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By Jim Whitt There was one summertime activity that dominated all others growing up in my little hometown of Shidler, Oklahoma — baseball. And no one loved baseball more than my father. It would be hard to count the boys who grew up playing on teams he coached. The first league he coached in that I can remember consisted of two teams — the Mules and the Frogs. As I recall, my brother Marc played for the Mules. A few years later Dad coached the town team Marc played for and I was the batboy. The team won their league… Read More
By Jim Whitt There’s a monument in Liberal, Kan. that reminds me of how different the world looked like 30 years ago. It’s easy to miss because it lies flat on the ground like a stone marking a grave in a cemetery. And in a sense, that’s what it is. It’s a concrete slab upon which once stood a Purina feed mill. I used to ship feed out of that plant when I was in sales with Purina. When I left the company in 1987 that mill was running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It was idle… Read More
My friend Kathy Wright has written an article entitled The 7 levels of leadership that is required reading for anyone who wants to understand what it takes to be an effective leader. I want to share the first two levels with you because you’ll learn what it takes to be an ineffective leader. Leaders at Level 1 typically work in crisis mode because they tend to attract and focus on problems. They have no real plan for where they are going and communication skills tend to be poor with no ability to inspire or motivate others. They tend to have… Read More
By Jim Whitt As this was our first trip to France we suffered from a perpetual state of directional disability. And that is how we met Michel. We wandered through the gate of a small cemetery not a stone’s throw from Omaha Beach in Normandy. Michel did not speak much English but fortunately, Suedy, a friend of ours from the U.S. spoke a little French. So, with much hand signaling, exaggerated facial expressions and a few exchanges of French and English we were able to communicate. It turned out to be a most fascinating conversation. Michel explained to us that… Read More
By Jim Whitt We’ve all seen the devastation of the fires that have swept across the Great Plains recently destroying lives and livelihoods. In its wake, however, we have seen an even more powerful force. People have come to the aid of ranchers and farmers donating money, food, feed for livestock and materials to rebuild fences and structures. Many have taken time from their own work and traveled many miles to assist in the rebuilding. This passage from The Transformational Power of Purpose is a reminder that times of tragedy serve as a catalyst that liberates the human spirit to… Read More