A long-time supporter of Belmont University, Cal Turner Jr. and his pastor, Rev. J. Howard Olds of Brentwood Methodist, shared their insights on leadership and decision-making in a convocation session this morning in the Massey Boardroom. Turner is the chairman of the Cal Turner Family Foundation and the retired CEO/Chairman/President of Dollar General Corporation. He and Olds co-wrote the recently released book Led to Follow: Leadership Lessons from an Improbable Pastor and a Reluctant CEO.
Turner began the convo by talking about his belief in Belmont University, its mission and its students, noting that Led to Follow may be an appropriate choice for those facing graduation or worrying about their future. “This book speaks in a special way as to what may be going on in your life. We hope it will help liberate you from trying to figure out what you’re supposed to do… Life is about figuring out who you’re supposed to be.”
In a question and answer session, Olds followed up on the same theme in response to a student’s inquiry about attempting to make the “right” career decisions. “You make the best decisions you can in the moment, but as a friend once told me, you also have to remember that’s not the only time the train is going to come by the station. There will be a lot of opportunities in your life to consider.”
The convocation concluded with the performance of an original composition by sophomore Josh Wright, a Turner Scholar.
Led to Follow examines how true leadership grows out of the spiritual journey of following a higher calling. With an open, honest, and conversational style, a minister who also manages and a manager who also ministers share insights they’ve gained through failures, successes and struggles in their personal and professional journeys. From crises in the family business to existential struggles in the face of recurring cancer, the authors show that the heart and soul of leadership is found in following: following your call, following others’ input, following your failures, following change and even following the unknown.