Disruptive Influencer

by  Guest Author  |  Leadership Development
Disruptive Influencer

This post is part of our 2017 Lead Change Group Guest Blogger Series. Today we are pleased to introduce you to Craig Marek.

In today’s terms, King Solomon would be the wealthiest man alive; his control and influence would have a global reach, his wisdom unmatched. Solomon, one of the greatest leaders in history was bored…even discouraged. “Nothing new under the sun” he lamented. He was witnessing selfishness, pessimism and emptiness in others and himself. How tragic is it for the king of leaders to sense a hollow vacuum? Through much searching and submission he determined that as a leader, he (and we) set misguided objectives and deadlines, make shallow commitments and excuses, speak too quickly and overextend ourselves. This feels so similar to the endless hours (years) of trying to find the ultimate leadership style or system – we still “chase after the wind.” We sit in conferences and workshops trying to adapt to unrealistic and non-contextual  approaches that leave us practicing demanding, controlling  authority that may or may not enhance our career…”all is vanity” the author cries. The vacuum still exists.  

A life changing dose of humility for the most powerful man in the world was the only option (humility enough to invest in those who are in submission to him). Solomon decided to start with submitting himself to God’s authority and becoming a true servant so he could add value to others and deploy their talents. He had the wisdom but needed to apply it to his authority, the authority he needed to provide for their needs, not demand fulfillment of his own.

What a change! Truly Disruptive! Not to throw in disorder but to rupture the existing style. Solomon disrupted an unchallenged authority process (his own) to accept his calling to serve those he manages, leads, teaches and even taxes. The risk-taking seems less threatening than the responsibility a leader takes on by demanding respect and performance. We have been told we can be superstar leaders through inflation of self and a superior sense of control and authority. This often means manipulation and intimidation of those we have charge of. The simple alternative is to start listening and trusting, taking care of those who truly do the work that matters. True humility, but yet so disruptive. The wisest leader was willing to take a risk. Investing in all those he was responsible for created a level of influence that changed the world.

The leadership world today continues to “chase after the wind” and still “nothing is new under the sun.” Years ago the first Disruptive Influencer changed it all by submitting to his God. His emptiness was filled and the groundwork was set for those who followed to become modern Disruptors.

Craig Marek has worked in Emergency Services for 35 years.  He has been falling into roles of leadership for the entire time, and is still trying to figure out what to do about it.  For the last 25 years he has been leading and managing one of the largest (in geographic catchment) EMS/Fire communications centres in North America.  Industry change has been intense, opportunities for influence great and rewards many.  No reward as blessed as living with a loving family amongst the many Nonwestern Ontario lakes.

Have you experienced disruptive influencing? Tell Craig about it in the comments!
Photo Credit: Zatletic/123RF

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What People Are Saying

Sam  |  07 Mar 2017  |  Reply

Thanks for the post Craig. We are absolutely in a leadership transition phase. Where the authoritative leader is beginning to disappear, while the participative leader emerges. History shows us that people must adapt to the frequently changing times. I certainly know who I would want to be led by.

Craig Marek  |  07 Mar 2017  |  Reply

So true Sam. Participation fosters relationships, resulting in trust and credibility. It amazes me that the changing times are calling for servant leaders although the Disruption started some 3000 years ago.

Glen Holmgren  |  08 Mar 2017  |  Reply

Hi Craig,

Great blog. I completely agree with your essay. I have seen the full spectrum of leadership styles & fads and had the opportunity to work under, in & from them.

In my opinion, only the Servant Leader style truest works in the long run. It combines the humility to listen so one’s subordinates will speak truth (not false, misleading platitudes) to authority and the courage to confront in a constructive manner all g with the integrity to earn the respect and natural authority that can only be demanded by the other styles.

It is disruptive because it is counterintuitive and requires the courage to risk being seen as an equal and maybe even a learner by some of the people we are seeking to lead. That firsn’t look “like a Boss!” … which is ironically and fittingly why it works so effectively.

Long may the disruption continue, my friend. Having know you now for over 30 years, I am grateful for the integrity, consistency, caring, honesty, compassion and courage you have always shown to all. You are a walking, breathing example of a true leader and can teach it by osmosis.

Peace to you and yours, Craig.
My best to Jo & the family.


Craig Marek  |  09 Mar 2017  |  Reply

Shall we campaign to have the phrase “like a Boss” associated with humility, courage and true integrity?
Peace, Brother.

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