A Salute To Culture And Two Great Leaders


(By Buzz Knight) The internal culture of every organization today weighs heavily on my mind in this challenging time. As we wrap up a year of incredible pain and suffering for businesses of all types, I wonder whether leaders are compensating for the challenges of in person work, remote work and the fears of tomorrow.

That’s why I wanted to turn my attention to saluting an iconic radio industry legend who just announced his retirement and an internet giant who perished as a result of injuries that resulted from a house fire.

Both men led by impactful leadership that at its core focused on the importance of a great culture.

The radio legend I’m speaking of is Dave Crowl who after a 44 career just announced his retirement as Regional VP and Market Manager for Cumulus Cincinnati.

I had the privilege of working with Dave while I was at WLVQ in Columbus, after he had moved out of his role as GM at the station and entered into a senior management role for what was then Great American Broadcasting (previously Taft )and would ultimately become Citicasters.

Dave has many outstanding qualities ranging from integrity, class, creativity, competitiveness and humility just to name a few but standing tall in one of his pillars of leadership was fostering a great internal culture.

It was a special time with so many iconic brands in the company then like, WDVE, WFBQ, KYYS,WKLS and of course WLVQ and for Dave and I it seems like another lifetime ago, but the culture that was a part of “The Crowl-Man Brand” was a joy to be around.

People wanted to be on his team because they knew the magic would happen and it would be a fun ride if you were part of it.

We salute your great career Dave and I know you will have a well deserved blast playing every golf course under the sun!

The death of former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh hit the business world hard, even though most of us didn’t have the privilege of knowing him.

We were certainly as consumers aware of the business and culture he created.

According to Glenn Rifkin’s NY Times obituary “Mr. Hsieh, a soft spoken and introspective executive developed a philosophy of business built around the idea that happy employees were the conduit to satisfied customers who would return again and again.”

Tony blended his pursuit of excellent internal culture with an obsession for excellent customer service and became a model for bigger than life leadership with what he built at Zappos, the internet shoe and clothing mega brand.

R.I.P. Tony Hsieh and thanks for the lessons and inspirations you left behind.

Leaders of today need to be mindful of how culture impacts the roadmap to success and they need to always be willing to improve upon their output.

Buzz Knight is the CEO of Buzz Knight Media and can be reached by e-mail at [email protected]


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