Archives For Ambassador Enterprises

“Collaboration: being fully assertive and fully cooperative – at the same time” – Ambassador Enterprises, LLC

One thing I learned at AE was the value of collaboration and that it was often fiery and unpleasant; full of conflict with strong and intelligent people going at it over an idea. But the beautiful thing was that they weren’t trying to win an argument – they were trying to find the best solution for the problem at hand. It had nothing to do with their relationships / friendships – it was about doing their very best – as a team – to arrive at the best solution.

Following is part of an article from Harvard Business Review on how managers mistake cooperativeness for collaboration:

Having worked with hundreds of managers over the years, I’ve seen that very few admit to being poor collaborators, mostly because they mistake their cooperativeness for being collaborative. And indeed, most managers are cooperative, friendly, and willing to share information — but what they lack is the ability and flexibility to align their goals and resources with others in real time. Sometimes this starts at the top of the organization when senior leaders don’t fully synchronize their strategies and performance measures with each other. More often, however, the collaboration challenge resides with department heads, product leaders, and major initiative managers who need to get everyone on the same page – and shouldn’t wait for senior executives to force the issue for them.

Collaboration is hard work, but necessary if you want your organization to rise above being mediocre.


a time of transition

September 8, 2014

Fall 2013Good Monday morning! You can feel fall in the air here in the Midwest.

Transitions – they are filled with excitement and anxiety. Looking forward to the new and sad about what you are leaving. Transitions provoke a wide range of emotions. I know – we are in the midst of one right now.

This week marks a major transition for our family and for me professionally. This week will be my last days in the office at Ambassador Enterprises, LLC. We are headed back South so that we can be closer to family and to be able to see my parents more and to be able to help with them. As I told the leaders of Ambassador, I am not “leaving” Ambassador (AE), but rather moving toward a family responsibility.

I have learned much about myself, good processes, and leadership during my time here at AE. I have seen up close how to run a business with excellence and all done with Scripture as the guide and the major purpose being bringing glory to God. You can be in business and do well in business by running the business in accordance with God’s Word. Unfortunately, too many people think you can’t, but AE has proven them wrong.

AE has given me the opportunity to go in and help non-profits, ministries, and Christian colleges to get better as they serve the Lord and others. That is indeed a privilege. I have seen first-hand that one of the most effective ways to give is to give yourself – your knowledge, skills, abilities, and experience – to help others.

I am so grateful for the investment into my life by the leaders and team at AE and it shows that if a leader truly desires to run a business by God’s Word and to create a healthy culture where excellence is the standard, it is possible – but not easy. The leaders at AE determined what type of culture they wanted to create and have been relentless in their pursuit of that goal. It is not perfect, by any means, but it is one of the best cultures I have encountered.

If you, as a leader, want a healthy culture where people thrive, it is up to you. It can be done, but it won’t be easy and it is an ongoing effort – but it is worth it as you will change the lives of the people you touch.

So, we are about to turn a page in our lives as we head South to another great organization where we again will have the opportunity to serve others.

Have a great week! 


Empowering People

March 8, 2013

It is Friday! Hope you have great plans for your weekend. We are excited because it is supposed to get in the high 40’s here which will be nice for us.Keely - snow in March

How do you empower people? There are many ways, but one of the most effective is effective delegation. Here at Ambassador Enterprises delegation has been broken down into four phases:

1. DEFINE: This phase is all about quality up front and it is critical you get this phase right. Here you want to clearly communicate the  desired Results (goals and milestones), the Rules (parameters), the Roles (personnel and authority), the Resources (money, and support), and the Rewards.

2. ASSIGN: This is where you clearly communicate the task and ensure the individual not only understands, but concurs with the assigned task. Then you clearly hand over the task to the individual.

3. PROVIDE: Phase three is simply follow through. You are providing your delegate the authority, money, training, materials, facilities, support, and tools they need to accomplish the delegated task.

4. MONITOR: Then, you set up an appropriate system for checking on the progress and results. How you do this will vary with the experience and competence of the delegate and with the complexity of the task. It is a balancing act of you getting the information you need without unnecessary micro-management of the delegate.

Effective delegation is a great way to empower the members of your team, however, so many of us do it so poorly that we actually demotivate members of our team. Effective delegation is a skill that can and should be learned by leaders.

What have you learned about how best to delegate to others?

Blessings on your weekend!

A New Chapter

August 27, 2012

Good morning – rainy and warm here in southwest Michigan!

Our lives are a great story – an epic if you will and hopefully the primary theme throughout our story is Jesus Christ. Sprinkled throughout our story are chapters containing great joy, great pain, tremendous blessing, great loss, times of walking intimately with our Creator and times when He seems so far away and silent. Sometimes our story is an adventure novel, sometimes a tragedy, sometimes it is a love poem, and even at times a comedy!

We also have “chapters” in our lives and our family is about to enter a new chapter. For the past eleven years, we have served as deputized missionaries with Life Action Ministries here in southwest Michigan. God used this ministry to work deeply in our lives so many years ago at First Baptist Church of Brandon, Mississippi. We were overjoyed when we were finally able to join the staff of LIfe Action. Being a part of the community of Believers at Life Action is an extraordinary privilege. I have never encountered a group of people before that are so intent on living lives of authentic Christianity. Not perfect mind you, but always seeking to grow in their walk with the Lord and one another. We have been radically and forever changed by this community.

However, the Lord is now moving us. Beginning next week, I will go on staff with Ambassador Enterprises in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ambassador is a Christ-centered company that has long been a partner with Life Action. I will be partnering with a great guy, Randy Carman, in co-leading the Learning & Growth Division of Ambassador. The position is a great fit for me and Ambassador is a high-speed organization that seeks to exalt Christ and to advance His kingdom through business as well as coming alongside ministries and helping them to become even stronger.

I will become a part of Life Action’s Advisory Council and still attend and help with the Board of Directors’ meetings. Also, as part of my role at Ambassador, I will become a consultant to Life Action, especially in the areas of leader & people development.

The opportunity to serve at Ambassador is exciting for us and is a tremendous opportunity. However, leaving a people you love is never easy. And change is hard on a family. So, if the Lord brings us to your mind, we would appreciate your prayers as we “turn the page” to begin this new chapter in the life of our family.