Who is your favorite role model?

Why is he or she your favorite?

When were you first attracted to that person?

What happened that captured your attention?

Do you realize how important that role model is to you?

Stop and think about this …

You will acquire the qualities you admire in others.

Choose Your Role Models Wisely

I have never had a mentor. That is a statement, not a regret. Even though I have had no mentors, I have found several excellent role models.

My favorite role model has been Hubert Hollums.

As a youngster, Mr. Hollums and my family were members of the same church, but I did not know him.

My first contact with him was as a customer. I was a 12-year-old-boy delivering newspapers on a bicycle. The newspapers were dropped off from a truck at a vacant lot next to his Shell service station.

I never spent more than 10¢ in his service station. That was the cost of my usual purchase, a Coke, and a candy bar or a package of peanut butter crackers, yet he treated me like a valued customer. In fact, Mr. Hollums treated me with the same respect as a customer who bought a full-tank of gas or a new set of tires.

While waiting for the truck to bring my newspapers, I liked to watch the men in Mr. Hollum’s garage work. The people at most businesses didn’t want a 12-year-old boy hanging around watching them work and would chase me off. Mr. Hollums was different. No matter how long I was there, no one ever suggested that I was not welcome and should leave.

At 12 years of age, I recognized that there was something special about Hubert Hollums.

Mr. Hollums started with a service station and became one the most successful and respected businessmen on the south side of Atlanta, Georgia. He was a devoted family man and very active in our church.

When I was elected to serve on the board of our church, I saw him as an extraordinary member. He never sought the spotlight; he quietly encouraged people and promoted harmony. He was sincerely kind and always found the positive side of every issue.

Mr. Hollums was generous and benevolent, but he was quiet about his giving and did not seek recognition.

I admired him as I grew older as much, no even more, than when I was a 12-year-old boy. Over the years, I had many opportunities to watch Mr. Hollums.

Whatever Mr. Hollums did, he was all-in, not a token in-name-only participant. I was privileged to serve with him more than 20 years as a trustee of Atlanta Christian College (now Point University). He quietly supported the college financially and openly shared his outstanding business skills.

At a board meeting, Mr. Hollums surprised the trustees when he announced that because of his age, 83, he would retire so he could be replaced with a younger person. I took advantage of the opportunity and asked the chairman to let me make a few comments. Then I stood, faced Mr. Hollums, and spoke directly to him.

I doubt that Mr. Hollums knew, before that day, what he had meant to me. I told him that he had been my favorite role model and why beginning with when I was a newspaper boy 47 years earlier. I described in detail several situations and the powerful impact that he had on my life.

It was difficult to control my emotions, but it was an experience that I treasure; I knew that I might never again have the opportunity to thank him directly for modeling those qualities I admired so much and I told him …

“You have been my favorite role model.”

When the meeting adjourned, a professor came up to me and said, “Jimmy, you are Mr. Hollums.”

Did I become the man I admired?

Will you become the person you admire?

Choose Your Role Models Wisely

Have you chosen your role models?

Why did you choose them?

Remember …

You will acquire the qualities you admire in others.

Jimmy Collins