Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creating a Legacy

20th Anniversary of founding of K2 Design. L to R: Matthew De Ganon, David Centner,
Brad Szollose and Douglas Cleek.

I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude. Twenty years ago, on a bitter cold February in 1993, Douglas Cleek and I registered our company K2 Design, Inc. here in NYC.

You can read about our early exploits if you wish. But, in all honesty, we couldn't have possibly known that 20 years later, we would be attending a reunion.

Coordinated at Rosa Mexicana in NYC, over 40 former employees showed up to shake hands, give hugs, and thank yous. But what has been the very best part of all this, is the stories of where people are working today, and how K2 influenced their entire career.

I got home late, and with all the stuff going on in my head, it was the stories that still echo in my mind...and touched my heart.

I didn't know I would be creating such a legacy when Doug and I started K2. David Centner and Matt De Ganon came along in 1995 and together we built a better company where people could thrive. And that is perhaps the point of this post: what kind of Legacy are we creating in this world?

Let's face facts: we are in a transition on planet earth. We have technology of the likes we only dreamed of in Science Fiction, yet we aren't able to wipe out poverty and hunger. We are all texting like crazy, yet we are not making connections that matter. Our governments are arguing while economies are on the verge of collapse. We have the Internet, yet we are being dumbed down by sensationalism.

Want proof? Read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.

So, as we head down this road called The Future, lets try to remember a few things:

First, people are going through a lot right now.

They may be hiding it. Be kind.

Second: Your actions today ECHO into the Future.
You never know what tiny action today will come back 20 years from now.
Good or bad, choose wisely.

And Third: Nurture people's innate abilities.
We live in a world where we celebrate mediocrity now. Find what people are passionate about...what they are gifted with. Set the standards. Then show them how to support it, nurture it and build on their own innate abilities.

Abilities unique to each of us.

The end of the year is coming. What will you be surprised to find 20 years from now?

And Thank you for stopping by,

Brad Szollose

Bridging Generational Chaos: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker 

More shots from the K2 Reunion:
K2 20th Anniversary Party: left-right: Ken Braun —founder of Lounge Lizard and ManWall,
Brad Szollose — Author of Liquid Leadership, Vinton Lennon — founder Vinton Lennon Creative,
Renee Rotkopf — Award-Winning creative director, Doug Jaeger — founder of The Happy Corp/
Community Activist.

K2 20th Anniversary Party: left-right: Joe Apprendi — CEO of Collective/ran our CliqNow! division
at K2. Tom Hespos — President of Underscore Marketing.

 Brad Szollose is a much sought-after generational expert, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior… and how that impacts management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.

But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.

Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analogue driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Liquid Leadership has been called "THE guidebook for the 21st Century" and has won the 2011 Axiom Business Book Award silver medal for leadership, The Indie Business Book runner up silver medal as well as becoming a #1 Best-Selling Business Book on Amazon for Organizational Learning. Published in the United States by Greenleaf Book Group, in India by Prolibris and in South Korea by UI Books/Iljinsa Publishing.

Mr. Szollose also writes a monthly column on business and marketing techniques that reach Generation Y for A Captured Mind newsletter and is part of The Mind Capture Group faculty.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 

* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.