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Jim Bradford: A Great Man
A Very Sad Loss
Jim Bradford, Dean Emeritus of Owen, died two days ago. Jim was Dean and a very influential man while I was at Owen. His loss is felt deeply.
In many ways, my life has been defined by the people who didn’t believe in me since, quite frankly, I didn’t believe in myself for so long. I struggled in business school as if you ever read about us INTJs, we’re kind of the go it alone type. We don’t like group projects, don’t wait for people to catch up, and like to do things our own way. Now, these may be desirable when you’re CEO of a startup, but they really do not work in business school, as many of my classmates and former professors can attest. MBAs prepare you for a life in the corporate world where basically everything that makes me so uniquely suitable for what I do is actually quite undesirable.
So I struggled. And I clashed with professors, and classmates, and Jim. But that’s not to say that Jim was a negative influence. Quite the opposite. Jim pushed me. HARD. Many of the people who have most influenced me were the ones who saw wasted potential, which is what Jim saw in me. And then like so many of my other mentors, he went to work whipping me into shape. And like the others, he took nothing short of perfection as a result. While I may not have enjoyed the process, I can’t argue with the results.
I’ll never forget walking across the stage and the huge, heartfelt “Congratulations George. I’m proud of you.” Jim gave me when I got my diploma. I swelled with hard earned pride.
There have been many other great men that have pushed me to be better. My father. Luke Froeb. Germain Boer. Nuri Otus. Michael Burcham.
I just wish I had said thank you more often to Jim. So thank you to all of you who helped me become who I am today. Jim was a kind, great man and he will be missed by many.