Remembering Tim Kight: A Legacy of Influence and Integrity

This weekend, I learned the sad news about the passing of Tim Kight, a person who had a big impact in my professional and personal journey. Tim, the founder of Focus 3, lost his battle to cancer, leaving behind a legacy that touched countless lives, including mine.

His son Brian shared on social media, “My dad, Tim Kight, died peacefully in his sleep last night. He was many things to many people, felt even by those who never met him, such was his presence. But to me, he was just Dad. And that was everything. I love you, Dad.”

My connection to Tim began through an introduction by our mutual friend, Jim Hackbarth. I was immediately drawn to Tim’s insights as I dove into his videos and podcasts, where he and Brian would dissect concepts like culture, character, and responsibility.

Our interactions deepened when I invited Tim to deliver a keynote for the leadership team at State Auto Insurance. That engagement blossomed into a broader collaboration with Focus 3, impacting many within the organization.

Tim taught me that “culture” is more than a buzzword. He defined it simply: Culture is the collective experience shaped by individual behaviors, which are themselves rooted in deep-seated beliefs. This flow from Belief to Behavior to Experience, he explained, is also the foundation of character—how others experience us based on our actions driven by our convictions.

Perhaps Tim’s most profound contribution was his E+R=O equation—Event + Response = Outcome. It’s a formula that emphasizes our power to shape outcomes through our responses to the events around us, a principle Tim embodied courageously during his fight with cancer.

Beyond the business lessons, Tim was also a spiritual man. We often exchanged messages about faith and literature. One significant recommendation from him was Dallas Willard’s Renovation of the Heart. This book profoundly affected my faith journey, and it’s no coincidence that I was rereading it as Tim passed.

Though our direct interactions were few, their impact was profound. I had always hoped for more time with Tim, but circumstances like scheduling conflicts and the pandemic limited our meetings. Nevertheless, I am immensely grateful for the wisdom he imparted, which I endeavor to pass on to others.

As I reflect on Tim’s life and legacy, I’m comforted by the belief that he has been welcomed into Heaven with the Lord saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”


Brian Ahearn

Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE and a faculty member at the Cialdini Institute. An author, TEDx presenter, international speaker, coach, and consultant, Brian helps clients apply influence in everyday situations to boost results.
As one of only a dozen Cialdini Method Certified Trainers in the world, Brian was personally trained and endorsed by Robert Cialdini, Ph.D., the most cited living social psychologist on the science of ethical influence.

Brian’s first book, Influence PEOPLE, was named one of the 100 Best Influence Books of All Time by Book Authority. Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents was an Amazon new release bestseller. His latest book, The Influencer, is a business parable designed to teach you how to use influence in everyday situations.

Brian’s LinkedIn courses on persuasive selling and coaching have been viewed by over 700,000 people around the world and his TEDx Talk on pre-suasion has more than a million views!

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  1. […] you read my recent post about the late Tim Kight, you know my view on culture, which I learned from him. Culture is how […]

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