Excellence in a given field depends on many factors, including talent, drive, passion, and the right set of circumstances. We admire other people whose performance is consistently distinctive because it’s a joy to watch someone in his or her element; because those of us who aspire to achieve that level understand the sheer amount of hard work and dedication it requires; and because far too often, we must settle for good or mediocre or, in trying times, barely adequate.
Businesses value excellence because on a fundamental level, an organization is only as good as its people. A company’s ability to attract top talent is critical to continued success, growth, and long-term viability. This challenge, while a top priority for large organizations, takes on even greater importance in a small company, in part because one must wear many hats—from client work and business development to strategy and mentoring. Amid all of these activities, it’s also crucial to evolve, to take on new responsibilities, to gain new skills, and to adapt to the changing needs of clients.
Finding someone that meets all of these criteria is rare indeed. Every now and then, however, you get lucky.
Our company is fortunate to welcome Rodd Zolkos, an individual who embodies all of these qualities and then some, as editorial director. He comes to us from Crain’s, where he worked for three decades as a journalist, editor, and strategist. For the last 20 years of his tenure there, Rodd was a reporter and senior editor at Business Insurance magazine, where he amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of insurance and risk management. Prior to that assignment, Rodd covered public sector and public finance at Crain’s City & State publication.
A glimpse at his published work (samples here, here, here, and here) reveals a distinctive, authoritative voice that reflects his ability to weave complex ideas into interesting narratives. The written word accounts for just one part of Rodd’s talents. In addition to extensive experience in a wide range of communications channels, including social media, Rodd has convened and moderated expert panels at industry forums and participated in the production of video interviews of leading executives. His versatility dovetails nicely with our company’s focus on lean content creation. Notably, Rodd has also served as a mentor to up-and-coming journalists, a skill that will be particularly relevant as our company continues to grow.
I’ve known Rodd for 15 years (his wife, Kathy, showed me the ropes at the McKinsey Quarterly), and beyond his work accomplishments I’ve always valued his humor, his excellent taste in music, and his devotion to the Boilermakers and Chicago sports teams.
Please join me in welcoming Rodd to Leff Communications.
Follow Rodd @RoddZolkos.