S E1: Daughter Knows Best: The Moira Forbes Takeover
This is what's ahead and I'm Steve. Forbes my special guest today is one of my five daughters more Forbes. Those you'll hear she doesn't act like a guest. What did you WanNa be when you grew up farther to five perfect orders so close? That's right to celebrate the one year anniversary of what's ahead. My daughter Maura is giving me the very special gift of taking over my show. Although as our sisters Sabina Roberta Katherine Elizabeth would tell you quite capable of doing the same thing in this time of social isolation maybe all be so lucky as to have meaningful conversations with the people we love even if it means giving up our spot in the host chair in case you didn't know more also happens to be the executive vice president of Forbes Media The publisher Forbes Women and one of the five daughters whom I'm very proud Moore's takeover interview in a moment but now what's ahead of course all the focus is on the covert nineteen crisis and we get those daily briefings and I have nothing to add to that except to say. Watch out for what happens with the hydroxy chloride when combined with the Z pack. That is a prophet not cure for the disease but a good treatment. Most of the medical establishment is very very skeptical. But one exception Dr Oz. We had Dr Oz on this podcast several weeks ago and a two part series. He sees the virtue of it. I think it's going to save the day for millions of people from unnecessary suffering going over to the political front. Yes there's still a presidential election out there. If Joe Biden falters somebody will have to step in Andrew. Cuomo governor of New York has impressed a lot of people with the ways handled the Cova nineteen crisis so even though politics has been shoved into the background outside of Capitol Hill. A lot of things going on behind the scenes stay tuned on the Senate side. They finally pass that bill as bail out American industry. It's not a bail out. It's a rescue package for. We're GONNA spend days and days ahead finding out the details of it but at least the job got done in. The American economy won't completely shut down. Things are happening around the world the US is beginning of final withdrawal from Afghanistan. I think it's premature. Watch out what happens. They're the bad guys. They're not going to go into hiding. They're going to be plotting again- other things around the world. China still continuing its aggressive. Diplomacy and on the economic front Europe is going into a severe contraction. Will they make the structural changes to prevent a very very serious recession? So the viruses still. There will be plenty of debate on whether we should be still in lockdown or how we move out of it how we do it in various sections of the country but eventually this crisis will pass and the big world out there. The good and the bad will still be with us. My Special Guest. Today is more reforms what you're taking over the show. I have to answer questions. What is this? You're supposed to be the child. I'm the Father? I've storms the castle Well as as my father said I am more a Forbes referred to in our families daughter number four one five daughters and today. I'm so excited to put my father in the hot seat and turn the tables is actually the first time that. I've sat down and interviewed my father at least in this format. I feel like I did that as a kid to you. And just because you can't see my father right now I know he is has been up in up at night worried anxious. He's in the hot seat. He knows I'm going to ask the tough questions. Are you ready that yes you finally get revenge after forty years go ahead? It's payback time. This is really fun for me because this was a really interesting time to take a step back because obviously I have known you all my life but I really wanted time to talk about your back story. And some of the more formative experiences In Your Life Avi Save Them from a different vantage point And sort of hear your perspectives. On how you've navigated your career your success but also the ups and downs many downs. Probably I created as well at times and and this is just really fun for me. So thank you good to be here. I hope and Remember I'm still here in this world wills can change okay. Well Duly noted I want to rewind the clock to childhood. I'd be curious what did you what did you. WanNa to be when you grow up a father. Five perfect daughters so close almost perfect one year youngster obviously every occupation interest. You whether the boat Captain Firefighter Police Officer Airlines Baseball player Rockstar. All of the above is so much more virtue and Elvis Presley than my parents. Did you though nurtured a love of history of politics at a very very young age. Talk about some of the more formative influences it really shaped these passions that. I see day in day out in your life today. Well as you know your grandfather. My father was in politics. As a young man he wanted to become president. The United States Eventually got elected to the state legislature and around nineteen fifty five when I was seven eight years old. He was in a tight race for re-election so as a kid you get involved in these things you go to rallies you picnics very fond. Get to eat. Hamburgers and hot. Dogs don't have to make speeches and followed the race closely and on election night. My father said even though you're supposed to be in bed at eight o'clock or whatever he took me to The Republican headquarters where the returns were going to be coming in so we won and that wetted my appetite wanted to learn more about it and he