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Marching off the Map with Dr. Tim Elmore

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Tim Elmore is the Founder and President of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit leadership training and development organization that equips the next generation, and those who guide them –educators, parents, coaches and employers – with leadership skills. Tim is passionate about understanding the emerging generation and helping adults teach them how to become leaders in their schools, their communities, and in their careers.
 
The Atlanta-based, non-profit organization was created to develop emerging leaders. Elmore and his team provide public schools, state universities and corporations with the tools they need to help develop young leaders who can impact and transform society.
 
Dr. Elmore has authored more than 30 books including: Habitudes®: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes, Artificial Maturity: Helping Kids Meet the Challenge of Becoming Authentic Adults, Generation iY: Secrets to Connecting With Today’s Teens & Young Adults in the Digital Age, 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid, Life Giving Mentors, and his latest book Marching Off the Map: Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand New World.
 
Full transcript:
 
Ray: Hello everyone, this is Ray Hilbert. I am your host here at Bottom Line Faith. We are going to be speaking with Dr. Tim Elmore and I know many of our listeners you’re already familiar with Dr. Tim, but he is the founder and president of Growing Leaders. Let me tell you just a little bit about he and his team. They are out of the Atlanta, Georgia area, but they are a nonprofit leadership training and development organization. They really specialize on equipping the next generation and those who guide them such as educators, coaches, employers and so forth, training and building up the next generation with leadership skills. Dr Elmore has authored more than 30 books and a couple that I have read and love and am familiar with, Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes. And I love this. Generation iY: Secrets to Connecting with Today’s Teens and Young Adults in the Digital Age, and his latest book is Marching Off the Map: Inspire Students to Navigate a Brand New World. Folks, we are so honored today to welcome to the show, Dr. Tim Elmore. Tim, welcome to Bottom Line Faith.
 
Tim: Thank you, Ray. It’s always good to talk.
 
Ray: Yeah. Well, Tim, I’ve been a big fan and a big follower for a number of years and you really have honed in, God has called you in a unique way. Tell us a little bit about this passion for developing young leaders. Where did that come from and how do you see God using you and your team at growing leaders?
 
Tim: Wow, huge question. Thanks for the big one right away. I think it really has been an evolution. I wish I could tell you I did a strategic plan when I was 19 years old, but I tell you what I did know at 19 when I began to work with students. I still was a college student, but again, I began to work with high school students. I realized at that point, this is where I want to give my life. I knew that students were multiple and shapeable and even though my circle of influence would expand as I got older, I just thought this is a key place to give myself. Fast forward 1983 I go on staff with Dr. John Maxwell. So John is known as a leadership guru and he was even then, but he wasn’t really famous yet back then.
 
So I started right out of college and I was one of three or four that he personally mentored. And because of his leadership, if I can say it that way, I not only knew I wanted to focus on the next generation, but I wanted to take leadership to them. What John was doing for corporate America. I wanted to do for the emerging generation, that 22 year old employee who hasn’t made all the mistakes yet, you know, that you would, I made. And I thought what could it be like if we, I’ll say a phrase I like to use, what would it look like if we build a sense of the top of the cliff rather than a hospital at the bottom? You follow what I’m saying? We’re constantly repairing what’s broken. What if we kept it from getting broken? So I just feel like preparing wonderful servant leaders. Life-giving leaders out of the next generation could actually change the course of history. So that’s what we’re about. And that’s kind of the evolution that took place over time. Growing Leaders, of course started in 2003 with John’s blessing. I’d worked for him for 20 years. And really, it’s just been fun to see it take off. And as you said, we partner with great, great companies and schools around the world to just how to help them better prepare leaders.
 
Ray: Well, you know, I think that is so incredible that really at a young age and a young part of your career, God made your pathway. He at least revealed a passion and something for you to really focus in on. So before we get into too much of the blocking and tackling around that, I’m hoping you can help me clarify something. I hear so many terms today. I hear terms like millennials, gen Y, gen iY, and so forth. And I’ve been looking forward to you and I talking because I’d like you to clear that up for me. Would you help me understand kind of the breakdown of these different terms in generations we’re hearing so much about today?
 
