Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I heard from the guy that I often refer to as "my mentor back in college" yesterday. He's one of the wisest people I know and I've only seen him two or three times since I've moved back to Cincinnati.

He was always a decade ahead of the rest of us. He'd say things that were offensive, wrong and just sort of mean spirited...and eventually we'd realize that he was pretty much always right. He mellowed over the years and started telling people, "you know, you can learn from a jerk" before he'd speak at events. That's kind of the thing - he had a bad reputation with people who didn't know him that well. If you just heard one of his crazy statements and didn't know the heart behind them...and never really followed up with him to see what he really'd think he was a jerk and just dismiss him.

A bunch of us didn't. We followed him and most of us had great success with what we were doing. He was right, after all...most of the time.

So we're going to have lunch when I get back from this conference.

I'll see an old friend/mentor at the conference. This guy was one of the top 2 or 3 speakers I'll ever know - and this is why.

When he spoke in Virginia at a camp I visited, I noticed that he had a sophomore in college taking notes for him. I asked him about it and he said, "that guy's brilliant". He was right - that college kid was brilliant...but this guy was too. In fact he was giving the same old speeches over and over again...and he was great at it...but he still was humble enough to ask this kid to evaluate him night after night.

That's probably why he's one of the best speakers I'll ever hear.


  1. Anonymous9:57 AM

    And sometimes a jerk, even a charismatic one, is stil a jerk.

  2. Anonymous9:58 AM

    s-t-i-l-l. oops, sorry...

  3. Yeah, I'm not sure I get where you are going with this (and I'll attach my name to my thoughts).

    Are you saying it's ok to communicate as a jerk as long as your heart behind the message is good?

    Not sure I agree with that, or that it's very Christ-like.


  5. Anonymous7:09 PM

    A mentor says "offensive, wrong and just sort of mean-spirited" things and then you say he's usually right? That usually just means he's all of those things and he's just charismatic or persuasive.

    and maybe a little cultish

    and a big jerk

  6. Maybe Sean is making a video response to our questions. Or maybe he's just too busy kicking puppies.