I must be getting old. I say that because I often find myself reflecting back in time. Those scenes that come to life are ones that involve people – sometimes great people. I would like to tell you about one.
Wikipedia explains “The Great Man theory is a 19th-century idea according to which history can be largely explained by the impact of “great men”, or heroes: highly influential individuals who, due to either their personal charisma, intelligence, wisdom, or political skill utilized their power in a way that had a decisive historical impact.”
The Great Man theory has been studied and explained by scholars, but I don’t think you need to be a scholar to spot the Great Ones.
His name is Leon Dunn.
I have met some great people in my fifty-six years of life, but none better than Leon Dunn. He has all the “Great Man” qualities.
On the business side of the equation you find a man who is highly successful in multiple business ventures. This is unique because even businesses that seem similar are often much different. To be successful in multiple ones says a lot.
He’s a man who gets involved with public matters when it’s important. This is unique for a businessman. Often the focus of a successful businessman is solely business – there’s just no time left in the day. Leon is a man who will “park the tractor.”
Leon is a soft spoken man who when he speaks says volumes. I have watched him sit back, let others say their piece, and then step up after everyone else. He says just a few words – all of them profound.
Financial success requires conservatism. That conservatism is often at odds with giving back to the community. Some who are successful in business never give back, while others wait to give until death comes knocking on their doorstep. Not Leon.
On any given Sunday afternoon you could find Leon cleaning up a little community like Hudson, Kansas –following a church service where he shared a biblical sermon about giving. Leon walks the talk.
And Wikipedia doesn’t include what is the possibly the most important quality of all to greatness – heart. Leon has a heart that glows like a shining star.
My youngest son and I recently visited Washington D.C. We took in all the D.C. attractions and then made a trip over to George Washington’s place. He was another great man.
George Washington and Leon Dunn have a lot in common. I only got to meet one of them. And it was a distinct honor.