Stevie was unsteady on his feet. He walked slowly. He didn’t seem to have much money. He was visiting the area because he had a hospital appointment. It wasn’t clear why he needed a hospital. I didn’t ask. His elbow was gashed. But was that the reason? No idea – and not what you explore when you first meet.

His father owned a hardware store back in the day. With his uncle, they bought a second store in the next town over.

You know that the hardware businesses did well when you got Bill Champlin to come over to your house and give your son (that would be Stevie) music lessons. Bill was good – even then. Stevie apparently wasn’t.

It is clear that Stevie was a handful throughout his teens. It seemed that he remained that way most of his life.

According to Stevie – he was never much good at anything – but he was alright. He “didn’t need much”.

Listening to Stevie, it seemed that he recognized that he had a lot of opportunities, but didn’t make the most them. It wasn’t clear that he regretted anything.

Except he was lonely. I think he is facing his mortality and wondering why he is alone.

The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.

– Tom Wolfe


Editor’s Note: Click “More From Author” below to enjoy John’s entire People Series…

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John Philpin
JOHN'S career spans 30 years, 2 continents, and organizations as diverse as Oracle, Citibank and GE. A Mathematics graduate, John moved to California in 1990. He helps technology companies create, develop and deliver their story for fund raising, market development and influencer programs. He also works with businesses to ensure they understand, and are ready, for the ever accelerating changes that technology is bringing to their industry. John is a co-founder of Expert Alumni and gleXnet and long before futurists and industry watchers were writing about the impending challenges that industries were going to be facing, they predicted a perfect storm of issues like skills gap, declining work forces, the gig economy, people trained to do work no longer needed, demographic shifts, economic and social change, market upheaval and rapidly changing ways of doing work. From the beginning they have promoted the idea that massive change was coming to how organizations should think about their workforce, with a singular focus on simplifying the interface between people and their work. Understanding the challenges ahead of the curve, the solution was built to arrive at a better understanding of the greatest restraint to business operations - competence, not capital. gleXnet provides unparalleled insights into an organizations people and operations by flipping the problem from the perspective of people, not the business.

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