Weekly Thought – February 11, 2020
Fred mentored others, stretching them and as BWFLI says, “blessing them.” His primary mentor was Maxey Jarman who built a shoe company into an apparel giant with 75,000 employees. Fred wrote an article published in Leadership Journal highlighting principles evident in Mr. Jarman’s life. (Editor’s note: the article fleshes out each principle; space prohibits the full text.)
As we begin another year of BWF activities we thank you for your faithful participation. Organizing Fred’s thousands of pages into brief messages stretches us as we hope it does you in reading them. We appreciate your notes and your recommendations to others. Fred’s earthly life ended in 2007, but his influence continues. Thank you for your support.
Principles of Life Changers
I learned much from Maxey Jarman. He would be embarrassed if he knew I were writing this article, but then he would merely want it to be helpful. This is not an exhaustive list, but key to my development.
1. Maxey thought little about himself. His mind was occupied with opportunities and how he was going to get the job done.
2. Maxey was future oriented. He seldom wanted to reminisce. He was not cursed with the albatross of dragging the past around.
3. Maxey believed in progress, not perfection. He realized the difference between satisfactory progress and whimsical perfection simply costs too much.
4. Maxey read broadly. He read constantly, quickly, and widely, usually 5 or 6 books at a time.
5. Time was Maxey’s greatest “means.” Since time was his greatest limitation, it was to be invested judiciously. He needed to feel at the end of the day he had fulfilled his greatest responsibilities.
6. Effort alone didn’t count. “Results is the best excuse for activity.” He felt many substituted activity for accomplishment.
7. Maxey believed in people’s potential. He preferred for people to pull responsibility to them, provided they would accept accountability for it.
8. Maxey implemented responsibility with a strong, consistent discipline. He thought emergencies were the evidence of poor planning, therefore, he had very few.
9. Maxey was courteous, but still honest. He didn’t want gunslingers in the organization – shooting either for him or against him.
10. Maxey made lists. To live was to improve, and to improve was to make a list for specificity.
11. Maxey accepted his own weaknesses. “Don’t try to strengthen people in their weaknesses; it is less productive than utilizing their strengths.”
12. Maxey never became cynical. He knew to manage a large organization he had to trust his subordinates. The few who failed him or conned him didn’t change this conviction.
13. Maxey was decisive. He had a very open mind before making a decision, but a very closed mind once that decision was made.
14. Maxey was a much better demonstrator than a teacher. He rarely lectured; he showed you. You had to work with him to fully appreciate him. He was not colorful; he was effective.
15. Money to Maxey was a means, not an end. He was “afraid” of accumulating personal wealth. He talked about money’s deception and the evils it brought to those obsessed by it. He proved his conviction by giving millions to Christian causes.
16. Maxey was grateful. Thanksgiving was a great part of his relation with God. He had the humility of gratitude.
This week think about: 1) Who is my mentor? 2) How has he/she contributed to my personal or professional growth? 3) What can I be a more intentional mentor?
Words of Wisdom: “I never saw a man so serious about wanting to reach the truth.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Now give me wisdom and discernment so I can effectively lead this nation.”(2 Chronicles 1:10(a) NET Bible)