A dear friend and colleague, Bob Lansinger, passed away last week. He was a wonderful person with whom I quickly developed a great friendship when we started working together a little over 2 years ago.
I was his nominal “boss”. However, I received more counsel and advice from him than I gave. Bob was a master of asking good questions and using them as a gentle teaching tool.
I really can’t recall a time when he was critical of anyone. He may have thought something could have been done different but he never turned that into a negative comment about an individual.
Bob always focused on what was best for the team (his family was team #1) as opposed to himself. He cared deeply about people. One of my favorite authors is William George Jordan (1864-1928). He is largely forgotten, but was also a person who cared more about people and principle than simply getting ahead. In the last chapter of The Power of Truth, “The Way of the Reformer”, he wrote the following:
Sweet indeed is human sympathy, the warm hand clasp of confidence and love brings a rich inflow of new strength to him who is struggling, and the knowledge that someone dear to us sees with love and comradeship our future through our eyes, is a wondrous draught of new life. If we have this, perhaps the loyalty of two or three, what the world says or thinks about us should count for little. But if this be denied us, then must we bravely walk our weary way alone, toward the sunrise that must come.
The little world around us that does not understand us, does not appreciate our ambition or sympathize with our efforts that seem to it futile, is not intentionally cruel, calloused, bitter, blind, or heartless. It is merely that busied with its own pursuits, problems and pleasures, it does not fully realize, does not see as we do.
The world does not see our ideal as we see it, does not feel the glow of inspiration that makes our blood tingle, our eye brighten, and our soul seem flooded with a wondrous light. It sees naught but the rough block of marble before us and the great mass of chips and fragments of seemingly fruitless effort at our feet, but it does not see the angel of achievement slowly emerging from its stone prison, from nothingness into being, under the tireless strokes of our chisel. It hears no faint rustle of wings that seem already real to us or the glory of the music of triumph already ringing in our ears. …
If you are seeking to accomplish any great serious purpose that your mind and your heart tell you is right, you must have the spirit of the reformer. You must have the courage to face trial, sorrow and disappointment, to meet them squarely and to move forward unscathed and undaunted. In the sublimity of your perfect faith in the outcome, you can make them as powerless to harm you, as a dewdrop falling on the Pyramids. …
Anyone can plant radishes; it takes courage to plant acorns and to wait for the oaks. Learn to look not merely at the clouds, but through them to the sun shining behind them. When things look darkest, grasp your weapon firmer and fight harder. There is always more progress than you can perceive, and it is really only the outcome of the battle that counts.
And when it is all over and the victory is yours, and the smoke clears away and the smell of the powder is dissipated, and you bury the friendships that died because they could not stand the strain, and you nurse back the wounded and faint hearted who loyally stood by you, even when doubting, then the hard years of fighting will seem but a dream. You will stand brave, heartened, strengthened by the struggle, recreated to a new, better and stronger life by a noble battle, nobly waged, in a noble cause. And the price will then seem to you—nothing.
Bob was a reformer. I don’t think he always received all the credit he was due in this life. People often find it difficult to understand those who are without guile With Bob there were no me-oriented ulterior motives. He simply did what he believed was right.
Bob planted a lot of acorns some of which have already grown into oaks (e.g. his children). He did “stand brave” and “nobly waged” the battle of life. While I ache at his passing, I am heartened by what I know will be the King’s reply when Bob says “when saw [I] thee an hungered …”:
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Bob was an outstanding father to me and my brother Peter and my sister Diana. We looked up to him in every way. He was our mentor and our best friend. For those of you who knew him better, I am sure you have seen his face light up when he talks about the 3 of us.
I hope he had a similar impact on some of you...at least someone to look up to or guide you through your every day work lives. Everyone needs someone like that and I am pretty sure Dad was a terrific role model.
Your son is correct, “Dad” absolutely was a “terrific role model”. You always inspired me to be a better person and your great example will continue with me.
To Bob’s family, I am so sorry for your loss. However, I can see Bob whispering to you, “It will be OK. I love you. Your Father in Heaven loves more than you can possibly imagine and will be with you. Don’t worry. Continue to love and care for each other and it will all work out.” You are in my thoughts and prayers.
I attended Bob’s memorial service on Saturday, October 11 at St..David's Episcopal Church, Wayne, PA. It was a wonderful service.I estimated there were about 800 people in attendance. All 3 of Bob’s children spoke. There was wit and wisdom as they discussed their wonderful father.
During the service a soloist (Kathy Wagner), sang a song entitled “A Gaelic Blessing”. It is a beautiful song with lyrics well suited to the occasion.
The reception after was held at St. Davids Golf Club. During the reception everyone was invited to line up along the fairway and hit a ball into the water, preferable by slicing the ball :) in memory of Bob. I hit the ball true with a 9 iron (a minor miracle). Sid Sanghvi is in the foreground.
Wonderful Postlude Story
Both Reed and Peter Lansinger participated in the end of the tournament at St. David’s. Prior to starting the tournament a moment of silence was observed for Bob. Reed and Peter had a great time playing and socializing with Bob’s friends and colleagues. On the 14th hole Reed hit a hole in one (perhaps with a little help from dad). The ball landed a little past the hole and rolled back into the hole. Below are pictures of Reed and Reed with Peter at the 14th hole.
Below are some of the comments I received from Bob’s colleagues inside and outside of HCL (where we worked together) after I notified them of his passing. You’ll note from their titles and locations that they are from all stations – individual contributors to the highest ranks of corporate life – and are located in multiple continents. For me they are an affirmation of the Bob’s great qualities.
This is shocking!! I am extremely saddened to hear this news. I read your mail multiple times as I thought I may be reading something incorrectly.
