“…We learn from those we surround ourselves with.  We can either learn…bad habits… or good habits.  Always… there is a CHOICE…”

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:  As youngsters… experimenting in drug use, too often left the impression amongst their peers, and others, that the problem is more serious than it first appears; labeling them a drug user…maybe for life; because of a childish indiscretion.

The same is true for business leaders.  When I was in the motel/hotel business; I routinely had the opportunity to “skim” of the top, I NEVER did that, as it was against the law, and secondly, it would leave a lasting impression with employees that “what the boss did…they could do as well.”

I once leased a building to a ‘brother/sister act.’  They had a ‘thriving businesses and were making tons of money.  It didn’t take too long for GREED to set in, and one of them started ‘skimming off the top,’ such so… that it affected their ability to pay their bills (including their rent to me).  Before long the other sibling… got into the act, and started the same thing… unbeknownst to the other.  Soon after, several employees got into the ACT…a very illegal ACT.  And, soon thereafter… the whole business went down the tubes.   Brother and Sister were stealing from each other, employees were stealing from the brother and sister, and all of them were ‘stealing from their customers,’ as was bound to happen… many of their customers ‘paid in advance’ for GOODS and SERVICES that were NEVER provided.  Obviously… the LAW got involved.  And, Humpty-Dumpty came tumbling down.

We learn from those we surround ourselves with.  We can either learn…bad habits… or good habits.  Always… there is a CHOICE.

If you go to work for a company, and IMMEDITELY see something going on that is ‘totally inappropriate,’ then GET-THE-HECK-OUT-of-DODGE.  Someone, sooner than later, is going to get BURNED…and YOU… surely don’t want to get caught up in the FIRE.

I recently read where a large medical practice had an employee who provided a certain service, in which, MEDICARE provided reimbursements.  This individual had set up a ‘fake business,’ and FAKE customers, and cheated the government out of several millions of dollars.  He retired from the practice, and (because he was a TRUSTED employee), he was allowed to hire his own replacement.  He immediately ‘trained’ the new hire… to do the same thing… steal from the medical practice, and Medicare…and to SHARE in the ‘illegal profits.’  The problem was, though, the ‘new hire’ wasn’t as good as his predecessor, and ‘got caught,’ and SQUEALED on his ‘partner in crime.’

Where was GOD in all of this?  Clearly, all of these scenarios forgot to CONSULT with the Great Leader, Teacher, and Motivator…Himself… the God of Creation.  First impressions can leave lasting impressions; so we should be diligent in leaving the image of God in that impression…Remember: The Power of One.

We only have one opportunity to leave a ‘good first impression.’  Don’t give satan a foothold.  Don’t let satan into your heart… the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit.

We are taught in Ephesians 4:26-28Be angry, yet do not sin.   “Do not let the sun set upon your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold.  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with someone in need.”


About Charles Brooks

who is originally from Miami, Fla., moved to SC, holds two degrees from the University of SC. His business background is primarily in Real Estate Development (Motels, Hotel, Office Buildings, Restaurants, Residential) and Business Consulting. He currently is Managing Director of Brooks, Baker, Lehman & Kohlhepp - Investors in Real Estate and Mining, and has other business interests under the umbrella of Brooks Properties. FULL-TIME-MINISTRY: Fully engaged in spreading the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, with an emphasis on the Business Community.


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