The Get Off Your Attitude Radio Show is hosted by Ryan Lowe on 990 AM Radio in New Orleans, Louisiana and worldwide at  

The content below is taken from the February 14th Get Off Your Attitude Radio Show where Ryan Lowe and I discuss the faith-based leadership content of my two business leadership books: The Make It Happen Journey and Kings Come Forth. Besides reading the basic content of our discussion below, there is also a link to the actual podcast of the radio show at the end of this post.

 1.      As an executive business leader with more than 20 years of professional business leadership experience, a degree in Finance, a Masters in Business Administration, and a CPA, what caused you to make such a significant career transition from the business world into Christian ministry?

Well, after working for more than 16 years as a business executive at Ochsner, the place I was born and the place that helped cure my sister of cancer twice, it was a very difficult decision for me to choose to leave.  However, my wife and I really felt that the Lord was leading us in a new direction for our family and my life.  With that said, I guess it was sort of like when God called Abraham to leave the land of his family and move to a new land that God would show him.  Abraham had to trust God and leave the place of familiarity to move to a new place of faith in God.  It was the same with me, so I approached the President of Ochsner Health System and asked for the blessing to leave, even while Ochsner had been a wonderful place for me to work, learn, and grow as a business leader for so many years. With the President’s blessing to leave Ochsner, I took the huge step of faith trusting God to lead me on a new exciting faith adventure with Him. 

At that time, my church which is Church of the King in Mandeville, Louisiana was continuing to grow and needed some help with building the operational infrastructure to sustain the growth, so I joined the leadership team as a full-time volunteer for one year and then joined the paid staff as the CAO and an Associate Pastor at the end of that year. Now being on the staff for more than 2.5 years, it has been an awesome pleasure and privilege to be part of Senior Pastor Steve Robinson’s Lead Team and working with the tremendous leadership team at Church of the King to believe God and to make a big impact in His kingdom.  At Church of the King, we build people and with 4,000 to 5,000 people attending services each week at our 4 campus locations across the Gulf South region – Little Creek Campus in Mandeville, North Causeway Campus in Mandeville, Gulf Coast Campus in Biloxi, and our South Shore Campus in Metairie – we are making a significant difference reaching people with the love of God and building lives in our community.

2.      Besides being on the Lead Team at Church of the King in New Orleans, you are also the President and Founder of The Make It Happen Learning Institute. What is The Make It Happen Learning Institute and why did you create the organization?

The Make It Happen Learning Institute is a leadership development and professional coaching organization that I created in 2003 to help leaders in the marketplace to build organizations on faith-based leadership principles from the Word of God and help create cultures of empowerment that unleash people’s God-given potential to make a difference in life.  The vision of The Make It Happen Learning Institute is Reaching People, Unleashing The Extraordinary! ®.  Through the team values and the leadership principles that I teach as an executive leadership coach, I believe business leaders in the marketplace are effectively engaged, equipped, empowered, and encouraged to build their teams and their organizations to the glory of God and the benefit of others. 

Unfortunately, when I first became a leader, even though I had an MBA, a CPA, and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, I quickly realized that I needed to learn some things about being a leader which I had not learned in college.  Therefore, I began to attend leadership conferences and also reading all kinds of leadership books to help me become an effective leader. Then I realized that even though learning about leadership was helpful in my personal leadership growth and development, it would be even more helpful to my team if I could help teach them the leadership principles that I was learning as a leader; therefore, I started a leadership development book club called The Make It Happen Leadership Development College to help the leaders on my team grow and develop as leaders also.  I called it The Make It Happen Leadership Development College because we were learning things from leadership books that were not taught in college.  From that little leadership development book club came the idea for the founding of The Make It Happen Learning Institute to not only help the leaders on my teams to  grow as leaders but to also help the leaders in other organizations to grow and develop as leaders as well.

3.      Tell me about your book The Make It Happen Journey.  What is the book about and what was your motivation for writing the book?

