Advice for Life and Work

Scott Kronick

For this week’s Monday Morning Mojo, I figured I would combine a bit of life and work advice that has made its way into my consciousness these past two weeks.  The advice has come in memorable three-word action statements I can’t seem to get out of my mind.

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate

The first comes from a friend, a global public relations leader, and fellow Syracuse University alum, Jim Olson. Jim is presently Head of Brand and Communications at Avelo Air, a relatively new airline based in Houston, Texas. He previously held senior communications roles at United Airlines, US Airways and Starbucks, as well as a few other corporate and agency roles, he ran his own firm, and he has also taught at Syracuse University among other institutions. Jim is one of the most respected communicators today, and he earned his stripes handling such crises as the US Airways Sully landing in the Hudson River in New York.

Well, I was fortunate enough to invite Jim to speak with my graduate crisis management students at University of Southern California, and after speaking about how he looks at managing crises, he shared this metaphor:

“I look at managing crises, the same way a pilot would handle an issue while flying a plane, and similar to what was experienced in the US Airways Sully landing on the Hudson. What needs to be done first is to ‘aviate’, the plane needs to keep flying.  What needs to be done next is to determine how to resolve the issue, and that is the ‘navigate’ stage. The third stage is to ‘communicate’, and that is when you reach out to everyone and explain what is happening and what the action plan is.”

Aviate! Navigate! Communicate!

Jim’s presence was a real treat and I know the students appreciated this simple, but meaningful way to remember such a lesson.  Thanks Jim!

Innovators, Imitators, Idiots

The next three-word combination I have been pondering I heard while listening to a Motley Fool podcast last week about stock investing in 2023 and 2024. The segment included a discussion about the Sports Illustrated brand. Sports Illustrated magazine seems to be on its last leg, and that is a real disappointment for me because of the outsized role it played throughout my life. A lot of the very best sports reporting during my youth was done by Sports Illustrated reporters. Apparently, Sports Illustrated has gone through recent layoffs and is fighting its impending demise.  The Motley Fool commentator mentioned it reminded him of the famous Warren Buffet quote:

“First come the innovators, then come the imitators, then come the idiots.”

Buffet called this progression the “three I’s.” First come the innovators, who see opportunities that others don’t. Then come the imitators, who copy what the innovators have done. And then come the idiots, whose avarice undoes the very innovations they are trying to use to get rich.

While I am nostalgic thinking about how much of a role Sports Illustrated played in my life and that of my family and friends, with such news platforms as The Athletic, it seems like Sports Illustrated just missed a beat in keeping up with the times. It is a pity; however, this is one reminder that no matter how successful you are, you must really continue to learn, grow, and adapt, or you will face similar circumstances to what Sports Illustrated is going through right now.

Live, Love, Laugh

 I will end with a three-word philosophy my mother espoused for her life, Live, Love, Laugh. When I think of my mom, this belief is characteristic of the way she lived. Apparently, this statement for years has been falsely attributed to the poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson. Its real origin, many argue, is linked to a 1904 poem by Bessie Anderson Stanley titled, “Success.” Her poem reads like this:

He has achieved success
who has lived well,
laughed often, and loved much;

who has enjoyed the trust of
pure women,

the respect of intelligent men and
the love of little children;

who has filled his niche and accomplished his task;

who has left the world better than he found it
whether by an improved poppy,
a perfect poem or a rescued soul;

who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty
or failed to express it;

who has always looked for the best in others and
given them the best he had;

whose life was an inspiration;
whose memory a benediction.

Finally, channeling my mom’s philosophy, I went to a jazz concert last week and heard a guy on a guitar, Grant Geissman, who was just great. He played the guitar solo on Chuck Mangione’s Feel So Good hit, and he came out with his own album called Blooz that is a wonderful listen for those who like jazz and blues.  Introducing Grant Geissman here for your listening pleasure.

Have a great week everyone and thanks for being part of this community.



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Daniel Krassenstein
Daniel Krassenstein
4 months ago

Love the Bessie Anderson Stanley poem “Success.”!

Joyce Beach
Joyce Beach
4 months ago

Your mom’s too short life genuinely centered on giving the gift of living, loving & laughter to everyone who crossed her uplifting path. Time & again I witnessed family, friends & strangers drawn to her magical aura.
She set a high standard example for the rest of us.
Clearly you & your family live your lives with magical auras of your own. Jackie’s took my breath away queued in that Starbucks line. And, Sam loving his dog & Lisa with kindness written all over her face. And, you, Scott… I love knowing your high standard example is out there for all who cross your uplifting path.

Roberta Lynn Lipson
Roberta Lynn Lipson
4 months ago

Thank you dear Scott for the uplifting and inspirational way your message started my day.

andrew schirmer
andrew schirmer
4 months ago

Wow, Grant can play. I hope he played that weird green thing. And you’ll always get me with a Hammond B3. Miss you, brother. Glad that you are living your Mom’s life credo.

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