Year: 2018

2018: The Year In Pictures

2018: The Year In Pictures

As some of you know, I enjoy taking pictures – and then finding something to say.

Sisters: A Christmas Story

Sisters: A Christmas Story

Listen to “Sisters: A Christmas Story” by Fred Smith   I’ve been reading this week about the disaster of Sumner Redstone’s family. While Sumner built great business ventures in CBS and Viacom, his personal life and that of his entire family is a tale filled with betrayals of trust, conflicts of interest, lawsuits against each other, theft, shady ethics, deceit and greed that stead ...[Read More]

Haters

Haters

Listen to “Haters” By Fred Smith   Facebook is not the place for subtlety and we all know that.  Yet, this week I posted a spoof from the Babylon Bee and several good friends took it seriously. I know I should file disclaimers, but I don’t. It was the one telling us that scores of Trump supporters were abandoning him because he preferred McDonald’s over Chick-fil-A. I thought it w ...[Read More]

Place and Power

Place and Power

Listen to “Place and Power” by Fred Smith   If you want well-written insight into the work of speechwriters and their behind-the-scenes influence, I would suggest Barton Swaim’s book, “The Speechwriter.” Its soul-searching honesty about the conflicts, challenges and moments of both praise and despair are good reading. Some of our finest pundits, commentators, and authors hav ...[Read More]

The Glitter is Gone

The Glitter is Gone

Listen to “The Glitter is Gone” by Fred Smith   In the past there has always been an unspoken bond between the very rich “one percent” of our world and the rest of us. During the Great Depression, people flocked to the movies to escape the harshness of their lives and catch a momentary peek at the one percent who were doing well. For years, the most popular movies were those with ...[Read More]

Quo Vadis?

Quo Vadis?

  Listen to “Quo Vadis?” by Fred Smith Haley was five when she came to me and said she wanted to set up to sell lemonade in the front yard.  Not being the craftsman my father was, I hammered together a very wobbly cardboard and wood stand.  After she laid out her cups, pitcher and money box, I stepped inside the house for maybe two minutes.  When I returned she was gone – along wi ...[Read More]

The Thing With Feathers

The Thing With Feathers

Listen to “The Thing With Feathers” By Fred Smith   Watch the SYFY channel and one of the obvious changes you’ll see is the apocalyptic nature of so much science fiction today. It’s all about the end of the world as we know it with either invasions or self-destruction. Being now in my 70’s, I started thinking about what science fiction was like when I was growing up. It was ...[Read More]

Fifty Ways To Leave

Fifty Ways To Leave

Listen to “Fifty Ways To Leave” by Fred Smith   When I began writing this blog almost eight years ago, John Kelly was my editor. He told me, “Don’t worry about being relevant or even timely. That is what op-ed columnists and pundits do. Write about what you are thinking. People can choose to read it or not but what you are thinking is the most important thing for you to write.” Th ...[Read More]

I Stand Relieved

I Stand Relieved

Listen to “I Stand Relieved” By Fred Smith   Almost ten years ago, the Board of The Gathering and I started thinking about succession. Clearly, we did not consider it an emergency or urgent matter but did want to be prepared and not surprised by the inevitable transition of leadership to the one who would assume the helm. It is especially important and often difficult to make that ...[Read More]

Crossing The Line

Crossing The Line

Listen to “Crossing The Line” by Fred Smith   One of the most pronounced trends in the non-profit world in the last ten years has been the number of men and women in business careers making a transition to the non-profit world. Books like Bob Buford’s “Half-Time” both launched and responded to a wave of men and women who wanted to move “from success to significance.” For many who ...[Read More]