Tag Archives: ceo


banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

If you are old enough to remember the dominance of General Motors in the 1950s, 1960s, and even 1970s, you remember the saying, “As General Motors goes, so goes the Nation.”

That was a pretty gutsy observation of how important GM was.   A large, manufacturer with industry dominance and a huge dominance within the United States’ economy.

Today, you wonder what strategic direction they have set?  They certainly are not following Continue reading


banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

It is amazing the bad advice that is being pumped out by some writers who think they have a hip handle on “dealing with executives” today and they want to take a casually-written exception of an EMail and make it into a rule.

The latest article that tries to promote bad management form is one written by a writer, Kevin Roose, from New York Magazine.
See article:


Yes, if you want to “fit in” to today’s society, just watch Jerry Springer for the most accepted ways to live your life.

Smoke crack, have sex with relatives, and forget going to the dentist when you break a front tooth. Come on, let’s get real. Those are rare exceptions, not the rule of today’s society.

I felt the same reaction when reading this article about “strategic sloppiness” and writing a casual response to a CEO. What might be considered a “hip response” by one generation is looked down upon by others as inappropriate.

The other observations in the article seem off-base as well:
“We’ve known for years that the higher you are on the food chain, the more license you’re allowed to take with the rules of professional communication…..”

Really? Most executives set a standard and that standard should be met or exceeded. Taking license and bending that standard may look “cool” to someone observing, but try to send a sloppy EMail to an organization and see if you even get a response.

As I observed after reading the article: Are there exceptions? Sure, but try to emulate someone who is real casual in their CEO position and you won’t be taken seriously by those they have put in charge of their organization as executive gate-keepers.

Another quote from the article: “As the boss, you can make as many mistakes as you want.”

Believe me, if you start making too many mistakes, you won’t be boss much longer. Either you will be replaced by the Board of Directors or your company will go out of business, so that observation and conclusion is a little weak. CEOs who make mistakes should be kicked out and should not be given any golden parachutes for poor performance. You don’t reward mediocrity and you certainly don’t celebrate failure with a bonus.


Malcolm Forbes had a couple of good quotes that I always like to throw out for those trying to understand executive management. One was, “He who has the wheel, sets the direction.”

The CEO sets the corporate direction and steers the enterprise to reach that goal. Whatever he or she decides, will make or break the company. The CEO is in a very powerful and demanding position, but sometimes is not really tested as to their real skills.

Forbes’ other quote is much more revealing and critical, “Any fool can handle the helm in calm seas.”

Some CEOs who were blessed to be in a CEO position when all the planets were aligned and their company had great success in the midst of no obstacles or real competition, may not be as good as they are portrayed. They get washed away quickly in the first storm.


Okay, you find someone that has some quirks in their management and leadership style. It may work for them, but you are not them. Don’t emulate their quirks, because you will not pull it off.

In music composition classes, there are many rules and chord progressions you must follow. These were all set years ago and if you are composing something, you follow the rules.

Have there been exceptions to this, where a great composer broke the rules? Yes, but that is a rare, rare exception.

The same goes for leadership and management skills and their application to conducting business. There are an accepted scope of actions that you should emulate. Good writing and speaking skills are key executive skills.

Taking liberty to be a non-conformist to that management framework is like playing “A flat” when you are in the key of “A” with the rest of the band.

Is there dissonance? Yes. Is there a great shock value? Yes. Will you be looked at as a great virtuoso who is so more magically skilled then the rest of the band?

99.999% of the time – NO, you’ll be looked at like some out-of-touch moron.

CARLINI-ISM: Executive skills should set a standard. Don’t play A flat in an A world. Stick to the music.

COPYRIGHT 2014 – James Carlini


banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

When you go to a business meeting today are you dressed for success or dressed casually? Do you look like you flew in on the corporate jet or were you one of the people washing it down before the flight?

7K0A0603Image consultants seem more concerned about social media tools today than they are real barometers of professionalism and success. Having a Smartphone with an obnoxious ring tone is not cool and won’t make any points unless you Continue reading


banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

How can you learn from proven leaders’ wisdom? One quick way is to get an insight to their thought process by reading up on their quotes.

