Something I Learned From Maxey Jarman

He built a billion-dolar corporation, but neither success nor failure were crucial to his interior life. He treated those two impostors just the same.

In our very first issue of LEADERSHIP, we ran an extensive interview with Fred Smith. It evoked the strongest response of anything we've published to date. We've had many requests since then to get Fred into these pages again.

It seems only natural for his first article this year to be about Maxey Jarman, who passed away last fall at age seventy-six. He influenced Fred a great deal. Here was a man who took a company from 75 employees to 75,000, making Genesco in the late '60s the world's largest apparel company. Yet when reverses came, Maxey maintained a tremendous spiritual resiliency and kept contributing energetically, without bitterness, to many Christian causes. He was a man who rose to the very top in business, yet was uncompromising in his spiritual commitments.

From his close relationship with him over forty-three years, Fred gives us insights into Maxey Jarman's character and practices.

I first met Maxey Jarman back in the mid-thirties when I was about twenty. I had been teaching ...

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