

How do you close out a year?  A task I did every January was to write my “Manager’s Analysis” of the previous year. It took a few weeks to write because I had to examine what actually happened the previous 12 months, noting both good and bad. I am a “fact driven” person, so I used data to show where we improved and where we didn’t, however, there were aspects of the company where I couldn’t point to data. These were the people, that is: co-workers, customers, suppliers, and community. I have shared my mission statement before with you that stated “DFS desires to be an indispensable ally to producers, honoring God in all we do”. The questions were – did we become more indispensable or not, and would those looking in from the outside think of us as a God honoring business?

It is natural to look at the profit and loss statement to see how your organization did, but I think this is a poor metric.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to know if you are an economically sustainable organization or not, but as we have also said before, profit is a result, not a cause. Focusing on the PnL statement is operating via a rearview mirror. This is why I am a process guy, because efficient and effective processes produce good results.

God placed you and I where we are to make a difference for His Kingdom. That’s the bottom line. I encourage those of you in business to consider the dozens or hundreds of people you regularly connect with. What a grand opportunity God has given you to be an influencer for Him! It’s hard to measure influence, isn’t it? We can measure staff and customer retention and numerical growth, but influence? If we can be honest in critiquing ourselves, we should step back and sense the enthusiasm in our ministry or company and in the community. Over the year, you heard compliments and maybe criticisms. What did you hear more of? You can see where you had to constantly push rather than developing a pull within your organization. Over the year, you noted if you had to hang your head down while out in the community or with customers.

What’s the “process” to be an influencer? It’s by living according to the Golden Rule. It’s by helping others become satisfied in their work and their personal lives. It’s by inserting God’s word into staff and customer meetings (I know some of you are where you can’t be as bold). It’s by unashamedly letting the community know you are child of God, and your quest in life is to honor Him. If you have a mission statement that refers to being a God honoring company, place it front and center and hold yourself and your organization accountable to it. I placed a huge cross atop our tallest grain bin that brilliantly lit up at night. Do you know what this did? It not only encouraged the community (even the most vile of men in town told me how the cross impacted him) but it made a difference with our staff who always saw the cross when they came to work and when they left for the day. Be bold!

My year end leadership tip is for you to step back and honestly critique yourself as a leader who is called to influence others for the Kingdom of God.  How did you do this year? Oh — but before you ask this question, ask yourself how you did at allowing Christ to influence your life?

“YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 NASB®

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