SOAL 15
SOAL 22: Leading From Out of the Ashes
SOAL 22: Leading From Out of the Ashes

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Luminita Saviuc is Founder and Blogger-in-Chief of Purpose Fairy. She is also the author of the book “15 Things You Should Give Up to be Happy”. Luminita is a positive, bright, beautiful soul who inspires us to live our life fully surrendered to God, with high virtues and values. This podcast reminds us where our strength and confidence comes from and the importance of walking closely with our Creator. Luminita’s words of wisdom to everyone is to look within your heart; the most important work you will ever do in this world is to please God. 

Trust your inner voice and trust that whatever it is that you were put here to do, God will provide and He will lead the way and you will know what to do.

Make it your purpose to know your purpose.

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

It takes a saint to know a saint, it takes a genius to know a genius.

If you don’t have high virtues and values, you’re going to be manipulated.

You’ll Learn

  • There is a process of transformation that happens when we decide to surrender to God.
  • We are all created to be leaders. It’s up to us to listen and trust that inner voice to lead the way.
  • You have to make it your purpose, to discover your own unique purpose in life.
  • Stand for truth and integrity! If you dont stand for something, you will fall for anything.
  • Walk closely with God, allowing Him to shape and mold you into what He created you to be. When you do this, fully surrendered, life becomes more effortless and joyful.

Resources

Transcript

Alicia:

Hello, and welcome to Soul of a Leader podcast, where we ignite soulful conversations with leaders. In today’s episode, Dr. Alicia and Dr. Eileen sit with former NFL player Marques Ogden to discuss leading from out of the ashes.

 

Alicia:

Welcome to Soul of a Leader podcast. In tonight’s episode we have Marques Ogden. He was drafted into the NFL as an offensive lineman. After five years of playing in the league, he decided to retire and pursue a career in construction. At the age of 27, Marques founded a construction company called Kayden Premier Enterprises. The company had fast growth, and in 2010, Marques won the African American subcontractor of the year award in the state of Maryland. Eventually, his business went bankrupt, losing almost $2 million in one project in a matter of 90 days. Welcome to Soul of a Leader, Marques Ogden.

 

Marques:

Hello. How are you?

 

Alicia:

We’re doing just great.

 

Eileen:

Doing great. Thank you so much for being on our show. And thank you, Dr. Alicia, for that wonderful, wonderful introduction. Did we miss anything in the introduction that you would like to add?

 

Marques:

No. I think you all did a good job. I’m now a former NFL athlete that’s doing keynote speaking, executive coaching. I’ve written two books. So I think you all did a great job. Thank you.

 

Eileen:

Thank you. I have a quick question. Tell me, as you have had much success in the past and wrote a book, and are doing coaching, why don’t you share with us what your leadership style is, or how you would define it?

 

Marques:

So to me, leadership is the art of getting people to do what you want to be done, because they want to do it. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and a general of our country in the military, former President of the United States. And I think his definition is spot on. It’s really about empowering and inspiring people around you that you might be called their leader, per se. But in real terms you are the servant leader that is helping these people, helping your team along to achieve the goals and desires they have for themselves. So when you have a servant leadership mentality, in my opinion, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish in life.

 

Alicia:

Whoa. One of our concepts is spiritual leadership, authentic leadership, and servant leadership. And so when you talk about servant leadership, and I’m going to go a little bit back to somewhat of your bio. What happens at that point when you have to regroup when you have lost $2 million, and that servant leadership quality that you talk about, how does that come to play at that point of trying to transition or turn things around? Obviously to the positive side.

 

Marques:

Servant leadership did not come into play when I lost me… It’s between two to $3 million in 90 days. And more specifically, I spent two, $3 million on a project. I thought I was going to get paid back by the developer and contractor. They denied my change or that they shook my hand they were going to pay me, and I filed a bankruptcy chapter seven. Lost my home, lost my cars, lost everything. But the servant leadership mentality didn’t come into play until mid-September of 2013 when I was a custodian making $8.25 an hour on the graveyard shift. From an NFL athlete to an eight-figure a year business owner, to an $8.25 per hour earning custodian. And when I had my pivotal moment where someone’s trash and rotten meat, banana peels, anything you could think of horrific and putrid smelly and trash got on my body, fair skin.

