With Everything You Want Will Come Something You Don’t

With Everything You Want Will Come Something You Don't. Phillip Kane's blog
Photo credit: L. Ann Kane

Friday, April 1, 2022

This week, my wife, Annie, who almost never complains about anything, reached the end of her rope with our dogs. We have four of them – three English Bulldogs and a stowaway Boston Terrier. For those of you who have ever had English Bulldogs, you know that they are much like having toddlers. They are only about that bright, are always needing something, and forever requiring this or that to be wiped … all on top of their routine indoor “accidents.” And if you’ve ever had a Boston, you know that they are pot stirrers. So whatever problems the Bulldogs are creating become near infinitely worse when you add a Boston to the mix. Normally, Annie is their chief cheerleader and life chronicler. She has 738,000 photos of them on her phone and texts at least 19 life updates of each dog every day. So, for her to have had it with them took quite a lot. Naturally, she came to me for help. I say naturally because whenever the dogs misbehave their ownership status reverts to me; they become my dogs again. My advice for Annie in that moment was simple: with everything you want in life, will come something you don’t.

And that’s the point for the week.

It’s also true.

Don’t believe it? Think back to anything you’ve ever wished for and subsequently received. I’ll bet you that it came with something you didn’t want as well. It’s a simple fact of life. Everything comes at a price.

Rainbows come with rain. The down part of a rollercoaster ride comes with the boring click-clack up part. Spring always follows Winter. Higher income comes with a higher tax bracket. You get the idea. It’s always the case. With everything you want will come something you don’t.

The best leaders understand this intuitively. And they plan accordingly. They don’t draw up plans with lines that move only in an upward trajectory, because they recognize that ups come with downs and that highs come with consequential lows. They hire great people knowing they will have developmental areas. They recognize that any two steps forward will likely come with one taken back. They know that humans never get everything right; so, they don’t expect them to. 

As a result, they hold people to realistic standards. They factor in the inevitable back-ups. They rarely lose their patience or their minds when bad things happen – mostly because they expect them, but also because they recognize the futility of temper tantrums. They know that no good ever comes from dwelling on the bad. So, they don’t do it. Instead, they celebrate progress and those who achieve it. They happily endure rain, the click-clack parts, and the backward steps. Because they know that they bring with them progress, beauty and joy.

They are people that others willingly follow, mostly because they are people who hold others accountable without destroying their dignity. Because they know they will live through minor setbacks and simple mistakes. And because they know that they will be encouraged and consoled when they fall, not berated, embarrassed or belittled. Most of all, it’s because they know that they will be accepted for who they are – taking any bad with all of the good and all that they want with everything they don’t.

So, recognize that anything you want always comes with something you don’t.

And win.

To learn more about Phillip Kane, please click HERE.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, please follow this LINK.

Photo credit: L. Ann Kane


Show Up On Time

Show up on time. Phillip Kane's blog.
Image credit: Jon Tyson |

Friday, February 25, 2022

This week, the leader of the free world was late, by more than an hour each, for two scheduled addresses to the nation on the topic of Russia and Ukraine. It’s a pattern. Of the man’s inability to show up for things on time, Politico has said, “President Joe Biden is not a punctual man.” adding, “20 minutes late is standard, but it is wise to allow for up to an hour.” In the month of August, last year, alone, the man was, on average, 34 minutes late for every single event he was expected at. Over a longer, four-month period, he was tardy, on average, 22 minutes for every scheduled appearance. The Washington Post commented that for Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr, “scheduled start times are notional at best.”

Certainly, he’s a busy man. But being late for every appearance is a choice. And it’s no small thing.

While it’s absolutely true that those who don’t get the little things right almost never get the big things right, being chronically late isn’t a little thing. It’s a matter of respect. And respect is a big thing – or should be anyway. Leaders who choose to never be where they are supposed be, when they are supposed to be there, have a fundamental lack of respect for others.

And that’s the point for the week.

