By George

George Clooney is a world famous actor as most people know.  However, a few recent stories I have seen recently have demonstrated that behind the good looks and purposely antagonistic interviewing style, is someone who appreciates the people who have impacted his life and the well being of his fellow man (or woman):

George invited “the boys” round for dinner and left designer luggage at each place setting. On opening the bags, each friend found $1 million in $20 bills. (Rande) Gerber (with whom George launched Casamigos Tequila) attempted to refuse the gift, but George argued that if Rande didn’t accept the money, nobody would get it.  Gerber explained that at the time, some of their friends were going through difficult times, struggling to make ends meet. George made the gesture as a thank you for the help each of the friends had given him in the past when he was in a similar position, saying: “I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me and how much you mean to me in my life. I came to L.A., I slept on your couch. I’m so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn’t be where I am today without all of you.”

More recently, as many know, the lifelong bachelor got married and now has twins.  During a trip ‘across the pond’ to London, he took the trouble to make a very thoughtful gesture to his fellow passengers:

As previously reported, the couple (Clooney and his wife Amal) gave first-class passengers custom-made noise-canceling headphones, which featured Clooney’s Casamigos tequila logo, on a British Airways flight. A source told Us that director Quentin Tarantino was one of the passengers who happily accepted a pair of headphones.

No matter how important you may think you are, or how famous you may get, being humble enough to recognize, appreciate, and give back to your friends and to also ‘pay it forward’ to fellow airline passengers (granted, first class passengers may not really need noise cancelling headphones) when you *know* it will be a long flight goes a long way.

Well played.  Golf clap.

Fate or Happenstance?

Sometimes, things happen that make you wonder if there is a larger master plan in place.

A bit over a week ago, I was in Chicago at the Inc. 500 Conference, where my company announced the launch of a new product The Plum Card. I was honored to be a last (but not least) minute addition to the team that manned the booth at the conference as we announced this innovative product.

The minor logistical problem was that prior to being added to the Chicago Plum announcement team, I had planned and booked a trip to attend the Conversational Marketing Summit hosted by John Battelle and Federated Media that was being held early the following week . So I had to adjust my travel plans to fly from Chicago right to SF, which unfortunately meant connecting flights in….Houston(Chicago is not a Continental hub). I dreaded the idea of connecting flights but did it none the less.

Fast forward to Houston…no, we don’t have a problem. I’m sitting on the plane waiting for it to shut the doors to take off to SF. And as I look forward in the plane, I see the one guy get on the plane at the very last minute. As I look at this person more, I realize it was my friend Joe from business school. My friend Joe lives in Mexico City, Mexico. I ended up trading seats with a woman sitting in Joe’s aisle and we caught up most of the ride to SF.

So lets think about the chain of events here: I was added to the team from work that was in Chicago, thus prompting me to change my travel plans. I wanted to stay in Chicago longer, but when I could not find an equitable direct flight to SF from Chicago on that Sunday, I reluctantly traveled through Houston on Saturday. None of my flights got delayed and I was able to make a seamless connection. On the other side, Joe was traveling from Mexico City to SF to visit his sister, and after battling through customs, barely made the same connecting flight I was on to SF. Two friends who attended the same business school in NYC, who live on different ends of North America, run into each other on a connecting flight in Houston, TX traveling to San Francisco.

We ended up hanging out a couple of times while we were in SF. It was great to catch up.

Circumstance. Fate. Luck. All of the above.