Episode 79: Leading with Kindness in a Time of Disruption

Do you ever wonder how some people impact the lives of others in exceptional ways? The answer lies in this episode. Our guest, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, takes us behind the scenes to describe the activities he must manage in the United States’ 25th Largest City. His secret to his phenomenal success in life is one that will surprise you. His very modest beginnings serve as the foundation for an outstanding career in public service. In this episode, Jimmy asks Mayor Holt the personal questions that you won’t hear in the official releases of his office.

Episode Keys

  • The role kindness and empathy play to lead and communicate with people during difficult times.
  • How a mayor of a large city can balance his civic duties, his professional career as a lawyer and his family life with his wife Rachel and two children, George and Margaret.
  • Understanding that a title is not necessary to becoming an agent for change that helps people enjoy life to its fullest.
  • Why its important to seek and accept guidance from mentors to help you realize your full potential in life.

If you would like to order a copy of Mayor Holt’s book, “Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA,” click here, or find it at Full Circle Bookstores.

Podcast Transcription

Good morning! This is Jimmy Williams, your host for Live a Life by Design. As I call it, the Pastor of Positivity, giving you the powerful positive messages to start your week on the right foot. All we do here at Live a Life by Design is bring you some of the most talented people in the areas of leadership, in the areas of ethics, and also in the areas of just being good people to the areas in which they live, and today you have a treat in store for you. 

Today we have a wonderful guest. He has been a lifetime servant of the people and continues to this day to do an outstanding job here in a time of total disruption. He, you could say, has been Superman in my eyes. He is always on point with what he’s doing to make sure the people of his city are served well, and with that I’m going to introduce to you today a wonderful man. Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City. Mayor, welcome!

DH: Well, that’s very kind. Thank you, very much. My pleasure to be here. 

JW: The Mayor’s very busy folks. I want to tell you, it took us about six months to get this set up. Well, maybe not that much, Mayor, but he is a busy man. And I want to give you a little background. For those of you that don’t know Mayor Holt. He is the youngest mayor of a US city with a population over 500,000 citizens. He is also the youngest mayor of Oklahoma City since 1923. So he has got a lot on his shoulders, a lot on his plate. So we’re just gonna take a few minutes today, and we’re gonna find out what he does in his life to keep things moving as smoothly as possible for one of the largest cities in the central United States. So, with that said, Mayor, I just have a couple of questions to get us started. I understand you authored a book called Big League City: Oklahoma City’s Rise to the NBA. 

DH: Yea, I was my predecessor’s Chief of Staff from about 2006 to 2010, before I spent 8 years in the Oklahoma Senate. And that Mayor, Mayor Mick Cornett was obviously, if anybody knew anything about Oklahoma City back then was very integral to achieving our major league status, our big league city status. So, that was, I argue one of the greatest positive developments, if not the greatest positive development that had ever happened in Oklahoma City. I thought it should be, it was a heck of a story too, how it had happened. I mean, we were so far off the radar to have an NBA team when all of this started that so many things had to go just right that I thought it was worth recording for posterity. So, ultimately in the middle of all that I was elected to the Senate, took the bar, and had kids, and you know, but a couple of years after I left the Mayor’s office in 2012 I decided to write it all down. Ultimately it was published by Full Circle Books, which is a bookstore here in Oklahoma City that does history books of local interest. That was, I can’t believe it’s been eight years now, but that was a fun project and again I think was really such a story. Such an important story in Oklahoma City’s history, I’m glad that it’s there for those who are interested and you can still pick it up there at Full Circle, or you can get it digitally at Full Circle Books, I’m sorry at Big League City Books, bigleaguecitybook.com if you use Nook or a Kindle or any of those devices. 

JW: Well, we’ll certainly put that in our show notes as well cause I know everyone will want to see that book. I will tell you, we support our Oklahoma City Thunder, or as I just call em, the Oklahoma Thunder. Where we live, we live outside of Oklahoma City, we still claim them Mayor, they’re our team.

DH: We appreciate that. My predecessor negotiated for that to be called Oklahoma City, you know, so we stick with it, but we understand it’s the state’s only professional sports team. So we’re proud of that. 

JW: I gotta say though, folks, what I love about this man is that he actually comes from a historical background. So Oklahoma’s known for the Five Civilized Tribes we have within our state’s borders. And before statehood, of course, we were known as Indian Territory. So some of my heritage is Choctaw, and so you’re heritage, as I understand it, you’re actually aren’t you part Osage Indian, I believe? 

