Join us today for the Interview with Tom Kerestzti, author of C-Suite and Beyond: The 4 Keys to Leadership Success...

This is the interview I had with author, coach, speaker, educator, and mentor Tom Kereszti.  

In today’s podcast episode I interview Tom Kereszti about his journey to discovering how his faith and life helped him lead others. I also ask Tom to share with you why we need to really answer the important questions for our life. Tom also shares some insights from his book C-Suite and Beyond.

Join in on the Chat below.

Episode 1397: Interview with Tom Kereszti about Biblical Leadership for the C-Suite

[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1, 397 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.

[00:00:10] Tom Kereszti: I'm Tomerestzesti. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence, and impact the world by using your time, your talent,

[00:00:25] Having the ability to find the keys to leadership is key in any way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this, the Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott M Maderer

[00:00:45] So ask yourself this question, who are you? What are you passionate about and what are you good at? Now when you have clarity on those three questions, you will not be living to go to a nine to five job. In fact, you probably wouldn't even be, you know, thinking about [00:01:00] a career, but you'll start beginning to think about your calling.

[00:01:02] What is your calling? And. Uh, that's, I think that's, uh, that's the highest level, uh, that we aspire to is just to live your calling.

[00:01:10] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling.

[00:01:25] In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you

[00:01:41] In today's podcast episode, I interviewed Tom Koretsi about his journey to discovering how his faith and life helped him lead others. I also asked Tom to share with you why we really need to answer the important questions for our life. And Tom also shares some insights from his book, C Suite and [00:02:00] Beyond.

[00:02:01] I've got a new book coming out. Called Inspired Living, assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information Inspired Living. That's inspired

[00:02:22] Inspired living. Tom Kezi is an industry influencer, Arthur coach, speaker, educator, and mentor. His approach to leadership comes from a lifetime of international experience. His servant leadership principles are time proven and based on biblical foundations. His book, C Suite and Beyond, The Four Keys to Leadership Success, put these principles down for leaders to learn from.

[00:02:49] He is down to earth and able to strike a balance between business challenges and common sense solutions. His motivational and engaging style will leave you with [00:03:00] practical and applicable solutions that you can put into practice. Welcome to the show, Tom!

[00:03:06] Tom Kereszti: Scott, so happy to be with you today.

[00:03:09] Scott Maderer: Absolutely.

[00:03:10] I'm glad to have you. So I talked a little bit in the intro and shared a little bit about you and the book and some of the other work that you've been doing. But intros are like Instagram photos, right? We always show just a snapshot and it's always the good snapshot it never shares the whole story.

[00:03:29] So can you talk a little bit about your journey and what brought you to the point of putting out? C suite and beyond and working on this area

[00:03:38] Tom Kereszti: today. My goodness. That's a loaded question. It's been a long journey journey of 67 years. And throughout those 67 years, doors opened or closed.

[00:03:53] And we're just through the sermon and prayer, which door I went through and which door I didn't [00:04:00] go through. And I guess when I retired from corporate life and sold my first business. Had some extra time. And I said, okay let me write a book. And I have to give some kudos to my wife, because she's a very outspoken person.

[00:04:20] And every time we were at a party, she always dominated that discussion. She always had all these stories because we lived overseas I was an expat. So we lived overseas for about 25, 30 years and old. different countries. And she had all these entertaining stories and she would always share these entertaining stories.

[00:04:38] And somebody said, you guys should write a book. I thought about that. I said, okay let's write a book. And who would read this book? And how would I structure this book with all these crazy stories? And that's where I came up the idea of the C suite and beyond four leaders four keys to leadership success.

[00:04:59] And [00:05:00] it's just a bunch of collection of stories illustrating those times in our lives when we're successful and those times in our lives when we're not successful and what the reasons were. So that's how the book came about and my life came about just going through a series of doors.

[00:05:18] Scott Maderer: Let's dig into that a little bit. The stories, your wife was the teller of the stories. Were you the liver of the stories or was she?

[00:05:28] Tom Kereszti: It's a collection of personal and business stories. Okay. So it's our stories. It's stories of me being a business leader. It's our stories as a family.

[00:05:41] It's stories of the kids. but they All they all exemplify leadership principles. so I'll give you an Example, right? early On in the book, I talk about the fact that, all my kids, when they were little, they did some stuff that finally put me [00:06:00] over the edge, right? my wife Was disciplinary.

