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Al Walker is President of Al Walker and Associates, Inc., located in Chapin, South Carolina. The firm is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals solve problems within their organizations through professional speaking, training and consulting services.
Al is a great guy. He’s funny, down-to-Earth, and inspiring. His infectious laugh and humor coupled with his South Carolina accent made me and everyone who listened feel comfortable. If we were seated across from each other, you would have seen me sitting in that leaning forward position that many books on body language indicate is the body language for rapt attention.
We had the most enjoyable conversation with Al about his life, his work, and his incredible book, The Sheep Thief. You’re going to love this book.
He’s Not Heavy, He’s Al Walker!
So, who exactly is this guy, this Al Walker?
Well, that would be a lot for me to type. Please allow me to be lazy and just copy and paste from his official bio. (Thanks!)
Al earned a business degree from the University of South Carolina in 1969. He joined a residential building and development firm, and within two years as head of sales and marketing, the firm was the highest dollar volume residential builder in South Carolina.
During that time, Al attended a Dale Carnegie course and decided his future was in training and developing people. Since starting his own company in 1981, Al and his instructors have conducted over 2000 training sessions in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. His international clients include Michelin, Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, Wal-Mart, Westinghouse, and many other Fortune 500 clients, and many National, Regional and State Associations.
Al is past president of the National Speakers Association and has served as Chairman of the NSA Foundation Board of Trustees. He has earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional and has been inducted into the prestigious Council of Peers Award for Excellence Speakers Hall of Fame.
In addition to being active in his church, Al is Immediate Past Chairman of the Board of Harvest Hope which provides food for over 400 agencies in his home state. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of Camden Military Academy.
However, Al feels his most significant accomplishments in life are being married to his wife Margaret, having two wonderful daughters and son-in laws, having three amazing grandchildren, and being blessed to work with an incredible staff of dedicated professionals.
See? That’s a lot!
Let’s add to that that Al has worked with so many companies and organizations, the list looks like the stock page in a newspaper. Not only that: Al has been in business with his company for thirty (that’s three-oh) years!
Suffice it to say that Al Walker is a pretty impressive guy.
You would have known that, though, if you read his book, The Sheep Thief.
Good Night, Ralph. Good Night, Sam.
I didn’t think I would like Al’s book The Sheep Thief. Perhaps it was the mood I was in. Maybe it was the day of the week. I don’t know. I just know that when I first picked it up to read it, I wasn’t expecting much.
Then I got into it. Boy, was I wrong! The Sheep Thief is a phenomenal book — and one that I will read again and refer to often. You will, too!
Here’s a quick summary of it.
Several hundred years ago in a quaint village in Italy, two young men were caught stealing sheep. They were immediately taken to trial before the town judge, found guilty and, there in front of their fellow villagers, were given their sentence. It was a cruel, harsh and painful sentence that would mark them for life.
One of these men died a lonely, embarrassed and embittered old man who was far away from home, penniless and without any friends, while the other overcame his past to become the wealthiest, most successful man in the region. Everyone knew his name and honored him. He became the patriarch. There was not one human being who had not been touched by him in some way.
And that’s just the beginning, which is the parable of the “Sheep Thief.” The book has a greater story that involves a character named Harvey Cole, a person perhaps a lot like you and me, and his mentor, Mr. Taylor.
Mr. Taylor instructs Harvey in the philosophy of success using this parable as his base. Over the course of a couple of weeks, Mr. Taylor reveals to Harvey the thirty-one steps of true happiness and success.
It’s an amazing journey for Harvey — and for us, the readers. Every page and every step is either an illumination or a reminder of what it takes to be truly happy and successful. Yes, the “usual suspects” are there. The way Al through Mr. Taylor explains them, though, makes them seem as if we’re reading them for the first time or with new eyes.
The Sheep Thief came to me at the right time — right when I needed it. I know that when you read it, you’ll see what I mean. Sometimes (many times? too many times?) we find ourselves spinning our wheels, trying this and that and not getting anywhere and feeling bad about it. More often than not, what we need is not something new, rather a reminder of what the root ideas of happiness and success are, the main causes and prime movers.
Al gives us that — and more! — to us in The Sheep Thief. You’ll dig it.
Take the First Step
I highly recommend Al Walker’s The Sheep Thief. It’s awesome in its simplicity and captivating in its style.
Most of all, it’s one of those books that makes you feel good. Please take note that that “good” is italicized because that’s the kind of good you’ll feel. That alive-feeling kind of good. That it-feels-good-to-be-alive kind of good feeling. You know what I mean.
Al’s personality comes through in his book. You’ll feel that when you listen to the interview that we did her and when you read his book.
So, check it out The Sheep Thief and take the first step on the stairway to true happiness and success.
You’ll be glad that you did.
Until next time, my friends, please get for yourself the best of everything.