Monday, June 30, 2014

RVC^ on Leadership and Strategy

1. Leadership and Strategy.  Even though eyes may be trained more on business methods, such as Balanced Scorecard or Six Sigma, leadership remains the most important factor for success. Be sure you focus where you ought to, first.  

What you expect >Lead with greater impact

What we deliver 

  • Consult on best strategies to hit targets and meet challenges
  • Offer value-add assessment and high-impact leadership insight 
  • Optimize talent, realize potential, coach executive leadership 

This is one of three areas Ron Villejo Consulting focuses and delivers on.  I thought to capture quotes that speak evocatively to the essence of what I do for top leaders:

We cannot fully or always ensure success, but we can position ourselves for it systematically

Success is just as good of a teacher as failure, but our personality makes one or the other better

Awkward and uncomfortable are part of accomplishing something meaningful,
but I believe it is better to widen our comfort zone than persuade, motivate
or otherwise will ourselves to move out of it.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, June 27, 2014

Anne-Marie Slaughter Leans Back on Women

Anne-Marie Slaughter relates a very well-reasoned concern about the exhortation to women You can do it, which is a `Lean In message from Sheryl Sandberg.  The Atlantic article that interviewer Leigh Gallagher launched into from get-go is Why Women Still Can't Have It All?  The controversy that Slaughter sparked unfortunately pitted her against Sandberg, ideologically and emotionally, too, no doubt.  So I was glad to hear her clarify her overall message, and to hear an audience member say that the two prominent ladies are more alike than not.  Gallagher seemed ready to pounce on Slaughter, but to her credit she bit her tongue, instead.

For one, the You can do it mindset is emblematic of Western culture.  It filters into our day to day lives, that is, our social media Timelines, as Nothing is impossible or I'm possible.  The fact is, there are far more things that are impossible for us to ever do than there are possible things.  If such messages truly inspire people to raise their achievement, realize their dream, and gain satisfaction in whatever aspects of their lives, then they're perfect, in my book.  For others, however, they fall into a dour bucket of feeling like failures, as Slaughter points out, when they cannot do the impossible.  Absolutely no one, woman or man, can have everything or do it all.  So we have other people who need a very different kind of message, which kindly but frankly helps them acknowledge their limits and also reassures them that they have a choice.

For another, neither Slaughter nor Sandberg speak to my next point, except in passing:  Namely, they're women of privilege and achievement.  So while it may be easy for both to speak their minds, score of others have a tough go at it, not because they are afraid or unwilling, but because their situations, by necessity, prevent them for doing so.  The two ladies' messages can certainly resonate across the board, and offer that lift that someone may need to improve on her lot.  But privilege - in terms of economics or finances, status or position, education and experience - affords certain women avenues that are simply not available to those without it.  In brief, it's a socioeconomic divide that complicates this matter of gender inequality.

Finally, people may polarize issues, again such as Slaughter vs Sandberg, and they may choose their sides.  But that very point of dialogue is what bridges those issues, the two ladies, and ultimately the dilemma women face.  There are not always pat decisions or solutions to adversity in our lives.  The idea that all we're trying to life-balance is family and work is naive at best and erroneous at worst.  There can be such complications as a child with special needs, a parent who dies, or couples who divorce.  So one crucial piece of the dialogue is the importance of talking about these complications, which inevitably make life-balance rather easier than done.  Another crucial piece is the freedom to differ openly, to hear each other out, and to see where women are in relation to one another.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg Leans In on Women

Let's expand on three crucial, albeit under-appreciated, matters that Sheryl Sandberg speaks to.  First, top leaders must hire partners or staff who complement their strengths and-or cover their weaknesses.  There is an inviolable tendency, which I once called the Imperative of Sameness, to hire people like us, which narrow the range of ideas and diversity of background in the organization.  I would add, however, that it is nonsense, and potentially disastrous, to hire people who are radically unlike us.  There must be a resonance of sameness, to begin with, and that may be a value (e.g., achievement), or a trait (e.g.,  confidence), or a belief (equality).  That resonance, then, is the basis for complementary.

