MQ4B Featured Interviews Archives - My Quest for the Best

Category Archives for "MQ4B Featured Interviews"

Social Media for Business – Featured Interview with Linda Coles

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Author, Keynote Speaker, Owner of Blue Banana

Linda Coles talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about the use of social media for business growth, emphasizing that when you connect with social media to remember that you’re connecting with other people who prefer authenticity and candor.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • The truly hard part about building a website.
  • Why you should consider giving out bite sized teasers of your knowledge.
  • How to determine the size of your audience, and how to go about building it.
  • The social media tactics that people may know about, but don’t use enough.
  • Insider tips for getting more likes, shares, and comments.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:55 Linda tells about her goats, fig farm, and her business Blue Banana.

3:45 How a gluten intolerance became the impetus for Linda to build her first website, and eventually allowed her to expand her business to help build website traffic for others.

4:03 “People that build websites know that that’s the easy part, getting traffic to it is the hard part.”

6:12 [On Malcolm Gladwell’s search for stories] – “He doesn’t wait for them to happen, he looks for them to happen.”

7:06 “I like to give freely, I like to give my information away. There’s no point in just keeping that to me.”

8:36 Linda discusses the process of writing her first book and getting it published.

9:43 “You don’t have to give all the tools in your toolbox away, but if you can give them some taster of the sort of information [with which] you can help them.”

12:08 “The one thing you need is distribution, because without a distribution channel it’s not going to go anywhere.”

13:18 Why audience size matters to publishers.

15:33 How one of the women Linda follows is optimizing LinkedIn for her business.

16:37 Why you should do audio recordings of your work.

18:22 “As an individual trying to get your name and your brand moving, think about audio.”

19:10 “People listen to the person.”

22:21 How to generate buzz around your podcast.

23:14 “You do have to have some budget in the early days to get something moving.”

24:04 “All companies need to have a [LinkedIn] company page, but growing your company page is hard work.”

26:00 “Have a great image, and steer away from stock images.”

26:54 “Tell the people what the article is about, for sure, but don’t try to be clever, just be clear.”

28:23 “Try and write something that’s evergreen.”

28:59 How Linda helped a client in the healthcare sector improve their business on Social Media. 

32:52 [The importance of conversation on Social Media] – “Don’t forget that [with social media] you’re talking to other humans.”

Expert Bio

Linda Coles has been in the digital space for many years. She moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, where she first started out on the road as a Regional Manager for an optics chain. She soon realized that freelancing was the better life for her, and gave up working for other people altogether to spend time writing and consulting. Since then, she’s worked with a number of clients, published four books on marketing, and another six books in the suspense genre.

LinkedIn made her an “Influencer” when the program was launched back in 2012, along with Branson and 148 other thought leaders at the time. Last year, she flew out to New York to be a part of Thrillerfest where I met Lee Child and shared a cab to the FBI offices with Heather Graham and Dennis.

She has presented to Transpower, Microsoft, and Fidelity Life among many others and has worked with professionals at major New Zealand companies including Wolters Kluwer, and the University of Auckland Business School and. Her articles have been published on the Huffington Post, LinkedIn, Mashable.com, the NZ Herald, NZBusiness Magazine, Management Magazine, Human Resources Magazine, and Social Media Examiner. She’s also the host of the podcast Tell Us a Story, where she features entrepreneurs and creators who have interesting tales to tell.

For more information, visit Linda Cole’s Website.

Contact Info for Linda Coles

Web address: https://www.bluebanana.co.nz

Travels from: Mercer, Auckland, NZ

Contact:

  

Resources Mentioned by Linda Coles

 

 

H3 Leadership – Featured Interview with Brad Lomenick

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Author, President of Catalyst

Brad Lomenick talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about H3 Leadership’s implications for small business leaders and their teams becoming more effective.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • The benefits of H3 leadership
  • Why introversion and leadership potential aren’t mutually exclusive.
  • How leadership brings out hidden talents, and weaknesses, in people.
  • The importance of having a company culture that encourages two way feedback.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:45 Brad discusses his connection to John C. Maxwell.

4:30 How leadership ability was natural to Brad even in his youth.

6:56 [On why leaders can be introverts] – “Just because you’re naturally quiet…doesn’t mean you still can’t lead.”

7:52 Leadership doesn’t mean hogging the spotlight, it means stewardship.

8:26 “If you want to lead, you’re going to have to be responsible for people.”

10:59 The importance of not being a “Darb” leader, and letting the stress of leadership bring out toxic aspects of your personality.

14:43 “Everyone wants to work in an environment where self-awareness is at the forefront of the culture.” 

16:31 “When you’re in charge, no one wants to tell you the truth.”

18:43 “You lead like you were led.”

19:40 “People are looking for a culture that is healthy and customized for them.”

22:39 Why you should invest time in on boarding new team members.

23:27 [How to be proactive during the hiring process] – “The story behind the story matters.”

25:00 “Hire slow, fire fast.”

26:38 [H3 Leadership] – “Be humble, stay hungry, always hustle.”

27:40 – “In writing any book the challenge always comes: ‘How personal are you going to be?’”

29:43 Why it’s so essential to be curious.

30:40 “The best way for you to gain instant credibility is ask a good question.”

35:09 “We bypass ‘why,’ because why is hard.”

38:00 The most surprising thing for Brad about writing the book.

39:37 Brad’s tips for staying on track and productive.

Expert Bio

Brad Lomenick is a producer, entrepreneur, speaker, sought-after leadership advisor, author and longtime president of Catalyst, largely credited with growing the organization into one of the largest and most recognized leadership brands and gatherings in the world. For over 10 years, Brad led the Catalyst Conference and garnered the reputation as a convener of America’s most respected leaders including John Maxwell, Jim Collins, Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, Mark Burnett, Tony Dungy, Marcus Buckingham and Rick Warren, among many others.

In 2013, he published his first book, The Catalyst Leader, and his second book, H3 Leadership: Be Humble. Stay Hungry. Always Hustle., released in September of 2015. A prolific content creator, for eight years Brad hosted the Catalyst Podcast, interviewing change makers from across the globe and attracting hundreds of thousands of listeners per month. Additionally, he frequently blogs about leadership, the next generation, creativity, innovation, social media, teamwork, personal growth, and more on his website, as well as speaking at conferences around the world. He has been featured in TIME, Washington Post, Fast Company, Business Insider, CNN.com, INC, Fox News, Relevant, Religion News Service, and others.

For more information, visit Brad Lomenick’s Website.

Contact Info for Brad Lomenick

Web address: https://bradlomenick.com

Travels from: Bristow, OK

Phone: (404) 931-2297

Contact:

 

Resources Mentioned by Brad Lomenick:

 

 

 

Dr. Ron Stotts

Overscheduled by Success – Featured Interview with Dr. Ron Stotts

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Author of Overscheduled by Success

Dr. Ron Stotts talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how very successful leaders recognize the Hero’s Journey and make internal adjustments to create outstanding external results.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • How Ron started his inner journey after leaving the Marines and seeking to make sense of the dozens of basic training buddies who never returned from Vietnam
  • An explanation of why it is so important to leave your comfort zone in order to grow as a person, and how staying stuck in your comfort zone limits your ability to make effective decisions for your business and your team
  • What your “big mind” is and how to find it.
  • Overcoming old limitations
  • Ron’s morning routine that helps him stay present with his celebrity clients

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:32 How Ron went from being a Marine to following his inward journey. “I found I had to let go of all my training to be an all American boy was taking me.”

4:47 Details of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” on leaving the comfort zone.

5:37 “I realized that comfort zone wasn’t comfortable for me any longer.”

6:08 “The hero’s journey is about taking your life up to the next level.”

6:59 How childhood experience affects the way humans act as adults, especially in regards to their choices and relationships.

7:36 Why people should “quit chasing the symptoms.” Symptoms are indicators of an opportunity to grow.

9:58 How Ron helped a client overcome his communication problems, specifically those surrounding how he communicated anger.

14:35 “Change begins to happen almost immediately.”

17:05 “We are nothing but energy. That’s physics, not metaphysics.”

18:07 Why lobsters, and humans, need to take the time to “shed their shell.”

19:24 Ron describes the Big Mind. – “The quieter my mind got, the more depth I had in my life.”

22:34 How Ron used Big Mind to create a $1M Japanese Garden.

24:01 “Most people think in terms of working harder. I think in terms of accessing different parts of who we are.”

26:30 “Money is not the answer.”

27:19 The source of why people so often sabotage their life, and why when you come up against roadblocks, it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

30:08 Some changes needed aren’t big changes, but small changes, that will make all the difference.

31:11 Ron’s morning routine for staying centered throughout his day.

Expert Bio

Dr. Ron Stotts was trained by some of the best in his field, with early mentors like Joseph Campbell, Buckminster Fuller, and other leaders of spiritual and personal growth. His service has evolved into working with those committed to their path and the influential leaders who have guided them along their way. While there are many who can help treat the symptoms of humanity’s deepest challenges, Ron’s unique work not only takes his clients to the deepest source of their challenges but guides them into transforming those challenges into great opportunities.

Ron lives in Santa Barbara, CA with his wife, Carol.

For more information, visit Dr. Ron Stott’s Website.

