I always love reading year-end “Best Of” lists.  And also to hear, or read,  what others are looking forward to in the coming year.

So here’s my take on it – a mixture of professional and personal highlights from 2018,  and what I am looking forward to in 2019.

Best of 2018:


Best brand of the year:  Epic Games free-to-play digital-game “Fortnite.”  Because it upended most of the norms in video games,  and deeply understood its players.

Best business book:  Scale by Geoffrey West.

Best non-business book:  An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.

Best movie:  Mary Poppins Returns (OK so I am sentimental!)

Best streaming series:  Stranger Things

Best business journalism: How CEOs Manage Time” by Michael Porter and Nitin Nohria in Harvard Business Review.

Most interesting person I interviewed:  Susan Somersille Johnson of SunTrust Banks

Best sporting moment:  What else?  Roger Federer winning the Australian Open

Best family moment:  Climbing across the 4600-meter Salkantay Pass on hike to Machu Picchu.

Best business trip:  Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity… for lots of obvious reasons!

Best fitness routine:  Cardio Tennis

Worst-timed stock picks:  GE and Facebook

Best new city visited:  Cuzco,  Peru


And for 2019…
What I am looking forward to:


Business books to read (not all new):  Bad Blood by John Carreyrou,  New to Big by Christina Wallace and David Kidder,  Merchants of Truth by Jill Abramson

Other books:  Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari, 10% Happier by Dan Harris, Becoming by Michelle Obama

Business trip:  Okinawa and Tokyo for a series of seminars and visits

Movies:  They Shall Not Grow OldDumbo

Streaming series:  Stranger Things (hurry please!), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

New (to me) fitness routine:  Orange Theory

New habit:  Eating “The Whole 30” way –  beginning January 2!

Business projects: 

  • Progressing a new Jim Stengel Group R&D project on purpose measurement and assessment to help leaders sustain their purpose-centered approach
  • Pioneering a new marketing effectiveness leadership program with the EFFIE organization on the occasion of its 50th anniversary
  • Launching a new book with the Kellogg School at Northwestern on branding in a hyperconnected world
  • Working on some concepts for a new book – my third

Personal passion project:  Renovating a 1920s beach house

Family event:  Son’s wedding later this year!


Happy New Year!


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