Gini Dietrich

#FollowFriday: Karl Sprague

By: Gini Dietrich | October 5, 2012 | 

I do a lot of speaking. I mean, a lot, as in three times a week.

Because of that, I meet a ton of people who fulfill my life in different ways.

One of the organizations I do a lot of speaking for is Vistage. They are a CEO membership organization and I love spending time with them because I learn about the issues and challenges of business owners across the country. In fact, a lot of what I learn from them, I not only use to sharpen my workshops, but also bring back to Arment Dietrich in order to better serve our clients.

The way the organization works is each group has up to 16 members. Typically they are business owners, entrepreneurs, or “hired guns” (a CEO brought in from the outside). And there is a one facilitator, called a Chair. I’m always amazed at these people because they have to deal with 16 type A personalities every day. I’d go insane!

One such Chair is Karl Sprague.

Karl first invited me to speak to one of his groups in Ft. Lauderdale last year, probably to test me out before inviting me to speak to his other groups.

When he introduced me that morning, he said there are a handful of people he follows on Twitter who are his newsmakers. He included me in that group. Talk about being so flattered you don’t want to fail for him.

I guess I did pretty well because he invited me back this summer and I was there for a couple of days. While I was there, he and his daughter, Carla, took me to dinner.

We talked about life, dreams, disappointments, work, and family. It was as if I’d known them for years. They were extremely welcoming and kind. I wanted to stay a couple of extra days just to have dinner with them again.

Always quick with a smile and a compliment, Karl is smart, engaging, and funny. He not only knows how to corral 16 type A personalities at once, he does it in a way that makes you watch in awe.

He’s definitely someone you want on your side. He’s the type of person who has lifelong friends because people just want to be around him.

But the real reason I haven’t mentioned him before now? I was waiting for this particular day.

It’s his birthday!

So follow him (on Twitter), connect with him (on LinkedIn), read and subscribe to his blog, find out more about his book writing (I want to know more!), and wish him a very happy birthday!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • yvettepistorio

    Happy Birthday!! And nice to meet you 🙂

    • @yvettepistorio Thanks, Yvette. Since you’re part of the family, you already have favorite-nation status. Since I (along with the rest of the world) was introduced to you in the August 3rd SpinSucks – I’m pleased to meet you officially here!

  • Happy birthday Karl! Always lovely to meet someone new here on the Spin Sucks blog. I also want to know more about this book…

    • @RebeccaTodd Thanks, Rebecca. I’ll keep you posted on the book :).  Meeting at the Spin Sucks is the 21st Century version of a really cool Happy Hour – and generally more entertaining – and safer to drive home.

  • belllindsay

    Woohoo, birthdays rock! Happy birthday Karl, and great to meet you. Gini had me at “he can corral 16 type A personalities at once” – no small feat!! 🙂

    • @belllindsay No, not a small feat! It’s pretty impressive.

      • @ginidietrich  @belllindsay Lindsay, it’s amazing how much mileage you can get with a little tear gas and a room outfitted with a canine invisible fence. Actually, the best way to control them is to have a sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat speaker like Gini!

  • It’s great to meet you, Karl, and wishing you a very happy birthday!
    I definitely want to know more about this book writing thing of yours. 🙂

    • @jasonkonopinski Jason, great to meet you as well. I was blown away by your website: Wallace Stevens, Six Degrees of Gini Dietrich, and “Arting Harder”?  Great stuff. You had me sucked in with the wiffle ball in the picture – there’s a story there…  I’ll keep you posted on the book.

      • @Karl Sprague Awww shucks. Thanks Karl! Glad that you’ve enjoyed those recents posts/podcast episodes.  I’m still making a few changes to the site to reflect some rebranding.  
        The Wiffle ball photo was taken during a roundtable discussion sometime last year. Our special version of the talking stick.

  • I’ve always admired people who can somehow bring together type A (sometimes egocentric) people and gain cooperation or at least attention! It really does take a knack and, like Gini, I’d think that would be pretty tiring, Karl. You must enjoy it. 
    So, it’s your birthday … hope it’s a great one! We shouldn’t see you here too much today as you’re probably out celebrating. (Or maybe one of your groups has you tied to a birthday cake … sticking candles in your ……… )

    • @Carmelo Carmelo, I share the birthday with my daughter, who is out of town. I threatened to go out and celebrate without her and wound up with a butt-kicking cold. I’m pretty sure my daughter infected me with some exotic virus. I’m glad she didn’t listen to you – I’ll have nightmares about someone extracting birthday candles from my… . Actually, I’m getting a kick out of connecting with the Friends of Gini. I know they have great taste.

  • magriebler

    Happy birthday, Karl! @ginidietrich always introduces us to quality people. (I love #FF here at Spin Sucks.) And as my grandma would say, many happy returns of the day.

    • @magriebler  @ginidietrich Marianne, pleased to meet you. BTW, your twitter profile is great. It kind of screams “follow me.” So I did. 🙂

  • Happy Birthday Karl and nice to meet you!   Like so many, I love “meeting” the people that @ginidietrich introduces in her Follow Friday feature.

