Paul Haskell is one of the best Success Managers at Sprinklr.
He lives in Omaha, Nebraska and on my recent trip there, he insisted on taking me out to lunch.
He was most gracious...saying that "without you, I wouldn't be at Sprinklr and my life would be entirely different."
Obviously, it is very nice to be appreciated.
His comment sparked a conversation about the debts of gratitude we owe to all of the people in our lives who helped us get to where we are at the moment.
I may not be accepting an Oscar or a Tony (and that's unlikely to ever happen) and it's not like I have anything to brag about, but I did want to take a moment to thank some of the people who helped get me where I am professionally.
(I'm talking about the less obvious ones than parents and teachers.)
Call it part of my effort to practice gratitude and recognize how it's the people in each of our lives who make a difference.
So, a big thank you to...
Todd Newfield...my first boss. He gave me a chance to start my career in "Internet Marketing" in Tokyo in 1997. Ignited my passion for marketing by giving me Peppers and Rogers "the 1:1 Future."
Paul Cimino....introduced me to the world of E-Commerce in NYC during the hey-day of Internet 1.0 and taught me how to sell.
Marty Cassidy...a former client (while working for Paul) who got me into an interview loop at Microsoft.
Tom Begley...who plucked me out of the interview loop and gave me my first job at Microsoft and taught me the ropes of selling to large enterprises.
Christine Zmuda...who put me into a channel marketing role and showed me what an operationally disciplined marketer looks like.
Dan Pink...who had the confidence to become my first consulting client at Never Stop Marketing.
Adam Schorr (whom I met via Jacob Licht) and became my first client at a major brand (JNJ), thus catapulting the fledgling consulting business to a new level.
Sonja Maxwell and Steve Measelle who became flagship Microsoft clients and advocates, opening up doors all over the place.
Sean O'Rourke who took one of my Microsoft courses and said, "hey, there's a guy who says a lot of the stuff you said and whom you should meet."
And Ragy Thomas who took Sean's word for it and went against the grain, hiring a non-traditional marketer for his 30 person company, Sprinklr.
And most importantly, the NFO (my wife), who has put up with, tirelessly supported, and sacrificed so much.
And thanks to Paul for inspiring me to be thankful.