Jessie Garrett was my high school math teacher who—when I wasn’t planning on going—asked me, “Where are you going to college?” One year later, I was at Georgia Tech studying Aerospace Engineering. Thanks, Jessie.
John Duhon was my first boss in the aerospace business. He overlooked my “know-it-all” attitude and obnoxious behavior as an engineering intern. He mentored and encouraged me. Thanks, John.
Jim Rourke let me write a paper and present it at an aerospace conference in only my second year out of college. Thanks, Jim.
Jan Drees chose me to become a project engineer, my first step into real leadership. Thanks, Jan.
Ted Hoffman taught me what I needed to know about customers. Thanks, Ted.
Jack Floyd gave me a lot more freedom than I deserved. Thanks, Jack.
Cliff Kalista gave me my first job in marketing. Thanks, Cliff.
Bob Eggars taught me how to manage a project, delivering almost 500 helicopters in one year. Thanks, Bob.
John Kleban trusted me enough to run finance even though I had never even had an accounting class. Thanks, John.
CEO Bev Dolan was my #1 supporter at the Textron corporate office. Thanks, Bev.
Fred Hubbard recommended me to replace him as president at Textron Aerostructures. Thanks, Fred.
Richard, Kurt, Julie, John, Mike, Diane, David, Sandy, Linda, Laura and many others all fully supported me as I stumbled around learning how to lead in various roles. Thanks, all of you.
Rick White gave me my first opportunity to lead in my church. Thanks, Rick.
Carl Roberts told me that Hard Lessons was exactly what I should do and sponsored the first workshop at his company. He also provided the impetus I needed to write 16 Stones. Thanks, Carl.
Dottie, my amazing wife of 50 years, took care of the fort while I traveled more than 2 million miles. She raised two wonderful daughters, stood by me and supported me—for better or worse. She was the better part. I was the worse part. Thanks, Dottie, I love you.
God knows me—really knows me—and loves me anyway. Thanks, God.
Whatever success you have enjoyed, you didn’t pull it off by yourself. Take a few minutes this Thursday to remember those who helped you along the way.
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© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
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