That ALL Might Be Edified: Discussions on Servant Leadership Uncategorized Embrace the Strength & Gifts of Those Around You

Embrace the Strength & Gifts of Those Around You

The guest of this episode is Northwestern State University Professor Matt DeFord who talks about the value of being present with the people around you and in the environment you are in. Matt talks about the importance of setting healthy boundaries and how that can help us be present and also set the tone to empower others. This also set the stage to talk about the importance for us as Servant Leaders to help those around us set healthy boundaries. Matt talked about leadership in hurricane response, at the University, in his Church responsibilities and in his personal life while displaying the power of getting to know the people around him and learning their unique strengths and gifts. This allows him to find the appropriate ways to delegate, appreciate, and congratulate the people around him to harness their potential and help them grow. He teaches us that we can set a vision and allow the people around us to use their individual processes to complete the tasks in ways that can amaze us. Just because the process is different than our own doesn’t mean it is wrong and often we can learn from the way other’s do things differently. He discusses ways that his creativity is thwarted while displaying avenues where we can improve creativity in our organizations. Challenges are the opportunities that life gives us and balance really is a myth, so it is up to us to choose where to focus our priorities at a given time. When we learn to harness the complete team, we can expand our ability to meet our organization’s priorities through delegation and empowerment. We can all be a leader wherever we are when we are willing to serve each other and build one another up! 

Matt DeFord is the son of hippie converts. They met each other hitchhiking, then found religion after crossing the plains with their thumbs out. He grew up in the Midwest and Texas. After serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the South Africa Johannesburg mission, he met and married Canadian Julie Heggie while attending Ricks College (BYU-Idaho). They have seven children and live in Natchitoches, Louisiana where he is a professor of Art at Northwestern State University. He was Chair of the Department of Fine and Graphic Arts for twelve years and has served in the church as bishop and stake president while also fulfilling his professional and familial responsibilities. Matt has never sought out leadership or considered himself much of a leader, but the opportunities have presented themselves to him and he has worked to serve those around him.

NSU professors bonded for life after kidney donation – KSLA News

DeFord Designs Cinco de Mayo Pen – Natchitoches Times

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