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Servant Leadership Redefined with Jon Kidwell

We are joined today by Jon Kidwell, the founder of Leadwell and author of the upcoming book "Redefine Your Servant Leadership: Amplify your Integrity, Influence, & Impact." Jon brings a fresh perspective to leadership by redefining the role of a servant leader. Discover how his personal and professional journey shaped his views on leadership, and why he believes the term 'servant' is often misunderstood in leadership discussions. Jon dispels myths surrounding servant leadership and explains how to lead in the tension, ultimately amplifying your integrity, influence, and impact. If you're looking to put these principles into practice and make positive changes within, this episode is a must-listen. Don't miss this inspiring exploration of servant leadership redefined.





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Transcript


John, welcome to the Christian leader made simple podcast. Thank you so much for having me. Right? It's so fun to be able to be a listener. And now a guest, and and as you said, just a friend of yours.

So able to do this together is just absolutely wonderful. Thanks for the opportunity. Yeah. Absolutely. And I'm I'm super excited about the book that's coming out.

That's a topic that is near and dear to my heart. And mh I I guess just to kinda kick us off in this interview, can you kinda share with us in your... What in your background prepared you to write this book? How did your how did your personal and your professional experiences shape your views on leadership and and and servant leadership? Well, that that is a great question, and it really takes me back to him I was about 12 years old, and I'm at...

A youth group kinda of gathering at our church. Right? I don't know if you all have youth counsel or if anyone is used to any of those almost like a student government type thing, but there were some of us that were kids and there were some that were adults. And I I don't remember much of the meeting except for. I remember a gentleman that was overly loud.

Quite aggressive and just pushy. I'm sitting in the car with my dad as we drive home. And I start asking him leadership questions. And my dad said something extremely profound to me and it's stuck with me. He said, John, you don't have to be the loudest person in the room to be the leader.

And at 12, like that really started to frame for me some of these leadership things, and I have a knack for it, leading teaching. Those are some of the things that I've just always been drawn to. And so you know, I did the the captains of sports teams and started clubs and just kinda continued down that path. Eventually, I became a teacher. And if you would ask me, I would have thought from third grade on, my role was to be a teacher to go be a principal.

My grandfather was a principal. My great grandfather was a principal. My uncle was a principal my mom was a special teacher for 30 years before she went into school administration, like this was the path. And I got diverted. Well after after doing my masters and add administration and leadership because leadership and business just kept kinda coming together for me.

This idea of servant leadership was becoming more defined and refined as I went through and figuring out, like, you know, this this way of doing things to help other people, leading by example, putting people in in a place where I want them to succeed and grow as well as whatever we're doing. Like, this was a natural draw for me. I transitioned out of education after being pulled over on the side of the highway by God and basically realizing I'm going somewhere else. But I can't get away from mission driven cause driven work. I wanted to do something that mattered by I wanted to test out this leadership ability and kinda see if I could do some things with business.

We don't get much of that in the education world and so I wanted to test these things. I went to the Y mca and started working for the Y in Houston, Texas. And I found that I do have an knack for some of those things for engaging with people and solving financial problems and being able to bring some of these things together. I was fortunate enough that I experienced 7 promotions in 6 years. And if you talking kind of church world.

I went from being kind of a a an associate or a minister in a kids area or in a part of the church to being vice president of innovation and operations leading 1100 people at multiple sites around town and millions of dollars in the... Budget and got to engage with organizations across the across the nation and even some internationally. It was awesome. It was tremendously awesome. Budget I also learned in that process that there were a lot of gaps and that there were a lot of things that I thought about leadership and servant leadership that were really defining me.

And I was letting other people's perceptions. I was letting other people's definitions of servant leadership and and really honestly, of me start to influence how I was showing up to lead. And it was in the middle of that tenure where everything just came to a halt when I had 1 of those conversations a boss pulled me aside and said, Can we talk? And he said John, I know that you are a person that is honest, which he'd hit on something that I value very deeply. And he said, however, your inability to engage in these meetings to disagree to handle conflict.

Makes me think that you're hiding something and that you're not being honest. And you need to work on that if you wanna continue to be on this team. Wow. And that that piece of feedback is really what started to unravel all of what I had built as the definition and the understanding and the way that this was supposed to go and it sent me back to figure out what is actually going on and and how can I truly lead as a servant to be a servant leader and to pull together the things that I was separating out and really just trying to hold, things like people and performance? Things like saying yes and saying no.