DH: Correct, yea, that is on my mothers side. I know you happen to know some members of my family on my Holt side. My father’s side. But on my mother’s side I come from Osage ancestors. And I’m card carrying. I’m a member of the Osage nation. 

JW: Well, that is wonderful and we need to be proud of that. Our history of this state has a tremendous amount of depth that we need to be thankful for that as our forefathers were, as they came over and settled these grounds. But hey, let me ask you a few things, you’ve got this little project going on called MAPS 4, and that little project, let me see, if I remember right, that is like a one billion dollar deal. Talk to me a little bit, what are you doing with that? How do you sleep at night?

DH: Well fortunately there’s a lot of other people who work on these things. Sometimes I’m just the face of them. But in 1993, our community first passed a MAPS initiative. MAPS stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and it’s always been a once and temporary sales tax that builds stuff we didn’t have. And in 1993, we lacked a lot of the quality of life amenities that other large cities take for granted, like a sports arena or a ballpark. And so those were the kinds of things that were in MAPS 1. That was followed up by MAPS 2 in 2001, which was better known here as MAPS for kids. And it built school buildings. And then MAPS 3, I was my predecessor’s Chief of Staff during that time during 2009 when that passed, and it had a lot of downtown projects. Some of which have just started to open in the last year. Scissortail Park. The streetcar. The new convention center that’s gonna open here by the end of 2020. Those were all some of the leading MAPS 3 projects. Well, when I took office, as the 4th Mayor in this quarter century story, it was certainly assumed that I would present my own MAPS initiative, and so we did. And we were, the way it’s worked ever since 1993 is the voters do not have to vote a tax increase. They do have to approve it, but because one picks up where the other left off, traditionally, the tax rate just stays the same. So that also sort of dictates the timing, you can’t sit on it. You have to do it when the tax is lapsing so you can pass this one to pick up where it leaves off. So, at the end of 2019, ultimately the council and I moved forward with a, as you said, about a one billion dollar initiative. It’s got 16 projects in it, and this is, you know, MAPS has never been about our bread and butter stuff. We’ve got other initiatives for that. We do bond issues for street repairs and water pipes and cooling stations. But this is more about, kind of, those extra things. And those extra things have made all the difference. I mean, it’s why Oklahoma City, MAPS is why Oklahoma City has had great pride over the last 2 decades, and why it’s population growth and its economic growth has significantly recovered from the depression of the 1980s. So this passed in late 2019 and I’m so grateful that it did for any number of reasons. It got the highest percentage that we’ve ever had for a sales tax, 72%. I think we went out there and really presented a broad spectrum of projects that met a lot of different needs. But I’m doubly glad now because I know every Mayor in America would be jealous to think that I have a billion dollar stimulus waiting for our community on the other side of this pandemic. Because, you know, the pandemic has been a real gut punch to a lot of cities, ours included, but we got something hanging out there that gives us a lot of hope and optimism for the next decade. 

JW: You know, I want to take just a moment. I don’t want to just dwell on the pandemic, cause I know you’ve heard enough of it. You’ve been dealing with it now, for several months. But under your leadership, there’s several things I have noticed that I really appreciate and I know a lot of your citizens do, is that you’re very involved at the citizen level with communicating what the cities initiatives are to combat the spread of the virus, but also you do a daily, almost, video through your office as Mayor to help let them know here’s what we’re doing. Here’s what the numbers are and just being very factual. How’s that being received by your staff? Do you see that being something positive for them?

