In today’s episode, our guest is Bobby Albert, CEO of the Values-Driven Leadership LLC. He has been in the business for a long time. This person is passionate about helping other leaders build inspiring workplace cultures through values-driven leadership and has been a CEO of an organization that was able to increase revenue 500% between 2005 and 2011 in a publicly traded company that he sold. He is the author of three books, Principled Profits, True North Business, and the most recent one called Freedom Paradox. And today, he is going to share with us how he was able to make this big businesses take place.
[4:49] Why should anybody listen to you?
I come beside Christian Business Leaders and I help them learn how to have clarity on what their organization stands for. I help them learn how to have an influence with their people. And I come beside them to learn how to build a culture where people thrive and profit.
[5:36] Where did you get the skills you work with? How did you figure it out?
It took me a long time to figure it out. I had a defining moment in 1987 when I began to see my work as a ministry and not a job. And when I did it, it just took on a life on its own. It developed into a culture which we call workdays worship ministry and it started out internally with our employees in the workplace, and then eventually expanded in to how we can minister to customers and even suppliers on an external basis.
[7:07] Core Values
For many years, our employees clearly knew. They often hear me talking about our purpose, our vision. And instead of a mission statement, I chose to use the term super objectives.
[7:26] For years, I’ve kept thinking that something was missing and in 2005, I figured it out and it was our core values. Nobody ever taught me anything about core values, or how to even discover your core values. I had to come up with questions. And I had to dig really deep inside of me to figure out. I kept asking myself questions and one day said to myself that I think I’m ready to discover who I am. I made a list of words that describe my passion for the things that gets me fired up. I circled 6 words that I written and decided that this is who I am. And that was the start of us, for me to put some words to those six core values, and then we shut down the company for a whole half a day to introduce those core values to our company. I wanted our people to go through some kind of discovery process like I did.
[14:19] What are the stages or steps somebody can go through to start infusing core values into their business?
One of my books, the True North Business has downloadable documents on how to discover your core values. It goes through the questions that help you discover, your core values, organization purpose, organization vision, organization super objectives, and if you’re trying to discover your mission statement.
My wife and I were very fortunate. We have three boys. They’re all married. Our daughters-in-law, we loved them so much. They’re like daughters to us. And we have eight grandkids, and we got one coming up. Our boys manage their money well, they all have excellent jobs, and they are active in their church. I’m a proud father and I’m so proud my sons marrying such wonderful girls.
[16:20] My life purpose is to be a model Christian businessman. My vision is to integrate the Lordship of Jesus Christ into every area of my life, and I want to encourage other people to do that, as well. I spent over 30 years teaching 12th grade boys at our church. I learned a lot about other boys and about their families and things. I think a lot had to do at home is teaching our boys starting when they were in elementary school about how to manage money, we would read our bible together. We are one of those families that we were very active in our church. I think it also comes from a strong marriage because Jesus Christ was the center of my life and my marriage.
[18:45] Leadership Principle
A lot of it is just setting the example. And that’s the same kind of leadership principle. I had to lead myself before I could lead my family. And I had to lead myself before I can lead our employees. One of the principles I teach in the True North Business book is called “On and In” and it’s helping business leaders to work on the business while they’re working in the business. And there are three pillars to that which is first you need to grow you, then you can grow, then grow your people. And finally, you can grow your business
[22:18] Faith and Company
One of my core values is strive for excellence. And to me, it’s not a summertime thing, it’s an all-time thing. What I would tell our employees over and over and over, that when they came to work every day, they came to work for the Lord Jesus Christ, and not Bobby Albert.
[23:18] The traditional organizations chart tells everybody in the organization, they’re there to serve the leader at the top. We still have that, because people need to understand roles and responsibilities. But we would also show an upside down organization chart with me at the bottom, where it was my responsibility to equip and serve the leaders to develop them. They had a responsibility to just keep going up. And at the top of the organization chart, were frontline people. And then the customer was at the top. One thing I wish I did, I didn’t think about it at the time is that I should have had Jesus Christ at the top.
What promise did God make to the world when He created you?
My life purpose which is to become a model Christian Businessman.
[21:49-21:52] “Whatever you do, that’s where it starts”
[22:12-22:16] “Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart.”
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