CEO Blog

Let’s make it personal
Let’s make it personal
February 28, 2016

Shortly after sending my last blog post, I noticed that a long-time friend and business acquaintance had unsubscribed from my list mailing list. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed. I thought he would find the content of interest, and be open to hearing from me every once in a while. So, I decided to send him…

You can do anything
You can do anything
January 25, 2016

As a child, the word “can’t” was considered a swear word in my house - even worse than the more commonly used 4-letter words that begin with “f” or “s." My mom would immediately lecture us when my brothers or I said it. "I have to clean your mouth out with soap,” she would mutter as she swabbed her soapy…

My Presidential Platform
My Presidential Platform
January 4, 2016

Just before the holidays, while preparing the toast for Small Army’s annual holiday party, I was struggling to find a fun and unique way to recognize each person on the team. At first, I though about re-writing the words to Adele's “Hello” and singing it karaoke style, but my kids convinced me otherwise (thank goodness).  I thought of giving “most likely…

A dose of perspective
A dose of perspective
November 30, 2015

When my college roommate, Woody, arrived at my house last week, I was elated to see him. For years, we were virtually inseparable - even when his service to the country took him to Germany, Iraq and elsewhere. But, once he moved to upstate Vermont and I started a family back in Boston, the frequency of our communication dwindled to…

Time to smell the roses (again)
Time to smell the roses (again)
November 9, 2015

Years ago, when Small Army’s offices were on Newbury Street, I got in the habit of posting photos from the Boston Public Garden as walked to and from our parking garage under the Boston Common. The posts, each tagged with #smelltheroses, were a daily reminder for me (and the few people who followed me) to be thankful for all the…

How can I help you?
How can I help you?
October 19, 2015

Before I launched Be Bold Be Bald (BBBB) in 2009, I often thought about business as a give-and-take relationship. I give you something of value and you give me something back of equal value (i.e., money, trade, etc.). But BBBB caused me to think differently. Mourning the death of my friend, Mike, I entered into BBBB with the pure mindset of “how…

Are you an EEP?
Are you an EEP?
August 10, 2015

When hiring new employees, one of the most important qualities I look for is enthusiasm. We want  a team of go-getters. People who are proactive as opposed to re-active. People who put their passion into their work. And, people who approach every task (as menial as some may be) with energy and excitement. However, there is a point at which…

Speak Up!
Speak Up!
July 20, 2015

My kids are generally excellent travelers. However, on our recent family trip to Thailand, they had their moments. In particular, there were a few occasions when my 11-year old daughter, Julia, "got in a mood” and only after much prodding was I able to discover what was upsetting her and address the problem. (Most often, it was either something that…

Inspiration from Chiang Mai
Inspiration from Chiang Mai
June 30, 2015

I'll start this post by acknowledging that I am fortunate to be able to travel the world with my family and enjoy unique and interesting experiences with them. But today, on our full day bike tour around Chiang Mai, Thailand (where it is currently about 7:30pm), I hope that my children saw something beyond the sights in Chiang Mai and…

Your feelings are contagious
June 1, 2015

A few weeks ago, I was too lazy to change the batteries on the TV remote in the room where I exercise (yes, I see the irony) and found myself watching the best of SNL. While watching the “More Cowbell” skit for perhaps the 100th time in my life, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Again. Maybe it was…

Let’s stop the distractions.
Let’s stop the distractions.
May 11, 2015

We’ve all been at that meeting where someone keeps dropping F-bombs and, rather than pay attention to what he/she was saying, you can’t help but keep count. Or, on a slightly smaller scale, when you stop focusing on the content of a document because you're fixated on the improper use of two spaces after every period. (In my defense, this…

Are you the smartest person in the room?
Are you the smartest person in the room?
March 23, 2015

Recently, while listening to a show on NPR, one of the guests commented, “If you’re the smartest person in the room, then leave the room.” When I heard this slightly modified version of the more common phrase, I thought, “Definitely!” and decided it would make for a great lesson in a blog post. However, as I sat down to write…

