One thing that I DID NOT expect in leading a larger and larger team is that you get really exposed to the full cycle of life much more every day.
You get to see things that are inspiringly positive:
- I met a whole pile of associates joining EMC for the first time as their first job, and their excitement and energy was inspiring!
- I met the south-east asia team in Singpore and loved their passion.
- I just found out on Monday that one of our best SEs (Nga Nguyen) and great friend is pregnant for the first time - and it made me smile and think of when my first daughter was born. Nga - you ROCK - treasure the experience. and we'll be here for you when you come back! I want pictures!
- I also get to work with an absolutely great team that challenges me, and inspires me (see pic). This group is my direct team - the leaders of a great organization of almost 4000 people.. but the WHOLE family of the EMC Presales team (and my broader EMC colleagues) feel like my extended family. Heck there are a broad tribe of people beyond EMC - at partners, at competitors.
That is all a huge blessing for me.
But, with larger groups of friends, broader sets of lives - there's also more exposure to tragedies - and nothing hits home like people passing unexpectedly.
This year took Jim Ruddy and severely injured a great colleague, Steve Hunt (see here)
There are two more recently, and I wanted to share.
- Tony Wood was the General Manager of our OEM group, Tony held a vision for OEM that resulted in both consistent contribution to EMC's revenue growth and a readiness for Platform 3. He was truly a global presence for EMC from Israel to Sweden to Beijing and Hopkinton. But - beyond that, Tony was a awesome dude. As he battled health issues that eventually took him, but never beat him - he continued to bring incredible energy, even when others would simply fold up. It blew me away. Tony is survived by two daughters, Emily (18) and Olivia (14) - for which a memorial fund has been set up: http://www.pledgenow.com/tonywood
- Today, I found out that the sister of a colleague unexpectedly passed at the age of 40, leaving 3 young kids. Tragic. There is a fund set up to support a family that must be in unbelievable shock and grief. I can't even imagine. http://www.gofundme.com/hgy3to
My point isn't to suggest people should be "guilted" into donating - but of course donations are welcome. My point isn't that these are unique - and while it doesn't take away the pain or make it easy - there are tragedies all around us, and no-one has a monopoly on it - these are all part of the human experience.
Rather, my point is that life is beautiful, every moment is precious, every friend is a treasure.
None of us knows what is around the corner.
I'm determined never to let that make me sad or fearful - but rather to make the most of every moment - and be thankful for all experiences. Be awesome to each other.