CEO Blog

How to cook up a winner
How to cook up a winner
September 13, 2021

Yum! This Summer (and actually, through most of this pandemic), I've been doing quite a bit of outdoor cooking. Aside from using our "go-to" Cuisinart outdoor products, I've more recently been trying to master the art of smoking food with a charcoal grill (a Father's day gift from my wife). As I learn how to moderate/maintain the temperature and use the appropriate…

The importance of “the visit”​
The importance of “the visit”​
August 16, 2021

An empty college campus (not one we went on) Over the Summer, my wife and I have spent quite a bit of time touring colleges with our daughter, Julia. After honing her list, based on a set of key criteria, she identified the ones she wanted to explore more seriously with an in-person visit. And, off we went. However, in this strange…

The office advantage
The office advantage
July 26, 2021

Working from home over the last 18+ months has certainly had its benefits (they don't need to be repeated here). However, we also know that many people are putting in more hours than ever before - often to the point of mental exhaustion and burn out.  Of course, many are equating the high hours to high productivity, and view this…

Mushing Lessons
Mushing Lessons
July 7, 2021

Me on Dallas Seavey's Champion Iditarod Sled (wearing some of his gear, too.) While traveling in Alaska with my wife and kids over the last few weeks, it was virtually impossible to skip over any chance to interact with dogs. My kids (and, if I'm being completely honest, my wife and I) missed our dogs, and constantly needed some "furry-love." Fortunately,…

Thanks, Barbara!
Thanks, Barbara!
June 15, 2021

This past Sunday, as the Uber app showed my driver stopped for about 15 minutes while only 5 minutes away from my location, I wondered what the issue may be. But, knowing that her arrival represented the end of a get-together with two of my closest childhood friends, I was fine with the unexpected delay. When Barbara finally arrived, she immediately apologized and…

Like a dog without a cone
Like a dog without a cone
May 24, 2021

James and his cone Two weeks ago, our 6-month old Corgi puppy, James (or affectionately referred to by my son as "Sir James Oliver Freedman III") got neutered. It was quite a tragic experience, but one that James approached with grace and elegance. It was also a reminder that, in business and personal life, we are all faced with set-backs and…

Bar Mitzvah Lessons
Bar Mitzvah Lessons
May 4, 2021

From left: Jason Margolis, Charley Margolis and Amy Margolis A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the Bar Mitzvah of a close family friend. It was a beautiful ceremony - and extra nice to actually be present in the temple as opposed to watching via Zoom. As our friends Amy and Jason read their inspiring words of…

Speak for yourself
Speak for yourself
April 13, 2021

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop about building more effective and accountable teams with Eric Coryell, author of Revolutionize Team Work. Of course, I feel great about my team at the agency. However, there is always room for improvement, and attending workshops like this one always helps identify new insights and ideas that cause me to re-think…

Finding Joy Amidst Adversity
Finding Joy Amidst Adversity
March 22, 2021

The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu Last week, while the nation was dealing with yet another horrific act of racial violence, I was in the middle of reading "The Book of Joy" by The Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. While just the thought of joy could seem ignorant and counter-intuitive in light of the current state of adversity in this…

A good hug
A good hug
March 2, 2021

Almost time to hug again... Two weeks ago, I finally felt us turn the COVID corner. It wasn't an evening out on the town, a look at the improving daily numbers, or an announcement about reduced crowd restrictions. Instead, it came in the form of a hug.    After close to one year of waves from afar, and conversations via Zoom, I was…

Let’s all get along
Let’s all get along
February 1, 2021

Best friends, relaxing together after a brief wresting match As you know, my kids are often the inspiration for many of my blog posts. Watching them face new challenges, overcome hurdles and just learn things for the first time often causes me to see things through a new lens. However, today, I thought I'd share a lesson from someone else in…

Persistence Pays Off
Persistence Pays Off
January 11, 2021

James the Corgi Pup As you may recall from previous blog posts, my 13-year old son, Josh, is obsessed with Corgis. I'm still not quite clear on how his love for this long-bodied, short legged, "royal" breed came to be. However, even though we have Jasmine, a very well-behaved and loving Golden Retriever, Josh has been asking for a Corgi…

