A festive P.S.A from Small Army

CEO Blog

We have a lot to learn
We have a lot to learn
October 30, 2019

If you read my blog posts, you know that I often share stories of my kids. Well, it’s less because I’m proud of them (which I definitely am), and more because I learn so much from them — from their thoughts and perspectives, to their openness and their actions. The truth is that we can learn quite a bit from our…

Just THINK!
Just THINK!
October 8, 2019

I recently recalled memories of my childhood, when my mother asked me to go downstairs and put the clothes in the dryer for her. Being the “aiming-to-please” son that I was, I quickly ran downstairs to do exactly as told. A few hours later, my mother asked me to fold the dry clothes and bring them upstairs for her. At that point, I…

Do you suffer from selective hearing?
Do you suffer from selective hearing?
August 5, 2019

A few weeks ago, while traveling with my family, I thought it would be funny to “prank call” my kids in their hotel room. Pretending to be the front desk attendant, I called their room to tell them that there was a package at the front desk for them. The first time I called, my 15-year old daughter answered, and she immediately texted…

Great ideas don’t sell themselves
Great ideas don’t sell themselves
July 9, 2019

A few weeks ago, I was reviewing a presentation for a team who was going to share a big - and potentially “game-changing” - idea for a client. They were excited to share it and put together a deck that included a slew of great ways in which it could come to life, including executional details that they had thought…

How to load your “dishwasher”​
How to load your “dishwasher”​
June 10, 2019

This weekend, as I was re-organizing our dishwasher to make room for the dinner mess, I had a thought (aside from “who loaded this thing?!").  Our dishwasher is not much unlike like our heads/brains. If overloaded, not everything will get done properly and some things may even break. If not organized properly, it will likely require more cycles and extra…

No more complaining
No more complaining
May 20, 2019

After my last blog post, a friend commented that my posts have been a bit negative lately. And after re-reading them, I had to agree. I generally live life with a glass half full mentality, and share many of my learnings from that perspective with you here. But, somehow, I got hit with a case of "complainitis" - and it took a…

The power of empowerment
The power of empowerment
April 29, 2019

If we’re connected on social media, you may know that my family and I recently had a very frustrating travel experience with American Airlines (AA). In short (I could go on quite a bit), it took my family 40 hours to get from Boston to Cabo San Lucas. It took our luggage more than 60 hours to get there. And,…

I trust you.
I trust you.
April 8, 2019

Recognizing that collaboration is critical to our success at Small Army, we recently invited an expert on the topic to conduct a few workshops to help us improve our skills. Overall, we walked away better because of it. However, there was one part of the session that caused me a bit of discomfort (and, honestly, frustration). With about 20 people in my…

Let’s show some “fifth grade respect”​
Let’s show some “fifth grade respect”​
March 18, 2019

Last Wednesday, for STEAM week, I volunteered to speak at my son’s 5th grade class. While I initially thought I’d talk about the world of advertising (creativity, math/analytics, etc.), I thought it may be more fun to chat about the relationship between drumming (Arts) and Math. Upon arriving in his classroom (and after the Pledge of Allegiance), Josh's teacher asked…

Take a Risk!
Take a Risk!
February 25, 2019

This past week, my family and I went on vacation to Chamonix, France. Once there, we were in awe of the mountain scenery, the food and, of course, the skiing. But, the other thing that quickly caught my eye was the many paragliders soaring like birds high above the valley and mountain tops. As I watched them, I kept hearing the advice…

Criteria for a Critical Relationship
Criteria for a Critical Relationship
February 7, 2019

Just over 16 years ago, I started Small Army with my close friend, Mike Connell. Three years in, Mike was diagnosed with cancer and, 2 years later, he lost his battle. Although I never intended to be the sole leader of Small Army, I couldn’t avoid the circumstances.  As I promised Mike, I kept the dream alive. I channeled every ounce of…

Show up.
Show up.
January 21, 2019

This weekend, I found myself in Toronto, Canada. To be completely honest, I really didn’t want go. The thought of laying low at home during the snow and freezing cold, with the only planned activity of watching the Patriots game with my son from the comfort of my living room, seemed like a much better option. But, family obligations called,…

A time for forgiveness
A time for forgiveness
January 4, 2019

Over the last few months, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of forgiveness - the pleasure of giving it and the pain of not.   It started with an email I recently received from an old friend - someone for whom I had great admiration and respect but, for a variety of reasons, had to move on from several years ago. His…

