Friday, November 27, 2015

The inspiring life of Kevin Wilson and a Mao quote I hope it's alright to use

The trajectory of history sometimes shows how the smallest of events can have the most profound and positive of consequences.

First, a Mao story. Chairman Mao was allegedly asked what course history would have taken if it had been President Krushchev who had been shot in 1963 instead of President John F Kennedy. 

"I don't think Mr Onassis would have married Mrs Krushchev," he said.

This regular Friday blog is usually a summary of the week that was. This week it will be shorter than usual for reasons that will become apparent. 

Talking to people at the Bionow awards at Mere Country Club on Thursday night it was clear that the understated and modest Kevin Wilson, who died aged 64, deserves to be stated rather more.

This week I was involved in another Knowledge Exchange event. These thought leading seminars promote a greater level of understanding of issues to do with workplace design, productivity and culture. We held it at the Soapworks development at Exchange Quay next to where TalkTalk are building a major presence and a significant employment base. 

Had Kevin not met Ian Currie at Charlton Seal stockbrokers in the early 80s then the direction of Manchester as a financial centre may not have taken the successful route it has. RedX Pharma, a winner last night following a successfully flotation, was backed by Ian's business Seneca. My friend Neil McArthur was pondering this - Kevin's advice in 1998 took his telecoms business on a road that eventually saw the formation of TalkTalk.

But I've heard this week some profoundly personal ways in which Kevin Wilson will always be remembered. A maverick character who developed board games as a sideline, he trusted the judgement of a young admin assistant at Zeus Capital who was made to feel more confident and inspired by him as a result. Sally Williams is now the fantastic client services manager at Liberty, the pensions business I'm on the board of, and is one of the many who is reflecting on the special effect Kevin had.

I said this would be brief. But take any time you may have set aside to read this to instead go and read this tribute to "my funny and kind friend" Kevin Wilson from Steven Lindsay. Whether you know any of the people or not, it matters not. Just think of this: to have lived a life where you have friends who love you quite like this is a great life indeed. Just horribly short.

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