Second, we must empower women and women must come to feel empowered.  There is such history of inequity between the genders, that, it seems to me, some women demure at the notion of equality (e.g., pay).  The long-time oppressed may be so grateful at the freedom to venture beyond the gates and perhaps enter employment or management ranks that the $0.77 to the $1.00 in pay gap isn't a battle worth fighting for or it isn't something they're empowered to fight.  My point here is that the roadblocks to empowerment are both external and internal, and whatever degrees of each actually exist in particular women must be acknowledged openly, understood empathically, and resolved conscientiously.  

Third, Sandberg's call for us to talk more about such women issues as pregnancy speaks to an unfortunate paradox that we ourselves created for society, culture and politics.  She clarifies the message perfectly: It is illegal to discriminate against pregnancy, not to talk about it.  But law and policy, I daresay, have positively shut people up.  Interviewer Nina Easton admitted that she was afraid to disclose at her workplace that she was pregnant, and did all she could to hide symptoms of nausea.  I like the fact that `Lean In encourages us to put tough issues on the table, because while conversation will not guarantee satisfaction or resolution, it is a necessary condition for such.  Clarification and reassurance are, in turn, crucial for initiating such conversation.  

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD 

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Visionary and Messianic Steve Jobs

Through interviews with friends, former colleagues and business associates, GAME CHANGERS reveals the many layers of the intensely private Steve Jobs - his style of leadership, management and creative process. Interviews include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO John Scully, journalist turned Venture Capitalist Michael Moritz, Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, former Apple "Mac Evangelist" and Silicon Valley Entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki, and Robert X.Cringely technology journalist and former Apple employee.
Steve Jobs grew up in the countercultural 1960s, but he probably had that rebellious streak already coursing in his veins.  So he merely found the place that resonated with his true nature.  For anyone to be a true visionary, he or she must be able, first, to see the future.  Second, that future is something that many cannot see and, third, is something radically different from the present.  It was the Tao of Jobs - the Way of his nature - to re-imagine the very things that many could imagine only simplistically and narrowly.
A very remarkable man, extremely smart, spell binding, mesmerizing leader of people. 
"Spell binding" and "mesmerizing" sound positively messianic, and paradoxically not also in a positive way.  He wasn't just visionary, he was also messianic.  The conventional translation is that he was good at marketing and selling.  Oh, but he was more than that: He managed to get people to buy into his vision, to follow him, and to sell their soul to him.  If they were not with him, then they were out, at best, or they were against him, at worst.
He said, "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?" It was like was someone just knocked the wind out of my stomach.  A few weeks later, I was working at Apple.
John Sculley had the misfortune of being drawn into, and thrust into, a complex, volatile cauldron that he was virtually clueless about.  In the 1980s he managed to get the Apple Board to side with him, and the man who co-founded the company, the man who hired him, was unceremoniously out.  Time is sometimes a rude bearer of sad tidings, and that was to be the pivotal, defining truth for Sculley.  He thought he could see the future, when he said that Jobs wouldn't be missed at Apple, but he was no visionary in the least.
After Steve left the company, it lost its compass, lost its mission, it lost its founding spirit.
By the mid-1990s, Sculley himself was out, as it should have been a decade earlier, and new CEO Gil Amelio unwittingly found himself as yet another key player in an ocular drama.  The MacIntosh launched to breathtaking fanfare, courtesy of an ad campaign that invoked George Orwell's 1984, but it sold poorly.  Next was, literally, the amazing NeXT computer, but this, too, didn't take in the market.  Bankruptcy loomed, so he felt it was better to ditch the fancy tech toy and sell its operating system.  In the meantime, Microsoft was ascending with its Windows operating system, and Apple needed its own counterpart product.  So Amelio acquired NeXT.
There began what I think is the greatest turnaround in the history of corporate America.
Jobs' 2005 commencement speech at Stanford may be the most prophetic, but that's something many of us say only in retrospect, that is, after the fact of his death.  That October 5th day in 2011, and subsequent days, were reflective and stunning.  In Memory of Steve Jobs poured out of me.  In the end we face another truth, but more paradoxical, I think:  The business enterprise, culture and language, that was Apple, were nothing in light of his death and yet it was everything that defined his life.
The penalty for failure, for going and trying to start a company in this Valley, is non-existent. There really isn't a penalty for failure, either psychologically or economically.  In the sense that, if you have a good idea, and you go out to start your own company, even if you fail, you're generally considered worth more to the company you left, because you've gained all this valuable experience in many disciplines.
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mark Cuban Lives Out a Dream