Tim: Yeah, absolutely. First of all, I hate to think of myself as an expert because I think it’s such a moving target, but I try to keep my ear to the ground. First of all, for listeners’ sake, a generation is usually defined by markers. There are usually markers at the beginning of a generation that something changed in society. And then usually a marker at the end of that generation where again, a change happens. And it seems to catapult us into a new way of thinking. So the millennials actually started in the early eighties. They’re basically the kids born in the eighties and nineties and the primary shifts that took place were parents, parental parenting styles changed radically in the eighties and nineties. In fact, I’m sure you’ve seen it without even maybe knowing it. You’ve seen it. We began to prioritize that our kids are our trophies and we’re going to keep them safe.
 
And we had Baby on Board signs on the back of the minivan. And you know, we had diaper changing tables in the public restrooms, everything society was saying was these kids are priority. And then we started getting really crazy at little league baseball games. You know, we’re more intense about that, that the church kids just go, man, I just want an ice cream cone when this thing is over, you know? But it’s the dads that are so crazy. So the market for the millennials was the parental change that happened in the eighties and nineties and so now, Ray, we’re beginning to see a new generation following the millennials. They’re called a number of different names. The centennials, they start about the new century generation Z following generation Y. Some call them the Homelanders because their generation started at about the same time as the Department of Homeland Security. So we have another mindset, terrorism and racial unrest, and a salary economy, and unemployment. All of the things that have happened the last 15 to 18 years have made it a little bit, just a little different. So Gen Z grows up with more anger and anxiety and depression than the millennials did in the eighties and nineties. So I’ll stop there, but that’s kind of how their marked and how it kind of at least helps explain why a mindset in a teenager might be a little different than maybe it was.
 
Ray: Thank you. That’s very helpful and clarifying. And so there’s a lot of, you know, I think I’m, by the way, I’m finding as I get older, I’m sounding more and more like my grandfather growing up. And so, you know, now they’re, you know, the problem with this next generation and so forth. So we hear these issues, we hear words like entitlement, we hear words like spoiled and snowflake and all these descriptors, but it really does come down a lot to parenting, right? Some of the styles and the things that we’re passing along. Would you just offer a comment or thought or two around that whole idea or concept?
 
Tim: Absolutely. It really is, by the way. I think today we have the most intentional population of parents that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime and I’m 58. But I think sometimes our intentionality pushed us into over-functioning. We prepared the path for the child instead of the child for the path, if you know what I mean. Instead of letting them maybe fall down and skin their knee and learn not to fall down, we kept them from skinning their knee. You know, we kept them from, you know, from any thing bad happening. In fact, I’ll give it to you in short. I think the concerns I have with parents today is we risk too little. We rescue too quickly and we rave too easily with our kids. And all of them are well intentioned, but when we risk too little, my guys, I think risk is what makes us adults.
 
Our country was founded on risk, wasn’t it? America was an experiment and stuff. We didn’t know what would happen, but we thought it could work and it did. But I think we’re taking away risk out of our kids’ lives. We rescue too quickly. We’re running that permission slip down to when they forgot it at third grade or the gym shorts down. They forgot. And I thinking are they ever going to learn if momma is always rescuing them when it’s time now at 10 years old or whatever to learn to do it yourself. I feel like we’re a well-intentioned population of parents that probably did too much in many cases and now we’re sometimes seeing a delay in maturation. 26 is the new 18. I hear university deans saying so. I think it’s time for us now to call out the very best in kids and call them out to be leaders.
 
Ray: Well, I really appreciate that and I’ll just share this. You know, I’m a parent of three now, teenagers. I have a 19 year old sophomore in college, 17 year old senior in high school, and a 14 year old freshman in high school. And we are in a new day and age, as parents too. And I’d love you to just talk a little bit about what you’re learning, what you’re seeing and maybe some words of encouragement cause, you know, many of our listeners obviously are parents and so forth, but in this day of technology, social media, what thoughts or insights towards parents could you offer? And I know you write entire books on this and travel and speak on this, but maybe just kind of hit some bullet points on some advice for parenting and today’s technology-laden world.
 
