Published July 17, 2020

Brotherhood Mutual Gains New Approach to Leadership Challenges Through the Summit

The most surprising and counter-intuitive thing I’ve learned is that leadership is all about serving others. It’s about seeing the potential in people and helping them succeed. Ultimately, an organization grows and gets better when the leader invests in the people on their team. 

In my work at Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, I lead a team of marketing professionals who are responsible for making ministries aware of the benefits of working with the company for its ministry-specific products and services. It’s extremely rewarding to come alongside ministries that are doing so much in their communities.  

We don’t consider ourselves in the business of just providing insurance; instead, we seek out ways to help ministries operate safely and navigate the administrative complexities that take them away from what they do best—taking care of people.  

It’s about leadership that serves others.  

While Brotherhood Mutual serves more than 65,000 ministries such as churches, Christian schools, colleges, camps and mission-sending organizations nationally, we have a unique partnering relationship with local Christian nonprofits that includes providing summer student interns and financial support through our foundation. Our employees are deeply engaged in volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Youth for Christ, Associated Churches Food Network and the Rescue Mission to name a few, and they serve on church and nonprofit boards across Northeast Indiana. Also, both locally and nationally, we support pastors and their families with counseling services through a nonprofit we founded in 2017 called Full Strength Network.

Ultimately, an organization grows and gets better when the leader invests in the people on their team.  

During the COVID-19 lock-down, as we received questions, there was an all-hands-on-deck approach to developing and distributing resources to help ministries begin to live-stream services, set up online giving, apply for the PPP loan, etc. Being able to serve ministries during this time and whenever they need us is what brings most of us to work every day.  

Locally, one of the things that excites me is seeing the collaboration among organizations in our community. Not only does northeast Indiana have a significant number of successful nonprofits, but there is also a real investment by those organizations in partnering with each other. It never ceases to amaze me, and I think it’s somewhat unique to our community. 

The Global Leadership Summit impacts my leadership on a daily basis!  

Brotherhood Mutual has been a part of the Summit for many years, but we really started getting more involved when we were asked for our support to help host a site at the Grand Wayne Center in Indiana in 2013. Since then, we have walked alongside the Fort Wayne event very intentionally, sending as many as 60–75 employees each year. We’ve also worked with our independent agencies across the country and encouraged their efforts to support host sites in their local communities. 

Whatever business or even personal challenge I’m facing, I find something I can apply.

Each year, there’s at least one, and often multiple, speakers who take me to a new or different way of thinking. Whatever business or even personal challenge I’m facing, I find something I can apply. So many of the speakers have helped me grow as a leader. After the event, we set up lunch and learn sessions with staff to re-watch and discuss topics throughout the year, and some of us have lunchtime book club meetings to take a deep dive into a speaker’s book. The outcomes have benefited our organizations, and we’ve initiated department-wide projects as a result. 

The Summit gives us resources to approach challenges strategically. 

I hear phrases from Summit speakers on at least a weekly basis from staff throughout Brotherhood Mutual. Whether it’s the need to have a “crucial conversation,” to consider the value of “rookie smarts,” or to identify our lead and lag measures, there have been significant ideas incorporated into the work culture at our company. In our daily work lives, sometimes we can get lost in the operations and in the need to simply get things done. But the Summit gives us resources to approach challenges strategically—it provides a pathway to help our managers grow into leaders, and it helps veteran leaders think differently.

The Global Leadership Summit is literally my favorite training event of the year! 

It simply has all the elements: 

  • A global, diverse class of speakers who have faced unique business challenges. 
  • An opportunity to network with other local business leaders. 
  • It provides a look at real-world challenges. 
  • It’s affordable! 

Join me at the Summit on August 6-7, 2020. This year, you can attend online from wherever you are! Get Your Tickets >>

About the Author
Mitzi Thomas Headshot

Mitzi Thomas

Vice President of Marketing

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company

Mitzi Thomas has spent the past 25 years honing her strategic communication, marketing and leadership skills at Brotherhood Mutual. Her responsibilities include leading a team of more than 50 professionals to produce creative marketing, risk management and communication support for the company and its independent agents. She joined Brotherhood Mutual as a communications assistant in 1995 and has served the company in the roles of manager of marketing communications and assistant vice president of marketing and communications. She has held her current position of vice president of marketing since 2013. Mitzi holds an English degree from Taylor University and is accredited through the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). She serves on the board of directors for the Fort Wayne Area Youth for Christ and she attends Pine Hills Church. She is also involved with supporting the efforts of developing leaders through The Global Leadership Summit locally in Fort Wayne, Indiana.