Joel Hawbaker

Joel Wesley Hawbaker, author of “Inverted Leadership,” will be featured at the ‘Bosses Bussing Tables’ fundraiser April 24.


The arts have many purposes, one of which is coming to the aid of fundraiser themes. This month, literature is the fine art that underscores the theme for a benefit for Community Enabler.

‘Bosses Bussing Tables’ April 24

Underprivileged citizens in our county need help. Agencies such as Community Enabler are here to help. And in turn, Community Enabler needs our help.

That’s a good reason to attend the sixth annual “Bosses Bussing Tables” event at The Bridge at First United Methodist Church on April 24  at 11:30 a.m.

This is the largest fundraising event for Community Enabler. It is instrumental in allowing the agency to meet the needs of local residents who need a helping hand by providing food, medicine, school supplies, clothing, furniture or simply guidance on how to change their lives in a more positive manner.

Community Enabler, serving 100 people a month, also communicates with other agencies, if necessary, to help supply specific needs.

Tickets are $40 per person. A table for seven is $500, with each person at the table recognized as a sponsor. Tickets can be purchased at Community Enabler, 104 F St. in Anniston, by April 19.

An additional highlight Wednesday will be the presenting of the Dan Pitts Administrative Award. Everyone is invited.

The focus is on Calhoun County administrative leaders. However, their role at the event is to serve, not direct, as they place the plates on tables. The lunch is catered by Classic on Noble.

And after all, service is a part of leadership. For that reason, Joel Wesley Hawbaker’s presentation on his book “Inverted Leadership” is central to the fundraiser’s theme.

“In this book I wanted to present solid leadership fundamentals using Christ as the model servant-leader,” Hawbaker said. “But, regardless of your religious beliefs the principles and action steps covered are general and essential guides for leaders,” he added. The principles apply to the home, the workplace, academia and other settings.

Among the individuals for whom the book is especially written are:

  • A child who didn’t have a father’s example for righteous living.

  • A leader wanting to know ways to build trust among his followers.

  • A person who is at a stand-still, looking for actionable ways to move forward.

Hawbaker, an Anniston resident, is a teacher and soccer coach in Rainbow City. He is a three-time Amazon Best Selling Author. His focus is on blended families, education and leadership.

“Inverted Leadership” invites us to re-think leadership and humility. Leading others effectively means forgetting about yourself and focusing on the ultimate good of the leader’s followers. But to clarify, as C.S. Lewis said, “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself. It means thinking of yourself less.”

In Chapter 1, Hawbaker brings us the concept of “Confident Humility.” To the author, this means God-given skills can be used to influence other people. These skills can be used in a positive way, the explanation continues. Whether you get the credit or not is not important.

Values — specifically integrity, hard work and honesty — are also covered in this chapter, as are finding a balance between success and having an impact on the people a leader serves.

In Hawbaker’s case, he explains that he and his soccer team strive to win games — but teaching them to be better players and better people is more important and far-reaching.

“Go for both — success and impact,” he advises. “But impact lasts longer.”

Who is a leader?

Leaders are not only the ones we think of first, such as CEOs of corporations, college presidents or military commanders. Parents, Sunday School teachers, volunteers in civic groups are also leaders.

Hawbaker gives “Lou,” a former student, as an example. Lou’s senior year in high school turned into much work instead of an exciting experience. While her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer, was being treated, it was Lou who took care of a little brother with special needs, kept the household running smoothly and kept up her grades so she could win a scholarship to college. “She survived that year, continued to play on our team and is now in college. She’s doing very well,” Hawbaker said.

Leaders in history the author points to are Elizabeth I of England and Napoleon Bonaparte.

Elizabeth I, known as “Good Queen Bess,” ruled England for over half a century. Political stability, religious tolerance and peace are hallmarks of her reign. She is also known for establishing England as the dominant Protestant power in Europe and is said to have been warm and lively in her communication with her subjects.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign was significantly shorter and ended in many battle defeats, but his impact through nationalism and its effects on the developments of various European countries continued long after his death.

JSU Civic Symphony

Although last Sunday’s pops concert by this ensemble was the season’s last one, it could mark the beginning of new interest in next season.

There were many first-time audience members at First United Methodist Church in Anniston, and the music, especially John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” put pep in our step as we were leaving (even as I was recovering from major surgery).

Also on the program were “Raider’s March” from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” by John Williams,” Highlights from ‘Wicked’” by Stephen Schwartz, Trumpet Concerto with special guest Drew Bradley, “The Sound of Music” by Rodgers and Hammerstein and “Oh! Mio Babbino Caro” by Giacomo Puccini, sung by Teresa Crosby..

In the fall, the musicians will be back in the renovated Mason Hall for weekly practices. The concerts are free and open to the public.

Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at