Who’s Your Buddy?
Who’s Your Buddy?
December 10, 2018

After trying (and enjoying) Scuba diving on several occasions, I recently decided to get certified. Last month, I completed the online courses and, over the last two weekends, did hands-on training in a local swimming pool. The experience has been fun, while also making very clear the potential dangers of the activity - and the importance of understanding the risks, following procedures…

The Best Thanksgiving Story Ever
The Best Thanksgiving Story Ever
November 19, 2018

On many occasions, I've found myself sitting in my driveway (often with tears in my eyes), listening to StoryCorp on WGBH radio. These real interviews among friends and loved ones - sharing life’s pains and pleasures, challenges and triumphs and love and passion - are often motivating, inspiring and humbling.  So, a few years ago, when I heard about the Ted…

Can you handle the truth?
Can you handle the truth?
October 30, 2018

This past weekend, while my son was taking a stab (literally) at carving a pumpkin for Halloween, I suggested that he try a different (and slightly safer) method for using the sharp knife. Rather than getting the typical mad response of “Dad, leave me alone. I know what I’m doing,” he thanked me for the feedback and modified his behavior. The evening…

Passion vs. Collaboration
Passion vs. Collaboration
October 8, 2018

One of the things I love most about Small Army is the incredible passion the entire team has for doing great work. From messaging strategies and media plans to website architecture and creative storytelling, each individual puts their heart and soul into their work. I'm fortunate to work with such amazing people who care so much about what they do. However, as much…

One For Humanity
One For Humanity
September 17, 2018

This past Sunday, while on a bike ride with my wife (Jane) and daughter (Julia), I heard a loud crash behind me, followed by my daughter screaming, “mom, are you OK?” I immediately stopped, jumped off my bike and turned around to see Jane lying on the ground, with cuts and scrapes on her arms and legs, and looking a bit…

Advice from Dad
Advice from Dad
August 27, 2018

It’s hard to believe that, next week, my daughter is starting high school. I remember people telling me that time flies by quickly with your kids, but it never really hit me until now. High School?!?!?  As I began thinking about what advice I could share with Julia as she begins this new chapter of her life, I quickly realized that it…

Who are you traveling with?
Who are you traveling with?
July 30, 2018

For the last several weeks, I’ve been traveling throughout South America with my family. During that time, I’ve made note of many amazing experiences and lessons which could potentially inspire great blog articles. However, as I sit on the flight home and reflect back on the trip, all the highlights seem to have a recurring theme - the memories that rise…

Do You Have a World Cup Culture?
Do You Have a World Cup Culture?
July 2, 2018

Walking thru the streets of Bogota last week, on the first day of our family vacation, we were swarmed by people wearing yellow jerseys. Crowds were packed in front of every storefront with a TV. And, street vendors had their radios blasting, with people standing around to listen. It seemed as though every Colombian had put life on hold to watch and…

Dilly Dilly!
Dilly Dilly!
June 29, 2018

I'm not a huge fan of Bud Light - and haven’t had one in about 20 years. But, over the past few weeks, while watching the NFL playoffs, I've been struck by the Bud Light “Dilly Dilly” commercials. As an ad executive, I can’t help but think about the strategy behind the campaign, and recognize that this type of marketing is…

It’s the least I can do.
It’s the least I can do.
June 11, 2018

A few weeks ago, while driving home from the dealership that just did a routine service on my car, my "check engine" light went on. So, I immediately called them. They told me that the technicians probably just forgot to reset the engine light, and instructed me to bring the car back so they could do so. However, this was the second time…

Is your brand always at a gala?
Is your brand always at a gala?
May 22, 2018

It’s gala season. Practically every night this month, thousands of people are putting on their best outfits and heading to fancy event spaces to support the great work of non-profit organizations and mingle with others who share similar beliefs. The evenings are often filled with live music, great food, emotional videos, amazing auction items and moving speakers. In the last 2 weeks,…

Do I really have to?
Do I really have to?
April 30, 2018

My daughter, Julia, recently suggested that I write a blog on “wanting to do something” vs. "having to do something.” At first, I didn’t quite understand what she meant - or how it would be relevant to business, so I asked her to explain a bit more. She elaborated, “Dad, when I go to dance practice thinking, ‘I want to go,’ I…