Sunday Best – August 5, 2018

Flexibility, Katherine!

Years ago, after a particularly inelegant restructuring announcement, a Very Senior Executive came to see me. He was already in his 80’s and so it had a little extra impact when he slammed his fist down on the table and shouted, “Flexibility, Katherine!”

He was right, of course, both for investing and for life.

I can’t tell you how often I hear that voice booming in my head, how often it’s needed. But more than the words of our conversation, I remember that he bothered to stop by at all. We’d only met a few times, and his scope of focus went far beyond me and my department, and surely he had a thousand things to do that day. But out of all the Very Important People at the company, he was the one who showed up in person.

Farewell, Mr. Byrnes. Like all heroes, How you lived your life was even more impressive than What you did.

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