So, This Happened

So humbled and not something I “campaigned” for. Bottom line is I am lucky to be surrounded by great people –

Create it, Own It, Change it – and be open to growth

When you create or develop is it for you and you alone? Is it for others? Is it collaborative?

I follow Seth’s Blog #sethgodin #sethsblog on a regular basis and I particularly liked his post today about Artists and Freedom. It ends with the statement – The responsibility to own what we make. “

I agree with the blog whole hardheartedly, however I also recognize that in a world where we are creating and sharing you also need to be open for growth and criticism (good and bad). This does not mean you have to change your creation, idea, direction or plan.

It does mean you should evaluate the creation, did you make it solely for yourself? Or to share? If you did it for you and you alone and you are happy with it, that should be enough. However if your creation is to be shared and has a direction or a plan, be open to others thoughts on it – listen and be willing to change and pivoting – work together and be ready for growth. Collaborate and create together

The biggest challenge is to know the difference and when to pivot and when to be happy with your work.

Teach a person to fish……

Regardless of your position in life, one thing for certain is you do not know everything and you are not in charge. The mistake we make is when we think we do and are.

I just read the article “To Be a Great Leader, You Have to Learn How to Delegate Well” in the HBR #HBR. My take away:

Delegate – and empower… show others you do not know it all and can not do it all. Surround yourself with many people who can enlighten you. Don’t just delegate to them, ask assistance – be willing to learn. Know and learn how to enlighten others. Know that we are all leaders in one relationship or another.

The more you ‘take-on’ the less gets done as a leader. In fact you are less of a leader.

The article sums it up perfectly in the second paragraph “The upper limit of what’s possible will increase only with each collaborator you empower to contribute their best work to your shared priorities.

Think about deploying this in all areas of your life, not just at work. It will change how you do things.

#delegate #Jessesostrin #empower

I was never a theater kid but wish I was!

I recently read this article 7 Life Skills Every Theater Kid Will Learn and was hooked, these stand true not only for a Theater Kid, but for so many other kids (and adults) stepping out of their normal comfort zone.  

1. Self­-Confidence 

2. Creative Thinking & Problem Solving

3. A Broad Human Perspective

4. Follow Through

5. Teamwork

6. The ability to work under pressure.

7. Sheer Enjoyment

I immediately asked myself: “Which of these 7 could you live without?”   None, of course, at least for me. I need all these skills all the time. The problem is that I do not know in what order I will need them or when I will need to deploy which one.  As adults we do not have as many opportunities to continue to develop these skills. We do have the foundation of these skills and we do have the daily opportunity to re-connect to them and enhance them.  The critical question is when and how. Which ones do you struggle with (try something new and reconnect to those first)

Which of the 7 are the most important to you?  I would love to hear why?

The Worst Two Words Ever Said ???

Or at least the worst words that could be said in my house growing up – what are they?


Now saying that would get me in trouble – I was told it was censorship and stifles people’s ideas.  I think my Dad was right.  It is mean, and the spirit of saying “shut up” verbally or non- verbally does not allow thoughts to flow.

There is a general accepted level of respect we all owe each other and when we close ourselves off to other’s thoughts and ideas, we shut off that respect.  This does not mean that all ideas are good for all people or that I need to respect everyone.  However, if I do not listen, then I can not make a judgement for myself.

This flows beyond the kitchen table (as it was when I grew up) and beyond the conference room.  It should travel with you everywhere you go.

Allow ideas to flow, allow people to say them, allow yourself to hear them and then make your own decision about the thought or idea. 

There is no growth if we do not allow people to talk and express themselves.

Hey – wanna hear the words that I was allowed to say at the kitchen table???

#shutup #nevershutup #shareideas

Who do you think we are

I was recently asked, “ who do your clients think you are (And who Axis is)?”

Big pause……. big elevator speech ……

I am a solution provider. A person who helps tell a story. The story is told by proper messaging tied into a memorable experience most often (almost always) associated with a tangible take away. I solve problems.

To me that says so much… and is also very concise.
This theme has been absorbed into my every day life. As a dad, partner, friend and community member, I feel it is so critical to have an intention and tell a story with my actions—regardless  of work or play. (It is a work in progress.) Tell a story, make it relatable, make it memorable and make it impactful. Professionally, I make it live  in a tangible take away so others can help tell your story.

Let’s tell stories together

If I ever leave this world alive by Flogging Molly

why do I love this song and the energy of this band

I love music and I love lyrics. When truly listened to songs speak to me, both the words and the sounds. Thank you #floggingmolly for giving us this song.

