The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life

Riding the Waves of Business

April6

business is like a glassy-fronted wave. you need to know how to approach it and enjoy the ride as opposed to killing yourself working against the wrong currents.

metaphors are great at cocktail parties. but, they are awesome if you understand them, and know how to leverage their foundation.

I recently described the state of our economy to several of my clients through the following analogy:

“Everyone has been wondering when the economy would kick-back-in. However, it’s official, we are in crazy business mode across most of the country. What made the difference? Well… I think someone bought some foreclosure property, and while repairing their landscaping discovered a hidden lever (probably by the saline pool box). They pulled it and the lights came on everywhere. Now its a mad rush to get into the action. Welcome back everyone. Let’s build empires, shall we.”

that got a lot of attention and it went viral. I fielded some radio host chatter, and might get some national sound-bite opportunities.

more importantly, it’s true and evident. and, that’s great news for everyone, providing you, “play your cards right”, or depending on the “wave you ride”, and if you can view business like a chess board (I do). neither has to be a gamble those words imply. however, gambits provide opportunities. NOTE: gambits require information and understanding. experience certainly helps.

in any event, see below for a quick Linkedin exchange I had late in the week with the emphatic Rick Stengard.

Rick StengardRick Stengard Well said. It’s also true that corporations have been quietly cutting expenses and leaning out operations over the past 5 years. Everyone’s ready to get back to making money. We have one big road block left. The Federal and State Governments are now faced with a similar challenge to cut the fat. Have no doubt that will be a painful process but will benefit everyone in the end.

Brian Patrick CorkBrian Patrick Cork I don’t agree that corporate cut-backs have been “quiet” in nature. But, the pain is certainly evident. Meanwhile, we as a business community simply and collectively have decided it’s time to go back to work. Historically, government does not track to the commercial sectors. Instead of running parallel, they are often contrary to one another. But, look for the media’s hand in much of the signaling. Once they decide to write great news it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

On the other hand, this is simply how commerce works in terms commoditized business.

To wit… When one industry flags, others prosper. That said, the guys that own the Atlanta Ferrari and Maserati dealerships will tell you that cars are flying off their lots. Guess whom is buying them? Minority government contractors. More on that later. I bet I get a call from Mayor Kasim Reed as this comment is likely ignite the potential for a fire-storm. But, it’s accurate information. And, it offers insight into “how things work”.

Business is like a glassy-fronted wave. You need to know how to approach it and enjoy the ride as opposed to killing yourself working against the wrong currents.

oedipus rescued from tragedybeyond my correspondence with Rick I always find references to our government relative to business (and the economy) curious. while our current government has no clue how to stimulate the economy, the notion of government work is generally a oxymoron. but, here is the best part of this post, and I’m curious to see if people pick-up on this… when government expenditures and productivity flag, that is when they start bringing in high-powered and expensive consultants to bring everything back-online. and, in that regard, they behave just like corporate America (and, global commerce, for that matter). look for staffing and consulting companies to be exploding. that’s always a great indicator that the light have come-on and people are dashing about madly pulling levers and pushing buttons.

Ernst & Young is forecasting a growth in it’s own revenues of over $3 Billion dollars over the next twenty-four to thirty-six months.

“Over the next two decades, rising per capita wealth in rapid-growth markets will generate a significant growth opportunity for multinational companies. Understanding this market, and developing products and services that meet its needs, will become a strategic priority that cannot be ignored.”

that comes from one of my guys at E&Y on the innovative task force.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

I hope God knows Lance Armstrong is a hero

August27

so…

I took more than the usual heat this weekend for prior posts such as, french are practical and damn silly Basterds. but, I stand by it, all of it

just like I’ll stand by Lance Armstrong.