 

Marques:

And my clothing when I was working as the custodian, working the graveyard shift from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. And when that transpired, that’s when I realized accountability, ownership, and servant leadership was missing from my life. And that’s when I made the change to start doing things from a more holistic perspective. Which included taking ownership of my own mistakes, learning to want to inspire to help people with my story, and learning that it’s really not about what others around you do. If you’re the owner, if you’re the leader, if you’re the servant leader in the right mentality and the right culture, you’re going to always take accountability and ownership, good or bad. So the servant leadership didn’t come into play until, again, mid-September of 2013.

 

Eileen:

Wow, what a story it. And I do have a question about that, because was it the role, was it the journey that you went on that ignited the servant leadership or inspired the servant leadership? Or, was there something inside you, was there a higher power? I mean, can you tell how that shift occurred, or the story around it while you were there?

 

Marques:

Yeah. Well, I mean, that’s an excellent question. The shift really occurs when I had my head in my hands and I was crying on the curb after that pivotal moment of the trash on my skin and clothes and body. And at that time I made the realization, at that moment, that where I was going in life was going to end up nowhere fast. I didn’t want to be one of these people that lived off of his former glory. One of my favorite shows growing up was Married With Children, Al Bundy. I didn’t want to be an Al Bundy talking about my high school, four touchdowns in one game. I didn’t want to be that person. And that’s where I was headed.

 

Marques:

I was literally on that road to be the Al Bundy person, where all I talked about was my high school glory days or the NFL glory days. And that was no longer. So really that moment made me have the shift to realize, if I don’t wake up now, then the chance of me waking up, later on, is pretty slim to none. So either make it or break it, take it, or leave it. It’s time today to make a real change. And not just a small change, a systemic change in your mindset, your leadership style, and your servant leadership mindset/mentality.

 

Alicia:

I hear a lot in your story, which is a very strong story that can help our young people. And really, some adults too. How do you have the courage to say what needs to be said? How do you, at this point, as you turn it around and you’re making these decisions, you’re looking at your life right in front of you. How do you have the courage to say what needs to be said, whether it’s to yourself or whether it’s to others?

 

Marques:

So here’s what I’ve learned, people are going to judge you whether what you say is good, what you say is bad, what you say they like, or they don’t like. They’ve made it up in their mind already, whether they want to admit it or not. So people are going to judge you regardless of what you say, what you do, or how you act. So what I feel is, might as will be yourself. This way if they judge you and they look down upon you, you know that they’re not going to be the people that you need to have in your circle. If you’re unauthentic, and you’re not really who you are. If people are judging you, then you can look at yourself and say, never going to judge me because I was fake, or because I wasn’t authentic, or because I wasn’t real. Or I didn’t have a good leadership mindset. All I cared about was myself.

 

Marques:

But if you care about other people, you want to inspire others. You’re humble and you’re honest. You’re real. You’re raw. If people judge you, that’s fine. At least you know it, you don’t have to worry about moving down the street with them. I mean, I accept it all the time. If someone doesn’t like me and they tell me, I respect them more than someone that pretends to like me but talks bad about me behind my back.

 

Alicia:

Yes.

 

Marques:

So I’ve learned, just be authentic, be real. And if people judge you, that’s their own fault. That’s their own omission, that’s their own trepidation. It has nothing to do with me. So whatever I say, it’s not going to make or break me in their minds, so you might as well be real. And the problem I feel, ladies, is that people are so caught up in social media comparison. Oh, they have that, I need to have this. Oh, I want this and then I want that. Well, again, whatever you can afford for the lifestyle if Daymond John goes out and buys a $20 million house. He made $200 million a year, that’s pennies to him in regard. But if you make $3 million a year, and turn around and buy a $20 million house, you’re going to literally put yourself in a position of trying to keep up with the Joneses. And I feel, ladies, that’s where a lot of people don’t have that strong servant leadership mentality. They’re always comparing themselves to what others have or think they might have.

 

Eileen:

Thank you so much for sharing that. I mean, we coach executives, and we also have a values deck. And what I heard, and what we say is, don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself how you are, or a better person from last year. How have you grown? How have you helped people? How have you, aligned people? So in your coaching business, how do you help coach people on not judging others, judging themselves, and just living in that alignment of authenticity?

 

Marques:

Well, I tell everybody that you need to just learn how to live and be comfortable in your own skin. And be fine with whoever you are, wherever you are. And just understand that you can always be better and advanced in your life. And I tell my clients that if you start trying to compare… For example, some people say, Oh, I want to be the next Tony Robbins. I’m like, well, you know he’s been doing this for probably 40 plus years?

