Be with…

In between practices this morning I went on a short walk. Twenty minutes in, my new phone rang. It was Grumdelagrum (an old colleague from CompuServe) calling for a weather report. You see, back in the day, I would begin many of my notes to the field with a Columbus weather report. Grum found this funny, as did many others.

It is funny, isn’t it, what sticks with us.

Grum and I began working together, he reminded me today, over thirty two years ago. We’ve not worked together for nearly twenty. Yet, we still talk. This is the power of being with, friend.

We ended our walk and talk today after nearly fifty minutes. I mostly listened. FM, baby. He told me one of his favorite memories of our work together. We were meeting in my office. He was not a direct report of mine but he was one of our highest performers. Whenever he was in town, I had time for him. So, he recalled one of our meetings that had started around 3pm and was set to go an hour. I had a 4:00 interview, Sandi reminded me as she shut the door to my office and left Grumdelagrum and me to our meeting. So, we talked Grum recounted. Awhile later the door swung open and Sandi was smiling. She informed us it was now 5:30 and she was heading home for the day. I didn’t wear a watch and was shocked it had been 2.5 hours. Sandi told me my 4pm interview had left as well. We all laughed as Sandi had seen this drill before. I’m sure she handled the outsider quite adeptly, she always did…

Grum said my response that day was what seared him. I told him I was glad we had so much time together – it was very valuable. And then I told him we’ll find out how much the interviewee wants the job, huh. If he wants it, he’ll be back. Grum knew being with him mattered more. He felt like one of my damn few because he was. Funny, he still is. I’m beginning to realize God has blessed me quite a few…

Cheat toward your damn few, friend. Maybe, just maybe, thirty two years later they’ll be carrying you. Thanks for the call today, Grumdelagrum, it was just what I needed. There’s the silhouette on the cover of BBTL that we spoke of today. Together we transform. Always together.

Live hard. Love harder…

2 thoughts on “Be with…

  1. The weather in Columbus today is cloudy I’m told, but the day I interviewed with Chet is still quite clear.
    At the time I was interviewing, my first choice was a company based in Chicago with floor to ceiling glass windows. Magnificent views and plush furnishings. I wasn’t thinking Henderson Road and Columbus, OH. Its easy to get fooled by appearances. Those 2.5 hours changed the course of my career as I joined Chet and his team. But for the “Grace of God”, I picked the right path. The other company shuttered 6 months later. Once again, I’m reminded of how the ‘insides” matter.

    PS: Chet had a couch in his office, it wasn’t plush, but it was filled with opportunity.


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