Last night I learned of the passing of Bob McNabb, formerly the CEO of Korn/Ferry Futurestep. I knew that Bob had been battling an illness, but it was still quite a jolt to hear the news. As we travel through life every person we encounter makes a small contribution to our direction, the decisions we make, and ultimately our success. And then there are people who make a significant impact. Bob was one of those who made a significant impact for me.
Shortly after he acquired my company and I began working with him I realized that as business leaders go, Bob was about as old school as you can get. I remember once thinking that for his age he seemed quite tech savvy based on the volume of emails I would get from him reminding me of the end of the quarter was near, or that a new one was beginning. And then one day when I received 2 or 3 of those messages while sitting across from him at lunch, I realized he wasn’t actually pushing the send button.
But that does not mean he didn’t know how to work a black berry, because I would often hear from him very late at night or in the wee hours of the morning, as I am pretty sure Bob never slept. It also did not matter what time of day, where he was, or what he was doing – if you called him on his cell phone, he always answered. He was the most engaged and hard working executive I have ever met.
There are a few things that I will always remember about Bob…..He was passionate about succeeding and was as loyal as you could get. His favorite saying: “People want to win, and they want to be loved.”
Please join me in remembering Bob McNabb, a great leader and a great friend.
This short video clip was taken from a speech he gave to a group of students at West Virginia University last year.