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7 Questions with Jack Flietstra
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Jack Flietstra
Name: Jack Flietstra
Current title: Mr.
Current organisation: Pro. 16:9 Consulting
I’m 61 years old, I’ve been working as a pastor for 40 years interning around churches. I’ve been involved in developing leaders on three continents. I’m in the process of starting a business focussed on Christian Business Leaders.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Keeping the balance between my personal life and my business. One of the most important things is to not lose myself in my work. On average I can work anywhere from 50 to 70 hours a week. I currently have three positions in three different organizations, I serve in a church full-time I serve as an overseer of 80 churches part time and then I started my new business.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Well having been a pastor for 40 years and watching Christian business leaders often struggle with the realities of business home life and church cost me to realize that there is a real need to help bring some balance. One of my concerns is that oftentimes Christian business leaders live with a certain amount of guilt when it comes to their home life and the church life. My desire is to assist Christian business leaders to become more balanced and have less guilt when it comes to areas of life that sometimes seem to be in conflict with their business endeavors. So over the last couple of years I’ve been talking with one of the Christian business leaders in my church and I’ve been working on launching this Ministry/business. I’m very excited about being able to connect with Business Leaders on a regular basis and to assist in bringing harmony and balance to their lives.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Because of my three rolls I have to be fairly scheduled so I’m up at 5:45 in the morning, spend about 2 1/2 hours working on my business. Then depending on the day I will be spending it on church work or my work as a district shepherd over 80 churches. That can be anything from travelling to meet with a church or pastors or church leaders. It may involve me organizing events or spending time in the office preparing talks lessons to be taught as well as organizing our staff. Then my evenings are spent with my wife at home but even there will work from six till about 8 PM And sometimes I have meetings that will go beyond that sometimes i'm working till about 11:30 PM
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I’m not sure if I can say this is completely brand new but it’s certainly been re-enforced. And that is simply that you cannot please everyone. In our COVID-19 days that is becoming more and more apparent. There will be those who will love you and those who hate you. As a leader it’s important to be able to learn to live with that.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
This may sound cliché, as the Bible actually is the one book that has taught me so much about business. The book of Nehemiah in particular. In his early chapters do you see strategy and planning and organizing and knowing who to tell and who not to tell and going to tell and when not to tell.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
I believe one of the most powerful things that we can do to develop leaders is to empower them. In my 40 years of giving leadership to growing churches, one of the best parts of my strategy has been to give people responsibility with the power to do the work they’re supposed to do. What I see is a big problem to leadership as when we give people a responsibility without the power because then we have set them up to fail
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
The story is about my first hire. Again because I was working with churches a lot of the staff or volunteers. But when we made our first hire the question became do we need this person and what will this person bring to the table that we don’t already have in place. Well we hired a young man in his work that was so impactful that 20 years later we are still feeling the positive influence of his work even though he has moved on and is no longer with us it hasn’t been with us for about 18 years. The lesson for me is if you hire well the work that they do will outlast them it will be something you can build on even when they’re gone.