Jason Barger spent 10 years running the family-oriented Camp Akita for Columbus’ First Community Church. And then on Jan. 1, 2008, he walked away from a job he had thoroughly enjoyed and headed down a path for which he had no map.
“I didn’t know what was next, but I knew there was a challenge out there that I was ready for,” Barger says. “The idea was marinating.”
Once his idea was fully marinated, he slept in seven airports across the U.S. in one week, observing and interacting. He then wrote Step Back from the Baggage Claim, a book that now exists in four different editions and helped launch Barger’s career in leadership training and motivational speaking.
Barger, 38, lives in Upper Arlington, where he grew up, with his wife Amy and their children Will, 9; Benton, 6; and Brooke, 4.
His next book comes out this month. Remember, which can be pre-ordered on Amazon beginning Nov. 9, takes his personal philosophy to the next level. His first book focused on “how do we respond when things don’t go our way;” the next one pulls him back to a place of gratitude and reconnection.
But no matter what form each project takes, much of Barger’s philosophy centers around the concept of “servant leadership.” From the street mission projects he used to head for First Community to the business leaders he interacts with now, Barger considers leading others a privilege.
“You’re dealing with people,” he says, “and enabling their positivity and passion and helping them communicate that more clearly.”
5 Things to know
Barger shares his thoughts
Plan time in your life to “Remember”
Remember the purpose for who you want to be in the world and why you do what you do.
Recommit to the memberships (relationships) in your life by releasing the baggage of the past, recasting a new vision for the future and responding with compelling action.
Practice seeing life through a lens of compassion and servant leadership
Everyone you meet is carrying something heavy. It’s a privilege to serve.
Dare to Begin
Put courageous actions into motion that stimulate positive change.
Participate in the creation of your life, your vision and the impact you make in the world.