Published on: February 13, 2015
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by Kevin Coupe
A thought this morning, if I may, about the connective tissue that runs through four stories that got a lot of attention this week.
I was thinking about the death of Bob Simon, the CBS News and "60 Minutes" correspondent, who was killed in a car accident in New York City. It was ironic; Simon was the real deal, a guy who spent much of his almost five decades as a reporter in war zones, he'd been kidnapped and tortured for 40 days by Iraqi forces at one point, and he he gets killed while in the back of a cab on Manhattan's West Side Highway. And it occurred to me that the other big media story this week was about the precipitous fall from grace of Brian Williams, the NBC anchorman who apparently felt the need to puff up his resume. In retrospect, as I happened to find myself driving through New Canaan, Connecticut, where Williams lives, I wondered if it was almost like he wanted to be seen as being like Bob Simon without actually being Bob Simon.
And it occurred to me that in life, as in business, there are show horses, and there are work horses. We all have the choice of which kind of person we want to be, or what kind of legacy we want to leave behind. The comparison of Bob Simon to Brian Williams, it seems to me, sort of brings the choice into sharp relief.
It may be an imperfect comparison, but I also was thinking about the deaths this week of two college basketball giants - Dean Smith and Jerry Tarkanian. And I found myself wondering if Dean Smith was to Jerry Tarkanian what Bob Simon was to Brian Williams.
This isn't to diminish Tarkanian's basketball achievements, but everything I've read about Smith this week suggests that he was a man who transcended the basketball court, that he played an enormous role not just in the lives of his student/athletes, but also in the great public policy and social justice debates of his time.
Again, we all have a choice. In our lives and in our businesses.
I've thought a lot about that this week. It has been an Eye-Opener.
- KC's View: