Salvaged: Leadership Lessons Pulled from the Junkyard

Salvaged: Leadership Lessons Pulled from the Junkyard


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Successful Silicon Valley real estate developer and wealth creator Roy Goble shares the surprising lessons he learned as a boy working in his family junkyard. Skillfully uniting the teachings of Jesus with the sometimes messy realities of leading people and getting things done, Salvaged helps leaders at all levels discover powerful opportunities to follow Jesus in the real world—and in surprisingly simple ways.

Working in his dad’s junkyard as a kid, Roy had no idea what his future held: an incredibly successful career in commercial real estate, as well as founding and leading multiple ministries, churches, and nonprofits across the globe. So when Roy talks about what it means to follow Jesus daily as a leader, people pay attention. Entrepreneurs, pastors, and managers who learn to lead from Roy won’t parrot his jargon or practice his “system”—these men and women will simply know how to lead better.

After a no-nonsense and compelling introduction, Roy delivers 31 of his most surprising, memorable, and practical leadership lessons, many of which are culled from his junkyard days. Each focuses on a personal “junkyard” story, leadership lesson, and comparable Bible passage perfect for daily study. A growth and action section is included after each chapter that gets to the heart of the lesson through thought-provoking questions with action steps designed to be immediately put into practice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631469565
Publisher: The Navigators
Publication date: 01/08/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 1,124,812
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Roy Goble grew up working in his father's junkyard, where he learned to take apart absolutely anything and to evaluate everything for the value of its parts. After studying economics and business at Westmont College, and marrying his high school sweetheart, D'Aun, he joined his family's growing real estate business. 

As the business flourished, he experienced the complexity of creating wealth while following Jesus. He began to wrestle with what he knew about business and what Jesus was calling him to be and do, beginning a decades-long quest for a way to understand his place in God's kingdom and in a global society. 

Today he runs a real estate investment company based in Silicon Valley, leads the ministry PathLight International, and serves on multiple boards-while still finding time to visit and learn from friends and ministry partners around the world. 

Following Jesus as a wealth creator has turned out to be harder and better than he ever imagined, and sometimes he misses the simplicity of selling parts in the junkyard. After thirty-five years of marriage, however, D'Aun tells him he already owns too many old cars.

Roy regularly blogs on

Read an Excerpt



We need to know what motivates us — and those around us — if we're going to lead well.

"Have you tried the fried scorpion on a bed of jackfruit?"

I'd been eyeing the scorpion, but now I looked up to see a smiling young woman encouraging me to try this strange concoction. My wife, D'Aun, and I were attending the annual Explorers Club banquet in New York, all dressed up in a traditional gown and tux ... but the appetizers on offer were, well, weird. Not just scorpions, but boiled tarantulas, jellyfish salad, and baked iguana.

Okay, I thought, there's a time for everything. I lifted the scorpion by the toothpick protruding from its back and then gulped it down. And you know what? It wasn't bad at all!

I doubt I'll start scarfing down scorpions whenever I get the chance. I just turned sixty, and adding arachnids to my diet isn't one of my goals. But the experience reminded me of something: the weird food cravings many of us experience. A friend of mine can't watch a movie without buttered popcorn and a glass of Chardonnay. Other friends swear by strawberries covered in balsamic vinegar. Some put sugar on tomatoes and salt on watermelon. And my late father ... well, he was in a category all his own.

My father was a child of the Great Depression. Although he was born in Montana, his mother passed away when he was young, and his father moved the family to Oklahoma ... just in time for a little thing called The Dust Bowl. Like so many others, they headed west, looking for all the world like characters from Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. When they arrived in Northern California, they tried to put down roots, but life remained tough.

It wasn't unusual for Dad to go a whole day without food. But like a lot of folks in that era, Dad was resilient and creative at finding what he needed to get by.

For instance, in the small town of Port Chicago where they lived, churches and community groups would throw the occasional party. Dad kept an ear to the ground, and when he heard about a potluck dinner he'd simply wander into whatever lodge or church fellowship hall was hosting the event. With all the attendees milling around the buffet tables, scarcely anyone noticed a small boy — and if they did, most kindly looked the other way. Folks knew others were hungry.