Punctuality is a simple matter of keeping one’s word. If we tell someone we will be there at 12:30, it’s a commitment, no different from any other. When we tell someone we intend to do something, we ought to do it, purely as a matter of respect – for ourselves and for them. This isn’t a political observation. It’s a human one. See, almost nothing will destroy the trust-based contract that enables one person to lead another faster than disrespect, real or perceived.

The people we have the privilege to lead simply and fundamentally want to be valued and respected. They want little more than for their leaders to treat them the way they themselves would want to be treated. When those in charge show up on time, they tell others, without saying a word, that they matter, that their time matters, and that both are respected. They tell them that they are valued and important.

It doesn’t cost a thin dime more to be on time versus being late. But both are choices, each with remarkable consequences. One builds and adds to trust, furthers credibility, and accelerates productivity and the attainment of team goals. The other not only detracts from trust but it likewise suggests the presence of some other underlying defect, whether incompetence, malice, narcissism, or a simple inability to comprehend and manage the tiniest details. No one wants to follow people who refuse to show up on time – who say, by their actions, that they matter more than anyone else, or that they lack fundamental decency, dependability, or integrity. These are not people that others want to entrust anything to, let alone their livelihoods or their futures – or the fate of the free world for that matter.

Those who show up on time stand out, not just for being where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there but for the calm confidence that doing so affords them and for the masses of people who seek to follow them – people who would do anything for them because they know that he or she would do anything for them – starting with caring enough for their time to show up every time on time.

So, show respect for others. Show up on time.

And win.

To learn more about the author, please follow this LINK.

To pre-order a copy of Phillip Kane’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, a book about winning while also showing kindness to others, please click HERE.

Image credit: Jon Tyson |


Go Among Them

Go among them. Phillip Kane's blog

Friday, February 11, 2021

Above I490 in Rochester, NY a spray-painted banner screams out for someone to care enough to actually do something about the raging epidemic. But it’s not the epidemic you’re thinking of. It is an epidemic that has been, though, responsible for the death of exactly 100,306 Americans in the 12-month period ended April 2021 – a 28.5% increase from the 78,056 overdoses one year before.

65%, or about 65,000 of these deaths, were attributable to synthetic opioids, primarily Fentanyl. By comparison, a decade ago, in 2011, just 2,666 people died of Fentanyl overdoses. That’s a nearly 2,500% increase. And the people closest to the problem are screaming for help. But those in charge of things – those furthest from the problem – don’t seem to be listening. Those who live with the impact of this horror have an acute understanding of the issue. Those who’ve never seen it before have not one notion about it. See, it’s almost impossible to manage what you’ve never seen before.

And that’s the point for the week.

The amount of knowledge associated with anything is inversely proportional to the distance from that thing’s epicenter. Want to know less about something? Move farther away from it.

Those on the front lines of things know what matters most about those things. If you ask them about these things, they will gladly tell you. If you refuse to ask them, they will find other ways to be heard – they hang banners over interstates, or quit their jobs, or act out inappropriately. But whether asked or not, two things will always be true: one, these people know what they are talking about, and two, these people speak up because they care.

And they will tell you that people who have never spent a single minute in their reality have exactly no chance of solving their problems.

The drug crisis in this country is getting worse because the people in charge of this country have spent almost no time at the leading edge of the problem. Pick a chronic issue and you can be assured that whoever is in charge has never seen it before.

The worst leaders are those who pretend to know things about anything they’ve never seen before. The right answer is easy enough to come by – if they’d only just ask, if they’d only just go look, if they’d only accept that the possibility exists that they might not have all the answers.

True, caring leaders don’t need desperate pleas scrawled on bedsheets to alert them to the fact that problems exist. They know these things because they spend time in every province of their responsibility, with people at every level. For them, these visits are “get to dos” not “have to dos.” It’s because these people genuinely love every single person they have the privilege to care for, regardless of where they are from, who they love, what they look like, what they believe, or who they might have voted for. They do things not because they are popular or because they are easy, but because they make the lives of other people better. They believe in the notion that the first will be last and that their purpose in life is to serve others.

