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7 Questions with Michael E Thomas Jr

helps you in your leadership.

 

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Jonno White

7 Questions with Michael E Thomas Jr

Name: Michael E Thomas Jr

Current title: Apostolic - Founder

Current organisation: New Millennium Faith Church

I always tell folks it's much easier to ask me questions about me! I am so bad at this. Firstly, when I say God is my strength and first position I mean that in every area of my life, service and businesses. Without Him I am not able to achieve what He has allowed me to achieve - period. Before this epiphany/revelation I thought I was something. I'm married and my wife and I are really down to earth and enjoy the mountains and the oceans when we travel. Anything with water and mountains I am there. I'm dad to the last of our blended tribe of 6 (she is 11 yrs) the rest of our adult kids are scattered around the states. I am an avid cyclist having completed 2 century rides here in the Midwest. I am a teacher at heart because I like learning and at this stage in my life I enjoy giving back especially to the next generation here in our community and globally. Looking back I was the first minority police officer serving the Village of Roscoe. My grandmother before she entered heaven told me, ' You can write a book." I got the chance to play professional and semi baseball and football. I with the help of my wife created a life coaching system called Identity on Demand. Interestingly, a day after my birthday many years ago when Hurricane Katrina hit our gulf coast states, I prayed and went to serve with the American Red Cross and became a DAT (Disaster Assessment Team Leader then assistant director of HIV/AIDS at the Rock River Branch of Northern Illinois). Then Got the chance to work for ARC at their headquarters (Falls Church, VA) and that helped me tremendously in disaster preparedness. I have endured being homeless in two separate seasons (the last time with my family 4/2015-7/2017 what a time this was with our little one and proposed to this assignment I am in the middle of. When I am not riding you will find me watching sports, oh yeah I am building an exciting library with my wife. I enjoy golfing with the girl's. I like creating opportunities for others to excel and generate creativity that becomes a source for them. Really in this phase of my life I am learning how to be content and understanding better how to live in wisdom even though more times than not I believe I am much younger and can still round circles around some of these millennials. But who would not think this way if the competitive nature in them didn't drive them? This sounds good to wet your appetite. So many life lessons got me to this point. I am now a published author preparing to release my second book. Remember Grandma said, 'I could write a book!'

7 Questions with Michael E Thomas Jr

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

This is two fold because of changing dynamics of language, traditions, cultures and understanding our leaders and those working under them that come to the table. First part of the most is training our awesome women who are a part of our leadership who in many cases because of their country traditions are classified as second class citizens getting them to acceptance of their value and how we will support them so that when they are leading this organization backs them and supports them with ongoing training and putting support around them. Secondly, It is at this table that I must spread so that all have a seat, can play their role and playing their role means having the ability to express and help set the table. Especially when working with multiple men and women from different nations and you want to come to a consensus on how to advance your vision's, goals and purpose. I have learned that if I do not adapt to understanding their experiences and what they bring to the table from their education or training then our global vision cannot advance. I tell each of them this, "you all are an important piece to this global puzzle that we put together. I have been given the whole picture but each of you is an important piece to this process." This challenge is like pouring a whole bunch of ingredients - (let's say 24) into a big 10 gallon tank and all these ingredients are beneficial to the taste of what you are working to make. It becomes challenging to make sure what I am tasked to lead creates opportunity for our leadership to grow and attracts others to the work because they see leadership working in harmony to the vision, purpose regardless of all of our different backgrounds and ages.

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I became the executive minister in 2007. I said yes earlier that year (October) while attending a church meeting one of the elder's caught me totally off guard and this was His moment - this appointment for me was real I could not say no to this appointment. I think back to when my paternal grandmother told me, "Michael God is going to use you mightily!" I didn't believe her then but I do now. After the appointment I went to the leadership to ask questions one was, "Someone show me the how to's"? I went on a trip to Nepal after receiving and accepting the appointment to lead the ministry that eventually churned out the church and our other enterprises (women school in Deira Dubai and our new Kingdom ministry college). I had combined experience as a police officer, entrepreneur but this was different because I had to build and equip leadership as a servant. It was my time in Kathmandu, Nepal where God not only led me there (of all places) but He encountered me. This became real and the instructions I received that ultimately He initiated and I willfully followed because this is His business I am placed into as its leader. I returned back to the states and He began to have other's who ultimately become my spiritual father's reach out to me and they became my counsel. I didn't choose this role for myself.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