Imagine a rail-thin boy staring at long tables covered in a cornucopia of church-lady foods. Tuna hotdish. Potato cakes. Bowls filled with mints and mixed nuts. Jars of pickles. Biscuits. Bean-and-sausage casserole. Corn. Pound cake. Sheet cake. Lemonade and coffee.

Now imagine that boy having the good grace (and sense) not to barge to the front of the line, and instead hanging back and filling his plate with leftovers. It may have been a function of the culinary tastes in that particular neck of the woods, but there were nearly always leftover chocolate cake and pickles. Cake, of course, because there are always way too many desserts at buffets, and pickles, because most people who toss a pickle on their plate don't actually eat the pickle. Dad, however, happily gorged himself on that unlikely combination. The bizarre result of Dad's forays into the buffet lines of Port Chicago was an unexpected — and long-lasting — fancy for that stomach-turning mix of sugar and vinegar.

In fact, my father carried that penchant through the rest of his days. Even when he could buy any food he wanted, he continued to eat the occasional plate of chocolate cake and pickles. He never made a big deal of it, and in some ways, it embarrassed him, especially as he became more successful. Eating that strange mixture brought him back to his roots, however. It reminded him of his humble beginnings and the excitement he felt on those days when he discovered a surplus of calories.

We're all like my father in some ways. We each have cravings. For some of us, it's food, and for others, it's praise. We might be experience junkies or adrenaline chasers. An ever-increasing paycheck motivates some while others are always on the lookout for more friends.

Our cravings can be exploited if we're not careful. When I was younger, I'd offer my dad chocolate cake and pickles when I wanted him to do me a favor! He never actually fell for it, but he always laughed, and I think he admired my attempt. Wise leaders must be familiar with both their own motivations and what motivates their teams ... and then use that knowledge for good rather than exploitation.


Scripture is full of characters with cravings. Some cravings motivated behavior that was reprehensible. Consider David, who craved Bathsheba enough to commit murder. At least once, craving produced some good old-fashioned stupid when Esau traded his inheritance for a single bowl of stew. We are all tempted to give in to these unhealthy cravings.

But there are also examples when cravings were expressed in positive, healthy ways.

The Psalms are filled with cravings for the presence of God. The Proverbs express passion for God's Word over and over. Nehemiah was motivated by God's glory. The apostle Paul seemed driven by his deep compassion for those in the Roman world who had not heard the gospel. Esther had a deep sense of responsibility to her people, combined with a courage only a woman of faith could muster. Likewise, Ruth was motivated by a deep faith and sense of responsibility for her family commitments.

All of these characters were motivated by healthy passions to honor God through their work.

Getting our cravings in line is going to make us stronger leaders. And understanding the motivations (the cravings) of our teams will allow us to set appropriate incentives. We're not all going to be like Paul or Esther or Ruth. But we're not all going to be Esau either. And understanding these motivations will allow us to properly channel our instincts toward healthy goals.


Our cravings can be exploited if we're not careful.

Getting our cravings in line is going to make us stronger leaders.

Understanding the motivations of our teams will allow us to set appropriate incentives.


Excerpted from "Salvaged"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Roy Goble.
Excerpted by permission of NavPress.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword xi

