From Above





“Find accomplished people to listen to. “

I was incredibly lucky in my life. My father was an accomplished businessman, a good husband and father, and most importantly, an incredible mentor and role model.

As I grew into my own place in the world, however, I found that a lot of what he taught me (and failed to teach me, I suppose) was supported and augmented with lessons from other great men. And the first and most significant of these was Stephen Covey.

But before I get to Stephen Covey, I think it’s important to also acknowledge my mom in all of this. Growing up with the shadow of my dad (and he was a big fish in our small pond) caused me to be incredibly insecure. He was popular and charismatic, I was nerdy with low EQ. I found myself despairing at how I would find success in the world without his natural charisma.

Then my mom pointed out that Jannie Gildenhuys, who was my dad’s industry buddy – was a very different person. He was not the life of the party. He did not easily attract people in the same way. He was the more withdrawn, physically unimposing version of my dad. But…he was super smart. What he lacked in personal magnetism, he made up for with empathic approach to people, and a brain like a samurai sword.

Her council to look at other successes beyond my father was a life saver.

On to Stephen Covey, the author of international bestseller “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. I discovered Covey through my first year MBA. Suffice it to say, at exactly the right time, through the magic of reading a book in nature, I found another mentor in Covey.

And what he said to me was: Take ownership of your actions and emotions. Stop blaming. Start acting. Change the world according to what you want from it. The world exists only as you see it – change your view and you change the world.

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