Fifteen Minutes of Shame

How a Twitter Mob Nearly Ruined My Life

Warren Buffet once said that all it takes is five minutes to ruin a reputation. For Des Hague, it only took forty-two seconds.

In 2014, Hague’s life was a bona fide rags-to-riches success story. After nearly twenty years of steadily climbing the corporate ladder, he had risen from living in the back of a fish-and-chips shop to becoming the CEO of one of the top hospitality providers in the world.

But when a video surfaced on Twitter of him kicking a dog in an elevator, everything changed. A mob formed on social media that spread like wildfire. Despite expressing deep regret for his actions, he was forced to resign from his job, and his family was threatened.

What the mob didn’t know was that the person depicted in the short video clip was the exact opposite of who Hague really was—a man who had survived a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, spent decades building a loving family and a high-flying career, and raised millions to fight child homelessness. Though ultimately there was little harm to the dog, his life was nearly destroyed in a few short days by thousands of people he had never met.

In Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Hague tells the inspiring story of how he overcame the odds to find improbable success and not only reveals the person behind the forty-two-second clip but makes a compelling argument against the dangers of embracing cancel culture.

ISBN: 978-1-63755-659-7
SKU: 18-1128-01
Categories:Amplify Publishing, Business and Finance, Inspiration and Personal Success, Memoirs and Biographies

“Des is a high-energy leader who thinks big, makes things happen, and has a wonderful combination of operating, branding, and innovation skills, along with a keen eye for talent—all of which are on display in this book.”—Brian Cornell, chairman, CEO, and president, Target Inc., and nonexecutive chairman, YUM! Brands

“Des is both an extraordinary thought leader and a high-impact executive. He has that special ability to make everything he’s involved with better. Fifteen Minutes of Shame powerfully demonstrates why.”—Joe DePinto, chairman, CEO, and president, 7-Eleven Inc., and chairman of the board, Brinker International

“Des Hague is the most spectacular leader you have likely never heard of, but after reading Fifteen Minutes of Shame, you are even less likely to forget him or his incredible story. It is a playbook of authentic self-reflection, of never allowing your worst moments to define you, and the importance of never losing hope for a better future. As Des says, ‘Onwards!’”—Melanie Steinbach, former chief people officer, Cameo and McDonald’s USA

“In a world which has been reduced to thirty-second video clips and 280-character tweets, Des has written an important and remarkably candid book that reminds us that people are so much more than our worst moments. Fifteen Minutes of Shame is much more than his story—it’s a story about our social condition in the digital age.”—Ian Troop, CEO, Toronto Pan-Am Games, and board member and advisor

“Beyond the brilliant business and life lessons, Fifteen Minutes of Shame is an unflinchingly honest portrait of a good man, lifelong learner, and friend who is so much more than his worst day.” — b, board chairman, the Honest Company; lead independent director, Affirm Inc.; and former chairman, CEO, and president of Jamba Juice

Fifteen Minutes of Shame is an exhilarating, authentic read. From the first page, the book underscores how Des thinks differently—unburdened by convention, inspired by the lure of possibility, and led by an unrelenting drive to help others excel. It’s a great read for anyone facing adversity and a lesson to never give up.” —Diane Ellis, former CEO, the Limited, and president, Chico’s FAS and Brooks Brothers

Des Hague

International Business Leader and former CEO

Des Hague is a highly regarded innovator in the international business community. Over more than thirty years, his forward-thinking approaches as a high-level executive have achieved sustained growth and robust competitiveness for companies such as Centerplate, Safeway, IHOP, and Maytag. He currently serves as cofounder and CEO of Hague Enterprises, sits on the boards of MRGN and YoungCaruso, and is an active mentor, advising several start-up ventures and working with numerous private equity groups to create more than half a billion dollars in returns for investors. Outside the business world, he has received numerous community leader awards and helped raise more than $100 million for a variety of nonprofits. He holds an MBA from the American College in London and resides in Colorado with his wife, Carol. They are the proud parents of two sons: Patrick and Desmond Jr.