A Universal Success Lesson from Jim Wetrich

It was Sunday afternoon November 20, 2011.  I had just completed an hour-long workout at home on my recumbent bike.  As is true with most people, I was feeling relaxed and invigorated after a good workout.  Just as I was enjoying a refreshing glass of cool water, my cell phone rang.

My first thought was, “who might be calling me on a Sunday afternoon?”  When I picked up my phone and looked to see a name or number, I was surprised to see the name Jim Wetrich.  Even though he is a friend and business colleague, I thought “why would Jim Wetrich, President and General Manager of The Americas for Molnlycke Health Care be calling me on a Sunday afternoon?  I hope there is not some sort of emergency.”

“Hey Jim, how are you?”  (I am still thinking, “why is Jim Wetrich calling me on a Sunday afternoon?”)

“I’m doing fine Dan… just fine.  How are you?”  (I am still wondering why Jim is calling me on a Sunday afternoon.)

Following a brief moment of small talk, Jim gets down to business.  “Dan, I just wanted to call and wish you a happy birthday.”

Needless to say, I was surprised, amazed and impressed that this very busy senior executive, whose international responsibilities take him around the globe, was calling me the day before my birthday… on a Sunday afternoon mind you.

A personal phone call, like I received from Jim Wetrich, has become a rare act and event among colleagues, even among friends.  These days, automated reminders, all sorts of automated messages and thousands of electronic greetings of all sorts have significantly reduced the sincerity and authenticity of “remembering and recognizing someone” on a special occasion.  We all know that social media not only provides, but also promotes and encourages automated processes that allow greetings or a note to be sent within seconds – and then we are immediately on to something else, with virtually no personalization or time invested.  A few keystrokes and we check that reminder off our list.

So what is the point of this true story?  If you want more personal, professional and organizational success in your life, regardless of your profession or industry, follow the example of Jim Wetrich:

  1. Jim understands the importance of people – individual people
  2. Jim values people – unique, individual people
  3. Jim is sincerely interested in people
  4. Jim is a world-class, very sincere networker – his active contact list rivals the old Sears catalog
  5. Jim consistently goes out of his way and invests precious time to sincerely recognize people – individual people    

If you want more personal, professional and organizational success in your life, regardless of your profession or industry, follow the example of my friend Jim Wetrich.

True success is virtually 100% about people – other people – individual people!

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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