[00:06:02] I was a softie. There was a point in time where I have three daughters and each one of them pushed me a little bit. And then I said, okay, timeout, nose and toes against the wall. And timeout for a couple of minutes. so My oldest daughter did it, and my second daughter did it, and they were sobbing as they were doing it, but they complied, and then my third daughter, who was the youngest, she said, she just looked at me like, No way.

[00:06:32] You're crazy. I'm not doing that. And and so now I'm, you have to do it because I'm your father. I told you, you got to put your nose and toes against the wall. And now I'm, gently but forcefully pushing her back. So she's against the wall and she's not physically rebelling. And she says, you're crazy.

[00:06:52] I'm not doing that. So finally I stopped, Kathy and I busted out laughing and so the moral of the [00:07:00] story is look as a business leader, you can try to pull your weight on people and say, Hey, I'm the boss. I'm telling you, you got to do this. But the fact is, if your employees don't buy into it, like Alex didn't buy into it, right?

[00:07:14] my Other two daughters did it. They didn't want to do it. They didn't buy into it. They didn't see the need, but they did it because I was the dad or I was quote unquote, the boss. So the youngest one rebelled. She said, no, I'm not doing that. And that's pretty much an environment at work where some people will not do it.

[00:07:31] And they'll just say, look, it's crazy. I'm not following that lead. and Then other part of that story is my two other daughters were Standing on the side, it goes like, how stupid were we? why would we do This? And again one person rebels, their colleagues look at them and they say yeah, it's stupid.

[00:07:54] We're not going to do it either. So unless, your employees, unless your team buys into you, buys [00:08:00] into, the whole vision and what you're trying to do. eventually Somebody will rebel and other people will say, okay how does that boss react to the rebellion? And I just Started laughing.

[00:08:12] I thought it was comical when my youngest daughter, refused and the other two daughters like, yeah we probably could have done the same thing and got away with it, but we didn't. So it's a family story about my kids and, but it really illustrates a principle in a workplace.

[00:08:31] Scott Maderer: and it Also is evidence of the, you made the directive and hadn't really thought

[00:08:38] Tom Kereszti: through what am I going to do if they comply? And what am I going to do if they don't comply? Yeah, where do I go from here? I think we do that sometimes as a boss too. It's like we set up the action and say, go do this

[00:08:49] Scott Maderer: and don't think about, what,

[00:08:50] Tom Kereszti: what are we going to do when it works?

[00:08:52] And what are we going to do if it doesn't work? what's the

[00:08:54] Scott Maderer: Next step, so to speak, or what are we going to do if, If it doesn't happen the way we [00:09:00] thought it was going to, I know I work with a lot of small business owners and I think, and some of this is just the nature of people that are attracted to being business owners, we tend to think about everything's going to work.

[00:09:12] everything's going to Work. Every idea we

[00:09:14] Tom Kereszti: have is the best idea ever.

[00:09:16] Scott Maderer: Everything really, it's always going

[00:09:18] Tom Kereszti: to work, right? And we never think about the fact

[00:09:20] Scott Maderer: that, wait a minute.

[00:09:21] Tom Kereszti: What if they don't actually go the way I think it's going to

[00:09:24] Scott Maderer: go? What are we going to do then? What's the next step? So you mentioned earlier too, about going through a lot of different doors and discerning, which door to go through and which door not to.

[00:09:37] Can you talk a little bit about your faith journey and that process of discernment and, how did that affect the journey you were on as

[00:09:46] Tom Kereszti: you, as you got to this point? I Would say, there's A. D. and B. C. For me the BC was, I [00:10:00] think I was probably about 37, 38 years old, but, up until the age of, 37 I followed my career and, I was pretty good at it.

[00:10:12] About every three years, I would get a promotion. not for, mind you About 14 years with the same company and about every three years, I get promoted to a bigger and better job and then, after that 14 year run, it came to a halt and then after that, I had a different set of circumstances and I had to reinvent myself and figure out a different way to do it.

[00:10:41] like Before and, after. So the, the kind of the journey was, was very different and the, I wish when I was 20 years old or 21 years old, when I started my, career, my journey, somebody said, Tom, you should have a vision for your life, right? [00:11:00] nobody ever asked me that Question, Tom, what is the vision for your life?

