From Dan Peña – Executive Coach and Mentor for The New Millennium
Dear Friend and Subscriber:
It’s been sometime since I wrote my last newsletter. This is no place to explain other than to say Shit Happens.
At almost 56, I’ve had friends and family get sick and die. Children graduate from high school and people move house. In America, it’s called "downsizing" your life, both people and places. In my case, all the above has or is taking place. It has been harder than planned. Of course, I should know leaving thirty years of career and friends/colleagues behind in the U.S. wouldn’t be easy. Man Plans and God Laughs.
In recent weeks I gave the eulogy for one of my good friends. He was a world-class finance man, but more than that, he was a man of true integrity. He had strong, unswerving moral standards. And many years ago, when the world seemed to turn on me, he stood tall and was by my side. As most people would say later, John always knew when to play a long shot. I say, he always knew what was right. And he always followed that road. John Earnest was a unique man. He was his own man even up until passing. A CPA by training at Price Waterhouse, he certainly knew his odds when diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 1999: 3 to 6 months! But John decided it wasn’t time to go until May 2001. For those of you who have heard me speak, you know I always have something to say.
For John Earnest’s eulogy, I found it difficult to think how to describe a man who for almost fifty years had balanced debits and credits for companies, some as large as Fortune 50. As I thought what to say in the few minutes I had, words like honesty, moral values, and integrity passed through my mind. In the end, I used them all, but the one which came through most clearly was integrity.
I believe it’s a very good thing if the main trait one had in life and career could be described by one word – INTEGRITY!
Early on in our relationship, I remember fending off a hostile takeover. During a meeting I personally was offered a middle-eight-figure check for part of my shareholdings at a 50% premium to their value. I said no! John said to reconsider. I said no! John said the shareholders in a few months will not remember I was looking out for their interests above mine. I said I didn’t care. He said I would. He was right. A few years later, the same shareholders threw me out and John Earnest resigned. He was the only Director who did. He was 71 when he died.
I learned much from him. My favorite proverb which he spoke countless times was "There are no secrets. There are only mysteries." The world is a lesser place for him leaving. He did leave on his own terms, though not exactly how he would have wished.
To Your Quantum Leap,
P.S. LAST CASTLE EVENT: I’ve just arrived in the UK and was reminded four weeks from today I start my last Castle Seminar on 24 August 2001. I have not mentioned it here, though. Nothing but pure oversight on my part. As I have said now, ad nauseam, I will continue to speak from time-to-time but will use the internet, QLA product, and my book to spread the QLA word. Of course, my QLA devotees do that best!
Because this is my last planned Castle event, I’ve added one additional day as a bonus to the 3-Day schedule. So my finale will be four days and five nights. I am looking forward to spending time with the attendees.
P.S.S. The QLA product has been catalogued and will be forthcoming in a special offer letter.