Billy Graham, The Evangelist and the CEO Essay

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Billy Graham was CEO of BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association). This is not someone most people think of as a CEO but yet he was, for more than fifty years. (Myra & Shelley, 2005, p. 11) Billy’s lifestyle and the way he leads his company are symbiotic. He was not incompetent or ignorant of technology and the benefits it could bring to his mission. He was invited to speak at the TED Conference (Technology, Information and Design) where he talked about technology, faith and human shortcomings. (Talbert, 2008) He posed the question, “What about human evil, death and suffering?” He went on to add that with all the great minds present, could anyone solve these problems with technology, and if not, what could? (Graham, 1998) Mr. Graham …show more content…

He believed in the principle that there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. While he always sought the ideas and suggestions of his teammates, his final decisions came through many hours of prayer and contemplation of what he felt God wanted them to do next. (Myra & Shelley, 2005, p. 44-45)
Billy Graham most closely fits into the category of what the author of Good to Great, Jim Collins, calls a Level Five leader This is the leader who has personal humility and professional will. (Collins, 2001). If asked to expound on his principles of leadership, he would always give credit to the people he worked with and to God, never himself. These were the things he felt made his company successful. (Myra & Shelley, 2005, p. 13)
Through my research I found additional traits in Mr. Graham’s leading which helped make him such an effective CEO. One of these was his ability to understand and accept his own faults and uses that information to help bolster his weak areas with the strengths of his teammates. Friends of Mr. Graham say he was very mindful of his personal flaws and always willing to admit them. Another was, the balance between leading and following which he was able to achieve. He would not step beyond what he felt would be deemed acceptable by his fellow workers. He wanted accountability to his board of directors. He viewed it as a protection and a guide

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