Bob was born in the tiny community of Hominy, Oklahoma, near Tulsa, where one out of every five families lives below the poverty line. His family of five shared one bedroom in a 400-square-foot home. Bob still likes to joke that they had to go outside just to change their mind.
By the time Bob was finishing up at McClain High School in Tulsa, he met a cheerleader named Kay as a linebacker on the football field. They married four years later and have been each other’s rock and partner for more than 45 years. They have three grown children, Rob, Amy, and Ashlee, and four grandchildren.
Headed for Vietnam in the US Navy, Bob was detoured and sent to Maryland for six months of training as a communications technician. Subsequently stationed in Germany, he intercepted and listened to the voice traffic of the enemy. With a top-secret cryptographic security clearance, Bob learned to listen, and he learned to respond rather than react. He learned the value of being cautious, the value of “being slow to speak” and that nothing was really “off the record”.
After serving our country, he obtained a job with North American Rockwell, given his security clearance. With his new steel-toed boots and substantial paycheck, he thought he had hit a home run. When he learned his job actually consisted of sanding missiles, he quit within two weeks. He tried his hand at operating a forklift at Sears, too, then to driving a delivery truck. Again, a strike-out.
Looking for direction, Bob walked onto the Oklahoma State University campus with a football scholarship. Over the summer, however, the head coach was fired and the scholarship was withdrawn. He stayed enrolled and wound up, prophetically, in a Speech class. With 300+ students in the class, Bob would likely have been lost in the shuffle, had it not been that he was several years older than most of the students, and caught the professor’s attention.
Like any great mentor or coach, Dr. Dale Stockton was able to capture Bob’s imagination and inspired him to learn more about communication and motivation in business. Bob finally knew what direction he wanted to take.
There was a silver lining in these frustrating events and moving from job to job; Bob never forgot that trials and errors are an inevitable part of success, that communication was key, and that not one person, but a TEAM, makes things come together. With years of education and starting many successful businesses, Bob knew then that it was ideas, people, and processes that inspired him, not the doing.
Bob believes that today is as good a day as any to look into your organization or company and ask if those who are in leadership roles have earned it…and are manifesting a healthy culture for growth and success with and for their colleagues. If you can identify areas where your team can improve, your culture can be more productive and you can maximize profits, Bob is here to help.