June 29, 2006

News & Opinion: Journalizing my professional life

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 4:27 PM – Filed under: Leadership & Strategy

Side note: click here if you missed John's first, second and third entries.
It takes only one or two cocktail parties for a reporter to realize that he or she has an incredibly interesting job: You interviewed the CEO of Procter & Gamble? You talked with P. Diddy? Whats Donald Trump like? Business reporters and business columnists speak with hundreds of executives or consultants every year and the topics can be wide-ranging or intensely focused on just one or two areas of commerce. Theres an Everyman aspect to the job, too: interviews with owners of small but extremely successful companies are sometimes the best way to get to the essence of entrepreneurship: how did Dead Butler dream up Eyeglasses-in-An-Hour? What was the board of directors of E.W. Scripps thinking as its new Scripps Networks division piled up tens of millions in losses quarter after quarter after quarter before turning the corner on blank ink and now generating hundreds of millions of dollars in profit year after year after year. Why did David Pelz walk away from NASA to start his own golf school? Births of companies are almost always the most interesting part of my job. Also, an interview is a fleeting and capricious thing. Reporters are usually going for one or two insights, at best, to fill out a story on one topic or another. Other interviews occur in crowded press conferences. As the interviews in my life began to pile up with the years, one day it came to me Im a journalist, why not journalize my professional life? Show the breadth and depth of American commerce and let any insights about achievement, excellence, entrepreneurship or ambition emerge from those conversations. Thats what Ive tried to do.