[00:11:03] So I would encourage your audience, especially the younger audience. To, that pondering that question is what is the vision for your life? And it took me a while to figure it out, but, now it's man of God, leader of men, right? So typically, like most vision statements, I like the ones that are very simple to understand.

[00:11:23] and anytime I See a company with a vision statement that says, we want to be good corporate citizens and add shareholder value and, blah, blah, blah. it's Meaningless you can't really Any thought behind it, you, you take a vision like Coca Cola, we refresh the world, that's pretty easy to follow.

[00:11:44] It's about refreshment and it's about the world. so my vision Statement was modeling the successful vision statements of successful companies and it's the leader of men, man of God. And anytime I have to go through a door, I run it against that vision [00:12:00] statement. is, and during My career, I've especially in the emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America and other places, I had a lot of.

[00:12:12] alcohol and cigarette companies reach out to me to become their general manager. And, I just said, okay, if I run it against a vision statement, it doesn't match up. I'm not going to Work for cigarette companies. and Because I just don't I don't think it's the right thing to do.

[00:12:30] So I'm not going to put my talents to that. So anytime I have to go through a door, I run it against a statement. I said, does it not a God and is it a leadership role? And if it fails one of those two, I probably don't do it. if it does pass it, it doesn't Necessarily mean I'll automatically do it, but, then it gets into consideration, with some other factors to say, okay, I should do that.

[00:12:54] Scott Maderer: So you also talk a little bit about [00:13:00] you just mentioned having a vision for your life and it made me think about this. What are some of the things that. If you're talking to that person that's 37 years ago 45 years ago, if you had a chance to talk to the younger Tom, what are some of the questions or things that they, that you feel like that person needs to do to have that vision for their life?

[00:13:25] Tom Kereszti: I think it's just I would encourage everybody who's earlier in that age to get themselves a good mentor, because if you get yourself a good mentor, that mentor will force you or ask, make you ask those questions of yourself. the other Thing that, I would have loved to If somebody, bopped me over the head and humbled me a little bit, in my early ages to say look, Tom, it's not about you.

[00:13:56] It's about something much bigger than you. And, early on in my [00:14:00] career. and look, it makes Sense because if you're getting promoted every three years, you think you're doing a great job and you're getting rewarded for it. So you're thinking it's all about you, right? so it wasn't until Later life, AD where I realized it's really not about me and if I do make it about me, pretty soon. so it's not a Matter of if, but it's a matter of when you'll crash and burn. if you make it about Something much bigger than you, a much bigger purpose then I think you have a really good chance of becoming a good leader.

[00:14:37] if you always think it's about you You'll fail at one point in your life as a leader.

[00:14:43] Scott Maderer: So what are some of the. questions that we Need to either ask ourselves or, if you have that mentor, that coach in your life, somebody else, what are some of the questions that you could have asked and answered as a younger person to help you [00:15:00] think about the rest of your life?

[00:15:05] Tom Kereszti: I ask All right. I tell people to answer these three questions all year. I And I've said this on, I probably appeared on a hundred or more podcasts and this is the one thing that you'll hear on just about every podcast that I appear on. So if you're listening and you already heard me on a different podcast, my apology.

[00:15:27] Scott Maderer: That's okay. They probably need to hear it again.

[00:15:30] Tom Kereszti: So ask yourself this question. Who are you? What are you passionate about? And what are you good at? Now, when you have clarity on those three questions, You will not be living, to go to a nine to five job. in fact, you're probably wanting to be In, thinking about a career, but you'll start beginning to think about your calling.

[00:15:48] What is your calling? And, that's, I think that's the highest level of that we aspire to is just to live your calling. and if you're living in your calling Then you're probably pretty happy and pretty successful.[00:16:00] The answer to those Three questions for myself is who are you? I'm a servant leader.

[00:16:06] What are you passionate about? I'm passionate about making people Better, making companies better, making products better. And what am I good at? I'm pretty good at leading and mentoring. So That's clarity for me. And it didn't come overnight. that took many years of Soul searching and seeing what I was, What am I good at? I tried many things and I finally figured out, I'm pretty good. I'm, no matter from the age of 16 or earlier, I was always, I always find myself in leadership roles. whether I was captain of a Sports team or, student council in college and high school, always whenever there was a.

[00:16:45] And in many instances, you walk into a situation where there's a leadership vacuum. Nobody takes the lead. my natural tendency is Anytime you see that, I take a leadership role, right? Even if there's another alpha male in the room, I'm not going to [00:17:00] fight them for the leadership role, but I'm going to aspire to be also the leader of that organization or that team.

