By Gary Weedman
(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)
I have received three pieces of advice that have been of equal value to me in the latter part of my professional career.
When I went to Milligan College, Dave Rose, a retired insurance executive and alumnus of Milligan, said to me in his cantankerous way, “Weedman, if you’re going to be a successful administrator, you need to learn what I had to learn—‘hire slowly and fire fast.’” Take your time, attend to due diligence with the first; when you’ve made a mistake, don’t let it linger, hurting the institution and the individual.
Don Jeanes, president of Milligan, had similar advice—“Don’t cut your finger off one inch at a time.” Get the unpleasantness out of the way and move on to the positive.
After I became president of Johnson University, I asked veteran President Jim Taylor of the University of the Cumberlands what was the best, one-sentence advice he could give a novice president. He said, “Learn to say to your critics, ‘You may be right! And then let silence reign.’”
Some of the time I have followed all three of these wise men.
Gary Weedman serves as president of Johnson University.