February 12 officially welcomed the Year of the Ox, which according to many geomancers is poised to be a much better year than 2020, or the previous Year of the Rat. And, boy do we need that! I don’t need to list the number of events creating global anxiety, but let’s just say for most people I have met and spoken with, almost everyone I know is happy to have 2020 behind us. One silver lining, however, has been the opportunity to spend close time with family members, which has been a real delight for my wife and me.
2021 has marked a significant change for me personally. After spending 33 wonderful years at Ogilvy, most of which have been in Asia, I am embarking on a new path. The plan is to do some writing, teaching and consulting, and I am fortunate to have retained a relationship with Ogilvy, whereby I am working with the public relations colleagues throughout Asia, and globally, on important client matters.
The Monday Morning Mojo
For the past 12 years I have written a bi-monthly Monday Morning Mail to staff sharing news, views and lessons, reflecting on global events impacting the communications industry, offering recognition to those doing outstanding work, and celebrating important client and team member events. I have enjoyed this so much that I hope to continue writing Monday morning memos here. The purpose will be different, however. I am hoping to use this platform to share events, stories and more that inspire me and are worthy of a larger audience. With the amount of news creating increased anxiety, I am hoping the Monday Morning Mojo can be a platform to share stories that are uplifting. That’s the sole purpose here.
As I launch this, let me share a few things that inspired me since we entered 2021.
“Pay It Forward”
Early in the morning on Friday, January 1, as my family slept in after New Year’s Eve, I went on a morning stroll to get a cup of coffee. The Starbucks was about a half-mile from where I was staying. I arrived, and after waiting in a short line, I ordered my coffee, an oat milk latte. I went to pay and only had cash on me. The Starbucks, like many establishments at this time, was only accepting non-cash payments and they apologized they had to turn me away. Not a moment later did a gentleman standing behind me come and pay for my coffee with his card. He commented, “a man needs his coffee in the morning”. I offered him my cash for his kind gesture and he refused to accept. He responded, “pay it forward”.
Well, can you think of a better way to begin the New Year? Rest assured not only did I pay the $7 forward that day, and day’s afterward, but I have made a commitment to myself to continue to “pay it forward” in my everyday life. It just makes everything around you feel a little bit better.
A few other things have touched an emotional cord as we entered 2021.
“Today We Rise”
I was totally inspired by this film created by my colleagues at Ogilvy in January to celebrate the swearing in of Kamala Harris, the 49th Vice President of the United States. In a world that at times appears increasingly divided with dreams more difficult to achieve, this inspirational film speaks volumes. No matter what way you lean politically, celebrating the historic moment of the first female appointment to the Vice Presidency was most meaningful. Congratulations to the Ogilvy team who created this with Girl Up, the gender equality youth initiative of the United Nations.
When you have a moment, here is the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTU_YbsKWiU&feature=youtu.be
As I start this new phase of my life, I have been inspired by people who later in their lives achieved something significant. Well, after watching the Superbowl in the US, no one can doubt the experience of Tom Brady and his accomplishments. At the age of 43, he is the oldest quarterback to ever win the Superbowl, something he has achieved six times before. Also, I listened to a podcast with David Rubinstein, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm, and now a very famous executive interviewer. David has just written his first book in his 70’s and he plans to write many more in years to come. I found this podcast most inspiring and informative.
Here it is if you are interested. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/495-david-rubenstein-co-founder-carlyle-group-on-lessons/id863897795?i=1000506761422
The Importance of Trust
My good friend Andrew Dunn shared this article below. Andrew and I have worked together for nearly a decade and have discussed at length the importance of truth, honesty and building trust as the foundation of any great communicator. I didn’t know a lot about George Shultz, but have a new appreciation for his role as a public servant. Check out this article below for his view on the importance of trust.
“Dec. 13 marks my turning 100 years young. I’ve learned much over that time, but looking back, I’m struck that there is one lesson I learned early and then relearned over and over: Trust is the coin of the realm. When trust was in the room, whatever room that was — the family room, the schoolroom, the locker room, the office room, the government room or the military room — good things happened. When trust was not in the room, good things did not happen. Everything else is details.”
Thank you for reading the first blog post of the Monday Morning Mojo. I am intent on giving a platform to stories and more that inspire, so if anyone has anything to share, please do send it along. Have a great week. Onwards and Upwards!