Maple Syrup Season Leadership Lessons

Maple Syrup Leadership Lessons

We wrapped up another fabulous Maple Syrup Season on Saturday. This was our 4th year and each season seems to be more fun and rewarding than the last. The rewards are not about the amount of syrup we produce, but instead about the relationships formed, enhanced, and solidified!

This season produced the following servant leadership lessons:

Servant Leaders Extend Easter


I hope you had a wonderful day on Sunday celebrating Easter and our Risen Lord with your loved ones! Every Easter people celebrate with meals and family get-togethers. Many gather with the largest church crowds they’ve seen all year; others join small groups to rejoice quietly in places where gathering is life threatening.

I feel challenged to not allow the resurrection of our Lord be a one Sunday event, but instead allow the truth to truly impact and affect my life on a daily basis.

Intentional Living

Are Your Priorities Straight-

If you knew you only had 6 months to live, what would you do with your life? That was the question posed by the speaker, Todd Gongwer, author of Lead For God’s Sake, last Thursday evening at a fund raising event I attended for Marshall Area Christian School.

It was a question that really resonated with me, as that morning I had been in an accident, where someone pulled out right in front of me and in an effort to miss hitting them, I swerved left, they hit me, and spun me into a ditch and my truck rolled over to it’s side.

Building Competence & Accountability

Need Help-

We had a great start to a new year of Leadership Roundtable the last two weeks. Leaders in 4 communities in Central MN kicked off their 1st Year of Leadership Roundtable. It is always inspiring for me to work with these leaders who have an unending passion of personal development and who want to look to Jesus’ guidance on the subject of leadership.

I always share with leaders the key to getting the most out of Leadership Roundtable is to develop a system of accountability to insure they truly enhance their leadership competence. Servant leaders build their character by being accountable and competent!

Building Energy – Have Fun!

Should Work Be Fun

Is it OK and appropriate to have fun at work? Servant leaders Build Energy and develop an environment in which people are passionate about the purpose and vision of the organization. I truly believe that people will be far more engaged and productive when they are enjoying themselves.

My sons have developed an annual tradition with our maple syrup operation. Last weekend was their third annual event where many of their friends come together to work collecting sap and producing syrup. If that were the extent of what happens, I would venture to say that not many would show up. It is not easy work, and I am sure that young people have much better things to do, as the weather turns nice after a long winter.

You Must Build Trust

The Absolute Best Way

Trust seems to be the theme of the week. I have been asked about trust a lot lately. Questions like: How can we build trust within our team? How can I build trust as a leader? Do we need an environment of trust to perform at a high level?

Trust is extremely important! As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence”. Without trust you will not be effective at influencing anyone, therefore the impact of your leadership is dependent on you being a trusted leader.

Building Relationships With Forgiveness

Look to Jesus as the  ModelOFFER

Servant leaders realize the importance of building relationships in every aspect of their lives and their business. The more adept a person is at building relationships, the more influence and potential impact they will have as they lead and serve others.

I have the opportunity to work with many leaders across many industries in many varied situations. A situation I see often is hard feelings when people feel they have been wronged in some fashion. I see relationships deteriorate due to one party being upset with the other.

Honored to Embark on Year 5

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It is a very exciting time at Triune Leadership Services. We are preparing to embark on our 5th Year of Leadership Roundtable, which kicks off with Introductory Sessions in four different MN Communities during the second and third week of March.

Five years ago, three Executive Board Members of the Alexandria Unity Foundation had a vision for creating an opportunity for leaders to learn about servant leadership looking to Jesus as the ultimate model of leadership. Fundamentally that is how Triune Leadership Services, LLC got its start.

I was honored to have the opportunity to take on that challenge and develop the Leadership Roundtable (LRT). Since starting in Alexandria, MN with a core group of 15 leaders, participation in the LRT has grown steadily each year. Last year we had 166 participants in 4 communities, Alexandria, Willmar, Marshall, and Minneapolis.

What has led to this significant interest in the Leadership Roundtable? I believe that some of the factors are as follows:

  • It is God’s desire that we look to his son Jesus as the model for leadership.
  • Leaders are attracted to a setting where they can learn these principles, and develop relationships with others to help them develop and be held accountable for their progress.
  • Leaders learn principles that are applicable both in their personal and professional lives.
  • Individual’s lives and families are transformed when they get intentional about leading a purpose-driven, values-based life based on timeless principles laid out so clearly for us in the Bible.
  • Businesses are seeing their culture move in a positive direction as leaders embark on serving others, building purpose-driven, values-based, high performing teams.
  • Communities are being transformed as leaders across all sectors such as business, education, non-profits, government, healthcare, and churches come together with a common purpose and values-based focus on servant leadership.

Scheduled Year 1 Leadership Roundtable Groups starting March 2015:

  • Alexandria – 2nd Tuesday of each month
  • Willmar – 2nd Friday of each month
  • Cloud – 2nd Wednesday of each month
  • Fergus Falls – 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Marshall – TBD (Starts late summer)

If you happen to live within the vicinity of any of these MN locations we would love to have you join one of these groups. In the past we have had people drive up to 120 miles to attend a group. In many cases that is how we ended up starting in new markets as leaders were exposed to the experience and they generated the necessary amount of interest to start one in their own community.

This link, 2015 Leadership Roundtable, will provide more information on the upcoming year of LRT. You can also contact me directly at Mark Deterding, with any other questions you may have, or to register for an Introductory Session in March at any of the locations.

I am consistently inspired by LRT participants and their continued development as proficient servant leaders. They are making a significant positive impact within their spheres of influence. Here is one testimony of what the LRT experience has meant to them as a leader:

When first presented with the opportunity to be a part of Leadership Roundtable, I was hesitant as to whether I had the time to commit.  What a mistake that would have been, to NOT be part of this amazing journey.  Leadership Roundtable has shaped my leadership point of view, has provided greater direction and accountability in both my work and personal life and has strengthened my relationship with the Lord.  The opportunity to grow with, and learn from other leaders in our community was beyond my expectations.  If you are looking to take your leadership to the next level, Leadership Roundtable is the ticket!” – Business Owner in Alexandria, MN

It is a privilege for my partner, Dr. Mark Herringshaw, and me to have the opportunity to work with people who have a desire to serve and lead based on principles laid out for us by Jesus. We can’t wait to get started, and we hope to see you as a participant in 2015!


As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

How Do You Ensure Daily Personal Development?

Mark's Top 5

Servant leaders are passionate about building their personal performance. I read a lot of blogs to help me continually advance my performance and service to my clients. I have been asked a number of times recently to list my top 5 most influential leadership blogs?

That is a great question, in that there are days that I have to prioritize my reading to keep my schedule under control. But even on busy days, I will not miss reading my Top 5.