What Every Leader Must Consider (Before It’s Too Late)
I have been living in Mississauga, a city west of Toronto, since 2011. In 2003, my journey to the USA transitioned me from Executive Director of a hospital in India to serve as Director of Finance of a USA 501c3 operating in 19 countries. Much of my work life has been non-profit management, consultancy, teaching, fundraising, human resource, healthcare, marketing, process improvement, automation, and CRM.
In 2004, Jaico Publishers in India released my book “What Employers Want But Business Schools Don’t Teach.” John Maxwell, author and management expert, wrote the foreword of the book in which he said:
“The words you’ll read are the words of a wise mentor. They are words you may not have heard from your professor. Take them to heart. Apply them to your life.”
Yet, Yasmin D’Souza, my co-author, and I were only half right. We were not wise enough to envision the pace of change. Learning at a school or university is a good exercise. However, it is no longer enough to equip us with all the expertise needed to provide executive leadership.
If it were not for my Dad, I would be in serious trouble today. When Dad was 50, he was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. The doctor’s prognosis put a lid on his dreams. They told him that he was dying.
“How long do I have to live?”
Dr. Biswas gently explained that it could be five, ten, or a maximum of fifteen years. Dad was a smoker. The doctor encouraged him to stop smoking.
George Bernard Shaw had said:
“Progress is impossible without change,
and those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything.”
Dad changed his lifestyle and quit smoking. He modified the way he ran his lock business. I watched how he wrapped up open-ended issues. As I observed him on his last lap, I made a silent resolution. I decided then that I would change my life when I am nearing my 50s. On my 48th birthday, while serving as an Executive Pastor in Canada, I remembered this resolution.
Here is what I thought:
“It doesn’t matter how you have run the hospital in India or worked as a management consultant. Neither does it matter that you have hosted over three hundred television programs. It matters little what you did as Director of Finance in the United States. You traveled for more than 200 days each year for over five years and served as head of North American charities. It doesn’t matter, Amitabh, what you did in the past. You are dying if you won’t change!”
I decided to press the reset button in 2015. I asked myself this one question:
“If I was graduating from university today, how would I choose to run my business or a charity or a church?”
This one question, inspired by what I had learned from my father, took me on a beautiful journey. After hundreds of hours of research, studies, brainstorming with experts, and getting my hands dirty in the workplace, I relearned how to organize for growth. In those years, I deep dived four areas of church administration:
- How do we increase revenue?
- How do we increase attendance?
- How do we decrease cost?
- How do we pursue excellence?
I ended up rewriting my mission statement and hung it on the wall. It reads:
“To help you achieve inspirational goals so that we can pursue excellence and change lives.”
I am part of a denomination in Canada where 68% of our churches have less than 100 people in attendance. This book is for you who wonder how change is possible within your limited budget or human resources constraints. I want to help you overcome obstacles that hinder you from growing and achieving the goals that inspire you and change lives.
This book has not been written for Fortune 500 company leaders with bigger budgets and a larger pool of available resources. The content of this book is relevant for churches, charities, and small businesses.
Change is inevitable. Learning to grow during change is a choice. I will help you take advantage of both.
Some are living in denial that they need to change. If you are tired of the status quo or afraid of the future, I have a few things to share with you. Here is what every leader should know before it’s too late. In a nutshell, by the time you reach the end of this book, it will all rest on one word that can take both of us forward.