Category: Switch & Shift

Andy Cohen is the affably vivacious host of BRAVO Television’s late-night talk fest “What Happens Live.” Like him or hate him, Cohen has created a hard-to-ignore reality television empire at BRAVO.

I view this show as an authentic, no bullshit experience, he croons in the November 2014 issue of Details Magazine. Cohen is describing his talk show. I cringe.

Not at Cohen. No, at the ease with which we toss about the word “authentic.” Ever since Bill George popularized the notion of Authentic Leadership in his book True North, we have steadily killed the meaning of the word. Andy Cohen is describing a carefully curated, packaged and produced television event.

Authentic? As if we all agreed on what the heck “authentic” is. (more…)

Exhibit  # 1: An Afternoon in Rome

My first memory of being in the presence of someone with presence.

I am 21 years old and hanging out in Rome. Like many first-time visitors to this intoxicating city, I am entranced by its history. It seems to seep out of the pores of every building I pass. The moment I am about to describe is like a cliché from a Fellini movie – except that it really happened. As I am strolling up the Via Veneto, Ursula Andress, the original and archetypal James Bond girl, is descending toward me.

Even before I see her I notice people ahead of me step aside. It’s as if I am witnessing the proverbial parting of the seas. Ms. Andress is strolling down the Via with a strong, firm gait, her head held high, her posture erect, her celebrated bosom thrust forward with an easy confidence. (more…)

Where do you get your lunch?

Mo, the proprietor of the sublime Sozo Sushi in Ft. Lauderdale, asks me as I pay for dinner.

We run down the street to Doris’ Market, I answer. They have a $5.00 lunch special. Sandwich, chips, and a soda.

Doris’ is your classic old Italian market, less than a mile from my firm’s office, right on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, Florida.

Yes, there really is a Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

Lunch rush at Doris’ Market means you pull a number and wait your turn. Behind the counter, Gilda and Frank and Doreen and Freddie and a whole slew of others hustle to sell deli meats and make the lunch orders while a crowd eagerly waits. (more…)

I spent 9 days in Cuba last month.

Many stories to tell.

Yes, I engaged in some of the expected activities. Strolled through Havana Vieja, retracing Ernest Hemingway’s steps. Listened to infectious live music every day. Indulged in a slew of sumptuous meals prepared in the home-grown paladares, beacons of a nascent Cuban entrepreneurialism.