After I left St. Matthew’s Lutheran school, I headed off to the public high school in Oconomowoc, WI. Here I received a very typical conveyor belt schooling experience. Teachers cared very little, homework was pointless, and nobody wanted to be there…especially the teachers. I did have a couple of really good teachers in my 4 years of high school, but most were just there punching the clock. Overall my high school experience was pretty forgettable, except for the friends I met there.
I don’t remember ever really being challenged in high school, or having a teacher taking an interest in me and really pointing out areas where I was gifted. Overall high school was pretty easy for me, I could sleep through the classes, not do any homework, and still ace the quizzes and tests. That wasn’t because I was special, or even super smart, it was because that’s how easy and unchallenging conveyor belt schooling is.
After high school I got a job in construction. The biggest lesson this taught me is that I don’t want to spend my life working for someone else. So I started my first business when I was 22. I started a landscaping and lawnmowing business with one of my brothers. This business got off to a very slow start, but over the next 11 years I learned many lessons about business, life, finances, the importance of communication, and most of all the difference leadership makes. Mostly because my brothers and I lacked alot of the necessary leadership skills we needed to really succeed at a big level. The biggest lesson I learned from this experience is the devastating effect a leadership void has on any situation in life. When I left this business in 2009, my entire life was in shambles. I was reeling from a lifetime of not learning and developing my leadership skills, and myself personally.
Enter Orrin Woodward’s leadership team (then called TEAM). I was introduced to TEAM in 2007 and that’s when my education really began. I plugged into a self-directed education program that consisted of: monthly audio trainings, a book of the month program, and a monthly seminar. I totally immersed myself in this self-directed leadership education. It was like breathing oxygen into my soul. As I sit here tonight looking back over the last 7 years, I can safely say that I have listened to thousands of leadership and personal development audios, I have read hundreds of books, and I have attended nearly 100 seminars.
As a result of this last education model, my life has been richly blessed. On April 24, 2010 I married my wife Heidi. Before meeting the LIFE Leadership community in 2007, I had totally given up believing that I would ever get married. I was 31! On January 4, 2012 Andrew arrived. After Heidi, he truly is the greatest blessing God has ever given to me. I currently own 2 businesses and I am truly living my God-given purpose. None of this would have ever happened had I not been introduced to a self-directed leadership education 7 years ago.
If all you have known in your life is conveyor belt thinking, I strongly encourage you to investigate the power of a leadership education. Your life will never be the same.
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