had in his library what they call legislative manuals each year. The legislature comes out with a book of things about the New Jersey election returns everything so I'd start going through them and That kindle my interest in politics and as a kid Kids have animals teddy bears and whatever tigers and lions whatever and One of the things I did with my siblings because I was the oldest one and therefore I could make things happen with them where they liked it or not was to hold elections between the various animals. And you collect the most animals to win the election so That started that and then two years later My father your grandfather ran for governor and got the Republican nomination but as he put it he was nosed out by landslide in the General Election. Which was shattering for me. I thought he was going to win. Always it like free to see him loose Well it wasn't expected even though I'd read the newspapers I just didn't think of what happened. You don't think it would happen but studied When it my appetite to learn more about elections and That's why put in his will my father that I would inherit those Manuals which go back annual manuals back to the eighteen seventies Roy. Anyone else would read those things but I happen to like them before we talk more about sort of your career trajectory. I just want to ask you. What was the greatest insight or lesson that you learned from both your father and your mother from My father I realized at a fairly young age he was not like other fathers cow In the way he saw the world was very unique The way he would do unconventional things even before he really went unconventional riding motorcycles. In the like you could tell he's always itching to try something always talking about Taking a boat of course the Pacific. This was a person. As long as he wasn't disciplining you a worth listening to and As a youngster. He was a very tough disciplinarian You knew what the wrath of God meant when he He he felt you done. Something wrong was amazing as we got older is he knew how to let loose and in effect. Let you make mistakes when Around fourteen or fifteen. The surgeon general came out with the first blockbuster report about tobacco and lung cancer and my father. The time was smoking routinely three or four packs of cigarettes a day when that report came out cold. Turkey he stopped smoking just did it and then he sat me down and said I'm not GonNa do it. Some parents do say. Pay a certain amount of money if you don't smoke until you're twenty one or something like that. You shouldn't do it because of your health. It's your decision. I can't stop you but I urge you not to do it. Well for a teenager being man to man talk left an impression so I never took up cigarette smoking. So Anno- my mother's side Talk about opposites. She was the exact opposite. My father was always out in the public eye. She hated it. She hated politics. There was more than one picture of her when my father was speaking on the platform her falling asleep and and she Put up with it but she Really hammered home another side of life the seemingly small things in how they make a difference whether sewing labels on clothing in those days Take Care Everyone. You're sick The JELLO and the changing the sheets and all that sort of thing and you could see both worlds and eventually they split but thankfully it was after forty years thirty nine years so we are well out of the House but You saw two different Personalities and each had their own virtues. And you come to appreciate. There's no more than one way to live in the world and have a meaning in the world and one of the things I think Certainly meant something to me was. When my mother got sick she had lung cancer was we could feed her the way. She Fed us when we were sick. Being able to to do that. Lucky and now my kids yeah stop. They shouldn't have. I was never taught. Nutrition so I had an affinity for Oreos and Fig Newton's and Coca Cola and our youngest. My youngest son literally cut from the same cloth he I realized it was genetic when he got his first Oreo and just open it. The cream out I WANNA serve shift gears and talk about your career trajectory because I wanna ask you. What is it always assume that you were going to work for GRANDPA NO I didn't take over the company till is Older brother unexpectedly died from cancer. When he's only forty eight and it was only when I was sixteen or so that he sat me down and said Think about coming to the company. He gave me a copy of Is proposed will which to me was. Just you know hieroglyphics. I remember reading Baga fave Al Smith who is a reforming governor in the nineteen twenties ran for president in Serb it. Hoover got crushed but one of the things about Smith was. He grew up in very poor circumstances and when he got to the legislature and the these bills that he couldn't understand at all what are they talking about. He realized okay. I can just go along and follow orders or I can Learn and try to make something of myself and he did that. Made an impression and Those are the kinds of things when you read about it about real people You take heart that you're not. You're not breaking any new paths here. The particulars may be different but Others have done it and if they could do it you could do it. And then two. I had an affinity and Boarding School I Helped edit at the school newspaper and learned the power of communications I enjoyed debating going. Headed up the debate team and My best friend of the time your Uncle Spencer Was Head of the paper. I was a socio editor but Allowed me to write the stories about the debates and