"Keith Reemtsma was chairman of the department of surgery at Columbia University when I came to New York. He had served in Korea, and the lore is that he's the person behind the character Hawkeye in M*A*S*H. He made me chief resident and mentored me on how to be a leader. He said the hard part of leadership was keeping smart people from killing each other -- you had to make everyone feel special. People at my level were ambitious, vying for positions. He'd take your strength and find a place you could emphasize it, so it wouldn't seem as if you were competing directly with one another.
Oprah Winfrey was headed into her "la-di-da years" -- her term for semiretirement -- when David Zaslav came along and wrecked her grand plan. The queen of TV talk had never met the CEO of Discovery Communications until he arrived at her Chicago office in April 2007 with a proposition. "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network," Zaslav said, pitching the notion that they create a cable TV network together. "I don't want your money," he told her. "I want you."
One of the small sorrows of my adult life is being married to a man who won't eat tongue. "It's delicious," I tell him, but he won't budge. "If you tasted it and didn't know what it was, you'd love it," I say. "The problem is all in your head!"