A Weekend to Remember…

Hello Heritage Forum friends …Whether we got to hang out a lot or a little, you’re one of the guys I was grateful to have had at least a conversation with, or I remember a good part of your story. Here is a brief letter I send on Mondays, mainly for followers of Christ to have an inspiration for the week that they can send on to others who may not yet be “all in” with the Lord. I included HF with Duane’s permission:

Good afternoon leaders, clients, donors, and friends,

Most of you know that in these Monday Moments letters, I enjoy sharing tidbits of recent trainings, consults, or speaking engagements of the Howe Team or the Insignia Foundation, or commentary on current events, all at the intersection of what we call the F-bombs of life: Faith, Family, Friends, Finance, Function (Work), Fitness, handling Failure, and planning for the Future.

Today, though, I want to share about an intimate event where I wasn’t the leader, the speaker, the emcee, or the facilitator. I was pretty much just a Happy Camper, benefitting from the life work and wise counsel of others. The “Heritage Forum” is an invitation-only event, the brainchild of Duane Donner, a Mergers & Acquisitions advisor and entrepreneur, and the leadership team he has gathered. It has a mission to lead leaders and high net worth individuals toward a “purposeful life of significance while working toward building a lasting legacy.” It is “designed to prompt the exploration, development and creation of their personal Heritage Vision.”

The Heritage Forum was as strong an event as I can remember attending, because at its core, it was presented as a gift by leaders, to leaders, sharing about their success and how the Lord has prompted them to be stewards of it. It also featured a small group component where guys formed each other’s Roundtable – or Personal Board of Advisors – for 3 days. I’d guess you’d understand when I say “There was wisdom in the abundance of counselors.” I think the first guy who wrote about this did so about 3,000 or so years ago; here’s what he did and said:

Imagine being the richest person on the earth. And the smartest. And its greatest connoisseur. And the World’s Greatest Ladies’ Man (or, ehm, Mens’ Lady?…that doesn’t sound right?!) Yes, King Solomon had it all: Wealth, Wisdom, Wine, and Women. (If there was a lady equivalent, I’d say she had “Bucks, Brains, Booze, and Boys.”)

Yes, about 1,000 years before Jesus came, Solomon had it all…or at least more than anyone else. He ruled the empire as King. He had accumulated more wealth than most countries of the time. Kings, Queens, and Princes came from around the known world for his counsel. He had the finest wine collection anyone knew of. He had over 300 wives (I’m not really sure how that worked…) …And what was one of the secrets of his success?

He wrote what became a Bible verse, Proverbs 11:14, and I’ll give you several translations:

“The more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances. Where no counsel is, the people fall.”

“There is safety in having many advisers. Without good direction, people lose their way.”

“Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Long ago, I joined the best practice of “Lifelong Learning” at a young age, not as a character trait but as a survival skill, being a kid from a divorced family on food stamps. Perhaps much of how you’ve gotten to where you’ve gotten to has come through learning along the way from family, coaches, trainers, senior family, or other mentors. Maybe you’re the type that reads quite a bit, or prowls YouTube looking for nectar, or takes several helpful podcasts.

The danger in simply reading or watching or listening is that the only interaction is between ourselves and our own brain. Or our journal page. Or our hiking trail. Or our tool set. True interaction with wise counselors who can combine what they know of life with what they know of us is incredibly and impressively valuable. Are you still seeking such counsel in this season of life? Are you inviting people in? Are you sharing transparently? If so, you’re likely winning in the long haul. If not, you’re likely settling for momentary justification or semi-inspiration that possibly won’t last.

Paul wrote to the young Galatian church that they were to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Well, we can’t ask others to bear our burdens if we do not share them. I know that, as leaders, most of us don’t want to be whiners, complainers, or victims. But it is not Victimitus if we share and process our ambitions, or hopes, or needs, or semi-confusions with well-chosen counselors who can ask us good questions and share wise counsel. None of us were meant to try this alone. And if we’re a leader – like most of you who are reading this – the stakes are high because they involve the lives of others.

I’m grateful to the Heritage Forum team – and the hospitable staff at Alabama’s Purcell Farms – for an experience that not only blessed me, but will eventually bless my family, friends, and all of the clients and friends of our business and our foundation. And, of course, if you’re lookin’ to plug in more deeply, and to have others plug into you, I hope you’ll consider joining in on Thoughts on the Rocks or one of our other groups. And we still have two spots left for Montana’s fly-fishing trip this summer.

And, if you’ve got that wise counselor (or two, or a few) in your life, I hope you’re engaging with ‘em. And I hope you’re thanking them as well. It’s all part of our continued journey to become better versions of ourselves.

Sorry I went a bit long today. I’m excited. Make it a great week, -D

man with fish

TWO SPOTS left for MONTANA FLY-FISHING trips. Reach out to [email protected] for June 25-30, or [email protected] for July 23-28.

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