Contact Info for Dr. Ron Stotts

Web address: www.ronstotts.com

Travels from: Santa Barbara, CA

Phone:(805) 845-3881

Contact:

  

Resources Mentioned by Dr. Ron Stotts

Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey

 

 

The One Percent Edge – Interview with Susan Solovic

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Entrepreneur and New York Times Bestselling Author

Susan Solovic and Bill Ringle discussed how business leaders can find and exploit the one percent edge to stay relevant to their markets and outpace the competition on My Quest for the Best.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • How early jobs in the family funeral home and waitressing motivated her to seek new opportunities and environments.
  • Secrets to effective business networking that you can use to stand out, get noticed, and gain business.
  • A way to gauge progress in building your brand online.
  • An example of the importance in cutting the dead weight in your organization.
  • The importance of a “no sacred cows” principle in your leadership.
  • Why the National Court Reporters Association is one of Susan’s favorite examples of re-envisioning your organization’s mission in the face of technology trends.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:10 How a negative experience working at a steakhouse encouraged Susan to think about making money differently.

3:51 Susan recounts how her mom’s entrepreneurial drive inspired her to become one too.

4:37 “If you have the guts to go out and do it on your own, go out and do it on your own.”

5:15 [On having the courage to leave the corporate world] – “You take the step and say I’m going to give this a try, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”

5:55 The benefits of knowing your core competencies.

7:15 The steps Susan took to deal with the challenge of an assumed learning disability in middle school.

8:04 “Believe in yourself, know what you can do. No one should label you.”

9:06 How a lack of knowledge about how to run an internet company didn’t stop Susan from buying SBTV.com. The company would become one of the Hot Tech 100 companies of the year.

10:28 “The biggest thing that we did to build the business was getting collaboration.”

11:28 [On Networking] – “It’s not about selling, it’s about building that trust and rapport.”

13:29 Marketing used to be the message going out to consumers, and now it’s a two way street.

15:05 “We have so much access to data.”

16:40 Susan explains the significance of being authentic and connecting with your followers online.

17:22 How collaboration with other websites can bring more traffic to your website.

19:08 [The One Percent Edge] – “It’s about looking at your business on a regular basis…and about continuing to evolve on a regular basis.”

20:30 “You can”t be on the status quo, you’ve got to be on the status grow.”

20:49 The dangers of being married to our business operations.

22:40 “If you’re not willing to open up, I can’t help you.”

24:05 Susan describes the process of writing the book.

25:56 The trend of people wanting to talk about what’s happening, and being more accessible to having new conversations.

Expert Bio

Susan Solovic is an award winning entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author, media personality, keynote speaker and attorney. Her new book is The One Percent Edge: Small Changes That Guarantee Relevance and Build Sustainable Success. Solovic is also the host of The One Percent Edge podcast.

For more information, visit Susan Solovic’s Website.

Contact Info for Susan Solovic

Web address: http://www.susansolovic.com/ 

Travels from: Jupiter, FL

Phone: (631) 539-4558

Contact:

  

Resources Mentioned by Susan Solovic:

 

 

 

The Everyday Joy of ‘I Get To’ – Featured Interview with Ted Larkins

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Owner of The Get To Principle, LLC

Ted Larkins talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how to adopt a “get to” mindset and become more peaceful, productive, and satisfied in your everyday life.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The significance of the Dalai Lama’s advice that the purpose of life is to find happiness.
  • What happens when you start thinking in terms of “I get to” instead of “I have to.”
  • What an Indian man who lived in a 10 x 10 home with his wife and four children taught Ted about happiness.
  • What happened when a successful Tampa real estate agent started applying the “Get To” principles.
  • What matters to celebrities like Jon Bon Jovi when it comes to happiness.
  • Ted’s 15 minute daily morning practice that strengthens his mindset and creates a blueprint for success.

 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:49 How Ted’s parents passed onto him the ethic of “getting out and doing things.”

2:58 [Paraphrasing the Dalai Lama] – “The purpose of life, I believe, is to find happiness.”

3:28 “When you make the choice to be happy, it’s really powerful.”

4:25 The benefits of smiling more often.

5:30 The “30 second rule” of changing your mindset.

5:49 [The Get To Mantra] – “You say, ‘I get to do this,’ you smile, and then you do what you’re going to do.’”

7:08 The essential difference in mindset between “I have to” and “I get to.”

10:15 Why the kind of happiness Ted refers to isn’t a “Polyanna” kind of happiness.

13:08 How Ted’s experiences traveling through India helped him shape his worldview.

14:59 “When I’m deliberate about saying ‘I get to do this,’ the more in control I am of my life.”

15:49 “We all have our level of frustration and things like that, but we do have the choice.”

17:28 Ted recounts his work with Bon Jovi, and what it was like to get through the trust barrier.

18:49 “We’re born and then we die, and in between we get to do this thing called life.”

20:09 The point of the mindful movement.

21:43 [Ted describes his 3 month executive coaching process.] – “It helps take people from this mundane [mindset] or just going through the motions and brings them up to really experiencing life.”

22:30 Case study of a Florida business man who just wasn’t getting the most out of life.

23:45 [On writing Get To Be Happy] – “I had the best time.”

25:24 “I learned that just being focused and dedicated to something for 30 minutes a day, you can get a lot done.”

28:15 Ted’s daily exercise for staying happy and productive.

Expert Bio

Ted Larkins is an author, speaker, accomplished business executive and coach on happiness. Through his book and keynote talks, he shares the powerful Get To Principle, the ability to say “I Get To” as opposed to “I have to”. Ted also co-developed a leading entertainment licensing company in Tokyo, representing major movie studios that included Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures, and 20th Century Fox. He’s worked on projects with Jon Bon Jovi, Jack Nicklaus, Mariah Carey, and many other artists. He is former Senior Vice President of the North American division of CPLG, one of the world’s leading entertainment, sport and brand licensing agencies. He is on the board of directors of the Licensing Industry Merchandise Association (LIMA), co-chairing the charity committee and sitting on the executive committee. He is a guest lecturer for the UCLAx Entertainment Studies and Performing Arts program.
Over a year and a half period, during his daily 4 hour train commute to work in Hollywood, he wrote the book, “Get To Be Happy: Stories and Secrets On Loving the Sh*t Out of Life. Ted lives with his wife of 22 years and their two children in Southern California.

For more information, visit Ted Larkins’ Website

Contact Info for Ted Larkins

Web address: http://www.tedlarkins.com

Travels from: Costa Meza, CA

Phone: (818) 261-8262

Contact:

LinkedIn  Twitter 

Resources Mentioned by Ted Larkins:

 

Lessons Learned after hosting over 410 TEDx Talk Speakers – Featured Interview with Ajit George

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TEDx Wilmington organizer and Certified Dream Builder™

Ajit Mathew George talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about his experience with running TEDx Wilmington and how the 410+ TEDx presentations have shaped and improved his life.
Ajit George

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • How his family of engineers and doctors served as “reverse inspiration” on his entrepreneurial career path
  • The story behind becoming the TEDx Wilmington founder in 2011, which now has showcased over 627 speakers and received over 6 million YouTube views.
  • Keys to delivering a great talk in 12-18 minutes (hint: requires 50 hours of rehearsal!)
  • Background stories on two standout TEDx presentations: Actor Yvonne Orjii on why she has decided to stay a virgin, a direct contradiction to her choice in screen roles; and Yolanda Schlabach, whose 2016 talk raised the awareness of sexual trafficking along Route 95 between Washington DC and New York to the attention of the Governor of Delaware for legislative action.
  • How Ajit’s experience as a TEDx host has made him a better listener for his life coaching clients.
  • The legacy project of creating a hydroponic garden center run by former prison inmates to provide organic produce to restaurants within 200 miles of Wilmington.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:51 Ajit tells about growing up in a family where all his cousins were either engineers or doctors and how it made him want to do the opposite. “I wanted to not take a safe route.”

2:50 Ajit recounts the four years he spent in India as a youth working in a children’s league, and how a key leader in the league helped develop his organizational skills.

4:08 “It’s ok to fail…and recovering from failure is almost as important as failing.”

5:33 How Ajit became involved with TED and TEDx

7:00 Ajit gives tips on how to put together a TEDx talk.

7:07 “People feel the need to put everything they know into a talk, which is a huge mistake.”

7:31 “What is that one idea worth spreading?”

9:15 [How to resist the urge to condense multiple ideas] – “Write down every idea [you] want to share in a TEDx talk, it doesn’t matter whether it’s one talk or multiple talks. Once [you] write it down on a sheet of paper, I then say, ‘What is the one idea of all those ideas on the sheet of paper you want to share with the world if you never got an opportunity to do a second TEDx talk?’”

10:09 “[TEDx Wilmington] no longer let anyone come without a lot of rehearsal…It’s a very conscious, determined process that we have.”

11:14 [Ajit explains why TEDx talks don’t allow notes] – “A good TEDx talk takes at least 50 hours of rehearsal.”

13:26 Ajit describes the organizational challenges of running TEDx.

15:02 What makes a fascinating TED talk.

17:12 “Often what we try to do is give a global platform to people who have great messages, but who are not getting them across.”

19:05 What it means to be a good life coach.

19:15 “You can only show them how to walk and give them the directions.”

20:33 “It’s much harder to get people to gracefully surrender something that they passionately believe in.” 

21:00 Ajit tells about his upcoming project Second Chances Farm, an organic farm where individuals recently released from prison will have a place to get back on their feet, and the goals he has for its development.

24:43 How Ajit became involved with doing work with Wilmington prisons through the organization Breaking Bread Behind Bars.

25:52 [On hiring individuals recently released from prison] – “There’s a huge shortage of labor force in the United States right now.”

27:50 [The importance of prioritization] – “The key is remembering that there’s no such thing as multi-tasking…so at the end of the day you have to decide if you make a list of 25 things, what’s the one thing that you must do today?”

Expert Bio

Ajit Mathew George is a TEDx organizer, certified Dream Builder™ Life Coach, creative marketer, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, gastronaut, wine aficionado, and dream catcher who divides his time between Wilmington, Delaware and Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. He has over 40 years of experience in creative marketing, strategic planning and business development in many different arenas ranging from broadcasting, non-profits and resorts real estate development.

Through Magic Dust, LLC, he helps organizations and individuals build their dreams, accelerate their results, and create richer, more fulfilling lives through Life Coaching, strategic marketing, and event planning. Over the years, Ajit has sprinkled his “magic dust” to create some magical events such as First Night Wilmington, Meals From the Masters Celebrity Chef’s Brunch, Evening With The Masters, Cellar Masters Wine Auction, Evening of Style, Black Tie Monopoly Tournament, Virgin Islands Winemakers Dinners, MidAtlantic Wine + Food Festival and TEDxWilmington.

As the organizer and executive producer of TEDxWilmington (www.tedxwilmington.com) Ajit organized six annual TEDxWilmington Conferences, the 2018 TEDxWilmingtonED Conference, the 2016 and 2017 TEDxWilmingtonWomen Conference, 2017 TEDxYouth@Wilmington and 18 TEDxWilmingtonSalons between 2014 and 2017 including a very special TEDx Salon inside a prison in July 2015. These 29 different TEDx events featuring 397 speakers from around the world who gave 375 TEDx talks. As of March 5, 2018, the TEDx talks given at TEDxWilmington had over 6.351.709 views on YouTube.

Ajit is the Chairman of the American Wine Society’s First State Wine Guild. He was also the founder of the MidAtlantic Wine+ Food Festival that in 2015 consisted of a series of 33 acclaimed food and wine events in 4 states over 4 days featuring 60 chefs + 23 winemakers from 6 continents. He organized this annual Wine + Food Festival for 4 years.

Ajit is the founder of Second Chances Farm; LLC, which is creating an organic vertical farm in Wilmington, Delaware that, will exclusively hire people re-entering society after completing their prison sentence.

For more information, visit Ajit Mathew George’s Website

Contact Info for Ajit Mathew George

Web address: http://www.tedxwilmington.com/

Travels from: Wilmington, Delaware

Phone: (302) 521-9769

Contact:

LinkedIn  Twitter 

Resources Mentioned by Ajit Mathew George:

TEDx Wilmington

Second Chances

TEDx Videos Mentioned

Sex Trafficking in the U.S.: Young Lives, Insane Profit | Yolanda Schlabach | TEDxWilmington

The wait is sexy | Yvonne Orji | TEDxWilmingtonSalon

 

 

Thinking Right Side Up – Featured Interview with David Fields

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Founder of Ascendant Consulting

David Fields talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how connecting with clients means recognizing that when it comes to consulting, it’s not about you.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • Why Emotional Connection plays such an important role in client relationships
  • How Making mistakes can make you more valuable to your clients
  • What it means to think “right side up.”
  • Why being confident will get you more consulting clients
  • The reason clients have difficulty trusting new approaches

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

00:59 Fields discusses his fanatical love of both chocolate and hockey.

1:28 “I happen to love what I do, like many of us who are entrepreneurs. I just thrive on the business.”

2:36 Fields recalls a story from his childhood about a word class mathematician who taught him how to use unit blocks in kindergarten. “This amazing mathematician would ride his bike to teach kids in kindergarten.”

3:00 “I just think that the idea of teaching other people and giving your knowledge, not at your level, but at their level…you meet people where they are and help them.”

3:56 [On his first job(s)] “I’m a numbers person, and I went into marketing research and learned a lot of great skills there.”

4:07 “My first boss once told me, ‘David our job isn’t to say that the glass is half empty or the glass is half full but to say there is 6oz of water in a 12 oz glass.”

4:33 “Life is so much more than numbers, and in fact, numbers aren’t the answer.”

5:13 Fields tells about his time working as an interviewer for a dating service.

6:05 “If you go back 30 years, the idea of meeting someone through a service, there’s a lot of stigma attached.”

6:30 “It wasn’t the matching that got people there, it was the emotional journey.”

7:00 Fields recounts the time leading up to spinning off from his original company to start a new consulting company with his partner Jim.

7:40 [On the fate of the early venture] – “That worked incredibly well for about 4 weeks.”

8:05 “Jim was the business development guy. I was the backroom engine guy. I was coming up with models and smart solutions to client problems.”

8:19 “I was left without a partner, without clients, and without the skill set to develop clients.”

8:37 “My first year running Ascendant was a disaster.”

8:59 “Once you have some success and you’re smart enough to get help, then it gets easier.”

9:25 “Unless you have failed, you can’t show that you have the resilience and the ability to get up.”

9:43 “I wouldn’t go out of my way to try to make mistakes, but if you try to avoid them, that’s where trouble sets in.”

10:25 [On Org Design] – “No design is ever perfect out of the gate.”

10:33 “We’re better off putting it in place, getting it darn close, and then refining it. I don’t worry about the mistakes, I worry about creating high quality.”

11:15 [On thinking right side up] – “Consulting is not about you, it’s about them.”

11:35 [On what his experiences working in a shoe store taught him] – “It doesn’t matter what it looked like to you…it mattered what it felt like to them. It wasn’t about my shoes it was about their feet.”

11:56 “If there’s one thing to take away from our discussion, I would say take that away. It’s not about you, it’s about them.”

12:26 “Most of the time we start something we think about ourselves, and we have to push ourselves to think about our clients.”

12:50 “Take the first line of the e-mail and make it about the client, not about you.”

13:08 “In everything you do: every e-mail you write, every presentation you give, think to yourself, ‘How do I make this about them, not me.”

13:32 “Confidence is extremely important.”

13:59 “One of the ironies is that people look inside for their confidence. They’ve been taught by self-help gurus that there is some inner core and they have to believe in themselves, and I think that’s absolutely nonsense.”

14:16 “Stop looking at yourself. If your prospect or client believes you have value, then you have value.”

14:38 “The lack of self-confidence comes from thinking too much about yourself.”

16:20 [On teaching new consultants why they don’t need certifications] – “If a client came to you with this problem, could you give them a solution that will solve the problem? If the answer is yes, then why do you need a certification?”

17:20 “A lot of consultants want to start with: ‘Here’s what I’m good at. Here’s what I know. Let me try to sell what I know.” 

17:30 It doesn’t matter what you know or what you’re good at, all that matters is what the market wants.

17:38 “Learn something different. Learn what the market wants.”

18:14 “It’s not that we shouldn’t study and learn. We absolutely should, we should go where the market is and pick up skills.”

18:42 [What Field learned from consumer products] – “You need a breakthrough product and you need to be differentiated.”

19:05 “Clients aren’t looking for different. Clients aren’t looking for breakthrough. Clients are looking for solved. They’re looking for a solution that’s reliable and credible.”

19:25 “Every single client, every single executive, has had at least one experience, and probably multiple experiences, with having hired a third party and that third party didn’t deliver.”

19:59 [On client trust] – “They want the thing that’s worked 30 times.”

20:03 “Don’t worry about what makes you different, worry about what makes you credible and reliable.”

20:25 How Fields met Keith Ferrazzi

22:00 “If we’re trying to appear reliable and we’re trying to appear credible, the clients need some proof.”

22:21 “There’s social proof like crazy these days.”

22:41 Clients are looking for how you interact with them, and they’re also looking for other kinds of social proof.

23:15 “The advantage of having a marquee client is that you can put them on the marquee and people will say ‘Wow!’”

24:15 “Whether you’re a sole [consultant] or boutique, you’re always trying to balance command.”

24:25 “I would never advise building capacity ahead of demand.”

24:50 Not everyone is cut out to be a rainmaker.

25:53 “Impact is step 2, before you get visibility.”

26:55 “People who are going to take your ideas and not call you, were never going to call you anyway.”

27:26 “What you do is gain the people who were smart enough to realize that there’s one level, which is understanding a concept, there’s another level which is implementing it without making as many mistakes. And then there’s another level, which is implementing it with feedback and coaching and guidance along the way, and that’s going to make the entire process faster.”

29:06 “I think most people know that coaching is a good thing.”

29:25 “You have to make a decision that you’re willing to invest in your business.”

29:45 “Are you willing to learn and change?”

29:55 Good coaches will often make you do something different, something uncomfortable.

30:00 “And if you want to achieve something different, you’re going to have to change something and probably something that feels uncomfortable.”

31:17 [On the early years of Ascendant] – “It never occurred to me to do hourly work, that’s not how I grew up.”

32:25 Fields tips for staying on track and focused.

32:42 “I’m not naturally on track. I’m intellectually spastic.”

32:54 “If something’s not your skill set, you get rid of it and you have somebody whose skill set it is take care of it.”

35:00 “I am here to help consultants succeed.”

36:35 “We can always learn and we can always improve.”

David Field’s Bio

David A. Fields works with boutique consulting firms and individual consultants across the globe that are eager to accelerate growth, increase profit and create lucrative, lifestyle-friendly practices. He has guided consultancies ranging from one-person startups to the consulting divisions of some of the world’s largest companies.

David still advises corporate clients too. After climbing the ranks to become a partner at a prestigious consulting firm in Connecticut, David co-founded Ascendant Consulting, where he has attracted clients such as Abbott Laboratories, Church & Dwight, FMC, Warner Home Video, and many others.

