This past week on a visit to Las Vegas to take part in the Idea Camp, I had the opportunity to connect with Jud Wilhite, the pastor of Central Christian Church. We were scheduled to talk for about 30 minutes and I had tons of questions I wanted to ask. Jud is a phenomenal leader and communicator. His church is doing amazing ministry in one of the toughest cities in the world.
I arrived a little early for the meeting and Jud was in the lobby. I knew I would only have a short time and so I was anxious to get started. As we started to walk towards his office, he went over to say hello to all the people working in the coffee shop. He hugged a few workers, smiled, and thanked them for their great work. As we walked out of the coffee shop, Jud stopped and spoke to each of the three people working the information desk. We headed down the hall towards his office when he stopped to thank a few people for some work they’d finished some where on the church grounds. We rounded a corner and Jud asked a gentlemen how he was doing. It seems there were some medical issues or something, and he wanted to check in.
At this point, all I could see was the seconds ticking off of “my” time to learn about leadership and to ask my questions.
As we made it to his office I was relieved to finally get a chance to learn about his leadership. We got to talk for a few minutes and I got my questions in. I took lots of notes. It was a great time of learning. As I was leaving, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was like the moment when Daniel Son feels like he’s just washing cars or painting a fence in The Karate Kid. Then Mr. Miagai shows him that he was learning the entire time.
The real lesson on leadership was everything that happened before our meeting. Leadership is all about people. You can know all the principles, theories, and laws on leadership, but they mean nothing without people. I got to see real leadership that day. It will go down as one of the best learning moments ever. Thank you Jud for teaching, even if I missed it at first.
When’s the last time you saw great leadership in action?