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September 2012

They’re gonna see you in your unmentionables.

Top business executives have built careers on focusing their strengths and downplaying their weaknesses. We have rarely seen it fail. They are very uncomfortable when you start poking around their bald spots and pot bellies. It’s not that they aren’t aware of them (top executives are a very smart lot, by and large). They just don’t want to be reminded of them (or to be reminded that others are aware of them). My mentor and friend, Bobby Joe Jones used to call this trait “corporate ego.” But I see it more as vulnerability than hubris. Anyhow it can be a…

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Mentors.

I’ve been thinking lately about my mentors. What’s funny is how different each of them is (was) from me and how different they are (were) from each other. My first mentor was my Grandfather Davies (my mother’s father). He was an upwardly mobile, politically conservative, Welsh coal miner turned steel worker. He died on Groundhog Day, a week before I turned five, so I had a short time to learn a lot of stuff. From him I learned that flowers are important (he lived in a shotgun house in a not-too-affluent neighborhood, which he decorated with flowers…wild and otherwise). I…

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Missing. The verb.

Today, I am missing Mildred Murray Peck, the mother of our co-founder. As far as I know, she never had an opinion about advertising. It just wasn’t that important to her. The closest she ever got to social media was a brief attempt at email correspondence on an old iMac Anne gave her. That lasted about a month or two. She never really understood or appreciated the email aesthetic. Fragments. Loose thoughts. Random spelling. She crafted letters in her emails. I really got to know her during the last two years of her life. Her widowhood. Before that, she stood…

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