by Chris Cloud
The following interview is the second of a series of four interviews with missional business owners on the lessons they’ve learned about leadership.
Brett is a CEO who coaches and advises other CEO’s on how to run their companies wisely. He is a Christ-follower in the marketplace, involved in mentoring businesses around the world.
What is your philosophy of leadership?
To be a good leader, you must first be a good follower. Everyone follows someone or something. Even if you’re the CEO, you must follow after a purpose greater than yourself or what you consider to be ‘the right thing’ to do.
Here’s why: If you think of yourself as a mere island, leading by yourself, for yourself, you will be here today, gone tomorrow and no one will notice, or even care, that you’re gone. You will have lived, you will have died, and at best … you will have simply not mattered. At worst, not only will you have failed to contribute to society in any meaningful way, you quite possibly may have become complicit in evil. But, if choose to lead from an other-centered perspective, regularly connected to and informed by the source that imagined, formed and breathed life into your very being, for purposes far greater than anything you could ever ask or imagine on your own; then, you will have led effectively and will have truly lived a life worth living.
What experiences, people, or philosophies have most influenced the way you view and practice leadership?
I’ve learned vastly more from my failures and times in the ‘desert,’ than from my successes and ‘mountain-top’ experiences. Times of trial purify us. Suffering quickens us and sensitizes us to the needs of others around us. I’ve seen this to be true in the lives of all great leaders I admire (Washington, Lincoln, Mandela, Gandhi, Joseph, David, Jesus himself), and I’ve found it to be true in my own life. Read more