David’s books include Amazon’s highest-rated book on the business of consulting released in the past 20 years: The Irresistible Consultant’s Guide to Winning Clients.

He also leads the Ascendant Consortium, a unique, “general contractor” model in which David acts as both a client and consultant on the same project. The consortium now includes more than 150 consultants whose clients are a Who’s Who of the global business world. The Ascendant Consortium was a breakthrough for David professionally, and in this model high-dollar, high-margin projects are the norm.

David received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Carnegie Mellon. (Go plaid!) He is a hockey fanatic and eats egregious amounts of chocolate.

For more information, visit David Field’s website.

Contact Info for David Fields

Web address: http://davidafields.com

Travels from: Ridgefield, CT

Phone: (203) 438-7236

Contact:

LinkedIn YouTube Twitter

Resources Mentioned by David Fields:

   

Discovering Your Signature Brand for Iconic Advantage with Soon Yu

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Author, Consultant, Speaker, Professor

Soon Yu talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about his new book, Iconic Advantage, and what it means to develop a signature brand.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • Why the ability to collaborate is such an essential skill for entrepreneurs.

  • How Yu helped a small company simplify their strategy so they could break into a competitive American market.

  • The benefits of looking for the highest point of entry in marketing.

  • The question he asks Fortune 500 companies to help them focus.

  • The special approach that longstanding successful companies have

 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:25 Yu tells about his early experience starting an Asian Funk Band.

2:08 “Even when met with odds that seem insurmountable, it didn’t stop us, we went out and created an Asian Funk Band.”

2:30 “I leaned on a lot of other folks and some of their skills and some of their ideas were basically how to figure out and make a shared vision work.”

3:25 [On his mother as his role model] – My mom decided to do everything she could to contribute to our ability to move to a new country and to acclimate.”

4:16 Yu tells about his move from Taiwan at 3 years old to Berkley, California.

4:39 [On his ideal client] – “Folks who are very interested in learning and have a high degree of curiosity, who know they have a lot of unique skills, capabilities, and experiences, but also are sort of seeking leveraged guidance.”

5:50 Yu tells about his recent work with a company who had a very interesting product and an even more interesting challenge – “Their key challenge was that they had a very distinctive product proposition, and a wonderful story because the products were all made based on empathy…their challenge was how do they come into a mature market and be the eighth competitor in that market?”

8:09 Yu explains the ins and outs of breaking into a complicated market by not going for the lowest hanging fruit.

8:39 “We help them focus on this idea of instead of going really broad, going really narrow.”

10:06 “Do you know which of your brands or your product franchises are delivering most of your profit? And of those, do you know which of them are truly iconic?”

11:47 “Take your cash cow, milk them, and butter them up.”

12:37 [On his inspiration for writing Iconic Advantage] – “I always veer towards wanting to do new things – new product lines, new initiatives, new technology…but what I learned over those 30 years was that I had a hard time commercializing new ideas.”

13:58 [On the approach that longstanding successful companies have] – “They took a lot of their shiny new ideas and applied it to franchises that had momentum.”

14:46 Yu explains that most companies don’t know what makes them iconic.

15:19 [Why it’s critical to keep people in love with your brand] – “Just like consumers fall in love with people, they also fall in love with brands. And just like people, when you fall in love with somebody, you don’t want to fall out of love with them. And if somebody’s in love with you, you’re not going to do things to hurt that relationship.”

15:35 “It’s critical for those of us who are caretakers of brands to take care of that relationship as a love relationship.”

15:59 Basics of the Iconic Brand Pyramid

17:18 “That’s where it starts off – What do you care about?”

17:39 “You want to be consistent about how you represent your personality.”

19:37 “There’s a lot of ways to find these signature elements, and it’s critical that you find those.”

20:09 Why it’s essential to reinforce and align.

21:16 The story behind Nike Air and their path to distinctive design.

22:28 Why it’s important for companies not to overlook the assets already inside of their organization.

23:50 Why an hour of true productivity each day is a goal worth seeking out.

24:42 “I have a very simple 3-5 year vision of what I want to accomplish.”

22:29 “When you leave the room, what fragrance do you leave the room with? What do people remember you for?”

Expert Bio

Soon Yu is an international speaker and bestselling author of Iconic Advantage: Don’t Chase the New, Innovate the Old.

He regularly consults business leaders on developing meaningful Iconic Signature Elements, Signature Moments and Signature Communication.

Yu most recently served as Global VP of Innovation at VF Corporation, parent organization to over 30 global apparel companies, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Nautica, and Wrangler. While at VF, Yu created a two-billion-dollar innovation pipeline, established three global innovation centers and initiated industry-leading design best practices.

Prior to this, he worked at The Clorox Company and Chiquita Brands, where he won company-wide awards for best advertising, best promotion and best new product, and gained industry recognition from the Webby Award, Favorite Website Award and Dope Award. He was also founder and CEO for numerous venture-backed startups, including Gazoontite, Promeo Technologies, and TWRL, and was recognized as a Northern California finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Yu is an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design and often guest lectures at Stanford University, where he received his MBA and is active with the GSB Asian Alumni Association.

For more information, visit Soon Yu’s Website.

Contact Info for Soon Yu

Web address: www.soonyu.com

Travels from: Austin, TX

Phone: (336) 740-4223

Contact:

LinkedIn Twitter 

Resources Mentioned by Soon Yu:

Action is the Key to Success – Featured Interview with Rhett Power

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Entrepreneur, Author, Coach, Columnist at Inc. and Success Magazines

Rhett Power talks with Bill Ringle about the troubles and triumphs of entrepreneurship, and why it just might not be for everyone.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • Is entrepreneurship an innate talent?
  • How Power’s time in the Peace Corps encouraged him to take risks
  • What allowed Wild Creations to go from being out of money to being a $9 million company
  • How reliability and communication can lead to trust with vendors
  • The formula for success that Rhett Power found the hard way

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:40 Power tells about the early influencers of his life.

2:40 [The Peace Corps] – “All of those life lessons prepared me for entrepreneurship.”

2:55 “Is entrepreneurship learned or is it innate?”

3:32 “Well I think certain people have the characteristics, maybe you’re born with it…but I see both sides now.”

3:52 “I think all types can be good entrepreneurs.”

5:04 “Some people are entrepreneurs and they don’t know it.”

5:27 Power recounts the various odd jobs he did prior to joining the Peace Corps. “It took me a while to find, finally, what I wanted to do.”

6:38 “It was the best move I ever made because I learned those two years about myself and about truly being able to do what I wanted to do, and to take chances.”

6:51 “Nobody’s going to hand you success, no one’s gonna do it for you. If you want something you’ve got to go out and work for it.”

7:39 “The work I did after Peace Corps in the developing countries, in the former Soviet Union, helping them understand what a market economy was, and helping them transition, and be profitable, and learn how to manage a new type of company, is what sort of got me where I got comfortable with the idea of going into business for myself.”

8:15 The genesis of Wild Creations.

8:25 “We both wanted to be in business. We felt like it was our time to do something and create something that was ours.”

9:10 Power describes the early days of Wild Creations, including an interaction with a body removal company.

9:43 [On taking over Wild Creations] – “We saw where the product could go, we saw what we could do with it. We thought that we could do something different with the company.”

10:30 [Wild Creations’ initial product.] – “It had all kinds of problems.”

11:11 How a UPS technology grant allowed Wild Creations to get off the ground.

11:32 “Every single vendor gave us 6 months of credit, or there would have been no way to secure those first orders.”

12:10 “Frankly we were struggling, we were probably about a month from having to close the doors.” 

12:57 “We didn’t have it in toy stores. We had it in little gift and novelty stores.”

13:26 How a connection with the president of the Toy Store Association allowed Wild Creations to get their foot in the door. “Come to New York, come to the Toy Fair.”

14:18 [On the meteoric rise of Wild Creations] – “We walked out of Toy Fair a $9M company.”

15:34 “It was scary, it was really scary.”

15:53 [How honesty and communication allowed them to ship on time.] – “Build a relationship with your suppliers so if you have a problem or you have a growth spurt like that, then they are 100% behind you.”

18:10 Power discuss the process of writing the book. “When we started writing it I don’t think we knew what we wanted to say.”

18:45 “The Entrepreneur’s Book of Actions was easier because I knew what I wanted to say.”

19:25 Power lists the “avatars” he interviewed for his book.

20:01 “I wrote it because I think I know what people go through and I wanted to sort out their issues and help them be more successful.”

21:06 “I wanted to break it down for people what the important parts of the book were.”

21:18 “I do believe that action is really the key to success.”

21:42 Why doing something every day for a whole year brings about change.

21:53 Focus on self-change first, then focus on changing your people.

22:01 “In order for our companies to grow, we have to grow.”

22:39 The questions and issues that entrepreneurs and founders often overlook.

22:58 “Sometimes you find that they’re disciplined in their work but their not disciplined in their personal lives.”

23:49 The importance of managing the minutes.

24:27 “I’ve learned the hard way of having to scale up.”

27:01 What a bad experience with an experienced toy consultant taught Power about coaching.

28:00 “Founders and entrepreneurs, they typically have a vision for how they want to do something.”

28:22 What Power learned from Mark Thompson and Marshall Goldsmith

28:48 “When you run a company the size of our first company, you are the leader and your influence where that company goes.”

29:54 “One of the things that I see is that people feel somewhat embarrassed that they’re seeking advice, that they’re seeking help.”

