Business Class: Tyler Mathisen — a good man is hard to ignore

By Randall Kenneth Jones

Originally published in the Naples Daily News
Monday, March 31, 2014

Tyler Mathisen, CNBCConsidering Tyler Mathisen grew up just outside the nation’s capital in Arlington, Virginia, he appears to be completely untouched by the more negative connotations often associated with “politics” and/or “politicians.”

Although the politically correct Mathisen credits his success to the oft-quoted “right place, right time” myth, his character and intensely inquisitive nature reveal a different story.

Eric Schurenberg, Editor-in-Chief of INC Magazine, recalls, “When I met Tyler, I thought he was the most gentlemanly person I had ever met: gracious, polite, courteous. Today, he is the manifestation of what it means to be empathic—in person and to his television audience.”

Mathisen’s achievements may actually be better described by spinning a popular saying about failure into the more apropos “the best parlayed plans.”

A graduate of the University of Virginia, Mathisen didn’t simply rely on Lady Luck—each new résumé entry added precious new skills to his now impressive curriculum vitae.

For example, by deliberately continuing his education in the workplace, Mathisen parlayed his college-improved editorial skills into an early position writing “how-to” books for Time-Life.

Time-Life provided Mathisen an even more important “how to.” “I learned how to understand, explain and make complicated information easier to understand.” A quality Mathisen is now most admired for as a journalist.

Prior to joining CNBC in 1997, he was a highly respected, award-winning writer, senior editor and top editor for Money magazine.

However, once again, Mathisen parlayed his ongoing education and developing communication skills into a new role as money editor of “Good Morning America” from 1991 to 1997, thus placing him behind the keyboard and in front of the camera.

In the words of Phil Beuth, former President of “Good Morning America,” “Tyler projects amazing credibility—in double and triple doses.”

Schurenberg adds, “He is a master of directing energy.”

Tyler Mathisen and Randall Kenneth Jones photo by Denise Wauters

As should be the goal of any journalist—but may be the reality for a select few—Mathisen advises: “Never believe you are the smartest man in the room—always be willing to learn something new.”

Today, the much heralded Mathisen co-anchors CNBC’s “Power Lunch” and “Nightly Business Report,” an award-winning evening business news program for U.S. public television.

Before marrying, Joanne LaMarca Mathisen worked alongside her future husband at CNBC. Her early impression: “Tyler was the first ‘talent’ I had worked with who didn’t view himself as ‘talent’—he was one among us. To Tyler, it’s not about him, it’s all about telling the story.”

Now a Senior Producer on “The Today Show,” she adds: “These days, guys like Tyler are hard to find.”

Though there appears to be no uniformly accepted definition of what it means to be “a good man,” just ask yourself how many times you have described someone using those three simple words.

I suspect the answer will be a single-digit number.

Nevertheless, ask around and terms like honest, respectful, caring, moral and dependable are likely to be mentioned.

As seen through the eyes of his wife, colleagues and countless “strangers” who faithfully watch him each week—“good man” Mathisen clearly ticks all the boxes above.

In fact, what goal for any male would be more important than one day being described as “a good man”?

The answer: None.

Randall Kenneth JonesMarketer, publicist, business humoristprofessional-courtesy advocate, branded-content writer, creative-development consultant, and entertaining motivational speaker Randall Kenneth Jones is the creator of and the president of MindZoo, a marketing communications firm in Naples, Florida.

TOP Photos: CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen (photos courtesy of Imagine Solutions Conference); Photo #2 — CNBC’s Tyler Mathisen (photo courtesy of CNBC); Photo #3 — Tyler Mathisen and Randall Kenneth Jones (Photo by Denise Wauters). BOTTOM: Randall Kenneth Jones.