“If you want to be first, you need to be last.” — Lou Holtz
Tim Smith has kept two components constant in each morning for the past 25 years—he reads something from or related to the bible and takes time for prayer while driving to work. Being spiritually level before going to work keeps him calm.
The Impact of Three T’s and an S
Months back, I was told I needed to meet a man who might be running for the position of Fort Wayne’s Republican mayoral candidate—that man was Tim Smith.
Once we were able to meet, I was blown away by his vision for Fort Wayne and his “what do you want” attitude—that is to say I spoke for the majority of the meeting to answer questions he had for me. Once the Insider Influence series was conceptualized, I knew it needed Tim.
Tim’s servant leader attitude comes directly from his father, who was a pastor for 30 years. “I watched him constantly putting others ahead of himself. For most of my life, we had other people living in our home, people who needed a place to live,” Tim explained. Tim spoke highly of his father’s method of leadership, as he did not solely teach through words but led by example as well.
Tim’s leadership ideals were further impacted in his college years by studying the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tim recommends that any new leader take time to read the Letter from the Birmingham Jail, particularly the following passage:
“I hope this letter finds you strong in the faith. I also hope that circumstances will soon make it possible for me to meet each of you, not as an integrationist or a civil rights leader, but as a fellow clergyman and a Christian brother. Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all of their scintillating beauty.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail (April 16, 1963)
Tim lives his life by the Bible, namely the three T’s and S of its meaning: Truth, Transparency, Thanks, and Servanthood. This is also the mantra of MedPro, where he has worked since 1994 and been on the leadership team since 2002.
“You can’t go a week without our team talking about TTTS,” Tim said. Cultural values and visions are kept at the forefront on a regular basis for MedPro’s leadership team and employees. Tim also said that “integrity and appreciation” are cornerstones to his leadership style as well.
“It’s not strategy or tactics—if you tell and show a person you love them, that they’re a great worker, and that they’re a huge contributor to the team, they’ll work five times harder for you.”
— Tim Smith
A Call to Action
In Tim’s experience, a new leader needs to ask themselves two questions—”What am I doing well that I should do more of?” and “What should I stop doing?”
Those two questions were presented to me, personally, early in my career and have become a vital part of my monthly reflection. I tell people, “when asking yourself these questions, you need to be honest with your answers and adjust your habits accordingly.”
I found Tim’s move from a leadership position at MedPro to making a run for mayor of Fort Wayne particularly interesting. Tim explained that he feels called to do so. I asked what he’d learned so far about running for mayor. Tim responded, “You’d better be humble, you’d better be a good listener, and you’d better be ready to have people tell you where you need to improve.”
The tagline for Tim’s campaign is “Expect More.” He concluded his announcement speech on August 28, 2018, at the old International Harvester building with the following quote:
“As Fort Wayne re-grids itself as a safer, smarter, and stronger city, it will emerge as an irresistible magnet in the middle of the Midwest and in the middle of the nation… A magnet for jobs, people, and stronger non-profits.
When we begin to expect more, we will become a center for unparalleled regional growth, but more importantly, a center for unprecedented opportunity, as Fort Wayne was when International Harvester was thriving on this very ground.” — Tim Smith
Follow this link to learn more about Tim Smith's mayoral campaign: https://rdurl.io/timsmith
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