I had developed such a strong bond with Bob that it feels as if I have lost a family member. I wish I could meet him one last time to say Thank You for everything. I had promised him to treat him with his favourite spicy Indian food vindaloo next time we meet in US. I am feeling so emotional thinking about him right now as I recall the various things he used to guide me about life in general. I will always be indebted to him. He helped me tremendously during the years that I was working with him in New jersey.
He was such a simple, humble person. In fact he used to jokingly tell me that don't forget me in case you become rich in life! He taught me my first lessons of golf when I had visited his home in Philadelphia. He never said no to any requests.
I hope God gives strength to his family to bear this untimely and sudden loss. I am sure you would miss him a lot too. He was a true gem of a gentleman.
Vice President and Global Head of Partnerships & Alliances
Polaris Financial Technology Limited, UK
former HCL–US employee who reported to Bob (one of the oaks)
I can’t believe this. I spoke to him early this week, it’s very sad. He was a good friend and a professional. When I think of Bob, I think of him as a positive and a caring person in every conversation I had with him.
Please convey my condolences to his family
HCL–UK (Partners & Alliances team member)
This is unbelievable. Quite shocking to me. Bob and I had lunch together on Wednesday. He didn’t bring lunch from home on Wednesday since we were meeting and wanted to have it together. He told me that he wanted to work for at least 3 more years before he can retire. We spoke about his golfing and his family. He kept thanking me for being his ‘ buddy’ when he joined HCL and referred that to a couple of our colleagues in office while talking. Bob was a very good man and will be dearly missed. My family and I extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife and children. I am really saddened by this unexpected news of a dear friend. May his soul rest in peace.
Group Manager-Global Alliances | ETS
HCL–US (Bob was his manager)
I just can't believe this. How I wish that this has not happened. Bob Lansinger was a great man and I always felt that he was more enthusiastic and committed than most others and will be very dearly missed. Having known him for ten years or so, this is a real shocker. I am really sad to hear about this.
May Bob rest in peace - he will be dearly missed.
We are shocked to hear this sad news, our deepest condolences to the family. No words to say more, he was great man with right attitude, I really can’t believe this as I spoke to him on Wednesday.
Partner & Alliances Manager
HCL–US (worked for Bob)
Am really taken aback by this unexpected loss. As I read this mail, could see Bob’s smiling face and his gentle eyes. It’s hard to believe he’s moved on. Please convey my condolences to his near and dear ones and hope they find the strength to tide over this trying moment. May his soul rest in peace.
Business Development Manager
This is a very sad news, Bob was not just a team mate but a very good friend. I still remember the day where Bob and myself went for shopping. He is such a nice person by heart. We all will definitely miss him, may his soul rest in peace. My deepest condolence to his family.
Senior Manager, Learning and Development at ValueLabs
former HCL–India employee and Partners & Alliances team member
I am so sad and shocked to get your email. I just spoke with Bob a couple days ago while I was out on medical leave. He was so concerned about my health and recovery. We spoke about his new job opportunity and he then made introductions by email for me to the new alliance leads replacing him. … I always found it a pleasure to work with him -- a great guy, who spoke with so much love about each member of his family, and he was so capable in his job. This is such a loss to all of us. Thank you for sending this difficult email. I would like info on the memorial service once you get it.
Global Alliance Executive
This is most unbelievable. I had sent him a note just yesterday wishing him best for his new job. Will remember him as a Perfect Gentleman, extremely polite and helpful. We will all miss him.
May Bob’s soul rest in peace and may God give strength to his family to overcome this shocking loss.
Sr. Area Sales Director
I'm in shock. I knew Bob well and he was a great alliance guy.
Director, Global Partnerships and Alliances, Cisco Consulting Services at Cisco
former HCL–India employee
Sincere thanks for sharing this email with the IBM team supporting HCL. … I will get a sympathy card in the mail today to Nan and their children. They are a very close family and I'm sure they are devastated by Bob's passing.
Global Channels Segment Leader, Distributed Data Center Optimization
IBM Software | Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure
Professional Certified Coach
This is stunning. I talked to Bob last Thursday (late morning) - he said he was feeling ill and said he would get back to me ......... He was a wonderful guy.
Vice President, North America Systems Integrator Sales
Heartbreaking. Such a nice gentleman. Tremendous loss.
Associate Vice President
What a tragic loss. My deepest condolence to his family. Please let his wife know that we are sorry for her loss and that Bob was a wonderful person.
Area Sales Director
My deepest condolences. Very unfortunate for us to loose such a wonderful colleague and a friend. I have known Bob since his very early days in organization and as late as last few weeks where we were constantly in touch for a pursuit. Taking a moment of silence.
Senior Area Sales Director
I’m very sorry to hear this. Just yesterday I saw his farewell note and today this. He was a very friendly person with great attitude.
Senior Vice President
I am extremely saddened to hear the news about Bob. He was the ultimate professional and such a gentleman. Bob was a delight to work with and we will truly miss him. Thanks for providing his wife's address.
General Manager, Computer Services Industry
This is very sad and shocking too. We have lost a good friend. My condolences to his family.
I am heartsick with this news. Bob was a wonderful person, a true stand up guy. He worked for me for a time and was one of my favorites over the years. This is an incredible shock. I had just spoken to him recently. I am not sure if I will be able to make it to the service (I live in Pittsburgh), but will certainly reach out to his wife. Such an incredible loss.
Regional Manager at Oracle Corporation
The service was well attended and quite beautiful. Bob will be missed in so many ways. He defined gentleman and class. Bob my blessings to you and your family. I have a favorite quote from Wisdom 3, "The souls of the just are in the hands of the lord,” you are with him fellow and one day I hope to join you there. RIP.
Fleet Sales Manager and Specialist in Marketing Electric Vehicles at Matthews Paoli Ford