Thirteen Waves: A Reflection on Challenges, Failures, and Lessons Learned

Lee D. Beck

One. Lee D. Beck counted the first wave and waited for the second, knowing that he’d have a chance of surviving if he could hold his breath, maintain his composure, and count to six, the number of waves in a typical set. The leash of his surfboard, wedged in coral, was holding him captive underwater. If he freed himself before the waves broke, they would send him tumbling into the reef behind him. The waves kept coming. Lee kept counting.

Six. Seven…


It wasn’t the first time Lee found himself in a fight for survival, and it wouldn’t be the last. But not all of life’s challenges are extreme, and the lessons taught are just as valuable. In Thirteen Waves, Lee shares autobiographical stories that provide insightful guidance and timeless advice. It’s the curation of experience and wisdom from a single father for his three sons, designed to inspire thoughtful decision-making in a changing world. Whether you’re an executive struggling in your career, or a student learning to navigate life, you’ll benefit from this journey that offers you and your family time to reflect, opportunities to discuss, and courage to face any challenge with grace and determination.

Press & Praise

Steven B. Belkin, entrepreneur and founder of over 30 companies; former Owner and Governor, Atlanta Hawks

"An enjoyable, vulnerable life story with wise lessons and sound values. A valuable book and a gift for all parents, adults, and teenage children."

The Reverend Peter K. Stimpson

"Lee Beck has humbly and honestly shared his bumpy journey in life to find meaning and happiness, each personal story evolving into an insight intended to help his three sons, but so powerful that they will touch every reader. I am a priest, therapist, and author. Lee has captured more in a few pages than many scholars can in larger works. I urge you to open this book and give yourself an experience you will never forget."

Bruce H. Price, MD, Chief, Department of Neurology, McLean Hospital; Senior Clinical Neurologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

"I never expected to read this book in one sitting, but I did. I never expected that I'd want to hug the author, but I'd like to. Thirteen Waves is a rare and raw book full of courage, vulnerability, modesty, and compassion. There could be no better gift from a parent. All parents should consider writing such a book to their children. In the process, we're likely to discover who we are and why. And our children will be the better for it."

Lee D. Beck was a recruited college athlete who became an assistant professor and assistant coach before he transitioned into financial services. Lee held various executive roles at PIMCO, J.P. Morgan, and Blackrock, and has earned his BSE, MA, and MBA. A math and reading development volunteer for at-risk city school districts, Lee commits a portion of his earnings to charities focused on urban development. Lee enjoys searching for rural surf breaks to watch the ocean and enjoy the ride.

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