Back to the Best of 2007 series next week. But first, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire Paul Dunay, inspired by Paul Gillin's book The New Influencers: A Marketer's Guide to the New Social Media, tagged me to write about the most important influences in my life, so here goes.
1) My mother. Not only one of the wisest people I've ever known, but also one of the smartest. She finished college in three years and became a teacher—back in the days when few women pursued higher education. Going strong at 87, she still reads voraciously. Of the hundreds of lessons she taught me, one of the most important was to love learning.
2) Alan Koepp, my high school guidance counselor. As a somewhat confused young man, I told him I wasn't sure what I'd do after high school. He told me point blank: "With your grades, if you don't go to college, you're an idiot." That—plus a summer spent as a union truck loader—was the kick in the pants I needed to continue my academic pursuits.
3) My brother, Joe Pick. As my mother taught me how to learn, Joe, my second-oldest brother and first boss, taught me how to work. I also learned that the family business (custom trailer manufacturing) wasn't for me. Thanks to that experience, however, I'm probably the only marketing blogger on the planet who's helped build a trailer to transport a circus lion, among other interesting jobs.
4) Terry Peterson, VP of Customer Service, SoftBrands. Terry was my first marketing mentor, as well as one of the most contagiously upbeat and positive people I've ever met. From Terry I learned that almost anything is possible, with the right plan and execution.
5) Kirsten Chapman, principal of KC Associates, and my current employer. Kirsten is the toughest boss I've ever had. Some days, that makes life very unpleasant. But she is a brilliant strategic and creative thinker who has taught me a great deal, and forced me to take my marketing game to a whole new level, which is a good thing—for me, for KCA, and most importantly, for the success of our clients.
I'm tagging Harry Hoover, Elge Premeau, and Ardath Albee to keep this going.
Contact Mike Bannan: firstname.lastname@example.org