Once again Jon Gordon reminded me of why he is one of my favorite authors. In captivating story form, Gordon portrays the ultimate mentor relationship between the Carpenter and Michael. This is a model every leader should follow with people they are mentoring. Through the process of several woodworking projects, The Carpenter shows Michael “The Way” by teaching him the three greatest strategies of all:


As Michael and the carpenter begin working on a project together, the carpenter explains he’s really not a carpenter but a craftsman. The craftsman explained, “A carpenter builds things. A craftsman creates a work of art. When you become a craftsman in a world of carpenters, you will stand out and people will clamor to work with you.”


The mentorship continues with the carpenter sharing, “Love then leads us to serve. Service is about doing little things each day to show people you love and care about them. It’s about doing small acts with a big heart and a big dose of love.” Service requires a sacrifice of something. Whether it’s time, energy, money, love, effort, or focus, serving others always costs you something, but with service and sacrifice, you gain so much more.”                      


The lessons conclude with the final principle, the third greatest strategy of all is care. The carpenter lovingly adds, “People make it complicated but it’s simple: Care about the work you do. Surround yourself with people who care. Show your team you care about them.” He then adds his strongest statements yet, “Anyone in any organization can be a CCO, Chief Caring Officer. Caring is the differentiator in every profession.”


ONE AT A TIME – The absolutely most powerful statement of the book for me is, “It’s not about loving, serving, and caring for everyone all at once. It’s about loving, serving, and caring for one person at a time. Love, Serve and Care for the person in front of you!” I was reminded of the old adage, “Love the one your with!”                     

MENTORSHIP  This parable has energized me to reach out to the people I have mentored throughout the years and strengthen our relationship. I also want to be proactive to search out new opportunities to mentor aspiring leaders.

LOVE – The angle that the author takes with love is the love of your work and transforming yourself from a carpenter to a craftsman. In order to create what Todd Henry calls “Brilliant Work” there are several steps that I am instituting to become a “craftsman.” First, in order to create brilliance I have begun scheduling my calendar in two hour blocks for specific projects. Second, I am making sure that someone else check my work before it is made public.

SERVE – I am asked to serve others on a regular basis. I always say yes but my issue is follow through. In order to be a better servant I will work to increase my dependability by implementing two strategies:

  • A) DO IT NOW. When I tell somebody I’m going to send them some thing, when it’s possible I will email it or text it to them right then at that point in time. When my schedule permits, I will do it now or place it in an action box.
  • B) 24 HOUR RULE. This is a principle that my wife uses. She promises her staff that she will respond to all phone calls and emails within 24 hours.

CARE  Each day during my daily devotions I write out my prayer requests for others. In order to more fully implement CARE into my daily life, I am having prayer postcards created and will send out five cards a week to people that I am praying for. I will print my prayer on the prayer card, sign it personally and send it to them to let them know I care and that I truly am praying for them.

In conclusion, Gordon gives an assignment to complete this sentence: ‘I love, serve, and care because _____________. My answer after reading this book is that I love, serve, and care because I want to add value to people. This book inspired me once again to #bethemission.




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