Create A Beautiful World Aikido Moonsensei

John Combs

I picked Richard up at LAX the morning of the Martin Luther Day earthquake.  We went to our office and found most of the windows of a six story building smashed on the ground, the sprinkler system on most floors running full throttle.  We were getting ready to launch Nextel and ALL of the inventory on the face of the planet was in the basement of the building.  Richard, Manny Quaito and I went into the basement to find the lights out, water flowing from the ceiling at about a foot deep with electrical outlets ‘popping’ as they shorted out when the water reached them.  We loaded the inventory in their soggy boxes onto carts and started hauling them out.  Others on the team joined in.  We were still experiencing aftershocks.  Someone said Jim Dixon wants to speak with you NOW.  Someone had called Jim to let him know this crazy guy Combs was putting the team in harm’s way.  I was fully expecting to receive a good old fashion ass chewing.  Jim asked me to describe the situation, I did, then he said something I’ll never forget – “ You’re on the ground, you are in-charge, you make the call” … so we resumed hauling out the balance of the inventory.   Lesson is you need to trust those closest to the action … it’s not always easy – Jim was putting himself directly in the line of fire if someone was injured.