Passing of a high school team mate

The following is the obituary of William “Bill” Wesley Osborne III – March 16, 1951 – July 5, 2018.

Bill died of esophageal cancer at the age of 67, and attended Upper Dublin schools far longer than I did. I wasn’t part of his crowd, but we played baseball together in our sophomore and junior years. He was a baseball prodigy – with a strong pitching arm and a good bat, also. I was the 2nd string first baseman; and, oddly enough, Bill played first when he wasn’t pitching!

We weren’t socially connected, and we didn’t share many classes, but Bill was part of my story list since the late sixties. When Bill pitched and I was on first, I was deathly afraid of the call for a pick-off play to first. The distance from the mound to first isn’t that great, his “move” was perfected, and his arm very strong, so the ball came at me like lightening.

Following graduation, I lost track of Bill. He played ball in college, and I thought that I heard that he was drafted into the St. Louis farm system, but read that he played in the Milwaukee system. Not bad.

I didn’t really hear from Bill again until we both became part of the Upper Dublin Class of 69 Facebook Group. His lifestyle and interests were truly interesting to me – and I even tried one of his recipes a few years ago.

He seems to have lived a good life, and had a lot of people in his corner. We weren’t close, but even after 4 days, I’m still thinking of him. 67 is relatively young, in my thinking. There is still a lot to do………, and I’ll still think of Bill, and tell my bland little story.

National Boss Day

Hi – Did you, or anyone else, realize that National Boss Day was October 16, 2017?

I didn’t. Maybe because I was excited about October 17th being my 66th birthday. Or, maybe because I’m retired, I DON’T HAVE A BOSS! Well, unless you rightly identify Alison as the just holder of that position.

So, now that I realized, amost a month later, that I missed it …… do I care? As with most things cerebral, I referred to Scott Adam’s Dilbert bible. He last published a National Boss Day piece back in 2005. As always, his wisdom is appropriate.

Thank you for your genius, Scott Adams

Uh, the answer to the above questions is….. no. Not yet, anyway.

The Reverend Kenneth L. Beale, Sr.

Reverend Beale was pastor of Jarretown United Methodist Church from 1959 to 1982, almost 34 years – and remained active for many more! We moved into the community during the Winter of 1966, and joined the church. His sons, Ken and Keith were younger, but close in age to me, so he was pretty in tune with managing teenage boys.

He married Alison and I. He married Susan and Rodney, and Cindy and Bill.
He baptized two of my three daughters, Kristin and Meghan.
And, in retirement, he introduced us to the concept of a Celebration of Life, while conducting the service following my Father’s passing in 1998. I’ve always been impressed by that.

Unfortunately, Mom said that he promised to perform her service, too! But, at 89, he didn’t make it.
He touched so many of our lives – you wonder how many other families and lives were touched over his lifetime.
We said thanks, and goodbye during his celebration June 4, 2016.

WE ARE ….. R-A-D-I-A-L …… Radial

I had my sites on GSI Commerce and their unique business model, for years. Through my handful of transitions, they were always on my target list. Heck, 10 or so of my team from Amkor Technology gathered up at GSI Commerce, following Amkor’s relocation to sunny Arizona.

In March, 2011, eBay invested $2.4 Billion to acquire GSI Commerce, which became eBay Enterprise. I jointed the Services organization in February, 2012, striving to deploy the then-new V11 webstore commerce platform to major retailors. That stint ended in the fall, and I rejoined the company’s Globel Technology Organization in a number of roles, including data center migration, evolving the growth of load test environments, and managing a significant multi-year technology upgrade program

eBay announced their intention to divest themselves of eBay Enterprise, following a review of their strategic options, which led to the sale on November 2, 2015. Since then, we have been operating as eBay Enterprise; while waiting for our new identity to be determined. In the meantime, I have been managing a handful of “separation” and “integration” projects aimed at separating from eBay, and integrating with our new sister company, Innotrac. My projects included separation of our Salesforce instance, migration from Exchange to Office 365, migration of Box user accounts to Microsoft OneDrive for Business, and implementation of Microsoft’s Identity Management system.

This week, we unveiled our new identity – Radial.

Spring Snow

Ah, Spring Snow. Two weeks after getting half the gardens multhed, and one week following the first mowing of the lawn.

What we lost… postponement of the opening day t-ball parade and the first game, and working outside.

What we gained… a nice, peaceful Saturday.

On the topic of Work/Life Balance

I lost a friend this week.

