One of my mentors and a fantastic example of a leader is Frank C. Dawson. Everyone calls him Digger. To list his accomplishments would take pages and I’d still end up forgetting too many. But, that isn’t what this post is about.

It is about leading. You see, Digger has always been an evangelist and not just a leader. He is an expert in teaching and showing others why they should be part of his dreams. One of his biggest dreams was the founding of a local high school alumni association. He led hundreds – maybe thousands – of volunteers until today the East Liverpool High School Alumni Association in a little town of 13,000 people on the Ohio River is the largest high school association in the country with a current membership over 20,000 members.

It took an evangelist to make that dream come true.

He then had a dream about building a Hall of Fame for the area. It’s now called The Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame. Its honorees come from all walks of life and are honored because they have made a significant difference in the lives of others.

It would not have happened without an evangelist.

Both of these organizations change lives for the better. In his book, Selling the Dream, Guy Kawasaki describes an evangelist as someone who is:

  • Called, not driven
  • Committed
  • Someone the multitudes will follow
  • Willing to listen and learn

Does this describe you? Do people want to be part of your dream because they feel like their lives are better as a result? Evangelism is not for the weak of heart. But, frankly, I’d rather live every day as an evangelist (with all its work and ups and downs) than quietly pass through life never having tried to make a difference.

By the way, you might think of doing what Frank recently did for his family. He wrote a book, Picking Elderberries about much of what he has seen and experienced in his life. It’s not really an autobiography. Instead it is all about the town that he has loved and served – and evangelized – his entire life. And, in doing so, his grandchildren and their children will come to know the man known as Digger.

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