31:08 Why it’s important to hire a coach that you actually like.

32:12 “First and foremost make a professional mission statement.”

32:56 “Success ultimately boils down to a couple of things. It boils down to your habits, your discipline, and your ability to figure out what’s important.”

Expert Bio

Rhett Power co-founded Wild Creations in 2007 and quickly built the startup toy company into the 2010 Fastest Growing Business in South Carolina. Wild Creations was named a Blue Ribbon Top 75 US Company by the US Chamber of Commerce and named as one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing US Companies two years in a row. He and his team have won over 40 national awards for their innovative toys. He was a finalist for Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2011 and was nominated again in 2012. He was recently named as one of the world’s top 100 business bloggers in 2015.

Prior to founding Wild Creations, Rhett worked as an economic and small business development consultant for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), serving 7 years in the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia. Prior to that, he was Director of National Service Programs for Habitat for Humanity, which included being Habitat’s chief liaison with for The White House, Congress, and the Corporation for National Service.

A member of the United States Department of State’s International Speakers Program, Rhett travels the globe speaking about entrepreneurship, leadership, and management alongside the likes of Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann, AOL Founder Steve Case, and President Barack Obama. He has written for the Huffington Post, Time, and The Wall Street Journal and is a regular columnist for Inc., Success Magazine, and Business Insider.

He served in the US Peace Corps and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. His second book on entrepreneurship will be published in early 2017 by McGraw Hill. He now has a rapidly growing coaching and consulting practice based in Washington DC and Charleston, South Carolina.

For more information, visit Rhett Power ‘s website.

Contact Info for Rhett Power

Web address:www.rhettpower.com or www.powercoachinggroup.com

Travels from: Washington, DC

Phone: 202.465.7120

Contact:

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Rhett Power :

Marshall Goldsmith

  

    

David Livermore photo

Overcoming Diversity Fatigue – Featured Interview with David Livermore

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Cultural Intelligence Thought Leader and Author

David Livermore talks with Bill Ringle about how awareness of values diversity drives business value.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The importance of taking inventory of your company culture.
  • How to recognize and overcome “diversity fatigue.”
  • The role of diversity metrics in business.
  • The key ingredient of shared objectives.
  • What Jeff Bezos missed with his “empty chair” technique

Expert Bio

David Livermore is a thought leader in cultural intelligence (CQ) and global leadership and the author of ten books on cultural intelligence and global leadership. His book,  Leading with Cultural Intelligence, was named a best-seller in business by The Washington Post. He’s president and partner at the Cultural Intelligence Center in East Lansing, Michigan and a visiting research fellow at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Prior to leading the Cultural Intelligence Center, Dave spent 20 years in leadership positions with a variety of non-profit organizations around the world and taught in universities. He’s a frequent speaker and adviser to leaders in Fortune 500’s, non-profits, and governments and has worked in more than 100 countries across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Dave has authored several other books, including the award-winning titles, Serving With Eyes Wide Open and Cultural Intelligence: Improving your CQ to Engage our Multicultural World (Baker Publ.).

Dave loves to take research and make it accessible to practitioners. He has been interviewed and referenced by major news sources such as Atlantic Monthly, CBS News, The Christian Post, Christian Science Monitor, The Economist, Forbes, NBC, The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

For more information, visit David’s website.

Contact Info for David Livermore

Web address: http://www.davidlivermore.com

Travels from: Holt, MI

Phone: (512) 519-9875

Contact:

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter RSS

Resources Mentioned by David Livermore:

melinda blau

Striking Up Conversations with Strangers – Featured Interview with Melinda Blau

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Journalist and Author

Melinda Blau talks with Bill Ringle about learning confidence, diversifying your network, and starting up conversations with strangers.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The advantages of striking up conversations with strangers in business.
  • How having consequential strangers in your life adds both variety to your perspective and dollars to your bottom line.
  • What to do to add consequential strangers in your life when you relocate or visit a new city.
  • How to overcome your shyness and other factors that have held you back from reaching out.

Expert Bio

Melinda Blau is a journalist who has been researching and reporting about relationships and social trends since the seventies. Her most recent book is Consequential Strangers: The Power of People Who Don’t Seem to Matter…But Really Do, which explores the vast and unsung array of everyday people, on and off the Internet, who have a profound impact on our business success, happiness, and health.

Melinda is the voice of the Consequential Strangers blog and has written more than ninety magazine pieces and a dozen other books, including the best-selling Baby Whisperer series. She also blogs for Psychology Today and More magazines and writes a bi-monthly column for Shareable. Melinda is a mother and grandmother, and the co-founder of Mother U, a website for contemporary women of both generations.

For more information, visit Melinda’s website.

Contact Info for Melinda Blau

Web address: ConsequentialStrangers.com

Travels From: New York, NY

Follow Melinda:

Twitter Facebook

Books by Melinda Blau

  

 

How to Be Listener Directed – Featured Interview with Jay Sullivan

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Author and Managing Partner of Exec|Comm

Jay Sullivan talks with Bill Ringle about listening, connection, what it means to be an effective communicator.

 

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • What it means to have Executive Presence
  • How to address large audiences in a way that connects with each audience member
  • What factors raise or lower your standing on the scale of effectiveness
  • How to communicate in a way that’s listener directed.
  • How to diffuse situations of anger in the workplace

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:26 “People automatically think we’re going to teach them how to talk better and share information, and in fact we spend most of our time teaching them how to listen.”

1:38 Sullivan recounts his experiences working in a convent in Jamaica, and the leadership examples he saw put in place there.

3:20 [Working with Covenant] – “Again I had to listen really carefully to what their concerns were.”

3:51 “I had to explain concepts to them in a way that they could grasp the idea, the basics of the idea, and understand what to do in terms of next steps.”

4:37 “I didn’t make assumptions. You couldn’t. You couldn’t assume any background knowledge. You couldn’t assume any background problem solving skills.

6:19 [On addressing large groups vs. being one on one] – “The challenge there tends to be that if you’re in front of a very large group, chances are you’re not having a conversation. You can create the illusion of a conversation, but chances are you’re just talking at the audience.”

6:47 “People who are less comfortable asking questions, being open to whoever they’re talking to might change course, might change the agenda, might end up trying to control the conversation, very often those people have a larger challenge with smaller groups.”

7:05 “But even when you’re speaking to a group, you shouldn’t be talking to everybody in the room, you talk to one person at a time.”

7:59 [On his ideal ExecComm client] – “I don’t think of it terms of my ideal client. I think of it in terms of, who can I be helpful to?

9:09 The scale of effectiveness, and how ExecComm helps its clients go from good to great.

10:36 Why recording a person’s speech patterns and behaviors can help them overcome small issues with communication and presentation.

11:35 “People tend to think that the value of the videotaping is the physical, watching the physical stuff, but it also gives you an undeniable recording of what was said.”

12:15 “When you’re talking to someone you can talk about one of three things: 1 – you can talk about yourself, 2 – you can talk about your content, or 3 – you can talk to the audience about the audience.”

12:36 “Nobody cares about your content either. They only care about how your content affects them.”

13:02 “If they simply get away from that language of what I want, and instead use language such as, what I thought would be helpful to you today.”

14:37 The impetus for writing the book, Simply Said

15:20 “You’re more effective as a communicator when you’re less focused on yourself.”

17:27 “And that’s the thing you want people to do: build simple habits that make them more effective communicators.”

18:58 “The most important thing about communicating effectively is to be true to who you are. You’ve got to be you.”

19:48 “Nobody is paying you to be a comedian. They’re paying you to deliver a clear, coherent message.”

20:04 “The thing about working on your communication skills is that you can bring the better part of who you are to the room.”

21:00 “When someone is emotional in a professional setting, you have to acknowledge the emotion that’s being expressed, otherwise it becomes this undercurrent.”

21:38 The problems that arise when anger is acknowledged in the workplace

22:14 “So with anger you simply reframe the anger as concern.”

23:48 “Giving feedback is a touchy subject for a lot of people because they don’t feel entitled to give the feedback.”

24:02 “Your job is to grow the future talent of your organization.”

24:25 How emotions get in the way of feedback.

25:14 “When feedback is done entirely by looking backwards, it’s not helpful.”

25:46 What it means to have a performance review and goal setting meeting

27:31 “People need to take ownership of their own professional development.”

28:23 Why it’s essential for you to carry yourself the way that you want to be perceived.

Expert Bio

Jay Sullivan is the Managing Partner at Exec|Comm, and leads the firm’s Law Firm Group. He is an award-winning author and columnist, as well as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law Center. His book, Simply Said: Communicating Better at Work and Beyond, was released by John Wiley & Sons in 2016. As a contributing writer for Forbes.com, Jay brings relevant and timely advice on enhancing one’s communication skills to the business community.

Whether working with groups or in one-on-one coaching arrangements Jay helps professionals have greater impact by teaching them to focus on the needs of their audiences. Jay works closely with the learning and development professionals at many global law firms and financial services firms to customize communication skills solutions.

Jay joined Exec|Comm after nine years as a practicing attorney. He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1989. That year, Jay was named among the first class of Skadden Fellows by the Skadden Foundation. As a Skadden Fellow, Jay acted as in-house legal counsel at Covenant House, a crisis shelter for runaway and homeless teenagers. Following his Fellowship, Jay spent seven years practicing insurance law on behalf of Lloyds of London.

