James Enck, who I consider one of the brighter analysts covering telecom from a stock brokerage perspective wrote a piece yesterday that has me blushing and reflecting on how my writing style developed.
While I've heard the comments from most people who like to read Om and I, usually ranking us in their minds as one and two in no particular, seeing James comments insight in print totally took me to the state of blushing.
I blog as an outgrowth of both the skills I need to run my business (two marketing communications agencies) and my six years of daily news commentary on KenRadio. For my agency's clients who understand that I bring what James so artfully grasped when he said Andy is very tightly focused on VoIP and its impacts, and never misses a story related to the theme, but is also adept at making connections and seeing implications which others might miss. That's a similar comment I've heard before, the last time from friend and peer in the PR profession Bill Ryan who now helps companies figure out what they are really all about. Before Bill it was from a Senior Long Term Research Director at IBM named Walter Yaciuk, who said, to me one summer day at the Broadmoor pool in Colorado Springs, "you Abramson, you see things differently sooner. We just see it long after you've already figured it out."
For this I credit my two mentors in business.
Sy Roseman, the late media relations pro who from the time I was 14 until even long after we stopped working side by side in early 1979 remained the reason I understand what media is and more importantly how to work in it. Sy was both great at looking to see the angles in order to get the story covered. In learning how to do that, he taught me how to figure out where a story was going, both pro and con before talking about it or commenting on it. Since what we did was sports, first professional box lacrosse and then building a base of fans for the Philadelphia Flyers around youth hockey, we had to see beyond what was apparent and learn to convey that first to the media and then through them, the public. What you have to realize is this was 30 years ago. I was 14. My mind was uncluttered.
The there was Ken Gesner. The slightly rotund, self made millionaire who in one sitting passed the first parts of the CPCU (Chartered Property Casulty Underwriting) state exams..an unheard of feat, but Gesner, who could memorize the entire Major League Baseball batting averages for the players, or in his head recall balance sheets of organizations he ran, usually seven or eight at the same time, both for profit and volunteer, gave the learning, tutoring me on how various actions in on direction have implications (i.e. risk and or reward) so one has to look beyond what you only see. He did this during our daily ten to fifteen phone conversations (there wasn't IM or email in 1976 when this started and Ken resitsed the computer, voice mail and cell phone up until his passing). Ken, who was the master of controversy for the sake of change for the better, was my first mentor in what I now call Asymmetrical thinking. This started when I was 16 and the discussions about how things were, what they meant and how the implications impacted a set group were what Ken's daily interactions gave me. More important was the reading of Ken's writing on issues and matters. Long, page after page discussions that often put people in the proverbial box because Ken presented facts, line by line, word by word, and often to the chagrin of the offending party.
It clearly explains to me now why I blog the way I do. For a short while the two actually were in the same organization I later ran for the Flyers, called Hockey Central. Sy helped start it, but as Gesner later explained to me long after I was running it, he was hired to train me. When Sy left to take a high paying gig at Resorts International to get it started, I stepped up to run Hockey Central, two years early before merging it into the Flyers itself. Together from the two of them I learned more about insightful reasoning, fairness, critical thinking and decision-making. They were totally different. Yet, at the same time, totally so similar, as they always taught me to focus on being right through understanding, analysis and most of all common sense.
Thanks James. You helped me start my day the right way....by remembering two people who are always there with me every time I write.