Things like being able to deliver hard truths, but to do it kindly. I was not able to bring a lot of these things together because I thought that a servant leader had to be a certain way. And if you weren't, then that's not who you were. Yeah. That's that's tremendous, Janet.

And I would say that a lot of my audience, not everyone, but a lot of my audience is pastors and church leaders, and would probably struggle in a lot of ways. In fact, I know struggling in a lot of ways in these same areas. So thank you for being transparent, and vulnerable with sharing that with us. You know, over the last number of years so much has been written on leadership and organizational systems So I'm just curious. And you sort of hit on it there, but maybe you can dive a little deeper.

What did you why did you feel compelled to write this particular book? Well... A lot of what you... Just referenced with your own audience what compelled me to write this is I have a tremendous amount of experience with what I call the the serving professions. Education, not for profits, ministries and if people that do work for a purpose greater than just the bottom line, and it could be health care and nursing it whatever that is.

I find that more often than not. There is a tendency to feel the need to always be available that that if we make decisions for a business purpose, then there's this judgment that, oh, you really don't care. Like, you just fooled us this whole time about caring for the people. And that we have to be perm and just kinda get rolled over, almost like a door mat and that if for some reason, we are not all bleeding heart all the time. Like I said, then it's just written off as...

This has been a fake out the whole time. And what I realized was that I was the 1 that was burning myself out. I was the 1 Mh. That was... Putting myself into a place where the integrity that I was trying to exe simplify and to hold, I'd actually put in jeopardy because of my inability, to engage.

I couldn't meet the demands that I was facing. And even though I was trying to be honest, I wasn't being completely honest and my influence would stop as soon as it went from, I can no longer please people. Because now I got all these people and all these different places that I have to please And that means I can't keep everybody happy. 1, because I'm unhappy 2 because my wife is unhappy. Because of all the things that I'm trying to do outside of my home.

My real life commitments. And I realized that I'm not the only 1 doing this, and this is really what compelled me. The last piece is as a part of this journey and just saying, like, what what his servant leadership, I did the thing that people do when they don't actually want to research and I googled it. And that's where I started before going deeper. I googled it.

And I... Okay, servant leadership definition. And you know what I got. Nothing. But I got nothing.

The closest thing I could find was a servant leader is 1 who serves. And that's circular reasoning and that just continued to take me exactly where I was going, which is about how I felt like a hamster in a wheel. If you look at what green leaf put forward... Oh, sorry. 1 quick thing, and then I and I wanna hear this.

Yeah. If you look at what green leaf put forward. Right? He wrote the servant leader in 19 70. It's a philosophy.

And inside of there, he said it's 1 who desires to serve first and then aspire to lead and that as a part of that, they're growing the people and empowering the people to be healthier, wiser and more autonomous. And and that's still... That's a philosophy Right? It wasn't quite a definition. And so for me, I had to redefine what servant leadership was, what leadership was and then figure out what was getting in the way of that being possible for me and other people?

Yeah. So which you sort of dabble in that just a second ago with... But just out of curiosity, have you come to a conclusion? If if you were asked, what is servant leadership today what... How would you clearly and simply define that?

Absolutely. And I would say that leadership and servant leadership are synonymous that they are In fact, 1 of 1 in the same that to lead us to serve and to service to lead and the way that I define leadership is the act of influencing, the attitude, thoughts, behaviors of others, toward a shared purpose. Say that 1 more time. It is the act of influencing, the attitude thoughts and behavior of others toward a shared purpose. And so where where I built that from is I I went back to to the old...

The teachers. Right? Some of them are old, not all of them are old teachers, but to the teachers and from Green leaf. And then I looked at what does Maxwell say that leadership is? I looked at how Lin looks at leadership and saying that that it is this.

Action that it's not a position and Maxwell talks about influence. And for me, I also went back to the bible and tried to look at what does the bible say? And I looked in Matthew, the first Shelby be Last and the last Shelby be first. I looked in Philippians 2 where we see Christ example of humility. Where let us not only look to our own interests, but to the interests of others.

And as Christ did, equal with God. Right? Authority humbled himself even to death on a cross all of those things have started weaving in some of those pieces and found the story of David and went back through David's kind of significant journey as a leader. Always always always, not perfectly, but always trying to do God's mission for him here in in the world. Right?

He unified Israel. He grew their territory. He went a lot of battles and that's how they kind of did business back then in Kingdom world. Right? And Later in psalms, it said that David led them with a sincere heart in a guild hand.

And I started to see these things come together, and so then started to write a bunch of iterations before landed on guild the act of influencing others or in the The act of influencing the attitude thoughts and behaviors of others toward a shared purpose. I like that. So before we continue on with the podcast, this episode is brought to you by Christian leader community coaching. Are you a christian leader experiencing low productivity or chaotic lifestyle, and maybe you're overwhelmed? And just unsure of what it's gonna take to create growth in your life.

And so I wanna introduce to you our Christian leader community coaching program. Through our step by step framework, you're going to discover a better rhythm of life, you'll see yourself more clearly leverage your strengths and build more productive relationships. With our full archive of courses, our supportive community of peers, a powerful leadership assessment to get you quickly focused. We also have live community coaching and so much more. And I've personally seen its huge impact with leaders from all over the world, experiencing laser, focus growth in their lives.

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And I'm just curious if you have any thoughts on why it's sort of left off in the definition of of leadership these days. Why why do we not see that? So often as maybe in years past today. Yeah. Well, what's interesting is there is a a rise kind of coming back with agile organizations with people trying to remove hierarchy.

That servant leadership has has taken a little bit of a a resurgence, which is a wonderful thing However, like you said, they're they're not kinda harp on that servant part. And so even recently, there was a Forbes article that... Put traditional leadership versus servant leadership. And I've already told you personally, I believe that they're 1 and the same. That that there is no other kind of leadership other than the kind where you involve service.

But they separate out traditional as very, very business first, goal oriented, it's about results. They go so far as to say that a servant leader doesn't worry about those things. They are merely focused on the people who are under them, which for those of us in certainly leisure, like, yeah, we don't really talk about it that way. Right? We don't talk about sub nation and people being under us and all the...

But they say they merely focus on the people under them and not on the company as a whole. Talk And so I think kind of this separation of is 1 of the things that that keeps it out of kind of the vernacular, if you will. Mh. I think the other thing is that narrative right there, if any of us are a leader that has an aspiration. Which were told in first Timothy.

Like, the first qualification of a leader is that they have to aspire to lead. But if we have the aspiration then I'm not gonna go the servant leadership path because that article and culture is telling me, it's only going so far. Right? That's what you do to do this. It's not what you do to run the business.

It's not what you do to look at the company as the whole. And and I would argue and I do in the book that no, It it's in fact, it's a both ant, So some of the the vernacular, the language we start to use is that servant leaders are mission, driven, people always. Right? And we say that mission... That servant leaders bring a servant heart and a business mind and that we start to bring these aspects of servant leadership together, so that we can in fact advance and try to reach that purpose that wonderful mission and do it in a way where we grow people and we grow profit, where we are both successful on the bottom line, but successful in terms of how well people are and that they are growing and succeeding in their life and at work.

Yeah. Understanding that these are real people. With Yeah. Real feelings, real lives. And it's not just about the bottom line, but it's also about creating a culture and an environment that is successful and and building more productive relationships essentially, and and in fact, that is the the path to and even healthier health in terms of You and I Ryan, right, people being healthy and well, but also to the organization.

Because if we go the other route it becomes f because people are in and out all of the time. Our results are meager, and they are completely dependent on me as the leader, engaging, kind of doing the the thumb on the scale of saying, okay, this is what we have to do because that's all that people are waiting for us my authority. I haven't empowered them to be able to go into decide and to lead themselves in our organization. So it is in fact the path that brings about those 2 things. Personal which and professional success?

Yes. Which the other path, the thumb on the Called the head kind of a path. You know, it... Eventually that erode relationships and erode success of the organization. I was just in conversation with someone last night actually of of an organization.

I won't name the organization, but they were having to lay off people because they... Essentially, my my opinion of it is they got too big and they got focused on the bottom line, and they kinda forgot the relational aspect, the servant aspect of Yeah their business, and and it's it's not turning out well for them. And and it's so it it's super super super important and we understand that we are dealing with real people, real real relationships here. Yeah. So redefining servant leadership.

Yeah. Why do you talk about redefining servant leadership. What... I mean, has the definition changed over time? And what was it then if so, how do you see it now?

Yeah. So I will focus in on redefining your... Servant leadership, right, or my servant leadership or 1 of the listeners, servant leadership. And so outside of not having a solid definition a foundation to build off of. Here's what I found in myself and with others.

Is that all of us look at different aspects of servant leaders and we've call that the thing. Right. That's the thing that is paramount to servant leaders. I've heard you say relationship, relationship, and some of us would do that. And we would say, listen, it's all about people.

It's all about relationship, And where if if you and I were talking 10 years ago, I would say, no, Ryan, like servant leader's character their moral ethical principled character that integrity. Like that's the thing. And. And we'd still go find somebody else that said, no, man. Like, servant leaders, they are active and they are serving.

Like, you get out there and you... Serve food to the homeless. You get out there and you pick up trash in your organization. You get out there and do the job that nobody wants to do. You need to have the skills to be able to do that.

And we would argue these things and what I realized through a mutual connection that you and I have, which is through townsend work, Right? The work of doctor John Townsend and the work of Doctor Henry Cloud is that all of those things are actually integrated and oriented to 1 another. That absolutely as I develop my own character, Yes, the morals, the principles, the ethical standards but my internal character, the ability to meet the demands of reality to be able to do that, to be able to build and maintain healthy relationships and get the relational support that I need as well as growing in the competencies and the skills that I need as a leader. Mh. And it's bringing those 3 things together that actually are the foundation, the building block, to be able to then show up as a servant leader to to lead with integrity, to gain and build and responsibly user influence and to make an even greater impact than you were previously because now you have all of the pieces of the puzzle connected internally and then you can connect them with others externally.

Yeah. I love the thought of that. I love love the way that you combine those things because it's not all about relationships. I mean, if that were the case, we could just get in a circle and hold hands and and sing a little bit, but that's not the case. It's That's right.

We've gotta get a job done as well. It's about a bottom line also. But we can't neglect relationships. Can't neglect... Even serving 1 another for that bottom line because that does not...

Then done well. No. So... And in the... It doesn't end well, it ends in a tower that's toppled over and in the book.

I outlined like a a Jen tower. Right? U33 of those things. And if we just build them stacked vertically on top of each other and we pull 1 of those out what happens, they all come down. Right?

If we if we just build 1 tower right on top of each, just all those little blocks straight up and you get a little sn food there in the middle and it all comes down. And if in fact, like Jen, we we build them in that cross pattern. Right? 3, Mh. Character relationship skills, character relationship skills.

The thing is that you can actually invite other people to help you build or insert blocks where you don't have them. And if 1 of them comes, you don't completely dish... Destroy the entire tower. That's the beautiful part of our life as opposed to Jen is we get to put some of those pieces back in. I'm not seeing all of them, but destroy when we build it in that way and we're not just relying on kind of 1 piece of the pie or puzzle if you will.

It's a much stronger tower and foundation like you were saying. Yeah. So, John, I haven't actually got my hands on the book yet. Obviously, not out. It's coming your way.

Comes out in a few... In a week or so, I think from the from the time of posting this recording. And But but in reading the information that you sent me, I'm seeing some threads about myths. Around servant leadership. And so what are some of these myths that we need to know when we're considering servant leadership So in the book we outlined 10 of them, and I'll go through a couple of them here right now.

But the first the first 1 is that because we want to serve people. We want to help them grow. We want to empower them that, you know, servant leaders are people please. And that that is an absolute myth because servant leaders are first mission driven. And it is in fact that mission that that greater purpose something that is above any 1 person that be them that leads them that influences them to a mission first people always approach.

So The first myth that we come against is that servant leaders are people, please. Let let me just say this. A lot of servant leaders are people please, but they don't have to be. Recovering people please are. Right here.

Right? A hundred percent. I could I can be tagged with that 1. Yeah. Yeah.

Many of many of us can because, like, you said we... The strong desire to help to serve that combination of care and compassion leads us to a place where we want to help people and when we put people in front of the mission, then it is actually the people we try to please. And we get distracted from being able to serve As Green leaf says, and as we see in many other places, the highest priority need. We want to meet needs, I don't just wanna do what you want and what you desire and what keeps you happy. Because that's not gonna do any of us any good for a long term relationship or long term success.

So that first myth is is people pleasing 1 of the other ones that always always always gets with everybody is that servant leaders are always available. We have open door policies. I mean, except right now, Right ryan, because you and I both have our door close. So does that mean that we're not servant leaders because the door... I mean, I don't know.

