When I was 27 years old I had a profound life change and I began then what has been an amazing career of serving others - first in Christian ministry then in the non profit sector as a director of a homeless shelter. Looking back now on my career, and all of the people I've had the opportunity to help along the way, I can truly say a life invested in others is a rich life.
I've had a lot of help along the way - help from God and from so many friends - too many to thank here. My wife and I started a church under unlikely circumstances and today Port Ludlow Community Church is doing very well. In 1999 Bread of Life Mission on Skid Row in Seattle was struggling in a big way when I became its director. We were able to grow revenues and programs and today the mission is doing very well.
Since those days in Seattle, I've had a chance to start a new non-profit agency along with a friend in Bremerton, WA. Kitsap Rescue Mission is working to change lives and is growing to this day. Now I have an opportunity to take the skills I've learned along the way and help leaders to grow their agencies and realize their dreams.
When I started I really didn't know what skills I had. And I certainly wasn't very aware of my weak areas. And life has a way of making sure that we find out who she or he really is.
To tell you the truth I've stumbled into my skills and strengths by just trying things. Later, reading books on leadership or management, I'd remark to myself, "Hey that's what I did when..."
In short, I've seen lots of plans fulfilled, lots of dollars raised, and lots of problems solved by using a few simple, tried and true skills that I'd like to share with you so you can do well in your work.
Perhaps the most important skill is working well with others, and that requires, in my opinion, a strong sense of who you are. So it's these softer people skills that will help you most - to build a strong team around you, to create a productive culture, to engage active volunteers, and to cultivate your donors.
I hope I have an opportunity to share more of what I've learned with you so that you won't have to bump your head along the way. Think of me as a wise and kindly lighthouse kind of guy who now wants to invest his life in you and your organization.