Mr. John H. McConnell, the owner of the Columbus Blue Jackets passed away today. Mr. McConnell was an amazing man, and those of you who don't know or follow the Blue Jackets closely probably don't know that. Mr. McConnell loved Columbus so much, he had all the faith in the world in the Blue Jackets. Anytime Mr. McConnell's face was shown around the arena he was always smiling, and would always get the loudest cheers, even bigger cheers than the team some nights. Mr. McConnell will be missed by all, the Columbus Blue Jackets fans, the players, all members of the organization, and the entire community of Columbus. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Here are some quotes from the press release from the Blue Jackets:
Thank you Mr. McConnell 1923-2008
"Words simply cannot express the deep sadness felt by the Columbus Blue Jackets organization today. The National Hockey League would not be in Columbus if it weren't for Mr. Mac's love for this community and his deep commitment to it. He has always been, and will continue to be, the foundation on which our organization is built and we will work everyday to practice the values by which he lived his life.
"Mr. Mac was an honorable man who believed in the golden rule, 'Treat others as you want to be treated.' An enormously successful businessman, his accomplishments in that arena were surpassed only by his endeavors that improved the lives of others. Every person who knew Mr. Mac is the better for it and everyone in our organization will miss him dearly."
"My father's legacy is how he treated people and that will live on in this company through all those who have worked here, past and present," said Chairman and CEO John P. McConnell. "His principles and wisdom are ingrained in our philosophy and that will never change. While it's hard to imagine not having him here, we are comforted by the fact that his guidance will always be with us."
He served as Chairman until 1996 and retired from the board in 2002. Although he stepped down from a formal leadership role in the company, Mr. McConnell’s leadership style, which has been included in the business curriculum at Harvard University and praised by management guru Tom Peters, still drives the company's culture. That philosophy, based on the Golden Rule:
"We treat our customers, employees, investors and suppliers as we would like to be treated," is the subject of Mr. McConnell's 2004 book, "Our Golden Rule."