Last summer, a friend asked if I would consider being a featured speaker for his "Visiting Executive Lecture Series" at William Paterson University's Cotsakos College of Business. The pitch:
"Jim, the students are primarily juniors and seniors, just starting to think about landing their first job and career path beyond. If you'd share the twists and turns of your ride, I think the kids would find it fascinating. There's no format, tell it as you wish and take questions. The class is a two-and-a-half hour slot, use as much as you want."
The "Ride": Blue-collar kid graduates, climbs to the C-Suite of Corporate America by age 40, packs it in at 44. Along the way: Travelled the globe, managed nearly 15,000 people at peak and had many a fascinating interaction -- quizzed by David Ogilvy, scolded by Martin Sorrell, charmed by Michael Milken, embraced by Rupert Murdoch and dined with Mark Zuckerberg, amongst others.
The "Twists & Turns": I'd found myself in the middle of a massive hostile takeover, tense billion-dollar debt restructure and nascent concept transformed into an S&P500 Internet sensation. I'd quit a million dollar a year job, became a successful angel investor, as well as an in-demand non-executive board director. Then I landed in prison for a headline-making, non-crime. Currently, I'm helping launch a celebrity-branded mobile app.
I accepted Bob's invitation. I've always enjoyed coaching and if he thought it potentially useful for the students that was good enough reason for me. He had me open the series for both the fall and spring semesters, inviting me back for the coming school year.
The abridged version of my lecture goes something like this...
Good evening! Professor VanLangen asked me to come in and talk to you about my career, the twists and turns, how I got where I am, what I've learned and so on. I'm going to get to all that in a moment.
What do you think Steve Jobs was saying about career, life? Yes, do what you enjoy...you can only connect the dots after the fact...there's opportunity in setback... Excellent!
Did you notice he came from very little, economically speaking? Yet, without anything being handed to him, he became part of the much-maligned 1%. The key? Rather than bemoan circumstance or harbor entitlement expectation, he just got to work. Remember you have a right to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness," not the corner office. That's earned, unless you're the boss' kid.
Tonight, I'm going to hike you through the dots in my career path. Like Mr. Jobs, I can only connect them looking back. I'll set each situation, walk you through my thoughts and related actions, as well as point out what I believe the key takeaways are.
I too come from humble roots. My dad was a construction worker, my mom a homemaker, no silver spoon start here. Likewise, I didn't look for handouts, just got to work and ultimately made my way into the supposedly unattainable 1%.
Please note, whatever I relate was right for me. That may not work for you. It's about knowing who you are and reacting to situations in a manner that suits your essence.
Upfront, I'll divulge my two truths about learning. I'll close with two thoughts that always brought balance.
My Two Learning Truths:
1) I absorbed nothing from success. When I hit a home run I expected it. Saw an opportunity, took decisive action. If it worked out, my reaction was, "Of course," enjoyed the win, mindlessly motored on.
When I failed it was disaster -- moving just as decisively, some would say arrogantly. I don't enjoy losing, most particularly, causing harm or discomfort to those impacted by my errant decisions. Failure's price was always tortured circumstance reexamination and deep introspection.
Fortunately, I didn't miss much but when I did, oh boy. The wounds and lessons travel with me.
2) No one learns a thing from listening to somebody who shares the same point-of-view. That's time spent in a useless, but feel-good, echo chamber.
You can learn a great deal by respectfully listening to an opposite point-of-view. It's very hard to do but worth the struggle; summoning confident humility is the key.
At times, this patience can sway you to a better truth or, more often than not, provide affirmation of stance. The benefit of the former is obvious. The latter doesn't rule out sound compromise or, at a minimum, civil disagreement. Incidentally, few on Capitol Hill understand this concept.
When I'm done talking, I'll take questions. If you have any, please hold them until I'm finished, jot them down if it helps. No topic is off-limits and I'll stay as late as you wish.
So first dot, one you have already passed through -- picking a college and major, very important, life-altering decisions. Right? Well, let me tell you how I went about it, way back in the mid-1970s.
I was a reasonable student and serviceable athlete. There was no commercial Internet, email or text messaging. I had no clue what I wanted to be or how to go about looking for the "right" college. My guidance counselor suggested accounting, as math was a strength.
