Once, when Kelli and I had not been dating too long, I remember deciding to hire a person at my used bookstore. When I told Kelli about my choice, she said "Hmm, I'm not sure about that". After hearing her point of view, I decided I knew what I was doing. I had hired dozens of people and what did she,10 years my junior know about this anyway? When I said I was going ahead with my decision, she simply said "you'll see". Well, from the beginning, this person caused me nothing but trouble. From that day forward, if Kelli ever said "you'll see", I stopped in my tracks and reevaluated.
Kelli was a reluctant leader. She did not relish the spotlight. She loved working in the background. In fact, one frequent comment from her wedding photography clients was "How did you get that shot? I didn't even know you were in the room!" Kelli did not need to be the smartest person in the room. The funny thing is, she usually was and we all knew it! Whenever a family member or close friend was trying to decide something large or small, the question would inevitably come up "What does Kelli think?" On the big things, we all felt much better if we had Kelli's input before making the final decision.
The great thing about Kelli's leadership is that she did not force her opinions on anyone. Her wisdom was such that all of us would seek out her advice on our own. Getting the "Kelli" stamp of approval was like gold. From time to time, when her advice was not followed and things went bad, she would never say "I told you!". She just helped you pick up the broken pieces and start again.