Remembering Norman Polsky
died last week. This column is written in loving tribute to this generous, kind, accomplished and yes, quirky man. He wasn't particularly a "green person," but the way he lived his life defines a type of sustainability few of us can match. Let me count the ways: Norm Polsky
- Norm was married to the remarkable Elaine for 64 years.
- He founded his company, Fixtures Furniture, in 1947, which he sold in 1996 with stipulation that $1 million go to the employees. It is still thriving as a division of Izzy+. How many Bola chairs have you spec'd?
- A philanthropist of unmatched generosity in our industry, Norm and Elaine set up substantial endowments in the memory of their son Joel who died unexpectedly in 1982 to benefit, among others, ASID, IIDA, and IFMA.
- A civic and religious leader, he established multiple initiatives in his beloved Kansas City and its Jewish community that bestowed on him every possible honor.
He was a disseminator of capitalist wisdom through his monthly financial newsletters extolling the virtues of mutual funds.
- He was a beacon of light and purveyor of kindness. How many of us still have our "Squeeze Norman" flashlights and our big, yellow kindness buttons?
- All of us who knew him have "Norm stories," tales that define the man and our relationship with him. I could regale you with many but choose to end with his ten commandments. Live by them. You could do worse.
NORMAN'S TEN COMMANDMENTS:
1. Long-hard-fast-organized hours everyday--don't waste time.
2. Continued learning--join associations, attend conferences, and get a second degree or a masters.
3. Build your network of people--don't burn bridges with anyone.
4. Ethical every day of your life--do what is the right thing to do no matter what.
5. Kindness is contagious--Catch It! And the Golden Rule to help others.
6. Obtain a mentor--someone you respect and would like to emulate.
7. Physical fitness--positive mental attitude in spite of various cross currents from those who say it can't be done.
8. Have a sense of humor--even about yourself.
9. Build your Brand--You!
10. Write your CREED--review it frequently to get back on track.
Shalom, my friend. Rest in peace.