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Sharing Success 3- Eric Thomas

The e-book is moving along well, thank God! Earlier this week I posted about two of the contributors for the project. Today, I’m introducing someone new.

As I stated before, I believe accomplishing goals is fun, but how much more beneficial is it if you have people that can share your success.

The story continues……..

Name: Eric E. T. Thomas

Age: 34

Current City: Gainesville, FL

Organization: Impacting Your World Network, GO! Church of Gainesville, S.E.T. on Success, LLC

1. When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do? As early as the age four, I can clearly remember telling parents and siblings that I would one day be a pastor and preaching/teaching across the world. Not in the words exactly but … yeah I knew it! Before the untimely passing of my mother, she would tell me stories that I vaguely remember – like struggling with my difficulty to read at age five, because of dyslexia – I would sit and cry with my Bible upside down because I wanted to learn the Bible. The late Dr. Theodore R. Brown laid his hands on me and prayed for me to learn to read God’s word. Also at the age of 11 (the year I began in ministry) Dr. Rance Allen also spoke into my life that I would be a global leader. Now at the age of 34, I am living my dream.

2. What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now? Early in my marriage (now divorced) – I accepted a job stocking drywall (I possessed “do what you gotta do” mentality). I was not accustomed to such laborious work — long hours, high building, inclement weather — but I learned the lesson of teamwork. I quickly observed why people wanted to work with me because I was about strategy and putting people where they belonged and were most effective. I actually made a good amount of money — but God’s knows it was not my calling.

3. Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you? . Elder Walter E. Patrick, Sr. – who was my last Sr. Pastor before I begin to serve as a Sr. Pastor myself. I would assumed his leadership position at Bethel Christian Church (Gainesville) after his resignation in 1999. He became what I needed — a spiritual father. I would sit hours at his feet (literally) gleaning from him the wisdom of life and leadership. He was transparent and candid about his weaknesses, struggles, and fears — he taught me how to be resilient when face with adversity from those we work close to you. He counsel was always “in your face” but also very fair — mixed with compassion and love.

4. Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and work? Dr. John Maxwell’s The 360 degree Leader. It was given to me as gift about 2 years ago. I immediately tore right into it. I was amazed at the depth of insight — my scope of leadership is so different now. I understand better the FUNCTION of leadership as a result.

5. What is your company/organization? How does it serve?

-Impacting Your World is the evangelistic ministry that I launched in 2002. Its primary function is to coach and mentor other leaders – with a special emphasis on Christian Leadership in the marketplace.
GO! Church of Gainesville (COGIC) is a local Kingdom of God assembly in downtown Gainesville, FL. Its existence is simply to Win, Build, Send. I serve as the Lead Pastor and my role is to equip people to do the work of ministry. I was appointed to this leadership role by Bishop Edward Robinson, Sr. in June of 2008. The ministry is vibrant and continues to experience significant growth in membership and spiritual maturity.
-S.E.T. on Success, LLC is an organization that serve Adults with disabilities. I teach life
and develop life skills for residents in a particular home.
6. What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic? Fervent, Compassionate, Faithful

7. What is your greatest strength in leadership? Diligent, Passionate, Integrity
8. What is your greatest weakness in leadership? Patience. I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life and now I have to remind my that I am redeeming time b/c I often desire and mandate “overnight” success from myself and at times from those that I lead.

9. What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership? Letting go! I have what my best friend, Pastor Natron A. Curtis, Sr., calls “a shepherd’s heart” and at times I find it hard accepting that fact that I may be working with a wolf and not sheep. I believe that I can convert anyone w/ time. My experiences of hurt and seeing others hurt has sharpen my discern to make wisdom decisions about “letting go” of the person(s) that needs be released for their, mine, and others  well being.

10. If you could give one piece of advise to other young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be? Your name is all you have! Your skill and talent development should never override the development of Godly character and integrity. Remain pure – abstain as much as possible from compromising situations that will cause your character to be in question. Guard your influence.

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