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Discover lessons that unlock the secrets of a truly independent life.

In “Lessons,” fictional character Ken Wilson sees pieces of his life crumble around him, beginning with his job and infecting his family. A mid-level executive caught in the machinations of corporate maneuverings, he stares at the blank wall of failure, uncertain where to turn. Using Wilson as a composite of several real people, Dick Buxton weaves a story that brings the disillusioned executive face-to-face with leaders who give him a pathway to a more purpose-filled life. With the true-to-life philosophies and guiding principles of these renowned achievers, he learns what it means to be independent and one day to mentor others.

Author's Note: How do people evolve into leaders? At what point do they come to a fork in the road that forces them into a decision—lead or follow? What defining events transition them from dependence upon others to self-reliance—both in their attitudes and activities? I interviewed eleven of my friends—eminently successful men—to help answer these questions. These “Wise Men” are leaders and mentors who have passed their experience and knowledge to the generations who follow and who pass on this valuable wisdom to countless others.

I created the fictional lost soul in Ken Wilson because his trauma is very much like that currently being felt by hundreds of thousands of executives who find they are expendable—unneeded and unwanted during mergers, downsizing and any number of other destabilizing influences. (The tragic 2008 meltdown magnifies the issues and the themes that play out in this novel.) Although Wilson’s life is fiction, it's based on factual situations involving people I’ve known. I blended a number of actual life experiences into a story that illustrates how a person, with help from a mentor, can come to grips with reality and refocus his or her life. In most cases, people respond best to their own conclusions to resolve their own critical issues. Hopefully, this book will help those currently in the middle of Defining Events to make critical decisions that will improve the quality of their lives.

Dickson C. Buxton

What Others Say About This Book

I was captivated by the story. Lessons is fascinating reading. Dick’s ability to interweave real life experiences with fiction made the story come to life. Anyone interested in achieving career independence and enjoying life more abundantly should read this book.

Boyd Baugh, Founder and Chairman, Pivot Interiors

What a gripping tale. You got right into it. I told my neighbor John Grisham that he better watch out. The story really does grab you right away and the novel approach really does work.

Ron Gilbert, President, ESOP Services and Co-Author, Employee Stock Ownership Plans

I found Secrets to be applicable to every outstanding corporate and military leader that I have known.

Fred C. Weyand, US Army (Ret), former Chief of Staff of the Army