Tim: Yeah, yeah. Well, let me add again, Ray. I really don’t consider myself a parenting expert, but I do have the undeserved privilege of being with thousands of parents and faculty and students every year. And so I get to see the macro. I think of the trends and patterns. First of all, let’s talk about technology. I think everybody listening would agree technology is a blessing and a curse. I mean it’s just, it’s marvelous that we can do the things we can do with a port or device in our hand. What we didn’t see coming was how it might reduce our emotional intelligence, our social intelligence. You know, we’re good on a screen at 15 years old, but we’re not really good sometimes face to face with real people. So when my kids were growing up, I saw this coming. I mean because of what I do, I could see the handwriting on the wall.
So here’s what my wife and I did. We said, all right kids, however many hours you have in front of a screen, you’re going to have equal amount of hours, face to face with real people. You know, reading body language, looking at facial expressions, learning to read a person. So my son would have two hours on a video game. We made sure he had two hours with, you know, with friends, real friends, face to face with people. When they were eight and twelve years old Ray, we started noticing that their emotional intelligence was not growing the way we thought it really should be. And so instead of a lecture, which by the way wasn’t working, when I give a lecture on this, at dinner time, my wife and I decided we would have a party or two at our house for our adult friends. And then we ask our twelve year old and our eight year old to host the party.
 
And at first they went, Oh my gosh, this is so stupid. But you know what they learned to do? Host a party. They would answer the door, “Hi Mr. Johnson, come on in. Have they met Mrs. Smith? Can I take your coat? Would you like some ice tea?” And then afterwards our discussion was so rich because it was based on an experience. And by the way, it was harder than they thought it would be. You know, it sounded really dumb at first and they realize, Oh my gosh, hosting is hard. But they’ve learned to, to host conversations, and one of our habitudes is called hosts and guests in a relationship. Are you the host or the guests? We wanted our kids to learn to be hosts, not just guests. It’s easy to be a guest. So anyway, I think we need to be intentional creating experiences for our kids, teenagers or otherwise, where we then have conversations about that experience.
 
We’d go down and feed the homeless and then we talk about, man, people live that way and it smells bad and it’s hard and they don’t have money and don’t you? Aren’t you grateful for our home? And how could we give our lives to this kind of thing? You know, those kinds of things. But I think I want to go to a lecture all the time, and I think lectures don’t work as well as real experiences that here’s the way I always say it. Kids are not looking for a sage on the stage with a lecture or a sermon. I do think they’re looking for a guide on the side with an experience. So I think that’s what I would say to parents. Let’s be experiential and then have great conversations about those experiences.
 
Ray: I’m so encouraged by that. About a month ago, I took my two teenage daughters and they could each bring a couple of friends and we spent two days at an amusement park and I said, we’re only going to have two rules for the two days. The first rule is we’re going to stay together; we’re going to stay together, right? The second rule is we are locking up our cell phones and devices and for two entire days, we’re going to experience this with zero technology. And that means like, rather than spending all the time figuring out the right pictures, we’re going to sear memories into our minds. And we worked a plan of, Hey, if we get separated, here’s how we’re going to reconnect and so forth. And Tim, it was so cool. About three hours into the first day, we’re sitting down, we’re just getting a beverage and all of us, you know, my girls and their friends and I were sitting at this table in the middle of this amusement park. And I said, so what reflections do you have on your first three hours together? And every single one of them said, it feels so good to not be chained to our phones.
 
Tim: Yes.
 
Ray: They said that. And I’m going, Oh my, I’ve been saying this for years. And you finally got it. But the point was to your point, they tied it to that experience and they were just talking and laughing and enjoying one another. And that’s good stuff. That’s real good stuff. Tim, if our listeners want to learn more about you and your organization, what’s the best way for them to check you all out?
 
Tim: Yeah. Probably the simplest way would just be go to our website. It’s GrowingLeaders.com GrowingLeaders.com and then I do a blog three times a week if they wanted to stay in touch. I try to share research based stuff on a morning block Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so they can sign up on the site if they want to.
 
Ray: And we didn’t talk about this prior to this conversation, but it’s one of the best blogs you’re going to read. I read it faithfully. Occasionally I miss when I’m traveling, but it is one of the blogs that I follow closely, and it is fantastic. Great parenting tips, great leadership tips. And I’d love to, if we could, Tim, just transition a little bit. Let’s talk about faith in work. Let’s talk about living out our faith in the marketplace. That’s what we’re about here at Bottom Line Faith. And so you shared earlier in our conversation that you made this transition into a different world, into the marketplace from quote unquote church type ministry. What was that like for you? What adjustments did you have to make and you know, maybe a different language terminology. Just walk us through that.
 
Tim: Yeah. Well, one of the hardest decisions I ever made was that transition to start Growing Leaders and to make it a thing that we would go into the marketplace, state universities, companies, civic organizations, public schools. The thing that made it hard, was two. One was I was leaving the security of working for John Maxwell. And you can imagine it was just, it was a fun place. Well, it was secure and anytime you become an entrepreneur, you leave the secure for the insecure. You know, you’re going into an era where you say, I hope to God this works, but you know, I don’t have any, you know, we’re going to put food on the table. So that was part of the deal was just moving into an unknown world, marching off the map. You might say some ways for me.
 
But then the language so, you know, I had been with John in a faith based setting at church and then a nonprofit and now there I was at Virginia Tech or Ohio State University, or you know, a company, Home Depot, and I’m talking, needing to use language that was different than it would’ve been in church. But I want them to see my heart that this leadership was soul. You know what I mean? It wasn’t just transactional, wasn’t just do these three steps and you’ll be a great leader. I don’t think leadership is that simple. It’s not just behaviors. There’s something inside that I think God has to do to make us life-giving leaders. So I think the big jump for me was learning to find words that anybody would understand, but they would still communicate the big idea that I think our heavenly father wants to communicate that might not come from, you know, can I say a secular organization? Nope. Nothing wrong with that. I wanted to add value in a brand new area that maybe wasn’t yet being shared.
 
Ray: Well, I want to come back to that, but you said something, I’d love to go back and revisit because one of the primary goals and hopes that we have here at Bottom Line Faith, Tim, is that if even just one of our listeners listens to this conversations and they get encouraged or inspired to take that next step or you know, become more of who and what God has called them to be as a leader. And so I am sure that there’s at least one person listening right now who’s feeling that calling, feeling that prompting to move over into some new ventures, some cause, some new, maybe starting a company. You can give us a word from experience. Tell us a little bit more about that and then what encouragement would you have for that person that’s listening, to kind of help them walk through that journey?
 
Tim: Wow, that’s a great question. Yeah. When I look back on my journey, I think there was a three year process, Ray, where it was percolating inside of me that maybe I was supposed to get out of the nest. You know what I mean? The comfortable nest with the feathers and everything else. And when I say three year journey, I think I was doodling on it. I think the Holy Spirit was prompting me. I’m not trying to over spiritualize, but you and I both believe there’s a divine thing going on sometimes when we’re called to take another step. And I think I went through this process where I had to overcome fear. I was scared. In fact, I think I actually started Growing Leaders a year later than God was prompting me. But I was scared. I was just scared and thank God I still started it and He was still smiling on me.
 
But looking back, I was a little bit of a Jonah saying, Oh, well, I’m doing great work with John Maxwell. I’m writing for him and you know, blah, blah, blah. You know, I had my little debates going on inside my head. But when I did start it, it was the tail end of a three year journey and what I needed was I finally needed some compadres. Some people, friends, if you will, that would look from the outside in and say, you need to do this. I hear you talk about it. I hear you complain. By the way, here’s another thing. You know, it’s time when the negative emotions are so tangible. You start taking it out on other people, like my old boss, and you’re not mad at them. You’re mad because you’re not happy not doing what you’re called to do. You know what I mean? So it feels like you’re mad at Harry or Bob or Susie. You’re really not, but you’re, I don’t know, boiling inside. The crockpot’s going and it’s hot and God’s saying get out, do this. And so I needed some friends. I needed some time, but eventually I realized I will be absolutely discontent if I just stay here in this comfortable place. Hopefully that’s helpful.
 
Ray: It’s very helpful. And I hope I’m not putting words in your mouth here, but perhaps even beyond discontent, perhaps disobedient, right?
 
Tim: Yes. Yeah.
 
Ray: Cause you had that prompting and that stirring Tim. Go back. What was the fear? Was it just a failure that you maybe weren’t hearing from God, that you didn’t have what it would take? What was the fear?
 
Tim: Yeah, it’s a great question. And of course now I look around us, we’re really doing well. And I think, why was I afraid? Right. I think it was two things. If I’m really, really honest with you and really vulnerable with you, I looked at the mentor I had that I’d worked for for 20 years. John Maxwell who could do that, you know, I mean, here I had this high bar, and I’m thinking if I go out and do what I can do, it’s going to be so less, you know? But it’s okay. That’s stuff I had to be okay with, with not putting on Saul’s armor. You know, I was David and I couldn’t wear Saul’s armor was too big for me. So that was one of my fears. And then secondly, I have a wonderful wife, but she would be less risky than me. You know what I mean? Less apt to just, Hey, let’s just wait here, try this. You know? And so I wanted to make sure I could somehow assure her that we’re going to have food on the table and we’re going to, you know what I’m saying? Pay the mortgage, raise the two children we have. So I think those were the tangible fears that I finally just overcame and realized we’re going to do this together. We jumped off the cliff and by golly, there was a pair of shoes, you know, that sort of thing.
 
Ray: Well as I as listening to you talk about, you know, with your bride, Dave Ramsey says that security button that God has wired most of our wives with. And something you said there that what you talked about was that comparison. I recently had a chance to interview Dayton Moore, who’s the general manager of the Kansas City Royals.
 
Tim: Oh, he’s amazing.
 
Ray: He’s amazing. And he talked about in that conversation that perhaps one of the greatest obstacles to greatness for us as individuals in what God’s calling us to do is comparison of our calling and gifting to someone else’s. And would you just take a moment then to just offer up a word of encouragement to that listener right now, who they’re gripped in fear, they’re gripped and insecurity. Just give them a word of encouragement. What do they need to hear right now?
 
Tim: Yeah. I just think that we’ve got to be ourselves because everybody else is taken, you know. When I try to emulate someone else, I can emulate the principles that they have lived by. But I’ve got to become comfortable in my own shoes. So I use the analogy before about David and Saul, and you know, Ray, I was talking about the day he fought Goliath. You know, Saul offered his armor to this teenager and David tried it on out of respect, but thought, I’m sure this is helpful for you to keep you safe, but it’s so big, I don’t think I fit into it. And then Ray, I think about what Jesus himself said to Simon Peter. Do you remember, it went right after he was, he was raised from the dead. Jesus, that is, he’s talking to Simon Peter. And if you remember right before he ascends into heaven in this conversation, Peter is being told by Jesus what he’s going to do in his future.
 
Peter looks over at John, his fellow disciples and says, well, what about him? And I’m thinking, I think Peter was doing the comparison thing. If this was going to happen to me, what about him hoping to use? We’ll say, well, he’s not going to do as much as you, Peter, cause you’re awesome. But you know what, Jesus, you remember what Jesus said to him? He said, if I want him to stay until I come again, what is that to you? You follow me. And I think that word of encouragement I would say to any person listening is if Jesus were to look at you right now and just comparison trap you fall into, he would say, who cares what I’m doing to you? Follow me. That’s the report card you’re going to face in the end, is what you did with you, not how much you copied John Maxwell, Steven Covey, Jim Collins, whoever. And I’ve had to get used to that myself.
 
Ray: That is such a good word. That’s gold, gold, gold wisdom. And thank you. That’s great. And if I’m quiet on my end, I’m taking great notes and I’m sure, I hope our listeners are too, just not while they’re driving, of course. But what Tim, I’d like to just transition into another section here, a kind of like advice and insights. Okay. You’ve been at this how long, 15 years? 16 years?
 
Tim: Yeah. Since 2003.
 
Ray: Yup. Very good. And so as you look back, leading this organization, growing an organization, what would you say is one of the biggest mistakes you made along the way? And what lesson did you learn from it?
 
Tim: Mm, wow. Where do I begin? I feel like I’ve made several Ray, probably the biggest one for me, and this is going to sound ironic because of what we do, but I took my eyes off of developing my team members. I was so busy on the road, I’ll do about 120 events this year, and I just felt like my tongue was hanging out, but I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching. So here I was telling everybody else to develop leaders and I had team members starving. Well, I shouldn’t say they’re starving today. We have a lunch and every Monday here when I’m in town, I’m there to lead it. But I feel like one of my mistakes was I was beginning to see doing the very thing that we were founded on. And I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed, but I’m telling you I’m committed to that.
 
