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Next Level Nonprofits with Dr. Chris Lambert

Episode 53

When nonprofits--or any organization for that matter--are poorly run, it inhibits their ability to deliver value for their customers and communities. Because nonprofits often deliver vital services to our most vulnerable citizens, we need systems in place that make them more efficient, more focused, and more productive.

On today’s episode, we talk with the leader of Life Remodeled, a community-based organization in Detroit, MI that is transforming communities and providing opportunities for many people experiencing life-controlling challenges. But this episode is not just for those involved in the nonprofit world. It’s about organizational leadership at its finest, and what it takes to be a great leader and build a great team.

About our Guest: Dr. Chris Lambert is the author of Next Level Nonprofit and Founder/CEO of Life Remodeled. Chris originally pursued a degree in marketing at Indiana University with the hope of attending law school and launching a career as a real estate developer. A spiritual awakening during his junior year led to a passion to follow Jesus, and Chris eventually followed a call to Fuller and Gordon-Conwell seminaries, where he earned his MDiv and doctorate in preaching. Moving to Liberia in 2007, he and his wife helped a village raise the necessary resources for a well, farm animals, and a new school building.

Upon returning to the U.S., Chris founded a church called Ekklesia. In 2010 he started Life Remodeled, which repurposes vacant school buildings into one-stop hubs of opportunities and helps create neighborhood revitalization that lasts. Additionally, he and his dream team built and launched the Next Level Nonprofit organizational operating system. From the TEDx stage to lists like Crain’s 40 Under 40, Building Design + Construction 40 Under 40, and SMART BUSINESS Dealmaker of the Year, Chris’ reputation precedes him.

But it’s the journey ahead—and the people he’s asked to help lead the way—that excites him most.  

Social Links LinkedIn:  Facebook:  Life Remodeled Website: 

Next Level Nonprofit Website: 

What You’ll Learn: The mission of Life Remodeled and its role in urban neighborhood revitalization. Chris' failures, learnings, and inspiring stories. Key insights from his recently published book, Next Level Nonprofit, which provides an easy-to-implement, practical, and proven system to do more good by operating at the highest levels of organizational excellence.  

Connect with Dr. Mike:  Website: Book: LinkedIn: Instagram: Twitter:

Buy The Book!: Mission First People Always  

Episode Minute By Minute:

00:00 Introduction to today’s episode with special guest, Dr. Chris Lambert 
01:20 Who is Dr. Lambert, his book, and how he’s impacting the world
03:43 Chris’s journey leading up to where he is today 
05:03 Chris talks about pursuing a life in business, but radically shifting to non-profit 
05:48 The story of Chris’s non-profit, Life Remodeled 
07:10 Chris shares the “why” behind Life Remodeled 
09:03 How Life Remodeled has seen so much success in 8 years of existence
11:25 Chris talks about why an operating system is critical to an organization's success 
13:24 Why it’s important to focus not only on the people, but the management side as well 
15:28 Chris talks about how the best “who’s” lead to the best “how’s” 
19:24 Who are  “reindeer” people, how to find them and how to hold onto to them 
23:55 Chris shares his vision behind weekly 90 minute staff meetings
26:16 The importance of having a unified vision 
31:46 Chris gives his say on if it’s tougher to work for non-profit than corporate 
34:53 Chris gives a transformational story that keeps him going in his business 
37:15 Chris shares one thing that could be implemented to becoming a good leader 
39:28 How to follow Chris and where to find his book

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