How to Resign in Style

With things starting to look up in the new year, many employees who have been too fearful to change jobs in the fluctuating economy of 2009 are beginning to pursue new opportunities. Instead of fearing how to handle being fired, executives are confused as to how they should resign.

Recently the Wall Street Journal published an article with tips on resigning on good terms. According to the story, 60% of employees say they intend to leave their jobs when the economy improves. That’s a staggering amount of people who will be turning in their letter of resignation. The WSJ offers some good advice on maintaining good relations with your ex employer and some more obvious tips like, um, don’t steal office supplies on your way out. Here are some of the highlights:

“Make an appointment. “Be formal and make an appointment with your boss,” recommends Tanya Maslach, a San Diego, Calif., career expert who specializes in relationship management issues. “Prepare what you want to say. Be direct and engaging—and be transparent,” Ms. Maslach says. She also recommends offering to help make the transition easier; ask your boss how you can best do that. After the discussion, put your resignation in a hard-copy letter that includes your last day and any transitional help you’ve offered.

Stay close. Consider joining an employee alumni association, which often serves as a networking group for former employees. It can be a good way to keep up with changes in the company and industry—and find leads to new jobs down the road. Keep in touch with coworkers you worked closely with; they may end up in management roles.

Be honest but remain positive. Be helpful during the exit interview but keep responses simple and professional. Don’t use the session to lay blame or rant about coworkers, bosses or the workplace.

Scrub your digital footprint. Clear your browser cache, remove passwords to Web sites you use from work, such as your personal email or online bank account and delete any personal files on your work computer that aren’t relevant to work. Don’t delete anything work related if you’re required to keep it.”

What shouldn’t you do when resigning? You probably shouldn’t tweet that you’re leaving before you turn it that letter of resignation. Yesterday, Jonathan Schwartz, now former CEO of Sun Microsystems, tendered his resignation in the form of a Twitter haiku saying “Today’s my last day at Sun. I’ll miss it. Seems only fitting to end on a #haiku. Financial crisis/Stalled too many customers/CEO no more.”

An original and very post modern way to quit, to say the least. But today’s Media Post Online Daily Newsletter references Schwartz’s resignation in a cautionary article on using social networking in the workplace, citing more companies cracking down on employee’s web chatter with rules and regulations regarding any company information. In other words, be careful what you tweet.

On some interviews, it pays to be weird? CEO, Tony Hsieh, recently told the New York Times that when interviewing job candidates for his customer friendly digital shoe retailer he and his staff want candidates to have an element of weirdness in order to fit into the company culture.

“One of our values is, “Create fun and a little weirdness.” So one of our interview questions is, literally, on a scale of 1 to 10, how weird are you? If you’re a 1, you’re probably a little bit too strait-laced for us. If you’re a 10, you might be too psychotic for us.

It’s not so much the number; it’s more seeing how candidates react to a question. Because our whole belief is that everyone is a little weird somehow, so it’s really more just a fun way of saying that we really recognize and celebrate each person’s individuality, and we want their true personalities to shine in the workplace environment, whether it’s with co-workers or when talking with customers,” Hsieh told NYT.

I think aside from showing your individuality, what Hsieh hopes to accomplish with these types of questions is getting candidates to loosen up. While most job seekers are worried about looking pristine and perfect for an interview, it seems some employers just want the real you, even if the real you is kinda weird. Of course, you should still look polished and come prepared, but remember to express your true self in an interview, not who you think the employer wants you to be.

Good advice from someone who seems to be a pretty cool boss.

Dear Bev: How do I get a digital job without experience?


Dear Bev: How do I get a digital job without experience?


by Beverly Weinstein

There are two companies offering high-quality digital training. In a tepid job market where digital opportunities are as abundant as traditional opportunities scarce, they are worth considering. Neither group guarantees a job, but both supply important tools for any candidate.

The Laredo Group has been offering training courses on digital since 1996. Recently, another group, The Internet Advertising Institute, gives digital job seekers an extra edge. Both provide a comprehensive view of the digital landscape and the language that’s unique to that sector. They are staffed by trainers with hands-on industry experience. IAI is focused on advertising sales and is designed more for entry level and junior candidates; The Laredo Group courses appeal to people working in ad sales as well as in ad agency and client-side marketing jobs.

