Jason Young, director of guest services at Atlanta-based North Point Ministries
, is passionate about leadership and creating healthy, dynamic teams. Young, currently writing his second book on leadership, oversees the Leadership Development Program at Buckhead Church
and has consulted with a lengthy list of corporations including Ford Motor Co. and Chick-fil-A. We sat down with Young to hear more about the ideas driving his leadership philosophy.
What’s the concept behind your e-book “The Table of Influence?”
In pictures we always see important conversations happening around a table, like the Knights of the Round Table for example. In our modern day, we do the same thing. We invite people to meet for coffee or grab a bite to eat when we need to talk, and that’s the simple idea behind the book. It’s about asking yourself: What would it look like if I invited people around my metaphorical table to influence my life? The book helps people identify what kinds of people they need around their table in different moments. It answers the questions: How do you maximize their influence in your life, respect their time and come prepared? How do you invite the right voices in your life during each season?
Can you share what your new book is about?
It’s about the comeback effect, a concept that could be applied to a church leader or to a business. How do you get a customer or church attender to want to come back? [Check out the winter/spring 2017 issue of Connect Faith for more on this concept.]
Which factors are essential to good health for a team?
Key values are honesty, vulnerability, working hard and caring deeply for each other. I also value play, humor and giving permission to have space. A culture is healthy when people can have conflict but navigate through that without it becoming personal. We have to remain calm and consistent.
How do you apply these ideas to teams you lead?
I have to model what I ask my team to do. I’m clear about what they can expect from me and what I expect from them. I empower them to hold me accountable and let me know if they don’t see me doing what I said I would. [As a leader], you have to make sure there’s no retribution when someone approaches you for that conversation.
As an ambassador for growth and leadership, how do you nurture your own soul?
This is a priority to me. It’s what I work on the most and talk about the least. Learning is a driver for me, both professionally and spiritually, so I read a lot. God speaks to me through music too. There are songs I’ll listen to hundreds of times over.
What have you read lately?
I read about the British cycling team and how they began to search for 1 percent improvements that eventually became aggregational wins for their performance. They made minor adjustments, like changing the pillows they slept on so they’d get optimal sleep and switching the soap they used for hand-washing to prevent illness. All of these little changes added up, and they won the Tour de France and became a powerhouse. That story has been a driver for me. I don’t need to accomplish my annual goal in two months; it can take a year. I make tweaks in my schedule, decisions and growth and see gains over time.