2014 Global Leadership Summit Session 6: Don Flow #gls14
Chairman and CEO, Flow Companies Inc.
SESSION 6: Heart Session: A Grander Vision
- Founded by Don’s father in 1957, Flow Companies now operates 33 automobile dealerships with 1100 employees throughout North Carolina and Virginia
- Growing up in the business, Flow worked every job at the dealership—and now leads the company based on three guiding principles: 1) trust with customers, 2) a unified employee culture, and 3) a commitment to every city where he does business
- He serves on numerous boards, including Wake Forest University Trustees, Winston-Salem’s Open ATP Tennis Tournament, is an Elder at First Presbyterian Church and loves mentoring young entrepreneurs
- 1) How does your faith affect every aspect of your business?
- 4 ways: prayer, daily leadership interactions, culture of our company, how we engage employees, customers, community.
- Start my day with prayer
- Exercising faith at work means coming beside employees not just exercise authority over them.
- Culture: everything we do comes from ethic of demonstrating neighborly love.
- 3 foundational commitments: employees, customers, community
- Always telling the truth
- Always doing the right thing to our customers
- Always keeping our promises regardless of cost
- Employees like “members of the body”
- Each dealership takes on projects in their community.
- Pay their employees for time spent serving in the community.
- 2) What should business look like? What would it look like if there was no fall?
- Abundance mindset… communion with God… community with others.
- All workers would use their gifts and reach their full potential.
- All transactions would leave all parties better off.
- 3) Metric for evaluating employees?
- Show respect – not earned, everyone is respected, every position is respected
- Earn trust -
- Reach for Perfection – continuously challenge with confidence, but realize we will not achieve perfection, grace
- Value Input – from everyone
- Energize Others – clarity of purpose, significance of their work
- Missional calling – every church send its people into the workplace (lots of great principles conveyed faster than I could type)