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Leadership Authority Points to Bible for Lessons on Leadership

Leadership Authority Points to Bible for Lessons on Leadership

By Janlyn Thaxton

 

 

 

While an author of two books on the subject of leadership, retired Air Force Brigadier General Dick Abel uses a book he didn’t write from which to draw lessons to inspire his audience during the inaugural Fletcher Lecture Series.   Drawing his words and his own inspiration from Colossians 3, Abel tells HSU students, faculty, and staff, “‘Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart.’ Do the right thing, do it the right way, for the right reasons, for the right master.”   Abel is the featured speaker in a series of four lectures scheduled for March 21, 2013, held on the HSU campus.   Established at Hardin-Simmons University, and named for President Emeritus Dr. Jesse C. Fletcher, “The Fletcher Lectures will be an annual event as we invite great speakers to campus to inform us, challenge us, and inspire us,” says Hardin-Simmons University President Dr. Lanny Hall in his introduction of Abel. {{more}}   “During his exceptional career in the Air Force, he was a skilled pilot who taught others to fly,” says Hall. “General Abel led the Warhawk jet acrobatic team. He was chief of public affairs for the Air Force Academy and was an assistant football coach at the Academy.   “Since his retirement from the Air Force, General Abel has served on the senior staff of the U.S. Olympic Committee, as national president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and for 14 years as executive director of the Military Ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.   “Those 14 years, coupled with his 30-year military career makes him a 44-year servant to military members and their families who are focused on protecting the freedoms and the way of life we enjoy today,” says Hall.   Currently, General Abel is the founder and president of the organization Leadership Is ALL About People. He is also the author of two books, The DNA of Leadership, which focuses on the 18 characteristics that develop leadership qualities, and Vector Corrector, a collection of weekly ethics lessons to help stay on course with one’s character.   Abel remembers his days in sports, pointing to the audience, he says, “Do you remember that guy in the locker room that everyone called preacher boy? “‘Hey preacher boy,’ they would say. But it was that person everyone would turn to when there was a crisis in someone’s life. It’s because they knew that was somebody to be trusted.   “If you are that kind of person, people will be drawn to you. They know you are different. They need you to put your arm around them and tell them, ‘God loves you, I love you.’   “If there’s one nugget you can take with you today, know this: be a servant leader. Be a lover of man and woman, boy and girl, and you will make a difference for eternity.”   Four lectures comprise today’s event, which includes a luncheon, a leadership development session for HSU faculty and staff, and a leadership development session for students. Alex Montgomery, a nursing student and working graphic designer, who claims both Lubbock, Texas, and Los Lunas, New Mexico, as hometowns, was in today’s opening session. Montgomery says General Abel captured his full attention with his animated presentation and numerous descriptions of his experiences. “I really thought the simplicity of the message was also its biggest asset.”   Today’s noon lecture brought community leaders to the campus, including former Dyess Air Force Base wing commander and now a key leader in the development of the City of Abilene, retired Col. William Ehrie; retired Major General Mike McMahon, also a former Dyess Wing Commander, and now president of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce; and former Abilene Christian University president, Dr. Royce Money, and his wife Pam.   There, Abel said of leadership, “It is never about the leader, but about the people who are served. Your legacy is about the people you meet, about what you do to invest in peoples’ lives. I decided long ago that it is my duty and my honor to make a positive impact on someone’s life each day; to be a blessing.”   The Fletcher Lecture Series honors Dr. Jesse C. Fletcher, who served with distinction as president of HSU from 1977 to 1991 and chancellor from 1991 to 2003 and now president emeritus.   “He built this chapel and the Logsdon School of Theology, as well as the Johnson Building, the Mabee Athletic Complex, the pond, the John Hunter Baseball Field, the Art Building and many other campus improvements,” says Hall.   An endowment that helps to fund the lecture series was established two years ago in Fletcher’s honor. “The earnings from that endowment have made this day possible,” says Hall, “along with the generous support of two HSU graduates, Keith and Cherry Griffitts.” Griffitts is president and owner of Western Petroleum Resources, Inc., in Dallas, Texas, and a long-time member of the HSU Board of Trustees.   http://www.hsutx.edu/news-and-events/news/article?Channel=%2fChannels%2fContent+Channel&WorkflowItemID=8b937aa2-cb7e-4cf4-8d48-fb87286769a0

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