The name LeTourneau is synonymous with earth moving machinery and leader in the development and manufacture of heavy machinery. The man behind the name R.G. LeTourneau (Nov. 30, 1888 – June 1, 1969) left school at the age of fourteen and completed a diploma in engineering fifty years later. Between these time he revolutionized the earth moving machinery landscape in the mid 1900. He is credited with many hundreds of patents relating to earth moving machinery, machine tools and processes. R.G. LeTourneau left a legacy not only in the construction industry but for leaders who desire to impact their world.
The story of his life is an inspiration for me in putting the first things first as a leader. One key lesson I took from his life was the art of prioritization. Setting priorities is one of the important responsibilities of a leader.
Setting priorities helps us to achieve our goals. It helps us to focus on the right things at the right time. It helps us to put the first things first and the last things last. It helps us to use and maximize our resources effectively.
R.G. LeTourneau was a deeply committed Christ follower since the age of seventeen. He set his priorities early on before he became successful as a business man and these guided his approach to life's challenges all the rest of his life. He perfected the art of prioritization. He put God first before anything else. God first and business second. This never changed throughout his life. When God began to bless him with great business success, he demonstrated this principle in various evangelistic work, travelling hundreds of miles for evangelistic speaking engagements despite his heavy work schedule. He put spiritual priorities above anything else. He founded the faith based LeTourneau University in Texas.
There are many prioritization tools and techniques. The one I mostly use is "+"Stephen Coveys' four quadrants which I have listed in order of how I prioritize;
1) important and urgent,
2) important and not urgent,
3) not important but urgent
4) not important and not urgent.
How you complete each quadrant depends on how you rate the importance and urgency of the priorities. LeTourneau got his priorities right; God's things are a godly leader's number one priority, then everything else falls into place.
Complete the quadrant and see where your priorities lies. Have you got things in the right order?
Be the salt of the earth and the light of your world.