Book Preface

By ,
Chris Anderson

“Chase after truth like hell and you’ll be free yourself, even though you never touch its coattails.” Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), American attorney

I define truth as “stating clearly and firmly what I believe to be real based on experience, while remaining forever vigilant and open to new information.”  This book represents my truth at the time of its writing; not THE truth, but MY truth.  Every person has their version of truth, which can only enlighten and reshape my truth, and I welcome any who choose to share their versions with me.

My book is a collection of stories about my maturation and, at times, painful growth within our large and complex family business.  It covers my first 47 years: growing up on our unique home property, my school years, and my 20-year bumpy rise and subsequent exit from the business.

I wrote this, first, to process my failures and successes, to celebrate and heal, and to extract insights for resetting the trajectory for the rest of my life.  I also wrote this for anyone searching for voice and fulfillment within the sticky and dynamic overlap between business and family.  My goal was to inspire readers seeking internal permission, courage, and resolve to discover their true selves and sculpt their own futures, regardless of position or circumstance.

My purpose is to present another way to invest in lifelong learning.  I’m referring to the ability to look back, reflect on our everyday experiences (sometimes seemingly insignificant at the time), and mine the lessons we’ve attracted to ourselves.

As I worked on the stories, I was struck by the kaleidoscope of reflections, emotions, and lessons that seemed to appear, disappear, and then reappear with new interpretations.  At times, reflections strayed into the realm of personal judgment – sometimes kind, sometimes harsh, often contradictory, but always enlightening.  At other times, I felt like I was on a roller coaster with all its turns, loops, and drops.  Eventually, though, I arrived at earned equilibrium – MY truth.

American psychologist Carl R. Rogers said, “What is most personal is most universal.”  I trust that my attempt to provide a window into my heart will invite readers to walk in my shoes, activate their own kaleidoscopes, and mine their own lessons.

I hope you enjoy it.

WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING

  • “Chris incorporates both hard and soft skills in his work with senior leaders.”

    — Don Mennell, Chairman, The Mennel Milling Company
  • “Chris set the trajectory for a nationally-recognized after-school program.”

    — Dave Wehrmeister, Executive Director, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo
  • “Chris was an honest and direct board member.  He encouraged the structural discipline we needed”

    — Mike Nicholson, Senior VP, WeCare Organics
  • “Chris simplifies and articulates complex problems and provokes unique remedies.”

    — Sam Gianino, Director, Waterford Bancorp
  • “I got clear on what it means to be a CEO.  I made tough decisions I wouldn’t have made.”

    — Don Feller, President, Feller Finch Engineers & Architects