After graduating from Boston College in 1984, Jay spent two years in the Jesuit International Volunteer Corps, teaching English. His book about that experience, Raising Gentle Men: Lives at the Orphanage Edge, was named the 2014 Best Book by a Small Publisher by the Catholic Press Association. Jay was a featured columnist on communication skills for the New York Law Journal, and has been published in Readers Digest, Catholic Digest, Parents Magazine, The Golfer, and The New York Times.

For more information, visit Author’s website.

Contact Info for Author Name

Web address: http://www.exec-comm.com

Travels from: New York, NY

Phone:(212) 252-5855

Contact: Karen Rodriguez – (212) 252-5860

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube

Resources Mentioned by Author Name:

Jay Sullivan’s Forbes Author Page 

Scuba Tanks and Fierce Conversations – Featured Interview with Susan Scott

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Founder of Fierce, Inc., Author of Fierce Conversations and Fierce Leadership

Susan Scott talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about fierce leadership and the benefits of learning how to have truly meaningful conversations.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • What is the real role of managers
  • Why leaders should offer their employees to challenge the way they’re thinking.
  • How meaningful conversation occurs in a culture where candor is valued.
  • How “putting on a scuba tank” can keep your meetings from being a waste of time.
  • Why practice can make you a better communicator

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:39 Scott talks about an early role model – her grandmother – the first to start the Tuxedo rental business.

2:07 [On starting Fierce] – “I had been running groups of CEO’s here in Seattle…and I would meet with each of them once a month for about 2 hours.”

2:45 [Inspired by Hemingway] “I had an epiphany that our companies and our careers and our relationships and our lives can succeed or fail, gradually hen suddenly, one conversation at a time.” 

3:08 “What gets talked about within a company, how it gets talked about, and who is invited to the conversation, determines what’s going to happen.”

4:22 [Paraphrasing Annie Dillard] – “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

4:29 “Most leaders are spending their days in meeting after meeting after meeting, conversation after conversation after conversation.”

5:23 The importance of straight talk and straight listening.

5:38 “People are understandably frightened to disclose what they’re really thinking and feeling, and they don’t necessarily want to go for the biggest and baddest and toughest and most complicated issues.”

5:59 “People end up waterskiing through their conversations rather than putting on a scuba tank and going deeper.”

7:14 “Fierce Leadership is the book that if somebody’s going to read one book, they should read that one.”

7:57 [On making the conversation real] – “You have to decide whether or not you really care about the issues on the table. If you don’t care, then you’re not necessarily going to come out from behind yourself and be real.”

8:22 “I would hope that you are in a culture where candid candor is valued.”

8:31 “No plan will survive its collision with reality.”

9:31 “The person who’s holding the meeting fills that form before everyone comes together for the meeting.”

10:21 “A leader’s job is not to be right, a leader’s job is to get it right for the company.”

10:38 “If I’m the leader, I want to start by changing the way I’m holding my meetings.”

11:31 “There’s an easy and graceful way to put your perspective on the table even if it contradicts the leaders of the organization.”

12:14 “Most people aren’t even aware that they’re shutting people down.”

13:05 “In our training nobody does any role play, nobody pretends to be someone other than who they are.”

14:29 How practice can make you a better communicator.

14:51 “We teach people what accountability really is and how to raise the bar on accountability.”

16:05 How a meeting facilitator can help keep a meeting from derailing.

16:31 “We want the client to have gotten tremendous benefit from the training and actually make progress on an issue that is of great importance to them.”

17:12 People always amaze me at how brave, courageous, and skillful they can be very quickly, given the right tools and understanding of what’s at stake.”

17:59 “What is your role as a manager? It is not to have all of the answers, it is not to create the plan all by yourself.”

18:42 “If I as a manager am always just dictating to them what they should do, and sharing the brilliance of my own thinking with them, there’s not much room for them to shine. Plus, I am not always going to get it right.”

20:13 [On Managers changing mindset] – “Why would I want to go back to that lonely role of coming up with all of these ideas myself, when I’ve got some amazing people who came up with ideas is a short amount of time?”

22:05 “When everybody knows, and you tell them at the beginning ‘Before we conclude I’m going to ask every one of you to give me your best advice,’ when you do that, no one is going to be checking out.”

23:08 “If you haven’t heard from somebody in the meeting you call on them.”

23:38 “You teach people how to behave in these meetings and no one gets to hide out and shrink their subatomic particles and vanish off the radar screen. They’re invited to the meeting because their perspective is important.”

25:24 [Paraphrasing Will Rogers] – “Politicians are good at saying absolutely nothing and saying it all the time. Nobody’s listening and then everybody disagrees,”

26:43 Ask more questions, respond with fewer ‘Yes, but’s,” especially in regards to political discussions.

29:44 “Labelling people or groups of people is so counterproductive.”

30:30 “People are tired of having these 360 anonymous inputs…people want to have conversations.”

30:53 “Companies are shifting their performance management to be this ongoing conversation.”

31:00 The two major updates to Fierce Conversations

33:04 [On feedback] – “The time has come, we all know that we need it.”

33:36 “Let’s get away from the practice of holding people accountable and holding people able and modeling accountability.”

34:09 “Be very clear with people on what are their deliverables.”

34:44 “There’s no way I can hold you to a standard that is higher than the one I’m exhibiting myself.”

34:54 “Accountability is an attitude.”

35:03 “You have to create an environment in which people choose accountability.”

36:08 Feedback Scott has received from readers.

37:23 “You wasn’t people to come up with their own insights.”

38:59 [On fierce conversations] – “It’s one where we lean in, we really listen to one another, we totally disclose what we’re thinking, we share the goal of getting it right.

39:17 Five questions with Susan Scott

Expert Bio

Susan Scott is a best-selling author and leadership development architect who has enabled top executives worldwide to engage in vibrant dialogue with one another, with their employees, and with their customers for more than two decades. As CEO of Fierce Conversation, a company she founded in 2001, Susan sets the company’s strategic vision and creates the culture through her ongoing commitment to ensure employees are engaged, communication is candid, and learning is continuous.

Prior to starting Fierce, Susan spent 12 years running think tanks for CEOs designing and delivering training to peers working with CEOs across the globe. In 2002, ‘Fierce Conversations -Achieving Success at Work and in Life, One Conversation at a Time,’ was published in 4 countries. It was included on The Wall Street Journal and UPI best seller lists, and was one of USA TODAY’S top 40 business books of 2002. Her much anticipated second book – ‘Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst ‘Best’ Practices of Business Today was published in 2009, and was also listed on The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times best seller lists. In May 2017 Susan re-released “Fierce Conversations” with 40% updated content, incorporating more data and technology that was developed through her experience in the industry over the last 15 years.

For more information, visit Susan Scott’s website.

Contact Info for Susan Scott

Web address: www.fierceinc.com

Travels from: Seattle, WA

Phone: (206) 818-2429

Contact: Sarah Mann

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Susan Scott:

 

Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises

Henry David Thoreau’s Walden

Annie Dillard

Will Rogers

adam_witty

Get Yourself Published – Featured Interview with Adam Witty

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Adam Witty talks with Bill Ringle about how to build your business through book publishing.

Founder and CEO, Advantage Media Group

Charleston, SC

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The advantages you gain by being a published author.
  • What steps Adam took to land his first group of clients.
  • Insights into how the book publishing industry has changed and what’s really necessary to succeed in building a platform.

Expert Bio

Adam Witty is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Media Group, heading up strategic business development and growth opportunities for the company. What began in the spare bedroom of his home is now an international media company with leading businesses in book publishing, magazine publishing, and television and video.

Adam is the Publisher of Advantage Magazine, is the author of 21 Ways to Build Your Business with a Book and 21 Ways to Build Your Business with a Magazine, and is co-author of How To Build Your Dental Practice With a BookHow to Build Your Law Practice with a Book and Click: The Ultimate Guide to Internet Marketing for Authors. His weekly television shows Author Advantage TV™ and Entrepreneurs Library TV™ can be seen on the internet television station Advantage.tv.

Adam is an in-demand speaker, teacher, and consultant on marketing and business development techniques for entrepreneurs and authors and is a frequent guest on the acclaimed Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. Adam has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Young Money Magazine, and on ABC and Fox and was named to the 2011 INC. Magazine 30 Under 30 “list of America’s most cool entrepreneurs.”

For more information, visit Adam’s website.

Contact Info for Adam Witty

Business Phone: 843-414-5600

Web address: AdvantageFamily.com

Travels From: Charleston, SC

Follow Adam:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Adam Witty

     

Better Leaders Equal a Better World – Featured Interview with Courtney Lynch

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New York Times Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, and Leadership Expert

Courtney Lynch talks with Bill Ringle about how each of us can become better leaders and create a better world on My Quest for the Best.

 

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • How integrating leadership development for women allowed Walmart to solve problems at the store level
  • The common challenges that arise from people working together: conflicts or power struggles that need to be resolved; miscommunication around expectations, scheduling, and style; and much more
  • Tips for achieving human connection even when you’re working remotely
  • How to use feedback to be an inspiring leader instead of an alienating leader
  • What it means when high performance teams have the courage for candor

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:02 Lynch tells about how her experiences with the United States Marine Corps shaped her abilities as a leader.

2:48 “I’m not someone who would’ve been able to afford going to graduated school, but thanks to my military service – the GI Bill is a fantastic vehicle – and so I went to law school after my time in uniform, and through the opportunity was able to enter the profession as a full-fledged attorney.”

3:26 Lynch describes how working in the law firm wasn’t the kind of work that she found fulfilling.

