Come on in, no one ever comes here”

This from a for­mer client of Lee’s:

A fel­low pilot and friend Robert Gan­non just fin­ished a 10-year explo­ration of the world in his Cess­na 182, cross­ing major oceans. What he says is true:
“The one thing I have observed [about fly­ing a pri­vate air­plane around the world twice over a 10 year peri­od] is that if you will keep step­ping for­ward and keep mov­ing toward what you wish to do, you’ll get up to that door that every­one said you could­n’t get through. You knock and it will be open and some­one will say ‘Come on in, no one ever comes here.’
‑Bob Gan­non


Commonalities Among Good Operators


sense of humor/levity

show gen­eros­i­ty

con­scious of diction/vocabulary

Jus­ti­fi­able self con­fi­dence and belief in self

read for pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment

Joy in their work

care for oth­ers

Respect for blue col­lar work and crafts­men

Atten­tion to detail


Self aware­ness of ability/capability

Under­stands the place of phys­i­cal­i­ty

Will­ing­ness to face facts

List mak­ers

Writ­ten goals

Talk­ing to your­self

Lack of patience when it comes to self improve­ment

Tak­ing the job seri­ous­ly

Desire/excitement to learn new things

Will­ing­ness to eat new ideas

Will­ing to put in time to increase com­pe­tence

A tribal approach

****, you knew this was com­ing.  🙂

Anoth­er idea that just would­n’t let me sleep through the cre­ativ­i­ty of the morn­ing hours.  Between 3 and 5 am I give all cred­it for my work to unknown mus­es.  Jesus I’m lucky!

In short: A course for the sons of the ultra-rich teach­ing them the mean­ing of being a good man through the exam­ple of a group of mature and expe­ri­enced men (the 3 of us plus who­ev­er.)  $300k/6 weeks a year split into at least 3 peri­ods, plus travel/expenses.  Each boy/young man trav­els with our group which con­sists of a con­sis­tent core sup­ple­ment­ed by the many good men and women we know.    The parents/guardians or our group can set the itin­er­ary, once the train leaves the sta­tion we run the show.  Camp­fires in the moun­tains are as appro­pri­ate and nec­es­sary as fly­ing the G5 into Bhutan to meet the roy­al fam­i­ly.  Expo­sure to good authors, good whiskey and a big rain­bow on a 4 weight are all desir­able yet only start­ing points.  Projects to con­sid­er involve as much man­u­al labor and mis­takes as they do per­fec­tion and man­age­ment of priv­i­lege.  The end goal is to induce our clients to become good men with­in their sphere of influ­ence.  While the $300k (or more) cov­ers one year, we should expect to act as life­long men­tors to every client and their par­ents.

A trib­al approach

It takes a vil­lage to raise a child, yet it takes some­thing more to raise a good man.  From time immemo­r­i­al mature groups of expe­ri­enced men have ush­ered boys into man­hood lead­ing by dis­ci­plined exam­ple.  Wide­ly prac­ticed yet rarely cap­tured in writ­ing, these teach­ings have resur­faced through the mil­lenia.

Today we know it as coop­er­a­tive learn­ing, yet it has many names; the Greeks devel­oped the Socrat­ic method, Native Amer­i­cans called it coy­ote teach­ing and it has revealed itself in the styles of mod­ern mas­ters Bruce Lee and Lama Ole Nydahl.  Across time and cul­tures the fun­da­men­tals of shap­ing a good man have remained the same; tell me, show me, watch me.

The qual­i­ties required to bring up a young man vary wide­ly and include much beyond the dis­course and influ­ence of one human, hence we pro­vide group and indi­vid­ual exam­ples.

In every cul­ture there has exist­ed a small and ded­i­cat­ed group of teach­ers who have con­se­crat­ed their lives to rais­ing way­ward boys of poten­tial to men of pow­er and influ­ence for good.

Using mul­ti­ple expe­ri­ences alter­nat­ing between dif­fuse exam­ple and intense learn­ing our group pro­vides a col­lec­tive mod­el for priv­i­leged young men to emu­late.  As the young ele­phant knows not his own capa­bil­i­ty and so is capa­ble of doing much harm with­out inten­tion, end­ing up hunt­ed and dri­ven, so too may a young man with the many bless­ings of pow­er and wealth be led astray from doing good in the world.  Our pur­pose is to show each young man his pow­er and abil­i­ty for good through a liv­ing exam­ple of excel­lence in mind, body, and spir­it.

Made up of mature men from all walks of life, our group embod­ies the fun­da­men­tals of hon­or, integri­ty, and excel­lence.  Each man brings a breadth and depth of expe­ri­ence in dis­ci­pline that is con­stant­ly demon­strat­ed in every action.  The require­ments to teach our method include the life­long test of per­for­mance and are var­ied across dis­ci­plines; our expe­ri­ence range from wilder­ness fire man­age­ment to degrees in astron­o­my and med­i­cine, from mil­i­tary spe­cial oper­a­tions to non-prof­it work. Through all this we pro­vide a lev­el and qual­i­ty of teach­ing and exam­ple unmatched in today’s edu­ca­tion­al are­na.

The pow­er of such a group should not be under­es­ti­mat­ed, a lone swim­mer feels not the speed of a wide  riv­er yet the banks pass swift­ly by.

Unde­vel­oped Ideas:
‑All of us have made mis­takes and believe/know those mis­takes are as impor­tant in the learn­ing process as the ded­i­ca­tion to excel­lence

A core plus the usu­al (and long) list of sus­pects act­ing as guest stars with var­i­ous lengths of expo­sure: **** etc.  Your best men, I’m not wor­ried about find­ing good dudes.  With 2 weeks at a pop to shape the young gun we’re prob­a­bly lim­it­ed to 5 or 6 men­tors at a time…

Ini­tial assess­ment: $10,000 over 3 days
$300,000/6 weeks spread out over a year, 10–14 days at a time

What this ain’t:
‑We’re not out to show rich peo­ple poor peo­ple.  We under­stand that the chil­dren of the world’s wealthy do not have to ever expe­ri­ence lack, and we wish to teach them to live in their world with.…arete.  If we come across lack or it makes sense to intro­duce a young man to the rig­ors of pover­ty we exe­cute that mis­sion with­out mer­cy and every inten­tion of good, but we ain’t doing non-prof­it work.

Guid­ing Quotes & Thinkers (Feel free to add your own in here and send it back):

There is noth­ing good or bad yet think­ing makes it so ‑Epicte­tus

Man, know thy­self.  ‑Ora­cle at Del­phi

What is your pro­fes­sion?  Being a good man.  ‑Mar­cus Aure­lius, Med­i­ta­tions

Nev­er doubt that a small group of thought­ful com­mit­ted cit­i­zens can change the world.  ‑Eleanor Roo­sevelt