    • @SocialMediaDDS  @ginidietrich This goes in the category that “any friend of Gini’s is s friend of mine.”  Pleased to meet you!

  • Happy Birthday and nice to meet you.

    • @thejoshuawilner Thanks, Joshua, the feeling is mutual. BTW, I do remember Fedco. 🙂  And I do hope Stephen King comes knocking…

  • AustinRivas

    Looks like someone used relative pathing for the linkedin link. (

    • @AustinRivas Oh shoot. I hate it when I do that. Thanks!

  • patmrhoads

    Happy Birthday @karlsprague! As my gift to you, I am now following you. I know, not much, but I didn’t have much notice. 🙂

    • magriebler

      @patmrhoads Following: the gift that gives on giving.

    • @patmrhoads Pat, I do appreciate the gift. I also appreciate the gift of you sharing a piece of your soul on your blog. Lots of depth to your writing and your experiences. Good luck with the baby steps. I’ll be rooting for you.

      • patmrhoads

        @Karl Sprague  Wow, thanks so much for the amazing compliment. That’s probably the nicest thing I’ve heard all week. And it’s been a good week, so that’s saying something.

  • Welcome, Karl! You sound like someone I’d definitely enjoy following … Tracking you down now.
    Birthdays are a big deal! I hope yours is full of family, friends and that you make some great memories 🙂

    • @kateupdates Thanks, Kate. I share the birthday with my daughter Carla, who is in Chicago today. The real birthday celebration comes when she returns. And two can play that game – I just tracked you down on Twitter – I look forward to connecting. Thanks for the kind wishes!

  • I was in a full day meeting and just came up for air. Wow. My thanks to Gini, SpinSucks, and the Ginifriends. To the latter, we have something significant in common – we love Jack Bauer. Well, maybe that, too, but I think we all love the one and only Gini Dietrich. Who does stuff like this? Gini. She lives life like few others and gives ’til it hurts. We learn. We grow. And we laugh. Yes, she rocks.

    • @Karl Sprague Hope you had an awesome birthday weekend!

  • Happy birthday @Karl Sprague (and nice intro, Gini!)  Greetings from the Northwest. Is Ft. Lauderdale home, or just a fun place for meetings? It’s where I got my first sunburn at age 18.

    • @barrettrossie Thanks, Barrett. Lauderdale has been home for about 35 years and love having visitors like Gini. You and I were probably getting sunburned on the same beach at the same time back in the ’70s. We also have some other things in common (I saw your bio). I lived in Northern Virginia for five years & went to college in Virginia (at W&M), back when Easter’s Weekend at UVa was legendary.

      • @Karl Sprague I came THAT close to going to W&M — my pal was Al Albert, soccer coach!

        • @barrettrossie  That was our loss. Al coached soccer and lacrosse and became a W&M institution. He seemed like a great guy.

  • Sweet, just followed you Karl, and I got to be your 1,000th follower. Struck me as sort of neat.

    • @Frank_Strong Frank, I am honored. That is one of the magical milestones, so I appreciate you pushing me over the top. Based on your background and the scope of your tweets, it seems like you subscribe to the Gini Dietrich “squeeze as much life as you can into every day” philosophy of life. Very cool.

      • @Karl Sprague Ha!  Doubtful I have Gini’s energy, and I’m getting to the point where something’s got to give!  Packing too much. 🙂  Cheers, Karl.

    • @Frank_Strong @Karl Sprague  I was 1001! Dang, Frank, you beat me to 1000.

  • First of all congrats to you @Karl Sprague on your follow Friday!
     @ginidietrich was telling me you blackmail each Type A person, That they call you Sir and they wash your car once a month and trim your hedges so that the compromising photos don’t get sent to TMZ. I can tell I would like you.
    One thing I warn you is @ginidietrich runs with a much rougher crowd these days. Some are only VPs and middle management types. She will often fist bump friends now with her tag line ‘Keeping it real homey’. Might not be a good influence on Carla.

    • @HowieG  Now that made me laugh. I told Gini not to spill the secrets – it took me years to get this blackmail thing down to an art form. Thanks for the warning on Gini – although I have no issues with her and middle management – we had to put up a barricade to keep away the paparazzi, so I understand she’s in great demand. But when she started making demands for her posse, she started to cross the line. I mean, who travels and requires bicycles, brie, and bruschetta for ten? Unfortunately, Carla witnessed that and said, “I so want to be her.” The legend of Gini lives on…

  • nadundomenica_d

    @dbvickery I’m personally following the next 300 people that will follow –> @OMGFantasy 🙂 RT once you’re done so I’d know ?

  • Carla Sprague

    Just got back from Chicago and finally had the opportunity to see this…it’s wonderful to see all these kind words about my dad – thanks @ginidietrich!

    • @Carla Sprague Well, as you know, he totally rocks! And I loved getting to hang out with you, too. Hope you enjoyed Chicago!

      • @Carla Sprague Pssst, hey Carla, Tina Turner … er, Gini Dietrich said I rocked. I think I’ve died and gone to heaven. Oh wait, did Jack Bauer hijack her laptop again? Hey Jack, cut that out!