Bobby Kimbrough’s book, Beyond Midnight, is a book we should all read. If you haven’t faced yourself alone in the dark, admitted your own vulnerabilities and charted a path forward “beyond midnight,” you can’t imagine the lessons life has to teach you. Stay tuned. Life will happen in totally unexpected ways. Bobby has learned many of them and shares his wisdom in his motivational keynote speeches, his leadership as the sheriff one of the largest counties in North Carolina, his three books, community activism as founder of Branded for Knowledge, and this conversation with Dr. Nancy.
Bobby believes that there are defining moments in your life that can make or break you, that change you in ways you never dreamed possible. He says, ” Once you’ve been humiliated, it’s a humbling place. And then the isolation causes you to see some things in the darkness that you don’t see in the light and hear some things in the silence.” That’s when you have the opportunity to become fearless and learn that “your decisions will create your conditions.” Bobby decided to survive, help his seven sons survive and thrive, and to accept help from unexpected places.
Bobby’s Personal Midnight
Bobby’s wife and mother to his seven sons died suddenly when he was at the top of his game. He describes their marriage as being in that “sweet spot.” He was a special agent for the DEA; she was a nurse, and they were living the dream. With her death, he lost everything. The house they had designed and built together was foreclosed on, and he found himself broke and helping his sons deal with a loss that shattered all of their hearts. As he wrote in Beyond Midnight: Finding Strength in the Struggle, he found himself in a dark place where he was not thinking clearly. Once you hit bottom, it’s hard to find your way out and Bobby says that you have to be careful about the information you feed yourself. He did a lot of reading and found faith and guidance from cheerleaders who showed him how to believe in himself. He says that if you look at world leaders, many of them have experienced their own midnights. Bobby’s midnight made him feel “battle-tested” and taught him to relate to the suffering of others. It also gave him the confidence to admit his vulnerabilities and to use the experience and his God-given strengths to help others.
Bobby’s Insight into Women, Presence and Power
Bobby says that our culture still doesn’t recognize the power of women, and that is especially true among women themselves. He said everyone is powerful, no matter what gender, race or sexual orientation you are. Bobby says that as an individual you are powerful. He received a great free education at Quantico and one of the most important things he learned was about “your command presence.” He said that it’s “how you enter a room, how you exit that room, what you say in that room….and how you have the ability to affect the atmosphere.” He explained, “When you start affecting the atmosphere, you start affecting the outcome. Women have the same ability to do that with their presence, their voices and how they use it.” He says that when a woman enters a room full of men, the atmosphere in that room changes. “Now if she connects her presence with her bandwidth and her agenda and understands who she is, that’s a powerful thing.”
Listen to or watch this conversation for more insights into Bobby’s lessons from Beyond Midnight. Buy his books, Beyond Midnight: Finding Strength in the Struggle, Surviving the Stop: Change the Atmosphere, Change the Outcome and Beyond Midnight: Helping You Make It to Daybreak, and connect with him on Facebook @BobbyFKimbroughJr or via e-mail through the Forsyth County Sherriff’s Office in North Carolina.