I crossed paths with Andy Rooney only once when I was a young Associate Producer at CBS News in New York in 1976. But it took that single encounter with Andy to put me on a path that influenced my entire career.

Someone else might have let Andy's single comment to me pass by them without taking note. But I did take note-- and remembered it to this day.

Here's what happened:

I was walking from the film library at CBS News back to my office and I was carrying about a half dozen "pizza tins." These were large containers that held big reels of film-- usually outtakes. Yes, this was years before video tape.

I was walking casually down the hall when Andy Rooney was walking towards me in the hallway. He looked at me and said in his wry manner, "better hurry, someone else will get the job."

I smiled and said, "Thanks, I have a good job." And kept walking.

But later I realized the importance of what he said -- "hurry or someone else will get the job."

You see, "hurry" can also mean get your job done quickly, be alert, look alert, and at CBS give the appearance that you are always at work and working hard.

And that was the last day I ever walked casually around CBS. After that I was always walking briskly, looking like I was the "young producer on a mission."

Andy Rooney's advice was good, and it did make a difference. I'm pretty sure that some of the promotions I got were because I showed energy all the time.