Bloomberg Game Changers profiles Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban. See how Cuban spun his love of basketball into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
I know Mark Cuban mainly as the outspoken, impassioned, and rebellious owner of the Dallas Mavericks.  Here was a man who looked more like the regular Joe, loud-mouthed fan, than he ever did an executive who owned the team.  In contrast, Pat Riley, former coach, then president, of the Miami Heat, dressed and groomed as if he belonged on the cover of every issue of GQ magazine.
In business, it's 24, by 7, by 365, and the whole world is trying to kick you ass.
Cuban clearly loved basketball, but his real passion at heart was business.  Younger brother Brian said he was an entrepreneur since Day One and probably invented the word.  He had a knack for making money, for instance, selling stamps as a little boy.  That knack seems to be in the DNA of some people.  Robert Kiyosaki characterized two different kinds of people: (a) those who were employee-oriented (Poor Dad) and (b) those who were employer-oriented (Rich Dad).  Cuban must've been Rich Dad right at birth.
Over the last 20 years, I've always been about what's new, what's next, and how am I getting there first.
Streaming live sports from the around world was a boon to the fast-rising internet in the 1990s.  While there was some iffy stuff about how Cuban and his partner acquired the platform for streaming, there was no question that he had the right vision, the right moxie, and the right business to elevate the concept to the BBC - Billionaire Boys Club.  It wasn't just a matter of focusing in on, but also of pursuing buyers for it.  Cuban was superb at selling in general: from products and services, to entire companies.  Right before the enormous tech bubble burst like the Hindenburg, he persuaded Yahoo! to buy for a whopping $5.7 billion in 1999.  What was next, in 2000, was the Mavericks.

In the meantime, Yahoo! struggled to execute on its cool, new toy.  They had a bunch of MBAs who didn't know how to integrate into the company.  In the process, they took their eyes off search, and new-kid-on-the-block Google came in like gangbusters in the late 1990s.  To the present, even with the photogenic and confident Marissa Mayer at the helm, Yahoo! seems plagued with ineptitude.  But that's another story altogether.
Somebody has got to be the luckiest person in the world, and I'm just glad it's me.
I love sports, and if (or when) I make my billion, I would like to own a team.  That would be a thrill, and make me another one of the luckiest in the world.  From the get-go, Cuban knew how to turn around the laughingstock of the NBA, into a playoff contender in one year.  From their locker room to their chartered jet, from the bigger crowd to the media exposure, the Mavericks saw the tsunami of good fortune sweep in.

This biography is testament to elemental fact: That no one is perfect, no one is a categorical success.  He crossed the line many times, and was fined to the tune of nearly half a million dollars, just in his first year as Mavericks owner.  Like Yahoo! with, Cuban struggled with the next iteration  He challenged convention, and released movies in the theaters, on TV, and on DVD simultaneously.  But these movies were only modest successes, at best.

The long-awaited championship for the Mavericks came in 2011.  The Heat were loaded for bear that year with the newly-minted triumvirate of LeBron James and Chris Bosh to go along with Dwayne Wade, and shot to the NBA Finals right away.  But it was the Mavericks year, and the fans were so grateful that they kept chanting Thank you, Mark over and over.  Terdeman Ussery, President and CEO of the Mavericks, said that thanking the owner was quite unique to hear.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Google in the Garden of Good and Evil

