Tim Sanders Shares Leadership Wisdom From His Grandma March 30 2011

Book-wearerich Tim Sanders and I haven’t met but the more I learn about him, the more I learn we have in common. We were both corporate executives. We’re both authors and speakers. We work with some of the same people.  And, we both had grandmothers who played a big role in shaping who we became as leaders and adults.

Tim’s grandmother was named Billye. My grandmother was named Bur. Both were kind but strong willed women of faith. They each went through hard times in their lives but never lost their optimism or their concern for other people. They were both pillars of their church and they expected their grandsons to be there on Sunday. They both drove Buick sedans – an Electra in Billye’s case, a Skylark in Bur’s. They both took their grandsons for burgers at Burger Chef every so often. Yeah, Tim and I have a lot in common.

One difference, though, is that Tim has written up his recollections of Billye and what she taught him about life and leadership in a wonderful new book called Today We Are Rich. The title is a quote from Billye that Tim shares in a heart tugging story that opens the book.  Tim goes on to share seven principles that he learned from his grandmother that he had to learn twice.  The first time was in his teenage years.  The second was in his late thirties after what he describes as his “sideways years.”  By literally revisiting his tiny home town in Texas, Tim reconnected with all that he learned at Billye’s side.

If you were lucky enough to have a grandmother like Billye or Bur, you’ll love Tim’s new book. It will feel familiar and remind you of the lessons and experiences that grounded you in the first place. If, by chance, there hasn’t been a Billye or Bur in your life, you’ll value Today We Are Rich for the wisdom that women like them have to share.

Today We Are Rich is available today. Tim was nice enough to provide me with a beautiful signed copy of the book which I’ll send to someone who leaves a comment on this post or subscribes to the Next Level Thinking newsletter.  I’ll be selecting a name at random on April 4 and will get in touch with the winner to get your mailing address.

Have you had a Billye or Bur in your life?  What did you learn from them that’s shaped you as a person and leader?

6 Responses to “Tim Sanders Shares Leadership Wisdom From His Grandma”

  1. Kent Wrenn says:

    You are both so rich and fortunate for having this person in your life. I was not so fortunate but have the joy of knowing my children, nieces and nephews have benefited from their grandparents unflinching love, support, guidance, discipline and wisdom. I look forward to the day this dawns upon them.

  2. Rich N. says:

    Always a worthwhile read.

  3. Gayle Ely says:

    I had a grandmother who taught me more through her actions than her words. She became a widow before I was born and, although she lived independently, whenever we moved to a new town, she always followed.

    My memories revolve around visiting her home. Because she lived in an apartment, she could only manage to have one grandchild at a time stay overnight. And when it was my turn and I stepped across that threshold, it was as if I stepped into another world. A world where I was valued and loved. A world where positive words were always spoken and fun activities were the order of the day.

    I have heard it said that if a child has someone in his or her life (other than parents) who conveys to them how special they are, that child is truly blessed and more likely to have a healthy self esteem. I am blessed to have had such a person in my life.

    Thanks for the memories.

  4. Scott Eblin says:

    Thanks, folks, for sharing your stories. Good reminders that the most valuable lessons often come from the ones that are closest.

  5. Mark Guthrie says:


    As always, thank you for sharing your engagements and very helpful resources.

    Grandparents (especially Grandmothers) are full of wisdom and lessons, and those fortunate to have witnessed the lessons of life through them are very blessed.

    Personally, I had a great seat at the breakfast, lunch and dinner tables to learn the value of prayer(s), reaching your daily full potential through learning, and the importance of saying “thank you, thank you, thank you” to those that make a difference in your life!

    I am also grateful and thankful for the wisdom and values taught and shared by two tremendous grandmothers.

    God Bless Merle and Linwood,

  6. Pat Mathews says:

    My grandmother lived until she was 90 and was one of my great models for leadership and life. I think of her strength and wisdom almost every day! Thanks for the column. Oh, and she used to pull the "cardboard in your pancakes" on every new unsuspecting victim on April Fool's Day! Pat

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