5 Lessons on Fruitful Living
1. Check Your Ego at the Door
To put others first the way that Bob did requires us to surrender our pride and our ego, to let go of our need for the limelight and personal accolades.
Some of Bob’s favorite sayings included:
- Check your ego at the door.
- Take the perspective that you are the catapult and the other person is the plane.
- Be the platform — not the show.
2. Abide in Christ
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. – John 15:5
Bob’s ability to influence a generation of marketplace and ministry leaders started with his surrendered heart and servant’s posture.
As I coach Halftime clients, I often ask, “What are some of the obstacles that might get in the way of living a life of significance?”
One of the responses that always makes the list is pride or ego.
I have learned that the only true path to to letting go of my pride and ego for a surrendered heart like Bob’s is to return to the vine. Spending time resting in the presence of the Lord will transform us and multiply the fruit that we are able to plant and harvest.
3. Be Intentional About Mentoring
Over the years Bob mentored hundreds of leaders across all sectors – from entrepreneurs to pastors to executives. He was very intentional about his key mentoring relationships and kept a wallet card with him at all times that had two columns on it. The first column listed “What I intend to do” and the second column noted “Who I intend to do it for”. The second column listed the names of the people he was mentoring in that particular season. The list changed over time. His advice to Kingdom-minded leaders was:
“Create a list of 5 to 10 spectacular leaders with smart ideas for the Kingdom that you are prepared to invest in. Get to know them and ask, ‘Is there anything I can do to be useful to you?’ If you can do it, then help them. If you can’t, then introduce them to someone who can. Start with 2 leaders – but start!”
Based on his personal experience with Peter Drucker, Bob’s advice to mentors was to give their mentee:
- Permission to be themselves
- Encouragement along the way
- Instruction for course correction when needed
When we share our skills, insights, wisdom, counsel, and support with younger Kingdom-minded leaders, we instill the confidence they need to overcome their fears, to strengthen their leadership, and to multiply their Kingdom impact.
Mentoring is one of the gifts that “keeps on giving”. When we notice, acknowledge, and encourage other leaders; both our life and theirs can be transformed.
You can start by making a list of the young, raw talent in your business or network that you feel God may be lifting up for this time and offer them your support by asking them, “Is there anything I can do to be useful to you?”
4. Invest in the Development of Kingdom Leaders
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few”. – Matthew 9:37
Bob founded — and invested his time and money in — two organizations that had a mission to develop Kingdom builders. He also financially invested in other like-minded organizations he believed were making a Kingdom difference.
In addition to mentoring specific leaders in your network consider these opportunities for your fruit to grow on other people’s trees.
- Identify an organization that develops Kingdom builders and then partner with them by offering your time, talent, or financial blessings.
- Fund or contribute to a scholarship program at an organization that develops Kingdom leaders.
- Identify individual leaders you believe in and invest in their development by paying for or subsidizing a course that they or their organization cannot afford.
- Create out-of-the-box development opportunities for promising leaders in your business that don’t just enhance their experience and their competencies, but build their character and strengthen their faith.
5. Start at Home
Sadly, Bob and Linda’s only son Ross died when he was just 24 years of age. This was devastating to them both. Bob reflected that many of the leaders that he mentored were the same age that Ross would have been. Had Ross lived a longer life, Bob would have continued to encourage, affirm, teach, and pass on his values and wisdom to him, nurturing his faith and character as a leader along the way.
For those of us with children, grandchildren, nieces/nephews, and other young loved ones, they are the beginning of our legacy. They are the fruit that grows on our trees. In talking about the importance of nurturing our children, including our adult children, one of my clients (whose children now live on three continents) reflected that, “My children are like arrows that I’ve shot out into the world.”
When I ask clients to think about one or two leaders that inspired them and tell me why, in the majority of cases at least one of the people they mention is a parent, grandparent or aunt/uncle.
Sometimes our relationships with our children/grandchildren/nieces/nephews/loved ones can feel a bit like a rollercoaster ride, but our lifetime influence on them will be one of the greatest they have. At every stage of their life we need to re-commit to nurturing our relationship with them. We need to continually ask, “How can I help you be the person that God has created and called you to be?”
We have a responsibility to encourage and affirm the younger generation and to help them grow in character by nurturing values such as faith, generosity, respect, gratitude, etc. through our example.
When we are intentional about investing in others, it helps us leave behind our tendency to measure our legacy by what we have accumulated or accomplished. Rather, our true legacy will be measured by the accomplishments and impact of those we have played a role in catapulting forward. If we are lucky, we will be blessed by seeing some of the fruit of our investment in the lives of others in our lifetime. If we have a true, multi-generational impact on others, the end results of the seeds we plant may not be harvested in our lifetime, but will have an impact nonetheless and we will be revealed to us in eternity.
At the Halftime Institute our Halftime Certified™ Coaches are committed to living this value out with our clients. We come alongside you, affirm, encourage and challenge you to be all that God has called you to be and to discover where and how God is calling you to serve.