March 13, 2012
Jeremie Kubicek told OBU students the secret to changing the world.
A native of Shawnee, Okla., the entrepreneur returned to his alma mater from Atlanta, Ga., where he leads GiANT Impact, to present the 2012 Minter Lectureship in Business, Leadership and Christian Ministry on Monday, March 12, in OBU’s Geiger Center.
The way a person changes the world, he said, begins with following Jesus.
Kubicek told how his desire to influence leadership began during his time at OBU under the tutelage of business professor Dr. John Cragin. He traveled to Asia and saw how companies use business as their platform to influence others. He traveled to Russia to build a company, Global Options, which grew out of a senior business project. The experience offered an opportunity to teach English and what he calls “Jesus principles” -– the lessons based in humility that Jesus taught during his ministry on Earth -– to young leaders.
After returning to the United States, Kubicek eventually created the GiANT company to bridge the gap between being a full-time follower of Jesus and the business world. He aims to reach the business leaders and church leaders of today with the same “Jesus principles” which apply to all people. GiANT, he said, is built on his motto: “Let the world fund you to influence it.”
Today, through the company’s Chick-fil-A Leadercast, 125,000 business leaders in 800 cities across the country are drawn to the lessons presented by high-profile speakers promoting humility-based leadership, rather than pride-based leadership. Nine Catalyst conferences across the country reinforce the humility-based principles to leaders in the church.
“We need humility-based leaders in the church, and we need humility-based leaders in the business world, and we need humility-based leaders in the government,” Kubicek said. “We need humility-based leaders in healthcare and education.”
What defines humility-based leaders, he said, is they have nothing to prove, nothing to lose and nothing to hide. They feel secure in who they are.
“When we create a culture in America of secure, confident leaders, it starts to sway and change the world,” Kubicek said. “The way you change the world is to change the individual. And when you change the leader, it means you first have to change yourself. So if you want to be someone, if you want to be an influence for Jesus, the best thing you can do is follow him.”
Kubicek said a person who desires to influence others must come to a place of responsive, obedient submission and humility before God, versus pride-based resistant leadership. He gave the example of Saul versus David, and he said the two biblical leaders provide a worthy topic of study for any future leader. Saul represents a prideful leader, and David, despite his significant faults, represents a repentant, humble leader.
“The biggest problem we see in corporate America is we have a bunch of little kids running around in suits,” Kubicek said. “They’re all blaming their brother or sister. They are preserving themselves because they have something to prove, they have something to hide, and they have something to lose.”
Kubicek said pride must be routed out of the culture for the culture to be successful as a whole. He said everyone bears seeds of pride, and a person can choose to deal with that pride or allow it to take over. He said Jesus brought humility to the Earth to reintroduce humility as a leader. GiANT, in turn, reintroduces humility to the leaders of today based on Jesus’ life principles.
As a project toward that goal, the company is launching a faux presidential campaign, “Humble for President,” to bring nationwide focus to the principle of humility. Every president in the United States -– whether the president of a company, an organization or another type of group -– is invited to take a stance on the project.
“If you can yield yourself before Jesus, if you can yield yourself to the point where, if he says, ‘Follow Me,” that you would give up the cares of the world, the desire for riches, and the desire for anything else; that you get to the place where you’re not going to be choked out by what the world offers, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, of what the world provides; if you can get to the place where you can look and become a humble leader by following the Humble Leader … if you can get to that place, you will have a chance to change the world,” Kubicek said. “You will change your world, and when we have a bunch of people changing their world because they’re changed, then we can see progress. Then we can see the Kingdom advance at amazing speed.”
The Minter Lectureship in American Business Practice, underwritten by 1940 OBU graduate Lloyd G. Minter of Bartlesville, Okla., is designed to provide orientation and training for students in the history and nature of the American economic system and to help students understand and appreciate the professional community. It also promotes proper management of personal finances.
Kubicek is president and CEO of GiANT Impact and co-founder of GiANT. He is the author of “Leadership Is Dead: How Influence is Reviving It,” named a bestseller by The Wall Street Journal and INC. Magazine.
For more information about GiANT Impact, click here.
For more information about the “Humble for President” campaign, click here.