And because they do, people will follow them anywhere. They will do so because they trust these leaders completely – to do right by them, to attend to what matters to them, and to make life better for them. This trust is earned by spending time with those who follow them – where they live and work, by shaking their hands and looking them in the eye while thanking them and assuring them that they matter, and by following through on promises made.

Fixing even badly broken things can be done. But no more are these things possible to do with one’s eyes closed than when what needs fixed has never been seen before. Those who believe they can are the same narcissists who look down upon those closest to the work and who likewise reject the poor in spirit; who have no empathy for those who mourn; who prey on the meek; who cast out those who hunger and thirst for righteousness; who ridicule the merciful, the pure of heart and the peacemakers; and who ignore those who are persecuted and who hang banners on interstate overpasses.

So, go among them. Get close to the problem.

And win.

To learn more about the author, please follow this LINK.

To pre-order Phillip Kane’s new book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please click HERE.

Caring Empathy

Fearlessness is NOT a Leadership Trait

Fearlessness is not a leadership trait

March 19, 2021

This week, I came across a post from the magazine, The Scientist, which recapped a January study of mice published by the journal Science. The study, conducted by researchers at Stanford University, sought to determine whether the tiny rodents are able to recognize and respond to the fear of their neighbors. The work conclusively determined that mice do, indeed, empathize with the feelings of fear felt by their furry little mates, and not only that, but in doing so help ease the level of fear response in those initially affected. These findings hold significant promise for advancing ways that scientists think about how humans interact with one another as well.  What I found most striking were the implications the psychologists believed this research has for the management of fear-based responses, causing them to rethink historic highly prescribed methods in favor of the creation of looser environments punctuated by togetherness.  What the mice seemed to prove quite clearly was that in the face of fear, empathy, not control will elicit progress.

And that’s the point for the week.

The notion of fearlessness seems to be all up in vogue these days. With courage having been covered, some have felt the need to take things a leap further by advocating for outright fearlessness.  The best leaders, they say, demonstrate a lack of fear.  In the face of any foe or fight, the fearless leader singularly grabs control and charges forth undaunted, their huddled but adoring mass of followers in tow. I don’t recommend it.

Fearlessness is right up there with stubbornness on my list of unattractive behaviors. It is assuredly NOT a leadership trait.

Fear is a perfectly natural human emotion.  In any threatening situation, across a group of human beings, the degree of fear felt by the group can be plotted and will likely return a standard distribution. This is a clue to any leader that, despite their own fear response, they are not leading a bunch of steely-eyed rocks. Those they lead feel fear – in varying degrees. And, as such, to be moved, from one place to another, will require a leader to recognize, empathize with, and help overcome that fear sufficient to motivate the entire team to relocate.

Boasts by a leader of their own fearlessness do nothing to encourage anyone. Generally, these boasts will be met with perceptions on the part of others that the owner of the boast is either narcissistic, dishonest or foolish. Or in some cases, all three. None are at all flattering. People do not want to follow people who do not feel fear.  People want to follow people who recognize that others have right and reason to feel fear sometimes, and who take the time to help them deal with that fear and rationalize moving forward.

When, as leaders, we exchange control for empathy and understanding, we can move columns of people over what seemed only a short time before to be a mountain of fear. It’s not that we nor those we lead stopped being afraid. It’s that we stopped letting that which we are afraid of stop us from moving forward – because we came together, armed by trust and propelled by a love which results from having endured something difficult as a unit, something most of us never dreamed possible and something that once scared the heck out of most of us.

So, don’t pretend to be fearless.  Empathize with the fear of others.

And win.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Phillip Kane’s AndWin Blog

Welcome to Phillip Kane's AndWin blog, fueled by the not so subtle art of caring


The purpose of this blog is to share the AndWin principles of true, caring leadership with others using stories from, author, Phillip Kane that readers can relate to and remember.

So, welcome to the AndWin Blog. Here you will find insights that will help you become a more caring leader AndWin … to treat others the way they want to be treated AndWin … to love others AndWin … and to make others big AndWin.

“If you like the blog, you’ll love the book.”