[00:17:06] So it's just I'm, my DNA is wired that way. So leadership was always, part of my DNA. That was something always I wanted to do. and So I'm a servant leader, like I said, later on in life, I figured out, to be a good leader, it's not about you. It's about something much bigger than you, but, that's how I define servant leadership.

[00:17:28] When I'm a CEO of a company, I create an environment where people can be successful and I'm there to support them to be successful. the second thing is I love adding value to people. I love making people better. And that's again, something that, took a while to kind of dawn on me and say, why am I doing the things that I'm doing?

[00:17:50] it actually gives me satisfaction. It Gives me happiness. to be able To make somebody better. I did a, a lift To lead conference the other day. And,[00:18:00] when I kicked off the conference I said, I asked everybody in the audience, I said, do you have an objective for today? And some people raised their hands and I said, I'll tell you what, I'll show you what my objective is.

[00:18:12] My objective is pretty simple. I want you to leave this room in about three hours. a better person than You came into the room with, right? And, if I've done that for at least one person in that room, then I'm happy. Then, my day was worth it, right? when you have Clarity on that it's good because you can use that anywhere, any portion of your life.

[00:18:34] So let's say I'm a mentor. I can employ, I can mentor my employees But of course I can also mentor my kids. I can add value to my Customers. I can add value to my wife. I, I could be a servant leader to my family. I could be a servant leader on a sports team. I could be a servant leader at work.

[00:18:50] So I don't have to reinvent myself. I heard one time somebody say You have to act differently or you have to be a different person at work. And as you're doing your private [00:19:00] life, I was like, man, that's just schizophrenic. That's, how do you keep track what situation you're in and how you should be.

[00:19:05] If you have a good sound. grounding of who You are. And by the way the other thing is if you look at this from a leadership role right? the first question is again, who you are. I'm a servant lady. If you don't know who you are, people look at you, they'll either figure out who you are and make up their mind on who they think you are, but either way, they're not going to follow somebody they don't know and they don't understand.

[00:19:32] So it's difficult to become a leader if you don't have self assurance of what you stand for. the second thing is passion. What are You passionate about? if you're not passionate About something, you're not going to lead people because people are going to look at you and they're going to say, he's, Tom's not passionate about it.

[00:19:48] Why should I follow? Why should I be passionate about it? And, the third one is, what are you good at? nobody likes incompetence. if you're Incompetent at something, they're not going to Follow you. [00:20:00] You have to get really clarity on those three questions if you want to move into a leadership role.

[00:20:07] Scott Maderer: And then, thinking about where do those things intersect with the rest of the world, is to me at least the next step

[00:20:16] Tom Kereszti: to, because what are you good at? What are you passionate

[00:20:21] Scott Maderer: about? And then how does that actually play out into the world? Cause, like you

[00:20:25] Tom Kereszti: said, you're wired for leadership.

[00:20:26] Scott Maderer: That's kind of thing. Some people aren't, and that's, there's nothing wrong with that, but where do you show up, how does that show up in, like you said, your wife, your home, your church your day job, your side hustle, whatever, your volunteer work, whatever, how does that actually play out in the world?

[00:20:45] when you think about that part of it What, what struggles have you seen, or have you had with, once you get clear on some of those things about who you are, what are you passionate about, what are you good at, actually [00:21:00] putting that out into the world in a useful

[00:21:02] Tom Kereszti: way.

[00:21:04] what are you good at? If if I may share some, biblical point of view on it, look the Bible tells us that we all have gifts God created you and I equal but God created you and I very differently. So we have very different gifts. what are you good at is Really operating in your strength zone of what God blessed you with, God gave you some gifts as a when he created you.

[00:21:33] So whatever those gifts are, I don't know, they're going to be different for every individual. Once you realize what those gifts are and that's what you get up every day and use. then, You're doing What you're good at. the same thing is Like I said, who are you?

[00:21:53] God created you and I very Differently. who you Are is really [00:22:00] a function of what values you possess or what values you embrace. So again, in my, my, a lot of my values are biblically based. Now that's what creates my personality. That's what creates my DNA. So once I have clarity about those values, then, it's much easier to answer that question.

