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Scott McKain

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The distinctive David Letterman…

Yesterday, I posted on Twitter that I couldn’t help thinking of the several times that I appeared on television with David Letterman…

Of course, when that occurred, it wasn’t on a program called “Late Night” or “The Late Show”…it was on Indianapolis’ Channel 13 on a broadcast called, “Clover Power.”

(When he left THAT show, the fanfare wasn’t nearly what it was last night.)

After watching the Letterman finale, however, I was very impressed with how restrained his goodbye was.

It’s like Dave proved once again he’s all Hoosier.  He showed up, did his job, said a few extra “thanks” because it was his last day, and headed to the house after a good day’s work.

Don’t get me wrong — I love Stephen Colbert, and I’m looking forward to his show, but the Reagan Administration ended with less fanfare than “The Colbert Report.”

LettermanThere’s much that has been said about Letterman’s retirement being the “end of an era” and more…yet, I remember a midday radio talk show host at WNTS in Indianapolis who pushed the envelope and created a distinctive program…who did the weather on WLWI-TV in a unique manner…even hosted a show about 4-H and FFA members, called “Clover Power” in a way that set it apart.

I guess what I’m saying is that it’s easy to talk about how David Letterman’s network shows changed the game in late night television.

But folks like me remember that he made a commitment — and took the risks required — to becoming distinctive long before he hit the national scene.

The late Jim Rohn used to joke about those who claimed, “If I had a million dollars, I’d become a philanthropist,” yet they never put a dollar in the plate at church.  In other words, why trust that you’ll become that IF…when you’re not displaying the commitment to develop that quality on a smaller level NOW?

Letterman didn’t wait to hit the “big time” to make the effort to become distinctive…and neither should you.

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Scott McKain is a business leader, bestselling author, and Hall of Fame professional speaker.
Scott's latest book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Customers REALLY Want" (currently available in trade paperback) and "ALL Business is Show Business."
He is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty, and has appeared on multiple occasions as a commentator and analyst on FOX News Channel. His platform presentations have run the gamut from the White House lawn with the President in the audience carried live on CNN and NBC's "Today" show...to a remote outpost near the Amazon...all 50 states, seven Canadian provinces...and from Singapore to Sweden...Mexico to Morocco.
An inductee into the Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, he is also a member of "Speakers Roundtable" -- an elite, invitation-only group of twenty of the world's top business speakers.