Cover, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, by Phillip Kane, author
Phillip Kane’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership. Cover design by: David Donovan Evans

The teachings behind the AndWin blog are available in Phillip’s new book, 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award finalist, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership – Real Stories From a Real Leader to Real People About What Really Matters, from John Hunt Publishing, London, UK.

To purchase Phillip’s book, please click HERE.

You can learn more about Phillip and the release of the book by visiting Phillip Kane, Author the official site for Phillip Kane.

The AndWin Leadership Philosophy

The AndWin leadership philosophy is based on Phillip’s 30+ years of successful experience leading others to win at some of the biggest companies on the planet. It’s rooted in The Not So Subtle Art of Caring. It’s about the ampersand. It’s like Coke Zero. It’s all about the AND. The “&” says you can treat other people the right way AndWin. It says that true leaders do not have to choose between delivering results and being respectful to others. It says that the supposed tradeoff between productivity and caring for others is a myth. It says that you can have both kindness and winning.


Here’s How the Blog Works:

Regularly, here on the blog, Phillip puts up story-based leadership posts for those focused on winning and who are looking for an alternative to the authoritarian, desk-pounding, fear-based style of leadership that is unfortunately far too prevalent in many organizations today.

The site currently includes more than 150 posts and other original pieces of content that can help you in your quest to do just that. So, please allow time to browse around or bookmark the page and come back often.

Simply scroll down to read through Phillip’s posts.

You can scroll at your leisure or search by subject, category or tag. Click on the comments bubble under the title for each post to leave your feedback, or click on a share button to forward content to your fave sosh site or to a friend or colleague.

Stop by our store while you are here to check out our AndWin swag too if you have a sec.

Please help us by taking a moment to rate our site on Google. You can use the link at the bottom of this page.

Please also consider patronizing our advertisers, who add to the overall quality of the blog and who share our values.


Phillip’s Gone to Work

In the Fall of 2022, Phillip (that’s him below) decided to again put what he believes into practice again, returning to run a business in southern California. While blog posts may be a bit fewer and farther between, we will still endeavor to provide regular content on the site.

Welcome to Phillip Kane's andwin blog, I am Phillip Kane, author of the blog and The Not So Subtle Art of Caring
Phillip Kane

Welcome again to Phillip Kane’s AndWin blog. Thanks for visiting!

Remember, make it about others, not you, AndWin.


Appreciation Caring

Every Day Still Means Every Day

True, caring leaders know that every day means every day. Phillip Kane's blog

March 8, 2021

Last week, I was treated each day in my LinkedIn feed, to a company’s celebration of various groups of their people throughout the country. The posts showed photos of the company’s staff in their outposts here and there, often with what looked like a catered meal. It seems last week was “Employee Appreciation Week.” My initial thought was, “That’s nice.” Then, I put myself in the place of the associates (does anyone actually call people employees anymore?) and it occurred to me that were I them, I’d more likely be thinking, “People should be appreciated all 52 weeks of the year, not just one of them.”

And that’s the point for the week.

An “Employee Appreciation Week” with catered lunches and team photos strikes me as something Dilbert’s boss reads about in an in-flight magazine, not something a serious leader contemplates. A true, caring leader knows that people deserve to be recognized and appreciated every single day of the year, not just part of the year.

When appreciation, of associates, or customers, or any group for that matter are scuttled into discreet events, the tone sent to those being feted is that the celebration is somehow an obligation, an afterthought, something unusual. The sincerity of the thing is called into question. Despite what may be great intentions, people are justified in being cynical – especially when the treatment they receive the other 51 weeks of the year doesn’t feel the same. These events send a clear message that next week, we’re all going back to the baseline treatment – something less than what was experienced during the 5 or 6 day outpouring of admiration, support and free pizza.

But when, as leaders, we make it a point to let people know each day how much they are valued, loved and respected, there is no need for once-a-year celebrations.  No member of our team pauses to wonder if they are appreciated. Nobody needs a special week to tell them that their leader cares because they hear it, see it and feel it every single minute of every single day. Because true appreciation is a 24-7-365 proposition.

