So I was traveling on the West Coast this weekend and at the airport, I bumped into an old CEO friend of mine. Actually, he retired some years back. But, now in his 80s, he's found a new cause.
He was in town to boost a charity whose mission it was to help unwed mothers and, by extension, the children of those mothers.
He got no notoriety for this. Little attention for this. Virtually no press at all to speak of for this. So I asked him why he obsesses over this.
"I just believe in it," he says. He adds little, says little, brags little.
It’s kind of the same way when he was a CEO, when the press at the time lumped him in with CEOs who profited handsomely at the time.
Of course, he made a lot of money for his company at the time, hired thousands of workers at the time, enriched plenty of shareholders at the time. But then, like now, the media would hear none of it.
He didn't fit the mold and the old "Dallas" and "Dynasty" view that if you have money in the bank, you have little in the soul.
I think it's unfair. There are many bad rich guys. Like there are many bad poor guys.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Decency knows no financial pedigree. I've known rich jerks and I've known poor jerks. But I make no sweeping generalizations.
It's why you might have heard me mention once or twice, that I have a book coming out next week, entitled "More Than Money." It's about people like that CEO, who've overcome enormous hardships to do a lot of good. And commit themselves to a lot of good.
You know, we live in an age we assume all priests are pedophiles, all mutual funds are rigged and all CEOs are crooked. I write about those who do not share that view, who simply "are not" that view.
They don't get much press: Hollywood ignores them and the media still generalizes about them.
But bumping into this old CEO friend of mine, I take the time to write about them and analyze them and conclude that they are bigger than their bank accounts. If only we take the time, to look beyond those bank accounts.
Come June 1, I promise you, I will.
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