BLOOMBERG GAME CHANGERS follows Sergey Brin and Larry Page from their first meeting at Stanford to the new media mega-company on a collision course with old media businesses of newspapers, books, movies and television. Along the way to its astounding success, the co-founders have redefined advertising, created a chain of products such as Google Maps, News, Gmail and have taken on rival giants like Apple and Microsoft.
Just because a lot of other people like something, it doesn't mean that I will like it, too.  Or vice versa.  Still this is the fundamental premise behind the more superior search algorithms that Sergey Brin and Larry Page came up with.  To say that these algorithms were a hit is to make an understatement of googol proportions.  But in the 1990s, angel investor Ram Shriram was skeptical:  The world didn't need another search engine.  Maybe one of them - for example, Ask Jeeves, Yahoo!, WebCrawler, Infoseek or AltaVista - could use the technology that the Stanford boys conceived.  How wrong Shriram was, but he agreed to be one of the early investors in Google.
If that sounds like it's impossible, let's try it!
It wasn't until 1997 that I connected to the internet via dial up on AOL, and even then search wasn't to slip into my radar for a while.  The available search engines that Shriram alluded to were apparently poor.  You put in a search, and it would take some time to come back with results.  Furthermore, many of the results were irrelevant.  Brin and Page knew that behind every page were backlinks, that is, links that had previously connected to the page.  They reasoned:  the more the backlinks, the more people liked that page, and therefore the better the page was.

Again I think such reasoning was flawed.  But it worked for the vast majority of people apparently, or more accurately it dismantled the weak reasoning behind all other search engines at the time.  I read The Google Story, and apparently hundreds of thousands of people took up Google search off the bat.  Simply because it was a far better engine than any that was available.
Why can't he [Steve Jobs] be our CEO?
Those early years for Brin and Page weren't just a technology marvel, but also a stellar case study in business.  They didn't want anyone, investor or otherwise, assuming undue control of the company.  So from the $100,000 check one of them casually dropped on them, to the $25 million from two investment firms, they were well on the way to making Google Inc. a reality.  It took them a little while to come up with the business model, but their AdWords was just another stroke of (business) genius.  Still they were pressured and persuaded, no doubt reluctantly, to hire an experienced executive in Eric Schmidt to operate the company and, Brin admitted on TV, to provide parental supervision.
Don't be evil.
Privacy concerns and privacy snafus have dogged Google.  To think that every single search item and every single e-mail, plus so much more, from each and everyone one of us users, were now kept in unbelievably massive databases was to know that Big Brother indeed had eyes on all us.  But aren't those privacy transgressions evil?  There were occasions in recent years that my respect for, and faith in, Google wavered significantly.

However, this biography gave me insight on what Don't be evil must've meant for Brin, in particular.  The notion of a censoring government like that of China made him bristle and, from the looks of it, made him agonize.  But for Google to tap into 400 million Chinese on the internet, they had to agree to block censored items from appearing in the results.  He, or he and Page, realized later on that China wanted access to information from human rights activists.  That, I think, is what they meant by Don't be evil.  It was not so much the transgressions they committed, but the egregious actions others took.
These two founders really think of themselves as noble men.  They think that what they're doing is good for the world.
The Google Story continues, of course.  The boys acquired YouTube, which made for splashier news than their under-the-radar acquisition of Android.  They took on tech titans like Apple and Microsoft, and giant newcomers like Facebook.  The day-to-day parental supervision that Schmidt provided was no longer needed, and Page took the reins.  Google+ meant Google finally got what it meant to have a successful social media, although, as I've argued a number of times, it is really another brilliant information-gathering tool simply but brilliantly masquerading as social media.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Monday, June 9, 2014

Henry Kravis as Godzilla and Katsumoto

His name is synonymous with 'Corporate Titan.' As co-founder of KKR, Henry Kravis re-wrote the rules of leveraged buyouts; he and his cousin George Roberts now rule over an empire that dwarfs some of the world's mightiest public corporations. "Bloomberg Game Changers" follows Kravis' rise from his early days in 'bootstrap' acquisitions, through his role in the 1988 landmark LBO of RJR-Nabisco, to KKR's IPO on the New York Stock Exchange.
It was about using Wall Street in a new way, mobilizing capital to go into companies, and building them into even stronger companies.  Henry Kravis' idea was to work with the existing management and to sell off companies assets to boost profits quickly.  But it was clear he had no patience for anyone who didn't cooperate, and he went to war against anyone who dared defeat him.  
He was not just big guns coming in, it was Godzilla wading in from the ocean and stomping down Wall Street.
The story?  RJR-Nabisco was Kravis' LBO target in 1987, especially because CEO Ross Johnson was willing to listen to anything that would bring his company and himself a fortune.  The plan, broadly speaking, was to sell its bloated food division and keep the cash cow cigarette division (Winston and Camel).  Kravis saw this as the blockbuster deal that he craved in a decade of increasing desire for more: greed is good.  