I bought a college guidebook, started looking for Northeast schools with an accounting program that I could likely get accepted to and might find a way to afford. Came up with a list of eight, got into all but one, visited just two and picked the winner. The deciding factor was people, scholarly achievement not a component.
One morning, I drove to Albany, NY. First up, I toured the State University. I was shown around by a young, enthusiastic assistant football coach. One who went on to become a great college head coach, Al Bagnoli. He was terrific but the student body was larger than I desired and the players were mostly large, as well -- wasn't sure I could contribute.
Next stop, Siena College. The small, Franciscan liberal arts school was about a fifteen-minute drive from SUNY Albany's campus. My parish priest had attended Siena back in the 1960s and still had friends there. The pre-arranged tour was from a couple of cute coeds. "God Bless Father!"
That evening, I attended a dorm beach party. Kegs in a hallway, sand dug up from a neighboring golf course's traps, students clad in beachwear. An eye-opener.
I felt strongly -- intimate community, pretty girls and kegger trumped metropolis, big guys and football. Siena triumphed.
Academia Dot: An Ivy League degree is not a prerequisite to success and some college fun is a healthy norm. You're only young once.
Before I knew it graduation approached. I'd under-applied myself academically and over-applied myself carousing, compiling a middling record in a major that wasn't for me, primarily financed via student loans. I was up to my eyeballs in debt.
Nice to have an accounting degree but couldn't imagine spending my life as a CPA, if I could even pass the licensing test. So what to do? Grad School!
I managed to get into St. John's University (SJU). Without visiting, I accepted, cost to be covered by further debt. Aside: I never asked for, expected or received help toward repaying my sizable student loan obligations -- grown-ups honor commitments.
One week after graduating from Siena, a higher power sent me a message. During a night on the town, I lost a man-auto collision. I was the man. Thus began a two-week hospital stay, followed by over a year of intense physical therapy -- two legs and an arm to rejuvenate.
I found myself living under my parents' roof. Daily routine: Up early, quick breakfast, half hour drive to a morning of physical therapy, quick lunch, hour drive to an afternoon of SJU library study, quick dinner, all evening in class, half hour drive home, sleep, repeat.
Academia Dot Part Two: Once again, an Ivy League degree is not a prerequisite to success AND if you seriously apply yourself the results will likely be better than middling.
With my time at SJU winding down and my body able to take commands, it was time to find my first white-collar job. Remember it's 1981, no Monster.com, no LinkedIn, etc., -- job search tools you should have a mastery of.
From SJU's library, I bagged a very thick book. It listed the 500 largest corporate employers in the United States, the entry-level positions each typically looked to fill and mailing addresses to inquire.
Shortly thereafter, 200 finely printed resumes, each accompanied by an individually typed cover letter, were stuffed in their respective envelopes, sealed, stamped and placed in the US mail.
A few weeks later, the phone rang in my parents' home -- no cell phones. My dad answered it. On the line was a man from the Texaco Inc. Human Resources Department (HR). At the time, Texaco was one of the largest oil companies in the world (since merged into Chevron).
After the gentleman introduced himself and asked for me, my father explained I was at class and would not be home until 11PM. The fellow replied that was fine, provided his home phone number and requested I call him as soon as I got in.
Got home around 11PM, received the message, dialed immediately. HR guy answers, informs me that the Assistant Treasurer of International Finance (AT) loves my resume and wants me in 9AM the following morning. I said, "Can do."
Now logistics. Texaco's Global HQ was in Harrison, NY, about a 45-minute drive with no traffic and my finding it without getting lost -- no GPS either. I decided to be on the road by 7:30AM.
Before turning-in, I laid out my only suit, borrowed a tie from my father and shaved-off my pencil thin mustache. Not much I could do about my shoulder length hair, was hoping they'd cut me some slack.
I arrived around 8:45AM - traffic. The HR guy came out, greeted me, didn't say a word about the long hair and walked me straight to the International Finance Department. He said I'd be meeting with the manager of the vacant analyst position. After that he'd be back for me, adding that I'd passed his HR test by being there on time with such short notice.
The manager was a nice fellow, asked me about my background and credited my pending SJU degree; he was alum. At conclusion, he stepped me over to the big boss' office, the AT who "loved my resume."
I was greeted with a bear of a handshake. He dismissed the manager, closed the door and pointed me to the chairs in front of his desk. He went back around the desk, sat down, leaned back, put his feet up, placed his hands behind his head and began with, "I like your credentials, impressed you got them in front of me and were able to move ass getting here."