DH: Yea, I think that in times of crisis. I mean, this is not rocket science, you know, but you’ve got to communicate. And I think you’ve got to be transparent and truthful and walk people through your decision making, especially if they’re tough decisions. You know, unfortunately a lot of leaders think the more conflicted the decision, the less they want to share sometimes about that. And the reality is, is that it really is the opposite. The more you share about how hard this decision is, you know, I think the listener has a lot more empathy and a lot more understanding for the outcome, even if they didn’t fully agree with it, they see how you got there. So, in this pandemic, I mean, myself and governors and mayors across the country have had to make a lot of really just difficult decisions trying to balance multiple interests. Most notably, really, health versus economy in many cases, and just, I think I’ve tried to use the platforms that are available to a modern leader. Whether it be social media. Whether it be traditional media. Video and text to lay that out as best I can and certainly in the first two or three months, you’re right, I was probably doing some type of communication every day. Over time, you know, you sort of pull back a little bit, but I still try to keep people in the loop. Especially if there’s a shift in our data here. You know, if things seem to be spiking. Right now, fortunately, since late July, early August we’ve been kind of going down in Oklahoma City. That hasn’t really changed now for about a month. So I haven’t said as much, but if it does shift again, and I hope it doesn’t, but I know that that’s happened, we’ve had two spikes already in this pandemic. So it’s certainly possible, it could happen again. I’ll be the first to share that with the people and it seems to me that people are appreciative of that. I mean, social media has got people of all kinds and sometimes, you know, the people who represent the smallest viewpoint is the noisiest, so there’s always gonna be some pretty crazy things that people say back. But by far the feedback of our communication and how we’ve handled things and the outcome has been very positive in Oklahoma City, and ultimately I think we’ve threaded that needle pretty well. We have the fourth lowest unemployment of any large city, but we also have, you know, it was like the fourth lowest number of deaths from Covid-19 per 1,000 out of any large city. It may be like the 7th lowest number of cases per 100,000 out of any large city. So it’s like if you can have essentially a relatively low number of deaths, cases, and unemployment rate then you have found the balance. And I think so far we have. 

JW: No, I agree, and you know, hey, my mother told me this, and I’m sure your mom gave you some great advice as you were younger. She said, do not try to please everyone, cause then you’ll please no one. So I follow my values and I’m sure you do as well. So, tell me what’s your daily routine like? How do you maximize the efficient use of your time and be the most impactful for the citizens of Oklahoma City? 

DH: Well, this is a good question. You know, I don’t get these kinds of questions a lot. It’s often maybe more talking to school kids or something. I might get these kinds of questions. And you are never too old to learn, and I assure you there’s a lot of adults who I hope would hear what I’m about to say. You know, I find, and I’ve found for a long time if you’re not an addicted list maker, calendar keeper, and I mean written form or digital form. But something that’s not just bouncing around in your head, you are not maximizing your time. You are not humanly capable of keeping together, in your mind, all the things that you need to do if you want to be truly productive. And so, I have been since high school just a maniacal list maker. And calendar keeper. And I think that it’s probably not unfair to say that I spend 20% of my time organizing the other 80% of my time. And some people will look at that as an inefficient use, but the reality is you’re turning the other 80% into, you’re maximizing that other 80% so much when you do put some intentionality into how you organize and muster your efforts that I just think I get, I just think I get more out of 24 hours in the day than a lot of other people. And I have to. I mean, so I am the Mayor of America’s 25th largest city. I also have another job. You know, the Mayor of Oklahoma City is not paid a living wage. A lot of people are surprised by that. But in our form of government, I have to do something else to feed my family, so I’ve got another job I have to focus on at times as well. And I have a wife and kids who would like to see me occasionally, so if you’re gonna maximize your time and still be a productive mayor, you’ve got to be very intentional. You’ve got to know what you’re doing today when you wake up. You know, you need to have a list. And I’ve certainly perfected that, I think and that’s the number one thing I would advise anybody to do. It maybe, it’s some people are too old to learn that trick yet, anymore, but for young people I’m always saying, you know, don’t just kind of blindly keep a mental to-do list. You need to really write things down, you’ll be surprised at how efficient you become when you really have it all written down. It becomes additive to mark those things out. You’ll even write things down just so you can mark them out.

JW: Yea, no, I agree. And if you’ve ever been around me very long, you’ll see I have what’s called Evernote, which is my second brain, I call it. And that Evernote is where everything goes. And I can pull my task out of there to do what I’ve got to do that day and code them. I agree with you 100%. So let me ask you this, if you had to look back on your storied career. You’ve been a State Senator, now you’re a city mayor of over a million people. What are we now? Million and a half, Oklahoma City?

DH: Well, ok, so the city proper is 650,000, which makes it America’s 25th largest city. The metro is about a million four. And yeah, I have no jurisdiction over the people who live in Edmond and Yukon, but I recognize the Mayor of Oklahoma City has a sort of symbolic leadership role for all of those people.

JW: But to say again there’s a lot of people there. So would you give me an idea, what so far has been your most fulfilling accomplishment in your life? Personal or professional.

DH: Well, I mean, you know, it’s stereotypical to say it. But it’s meaningful to me. I mean, obviously my kids are my world and my marriage as well. And that’s the highest priority. And another thing I often tell young people when I give speeches is, you know, obviously I’m somebody who’s interested in having professional success. There’s no doubt about that and everybody should have that ambition, but please remember that all of these people who are so nice to you right now, you know, whether they’re your colleagues, your employees, or people who want something. Whatever the case, you know, when you die they’re not going to be at your deathbed. They might come to your funeral, and even if they do.

