New Book: The Red Pill Executive Guides Business Leaders Through Challenging Management Issues That Threaten Performance and Profit

The Red Pill Executive Authors


Contact: Bill Atkinson | 443.797.4150|

Written by executives at Think, The Red Pill Executive uses pop-culture analogies to help leaders identify problems, rewire their thinking, and build a sustainable culture, so their companies reach their greatest potential.

BALTIMORE, MD--October 21, 2020–Executives of Think, a rapidly growing technology and operations advisory firm for middle-market companies, today announced their second book, The Red Pill ExecutiveThe eBook is now available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indigo. The paperback is available for pre-order and scheduled for official release in late October 2020.

The authors cleverly use pop culture analogies from well-known movies such as The MatrixPulp Fiction, Jaws, and Sully to guide executives through management issues that could derail key projects or at the very least cause them to run late or cost them millions of dollars in overruns.

Tony Gruebl, Think’s President, said he and colleagues Jeff Welch, Vice President and Bryan Wolbert, Executive Vice President, COO, wrote the book because after a combined 63 years in business they have watched companies stumble over issues that can be easily corrected. What they have found is that executives are often locked into a single way of thinking. As a result, they mismanage employees, stumble on projects that are critical to the organization’s success and end up costing the company money.

One of the most significant indicators – project failure rates – hovers around 70 percent and are so serious they threaten the very existence of the company,” Gruebl said. “The Red Pill Executive encourages executives and project managers to rethink how they view their teams, projects, and the entire organization.”

The book highlights the iconic Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, as an abject lesson on how projects can easily run amok. The Opera House was 10 years late and $70 million over budget but was it a success?

Welch says executives responsible for running businesses have typically had years of practice and training to become proficient operators and leaders. But their focus on reaching goals often results in them not being able to see the thing that controls everything they do – corporate culture.

“Culture controls everything,” Welch says. “Culture dictates tolerance for change. It has no pity on the weak and no patience for the incompetent. Even worse, entire industries and institutions have grown to teach and train junior operators, department managers, and project managers to become senior operational leaders by ignoring culture, thereby perpetuating and reinforcing the problem.”

The Red Pill Executive “reveals the evidence of our shortcomings all around us,” Wolbert says. “It exists in every company, big or small, private or public. Through the Red Pill Executive, we are drawing parallels from popular movies like the Matrix, Jaws, and the series Halt and Catch Fire because it is often so difficult for executives to realize that something is wrong with their company when they are standing neck deep in operations.”

The Red Pill Executive takes its name from a scene in The Matrix where a character named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) gives Neo (Keanu Reeves) a choice between taking the Blue Pill or the Red Pill. The Red Pill will take Neo on a journey of exploration, excitement, danger and enlightenment, while the Blue Pill maintains the status quo.

This is the second book Gruebl and Welch have co-authored. The first was published in 2013 called, Bare Knuckled Project Management.

About Think

Founded in 2004 in Baltimore, Think is a privately owned technology and operations advisory firm that provides on-the-ground transformation and consulting, led by executives, adapted for the mid-market. Our team aligns company culture with your business mission and goals, leading to positive change and results. Think is now operating in both Baltimore and South Florida, working with client organizations to accelerate their growth. To find out more about Think, visit