How can one ever thank everyone who has helped him or her be successful with work when there are so many who contribute, both directly and indirectly? I remember awhile back encountering an artist in a park who was painting a beautiful landscape scene of the trees and benches. I stopped, admired the painting, commented on how pretty it was, and then asked him how long it took him to paint that scene. “Twenty two years,” he said, explaining that it took that long to develop and refine the skill, and therefore, to create beautiful works of art. Of course, I stayed in touch and he became a friend; and yes, I bought art from him over the years.
But his original point always stuck with me—whatever we’re doing now is a cumulative result of everyone who has ever influenced us. I personally would have to thank everyone I ever met in a random encounter for giving me the benefit of the doubt, and even those who didn’t, for they forced me to sharpen my random connecting skills. Beyond that, my thanks go first to friend and colleague Walt Kuenstler, who insisted I make that phone call and then tell my story and whose unwavering enthusiasm and encouragement were instrumental in motivating me to write—and continue writing—this book. I have to acknowledge my parents, from whom I learned social versatility, a skill that undoubtedly accounts for my inclination to talk to just about everyone I come across.
To the fine folks at Wiley I offer my great appreciation—first and foremost, ...