Moment of Truth: The 2012 Elections are Finally Here

Originally published in Utah Business.

The moment of truth is here. On Nov. 6 Americans will elect a president, vice president and 468 members of Congress. For many, it will be the election of a lifetime as we choose how to eliminate chronic unemployment, national malaise and a trillion dollar deficit. It’s our chance, indeed our duty, to vote for a better future. As we do so, I offer a post-partisan and admittedly imperfect, five-step plan for the new Congress and president that I hope will inform your vote and your public advocacy in the weeks ahead.

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Back to School: Pivotal Lessons about Educational Progress

Originally published in Utah Business.

I am a product of Utah’s public schools. I grew up in the East Millcreek area and attended Olympus High School. I did my undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Utah (yes, I bleed red). I also have two children—Rosie and Theo—raised in Utah’s public education system. When it comes to education, Utah is all I know.

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Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff

Originally published in Utah Business.

“Take some of this burden from us.” That was the request of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his summer testimony to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. In an uncharacteristically revealing way he asked members of Congress to help with America’s ailing economy. Fed chairman typically focus on monetary policy and leave advice on fiscal policy to someone else. But these are not ordinary times.

Summer Reading

Originally published in Utah Business.

Summer is a great time for self-reflection and a good read. I combined the two by reading Clayton Christensen’s new book, How Will You Measure Your Life? In it, Christensen applies business theories to the making of a successful life. Read it and I guarantee you will re-order your thoughts, recalibrate your career and renew your commitment to friends and family.

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A Forgotten Virtue

Originally published in Utah Business.

Just before penning this column, I took an afternoon run with my dog in Murray Park and received confirmation that spring is in full swing. I saw seven egg-size baby ducklings swimming with their mother in Little Cottonwood Creek. It’s a Kodak moment that I look forward to every year because it symbolizes renewal. Whether it’s ducks in a pond or economic recovery, we all love a bright new day.

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A New City

Originally published in Utah Business.

Several years ago I was sitting in the summer humidity of Washington, D.C. on an old, sturdy park bench in the National Mall talking to my future boss Lane Beattie. He asked if I would be interested in leaving my job in Washington so I could help the Utah business community reinvigorate downtown Salt Lake City. Something big was happening, and Lane invited me to be part of it.

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Time to Show Up

Originally published in Utah Business.

Utah faces a banner election year. In the next nine months we will vote on a U.S. president, a governor, a U.S. senator, four U.S. congressmen, 91 legislators and many more public officials. It’s time to bring out the Woody Allen in all of us and remember that “80 percent of life is showing up.”

So let’s talk about that 80 percent and Utah’s unique caucus-convention system.

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Utah’s Olympic Moment

Originally published in Utah Business.

“Not everybody gets the chance to skate the performance of their life.” That was U.S. figure skater Sarah Hughes’s summary of how she had catapulted from fourth place to Olympic gold at the Delta Center on the last night of the figure skating competition. Her performance and that statement captured a moment of greatness that mirrored Utah’s experience in hosting the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. We hosted the world and excelled. It was our Olympic moment, and most of us will never forget it.

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A Reality Distortion Field for 2012

Originally published in Utah Business.

I love the start of a new year. My mood turns decidedly positive as my Christmas lights are taken down, cards are recycled and tree is turned into compost. I begin the mental shift from ending a year to beginning a year, and everything gets better for me. It’s a time for reflection, refinement and renewal, and I soak it in like a warm sun on a winter day.

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Economic River Rafting

Originally published in Utah Business.

Now that the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, otherwise known as the Supercommittee, has failed to do its part, the U.S. spending problem is once again solidly in the hands of the U.S. Congress. Their economic leadership—or lack of leadership—will significantly impact regional economies all around the country, including ours. It is nail-biting time and we need our government to step up big. As some economists have said, the market economy sits in the back seat while government leaders (globally and domestically) sit in the front seat holding the wheel. We need serious economic leadership.

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Writings and Reflections