Tag: remembrance

Be Like Sam

It’s a year since Sam Blackman died.

In that year things have changed at the day job. Sam’s shoes weren’t fillable so the structure at the company he led has had to alter. The building has been renamed in his honour, and the charity run along the Portland waterfront has been pulled forward from its usual October time to recognise his contribution.

People are still sad, though. I’m still sad.

Sam was an example: someone who was consistently positive and thoughtful; someone who led from the front; and someone who not only believed in people, but who let people know that he believed in them. He proved that you do not have to be a sociopath to succeed in business. Indeed, it is possible to be nice.

The saying now is “Be Like Sam”.

So that is what I try to do. I do not have Sam’s energy nor his empathy, but I try to be positive, to see the people I meet, to accept people as they are rather than judging them. I try to justify the belief Sam had in me.

It’s been a year now, and these anniversaries will never be easy I am sure. For as little as I knew Sam, he had an outsized effect on me.

I still miss him.

But I won’t forget him.

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Remembering Sam

company obituary for Sam Blackman

I’m not very good at grieving. Part of that is being an emotionally stunted Briton, but I am also fortunate in that I have not had all that much practice.

So when Sam Blackman died suddenly and entirely unexpectedly (he was only 41) I struggled to process it.

I didn’t know Sam well enough to call him a friend, but I liked him a lot. I met him when I started my current day job at Elemental, the company he co-founded, and I was immediately impressed by his warmth and generosity of spirit. He engaged with everyone he spoke to, and he led from the front.

Because Sam was a leader, someone who inspired greatness in others by being great himself. He encouraged volunteering; he fostered an inclusive company culture which strives for diversity; and he promoted civic engagement both by the company and its employees.

He also really liked oatmeal.

I’m grateful to have known Sam. He encouraged my writing just by being interested in it, and his whacky idea of a quarterly results meeting themed around one of my books was extraordinary and an extraordinary compliment.

Goodbye, Sam. You did great things, and you will be remembered.

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