"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask
or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us ..." (Ephesians 3:20)
I couldn't be prouder, more humbled or more in awe of what God has done as I share this announcement today: Leah Norton has officially become a partner here at Fishhook!
The conversation about this possibility started between Leah and me three years ago. It was soon shared with the team that this was the direction we were going. An agreement was drawn up by Kevin Wilson, Fishhook's CFO for hire, which made it possible for Leah to make partner through the purchase of shares.
At that time, a core group of us—Kevin, Leah, me, my wife Debbie and Leah's husband Brian—started on a journey of prayer and intentionality. We wanted to create a partnership that was God and Fishhook centered, as well as continue to strengthen the home/work balance that is essential to the culture here. I have been so blessed by these past three years and am so humbled to have the pleasure of making this announcement.
Though the partnership is now a legal agreement, I strongly believe that God has woven Leah into the fabric of this company from the first day Leah and I worked together.
Leah has always sensed she's been deeply wired to lead. Years ago, she built up an impressive portfolio of work with a company she had dreams of one day helping to lead ... but she walked away from it all when she felt God calling her to put her family first.
By faith, God brought her to Fishhook. A place where her values, her leadership skills, her compassion and her humor would be put to work shaping a culture of God first, family first ... a culture of teamwork, of hard work, of safety and laughter ... a culture of organizational health created by caring about the health of the people in the organization.
Three years ago we didn't even have a copier or this incredible office we call home … six years ago Fishhook was run out of two 10x10 rented offices … 10 years ago there were three of us and we had team meetings once a month. In my wildest imagination as God called me to do this—as I knelt on my knees 12 years ago and told him I was afraid—I never anticipated there would even be a need to have a conversation about a partner.
But God, mysteriously … powerfully, had already set the wheels in motion. It was Leah who connected me to the Indianapolis Star reporter whose article led to our first client. It was Leah who answered God's call to put her family first in complete faith that God had something up his sleeve for her. It was Leah who responded to a nudge in her heart that was pulling her toward Fishhook.
When I knelt that day, confessing to God I was afraid … afraid of launching Fishhook, afraid of stepping out of the boat and walking onto unknown waters … I sensed, as clear as I ever had, him telling me “If I made you successful when partnered with men, will I not make you more successful if partnered with me?”
Those words helped Fishhook come alive on paper, a symbol of my partnership with God. And now, by him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” I'm so excited to make this announcement, not because of a piece of paper that says Leah is now a partner, but because of the much more important meaning behind that piece of paper.
God called Fishhook into being. He invited me to lead it but he also invited Leah to invest her leadership skills into it. This partnership is not designed at this time as a transition but as a stability plan so Fishhook can continue ... even if I get hit by a church bus or something. I have no doubts that God brought Leah here to lead. She has done so faithfully.
And now, through a life-long investment to do the work he has for her, Leah's dedication in spirit is now being symbolized by a dedication in writing. She has joined into a partnership with God to serve his people for his purpose. It is only through his power that is at work in us that we have brought Fishhook this far ... and I know he will continue to do immeasurably more than I could have ever imagined as Fishhook moves forward.