About Clay Mize

My name is Clay Mize.  My roots run deep in the southern soil.  My American colonist ancestors mixed their blood with native Cherokees creating a family with no sense of being immigrants.  Their participation in the Civil War was more about protecting homeland and State Rights than slavery, with no history of slave ownership.

The closest my family comes to fame is through my great grandfather Billy Mize.  He was known as Uncle Billy to two famous cousins living near Athens, Georgia. Uncle Billy’s nephew’s Ty Cobb and his cousin Johnny Mize both played for the New York Yankees and are both in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

My family taught me that to work was to love. I once complained about a task to which my mother responded, “You must learn how to love it.”  By age seven I already understood the meaning of a long row to hoe. After my first economics class in college I asked my grandfather how much money he made annually on his cattle operation. He laughed and said, “Make money, I lose money every year.” “Then why do you do it,” I asked.  He said, “I do it because I love it.”  That was a lesson they would have never thought to teach me in college.

Two events shaped my early life.  One was winning the job for quarterback on my junior high school football team and second was attending the University of Alabama.  The first put me in a position to learn basic leadership lessons and the other broadened my view of the world.

In the early years, in addition to the family farm, I worked as a furniture assembler, lifeguard, paper boy, waiter, cookie salesman, and oil field roustabout.  In the middle years  I worked as an owner and CEO of an insurance brokerage firm, University teacher, and talk show host.  In my latest phase I work as a real estate developer, B&B owner, author, speaker and coach.

I enjoy learning and I enjoy developing people.  I discovered a new joy in life the last few years by helping kids develop a love for tennis. I created a system for progressively teaching children called, Kaizen Tennis.  Kaizen means “continuous improvement” in Japanese and we use the black belt model to help children achieve increasingly more advanced levels of tennis skill.

I enjoy leading organizations as a CEO and would consider that again if the right opportunity came along.  I like developing leaders and my management style is to develop a series of relevant questions that are asked and answered continuously in order to produce continuous improvement. My educational background is in Finance with a Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing.

I also blog about matters of faith.  My faith is a work in progress, but my faith in the Lord and scripture continues to shape me.

If you would like to contact me to speak to or design a workshop for your organization I would welcome discussing previous workshops I have done and designing new ones for your organization. You can e-mail me at Claiborne.mize@gmail.com or call me at 256-436-9990.

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