 

Alicia:

Right.

 

Marques:

If you’re just starting out and you want to be the next Tony Robbins, how about you be the next just, get a speaking job? Or get two, or get a coaching client, or write a book. I mean, and that’s what I feel happens in society. So many people are trying to compare themselves to the greats, and they’re trying to align themself to what others do, or what I was around them do. Competitive market analysis is a vital career value driver point to be able to see and show, but I’m not talking about competitive market comparison. And lots of people are doing, and what they might do and can fit you to help you better yourself, but don’t sit there start comparing, contrasting and saying, well, they have this, I want that.

 

Marques:

That’s not going to get you anywhere. So I tell my client, learn how to be comfortable with who you are, one. Two, as you’re progressing, take achievements and be proud of the small and/or big wins. And three, never stop learning. The minute you stop learning is the minute that you start dying. Exactly why I went from an eight-figure a year business owner, in 2012, April, to April 2013, bankrupt, broke, almost homeless. And I lost everything I owned. Between, basically it was December, January, February. By March, when I started to pick up a move. I got down here in April I have $400 to my name. So December, January, February, I lost it all. And I had nothing to show for it but $400 when I got to Raleigh. I was 32 years old and I had just moved here, and I had nowhere to go. And at that time by just being [inaudible 00:13:28].

 

Alicia:

Amazing story. And one thing that I hear in you as a former NFL player and coach and keynote speaker, there’s a level of faith that you have. And you have to dig within to have the courage to do or to even talk about some of your life experiences because people need to hear that. So how do you motivate yourself? How do you keep the faith? Again, you picked up, you move, you have $400 in your pocket, almost homeless. What gives you that faith? That drive to say, you know what, I can do something. I don’t have to wallow where I’m at. I know that I can do something to keep or to turn around. What’s that faith point for you?

 

Marques:

So what the faith point for me is, if I’m having a difficult day, I will always go back to being a custodian. Which, again, that wasn’t my low point. I was proud to have a job. I’d go back to that pivotal moment and say, Marques, that was your low point. Trash, rotten meat, banana peel, horrible putrid-smelling garbage was on your body, your chest, your skin, your clothes, your body. Whatever you’re going through right now, it’s not that bad. And I also remember, ladies, 30 straight months, not one, not two, not six, not 12, not 24, 30. 30 straight months of being told no on every paid speaking job I went after. September 2013 until April of 2016, that’s how much how I had to work. So I tell you all the time, you need to be in perspective and just be thankful for what you have.

 

Marques:

And true leadership is not about being proud of what you have, what you amass. It’s about being very happy with where you are and knowing who you are, and what you’ve been through to get to the point you are at. I feel the American society is always going to be looking like, what’s your wealth, what’s your riches, what did you amass? And that’s great. But the problem is, you can’t take that with you. What legacy have you lived in? I’d rather have an eternity of doing great things beyond when I’m no longer there than here for short time and my life is full of riches and rewards, but I haven’t left a legacy of helping anyone. Because at the end of the day, that’s what really matters, right? Again, people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Barrack Obama, they’ll never be forgotten. Ever. Ever. Because all they did was they lived a life of servant leadership.

 

Marques:

Dr. King knew he wasn’t going to live passed, probably 40, by the time he was… Well, he knew. I mean, he knew what he was doing was not going to get him a long-lasting life. He knew it, but he didn’t stop. He didn’t say, okay, I’m just going to, for my own personal gain and for my own wellbeing, I’m just going to focus on what I need to focus on and to stop talking about inequality, injustice, inhumanity. He kept going. And because of that, nobody forgot. So that’s the type of thing, that’s the type of being people should strive for. Strive for being someone that people remember for helping others, not for someone who amassed this huge, great fortune, but did nothing with it.

 

Marques:

For example, Jeff Bezos’s wife just donated $1.7 billion that she got through the divorce. That’s servant leadership. That’s greatness. She donated $40 million to Howard. I’m a Howard grad. She will never, ever be forgotten at Howard University ever. Ever. Because they’re going to say, she donated $40 million to a cause that she didn’t have to, because she cared about what? The growth and the victory mindset of young people that she’ll never meet, that she’ll never touch, but she wanted to give them that, what? Opportunities for greatness. And that, in my opinion, is servant leadership.

