About Clay Mize

My name is Clay Mize.  My roots run deep in the southern soil.  Tracing my ancestry back to the American colonist we mixed our blood with native Cherokees creating a family with no sense of being immigrants.  We were in the middle of the Revolution and participated on both sides of the civil war.


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. Ty Cobb, whose mother’s maiden name was Mize, and his first 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 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.  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 my work is to manage some real estate investments, B&B owner, author, speaker and coach.

I enjoy learning and developing people.  A new joy I happened on in the last few years is helping kids develop a love for tennis. We 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.


If the right opportunity came along, I would consider leading an organization as a CEO.  I enjoy developing leaders and my management style is to develop a series of relevant questions.  These questions are 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.

Writing is a big part of what I do.  Mostly, my blogs are 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 or design a workshop for your organization I would welcome the discussion.  You can e-mail me at Claiborne.mize@gmail.com or call me at 256-436-9990.

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