The Make It Happen Journey is my very first book that I wrote and it is about the journey I took with my team at Ochsner Health System to build an extraordinary team of make it happen people.  In fact, I had never really set out to be an author; however, as I was building my team on Make It Happen Team Values, I discovered, as Ken Blanchard would say, “values needed to be lived and not framed”, so I was constantly living, breathing, teaching, and modeling the values every day with my team and also teaching my leaders to do the same. Therefore, as a result of doing that for a few years, I thought that it would be helpful to actually write all of the values and leadership principles in a book so that my leaders could use it as a leadership tool and reference with their own teams.  So I started writing the book; however, after writing one chapter, I became discouraged and actually quit until sometime later when one of the leaders on my team began to encourage me to start again and finish it.  He was an entrepreneur who was writing and self-publishing medical coding books to help medical coders become certified professional medical coders and he believed that I could do the same with my book by writing it and self-publishing it.  So with his encouragement, I decided to get up early every morning to write the book and self-publish it.

Additionally, the Bible says that the two greatest commandments in the kingdom of God is to love the Lord with all your, heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself.  As servant leaders in the kingdom of God, I believe every leader has the spiritual leadership responsibility to do this with the help of God in their respective teams and businesses.  There are many examples of business leaders who are successfully building their organizations on the values and leadership principles of the Bible.  For example, Chick-Fila, Hobby Lobby, and Interstate Batteries are just a few of the many businesses that are building their organizations on biblical leadership principles and are thriving in the marketplace as a result.  The lie of the devil is that it can’t be done, but the truth is that it can be done and it can be done well!

4.      Of the nine team values that you write about in The Make It Happen Journey, describe which values you think have the biggest impact in building an extraordinary team?

Well, I believe that all of the Make It Happen Team Values are very important, however, before I share the importance of those values, I’d like to share how they came about.  At the time I was given leadership responsibility for my large division at Ochsner, it was no secret that we were having significant problems in performance.  In fact, prior to my leadership assignment for the division, our division had three different leaders in three short years, so the life cycle of the leader responsible for the division was not very good at all and I was seriously wondering if it would be any different for me.  With that as a reality, I knew that I had a major challenge on my hands and was majorly concerned about my ability to make the changes that needed to be made, until one evening when I heard a physician colleague share a personal story about his family’s vacation experience flying Southwest Airlines.

He said they were on their flight home from being out west when they landed in Dallas with a three to four-hour layover. However, as his family was waiting in the lobby, he noticed there was a plane at the gate headed for New Orleans, their final destination, and passengers were beginning to board right at that time. So, he went to the ticket counter and asked the agent if it would be possible for he and his family to get on that plane instead of waiting several hours for their flight. The ticket agent happily checked the system and found that there were, in fact, enough open seats on the plane for him and his family. However, she told him that, because the plane was leaving in just a few moments, there would be no way Southwest Airlines could retrieve their luggage in enough time to get it on the plane. My colleague considered this dilemma for a minute and then decided that they would prefer to fly home sooner than later, and that they would just have the luggage delivered to their home once it arrived. Therefore, he and his family immediately received their tickets and boarded the departing plane.

After he was seated on the plane, he peered out the window and, to his astonishment, he noticed that his luggage was sitting on a cart right outside the plane. Because of this, he hastily called over the flight attendant, who was wearing a “Can Do” pin, and asked her a simple question, “Is it true that you (Southwest) are really the ‘Can Do’ people? After she contemplated his question for a moment, she confidently answered, “Yes, why do you ask?” With that, he succinctly explained to her the situation regarding the connection his family was making and the fact that because of the lack of time, Southwest would not be able to get their luggage on the plane before the plane departed. He further mentioned that, as he sat there, he noticed his luggage just outside on a cart. With all that said, he then challenged the flight attendant by saying, “If you (Southwest) really are the ‘Can Do’ people, then it seems to me that you could find a way to get my luggage on this plane.” After listening attentively to his plea, the flight attendant politely responded to his challenge by saying, “I guess you’re right. Let me take you to the pilot so we can talk to him about this situation.” In the meantime, the door to the plane had just been closed.