so you would think that this was The Greek Athens Constitutional Convention reincarnated way. We described how he smashed the opposition brilliant orations and learn the glory of the thesaurus. Finding a war. Fancy words for things and we've got to be such that One time at a debate. The headmaster's wife who was reading these accounts and since we didn't have bylines they didn't know is writing about myself. Wondering what is this but Learned the word can shape thinks how people see the world. You started your career at four. Obviously working for your father. How did you find the space to build your own voice and to be able to find room to make mistakes and to grow in a way that also was cognizant of the unique position that you were in MMA. Fortunately my father had worked for his father so he knew what the pitfalls would be so one of the things he did was make it clear after I had Stinson. Various Departments Worked for our editor of the legendary Jim. Michaels who feared no one and was very blunt about What he thought performance was and Popped just Said he's your boss. Don't come to me and You learned From from the School of hard knocks with Jim Michaels. And you also learn though that Nobody knows everything I remember. We did a trip to Australia forty years ago. We visited the Prime Minister and other people on the plane ride on the way back. Michael was doing the story. And then he handed it to me and said Tell me what you think and edited. I said Edit You. He said everyone can use an editor very good lesson. I WanNa talk about Sir when you were thrust into a leadership role very quickly and that was when your dad. Grandpa passed away. It was thirty years ago this year. I was nine at the time. And within a matter of hours your world change personally but also in the sense that now the company was on your shoulders you were really thrust into this position Very quickly what was that like for you? Well it was a challenge in the sense that people are gonNA wonder can this Ship continued to assail and I felt that we had a strong enough team inside on the sale side and on the editorial side I knew these people and so therefore I didn't feel that There was a big crisis brewing and in terms of The kind of persona my father had. Fortunately since I didn't have it in any way shape or form I never felt the need to try to imitate him and Be A prominent Personality celebrities. We'd call them today. But did you feel a new sense of of pressure? Of course because before I fa father was. They're very strong personality and suddenly he wasn't there. There's no way that you could Point the finger at and oil good prep for that was one the business today experience in Princeton where he sleepless nights the bills do and the things and then running the board for international broadcasting where we had very real forces trying to destroy you Many sleepless nights on that so the position of being in an an a position responsibility where it rests with you. You can get advice. You can reach out get help but ultimately it's you if it works great if not You take the fall for it. Well listeners speaking of taking the fall after this short break more gets me to open up about perhaps the riskiest venture I've ever taken on running for president but for now this ex presidential candidate would like to offer you his reads of the week. The first one is actually headline it comes from Kevin Williamson National Review Dot Com. The headline is history called and senator. Burr called his broker. It's quite a devastating story about the behavior of some people. On Capitol Hill. Another one comes from Margie. Worrell W. A. R. E. L. L. ON FORBES DOT COM stories entitled when fear Runs High. The need for courage runs higher. She talks about her husband being diagnosed with Kobe. Nineteen in Singapore. She also makes a very good point in this piece. Don't call this social distancing. She says call it phys distancing. She says we need to be more socially connected than ever before. Good piece very good for this time. A final one is entitled how trump can turn economic debacle to miracle the gold standard. It's written by Ralph Benko at Newsmax DOT COM. That's B. E. N. K. O. newsmax DOT COM. It's the first of three part series on the gold standard. Now yes people will say oh. Isn't that something a relic of the past? No it is not. It'll be our salvation and getting this economy running again in the years ahead. Good reading at a time when we need fresh thinking on how to pull this economy. Get it back running. Full steam. Now back to Morris takeover interview will pick up on my campaign trail. You also have had serve a lifelong passion around the political arena. But that really came into a new dimension when you decided to run for president talk a little bit about your thought process around taking that leap of faith because it's something that is you know all consuming And it takes a toll and impacts everyone in your family as well walk us through the thought process on that decision well first of all of the interest in history histories people. I always had a curiosity. Why did some things work? And why didn't they work? Why did we have the Great Depression? Why why do we have the systems in the rules? We have today what led to it on the political side The only nineties I on eighties actually Got Close to a Jack. Kemp use a congressman from buffalo former football player for the buffalo bills but he went into politics achieved a certain fame in the seventies by proposing what was then a radical idea of a thirty percent tax cut in income tax rates across the board