“He’s a person you’d wish you’d always had around long before you actually hired him.” Somebody really said that.
Hello. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m glad to have the chance to tell you a little about myself. Your time is precious, so I won’t waste it.
Me ... so far
Still here? Great. For very nearly 30 years, from my freshman year in high school until just very recently, the one constant in my life was working in newsrooms. I was at home in some of America’s biggest newsrooms, from Detroit to Seattle to Chicago.
In that time, predominantly spent at the Chicago Tribune, I was a designer, an art director, an editor, an occasional writer and, for most of my time, a manager of people and budgets.
My design work in news, sports and features has been honored more than 50 times in international design competitions, including multiple medals.
Then came RedEye, the startup newspaper that made its mark in the industry. The adrenaline rush of a startup was awesome. To work among the Tribune’s most talented editors and writers creating something brand new, unburdened by history, full of possibility for everyone … man, what fun.
Throughout that time, I was fortunate to be the leader of talented, creative people since 1999. They met every increasing deadline and demand. We consistently overdelivered and underspent our multimillion-dollar plans. We lived “more with less” in real ways.
• Our work must be top-drawer in every detail, from first glance to taking it all in.
• If you work for me, I work for you. I’ll do whatever needs doing to help us succeed.
• We’re all in this together.
• Let’s go get ’em. (I say that, maybe, probably too much. But whatever challenge is before us, we’ll never have as much time as we have right now, so let’s dig in and ... go ... get ... ’em. See, just happens.)
How we get it done
Knowing what we want to accomplish isn’t necessarily the same thing as what we need to get done. To me, the latter is simply the task at hand. The former is the lasting impact of that work. That’s the question I try to answer first.
With thought, debate, research and a pinch of gut instinct, we set our sights on what’s best for our customers and work our way back. Knowing the target often makes the path clear. Then momentum builds.
That’s true for months-long projects like covering an Olympics and documenting the immortality of a Chicago icon as he’s inducted into basketball’s Hall of Fame.
It’s the same process, but done more quickly, to document the final tragic days of former Notre Dame and Chicago Bears great Dave Duerson or make an emotional connection in the moments following the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Ready for what’s next
In every newsroom department I worked, the goal was always the same: Connect with our customers when and how they wanted and in ways nobody else in the market could. Do that and we’d earn our place in their lives each and every day.
It was a hell of a lot of fun.
My goal: I’m always looking for kindred, no-mountain-is-too-tall spirits. I want to be part of an ambitious team setting its sights on building something that lasts, that demands greatness of itself and maybe, in the end, helps make the world a little better. Easy, right?
Is this how you would describe your operation? I’d love to talk with you.