[00:22:23] Who are you? I think if you just stick to those basic questions and, for example, a job, I know a lot of people that work nine to five to pay bills. They hate what they're doing. Because they're not really, passionate about what they're doing, they're not really, maybe they're not good at what they're doing but they just punch in the clock because they got to make that mortgage payment every month.

[00:22:53] look, life is too short. For God's sakes, don't do it. It's [00:23:00] It's never easy to say, okay just, okay. Be irresponsible and quit your job and, you follow your dream. but look that was a time in my life where I had five Bucks in my pocket. but I had faith That As long as I kept doing what I was good at and what I love doing things would come around.

[00:23:23] I. Kind of use my two Daughters again as examples. one daughter followed in my Footsteps. She's a very accomplished executive. she came out of Pace University with a Business degree, an international business degree. And, she swallowed her pride because she graduated in 2009 when it was like the worst recession.

[00:23:46] I remember she graduated cum Laude top 10 percent of her class. And as they were announcing the students, one kid had a job offer. Every, at least the top 10 percent Of the class didn't have job offers. [00:24:00] So she just hit it bad. So she worked With me for a year, in my business, and then she wanted to spread her wings.

[00:24:07] And her first job was, driving a Red Bull truck. Red Bull had just Open their direct distribution models, and they had these little red bull trucks that went to all the stores and, Nicole did not need a international business degree from Pace University to drive a red bull truck and stock stores, but she sucked it up.

[00:24:32] she thought it was a good company. and Then the boss that hired her there went To a different beverage company, and then she went to, another different beverage company, and now she went into freight. She worked for Uber Freight for a while, then she went over to one of their competitors.

[00:24:46] So she's a very successful business woman, that kind of followed what she wanted to do. And she, I guess maybe she used me as an example and she liked it and that's, her [00:25:00] life. My, my youngest daughter was very different. she said to me always I'm not going to be like Nicole.

[00:25:05] Because she's not going to put her nose against the wall either. she said, look, I, I don't have that corporate Drive that, that you have. we said, okay, my Wife was on her case a lot to say, look you got to get responsible. You got to get a good job.

[00:25:22] she was working two, three different jobs, try to Make ends meet. and I kept telling her, look, figure out what your passion Is, follow your passion and do what you want to do that. And for many years, she was struggling. But she found that her passion was the outdoors. She loves mountain climbing.

[00:25:41] she climbed the highest six highest peaks in the Western United States. She, she climbed Whitney and Rainier and all those mountains. And now she's a trail runner. She runs, 50 mile, trail runs. but her outdoor and then she was very Creative. She was

[00:25:59] a [00:26:00] theater major in college. And, so she has a very creative mind. So in all these activities, as she was going through the mountains, which she loves, she was always taking, pictures and she was putting them on, Instagram. So she developed a pretty good following on Instagram because she was very creative with her videos, and, and the pictures.

[00:26:22] Of the great outdoors, right? then companies started picking her up and Sending her free products. and that, and now she does all the social Media for a company called Kodiak Cakes, which is probably, one of the fastest growing, pancake brands, I think they're past General Mills or about to be past General Mills.

[00:26:42] It's the number one pancake brand and they have all kinds of other products, but she's got a great job because she loves what she does. again, she's living her passion. She's in an industry Which, Kodiak is all about outdoors all the, the athletes that sponsor they're all outdoor either [00:27:00] skiers mountain climbers, they have trips, to save the grizzly bear to save the grizzly bear.

[00:27:07] So it's all about outdoors. It's all about nature. and she gets to Do all their social media. And the way they found her was because she had a great following on Instagram and all the pictures then created that she did. So I just told her, look, follow your passion. you're good at it. Do what you're doing.

[00:27:23] And, sooner or Later, we'll click. so that's my advice to everybody Is it's not going to be easy. Persevere, keep at it, but, if you're following your passion and you're good at it sooner or later, things will click.

[00:27:42] Scott Maderer: So turning that around and, looking at the leader right now who's listening who's maybe, running their own company or maybe in a leadership position official or unofficial, I, I always talk about there's positional leaders and then there's.

[00:27:58] leaders that [00:28:00] maybe don't have a position, but they're still a leader. when you find yourself in that kind of leadership Position, there's a lot of challenges that come at the leader as well. Is there any change to that advice or anything you'd tweak, for that person that's already up in a leadership position has shown some success, has some passion for it and all of that, what can they do to lean in and face some of the challenges that we face

[00:28:28] Tom Kereszti: as leaders?