In fact, I was, I feel like now if it doesn’t work at home, I can’t export it. You know, I’m not going to try to export anything that’s not working right here either in my family or in the organization now Growing Leaders. So that would be one, to take my eyes off. And I tell you what, I had some hard conversations, and we even lost a team member because we weren’t the group that he thought we should be. And it was a wonderful, now this is a while back, but yeah, it was a great wake up call that we need to do what we’re saying. So that would probably be my big mistake. That comes to my mind first.
 
Ray: I think that is a huge lesson that I would actually submit that very, very few of us would say, we haven’t made that mistake. And you know, it’s great to be perceived as living it out. But yeah, talk to the people that are closest to it. That’s the real test. That’s the real test. And so in light of that then I’d like you to kind of think back to when you made that transition, you came out of ministry, you went into work with John Maxwell and then began to birth this new thing, this new organization. So at that point, you truly became an entrepreneur, no doubt about it. And it didn’t matter it was nonprofit; you are an entrepreneur, you are starting something new. So what do you wish, you know, looking back now, what do you wish that someone had told you in that first year of being a faith driven entrepreneur? What advice do you wish you would have been given?
 
Tim: Mm, couple things come to my mind. One is you got to go slow to go fast. I feel like probably based on my time with John and my hardwiring and my own brain, I want to go fast. I want to do a lot now. You know, I want to change the world by noon on Friday. You know? And I think I really believe that Jesus talks and I believe works period, that you’ve got to go slow at first to go fast. Tweak the recipe, get it right. You know, I think of Truett Cathy who had one restaurant for ten years before he ever started another Chick-fil-A, you know, that sort of thing. So I wish I would’ve known you got to go slow to go fast. Get it right. Don’t worry about having a hundred partners in the beginning, get it done right at first.
 
In fact, I’ll give you a good example. When I did learn this, you mentioned Dayton Moore. The Kansas City Royals use our Habitudes with their minor league teams. We started working with them in 2008, so 10 years ago. I remember talking to JJ who is his assistant general manager and we talked about how we just focused on the Royals and the Texas Longhorns. That was our two athletic teams. But we said, let’s just work on these two, not a hundred others, not you know, Ohio State yet or anything. And Ray, wisest thing we’d ever done because we did it well with those two I think, and then we were able to scale. So go slow to go fast. I think you got to start small and not worry about starting small.
 
Especially if a listener right now has a Type A mindset, a high D mindset. Remember what the prophet Amos said, God does not despise small beginnings. Jesus started with 12 disciples, not 1,200. In fact, he ended with 11. He had 11. Your thing, this thing isn’t working, but boy did it work because he was willing to focus on a few. One phrase I’ve come to love. Maybe this’ll be helpful to somebody. More time with less people equals greater kingdom impact. More time with less people equals greater kingdom impact. I have come to believe that and I still to this day mentor a handful of people because I just believe that’s where you go deep and you really multiply.
 
Ray: And that’s so counterintuitive to what we’re hearing in the culture, right? It’s scale, scale, scale, and viral. That’s the word. We have gone viral. But I love that it’s not only, but it’s proven in an integrated, both goes into the area. Well Tim, as we’re winding down here, what advice or encouragement would you give to someone who’s listening to our conversation who wants to be more effective in integrating their faith or living out their faith in the marketplace? You mentioned that the types of language that you’re, you know, need to use to reach that audience. What advice or insights would you offer there?
 
Tim: I think my thought in addition to me having to change my language is to make sure I’m saying things that people get and understand. I think another one is that I had to learn was the love language of the marketplace out there is added value. So if I walk into a potential partner organization and I live by values and add value, I am going to be speaking their love language. I’m going to gain their respect because I live by a standard of value. Even if they disagree with it, they go, well I respect you for listen by that. And then I add value. If I can add value, I’m telling you I get permission to say almost anything I want to say. So I’ll be at state universities and I’ll be with let’s say student athletes at a Division One program and there’s 300 student athletes and I’m adding value and they’re writing down notes and we’re laughing together.
 