Well I am completing another vocational transition as an overseer at the moment of this interview. It is Interesting how I am answering this question. Had this question been asked one month earlier you would have learned I am all over the place with my time - before My wife likes to tell me, your days are backwards and I don't know how you do what you do on little sleep". I just tell her I keep doctor hours. My days since 2009 have fluctuated because I tend to get my rest between 4:30am and 12:30 pm. Because many of our church systems are anywhere between 8 - 12 hours ahead of our time-zone I. Presently I like the days not being mundane and different. It keeps my attention to the goals and vision I have been given. Presently, I structure my working day this way. I wake up between 12 p - 1 p depending if I have a morning meeting or ministry work. My wake up also depends upon the previous day's events and what is on my calendar. I get up getting me in order (jump into my clothes, head for the bathroom, get bed straightened and head out the door saying goodbye to the family. {again, depending on the season - in school or summer Jill is with our little one - During school season I teach at 1 pm}. I do not spend a lot of time in my office. I make my schedule most effective in the afternoon for my meetings. When I am serving at our ministry business that is between 10a - 1p. Normally between 3 - 4 :30 I catch up with Jill (we are speaking via phone throughout the day) and look into church emails and return phone calls. The nights I am teaching with our leadership I prepare for an hour. When Jill is not cooking I tend to cook because I like and enjoy serving our family at dinner time keeps me present with them. After dinner it was either prepping for my weekly ministry podcast with one of my elder brother's. Wednesday/Thursday I host our leadership in our home for building. tThese nights meetings will run up to 10 pm. Afterwards I am with Jill to catch up or relax playing games. After she heads for bed I am then turning to our social media platforms for video training/ equipping with our global leadership. 2- 4 pm is my time of worship/praise and 4 nights out of my week this is where I am on my night rides cycling around for 18-25 miles. I get home about 4am when I am out and head into praise and prayer then rest. I wish I could be that guy that says I keep a daily 9-5 schedule but I have learned life happens outside of prescribed corporation timelines. So my shift fluctuates day and night and the moment I shut down all my gadgets shut down until I am ready to turn them back on. With the new role as overseer and CEO to the ministry school I am prioritizing those needs based upon my blueprint to the different organizations.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

Most recent lesson (2-part) I have learned was at the death of my last living spiritual father. The lesson is simple for me as my elders have told me this thing right here. Take all the words and teachings and moments they have poured into you and now use them to build the vision and do what they did. If not better apply yourself 100% in your purpose no one else can hold your hand to increase and become successful. It seems everything has two parts to it. I just learned from one of our leader's that I cannot create opportunities for them no matter how hard I work to influence others. We all must learn how to create opportunities by learning this word called cooperation.

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 book I was given by one of my elder's called God's Generals by Roberts Lairdon. For the longest time Apostle Tim would tell me about some of the generals of the 1800's to 1900's but I was never released to learn about them all until 2016. This book was given to me and added to my library but I could not touch it. This book impacted me greatly because I got to read and discover how these men and women from the UK and America lead. How not only were they minister's but they also created opportunities like building radio stations, newspapers, creating school's to teach others what they knew. I learned how success and power came to be the downfall for some but to read how humble many lived yet they had a sphere of influence that attracted people from all around the world including world leaders. Not that I wanted to emulate them but to learn from what they did. Who they were and their upbringing including education and how they ended up and the legacy they have left behind for a guy with no name like me to pick up the scent(sort of speaking) on the path they left behind. Keeps me eyes fixed on the goal and purpose of those in leadership who are in pursuit of a common goal.

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Throughout my years as a leader and now overseer I have accomplished a detailed questionnaire that each of our leadership we acquire those to be mentored and trained as an important part of our team our people receives our specifically developed leadership questionnaire that not only helps us learn who we are working with but also allow us to use in house organization system of tools and methods needed to equip and encourage them to become successful people as an extension to this organization. We help them help themselves as they learn ways to identify with who they were born to be that will serve them in furthering their vision and purpose as they lead others who are desiring or appointed and or commissioned to be leaders themselves. Like building a train adding the car to each other so that each being added will have the means and capacity to come to the lead car and lead while implementing to others how they got to where they got and what they learned that increased them.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

One of the greatest stories I can share out of so many is this one. After writing a letter to the Dubai Chaplaincy and receiving a call from our President of the small school that we got permission with the help of the Catholic church being our religious advocate to open up our first women's school in Deira, Dubai in 2013. I was really proud when our students who completed their 2 years received their certificates from us with my signatures. To know this organization was a vehicle that was used to empower and educate our daughters was significant to me. I have many others but this one has a sentimental place with me - of all countries Dubai. But God!