Now, I’m not sure how widely known this is, but Southwest has one of the fastest turnaround times in the airline industry, for getting people on and off their planes an back in the air. The reason they do this is that everyone in the company knows the company makes money when planes are in the air, not when they are on the ground. As a result, they build all of their processes and structures to support a quick turnaround, hence their policy of no assigned or first class seats. So, with that in mind, I am sure you can imagine that at that moment just before the flight, the pilot, probably considered the most important person on the plane, was doing some pretty important things preparing the plane for a safe flight. I say that the pilot is probably considered the most important person on the plane because he or she is the person who has the lives of all the crew and passengers in his or her hands as they travel from one city to the next. If the pilot does his job well, everyone lives and gets to where they are going safe and sound. If he does not do his job well, there could be all sorts of problems. With that as a possibility, I guess you might agree that the pilot has a pretty important job. However, the flight attendant challenged by my colleague regarding their “Can Do” value did not hesitate for one moment to interrupt the pilot from what he was doing to prepare the plane for their safe flight. Of course, this was before 9/11, when access to the pilots and the cockpit was unrestricted.

When the pilot stopped what he was doing to hear the situation, he quickly responded by asking my colleague one question, “Do you have your baggage claim tickets?” With an affirmative answer, the pilot then asked him to give him the claim tickets. Once the tickets were handed over, the pilot then climbed out of his seat, walked to the door of the plane, opened it, whistled to a ground crew member, and shouted, “Hey, you over there, could you please grab this luggage and hand it to me?” The person on the ground quickly took the claim tickets, matched them to the proper luggage, and then swiftly handed it to the pilot so they could put it on the plane. As the pilot then closed the door, he turned to my former colleague, handed him his luggage, smiled, and simply declared, “You know, it’s fun to be that good!” Then he stepped back into the cockpit and safely flew their family and their luggage home to New Orleans.

When I heard him tell this story, it was like I was struck by lightning. I was left awestruck by his experience with that entire flight team at Southwest and I knew instantly that I needed to build my team with that same kind of “Can Do” spirit and teamwork if we were going to be able to turn things around for our team mates and customers. So I went back to my team, shared the Southwest “Can Do” story with them and asked them if they thought we could build the same kind of team. With their encouraging yes, I promised to do everything I could to serve them as their leader and help them make it happen in faith. I told them that we couldn’t be the “Can Do” people of Southwest, but from that day forward, we would be the “Make It Happen” people at Ochsner and I began to define our Make It Happen Team Values as a team which are fully described in The Make It Happen Journey to help other leaders do the same with their teams.

5.      Besides writing The Make It Happen Journey, you have also written a second book titled Kings Come Forth. Why did you choose such a title for your second book and what is the basic message of the book?

Yes, Kings Come Forth is an interesting title for my second book; however, I believe that it fully captures the essence of the message contained in the book. While The Make It Happen Journey is written in the make-it-happen language of business for any business leader in business whether they have faith in God or not – if businesses don’t make it happen in business, they go out of business – Kings Come Forth is written specifically to encourage, equip, engage, and empower men and women of faith in the kingdom of God (royalty) to rise up in their spiritual leadership responsibility in the marketplace as business leaders (modern-day kings and queens) and make a huge difference in our community for the glory of God and the benefit of others. In the Bible, there are three identified roles in the kingdom of God – Priest, Prophet, and King. In Kings Come Forth, business leaders in the marketplace will find the scriptural references and support for their spiritual leadership roles in the marketplace as kings in the kingdom of God.

Furthermore, as a complementary leadership resource, The Make It Happen Journey, can be used by any business leader – whether they have faith in God or not – to build a solid team that makes a significant difference in the community and the lives of people.  In Philippians 4:13, the Bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” In the make-it-happen language of the marketplace, this means, “I can make it happen through Christ who gives me strength.” The Make It Happen Team Values in The Make It Happen Journey helps business leaders chart a course to build their businesses and their teams on the “can do” principles of the Word of God with excellence and wisdom. Because Joshua and Caleb possessed the “can do” Spirit of God, in faith they gave a good report of the Promised Land and declared in Numbers 13:30, “Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it” (The Message).

