• A Tribute to Josh Kruter

    By Andy Sriubas, Chief Commercial Officer @ OUTFRONT Media

    The OOH world lost one of its most positive and forward-thinking people this year.  Josh Kruter was a leader in our industry’s effort to transform itself into a more competitive and contemporary media outlet.  Josh achieved so much because he had the right attitude. He brought his innate intelligence coupled a wealth of diverse experiences to every challenge.  It was easy to be inspired by Josh’s core principles.

    Get involved:  Jack Kemp, used to say; “I don’t care if you’re liberal or a Democrat; a Republican or conservative.  But you had better show up, take a stand and believe in something.  Move the ball forward – don’t be neutral.  We can debate the rest when you’re engaged.”

    Apply yourself:  Some people shy away from exerting themselves, even though actively avoiding hard work takes effort.  Energy is best focused when moving forward and using it to understand different, potentially better, points of view.  Being stuck, lifeless, treading in the frozen middle of corporate organizations serves no one.

    Be curious:  High functioning people have two common traits – curiosity and tenacity.  It’s that simple.  Learning starts when you’re born, and it should never stop.  In fact, if done appropriately, progress accelerates as you get older, when you appreciate additional mental models and fine tune your intake methods.

    Suspend Disbelief: “Common sense” is made up of the collective experiences of the people applying it.  But common sense can’t be the only guide to exploration when considering things that have never been done before.  Common sense is why so many new ideas are trashed mercilessly; that is, until a renegade proves out a new paradigm.  Then, of course, that new rule becomes part of the collective common sense and the cycle continues.

    Josh Kruter oozed change, conviction and forward thinking.  He worked with a disarming smile, a collaborative nature and a positive outlook. He knew what needed to be done, but he also appreciated the inertia within the environment in which he worked.  Josh brought people together in order to move ahead in a manner where no one ever felt threatened, by him or by the change that he was proposing.  He built bridges between egos, ideas and work steams.  When an idea was challenged, rather than fighting, he asked the person if they had considered an alternative view, had applied a new fact, or employed a different model that maybe the common experience set had not yet incorporated.

    Josh was fantastic at his job because he applied great intelligence to projects, using a better future state as his north star while grounding that vision with a deep appreciation of the past.  He carried a rare infectious and approachable “can-do” attitude that enabled everyone to see that progress was possible with the right mindset.  That was his kung-fu.

    If I close my eyes, I can hear Josh convincing the angels that heaven could be an even better place if they would just consider a few minor changes, applied a little elbow grease and used a terrific new technology that he had read about late last night.

    This excerpt from one of Benjamin Hardy’s articles reminds me of why Josh was so unique:

    The world doesn’t need any more small-minded people.

    Average is over.

    To be average in today’s world is to be addicted to technology, stimulants, unhealthy eating and distraction. 

    To be average today is to spend more than half your work day in a semi-conscious state, in and out of focus.  You ride caffeine buzzes for shorter and shorter amounts of time.  Day-by-day, you lower your personal standards for what you can do with your time.

    “You get in life what you tolerate.”  Tony Robbins.

    To be average is to lack purpose in your life.  It’s to be apathetic, and to not really believe in anything with enough conviction to sacrifice for it, invest in it, and fight for it.

    To be average is going backwards.

    There is no neutral ground any more.

    You can’t stand still in today’s environment.  It’s too intense.  Too demanding.  And the agendas are becoming increasingly transparent.

    Very few people make any real decisions at all.  Most people don’t have enough conviction to truly make a decision.  They are not definitive.  They are not purpose focused.

    Instead, they are like ships without a sail.  They go wherever life takes them.  Theirs’ is a random and unconscious evolution.  Their behaviors are reactive and without much consequence. It doesn’t matter if they blow several hours roaming around the internet.  

    Every minute wasted, upsets people with purpose.

    Josh was not average, and no one would have ever described him as being in a frozen state.  Josh did not fear being different, nor did he avoid hard work.  He was motivated by the unknown and he bounded towards the horizon as if he knew instinctively that it would be a better place.  He was driven by a burning need to make progress, the positive energy that he collected from people and his insatiable curiosity.

    Josh loved his wife and little girl more than anything else.  Making the world a better place for them, was purpose enough.

    Josh will be missed by his colleagues at OUTFRONT Media and across our industry.

    Godspeed my friend.

     


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