Except that Johnson wanted to engineer the LBO himself.  In partnership with Shearson Lehman Hutton, which had no experience in such deal making.  Hmm, what was he thinking?  Kravis was outraged.  He must've had no idea how much of a blockbuster RJR-Nabisco was to become, as he and Johnson squared off - Godzilla vs King Kong.  The two spiked the value of RJR-Nabisco up, which on graph looked like the dizzying vertical surface of El Capitan.
Henry Kravis has constantly pushed the envelope. He's helped define the private equity industry.
The Board of RJR-Nabisco demured, when Kravis raised its initial offer and even as its own insider upped the ante.  But eventually the Wall Street Tycoon (aka Godzilla) won the day.  Or did he?  The war with Johnson must've been a Pyrrhic Victory, as the cash cow didn't turn out to be as much of a cash cow going into the 1990s.  By the middle of that decade, there was such social backlash on smoking that Kravis had to rid the firm of the once-coveted prize of the RJR-Nabisco LBO.
Henry was ahead of everybody, when it came to raising money. He sort of invented the business.
This biography could've easily taken hours. Kravis may have been as calculating and fierce, as steely and brilliant as Katsumoto in `The Last Samurai.  But both character and tycoon were only human after all.  I'd want to know how Kravis rethought his dealmaking approach as the last decade rolled in.  The handsome Jewish man is 70 now, but we'd be forgiven for thinking he was much older.  Katsumoto died proudly in the field of battle, so will Kravis, I'm sure, when his time comes.  

Henry Kravis
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Friday, June 6, 2014

Shaq as the Terminator and Bambi of Fun

The NBA legend is on the road to being a billionaire.
Actor.  Rapper.  Entrepreneur.   Analyst.  Comedian.  Designer.  Doctor.  Shaquille O'Neal has more than just parlayed his basketball super-stardom into business success.  He has positioned his innate talent to blossom in truly multiple ways.  It's one thing to wear different hats, for example, but it's another thing to have a keen mind inside the head that wears those hats.
General Eisenhower said, "The greatest of leaders are the ones smart enough to hire people smarter than them."
 Besides this crucial lesson learned, O'Neal took it upon himself to think about his post-basketball years, well before his actual retirement.  Of course, it helped that his mother often prompted him in this vein.  Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova understands that very well, too.

But back to that Eisenhower lesson, not many leaders, I think, are secure or confident enough to surround themselves with staff who know more than they.  That is inevitably their fatal flaw.  Instead of advancing knowledge and skills, so crucial for innovation and execution, they erect direct and indirect roadblocks.  My colleagues and I call them "bottlenecks," like roadways that narrow traffic from two lanes into one lane.

I am also intrigued by how Perry Rogers and Colin Smeeton conceived of Shaq Inc.  The stunning looker of a model on Sports Illustrated a couple of decades ago - Kathy Ireland - was on the cover of Forbes one time, and the two PR men were stunned at the thousands of products she had on offer and the millions in revenue that she raked in.  She was the voice of busy Moms, and her messages spoke to them.

So what was Shaq's message, and more importantly to whom?  Rogers and Smeeton saw that he didn't just appeal to one segment, but to wide range of segments, for example for ages 9 to 90.  But regardless, his message was fun.  They carved a business around fun, which meant that they weren't just chasing after endorsements (i.e., reactively) but that they were in a position to command deals and partnerships (i.e., proactively).

It was evident that Rogers and Smeeton didn't have an overnight insight into Shaq Inc.  Rather, it took a lot of conversation between them and a lot of thinking, weighing and trying things out.  This is an important lesson for CEOs and their pursuit of innovation, growth and success.
It's a touchable brand.  It's a brand that people can relate to. 
I'm the Terminator on the outside, Bambi on the inside.
It's appealing quotable stuff like that really he's been spouting off throughout his breathtaking basketball career.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Larry Ellison a Must Case Study for CEOs

BLOOMBERG GAME CHANGERS follows Larry Ellison from his early days in Chicago through the founding of the multibillion-dollar software company to his rise as the highest paid executive of the last decade with a total compensation of $1.84 billion.
If you've interacted with any government, bought anything online, called a mobile phone, and paid with a credit card, you've probably encountered an Oracle product.  Oracle is both hardware and software for the management of database, customer relationships, and supply chain.