I believe that God has given the body of Christ the land of the business community, however, business leaders must believe like Joshua and Caleb that we can take the land and make it happen in Christ. Therefore, The Make It Happen Journey is written as a leadership tool to effectively equip business leaders with practical faith-based values that can create team cultures of excellence that benefit people in business, unleash people’s God-given potential to make a difference in life, and glorify God as the King of kings and Lord of lords.

6.      In Kings Come Forth, you describe two distinct leadership styles in the marketplace.  Which style do you think is the most prevalent style and why?

The distinction between a king that troubles or oppresses and a king that prevails with God is an important distinction because modern-day kings in the marketplace—business leaders—whether they know it or not, are leading with a prevalent tendency toward one or the other of these two distinctly different leadership expressions. The business leader who leads as a king that troubles or oppresses leads with a spirit of taskmaster and possesses defining taskmaster leadership character traits. And likewise, the business leader who leads as a king that prevails with God leads with a spirit of servant leadership and possesses defining servant leadership character traits.

Taskmaster leaders have leadership character traits such as:

• Internal motivation driven by power

• Ego-centric perspective focused on self

• Decisions grounded in fear and insecurity

• Tasks people without the proper tools and resources

• Takes from people more than gives to them

• Recognizes self accomplishments at the expense of others

• Tears people down physically, spiritually, and emotionally

The story of Pharaoh in the Bible provides a classic example of a leader with a spirit of taskmaster. In this taskmaster environment, the leader is the most important person on the team, the people are there to merely serve the boss, and the customers receive the lowest service priority. Unfortunately, such a leader today puts profit over people by tasking them with rigor, doubling the quota, and taking away the straw without any regard for their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

On the other hand, servant Leaders have leadership character traits such as:

• Internal motivation driven by influence

• People-centric perspective focused on others

• Decisions grounded in faith and security

• Equips people with the proper tools and resources

• Gives to people more than takes from them

• Recognizes the accomplishments of others at the expense of self

• Builds people up physically, spiritually, and emotionally

The story of Nehemiah in the Bible provides a classic example of a leader with a spirit of servant leadership. In this servant leadership environment, the leader is the least important person on the team, the leaders are there to serve the people, and the customers receive the highest service priority. Such a leader today puts people over profit and serves people by giving them everything they need to win in life – personally and professionally – with the highest regard for their spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being. And as a result, the people serve their customers with the highest care and concern.

Unfortunately, when leaders in the marketplace today lead with a spirit of taskmaster, I think they just don’t know that they can lead differently and actually have the blessing and favor of God to  help them if they are willing to learn how  to lead with a spirit of servant leadership instead. The simple truth is that leaders who prevail with God and build their teams on biblical values and leadership principles will be blessed with the greatest talent on their teams and the highest performance because people want to be cared about and customers want too be served with excellence.

7.      Where can people purchase your books and how can they learn more about The Make It Happen Learning Institute?

The best way for people to learn more about The Make It Happen Learning Institute is to visit my faith-based leadership insights blog for marketplace leaders at On the blog, there is all kind of free leadership material and information that can help resource leaders to make a significant difference in the community by building their teams and organizations to the glory of God and the benefit of others.

To check out the podcast of the Get Off Your Attitude Radio Show hosted by Ryan Lowe where Ryan and I discuss the faith-based leadership content of The Make It Happen Journey and Kings Come Forth, please Click Here.

To see the short video book trailer for Kings Come Forth and The Make It Happen Journey, please Click Here.

Lastly, please join me on the make it happen faith adventure in the marketplace to build teams and businesses for the glory of God and the benefit of people by sharing this faith-based leadership discussion transcript of my guest visit on the Get Off Your Attitude Radio Show with your family, friends, and colleagues. Many thanks and blessings!

Copyright 2012, The Make It Happen Learning Institute.  You have permission to reprint this discussion transcript, in its entirety only, and forward to your colleagues and friends, provided the copyright notice remains part of the reprint and transmission.  All other rights reserved.