Everyone needs a mentor and an example to follow. A gentleman by the name of Harmon Born is mine.
I met Harmon Born at The Rock Baptist Church when I was still in high school. That was the church Elaine, my wife today, was going to. She pretty much told me we were going to that church. Ha. Just kidding. Anyway, I started going to The Rock Baptist Church where Elaine went to because (guess why) I wanted to see her.
In the course of seeing Elaine, I met a man named Harmon Born who, while he didn’t know it, became my mentor. Harmon growing up didn’t have such a great home life and had to work just to make it in life. He started selling cars at Beaudry Ford in downtown Atlanta when he was just out of high school and sold cars part-time. He was drafted into the Army, and I am not quite sure how this came about, but he was still able to sell cars on Saturday while serving in the military. He would sell cars one day and still lead the sales charts for the company over other salesmen who were there the whole week.
See, Harmon believes, as I do, that people do business with people they trust.
When Harmon was in his late 30s/early 40s, he was able to buy Beaudry Ford in the late ’60s and build a fully-integrated, multi-story Ford dealership in downtown Atlanta that won him great respect from the Ford family. Beaudry Ford, during much of Harmon’s ownership, was the #1 volume Ford dealership in the US for many, many years. The Ford family tried to hire Harmon to come in at a very senior role within Ford Motor Company, but he declined because he loved his family, church, and home too much to leave it. For many years, Harmon sat on a number of boards from banks to hospitals, etc. Everyone wanted Harmon.
Harmon is a great speaker, great example, honest, humble, transparent, funny, and he was and is the real deal. One thing I always respected so greatly about Harmon is that I never heard him say a bad word about anyone and never heard him speak a word of idle gossip. He was simply above doing either.
Today, Harmon is in his late 80s and still in a leadership role at The Rock Baptist Church setting the example of what a real man should be like.
Everybody needs a Harmon in their life. I am just glad I met him at a time when I very much needed someone to follow. KT