A Passion for Leadership
I chose Organizational Leadership because I realized I needed to develop myself. I’m a manager at a bank and I serve in a leadership capacity in my church. The more I learn and develop, the better I can serve.
I’m passionate about sharing my faith. Doing the work of ministry. I’ve found ways to serve the Lord through my job, both with my team and with customers. When I get to sit down with customers and talk about life…I enjoy that. That’s what drives me. My job isn’t work for me. It’s an avenue to show my love and to serve the Lord.
The program has been great. I like the setup. It’s more discussion based, so everybody gets to participate. That was one of my concerns. We’re all working during the day and coming to class in the evening, so of course you don’t want to be sleeping in class. So far all of our professors have been very creative in making sure we get involved.
My cohort does a great job of supporting each other. We work together as a team. We discuss things. We respect each other’s opinions. We have different backgrounds and through our backgrounds and through our experiences we have something rich to share with each other. I think that’s one of the things that makes us very unique, and it makes our community very strong. I feel like I have a sense of responsibility and obligation to my team, to my cohort, to prepare before class so I can have some perspective or something more meaningful to contribute to the learning. I feel like if I don’t do that I’m taking them for granted.
The third class was about followership. Where I come from, not a lot of emphasis is placed on followers. And that particular class opened my eyes to the importance of followers and how we need to think more in terms of how we relate to our followers as leaders. It’s very important. Developing your followers to a place where they’re also able to lead.
We also had a class about leadership enterprise. If you think about leadership, you’re not always looking for the one right answer. Instead, everything we’re learning is like a toolbox, and being able to go into your toolbox to find the right tool, to use it depending on the situation. That was a very inspiring and eye-opening moment for me.
A great leader is someone who understands that the leader and the follower have come together for a common purpose. I think as long as the leader remembers that, then everything will be about the common purpose and not about the leader or the follower.
Professors always challenge us to think about how we’re going to apply what we’ve learned. That’s given me a lot of confidence to go out and use my knowledge and skills. I’ve realized I can affect change irrespective of my position in an organization. Since I started the program and using the principles at my job, I’ve been promoted twice.
The spiritual atmosphere at Bethel makes a big difference. Talking about biblical foundations, sharing values, praying in class, using what we learn to go out in the world and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. Those things are very personal and I think they’re very unique.
If anybody’s considering Bethel, they should come and check it out. Experience it. I was unsure about going back to school. It was in the back of my mind for two and a half years. Then I came and talked to the program director, talked about the program, what it takes, and I went ahead with the application. As soon as I started with my cohort I knew it was going to be a rewarding, inclusive experience. That was very good. So come experience the atmosphere, the environment. If you don’t like it, that’s fine. But I think you’ll like it.
More info about Richard
M.A. in Organizational Leadership
Reading personal development books, helping people succeed, sharing my faith