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  • Writer's pictureDave Burke

What's Behind a Name?

Updated: Feb 10

In pondering what may be a worthwhile topic for this third installment of Legacy Lessons, was confronted with an embarrassing realization. You see, I quite literally named my new company in honor of the amazing, immeasurable legacy that my former colleague and boss, Tim Fuller, left behind on this earth, not to mention the higher education landscape.

Thus, I will take some time here, and likely in future posts, to talk about his legacy, and the lessons I learned from him that will continue to drive my work and relationships until the day I retire (and well after).

I'll keep these fairly brief, and mix them in with other topics from week to week, and I'm quite certain that readers will appreciate, and resonate with, what Tim exhibited in his life's work as much as or more than anything I can conceive to fill these posts with.

Let's talk about servant leadership. Much has been written, spoken about and published in this arena. However, I think it is most powerfully ingested when you get to have a front row seat to that trait lived out on a daily basis, whether through a marital relationship, friendship or co-worker, as I did with Tim for a number of years, especially as his closest colleague over the last 2-3 years of his life.

Tim demonstrated with the utmost of consistency that true servant leadership does not care about status or influence, prominence or position, nor potential return on investment. He gave of himself willingly to anyone who needed a helping hand, whether it was with free consulting, providing an influential introduction, taking on more to lighten someone else's load, encouraging a young professional, and so much more.

The diligence with which he enriched the entire Christian higher ed landscape through tireless and thankless efforts over multiple decades of volunteer contributions would be as astounding to anyone who truly understood his commitment as they are to me, an up-close witness really only on the homestretch of such a long and well-run marathon.

So then, today's Legacy Lesson is this: How have you demonstrated your passion to put others before yourself in your work lately? Does your drive for excellence include the way you treat others along the road to success? Have you come to realize that true credibility and trust is not borne out of knowledge and expertise in and of itself, but how it is applied in a way that serves others' interests over one's own? The proof is in the powerful example of my friend Tim, who built an incredibly successful business in the relative blink of an eye, not because he out-marketed, out-hustled or out-sold his competition, but because he spent decades serving others with wisdom, passion and self-sacrificial commitment. That kind of credibility, my friends, endures, as will the impact of any soul that pursues it by emulating people like Tim Fuller.

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