Eliminating Isolation Through Vulnerability with Dr. John Townsend
Dr. John Townsend is a business consultant, leadership coach, and psychologist. He has written or co-written 30 books, selling 10 million copies, including the New York times best-seller Boundaries series, Leadership Beyond Reason, and Handling Difficult People.
He is a co-host of the nationally-syndicated talk show, New Life Live, which is heard in 180 markets with 3 million listeners. He is also founder of the Townsend Leadership Group, and the Townsend Institute for Leadership and Counseling.
John co-founded and directed a healthcare company for ten years, with operations in 35 cities in the western U.S. It was here that he learned the strategies for change and success, which he now employs in his coaching and consulting.
Ray: Well, hey everyone, this is Ray Hilbert, your host here at Bottom Line Faith and we’d like to welcome you back to another edition of a program. I’m with one of my favorite leadership experts and really a great man of God and a dear friend for the program today, Dr. John Townsend. John, welcome to Bottom Line Faith. Well if the folks are not familiar with you, John, let me take just a moment, read a couple of highlights. We’re going to talk about your TownsendNOW program. But also the author and coauthor of over 30 books and I want to talk about that if we can today. And I want to also learn more about the Townsend Leadership Institute as well as the Townsend Leadership Coaching programs. Can we cover all that, you think, over the next few moments?
John: If we talk really fast, we can.
Ray: Why don’t you tell us a little bit about your background. Of course, I know of you and we’ve known each other a few years, but just help our audience understand a little bit about who you are and your background and kind of what life looks like for you.
John: Sure. Well, by training, I’m a psychologist and I worked a lot in the mental health field and emotional health field and that’s where all the books began coming together. Like Henry Cloud and I wrote Boundaries and that was the kind of thing to put us on the national landscape. And then about 20, 25 years ago, I started working with leaders and people that said, look, I liked this growth stuff, but you know, I’m not depressed and I don’t have a, you know, really struggling, you know, kid problem or whatever, but I want to optimize myself and my organization. So I started researching and writing on leadership. So most of my time is spent now with organizations, NGOs, corporations, anything from small business to family business, family legacy, business, and the task is really to do two things. My time was spent figuring out what makes the great ones to perform well and how do they relate well, because if you don’t relate well, you can’t perform well. And if it’s all performance doesn’t work. So how do I get them to think strategically and vision a lot, alliance, and all that, but how do they communicate? So that’s how we do it.
Ray: I’m just amazed when I get to talk with you, every time you teach me something new and I learned so many things, but as an author, co-author of over 30 books, not many people have even read that many books. How do you come up with these ideas? What inspires you and help us understand the process of a book comes about?
John: Well, actually I’ve got a list on my hard drive of the ones I want to write. If I live to be, you know, 150. There’s always things that I’m learning because when you work with a variety of people and as you’re working with you, you’ll come up with a solution of something that’s maybe something having to do with how people work on teams and what come up with a solution. And I’ll think, goodness gracious, there’s a book there. Or something that has to do with how do you set up operations and systems and that sort of thing. That works better. So I’m always thinking, okay, that idea is probably got a book in it. So there’s the list. So I kind of work on two things. I work on what my clients want because that’s where their interest is and I work on one that is important to me too. If I don’t have any passion for it, I’ve tried to write books like that, and it’s just, you know, it’s like doing your own dental work. But if I’ve got some passion for it and I feel like the public likes it and wants it, that marriage is a really good fun book.
Ray: So of the 30 books that you’ve been a part of creating, what one or two is your personal favorite?
John: Right. It’s always the latest one. I learned that from John Maxwell.
Ray: Well, then tell us about the latest.