It’s why people who work with true, caring leaders will do almost anything for them. It’s why people love being around leaders like these. It’s why people give more to leaders like these. It’s why teams led by leaders like these make fewer mistakes, get more done and win more often.

Whether at home, in business or in your community, accomplishing more with others is not terribly complicated. And the winners are easy to spot.

Winners are those who put others first. Winners are those that make others feel big. Winners are those who let others know that they are loved, that they are valued and that what they do is appreciated. 

And they don’t just do so five days a year.

Appreciate others on the daily.

And win.

Please stop by the official site of Phillip Kane, author

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Be Like Jimmy

Be like Jimmy. True leaders like Jimmy Story make it about others. Phillip Kane's blog
Jimmy Story

March 5, 2021

This week, I saw an advertisement from a dry cleaner in Spring Hill, Tennessee offering free cleaning services for anyone in the needing an outfit cleaned prior to an interview as a way to help offset the impact of the pandemic on those who find themselves out of work. The offer from Jimmy Story of Jimmy’s Cleaners there is certainly a tremendously kind and empathetic gesture. But it’s way more than that.

For Jimmy, who doesn’t refer to himself as owner or CEO or any other lofty title, but as Team Leader, it’s also, whether he intends it or not, a way to ensure that those who find jobs after using his free service will be back.

See, people remember significant gestures, and they often switch suppliers because of them.

And that’s the point for the week.

Coincidentally, I often use dry cleaning analogously in teaching others about the difficulty involved in switching anyone from one vendor to another, particularly in industries with sticky relationships or high switching costs. In doing so, I ask teams to tell me how often, other than because they had to due to a move, closure of the business, etc. that they change dry cleaners. You can do the same as you read this.

The answer for almost everyone is, “almost never.” It’s because dry cleaning fairly acts as a proxy for many businesses today, especially B2B concerns. It’s a low interest category often marked by some level of stickiness where front end service relationships are concerned. To change dry cleaners, like changing vendors for many products and services generally requires one of a small handful of things to occur. Monumental and repeated screw-ups by the vendor. Some gigantic leap in product or service offering by a competitor. Or some suggestion by a competitor that they are going to care a whole lot more for you as an individual. If you are thinking price, sit this one out. For most, changes in price sufficient to switch are either (a) unrealistic or (b) always matched by the incumbent.

So, think about the scenarios above. Huge leaps come about as often as Haley’s Comet – especially in low interest (read low-investment) categories. Monumental and repeated screw-ups are also rare; most even half-decent firms fix things before they have outright defections. Only the worst firms actually lose business due to ongoing failures. So, we’re left with expressions of care.

Those who win and keep customers are coincidentally the same ones who win and keep associates. They do so because they care more. The more you care, the more you win. It’s actually no more complicated than that. I’m certain a phone call to Jimmy Story would sound a lot like that.

Because it doesn’t matter if you’re selling dry cleaning in the middle of Tennessee or something a tad more complicated on one of the coasts, people are people everywhere. And most of what everyone wants is to be valued, loved, and cared for. Those who do that more often win more often. And usually, it’s no more difficult than providing free cleanings to people who have more important things to pay for right now.

So, be like Jimmy Story. Care more.

And win (more).

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE

Caring Stewardship

What Fits in the Box

True, caring leaders aren't concerned with what fits in the box. They leave with a heartful, not a boxful. Phillip Kane

January 8, 2021

Over the long holiday break, our family likes to binge-stream TV shows on networks like Prime, Netflix and Hulu.  One of the shows, we started this season is called Industry.  It’s a fictional drama about a bunch of young British folks working for a prestigious firm in “The City,” London’s equivalent to Wall St. The show is directed by Lena Dunham, so you’re going to get what Lena Dunham gives. But all in all it’s not bad TV.  The issues are by and large, real. And the storyline is compelling. In any event, at one point in the show, one of the old lions of the firm is let go. He’s a man in his 60’s. He’s been with the firm his entire career. As he’s leaving, he’s packing his few things in the proverbial copier paper box.  In doing so, with an air of bitter resentment, he mutters, “Not much for a life.”

