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Dr. John Witzig

A Tribute to My Dad, Dr. John Witzig
by Jeanne Witzig (Daughter)

What makes an individual a great leader? Followed by the question, what made my dad such a great leader? Over the past several months, since my dad’s death, I have contemplated these two questions in effort to better understand what made my dad so exceptional, why he had such a presence, and why he inspired so many, including myself.

To understand and embrace my dad’s genuine gifts, I first developed a list of core values that I felt reflected my dad in every way ---- in essence, characteristics of a leader --- in all aspects of life, including family, work, friends and faith. I would like to share these with you.

  1. Honesty and Integrity – My dad absolutely took responsibility for his actions --- ALWAYS.
  2. Spirit – My dad had an immense internal strength, ability and desire to take on challenges.
  3. Courage – My dad stood behind his beliefs and teachings with action and risk taking. He was never complacent about his beliefs. Just the opposite.
  4. Work Ethic – My dad had an uncanny ability to focus on the task at hand. He embraced work with integrity and dedication.
  5. Respect – My dad interacted with people in such a way that they felt special, important and empowered to succeed. My friends would often comment that whenever they spoke with my dad --- at a dinner or a party –that they always felt as though they were the center of universe. He had an exceptional gift at making people feel special.
  6. Presence – Through my dad’s sheer presence, he inspired confidence and trust. We inherently wanted to please him.
  7. Visionary – My dad was never satisfied with the norm – quite the contrary. He held to the promise of giving life to his vision.
  8. Standard of Excellence – What more can I say than he absolutely set the mark for us all.

After considering the leadership qualities my dad so reflected and embraced, I came to the conclusion that was simple, not complex, as my dad was really quite simple. He was able to “package up” these leadership qualities into simple, pure and strong messages and actions that he always delivered with great conviction. He delivered messages that people could believe in and feel good about. My dad taught and led through these simple, yet strong messages. This very essence of his being served as a magnet for people around him.

Through his style, beliefs and sheer presence, we felt empowered, successful, happy, energized, faithful and above all sincerely and genuinely loved.

My dad first and foremost believed in himself and his messages. Through his strong beliefs he was able to get others to believe in their abilities and strengths. He really had an exceptional gift.

So, what does the future hold for my dad’s vision – the vision and messages he developed and shared with each of you?

First, his vision and teachings will live on through the books he co-authored with Dr. Terry Spahl. What a great living legacy these books are for us all. Additionally, part of my dad’s vision continues on through the IAO’s Tier Advancement System and through the dedication and hard work of Dr. Derek Mahony and Dr. Steve Galella. Many of the leadership qualities I talked about with my dad live on through both of these individuals. Over the past several months, Dr. Galella has made countless personal sacrifices to continue the forward momentum of my dad’s teachings. My dad’s teachings were strong and concrete --- and his vision powerful in its own way. I know my dad is amazed and humbled by the commitment shown by Dr. Galella and others to continue on with his teachings and embrace the leadership qualities and sacrifices such a high level of commitment requires. I know that my dad is sending his blessings in celebration of all your accomplishments here today.

A leader really never dies; they just blossom through others. I therefore, sincerely believe that my dad’s vision, teachings, sincere passion for helping others learn and help their patients will carry on through the great leaders my dad surrounded himself with during his life.

It is a great honor for me, on behalf of my family to again everyone here today for your love, prayers, support and passion to carry on the vision of my dad.

God Bless.