Helping Christian Organizations and Leadership Flourish with Al Lopus

by Darrell Darnell | Pro Podcaster Stories

“I never thought I was a radio guy, but I can interview these folks and actually create something. That's how the podcast got started.” Al Lopus Click To Tweet

Today’s Episode:

Having a business, career or job enables us to pay the bills, but many of us want work that is life-giving and meaningful. One way for Christians to find this type of meaningful work is to be employed by a Christian organization. Al Lopus is the President and co-founder of Best Christian Workplaces Institute. Al began ranking the best Christian organizations to work for in a Christianity Today article which led to founding BCWI in 2002. This organization uses research-based measurement tools and culture change advisory services to help Christian organizations set the standard as the best and most effective workplaces in the world. 

There is even a certification for workplaces that get a client survey score of 4.0 or above. This signals that this is a great place to work with great leadership. Having the certification can attract high-quality employees, and it also appeals to potential donors. Al is also the host of The Flourishing Culture Podcast. On his show, Al conducts interviews with leaders on how they have created some of the best and most effective Christian workplaces. Al is a client of ours, and I’m excited to talk to him about his podcast, how he started, what success means to him, his unique pre-interview question method, and the example that his father set for him. 

Al is an author, speaker, and consultant. Prior to co-founding BCWI, Al served 21 years in leadership roles. He held key leadership roles at the consulting firm Willis Towers Watson. He chaired the Board of Directors for The Nicolas Fund for Education. He also served on the Christian Leadership Alliance Board and is currently on the Advisory Board. He was also on the Board for Virginia Mason Medical Center. His passion and experience for proven leadership and amazing workplace culture are highlighted in this interview. I thought his interview was relevant for these current times, but my solo episode is still coming up in the near future. 

“They not only see my questions, but I see the responses which allow us to have an even deeper conversation in some ways.” Al Lopus Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • [03:20] The BCWI vision is for Christian organizations to set the standard as the best most effective place to work in the world. They do this by measuring the health of the culture through an engagement survey. They also measure effectiveness of leadership organizations and do culture consulting. 
  • [04:14] They want to inspire Christian leaders to create a flourishing workplace.
  • [04:32] Al is the co-founder of BCWI. The firm started by trying to compile a list of best Christian workplaces. 
  • [05:33] Al started The Flourishing Culture podcast to get his message to a broader audience. 
  • [06:09] His daughter helped him with his first podcast. 
  • [08:02] Al wanted stories of great Christian workplaces and what the leaders did to create that environment.
  • [09:24] The podcast is really a way to reinforce their message to leaders, by listening to other successful leaders and sharing helpful tips.
  • [12:57] To be certified as a best Christian workplace you need a client survey score of a 4.0 or above. Only about half of the organizations are certified. 
  • [15:51] Al’s been podcasting for about five years now. When he first started out, he bought lower-end equipment and then worked his way up.
  • [16:30] He also sends his guests the script with all the questions prior to the podcast, and they send it back to him.
  • [17:10] To produce the podcast Al and his team have a schedule of who the guests will be. Once the guest accepts the invitation, Al and the team writes the script. Then they record on Skype.
  • [18:25] Then they upload it to the social media manager who sends the audio to Pro Podcast Solutions. Once published, the guests gets a notification email which includes social media prompts. 
  • [21:20] The podcast is an educational and a marketing piece.
  • [22:54] Being certified as a best Christian workplace helps improve the quality of candidates who apply to work there. High-quality individuals usually have offers from other workplaces.
  • [24:17] Current employees also know that it will be difficult to find a better workplace than where they are already at. Donors also appreciate the certification.
  • [27:52] Things to look for in the survey include having a good leader and having the company well managed. They also want the leader to demonstrate fairness and integrity. Another important factor is life-giving work. This is one of the reasons why people want to work at Christian workplaces.
  • [29:13] Al does look at numbers and how many downloads he has. He also defines success by the way he positively affects his listeners. 
  • [31:22] Recognition from the podcast also creates a place to start a relationship. 
  • [31:37] They are also using transcripts from one of their podcast series and using that to write a book. 
  • [33:04] Al’s dad is a CFO which is relevant because BCWI has had a recent revenue drop. His dad taught him the value of saving. He’s grateful to his dad for teaching him to build the reserves that are sustaining them now.
  • [34:43] Al is also a fan of Donald Miller and the Storybrand framework. He’s also reading Marketing Made Simple and listens to other inspirational podcasts. 
  • [38:58] Darrell’s Takeaways: A lot of people are dealing with remote working. Al’s podcast episode can help. He also learned saving from his dad which is helping him during these times of uncertainty. Saving for the lean times during the good times is great advice. Al sends out his questions and gets the answers back ahead of time. This technique may not be right for everybody, but it could be right for you. He also gives his guests guidance on sharing the episode on social media. Podcasts are a great way to better connect. 

“My reaching out and having that interview with them draws us closer in our relationship with our ministry partners and clients.” Al Lopus Click To Tweet

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