Your hard-earned success has been taken away from you in less than 42 seconds.

What Happens Next?

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In 2014, successful CEO Des Hague’s life was ruined by a social media mob over a forty-two second clip.

In Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Des:

  • Tells his inspiring story of starting over & overcoming the odds to achieve the improbable,
  • Reveals the heart of the person behind that viral video,
  • Underscores the need for resilience in order to succeed at life,
  • Makes a compelling argument against the dangers of cancel culture,
  • Shares advice for the next generation of business leaders.

About Fifteen Minutes of Shame

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.

5 Key Insights From Des Hague

Adversity visits us all…it’s inevitable. Defeat is optional.

Like Taylor Swift’s song, you have to shake it off. There will always be haters, so you must ignore and develop your “shake it off game plan.” Courage, discipline, confidence, and an unwavering commitment to strive to be a better you tomorrow than you are today is essential. Find ways to get back in the game. Through resilience, never let your worst moment define you.

It does not matter where you start in life—it’s what you do with your life that counts.

It’s about how you apply yourself. Do the work and reap the reward.

Never stop learning.

Knowledge is a force multiplier. Its force is magnified when effectively compounded with your experiences. Have courage and move forward. Don’t obsess on what was; think about what’s next—be in the moment and recognize what got you there will not keep you there. The average person reads one book a year. If you can read 1 book a week, you are setting yourself up for success. So be a sponge, read autobiographies and more, learn from others. Read like your life depends on it because in a way it does.

Be a positive influence not a screaming banshee forever yelling at the world—lift others up not tear others down.

Better yet: look in the mirror and challenge yourself to improve before attacking others. Candidly, we all have enough internal material to keep us very busy.

Have the resilience to believe in yourself—even when those around you don’t.

Shake off the naysayers, dig in and keep moving positively forward. Find your “why” to live and you can cope with any of the “how’s.”


Advance Praise for Fifteen Minutes of Shame

“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.”

James White, board chairman, the Honest Company; lead independent director, Affirm Inc.; and former chairman, CEO, and president of Jamba Juice

“In Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Des courageously bears his soul with such openness and authenticity that you cannot help be drawn in from the first page. It is a master class for anyone facing adversity in how to own your mistakes but not let them define you.”

Monica Woo, former president, 1-800-Flowers

“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

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 the 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 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

“Des is a compelling and courageous business leader who through endless pain and some significant mistakes has the fortitude to share his story honestly. His is a story worth telling and most importantly worth reading. There is not a single professional who has not made mistakes along their climb, but there are few who are willing to share them so openly. In a world more interested in ‘headlines’ than long-term values, Des reminds us to walk with our heads high and our hearts open.”

Bonnie Siegel, founder of ASE Group and former presidential campaign strategist

“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 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

Engage With Des – On Your Own Terms

By purchasing Fifteen Minutes of Shame, you can reward yourself by engaging with success expert Des Hague and going even deeper with the lessons within the book. Learn how below!

Buy 5 Copies


Get a BONUS chapter that did not make the final book, delivered straight to your inbox

Buy 10+ Copies


Receive TWO (2) bonus chapters, delivered straight to your inbox

Buy 50+ Copies


Receive the bonus chapters, PLUS direct email access to Des + a one paragraph “ADA – Ask Des Anything” via email.

Buy 100+ Copies


(A $5,000 value!)

Receive all of the above, PLUS a 60-minute Zoom or phone call directly with Des, with anyone in your company, about anything they want. This could be about adversity, personal development, leadership, or more.

Buy 250+ Copies


(A $7,500 value!)

Have a two-hour lunch with Des in Miami or when he is travelling to your local area. He’ll even pay for lunch!

Plus bonus chapters + email access to Des!

Buy 500+ Copies


(A $10,000 value!)

Fly to Miami and spend FOUR hours one-on-one with Des. You will have his entire brain, focus, and attention on you and your business.

Plus bonus chapters + email access to Des!

Buy 750+ Copies


(A $20,000 value!)

Fly Des out to your local area, and he’ll spend the entire day consulting with your team, on any subject you need his advice on. For a full work-day, gain access to Des’ 20+ years of executive knowledge.

Plus bonus chapters + email access to Des!

Who Is Des Hague?

