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By Nick Wakeman

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Nick Wakeman

Who are your giants?

I’ve gotten some nice feedback on my blog about Earle Williams and the important role Williams and other leaders have played in creating the government contracting industry and the community that surrounds it.

While I named several leaders in addition to Williams in my blog, it has gotten me thinking that that there are many out there.

So, who are your giants? Who are the bosses, managers, mentors that have made a difference to you and to the marketplace?

Personally, I have to name the editor who hired me out of college, Pat Murphey, who was the editor of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va.

I only worked under him for a couple years before he stepped down. But perhaps his greatest lesson to me was how he handled that transition. Pat didn't leave, but he became a reporter again.

While I had disagreements with Pat as an editor and manger, he was one of the best reporters I’ve seen. And his ability to teach came through in ways that didn’t when he was the editor.

He’d often pull me aside and point out something in the way I structured a story or some other issue. It was always constructive and always mixed in praise. The conversations were often very short. "Nick, I see you did this; think about it this way next time." As the editor, he just never did that.

While I wasn’t privy to all the details of why he moved from being the editor to being a reporter, I don't think it was all his idea. But his grace and class in that situation taught me a lot. There was no ego for Pat, only the journalism mattered.

I didn’t appreciate that at the time, but I do now. I know I owe a significant portion of my success as a journalist to Pat’s example.

So, that’s one of stories. What are yours? Share in the comment field or shoot me an email at nwakeman@washingtontechnology.com.

I think we can all learn something from these stories.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM


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