titles do not make leaders

He always had a smile playing around the corners of his mouth ready to burst into that full fledged humorous smile that made others around him smile in spite of themselves. He had a sparkle in his eyes and a jaunty spring to his step. He had a gift for seeing the humor in almost any situation and was quick to point it out.

He always had a kind word for people; always encouraging others and he seemed to know when you needed it the most. He was the kind of person that caused you to become better just by being around him.

He was optimistic about the future and was always “planting trees” for the next generation. He didn’t look back, but was always looking expectantly towards the horizon.

When I was first privileged to meet him, he was already well into his 70’s and had retired from his vocational job many years before. In his 70’s he was a “younger” and more optimistic person than most 20-year olds. He had endured much and walked with a limp due to a German machine-gun bullet that had gone through both of his legs.

We both sat on the governing body of a nonprofit as volunteers and had no formal authority as individuals. Many times our meetings got quite lively if you know what I mean. Yet when that gentle man quietly started to speak, all the noise, all the fuss stopped as everyone waited to hear what he had to say. Just a few quiet words of wisdom from that man changed the direction of many meetings – in a good way.

He was a man of integrity, a man of honor, a man of wisdom, who cared for people, who cared for the truth, was passionate about the mission, and was ever looking forward. He was a leader because of who he was, not because of any title.

I miss Mr. Al and I want to be like him when “I grow up”.

choose wisely

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” – Proverbs 13:20 (ESV)

Choose wisely the people you spend time with as they shape you whether you are aware of that happening or not.

If you choose well, these people will help you become a better person. If you choose only people that don’t challenge you to be better, that don’t challenge you to set higher standards, that don’t speak truth to you – you will become something less and you definitely will not grow as a person.

Choose wise people that will speak truth to you so that you can grow and become even better.

nuggets from “41”

Like many of you that love to read, I received some books for Christmas this year – Unbroken and 41Both are excellent books and are worth your time in my opinion.

Unbroken contains some incredible lessons about how your mindset impacts your reaction to your circumstances.

I found 41 to better than I expected. Of course it is a loving portrayal of father by his son made special by the fact that both held the office of President. In addition to the book being written with a warm and genuine tone, it is also filled with little gems of wisdom.

Following are some that I highlighted in the book:

“. . . grace in victory, good sportsmanship in defeat, and a commitment to ‘do your best’ at all times.”

“. . . the measure of a meaningful life was not money, but character.”

“. . . when you give your word, keep it.”

“. . . courage, loyalty, and service.”

“Do your best. Don’t be arrogant. Never complain.”

“He learned the importance of hiring knowledgeable people and listening to their advice, of delegating responsibility and holding people accountable, and of making tough decisions and accepting the consequences.”

There are more, but these especially caught my eye.

May you have a blessed week!


a life well lived

Jack and Janis Robertson
Jack and Janis Robertson

Last week was quite a week. My last day in the office for Ambassador Enterprises (a great company filled with exceptional people!) to working with some good friends whose company is growing, to packing up my truck for me to drive South. So, not too many posts this past week.

Today (Monday, September 15, 2014) a man of God, a great husband and father, a friend, and a mentor, is being buried in east Texas. Jack Robertson has touched countless lives and many, many people (including me) are better because of his investment into their lives.

Jack’s deep faith in God and his love for his family were immediately evident to those he touched. He was a great businessman and entrepreneur, but business seemed more of a way to meet and serve others than just making a profit. Jack cared deeply about others and served others. His wisdom blessed me in so may ways. With his dry humor and east Texas drawl he would often share simple but profound observations that cut to the heart of the matter and cause you to see things in a totally different light.

I could go on and on, but my feeble words do not do justice to the life of Jack Robertson. Jack Robertson is a man who lived well and he died well. His faith and confidence in Jesus Christ enabled him to face death with calmness and dignity. Jack is now whole again and we rejoice that he is with his Lord, but we mourn the loss of a friend. Bittersweet indeed.

Today, if you would, pause for a minute and pray for his family. Then pause and reflect on your life. Is it a life well lived?

Jack – thank you and I miss you.


When we don’t c…

When we don’t choose what goes in our minds, our minds fill up with things that point our thoughts in other directions.

 – Andy Andrews

Kindness, Justice, and Humility

Kindness, Justice, and Humility

As you lead and work with others, are you doing so with justice, kindness, and with humility?

seeking knowledge

autumn pictures NOV2013A couple of thoughts for you on this Friday:

“The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge . . .” – Proverbs 15:14

“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.” – Proverbs 15:31

Have a blessed weekend!


“The significan…

“The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

jealously and ambition

blue sky Lauren AUG 2013Good morning! Looks like it’s going to be a great week working with the AWANA leadership team at their leadership retreat!

Jealousy and ambition! Ever had those two things intrude upon the workings of your leadership team? They will destroy the effectiveness of a team as quickly and more thoroughly than most anything else.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” – James 3:16

In contrast, teams that truly collaborate, where leaders operate with wisdom, then there is harmony – peace.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” – James 3:17

So, which of these two verses describe the operations of your leadership team? Are people competing with a self-centered view, or are they seeking the wisdom from above? Are people open to reason? Are they sincere – authentic?

If verse 16 describes your leadership team – maybe it is time to have some frank discussions about how to move to a team that reflects verse 17.

Blessings on your week!

you need an abundance of these

leaf AUG 2013Good morning. We had a great time this past weekend with the leadership, deacons and members of Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Texas this weekend. Being able to share with their staff and deacons at their deacons’ retreat was a special time. Great group of men that made me feel right at home. Then I had the privilege of speaking to the church on Sunday. So Angela and I had a great time this weekend.

What do you need an abundance of – Besides money or time? 🙂

In Proverbs 11:14 the Scripture says “. . . but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Do you have an “abundance” of counselors? Are there people you go to for advice on major decisions or do you wing it on your own?

My personal tendency is to make decisions on my own, but I found many years ago, the wisdom of seeking the advice of others. Not only that, I developed my own personal “advisory council”. A group of five men I call every five to six weeks just to talk with them, learn from them and to seek their advice on different topics. The result has been rich for me.

Now this was not natural for me as I score extremely high on the freedom aspect of assessments, meaning I tend to act independently.So it is a learned behavior.

We all need the help of others. So be proactive and develop a group of people to become your advisors. Follow the teachings of Scripture and learn from “an abundance of counselors.”

Have a great week!