when he'd run for president eighty-eight lost Bush. We all thought he was going to run a ninety six. And in December nineteen ninety four. He called us in his office and we thought all right. The planning's can start said he's shocked. Us said he's not running so I looked around the field and concluded that There was not a Kemp Reagan optimist. Pro-growth candidate out there Elect Call Root Canal Conservatives so Others said A. Why don't you try it? And maybe I got a gene from my your your great grandfather. My grandfather. When he came over here He was first a business reporter and then decide. Instead of writing about entrepreneurs he'd become one himself and Started Forbes so ultimately I figured instead of complaining about the candidates go out and do it yourself. Absolute long shot but entrepreneurs are always outliers and If you play by their rules nothing's going to change. I remember we were On spring vacation in Naples Florida and that was the first time That this conversation came up. Obviously it was. It was so exciting One Way to look like DAD president. What because your father we love you but a little bit of a different perspective. over here all that's not true. What was the hardest thing that you had to think through or you had to consider whether you're just setting yourself up to be a fool and so you had to be very clear in your own mind why you would do something like this so When the stories I came out. Oh this guy is thinking of running for president. Some people were curious others were sort of mocking. What what happened to you But yet always remind yourself. Why are you doing this? You mentioned you were nine years old at the time. I did the first run. It's one thing when you're the candidate you can strategize. You can fight back you. Can you deal with it but for kids it's hard? They are powerless muffin. Times a spouse is powerless. Give advice but they're not out there and The you take it to heart when they say your dad's a bum You know you can't really fight back did that. Was that more difficult for you to watch. Then it was to respond or navigate when those things are said about. You is that is it harder to. It's harder for for for the kids. I say for an for your mother who like your grandmother Had No love this life at all. You remember the interview with Larry. King did love parts of it. She loved being on the. She loved on the road on the road. But not the event and She Remember the Larry King interview when kids were there and She had her hands full with their. She agreed to do it and there was a pool of sweat there by the time. The interview was over. she loved being on the ground More than Iowa state fairs but But again You're more in charge when you're the the main actor those who are don't have the capacity to put out a tweet or say The you're you're full of it. Or here's what the truth. Was your confidence. Ever shaken of course was You Getting Ready for the announcement. That's why getting we're getting the first debates their first public speeches They you and that's one thing You learn from entrepreneurs you don't arrive fully formed you'll learn and when it's public it can be very painful to learn it but you only learn by doing it by trying it to one thing to say that that you only learn from trying But it's another thing too when you're actually living it not to take it so personally. That could cripple or paralyze you well. That's always a danger and one of the things that happens from those who study these things as they say. Even those who look like they're fully confident like Steve Jobs and others have those moments. Where am I an idiot is just a piece of crap that I'm trying to pursue and So that Yeah it it. It's not something in a an saying to yourself. Well I've got a higher purpose. No you wonder is this. Is this going to will collapse on you? You clearly developed a thick skin. You had a higher purpose to to help motivate but your political aspirations at least in terms of how they were initially conceived in terms of running for president president. We're not successful. We never did live in Washington in a White House and you Mr Opportunity for public housing. There you go Talk about that moment in ninety six. When you two thousand you could. You could choose which one that you took the stage to end your candidacy. That's a similar to Giving a eulogy at your own funeral at a tough thing to do but you hope you would do it calmly with dignity put the best face on it and then Thank people afterwards those who had helped out and then figure out what you might do next and in just yourself time to to just wrap your head around it not really because there's Sometimes A as human nature yours look back if I'd done this differently. Maybe it'd been different and you have to bring yourself up short if you've done something. That was different. Maybe your opponents would have done something that was different. The environment may have changed. So you have to keep reminding yourself and where My father was a good lesson by what he said by what he did. We have a setback. Don't dwell on. It will move ahead move ahead. Don't let it poison you. That's another thing you'll learn as a writer and in politics that most of what you do really doesn't shake the world tumbling. Obviously you had done things in the political arena. Are the policy arena before running for office. But what surprised you most about yourself during those experiences in terms of either how you responded stretched yourself for or learn something about yourself as a leader that you didn't think about in the same way. Well you