I’ve known him for almost 20 years through involvement with various professional organizations. Joe was one of those guys who was active – in all aspects of his life. Heavily involved with his alma mater, a leader in at least two professional organizations I belong to, and responsible for spawning at least two others — on top of his day job. Always on the go.

The day job was not unlike that of the rest of us, which involved hard work and hard knocks over the years. And his professional organizations, volunteerism and charitble endeavors earned him the respect of many – including myself.

I met his wife, only once, in their home, as we were wrapping up a tour of his office and going out for lunch. She was exactly what I envirisioned for Joe’s wife. And, as it happened, I ended up working with Joe’s son the last two years, and he has, fortunately, inherited his father’s good traits. Good people.

One of Joe’s traits was a deep commitment and desire to help people – personally and professionally. I was one such recipient of his efforts to help me through transition, and when the tides were turned, there was no hesitation to reciprocate.

Did Joe have the right work/life balance? Up until the last coupe years, I would say, “absolutely.” He worked to live, and paid it forward for many. Passionate. Not everyone can say that.

So, I lost a 56 year old friend, this week, and I’m somewhat shaken. I sincerely wish that I had more time to spend with Joe. And I am thinking a lot about his wife and son and extended family. I will be 65 this year, and “still working hard”.

Do I need to work this hard or this much – to live? No, but it’s my own work ethic that drives me, not need. Should I kick back and spend more time on the people that I care about most? Maybe. This has me thinking.

Peyton Manning Retires – goes out on top

Peyton Manning announced his retirement, following 18 years in the NFL, and having won the Super Bowl a second time – for two different teams. One of very few people who have that opportunity. Congratulations, and best of luck to you!

I wrote a post on Peyton before, but this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer (AP) said it again:

“I get asked a lot about my legacy,” Manning said before the Super Bowl. “For me, it’s being a good teammate, having the respect of my teammates, having the respect of the coaches and players. That’s important to me.”

“Peyton was a player that guys wanted to play with,” Elway said. “That made us better as a team and I’m thrilled that we were able to win a championship in his final year.”

Matt Klentak, the Phillies New GM

The luster over the Philadelphia Phillies has faded over the past few years, and I feel that the team hit bottom last season. I lost interest, along with much of the fan base. Is the team doing something about it? Yes, I do believe they are – and as a Philly fan, I hope they are successful.

If you’ve read my blog over time, you know that I love to pull leadership lessons from our sports teams, or sports, in general. Today is no exception. Matt Klentak is relatively young, at 35, a former baseball player from Dartmouth, hired last October.

The Phillies undoubtedly have their challenges again for the 2016 season, but, from what little I’ve read, they are implementing a strategy that I think will be successful, in the long run, and I’m sure that some of that is due to Matt Klentak.

He played ball, at Dartmouth, in the shadow of “Moneybag”, the metrics-driven methodology that many people have seemingly adopted. However, “It was there that Klentak routinely batted at the bottom of the order, his average never eclipsing .273, but remained a mainstay in the lineup because of his defense, his leadership, and his willingness to play the sort of “small ball” that most sabermetricians loathe. And it was there that he learned the necessity of keeping those opposing perspectives in proportion when trying to build a winning team.”

Klentak said. “When you’re surrounded by people you know, people you like, people who encourage you, a coaching staff or manager who inspires you, all those things allow players to be at their very best.”

According to Bob Whalen, Dartmouth’s Head Coach for 26 years, “You can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the kids you’re taking.”

Once again, you can relate Sports to the real world of business. While being “metrics driven” is a good thing, in general, it is not everything. To paraphrase the above quote, you can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the people you have on your team.

Good luck to Matt and the Phillies!


Crystal Cruises and the SS United States

At the mention of Crystal Cruises name on the news, last night, my attention was drawn to the TV to hear the news that Crystal had announced an option to restore the SS United States to its original glory as a trans-oceanic luxury cruise liner.

Crystal is, by far, our favorite cruise line – having sailed on both the Serenity and Symphony from Dubai to Turkey, originally, and currently booked on an Alaska cruise later this year.

The option on the SS United States runs for 9 months. It will be interesting to follow the decision and the estimated $700 million investment to restore the ship for service in 2018. And maybe…

From the February 5, 2016 Philadelphia Inquirer
Can SS United States again sail the seas?

I’m not the only one that relates sports to leadership style

The following article appeard in today’s Philadelphia Business Journal. While it does not reflect all my thinking, it does highlight that people matter, and relationships are critical to anyone’s leadership capability.