And then someone says, where’d you get all this? And I might say, well, it’s going to shock you. Well now I’ve got their attention, you know, and I say it’s actually the Scriptures. Faith plays a huge role in my life and blah, blah blah. But I’m answering a question; I didn’t preach. But when they’ve gotten added value, they’re going, I don’t know where you got this, but I want to drink that too, you know, or whatever. So I feel like I would just encourage people out there, whatever product or service you’re offering, make sure it is the best. You’re this best in class and you’re adding so much value. They want to ask you what’s behind all of this. And that is when in America, in the 21st Century, we get permission to share the gospel.
 
Ray: Absolutely. Huge. I just want to repeat that for listeners that the love language of the marketplace equals added value. Did I get that right?
 
Tim: Yeah, absolutely.
 
Ray: What a nugget. Well, Tim, my goodness, I hope maybe someday we can coerce you to come back for part two of this conversation because we’ve just scratched the surface on, you know, parenting and developing young leaders and so forth. So the good news is folks can go to your website and subscribe to your blog and get all kinds of resources, but maybe, just maybe I can coerce you to come back for part two someday.
 
Tim: Sure. Absolutely. It’d be fun to talk to you.
 
Ray: Thank you. You’ve been so gracious. So as we wind down our time together today, our regular listeners know this is always the last question that I love to ask on Bottom Line Faith. And it’s based out of Proverbs chapter 4:23 where Solomon writes these words where he says, above all else, guard your heart for it determines the course of your life. So Tim, what I’d like you to do as we wind down our conversation today is I’d like you to kind of fill in the blank. You’ve got a chance, you know, it’s the end of your time this side of eternity, and you have a chance to gather your family, your friends, your loved ones, those that are most precious to you, and you’re going to get an opportunity to pass along one singular paramount piece of advice. Would you just fill in the blank for us, Tim, above all else…
 
Tim: Wow. Well, as you well know, Ray, I’m sure you’ve asked this many times and gotten many great answers. There’s many things that kind of on my mind, but I guess one that sticks out would be above all else, lead yourself first. I have a leadership organization. I’ve been inspired by other leadership organizations, but when I’ve ever stumbled and fallen, it’s been because I have neglected to lead me before I’ve led anybody else or to lead me before I’ve trained anybody to lead someone else. Self-leadership. I know I’m not the first to say it nor the last, but it is the first step. The first person I ever heard say, this was Dee Hock, the founder of Visa International, but he said, I spend 50% of my time on leading me. And he said, when I find that I lead me really well, the disciplines, the spiritual disciplines, but you know, just the stuff that makes us respectful, or respected I should say, other people follow us. This comes naturally. I mean, people want to follow somebody they admire, so I guess I would just end with that. Lead yourself first. Don’t worry about anybody else yet. Lead yourself first and watch others say, I want to follow too.
 
Ray: Incredible insights. Dr. Tim Elmore. Thank you. Thank you for the investment of your time here with us at Bottom Line Faith today.
 
Tim: Right. It’s been great. You’re fun to talk to. I was enjoyed and yeah, I’ll look forward to another time when we get to the to do it again.
 
Ray: Well folks, there you have it. Our friend Dr. Tim Elmore, president and founder of Growing Leaders out of the Atlanta, Georgia area. Please, please check out their website at GrowingLeaders.com many resources there. The books that I mentioned in the introduction as well as you could subscribe to Dr. Elmore’s blog that comes out several times a week. So folks, you know, here at Bottom Line Faith, we desire to bring you the finest thought leaders and marketplace influencers through a biblical lens and through a biblical worldview. And I suspect you are excited like me to know that God has and is placing individuals like Dr. Elmore strategically in the marketplace. So we’re so grateful for that. But guess what? He’s placed you strategically as well. God has given you a call. So that really is our desire here at Bottom Line Faith, is to encourage you and to inspire you to do that.
 
And so if you’re a Christ-centered business owner and would like to learn about possibly participating in a round table, check out our site at TruthAtWork.org. Learn about one of the round tables where you can connect with other likeminded Christ followers in business and learn how to better live out your calling in your business and marketplace as well. Also, the main thing you could do for us here today is go online and give us a positive review. We treasure those reviews. It helps to give more exposure to the program here at Bottom Line Faith and it really helps our web presence as well. That’s what you can do for us as well as praying that God would continue to bless the ministry here at Bottom Line Faith.
 
So there you have it folks. Until next time I am your host Ray Hilbert encouraging you to effectively live out your faith everyday at work. God bless. I’ll see you next time.

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