Taming Passion Reaction
Taming Passion Reaction
March 12, 2015

At Small Army (and Small Army for a Cause), I have the good fortune of working with people who are greatly talented and passionate about what they do. From account managers and creative professionals to clients and partners, everyone is committed to creating the best possible work. However, in a highly collaborative environment, where many people contribute to the end…

Let’s Be Direct.
February 22, 2015

How many times have you had a discussion that went something like this:You: Hey, what do you want for dinner?Other: I don’t care?You: OK. How about pasta?Other: No.You: Um, fish?Other: No. Not really in the mood.You: I thought you said, “I don’t care?”I am not sharing this to complain about my wife (the truth is that I am not always…

How to score the big game
How to score the big game
February 1, 2015

Today is not just a big day for football – it is a big day for advertising. Tonight, brands take a large chunk of their media and production budgets to reach one of the largest and most attentive audiences of the year. They also benefit from the pre and post game advertising analysis, where industry pundits and fans alike talk…

How to mess up.
How to mess up.
January 5, 2015

Happy New Year! In an effort to help make 2015 a great year for you, I thought I’d start the year off with an article on how to mess up. Might as well get in front of it – because, regardless of how hard we try, how talented we are or how much we care, we all make mistakes. (Well,…

Are You Dysmetric?
Are You Dysmetric?
December 11, 2014

Several weeks ago, after sending out one of my blog posts via email, I got a response from a “professional marketer” telling me that I should add a call to action to my emails to increase my response rate. The truth is that most professional marketers would agree with him. I completely disagree. I’m a firm believer in measurement, but…

How to make better decisions
November 25, 2014

Over the last few years, my family has devised a very interesting decision-making system. (Actually, my daughter was the genius behind the process.) For almost every family decision (i.e., where to eat for dinner, what movie to watch, etc.), we vote. However, each vote is worth a different number of points: - Josh (the youngest child): 1 point- Julia (the…

What’s beyond the textbooks
October 27, 2014

Shortly after graduating from UNH in 1990, one of my favorite professors invited me to speak with two of her classes about my new career in advertising. I had just started working as a Media Buyer at Hill Holliday, and was excited to share my experiences (and, of course, brag about my cool new job – especially since an ex-girlfriend…

Why you do well when you do good
September 29, 2014

About 7 years ago, I was sitting in a class about social responsibility when the professor asked to see a show of hands to determine which of the following beliefs the students found to be more true: 1. When you do well, you do good; or2. When you do good, you do well The majority of the class, including me,…

It’s all about your attitude
August 25, 2014

A few weeks ago, I went to a water park with my kids, while my wife opted to visit an outlet mall. I was a bit concerned about the adventure because the last time we went to a water park my 6-yr old son (like my wife) was too scared to go on anything. So, unless we got my son…

A success metric for life
August 6, 2014

Last week, while on vacation, my family went out for a day-long boat ride. My 6-year old son and wife sat in the back of the boat, while my 10-year old daughter and I sat in the front. As the boat bounced over the waves (and we bounced equally as high on the seats), my daughter had a smile from…

Need some help delegating?
July 14, 2014

Delegating is often one of the most difficult skills to learn. It definitely was for me. But, once I overcame my fears – and learned some skills to make it work - I’ve been able to get a lot more done in a lot less time. Until you learn how to delegate work to other people, your productivity (and, likely,…

Share the Love
Share the Love
June 17, 2014

If you’ve seen any of my Facebook posts lately, you’d know that my family recently got a puppy (Jasmine the Golden Retriever). You’d also know that my wife is not the biggest fan. It’s not that she doesn’t like the dog, she just doesn’t care for her eating habits (rugs, slippers, siding of the house, sprinkler system, etc.). A few…

What makes a great story?
May 29, 2014

Several years ago, I was sitting in one of those semi-awkward meetings where a prospective client invited a few competing agencies in to talk about a potential assignment. At the beginning of the meeting, we were each asked to give a quick introduction. When it was my turn to speak, I shared “Small Army is often called an advertising agency,…