4:05 [On creating the startup with Angie Morgan] – “Our firm’s 14 years old, but I still remember the startup days like they were yesterday…there’s a lot of vision, a lot of ambition and that phase of a business. You’re motivated to work hard, and you know you want to add value and you want to have a positive impact.”

4:35 [On having Walmart as a first customer] – “When you’re a tiny little startup and Fortune1 becomes your first customer, you learn a lot quickly.”

5:02 “We didn’t have a strong platform to stand on, but we were incredibly passionate about what we had to offer.”

5:54 [On getting Walmart as a client] – “Walmart was a cold call, but it was an informed cold call.”

6:21 “I realized that the problems Walmart had, the challenges Walmart had…when you’re such a big organization, you’re a cross section of society, just like the Marine Corps…so my thinking was, if they had leadership development experiences, especially for their female employees, problems could be caught at the store level.”

7:06 “We just happened to connect with someone inside their diversity department whose father had served in the Marine Corps and really understood the practical value of leadership development for making any work force better.”

7:54 “I say it’s kudos to Walmart rather than kudos to us for investing in a small, women-owned business.”

8:16 [On why clients contact them] – “It’s people right? Anytime there’s 2, 3, of or more people working together, there’s bound to be friction.”

8:28 “We hear consistent challenges. How do we adopt a better strategy? How do we empower employees? How do we work in a virtual environment? How do we hold people accountable?”

8:41 “The joy of our work is that we get to work across all industries, all verticles, because people are people everywhere they go.”

8:50 [On why organizations contact them] – “Organizations are typically having a pain point, and people not working together as efficiently or as effectively as they could, is what seems to be at the root of it, or, the opposite side is the client or companies experiencing a tremendous amount of success, and they’re having to scale very quickly.”

9:18 “We usually come in when things are going really tough, or when things are just going gangbusters.”

9:47 “Training and development is necessary and definitely a part of what we do, yet our clients bring us in and we integrate very deeply into their business. So everything that we do is about helping the client achieve their business goals.”

10:40 [On working with Facebook as things were moving quickly] – “It was the true pleasure of my career to see that company grow up on the inside and work with their most amazing talented professionals.”

11:30 “We work a lot in the energy industry, with a lot of engineers. “I sent the e-mail I asked for it to be done!” But really it’s about human connection.

11:47 “There’s lots of different ways to connect, and we like to help our clients see the practical ways even in a virtual environment, a fast-paced environment, or an environment of mathematicians, computer scientists, and engineers, greater human connection can happen.”

12:10 Lynch discusses the importance of maintaining spontaneous contact and agenda-less conversation.

12:34 “What can happen when we’re in a virtual world is we can get very task focused.”

13:19 Lynch describes her son’s “the practice after the practice,” noting how connection and bonding occurs in between the places where work and tasks are accomplished.

13:46 [On the inspiration for writing Spark] – “Spark is like our greatest hits album because it was really hard fought in the trenches…[Angie, Sean, and I spent thousands of hours inside the company, and it was such an exciting opportunity to be a student of the best leaders in the world.”

14:24 “Spark was written over a 5-6 year period, even though actually sitting down and writing the book only took about a year, it was those 5-6 years of learning and taking notes and working with so many different talented leaders that really led to “Hey, we learned a lot, and we want to share this so that everyone has an opportunity, everyone who picks up the book, to be a better leader.”

14:59 “Better leaders really do equal a better world, and that’s leaders at all levels.”

15:05 “Anyone has the potential to lead, and if we all just spent a little time practicing it, great things happen within our communities, and our greater world.”

15:50 “I think that our world is becoming more flat. Organizations are starting to trim the hierarchy, people have matrix relationships. So I would encourage someone who’s focused on what they don’t have, when it comes to authority or title, to shift their focus to what they do have.

16:15 Lynch explains how the best leaders guide while the worst leaders mandate and control.

16:51 Leadership is to influence and inspire other people.

17:00 “Some of the most front-line roles that we have in organizations: a front-line sales representative, a receptionist, a new account manager, a front-line invoice processor – these are the people that are making the company run, and if they demonstrate leadership behaviors, they’ll be able to influence their teams and the greater organization.”

17:55 “[Feedback] has to be delivered in a way that doesn’t disrupt ego and stability. There’s ways to give feedback well. I think that all feedback that is delivered effectively begins with a lot of accountability.

18:19 “Feedback isn’t well-received if someone is placing blame while they’re giving it.”

19:00 “There’s a fine line between feedback and complaining.”

19:24 Lynch illustrates the creative leadership model for feedback: giving feedback from a situation, behavior, and impact perspective.

21:17 “A lot of time feedback gets into a really tough place because it becomes accusatory or unduly emotional, and we need to talk about behaviors that people can change, and we need to do it in a way that sets the stage for grace and dignity.”

22:21 “I think that’s the mark of a high performing team: when you can talk about accountability.”

23:00 The four keys to being credible.

23:53 “Self-awareness is the accelerant to our leadership development. If we can anticipate our blind spots and work to take action, that’s growth and that’s where growth happens.”

24:55 The Say/Do Gap concept.

25:05 Lynch explains why leadership doesn’t only happen in the heroic moments.

25:38 “If you’ve made a commitment, are you doing everything it takes to meet those standards that you’ve set?”

26:52 Why you shouldn’t “hide the ball.”

27:23 How people who have been athletes or in athletics often make excellent leaders.

28:05 “When anyone enrolls in any professional development or any academic experience they’re saying, ‘Hey, I want to learn. I want to grow.’ And that growth mindset is highly relevant to us as professionals.”

29:07 Lynch describes a major bump in the road LeadStart faced, and the path they took to overcoming it as a team.

29:55 “Stress has a way of bringing up a lot of unproductive emotions.”

30:28 “People want to buy consulting services from the consultants, they don’t necessarily want to buy that from a third party sales professional.”

32:09 “In those earlier years we really had to ask for those referrals to get them.”

32:27 “Hope is not a strategy. We really needed to be explicit with our clients about what we needed.”

34:24 Lynch describes the differences between the company 14 years ago and the company today.

34:57 “I’m a multi-dimensional thinker. I think broadly, I like to think from a lot of different vantage points. Yet, when it comes to doing, I’m very linear.”

35:29 [On tools and tips for productivity.] – “I jot down the things I must do the next time I’m at work.”

Expert Bio

As a founding partner of Lead Star, Courtney works closely with all levels of leaders as she designs and delivers development programs designed to drive immediate results. Courtney is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling co-author of SPARK: How to Lead Yourself and Others to Greater Success and Leading from the Front, and has written numerous articles on behavior-based leadership and organizational excellence.

She’s been a guest on CNBC, FOX News, and CNN. Courtney’s efforts with Lead Star have been cited in business publications ranging from Fast Company and Inc. to The New York Times. In addition to her work with consulting clients, Courtney served as the Director of the Center for Creative Leadership’s Partner Network, convening and connecting leading consultancies with the Center’s innovative thought leadership, research and development solutions.
Prior to starting Lead Star, Courtney’s professional experiences included service as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, an attorney at a large law firm, and a sales manager for Rational Software. She holds a law degree from William & Mary, an undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University and completed intensive studies at Cambridge University. Courtney lives with her husband and three children in Glen Allen, Virginia.

For more information on Courtney Lynch, visit the Lead Star website.

Contact Info for Courtney Lynch

Web address: www.leadstar.us

Travels from: Fairfax, VA

Phone: (703) 273-7280

Connect on Social Media:

LinkedIn Twitter YouTube YouTube

Resources Mentioned by Courtney Lynch:

stefan swanepoel

Make the Most of Your Strengths – Featured Interview with Stefan Swanepoel

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Internationally Bestselling Author and Motivational Speaker

Stefan Swanpoel talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about embracing you you are, and reveals some industry secrets about how to become a bestselling author.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Marketing secrets from a prolific, bestselling author.
  • How he designed his book to have wide appeal through social media and traditional channels.
  • Lessons about becoming comfortable with who you are and making the most of your strengths in business and in life.

Expert Bio

Stefan Swanepoel is an international best-selling author of 20 books on business trends, real estate, and social media, as well as a motivational keynote speaker with over 700 presentations to 500,000 people.

His most popular real estate books include the Amazon.com bestseller Real Estate confronts Reality and the annual Swanepoel TRENDS Report. His most recent book, Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life, is a New York Times bestseller, and his other titles have been featured on the bestseller lists of the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Publishers Weekly, and many others.

Stefan has held offices as President, CEO and Chairman of a technology company, an education company, a non-profit association, a movie studio and a 2,000 office international franchise. He has also received numerous awards, including: “Businessman of the Year” (Jaycees), one of the “Top 20 Most Influential People in the Real Estate Industry” (Today’s REALTOR®), and “One of the Top 50 People Who You Should Follow on Twitter” (Roost).

For more information, visit Stefan’s website.

Contact Info for Stefan Swanepoel

Web address for Real Estate Trends: RETrends.com

Web address for Serengeti Book: SerengetiBook.com

Travels From: Los Angeles, CA

Connect with Stefan:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Stefan Swanepoel

altalt altalt altalt

Putting People First – Featured Interview with Jonathan Raymond

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Jonathan Raymond, Owner of Refound

Jonathan Raymond talks with Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about the culture of accountability, the proper way to give feedback, and developing an organization that puts people first.

 

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • Why organizations are putting so much thought into a “people first” culture
  • How to give feedback without micromanaging
  • How a software company gave their senior management the room to play at the level of their title
  • The one mistake organizations make over and over again
  • The importance of embracing uncertainty

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:10 Raymond recounts his first real experience in entrepreneurship, telling about the “driveway car wash’ he owned with his friends.