John: The one that really has meant a lot to me lately honestly is a, it’s a leadership book called Leading from Your Gut and what that has to do with is the fact that God made us with two brains, really. A logical linear, a database brain. We call it the left brain even though it’s not left, we found out the neuroscience says it’s all over. But the right what is typically called, the right brain, is the emotional and creative and intuitive self. And most leaders are given more training and skills, MBA or whatever on the left side. But you’ve got it cause you got to know your data. But the way we’re made is the great leaders understand that feelings, emotions, and intuition. So it’s about marrying the two. And I really like the stories, and I think that principles and skills are good.
Ray: Does that have anything to do with vision? Does that have been seeing and intuitive? Tell me more.
John: Absolutely. Look, for example, let’s take mission and vision. We’re always talking to organizations about mission, mission, vision, missions, your DNA. And it’s kind of what your purpose is. If, Acme Staples wants to make a great staples for everybody, that’s your left side of your brain. Like what’s the purpose? How do we get there? You got to have that. That’s the kind of like the nuts and bolts, but the vision wakes people up and it gets employees excited and it gets the customers excited. When you say in 10 years, we want to help people who don’t have a great staple. They have an organized desk and feel like they’re on top of things and they’re happy. So you marry the emotional side of the vision to the nuts and bolts, reality side and mission. You’ve got a good way to get alignment and so we now live in this information age and everything’s about debt and about analytics.
Ray: How do those then work together? How is it that great leaders can cast that vision? And then companies and their teams can collect the data and actually implement. Do you understand how does that work together?
John: Well, it’s really cool to watch what’s happening now and the workplace and the marketplace about that because of, for example, one thing that everybody, not everybody, a lot of people are using this is agile teamwork now. And it used to be here’s the plan and it’s kind of linear and you go ABC and incremental, you need this much money this much people. And now people are getting together with a big chalkboard saying, I’ll take that, I’ll take that. And it’s kind of like a spiderweb, this agile stuff because they’re finding out that really motivated, smart, high-performing, intuitive people who also have very good logic. They want to like look at this and they kind of kind of go through a time walk really, right? They kind of go, we’ll do this and this and this and you think you can’t get it done on time. And they’re coming, they’re now coming to conclusions and results faster than a strictly linear approach.
So if you don’t ignore your feelings and you don’t ignore the data and you respect both, you get it done better and faster. All the research is saying that that’s leading from the gut.
Ray: So John, your faith is cornerstone. Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk a little bit about where did that faith come from and then how does it, let’s talk also about how does this, you know, integrate into what you do professionally?
John: Sure. Well, I was born and raised in North Carolina and we’re always a church, going family. But I really made a spiritual kind of a growth or some spiritual inspiration when I got to college and got involved with a group called the Navigators. And I was with Nav for many years and they helped me to learn, you know, how important the Bible was and your faith and talking to people about Christ and this sort of thing.
And from there, I went to seminary to get my master’s in theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. And I just wanted to learn how important the languages were. I mean, three years of Greek, two years of Hebrew. I really wanted to be able to not be dependent on the commentaries. What does the Bible really say? But as I was going through that, I really, I think that God called me to get a doctorate in psychology. I wanted to say, now that I know what I know about the Bible, I had the tools. How do I learn how to help people? So I went ahead and got the doctorate. As people say, I was dying by degrees. I got so many those. But what I found out in all the studies, the seminary theological studies, and psychological studies, found out one truth.
And that is that the Bible wins. I don’t care if you’re talking about running your business on a profit level or relationships or family, all that stuff that we study in leadership research, all that study and people research. The Bible’s already got the answers and the research. I love research, right? I love neuro research. I love business resource, but all the great studies here was the aha. All the great studies will only serve to support what God said thousands of years ago that the Bible has got all the answers. So that’s why it’s been critical to all my thinking and all my writing.
Ray: And that’s really what we try to highlight here on the program at Bottom Line Faith. Is how leaders in their faith integrate impact, how it leads their leadership. And that’s really the cornerstone of who you are. So what are some of the challenges as we talk about this integration of faith and leadership? You know we have business owners, CEOs, high capacity leaders that listen to the program. What are some of the challenges that they face when it comes to that faith work integration piece?
