National Boss Day
I have had some amazing bosses in my life and this one goes right to them. Thank you! Thank you for mentoring me and helping me to grow both in my personal and professional life. Thank you for pushing me to get better, do better, learn more. Thank you for setting higher standards each time and having faith that I will live up to that.
Here are my specific heroes for this occasion:
Gilbert Lee – taught me to appreciate Korean cuisine and see past cultural differences in the way people treat & affect each other.
Karl Munshi – always everything had to be delivered yesterday. You have taught me to stay on my toes and think on my feet. You also taught me to put my emotions aside and think logically. Forever a friend and a well-wisher, it is amazing how well our bond has lasted through the last decade and more.
Shamim ul Huq – taught me how to be a better person and the how-to of “team leadership”. Always respected, your lessons in integrity and thoughtfulness are timeless.
Tim Parkin – you have taught me to bite off more than I can chew and then learn fast how to fill in big shoes. Thank you for teaching me that “the ball stops here”, in invaluable lesson on taking responsibility.
Stefan Priefelt – how to cut through the crap and get to the heart of the matter as fast as possible.
If you want to read more on how your boss influences your life… read on below:
MountainWings A MountainWings Moment
#1253 Wings Over The Mountains of Life
Today is National Boss Day – Whoopie!!!
We were discussing life-changing statements.
You know, the type of statement that hits home so hard that it
changes your thinking, forever steering you on a different path.
Some movies have that quality, some sermons, some people, some
moments, and even some MountainWings. They literally drill
their way into your spirit. You enter one person and exit
another, forever influenced and changed by the encounter.
My mother and I were having dinner with a lawyer.
It was not business but a friendly dinner with the lawyer, his
wife, and two of their children.
He told a personal story about a life-changing statement and its
effect that I feel will change the life course of at least one
person that reads MountainWings.
This lawyer is the kind of man about whom I would say,
“I want my son to turn out like him.”
He is the kind of man that if I were forced to choose another
father I would say, “I would like a father like this man.”
I have a great respect for this lawyer. He is the reason that I
have never used a lawyer joke on MountainWings though lawyer
jokes seem to be the most common kind on the net. His character
is one of the best that I have seen among men, and each time I
read a lawyer joke, I could never imagine him as that lawyer.
As I heard Attorney Bill Merritt speak, I knew that at least one
MountainWings reader would be affected by what he said,
possibly for life.
Maybe it’s you.
Attorney Merritt began to tell the tale:
I had a professor in business school that, like a marine drill
sergeant, constantly drilled one thing into us. I didn’t think
it was that significant at the time but the drilling was so
constant that when I graduated I automatically followed his
advice (or drilling, whichever you want to call it).
It’s amazing what repetition will do.
We were all eager students, ready to conquer the world,
ambitious, motivated, smart, loaded with dreams, and impatient
to make our mark in the world.
The instructor’s constant repetition was, “When you leave this
school and look for a job, don’t choose your job based on the
salary. Don’t choose your job based on the city. Don’t choose
your job based on the benefits or the prestige of the company.
Choose your first job on one criterion and one criterion only.
Choose it based on the character of your boss.”
I thought that was a strange thing.
Not only strange but also difficult to determine.
I trusted my instructor and his voice wouldn’t leave my head,
so his advice ultimately guided my job search.
I ended up out in the middle of nowhere working for a diesel
engine manufacturing company in the Midwest, Cummins Engine.
My boss was the CEO, Henry Schacht.
I didn’t realize it until years after I started my own law firm
that how I handled my business was exactly the way Schacht
I related to my secretary, to the other partners, to the
paralegals, even to the clean-up crew, in the exact way that
Henry Schacht did. We called his quotes and ways, Shockisms.
I remember most vividly a meeting held by Schacht.
The CEO’s of some major Fortune 500 companies were there.
Most had flown in on private jets.
You’ve read about those types of jets. Multi-million dollar
chariots with private bathrooms, couches, bars, large screen
TV’s, stereos, bedrooms, telephones, gourmet meals, you name it
and they have it.
Most have never seen the inside of such luxury jets much less
flown in them. These were the air cars these men flew in on.
There were eight or nine of some of the most powerful men in
America around that table. Henry Schacht sat at the head.
I was awed and somewhat humbled being in the presence of such
power, success, and wealth. These companies were blue chip all
the way and here I was in the midst of them.
In the middle of the meeting, Schacht suddenly looked at his
watch and said, “it’s 4 o’clock, it’s time for my son’s soccer
game,” and he got up, excused himself, and left.
I saw the jaws drop of every CEO at that table.
I could hear them thinking-
“The nerve of this man to leave such an important meeting
because his son has a soccer game. Doesn’t he realize how many
thousands of dollars per hour it costs just for my plane to fly
me here? Doesn’t he know how much my time is worth? All for a
Henry Schacht never missed a game that his son played.
Henry Schacht had his priorities in order.
I now understand the wisdom of my instructor. What seemed so
silly at the time, as I look back at it, makes so much sense.
My first boss influenced me to a degree that I would have never
thought possible. I act so much like him, that I now see why
the instructor insisted that we choose our first full-time job
based on the character of the boss.
That was Attorney Bill Merritt’s story.
We were at his house because he wanted his children to meet my
mother. My mother wanted his children to meet me. The point is
we were there because Attorney Merritt wanted his children to
meet someone that he felt would add positive influence in their
His children are doing great. Of the two present at the dinner,
one had just graduated from Princeton and the other is a
sophomore at Princeton, majoring in aerospace engineering.
Both had a peace and maturity of spirit that far exceeded youth
of their age and most older adults.
Do you know what it felt like?
It felt like the children of a father that hadn’t missed any
soccer games, no matter what the cost.
The first boss’s influence went beyond the boardroom.
For the student or person that has yet to enter their first
career full-time job, this MountainWings may be for you.
It’s not something that you are generally taught, especially
with the tight job market.
Maybe you don’t need to think of leaving school and getting the
first job that you can.
Maybe you need to think of school as making you really ready to
learn and be shaped, like soft putty.
Maybe your first boss is the main sculpturer.
Be careful whom you allow to shape you.
Henry Schacht is now Chairman of Lucent Technologies.
I am willing to bet that he still has his priorities in order.
I am willing to bet that he still knows the true cost of a
missed game and that it is too high of a price to pay.
~A MountainWings Original~
Thank you for inviting MountainWings in your mailbox.
See you tomorrow.
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