Saying goodbye to Tom Miller – or – what do you do when Superman retires? by Peter Wolf on February 6, 2013

Tom Miller @ Sage Summit

Tom Miller @ Sage Summit

Tom Miller has announced that he will retire from Sage North America on March 29, 2013.

This is not new news – it’s been out there for a while now. It took me a while to figure out what I would like to say.

I would like to use this space and honor his legacy.

Personally I’ve always been the type of guy that likes to sharpen the saw by reading smart ideas by smart people presented in new and interesting ways. Yet, while reading these sources of information and inspiration, I’m always reminded of the classics – Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Peter Drucker, Napoleon Hill – which, to me, are the fundamental sources upon which most other business philosophies are built upon.

I am not going out too far on a limb to say: Tom Miller is the embodiment of these fundamental sources of business inspiration.

He’s a living, breathing example of those classics.

I would challenge anyone to name a time where they interacted with Tom and didn’t come away richer for the experience. Whether it’s direct advice or, more likely than not, you walking away thinking you came up with a great idea even though he skillfully planted it, fed and watered it and helped it grow.

Tom has mastered the unbelievably difficult skill of helping others reach their potential. He’s not in the fish-handing-out business, he’s in the teaching-people-to-fish business.

He embodies the positive thinking, get ‘er done, 1 + 1 can equal 3 mentality that I aspire to maintain. Tom doesn’t see obstacles and problems, he sees opportunities and exciting challenges. Tom believes in the power of free enterprise and the ability of sharp business owners to find ways to create value for their customers, their partners and themselves.

And, as a software reseller, you can rest easy knowing that Tom has walked a mile (or two) in your shoes. He understands what it means to hump for sales and to motivate teams and to struggle to find talent and to keep customers happy.

He’s been there and done that. He knows your pain and, when he commiserates with you, you believe it and you feel it.

As such a staunch channel advocate, he has overseen a very difficult transition as Sage has made controversial (some would say necessary) moves to a more aggressive and more self-deterministic future that has changed the Sage channel dynamic. During this period, he has continued to advocate for Sage and the future of Sage while also continuing to provide a rich and deep set of partner services to help Sage channel partners transition to become Firms of the Future and learn self-sustaining skills in the Sales, Marketing and Consulting Academies.

Partners that have taken advantage of these – and other – programs provided by Tom’s team have come away stronger for the experience. I know that my company has.

Tom is also sharp as a tack. He understands the big picture and can dive down into the details when necessary. Present him with a problem that has been plaguing you for a while and he can distill it to its essence in a single conversation.

And he’ll have you walking away thinking you solved it on your own and the two of you just had a nice long chat.

I have only known Tom for a few brief years and – mostly due to his personal charisma and style – I consider him a teacher, a mentor and a friend. I feel fortunate to have met him, to know him and to see such a class act firsthand.

Tom epitomizes the ability of one man to create a cascading positive influence in the world.

If you’d like to leave a comment on Peter’s LinkedIn Post please click on this link

Thank you, Tom.

PGA Tour + Peter Ripa + Happy Fan = “I’ll Be Back”

Mr. Peter Ripa, PGA Tour, Tournament Director Farmers Insurance Open

farmers insurance open banners

Last year I attended the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, CA. Golf courses are known for their beauty & pristine conditions but Torrey Pines is a standout on the PGA Tour. The backdrop is the blue Pacific Ocean & in the afternoons the surrounding sky is dotted with hang gliders. Have you ever watched Tiger Woods gaze as the hang gliders come within several hundred feet of the fairways & I can’t help but think that he would enjoy strapping himself into the harness & glide through the sky over the place that we get to call home.  Hang Gliders over Torrey Pines

But I digress because this blog is about something & someone else.

At the 2012 Open I was disappointed that so many top tier players had chosen to bypass the Farmers Open so they play in Abu Dhabi where large player appearance fees are paid. The PGA doesn’t allow appearance fees to be paid and I’m not sure paying a player just to show up is a good policy. Our method avoids the occasional player who might commit to a tournament just for appearance fees & then mail in his performance.

Torrey Pines Ocean View
I sent an email to the PGA to voice my concerns over the cost of attending & not getting to see Tiger & Top 20 players in the field. They directed my email to Mr. Peter Ripa, who is the PGA Tour Tournament Director of the Farmers Open who in turn contacted me. We scheduled a call & talked for approx. 30 minutes; he understood & empathized & asked if it would be okay if he sent me passes to this year’s event. Of course I accepted his offer but was not anticipating passes for everyday of the tournament. Peter & his staff went way over my expectations.

Please understand that two key events came to pass as a result of my email.

1. The PGA didn’t just read my concerns & put my email in the trash file, they sent it to the right person to read.

2. Mr. Ripa, understands that one unhappy fan will tell at least 25 people who will then tell another 25 and so on and the tide begins to shift against all the hard work that goes into promoting an event of this magnitude. There is no stronger voice than word of mouth & I’ve always found it interesting that most people are eager to tell someone when they’re unhappy with something or someone but will very rarely tell others when they’re had a great experience.

I’m taking this opportunity to say that Peter Ripa & the rest of his staff and the people at the PGA offices are doing an incredible job. To them I simply say thank you. Thank you for listening to a disgruntled fan with an open mind. You now have a loyal fan that is committed to the Farmers Insurance Open, Torrey Pines Golf Course & the PGA brand(s)

Congratulations to Tiger, the PGA & Peter Ripa on a job well done! See you next year!