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The Virtues of a Leader by Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat International, Part 1

I think we'd all agree that "virtues" are important in every area of our life, and we believe they absolutely critical within the context of "Christ-centered leadership." In Andy Stanley's latest leadership podcast, the CEO of Habitat International, Jonathan Reckford, goes into the details of each of the first three virtues.

As the CEO of Habitat, Jonathan knows a bit about leadership. Jonathan leads 15,000 employees and 4 million volunteers worldwide. And, when you consider the breadth and scope of Habitat for Humanity International you'll get the picture that Jonathan, as a leader has significant value to offer any and all leaders.

In this podcast, Jonathan explains that “graceful candor” is a phrase Habitat uses internally. It means, "having tough conversations soaked in grace and empathy and kindness." It's not "what is said," it's "how it is said."

What does “graceful candor” look like to you? Is kindness something your organization could use more of?

Habitat's Big Vision

In this leadership training episode, Reckford shares his insight on leadership with Andy from his new book and how the virtues of leadership have impacted his leadership at Habitat. Jonathan shares Habitat's global initiative, which is to see every family on earth living in a safe and affordable home.

Jonathan Reckford is the author of the book, "Our Better Angels: Seven Simple Virtues That Will Change Your World". Jonathan writes what he has witnessed time and again, which are the powerful benefits that arise when people from all walks of life work together to help one another.

In this uplifting book, Rockford shares true stories of people involved with Habitat as volunteers and future homeowners who embody seven timeless virtues — kindness, community, empowerment, joy, respect, generosity, and service — and Reckford shows us how we can all practice these to improve the quality of our own lives as well as those around us.

The Seven Virtues of Leadership

Jonathan Redckford came into Habitat when they came up with an audacious vision .. They dared to believe that everyone should have a decent place to live. Keep in mind, "everyone" is everyone, and that's a big number, in the billions.

Jonathan and his team realized that their mission would take 1,000 years to accomplish, which was WAY TO SLOW. Since Jonathan joined to Habitat to change things up, so he did and it's easy to see how Jonathan took the organization in a whole new direction and the results speak for themselves.

Jonathan joined Habitat in 2005, and at that time Habitat served 125,000 people. In 2019, Habitat served 7 million people.

How did Jonathan grow this worldwide ministry? He used the 7 Virtues of Leadership (see below).

KINDNESS: Kindness should always be number one, and it's the tangible starting point of expression for all human interaction. It's all about treating people well, even through tough conversations. Kindness is love in action. Kindness is a tangible expression of love. Loaning someone your strength instead of reminding them of their weakness. Kindness isn't always soft and fuzzy. It's about treating people well, but that often includes hard conversations.

COMMUNITY: Foster community through prayer and the exercise of kindness. Community is the process of bringing people together to build homes of hope, experiencing something bigger than yourself, knowing people seek opportunities to be a significant contributor in their community. People want to help and are called to help. Community is being part of something greater than yourself where you can experience belonging, mutual care, and accountability. Research shows that if you have a friend at work, you’re more likely to stay at that organization.

EMPOWERMENT: Investing in others so they can grow into all that God intended for them to be (to invest in others). By providing real opportunity through genuine empowerment, people will see transformations as individuals, as well as the community at large. Empowerment is investing in others so they can acquire the skills, opportunities, and responsibility to grow into all that God intends for them. Leaders have a responsibility to pour into those around them, especially the people they’re leading.

“I cannot promise to fill your cup, but I have a responsibility to empty mine.” — Andy Stanley

PODCAST NOTES:

Jonathan Redckford came into Habitat when they came up with an audacious vision ... They dared to believe that everyone should have a decent place to live. Keep in mind, "everyone" is everyone, and that's a big number, in the billions.

Jonathan and his team realized that their mission would take 1,000 years to accomplish, which was WAY TO SLOW. Since Jonathan joined to Habitat to change things up, so he did and it's easy to see how Jonathan took the organization in a whole new direction and the results speak for themselves.

Jonathan joined Habitat in 2005, and at that time Habitat served 125,000 people. In 2019
2019 Habitat served 7 million people. How did Jonathan grow this worldwide ministry? He used the 7 Virtues of Leadership (see below).

About the Author:
Jeremiah Guidos
Jeremiah Guidos

Clinical Director

Jeremiah earned his bachelor's degree as a Dean’s...

Jeremiah earned his bachelor's degree as a Dean’s List graduate in 2004 and his Master's degree in Clinical Counseling from George...