James Kelly - Leading in a Quick-Fix, Anxious, Innovate or Die, Digital Age

James Kelly Headshot

Speaker: James Kelly, Founder and CEO, FaithTech, Waterloo, ON

Topic: “Leading in a Quick-Fix, Anxious, Innovate or Die, Digital Age”

About the session: 

Innovation occurs rapidly in a digital context. Businesses need to respond or be left behind. James will cover six lessons he’s learned leading in a quick-fix, anxious, innovate or die, digital age: 

  1. Face Yourself - Antidote to quick-fix, empathetic, data-first, technique-driven leadership posture of our time
  2. Prioritize Your Life - Antidote to whimsical, misguided, instant gratification leading
  3. Data-Informed, Spirit-Led - Antidote to data-first tech-led business gurus
  4. Character Growth over Company Growth - Antidote to ego, being defined by success, and scaling fatigue
  5. Give an “I Have a Dream” Speech - Antidote to reactive, self-preserving, and defensive leadership
  6. Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry - Antidote to this hyper anxious cultural moment and fear of man crippling leaders  

About the presenter:  

Evidence of James’ entrepreneurship was apparent long before he started a career - he knew that he wanted to create and contribute something of value and pursued ways of doing just that.

At the age of 17 he wrote, produced and performed his first music album. At 19 he co-founded a media company creating faith-based music videos that incorporated original music, speaking and video with one message.

As God’s calling for him became clearer, James pursued and earned a Masters of Divinity from McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario. Soon after, he and Karen helped strategically launch Radiant City Church with roughly 20 others, intentionally moving into neighbourhoods in need within the city, continuing their passion to share the Gospel and the tangible hope of Christ in some of the city’s darkest areas.

After attending a leadership conference in October 2015 where he heard the statement, “In the midst of devastation, there is an opportunity for innovation,” James was propelled to pursue innovation to help the poor and spread the Gospel of Jesus in new ways. He saw the opportunity the church could have if it would use technology to transform the way it is impacting and interacting with the world that surrounds it and needs Jesus. And thus sparked what has now become a movement. FaithTech. James quit his full-time recruitment business near the end of 2016 to focus all his effort on the FaithTech movement. By God's grace, FaithTech is now in 11 communities, has helped birth 5 new startup companies, deployed over 15 products within existing organizations, and we are actively working on over 35 projects. God has taught me a lot about innovation along the way!