EPISODE # 19

START WITH THE WHO

(WITH APOLOGIES TO SIMON SINEK)

For his entire life, Michael Jones dreamed of achieving success in the business world. He realized that dream with his work at IPG, a provider of market-based medical implant solutions that is delivered to payers, manufacturers, providers and patients. In his role as President/COO, Michael was named one of Atlanta’s top 25 entrepreneurs by Catalyst Magazine in 2008 (#4). Jones was selected because of his role in founding IPG and turning it into one of the country’s fastest-growing businesses. In 2008, Inc. Magazine ranked IPG as the sixth-fastest growing healthcare company in the country (1,500% three year growth rate) and the 138th fastest-growing overall. FORBES Magazine recently ranked IPG at #5 in its list of 100 Most Promising Companies in America. 

However, despite that success, Michael discovered that it wasn't enough. He wanted to build a legacy. He wanted to make a difference. He wanted to change the world. Discovering the incredible deficit in coffee farmers' participation in the profits from their toils, he set out to correct the injustice. Thrive Farmers Coffee was born.

The THRIVE Farmers platform gives farmers direct access to the marketplace for their coffee, allowing them to maintain ownership until the point of sale by THRIVE. At that time, the farmer receives a fixed percentage of the revenue generated for their coffee — thereby avoiding any link to the commodity pricing.

In our discussion, Michael discusses how identity is the foundational key to any great enterprise, even before purpose. Can you really know your purpose if you don't know who you are? Michael found his in a faith that revealed he could live a life focused on others free from the trap of measuring success by earthly standards. He's committed to making an eternal difference.

In our conversation, Michael struggles with the verbiage of "servant leadership," but then goes on to describe what servant leadership should ultimately be; love, putting others first, and wanting the best for your employees and stakeholders.

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