Building A Culture That Matches Its Mission
Today’s guest is Scott Evans, Founder and CEO of Outreach, Inc., the largest provider of church outreach products and services in the world. For 20 years, Outreach, Inc. has been on mission to share God’s love and empower the Church to share the message of Jesus Christ. Outreach, Inc. provides cost-effective, proven methods and resources in a variety of forms, including books, media and film, postcard invitations, banners, bulletin covers, curriculum, church campaign materials, and more. Located in Colorado Springs, the company has established five divisions under the umbrella of Outreach, Inc.
Scott and his wife, Susan, have three adult children and one daughter-in-love, and they reside in Colorado Springs, CO.
As I began the interview, I asked him to tell us a fun fact about himself. He said:
It was about three weeks ago, about 5:45 in the morning, I awoke to some noise in our kitchen and my wife wasn’t in bed next to me so I thought, “Well maybe she is making breakfast really loud.” And so I finally got up because the noise kept getting louder, and as I walked towards the kitchen, I found a big black bear inside of our house about 10 feet away.
In this episode, he goes on to tell the story of how he handled this surprise encounter and answers the following CEO Questions:
Who has inspired you most in your leadership and how did they influence where you are today?
“I can just remember going to Willow Creek for the very first time and hearing Bill Hybels’ passion and heart for the church. ‘The church is the hope of the world,’ and seeing a church that was reaching lost people and making a difference in people’s lives. It really was that visit to that church and hearing Bill Hybels that caused my wife and I to leave the family business, raise support as missionaries, move out to California seven months pregnant with her first child, and basically invest our lives in starting a church.”
What are the three essential disciplines for a leader?
- Learning/Agility; and
- Having “think time” as a CEO or a leader.
What is your most important leadership lesson that you’ve learned?
“I think in 20 years of leading probably the biggest leadership lesson is just having the right people on the team and the health and culture of our organization.”
What are some of the things you’ve done to invest in your culture?
“After getting back that survey, and being disappointed with the results and realizing we had some culture work to do, one of the first things I did was meet with all of our employees and just listen to them. Ask questions, get feedback. Hear what would make Outreach a better place for them to work, and with that feedback, with the feedback of the culture survey we did, we then engaged our leadership team and begin to talk about ways we could invest in our culture. Everything from increasing benefits and starting some new benefits in some areas.”
What is the attitude of your heart?
“One of gratefulness. Just gratefulness for God’s goodness, gratefulness for my family and what He’s doing there. Gratefulness that I get to be part of this Outreach mission.”
“Lead and have courage and continue to take risks, step out in faith, and be the leader God’s has called [you] to be.”