I knew a couple of days before the papers (internet, actually) unleashed the news on a stunned world. Matthew McConaughey called with the words, “Lance is gonna walk away, man”.

headlines outlined the reality… Lance Armstrong Ends Fight Against Doping Charges; Will Be Stripped of Tour de France Titles

so… after more than two decades of out-pacing opponents and a decade of outrunning accusations that he had “doped” during his celebrated cycling career, Lance Armstrong, one of the most well-known and accomplished athletes in history, finally surrendered, so-to-speak on Thursday afternoon, etching a dark mark on his legacy by ending his fight against charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

that reads rather officious. but, I mean it appear stern and bleak. those words ring true in my own life, albeit on a different scale.

Lance and I both gave-up the face-of-our-fathers (name) with the expectations that we could move-on with our lives.

I won’t pretend, and not for a moment, that I am somehow on-par with Armstrong. what he accomplished as a professional athlete, and as a transformative champion against cancer are unequalled. my own athletic achievements, and what I attempt daily as a Dad, businessman, and youth coach will always be overshadowed by what happened to me in Colorado.

but, God knows that my heart was pure. and, I work every day to earn my own sense of redemption. and Lance has that opportunity before him.

Armstrong, who won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven straight times, said on Thursday night that he would not continue to contest the charges levied against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which contended that he doped and was one of the ringleaders of systematic doping on his Tour-winning teams.

Armstrong’s decision, according to the World Anti-Doping Code, means he will be stripped of his seven Tour titles, the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympics and all other titles, awards and money he won from August 1998 forward. it also means he will be barred for life from competing, coaching or having any official role with any Olympic sport or other sport that follows the World Anti-Doping Code. the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency erased fourteen years of Lance Armstrong’s career Friday, including his record seven Tour de France titles – and, banned him for life from the sport that made him a household name and hero to millions of cancer survivors after concluding he used banned substances.

but, it does not mean he actually doped, mind you. it means he has more important things to focus on.

Armstrong clearly knew his legacy would be blemished by his decision. but, he said he has grown tired of defending himself in a seemingly never-ending fight against charges that he doped while piling up more Tour victories than anyone ever. Lance has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests that he passed as proof of his innocence during his extraordinary run of Tour titles.

“There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, ‘Enough is enough.’ For me, that time is now,” Armstrong said Thursday night, hours before the deadline to enter arbitration.

“Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances,” he said. “I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities.”

that said…

Livestrong donations skyrocket in wake of Lance Armstrong’s decision to stop fighting charges

go to hell Jim Lewis.

that won’t make sense to anyone else, but me, and Joanne, probably. however, it makes me feel a bit better.

in any event, many wondered if Livestrong – the foundation for cancer survivors founded by the seven-time Tour de France winner and testicular cancer survivor – would suffer as a result.

It doesn’t look like it.

on Friday, McConaughey said that Armstrong had told him that donations to Livestrong were up twenty-five times over the prior Thursday and Wednesday averages.

“Thank you thank you thank you!” Armstrong wrote on Twitter.

Doug Ulman, Livestrong’s chief executive, confirmed on ESPN that the foundation had received seventy eight thousand dollars in unsolicited donations in the twenty-four hours following the announcement of Armstrong’s decision. Compare that to Thursday, when Livestrong received just $3,200 (just so we are clear, I did not do that, you did).

and, Ulman told our own foundation director that Livestrong has seen a thirteen percent increase in contributions in the last twelve months, in the light of all the allegations.

moving-on, past obstacles just as he does with opponents, in a manner that will always define Lance Armstrong, he is still competing in bike races. on Saturday, Armstrong finished second in a thirty-six mile mountain bike race in Aspen, Co., where he made his first public comments since being hit with the lifetime ban.

“Nobody needs to cry for me,” Armstrong told reporters. “I’m going to be great.

“It’s not so much about racing anymore,” he continued. “For me, it’s more about staying fit and coming out here and enjoying one of the most beautiful parts of the world, on a beautiful day, on a very hard course.”

maybe the bottom-line is this… since Armstrong launched Livestrong in 1997, the foundation has raised close to $500 million.

“Drugs or no drugs,” pro-cyclist Matthew Serge wrote on Twitter, “anyone that raises $500 million to fight cancer is cool by me.”

