Hanging in the family room of my childhood home was a needlepoint that my oldest sister carefully crafted. It was a picture of eight owls on a tree limb, and underneath had the words “there’s always room for one more.” That saying was almost a family mission statement. My parents decided to open the family home to anyone who had a need. Some people would live with us for years and became as close as another sibling. Others would stay a night or two, needing help with a problem or a place to sleep. I have many interesting stories and experiences from this unique way to grow up. I learned more about people and perspective than I could have imagined. I learned to respect individuals as they were. The problem that brought someone to our doorstep didn’t define them, and neither did their race or religion.
Watching someone leave our home, I would often think about whether she would be successful or be limited by problems. Why would two people, both facing similar difficult challenges, have such different outlooks? Why would one person want to grow and develop while another would be blaming everyone else for his lot in life? The study of success, personal development, motivation and leadership all became passions of mine. Throughout the years, I have read every book I can on these topics. My love of books expanded over the years to include almost every category you can imagine, business to fiction.
My career path has led me into difficult situations a number of times. Over the years, I’ve come to realize I actually love turning around companies or dealing with industry challenges. It has not always been easy, and I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way. Today, I am CEO of Ingram Content Group, one of the largest companies in the book industry. My passion for reading and sharing great books is fulfilled, as is dealing with challenges as the industry migrates from a printed book to one embracing physical and digital content.
After the encouragement of many friends, I have decided to start this blog to talk about all of the topics I love and to share great books and authors. I hesitated many times, thinking that there are millions of blogs. Why would anyone want to visit another one? In the end, the image of that needlepoint and its message struck me. There is always room for one more. I hope you enjoy it and join the conversation in coming months.