Don Christian leads by example when he writes his column for his blog every Friday. When he missed a Friday, I asked him about it and he asked nme to ghostwrite one for him because I am an avid reader of the blog. I laughed it off, but when I woke up at 5:00 AM the next morning, it hit me on the head. I got out of bed, brewed a cup of strong coffee, and knew that I had to write about a leader who leads by exaple and is the real writer of this blog - Don Christian. Here's why...
- Don is ethical in what he does and goes about doing things in a transparent manner. It is important that leaders remain ethical at all times because they are being watched and observed in both positive and negative lights daily, even hourly.
- He's dedicated to the message of leadership and his work. His personal mission in life is Christian education and this permeates everything that he does at Concordia University. A leader has a passion for what they do and they do it well.
- He does what he say he's going to do. Concordia University's MBA program has been in the works for many months. Then, just last month, the program came to fruition and is off to a great start with 40 students. Don's leadership effort and that of those around him made this program a reality. Don set the example for others to follow.
- He constantly reads...on leadership, on life's greatest works, both ficton and non-fiction alike. Reading strengthens leaders and pushes them to grow in wisdom, in perspective, and to think critically of the world around them. Check out the right-hand column of this blog for some titles to whet your reading appetite.
- He genuinely listens. In leadership, hearing the message is critical. Often, leaders miss hearing the true message. Listening is critical to success and building relationships that leaders need.
- He consistently builds people up. Teaching students and others around him (and by writing this blog), he is an example of how leaders can influence others by doing so with positive reinforcement and support.
- He has time boundaries. Leaders know how to make good use of their time and respect other's time. It forces leaders to effectively share a message efficiently.
- He has good timing. Leaders know when the right time is to approach certain topics or messages and push them through to the constituents or audiences that need to hear it most. Don is an advocate of Christian education and developing Christian leaders and his timing is impeccable when it comes to sharing that with others.
- When he has a message to share, he shares it with the right people or delegates it to others to spread to the right people, i.e. his askig me to write this column for this week. Thus, I am finding myself suddenly immersed in following his example and hopefully leading others to do the same.
- Don also knows when he can't do it all. It's important for leaders to remain humble and gracious, while recognizing their own strengths and weaknesses. Relying on others, like asking me to write this blog, is a smart way of continuing the dialogue on leadership within our community.
Thank you, Don, for the opportunity to share my bit on leading by example. I hope it has fulfilled you and your reader's Friday morning dose of inspiration on leadership. Ghostwriting isn't so bad after all...
Carrie Leising serves as a development officer at Concordia University Texas where she been for almopst three years. She has a MBA in not-for-profit management from the University of San Diego.