Today I have the great pleasure of interview Bernard Haynes. He is the CEO of Lead To Impact and specializes in inspiring, coaching and training organizations and individuals with vision discovery, leadership development, spiritual renewal, life purpose and team empowerment. You can connect with Bernard at his blog, on Twitter, or Facebook.
1. Joseph Lalonde: Bernard, would you mind telling my readers a little about yourself? What you do, your hobbies, anything else you’d like them to know about you?
Bernard Haynes: I have been happily married for 16 years to my beautiful wife, Dana and we have 2 wonderful boys Jordan (15) and Jalen (6). I am a minister, writer, inspirational speaker and vision impact coach and CEO of Lead to Impact, a vision empowerment company. I currently work as National Sales Manager and Quality Manager for Rescue Technology, a company that distributes Technical Rescue Equipment. I enjoy reading, playing board games, watching sports, inspiring people, listening to Jazz and working on my blog.
2. We all find ourselves in a leadership position in different ways. Sometimes it’s a title bestowed upon us. Other times we had to step up to the plate and take the lead. How did you find yourself in a leadership position?
BlueWater Ropes was the first job I had after graduating from college. Within two years, I was in a key leadership position. I had worked in production for a year and in customer service for a year. There was a position opening for Production Manager that I knew I would be an ideal fit for. I knew I could handle the position because after working in production and the customer service I had a great understanding of the overall business. I talked it over with the Vice President of the company and he agreed. Two months later, I was production manager of a major climbing and rescue rope company. A few years later, a couple of people left in sales and marketing and I was promoted to General Manager/Director of Sales. I worked for this company a total of 12 ½ years where I worked in a number of other leadership positions from Quality Manager, Logistics and P&L management.
3. What have you found most pleasing in your role as a leader?
The most pleasing thing I have found in my role as leader is inspiring and developing leaders. I like to see it when people understand that leadership is not based on what position or title an individual holds. They gain the wisdom that everyone has the potential to be a leader in some capacity. I especially love to see when a man realizes that he is called to be an effective leader by example to his wife if he is married and children if he has any and to others that are connected to him in ministry, job or business.
4. I love your heart in regards to inspiring those who are not in leadership positions. Everyone has the ability to lead whether or not they have the title. How do you encourage those not in a traditional leadership position to lead?
I encourage them by explaining to them that God placed them here to influence someone’s life in some way. It does not matter if they have a title because titles are given by man and can be easily taken away. I explain to them you are a leader if you have a spouse, children, friends, coworkers, relatives or anyone that comes in contact with you. You lead by our attitudes, actions and talk. One of the definitions of leadership is influence. And a major way we influence people is by our actions.
5. Many leaders find work and family life collide violently. One demands our attention while the other requires it. How do you deal with the demands of your family with the demands of your leadership?
Joseph, I have learned in my leadership roles in ministry, church and home that my home comes first. I believe that my home life should be greater representation of my leadership. I made a vow several years ago that I was going to spend quality and quantity time with my spouse and children. I was not going to have my children grown and not have good memories of us spending time together. I did not want them or my spouse to say that I spent more time leading others than leading them. I have learned that you can help build a company for years and be unexpectedly let go. You can work tirelessly in ministry and not be appreciated. I have seen leaders burned themselves out for everyone, but the people that needed their leadership. My family has been there when everyone else was gone. I make my leadership demands easier for me by focusing on leading my family first and everything flows from that. I have more to say, but I will stop.
6. What is the one characteristic you think all leaders should possess? Why?
I believe the one characteristic every leader should possess is integrity. A leader’s integrity is who he is when everyone is looking and what he stands for when no one is looking. I believe when we walk in integrity based upon the principles found in God’s Word, our personal, professional and ministry lives will become more influential and impactful to a frustrated and discouraged generation. Integrity is the glue that holds our values together. When we have deficiencies in integrity, our value system becomes tainted.
7. We’ve seen great companies fall from a lack of integrity. Companies like Enron imploded. Is a leader doomed if he lacks integrity? Can integrity be taught?
I believe we teach integrity by they way we live. The best way to display integrity to others is by our actions. We have taught the classes and gave the definitions on what is integrity and how to live by integrity. The greatest example is to live a life of integrity. I believe one of the major reasons our society is lacking integrity is because it has not been taught to our children by our daily actions. I believe a leaders credibility can be ruin because of a lack of integrity. A lack of integrity can doom your leadership influence and effectiveness.
8. People come and go in our lives. Yet they all touch us in some way. Who do you feel has had the greatest impact on your life? How did they impact your life?
My father had the greatest impact in my life. He impacted my life the way he treated people. He did exactly what the Bible teacher to have no respect of persons. He treated everyone the same no matter if you were a millionaire or did not have a penny to your name. He loved to encourage people. I saw him work hard and provide for his family. He didn’t have a bunch of fancy degrees, a matter of fact he did not have a high school degree, but I saw his incredible work ethic that allowed him to make more money and enjoy life more than people with degrees. What really impacted me was to see the people lives that my father touched after he passed. People would stop me in stores and tell me how he encouraged them. I will never forget talking to a lady that had tears in her eyes when she told me that my father was the only man that ever encouraged her that she could achieve her dreams. He had a gift that he used to empower others and it showed me that I can do the same and it doesn’t matter where I am in life.
9. Our lives seem to carry a certain rhythm. Our best work times vary person to person. How has your rhythm affected your work schedule?
My rhythm has affected my work schedule in that I stay up late working on my business. I get into rhythm when I am writing, reading and thinking of new things around 10:00 at night. I turn on the TV for background noise and go to work. I get caught up sometime and forget the time. I am sometimes up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. I have to watch myself because I have to get up around 6:30 am for my job.
10. Pleasing others is a struggle many leaders face. We don’t want to cause discourse or dissatisfaction. Describe how you handle these delicate situations.
I had serious struggles in the beginning with my leadership trying to please everyone. I found out early that you can’t possibly please everyone. You may please them one day and the next day you can offend them. You will drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone. I handle these situations by being up front and honest with an individual. I lay everything out in a respectable way. I let the individual or individuals know that the situation not only affects them, but others. I have dealt with some very delicate situations that I knew was going to cause discourse or could get ugly, but being the leader I knew I had to handle them. I am still working on how to handle these delicate situations because it is different for every situation.
11. Final question. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What did you have for breakfast today?
I had oatmeal with a little honey and a banana.
Whew! Bernard knocked it out with his answers, huh? I hope you enjoyed gaining leadership insights from Bernard and his experience. If you enjoyed what you read, be sure to visit his site and tell him thanks.
Question: If you had a chance to ask Bernard any leadership question, what would you ask him? Who else would you like to see interviewed at JMLalonde.com? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.