Saturday Cup of Joe from Detroit

8 min readAug 23, 2021


Week 276 in Detroit. As I’m writing this I’m stuck in the Harrisburg Airport. I had a chance to visit my Dad and attend my fantasy football draft in a league that’s been going for 14 seasons (yes, 14 years). I know no one wants to hear about fantasy football, but the chance to get back to PA and to see people in my life was great. Having the pilot tell us at 6 AM that we have a maintenance issue that “he’s never seen before” on our plane was … not great.

This caused me to look up the phrase “best laid plans.” Apparently it comes from a 1786 Robert Burns poem. The verse was translated into English, the original Scottish quotation is: The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft a-gley, / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain, / For promised joy.

My plans to get home, spend the day with my daughter & our friends floating down a river were foiled. In the end, I didn’t get home till the next available flight around 1:30 PM. Disappointment on the missed opportunity was also a reminder of how lucky I am. If a broken plane and missed tubing experience was the worst of my day, my week, my month then I’m in pretty good shape. I am grateful.

I have some more travel coming up this week and I’m looking forward to both a good travel week and writing more about it next week.

Have you heard this meme — Ok, Boomer — which is the Millennial / Gen Z take on the judgment of an older generation? I don’t think I’ve ever used it before. Reading the reasoning of a veteran Wall Street trader about why we need to be in the office was enough to bring it out of me. This take is really tone deaf. Wall Street needs to go back to the office because of yelling and pounding the table. I’m paraphrasing but I’m pretty sure part of his argument is — how are you supposed to intimidate and manipulate over Zoom when no one knows you are ignoring or insulting them with a “stony stare”?

I’m all for learning at the feet of those who are experts and those who have gone before in the job or the industry. That is absolutely critical for career development and personal development, the way to limit mistakes and improve. At the same time, the type of humanity that I usually highlight is at odds with the power dynamics and manipulation discussed in the above essay. My view is that clear communication, holistic understanding and use of data are the modern differentiators. Of course there’s still subjectivity and persuasion in what we do — that…




Thinker, curious leader, once an attorney…always trying to answer well. Working on what’s next and next and next.