Don’t you love the NEW Global Leadership Summit Podcast? Great reviews are pouring in every day! And everyone keeps asking about Jared C. Wilkins, our host whose cool, smooth voice is heard on every episode. We recently had a chance to sit down with Jared to ask about his story and where his passion for leadership started.
Q: Tell us about two leaders who have influenced you.
Jared Wilkins (JW): First, my Dad. He was a sharecropper, then at the age of 15, he moved north where he worked to provide for his mom back home. He had a tenacious work ethic and overcame difficult circumstances and became the first member of his family to attend college. Later he became pastor of a large church in North Carolina and an executive coach. My Dad taught me the value of never giving up and always giving it your all.
Another powerful influence in my life is Oscar Muriu, a pastor in Kenya who spoke at the Summit in 2013. He spoke about viral leadership and multiplying impact. I was a do-er—someone who likes to get stuff done quickly by running in, working like crazy and harvesting as much as I could. Pastor Muriu’s talk challenged me to be better at bringing people with me—bringing the next generation into the leadership pipeline.
Q: How has the Global Leadership Summit made an impact on your leadership?
JW: I was introduced to the Leadership Summit in 2005 when I attended a host site at a church in North Carolina. As I listened to messages and teaching from high-level leaders, I couldn’t believe a church was behind an event like this. Seeing a church that’s influencing people at this level put fire in my leadership.
Q: When did you first realize you had a leadership gift?
JW: When I was 9 or 10, I was asked to give remarks at a Christian gathering of about 800 people. When I was a little older, I realized that while I was talking, people were listening. It helped me recognize that I must have something of value to say.
Q: What aspect of leadership excites you?
JW: Like WCA, I believe the church is the greatest institution in the world. It’s at the forefront of leading people and it can make the world a lot better.
Q: What is your priority as a leader?
JW: Caring. Leaders must care about and value the people who are giving 40-50-60 hours a week for them and their vision. As a leader, I want to make sure people know that I want more for you than from you. If I live that out, I should be able to get things done.
Q: What are you learning about leadership?
JW: I’m a visionary, and I have to admit, I haven’t always been great on executing the vision. I’m reading “Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done” by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan. And I’m studying how to achieve vision.
Q: What is your advice for younger leaders?
JW: Don’t sacrifice people for your vision. It’s not worth it. Enjoy life. Be fully present with your family. Put the phone away. Play catch. Go bowling. Be present.
Q: What are your hopes for the GLS Podcast?
JW: I am proud of the fact that WCA is unashamedly Christian. We need business leaders whose ministry is their workplace. I pray people use these podcasts as a tool that makes them better leaders. It’s only 30 minutes long and everyone can find 30 minutes to set aside for development!
Jared C. Wilkins is a champion for community life. He leads leaders in developing strategies for creating authentic mid-sized and small group communities at Willow Creek Community Church. He is also the host of GLS podcast. He served as a teaching pastor in North Carolina before coming to Willow Creek.