Boyd Clarke (1952-2005)

Boyd Clarke photo

It is with deep personal and professional sadness that I announce the passing of Boyd Clarke on Saturday, following a lengthy and valiant struggle against cancer.

Professionally, Boyd created his career around teaching (and doing!) leadership. Personally …

Well, the “big deal,” among others, was that “personal Boyd” and “professional Boyd” were one and the same. With Colleagues. With Clients. With Family. Boyd’s message especially included … Integrity, Authenticity, Decency, Engagement, Self-analysis and the Vigorous Pursuit of “Impossible” Dreams. “Walk the Talk” is as hackneyed a phrase as you’ll find in the management-speak lexicon … and it is usually honored in the breach. In Boyd’s case it happened … 100.00% of the time.

To say that Boyd strongly & positively & directly affected tens of thousands of lives is no overstatement; to say that he induced nothing short of transformation in many of those lives is no overstatement either. Boyd’s work helped improve ever so many careers and organizations; and it also helped Clients (and All of Us who came in regular contact with him) become better human beings.

Boyd was a serious man … on a mission. He was also great fun to be around. His humor was dry rather than rowdy—and usually precisely on the mark as a result.

Boyd was CEO and principal shareholder of the training and consulting company that bears my name from 1997 to 2004. He threw himself heart and soul into making our company the best it could be. Upon occasion, no surprise given my short attention span, we had disagreements. But as I said to Colleagues and Clients 100 times, “I never lay awake at night wondering if Boyd has done great work with total integrity.” Seldom have truer words been spoken; and never have more important words been spoken.

While Boyd and I were perhaps not intimate friends, I did interact with his family from time to time. To say that Boyd was family-focused is gross understatement. He lived for his family; and despite a decade-in and decade-out back-breaking professional schedule, he spent an incredible amount of time with them—to the point of making me shake my head in awe (not to mention shudder with guilt).

I will miss Boyd.