Laurie Beth Jones, best-selling author of Jesus, CEO, Challenges Leaders to Focus on Mission, Not Just Ministry
At the 2018 Brewer Direct Institute, keynote speaker Laurie Beth Jones spoke on how Jesus led and continually strengthened His team – and how, by following His example, Rescue Mission leaders can do the same today.
Laurie Beth Jones is all about inspiration.
As a speaker and as a writer, she embodies a passion that ignites her audience, inspiring them to inspire others. In fact, on her website, she invites the reader to “become an inspiration leader using my books, programs and training materials found here.”
But she finds her greatest inspiration in the person of Jesus.
Jones offers best-selling books like Jesus, CEO, Jesus, Life Coach and Jesus, Entrepreneur that give insights into the tools that Jesus used with His disciples, His followers and even His adversaries, and shows leaders how they can apply these same principles from Jesus’ example with their own teams and companies today – with great results.
“Jesus embodied the ‘mission,’” Jones said during her keynote session, “Jesus, CEO – Relevant for Today?” at the recent Brewer Direct Institute. “When you get into ministry, sometimes you think you can bring people the Good News and leave it at that. But really, you have to embody the Good News every day in what you’re doing.”
As she spoke to the 30 Rescue Missions from across the country who attended the Institute, she stressed that many nonprofits still operate under the saying, “No margin, no mission.” But Jones challenged listeners to put the soul back into their mission, and flip that ideology on its head: “No mission, no margin.”
As she reflected on the differences in leadership in today’s American culture, she made the following connection: “In our country, we celebrate success and victory… an American, alpha-style model of leadership. When you look at the most significant sites in the Holy Land, they have one thing in common: this is where one person surrendered everything they had to God. And this is the difference in Jesus’ style of leadership where the only path to victory is surrender – you have to start by giving up everything.”
Jones used examples of how Jesus successfully led His team of disciples, even though they were 12 diverse men in terms of their temperament and communication styles.
In short, Jesus led with:
- Passion, by turning work into a cause for His team
- Sensibility, by showing them the reality of being on His team
- Vision, by encouraging His team to find new horizons and adapt to them
- Freedom, by letting His team take the mission and carry on the work themselves
In the afternoon session, Jones led a group of CEOs from the Rescue Missions in further development of these principles by going deeper into these styles of communication and how to reach those on your team.
“If you, as a leader, can figure out how to harness their gifts and speak their language, you’re showing that you respect them,” Jones said. “And when you remove questions and unknowns from your communication with others, it’s easier for you, and for them, to say YES!”
She led exercises and hands-on training for the CEOs in the session to not only understand their own tendencies regarding communication, but also to understand how others on their staff might communicate in very different ways with them.
Jones walked leaders through a strategy she’s developed for strengthening teams’ communication with each other. During these exercises, many of the CEOs laughed in recognition as they role-played situations that are a daily occurrence at any nonprofit – a staff member who’s excited and inspired about a new program idea, but is presenting it to a CEO who has a whole set of different concerns and questions.
The exercise went through several rounds and with Jones’ instruction, the two players adjusted their approach to better communicate to the other person, not just speak in ways that were natural to them.
“We tend to want to hire people who are like us, and work with those like us… and then the team gets weaker and weaker,” Jones said. “It’s a challenge to learn how to work with others who are different, but ultimately, it strengthens your team.”
Learn more about Laurie Beth Jones’ best-selling books, life coaching and transformational programs for entire organizations/teams by clicking here.
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