 

Eileen:

Wow. What a wonderful answer and summary. Thank you so much. It’s really heartfelt. There’s one question that I’d like to ask, as it relates to where you are now today, and how you move forward every day. And we’re really big, as you know, with the servant, spiritual, and authentic leadership. And we focus on values here with our value stack. What are the core values that drive you every day? We can hear such passion in your speaking, in your energy, in your words, but we’d just love to hear you share some words of how you align with values each day.

 

Marques:

My value each and every day is to inspire people to take accountability for their own life. Will life get hard? Absolutely, it will. But hard does not mean impossible. Seven and a half years ago, ladies, I was broke, bankrupt, home foreclosed on, both cars repossessed in the same day, fired from not one but two jobs in the same week, no credit cards, almost pretty much no family, no friends, but two people. And I was just living a never-ending sleepless nightlife. And I was just praying that I would never end up on the street corner is a person that was going to be a statistic forever. I got a chance. The NFL gave me an opportunity to help me, they paid four months of my bills to my creditors. And they said, Marques, this is your one shot. I took the shot. I was slow a little bit, but I got it together.

 

Marques:

And I’m now speaking. In the last four years, I’ve worked for 17 Fortune 500 companies. Of the 17, 10 are Fortune 100. I’ve coached over 100 people in the last year one-on-one. I consult, I’m a two time best selling author. But here’s the bottom line, I’ve been the person at the bottom of the barrel, $8.25 an hour, no friends, disrespected by everybody I came into contact with. Good morning, as a custodian. Good morning, how are you? Don’t talk to me, you’re a custodian. I don’t want to speak to you. Keep vacuuming, keep spraying Pledge, take that trash out guy. Don’t talk to me. That was my life for about six months. Just because I had a broom of my hand people thought I was less than human. So I’ve been on the side of degradation, of despair, and of ridicule and mockery. The point I’m making is, I want people to take my life, use that as an inspirational tool. That if they’re having a hard time, difficult time, they can get through it. As long as they believe in themselves. I have this saying, you have to believe it before you see it.

 

Alicia:

Wow.

 

Eileen:

Thank you.

 

Alicia:

Yeah. You’re so inspirational. Time goes by so fast, and I can hear so much passion in you. So before we end, what are some words of wisdom that you would like to leave with our listeners who were here? In our episode, we on all the platforms for podcasts and social media. What are some words of wisdom really quick for our listeners?

 

Marques:

I want them to know, are they willing to do what it takes to build a legacy? Are they willing to go through the adversity, the mockery, the joking, the little under the breath mumbling a people? Well, what are you thinking about? You’ll never be this. You’ll never be that. Are you willing to oversee and push through that to leave a legacy that people will respect and will not be forgotten for the work you’ve done? That’s my end book soul. And the way you do it is you focus on the one cardinal rule, helping others. Because if you help others, usually you achieve your own goals.

 

Eileen:

Wow. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

 

Alicia:

You are the best. Oh my gosh. You are definitely a motivator. Yes.

 

Eileen:

Thank you so much for being on our podcast. We appreciate all your conversation, your words of wisdom, and especially speaking about what’s dear and near to our hearts, servant leadership.

 

Alicia:

Yeah. Yeah. You are definitely, I mean, you can just hear it in your voice and your tone. It’s, you have a drive like no other person I’ve heard. And you can hear it, it’s that determination in you. It’s just, whoa, it’s motivating. So thank you so much.

 

Marques:

And again, it’s like we said. Will you go 30 straight months, ladies, with no pay job, and you keep going, and you finally get the break. There’s nothing that I haven’t faced. And I want the audience to know, whatever they face, they can get through it as long as they don’t stop believing in themselves and their vision.

 

Eileen:

Thank you for joining us on the Soul of a Leader podcast. We are igniting a new way of leading with your soul, and interviewing ordinary people with extraordinary impact. Thank you for listening to the stories of our leaders who will help and guide you on your leadership journey. For more information on our podcast, please visit our website at www.soulofaleader.com. Thank you for listening.

 

With Dr. Eileen & Dr. Alicia

Conversations with ordinary people, with extraordinary impact on strategies, success stories, spirituality and leadership.

With Dr. Eileen & Dr. Alicia

Conversations with ordinary people, with extraordinary impact on strategies, success stories, spirituality and leadership.