Father and Son on Campbell’s Hero’s Journey

Chris-Leykam_profile-pictureI love my son, Chris. I have never ceased to be amazed at his Industrial Design and illustration talent, his athletic ability as a hockey player, his values as a person and his work ethic.

Chris is my hero. It goes behind pride to something much, much deeper; bordering on something self-indulgently Joseph Campbellian in validation of the author’s concept of monomyth.  The time Chris and I spent this weekend stood out as one of the most special days we’ve spent together. I spent several years of the ‘70s commuting on Metro North from New Rochelle to the offices of recording industry giant London Records in New York City. I recall the decade as a record producer, engineer and A&R talent scout as one of my most creative periods. Today the same railroad tracks carry Chris to Manhattan as he works his creative design magic at one of most iconic men’s fashion brands in the world reminding me of Campbell’s belief in the psychic unity of mankind which continuously pours its energies into this world.

chris kayak

Chris and I talked for hours, sharing uncanny stories about the similarities of our experiences commuting on the train which were rewarded by an end-of-the-line coffee and a black and white cookie at Zaro’s Bakery. On one of my own commutes, I exited Grand Central Station on the Vanderbilt side and meandered across town, discovering by chance the Red Caboose hobby shop on 45th Street. My love of things nostalgic was raised to an entirely new level when Chris shared for me his own recent serendipitous encounter with the hobbyist’s haven. I felt like our father and son relationship was elevated to an entirely new plane; that somehow we are traveling the same asphalt and existential experiences.

CKL hockey

Saturday was special. My relationship with my son, Chris, awakened in me a Campbellian sense of awe before the mystery of being on some metaphysical father and son plane. I love you, Chris.

Supermodel Elisabetta Canalis Loves Diners and Motorcycles

Elisabetta-Canalis-motorcycleElisabetta Canalis is a well-known Italian actress, television personality and model. She started her career in the glamor industry by landing a role in the popular Italian television sitcom “Striscia Ia Notizia”. Elisabetta was one of the participants in the 13th season of the hit reality series “Dancing with the Stars.” She has also graced the Max calendar and played cameo roles in films like “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo’” and “Virgin Territory.” Iconic fashion magazines including Maxim and Vanity Fair consider her to be one of the most beautiful women in the world and she has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines like Vogue and Maxim. Elisabetta has starred in advertising campaigns for glamorous cosmetics brands like L’Oreal, Hollywood Milano and Pantene. She is a passionate animal rights campaigner and has appeared nude in an advertisement for PETA to raise awareness about the need to avoid products made from animal fur. Cancer charities like the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have benefited from her fundraising efforts.

Elisabeta Canalis with PETA poster

Check out Elisabetta’s website and follow her on Twitter

Listen to Garrison’s interview with supermodel Elisabetta Canalis:



“Stand Out” Author Dorie Clark

Dorie ClarkToo many people believe that if they keep their heads down and work hard they’ll be recognized on the merits of their work. But that’s simply not true anymore. “Safe” jobs disappear daily. To make a name for yourself, to create true job security, and to make a difference in the world you have to share your unique perspective and inspire others to take action. And, Dorie Clark is THE person to show you how.

Dorie Clark is a marketing strategy consultant, professional speaker, and frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, TIME, Entrepreneur, and the World Economic Forum blog. Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future which has been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, and Thai and her most recent book, Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It. Clark consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Yale University, the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and the National Park Service. She was also named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference,” and recognized in Forbes as one of “25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015.”

Listen to Garrison’s interview with Dorie Clarke:

Find out why Stand Out was named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine

Check out Dorie’s website and follow her on Twitter

A Porch is the Smile on the Face of a House

front porchRead Robert Reed’s wonderful article, The Front Porch Was Like A Perfect Postcard, in the Arizona Antique Register. From the article:

“The front porch is still remembered in songs like one John Cougar Mellencamp sang, ‘Grandma’s on the front porch with a Bible in her hand, sometimes I hear her singing take me to the promised land.’ And, too, in vintage postcards—but it is seldom seen anywhere else.

“The porch is the smile on the face of a house. When you meet a person for the first time, a warm, inviting smile can put you instantly at ease. Smiling makes people want to be around you and get in on
the fun. A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home. Andy Rooney once said that, “If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” The same goes for a front porch. Even in the middle of the night when no one is around it continues to smile its welcoming expression attesting to its genuineness. When I am out motorcycling I love riding through small town communities and looking at all the old houses huddled up close to the road with only the sidewalk separating them from me. Though a stranger to the town, as I ride past the porches I purposefully slow up to smile back at them and thank them for making me feel welcome.” Garrison

Life is about Improvisation

Erroll GarnerProducing legendary American jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner for London Records taught me as much about creativity and defining success in life and career as it did about his musical genius.

Born in Pittsburgh on June 15, 1921,  Erroll began playing piano at the age of three. Like most kids, he didn’t write his goals down on paper or construct a rudimentary business plan; he simply played. He was self-taught and “played by ear,” never learning to read music. He appeared on KDKA radio at the age of seven and by the ripe old age of 11 was performing on Allegheny riverboats. In 1947 played with Charlie Parker on the “Cool Blues” session. Tall on talent but short in stature (5’2″), Erroll performed while sitting on a stack of phone books. An instrumentalist, his grunting and groaning vocalizations can be heard on his recordings and are his signature while his musical style is a combination of using his right hand to play behind the beat while his left strummed a steady rhythm. His musical sense of humor came from his improvised introductions to pieces that had nothing to do with the songs they set up. His composition “Misty” is a jazz standard.

Erroll Garner’s s life and legacy taught me:

  • Follow your passion without compromise.
  • Life is about improvisation.
  • Don’t wait to learn it to live it. Live your passion every moment and keep learning along the way.
  • Don’t play to convention. Do what comes naturally and feels “right” to you.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep your sense of humor and share it with others.

2015-04-25 10.16.21Bass, Electric Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Congas – Jose Mangual
Organ – Norman Gold
Percussion – Grady Tate
Piano – Erroll Garner
Producer – Garrison Leykam, Martha Glaser
Tambourine – Jackie Williams (2)