Open Admission or By Invitation

The newly launched IAI has a limited class size, no more than 15 students per 6-week session.  Classes are from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. four days per week. All applicants must apply first and go through an interview process to be accepted.  IAI has relationships with a large pool of employers and works with applicants to get them successfully placed.  When I checked with lead trainer and CEO Steve Bookbinder in early January, nearly all of the first graduating class had been placed in jobs.

Bookbinder, who also runs an SEM agency, knows about the importance of digital: “No matter what your job is, it either has or will soon have a digital aspect.”

Leslie Laredo, president of the Laredo Group, offers one-day courses geared primarily to ad sales or to individuals that buy or plan media. In addition, she does more customized digital training for companies. “I’ve trained up to 700 employees at a single company,” she noted. Her courses are taught throughout the year in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles.

The ages of her students range from entry level to senior executives. Classes start at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 4:30 p.m. Students start with Level I classes. They can opt to continue with Level II and finish with Level III. According to Laredo, most attendees opt for additional levels.


Both Laredo and IAI stress the importance of understanding the digital language.  “For decades, it was all about GRP. Online changes daily. We’re always on top of the digital ecosystem and evolving our course content,” explained Laredo.

She has developed and constantly updates a digital glossary with over 500 terms that she gives each student. The courses also have a 250-page manual and a resource list of 125 digital companies. Some of the information is available for free at

In talking about IAI’s course, Bookbinder said, “It’s impossible to fake that you know what’s going on in digital. You have to learn the language and the terms. We use a variety of teaching techniques, ranging from flash cards to jeopardy-like games to role-playing. This is not a college course. It’s 100% practical and will give you what you need to know how to succeed in an interview and at a job.”


IAI charges students $10,000 for their course. There’s an initial $2,500 payment. A payment plan over two years is available for students. You can apply for their course at their Web site. Currently, all courses are in New York. Future plans are to extend to other markets as well as to offer evening sessions.

The Laredo Group has a variety of plans, and it’s best to check their site for the most current information. If you opt for an early bird sign up, the cost for two, one-day courses might $1,300. Public courses generally have 20-40 students, with 40 as the maximum size.

Why take a class?

Laredo sums it up nicely. “Keeping up-to-date is critical. You need to know what’s going on. We stress the importance of understanding performance, how the numbers work and accountability. You should know how it all works together online, off line or cross platform. You can’t keep your head in the sand anymore.”Dear Bev: How do I get a digital job without experience?

Read the column on MediaPost.

Suddenly Seeking Employment in the New Year?

Happy New Year to all! After a restful holiday hiatus, we return to our regular programming of career and media related advice, news, and commentary…

Unfortunately we’ve been hearing that this holiday season brought more than good tidings and mirth. For many it also brought the unwanted gift of unemployment. (WSJ) A great way to put a damper on the holidays, but don’t let it ruin the new year! While everyone has had big hopes for 2010 to be a better year for media and a better year for employment in general, the end of the fiscal calendar always leaves companies trimming and reorganizing for a new year. You’re not alone and don’t lose hope, because with the new year comes, of course, resolutions!

There are the typical resolutions we all make…read more, exercise regularly, take up a new hobby, maybe lose a few pounds. We’re all concerned with bettering ourselves for a brighter future. So why not look at your job search as an extension of yourself? After all finding that new job is all about a new future. If you resolve to go for a run every day to take better care of your body, why not resolve to take better care of those job search tools too and put your best foot forward both literally and figuratively?

Phyllis Korkki at The New York Times had this same spirit of renewal in mind when she wrote a guide to re-energizing your job search. Here are some highlights and tips:

Your Resume: Korkki says, “When was the last time you took a word-by-word, letter-by-letter look at your résumé? Make sure it’s completely up to date and tailored to the types of jobs you are seeking. (After all, your situation might have changed since you started looking.) Now is also the time to create alternate versions, to reflect different types of positions.”

You may also want to look into hiring a resume writer if the document needs a lot of attention and you haven’t created one in years.

Your References: “If you have not talked to your references lately, call or e-mail them. Make sure they are still in the same jobs, and tell them you’re still looking. This helps expand your network, because references may know of job openings. It’s also a good time to consider whether to add or remove some people as references,” she wrote.

Digital Presence: And we can’t stress this one enough! “Check and update your LinkedIn profile and make sure that it’s consistent with the information in your résumé and any other online presence you have… Hiring managers look at LinkedIn, and any discrepancies could be red flags..Review your contacts on LinkedIn and reach out to new ones. Check whether anyone new can write a recommendation for you on the site. And, while you’re at it, Google yourself and check Facebook or other social networks to make sure that nothing embarrassing shows up.”

These are just a few ways to get serious about your future. Stay tuned for more advice in the coming posts!

Read the rest of Korkki’s tips at the New York Times.

Part IV: Dear Bev: What are some good books media executives are reading these days?


Dear Bev: What are some good books media executives are reading these days?

By Beverly Weinstein

Some books don’t fit neatly into categories, but offer some universal truths. Here are a few that may be familiar, and some that will offer a fresh perspective.

Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Seuss

“The tale of Sam-I-Am: a successful salesman who overcomes his client’s initial objections with persistence, enthusiasm for his product and a customer adoption strategy premised on user trials.” –Mark Piesanen, director, strategic partnerships,
Google TV Ads

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World- By Eric Weiner
Weiner set out on a yearlong quest to find the world’s unheralded happy places. Having worked for years as an NPR foreign correspondent, he’d gone to many obscure spots, but usually to report bad news or terrible tragedies. Now, he’s traveled to countries like Iceland, Bhutan, Qatar, Holland, Switzerland, Thailand and India to determine why residents tell positive psychology researchers that they’re actually quite happy.
Recommended by –Susan Malfa, SVP national advertising sales at Bravo and Oxygen and Media, Women @ NBCU

The Creative Habit: Learn It & Use It for Life- by Twyla Tharp
A personable tone is carried throughout the book and within the text is a goldmine of advice. Tharp not only promotes tried-and-true habits, but also encourages readers to dig deep within themselves and come up with their own answers.
“Creativity plays a role in everything we do. Tharp offers some great advice on how to make creativity work in all aspects of your life.” –Beverly Weinstein, president, Markham Media Executive Search

Scott Adams & Lynn Truss

“Frankly, Dilbert never ceases to amaze me: Many is the time I have been convinced that Scott Adams must have attended one of our meetings or received one of our policy memos. As a grammar “stickler,” I still love Lynn Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves and her sequel on public rudeness, Talk to the Hand.” –Betsy Frank, Chief Research and Insights Officer, Time Inc.

On Advertising by David Ogilvy

“Imagine a career in politics and not bothering to read the Constitution of The United States or a career in religion and not bothering to read the Bible. That is what you are doing if you make your living in advertising, but can’t be bothered to read David Ogilvy’s On Advertising. The sense that aspects of this book have become dated is beside the point. The book is the foundation on which everything else got built.”
Mark McLaughlin, president of McLaughlin Strategy

The Fourth Star: Dispatches from Inside Daniel Boulud’s Celebrated New York Restaurant - by Leslie Brenner
Reporter Brenner spent a year in New York’s elegant restaurant Daniel as its staff labored together to earn a coveted fourth star from The New York Times’ powerful restaurant critic. Brenner’s account of how the restaurant takes (and refuses) reservations offers many an object lesson for anyone striving to do public service right.
Recommended by Leslie Picard, Time, Inc.

Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins

“Eighty years ago, Claude Hopkins wrote: “The time has come when advertising has in some hands reached the status of a science.”  Right on!” –Mike Steib, director, Google Emerging Platforms & TV Ads

Book summaries taken from

Read the column on MediaPost’s

Part III: Dear Bev: I’m looking for some great business books on change. Any suggestions?


By Beverly Weinstein


Dear Bev: I’m looking for some great business books on change. Any suggestions?


Whether it is change in business, technology or your job responsibilities, one thing is certain: change, though sometimes good, is not easy. Here are some great books on tackling and understanding change from media executives at companies ranging from Google to Time Inc. and CBS to OMD.

Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing - by Adam Greenfield

“Although not a new book (2006) and not strictly a business book, this is a totally

absorbing work. It explores the implications of a not-too-distant future where

computers will be embedded everywhere in our physical space, including our homes,

our vehicles and our bodies.  Greenfield is a great writer and he discusses both the

scary and encouraging aspects of this inevitability with complete authority.” — Peggy Kelly, EVP, Universal McCann

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference — by Malcolm Gladwell

The premise of this facile piece of pop sociology has built-in appeal: Little changes can have big effects. When small numbers of people start behaving differently, that behavior can ripple outward until a critical mass or “tipping point” is reached, changing the world.