How do we play this out? But most of the time when I connect with folks and when people I'm coaching with, they're like well, I'm a certain leader Have an open door policy. I mean, guess, except for when I'm talking with you or doing a meeting, just that idea that we always have to be available that if we don't say yes. It means we don't care. And that's not true.

Yeah. Absolutely true not true. Yeah. Yeah. Usually, usually what is reality is that when we do that.

When we are always available. When we can't say no, we're actually not anywhere. So we say that servant leaders are present, if they're at home, they're present at home, because you'll never be able to serve the need if you're not present. And if you're ever like that. Yeah.

You are present because if you're not present, you could be there and you could be a thousand miles away, and you might as well be a thousand miles away. Yeah. So... And always available. I mean, John available.

That's not an easy thing for for a lot of people. You're you're a very person... Person I can I can tell Yeah? Just in our interaction in in my experience with you you're very interpersonal, interpersonal, no driven person. Yeah.

That's not my natural that's not my nature. It's not my natural instinct And So I've I've I've had to purposely kinda create that within me. And a lot of times for me, being present is has been challenging. And that's a that's a that's a very important part of of leadership is learning how to slow down and just be present with people. Yeah.

You know, if it's if it's walking to the coffee pot and you know, interacting with somebody around the coffee pot, be present right there with with with that individual. If it's like you said in your home with your kids or with your spouse, be present wherever you may be. So I love that. Good thought. Thank you.

Thank you. And and it... It... It's real. Right?

Like, most of us were driven and ambitious at work, but a lot of us have that relational. Peace and getting into the place where we can say no, so that we can say yes to other priorities in life, getting to the place where and I had to do this because even though I love people in relationship, I am also extremely ambitious and very driven towards the things that I care about And so I had no problem. If you come in the office, I'm just sitting here typing, like, yep. I got you. U.

A hundred percent. I had to get to the place where... Okay. I flipped the phone. I shut the laptop.

I actually get up from the desk. I move over to the table and I sit down straight away and look at you. And then we have our conversation. Those type of things lead to me being able to also then say know when it comes to boundaries around work time and what I need to do to make sure that my life priorities are hit. So 2 of the big ones are most definitely people pleasing and always available.

And Already touched on 1 more that we can talk about, which is that servant leaders have a bleeding heart. It ties in with that boundaries thing. But, you know, I've heard that it's it's bleeding heart or what's the total opposite side of that spectrum. Well, it's just business, and you don't care about people. And in, you know, 99 percent of people anecdotally, of course, it's not a real stat.

But in 99 percent of people that is not true. But because we believe that servant leaders must have the bleeding heart kind of that endless compassion, always saying yes to the mission work, not being able to rest. We actually limit our impact and I did research for the book and I found out that a bleeding heart is a real thing. It's called a ventricular rupture. And I was like, okay, what does that mean?

Means a bleeding heart and what's the result of that? Almost always. Death. Yeah. Result of a bleeding heart, a ventricular rupture is almost always death.

And so out of the psalms verse there, right? Sincere heart and skilled hand, We built and I used to start to integrate these things together that I always wanna be going with my servant heart, but I also need my business mind. To be able to say what's gonna serve the mission best here. Perhaps I really, really, really wanna give people raises and we're really, really, really in the red, and it's not going to work. And I have to figure out how to serve the mission, the people and you know, the organization all at the same time.

And by doing that, bringing that Sur heart business mind together, I can make decisions with a people approach, with a performance approach, with a mission approach and with a money approach. So John when you when you were talking right there at the end... Like filling this tension? And in the in the information you gave me, you talked about leading in the tension. So what is the tension of leadership.

Is is was there anything any connection there of what you just said? Yeah. So here here here's the the kind of the aha or the surprises that it's the tension of serving and leading. That if we go full servant, we kind of sometimes we get pulled into this nature of maybe being a little it's subs. Or if we go all leader, sometimes we might tilt off to be a little bit of a boss and is it's as you engage with the book, you'll actually see in all of those myths, we walk through the tension of servant leaders are people please or they must be self serving.

And we say, no. No. In fact, servant leaders are mission driven. Right? Or that servant leaders are bleeding hard or it's just business and we say, no, servant leaders come with their servant heart and their business mind.

That servant leaders are na and that they don't really know how the world works. Because if they knew, they'd just be con, like the rest of us and we say, no. They're aware. They honestly aware. Right?

