Saying goodbye to Tom Miller – or – what do you do when Superman retires?
Tom Miller has announced that he will retire from Sage North America on March 29, 2013.
This is not new news – it’s been out there for a while now. It took me a while to figure out what I would like to say.
I would like to use this space and honor his legacy.
Personally I’ve always been the type of guy that likes to sharpen the saw by reading smart ideas by smart people presented in new and interesting ways. Yet, while reading these sources of information and inspiration, I’m always reminded of the classics – Zig Ziglar, Dale Carnegie, Peter Drucker, Napoleon Hill – which, to me, are the fundamental sources upon which most other business philosophies are built upon.
I am not going out too far on a limb to say: Tom Miller is the embodiment of these fundamental sources of business inspiration.
He’s a living, breathing example of those classics.
I would challenge anyone to name a time where they interacted with Tom and didn’t come away richer for the experience. Whether it’s direct advice or, more likely than not, you walking away thinking you came up with a great idea even though he skillfully planted it, fed and watered it and helped it grow.
Tom has mastered the unbelievably difficult skill of helping others reach their potential. He’s not in the fish-handing-out business, he’s in the teaching-people-to-fish business.
He embodies the positive thinking, get ‘er done, 1 + 1 can equal 3 mentality that I aspire to maintain. Tom doesn’t see obstacles and problems, he sees opportunities and exciting challenges. Tom believes in the power of free enterprise and the ability of sharp business owners to find ways to create value for their customers, their partners and themselves.
And, as a software reseller, you can rest easy knowing that Tom has walked a mile (or two) in your shoes. He understands what it means to hump for sales and to motivate teams and to struggle to find talent and to keep customers happy.
He’s been there and done that. He knows your pain and, when he commiserates with you, you believe it and you feel it.
As such a staunch channel advocate, he has overseen a very difficult transition as Sage has made controversial (some would say necessary) moves to a more aggressive and more self-deterministic future that has changed the Sage channel dynamic. During this period, he has continued to advocate for Sage and the future of Sage while also continuing to provide a rich and deep set of partner services to help Sage channel partners transition to become Firms of the Future and learn self-sustaining skills in the Sales, Marketing and Consulting Academies.
Partners that have taken advantage of these – and other – programs provided by Tom’s team have come away stronger for the experience. I know that my company has.
Tom is also sharp as a tack. He understands the big picture and can dive down into the details when necessary. Present him with a problem that has been plaguing you for a while and he can distill it to its essence in a single conversation.
And he’ll have you walking away thinking you solved it on your own and the two of you just had a nice long chat.
I have only known Tom for a few brief years and – mostly due to his personal charisma and style – I consider him a teacher, a mentor and a friend. I feel fortunate to have met him, to know him and to see such a class act firsthand.
Thank you, Tom.