The General’s Cedar Pointe #2 Pencil:
Made by the Weissenborn family in Jersey City since 1889. Considered by most to be the finest pencil in production. Entirely unfinished - no paint, no lacquer - gives the pencil an entirely unique feel in the hand. The raw wood practically clings to the hand and begs to be written with. The cedar smell will likely remind you of old chests, hangars, or maybe even a hamster cage from your childhood. The folks at General’s believe in quality, value, tradition, and the fun of creating. So do we.
We were looking for a writing utensil for a leadership event we were offering at a historic boutique hotel. No matter how much we were willing to spend, we couldn’t really find a pen that we thought was consistent with the event, location, and thoughtfulness of the experience.
We felt almost led to the General’s Cedar Pointe #2. It was as if it were created specifically for us.
We set a lot of tables for leaders:
A handful of leaders on an executive team.
A dozen leaders for a monthly leadership meeting.
And dozens at larger group events.
In front of every person, at every event, is a General’s #2. Sometimes we remind the groups of the significant story of the simple pencil in front of them. Sometimes the simplest things matter most.
We are asking them to process and write about transformative, holy, and impactful things. We are asking them to document the stirring of the Divine as it relates to their life, leadership, and small “k” kingdoms that they manage.
We want even what they are writing with and what they are writing on to reflect that intended glory.
I now almost exclusively write with those same #2’s. Gone are most of my beloved mechanical ones that made me feel like the lost draftsman or architect I sometimes thought I should have been. I now have a handful of various-length sharpened ones on me at all times and a small collection of sharpeners in my backpack, pockets, and Jeep.
It causes me to stop my progress, do something primal, and remember. Each twist of the pencil in the tiny metal sharpener is like a deep breath away from the noise and chaos of everything else going on around me. And despite my best efforts to collect all my shavings; coffee shops, meeting spaces, and conference rooms all over town still possess the evidence of my having been there with my General’s.
One of my favorite things at a leadership event is to look around the room and see people sniffing this tool of our trade. I used to think that the pencils were scented with memories, but I now know it is scented with something far more holy than that.
These pencils carry the scent of the Kingdom.
Every pencil we hand out is done with extreme intentionality. It is companioned with course materials about Kingdom, transformation, new life, and transcendent purpose. It typically sits on top of curated content, Moleskines, Field Notes, and carefully designed and specially cut note cards.
They are intended for glory and that is precisely what they are finding.
What are you writing about?
Is someone or something in your life causing you to slow down, mark the condition of your life, and reach for more?
What is it costing you and others that you aren’t?
Up for a writing exercise that just might change the course of your life? Reach out and let us know. We’ll put some “tools of our trade” in your hands.