Thanks for the Influence – You Are Very Much Appreciated

Nice to be on Jason Falls‘ blog radar as it relates to Kami Hyuse’s “Thanks for the Influence” meme. I’ve been tagged and am genuinely appreciative (heck, I got tagged with some pretty cool people – Chris Brogan, Valeria Maltoni, Todd Earwood, Nick Huhn – RSS subscriptions have been added). I’ve already started thinking about end-of-year blog post ideas (want to get a jump on it before everyone else) and this is a great way to begin that trend.

Kami Hyuse asks the original question:

“Who had a big influence on you and how did that affect the direction of your life or career?“

Without further ado and in (relatively) no particular order, here goes my list:

  • Maria-Elena – It’s really amazing when you meet someone that just knows you so much better than you know yourself, and cares about you so unconditionally that your simply challenged everyday to be a better person. She helps me keep things in perspective, be better at patience and understanding (yeah, that is a challenge in itself) and spend more time enjoying the things that matter most.
  • Skot Smith – My first boss & mentor when I got into Internet and IT consulting, knew everything about web technology and web applications it seemed (and he still does). I don’t know where I would be right now if I didn’t have someone like that supporting my own professional growth and development. Shouldn’t I have been fired after week 2?
  • Andy KomackAndy just understands how to communicate to people and how to communicate value in almost any situation. He’s one of those people in search engine marketing that not only “gets it”, but gets it in a way that makes our clients and prospects successful above and beyond where they ever thought they would be.
  • Sherwood Stranieri – And if it weren’t for Sherwood, I probably would not have had the opportunity to meet Andy! Often times I’m amazed at how matter-of-fact a search-related “great” idea comes flowing out of Mr. Stranieri. Not only is he looking at the technical side of the equation, but I’m always impressed at how he’ll take a new search engine marketing idea and become fluent in it (and in making it successful) so quickly.
  • Melanie “Mel” Marsh – Working with Mel Marsh in the web operations group at Liberty Mutual Insurance was a fantastic experience and I know she will be successful in her new role. As a manager, she was there for her team members as a motivator and listener, and she also had the drive and will to push us all to be more successful, even when we probably were kicking and screaming for her to stop.
  • My Folks -I can’t imagine where I would be without the strong family structure I was raised in and the values instilled in me over the course of my childhood and still today.

There’s a ton of other people that I’ve met offline and online that have also been tremendous in my own personal and professional growth, learning and development – and it can’t be understated how valuable each connection (no matter how small) has been. As the doors of technological innovation swing open wider, the list of people I respect, seek out and collaborate with just keeps growing; and for that I am truly thankful as well.

Thanks for tagging me in this meme Jason, and as far as who I want to ask the question, “Who are you thankful for and have influenced you in your life and career?”, I ask:

I echo Jason’s statement that “It’s good to stop and thank folks now and then”, that’s certainly the truth.


2 Responses to “Thanks for the Influence – You Are Very Much Appreciated”

  1. Jason Falls on November 21st, 2007 5:59 pm

    Kudos, D. Great list. Well done. Thank you for following up and for continuing to generate good content. Have a great holiday!

  2. Derek on November 26th, 2007 9:02 am

    You too Jason – nice to step away to think about what’s important and how we got to where we are.