I almost laughed at the "lord and master" power pose but managed to hold it. Instead, I joined him, comfortably sliding back into a chair. I wanted the job.
He went on, "You're a warm body, that has the required degrees, I don't need to relocate you and you can fill our open slot almost immediately; all big pluses. I don't care about which schools, grades and other academic horse hockey. What I love is you played football."
We spent thirty minutes discussing the merits of football -- teamwork, discipline, execution, physicality, mental toughness, respect for opponent, urgency, perseverance -- zero conversation around the job. Then he stood up, shook my hand and said, "We know what you're made of. You'll have an offer tonight. I hope you'll join us and get a haircut." I did both.
First Job Dot: Seize opportunity as presented. Be punctual. Believe in yourself -- breathe confidence. List meaningful extracurricular -- be it a sport, an instrument, community service, whatever -- they may trigger connection; affinity is human nature.
I earned a reputation for hard work, continued the extracurricular -- corporate softball and road running teams -- earning some notoriety for being player-coach of a twenty-four person athletic team. We won a Greater New York Area corporate competition and went on to the Nationals. I got to present our trophy to Texaco's CEO, John McKinley.
Things were going well for me at Texaco and I'd learned a great deal. But oil wasn't my thing, nor was the company's 1950s mentality. After a couple years, it was time to go.
I reached out to greener pastures. I asked a few cohorts if they'd introduce me to the recruiters who placed them out of Texaco into their present positions. They all did.
On the first business day of 1984, I started work with The Ogilvy Group, one of the world's largest, public, advertising companies. My new title: Corporate Cash Manager, responsible for global bank relations and working capital position.
Ogilvy was a magical place -- blue chip client list, cutting edge creativity and professionalism with a capital "P" -- but the cash management practices were as 1950s as Texaco's management style. However, Texaco's cash practices were as cutting edge as Ogilvy's ads.
In short order, I made tangible improvements, none too difficult to implement. By starting with what I knew could be rapidly improved I gave myself room to grow in other areas. In time, I inherited competitor analysis and some strategic planning duties.
Concurrently, I continued the extracurricular - joining Ogilvy's corporate road running team and becoming player-coach of its twenty-four person athletic team, one of the twenty-plus opponents my Texaco squad trounced the prior summer. My initial year we finished second to Texaco. Then won the Greater New York Area event six years running, once winning the National Championship.
My contributions were noticed. The CEO, Bill Phillips, started mentoring me, providing advertising account management experience, to go along with my day job for the CFO. Nothing that could hurt the bottom-line, mostly pro bono causes he'd taken on.
I became his liaison with the Hugh O'Brien Youth Foundation and New York Special Olympics, with a bit of Outward Bound, as well. Later, he added monitoring and reporting on Ogilvy's adherence to the Sullivan Principles, related to a minority-interest in then-apartheid South Africa.
He was also patient with me, requesting my view on a major acquisition he was making for very sound business reasons. I understood but highlighted strong financial reasons not to buy the firm. Long story short, we both proved right. A decade later, Bill turned the situation into a Cornell University case study. (1)
I also wrote a somewhat controversial memo to the company's senior management. (2) It expressed my view that we serviced our clients so fabulously that our resulting below-industry profit margins made us takeover bait. I proposed dramatic actions, concluding that without such movement a specific competitor, WPP Group, could sensibly take an unwelcome run at us ("next one to three years").
When I let the memo rip I thought I might get fired but I loved the place and couldn't sit idly by in the face of something I saw so clearly. Plus, I always believed a company was lucky to have me, not vice versa.
Bill methodically went through the memo with me. Rather than getting fired, I started inheriting strategic planning responsibilities. In and about the voicing, I was made a Corporate Vice President.
The Ogilvy Dot: Networking helps. Knock down "easier" tasks with immediacy. Say, "Yes" to more. Once earned, never fear coherently expressing yourself.
Nineteen months after my "controversial" memo WPP bid $54 per share, absorbing Ogilvy for $864 million. The WPP CEO, Martin Sorrell, got hold of my missive and began wooing me to stay on. He said I knew he'd buy Ogilvy before he did. When I agreed to become WPP's SVP/Treasurer, Americas he wrote me, "Your forecasting abilities are prodigious." (3)
It turned-out WPP paid rather handsomely for Ogilvy, causing need for a billion dollar plus debt restructuring. An odd moment for me. As part of Ogilvy's takeover defense team I had pride in maximizing shareholder value; as a senior member of WPP's treasury team I was girding myself for the unpleasant bank negotiations ahead.