John: Well, one of the biggest ones that I notice is what’s called the sacred secular split. Which means a lot of times they have a great faith, but they feel like somehow that because they’re not a missionary or they’re not a pastor, that they’re kind of like level B and all they’re really truly spiritual people are level A. And the Bible never ever teaches that. It always says that you’re supposed to do what you’re called and a lot of them feel like, gosh, I’m not sharing my faith enough at work or I don’t have Bible verses on the coffee cups or whatever. It has nothing to do with that. Because it has a lot more to do with how you relate to people, care about people, listen to people. And so I work a lot with leaders on let’s stop worrying about what’s sacred, what’s secular. It’s all spiritual. Everything is spiritual. This is my Father’s world and to kind of relax and live out your faith in a natural way,
Ray: There is this movement the last few years where we’re seeing more conversation. We’re reading more books. I remember 20 years ago when we started Truth At Work, you were hard pressed to find a book. You were hard pressed to find a conference or a workshop.
John: You had Halftime, but that was kind of it back then.
Ray: Yeah, you have the sprinkling occasional thing. But why do you think there has been this awakening? What have you seen?
John: I think the church is sort of influencing business and businesses influence the church. What I love to see is how business folks are getting their theology straight about how their faith is important and how to integrate it. And the church has come into the business folks and saying, how do we have a bottom line, speaking Bottom Line Faith, because they’re not as good at that. And I feel like now that the church is really kind of rallying that we’re all in the same boat here, things are going really well. I love to see really high quality business guys and gals on elder boards and missionary boards. But I love to see when the church and pastors and mature leaders come on into the marketplace and say, how do we help, if we have, if we treat our people a certain way, if we trade our customers a certain way that the Bible teaches, everybody wins. So they’re kind of shaking hands better.
Ray: I want to maybe just pause for a moment, actually hit the rewind button because prior to all these initiatives, you had a very successful business career in health care, if I’m not mistaken, in the healthcare field as a follower of Christ. Let’s kind of go back when you were in that industry and in that time of your life and career, tell us about one of the hardest decisions you had to make in that actual leadership role and how did your faith play a role in that?
John: The hardest thing I remember about all that, was that it had to end. The business as a whole. I went through a whole existential crisis on that. Henry Cloud, who I’ve done many, many things with, he and I had some other people had a healthcare company that had probably 10, 15, probably about 20 different hospital programs for people who are struggling as well as counseling programs on the West coast in between Seattle and San Diego. And we operated for 10 years and it was real successful. And then a disruptive technology came in called insurance changes. I don’t know if you remember the difference between indemnity insurance and HEMO. It’s just the way things evolved, but our model wasn’t consistent with an HEMO model. And so it was an unsustainable business.
So we said it can’t work like this. So we sold it and I can remember like, it was yesterday praying with Henry, like it’s kind of scratching your head while you’re praying. Okay, God, now what? I thought we’d be doing this for the rest of our life. And, you know, helping people and helping them meet challenges and have breakthroughs. And we said, okay, we’re open listening. We had no idea. And it was a very hard time. But what happened was as we kept praying and talking to people, some opportunities came along. And the opportunity that was number one was that the speaking began to explode. And we began to speak all over the place, the national exposure through our radio show called New Life Live, which has now got 3 million listeners, daily counseling, 300 stations nationwide. We became the people were hosting that.
And all of a sudden that’s the words that we’d been writing about and helping people. We moved from a local West Coast entity to the world. And from that then all the leadership stuff started developing. So I don’t know what was the key there? You know, where the key really was. It was like Proverbs 6 where it says be like the ant you sluggard. You know, she just gets up and she goes, and then she knew. She grabs everything and the food and the spring is your harvest in the fall. And we just kept trying to do the right thing day after day, kind of like getting manna every day, if you’re in Israel. Would just get manna everyday, then all of a sudden, good thing started happening. But that was a tough time. But what ended up with was kind of a reach and a platform that I never dreamed I would have.
