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The CEO Who Refuses to Use a Smartphone

Sheldon Yellen manages a $1.5 billion company that operates in 31 countries and employs 7,000 people … all without a smartphone. The CEO of Belfor, a privately held property restoration company, only uses a flip phone. Belfor said, "You can't show and feel emotion, compassion, passion, or intent through a smartphone, through text."

Having a flip phone encourages phone conversations, the CEO said, which he strongly prefers to texting. "If someone has something to say to me, they know they can pick up the phone. I'll answer their question," he said. "I am approachable, and I can't convey that through a text."

Yellen said. "A young kid was trying to get a meeting with me and sell me a product. Finally after three months, he got his appointment. He's sitting across from me, and three times during the first 10 minutes this kid looks down at his smartphone and starts texting." Yellen told the young man: "I'm not trying to be rude or arrogant, but I think you're going to have to go. I'm not asking you to get down and bow, but you just spent so [much] of my time texting someone when you're sitting with me. You gotta go, and one day you're going to thank me."

Smartphones are not allowed at Belfor company meetings. There is an unspoken rule that no one brings in their phone. "My thinking is: Let's have our meeting; let's get on with it," Yellen said. "In a lot of situations, we have a basket in the room or outside the room for cellphones." Yellen added, "I want people to talk to me. I want them to hear my passion."

Possible Preaching Angles: 1) Prayer; Communication; Fatherhood of God; We have direct access to the Sovereign Lord of the universe and we can express our deepest need, our love, and thanksgiving at any time. He always gives us his full attention. 2) Pastor; Pastor's role; This is an excellent reminder for pastors to "live in the moment" and be approachable by their flock.

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