I was the most senior treasury staff in place from problem discovery -- which I had a hand in -- until successful resolve. At completion, Sorrell wrote me, "Thanks for coping with the increased workload." (4) It was a tough few years, providing valuable experience in crisis management. It also put my career in play.
Once the company was on sound footing, my phone began ringing. Executive search types galore were calling me. The lenders, appreciative of my efforts, had pointed them my way.
In June 1994, news of my resignation appeared in the Wall Street Journal, "WPP Treasurer Resigns," ending, "...the resignation was entirely voluntary. Indeed, Mr. Treacy is said to be popular with bankers and agency executives." (5) Aside: Today, WPP Group is the world's largest marketing services company. The clever and driven Mr. Sorrell still at its helm.
The WPP Dot: When your mettle is tested people are watching; you'll be judged on how you rise to the occasion. From hard work comes reward.
I was being presented all sorts of "big" opportunities, at Fortune 500 type companies, and all I could think during each interview was, "Boring." By now I realized I liked action and had a knack for bringing order to chaos. Start-ups, high-growth and/or corporate messes to fix were my calling.
Finally, the umpteenth Search guy phoned and began telling me about a cash-strapped advertising backwater, based in New York City, called TMP Worldwide. They were looking for a CFO to sort them out. Beneath me but "sort them out?" What the hell, I agreed to meet with them.
I sat with TMP's management, finishing up with its, founder, Andy McKelvey. He impulsively offered me the position within thirty minutes. The job was of zero interest. The books and records were a mess, in need of an accounting-type CFO, not my bag. I was polite, waiting a few days before saying, "No thanks."
A few months later, still at my WPP desk, the phone rings. It's Andy McKelvey, saying he'd been on the road, it was his first day back in the office, could I join him for dinner that evening. Thinking, "Strange, wonder why, I'm not taking that job, can't hurt to humor him," I accepted the invitation.
Over dinner, McKelvey surprised me. "I don't know if I mentioned this when we met. I have this small division, a total mess, but with potential. I plan to buy up as many of its competitors as I can, smash them together and then dominate the sector. Problem is, I can reel them in but I'm a horrible manager. You'd be perfect to make it hum." He went on to offer me the teensy division's CEO position, as well as share ownership in the money-losing wreck.
This time I was impulsive, agreeing over dessert, details to be worked out before coming aboard. Within two years, that division became the largest Recruitment Advertising business in the world and eventually morphed all of TMP into an Internet dominator -- making quite a few lucky people fairly wealthy. McKelvey himself made the Forbes 400 list five years from our dinner.
Career Path Change Dot: Know yourself. Always take the meeting. Accept a challenge. Share ownership is the fastest road to wealth.
In late 1994, I found myself in California, in an all-day budget meeting, with a company we were folding in. At the end of the meeting, I was shown a line item for an Internet concept they were working on, Career Taxi. They asked for $100,000 budget to build it out. I had no idea what they were talking about. Beginning with, "What's the Internet?" Yeah, I'm that old.
It took nearly an hour of patient explanation to light my slow-to-glow bulb. The Internet would allow job seekers global access to searchable open positions, 24/7, with the immediacy of applying online -- great for them. If we could be the website where that happens, great for us.
In Recruitment Advertising, we created and then placed our client's job adverts in newspaper help-wanted sections. For doing all the work, we received fifteen cents of every dollar the client spent. For having the audience (jobseekers) the newspapers pocketed eighty-five cents. If we put those ads on our own website -- and it worked -- dislocating the newspapers, to our and our client's advantage, would be simple. Eighty-five cents left a lot of room to maneuver.
I gave them $300,000 to step on it. Back in New York, I explained all of this to McKelvey. He'd heard it before from another entrepreneur but didn't put it together, still couldn't. Sigh...
I persisted. Once I got him there -- took a few months and some help -- he dove in, buying two of Career Taxi's only three meaningful competitors at that time: The Monster Board and Online Career Center. We were on our way.