Introduction xv

Section 1

1 Cake and Pickles (and No, I'm Not Pregnant) 3

2 Aim High! (Especially with an Acetylene-Powered Homemade Bazooka) 9

3 Rats in the Rafters 15

4 Bring Donuts When You're Late (and Don't Be Late) 23

5 The Negotiator 27

6 Rolls-Royce Car Pool 33

7 Smoke-Filled Rooms 39

8 It's Good to Have Friends in Low Places 45

9 Import/Export 51

Section 2

10 Questioning Captain Satellite 59

11 Gambling on Answers 65

12 Profanity Must Be Earned 71

13 A Flamethrower and Immunity 79

14 Getting the Right People on the Bus 83

15 Good to Great? 89

16 Management Techniques Are Addictive 97

17 Babies Don't Earn Paychecks 103

Section 3

18 Scale Like an Investor (If You Want to Mess Up Your Life) 111

19 Boring Is Good 117

20 Perfect People Make Lousy Leaders 123

21 Questions for Young (and Dumb) Leaders 129

22 Silos 133

23 Risk-Adjustment School 139

24 Leadership as a Code Word for Power 145

25 Get Off Your Pedestal before It Gets Knocked Over 151

26 Is It Lonely at the Top? 157

Section 4

27 Your Business Will Fail (Get over It) 163

28 Know Thyself 169

29 The Freestarter™ 175

30 Never Buy Cheap Champagne 183

31 Acta Non Verba 189

Conclusion 195

Acknowledgments 199

What People are Saying About This

Jon Beekman

“This book sucks” . . . is something I’ve never said after reading one of Roy’s books. Not your typical regurgitated tome on leadership, Salvaged plunges deep into the reality of working with people—it’s a messy business, regardless of whether it happens in the boardroom or in the junkyard. With his trademark humor on full display, Roy uncovers deep truths about real-world, biblical leadership while also delivering a genuinely FUN read. His colorful characters and lighthearted parables are as memorable as they are entertaining—these are lessons that will actually stick!

Al Miyashita

Entertaining, easy to read, down-to-earth, and authentic. The levity and stories of an era I remember all too well brought transparency and made for good reflection. The deep leadership takeaways were there in a vernacular that made them thought-provoking.

Brenda Salter McNeil

Roy Goble is one of the finest leaders I know! He grew up in a junkyard, which taught him that even the unlikeliest characters can get the job done . . . often right under the noses of the powerful and privileged. That’s what Roy sees in Scripture, too! Looking at the Bible through the lens of leadership—and vice versa—allows him to celebrate and cultivate the leadership ability of all people, regardless of their station in life. Although Roy is successful, he’s also humble, which is reflected in this book’s edgy sense of humor! This timely book is written from a grace-filled heart and years of practical experience. It’s a fresh and effective addition to our necessary conversation about true leadership, and not just for those our culture assumes will lead. I highly recommend it!

Josh Kwan

Most books on leadership and faith are either too abstract (boring and impractical) or too folksy (lightweight and self-absorbed). Roy’s is neither. Instead, he deftly ties together hilarious misadventures, keen observations of human nature, and a close study of Scripture. The result is a book packed with memorable, practical leadership insights. No matter your job title, don’t overlook the wisdom that comes from this junkyard entrepreneur–theologian. This is a rare book written by a rare individual.

Mark Zoradi

Salvaged is the common-sense leadership guide you’ve been waiting for. I say “guide” because Roy doesn’t insist on one-size-fits-all conclusions. Rather, he explores the terrain of everyday leadership, from the junkyard all the way to the boardroom, and invites his readers along on the journey. By turns self-effacing, serious, and humorous, Roy encourages readers to ask better questions, to demand better answers, and most of all to laugh at themselves. No matter their occupation, readers will find the practical wisdom they need to take their leadership ability to the next level.

junkyard coworker from back in the day Rich

Goble wrote a book?

Nancy Ortberg

The scope of Roy’s leadership journey is staggering. His stories will jar dormant parts of your brain into life, and his insights from those stories will have you thinking about leadership and following Jesus in new and refreshing ways. The pages of this book will make you laugh and drop your jaw, perhaps two of the most powerful ways to help us reimagine.

Romal Tune

Salvaged is the leadership book I have been waiting for. Through the power of story, Roy uses humor, honesty, and the cold hard truth about teams, self-awareness, and working with people. This is a journey through life lessons and the wisdom that comes from turning wounds into the evidence of healing. The authenticity displayed by Roy makes you want to sit down with him to hear even more. You will be captivated by the examples and stories while thinking, I can’t believe he just said that. Salvaged is a refreshing read on leadership that lets you know you’re not alone and that even in the junkyard, you can turn a mess into a miracle. This is more than a leadership book; it’s a redeeming therapy session for anyone looking for a new way forward in the workplace and in life.

Jody Vanderwel

I’ve read very few books on leadership that help me in the unique and nuanced situations that arise each day, but Salvaged does exactly that. Roy Goble, like me, had a father who greatly influenced his leadership style. Now Roy looks back with the eye of a master storyteller, distilling his varied experiences into relevant lessons we all need. Being a results-driven, Jesus-following businessperson is not for wimps—but Jesus wasn’t a wimp either!

Antonio Neri

There are as many kinds of leaders as there are companies. What matters is not the style of a leader but rather the results. I know Roy to be a leader who drives the most essential sort of organizational growth: character. He may not know a thing about cloud technology, but I’d hire him tomorrow simply for his insights about people and purpose.

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