My Spirit Seeks To Be Like His

Being new to social media, I jumped in with immense enthusiasm. I was jarred when I started typing on Twitter only to be suspended at 140 characters. I hopped on over to my brand new Facebook Page, but was once again stifled at 420 characters. I needed a blog.

WordPress offers suggestions for first time bloggers. WordPress suggests drawing a circle and inserting into it a single word that defines the blog’s central idea. I immediately thought of two such words, so I drew two separate circles encompassing the words service and others.

It is a blog about Pencarrow, our luxury accommodation in Queenstown, New Zealand. As a hotelier, maybe my inspiration should be the number one hotel in the world. But if what I strive for in my business is based on my morals and ethics, on the words service and others, then maybe my inspiration should be the spirit of a person who embodies those beliefs.

There is something very powerful happening in America’s state of West Virginia, and the catalyst is one man. Behind every great man is another great man, and that’s exactly how Jim Justice is accomplishing it! He can’t be good enough alone and he knows it. But if he leads his team with exemplary conduct and guidance, they will all be good enough.

It started with the PGA Greenbrier Golf Classic in July. The modified course was in amazing condition. More undulations, more texture, longer, tougher, and big names present. The resort was the icon of old. The gardens were flawless. And so it began, we started to hear about the man behind the changes at America’s grand resort that had fallen into ruins.

Next came an article about Greenbrier Farm. Nearly 80 percent of the produce served at The Greenbrier Resort is grown on the 40-acre farm owned by Justice. When supply exceeds the resort’s demands, it’s donated to area soup kitchens and churches. John Diehl has managed Justice’s farms for 34 years. Sound like a team player?

The Greenbrier Medical Institute announcement soon followed. A planned $250 million forward-thinking medical research and education facility unlike anything America has ever seen before would be constructed right on the grounds of The Greenbrier.

After that, we read about The Greenbrier’s notable young chef, Richard Rosendale, and his vision and dreams. There are only 66 Certified Master Chefs in America, and he is the youngest. In 2013 he hopes to be the first American to win The Bocuse d’Or, the Olympics of the culinary world. He started a program where surplus Greenbrier produce could be sold to locals at an extreme discount. Sound like a well led player?

And most recently, we read about the $25 million dollar philanthropic donation Jim Justice made to the Boy Scouts of America. He explained that he couldn’t think of an organization that had done more for kids and for emphasizing character and citizenship. Mr. Justice said, “If there’s anything we need today, it’s that.” Only a true leader understands the importance of his team’s character.

I recently emailed The Greenbrier to ask them to tell Jim Justice to slow down or I’d never finish my first blog.

It’s not a recurring theme in today’s society. When can you last remember a man or an institution that gave back this much? You don’t have to live in West Virginia to be proud of what Mr. Justice is doing. You don’t even have to be American. To be human is enough.

Yes, behind every great man there are more great men. Behind Jim Justice, there is simply greatness. My spirit seeks to be like his so that Pencarrow might be great too.