Don’t take it personally
Don’t take it personally
December 7, 2020

Deep breaths. A few years ago, a very talented employee shared some simple, yet insightful, parting advice with the team as he headed off on his next adventure: "Don't ever take it personally."   At the time, I didn't think much of it. Being in the advertising business for more than 25 years, it seemed obvious. After listening to "constructive feedback"…

Thank you, 2020.
Thank you, 2020.
November 24, 2020

Thank you, 2020, for giving me more time to spend with my favorite people. The year, 2020, has certainly given us more than a fair share of trials and tribulations (perhaps the understatement of the year). But, in their midst, we can often lose sight of the positive things that happened.  I believe that most good and positive momentum in…

Please help me fight cancer
Please help me fight cancer
November 16, 2020

Mike and me, circa 2004 It was just three years after we started Small Army when I got the dreaded call from my close friend and business partner, Mike, telling me that he had stage 4 cancer. It was an eye-opening moment, that immediately caused me to realize how precious life is. And, in the days, months and years that followed, I also came to understand…

Lessons from Little League
Lessons from Little League
October 26, 2020

This weekend was an exciting one, as my son's Little League team won their Fall Ball league championship. Going into the playoffs as the sixth seed (out of 8), we honestly thought that chances were a bit slim. But through some hard work, perseverance (and, truth be told, one semi-finals COVID forfeiture from another team), they overcame and conquered. While sitting…

Let’s talk
Let’s talk
October 5, 2020

Last week, after having a somewhat frustrating email exchange with a colleague, it struck me how much this new environment has changed our communication practices - and the impact it could have on productivity, creativity and relationships.  Aside from group meetings now being conducted primarily via Zoom, it seems as though many one-on-one conversations that used to happen in person…

Take the slow road
Take the slow road
September 9, 2020

This past weekend, while in Maine, my wife and I went for a long walk through the woods to the local country store. Upon arrival, we saw a crowd of about 40 people, and about a dozen old Ford Model A's parked in the road. Curious, we asked a bystander what was going on. He told us that a local…

Let’s surf!
Let’s surf!
August 18, 2020

Last week, I tried something new. My two kids and I decided to take a surfing lesson, and see if we could ride the waves. After putting on our wetsuits, we followed our instructors to the water’s edge, where they explained the basics of the equipment and demonstrated a few techniques for “popping up.” We then practiced a few times on land,…

A Matter of Trust
A Matter of Trust
July 27, 2020

A few weeks ago, while traveling up north with my family, we decided to look for a place to go for dessert - preferably a good ice cream shop.  Since it was already a bit after 9pm, most all places were closed. But, we came across one Google listing for a cheesecake place called Momo’s that was open nearby and had…

Let’s not get complacent
Let’s not get complacent
June 30, 2020

Working from home/anywhere for the last three months has certainly had its benefits. The 1-minute morning commute. The daily dinners with the family. And, of course, the business boxer-briefs.  In many ways, we’ve all demonstrated our resiliency and ability to adapt to new environments. However, it's certainly not perfect. And, with pre-COVID office-life unlikely returning anywhere in the near future (if ever),…

At a loss for words
At a loss for words
June 4, 2020

Over the last week or so, I've struggled with how to publicly respond to all that is happening around us. As my heart breaks and blood boils, I know I cannot stand silent. But honestly, as a middle-aged white male, I am concerned about saying or doing the wrong thing as sensitivities have never been higher. Sure, like many, I…

A time for new talents
A time for new talents
May 11, 2020

This past weekend, while taking a walk around my neighborhood, I couldn’t help but notice the many home projects that people were working on. In several yards, people were planting new vegetable and spice gardens. In one, a couple was building a shed. And, in another, a man was in full garb, tending to his new beehives. While I can't be…

A Refreshing Perspective
A Refreshing Perspective
April 7, 2020

The last several weeks have certainly tested all of us in many ways. Staying calm and collected despite the stress, uncertainty and isolation can be difficult. However, while taking a moment to reflect, I noticed that someone in my house was taking very well to this situation. In fact, she seemed happier than ever.  Who, you ask? Jasmine. Our dog.  So,…

Let’s Spread Some Goodness
Let’s Spread Some Goodness
April 1, 2020

I hope you and your family are staying safe, healthy and positive. While being stuck at home with family has its benefits, it can also become a bit claustrophobic - and, if listening/watching the news, a bit depressing. So, today, I come to you with a bit of goodness and positivity in hopes that it lifts your sprits and gets…