Raising the level of your leadership


I remember when I thought 73 was really old. Now that I’m there—as of last week—it’s just old.

At 23: I was starting my career as an engineer and getting married to my first and still-wife, Dottie.

At 33: I was building a career in marketing (I wasn’t that good of an engineer) and parenting two young daughters.

At 43: I had transitioned to finance and my daughters were teenagers.

At 53: I was serving as the president/CEO of our company, was overcommitted, and came home to an “our life is berserk” comment from Dottie. I had to learn how to say “no.”

At 63: I was serving my church fulltime and was now the “Papa” of three grandsons.

At 73: I am a “semi-retired” speaker, author, and coach, and getting ready to gratefully celebrate 50 years with Dottie.

There are a lot of gaps in the above summary—mostly a lot of HARD LESSONS. I have learned that:

  • Everything to the left of the “and” is not as important as the things to the right.
  • God’s favor is more important than experience, education, effort, etc. I have lived and worked with it and without it. “With it” is much easier.
  • My family—loving them and making them feel loved—is more important than any position, title, or honor that the world offers.
  • Relationships—not accomplishments—are what really matter.
  • Receiving and extending forgiveness—to/from others and self—is the only way to be relationally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy,
  • My biggest lesson: The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9) There isn’t much about my life that is a result of great planning on my part.

I realize now that what I leave is more important than what I have. I am not talking about a legacy of accomplishments, but a life of purpose. So however much longer God gives me, it is “well done” from Him and my family that is of utmost importance to me:

I have as my ambition…to be pleasing to Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

(I’ll get back to leadership in my next post.)

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© Copyright 2017 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company

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  • On Leading Well…

    "The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."

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