The company I work for lost a great man and a great leader last year.
The company’s heart and soul cruelly and ironically had his own heart give out at the young age of 50. You’ve seen men like him in the movies. The ones who work hard, play hard and put family above all else. They usually end up as the heroes.
George “Terry” Errington lived in South Carolina, loved to be on Lake Keowee, doted on his wife and two children, manned the smoker to produce delicious barbecue, and motivated hundreds of salespeople in the medical industry. He was known most for two qualities – his gregarious personality and his sparkling blue eyes.
His legacy is so strong that future Salesmen of the Year in my company will receive the Errington Award. More evidence of that strength is in the fact I never met the man.
Since his passing last September, George’s spirit is present at all of our events. Just last week, the mere image of him on a video screen made strong men weep. An entire room sobbed at a tribute for him. Eight months after his death, people are still choked up when his name comes up.
But the stories? They are everywhere.
George would tell people that life was about juggling balls, but one ball you had in the air was glass. That was your family. No matter what happens, you never drop that ball. Any other ball, no matter how valuable you thought it was, you could let it go. Not that glass one.
Each person who knew him had a different story to tell. It might be about him shirtless, captaining a boat with the wheel in one hand and a Miller Light in the other. It might be about him staying an extra day on the road to teach somebody’s daughter how to fine-tune her pitching motion.
I’m sure George would rather have lived on and grown old with his wife and kids than to be the subject of this column, but that didn’t happen. Knowing what I’ve been told, he had no regrets in life.
Our company suffered a huge loss; My loss is that I never knew him. But at least I get a chance to keep his memory alive. All heroes deserve that.
You can reach Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to raise a Miller Lite in his honor.