#GLS14 :: Don Flow – Faith in the Workplace

Don Flow

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

  • How does your faith affect every aspect of your business? Customers, employees, and community.
  • Work is a place that Christ has called me to. To exercise faith. To live love. And to bring hope.
  • I do this in my prayer life. In my leadership. In the ways we engage our customers, employees, and communities.
  • This begins with what cannot be seen. It begins with the act of exercising faith.
  • We’re called to be people whose faith expresses itself through love. Love should be at the center of our faith at work.
  • Living love means coming alongside people, celebrating with them, and mourning with them.
  • The company will not be more truthful or graceful than I am. I am on the constraint on our company to express that.
  • I’m responsible for the culture of our company. The culture of an organization is a powerful current that shapes the lives of everyone inside of it.
  • We have a covenant with our customers. Community with one another. Commitment to our community.
  • After we’ve made a promise, we live with the promise.
  • We never advantage ourselves to the disadvantage of others.
  • We intentionally limit our profit on transaction. I know that sounds crazy. We want to be a place that customers can trust.
  • Redefine the concept of employee as members of body where everyone’s contribution matters.
  • We provide $3,000 to every child per employee per year for those who need it.
  • We want to the place of work to be a place that enhances our employees lives.
  • We systematically invest in social capital.
  • When an employee volunteers for a nonprofit during work hours we pay them as if they’re working because they are.
  • What does a business look like to flourish in the fullest sense?
  • What was creation originally meant to be? How can the curse be reversed?
  • We need to reawaken our imaginations to be able to imagine a future of hope.
  • We were given a calling in the world to cultivate and develop the potential for good in the world.
  • Jesus did change everything!
  • We’re called to be people who live by empowering vision.
  • We need to be people who seek the creation of good and plenty.
  • How would you describe your employee evaluation process?
  • Leadership flows out of who we are, not just what we do.
  • SERVE: Show Respect. Earn Trust. Reach for Perfection. Value Input. Energize Others.
  • In our company there are no little people, and there is no insignificant work.
  • Leaders do need to cast a vision for the way things are supposed to be. We have the capacity to imagine the future. It’s our responsibility to constantly push this ahead.
  • Challenge without confidence creates fear. Confidence without challenge creates complacency.
  • We need to engage everyone in the process.
  • We are to have crucial conversations all the time.
  • A clear purpose brings focus, which creates energy.
  • The world will not form distinctive Christians. It’s the calling of the church to do that. So if you can imagine with me every church every Sunday intentionally sending it’s members out in to the world to live with a profound sense of being set by God to exercise faith, live love, and bring hope, then we would see the power of Gospel bringing redemption to the world.

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