[00:28:32] I want to see how there's many ways to answer that question. Let me try it this way. the three levels of leadership And John Maxwell talks about this a lot is, the first one is the toughest one, which is learn how to lead yourself, right? And then the second one is, develop followers. So learn how to lead others.

[00:28:53] And then the highest level is develop future leaders. Now, [00:29:00] I think the third one is very difficult for many people because, they fear that if they develop other leaders, they will be replaced. so it, it really comes from insecurity But if you are secure in yourself and you're secure in.

[00:29:20] in your gifts and in your leadership Skills you owe it to yourself and you owe it to your team to develop future leaders, and you need to develop future leaders because you may get hit by a bus tomorrow, you may get fired, you may quit and I never, I always said, look, if I develop a leader and they're a better leader than me, and I, one day I work for them, great.

[00:29:48] God bless them. they're better than me. So by all Rights I should be working for them. I have no issues with that. So it's, and it's funny. I have another [00:30:00] business called Culture Force. I'm sorry, I'm a partner with two other Guys in a company called Culture Force and one of my partners is a Navy SEAL and they have an, they have an eight, they have an exercise doing training where, they just walked over with platoon leader and say, you're dead.

[00:30:22] and then they observed together with the platoon Leader, what did it do? who takes over? How do they react? Because now there's a Vacuum of leadership. and, a good team. We'll somebody else will step in It's called self led teams, right? They'll step in and they'll take over and they'll still do a good job.

[00:30:42] if that leader trained the team to And micromanage them and they were always looking for that leader for direction and everything else, you take that leader out, you got a problem. a good leader Whatever position you're in today, if you're not, developing your [00:31:00] future leaders start today.

[00:31:02] it's extremely important. And by the way, it just makes sense. Because if you have followers, again they more rely on your direction. if you develop future leaders, they become independent Teams, and you are going to be so much more successful, and you're going to get so much credit, because your teams are going to be a lot Better prepare to face adversity, to solve problems, and their success will translate to your success.

[00:31:32] So it makes all the sense in the world.

[00:31:35] Scott Maderer: I've got a few questions that I like to ask all of my guests. But before I go there, is there anything else about the work you do or your book that you'd like to share with the listener?

[00:31:47] Tom Kereszti: like I said, I have one book in the, our Friend Kyle and my other partner, Chris, they have another book, which is called leadership is overrated.

[00:31:57] and it's really based on the Navy SEALs model. [00:32:00] Oh, you just got it? I

[00:32:04] Scott Maderer: just was, I read it for part of a book Club last month and got to be on the show with them when Jeff Brown interviewed him a

[00:32:12] Tom Kereszti: few, a few months ago. Yeah. Yeah, so Kyle and Chris, they're, the three of us are partners in CultureForce

[00:32:20] I did not realize you were the third partnership in that. there you go. So when you said that, I went, wait a minute, I know that. Anyway. And it's it's funny because, Kyle and I met each other a while back and We arrived at the same conclusion, but we came from two very different backgrounds.

[00:32:41] I came from a leadership role in, in fortune 100 to 500 companies all over the world. And Kyle came through the Navy SEALs, where we ended up is, our beliefs are a hundred percent aligned. So it's funny how the world works. good leadership is good leadership, no matter how you Slice it and dice it.

[00:32:59] [00:33:00] and I think too, that it's. You mentioned John Maxwell earlier, he's also a mentor of mine And I've followed him for a long time and a lot of these principles go back a long time. And in fact, I would argue there's biblical stories that are actually covering these

[00:33:20] exact same

[00:33:21] Scott Maderer: principles too.

[00:33:22] And I

[00:33:22] Tom Kereszti: think you would agree with me that the idea of don't just lead by telling people what to do, but by raising up leaders

[00:33:30] Scott Maderer: that can. continue after you as well, if that makes

[00:33:34] Tom Kereszti: sense, that's what Jesus did too. Yeah, just look at the Bible and we joke about it Jesus picked twelve I would say probably not the most talented individuals.

[00:33:49] there's a, if you do get a chance to read my Book, C Suite and Beyond, the last chapter is dedicated, to really looking at Jesus's walk and say, okay [00:34:00] does Jesus also possess those four, I would say leadership principles that I talk about. And, I outlined scripture and how I think it does.