And so pulling out that tension in that, when we lead in that tension, Where on either end, there is a point of diminishing return, but when we hold on to serving and leading to certain heart business mine, to not people pleasing not self serving, but mission driven that that is in fact where our integrity, our influence and our impact start to get amplified. I like that. That's a that's a great analogy intention. Thank you. That we need to Yeah.

Negotiate through. So... Right. This is a this is a personal growth and leadership development type book at its core and absolutely. For us who decide to pick up your book, which I'll definitely be purchasing 1 and and maybe a few.

But what what would you recommend us to do so that we can actually put this into practice and make some positive changes within us. I'm a very practical guy. I love the practical side. What can I do to to kinda put it in practice? Love it.

We'll just hit the back end of the book where we talk about reinforcing it and amplifying it. And I'm gonna go quickly through these, not not full deep dive. But here's what we say for reinforcing is I had a conversation with a person that said, yeah. I I said her, you know, no you servant leader and she said, Yeah. I don't really see myself as a servant leader anymore.

And 1 of the ways that we start reinforcing this is in fact an identity, James Clear outlines that in his book atomic habits that identity comes before action which leads to habit. And so starting to change some of those identity statements of... I'm I'm a people please sir. No. Right.

How how can we change that to I am a mission driven person that tries to meet people's highest priority needs. Starting to change our language around those in our identity statements and and really leaning into I am a servant leader, but then those statements that say, you know, I can't say no. To flip it to say, I say yes and no, so that I can insert whatever it is in life. Meet the priorities that I have for my family, my work and my ministry, whatever that means, but we flip those statements. And then we take...

Actually have some of these flipped statements in your book. Yeah We'll same. Yes. We do. Good do.

Yeah. We we flip them and we talk we talk through how to flip them. And once we do that, then we lean into small steps to taking small steps because small steps are the things that start to do it. So maybe you have that conversation like I did where I had to show up in that meeting. Well guess what?

It meant that the next time. I practice. I role played. I rehearsed. I got a little...

You know, rocket fuel from my cheerleader, and I got in there, and I said something that I thought was extremely confrontational turns out... No. There's basically a piece of information that in my brain, I'd had worked up to be conflicting and this was gonna send everything off the rails and everyone's like, oh, interesting. Good to know. And then they moved on.

You know, it took me 3 or 4 days to work myself up to say that 1 piece of information, but small steps and then we have to reinforce it with people. And in the book, we talk about 5 relationships that leaders need, and we say use your people because it is through those relationships that we actually grow. We do not grow in isolation. It's with and through people and walking it out. And then we say specifically at the end to amplify it for servant leaders that we adopt a through, not to mentality, that things come through us, not to us that we give up, certain things.

So we put a qualifier at the end of the definition We say several leaders that really want amplify it that it's an act influencing the attitude thoughts, behaviors of others towards a shared purpose. By will giving up personal standing. And when a leader, when a servant leader will do that with a through not to mentality, and they'll give up pride. They'll give up power. They'll share it instead of having it all just come to them, when they'll use their possessions to advance the mission, when they use their position in their platform to allow the mission and the people to grow and to speak and to be able to be autonomous through those things, that that's when the amplification really sets in.

And the last thing we call to is that people go all in, that if you tip toe around the edge of this, you're gonna get those type of results. But if you will go all in on those things. Then you will truly amplify and be able to redefine your servant leadership and the work and the lives of your team, and and all that you were working to make a difference then? That sounds great, John. And so...

I know that you have been out there in the field, helping people go all in with these concepts. In your... I guess, working with people, how have you helped people redefine servant leadership. What what are you seeing out there? I guess I guess the question would be is what what are the results?

What are you what are you actually seeing... How are you seeing organizations change because they're implementing some of these concept? That you were writing about in this book. That's great. So there's a case study that we want to release next year, but we have a book to put out first But we have an organization where we've been working with the executive leader, the team.

We've been training. And so we've basically kind of worked our way through with these principles in these foundations as well as how to practically lead out. And there were about a 7 and a half million dollar organization and in about 2 years, they went to 10000000 dollars as an organization. In an industry where about 3 percent to 5 percent growth is pretty standard per year They were able to to do 25 percent growth in 2 years. So tremendous tremendous there, but that's that's the monetary piece.

