A new year & a new partnership

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”


According to the Internet, about ten different people may have said that.


Regardless of who said it,  as a business and community leader you understand we all need to keep growing in a variety of ways. I’m excited to share with you a new partnership that will grow our ability to serve organizations large and small — and hopefully contribute to our communities and our shared success in the process.


This past week, former Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers, former Deputy Commissioner of Education Chas Anderson, and I launched MZA+Co — a new strategic consulting firm that will help corporate, non-profit, political, and trade association clients navigate state government and public relations issues in Minnesota and around the country. You can read our press release by clicking here. The opportunity to work with these two extremely talented, smart and well-connected people has me fired up about the new year.


I also want to say thanks to my friends and colleagues in Studio/E — an amazing entrepreneurship and leadership program founded by Nate Garvis and Tom Wiese. Studio/E is a unique place to connect with other leaders beyond our traditional institutional, corporate and political boundaries — I encourage you to check it out.


A few months ago, I stood in front of the Studio/E Masters group as they provided feedback on this question: “How do I grow my business without losing my mojo?” It’s a question almost every businessperson faces on an ongoing basis.


Free of charge, here is some of their great advice (all of which I tried to keep in mind before launching MZA+Co with Kurt and Chas):


– Get partners

– Remember the desired outcome – awesome talent

– Be clear on what you love doing (managing people/your business vs. doing hands-on work)

– Win without pitching

– Determine acceptable loss/risk

– Invest in yourself

– Do what you love to

– Find people to do the stuff you don’t want to do

– Delve into your why

– Do what you love to do


That sums it up as well or better than any business book or TED talk.


We hope your 2015 is off to a great start. And if you could use exceptional high-level, hands-on support in media relations, crisis communications, grassroots/grasstops advocacy or marketing support, please send us a note and we’ll be on the case.