This week, I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions; I’ve shed tears of joy as my first grandchild was born and tears of deep loss as my friend and mentor, Truett Cathy, passed away at the age of 93. I had the privilege to work with Truett for over 35 years.
During his memorial service, a theme quickly emerged. Its origin can be traced to a story from Truett’s childhood…
When Truett was a child in elementary school, one of his teachers asked each student to bring in their favorite Bible verse. The teacher would select one as the verse of the week. Truett submitted Proverbs 22:1:
Truett’s verse was selected by his teacher and written on the board as the verse of the week.
For him, this became much more than the verse of the week – it was the verse of his life. Not only did he inscribe thousands of his books with this verse, Truett lived each day protecting and building his good name.
How did he build his good name and what can you and I learn from his example? I think one of his secrets was his consistency.
He consistently helped people – This was a huge part of Truett’s life. His love for people was ever present. As a consequence, he devoted himself to helping others. He helped kids, adults and students. He found ways to serve those in need financially, physically and emotionally.
He consistently lived his priorities – When asked how he wanted to be remembered, Truett said he hoped to be remembered as a man who kept his priorities -- God, family, business, church -- in order. As an eyewitness, I can testify – he did.
He consistently gave his time – One of the most amazing facets of Truett’s life was how giving he was with his time. Anyone who visited our headquarters over the last few decades will tell you; if they took a tour of the building and Truett was in, he stopped what he was doing and visited with them, often for an extended time. He loved giving his time.
He consistently worked hard – Truett’s work ethic was legendary. Examples include delivering newspapers door-to-door for seven years as a child, and sleeping next door to his 24-hour restaurant, The Dwarf Grill, as a young business owner. This allowed him to listen for traffic on the gravel parking lot in the middle of the night as his cue to get back to work.
People always watch the leader. In Truett’s case, you could see the same behaviors repeated over and over and over again. It was both refreshing and inspiring. He did countless things consistently over many decades – as a result, his good name grew every step along the way.
Consistently doing the right things will build your good name also.[GLS_Shield]
What do people see consistently in your life?