Leadership and Main

Bettering Others and the World You Live In

Butch Price

butch price

Butch Price is the epitome of community leadership.  He has faithfully served the Acworth Community for sixty years as an educator and elected official.  At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, he officially retired from our Board of Aldermen (city council). 

The purpose of This Blog is to help leaders in local communities better others and the worlds they live in.  I firmly believe that leaders at the local level have the opportunity to intersect more lives and create a more lasting impact than any state or federal level leader. 

One of my favorite things to write about is the people that make our community great.  The leaders who selflessly invest their time, talents, and treasures into making our city a special place to live, work, and play.  This week is one of those opportunities for me.    

Butch Price

Butch’s commitment and service to our community began in 1964.  Upon graduating college in Alabama, he and his wife Jo Carol were offered jobs at Acworth Elementary.  The couple would raise their son and two daughters in the community.  Mrs. Price lost her fight against cancer in 1991. 

In 1996, Butch would make two big decisions in his life.  He would retire from the Cobb County School System as the Principal of Acworth Elementary after 32 years of service and run for public office as Alderman.  Butch was successfully elected to his first of seven terms that year. 

He was my principal in first, second, and third grade.  I’ve had the privilege of working with him for my entire professional career for the last 23 years.    

Now that you know the history, let me tell you more about the person.  Here are five leadership lessons I have learned from watching him serve our community:      

Listen Well

In the countless meetings that I have had with him over the years, I can honestly say he has never interrupted me.  He listens determined to understand what you are attempting to communicate.  His body language, his eyes, and his head nods always provide affirmation that he is connected to what you are saying. 

Listening is a lost art.  It is a craft that requires genuineness and authenticity.  Listening requires making the person in front of you feel like they are the most important person in the world in that moment. 

Great leaders listen well. 

Be Impactful with Words

Butch is a quiet man.  When he does talk…people listen.  Why?  Because he doesn’t waste words.  When he speaks, it is impactful.  Words of wisdom are on their way.    

Leaders can succumb to the pressure of the position and are misled to believe that more words equal a greater impact.  Sometimes, less is simply more.  Too often people can talk to hear themselves talk, mitigating the impact of their words.  When we speak less, we naturally listen more.  We become educated and informed, then our spoken words are more impactful.

Great leaders are impactful with their words.

Treat People Well

One of his quotes from his principal days is, “Children will not remember what you taught them, but they will always remember how you treated them.”  He carries that philosophy into every other aspect of his life as well.

I have watched him treat the people at the lowest levels of our organization with care and kindness.  He is known to be the caretaker of many of his friends and neighbors.  I have never witnessed him be harsh or rude to another human being.  Ever.

People are everything in leadership.  They are guided and inspired by how we treat them.  The way we treat people has a lasting impact.  It also significantly impacts the trajectory of our own leadership.  Putting it simply, leaders will be remembered for one of two things…treating people poorly or treating people well. 

Great leaders treat people well. 

Stay Active

Butch is 83 years young.  He plays golf two days a week, walks every day, goes to the gym, and attends church on a regular basis.  During the fall you will find him at the North Cobb High School Football games and during the winter watching the basketball team.  He stays active. 

Rick Warren says, “Anytime you are coasting, you are going downhill.”  Activity leads to forward progress and builds momentum.  Coasting leads to complacency.  Complacency kills. 

Life and leadership can be tough.  Both have their fair set of challenges.  Whatever the circumstance, we must continue to put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

Great leaders stay active.         


If you have never met Butch, picture President Abraham Lincolnish.  A tall, thin, stoic figure.  When you are in elementary school, principals are scary enough.  He was extra scary!  I made it a point to stay out of trouble. 

Years later, I have come to know that stoic, scary figure, as a humorous person.  A great storyteller, a jokester, and someone who genuinely likes to laugh.

As previously mentioned, life and leadership are tough.  Often, leaders are expected to put on a serious, professional face.  We are supposed to appear to have it all together.  Laughter breaks the ice, it lessens the gravity of the situation, and it relieves the pressure from the burdens.  Sometimes we just need a good laugh in life.   

Great leaders laugh.


In the book 41, President George W. Bush writes about his father, President Georgia H.W. Bush.  The younger Bush said that his father used to say, “Preach the gospel at all times and use words if necessary.”  When I hear this quote, I think of Butch. 

Remember that I said he is quiet?  That means that each of these lessons I learned from him was by watching him.  Whether it is being a good listener, being impactful with his words, treating people well, staying active, or laughing…he preached it and rarely had to use words.

I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to serve our community with him.  He is a decent, solid human being.  Butch Price is the epitome of a community leader.        

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