JW: Unless it’s raining, Mayor. If it’s raining they don’t even come to the funeral, you kidding me?

DH: That’s right, I mean, it’s just the reality of life that people who are going to care about you when all of that’s gone and going to be there at the end and are gonna remember you are your friends and your family, and more so even your family. And so don’t lose that. You know, find a work life balance that favors life and so you asked me what’s my proudest achievement, it’s having a, being married for 17 years and having 2 wonderful kids, George and Maggie, ten and eight, and that’s the most important thing. And yea, of course you get pulled in a lot of directions and you know, from time to time, you’re gonna have to make a decision that, you know, causes you to miss something. But don’t make that decision too often. Keep your priorities straight. 

JW: Do you think that Rachel would mind, although I’ve never met her, personally I haven’t. I look forward to it someday, she’s a lovely lady in the photos I’ve seen and what she does in life is wonderful, but you think I could maybe not upset her if I referred to her as the First Lady of Oklahoma City? Cause I kind of like that.

DH: Well, it’s really funny you say that. So, she, if she were here, she would say that’s not a thing. That’s her standard phrase, is that’s not a thing. The “First Lady of Tulsa” Susan Bynum are good friends, and they often, it’s in fact the name of our text group is ‘It’s not a thing’. So, she is, you know, a successful professional in her own right. She’s the interim Executive Director of the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. You know, some 700 employees in that agency. So she is not defined by my job, nor should she be. But she loves Oklahoma City and she’s happy for me. But no, she does not necessarily embrace the idea that she is the First Lady.

JW: Well, if it wouldn’t be inappropriate Mayor, I am going to address her as such when I see her, cause I’ve done that to all of our Governors, if that’s ok, if she hits me, you’ve got to defend me. Right? We talked about this. So hey, let’s talk just a little bit about if you could have any other career, between being a successful attorney, state Senator, a mayor, what would you say that David Holt would want to be if he wasn’t a mayor right now?

DH: Well, you know, I think as a young person I was, I just always been interested in being a part of the group of people who have the most influence over the community in which I live. You know, I was always running for student council, I was always doing all that stuff. You know ultimately I think that comes from a couple of things. One is I like helping people. Two, it’s diverse, you know. No two days are ever the same. You have a lot of freedom to pursue the things you think are important in a given day. So with all of that in mind, you know, when I was a young person really trying to decide what to do with my life, and whether public service in some form or fashion would be the path, which it ultimately was. You know, I bounced around lots of things. I mean, I used to think, you know, I want to be able to walk up to strangers and ask them how I can help them, you know. And who can do that? Well politicians can. Priests can too, you know, I don’t know though, I decided I wasn’t pastor or priest material, but those are the types of things I thought about. I think whatever I do it would always be service oriented. I’m intrigued, I mean obviously this is on the path I’m on now, but I don’t ever assume that it will last forever. So, I mean, I’m intrigued by higher education, I think those are great places to be. I envy friends of mine who have been or are college presidents. I think those are fun jobs. Because you’re, maybe your universe of service has gotten a little smaller, but you’re in a position to make such an amazing impact on a young person’s trajectory there. So, those are the kinds of things that I think would be attractive to me. And I don’t assume, being mayor is not a forever job. So I don’t assume that I can’t still have multiple careers ahead of me, but we’ll see where life takes me. 

JW: So, is that a hint, Mayor, that if you have the opportunity to just find a need, you serve it and take care of the need. That’s kind of my philosophy in life. I’ve always looked in our communities and seen what the deepest needs are. I particularly like to help children that couldn’t go to college, so my wife and I fund scholarships to help kids that would otherwise not be able to attend school, or we also like to help these organizations where kids might be sight impaired. We help buy glasses, or whatever they need. To me that’s just what we’ve always lived by. And it sounds to me like Rachel and you do the same thing. So let me ask you, so I know some of your predecessors you’ve mentioned Mayor Cornett, great man by the way. Was a gubernatorial candidate, I believe a term ago, and at this time who would you say are some of the mentors that inspired and equipped you to become the David Holt you are in 2020?

