Monday, December 29, 2014

John Hawkins--Humble Leadership

Earlier in the year I began writing about people who have influenced my life.

John Hawkins was a big one. John is the President and CEO of Leadership Edge, Inc. His book Leadership as a Lifestyle is fantastic.

I met John when I moved to Fort Worth in 1992. I was starting seminary, and sought men who could mentor and teach me. John was on staff at Hope Church, doing campus ministry at TCU.

John and I hit it off right away--he was incredibly kind and friendly, always interested in what was going on with me. We often met for lunch or coffee, and he and his wife Janet invited me to wonderful dinners with their family. John is one of the most humble people I've ever known.

We talked about God and ministry and being a man. John would ask thought-provoking questions, and give me nuggets of wisdom to think about it.

The best of his statements always started with, "you see, Todd, the thing about it is..."

The "thing" was always something important for me to think about or work on in my life.

When John started Leadership Edge in 1993, he asked me to do some part-time administrative work for him. Now that I think about it, I was probably LEI's first employee--what an honor!

John had an office set up in a small building in his backyard, and I would go over there two or three days a week to put together mailings, organize John's messages and writings, file, etc.

On our first day, John gave me a little talk before we started:

"Todd, when we get together, we always have great talks, and I enjoy those times. But when we're here, working, we need to focus on the job, not our friendship."

The next time I came over to work, John came into the office. It was pretty early.
John asked if I had had a quiet time yet that morning. I hadn't.

"Let's spend a little time with God before we start working," he said.

We spent the next hour praying, reading Scripture and talking. The administrative work took a back seat.

That's who John is, putting people first--loving, teaching, encouraging, challenging.

Hard to believe that was over twenty years ago. John and I still talk on the phone every couple years, and the wisdom and guidance he gave me in our short time together made a big impact on me as a man, a husband, a father and a friend.

I love you, Brother!

John and his wonderful wife Janet

New Name for Blog

I started blogging about 8 years ago. At the time, I was 41, and chose the name 40-Something Teenager; reflecting the fact that even though I was in my 40s, I still felt like a teenager in many ways.

In five months, however, I will turn 50. I won't be a 40-something anymore. I spent way too much time brainstorming and searching for a new name, and finally gave up trying to be creative. Hence the new name.

2014 has been a great year--fun, adventurous, exhausting, challenging. I am doing some thinking and praying about how to keep going with what is good, and what changes I need to make to deal with challenges and struggles.

Hopefully a new name and some changes in my schedule and priorities will lead to more writing in the coming year.

If you are reading this, it means you are one of the few who stick around, probably hoping I'll say something worth reading again. I'll try!