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
William Clifford Taylor
Exceptional mentor. Extraordinary man. Best dad.