“Build wealth for my family, grow professionally, have fun. If a job doesn’t meet these criteria, don’t do it.”

– Jeffrey Hayzlett, former Kodak CMO,  Forbes Magazine “Celebrity CMO” and Author of The Mirror Test

I heard Jeff speak earlier this week at the Exact Target conference in Indianapolis. He’s a dynamic speaker, a larger than life presence and has a distinctive “take no prisoners” attitude. He shared a lot of gems, but this is the one that’s stuck with me after 48 hours.

I agree with Jeff. These are great criteria. But as I look around at my own life and the careers of family and friends close to me…it seems like it’s getting harder to satisfy all three of these at the same time in one job.

Do priorities shift in middle age? Does the pressure to provide mean that “wealth” begins to trump the other two and we settle for less than ideal?

I was with a former colleague last night who has been at his current job for decades. I assume given his seniority that he’s well paid.

He certainly has fun with the colleagues and clients he’s known for a long time. Many of whom have crossed the line over to genuine friends.

So what’s the rub?

He’s bored.

Intellectually numb as a shot of Novocaine.

Personal Branding: Looks Matter

“You want to be taken seriously, you got to have serious hair.”

– Tess in the film Working Girl

Remember this moment when Melanie Griffith’s character went from her “working girl” hair to a shorter, more serious do?

You can chalk it up to dramatic license, but I think there was actually an interesting tidbit on personal branding in there.

Like it or not, we are judged by how we look.

Lest you think that this is a women’s only issue, check out  this article about a recent study that found that CEO’s  (all men) look more or less credible according to their facial features.


“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr

I was searching through a list of his inspirational quotes and came across this one. While, it might be a lesser known saying it struck me as very relevant today’s culture of interdependency. Whether you are talking about social media and marketing or the moral imperative to reach out and help total strangers in Haiti, I do believe that it is clear that we will all succeed or fail based on our collective actions.

What does Martin Luther King Jr. and this day of remembrance mean to you?


“God, I’m 51 years old and I spent 30 years of my life doing things I didn’t want to do. The things you do to please other people! I said to myself, Well now I’m just going to have a good time. That was the most freeing thing.”

-Alec Baldwin in this month’s Wired Magazine in an article titled “Stay in the Game: The Fall and Rise of Alec Baldwin” where he speaks about his failures, his TV comeback, and how he looks forward to failing again.

I am a big fan of Wired and this month’s issue does not disappoint.

There’s a picture of Alec Baldwin on the cover in a fighting pose and a big black box that says “Fail. Why Losing Big Can Be a Winning Strategy”.

Along with Mr. Baldwin-Mike Tyson, Meg Whitman, and Bill Clinton talk candidly about some of their biggest failures and most importantly what they’ve learned from them.

As I mentioned in my earlier post Fail Harder, I’m also a big fan of failure. Not that I enjoy falling on my face. But I do think true innovation takes risk. And failure is a sure sign that you are taking risks.

What have you learned from failure?