Simply put this song reminds me of my responsibilities in life, the world, my community and my family & friends. How do I make sure that I Leave This World Alive and what does it mean to me? — It is not necessarily physically leaving the world, (but maybe it is) , however to me it is moving on from anything. I want to make sure that I leave a positive lasting impact. It is easier than you think.

At the end my biggest reward to to pass on my positive and productive habits to others.

Be an example. We all should be an example.

Act as you want to be treated, randomly help others to keep their world alive.

Pass on your morals through your actions and not through your power.

What can you do today to make someone smile? Make it random, make it easy, do it again tomorrow and the next day. There will be two results – first it will become habit forming and natural to you. And second, and very likely others will pass on the smile.

Let’s all leave this world alive.

I have never done that at this moment in time before.

My kids (when they were little) used to say to me “Dad, what do you mean you don’t know what to do to help me?” It did not matter what the problem was, I am “Dad” and we “Dads” are supposed to be all powerful.

Of course made me feel like the worst Dad in the world for a brief second – until I realized that I had never been there before so how could I know what to do. In response, I used to say to my kids, “this is new for me, I have never been a Dad on (pick a date) July 18, 2012. And I never had to deal with this situation before on this date…” This confused them, and they thought I was just buying time, I was!

My banter would continue for a moment longer until we both realized we had a few options; think it through as a team, ask for help, and lastly take an educated stab at dealing with it based on experience. We usually picked all three options and unpacked the giant box of solutions to find the one we could best adopt.

My kids are older now, not fully grown and I am not an empty nester, however we still trouble shoot the same way, we don’t need to unpack the box like we did, as a team we have figured out the steps to take. It is a smoother process now but always a learning experience. The biggest takeaway is that I have adopted this into my whole life, not just parenting.

It is pretty simple:

  • I don’t know it all and never will
  • I have not lived tomorrow yet – so don’t think I have
  • Allow my past experiences to help me with tomorrow’s challenges
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help.
  • I don’t know it all and never will

I am yet to find a friend, family member, colleague, client (you name it) to find fault in me saying – “I don’t have an answer right this moment – let me get back to you” – the only mistake you can make here is not getting back to them.

Its Not The What, it is the Why

Its Not The What, it is the Why

My job is to provide solutions, to tell a story, to connect someone to the story and make them a champion for your story and share your message. I do this with branded promotional merchandise (the WHAT); however, the critical message is the WHY that got us to the WHAT.

The concept seems pretty simple, however how many of us really execute the Why and instead, focus on the What? For 30 years I have been in the promotional space specializing in branded merchandise, and for the last 16 years with Axis Promotions. I am surrounded by promotional items every day. Over the last 20+ years, I have realized and now share with my clients and partners that it is not important what you give out for a campaign, but WHYyou are using that item. It is not the hat or the mug or the shirt, it is the vehicle to convey a story.

I am not a fan of talking about merchandise, product or an item when I introduce my ‘elevator speech’. I am a story teller and that is my passion. Once we are ready to tell the story and chose the vehicle, it is important that you know Why are you using that? We want the recipient to know Why did they get that? They should be able to tell what is the Story(not what is the gift); the best executed project is when the branded item tells the story all by itself. A lot of time and money is spent on communications of a brand across all mediums; if it can tell WHY it lives and the recipient becomes your brand or stories champion. Now that’s a great reward!

If you are reading this and scratching your head thinking “What did Larry just say? Why

did Larry just write this?” let me know – I have a story for you!

This is the first post on my new blog. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

#axismade #axispromo


So, I am becoming a blogger!!?? (or) Am I becoming a blogger??!!

This is all new to me so stick by me and stick around – I have learned that I live my work life the same way that I live my ‘life’. My direction and principals are the same.

So with that said here are some of the random ideas I plan on rambling about:

Be ready for the worst case scenario – because it is not happening

Who do our clients think we are

Why do I do charity work – why should anyone?

Does it have to be said and if yes NOW?

The Grateful Dead, Flogging Molly, Harry Nilsson, and other Lyrics

What did I write on my yoga mat and why?

Say you are sorry (oh and mean it)

The power of being wrong

How we get what we give

Characteristics to hire by

When you are stuck

The Practice of Yoga


I HATE the title Boss / I love Team Lead

Do you do an inventory?

Asking for help

What does STDR stand for?

Prepare for No’s and push-back

Wow- I have much more to say than I ever thought…..


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