"Leadership at its best, demands the precision of a skilled surgeon, the feel of an orchestra leader, and the heart and will of a fighter. At its worst, it is a personification of arrogance, ego and stubbornness – one encourages, the other neglects, the human element of business." - Bill Wooditch
It’s a long way from the farms and factories of Western Pennsylvania. I was raised in a small town of 3,600 people. I was a rebel without a clue, choosing to work in a factory instead of pursuing a path of higher learning. I remember the frigid winters that were referred to by visitors as Siberia and to the locals as normal. Working in a factory and realizing that the current limitations were going to become my future reality, I began to intensely think of the means and method of escape. I gained strength from the abject conditions – I developed a strength of will and made myself an internal promise, one that I would soon realize from opportunity.
My parents offered the opportunity to go to college, and from that first step, I never looked back – I moved “Always Forward!” When I started in business, fresh out of graduate school, full of theory, but deficit in practice, I had two things to my name—a tremendous self-belief and an insatiable need to validate my self-worth through achievement. My promise became a commitment, and the commitment has become a life-long calling.
From the time of my youth, I was indelibly marked by a television series, “Have Gun Will Travel”. The protagonist of the series was a man called Paladin. Paladin was a man dressed in black, a gunfighter who championed causes of people in distress. He had a noble obligation to right the wrongs for people who could not fend for themselves or needed the support of this knight in a savage land without armor. My purpose, when I started in the business, was to change the nature of engagement in the industry. I took on the persona, figuratively, of a knight championing the cause of good.
There is something inside me that compels me to do what I love, and I am following my heart by living my purpose.Book Bill Wooditch