High 5s for Mentors

15 12 2012

Nearly eleven years ago now, God brought a young man, Bill Lewis,  into my life that little did I know then, would end up being my best friend, financial coach, and Business Mentor. Bill had been involved in a Leadership Company called TEAM and introduced us to the founder  Orrin Woodward. We are very excited to be a part of the recently launched mentorship program called LIFE.  Some would think that an “older man” would be the one to look up to for coaching and mentoring. That is certainly not the case today. Some recent past Presidents have tarnished the thought of being the older, wiser, example set for our children to follow.

So, what is the big deal about a mentor you ask…

Younger men want and need the blessing of an older man to breathe life into them and develop a noble leader that exposes the leadership abilities that God has instilled in  them at birth. At some point, sons must leave the mentorship of dad to become a man. With a greater that 50% divorce rate for first marriages, most children grow up without the mentorship of a father. How do I know that you ask, I am a father who has suffered wounds from a failed first marriage, leaving a son to be raised mostly without the coaching of his father. He and I have both paid the price for that choice.

Bill Lewis, a much younger man than myself, has helped me to mend those wounds, restore my faith, and forgive myself, just like Christ has forgiven each of us. Understand that a “mentor” does not have to be an older man.

Mentors are specialists. A mentor is one who supports rather than competing with you. A mentor is one who is primarily a cheerleader and not a critic. A mentor is one who sees what is right and good in you, and identifying your strengths. A mentor is one who encourages the development of your gifts while seeking to protect you from costly mistakes.  Bill helped me understand that paying interest on items that depreciate is a costly mistake. Buying and leasing new cars, trading them in every three years, paying for beautiful RVs that made us feel good to keep up with every other camper was very costly. Sometimes truth is alarming, but it is still the truth.

A mentor is one who admires and delights in you because he instinctively recognizes your value and untapped potential. A mentor does not have to necessarily have to be a close friend, but he will be a confidant. A mentor will teach you wisdom through experience. A mentor will have belief in you and give cheers for your achievements. A mentor in some instances is truly a proven hero.

To quote Exodus 18:19-20 Hearken now unto my voice, I will give thee counsel. and God shall be with thee. Be thou for the people to God-ward, that thou mayest bring the cause unto God. And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and work that they must do. Moses clearly had a gift to share with others. That is where “Iron sharpens Iron” comes from.

A mentor chooses to cultivate a relationship with you. He is willing to take a chance on you and he is respected by others. A mentor has a network of resources and is consulted by others. A mentor is as good a listener as he is a talker and is consistent in his lifestyle.

A mentor is concerned with your interests and is able to diagnose your needs. Younger mentors like Orrin Woodward and Bill Lewis give older men like myself a restored purpose that we can serve the second half our life that adds the satisfaction that is missing from an older mans life. We all need mentors…….

Do you know what the potholes in your life are?

It is a poor man that goes through life without letting a few men inside.

God Bless



First You Must Follow

3 12 2011

In Orrin Woodward’s new book “Resolved” he clearly identifies that he is a follower of a great GOD. If we are to understand success in the future, we must resolve to follow some parts of the past. Hundreds of years ago, community was important in our day-to-day lives. Everyone was following someone and everyone (well nearly everyone) understood they were leading someone. Growing up as a child, we knew to respect our parents, our friends parents, our teachers, our local law enforcement officers, our legal system, and public education.  Every one of those people had an influence in what I would later become, and lead others to those same truths. I remember very well, my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs Youcartz, and my Reading Railroad workbooks! I remember her keeping me after school and then taking me home so I could keep up with the rest of the class in their advanced reading skills.

I recall growing up in a smaller rural neighborhood that we referred to as Union Lake. Our community was a close knit group of families that did many things together. I recall a tornado as a child forcing most of our neighborhood into the Johnston’s basement. That was cool watching garbage cans flying through the neighborhood! Our parents went frogging together, they united during many times of year to help others out like at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Much of what is mostly left up to churches and Scouting organizations to accomplish these days. As children we were following people we respected.

A handful of years ago, GOD brought a few men into our life that we knew were different. Not brash or arrogant, but certainly confident and trustworthy. These men, Orrin Woodward, Bill Lewis, and Mark Huber, caused me to rethink my thinking. Many will ask, “what is different about these guy?” The answer, plenty!  They are living their lives with purpose. They are committed to improving the lives of others, plain and simple.

Most folks have very busy hectic schedules, which are mostly do to lost focus. It’s almost like we are a nation of lost souls wandering  around in the desert and the only thing we have accomplished at the end of any given day is to be tired.

We were honored to be present when Oliver DeMille, best-selling author of the new book Freedom Shift, shared with a group of LIFE Leadership recently, that we must resolve to return to teaching our children to be parents. Teach them not only to be Leaders, but also understand they must follow.

With that said, this title “First You Must Follow” is for parents to step up to the plate and be the example our children need, to learn to follow.

My friend and mentor Bill Lewis, posted a recent leadership article on the foundations we all are building for our children and grandchildren, or believe we are. I believe the sole purpose in leadership is to inspire others to become the best they can be. When this young man came into my life several years ago, I was one of those lost souls. Doing everything everyone had told me to do.