Des “D.G.” Hague is an acclaimed executive leader with a proven track record of leading global brands. In his private equity ventures he has returned over half a billion dollars to shareholders. Hague is the co founder of Hague Enterprises LLC and has made several investments since its inception in 2015. Hague has served on the board of over 20 companies and currently serves on the advisory board of several companies; YoungCaruso, MRGN, Ikoniq, Happy Clinic, and Messenger Corporation, Hague also advises several start ups and not for profit organizations. Additionally, Hague provides expertise and advisory services for several private equity firms specializing in turnarounds, buyouts, and industry consolidations.

Most recently Hague served as the President and CEO of VIPER EA a leader in retail profit optimization. During in his three-year tenure Hague increased the enterprise value of the company to $100 million a 20x plus increase.

Between 2009 to 2014, Hague held the position of CEO of Centerplate, Inc., which grew under his leadership to become North America’s largest hospitality business, operating in sports, convention centers, and entertainment venues in over 40 US states, Canada, and Europe with more than 40,000 employees. Sold to Olympus Partners resulting in Kohlberg (equity owner) largest return at the time of the transaction.

Hague elevated the performance of Centerplate to unparalleled heights, resulting in numerous awards and recognitions, including “Best Food and Beverage” by Convene Magazine, “No. 1 NFL Experience” by Stadium Journey among others.

Prior to Centerplate Hague has had the pleasure of working for iconic brands such as Safeway, IHOP, 7-Eleven, Maytag, PepsiCo and Whitbread and attributes his success to a never stop learning mentality.

Hague is heavily involved in the community and his efforts to date has helped raise over one hundred million for worthy philanthropic causes. Hague has won numerous awards throughout his career but is most proud of the ones associated with being a force for good from Baltimore, Toronto, Vancouver, California and Connecticut among others.

Awards & Recognitions

Select Sampling Below

Sports Facility of the Year (Levi Stadium)– 2014

National Restaurant Association President Award – 2014

Arena Angels Award: Bridgeport from CEO Harbor Yards – 2014

Mayors Business Recognition Award: Baltimore – 2014

#1 Best NFL Stadium to Visit (Thrillest) – 2013

#1 MLS for Americas Best Stadium Food (Travel + Leisure) – 2013

Denver Seeds Award from Denver Mayor Michael Hancock – 2011

#1 NFL Experience (Stadium Journey) – 2013

#1 Ski Resort, Eastern US & Canada (Ski Magazine) – 2013

Flame of Friendship Award from San Diego Convention Center Chief Executive Officer – 2013

Outstanding Champion for Social Enterprise from Juma Ventures – 2013

Toronto Business Excellence Award from Toronto Chamber of Commerce – 2013

Best Food & Beverage (Convene magazine) – 2012 

More Advanced Praise for
Fifteen Minutes of Shame

“I have known Des for over twenty years and seen how he faces adversity head-on and brings out the best in everyone. After reading Fifteen Minutes of Shame, my respect for him is even greater. The life lessons laid out, page after page, are profound, riveting, and delivered with an authenticity that make Des special.”

Jeff Hamill, former senior executive, Starbucks, 7-Eleven, Smile Brands, and author of Taking Responsibility 

“I have seen Des’s impact firsthand. He thinks differently. Fifteen Minutes of Shame captures why and more with refreshing candor, self-awareness, and brutal honesty.”

Hal Handel, COO, New York Racing Association

“Des has proved to be a great business leader—his empathy and emotional intelligence ensure that all who come into contact with him believe they are part of the solution and not part of the problem. Fifteen Minutes of Shame shows how these traits mean you are not defined by the lows but can be inspired to overcome them.”

Simon Cohen, former CEO, Leicester Tigers

“In Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Des lays out his life story with the kind of candor and honesty I have come to expect from him. Des holds nothing back and underscores how we are all better than our worst moment and that we all face adversity, but giving up is never an option. Des is the rare person who enables the type of adrenaline boost that we all dream about injecting into our lives. The learnings throughout the book, from one of best leaders out there, are priceless.”

Johnny Custer, senior executive, advisor, and author

“I have worked with many great leaders, but Des has set the standard that I use to compare all others. Fifteen Minutes of Shame is an emotionally charged story that is both terrifying and inspirational. It is exactly what I would expect from Des.”

Roger Glenn, senior human resources executive, Safeway and Target

“Des’s story proves it does not matter where you start in life but what you do with your life that counts. We all face adversity, but staying in the fight, no matter the odds, is critical. The book is filled with countless life lessons, but the most profound is that your worst moments do not have to define you. It is your will to learn, evolve, and your ability to grow that make the difference. In Fifteen Minutes of Shame, Des illuminates that and so much more.”

Keith King, special advisor to president of OVG, former president of Centerplate International, and Team USA Olympic member

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