Watering Rocks

“In business and in life, people often use terms like natural born leader and born to lead when describing individuals who seem completely at ease in a leadership role.  Those of us who are considered leaders in our chosen fields will tell you that leadership is a learned skill and that natural born leaders are few and far between.

Dave Maurer is one of the chosen few who is truly a natural born leader.  He has spent his entire adult life in leadership roles, first while serving in the military and later as an executive in the private sector.  Dave is the type of person who identifies and faces problems head on, and is willing to make the decisions necessary to solve those problems quickly and effectively.  He is not the type of leader who simply barks orders at those who work for him; rather he is a team player who works to engage all staff members in finding the correct solution to a challenge.  In addition, Dave can be described as someone who is easy going and approachable while still commanding the respect of his supervisors, peers and subordinates.

In Watering Rocks, How to Fail and Succeed as a Leader, Dave shares his experiences and lessons learned throughout his life and various leadership roles.  While many books on leadership are dry or (even worse) self-serving commercials for the author, Dave’s book actually provides you with information you can use to hone your leadership skills.  As a bonus, the book is an easy read filled with humor and personal anecdotes that reinforce the points set forth by the author.  In simple terms, this is a really good book!

I have known Dave for almost fifty years and consider him my closest friend.  Also, and Dave may not realize this, I have looked to him as a mentor; helping me to learn the steps of being an effective leader as my professional responsibilities grew.  There have been countless telephone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings over the years when I have picked Dave’s brain while working through a problem I was facing at work.  I am happy to say that Dave has never let me down, although if he had finished this book twenty years ago as originally planned, my own career would have been easier to navigate!”

– Joel R. McKeever
Head, ESL Underwriting North America
Westport Insurance Corporation



“I just finished your book… and I LOVED it!! What fun…and a great reminder of the basic tenets of leadership…

Watering Rocks proves that leadership is very much alive…and can be FUN (even when it’s most challenging). This quick read is the most clever, insightful, in depth dive into the application of leadership principles that I have ever read.  Written for today’s leaders but will engage, encourage and prepare the leaders of the future.  Read this book and find out if you are a cow or a buffalo!”

– Ronne Froman
Rear Admiral, USN (Retired)
Senior Vice President of General Atomics
Former Chief Operating Officer for the city of San Diego, California



“Dave Maurer’s Watering Rocks is an extraordinary learning experience – an “operational” manual that translates leadership concepts into practice. Highly successful leaders who read this book will nod their heads in affirmation as they read the critical do’s, don’ts, practices and learnings they have experienced on their own highly successful leadership journey, and then pause for a moment of quiet reflection. Those beginning their journey will find the precious tools and practices that will differentiate them – self-knowledge, passion, emotional intelligence, purpose and caring for people – and accelerate their growth and development as highly effective leaders. Watering Rocks is a story of great leaders’ personal ownership of their life. The powerful statement, “I am who I am because of my choices.” provide the stage for what great leaders need to be and do in achieving their life’s purpose. Watering Rocks is an awesome must-read for the great leaders who are committed to being more than they ever dreamed they could be… and more… so much more.”

– Michael M. Reuter
Director, The Gerald P. Buccino ’63 Center for Leadership Development, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University



“Dave Maurer draws on his considerable experience and wide variety of interests to pass along a host of leadership wisdom using interesting, easy-to-remember analogies and stories.  Designed to be read in “bite-size” chunks, it is a great book to keep on one’s desk and pull out when you’re in need of some everyday leadership inspiration.  Dave’s breezy, but effective, writing style is like chatting with an old friend and mentor.  I can’t imagine anyone that wouldn’t be able to glean some valuable insights from this book!”

– Dr. Barbara J. Hoopes
Professor, Dept. of Business Information Technology
Pamplin College of Business
Virginia Tech