Years ago, a business acquaintance I had met in San Francisco while consulting on a high-tech real estate project for Santa Fe Southern Pacific in Silicon Valley got me started on looking at quotes from different leaders in various industries. Continue reading


banner james carlini - Carlini's CornerBy James Carlini

Do you still use a rotary telephone (do you even know what that is?)?  Can you buy gas at 20 cents a gallon where you live?  Times have changed, companies have changed, and giving a two-week notice went out with nickel beers. Continue reading

John Hall Diagnosed with Autism and Mental Retardation, Became a Success Story

John Hall Author of “Am I Still Autistic? How a Low Functioning, Slightly Retarded Toddler Became CEO of a Multi-Million Dollar National Corporation

I was recently introduced to this book by my friend Devon Blaine of the Blaine Group, a PR Firm in Beverly Hills, CA and the title immediately caught my attention.

John Hall was diagnosed severely Autistic and mildly mentally retarded and had become the CEO of a very successful company?!

I believe I thought as many would, that he must have been misdiagnosed, but I had to read the book. This was no mistake or joke. John was severely impaired for many years and through the help of Dr. O. Ivar Lovaas of the Lovass Institute and the dogged determination of his mother, John was able to get the treatments and training he needed to be able to cope with the world.

The story does not end here, however as John’s son has been diagnosed with severe Autism and John can now tell the story from both sides.

John’s story is compelling, honest and surprising. The book is well written and I believe it is a must read for parents of children that have been diagnosed. – JW

Am I Still Autistic, The Book?

From Amazon.com

Autism does not have to be a life sentence. John Hall knows. As a toddler, he lived in his own private world, flipping light switches, flushing toilets, banging pans, avoiding eye contact, and babbling unintelligibly.

Today, he is CEO and co-owner of a national communications firm based in Southern California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Defying his initial “slightly retarded, low-functioning autistic” diagnosis, he pushed his way through elementary and high school, put himself through college, earned an MBA, and is sitting for a doctorate!

His confusing, frustrating, often heart-wrenching, sometimes comical journey from disabled to triumphant will inspire every teacher, therapist, parent, and family member who lives with, loves, or works with a special-needs child. Am I Still Autistic? offers a unique inside perspective on life in the special, secluded world of autism, and how love, support, and persistence can help make even the most unlikely candidate for success turn their life around.

John HalL

John Robert Hall III was born in Santa Monica, California on March 5, 1975.

At about 2 years of age, John was diagnosed as severely autistic and slightly mentally retarded. He spent most of his early childhood years in an intensive therapeutic program known as Cheerful Helpers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

By the age of 6, John had shown significant progress and was mainstreamed in a regular first grade classroom with special education support services.

Despite his progress, John struggled through elementary school to catch-up with his peers, make friends, and better relate to the world he was living in. While he persisted and continued to make dramatic progress throughout elementary and junior high school, it was not until his junior year in high school until John felt he was somewhat “normal.” John went on to complete high school and embarked into adulthood.

John worked full-time through college and by the age of 20 was a Director of Sales & Marketing for a prominent call center firm.

John Hall with His Family

In 1997, John co-founded Greenwood & Hall to provide direct response and emerging e-commerce companies with integrated telemarketing, customer care, payment processing, and product fulfillment solutions.

Greenwood & Hall is now recognized as a leading provider of customer relationship management solutions to a variety of sectors. Most specifically, Greenwood & Hall has emerged as a leading provider of end-to-end solutions to post secondary institutions. Greenwood & Hall’s solutions support the student lifestyle including new student recruitment, retention, financial aid administration/advising, and student services.

At Greenwood & Hall, John oversees business development, corporate strategy and development, new product development, higher education consulting, and the Company’s Enrollment Management Operations. John also manages projects of national interest for Greenwood & Hall.

These projects have included the dedication of the National World War II Memorial, the dedication of the Marine Corps. Museum, White House Conference on Aging, the United States Department of Defense Freedom Walk events, the “Shelter From The Storm” multi-network telethon for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and most recentlyHope For Haiti Now, American Idol Give Back, and Stand Up To Cancer.

John volunteers his time as a mentor for college-ready high school students at Roybal Learning Center, an urban high school in Downtown Los Angeles. He serves on the Board of Directors of Mapping Your Future, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that improves access to post-secondary education as well as financial advocacy.

John received his B.A. in Political Science and his Masters Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.) from Pepperdine University. John is currently completing his Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Southern California.

John currently resides in Irvine, California and has two children, John IV (J.R.), age 5 and Lia, age 3. His son, J.R. was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and neurological disorders.

John can be reached by email at jhall@amiautistic.com.

Am I Still Autistic Website