Rolling Out

David Sampson, CEO of Mariners Inn, talks his leadership style

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David Sampson, LMSW, CEO of Mariners Inn shares his leadership style and what motivates him to serve in this look into the mind of a CEO.

Please describe your leadership style as CEO.
I subscribe to the servant-leader style of leadership.  I incorporate the following characteristics in my leadership style: I give priority attention to the needs of my colleagues and those I serve. I am a humble steward of the organization’s human, financial and physical resources. I have a spiritual understanding of the identity, mission, vision and environment of the organization. I am a servant first, and it is my purpose to contribute to the well-being of people and my community. And, I love to encourage, support and enable the people I lead to unfold their full potential and abilities.

What is your mission statement?
Mariners Inn serves as an anchor for those struggling to navigate the treacherous waters of homelessness and substance abuse through a wide range of social service programs that achieve the best possible outcomes for adults, families and youth affected by addiction.

What three skill sets are critical for the future executive that you hire for your organization?
They must have a keen understanding of our target population, be a servant-leader and be an ambassador to raise awareness and funds for the organization.

How does having an advanced degree benefit you and your clients?
Having a master’s degree in social work and being licensed to provide macro and micro services, enables me to supply the organization with credibility and supply the people we serve with qualified and educated opinions about the types of approaches that may assist in their recovery process.

How do you utilize technology to benefit your organization?
Technology is instrumental in the success of our organization. We utilize an electronic health record to maintain clinical files, we are networked throughout, our billing process is web-based, our social media presence is active 24/7, and our website is always current.

Finish the sentences:

Teamwork is important because … it is essential to the success of a great organization.

The best way to recruit great talent is … to network and look for people that are experts in their field, smarter than you and knowledgeable about the mission.

Speaking a second language is important because … it provides an opportunity to communicate effectively with people who speak the second language as their primary mode of communication.

What social media platforms do you engage in the most?
Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Pinterest and Tumblr

What professional organizations do you support?
NAACP, HOMELESS Action Network of Detroit – HAND, Faces and Voices of Recovery, National Association of Black Social Workers, Wayne State Alumni Association, University of Detroit Alumni Association, Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, Detroit-Wayne County Substance Abuse Provider, TEAM Community Mental Health, Strategic Staffing Solutions, The Detroit Recovery Project, Detroit-Wayne Mental Health Authority.

Describe your networking style.
I approach people with humility and respect. The people I begin conversations with have my undivided attention and I treat them like they are the only person in the room.  Once a connection has been established, then I look for mutually beneficial professional areas of potential partnering or support; if none exists, I’ve gained a friend and associate.

If you were giving a graduation speech to college students how would you title it and give three give for that title.
The title would be “Find your purpose and your passion will reveal itself.” The three reasons why: Your purpose is what defines why you are here on this earth. Your passion is something you’d be willing to do without receiving a paycheck. Your purpose and passion maintain relevancy no matter what profession you choose.

Name your two favorite vacation destinations to relax and recharge and explain why they appeal to you.
Disney World in Florida because of my 3 girls and a cruise anywhere because of the pampering I receive from the crew. There is nothing like being pampered to recharge the spirit.

What are you reading and name your two favorite books?
I am currently reading Badge of Honor by Walter Harris (former bodyguard of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick). My two favorite books are The Bible and The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander.

Name three business or political leaders who inspire you.
Carl Bentley, vice president of Strategic Staffing Solutions; Honorable Saunteel Jenkins, former member of the Detroit City Council and new CEO of The Heat and Warmth Fund aka THAW; Bishop Wendell N. Gibbs Jr., 10th Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan.

Favorite sports team and hobbies?
Detroit Lions is my favorite sports team. Building model cars, watching sporting events in person and on television, cooking and reading are my hobbies.

Two favorite quotes that motivate you?
“It is never the wrong time to do the right thing,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and “Always allow people enough room to be themselves,” Dr. Waters, college professor.

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