I was struck by the scene for a number of reasons.  But mostly because the man’s words echoed in my ears. “Not much for a life.”  See, the man was measuring his life in terms of things, in terms of possessions.  He wasn’t thinking about the things he couldn’t put in the box.  He was thinking about whether he was better off, not whether others were better off, or if that place was better off.  He was thinking as an owner of his life, not a steward of his life.  The truth of the matter is this: when we think of our life in ownership terms, we are in for a long, lonely, and unhappy road.

And that’s the point for the week.

See, none of this is ours.  Wherever you are that you are reading this, look around you.  None of what you see is leaving this earth with you.  You are merely using it for a while.  

Same for the people in your life.  They are not yours.  You own no one.  You have the privilege of employing some, raising some, teaching some, maybe even mentoring some.  But you don’t own any of them, and ultimately, all of them are free to do whatever they will.

The fundamental truth is this.  We are stewards of everything in our lives.  We are caretakers of everything in our lives.  Our purpose in life is to leave that which we encounter better than we found it.  Stuff and people alike.

This fundamental truth is the very basis of caring leadership.  It is at the root of The Not So Subtle Art of Caring for Others.  And it is the glue that forever bonds leaders to those they have the privilege to lead.  Because when those being led realize that their leader is 100% committed to their care and the betterment of their lives, they will make a decision to follow that person almost anywhere.  And when they do, nearly anything becomes possible.

For these leaders then, a life is not measured by what can fit in a ridiculous copier paper box, but by what has been poured into the hearts of others, and by the immeasurable gratitude of those whose lives became irrevocably better because those they follow chose to care more for others than themselves.

So, choose to be a steward.

To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK.

To learn more about the author, please click HERE


Be Good to Others

Be good to others
Copyright Be Good to People

October 4, 2019

This week, as I made my way through the Denver airport, I walked past a kiosk for a little company I love.  The company is called, Be Good to People.  It was started 11 years ago by Kris Wittenberg, a promotional products executive after she had an awful experience with another human being.  She wondered aloud, “Why can’t people just be good to each other?”  Then she put it on a t-shirt, “Be Good to People.”

And that’s the point for the week.

Treating others poorly, taking advantage of others, being mean to others, profiting unfairly from others, or relishing in the humiliation of others – all of these things, and more, are easy to do.  They take no courage.  No guts.  No fortitude.  They are signs of great weakness of character.

But showing kindness to others consistently – being good to others – requires effort and often self-sacrifice.  It requires honesty and integrity.  It requires conscience and an ability to put oneself in the place of others. It requires a willingness to stand against the tide of conventional wisdom. and cancel culture.

But when you commit, like Kris Wittenberg, to being good to others, something mancentifical happens.  It becomes contagious.  And the be gooders start to organ reject the bad parts within the organization that start to stick out, like proverbial sore thumbs.

People who care for one another keep each other safe.  They teach each other things.  They welcome others, regardless of their background and beliefs. They help each other achieve goals and dreams.  They help prevent falls and failures; they don’t celebrate them.  They console after mistakes; they don’t try to capitalize on them.

These are the people we want and need to lead this company forward.  I care less about how many mistakes someone had made than how kind they are to other human beings.

Because kindness is the rocket fuel of organizational growth.  Individual interests, profiteering, falsehoods, and the celebration of others’ failures are cancers that will destroy us.

But when all of us wakes up each day intent on doing good, on being kind to others, the payoff will be astounding.  The bonds we create will be unbreakable and the growth we can achieve will be unmeasurable.

So be good to people.

And win.

Oh, and you can learn more about Be Good to People and even buy their great products at

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.

Caring General Leadership

Farewell, Sir

Farewell, Sir. A eulogy to William S. Barry. Phillip Kane

Sometimes letters are eulogies, like this one to my father in-law.

November 25, 2018

Do you like The Godfather suit?  It was this or a very Italian, spring season number. My proper suits are in California. Bill failed to give me sufficient notice. He liked to do things on his terms. So thinking of Bill, I went Godfather. Il padrino sono io. That’s a little eye talian lingo for you. 