Rebellious, unconventional, and whip smart, Larry Ellison worked technical colleagues and business customers alike.  He and Steve Jobs were different personalities, in specifics that were no doubt more evident in their private lives than to the public eye, but they must've been alike in their tenacity, determination, and boldness.
He's the Samurai Warrior of Silicon Valley.  Larry's attitude is: If you want to compete against me, then be prepared to get crushed.
While he took the high road vis-a-vis Bill Gates and Microsoft, during a 1996 appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, Ellison was evidently not immune to going underhanded.  It was well-said that Oracle needed to beat Microsoft by making a better product, but he apparently took to a private detective to dig up dirt on Gates, too.
He sees around the corner, well before many of us get to the end of the street.
The idea behind the Network Computer, to my eyes, foresaw tablets by 10 years.  Although Apple would probably never admit to it, the NC predated the iPad.  You could surf the net and send e-mails with it, in a far user-friendly way, than what?  Not just Windows 95, but also Apple itself and other computer makers.  Ellison remobilized a company, that must've become complacent as the 1980s ended, and he brought it back to high respectability by the mid-1990s.
Larry Ellison is pretty similar to the New York Yankees. They're the team you love to hate, and as a competitor to Larry Ellison, I'm sure he's the person that people love to hate, given how successful he's been.  
In this biography, Ellison is a breathtaking case study.  Whether or not he is someone whom a particular CEO ought to emulate is not for me to say.  But I do recommend watching this video, if only to prompt reflections on what the CEO needs to be, in order to do his or her work effectively, and ultimately hit critical targets.  Lessons learned must be mulled over, not adopted blindly or swallowed whole.  Only then can these lessons have usefulness, even meaning, for the CEO.
Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD

Monday, June 2, 2014

Jon Stewart Acts the Shakespearean Fool

BLOOMBERG GAME CHANGERS profiles Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz, now Jon Stewart, from his New Jersey boyhood through the standard struggle of the stand-up comedian - part time jobs and late night gigs at New York's comedy clubs. It will shine a spotlight on his early television shows and movies, including rare video from his early career, to show his transformation into the dominant American commentator of our time.
So explains comedian Jon Stewart:
Our show obviously is at a disadvantage, compared to the many other news sources, that we are competing with.  For one thing, we're fake
Bill Grundfest, writer and producer, at the Comedy Cellar tells the story of Stewart's first appearance on Open Mike night.  He was getting nothing, he was bombing, he was dying.  But Grundfest saw that he had a point of view.  He was not afraid or self conscious, and had no contempt for the audience.  So what did he do with the young comic who bombed?  He brought him back.

Stewart seemed to have been the whipping boy of failure in the tough, early years.  Market segment, after market segment, just didn't seem to take a liking to him.  But in the process, he clearly impressed influential figures, like David Letterman, and media executives like Grundfest.
I'm a tiny, neurotic man, standing in the back of the room, throwing tomatos at the chalkboard.  That's really it.
In certain plays, like `King Lear, Shakespeare deployed a Fool, who was smart and witty and plugged-in to what was going on.  Moreover, he had license to talk frankly with the King.  In `Henry IV, Part 1, it was the tavern avoirdupois Falstaff as the Fool to Prince Hal who frequented that tavern world.  Stewart is that Fool, to me.  He has a purpose for us, and society at large, which very few others have liberty to possess or courage to speak to.

Stewart is a cultural, a political, and evidently a business force, too.  These forces converged like the gravity notions of both Newton and Einstein to finally win that coveted market following, on top of executive acclaim.  He was voted fourth most admired journalist, and he's not even a journalist.  Go figure.  He had a knack for criticizing journalism, in the process, while appealing effectively to the journalists behind his criticism.

Fellow comedian Ricky Gervais apparently isn't on the Jon Stewart bandwagon, though:
He's not as smart as me, though.  He's not really as handsome, either.  And he's not as funny as me.  
Go figure.

Thank you for reading, and let me know what you think!

Ron Villejo, PhD