Rare is the individual that one comes across strictly within a business context that substantively impacts you on a personal level. Jim was that person. My father knew Jim for over 30 years and I was privileged to get to know him over the past decade. Being that we're based in Canada, the majority of our interactions over the years were by phone. Nevertheless, his uniquely positive energy managed to uplift me over a phone line and across a border. Thinking back, I can truly say I was more upbeat after every conversation with Jim.
In my last phone conversation with Jim (just before his passing), after doing our usual round of talking business (we both loved land deals) and politics (Jim threw his usual haymakers at the current Canadian PM, which I totally concurred with), we planned to meet up when I fly down to Raleigh shortly. The prospect of catching up with Jim in person was a motivator for me to fly down sooner rather than later. The idea that that meeting won't take place is very hard to absorb. But I will make a concerted effort to pay forward the following lesson that I gleaned from Jim - Irrespective of the context, personal or professional, carry yourself in a way that positively impacts every single person you come into contact with. Every day.
May Jim's memory be for a blessing.