touched on it before and that is your this is public is not inside a company or a house and You learn that Somebody said how you appear is how people judge the situation. The saying goes if you don't look like you're in trouble. You're not in trouble and always reminding yourself you may think boy. I did so badly. On that it sucked. I really screwed up. And there's a tendency I'm really screw. Well now you have to figure out how you convey that Without people thinking well this person has no confidence you know we we we believe in you. Don't you believe in you and you have to put learn to to do that. I want to which cures a little. Obviously I am sitting here across the table from you as your daughter. How did your family and becoming a father influence how you saw the world and how you approach your work well you Quickly realized The world is not just you. You have other responsibilities like it or not. You have them. I think most people Suddenly realize the six pound five pound thing in your hands doesn't come often with manual. You know what do you do to? Am with a certain thing You're coping and Trying to deal with that stress and realizing that the baby isn't oath spews. I'm so grateful what you're doing for me. No quite the opposite. They take it for granted after remember. You took it for granted to at one point. I'd be curious because I have two young boys Two and four and most days. I'm just trying to you know. Make sure everyone is alive and semi fed. But you and mom were so intentional when you think about how you approached Being a parent and what was important to you. What are the things that now thinking or at the priority and at the forefront And how did that come to life? You grandfather would say Most kids survive their parents best attentions. You you try to cope as best you can School as you know was not easy for several of you. You do the best you can and Unlike Hollywood movies they don't always have the glorious ending the closing. Now it's a it's not a closing. It's a continuum and It's the way life is it's It's not we do this and While law check next you know we talked about What what you've learned from various people along the way growing up and in your career. What did you learn for mom G. IS Much more grounded than her husband I can go wander off. And she's always looking where you going. Is this the best way to get there? Very very practical and We'll take more of skepticism to Whatever grand scheme doesn't mean she would be supportive if you make a great leap but She certainly wasn't going to be Bowled over by Oh what a grand idea and So that kind of putting things in perspective. You know to me when I think back of our childhood you were. You had such a sense of adventure and fun. Roller coasters Hershey. Park Buxton's Burger King sort of these fun things coupled with what's come across throughout this entire interview this passion for history Whether it be learning the president's whether it be going to Burger King which also Burger King. What was done there are Burger King. New Jersey The Burger King was built on a site of an old estate Freeling HISEN. He was a senator. I think in the twenties on that site in nineteen twenty one the US officially ended its participation. In World War One the president came up to Freeling Hisen With the resolution and the president signed it there. I think it was on a Saturday. Officially ending our participation in the greatest human catastrophe of modern times and What's there today? Burger King offers. Though is that you were always so intentional. About bringing history to life for us. It wasn't something that was learned in a book but it was serving fused in the day to day and sort of this lesson. Always look back to be able to help understand how you go forward Mark Twain. Oft-quoted put it right He said history may not repeat itself but it rhymes so as we wrap up We talked about so many dimensions of who you are in business politically you know as a father of five daughters. I really curious if you were to describe yourself to someone who never met you before. How would you describe yourself the father of five grade doors? A person of Curiosity about you about the world in general well No this was very special sitting down with US data. I'm also grateful because you're someone who is this attornal optimist You're someone who always says to us. There's always tomorrow. There's always a different way and who often looks back at history and and your own life. When I was I was talking to all of my sisters earlier about this interview and served as sharing all the different stories of you as a dad. The sense of adventure and fun and history and intersects up memorizing president presidents. I'm I might have. I might have cheated on a quiz literally but but I thought it was creative in the way that I did it. But we're for your memoirs. Yeah but we're proud of you dad or grateful and And and vice versa until we meet again at the dinner pay other argue. But are you proud of US Dad? Absolutely unless you disagree with me. Well thank you that until you until next weekend. When we are very different table you'll have A two and a four year old probably clamoring for some donuts and And to watch a movie on your ipad with you but but we're grateful. I will indulge them even though during lent. I give up all of that stuff so I'll be as happy as they are when Easter coming. Well thank you thank you. Thanks for listening to what's ahead. I'm Steve Forbes looking forward to next week and if you could rate review and subscribe to this show we at Forbes sure would appreciate it.