Ask Rick Christian: Heroes and Mentors

This is our regular column of frequently (and not-so-frequently) asked questions with Alive’s Founder and CEO, Rick Christian. Over the weeks, we’ll cover everything from negotiation strategy and all things literary, lying, his manliest possession and most terrifying moment, his own ultimate demise…and everything in between!

Do you have a hero?

I’d have to say Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda. He’s got his detractors and many would like to see him dead. Yet he continues undertaking the greatest reconciliation effort in the world by integrating the Hutus back with their Tutsi neighbors. The movie “Hotel Rwanda” several years back details what he dealt with following the 1994 genocide in which a million people were killed in three months. We worked on a book with him, written by Stephen Kinzer, a 21-year vet of the New York Times. The book, A Thousand Hills, was published by John Wiley & Sons, and has stirred up a number of interesting film offers from major players.



Rick-Photo-for-Blog-Column-webYou mentioned in an earlier posting about encouraging your kids to establish “decade mentors,” whereby they emulate the habits of those 10, 20, 30 years their senior.
Have you done this in your life?

Consistently, every step along the way. Mine now are Peb Jackson in his 60′s, and the trio of Eugene Peterson, Jill Briscoe and Stuart Briscoe in their 80′s. Eugene and the Briscoes got to their 80’s quicker than I thought, so I’m scouting for a new 70’s mentor now. Oh, and Billy Graham in his 90’s.


Is there a living person you’d never represent?

The list would be long, but at the top would certainly be Joseph Kony, the Ugandan warlord who kidnaps children.


What living person would you most like to sign?

I find Condi Rice intriguing, and there are a few Supreme Court Justices we’d be interested in, along with some iconic sports and cultural figures. But I’ve not gotten very far when I’ve chased prospective clients. The biggest fish have consistently jumped in our boat. And so I’ve come to count on this ongoing grace of God, come what may. When the phone rings, it could be anybody.

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