My next contributor graduated from the Naval Academy, earned an MBA from Harvard, served his country for 24 years and now overseas millions of dollars of construction as the Director of Design and Construction at Old Dominion University. While those are, indeed, worthy accomplishments, for many of us it is the role he plays as an Obi-Wan Kenobi of our community that we admire the most. Dale Feltes is a mensch. When there is a challenge or decision that needs to be made, the question that is asked is, “What would Dale do?” He is the epitome of calm, level-headed decision making, a skilled listener, kind in his correction, possesses incredible discipline with his words, and can run a meeting like nobody’s business. He is a role model to many and it is my great privilege and honor to share this advice from Dale Feltes.
My mom gave me the most important piece of advice I’ve ever gotten, and no, it wasn’t about always wearing clean underwear. When I entered my teens and started trying to figure out how to handle difficult decisions and make good choices, she told me to always trust my judgment and never take counsel of my fears. I came to understand that she meant to examine options/decisions objectively but then also search my own heart to understand what deep-down I thought I should do, never letting fear of failure, ridicule, etc. overturn that judgment. I’ve come to rue the few times I’ve ignored her advice and always take it into account whenever I have to make important decisions.