Mentorship Moments: Gary Jackson’s 40 Years of Influence
The Colorado Bar Association honored Gary M. Jackson a few weeks ago when it bestowed upon him its highest recognition: the CBA Award of Merit. The award recognizes Gary’s outstanding service to the bar association, the legal profession, the administration of justice, and the community. Gary received this honor at the annual Bar Fellows dinner to a sold out room. Everybody who’s anybody was there- literally standing room only. I felt lucky to be a part of it.
Gary’s my former partner, you see. Not just my former partner, but my mentor, educator, gut-checker, sounding board, and plain ol’ buddy. He was reflecting this week, still on his lingering high from that Friday night, and I was in the right place at the right time to catch this little kernel.
He shared how blown away he was by the people who came out to support him; some of whom he hadn’t seen in years, and some of whom he only had a passing connection with. It’s these folks he was ruminating on today. He had no idea how much of an impact he had on so many through seemingly isolated and fleeting interactions.
Gary received the Award of Merit because of what he has done over the course of his 40+ year career. He didn’t set out forty years ago to chart a career that would be worthy of the award. He just did what he knew, and did it well. He was real to people—all people—and true to himself in the process. He took time to share, mentor, and listen. All seemingly pretty easy things to do, but so few do them.
What we do everyday—the little stuff—we can have no idea how it may influence another. We may never have the satisfaction of knowing what we did to contribute to someone else’s greatness, or success, or happiness. From the energy in the room that night, though, the impact is far reaching.
So thanks Gary, for doing what you do, and modeling for the rest of us how to do it. I can only hope to pass along what you’ve shown me to a fraction of those you’ve reached. Like you always tell me: I just need to do my best.