The previous chief of my division–John Kort. While he is a very successful and well know regional economist, you would never know it to meet him. He is a very humble and soft spoken person that puts the mission and his people in front of his needs. This made me want to do even more to make him look good.
He was always there to support my ideas. When I presented stupid ideas (and I know I did), he was very diplomatic and asked questions until I too realized how bad they were. Then we would work on them to turn them into good ideas.
He taught me the importance of building my brand, networking, and continuing my own developmental activities–and did all he could to support them.
Everyone in the division was sad to see him move on to a great opportunity. It was certainly not the boss leaving, but the patriarch of our work family. I still meet him for lunch every couple of weeks and often stop and think “WWJD?” (What would John Do?).