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Chris LoCurto

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July 22, 2011

Leadership Spotlight: Mark Daniels

July 22, 2011 | By | 4 Comments">4 Comments

The Leadership Spotlight continues this week with Mark Daniels. Mark is the Business Technology Project Leader for Financial Peace University.

Mark has a diverse work history with 20 years of experience across a variety of industries including a non-profit research organization, a law firm, an IT consulting firm and a large multi-national corporation.  Mark has led developers, architects, business analysts and project managers on hundreds of projects.  Prior to joining Dave’s team, Mark worked for nine years at H&R Block’s world headquarters in Kansas City, MO, where he held various leadership positions.

This included leading the development team responsible for the tax software platform used in all H&R Block retail offices. When not at work, Mark enjoys spending time with his family and occasionally chasing a little white ball around nicely mowed grass. He and his wife, Jackie, have one daughter and live near Nashville, TN.

CLo: What is your role in leadership?

MD: My current role is really oriented around leadership in two different ways. First, I lead a team of software developers directly. Secondly, I lead a number of initiatives and projects for various departments, which means I lead others who do not directly report to me.

CLo: What is the best advice you’ve ever received about leadership?

MD: I have been blessed to work with some outstanding leaders and I have always tried to learn something from each one. While it is difficult to land on a “best,” here are a few things that stand out:

  • Be yourself. Don’t try to lead like someone you are not.
  • Empowerment can only truly come after alignment — get aligned with your leader and look to ensure your team is aligned with you.
  • Strive to be a servant leader and build relationships with those you lead.
  • People follow what is modeled — what you do speaks volumes.

CLo: What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

MD: I think it the biggest challenge remains how to communicate effectively. Everything we do involves people so communication and relationship is so key.

CLo: How do you continue to improve yourself as a leader?

MD: Find other leaders I can learn from and then try to build relationships with them.

CLo: How do you invest in others?

MD: I believe people want to know their leader cares about what they do and how they do it. I invest in others by showing them I care about the details of their work and make sure to recognize them for their efforts and contributions.

CLo: What was the last book you read?

MD: I have four going right now:

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  • http://lgthaxton.wordpress.com Louise Thaxton

    Mark has some great insight on leadership. Sounds like he “leads like Jesus”!

    And one of the books he recommended I have not read “Making Vision Stick” – So, I will order that one!

    Thanks for the post – it was great and I agree wholeheartedly with Mark.

  • http://ericspeir.com/ Eric

    Chris,
    I’m enjoying getting to know the people at the Ramsey Team. I can see that you guys are a high functioning team and that you really value community.

    I do have a question that has nothing to do with this. Is someone a natural entrepreneur or can it be something that is taught? I struggle with this. Any thoughts with your experience?