by Jim Johnsen,
Managing Director, Johnsen, Fretty & Company
Ever see someone get up in front of a group and riff one and think to yourself, that was about the coolest thing I have ever witnessed?
I happened to be at the VIP DPAA dinner this past week before the DPAA Summit the following day. What the hell I was doing there I have no idea…maybe they didn’t see me come in the back door. Anyway, Barry always puts on a good show and this time, once again, didn’t disappoint. The headliners were two great women: Katty Kay from BBC and Liz Claman from Fox Business News. Kay, a graduate of Oxford University was straight forward in her approach, but her most recent project, “Trump, the Come Back?”, where she travels across the U.S. and works alongside “us regular people” in search of the answer, is pretty damn interesting and brave IMHO! Here is the trailer (and her wiki if you would like to learn a bit more about her):
This was followed up with Liz Claman who was part Candice Bergman, part Lucille Ball; and very quick, sharp and down to earth to boot. What’s a girl from Beverly Hills doing in Columbus, Ohio? Killing it on WSYX-TV (ABC) as an anchor. In any event, it sounds like she jumped to Fox Business News in 2007 and never looked back. Liz Claman | Fox Business
She made some great observations on how the right corporate culture is infectious and ultimately makes or breaks companies. Interestingly enough, she tried to make the case that Fox Business News has nothing to do with Fox News, but IMHO, the audience was having none of it. Watch the following clip from Friday and then decide for yourselves:
Thanks for the recap Johnsen, but what is the big whoop? Well, after Liz finishes her thing, Barry turns to John Miller, EVP of Sales and Marketing for Lamar and says, “John, do you have any thoughts on the two presenters this evening?” Unless John is the greatest actor of all time he looked a little short of horrified to be put on the spot. I know I would have needed another pair of Depend’s if Barry had sent me the mic. After a short pause, John stands up, composes himself and then without hesitation says (and I paraphrase loosely and poorly John so my apologies) “the problem with our country right now is that we all put each other in a box. We all assume we know the other person based on what they watch, which party they affiliate with, how they dress and what their religious orientation is. When we put people in boxes, we stop listening, we stop hearing, we stop trying to understand. And we summarily and usually incorrectly put that person in a box, which is not “our box.” John went on to tell a very personal story about his son, first describing some of his educational, professional, political and religious orientations. He then paused, looked at the audience and said, “now you have him in the box, right?”…he then went on to describe some additional attributes and kind actions his son had taken, and then turned to the audience and asked, “still have him in the box?”. The audience was dead silent.
Liz Claman and Katty Kay were great, no cream cheese off their bagel, but all I can say is John Miller…you absolutely CRUSHED IT. I am going to be remembering that one for a long time. Thank you.
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