I wanted to take a moment and recognize the tireless work of my friend, Pete Brownell. He’s wrapping up as NRA President and handing things over to Oliver North as we speak.
I’m excited to see where North takes us. I have many things I love about NRA, and some I’d really like to see altered. The handful of people I’ve worked among recently, and especially those for a number of years have shown me they care about you and I and they operate on passion and realize you and others are the beneficiaries for their work.
I know nothing about Pete’s decision to wrap up early from NRA Presidency. You may find this shocking, but it wasn’t as if he called me up and said, “Boy, I sure could use your counsel this time Michael…” LOL. Had he, I’d have told him to do right by God first, his family second, etc., etc., etc. Besides, everyone reading this knows how life can grind you down if you’re not careful, and being busy is welcome but taxing on everything in your life simultaneously.
Pete’s a shrewd and talented man and above all I’m repeatedly impressed with his ethics. That means a great deal to me. I can argue to you all that people with a strict moral code that emphasize ethics actively practiced are rationally less corruptible and far more consistent towards those they seek to serve. When I size leaders or ‘would-be’ leaders, I’m primarily interested in their ethics over anything else. Should those be solid, they’ll act in the best interests of others nearly without fail. Pete is consistent in this regard and I always enjoy working with him and picking up tidbits from him. I believe the several hundred families that rely on his decisions to guide his family company are well served.
I had a conversation with one of his employees from Brownells some time ago that centered on how polished and knowledgeable Pete is. He essentially asked, “Pete operates on another level. How does he do that?” I responded simply with, “practice, and lots of it.” Pete finds himself in meetings and discussions that allow him to explore and connect. The fact that there are many allow him to explore much and connect often. He, just like you and I, gets better with each interaction.
I mention this because it’s important that we keep this in perspective. Whether we’re discussing the talents of Oliver North, or Pete Brownell, or ______________, it matters little. We’re all simple human beings operating in a complex world. What should matter to you is the human factor here. You and I require understanding and support. We need those things at our core in order to do well by our God, family, memberships, customers, and beyond.
So…. To bring this full circle, I began by offering praise of my friend and giving some perspective about the things I admire in him. I conveyed to you some thoughts to consider. Those are simply my thoughts, and as much as I’d prefer, you may or may not consider and adopt them as your own. Now we ask ourselves “what is true” of this thing or person? Well, to answer in the simplest terms, Pete Brownell appears to be a good man with a track record for solid works. Correct? The next logical question is, “How do we respond to this?”
That answer is simple. We thank him for his dedication, time, and passion. We support him by wishing the very best for him and his family. We encourage him to continue his NRA board work as long as he sees fit. We pray for our brother and let him know we all have families, commitments, volunteerism, fellowship, and a dozen other altruistic endeavors, so we understand that when the time is right, you pass the torch of leadership with a smile and wink.
Thanks Pete. Doing work with NRA and board work with IFC alongside you will continue to be welcome challenges. I’m looking forward to what’s next! 😎😎😎