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Ken Camp's Cool Companies

I can't help but continue to feel the kind of love and joy one gets when an unsolicited comment has so much heartfelt impact on me.

Ken Camp's post entitled "IP Telephony in 2008 - Where's the real action?" mentions nine companies that are very cool. How do I know? Well for starters my agency Comunicano represents or has represented seven of them, and for seconds, I'm on the advisory boards of at least two of them and for thirds I'm a shareholder personally in at least four of them.

When I read the comments from Ken, I couldn't help but realize how much my lessons from my long gone era of sports management are impacting how I operate the business and how those lessons are benefiting our clients.

1. From the late Sy Roseman my mentor in PR--always build rapport with the press, but most of all, be honest with them all the time.

2. From the great Flyers GM Keith Allen who I had the good fortune to share an office suite with for over two years when I needed a desk and he was in his "retirement" phase--always build you team with depth. With now 15 people on the Comunicano team, I'm personally amazed at the growth we have had, but not amazed at how much we're achieving. We have "players" who are stars in their own right, but who will back each other up without being asked. We have a rookie and a second year player. Watching them grow into veteran players is a joy to watch.

3. From former Flyers Coach, sometimes head banging opponent, but always someone I'd respect Mike Keenan, "Perfect Practice Makes Perfect" and "knock them down first with the left, then pick them up with the right" in his approach to management. I use this approach more and more.

4. From former Flyers Coach Fred Shero, with whom I ran two very successful coaching clinics in the late 70's "always behave like a duck. Unruffled on the surface, but paddling like hell underneath." That means keep your cool. Shero also taught me how to never be obvious...and we never are. Lastly, Freddie preached the idea of a "system." Ours is asymmetrical, it can't be copied or duplicated, but it may be imitated. Unfortunately, those that try only hurt themselves and their clients.

5. From ex Flyers President Bob Butera--"be organized on paper, but don't kill me with paper." My staff communicates very well, but we don't bury each other with stupid emails that mean nothing or waste each others time getting up to speed. They do that do that on their own, and ask questions when needed.

6. And last, but maybe the most important, from former Flyers Captain, Bobby Clarke, my idol as a youth, who I had the good fortune to retire in November 1984, when asked what are his words of advice for future hockey playes..."Work hard. Play fair and most of all, have fun." I live those words every day.


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