This is not the Bill Barry built a successful business, had 5 fantastic children, x loving grandchildren, etc, etc. eulogy. Because I don’t think he would have wanted that and besides, I have both an abundance of integrity and a lack of filter.  So this will be a truer reflection about the man I knew, and loved. 

If you are here it is because you knew William Stokely Barry. I did. For 26 years. To me he was Sir, never the Bill he is to most of you.

I respected him tremendously. 

I named my son for him. 

He gave me the love of my life. In return, as he said, for the biggest pay raise he ever got. I got the better end of the deal. I got Annie. 

We all have something that reminds us of Bill. For my wife it is Starlight mints and cigars. For me it is Jameson whisky and the image of a man with his trousers soaked to the calves hosing off the driveway for the third or fourth time in a week.  

And the piles of articles he’d save up for me to read from the many business journals he subscribed to. 

Oh, and a 70,000 dollar BMW reeking of smoke with ash burns all over the console. 

Keep your memories close to your hearts, and smile, for whatever those things are. Bill is freely taking part in them in a place he always wanted to get to. That he strove for. And now he is there. Godspeed sir.  I love you. 

I learned a lot from the man. By example. About hard work. About fidelity. About giving back to others. About ferociously protecting your daughters. And I am better because of him – a better businessman, a better father, and a better member of my community. 

To be clear, I did not learn one thing about bar-b-cuing from him. And I did get my mechanical aptitude elsewhere. 

From time to time, I would butt heads with the man. 

See, If you knew Bill, two things were at some point true: he made you better and he aggravated you. They often went hand in hand. 

See, Bill worked hard to make the world a better place. He gave a lot back to it and expected a lot from it and the people on it. 

He’d routinely ask waiters what they wanted to do with their lives. 

He made me wait three months to propose to his daughter. True story. 

He’d challenge us to do and be better. 

When we disappointed him he didn’t mind telling us. Flatly. Directly. Bluntly. And often publicly.  

Mostly, he just told us. The bark being worse than the bite. And some knew it. 

He was prone to being taken advantage of. But that was part of the caring in him. 

So that’s how I will remember Sir. A lot like my mom. A human being who cared immensely for others and took from that a right to sometimes tell them when they let him down. 

But as tough as his medicine was to swallow at times, we became better because of him. This parish became better because of him. Our schools became better because of him. Our hospitals became better because of him. And little Janet Jacobs became a walking saint because of him. 

My favorite stories of the many that Bill would repeat over and over, were those of how he’d engineer his way home from South Bend, Indiana or Fort Knox, Kentucky in fantastic multi-leg and multi-modal journeys to see the love of HIS life – if only for a day or two. 

I had images of him doing the soldier crawl for the last half mile before surprising a lovelorn Janet. 

But after his service and school, for 65 years, he was by her side, loving her with his whole heart, and protecting her – until his daughter told him it was OK to go. 

And so he did. And here we all are. 

I wondered how he’d want us to feel today. I wondered what he’d want us to do today. 

I expect he’d tell those of you that didn’t really like him that it would be ok not to pretend like you did, like he wouldn’t. 

I expect he’d want us to wake up and work our asses off like he did. 

I expect he’d want us to get over whatever particular adversity or affliction we imagine might be holding us back. Like he did. 

I expect he’d want us to care about something other than ourselves like he did. 

I expect he’d want us to have a purpose in life like he did. 

I expect he’d want us to love someone with our whole heart like he did. 

And I expect he’d think it was OK to be sad for just a little while…then he’d expect us to get up, wipe off our faces, and get our asses back to the job of making this world a better place.

And win. 

Just like he did. 

If you like the blog, you’ll love the book. To purchase a copy of Phillip’s book, The Not So Subtle Art of Caring: Letters on Leadership, from John Hunt Publishing, London, please follow this LINK. “Letters” is based on 85 story-backed lessons Phillip used while leading actual teams to accomplish extraordinary things. It is an outstanding resource for those who wish to commit to becoming the sort of leader that people WANT to follow.

To learn more about Phillip, please click HERE.