Top Gun and A Personal Battle with Covid


Top Gun and A Personal Battle with Covid

From time to time I attempt a movie review. I will not in this case. There is no need. The public has spoken, as have the professional reviewers. This is one hell of a movie.  It’s a wild ride, but the underlying message is far too important to skip over. As the Admiral said: “The Navy needs a Maverick.”

Actually, all organizations need a Maverick. Maybe not a ‘Top Gun,’ but the best of the best. But someone who is willing to take the rule book and toss it. Someone who won’t give up. Someone who believes in him or herself. Someone who understands the need for structure, but also understands the need to work around it.

The Tom Cruise character in this movie should have been an admiral many times over. However, he did everything he could to prevent that. He knew that as an admiral he could no longer fly. And fly he must.

We need people in our organizations who must fly. Who understand leadership, but also understand the need to excel. Who never quit. Who use those skills they perfected to bring the best to what they do, even when the bureaucracy does everything it can to prevent it.

I will say this about Top Gun: Maverick. It draws from another thriller from four decades ago. No, not its historical namesake, but another. I quote from one reviewer:

The action-packed finale is a hair-raising sequence, as director Kosinski cranks up the tension, pushing Maverick and the team closer to danger. Although the original “Top Gun” is a Hollywood classic in its own right, the climactic scene of the new sequel actually owes a major debt to another legendary franchise: “Star Wars.” 

But don’t take this the wrong way. This is not a remake. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell isn’t some fledgling Jedi using superpowers. He is simply the best of the best. He understands that it isn’t the technology that wins, it’s the person driving it. He understands that teams aren’t necessarily built in action, but sometimes in a strange football game. He does, however quote a Jedi master – “Don’t think, Do.”

Maybe Hollywood will learn something from this movie. It is an unqualified blockbuster. People want movies like this and are willing to pay hundreds of millions to see them. Can you even remember the name of the movie that won ‘best picture’ this year? I doubt it. You won’t forget “Top Gun: Maverick” anytime soon.

I find myself in a strange position. We just completed the PIE 2022 event, and I was unable to attend. Yes, I was stopped by the dreaded Covid, spending 10 days in quarantine and now experiencing the weakness that comes with the recovery.

It is difficult to express my thanks to my team who pressed on and held, what I’m told, was a most successful event. Words cannot describe the incredible work done by Marcy to hold parties, exhibitions, and all the little things that make PIE what it is. 

I am in awe. The input I have received from attendee and exhibitor alike has been fantastic.

My heartfelt thanks to Astrid who managed the seminars and ensured they came off without a hitch. 

And working behind the scenes, Kelley who kept things running smoothly. 

My personal thanks to you all.

Someone asked “who was the idiot that selected Reno?” That idiot would be me. Venues are under contract three or more years before the event. 

Our future sight could never have imagined the perfect storm of Covid, travel interruptions, and frankly, people reacting to the world around them that stressed both exhibitors and attendees. Those of you who braved planes, trains, and automobiles to get to Reno found a beautiful venue, warm and welcoming people, and a terrific show.

 To you, I offer my heartfelt thanks.

PIE 2023 returns to Chicago. 

It’s a new venue as we have outgrown our former home at the Hyatt Regency. The exhibition will be held in Schaumberg, a 15 minute drive from O’Hare, the airport with the most direct flights in the country. 

This is a world class conference center connected to a beautiful hotel. We will be revealing this prime property to you in due course.

On a personal note, I never realized just how long and arduous the recovery stage of Covid can be. One is weak, dizzy, and simply not geared up to face the world. 

I now understand what people mean when they say it takes weeks, if not months, to fully recover. 

My schedule for the next quarter is completely at sea, basically one day at a time.

I truly appreciate the good wishes I have received and guarantee that they have made a huge difference. Recovery is mental as well as physical and everything helps. 

This is a two steps forward, one step back situation, but I will persevere.

Article contributed by:
John Van Horn
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