Kevin Carroll and a cup of "joe"

While not a huge fan of Starbucks, the mega-corporation gulping up the coffee business around the world (I will never forgive them for what they did in buying my favorite coffee company, Torrefazione Italia, and shutting down all the cafes. I can't even bring myself to buy the beans now marketed in grocery stores under the name. And don't get me started about their corporate grinding of Astoria, OR coffee shop owner Sam Buck...), I have always been able to appreciate the company's effective use of graphic design. advertising and marketing. And now, a quote from someone I've met is on coffee cups at Starbucks.

Kevin Carroll is a force of nature. If you've never seen him speak, find out where he will be next and attend. This guy will "suck the air out of the largest room" (a term a friend once used to describe my sister's energy level) with his passion, enthusiasm and verbalized thoughts. If you haven't read his book, Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work, get yourself a copy as soon as possible. In fact, go to the web site of his company, The Katalyst Consultancy for all kinds of great information and to sign up for his monthly newsletter.

Kevin is full of words of wisdom. Now, a morsel of his advice is part of a campaign initiated by Starbucks to encourage conversation and interaction between its customers. Through their "The Way I See It" program, quotations by notable figures have been printed on cups and distributed via 17 million coffee drinks across North America. The Kevin Carroll quote, on cup #77, is:

The human catalysts for "dreamers" are the teachers and encouragers that "dreamers" encounter throughout their lives.� They are invaluable in the quest to turn ideas into reality.� So here's a special thanks to all of the teachers - especially my teacher, Miz Lane!

I've got my own Kevin story. Kevin made me famous - or perhaps, infamous. At the 2004 HOW Design Conference in San Diego, I was lamenting (OK, I was bitching and moaning) to Kevin and my friend Karen Larson (of design firm Larson Mirek) about the fact that my presentation was the last one of a long day. Known for occasionally working in my home office in my underwear, I said "Maybe I should do my presentation in my underwear to wake people up." Kevin's eyes lit up, and he flashed his famous grin, as he yelled "Do it!" Karen soon joined his enthusiasm after initial head-shaking. Then Kevin gave me one additional little piece of advice: "Have one glass of wine before making your presentation to take the edge off." Later that day I got rid of that "edge" - and then my shoes, shirt and pants as I made my presentation. My performance was a huge hit -and to this day I take great pleasure in blaming (and crediting) Kevin Carroll for my actions. I also thank him for his encouragement.

Damn...I may even need to go get a grande latte at Starbucks to support Kevin's thought about teachers...and my thanks to elementary school teacher Tom Tyler, high school art instructor Ken Collins and university journalism/design professor Roy Paul Nelson.

Photo: The Katalyst Consultancy

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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