The Interview: Michael Scott
Briefly describe yourself and what you do. I am a deeply repressed intellectual. Love to learn and dream about what I will do when I grow up. In the meantime I am what my children call me, an “Emptylectual.” I’m also Executive Director for Synergy Brokerage Inc. and President of Ashworth Properties LLC.
Best piece of business advice you’ve received. My father told me that if you intend to be in business for yourself you need to have more than one ball in the air, more than one fondue stick in the pot because not every venture is going to work out, certainly not at the same time.
If I had it to do over … I would be less emotionally protective, and much more open in the way I cherish and care for others.
You are going on an extended solo trip. What three albums and three books would you take? Old School with both the albums and the books: I would take The Beatles White Album, anything by John Wright and his band, and Nat King Cole’s Greatest Hits. Books: The Idiot by Dostoyevsky, The Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan and The Barbarian Conversion by Richard Fletcher.
Tell us one thing about yourself that few people know. I had to overcome a tendency to be shy when I was younger.
You are hosting a dinner party for six. What five people, living or dead, would you invite and why?
Hannibal: How were you able to so effectively motivate such a diverse group of warriors?
The Apostle Paul: You dedicated the latter half of your life to share your encounter with God to others. Why?
Cicero: You saw clearly that the Republic was unraveling and was being supplanted with a brutal imperium. You tried and failed to reverse the course. What would you have done differently? Is there anything you think might have worked to preserve the freedom Romans once valued?
Constantine XI Dragases, last Byzantine Emperor: You knew you had no chance against the Ottoman armies yet you accepted the role of emperor and you organized an heroic defense. Did you ever feel as though God had abandoned you and your people?
Daniel Morgan, who defeated Bannister Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens, S.C.: He was a magnificent story teller and also a remarkable leader of men under the most difficult and impossible of circumstances. Where did you get your grit?
Name an as yet unfulfilled dream. Professional Storyteller
If you weren’t doing what you are, you would be … Storyelling and entertaining people.
Your go-to food. Love Thai food. Healthy, flavorful and filled with unique tastes and ingredients.
Favorite movie(s): High Noon, Shane, The Emperor’s Club, The Graduate, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rambo (last of the series where he is a boatman in Burma)
Dogs or cats?: Dogs of course. This one is obvious to me. Dogs and humans evolved together providing practical help. Dogs are useful. They do stuff, real stuff. Cats are emotional parasites. They stink up your house and they suck any emotional content you may have and give nothing back.
Your favorite quote and why? Each morning I wake up and I repeat one of my favorite quotations: “Create in me a clean heart Oh Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Name something that you are extremely glad you did or accomplished. I helped raise three amazing children. The oldest is a married business man in Tokyo. My daughter is a Major in the Air Force currently on loan to NATO and flying missions all over Europe and the Middle East. My youngest son is working and living in Savannah surveying channel debts for the harbor and inspecting cargo. On a personal note I learned to play the bagpipes after I turned fifty. I had never played any musical instrument before (OK, no jokes about the bagpipes not qualifying as a musical instrument) so I had to also learn to read music to practice effectively. This was a real challenge but I stuck with it. Like most skills one never really masters the bagpipes but with time and practice one can always improve. I enjoy trying to improve and perfect my skills each and every day.
What advice would you give your younger self just starting out on their own? There is nothing more boorish and off putting than someone who is not gracious and thankful. Always acknowledge kindness and helpfulness with honest enthusiasm. Let people know how much you value and treasure them. I wish I had shown my mentors and friends and family how much I appreciated them.