At a conference I recently attended, the speaker posed this question: If you could choose your personal board of directors, who would they be?

Some may think of present-day roles models near and far. There are a number of people who have made a difference throughout my life, and who continue to make a difference. They know who they are (I hope), so rather than list them for this particular exercise, I’m going to go with a group of advisors I would enlist if they were still alive today.

My grandfather, William Stokes, was a successful husband, father, merchant, farmer, and community leader. He was also a faithful churchman.  He died before I was old enough to value the importance of those things.  I’d love to know what he would think of my choices today, and I wish he could have been around to advise me when I was making them.

My grandmother, Jane Wallace, died young. She was a mother of five children who loved and revered her.  I’m told that the Sunday school class she taught had a waiting list of those eager to join, which I believe speaks to her character and the life she lived.

I would also ask basketball coach Dean Smith of North Carolina to sit on my board. He was an expert team builder who innovated his whole career.  I closely watched his way of doing things and tried to think out of the box like he did.

Finally, the chairman of the board would be Jesus.  I’ve studied his teaching for 40 years.  It stands the test of time.  It continually updates and refines my approach.

So, take a moment today and consider who would be on your board of directors and what it is that makes them worth listening to.