“All of Gladwell’s books are great. This is a classic.” –Gail Stein, group account director, OMD

Only the Paranoid Survive by Andy Grove & Leading Change by John Kotter

“We live and work in a time of rapid transformations. There are two business books which are complementary for succeeding in the midst of change. “Only The Paranoid Survive” by Andy Grove (retired CEO of Intel) is the best book ever written on the subject of external change — how to view it clinically, understand it and get out ahead of it. Leading Change by John Kotter (Harvard Business School) is the best management book for leading internal change — how to organize it, lead it and make sure it becomes institutionalized. Taken together, these books are my touchstones for leadership strategies that halt the feeling that your company is a victim of circumstance. Instead, they create the direction by which any company can be empowered to embrace change as a competitive and cultural advantage.”

–Mark McLaughlin, president of McLaughlin Strategy

Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More - by Chris Anderson

A New York Times bestseller and winner of the Gerald Loeb Award for best business book of the year, Long Tail introduced the business world to a future that’s already here.

“It really changed the way that I thought about how to aggregating the consumer in different media forms.” –Gail Stein, group account director, OMD

Curse of the Mogul: What’s Wrong With the World’s Leading Media Companies- by Columbia University professor, Jonathan Knee

The media industry is facing multiple financial and operational crises on an unprecedented scale, and Knee focuses in on the usual suspects to analyze and discuss the dilemma.

“It’s controversial. He attacks their business models–acquiring rather than building, not paying attention to shareholder value etc. It’s kind of cool.” –Nick Loria, media executive

The Shift: The Transformation of Today’s Marketers into Tomorrow’s Growth Leaders by Scott M. Davis

The Shift is a must-read to help marketers and their respective organizations move ahead and thrive.” –From the foreword by Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson and Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Recommended by Mark Hosbein, former SVP marketing at Nielsen Business Media

Book summaries taken from

Read the column on MediaPost’s


Holiday Reading List Part 2-Dear Bev: I’m looking for some great business book for holiday gifts. Any suggestions?


By Beverly Weinstein

Part II: Dear Bev: I’m looking for some great business book for holiday gifts. Any suggestions?

Media execs I talked to at companies ranging from Google to Time Inc. and Forbes to Ogilvy had plenty. Today, I’m offering a selection that focus on leadership. Watch for upcoming columns featuring recommendations for books on change and negotiating.

Leadership Lessons Learned from business pros, classic fiction and even antarctic explorers…

Leadership Is an Art – by Max DePree

Rather than offering a how-to manual on running a business, DePree, CEO of Herman Miller Inc., a manufacturer of office furniture, details in deceptively simple but imaginative language, a humanitarian approach to leadership.

“This is a classic. It’s pragmatic as opposed to most business books, which are too theoretical. It gives you things you can do immediately.” –Gary Schuman, Owner CDL Consulting and Management/Leadership Consultant and Coach

The Feiner Points of Leadership – by Michael Feiner

“The how-to manual of leadership!  With anecdotes about softball and family interwoven with simple guidelines on how to lead up, down, left and right, this book is never far out of my grasp, especially in today’s increasingly flat organizations.”

All the King’s Men – by Robert Penn Warren

“Newspaperman Jack Burden struggles with the right balance of respect and criticism for his larger-than-life, sometimes misguided boss, Governor Willie Stark. In a media populace filled with big egos, All the King’s Men has lessons relevant for today’s media manager, 63 years after the political novel’s first publication.” –Both Feiner and King’s Men recommended by John Saroff, head of strategic partner development, Google TV Ads

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels – by Michael Watkins

“When I was transitioning from MTV Networks to Time Inc., I was given a copy of The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels. I still find it extremely valuable to help reset or “course correct” after new responsibilities, a new organization, or a new manager.” –Betsy Frank, Chief Research and Insights Officer, Time Inc.

Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition by Dennis Perkins

Although their experiences may sometimes seem torturous, most managers aren’t facing dangerous or life-threatening conditions. Even so, argues consultant Perkins, they would do well to learn from both triumphant and failed expeditions. Perkins introduces 10 key concepts he believes are essential to productive leadership with lively anecdotes from the adverse but ultimately successful expedition to the South Pole led by Ernest Shackleton in 1914.  Recommended by Christopher Simon, EVP sales, CBS Television

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

In Joseph Heller’s classic satire on the murderous insanity of war, the novel’s undiminished strength is its looking-glass logic. Again and again, Heller’s characters demonstrate that what is commonly held to be good, is bad; what is sensible, is nonsense. Recommended by Paul Rittenberg, SVP at Fox News

It’s OK to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need – by Bruce Tulgan

“It offered really helpful advice as I was growing out my team, and we had to become more professional.” –Jeremy Steinberg, VP, digital sales and business development, Fox News Network

The One Minute Manager - by Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

This book is a concise, easily read story that reveals three very practical secrets: One Minute Goals, One Minute Praisings, and One Minute Reprimands. “It’s a book that tells you how to get time back in your life. It’s simple, but if you do it, it works.”-Rich Sutton, SVP consumer markets, WebMD

Words that Work – by Dr. Frank Luntz

“This book is not about what you say, but what people hear. This is a great, great book.” – Brian Fisher, VP digital sales,

True North – by Bill George

In this important book, acclaimed former Medtronic CEO Bill George shares the wisdom of over 125 outstanding leaders and provides a comprehensive and personal program for finding you own True North and leadership success.

Seven Lessons for Leading in Crisis – by Bill George

George’s just-in-time guide for anyone in a leadership position facing today’s unprecedented economic challenges. Both True North, Seven Lessons recommended by Gary Schuman, Owner CDL Consulting and Management/Leadership Consultant and Coach

Hardball for Women – by Pat Heim and Susan K. Golant

In this constructive, no-nonsense guide, business consultant Heim addresses women executives who, despite technical proficiency, hard work and managerial skills equal or superior to those of their male co-workers, have been passed over for promotions.

“I can’t say enough good things about “Hardball For Women.” The title unfortunately, is a misnomer, since the content is extremely eye-opening for both men and women regarding how to communicate better with one another at multiple levels in the workplace.” –Marie Svet, director. pricing and inventory at RHI Entertainment

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable – by Patrick Lencioni

Once again, using an astutely written fictional tale to unambiguously but painlessly deliver some hard truths about critical business procedures, Patrick Lencioni targets group behavior in the final entry of his trilogy of corporate fables. Recommended by Leslie Picard, SVP corporate sales and marketing at Time, Inc.

Read the column on MediaPost’s

Book summaries taken from


Dear Bev: I’m looking for some great business books for Christmas gifts. Any suggestions?


By Beverly Weinstein
Media execs I talked to at companies ranging from Google to Time Inc., CBS to OMD had plenty. Following are a selection that focus on strategy. Watch for upcoming columns featuring recommendations for books on leadership, change and negotiating.

Lessons in strategy from the playing field, the battlefield and even the operating room.

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

“Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane disregards conventional wisdom, embraces insights from data and wins a lot of baseball games.” -Mike Steib, Director, Google Emerging Platforms & TV Ads

The Art of War by Sun-Tzu

The Art of War, compiled in the 6th century B.C., is the world’s oldest surviving military treatise. Long revered as the definitive guide to strategy and tactics on the battlefield, it offers timeless wisdom to today’s managers.

Recommended by Christopher Simon, EVP Sales, CBS Television

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from drowning victims to deadly hospital infections, explaining how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. He follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from homeland security to investment banking, skyscraper construction and businesses of all kinds.

“The author may be a doctor, but the bottom line is all of these lessons apply to everything you do, regardless of the business you’re in.” -Arlene Manos, President National Advertising Sales at Rainbow Media

Warfighting: The US Marine Corps Book of Strategy -by US Marine Corps Staff

“Argues that organizations should grant a high degree of decision-making to people low on the chain of command. If you decide quickly, act fast to implement, and interpret responses immediately, you are on your way to success before competitors can react.”

- Mark Piesanen, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Google TV Ads

Rules for Revolutionaries – by Guy Kawasaki

The former chief evangelist at Apple Computer and an iconoclastic corporate tactician is back in print with his seventh book, a  “Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services.” It lays out Kawasaki’s decidedly audacious (but personally experienced) strategies for besting the competition and triumphing in today’s hypercharged business environment.

