Good To Great Leadership

I recently had the pleasure of attending a conference put together by one of my favorite people on the planet, Howard Dayton. Howard is the founder of Crown Ministries, which he eventually merged with Larry Burkett’s Christian Financial Concepts. Howard has launched his newest venture of helping people change their lives with Compass—Finances God’s Way. Compass’ focus is to teach God’s financial principles through small group studies.

The Compass conference consists of a few days spent in a GORGEOUS retreat center in a castle in Colorado Springs. One after another, leaders and team members of Howard’s took the microphone and shared from their hearts. They discussed what’s going on in each of the areas of Compass, as well as plans and strategies for the future. Even Howard shared a little bit.

And that’s what jumped out at me. Howard shared … a little bit. The rest of the time, he sat back and observed his team. One after another, competent, confident, strong people took the podium and spoke. They made us laugh and they made us cry. But most importantly, they represented just how the company is a team effort.

In Good to Great, author Jim Collins writes about how great leaders always train their team(s) to take over if anything happens to the leader. In his research, he found that the great companies all survived a transition of leadership and continued to grow  because the leader had set up their team. They could take the huge hit, bounce back and prosper.

Not that Howard is going anywhere, but it was incredible to see just how well his team operated while he sat back and watched. The best part is knowing that the team didn’t get there on its own. It took great leadership from a great man to make it happen. Now that’s leadership done right.

Question: Have you experienced this type of leadership?



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Meet Chris LoCurto


Chris has a heart for changing lives by helping people discover the life and business they really want.

Decades of personal and leadership development experience, as well as running multi-million dollar businesses, has made him an expert in life and business coaching. personality types, and communication styles.

Growing up in a small logging town near Lake Tahoe, California, Chris learned a strong work ethic at home from his full-time working mom. He began his leadership and training career in the corporate world, starting but at E'TRADE.

19 thoughts on “Good To Great Leadership”

  1. Any great leader has a sucession plan in place, if they want the business to continue. I’m glad to see Howard and his group do.

    Actually, that topic has been in the back of my mind with regard to your organization.

    In my outside looking in view, there is one major difference between Crown and Lampo. Howard isn’t the core product of the Crown organization. Dave Ramsey is with Lampo.

    While a great leader, Howard could easily step aside and be replaced with another individual who can articulate the message and have the same core values almost seamlessly in the Crown organization. To the external world, there would be almost no impact. Yet Lampo seems to be a culture built entirely on and around Dave and the product of Dave.

    I’ve noticed that there has been an larger effort to diversify by adding other pieces to company such as you, Jon Acuff, Rachael and others being outside and speaking. But all of that is still very ancillary to the flagship and core product, Dave.

    Again, let me caveat that this is from an outside view looking in, so admittedly it could be a very skewed view or distorted.

  2. It is wonderful when the leader can build up their people to do so much without them, and when after the team accomplishes something, they say, “Look what we did!”. A leader who builds up a team to do great things, to do more than they could before is truly a leader who adds value to people and creates the next generation of leaders.

  3. It’s exciting to hear stories of great leaders who are not afraid to share the spotlight and who are willing to help their employees win. A secure leader like this knows that when his people win, then he wins and the whole organization wins. When you take the time to develop your people then you can trust them to do great things as well.

  4. Here’s what I love about Howard and other servant leaders, they keep the bullets in the chamber. Insecure leaders fire away to ensure people know they’re the leader. It’s a very self-indulged action. Secure leaders recognize people will know they’re a leader simply by how they conduct themselves. And this is naturally multiplied due to the number of bad leaders out there. No one leads outside of context. In other words, people compare like items, and leaders are no exception. This is why humble, servant leaders are written about in posts like this.

  5. Chris,

    I am assuming you were at Glen Eyrie, a GREAT place. I mention to Suzan H. last year you guys should get Dave and have a EntreLeadership there.

    I have heard many GREAT leaders speak/teach at the Glen. Keep up the good work!


  6. I can think of a couple public people (Bill gates comes to mind), and this demonstrated by them being able to step down and a leader they’ve groomed is able to take over right away with no negative consequences.

    I know this is more from a business perspective, but i want to also consider it from a personal point of view. The mark of a successful parent is to bring up kids who are trained to fed for themselves and to be independent as soon as they can while still enjoying their childhood. I like to think of this as being a succession plan for the family. If the parents train their kids well, then they have ensured their family legacy will go on, and they demonstrate excellent leadership qualities.

  7. It is a hard thing for a leader to share the “leadership”! And to me it takes confidence – an insecure leader will not share the spotlight, any leadership role, and wants to micromanage the entire company/team.

    Yes I have experienced this type of leadership with my company. The owner/leader has gradually over the years, released not just positions but ownership in the company. He has empowered the leadership under him and it has been amazing.

    A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to watch someone I had always admired from afar, up close and personal with her team. I couldn’t not believe how she micromanaged everything – trying to handle even the smallest detail from long distance. I wondered how they would function should it happen that she was unavailable. Could they make a decision without her?

    On a side note, years ago, my husband and I lead our Sunday School class went through the small group study from Larry Burkett – and I have to say – it changed my life and the way I looked at money. As I am now teaching Financial Peace University at my church, I was reminded of that study and how much the two remind me of each other. Both relying on Biblical principles for money management.

    Thanks for another great post!

  8. My boss has a hard time going from good to great (setting his team up to be able to accomplish things without him)….part of that could be we only consist of three people. Maybe I should get that book for him for Christmas….. Maybe I should read it before I do that 🙂

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