Godsey honored, students challenged at Leadership Summit

Release Date: September 25, 2009

PLAINVIEW – Students, faculty, staff and guests gathered Friday to honor a local resident for years of service and leadership at the Fifth Annual High Plains Leadership Summit at Wayland Baptist University.

The Summit is designed to stress to students the importance of strong, Christian leadership and its influence on the world. On Friday, the Rev. Glen Godsey was honored for years of service to Plainview and particularly the Hispanic community. Godsey dropped out of school after the fourth grade in order to work and help support his family. He served in the armed forces in WWII where he was injured. There, he met his wife, who was a nurse in the army hospital. The couple eventually moved to Plainview and Godsey enrolled in Wayland in 1948.

Since being ordained in 1949, Rev. Godsey and his wife, Mary, have spent their lives in Christian service to the people of Plainview and the surrounding area. Godsey has worked as director of the Big Bend Baptist Association, the Texas Baptist River Ministry as well as carrying out a 10-year ministry in Seminole. He has pastored several churches in the area, including 10 years at Mision Bautista La Trinidad in Olton and Primera Iglesia Bautista in Plainview, where he served several stints totaling 23 years. He is currently an associate pastor at Date Street Baptist Church and associate director of missions for the Caprock-Plains Baptist Area Center.

Following the presentation of the Leadership Award to Godsey, the crowd was addressed by Dr. Tim Elmore, an inspiration speaker and founder of Growing Leaders, an organization with the purpose of developing students into leaders. Elmore has written more than 20 books on the subject of leadership and focuses on what he calls “Habitudes,” issues that form habits and attitudes.

Dr. Elmore challenged the students with three Habitudes: River and Floods, Chess and Checkers, and Thermostats and Thermometers.

Rivers and floods, Elmore said, are both bodies of water, but that is where the comparison ends. Floods tend to be shallow and flow everywhere, while rivers are deeper and everything is moving in one direction. Elmore challenged students to be rivers instead of floods.

“Learn the power of focus and vision,” he said. “God calls us to flow deeper, not wider. We are called to be focused, not fuzzy.”

Elmore said it is important to focus on certain areas in life in order to reach the full potential that God has set in each individual. He challenged students to learn to say ‘no’ so they are not pulled in too many directions, but can maintain a singular course in life.

Looking at the difference between Chess and Checkers, Elmore pointed out that both games are played on the same board, but they are completely different games. While checkers are all similar and all move the same way, chess is much more involved, harder to understand and more difficult to play. Each piece is individual and moves and works in different ways.

“Mediocre leaders play checkers,” Elmore said. “Great leaders play chess.”

Elmore challenged students as leaders to learn the strengths of those around them and use them to the best of their ability, bringing out the best in the whole team. He said in order to play chess, a leader must discover four things about each individual: strengths and weakness, triggers, personality and learning style. With these discoveries a leader can bring out the best in individuals.

“There is no such thing as an average person,” he said. “There is something extraordinary in everyone.”

Elmore’s final Habitude was Thermostats and Thermometers. While thermometers reflect the temperature, thermostats control it. Elmore said most people fit into the thermometer category, simply following everybody else. In order to become a thermostat, he said a person must do two things: possess values and add value.

Elmore said it is important to possess values in order to define who you truly want to be. Each person must know their core values and what they truly believe. He used Chick-fil-A as an example of a company that has values and doesn’t divert from them. Through following its core values, Chick-fil-A has become one of the most successful fast food restaurants in the U.S.

The second thing a thermostat must do is add value in others. This can be done by simply patting someone on the back or offering them a compliment.

Elmore closed by saying that everyone falls into one of two types of leaders: habitual and situational. Habitual leaders are those who lead out of habit. Situational leaders are those who have the natural intuition to lead in certain areas of strength.

“We all have to find those situations where we are leaders,” he said.