That budget meeting ultimately led to a 1996 IPO, formation of Monster.com and warm welcome into the S&P500 Index. (6) I led the IPO effort, down the road being named parent company Chief Operating Officer, added to the Board of Directors and adorned with the President title.
The Monster Dot: At healthy companies people exchange ideas. Nothing great is accomplished alone. And, to reiterate, when opportunity presents pounce and run.
As the company's success mounted, McKelvey was anything but laser-focused. In an attempt to fill some emotional void, he was throwing money around like a drunken sailor. He got involved in political causes. His favorite part was well-known politicians, sitting in his office, groveling for "donations." He personally invested in an eclectic group of businesses, pulling the levers at many, a number of which ran aground. And, of course, a big boy toy binge -- luxury homes, mega-yachts, private jets, sporty cars, wife number six, mistresses, hookers, bacchanalian jaunts with his cronies. Maturity took a holiday.
I wasn't having it. Despite being twenty-four years his junior, as well as subordinate in title, I played dad. I drilled him over focus, strategic direction, governance and even morality. Reminding him, often, that being a public company CEO is huge responsibility and requires near-100% dedication. He didn't like it. I didn't care.
One evening, it got so heated we threatened each other. My being clear I thought he was controlling, manipulative and unaccountable. In turn, he made clear I was insubordinate, pugnacious and stubborn. A draw!
I loved what we had built but McKelvey had the Control Vote and a mindset for the wrong path. He was afraid to fire me and I knew it. I was generally well-liked in the trenches and valued by Wall Street. Still, the fun was gone; exit stage left.
Much to McKelvey's surprise, I resigned mid-2002. The day it was announced our share price plunged 30%. The drop was a blow to his vast ego and precious wealth. He was dazed, unable to comprehend I'd lost respect for him and didn't care a whit what he thought of me. I felt relief and finally understood why The Beatles split in their prime.
The ten-year aftershocks were profound: LinkedIn launched in 2003. Its three-dimensional, career-management, web-community approach was a natural progression from Monster's two-dimensional conversation. Overtime, they ate Monster's lunch. McKelvey's health went into decline and he died in 2008. In 2009, I went to prison for his behavior, regaining my freedom in 2011. The same year the company, a shell of its former self, was unceremoniously booted from the S&P500 Index.
Power Struggle Dot: Distraction is doom. There is nothing more controlling than a control shareholder. Loyalty shouldn't be blind, deaf and dumb. Scorched earth smolders.
I had no idea what I'd do next. After twenty years of the grind, I actually looked forward to chilling for a while.
Chill interrupted, my reputation preceded. The Private Equity crowd was looking to back me. Young Internet entrepreneurs were networking me down. Public companies in disarray, along with private ones looking to IPO, were presenting non-executive board seats. I played at the latter two. Had plenty of time to watch my kids grow up. Life was good.
Then 2006 arrived. Splat! Thousands of public companies - Monster one of them -- were being scrutinized for "backdated option" accounting. "Backdating!" Sounds awful, doesn't it? Well, not really.
The public reports provided all a shareholder needed to understand the cash and dilution implications of the option grants. The "scandal" was over non-cash accounting entries, trapped in a maze of factors that could be argued until the cows came home.
However, to career-oriented prosecutors it was catnip -- the nefarious sounding buzzword, "Backdated," wealthy-name targets and enough pointless confusion to rile up common man juries. For the knowledgeable and fair-minded non-cash equates to zilch, irrelevancy, but career advancement called. Time to choose John Proctor.
On April 30, 2008, I was selectively indicted by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for a legal capital allocation technique, employed by a CEO with a Controlling Interest, at the company I'd quit in 2002. The charged offense: Supposed knowledge of errant, non-cash accounting, as dictated by a precept so meaningless it was done away with by the accounting authorities in 2005. I'd landed in Bizarro World.
As the year wore on, real money problems, percolating in the heart of SDNY's jurisdiction, exploded -- 2008 Financial Crisis and Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme. The former was the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. The latter was the largest financial fraud in history. To this day, not a single Wall Street banker of rank has been held criminally accountable and SDNY only caught Madoff because his sons knocked on their door and said, "We may have a problem here."
None of that ineptitude helped me. John Q. Public's lust for white-collar scalps was off the charts and an embarrassed SDNY would do anything to deflect. The atmosphere was terrible as my 2009 trial approached.
