How Did You Get Here?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week I wrote about Marshall Goldsmith and his amazing book, What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There, where Goldsmith dives into several false assumptions that successful people have. One of these assumptions is that we have succeeded through effort and determination. Now, don’t get me wrong, without hard work and determination, we can’t be successful, but there is always more involved, like people who helped us on the way. Without them, we may have never gotten to where we are today. Let’s take a look at some of the people who helped me.

My transition into a leadership position started at Volpi Manufacturing. Ueli Armbruster was our COO and saw something in a 27-year-old tool maker that he thought could help the business. I was building prototype fiberoptic devices when Ueli offered me a supervisory position. A year later, he offered me the Production Manager position. I didn’t have any managerial experience at all. I didn’t have a clue. The next thing I knew, Ueli connected me with Peter Rieder, the VP of Manufacturing in our home office outside of Zurich. Peter mentored me for several years and is still someone I love to connect with on Facebook. Where would I be today without Ueli believing in me and connecting me with my first manufacturing mentor? Oh, and one last thing. It was Ueli who introduced me to John Maxwell by giving me an autographed copy of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership more than 15 years after leaving Volpi. To this day, Ueli continues to encourage my growth and development.

My leap from the plant to senior leadership would never have happened without Dan Kuhns, the owner of Selflock Screw Products. Dan hired me as his Manufacturing Manager and allowed me to build an organization aligned with my values. We established systems and policies that rewarded exceptional effort and excellence. It was Dan who encouraged the Board of Directors to offer me the position of President based on what we had accomplished over a five-year period. It was at Selflock where I met and was mentored by Donald F. Dew, our board chair. It was Dan who encouraged me to learn more about The John Maxwell Team and the training they offered. Lastly, it was Dan who gave me his blessing to move on and pursue my calling, even though he would need to assume my role at Selflock.

Randy Wolken saw an opportunity for me at MACNY and continues to offer me support and encouragement. Marisa Norcross saw fear in my eyes when Randy asked me to start writing these weekly posts and offered to edit my writing. She supported me with The Next Page podcast for five years. Today, Kelly Hyland supports me by making sure my classes are scheduled and resourced with everything they need, while also managing strong relationships with our additional trainers and consultants. Marisa Norcross, Marissa Beck, and Deb Tilton work tirelessly to market my activities and are working to make my materials look more professional.

Finally, you, our members, attend my classes and allow me to live out my calling as your coach, mentor, and friend. Thank you to those who believed in me, helped me, and trust me to speak into your life and the lives of your staff. Did I work hard? Yes, but without all of you, I wouldn’t be where or who I am today.

God bless you all, as you have blessed me.