Thought Leader Mindset, City-State, Forest Bathing, Notting Hill, Notecards, Surf Footage


Brigadoon Weekly
August 25, 2019
Curation and commentary from
Marc A. Ross

Brigadoon Weekly = Emerging issues shaping commerce + culture

Thought Leader Mindset, City-State, Forest Bathing, Notting Hill, Notecards, Surf Footage


Thought leader mindset: The back to school edition

It has happened.

Summer is over, and it’s back to school season.

As many around the world think about getting back to hitting the books, here are some thought leader mindset ideas to power you through the end of the year.

The new way to win a Nobel Prize

It used to be that to win a Nobel Prize, it was a lonely and solo pursuit. That's not the case anymore. Over the last 15 years, almost every Nobel Prize won in economics and physics is by groups of people collaborating around the world.

The way great culture and commerce changing work gets done these days is not an individual activity but by group effort where geography or languages do not restrict harnessing skills, insights, and talents.

Being a noun vs. being a verb

“I am the Vice President of Sweet Tooth Vending Machines.”

“I am the Chief Marketing Officer for Acme Lollipops.”

“I am the General Manager of Candy Wrappers.”

These are all examples of being a noun.

These are statements for people who are telling what they are.

These people are nouns.

These are not statements for people who are telling you what they are doing.

“I am producing film.”

“I am innovating of grass turf.”

“I am solving medical challenges in the inner cities.”

These are statements for people who are telling what they are doing.

These people are verbs.

These are not statements for people who are telling you what they are.

Don’t always be a noun; embrace being a verb.

Make a decision

"You never know when a typical life will be anything but, and you won’t know if you are rewriting history, or rewriting the future until the writing is complete."

This quote is from Debbie Millman in her book Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design.

It's a good reminder that to make a decision, to make a start, to get going.

You won't know what the impact is or what transpired until the work is complete.

However, without the start, you'll never know when a typical life will be anything but.

Go to Hamburg

The Beatles might have hailed from Liverpool, but the band got its big break in Hamburg.

The band had secured a bid to play the Indra, a seedy strip joint complete with a neon-lighted elephant beckoning the passersby in Hamburg's infamous red-light boulevard.

This August marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' debut of a 48-night stint at this "musical venue."

The band’s contract required the five of them (John, Paul, George, drummer Pete Best and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe) to perform for 30 hours, six nights a week. Each one received the generous sum of about $51 in those days.

The Indra’s owner was generous and provided the group free lodging.

The Beatles slept behind the stage in two dark, dank, cramped storage rooms with small beds, folding cots, and a couch. The nearby men’s room, where broken toilets often overflowed into their rooms, served the group’s personal hygiene needs.

The days of Hamburg are a far cry from Paul McCartney's concert riders of today.

McCartney now has an amusing list of plant demands - yes plant demands: "No trees please! We want plants that are just as full on the bottom as the top such as palm, bamboo, peace lilies, etc. No tree trunks!"

Also, of course, the rider requires a pre-show sweep by some bomb-sniffing dogs.

Paul has come a long way from a pre-show neon-lighted elephant.

However, playing Hamburg was essential to the band's success.

After two months of incessant playing, Indra's owner Bruno Koschmider promoted The Beatles to his flagship club, the Kaiserkeller.

“We had to learn millions of songs because we’d be on for hours,” George Harrison later said. “Hamburg was really like our apprenticeship, learning how to play in front of people.”

This apprenticeship, learning millions of songs, and how to properly play in front of people was essential.

Where is your Hamburg?

Where is the place you can work on your craft, build your skills, and harness your talents regardless of the environment?

You just think it's too risky

Putting out ideas and services that change commerce and culture might feel too risky.

Putting out ideas and services that change commerce and culture forces you to deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: failure, standing out, embarrassment, incremental progress, or rejection.

Putting out ideas and services that change commerce and culture might feel too risky, but it's necessary.

It's necessary because you have the skills and expertise; you just might need to train yourself to reformulate your mindset - a mindset which gives you the power to leap one barrier and drive through the other obstacles.

You just think it's too risky because you haven't trained yourself to reformulate your mindset.

Thought leaders know that having the right mindset can be the difference between it being too risky and its completion.

- Marc

Marc A. Ross is a strategist and advisor working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics. Ross specializes in helping entrepreneurs and thought leaders make better connections and better communications.


Return of the city-state: Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century.

"Power in the 21st century belongs to the problem-solvers. National governments debate and dither. Cities act, cities do"

How to successfully unplug and take advantage of time off: It might sound a little out there and Goop-ish, but even doctors are getting hip to the benefits of forest bathing. More than 75 physicians in the Pacific Northwest have begun writing prescriptions for people to spend time walking outdoors in order to ease tension and anxiety, lower blood pressure and enhance the immune system.

Twenty years after Notting Hill, Londoners still love garden squares: The Richard Curtis effect: living next to one could tack £2.1 million onto the price of your home.

A tiny, in-demand restaurant in Maine asked for reservations by notecard — and got 20,000 of them: Some ways to secure a seat at a restaurant: Visit the restaurant’s website, visit a third-party website, email, use an app, call, stand in line, hire someone to stand in line, buy tickets from a restaurant, buy scalped tickets at a premium, buy reservations from a website that made reservations before you realized you needed reservations. In 2018, Erin French decided there would be only one way to make reservations at the Lost Kitchen, her restaurant in her hometown of Freedom, Maine (population 731): pen-to-paper notecards.

Chasing the Shot: A quest for the perfect surf photo (video): Follow photographer Leroy Bellet on his quest to film some of the world’s best barrel riders, on some of the world’s most dangerous waves. The result is more than a few terrifying moments, but also some of the most epic surf footage ever captured.


From salon dinners to excursions and multi-day retreats, Brigadoon organizes a number of powerpoint free, conversation focused events in distinctive settings that involve all participants and foster deeper connections.

This fall Brigadoon will organize salon dinners in four cities, a sailing cruise on the Chesapeake Bay, a tour of one of the top design schools in the world, and take full control of a country estate in Fife, Scotland.

Here are the Brigadoon 2019 conclaves designed to improve your individual and organizational performance:

Brigadoon Annapolis 2019 | Salon Dinner + Sailing
September 12-13

2019 Topic = Thought Leader Mindset

Brigadoon Los Angeles 2019 | Salon Dinner
September 26

2019 Topics = Urban Mobility Solutions + Business Startup Strategy

Brigadoon Detroit 2019 | Salon Dinner + Tour
October 3-4

2019 Topics = Autonomous Vehicles + Transportation Design

Brigadoon Cincinnati 2019 | Salon Dinner
October 24

2019 Topic = Thought Leader Mindset

Brigadoon Remote 2019 | Scotland
November 11-15

2019 Topic = Think of four days where you can work remotely in a country estate, spend the day as you want

Enjoy the ride + plan accordingly.


Marc Ross

Based in Washington, DC, I specialize in thought leader communications and global public policy for public affairs professionals working at the intersection of globalization, disruption, and politics.

Clients hire me to ghostwrite, engage influencer networks, manage media relations, produce events, audit their communications infrastructure, consult on hiring, provide issue briefs and news generating talking points, as well as manage end to end communications projects where I assume a role of project leader and general contractor.

I work independently but provided access to a substantial global network of collaborators with expertise in websites, graphic design, audio, video, polling, data analytics, and research.

Using the latest tactics of an American political campaign with expertise shaped by being a practitioner of global business communications, I help clients tell their story and build trusted relationships with all necessary stakeholders.

Successful communications are all about STOCK = strategy, tactics, organization, consistency, and know-how.