In the summer of 1983 I was hired by Merrill Lynch Realty Associates to be their National Training Director. Mike Lurie was my boss, and my first experience with management at a large corporation. Being raised in an entrepreneurial environment with Ralph Burnet, I was concerned about the change to a more structured job. As it turns out, structure was the exact lesson I needed in my career growth and Mike was just the one to provide it.
Up until now I was in charge of one training department in which I could make the decisions by myself. Now I was the head of a corporate division responsible for organizing the national training program and creating a network of 33 training directors across the U.S. I had to learn the skills of budgeting, managing, setting objectives and making decisions within a team of other managers and trainers.
I was pleased to discover that Mike was a true gentleman: fair, honest and organized. He demonstrated a great management style and taught me all of the required skills. After leaving Merrill Lynch and starting my own company, I was grateful to have had this background of corporate discipline.
In September of 2001 I knew he worked in one of the buildings in the World Trade Center complex. Thankfully, on 9/11 he hadn’t made it the last few blocks to his office. I recently visited his new office there and we had fun reminiscing of our days of working together. Over lunch I thanked him again for being a great leader and teacher to me.