DH: Well, interesting question. I had a really great opportunity in my 20s. I worked for President Bush in the White House. I worked in the US Capitol. I worked at the State Capitol in the Lieutenant Governor’s office. Then I spent five years with Mayor Cornett and also under the supervision of the City Manager of the time, Jim Couch who was also, not as well known, but a great influential leader here in Oklahoma City. So I just had, I had a really awesome track, especially for a kid from NW Oklahoma City to get to work in all those places and get to see, you know, first hand, get first hand experience, truly at every level of government. From the White House to City Hall, you know. To do all that, really by 26 or 27, it did give me a lot of great opportunities to observe others. I don’t know if like, you know, I don’t know other than anyone I’ve mentioned, you know, that there’s like some particular mentor in my life. But I certainly have been a sponge for all of these various people and experiences that I’ve been fortunate to have in my life. And, you know, also my family. My dad’s awesome. He was a school teacher and has always been very supportive of everything that I’ve done. My mom was, you know, deeply invested in my life, and before I was born, was a social worker. She unfortunately passed when I was 14, but was still very much an inspiration to me. Her father was a Colonel in the Army. And was part of my life until he passed in 2007 at, you know, age 90 something. So all of those people, I think, probably, though none of them were running for political office, they were all sort of public servants in their own way. Teachers, social workers, you know military. So I think all of that also sort of inspired the path that I ended up taking. 

JW: Wonderful story, and I’ve got to ask. What was it like working for President Bush, Bush 43 now, cause I’m assuming you’re not old enough to have Bush 41.

DH: Right.

JW: I want to tell you, I met Bush 43 just in passing. Did not get to shake his hand. Secret Service was all there. What was it like working for the man? Cause I’m gonna tell you, I have a lot of respect for him. Politics aside, I just think he’s a good man. What’s your thoughts?

DH: Right, well, he is. And I think that was, I think he was very much the same as he was, you know, in front of a camera behind closed doors. And he was just a good man. And I’ve come to, we won’t get into current politics, but you know, I’ve come to really value above policy positions, I’ve come to care more and more about whether you’re a good person. And I took that for granted earlier in my life that everybody in politics was a good person and when we could go to the second item on the list, which was where they stood on the issues. You know. And now, it’s like, well, I got to go back to the first item and start checking harder to make sure that everybody that’s given these positions of responsibility truly has a servant’s heart, you know, and has a humble nature, and has empathy. You know, just these like core basic qualities that we sort of took for granted maybe for too long. So, he certainly explimplifes all that. And I think that’s why you seem, this always seems to happen, right? After the heat of the issues fades, you know, the American people tend to realize, hey, you know what, that guy wasn’t so bad after all. Why did I call him Hitler, he was actually a pretty good person, you know. And you see that, like most American presidents, even when they were serving in contentious times, usually see their approval ratings rise after, you know, after a time period passes because people realize, you know, that guy was a man of honor because virtually all our presidents have been at this point, and George Bush was certainly no exception to that. He’s a good man of principle and even if people still have quibbles about things he did, and quibbles is not meant to diminish it. I mean, people have here, maybe very strong feelings about things he did. It seems as if there’s a far more powerful consensus today that whatever he did, he did it because he truly believed it was the right thing to do for our country.

JW: You know, and that’s the whole thing. And soon as Maggie and George get a little bit bigger I’d love for you to take them down to SMU’s campus and see his library and museum. I’ll tell you what, it is phenomenal. 

DH: Yeah, I was there for the opening.

JW: Oh, good, good. Yeah, beautiful facility, so I don’t have a whole lot of time. I do want to ask a couple of questions and I’d like your last word on a couple of things too, but before we’d ask the last question I’ve got just a couple of things I want to ask. What’s the next phase of the career of Mayor David Holt look like at this point, what’s it look like for you?

DH: Oh, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve found in life you can’t over plan these things. I think you just stay open minded about opportunities to serve. I’ve only been, despite the volume of experiences that I’ve had in the last two years, I’ve only been Mayor for two years, you know, so. 

JW: Seems a lot longer with a pandemic, I know. 

DH: Yea, my predecessor was Mayor for 14, I think that’s probably a lot longer than I intend to stick around, but you know, I guess I mean that to say, I plan probably to, expect to probably do this for a few more years, voters willing, then you know, who knows. But as I kind of alluded to earlier, whether it were an elected position or whether it were in an unelected position, there’s lots of ways to serve and I don’t necessarily see myself doing something that doesn’t have some sort of service component to it. I mean, making money is great, I’m not opposed to that. But, as long as you can make enough I like to have the fulfillment side of it as well. 

