Ron's Material Leadership Blog

It is my sincerest hope that the stories I share are helpful to others. I have experienced first hand that many people toil in obscurity, searching for answers, ashamed to reach out and ask for help. This blog will contain experiences and wisdom that I have gained over the years that I hope will offer guidance in dealing with some of life's challenges.

Why the name material leadership? If you are curious the answer is on my website.
The link on the side bar.

Lead well


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

FINALLY!!! Interview #1: Dan King Blogger @

A couple days back I was able to complete the first of what I expect to be several interviews on a “Leaders Purpose”. Blogger Dan King from Florida graciously agreed to be interviewed and also to be my first interviewee to be part of a Material Leadership Podcast. More on that later!

The interview with Dan was fascinating; we talked about his blog Management by God and how it relates to his sense of purpose as a leader. My original desire to include Dan as the first of several interviewees’ relates to the clarity his blog and the authenticity of his character. In Management by God Dan explores timeless Biblical wisdom and relates it to everyday leadership and management issues. As a fellow Christian the wisdom I have can also be directly linked to this important book. I felt that Dan had a story that needed to be told; a story that would explain how Management by God came to be and why it was so important. I was not disappointed. I learned that Dan was a principled man who has a clear sense of purpose and values that he strives daily to live by.

One of the aspects of the interview that made it even more authentic occurred when he was interrupted by a family member in need of a cookie. Dan’s clear sense of values was in this moment uniquely expressed. You can make no mistake he lives his values in an authentic way.

I asked Dan whether his blog helped define or refine his sense of purpose. Refine it he said clearly, this is a guy with a clear idea of what he is on this earth for. Dan is a teacher and a Christian. He has a mission field out in the secular business world that he uses with skill to teach timeless biblical wisdom on the subject of management and leadership.

When it comes to Management by God (.com) and its relation to my purpose, it has provided me with another opportunity to teach, in another way. It’s one of those things that has really helped me to live out my purpose, to do what God has called me to do.

How did Dan discover his own sense of purpose? He described to me being woken in the middle of the night and having God clearly tell him to teach his people.

I remember an instance several years ago, being woken up in the middle of the night. It was this very strange thing like the fire alarm in the apartment would go off. It would not even budge my wife, she would be dead asleep. I would be sitting there wide awake trying to bang the thing off the wall with a hammer to get it to shut off. Finally one night, after waking up several nights in a row at the same time, I got up and I said, “Alright God, I am going to sit here and pray and I am not going to stop until you tell me why you keep waking me up.”… I really kind of felt that (not in a loud audible voice) there was a voice in my heart kind of telling me that you are going to teach them my ways. “Alright God whatever, what do you want me to pray for? He repeated you are going to teach them my ways.

Well perhaps you are not the spiritual type, perhaps you have not had the opportunity to speak with God, perhaps you are a skeptic. Okay please remember this is not your story, it is Dan’s.

Higher Calling

In the past several months as I have contemplated how to best coach others into finding their own leadership purpose, I have continually bumped into a wall. Call it what you will higher calling, spiritual guidance, inner voice; however you define it I believe that the humanists get this wrong. There is something bigger than the individual at play here. The challenge is to find it. Dan found it in the wee small hours of the night when God reached out and told him to “teach his people”. This greater force allows Dan the motivation to continue in the face of adversity, to persevere. I personally find my “something bigger” in my Christian faith as well.

Where do you find yours? Do you acknowledge it or ignore it? Certainly it is possible to achieve some level of success while within yourself. However when you tap into a power greater than yourself truly remarkable things can be achieved.

Finding this higher calling can take a life time or a moment, I believe it depends on the person. I do recommend that you take the time to quiet your mind, to get into a relaxed state where the insanity and chaotic noise of life can melt away and you can for once hear things clearly without disruption. This may take the form of prayer, meditation or some other form. Regardless of the path seeking out your sense of higher calling is an important aspect to finding your leadership purpose.

Get Dirty, Make Mistakes

How do you expect to learn anything about your own talents unless you are willing to experiment? My conversation with Dan had taken a turn, he described for me how he had volunteered at his church in a number of capacities and through these his talents (gifts) started to come into focus. There is an old quote that says “you always miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” Dan and I agree that getting in the game is a critical aspect in finding yourself and uncovering your purpose.

Just going out and serving and experiencing ministry in different ways and discovering my gifts in different ways

This aspect of purpose may seem out of phase with the last section yet it is not. You see this discovery process is not linear. We are not baking a cake here; no we are making a leader’s life. Often the best learning and growth comes from reflection upon and synthesis of multiple experiences in a short time frame. Translation: do stuff, experiment, get your hands dirty, make mistakes. How else do you intend to learn and uncover your purpose?


Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the interview occurred when I asked Dan what his values were. You see I believe that purpose and values are intimately related. My hypothesis is that if you have taken the time to discover one it is almost certain that you have discovered the other. I was expecting him to rattle of things like faith, family, and teaching, things consistent with what he had already shared. What I got was completely different. I got the following statement,

I have one rule that I use to define my personal values, to live the way the Bible tells me to live... In some cases, in some parts of my life I may have discovered that more than other areas. I know I constantly have areas to grow and mature in Christ. I really try to center my life around the word of God.

Essentially what Dan was saying is that he has a filter that he passes his experiences through and uses to decide how he will react. The filter is scripture. In an authentic way he strives to be consistent with the truths of the Bible in every aspect of his life. When I consider the topic of his blog scriptural application to life and leadership, how could it be otherwise? Here is a guy who walks his talk, leadership personified.

Wrap Up

What can we take away from Dan’s interview? Well there are several things that stuck out for me.

Walk the Talk

It is critical for authenticity in leadership that words and actions be aligned. Dan does this through his values statement and the accompanying use of a scriptural filter. He also does so by boldly blogging about the biblical aspects of leadership and management.

Give Freely

As is the code of blogging, give freely. Not with an expectation of what may come back to you but rather with a passion for living your own purpose. Dan’s tireless volunteerism has led to a clear understanding of his gifts and an even clearer sense of purpose for his life.

Be Fearless

It is only when we step into the game that we learn of our own mettle. We need to be bold and to risk mistakes in order to discover ourselves. Dan has done this in many ways his personal commitments arguably rival his career obligations.

Keep Perspective

You have to know what is important and be unapologetic in choosing it when the time is right. Dan understands the importance of family and incorporates them into many activities as possible (another walking the talk moment). He has a clear sense of what is important and pursues it.

Recognize it is not always about you

A leader is in that position for the very reason that they see an end state larger than just themselves. They may see an organization feeding the poor, correcting injustice, creating a new machine, providing worthwhile work to a community. Whatever it is they see something larger than themselves. This is the very argument of purpose, a cause greater than themselves. If you believe leadership is about providing you with some greater slice of the pie, some convenience or privilege you have sorely missed the mark.

The Podcast

In the next several days I will publish the Material leadership podcast. The first episode will contain part one of the interview with Dan. I am very excited to bring this to you and hope that you gain as much value from the interview as I did.

So the first step is to figure out exactly how to get a podcast on the web. As soon as I have done so I will include a link to the cast. If you want more information on this feel free to contact me at

To Dan

Finally my sincere thanks to Dan for being my first interviewee. I gained so much from the time you gave me, thank you.

To everyone

Lead well


1 comment:

Dan King said...

Wow! Ron, you make me sound almost inspirational! Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, and the honor of being interviewed by someone that I respect as well. I look forward to hearing the podcast! Thanks, and please let me know if there is ever anything else that I can do for you.

God bless,
Dan King

My Favorites

Thoughts on a Recent Read

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