“I’m focused on the future,” Armstrong said after the Colorado race. “I’ve got five great kids, a great lady in my life, a wonderful foundation that’s completely unaffected by any noise out there, and we’re going to continue to do our job. The people like the people who are standing around here or on the course, they voiced their opinion in the last 48 hours and are going to support us.”

Jeremy Swanson, a photographer who shot Armstong in Aspen, tweeted: “#StillMyHero.”

McConaughey says that the winner of Saturday’s race, 16-year-old Keegan Swirbul, added: “I’m so psyched right now – to beat the seven-time Tour champ.”

titles, pride, prejudice… none of it matters in the face of integrity, force-of-will, a raison d’être, or that little voice in the back of your head that pushes you over huge hills and life obstacles grimly telling some of us that we can do it, we still have a battle to win, we have value and can contribute.

and, we shall.

redemption is always at-hand. so, how do we define redemption? I tried it recently with another post, how do You define Redemption. read it. do it now!

I suppose the masses will judge Armstrong with a shallow view. but, Lance and God know that his legacy is bigger than racing titles. Lance is bigger than life. God gave that ability to him, and may want Armstrong to leverage it in ways most others can’t comprehend. so, with the world still his stage, perhaps his best achievements lie before him. that can be his legacy.

that’s what I want for myself.

that is it’s own form of redemption, right. how well do we finish? what is the final score, tally, result.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork

the shadowy Troy Brown says brian cork is a Liar

January23

so…

most opportunities realize themselves unexpectedly. and, the majority of you won’t care about any of the following. three of you might.

being a Prudent and Optimistic Gentleman means I, more often than not, must hold myself “out there”. that can mean all manner of things. but, it’s often relative to scrutiny – attack is an option. and, the list must also include derision.

although I am of uncertain consequence amongst my Brothers, I remain everyman. and, part of the Prudent Gentleman’s mission is to makes things happen, point other things out, and, generally be involved.

in any event, after a recent post, a shadowy and uncertain figure calling themselves “Troy Brown” decided to come after me in the comments section. Belinda does not allow many comments on our blogs (“because it’s so much work to manage”). however, over the course of some verification she realized she was facing-off with one of the shadowy and insidious “they”. we don’t intend to honor “them” in any fashion. to be sure, we are not suggesting they are reasonable, potent, or possessed of merit. we do believe they are provocateurs, instigators, rabble-rousers, and loosely associated with the Black Dog and perhaps worse, the Smoking Rabbit.

I’ve met Mr. Page. and, I admire him. there are times when I might envy him. but, I don’t lay claim to knowing him. I do want everyone to focus less on me, and more on my original point concerning the conflux of change in leadership that will certainly catapult great companies to new heights. I am a shareholder of both Apple and Google, and I’m keen to see both companies change the world materially.

all that said, I decided to share the exchange with you, with a narrative of sorts. we decided to do Mr. Brown (he makes me think of those bad guys in funny sun glasses from the Matrix. or, maybe thats the image he’s hoping for) one better and take this from the comments and put it all right out here in the open. decide for yourselves, collectively any merit.

Troy Brown who is apparently not actually Troy Brown:

“I spoke with Larry Page late last night.”

I literally laughed out loud when I read this. It is truly a priceless quote. It takes great courage to so boldly lie to everyone you know – kudos for that strength.

It could have been better, though. You could have thrown in an “again” or changed “spoke with” to “had beers with” or even added “when Larry Page was at my house last night for dinner”.

And, to top it off, you thrown in a quote from a clear pseudonym – syntax and grammar were the give aways. People are much smarter than you give them credit for; they choose to allow you to continue the charade – out of pity, maybe.

Belinda:

Good afternoon Mr. Brown.

Thank you for visiting Unsinkable brian cork.

You have certainly left us a provocative comment!

Two things need to be addressed.

