Hard Work, Talent, and Maybe a Little Luck

One piece of advice that I believe will contribute more to making you a better leader, will provide you with a greater happiness and self-esteem, and at the same time advance your career more than any other advice I can provide to you. And it doesnt call for any certain chemistry. Anyone can do it. And that advice is that you must care. You can get where you want to go by hard work and talent and luck. The more you have of one, the less you need of the others.

That quote is from US Army General Melvin Zais, who was a highly decorated soldier in World War II and Vietnam. He was the commanding general of the 101st Airborne at the battle of Hill 937 in Vietnam, more commonly referred to as Hamburger Hill. A movie was made of that battle, and it is called Hamburger Hill. Perhaps you have seen it. My brother survived that battle by being in the right place at the right time. Some call it luck.
In this issue of the magazine, we recognized three outstanding leaders who have achieved distinction through their hard work and talent and may also have been in the right place at the right time. See the LPM Magpie awards.

In an effort not to be redundant in their praise, let me comment on the personal side of each of them as I best know it. Three really classy and real people, and we are proud to portray them in this issue of the magazine.

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Johnny Turner

Recently Retired as Director of LP at Rack Room
So often you would see him:

  • With no socks but a beautiful pair of fashionable shoes. Then later on he decided to start wearing fashionable wild socks to go with those shoes.
  • Walking the floor at a conference with a big smile and his hand out for a pleasant greeting.
  • With others from the shoe dog group. He gave claim to them as his mentors.
  • At the Greensboro airport, flying out of there rather than Charlotte to save his company money.
  • Speaking about how much he loved the beach and his job and his Corvettes.

Mike Grady

Executive Vice President at Vector Security
The first to:

  • Want to support young AP/LP associates with scholarships for LPQ or LPC.
  • Want his company to be a corporate sponsor with the Loss Prevention Foundation.
  • Introduce himself respectfully to those he had not met before.
  • Want to chat about the industry first and his company second.
  • Want to volunteer to serve on industry committees trying to make the profession better for practitioners and vendors.

Melissa Mitchell

Director of AP and Supply Chain at LifeWay Christian Stores
A gesture of:

  • Friendship when seeing you at a conference
  • Respect and a smile to all she would see when walking her corporate offices.
  • Giving you a memento of your visit with her.
  • Support to others not as fortunate in their time of need.
  • Leading to make others successful in their work.

Lastly, the LP world lost a powerful friend and leaderGary Manson. Gary was the former VP of LP at Neiman Marcus before his retirement. For over 25 years he displayed the best traits of General Zaishard work, talent, and being in the right place at the right time. In this issue, we feature many of his colleagues speaking about him shortly after his passing. Here are some my personal memories of a very special man:

  • Always had a picture of his kids and was quick to show you.
  • Always looking for teddy bears for his sons collection.
  • Always the first to volunteer for an industry initiative.
  • Always returning your email or voice message.
  • Always had the biggest steak at dinner with you.
  • Always wearing a suit and a beautiful tie.
  • Always using the word we when talking about work at Neiman Marcus.
  • Always referring to Joanie as the best thing that ever happened to him.

Some good examples of how the little things make big people.

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