Carve to Set Them Free

Reflection is a powerful tool. By contemplating history we can begin to plan and even predict our future.

While recently visiting Rome, Italy I personally experienced the massive dichotomy of two very different approaches to life and leadership. Allow me to briefly explain.

The Roman Coliseum is an impressive structure. Over 2,000 years ago 65,000 of the most powerful, “educated” and seemingly “sophisticated” people would gather to watch Gladiators battle beasts. As I stood immediately behind the location of the Emperor’s stand I considered the tremendous expertise and energy that was required to build such a “state-of-the-art” stadium. Yet, the fundamental purpose of such grandeur was incredibly decadent, malicious and self-serving. After all, the Coliseum was simply a stage of Command and Control: a forum for “authority” to demonstrate their ability to inflict life and death decisions.

The Roman Empire was arguably one of the most inspiring, innovative and powerful organizations to occupy our planet. Yet in the end, it self-destructed.

Four hours later I was awestruck at the magnificence of Michelangelo’s painting in the Sistine Chapel. I stood in silence staring at the ceiling. Admiring the attention to detail, the mosaic of images and pondering the eternal story he was telling through his talents. Understanding Michelangelo was a sculptor not a painter makes his creation even more impressive.

His work was created not for fame or fortune but because of a Pope’s request. For nearly five years, Michelangelo envisioned, planned and painted. Only through Collaboration and Cooperation with others were the scaffolding raised, paints comprised, designs sketched and ultimately timeless art for the ages meticulously manifested.

Michelangelo’s work is arguably one of the most inspiring, innovative and powerful pieces of art ever created. It stands as a testament to the magnificence of human potential and selfless service.

How are these two extraordinarily different works located in the same ancient city linked to leadership and life?

Command and Control – Selfishness, Decadence and Ultimate Destruction

Collaboration and Cooperation – Selflessness, Interdependence and Eternal Inspiration

Our individual and collective future is created by the daily decisions we make, how we connect with those we have the privilege to serve and the communities we build.

Is your leadership more aligned with a Roman Emperor or Michelangelo?

During this time of Thanksgiving may we all strive to see the potential that lies dormant in those we influence and act like sculptors to “see the angel in the marble and carve to set him free.”


Speaking Events

Future Culture 
Building Company Beliefs that Sustain Success

Vistage Executive Leadership Forum

Citrus Café 1491 Edinger Avenue, Tustin, CA 92780

Monday November 16, 2015
7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.

Private Event


Future Culture 
Building Company Beliefs that Sustain Success

2015 Inland Empire’s Top Workplaces Celebration
Riverside Convention Center
3637 Fifth Street, Riverside, CA 92501

Thursday, December 10, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Private Event

Tony has produced extraordinary results in diverse business settings for over 25 years.  As a fractional CEO, COO or VP Sales, Tony collaborates with business owners, CEOs and executive teams in small to mid-market companies.  

Core focus areas include:
Strategy Execution
Sales Growth
Leadership Development