Early on, SDNY suggested to my attorney, "He can come in and take a charge." That's code for plead guilty, implicate and testify against others, in return for leniency -- a promised no-jail sentence.
I'd done nothing wrong, wasn't aware anyone else had and performing as a government tool doesn't measure on my manhood scale. I instructed my attorney to tell the prosecutors to "shove it where the sun doesn't shine."
Down the road, they tried another tactic: "Does your client know what the guidelines say about the time he's facing?" Highlighting an insane twenty-five years. As I don't cotton to bullies, I also stared this down.
Fortuitously, I drew a fair judge who understood the issues, as well as the game. He was making pretrial rulings my way, including one that prohibited the prosecution from using the word "backdate," in any form, during trial. Noting it wasn't an offense but was prejudicial to layperson ears. (7) This infuriated the prosecutors to no end, leaving me encouraged. Not for long.
The prosecution went ex-parte judge shopping. (8) Landing as replacement judge the one who had presided over SDNY's only other option case to that point, brought by the identical prosecution team. He also handled a related 2008 Monster civil suit, during which he made a ruling detrimental to my criminal case defense at the behest of the same two prosecutors. (9) (10) I was dumbfounded, my attorneys helpless.
To give the "coincidence" some perspective, with roughly forty-five SDNY judges, the odds that this particular judge randomly got assigned all three of these cases was about one in 91,000. (11) So much for impartiality.
The new judge understood the issues and game, as well. He immediately reversed all pretrial rulings favorable to me. (12) During trial he blocked my access to what he called "potential Brady Material," (13) -- that's evidence helpful to my defense -- trampled my 6th Amendment Right to cross examine a critical witness (14) and sat idly by as prosecutors presented a stream of fanciful witnesses he'd crack-wise about sans jury presence. (15)
In the end, I was found guilty and got two years. The government's main cooperator -- that's an effectively coerced, bribed and programmable piece of evidence -- got his non-jail sentence. Terminally ill Andy McKelvey, who could've stood tall and exonerated me at outset, decided to save worldly anguish and caved to a deferred prosecution deal. Since Thanksgiving Day 2008, he roams with Jacob Marley.
Meanwhile, the government employees received their rewards. One prosecutor landed a high-paying, white-collar-law partnership -- before I was sentenced. The other got a DOJ promotion, later joining her colleague at his law firm. The scrapbooking judge took to his soapbox.
Bizzaro World Dot: Misfortune arrives in an instant. Manipulation is government skill. Self-preservation most always trumps backbone. Integrity costs.
You must be wondering what I was feeling? I don't do "woe is me" but anger was present. I had to compartmentalize quickly, as I had family to worry about.
In crisis it is always best to take perspective. No loved one passed, my health was intact, my ability to look in the mirror preserved and time would restore liberty -- this was beatable.
I was also blessed with what all the inner cities of America are missing. Enveloped by both a complete family unit and caring community. That infrastructure, those values and mental toughness -- including that shown by my wife and kids -- carried the day.
On to prison, hardly "Club Fed." A person who utilizes this phrase, without ever having been a "guest," is a fool and a blowhard. It is totally survivable, I've been in tougher situations BUT camp it is not.
Rather than let the time do me, I did the time. I read a ton of books and put myself back in college ball-playing shape, which I've since maintained.
I also revisited the Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution. I'm happy to report they were as recalled. The most powerful, for good, secular documents ever written. We're at our best when the tenets are practice, as opposed to aspiration. Sadly, we have much to aspire to.
A Word of Caution: Patriotism intact, I must warn you that somewhere along the way America's justice system morphed into a massive industry. An ugly one where i) prosecutors act with impunity, eye on million-dollar law partnerships or high political office; ii) pampered, lifetime-appointed judges rule to political agendas; & iii) prisons are valued as blue collar job creators that additionally line many a politician's (and/or their backers) pocket.
You may not believe me, I know I wouldn't have ten years ago, but ask yourself:
1) Why does The Innocence Project exist? If our prosecutors show no conscience populating Death Row with innocents, can you imagine how freely they misbehave ensuring lesser winning outcomes?
2) How is it possible that the United States, aka, "land of liberty" is the world's incarceration leader? With 5% of the world's population, we house 25% of its prisoners. Human rights debate anyone?
