NAME: Sam Stoltzufs
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
Hello, my name is Sam. I am twenty-four years old and I was born in the beautiful county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I was born in the Amish community, however, my family left the Amish when I was about three years old. We moved to Tampa, Florida where I spent six years of my childhood. In 2000, we moved back to Lancaster and have been here for fifteen years; it is great to be back. I love and cherish the people here and it is a great place to live.
One of my hobbies is golf. I have not at this point mastered how to use the driver, which is a key club. It is not so much about how far I can hit the ball down the fairway, but the time I get to spend with my father and brothers. As we get older the time we spend together on our free time is becoming less, but we seem to find time a few Sundays out of the Summer months to play a quick nine. Speaking of my family—I also work with them. I am proud and honored to work beside them each day. It can be crazy at times, but we manage to grow from each experience and today I can say we are a close family because of the experiences we have had in business.
WOULD YOU CONSIDER YOUR INNER SELF MORE OF A RAPPER OR A ROCK STAR?
No doubt a rapper. If you have ever seen me driving down the highway (alone), more likely than not you would see me attempting to rap along with the song. I love the heart of artists like Lecrae, NF, Andy Mineo, etc. They put their heart into their songs and hearing the meaning behind the lyrics is what draws me to the music.
I KNOW YOU LOVE QUOTES. WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE QUOTES ON LEADERSHIP?
One of my favorite quotes is from John Maxwell. It gives a different definition of a leader’s role. Also, it challenges me each day to go beyond myself and make an impact in the people around me.
“Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.”
TRUST IS SO IMPORTANT IN RELATIONSHIPS. WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU CULTIVATE TRUST WITH THOSE AROUND YOU?
Everyone makes mistakes. We forget to fulfill a promise; we use our words to manipulate, or we deliver criticism at the wrong time. There are many other reasons why trust can be lost. However, I believe it is not the actions that cause the most loss, but the follow-up—what we do after we make the mistake.
Anyone can make a mistake and walk away from it refusing to confront the situation. It takes an individual that has character, trust, and honors themselves and people in their life to admit their wrong and find ways to restore the trust. The first step is acknowledging we made the mistake. Then we have to humble ourselves and speak with the individual. It is about sharing your heart and being honest. This speaks that we value them and we don’t intend destroy the relationship but are taking the time and energy to rebuild it. This is unheard of in our society, but I believe it is one step we can take to build trust in our relationships.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEOME WHO STRUGGLES WITH TRUSTING OTHERS?
As I said in the previous question, we have all broken trust with people in our lives and it is typically not intentional. Our heart is never intending to destroy relationships. We have a tendency to assume that people who hurt us intended to break trust, but we all know that assumption is the lowest form of knowledge. People who have difficulty building trust must first confront the individual to truly know their intention.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO YOU?
A community is a body of believers that stand together in covenant, supporting and serving one another to expand the Kingdom of God. It is an exchange if life between everyone giving their best to people around them for everyone to fulfill their calling.
I also view a community as a body of people who are training and equipping the younger generation so that they can impact the next generation. It is about leaving a legacy, seeing beyond our lifetime, and daring to make an impact.
HOW HAS GODLY LEADERSHIP PLAYED A ROLE IN SHAPING YOUR LIFE?
The Godly leaders in my life have modeled a lifestyle of integrity, determination, honor, loyalty, and especially love. I have seen them walk through difficult situations and they managed their inner world in the midst—that was impressive. They continue to be models and examples for the younger generation, putting to practice what they speak. The greatest aspect about them, however, is that they dare to be vulnerable. Someone once told me, “If you are not close enough to be hurt, you’re not close enough to make an impact.” I would not be where I am today without the leadership I have. They did not make the choices that resulted in where I am now, but they have influenced and trained me, which positioned me to take the steps to be where I am today.
One principle I have seen each leader walk in that has influenced me is how to love and support others. This has opened doors of influence in my life where I now have opportunities to speak into people’s lives. I don’t have all the answers or live a perfect life, but I have Godly leaders that continue to challenge me to move forward to fulfill my purpose, despite anything that has happened in the past. I am thankful for each leader and their investment.
WOULD YOU RATHER BRING CHANGE BY WHAT YOU SAY OR IN HOW YOU DO LIFE?
I would rather bring change through my actions. I believe actions have their own language; how we respond to a negative situation says a lot about who we are. It takes faith to step out into an unknown situation. We can speak with excitement and enthusiasm, but we must have the actions to make an impact.
IF YOU WERE SPEAKING TO A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
We all have been given one thing: life. Our life can pass by so quickly and compared to eternity our life is but a flash of light. The degree to how much our light shines and the impact it has on people is determined by us. God gave us a gift of life; with our life He gave us freewill. Our life is our own to manage; how we spend our time depends on us. We can live a life that we simply just go through the motions, but will we shine enough to catch the attention of others? Can we dare to make a difference? To impact the world around us? Will we shine a light that reflects so bright into others that it causes them to shine their own light?
We were created to leave a legacy. We would not be where are today without the people that shined their light to start a movement, which changed lives that transformed nations. We have the ability to shine our light that causes people to carry on legacy, to impact generations, and to change the world for our grandchildren. Our light is not possible without the one who empowers us, the one who gave us life. Our heavenly Father is the generator of light and the one who sees through our shame and gives us an opportunity to be used as a vessel to shine His light. How will you use your life?
IF FORCED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM, WOULD YOU RATHER GO WITHOUT HAIR PRODUCT OR COLOGNE?
Wow! I would have to say cologne for sure! Because my outward appearance is based on my confidence. For example, if I believe I look good wearing a kilt, people will believe that as well. I was told, “It is not the clothes that make the individual, but the individual that makes the clothes.” It goes the same with my hair.
IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE A THEME SONG FOR YOUR LIFE AT THIS POINT, WHAT SONG WOULD THAT BE?
The first song that came to my mind was Summertime by Audio Adrenaline, which was the opening song for Feedback with Joel back in the Center Stage Youth Center days. At this point I would say it is between Summertime and Background by Lecrae to be my theme song.