Nearly nine months ago today, the Monday Morning Mojo went live. What began as a pet project at the request of a few former staff, “to continue the tradition of the Monday Morning Mail I used to pen for colleagues in Asia”, has turned into a discipline for me to look for the good out there amid the daily drumbeat of worrying news. The Monday Morning Mojo has also created a bit of a like-minded community. The input and feedback from many of you is deeply appreciated.
I remain convinced the news we consume daily is dominated by 10% of the people on the far right and left of the political spectrum throughout the world, and 90% in the middle are genuinely good people who share the same wants, desires and fears no matter which political party they support. I was delighted also to see a recent tweet from a friend, Jim Scuitto, Anchor and Chief National Security Correspondent for CNN, who seems to share a similar view. Jim’s tweet is here:
Today’s Monday Morning Mojo, the first of 2022, begins with a random act of kindness by yours truly modeled after the guy who kindly bought me a cup of coffee on January 1, 2021. I wanted to model that experience and returned the favor at a local coffee shop asking the recipient to “pay it forward.” Here’s a photo of the Kronick family this past weekend on New Year’s Eve and we wish you all the very best for the New Year.
Writing the Monday Morning Mojo regularly shaped a lot of how I viewed the world in 2021 and reminded me of many important lessons from people I respect.
The third issue, on March 29, featured the important work by Robert Waldinger on the importance of community and relationships in respect to eternal happiness. The link to that issue is below and I often reflect on the communities I am part of as I enter this next stage of my life. The Monday Morning Mojo is an important community in my life, so thank you all for being part of that.
In the spirit of building relationships, I referenced a person who was pivotal in my life, my high school soccer coach and lifelong friend, Paul Dresser. Paul was the master at building and maintaining relationships, and he was always the first to comment on each early issue of the Monday Morning Mojo. Paul tragically passed away in the middle of this year, July 21, to be exact. I am honored to be close to Paul’s wife and kids and they kindly asked for me to give the eulogy at Paul’s funeral. I shared this in issue #6 below entitled, “A Life Well Lived”.
The important traditions of Chinese New Year, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Thanksgiving all played a role in my bi-monthly missives. I loved sharing the story of Antionette Brown, a friend and mother of Wendell Brown, who spent three-years in prison in China, a result of a dubious incident. My long-time friend Jim Gradoville, who was the feature of the Father’s Day post, was another favorite. The Monday Morning Mojo kicked off just following Chinese New Year so that was issue #1, and I got lots of nice feedback on the Thanksgiving post. All of those issues are linked below.
I am most grateful to two friends who were featured prominently in the MMM. The first is Chris Graves, who is the Founder and President of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Research, not to mention he is my former boss. Chris is among the most brilliant minds in the public relations business today, and his deep research into behavioral science and how it shapes attitudes and opinions is industry leading. He has taught us so much about how people form their views and act upon them, and this work has never been more important than it is today. That issue featuring Chris is below, alongside a guest feature by the well-known and popular China start-up king, Richard Robinson. Richie was kind enough to answer several questions I asked for the broader Monday Morning Mojo community.
There were other lessons I frequently reflect upon deserving a mention. The Jim Collins theory of “Surface Area of Luck” is something I remind my kids and colleagues about often. Also, I am convinced if each of us understand our biases and seek to understand each other, the world will be in a much better place. Both of those issues are below.
In a most trying year for many, I hope these stories and lessons have improved a small part of your life. I know just by constructing each blog and delving into the subject areas has helped me. I am looking forward to season two, and once again, I am grateful for your involvement.
Have a great week ahead.