Women‘s Leadership Interview with Tami Heim Part 1
Tami Heim is the president and CEO of the Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) in San Clemente, Calif. CLA exists to equip, train, and unite the leadership teams in nonprofit ministries, churches and businesses. From top leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies to her current role in nonprofit ministry, Tami’s executive experience spans three decades. Tami and her husband, Dale, belong to Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn. Compelled by love; they travel often to serve orphans in Haiti and are now in the process of adopting from Haiti.
Chris Adams: Tami, you have served in several places in business and ministry. What is your current women’s leadership role?
Tami Heim: I am currently the president and CEO of Christian Leadership Alliance. We are an alliance of more than 6,000 mission-focused Christians who lead in today’s high-impact Christian nonprofit ministries, churches, educational institutions, and businesses. Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) unites, trains, and equips Christian leaders to think higher for greater kingdom gain. We move beyond good Christian management to empower Christian leadership that is catalytic in its transformation of people, their organizations, and ultimately the world.
We recognize every organization holds a vision; however for that vision to be achieved, every Christian leader needs to be equipped and empowered for success. And for this reason we take it higher, offering lifelong learning that is taught by best of industry faculty across all spheres of ministry and business. And all of CLA’s lifelong learning experiences feature a solid biblical worldview.
CLA creates platforms to leverage and exchange expertise, knowledge, and innovative thinking. We maximize multiple distribution channels, formats, and learning experiences so leaders get what they need, when they need it. Extensive collaboration and a shared vision for God’s plan enable us to deliver higher thinking and the best practices for organizational effectiveness in eight core categories.
Chris: You have a huge responsibility, Tami and yet I see you leading with such grace and faith. How long have you served in ministry?
Tami: I believe I started ministry the day I gave my life to Christ, May 19, 1980. I have served my family, church, community, nonprofit boards, and for profit businesses for almost four decades. Wherever I am and whatever I am doing I believe it is my ministry. When I said, “Yes!” to following Christ it was a 24/7 commitment to trusting, loving, and obeying God. Have I fallen short? Yes. Does that change the commitment? No.
As far as my professional ministry service, it began with Christian Leadership Alliance in 2012. This current assignment represents the first time God called me specifically to lead full-time in a ministry organization.
Chris: When you look back over the years of serving, how do see God led and prepared you for the place you now serve?
Tami: Life has been a sequence of seasons with timely and ordained transitions. When I reflect on the past I can point to how everything I ever did was preparation for what God had planned next. And that includes the transition.
I find that in my role at Christian Leadership Alliance my 30 years of experience leading Fortune 500 companies, serving in Christian publishing, being a partner in a technology and marketing firm, and teaching in my church are highly relevant to this position. The skills I learned in the past are actively applied in my leadership today.
But it’s also true that with each new season, God always put me in places where I immediately felt stretched beyond my own current competency and that left me painfully uncomfortable in my new lack of mastery. With each change, there has always been this enormous gap that required me to have a deeper dependence on God in order for me to accomplish what needed to be done. It’s kept me humble and in a state of constant leaning and learning.
Chris: So in this season of ministry, what is your greatest challenge?
Tami: It’s keeping focused on today and not becoming overwhelmed with how BIG God’s plan is for tomorrow. I am grateful for one day and one step at a time. Lately, however, He has been revealing more to me than just the next step. Of course this is causing me to trust Him even more and not lean into my own understanding of how He plans will transpire. And it can be challenging to always know how to intentionally get out of His way!
Look for Part 2 of our interview with Tami on Thursday, Sept. 24.