“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
-John 15:13

This week has been a hectic week of travel and conferences. It was great to be back at a live event with people – building new relationships and reconnecting with old ones. I often say we are in the people business. After all, consulting is all about the people we serve and the people we work with. A lot of time, crazy contracting processes and procurement departments convince us that we are working for agencies, but at the end of the day, we are working with people. So, while this week’s SAME Small Business Conference has me thinking about many different ideas, projects, and people, I can’t help but talk about a relationship that shaped who I am today.  

1LT Dennis W. Zilinski, II.

For as long as I live, I will remember him and this day. Dennis was my West Point classmate, teammate and friend. He was killed on November 19, 2005, in Bayji, Iraq. 16 years ago today. He was 23 years old and would be turning 40 next month. 16 years have gone by, and in those 16 years, Dennis’s life has given me more life and leadership lessons than I can fill in a quick email blast, but Lesson Number 1 is life is about the people around us – making them better, making life better.  

So that’s what I want you to think about this weekend and as we approach Thanksgiving. Gratitude for the people in our lives. Because like consulting, life is a people business.

Let’s take a lesson from 1LT Dennis W. Zilinski II, and make people better. And, if you happen to have an adult beverage nearby when you read this, raise a glass to a life that was full of love for people.

Cheers to 1LT Dennis W. Zilinski II,

BJ Kraemer, President