Greenville native pens 1st book

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A short, but direct conversation with a group of ladies about then Sen. Barack Obama at the Renaissance Hotel in St. Louis, Mo., led to Greenville native Eric Powell penning “Leader in the Mirror: A Second Chance to Close the Gap.”

Powell’s book published recently and as the former Jacksonville State University running back and punt returner who won a national championship said, it’s a book that allows readers to assess their leadership and the leadership that they follow.

“The book is part Nehemiah (from the Bible) and part leaders in my life,” he said. “It’s also about my mom and dad, sisters and brothers, and also a part of my testimony.”

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The short conversation took place in 2008 at the close of President Obama’s campaign. Obama, as it turns out, was staying at the same hotel as Powell on his stop at the city in Missouri.

Powell was in St. Louis on business representing a management consultant firm out of Dallas, Texas.

Powell said the conversation between the ladies ranging from ages 20-50 was handled the way he handles corporate clients.

“I was asking the ladies while we were waiting for him to come in what about (Obama) got everybody, the nation so excited? I wanted to understand because I did not know much about him for I was neither Democrat or Republican,” he said. “One lady said he’s a great speaker, the next one said he’s going to change things.

“I said, well OK what do you want changed? Another said that he’s a great leader,” he said. “I asked what has he led?”

Powell said the last woman’s answer got him curious.

“The last woman said he was going to be transformational,” he said. “I said ‘hold up, how do you know that?’ I was honestly asking, but they got perturbed.”

Instead of going to dinner, Powell went straight up to his room and into the Lord’s word, where he said he was led to the book of Nehemiah.

For months and more than a year he studied Nehemiah and from it, the inspiration of his ministry, CUE Leadership, and now his first book, were born.

Like how Nehemiah closed the gaps in walls of Jerusalem, Powell said his book helps close gaps of one’s own leadership.

“The chapters follow the nine type of leaders founded in the Nehemiah and in my ministry” he said. “At the core of CUE Leadership, we have a 360 degree review, called CUE360.  It assess the six key qualities that made Nehemiah transformational.”

With those qualities, Powell said he’s able to assess a leader.

“Often I’ve seen in mergers and major transformations, a lot of times these things fail because of leadership,” he said about his daily work. “That fits hand in hand at what this is about.”

Powell said his book isn’t a self-help guide, but rather a roadmap for a second chance for leaders to get on one accord with God to close their gaps and stand in society’s gaps.

Additionally, the book details the curriculum that is the base of his ministry — CUE Leadership.

Powell is married to his college sweetheart Tai, and the couple has two daughters, Kennedy and Karson, and live in the Dallas Forth Worth area.”