For me, working with Perry was like sitting at the side of the lake and taking time to breathe, looking at my reflections and the reflections of the world.
What I find remarkable about Perry is his consistency in how he’s able to create an environment where people can relax and engage. He finds different ways to do that and he’s good at finding what’s going on right now.
This leads me to a story: Once he did a very simple but effective thing. As a check-in, he usually asks people how they are doing, what’s going on, as a transition from work to the comfort of the group. Well, Perry went to the National Gallery of Art and bought postcards. We had all these different pictures—this group of anal techie people! (Getting them to relax is not an easy thing.) Let’s just say that Perry has a big toolkit. Like if you’re in a play, when the cast gets together, the director has many exercises to make them breathe.
At a personal level, the thing he’s helped me with and I think this is true for others, is that he has helped me become more reflective about what I’m doing, about putting what I’m doing in the context of the organization. And what he does is broadly applicable to any organization, not just media.
I think of the Lucy show and that episode in the factory scene. We all are Lucy flailing about from time to time. What Perry was instrumental in enabling is a calming effect. Focus and talk, rather than flailing about. We rebuilt some collaborative relationships. We can all put up kinds of barriers to our own success, but Perry is really engaging and he breaks down human-imposed barriers to success. He helps people raise their game. He’s had a truly substantive effect on this organization.— Eric Wolf