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Exceptional Mentor

My longest running friendship is with a man who was born in the late 1920s. He grew up in the coal mining country of western Kentucky during the Depression. 

His accomplishments are impressive:

  • Mathematics degree and student body president at Murray State University in Kentucky
  • Officer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War
  • Masters Degree in Physics from Florida State University
  • 20 years of research in the pioneering days of the U.S. space program, first at Lockheed then at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International)
  • In a bold mid-career switch became a Christian minister in Bakersfield, California, and for 35 years helped the homeless, fed the hungry, loved the sick and counseled the troubled. All in the name of Jesus.
  • Father of two sons, grandfather and great grandfather to many, mentor to hundreds.
  • Still reads multiple books each week, mentors a Bipolar challenged young man and helps his grandkids with university level physics.

His mentoring approach provides lessons to us as leaders:

  • A high-empathy relationship builder who never forgot a person’s name
  • He challenged people to see beyond their own circumstances and move to what is possible in a relationship with the living God
  • "Walked the talk" of servant leadership, giving sacrificially to those around him
His 94th birthday is coming up in a few months. He recently said to me, “The doctor says I probably won’t be here by late February, so let’s do a celebration of my life with a bunch of people in attendance. I want to enjoy it and to see everyone. And I can tell people at the party how much Jesus loves them.”

William Clifford Taylor

Exceptional mentor. Extraordinary man. Best dad.

#leadership #mentoring