Some influencers are starting to take notice but it'll be a chore to rein in this effectively unregulated "industry." The President, Vice President, 57 of our 100 Senators and 169 of our 435 Congressional Representatives have law degrees and one of the most powerful Washington DC lobbying efforts is pro-prison.
By the way, "Privacy Loss Without Discourse" is the "Taxation Without Representation" of your day. We're all caught up in unchecked government monitoring, hardly US Constitutional but I digress...
Post confinement, to my amazement, I was contacted by one of the witnesses against me - one whose testimony the judge "wonder[ed] about". (16) Several days before my sentencing this person had sent me an email of support and sorrow (17), prompting my attorney to write, " Seeing [her] email...really pissed me off. She should have apologized for rewriting history from the stand..." (18) Upon my release from prison, she did, through tears, over lunch. (19)
This was the second witness to apologize to me. Another had, in the courtroom vestibule, before testifying. His ensuing testimony apparently would have been invalidated if the judge had allowed me access to the "potential Brady Material."
Knowledgeable people have asked me how I feel about the judge and prosecutors. It's a good question with a varied response. Regarding their behavior towards me, I'm somewhat indifferent. I've been sucker-punched by a coward before; water off a duck's back. But their "emotional bludgeon[ing]" of my family is unforgivable. (20) Any further thoughts are best left unsaid.
Time-Out Parenting Dot: Perspective soothes. Time is priceless, use it. Never presume power dispenses wisdom. You can only control your own actions.
Life's short and only moves in one direction, forward. Onward ho! I'm off the canvas and motoring on.
As you saw on my website, I've been writing and freely talking...I know, like please shut-up it's been over an hour... Someday, perhaps a book, movie and/or Netflix series emerges from all of this. I've got the stories and platform. I wear them proudly. Maybe they run into an opportunistic content provider. Time will tell.
Today, I'm involved with a celebrity-branded app, hoping to launch soon. They sought me out. I was happy to give advice, not keen to join, but they made it too interesting. I'm part of the founding team.
Separately, but more importantly, my family members, stronger and wiser from the governmental mayhem, are all doing great. Life is good, again!
Final Notes: Embrace your scars. When you have something to offer you'll be sought. The person who wants something least holds the stronger position. Living the dream is never giving in to adversity -- hold ground, then bounce back.
In closing, before opening the floor for questions, I promised Two Balancing Truths. Axioms that keep me grounded:
1) Whenever I was part of great achievement, received good news or fortune smiled, I reminded myself of something General George S. Patton said, "All glory is fleeting."
2) Whenever I struck failure, faced bad news or misfortune arrived, my mantra, "If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." -- Proverbs 24:10
Thank you for listening. I can tell by the attentiveness futures are bright. Long may you run!
Follow Jim Treacy on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jimtreacy
(1) Cornell University, Johnson Graduate School of Management, Research International, Prepared by Professor David J. BenDaniel Copyright 1997
(2) Treacy The Ogilvy Group Memo, Crystal Balling and Wish Listing, (10/14/87)
(3) Sorrell "Welcome Aboard" letter to Treacy (7/24/89)
(4) Sorrell letter to Treacy (8/05/92)
(5) The Wall Street Journal, Friday, June 10, 1994, Page B8
(6) As TMP Worldwide, corporate name changed to Monster Worldwide in 2003
(7) 08 Cr. 366 (RCL) United States v. James J Treacy (1/22/09) - Pages 35-37
(8) 08 Cr. 366 (RCL) United States v. James J Treacy (1/27/09) - Pages 6-7
(9) 07 Civ. 2237 (JSR) In re Monster Worldwide Securities, Inc., Securities Litigation (6/04/08)
(10) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (1/30/09) - Page 2
(11) One over Forty-Five to the Third Power.
(12) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (2/26/09) - Pages 19-21
(13) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (4/20/09) - Page 2211
(14) United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Docket No. 09-3939-cr) United States v. James J Treacy (August 2010 Term: Argued 9/21/10; Decided 3/9/11) - Pages 18-20
(15) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (4/20/09) - Pages 1035-1036 (example)
(16) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (9/02/09) - Page 55
(17) Witness to Treacy email of 8/29/09
(18) Attorney to Treacy email of 9/01/09
(19) Witness/Treacy email exchange 3/19/12 thru 3/25/12 re their 3/22/12 NYC lunch
(20) 08 Cr. 366 (JSR) United States v. James J Treacy (9/02/09) - Page 83