Ray: I also think of the biblical passage that says what the devil meant for evil, God meant for good, because it really exploded a whole new audience or a whole new arena platform and the rest is amazing.
John: I’m not sure I would call HEMOS evil, but it felt really bad at the time and God made some really, really redemptive things happen.
Ray: So in that vein, let’s say that someone’s listening to our conversation right now and they’re in that dark season, they’re really discouraged, they’re frustrated, disappointed. Like, you were saying, there’s like this major disruptive thing that’s happened. What word of encouragement would you have for them?
John: Well, I think when the Bible teaches about these times, because so many, you see these men in the battle, Joseph’s time and Moses’s time and Peter’s time, there’s always some commonalities. Number one is you’ve got to be serious about God and it’s not just give me the goodies now. You know, I appreciate it. It’s sort of like I’m yours. And so it’s a surrender issue. That’s number one. Second thing is though, you’ve got to have really, really high quality people around you and they have to always have to have two characteristics. I think one is they’ve got to be totally full of grace with you. They would never judge you nor condemn you because nobody grows and makes it through crisis with a bunch of judges in their head. But the second thing is they’ve got to be brutally honest. You don’t want people to say, you know, it’s really nice to see your Cadillac as it’s going over the cliff, nice paint job. You know, that’s not the friends I want. I want somebody to say, stop. Don’t drive your car over that cliff. So if they’re full of grace and full of truth, you take that and they can become Jesus with skin on. And then the third thing probably is to be willing to do difficult things for a long time. You know, the work ethic in our country sometimes is not what it should be, what it needs to get better. But people that are grinding and grinding and grinding, they succeed. Those are the big three from me.
Ray: That’s fantastic. Well, John, so far we’ve talked about your background and coming to Christ and we’ve talked about how some of the challenges that Christian leaders face in the marketplace and integrating their faith. You’ve shared some examples of how your faith, you know, played a role in getting you through some difficult times in business. I’d like to talk now about what you’re up to now. Tell us you’ve got a number of things going on, but in any order, what would you like to share with us?
John: Yeah, there’s a bunch of fun stuff going around for leadership now I think. And the way I have to look at it is I’ve got kind of an ecosystem where there are different sorts of deliverables for people who invested either in different levels or different interests. The newest one’s called TownsendNOW. It’s a website and it’s my subscription site of space business where I go in the studio all the time. We’ve got probably over a hundred videos now of various topics. Brief videos about anything from leadership to success, to challenges, relationships, family, where they kind of get my point of view in a quick, easy way. But also now we have coaches that I’ve trained online. So if a person says, I got a question about that. We’ve got people, you know, so Sam in Baltimore can ask Sally in Seattle, okay, I need some help in about four hours, about a hard talk I’ve got to have or a question. Okay. They do the Skype coaching, so, there’s the word NOW. Cause everybody, you know, we’re all ADD these days and everybody thinks YouTube, and get it right now and we’re trying to go to that market site. We can get you what you need now, either a video or a coach. Or we can give you one of our self-assessments and written assessments on how good are your boundaries, how good is your success, your blah, blah blah. So that’s my digital life.
Ray: And how if someone’s listening to them, that sounds really fascinating. How can they learn more about that?
John: TownsendNOW.com and you can try it out for a month for free. It’s $10 a month after you do that. I’m always going to the studio, but TownsendNOW.com is a way to go. And now businesses are using it as part of their HR processes and kind of a wellness part. They’ll say, we’ll get our people a subscription to it. And what people find out is, yeah, we feel better. We’ve got better self image, people are motivated, this sort of thing. So we kind of add into the market that way. Another thing is on the Townsend Institute and that is my online masters and either organizational leadership, master’s in counseling, master’s in coaching consulting. It’s an online program that we think is really high quality. People can get what they need in the marketplace, but online because of the convenience, and I use not only my material but also the latest neuroscience and lots of great faculty and we’ve got students from all over the world. People can come in and get a master’s or they can just kind of say, I just want a certificate. I’ve already gotten my MBA. Or they can just cherry pick courses.
