Dave Powels

Dave Powels

Describe what you do?

I lead an amazing organization of 6000 people, with the sole intention of making those people and the organization the best in the industry.

What moves you?

The desire to leave behind more than I take in this world.

How would you like to be remembered?

That I left more than I took.

Who or what is God?

I am a practicing Catholic. When I look around, I know that there is a greater force of good, a Creator. Our minds are limited in understanding this concept, so we rely on faith. God directs us to justice and fairness and love.

What happens when you die?

I don’t know but there has to be something. When I was younger, I remember being fearful of death, but now as I get older, I am more philosophical and circumspect on the inevitability of the end. I don’t spend much time contemplating it, as I guess I am too busy to worry about it. I cannot determine when or how I am going to die, so its just one of those things.

Describe your life in one word?

Two come to mind! Privileged and Colourful!

How would you spend your last 24 hours on this earth?

I would spend it with people who care about me and who have stuck by me.

What is your current state of mind?


How do you think people describe you?

Restless, impatient, energetic, aggressive, single-minded, and that I will stop at nothing to achieve what I want (whatever that might be).

Describe yourself?

My life and character are split into two. I have this hard, (fairly thin) veneer, which covers my softer side.

My professional characteristics are as people seem to describe: I am restless, ambitious, aggressive, hard, and impatient. I rely on the energy that comes from a tough working environment to spur my intellect and my decision-making ability. I actively stimulate robust debate and fuel divergent views in order to really enable me to understand situations and arrive at a workable solution. I am unafraid of conflict and if the need be, spur it on.

My non-professional characteristic? I am quite soft, emotional, principled, decisive and very reflective.

What do you still want to achieve?

I have worked for the past 2 decades on 3 continents for the most amazing Global Organization that has given me more chances and opportunities to develop and grow professionally and as a person than I could ever have wished for. I am not sure that I want more of anything I have already. I would like to give other people the chances that I have had and create those opportunities in both a working and personal environment. I think giving back becomes far more important than taking out and I have been one of the fortunate ones in life who is in a position to implement positive change.

What do you do with a spare 15 minutes a day?

I would phone my wife and three kids to connect (which I do anyway) as my professional life pulls me away from them a lot. I find it almost impossible to sit back and relax. I can’t even watch TV, as my mind wanders and I get bored.

Describe yourself at 80?

I won’t get there. I will consume myself long before 80. I know it.

What is the greatest lesson you have learnt, and who gave it to you?

My parents. They simply said: When things get tough, you never give up, you keep fighting on and you work harder to get through the difficulties.

And then when I turned 18, I received a card from a friend and it said: It’s not where you are in life that is important, it’s the direction in which you are moving.

I revert back to those principles whenever I am in a tough situation.

Define Success?

Happiness is more important than success. One doesn’t automatically lead to the other and I would rather be happy. Success tends to come at a price and sometimes that price is too high. I hope that I am imparting that to my three children.

Any regrets?

I work too hard and the hidden impact on me, physically and emotionally, has been significant.

What does money mean to you?

Through circumstances, hard work and a bit of luck, I have adequate financial resources. Money was an initial motivator but now seems to have lost its impact. Contributing and Recognition are more important now.

If you could ask God one question, what would that be?

How is it possible to achieve what I have achieved, with less conflict and in a way which is easier on the people around me?

What are you most afraid of?

Failure and I combat and manage that fear but working harder.

If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Greed. Personal greed is the root of all the evils in our world.

What advice would you give to a broken hearted 18-year old?

Life is full of ups and downs and you have to see beyond them. I go back to that birthday card – It’s not where you are, it’s the direction in which you are moving!

What is one surprising fact about you?

I have an incredibly soft side and am emotionally charged. The hardness I display is actually a thin veneer.

Last question. What happened to your eye?

I was born like that!

Sandy Coffey ~ Photographic Commissions

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