This Oscar Wilde quote was part of David Bussau's closing words of wisdom to over 300 church, ministry and business leaders in Melbourne recently.
The Christian Management Association hosted a conference full of inspiring input, exceptional networking opportunities, and ministry-focussed professional development from 4 – 6 June.
The conference was aptly titled 'Courageous leadership in turbulent times'. With new charity reform coming into play and economic and natural crisis surrounding the past few years, this conference was not only extremely informative and encouraging; it projected an atmosphere of a 'united front' for the Kingdom of God within business and leadership.
In excess of 300 people sat in the Hilton on the Park's beautiful ballroom for dinner, as an awe-inspiring and raw interview took place. Scott Parry-Jones interviewed Order of Australia recipient, David Bussau. David has been in the public eye for many years and has received many awards including; Ernst & Young Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 2003, ACFID Human Rights Award 2006 and Senior Australian of the Year 2008, to name a few.
David believes he was born an entrepreneur. It was a gifting that he realised and took on board at a young age. Growing up in an Anglican Boys home increased his resilience, lateral thinking and risk-taking ability, but David says, "The small things were the training grounds for the bigger things."
David and his family had the opportunity to live in a village in Indonesia for 5 years in the late 1970's. During this time he noted how simply they lived and how totally reliant on God the village people were. Watching the villagers mortgage their children into child labour to pay debt, he began to think creatively about how to mobilise and empower people to release them from bondage.
He began by providing a $100 micro-loan to a local Indonesian for starting and growing a sewing business. Today the family runs an import/export business and owns a fleet of taxis, providing a wide range of employment for the local community.
"We are created to be productive. If you want to help people, you need to empower them economically. That releases the family and children from bondage." states David.
David explains that micro-loans are the key. "Loans create wealth to help others. It shares it amongst more…not just one person. Position people to make righteous decisions and release them to do it."
David Bussau has also founded 17 international ministries. He mentions that many 'founders' have trouble letting go and releasing their managers or leaders as their identity is wrapped in the ministry.
"Encourage them (leaders/managers) that they have the ability and the resources. Give them a manual, but you have to release them. Give them wings and space. Releasing is the key. Ownership ends up strangling you and you become what you own."
David's wisdom and experience commanded the attention of all in the ballroom. His trust in God is evident. He has success in his trail, but he has learnt many valuable lessons. "God isn't impressed with our achievements. He gives us relationships so that we can bless that person or people. It's not about what we can get out of it. Relationship is the key. Go in open-handed. What can I give or do?"
Scott Parry-Jones asked David Bussau if he had any final words for leaders. He replied, "Find your own identity – don't become an extension of your organisation. What has God created you for? You are unique. Take risks for the Kingdom! There's no condemnation in Christ. Don't be afraid to screw up for God!"
Belinda Croft is married to Russell and she has a son BJ, 11 years. She has a heart and passion for God, writing, creativity, mission and social justice.
Belinda's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/belinda-croft.html