And one of our hallmarks is our Fellows. Our Fellows are people who have world-class sorts of abilities and accomplishments that we always bring in. You know, people certainly like Henry Cloud and people like Jim Daly, CEO of Focus on the Family. They’re part of the Fellows. We got this guy named Ray Hilbert who’s one of our Fellows and goodness gracious, he’s the rockstar. But people like yourself and other people who’ve achieved a platform level actually just want to hear, okay, how did you do it? So and actually today you and you’re going to be coming in with me to the studio. We’re going to be having you talk to our students and answer the questions and they’re just thrilled. So we’re really excited about the Townsend Institute. We’ve been in operation for a while now, so now we know what we think, we know what we’re doing.
And then there’s Townsend Leadership Program and that’s not an academic program with the Institute. That’s a peer led facilitator lead once a month setting where leaders can come into their, wherever their location is, Chicago or Dallas or Southern California or anywhere and meet with the facilitator. We formed teams with no more than 10 people and they learn two things. They learn about their task skills, strategy, vision or organizational financial. They learn about all those things you’ve got to learn, but they also are people skills, emotional intelligence, how to listen, how to know what your strengths and weaknesses are, how to give and receive feedback. All from a Christian perspective and we’ve got sites all over the country for people that want to join TLP, Talented Leadership Programs. Those are the three things that are exciting in that.
Ray: That’s incredible because you’re able to meet people where they’re at in their journey in their budget and in their application. And so of all of that, why is that so exciting for you at this stage in your life? What’s got you just jacked up every morning?
John: Probably because I’ve always been interested in how do you help people where they are and not shoving your model down their throat. You know, I listen to the market and so if somebody just wants to say, look, I want a book, I want to have a book for them, you know, for Kindle at $6.99 if they want to get a subscription thing, that’s fine. Or if people want to come in and say, look, we’ve been watching your stuff. Our company wants you, we’ll take your people in. I just think that people ought to be met where they are. What’s the level of challenge? Where are the organization right now? You know, some organizations are good to great on a cause level. They just want to learn greatness and better culture that our teams. Some organizations are broken. The good, they are really red flagging and we need to be able to meet them where they are. And some of them are doing great. They want to be even greater and optimize, and we want to be able to help in whatever level they’re at.
Ray: And so if I’m a an emerging leader, let’s say in a company you’re in, or I’m really kind of uncertain what would be a great starting point for me to connect with what you’re doing, what would you recommend?
John: What I’d recommend first is the TownsendNOW because you can kind of see, okay, well either this guy is, you know, he needs to have more medication cause he’s not making any sense, or okay a few of these videos really made sense. I like the holistic approach that you’ve got to know what you’re doing strategically, but you’ve got to be a people person too. It makes sense to me. So I just kind of like, you know, try that out and if it makes sense, then just call our office and we can start to bring coaches to you.
Ray: If people like that you’ve mentioned, there’s been a thread throughout our conversation about people person, being a people person. Let’s say that I’m listening to this conversation. So John, that sounds great but I’m just not wired that way. I’d much rather sit behind my computer or I’d much rather, you know, be involved in a task or a project than people. Why is it so important to develop those skills, even if I don’t think I’m a people person?
John: Because there is no such thing as a non-people person. Actually we always need people who are strong in tasks and maybe not as strong at people skills, but everybody has got to have people skills cause that’s how we’re wired. Go back to Luke 10 and Mary and Martha are serving the Lord and Martha is kind of the task person making sure everything’s right. And she goes, Hey, you know I’m looking at all the work. And Jesus said, wait a minute, she chose the good part. So if we say, well people person, I’m not that, then you’re saying I’m not the good part and that just doesn’t work. Most people I know that will say that what they say is I don’t have the skills. Nobody’s sat there and told me about empathy and listening and had a validated experience and how to handle people who are upset and how to handle my own emotions.
