Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Jeff West

Monday, May 21st, 2012

It is being reported that Jeff West, ‘consigliere’ to Jack Matthews of Matthews Southwest, friend of our firm and great guy, passed away suddenly today at age 54.  Jeff West’s credentials speak for themselves.  Our last memory of Jeff came last week when we were in the conference room at the Omni Hotel Dallas. We were previewing videos with the Omni management team when Jeff walked in, and in typical fashion, sat for a while moment and then dashed off for yet another meeting.

We had been working with Jeff on capturing the ambitious art project inside the Omni in video.  For us, that project was so Jeff.  Audacious.  Creative.  Worthy.  The staff at YouPlusDallas sends our deepest sympathies to the West family and close friends.  He will be missed.


Sunday, June 26th, 2011


24 Hour Video Race @ the Angelika

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

My new friend, The University of Texas at Arlington Professor Bart Weiss, is hosting the finals of the 24 Hour Video Race, a filmmaking competition in which teams of videomakers have 24 hours to write, shoot, edit and score an original short film.

This is the tenth anniversary of the Video Race, and I have the honor of being one of the judges in the final, which will be held Monday evening at the Angelika Theater located at Mockingbird Station. The festivities begin at 6pm. The 10 Best Videos from the past races are displayed here.

Dallas Mayoral Debate

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Live blogging from the Gospel Lighthouse Church where mayoral candidates David Kunkle, Ron Natinsky, Edward Okpa and Mike Rawlings discuss how faith plays a role in public policy.

Dallas Mayoral Debate

Obama’s Doctrine of Ambiguity

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

As one who studies US foreign policy, I am not a fan of presidential doctrines that are generally crafted by the press out of a line or two of a president’s speech.  The Monroe Doctrine may have actually been the only true doctrine, defined by its namesake, and even it proved susceptible to gross misinterpretation and expansive misapplication.  Moreover, in an age of complexity, doctrines, or grand strategies, seem less appealing or relevant than the flexibility ambiguity allows, which is clearly why President Obama favored ambiguity in his recent address on Libya.  We live in an age of supervention, where seemingly disconnected and anachronistic events have effects, which is an inexorable reality of complexity.  The larger problem however, is not about US foreign policy and its strategic design in a complex world; it is about American identity; it is about how we Americans view our role at home and in the world.


Leading from the Soul (Part 4 of 4)

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Part IV: Moral Purpose


The final element of leading from the soul is moral purpose.  There is a terrific book on this issue by consultant Simon Sinek, titled, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.[1] Sinek argues that while most of us and the organizations we work for can readily articulate what we do and how we do it, all too often there is confusion or even no understanding of why. Why provides the beliefs and convictions that direct the what and how.  If the why is missing, everything else is the product of randomness and, even more troubling, its absence provides a vacuum that will be filled by divergent interests and nefarious actors.  (more…)

Leading from the Soul (Part 3 of 4)

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Part III: Transcendent Courage

The next element of leading from the soul is transcendent courage.  Courage is the spine of character; it is the synaptic command and control system for all other virtues.  We are all familiar with courageous acts; the firefighter who rescues the child from the burning building, the soldier who throws himself in the path of danger to save his comrades, or the passengers who uttered “Let’s roll” and gave their own lives to protect other innocent Americans the terrorists intended to kill at their target in Washington DC on 9/11.  There is no question these acts are heroic and worthy of significant praise, even reverence.  Are they born from courage?  Panic?  Desperation?  Are they reflexive or triggered from a deeply-wired sense of personal responsibility?  Is courage inherited or learned?  Are courageous people attractive, intelligent, wealthy, or prophetic?  Do they attend church every Sunday?  Do courageous people necessarily perform heroic acts or is courage a state of being that may never be overtly expressed?


Leading from the Soul (Part 2 of 4)

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Part II: The Power of Solitude

Leading from the soul can only occur if we practice solitude.  As former Yale professor of literature, William Deresiewicz warned us, today we seem to be intoxicated by “celebrity and connectivity,” where the “great contemporary terror is anonymity.”[1] However, we know that the act of being alone — of practicing solitude — has produced great work.  In literature solitude gave us Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Jane Austen; and more contemporary talents like Maya Angelou and David Foster Wallace.  In music it gave us a range of brilliance from Mozart, to Coltrane, to Hendrix.  In science solitude found in laboratories and garages gave us street lights, vaccines, and microprocessors.  Some of the greatest thinkers of all time, like Isaac Newton, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Freidrich Nitzsche never married and lived alone most of their lives.  In leadership, solitude gave us the aforementioned Lincoln, Gandhi, and King.


Leading From the Soul (Part 1 of 4)

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

When I think of great leaders I think of people like Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.  They were people whom against all odds and, moreover, against popular opinion, led society to places it would have never gone without them – to places that established new norms and higher expectations.  Their ideas and convictions were asserted thoughtfully and courageously and they never wavered from their purpose: to improve the lot of humanity.  These leaders spent a great deal of their time alone, reading and deliberating.  These leaders took risks that elevated everyone.  These leaders had a humble sense of self and a clear sense of mission.  When the history books are written about the early 21st century, I believe it will be claimed that while we suffered from economic malaise, global warming, terrorist acts, etc., the cause was not a housing or capital markets crisis, or an addiction to fossil fuels, or declining test scores, rising federal deficits, or even a broken healthcare system, it was rather a debilitating scarcity of leadership.  Leaders today show little, if any, of the characteristics of Lincoln, Gandhi, and King. (more…)

A Time to Lead

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

The events in Tucson this weekend illustrate all too painfully what has become of leadership in America. The events themselves raise many questions that can and are being debated with (mostly) appropriate vigor. But what led to the murderous act of Jared Lee Loughner, concerning as it is, is unlikely to produce a clear evaluation of the state of leadership in America. What will, however, is the careful observation of what comes now: the response of our elected officials. The early results are not promising. (more…)