[00:34:13] So it's a that, that's. Some people skip that chapter because they they say, okay, too holy roly for me. But, the fact is, yeah early on my career, I was Coveyized Stephen Covey was my mentor way back then I call John Maxwell a very similar modern day, Stephen Covey, it's all about biblical foundations and biblical principles and how they work in leadership and how they work in business.

[00:34:41] yeah. Many successful business companies Use biblical principles. They just don't realize that they're biblical principles,

[00:34:48] Scott Maderer: right? Or they may not call them out as such, but they,

[00:34:50] Tom Kereszti: they're there.

[00:34:53] Scott Maderer: what have I, my brand is Inspired stewardship, and I talk about Things Through that lens of stewardship and yet [00:35:00] Talking about leadership and that can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people over the years. you qualified it earlier with servant leadership and kind of put your Definition to it, but stewardship is one of those words too. A lot of different people mean a lot of different things when they say that word.

[00:35:16] So when you hear the word stewardship, what does that word mean to you?

[00:35:21] Tom Kereszti: like I mentioned before, it's not about me. It's about something much Bigger than me, right? So in a classical sense, stewardship basically says, look, I am. the CEO of a company and there are Shareholders that actually own that company.

[00:35:37] So I'm a steward to those shareholders and I'm also a steward to the customers. And I'm also a steward to the employees, to make sure that our customers are happy, our customers are benefiting, our employees are. are cared for, they're loved, and they're benefiting. And, in the end, if all that's happening well, then the P& L and the balance sheet are very [00:36:00] solid and the shareholders are, benefiting.

[00:36:02] And, if you take it to the higher level, you say, okay, who are the shareholders? maybe the shareholders are not a bunch of individuals But maybe it's JC, right? And and JC is the shareholder. so I, I think again, if you look at that Stewardship model to say, it's not about you, it's about something bigger than you, and it's about you supporting that and giving back.

[00:36:26] that's what stewardship is defined for me.

[00:36:30] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question that I like to ask everybody. So imagine for a minute, Tom, that I invented this magic machine. and with this machine, I was able to pluck you from where you are today and Transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years.

[00:36:46] But through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections, all of the ripples, all of the impacts that you've left behind. What impact do you hope you've left on the world?

[00:36:58] Tom Kereszti: Just, [00:37:00] I made one, one individual better not a million, not a hundred, just one, just give me one, one individual who I impacted their life, I made their life better and hopefully I brought them to Jesus.

[00:37:16] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next? What's on the roadmap as we launch into 2024 and

[00:37:20] Tom Kereszti: continue on? the biggest challenge for us right now is I mentioned to you that I have two Business partners, Kyle and Chris with CultureForce, and we're kicking that off. The, the book just came out a number of months ago.

[00:37:36] So the CultureForce, leadership model, business models is really built on that book. so now it's an exciting time where we're beginning to talk to Companies and, kicking that company off the ground to, work with large organizations, mid sized organizations in implementing what we call the Navy [00:38:00] SEAL leadership model which is, again, not worrying too much about the top of the organization and how good their leadership is, but more enabling, empowering, self led teams.

[00:38:13] Throughout the organization. If that would make sense to

[00:38:18] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Tom and his book over on his website at leadership disciples. com. And of course, I'll have a link to that in the show notes as well. Tom, anything else you'd like to share with the listeners?

[00:38:39] Tom Kereszti: Just, persevere. leadership is not overrated. Whoops. again, I'll give a little plug. Having read the Book, that, that's a bit of a clickbaity title because it's not so much that [00:39:00] leadership is overrated as traditionally what we've called leadership and done, but in practice,

[00:39:05] Scott Maderer: this leadership is

[00:39:06] Tom Kereszti: horribly overrated.

[00:39:08] Exactly. Exactly. Difference between being a boss and being a leader.

[00:39:17] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor. Go over to inspired stewardship.

[00:39:41] com slash iTunes rate, all one word. iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. [00:40:00] Until next time, invest your time, your talent, and your treasures. Develop your influence and impact the world.

[00:40:16] ​

In today's episode, I ask Tom about:

  • How his faith and life helped him lead others...  
  • Why we need to really answer the important questions for our life...
  • Some insights from his book C-Suite and Beyond...
  • and more.....

Some of the Resources recommended in this episode: 

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Ask yourself these questions: Who are you? What are you passionate about? What are you good at? When you have clarity on those three questions … you are thinking about your calling.  – Tom Kereszti

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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