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One Man's Opinion Vol 2, No. 2

Since the relaunch of FCA, I have been asked if I also intend to restart my blog, Deal Tracks, which my colleague Jeff Weinstein kindly published each week for 73 weeks in HOTELS Online. At this point, I doubt I will, particularly while FCA is, as I have said to too numerous friends to count, only on the on ramp to the Interstate and not quite flowing with the traffic.

However, my Twitter account [@FourCornersAdv] and my LinkedIn account have seen a good deal of industry related commentary over the last few months, so my voice is out there.

One thing I have noticed, and I am -- and, in retrospect, I was, while writing Deal Tracks and, indeed, all of my prior (and this) One Man's Opinion blurbs on this website -- open to the same criticism I am about to offer. Here goes:

Much of the work that passes for commentary in Twitter feeds or regularly and not-so-regularly published blogs is, frankly, lukewarm, dishwater insipid. . . nothing.

Recent blogs have discussed what employers are looking for in hiring from college, what the trendy foods will be for the next week/month/year, how salespeople should convert their leads to signed group agreements and thousands of words on . . . leadership -- how to teach it, how to manifest it, and how to learn it. (And, yes, I am guilty of having dipped my pen into the 'leadership' ink in the past in this very space.)

I will tell you straight out: most of what I have read is garbage. From the columnists, the authors, the bloggers, and the Tweeters (especially, those Tweeters who make up or simply use quotes from others as if they had discovered the fountain of youth knowledge on leadership), everything I read is restated, recycled and fabricated SPAM (with apologies to Hormel).

Lately, I have read three books that deal with management and leadership. If one wants to learn about leadership, read, in fact, pick up and do not put down Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin; The Good Enough Manager, by Aaron Nurick, PhD, Professor at Bentley University; and Creativity Inc., by Ed Catmull, CEO of Pixar. If you hunger for even more after those three, read any them again and again. You need not read anything else; that would be both superfluous and unnecessary.

I recently left a team in whose formation I played an, but, by no means, the only, important role. I tried to be a good (enough?) manager and leader for them. In some ways I succeeded and in some, perhaps many more, I did not. However, I did not lead by platitudes, one-sentence rehashing of the quotes of others, or the principles du jour. I listened and interacted and guided and intervened, and I hoped like hell I was there sufficiently for my team. I cared, and I wanted them to know I cared. I wish all of the leaders/managers I have dealt with cared even a fraction of what I did.

Only time and the team will tell.

That's just . . . One Man's Opinion.

Four Corners Notes

The current state of the Athletics Department at UNC -- OK, how many thought I would never touch this? -- is . . . turmoil. Though the current administration was not there at the time of the events in question, how our new Chancellor and relatively new Athletic Director handle the current circumstances will be early tests of their leadership. Trial by fire and the Raleigh News & Disturber Observer will be challenging. Good luck to Chancellor Folt and AD Cunningham and, as always, Go Heels!

The principal of FCA, Michael Shindler, has over 40 years of sophisticated legal and transactional experience in commercial real estate, of which the last 30 years have been spent in the hospitality field.