I had a front row seat to many of the hard decisions Chester Scott had to make at Compu Serve. And what I admired most about Chet as a leader was his courage to make the Hard Decision! We lived on the same block, we were cycling 4 to 5 days a week and sharing stories of family, business, our big dreams and clearly understanding the end of a long run for each of us, in our perspective businesses, was around the corner. I remember vividly, the story Chet is sharing today, the hard choice of right sizing one chaotic mess of a company, called World Com.
And I also understood that if this decision was not made by Ebers, (CEO), Chet would be leaving Compu Serve, a hard choice, I think he would say yes! Why, he built an incredibly High-Performance team, they never grew less 35% a year, over a 10-year period, with Chet leading Sales and Service. This team was competitive, tough, and they knew how to rigorously debate and fight for what they believed in, and then making the hard decision! A lot of this was playing out on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, Ebers was that Crazy Cowboy buying everything insight and from what we now know, a CEO who simply did not make enough hard decisions.
Not easy leaving behind men and women who you have grown to love, shared many great stories with, and now in your heart, you know it’s time……. time for you to move on! Chet made that hard choice, and we have the benefit of 3,500 plus blogs and a man living his OPUS and modeling every day what it means to live a CORE Centered Life! So that’s my take on that story and I’m sticking with it!
What a great month for me and the privilege of sharing with all of you a story or two, and my take on Chet’s pearls of wisdom. AND now you are in for a treat, let me introduce you to Jim Gant, a man who Lives Hard and Loves Harder! I love hanging out with this guy each Friday morning and hearing the stories he shares with our team.
Jim served as a Special Forces Major, and his life is the kind they right books about, and that is exactly what Ann Scott Tyson did, (a Pulitzer Prize nominee,) she wrote a book, American Spartan, detailing her experiences as a war correspondent and Jim’s service in Afghanistan. There is one page in the book that honestly sent chills up my back, the thought of Jim and Ann in this remote area of Afghanistan for a year, it reads as follows…….
“The remote outpost was situated on the edge of the village of Mangwel in Afghanistan’s Konar Province. Konar was considered by the U.S. military to contain a witches’ brew of hard-core foreign and local insurgents, and its valleys had proven some of the deadliest battlefields in Afghanistan. In a 2005 ambush, insurgents in Konar left only a lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, when they killed three members of a four-man Navy SEAL team and then shot down a quick reaction force helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG), sending sixteen more U.S. troopers to their deaths. It was one of the biggest American losses of the war. Intense fighting had led U.S. forces to abandon some Konar outposts in 2009 and 2010, including one named Restrepo.”
And in the middle of all that, Major Jim Gant, and a small team, set up camp for over a year. Battle tested, controversial, loving, kind, generous, filled with wisdom, Jim is Built to Lead in every sense of the word! Meet Jim Gant!