Blog: Forward Thinking

Often snarky, sometimes funny, thoughts and musings from Glen Hellman about Executive Development, Leadership, Startups, Washington DC Business and more.

Evan Burfield Fail – 1776 Part 3

Welcome to Evan Burfield Fail Part 3, in which I will trace Evan's creation of 1776 to his demotion to CEO of Union (to catch up you can read parts 1 and parts 2 here). In whole these 3 posts track the rise and fall of Burfield or Evan Burfield Fail. In an upcoming post, I will track the Burfield Effect on the DC Ecosystem and make some predictions about his future. If you are keeping score at home: I predicted the failure of 1776 years ago, albeit they breezed past my failure prediction of 2015 I predicted that 1776 would be...

Fire Bad Customers

Giving Bad News

On Leaders Giving Bad News Courage is a prerequisite for leadership and how leaders give bad news speaks volumes regarding their courage. Most of us don't like delivering bad news. Many fear giving bad news. Yet courage is not defined by the absence of fear. Courage is taking action in the face of and despite fear. A recently completed study by BYU linguistics professor Alan Manning and the University of South Alabama's Nicole Amare, indicates that people want their leaders to be direct when giving bad news. No hemming and hawing allowed. The study finds that beating around the bush with chatter like, "This is very difficult...

Evan Burfield – Startup America – K Street Capital Part 2

When you meet Evan Burfield, he looks you up and down and runs a quick algorithm. If the results indicate you can serve his short-term goals, you're a friend. If you have no apparent near-term value, even if you had helped him in the past, he deems you not worthy of his attention. That appears to be the formula. See a person, judge them from high to low in terms of the value they can perform in terms of his next goal. He's a brilliant analyst of short-term value and knows how to push the accelerator to get people to serve...

Milan Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem

The Trolley Problem is an exercise in ethics, evolution, and neuroscience. In this presentation, I explain the trolley problem. You can find the script below.   For email subscribers, the video can be found by linking here. The Script: Let's talk about rationality. If I offered you folks a $5.00 bill in return for a $1 bill, would any of you make that trade with me? Would you give me $1 for five? <Everyone in audience nods heads> Okay, good! That's math, it's good, it's a good utilitarian trade so we got that one knocked-off. Let's make that trade a little more difficult. Now, this is called the trolley problem. There's...

Michael Riemer on Startups

The other day I read a Facebook post that seemed spot-on. It was a post by Michael Riemer on Startups, titled "10 Quirky Musings After 30 Years of Start-Ups." I asked Michael for permission to reprint and I'll let you guess whether it was granted or not. So without further ado, I present Michael Riemer on Startups! If you don't know where you are going, you will never get there - start with a roadmap and an exit strategy, adjust and refine as you go. The light at the end of the tunnel may be an oncoming train - be prepared to...

Getting to Why with Beth Berman

This week, I had the pleasure of meeting with Beth Berman, CEO/Founder, Compellications ™. She's a "why," lady. Why do I say that? In leadership, nothing is more important than being conscious of your personal and organizational intentions. Simon Sinek refers to this as your "why," and Daniel Pink calls it "higher purpose." Whatever name you put on it, declaring your "Why" is declaring your intentions. It announces to others whether you are friend or foe. A team of mere mortals aligned by intentions or what Beth Berman, calls their "why" are more likely to succeed than an all-star team of non-aligned superstars. So what's...

#DCTech 1776 Merger or House Cleaning?

Is the Benjamin's Desk, 1776 Merger a merger or is it something else? The deal that has been in the works for 2 months finally closed today. After much consternation, wrangling and negotiated face-saving for the vanquished 1776, Benjamin's Desk kindly allowed Evan Burfield to pretend he's not been pushed out of that which he's burned to the ground. My sources report that Evan's face-saving measures have been a contributing factor in the delay of closing the deal. Is it a merger of equals? Well, it's a merger of equals if you don't take in to account 1776's dire financial straights and...