Thursday, July 22, 2010

Influence: The College Years

I was blessed by several leaders in my college days and they taught me a lot of things that I was able to use in my early career in sports medicine as well as leadership lessons that I still carry with me.

I was able to support myself in college by waiting tables and eventually managing one of the restaurants. My general manager as Rich Katzman. Rich taught me valuable lessons in customer service, dedication to those that you are serving and how to build a team. He was also passionate follower of Christ and showed me how that could exist in the regular world. We shared a mutual respect and I still remember him tearing up when I moved to Florida to begin my teaching career.

There were three gentlemen at Lipscomb University who influenced me more than any other. Lynn Griffith and Kent Johnson were two of my professors in the Exercise Science department and Brent Oliver was the Head Athletic Trainer. All three of them put up with me and my idiosyncrasies and were a vital part of the development of my philosophy of athletic training, my work ethic, and my faith.

More than that all of three of them are good, godly men who showed me that being a Christian was different than I had once thought. I fondly remember hours of conversation with all three of them and I am grateful that they took the time to invest in a young man who was still trying to find his way. The three of them were constantly educating me and most of what I learned had little to do with the subject matter at hand. They are true heroes to follow and I still find myself reflecting on lessons from almost 20 years ago.

They are probably unaware of their impact on me and the countless others that they have cared for over the years, but that does not lessen their influence. Thanks gentlemen, for caring and being willing to be used for more far-reaching purposes than you know.

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