Dick DeVos and his wife Betsy are a political power couple who have definitely made their mark on their hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. This highly intelligent couple knows exactly what solid leadership looks like and they certainly epitomize it. For them, effective leadership is exhibited with the following characteristics:
Leadership plans for the long haul and learns from the mistakes of others.
One of the most glaring examples of Dick DeVos fully exhibiting this principle would be in 1991 when a plan multi-purpose Sports and Convention Arena was planned in a Grand Rapids suburb. Dick DeVos and his wife were fully aware of what happened to destroyed when the Pistons and the lions went to Auburn Hills and Pontiac instead of staying in the Detroit downtown in the 1970s. Simply put, they knew they would have to do whatever possible to keep that same outcome from happening in Grand Rapids. DeVos immediately got on the phone and lobbied long and hard against where the planned construction was going to occur. To make a long story short, the arena was built in the downtown area instead of in the suburbs and Grand Rapids is on a much more solid footing because of Dick DeVos going to bat for them in 1991.
Leadership puts its money where its mouth is.
The DeVos Family Foundation has given away $138 million to such diverse causes as leadership programs, churches, Health and Human Service causes, arts and culture, and various policy initiatives that strongly support education reforms and labor laws. Dick and Betsy also gave away 12.5 million dollars as the leading donation to the construction of a 2006 children’s hospital that was named after Dick’s mother, Helen DeVos, wife of the Amway co-founder who was Dick’s father.
Leadership never gives up.
The DeVos family has definitely had their share of setbacks. For example, a constitutional amendment for vouchers for private schools in Michigan was rejected in 2000, and dick DeVos lost a costly race for governor against incumbent Jennifer granholm in 2006. However, they did not give up. Instead, they simply shifted their strategy to a Nationwide one. Instead of just fighting for vouchers for private schools and just the state of Michigan, they now fight throughout the country for them. This has actually led to Dick’s wife Betsy becoming president Trump’s education secretary. With the DeVos family at the helm, one thing is for certain: education will be vastly improved in this country.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/.