That same leader, that same same leader was struggling with addiction. And was struggling with guilt and struggling with being able to be present wherever he was. And and his his leaders and his team, were facing a culture where they were always on. They always had to be on, and they were burning people out and the retention was going down. And what we hope to be able to put through when this case study when we go out there is that not only was it a.

Gain. But that there is a personal personal gain in how well they are doing everywhere and work and in life. And that they do have increased employee engagement and retention and that all of these things are happening as we work with specific leaders on on this and on how to practically tactically lead themselves, align their teams, develop the leaders that they have and build a winning culture. That's tremendous. That's excellent.

Glad to glad to hear this you're out there making a difference, John with these principles. So I'm gonna end in just a moment with my last question that I that I asked all of my guests, but before I do, is there any other thoughts in your mind that you'd like to share on redefining your your servant leadership? For anyone that's thinking about that and you have a story like I did, where you were telling yourself that it has to be this way. And then if I don't do it this way, I mean, they're not gonna hit the marker that people are gonna judge me. I would really invite you to challenge that idea and test its validity if it is in fact true or if it's something inside of you, like it was something inside of me, and what might be true.

Get it perspective from a different individual. Way different than yourself. See how they see it, and then start to to test, how might you start showing up just a little bit differently. So that you can continue to work these things out where you might be boxing yourself in, and the box doesn't exist except inside yourself. That's what would invite somebody to, and and if they're thinking about it, whether they pick up the book or not, go through that quick process to see...

That if what you're telling yourself is true, because I found that in a whole lot of cases, it wasn't And I found a tremendous amount of freedom on the other side of the process that I outlined in the book, 1 that I get to be free to lead as me where I need to be and in the work that I am doing and showing up in a way that I can truly attempt to love the people that I am with, That's tremendous John. Tremendous. Redefine your servant leadership. Amplify your integrity, influence, and impact. I love it.

Can't wait to get my hands on it. Thank you. We're gonna in with with this 1 last question. Yes. What's 1 thing and it doesn't...

It it can be related to this... Stop, but it doesn't have to be. But what's 1 thing you wish you could tell your younger self. Don't buy the bicycle on a credit card when you're 23 years old... No.

That... That's not the 1. But it's a it's a fine 1. I wish I could tell myself this. That is a good.

You're right. But what I would what I would actually tell myself is something that has just in the last half decade just completely changed my life in my perspective, and it it came out of first Corinthians 4 where Paul is saying to a group corinthians right? That I you don't you you don't judge me. I don't care what you think. And frankly, I don't care what I think I care what God thinks and what how God is going to judge me.

And that kind of self forgetful that that forgiveness that being able to place judgment and perception and everything and the Ultimate authority has has freed me up, I wish I could go back to the 18 19 20 year old me and say, man, A lot of these things that you think matter and that you think people are looking at you for and that you're trying to do all this stuff to make sure that you know, kind of being in that chameleon, if you will. I wish I could go back and say, and doesn't matter what they say. Frankly, it doesn't matter what you say. You it matters what God thinks. And that's who you're working to please.

And not because that gets you any further because it's by grace brother. But because you want... Of you've experienced through that. That's what I wish I could tell my younger self. That's that's great advice.

Can you go back and tell my younger self? The very same thing. Well, John, this is this has been a great conversation. Thank you so much. For for giving us your time today.

It's been such a pleasure to have you on. If people wanna connect with you in some way, first of all, working, can they find you online And and, of course, tell us more about or tell the listeners more about where they can get your book win. Etcetera all the details that that on this book because I know that everyone is gonna wanna get this book. So you can find out more at redefine your servant leadership dot com. That's redefine your servant leadership dot com.

It'll walk you through where to get it, if you go on Amazon or if you go elsewhere as well as being able to get any of the things that we are giving away as a part of the book launch. Awesome. Awesome. Definitely, if you're if if you're if you've made it this far in the podcast, go get the book. You need to you need to get this book and I can't wait to get my hands on it and read it and glean from the concepts that are in it.

I've already glean a whole lot. In this podcast interview. So thank you so much, John, again. I'll put those links in the show notes if anybody wants to quickly find the link And so this concludes our show today. And if you're a new listener, be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to audio podcast or on Youtube.

And also, it would just make my day if you would take a minute to rate the show and write a review on Apple Podcast or wherever you listen. My name is Ryan Franklin. Thank you so much for joining us on the Christian leader made Simple podcast.



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