Leon and I had the occasion to give a TED talk a few years ago about the Power of Unique Perspectives. The focus of the talk was how when people really trusted each other, felt they could be vulnerable, sought each other out for support and guidance and learned from each other — magic could happen. We spoke about this in the context of our own friendship and as work colleagues.
Of course, there was no TED talk but I would be proud to stand on the stage with Leon and deliver such a lecture.
There are a multitude of reasons that Leon and I would be considered different or unlikely friends — and who cares. Leon is a mentor, a friend, a colleague, a confidant, and in my return to Microsoft a few years ago, one of the greatest blessings of that return.
Leon is a strategist, and like myself and some others, often has the insight and instinct to be just a bit too far ahead of the curve so must balance the very different roles of visionary, operations manager, change leader, and coach. He does so with patience, solemnity, and a calmness to his collaboration. I’ve learned so much from him. And he has been there for me when I didn’t have answers to any number of personal and professional problems.
If I’ve done my job and this is memorable for Leon, and you failed to read it or remember it — don’t worry…Leon will tell you the story of the time Jason posted something on his blog about 30 times in the next four months. And each time the familiarity of the stories he tells will make them seem more like they are your own story and remind you most importantly of the message and lessons he is hoping you hear — because he very selflessly wants just the best for those around him.