A Good Name

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:

A good name is more desirable than great riches.tweet_bird

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?

Leave a comment

1 × two =

Troy Slezak

8 years ago

I can personally attest to your statements about Truett giving his time. A couple of years ago I had the privilege of touring the Corporate office with one of your colleagues. Truett was in the office that day and upon our entering his office, he stopped what he was doing, came out from behind the desk, shook my hand and said "Welcome to my tree house". That is a moment I will NEVER forget. Thanks for sharing such poignant thoughts about such a great man.


8 years ago

Troy, I am not surprised by your Truett encounter. He valued people above all else. He will be missed. Thanks for sharing your experience! Mark

Terese Deneweth

8 years ago

Thank you for sharing from the heart about leading by the heart. Not many leaders understand this but those of us who love to serve as we lead need encouragement and helpful reminders when feeling like no one understands.


8 years ago

Terese, thanks for sharing your thoughts! You are making a difference - keep it up! Mark


Copyright © 2023 INTEGREAT Leadership
All rights reserved.