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Losing A Giant – Goodbye Tim Russert

Jun 16th, 2008 | By | Category: Motivation, News & Updates, Personal Development, Public Speaking

Last friday, one of my personal hero passed away. He wasn’t a marketer, an entrepreneur or a motivator. Still, Time magazine did put him in the list of “100 Most Powerful People In The World” in 2008.

This man was Tim Russert.

Late Tim Russell, The host of NBC\'s \"Meet The Press\"

In Singapore, not many people may know him. He was the host of “Meet The Press”, one of the world’s most popular political show. He was one of the most powerful journalists in the world. He helmed his program, “Meet The Press” for 17 years now. He was hard but fair. Enthusiastic but professional. Effective but not flashy.

(I know that living in India & Singapore, it’s unusual for me to follow an American commentator. But I love politics, and that man brought out the best in politics).

There are many reasons why I loved staying up on Sunday night (here in Singapore), to watch “Meet The Press” at midnight. But one reason stood clear …

I wanted to watch a Giant at work.

You see, Tim Russert was a giant in his industry. He worked in the industry of politics. And he was the best at what he did – He was respected, even feared as an interviewer at time. Yet, he was rational, caring and fair.

I won’t say too much more … this week’s “Meet The Press” was a one hour tribute to him, highlighting his best interviews … and for anyone who has the desire to be the best in their field … I highly recommend setting aside the time to watch the video at the bottom of this link.

But before I leave, I just want to highlight 7 things I learnt from Tim Russell … If you’re reading this, then you should take these lessons too …

  1. You don’t have to be flashy to succeed
    He was a “regular joe”, one of the few people on TV whose hair was still ruffled. He spoke in “common speak”. I always thought that the local tailer made his suits. And if you saw him, like I did, year after year … you’d know that his journalistic skills had everything to do with being humble.
  2. You will get better and better with time
    I know that a lot of us, young people are overcome with desire today to succeed fast. We want to be the richest, most successful, most well known. But as I looked at Tim (He was 58, he looked 42), I realized that experience had made him who he was. And all of us will get so much better with experience.
  3. You can be the center of your world
    Tim Russell did one show. Once a week. For one hour. Yet, every word he said was so important, so industry changing that the entire news media would feed off his newsbites. Some day, I hope I’m that effective & influential in my industry, and that’s a real inspiration.
  4. You don’t have to focus on the hype
    Most other news media would focus on the news of the moment. Hillary Clinton’s bosnia fire. Barack Obama’s Reverand Wright. And they would try to corner the politicians. Not Tim, he would always be fair and allow the candidates to give their opinions. It so was unusual how he could create news by NOT trying to create hype-filled news
  5. You DO need to prepare for your job
    Tim Russell would spend all week preparing for his one hour show. He would prepare every question. Reherse every word. Play both sides of the table. Do all this before he went Live. And that’s one lesson for me – I do need to work hard if I’m creating something worthwhile.
  6. An affable, friendly nature can change other people’s world
    I was stunned by how many people seemed to know this guy. Not just know him from TV, but actual talk to him and be friends with him. And there were so many stories of his good nature spreading into other people’s lives. I’ll always remember to be friendly and fun with the people around me.
  7. Your every word can be so important that everyone hangs on to it
    Like Steve Jobs, Tim Russert had a gift. He made every word so purposeful that everyone else hung on to it. That’s something that inspires me. The hope that I can be so respected and be an expert in the Internet Marketing industry, that my words actually make a difference.

I’ll remember these lessons from Tim Russert. But more importantly, I’ll miss his warmth when I turn on the TV on sunday night … Goodbye Mr Russert, you will be missed.

Below, you’ll find a link to a tribute on Tim Russell – It’s pretty long (54 mins), watch it if you can.

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