1.  You have made a direct attack on another person. That is mean-spirited and inappropriate.

2.  You state that a quote was used:

‘And, to top it off, you thrown in a quote from a clear pseudonym – syntax and grammar were the give aways. People are much smarter than you give them credit for; they choose to allow you to continue the charade – out of pity, maybe.’

I’ve checked. But, I don’t see a quote used. There is however a link to a third-party article that tracks to what the post is about. We view that as prudent and weighty.

So, here is what we need to do…

Please come back with a good way to verify your true identity. LinkedIn might be a good start. And, you’ll need to explain your thinking around the quote.

If you can’t or won’t do this then we have to reasonably assume you are only attempting to be nasty and find yourself without merit.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Belinda Dobson O’Hearn @ 877-207-1109

Troy Brown:

“You have found a typo in my comment!  Instead of “quote”, I meant to type “comment”.  The first comment by “Andy S.” is clearly the same writer as the rest of the blog.  In addition, it is evident by your syntax and grammar that you are the same writer as the other two.  So, either “Belinda Dobson O’Hearn” ghost writes for Brian Cork and ghost comments, or Brian Cork uses aliases to make himself appear bigger than he is.  Either case is sad.

As the moderator, you have the ability to edit my post, I believe.  If so, please change “quote” to “comment”.

Also, you say I made a direct attack.  I’d like to ask, “with which statement?”  I said that he was bold and strong.  The first line of the blog post is clearly and obviously a lie – it is almost laughable to think that you would try and deny it.

I think it would be interesting to see this comment approved.  How many people in his vast network of business professionals, athletes, politicians, et al would come to his defense?  And, then, how many would agree with me?  But, truth be told, I doubt many people read this blog, so it would be difficult to assess, especially since we know Brian is apt to create another alias or twenty.

And, for your information, we receive a notification any time Mr. Page’s name is mentioned in a personal blog.  We first started monitoring your blog after your first mention of him in October.  The context at that time was benign, but you’ve made a bold statement with this post.

And, as I’m sure you can understand, Brian/Belinda/Andy, I can’t divulge my real identity.  In my line of work, it could be dangerous.  People don’t like to be exposed, but sometimes, it is for the betterment of all.

Sincerely,

Troy”

Belinda:

[name of person she believes Troy to actually be] you are so silly.

If you don’t like aliases, why use one yourself?

Your “line of work”?

Quote or comment it still does not work. What are you referring to? Please be more clear.

Belinda

the exchange did go on a bit. but, it ran itself to ground with Mr. Brown coming across as self-important without adding anything new.

Mr. Brown takes his best shots from the shadows. he therefore renders himself moot. let’s hope he isn’t run over by those rabbits. however, today we have this terrific opportunity to bring some new readers, scrutiny and attention to the great things happening in corporate America and the technology and thought leaders that are more deservedly in the limelight, and making for a clear difference.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

…not what you were thinking

December28

The fact is most opportunities are not corollary to the obvious.

Ten years will come-and-go quickly. It already has, and it will do so, again. And, along the way, Apple’s stock could well hit one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). You can take my word for it. But, here is additional insight.

As Galvin makes his case, Apple’s revenues may triple in the next ten years. So, the stock could indeed hit $1000. But, the real play is not so obvious, and will likely be in the form of fiber optics – because that is what is needed to pipe the content. But, Data Centers will have their role as well. And, dudes like Bob Twitchell (big smarty pants genius that he is) will help lead the way with emerging technology that makes relative technology faster, more secure, and less costly.

Reactionary investment strategy like reading news briefs off MSN and Yahoo! will kill you. Whereas proactive research will build wealth. So… read between the lines from cross-referenced information. Think in terms of convergence. For example, “Apple”, “Video Anywhere”, “Fiber Optics”, “Data Centers”, and “Venture Capital”.

Follow the money BEFORE the thundering herds sort it out.

It’s about foundational thinking and strategy – relative technologies that make for great strategic partnerships. One element of the formula building off of another.

Now you owe me.

Soon… More insight into being a physical bad-ass at fifty, and great Margarita tips.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell





photos by John Campbell

 

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