Mark Haines: The Gift Of Being Genuine.
Each new day brings with it news that surprises and shocks us. And today that news is the sudden passing of Mark Haines.
As tributes and accolades roll in on this sad day, it is clear that the gift that Mark Haines provided all of us was the incredible power of genuine communication. He was not pretentious or scripted and said what was on his mind. And what was usually on his mind was getting to the truth below the surface of the usual PR. He did not suffer fools gladly and had no problem penetrating to the core issue no matter how uncomfortable it might be.
Yes, he was genuine.
I still remember walking up to the New York Stock Exchange many years ago and seeing this formidable man sitting on a small chair smoking a cigarette enjoying the spring New York day. Shocked as I was, it was Mark Haines just enjoying a few minutes outside the Exchange. Employees walked by saying hello and he seemed to relish in the fact that others recognized he had not a care in the world how he was perceived.
From his American flag tie to his well-worn boat shoes, he was his own man. He and I talked a couple times off camera about the Mets and their latest travails and he was happy to voice his disgust or glee depending on the news of the day. I marveled at the array of snacks within his reach and his complete comfort in front of the camera.
But perhaps what was most amazing was the genuine respect and warmth that I sensed between he and the CNBC crew, including Erin Burnett. This was not a relationship just in front of the camera; you could tell it was truly a family environment. And yes, gruff dad was there. Not always in a good mood, but you knew he cared and was a genuine guy.
The gift that Mark leaves to us all is his incredible power of being genuine. When he had a question it wasn't filtered; he asked it. When he agreed he said so and when he disagreed you knew it as well. And isn't that what this world lacks; genuine communication? We could all do with a dose of saying what we really feel with less filtering and Mark showed us how to do that.
When Walter Cronkite provided an editorial on the CBS Evening News that the Vietnam War was lost, it had a major impact on administration policy and public sentiment. His genuine voice mattered. And when Mark Haines hosted the 9/11 coverage with a calm hand, it helped us all as we attempted to move through this horrible chapter in our nation's history.
And through the years, in good times and bad, Mark has been a voice seeking to find the truth and never being afraid to ask the hard questions. It is not an understatement to say that he has had a major impact on financial journalism; he was a guide for those seeking more truth in business and government. Like Cronkite, Mark's genuine voice made a difference.
And now that voice is silenced and we have truly lost a beacon. But lest we despair, his standard and model lives on because of his dedication to the truth. It's his example that we must embrace in this moment of sadness. And following his example will do us all a bit of good.
So thank you Mark. Thank you for saying what you thought right when you thought it. Thank you for telling us the truth. Thank you for pushing others to tell the truth. And thank you for all your years guiding us through what has truly been a tumultuous time. You made the world a better place and looked out for the viewer.
You sought to truly understand and try to communicate that to those that watched and listened. You made a difference and for that we are grateful.
Thank you Mark.
Michael Yoshikami, Ph.D., CFP®, is CEO, Founder and Chairman of YCMNET's Investment Committee at YCMNET Advisors.