Communications Wizard

Christian Nagle


Independent Agent


How a 15-line poem got me to Japan, singing in the preview of a West End musical for HRH Princess Margaret, and being charged by an angry rhinoceros in the Kenyan bush.


Having grown up in Rome and London, Christian has always felt more comfortable as an ex-pat than living in his hometown Alexandria, Virginia. He got his start in the arts at an early age, making his professional music debut in the West End production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, and went on to perform regularly at The Royal Albert Hall. After his family moved back to the US, he co-founded the critically acclaimed rock band Clockhammer, releasing CDs and touring internationally. Still, unlike most kids, he loved school, and kept drifting back to university until eventually someone gave him a PhD. At the same time, he was writing and producing for the stage, and publishing work in magazines like Esquire, The Paris Review and Raritan. He got his start in advertising and marketing as a copywriter at a tiny boutique firm with Fortune 500 clients, where he learned that craft could actually make him some money. He had retired from music when a Japanese singer he met in Texas convinced him to give it one more swing in Tokyo, and although the band soon broke up, eighteen years later he’s still here. He began working between the US and Japan as a marketing consultant in 2011, but it wasn’t until two years ago that he found his true business calling. He and Robin have worked together in various marketing ventures over the years, but when Robin told him about Zensho, he knew it was something special. “Helping Robin develop his brand has been the most rewarding creative experience of my business life,” he says. “I’ve never been involved in a branding project that required zero spin. This company is a work of genius.” When not writing and concepting for the agency, Christian likes to cook, translate early modernist Japanese literature, and run out of town to unwind at a Yamanashi onsen.

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Values: A message to our awesome tribe

Years from now, you may not remember the particulars of deals you closed at Zensho (or what the returns were). You will remember your colleagues and how it felt to work with them. The imprint you left on the world.

We invited you to join our tribe because you impressed us as someone who shares values intrinsic to our culture. But just to ensure we’re totally on the same page, here they are, spelled out in black and white and trimmed in our corporate colors.

Freedom is Zensho’s central pillar. Beyond the mere state of being free, for us the word carries with it a sense of obligation: “Freedom to…” What follows should define you as a person. Of course, to provide your business community with amazing service, but also to engage and give back to the world. And that’s where Autonomy comes in. Unlike the general implications of self-rule, ours leads not to detachment but to a broad and radical sense of interconnectivity. One that enables each of us to commune with others in infinite ways. Together, these two values empower you like nothing else on earth, and they’re here waiting for you.

So, what do we ask in return?

Transparency means not only having open books, but being one yourself. No secrets or ulterior agendas. It is to share personal and industry information without seeking to leverage it for profit or motivate others in any way. Its cousin, Clarity, is about including precision and context in the communication process. At Zensho, we always try to anticipate the details a fellow partner might need and supply them up front.

Which leads us to…

Collaboration. That is, to cooperate meaningfully. Because only through recognizing individual strengths can we thrive as a whole. For us, collaboration requires presence as we listen and respond, evolving toward a collective goal represented by the name of our charity initiative: Ayni (reciprocity). This can’t exist without Collegiality. How we care for each other and the tribe as a whole, share both opportunity and responsibility with open hearts – that’s what empowers us to excel as a firm.

With these six in place, our seventh value happens all by itself.

Harmony. When your environment manifests balance between all people and things – even forces that oppose each other – life just flows. Living completely becomes a state of being. After all, that’s the very meaning of Zensho.