On Saturday a good friend and work colleague passed away after a tremendous fight with cancer, Jeff Wolfers. When I think of Jeff, the words “have courage” come to mind. Jeff did not fear; he was not afraid of a fight, or afraid of failure. His analysis of a situation focused on strengths and opportunities.
He trusted me and empowered me with a key role in turning around a failed project that I said could be saved if done a different way. One of the great phrases he gave me as we started that work together was when he described what he expected from our project leadership, which included Dave Willis and Rick Roth. “No daylight between us. Anyone looking at the four of us cannot see any daylight—any point upon which we disagree. There can be no daylight between us.”
Be strong, and of good courage. Yep, that was Jeff, in my experience.
Two years ago in December, after he had been fighting cancer for 4 months I was able to visit him and spend a few hours together. As we stood on the sidewalk outside his home, I wanted to encourage him. I said it seemed to me that a mutual friend of ours, Doug Kunkel, who helped with the project but had passed away from cancer some years before was standing there with us. Feeling Doug wanted me to encourage Jeff in his battle, I told Jeff that Doug was there and was strengthening Jeff. Jeff thanked me for that. I was surprised later that night to learn it was the 4th anniversary of Doug’s passing to the day—reinforcing the sense of the truth of my feelings.
I believe Jeff has caught up with Doug, and others who are interested in what we are doing, and how we are doing it. I believe his ability to encourage and strengthen us has not diminished, but has actually increased if we listen closely, because of his increased capacities to travel and his lessened concerns for his temporal affairs.
In honor of his memory, this week I am re-releasing our conversation. There are pearls here that help us in our projects, in our families, and in our lives.
Rest in Peace friend. All the best.