And every time I take somebody through the process they go, now I know what I’m doing. I was working with an executive one time and his board has sent him for me to see him privately and his wife had sent him. So I knew, okay, when your board says and your wife says and you better show up right? He said, they tell me I don’t listen well, and you know, they tell him, that all this emotional, relational stuff, I’m not good at it and I’m not a people person. And I said, well, let me try it out. I said, let me see how good you are with the emotions. What are you feeling? I’m kind of in the moment guy. I said, well, what are you feeling right now? Just right now? What do you feel in the moment? He goes, I’m feeling, I’m feeling. I feel like it’s about 3:30. And well, God bless you, you know, that’s a thought. And it was a good thought, but it ain’t a feeling. So I said, we got work to do. So we began to find out he’d always, he’d come from a family where task was important. Great, loving, high-performing family, great. But nobody ever dealt with. Like Kim was an emotional person. He got his skills, he was fine. So you’ve got to have both sides of the brain.
Ray: And that’s really what it’s about. At the end of the day when we talk about here in the program about integrating our faith, it really is about people. I mean you guys said Christ came for souls of people, not for institutions, right? And not organizations, but for people. And so John, let’s go back to this idea of encouragement just for a moment. If just one person could be encouraged by this conversation today, then it would’ve been worth our time. And so somebody is listening to this program and they’re saying, John, this all sounds really great and I want to be this kind of person. Would you just tell them what they need to hear to be encouraged? But they’re struggling with this.
John: The one thing that comes to mind, Ray, is that most people that you and I are around Christian leaders who are trying to do their best for the kingdom and for their families and their organizations, they think that for them to unburden themselves is a burden to others. And they think they’re going to be high maintenance and they just need to be strong all the time. They need to be encouraging others all the time. And yet when you go to the Bible and it says we comfort each other with the comfort we’ve been comforted. I think you’d be surprised at the people if you just said, can I unbutton with you a bit like I’m talking to God and my spouse and my Labrador retriever, but maybe there’s some other people and four or five people just say, can I really tell you what’s really, really, really going on?
They would feel honored. They would feel like a privilege and they would feel like, I’d like to help. Don’t think that you’re being selfish or a burden to other people when you need to unpack. You know, when you’re with us last time, right, you were one of the best talks we’ve had. You talked about the isolation of the leader. And it was a monumental talk. You know, he’s got be by everybody. It’s the same thing. We think as leaders, we’ve got to give and give and give and we only get our needs met by God. But that’s not what the Bible says. You guys got other people.
Ray: That’s right. And we talked. I remember that conversation we had talked about our 1 Peter, you know that the devil is as a roaring lion seeking whom he can devour. And the lion always goes after the isolated. People think it goes after the sick, but he can’t see this. He doesn’t know which one is sick, and he just knows which one is isolated. And so I appreciate you reframing that out. So that’s great advice. That’s great advice. So as we wind down, I’ve got just a couple of advice type questions I’d like to ask you to share with us. John, I’d like you to just maybe think about for a moment advise your 20 year old self. If you could go back and council. You’ve counseled thousands and thousands of leaders. If you could go back and counsel the 20 year old John Townsend, what advice would you give him?
John: A first thing I would tell them is just what I told our listening family here is stop trying to be there for everybody all the time that people with an empty tank, you really can’t fill all the people’s tank up unless you’ve been unbuttoning. And the word that I use is vulnerability. I would have told my 20 year old self stop trying to be Superman, save the world. Be vulnerable to other people. And you’ll be amazed at how people come around in your life. That’d be number one.
Ray: And why is it so hard for people to open up and be vulnerable? Why do you think that is?
John: Well, when you look at the research, cause I study vulnerability a lot. There’s always two things. One is either because someone’s vulnerable, maybe their challenges or their failures got shamed. And so somebody in your life, an authority figure, or a coach, or pastor, or a parent, or relative, somebody said that’s not okay that you have these weaknesses. You got to be strong. And so the shame hits and okay, I’ll just be strong the rest of my life and I’ll get the big red S on my chest and that’s it. Or because they just never knew. Nobody ever told them, you know that you really can’t be close to somebody who’s not vulnerable. But when you finally take a risk and say, look, I do have some challenges and my life isn’t perfect, I want to tell somebody about it. People just come out of the woodwork.
Ray: What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
John: The best advice that I ever heard from anybody was above all else, be faithful. Bible’s got 30,000 verses and it’s got a lot of commands in there and there’s an overwhelming. But if you wake up every morning and say like it says in 1 Samuel where the young boy Samuel says, “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” Be faithful to every day say, “It’s your game. Tell me.” Really good things happen.
Ray: Faithful in relationships, faithful in work? Elaborate a little bit.
John: Faithful first every day, ask God, okay, what’s the direction? And then after that, whatever he said, it tends to be, well, I want you to find a core team of people that love you no matter what. I want you to find out what your gifts are and develop them. And then I want you to go make the world a better place in your organization.
Faithful. And those things show up. You know, there’s a lot of books written about passion and we all need passion, but there’s books now written that said you got to have passion, but you got to have a little elbow grease too. That’s what faithful means.
Ray: I love it. This might be a curve ball question.
John: Ray, I’m used to this sort of thing.
Ray: I know you are; that’s why it’s fun talking with you. If you were Ray Hilbert interviewing Dr. John Townsend right now, what’s one question that you would ask that I haven’t?
John: I would probably ask, what’s the future hold? Cause I’m a real future person; future is exciting.
Ray: What’s that look like?
John: Oh, you’re going to ask me the question?
Ray: Yes. You put the ball on the T. Set it up for you.
John: I’m kind of a more of the same person. I like the direction things have gone the last 30 years. But I always, I’m always reading about tech. I’m always reading about theology when I’m really spending my time as neuroscience and how that affects business. And so I’m looking for opportunities and people that can make things go better. So I don’t see any 90 degree turns. They could happen, of course. But I see more and more the same as we learn more about the human condition and how organizations can do better.
Ray: That’s fantastic. The last question I always ask in Bottom Line Faith interviews is what I call my 4:23 questions. And it may be related to an answer you gave earlier on the best advice you’ve been given, but Proverbs chapter 4, verse 23, Solomon writes that above all else, guard your heart for from it flows all of life. So John, if you had the chance to, it’s the end of your time, this side of eternity, and you’re getting ready to go home to be with the Lord and you have a chance to gather your family, your friends, and your loved ones and you get to pass along one piece of advice. I want you to fill in the blank for us. Above all else,
John: It’d be somewhere on the line of above all else. Make sure you got the message from God and you did what he said and in doing so you loved other people unreservedly. And Jesus talks about that in John 15 you know, he says, love each other and bear fruit. So get the message from God in terms of your vocation and service and love people unreservedly because that’s really at the end of it, that’s what we’ve got.
Ray: Fantastic. Thank you for your time today.
John: Thanks, Ray.
Ray: Well folks, we have absolutely had a chance today at Bottom Line Faith to hear from one of the country’s foremost leadership gurus and thought leaders, Dr. John Townsend. As we’ve talked about in the interview, check out his amazing coaching online and discovery program and coaching program at TownsandNOW.com. You can also learn about his leadership institute and his coaching programs as well, but we hope that you’ve learned some new insights today that you’ve been encouraged in your faith. That is our goal here at Bottom Line Faith. So I just want to thank you for joining the program today. Until next time, I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith, Ray Hilbert saying, God bless and serve the Lord faithfully.