Although my career as a wildland firefighter with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources took me on some very exciting adventures, something was missing. The only time I really gave serious consideration to making a difference in someone’s life was when duty called. The rest was living the life of insanity.

Duty has called again, and that duty is to share truth and restore leadership. What an exciting time we live in. We get to be a part of the Leadership Revolution our Nation needs just like our ancestors did hundreds of years ago. Not everyone sailed with Columbus, but he did certainly have followers and they were willing and ready to pay whatever price needed to be paid to have their freedom.

Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady’s New York Times Best Selling book “Launching a Leadership Revolution” is a very good place to start following from. 

Another great read is “Becoming a Person of Influence” by John Maxwell.

If you have not received your personal copy of Chris and Orrin’s book LIFE, might I suggest you hurry to get you one.

Ask yourself, Who am I following, and where are they taking me to? And the important question is, where are our children following us to?

Until next time,

GOD Bless,


Rumor, Heresy, Popular Opinion

25 11 2011

Nearly ten years ago, we were introduced to a couple gentlemen, Orrin Woodward and Mark Huber. This introduction was made possible by our new found friend Bill Lewis. We had just became a part of a growing organization of people that were dedicated to work together to improve the lives of anyone that would be willing to step outside their comfort zone and utilize the seeds of greatness that GOD had planted in all of us at birth.                                

Everyone had their individual opinions about what we had become involved in, and we quickly came to realize that was what they were, opinions.

Orrin Woodward and Mark Huber and their wives Laurie and Anna, had come to our home town of Gladwin Michigan at the time to give back. They were teaching at the then Gillman Springs Church Camp. Orrin knew we were new to the Team Leadership Organization, and asked Bill if there were anything he could do for us to help speed up the growth of our team. We had heard a lot about Orrin and were anxious to make his acquaintance.

Within minutes of meeting Orrin and Mark, all of the rumors, heresies, and opinions of others were dispelled. We knew there was something different about Orrin and Mark that no one had brought to our attention except Bill Lewis. They were men of character and integrity.  Yep, both in the same sentence.

It has been our honor and privilege to work side by side with these outstanding examples of GOD fearing men, and are excited to be a spoke in the wheel of the group of outstanding men and women who have stood by their convictions to have launched the new LIFE organization.

Make no mistake, this is a Leadership Revolution. Some will ask what it is, some will wonder what it is, and some will watch it happen. Make no mistake, it is going to happen. The children and grandchildren of those who are involved are going to be very proud of their parents and grandparents accomplishments and for their committment to a better, safer America.

We have a battle to fight as Oliver DeMille points out in his new book “Freedom Shift” and the battle is consumerism. DeMille points out our country was made great by those who decided to be producers. Orrin Woodward, Chris Brady and the Founders of LIFE are elite examples of leadership producers.

These brief definitions may help the reader come to the right conclusion:

Rumor: often viewed as “an unverified account or explanation of events circulating from person to person and pertaining to an object, event, or issue in public concern”

Rumors are also often discussed with regard to “misinformation” and “disinformation” (the former often seen as simply false and the latter seen as deliberately false.

 Rumor is a concept that lacks a particular definition. Rumor involves some kind of a statement whose veracity is not quickly or ever confirmed.

Rumors are often discussed with regard to “misinformation” and “disinformation” (the former often seen as simply false and the latter seen as deliberately false, though usually from a government source given to the media or a foreign government).

Rumor, simply put is propaganda!

Hearsay: is information gathered by one person from another person concerning some event, condition, or thing of which the first person had no direct experience. When submitted as evidence, such statements are called hearsay evidence. As a legal term, “hearsay” can also have the narrower meaning of the use of such information as evidence to prove the truth of what is asserted. Such use of “hearsay evidence” in court is generally not allowed. This prohibition is called the hearsay rule.

Popular Opinion: An opinion is a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of the facts. An opinion may be supported by an argument. Even though people may draw opposing opinions from the same set of facts. Opinions rarely change without new arguments or information being presented. However, it can be reasoned that one opinion is better supported by the facts than another by the supporting arguments.

An opinion may be the result of a person’s perspective, understanding, or particular feelings, beliefs and desires. The term opinion may refer to unsubstantiated information, in contrast to knowledge and fact-based beliefs.

Historically, opinions can be persuasive, but only the assertions they are based on can be said to be true or false.

Public opinion is the sum of individual attitudes or beliefs held by the general population. Public opinion can also be defined as the collection of opinions of many different people and the sum of all their views based on emotional thinking.

One can not argue that the world is struggling.

One can not argue that our fellow man needs help.

One can not argue that the divorce rate is escalating.

One can not argue that domestic violence is out of control.

One can not argue that Leadership must be restored..

One can not argue!!!!

How about if we quit arguing and agreed to live by a few basic leadership principles, and we started with ourselves first. If we are not willing to fix ourselves first, nothing else will be accomplished.

  1. Seek first to Understand
  2. Be a Good Finder

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers”…Eph 4:29

As an Eagle Scout, I was raised and lived by the Boy Scout Oath.

I have asked GOD to give me the strength to live by that Oath again each day.

A Scout is:













NO ONE can argue with that!!

GOD Bless


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