Like millions of other Jeopardy fans, I was saddened to learn that Alex Trebek had passed. As a businessperson, I may view his legacy a bit differently than most. To me, Alex and Jeopardy were a brand…something that you relied on for consistent performance. Alex was Jeopardy and Jeopardy was Alex.
He made what he did look so easy and natural. However, anyone who has ever spoken publicly knows that it just isn’t that easy. Yes, he had a gift but I’m sure he never took that for granted and put tremendous effort into every show by understanding the material and then reading through each answer multiple times to ensure perfection when the camera went on.
In my mind, Alex was like a trusted brand that as a consumer, you never hesitate to purchase because you know exactly what you’ll be getting. Relate him to any great company or leader that you’re familiar with and know that what you’re looking at took hard work and discipline. There are no shortcuts to greatness and longevity for individuals or companies. This is a fact that I constantly reiterate to my clients, especially when they are doing well and maybe getting high on themselves. Alex proved that to me and like his other fans, I will miss him.
It’ll be interesting to see who replaces him. My guess is that it will be someone cut from a different mold. It reminds me of the great Phillies announcer, Harry Kalas. He too was unique, and the Phillies probably faced the same dilemma as Jeopardy. Rather than chose a clone of Harry, they moved in a different direction and chose a talented young man, Tom McCarthy to be his replacement. Tom has done a great job, never attempting to do what Harry used to do, style-wise. That’s made Harry’s legacy so much greater and I’m confident the powers behind Jeopardy will do the same. Rest in Peace Alex!