Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick

Until embarrassingly late in life, it never occurred to me how much my upbringing affected how I ran my marketing communications business. I was a Presbyterian minister’s fifth and last kid, but because I went into marketing, I didn’t see a lot of obvious connections between his world view and the gritty world of business … Continue reading Making a Good Business, Brick by Brick

Forty Years Later, the Irony of Race

Martin Luther King famously remarked that “11 o’clock on Sunday morning is one of the most segregated hours” in America. When I was in high school in the “integrated” Denver Public Schools, I could have made the case that AP American History was just as segregated. For a school that had bussed its way to … Continue reading Forty Years Later, the Irony of Race

No, Honey, You Can’t Have a Lizard

When I was a kid, my father and I drove up to the mountains west of Denver for the day. On the way back, we stopped in the town of Dillon for some ice cream. There’s a lake by the highway there and, after eating my ice cream, I wandered around the water’s edge looking … Continue reading No, Honey, You Can’t Have a Lizard

Hire People, Not Your Imagination

Countless times, I’ve been my own worst enemy when hiring. That’s because I spent too much time hiring what I wanted to see in a candidate instead of what I saw. A lot of managers do the same thing, resulting in turnover, wasted money, and internal strife. Assessments and standardized hiring processes help, but as … Continue reading Hire People, Not Your Imagination

Why Buying A Shotgun Made Me Want Better Gun Laws

Back in 2007, when my only daughter was nine years old, I read a news report about a now-infamous home invasion and murder of the Petit family in Cheshire, CT. The whole thing freaked me out. The mother and her two beautiful daughters were brutally raped and murdered while the father was incapacitated by a … Continue reading Why Buying A Shotgun Made Me Want Better Gun Laws

Killing Zombies

Zombies had never been my thing. My first real exposure to zombie flicks came on a train ride from New York City to Albany when I was tired of working and turned to Netflix for some mindless entertainment. It was entirely out of character for me to choose Word War Z, but the trailer made … Continue reading Killing Zombies

Two Masters

After I sold my business in 2006, I stayed on with the parent company for 10 years in a variety of C-level capacities. In 2012, my parent company undertook a private equity-funded merger with a firm of similar size. As is so often the case, the success of the deal hinged on hitting certain financial … Continue reading Two Masters

Paying the Price, or Paying for the T-Shirt

In his remarkable book Democracy in Black, Eddie Glaude, Jr., writes of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests that they “disrupted the status quo and dramatically affected the lives of the people who lived there.” Some people, he continues, condemned the violence of the protests and “urged the protesters to channel their rage and turn to the … Continue reading Paying the Price, or Paying for the T-Shirt