This article first appeared in the July edition of the Iredell Free News Monthly.
By JAIME GATTON
The Mooresville Scoop
It’s the right message at the right time.
Intense political division in our country was joined by a global pandemic, during which people were sharply polarized on issues like masks and vaccines.
Mooresville resident and author Greg Atkinson is breaking through all that darkness with his most recent book titled The Secret Power of Kindness: 10 Keys to Unlocking Your Capacity to Change the World. Its message is resonating with people; three weeks after being released, the book was still Amazon’s #1 New Release and has hit #1 Bestseller more than once.
“A lot of people are intrigued by the topic of kindness,” Atkinson said. “I think this book is going to find a good audience of people who want to make a better world.”
Atkinson and his wife, Amy, recently moved from Rock Hill to Mooresville to be closer to Amy’s parents when her stepdad was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. While his father-in-law has since passed away, Atkinson said he and Amy have fallen in love with Mooresville and have no regrets about relocating.
Atkinson is not only a bestselling author but a speaker, coach and consultant who has worked with churches across the country. He is considered an expert in guest experience, first impressions, hospitality, guest services, worship and evaluating a church’s online presence and social media. He is founder of the First Impressions Conference, an annual event that features the world’s leading voices for first impressions and guest services. He’s also a professional secret shopper for businesses in the hospitality industry, traveling the country as a secret shopper at restaurants and hotels, for example, and being a mystery worshipper for churches of all sizes.
While Atkinson has written four books before The Secret Power of Kindness, those, he said, focus on leadership and hospitality and are geared toward Christian pastors and leaders.
His most recent release is different. It’s personal.
“In this one, I share my story for the first time,” Atkinson said.
From recollections of trauma in his childhood to being fired from a toxic work environment in such a way that it caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal, the book covers painful experiences the author has endured.
But it also includes chapters on generosity and forgiveness. “I have to forgive those who hurt me,” Atkinson said. “If I was still angry or bitter, I would not be very kind.”
Atkinson now coaches and consults to help organizations create a kind culture — a place where employees love to go to work and love who they work for — as opposed to a toxic culture.
Like all of Atkinson’s books, The Secret Power of Kindness was written with a Christian audience in mind, but non-Christians, too, can relate to issues detailed in the book, such as childhood abuse and trauma, bullying and church wounds.
“Grown men have messaged me and said they couldn’t get through the first chapter without crying,” Atkinson said. “I can’t get through it without crying. It’s so personal, and I’ve never shared it before.”
Atkinson’s book is not political but references the culture we’ve recently lived in as a country, which has been marked, for instance, by disagreements on social media that have turned brutal. He said when he’s told people that he has a book coming out about kindness, they’ve expressed overwhelming support. “People are hungry for more kindness in the world,” he said.
“I have a Christian background and believe in God, but I taught my kids just to be decent human beings and contribute to the greater good in their community.” And that, he said, is the overall goal of his latest release.
“It’s a feel-good book that encourages people to go change the world and make it a better place.”
To find the book, visit www.thesecretpowerofkindness.com.