JW: You know, I would say that you’re, not saying it folks, and if you’re listening to our podcast, we’ve got over 27 countries, Mayor Holt, that’s how much it has spread, so I want you to know he’s not saying that he’s not going to be David Holt, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in 2024. I don’t think I’m hearing that yet. But I’m going to encourage him to think about that. If I can get Rachel on board. So let me ask you Mayor, I know we’re running out of time. I know you’ve got a busy schedule, your assistant had informed me you had a lot on your plate. So let me just ask you this, if you could just leave our listeners today, thousands of thousands across the globe, with just one piece of advice about influence, leadership, or legacy or whatever, what would Mayor David Holt leave them with?

DH: Be kind. And have empathy. I think especially in these times, here in America we have a lot of people who are exhibiting a shocking lack of empathy. They’re not putting themselves in other people’s shoes. And this is true at both ends of the political spectrum. Just recognize the basic humanity we all share. Let’s stop, you know, trying to find reasons that we’re different. Let’s remember the many, many more things that are similar between us and with that empathy comes love and understanding and the ability to move forward in a pluralistic, diverse society such as the one in which we live. So, and all of that leads to, goes hand in hand with just kindness. I mean, I just, nothing will turn me off faster to your ability to be a leader. Or your ability to be an employee if you’re just not nice. There’s just no excuse for being mean. I mean everybody loses their cool occasionally, I mean that’s not impossible. I mean, I understand that, I just mean, that is like your default position, to be a jerk. You know, I have no place for you in my life. 

JW: You know, that is excellent advice, Mayor. I will tell you, you’ve apparently listened to some of our episodes, cause you’re on some of these topics big time. So there’s a shout out I want to give to a young man in our area named Charles, it’s your cousin, that’d a…

DH: Absolutely. 

JW: I’ve got him on the phone all the time. He’s a great man here in town. Taking care of a very large responsibility on ranches that they have in the area. But Mayor Holt, I can’t tell you how much we appreciate this, on behalf of all our subscribers in the 27 countries listening to us, I’ve taken the time today to help shed some positivity in the world that needs it so badly right now, and with the pandemic your leadership has been awesome. Is there anything you’d like to say to two young people in your life by the name of George and Maggie about their future? Anything at all, as we play it off here.

DH: Well, I think they’re future is bright. They’ve got a lot of advantages, and as long as they remember that and are grateful for them and pay it forward, then they’ll be citizens and people that I’ll always be proud of, and let me also thank you, this was a delightful experience. I’m very grateful that you bring positivity to your listeners and to this world. And of course, much love to my cousin Chase, which is what we call him in the family, which is a dwindling number of people who know that that’s one of his names. But I haven’t quite shaken it yet. So I’m glad that he brought us together.

JW: Well, it’s truly my pleasure. Mayor Holt, thank you so much for your time today, and please extend a thanks to your staff for having the opportunity to work with our team to get you on board. We wish you all the best during the pandemic and the growth of Oklahoma City and finish that civic center. I’m ready to come see something. Let’s get rid of this pandemic. Thank you, my friend.

DH: It was awesome! You’re wonderful, thank you so much. I hope we cross paths again soon.

JW: Will do so. Thank you, Mayor, I’m gonna tell you that you’ve been an outstanding guest. Appreciate you so much. 

Based on the discussion we had with Mayor Holt, you’ll pick up on several things that contributed to his success in life so far. And he is a younger professional. What’s amazing to me is how he has found early in life that kindness, helping others and granting empathy to those in need to show that you truly care about them does make a tremendous impact on your life. You know I look back and wonder how this young man from small area of NW Oklahoma City had foundations of his family in the southeastern part of our state, very small communities in Pittsburg county and he turns out to be a state senator, works in the White House, attends George Washington University in D.C., and then becomes the mayor of one of the largest, most wonderful cities in the United States. It’s all because of his attitude that his attitude has risen so high. It’s always a wonderful opportunity when we can bring to you, our listeners, someone that has taken these words of advice over the 77 episodes we’ve had, and puts that to use in his life in such a way that you change those around you. 

One of the things you’ve heard me say many times is you control you. In the midst of the pandemic, your attitude can be controlled in a positive nature. Your response, not reaction to the negative things around you will serve you well. Do me a favor this week, I challenge each of you to look around. Do what Mayor Holt does on an almost hourly basis, I’m sure. Look for the good that you can do. Spread the good positive news to those around you that are in need and show some empathy to those that are suffering far more than we may ever. 

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