Recommended by Leslie Picard, SVP Corporate Sales & Marketing, Time Inc

Nelson’s Trafalgar-by Roy Adkins

“In 1805, only the British Royal Navy stood between England and invasion byNapoleon’s armies.  Lord Nelson combined unorthodox tactics with the fundamental superior fighting skills of the Royal Navy, crushed the combined French and Spanish fleet, and saved England from invasion. I prefer reading military history to business books, now more than ever. Threat, innovation, and focusing on what you do better to win is always a great business lesson.” – Avery Stirratt, President-Advertising, Forbes Media

Book summaries taken from

Read the Column on Media Post’s Media Daily News.

Dear Bev: Should I Use PowerPoint In An Interview?


By Beverly Weinstein

The first interview is a little bit like a first date. You want to give just enough information to keep someone interested, but not so much that the next night you’ll be eating dinner alone.

Some candidates have launched into well-produced and neatly bound PowerPoint presentations that are all about who they are before the interviewer has a chance to offer them a glass of water, much less give them an overview of the job.

What’s the rush? You want to be able to tailor your comments and emphasize your experience in a manner that’s as relevant as possible. If you talk before you listen, that’s virtually impossible. What you do say can be much more damaging than what you don’t.

Too Much Too Soon

“It’s an ill-conceived idea to just start with a presentation on yourself before you know what’s expected,” said Gary Schuman of CDL Consulting, a management and leadership consulting firm.  “You have to understand what the buyer’s (aka the interviewer) needs are. Understand what the product is about before you present something.”

Show and Tell

This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t come armed with examples of your work, so you’re ready if it’s relevant to the discussion with the interviewer. Whether you’re working in a job like promotion or design, or you’re a finance person that has developed a new reporting tool, visuals can make an impact. However, be careful not to leave anything behind that would be considered proprietary.

Presenting With Technology

I’ve been interviewing candidates recently for a promotion job. Several have created Web sites with samples of their work. It’s easy to pull up a link on my computer. In addition, I’ve noticed that with the growing popularity of netbooks, candidates simply power up and share their work that way.

Read the Column on Media Post.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Our lack of attention to this blog in recent weeks is a small testament to the improvement of the market place. We’ve been busy recruiting for several digital media companies and while the economy as a whole still has a long way to go, we’re starting to see job opportunities pop up and are starting to feel hopeful for the new year ahead.

In working with several cutting edge digital media companies, it’s hard not to pay attention to the interesting divide between the digitally connected Millennial generation and the Baby Boomers who manage, them while simulatenously learning a thing or two themselves. The  New York Times  recently had an interesting column by James R. Gaines, Editor in Chief of the online publication FLYP. Gaines is over 60 and a seasoned journalist and editor who headed major print publications including, People, Time and Life. FLYP is an online magazine of sorts that is exploring new forms of multimedia journalism. But the loads of experience and expertise Gaines has to offer to his staff of young writers, tech experts, and multimedia gurus, he finds, are often matched by the insight into emerging technologies and new media that his staff provide him with.   It’s an interesting balance for a long-time manager. And one that sometimes reminds him of how much he has to learn. It’s humbling and thrilling, he says. And he is mostly excited to help these younger players conquer this new frontier as he calls it. He likens his roll to that of a parent, helping and providing for but not being a friend.  Gaines seems ok with this unusual management roll he finds himself in and he reminds us at the end of the column that while he might be the novice when it comes to the technology, the core of his company, and of all digital journalism, is still to tell a story. And that’s where his expertise really comes into play.

“MEDIA will change as radically as technology allows, and right now the Internet is moving over the media landscape like a tsunami. But the job I learned to love when young was to tell stories, and the story has lost nothing in this transition. It is as elemental and as riveting as ever.

Everybody’s worried about the device. Could Microsoft’s Courier be the answer, or the iTablet? Good question, but not the most important one. It’s less the device than the devices — the crafts and the art of storytelling — that need updating most urgently for the digital world.”
Gaines’ story is reminiscent of a topic we touched on in the past: this divide between generations and how the future of media will be shaped by it. As we recruit for many digital companies on the brink of becoming leaders in the digital space, helping to form and create their teams and interviewing the candidates that will make these companies successful, it’s interesting to see the strengths and weaknesses parties from both ends of the spectrum bring to the table.

How do you think the tech boom has affected the leadership now expected from the baby boom?

And how will the younger set fair when business requires more of them than their computer savvy?

Read Gaines’ story on the New York Times.