Today’s guest is Doug Nuenke, U.S. President of The Navigators, an international, interdenominational Christian ministry established in 1933 as an outreach for followers of Jesus Christ to help others come to know and grow in Him as they navigate through life – a goal embodied by The Navigators motto, “to Know Christ and to Make Him Known®.” Doug and his wife, Pam, have three adult children and two grandchildren. Doug and Pam attend church at New Life Downtown in Colorado Springs. They have spent hours at their local coffee shop and favorite restaurant, building relationships and seeing God transform lives. Doug loves to fly fish and they both enjoy Starbucks, reading, the outdoors, spending time with their children and grandchildren, and meeting new friends in their community.
When I asked him to tell us about a fun fact about himself, he said, “I’ve been lit up, blew up, and burnt up.” Listen to hear Doug tell the interesting story behind this statement.
In this episode Doug answers the following CEO Questions:
- Who has inspired you most in your leadership and how do they influence where you are today?
“There are two men, one is a guy named Richard Beach who was very influential. He did our wedding. He did my mom’s funeral, was a mentor though all kinds of seasons of life. He passed away a number of years ago, but he modeled a gregarious and contagious love for Jesus that drew non believing people to him…Another guy is named Steve Hayner, who was a past President of InterVarsity and a past President of Columbia Seminary down near Atlanta, and he died of cancer a couple of years ago. He was a mentor and a friend and I learned a lot from him about joy. We all know joy is not about the circumstances you are in, in fact, the Lord tells us that the gospel produces in us joy as one of the fruit of the Spirit despite what we are going through. Steve really mentored me in that topic.”
- What are three essential disciplines for a leader?
“First…having the rhythm where I’m connecting to the heart of Jesus. Howard Hendricks, the old Dallas Seminary prof said, ‘You cannot impart what you do not possess.’ And I’ve found that to be true for myself. On the weeks when I’m not possessing it, I am not imparting it. I can be doing all kinds of leadership stuff. I’m a conduit of something at all points in time, and if I’m not a conduit of Jesus out of an outflow of life with him, then I miss that.
“Second…love and value people over and above tasks and performance.
“Third…bringing focus to the few important things that we really need to leverage in this lap around the track…Ask the question, ‘Right now, at this point in time with where we are in our work, given our current reality, and given where we want to go, what are the top three areas that I need to give myself to?’”
- How do you lead as a CEO without compromising your most important relationships?
“It’s making sure that those are the first things that go into my schedule, that I’m creating space for them. If I’m going to thrive and survive and fulfill what God has for me, I know without a shadow of a doubt that it’s going to depend on the people that are around me that will walk with me, that will speak into my life, and will help me to figure out how to get over a challenge that is before me in my leadership.”
- What’s the attitude of your heart?
For me, when I think of attitude and the attitude that I want to have in my life, it’s an attitude of a servant towards others. And the words in Philippians 2 state it as well as any of them. For those of us that are followers of Jesus, we have this incredible model, God himself came to earth and submitted himself and served. Amazing! Out of this world, literally, that God would do that!”
“‘We cannot impart what we do not possess.’ Howard Hendricks. Be men and women who are connecting with God in some way so that the work of our hands will reflect him and not just us.”
Books by Doug: