No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted - Aesop.
Story Line: "The true measure of a person is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." This famous quote attributed to Samuel Johnson speaks of the type of person (with fame, fortune and power or otherwise) who extends a helping hand to others who cannot benefit him in return.
In response to "The bend in the road is not the end of the road…." two weeks ago, I received the following email (published with permission) from Sandy Gauthier:
Roger Johnson in your story was the CEO of Western Digital, which is the company I worked for from 1989-1992. I was determined to get out of New York and see the world. One of the Directors who was a mentor for me at Xerox had moved to WD. I called him and said what opportunities do you have for an up-and-comer like myself – I want to see more of the world (I also wanted to sail on the weekends and finish my MBA which I had already started at the U of Rochester in the evenings). I interviewed and was offered the job.
A few weeks later I was in Newport Beach and stopped into University of California Irvine to register for the fall. The registrar’s office said I was too late to apply. I asked to talk to the Dean…he said I was too late they were at capacity. I explained to him my goals and after some pushback I said I am not giving up ... WD is a big company in the area certainly that must bring some clout to your program. What will it take for you to bring me in? He said a call from the CEO – the expression on his face was I was a new hire at WD and there was no way that was going to happen.
I set up a 15 min meeting with WD CEO Roger Johnson immediately after and he saw me the next day. I shared again with him my goals, said I would work my butt off for WD regardless, but said all it would take for him to support my goals is to pick up the phone and make a 2 minute phone call – he did. I finished the MBA program in the evening in less than 2 years, had a great career at WD and sailed on the weekends. Later, Roger Johnson went on to serve on Bill Clinton’s staff during his campaign for presidency. Sandy
Reflection: "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike