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7 Questions with Jonah Erbe
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7 Questions with Jonah Erbe
Name: Jonah Erbe
Current title: Executive Vice President
Current organisation: Leadership Management International
Jonah Erbe is the executive vice president of Leadership Management International. He is passionate about helping others realize and reach their potential in all areas of life and solving macro issues with many micro solutions.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
The most challenging part of being an executive is becoming re-energized every single day. It is easy, especially during a pandemic with so many daily changes, to become jaded to the process. It is easy to start coasting and wait for things to get better. However, as a leader, we are never allowed to coast. We should always be striving to do our best in every aspect of life every single moment of every day. I have learned how important it is to be internally motivated. Although the world is full of chaos and confusion, we must never waver and never give in to the distractions. We must possess an intense focus.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
It all started when I wrote out my personal mission statement for my life. If you have not made one, you definitely should. If don't know how, please reach out and I can send you an article I wrote on how to formulate a mission statement through which to filter all of your life's decisions.
When I wrote my mission statement, I decided that I would forever filter my life's decisions through it. Leadership Management International (LMI) reached out to me and we began speaking about the possibility of me joining the organization.
I went to LMI's website, and the first thing that popped up was the organization's mission statement. It aligned perfectly with my personal mission statement. At that moment, I knew it was a match.
I joined the organization a few years ago and have been so inspired by everyone in the organization whether they are in our Home Office here in Texas, or overseas in one of more than 80 countries that we work with.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I begin every day with what is most important to me: reading the Bible. I believe that this is the most important thing I can do and sets me up to live my life in a way that serves, honors, and loves others.
I then do all of my highest priority tasks first. At LMI we call these "High Payoff Activities." Once I have finished my High Payoff Activities, I spend the rest of the workday working on highly important, but not immediately necessary research projects to set our company up for the future.
To put it simply, I start my day with eternity in mind. I then do what is most important for work today. Lastly, I spend time preparing for the future.
Start with an eternal mindset, then shift to high priority daily activities, and then end the day focusing on how you and your organization can grow in the future. You will always have a funnel full of opportunities and meaningful projects if you do this.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Recently I re-learned how important it is to view every single person, regardless of position or title, as a real individual with a soul and a heart. As leaders, we have the incredible privilege and honor of encouraging, loving, and serving people throughout our organization every day. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to have difficult conversations. However, too often, leaders think that they need to stay focused on only the numbers and not the people. We have it so backwards. The most important thing is focusing on the people. It is our job to serve them and care for them and steward their gifts well. Instead of focusing on the numbers, the projections, and the strategy, focus on the people that make all of those things happen.
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?
Honestly, the Bible has impacted me the most. When I do what it says, I love, serve, and care for people well. However, besides the Bible, I would say Good to Great by Jim Collins has truly helped me.
Collins' book does a fantastic job of taking large concepts and drilling them down to daily, practical action steps that all leaders should take with their organizations to go from good to great. I highly recommend the chapter about the "Hedgehog Concept."
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
The most important thing a leader can do is invest in their people as real people. Every person has deep wants, desires, and needs. Every person is created equally with beautifully distinct and unique ideas and outlooks. It is our job to discover those desires, needs, and ideas, and put them into action as one massive team. When leaders care about their people and discover their inner motivations, the entire organization thrives because everyone is personally motivated to perform to their highest level.
Encourage your team, ask them deep questions, check in on them frequently, invest in them with leadership programs, etc. The return is always positive.
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 most meaningful stories that come to mind all have to deal with people realizing and reaching their full potential. There is nothing more inspiring than watching someone use their God-given gifts to achieve their personal goals and help others in the process.
One particular story that comes to mind is a client overseas whose home life was struggling. Since there was so much stress at home, the business was struggling. Since the business was struggling, the people who worked at the business were not motivated and feeling unfulfilled at work.
This individual took an LMI program titled "Effective Personal Leadership" and completely turned their life around. In the matter of a few months, their family life had become better than ever, their business started achieving goals they never thought were imaginable, and the employees were all using their gifts and feeling fulfilled. The organization hired many more people and provided for many more families because of the success. One program made an impact on hundreds of individuals, families, and communities. That is what it is all about.