Eric C. Sinoway, Axcess Worldwide President and Double-Cross Vodka partner, never let his own success go to his head. But the out of the blue heart attack suffered by his mentor prompted a renewed focus on appreciating one’s success instead of merely grasping for more. When venerable Harvard Business School professor Howard Stevenson had a brush with death while walking across the campus he’d known for 40 years, his former student and longtime friend Sinoway was moved to set Stevenson’s business savvy and life wisdom to paper.
The resulting St. Martin’s Press-published book, Howard’s Gift, hit bookstores yesterday and stands out from generic entries on the Self-Help and How-To shelves thanks to the warm friendship at its core and root inspiration. Sinoway includes plenty of career advice passed down by the man who helped define modern entrepreneurship. But, appropriately given the book’s genesis, he complements it with broader and always practical lessons on making your fleeting life a fulfilling one.
Here’s a look at Sinoway’s desk and what propels him through the workday.
- A framed letter from one of my business partners at Axcess Worldwide, Kirk Posmantur. The letter is dated 1994, which is the year after we first met when I interned for him in college. Who would have known that a relationship that began 20 years ago when I was a college student would continue throughout my career – and include a seamless partnership between us building Axcess. It reminds me of the power of long-term, meaningful relationships.
- Two crystal dice that commemorate a 2010 landmark deal Axcess created and executed between the largest gaming company in the world, Las Vegas Sands Corp., and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, which is the world’s leading hotel company. The deal’s mantra was “What happens when the world’s largest five-diamond resort goes ‘all in’?” The dice remind me of the wise words of the President of LVS: “Big deals are supposed to be hard; that’s how you get better.”
- A long-loved orange rubber ball that represents our culture at Axcess. It’s one of the office toys we toss around to break stress, facilitate creativity, and keep the juices flowing. It’s also a relatively harmless weapon that my business partners, Kirk and Mike Wargotz, toss at my head occasionally when they feel I’ve done something stupid and want to be sure that I realize it.
- A picture of my son Daniel, now almost five, when he was a baby. I love this picture in that it makes me look back and appreciate how small and innocent he was – and look forward to the many memories and great times yet to come. Really, nothing else on the desk (with the exception of the picture of the wife!) matters.
- A copy of my book, Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work. Inspired by the near death experience of my former professor and dear friend, iconic Harvard Business School Professor and “the father of entrepreneurship” Howard Stevenson, I wrote this book to share his remarkable experience, perspective, and wisdom on pursuing a career and life of both success and satisfaction. This is the first copy release: #000001.