1:33 [On lessons learned from this early venture] – “One of the lessons was the operating costs are always higher than you think they are.”

1:50 “Any industry worth being in is crowded.”

2:15 How law school taught Raymond to show up in the world in a professional way.

2:53 “My education in law school really helped me write with some structure, rather than just stream of consciousness, but to actually put one idea after the next in a way where something builds.”

3:05 “A lawyer is able to string a series of good ideas together and build an argument, right? Which is what a good book or a good blog post is: it’s a good argument for advocating a a piece of change.”

3:45 Raymond describes what it was like working 3 jobs out of law school, and still barely being able to cover rent. 

4:04 [Paraphrasing Andy Warhol] – “You know you’re on track in your life when you’re using the best and the worst of what’s happened to you over the course of your journey.”

4:26 “If I want to have an impact in the world, I’m going to have to take some steps, and there’s going to be some painful moments along the way.”

4:52 [On Raymond’s Clients at Refound] – “I think the biggest problem we help people with, I would say, is overwhelm and ambiguity.”

4:55 “In most modern organizations, there’s a lot of thought being put into ‘How do we create a people first culture? How do we engage with employees? How do we create the conditions where people feel like they’re coming to work not just to create profit for owners and shareholders, but a sense of personal meaning.”

5:27 “What we’ve been able to do is offer a real tactical approach for how to do, in particular, feedback and accountability in an organization that really grounds the way people operate on a day to day basis.”

5:53 “Where organizations go sideways, and where things start to degrade, is in the actual conversations between managers and employees, between managers and one another, and, very importantly, between managers and senior executives.”

7:39 [Case Study Software Company in south bay, CA] – “There was this big aha moment, which is fairly common, where all of the managers in the organization [realized] how they were sort of playing a level down or two levels down from their title.”

8:26 “It’s incremental. Nothing changes overnight. Nothing worth doing changes overnight.”

9:09 “And that’s really the best part of this work for me. I get to see people take these tools and apply them in ways that I never would’ve thought, and have conversations that are meaningful to them.”

9:44 [On Raymond’s inspiration for writing the book] – “I bumped up against my own capacity as a leader, and I realized that I didn’t know what I was doing.”

10:23 How Raymond’s experience with cold, unfeeling training programs led him to create a work that was truly human.

10:26 “It’s not about being authentic, because “being authentic,” well, what does that mean? But, you know, how do you show up in a way that’s both professional and personal, that’s warm and kind and compassionate, but that also drives results?”

11:15  The type of feedback that makes people uncomfortable, and the scourge of the “Millennials boogeyman.”

11:57 [On the reluctance to new processes and change] – “People have been burned before.”

12:31 “This points to the tragedy of what’s happening right now in otherwise really interesting space in time, is that we’re radically over investing in technology to solve this problem, and radically underinvesting in training.”

12:59 [The mistake organizations make again and again] – “Buying tools and technology to solve human problems.”

13:39 Why managers are so hesitant to give feedback.

14:24 “To be able to embrace a communications methodology that says, ‘Actually, you know what, uncertainty is your best friend.’”

14:40 “If your feedback provides a solution, it’s not feedback, it’s micromanagement.”

15:12 “When we get a solution, when we get a ‘Here’s what you should do next,’ it’s quite disempowering.”

16:15 Raymond reveals some tips for managers.

16:25 “There are very few things we can do that will give us more value than not going into feedback situations cold.”

17:26 [On Accountability] – “We have to reframe what we think of when we say accountability. We can use the word, but if we don’t understand the meaning behind the word, we’re on the wrong track.”

18:07 “Accountability, all it means is responsibility for one’s actions.”

18:35 Why accountability without consequences is ineffective.

19:14 “Accountability is a gift.”

19:50 Raymond shares the layers of developing accountability in an organization.

20:25 [The key to accountability] – “The key is communication where people say, ‘You know what? I’m holding myself accountable for this, and you, Sir or Ms. Manager, I want your help.”

21:13 “We’re not very mindful as a species, we tend to be kind of reactive.”

21:35 How to “name what we feel” when giving constructive feedback.

21:58 “We can’t change behavior if we don’t know what the behavior is.”

22:33 “People will surprise you.”

22:47 “Oftentimes that’s what we need, we need boundaries. We need structure for what does excellent work look like.”

23:25 “If you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want with no consequences and no structure, you’re not really helping your teammates, you’re not really helping the organization in any directed, vision oriented way.”

23:44 “A good sales conversation has structure, it has flow – you have pieces that you want to cover; but it also has substance – it’s how you show up, and how you relate, and how you listen.”

24:49 How structure, communication, and substance go hand in hand.

25:37 “What unifies the organizations that are doing this well is participation from executives in a very specific way.”

26:10 [On the importance of recognizing where we are.] – “We’re very good at making big pronouncements of how it’s going to be in the future.”

27:14 “You actually have a lot more latitude, a lot more leeway with the people in your organization than you think.”

27:25 “You don’t have to fix the organization this afternoon. You just have to own that there are problems.”

27:49 “The frustration comes from when management and leadership tries to whitewash [problems].”

28:26 “I think it’s interesting that organizations have found themselves in this position of having to apologize for holding people accountable for being jerks.”

29:49 The problem with taking half measures.

31:12 “Don’t boast about what you’re going to do, let actions speak for themselves.”

32:05 What Raymond reads to stay on top of current trends.

33:02 The tools Raymond uses to stay productive.

Jonathan Raymond’s Bio

After twenty years of not being able to decide whether he was a business development guy or a personal growth teacher, Jonathan stopped trying to figure it out. He’s the owner of Refound, an online training startup that offers Good Authority training programs for owners, executives, and managers. He’s madly in love with his wife, tries not to spoil his daughter, and will never give up on the New York Knicks. Jonathan is the former CEO and Chief Brand Officer of eMyth, where he led the transformation of a global coaching brand and has worked in tech, clean tech, and the nonprofit world after graduating law school in 1998. He lives in Ashland, Oregon, a lovely town that’s too far away from a warm ocean.

For more information, visit Jonathan Raymond’s website.

Contact Info for Jonathan Raymond

Web address: www.refound.com

Travels from: Ashland, OR

Phone: (541) 690-5212

Contact:

LinkedIn Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Jonathan Raymond:

adrian_ott

Grab Your Customers’ Attention – Featured Interview with Adrian Ott

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CEO and Founder, Exponential Edge Consulting

Adrian Ott talks to Bill Ringle about how to make customers happy, competition, and her book The 24-Hour Customer. 

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The five triggers that influence to what a customer will give his or her time and attention.
  • What led her to write The 24-Hour Customer.
  • How companies of all sizes can capitalize on mistakes or disruptions of service made by competition.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:11- “After [running the HP Garage Innovation Program] for a while, I realized I wanted to learn new things, learn about new companies, and so decided about 10 years ago that I wanted to quit HP and start my own company.”

2:22 [On what Ott’s business does] – “Trying to improve the customer experience and making things more sticky with customers.”

2:52 Ott discusses the 5 Triggers, as she talked about in her book The 24 Hour Customer

3:33 How status determines what people will pay time and attention to.

4:00 [The Software Renewal Case Study] – “We worked with one client who was really having trouble with getting customers to pay attention to them, and this had to do with renewal of software. What we ended up doing is mapping end to end their customer experience.”

4:41 [The questions her company asks when working with companies] – “Can we somehow make this more engaging from a 5P perspective?” and “Can we design a process to make this more engaging?”

6:05 [How optimization of peer engagement impacts customer engagement.] – “You’re not going to turn down your friends.”

7:37 Ott describes an example of how implementing gamification into the workplace can create better behaviors internally.

8:14 “Personal Pursuits is the next P, and that is an intrinsic motivation. We may spend time on a mystery because we want to know, we’re curious.”

9:16 “If you can start to think in terms of these triggers, and your interactions and communications with them, [your customers and employees] are going to be more engaged.”

9:39 [Inspiration for writing the 24 Hour Customer] – “One of the things that struck me was that there was a lot of information out there about personal time management, but I wanted to help my clients understand what was happening with their customers and their employees. I looked around and couldn’t find anything, couldn’t find any frameworks.”

11:10 “I spent about 3.5 years in the preparation of this book.”

11:47 “It took me long time to get to these very simple notions of these very complex ideas.”

12:00 [On the types of clients Ott has been working with recently.] – “It’s been very interesting to learn about new businesses.”

12:45 “When I wrote the book I never dreamed it would apply to financial services as well as it did.”

13:09 “I’ve been surprised by how timeless and cross-industry available the concepts are. I had primarily designed it with the idea of large companies in the tech industry.”

14:25 “Time and attention are universal. These are universal problems that everyone is struggling with today.”

15:45 [The 5P Triggers] – “We have Peers and Power, which is a socially oriented trigger; Personal Pursuits, which is an intrinsic or personal kind of trigger. We have Price, we have Productivity – so things that help us save time will grab our attention, so that has a lot to do with convenience. The last is something I call Prairie Dog Events, and this is a term that I use to describe what happens to customers and employees when they’re suddenly woken up.”

16:39 [On Prairie Dog Events] – “It’s during those times that we’re going to be most receptive to change and so that’s when we start saying so that’s when we need a new piece of software, etc.”

18:03 “Prairie Dog Events are opportunities if you’re in the kind of service that has these kind of attributes. “

19:34 “Almost half of our day is routine and habitual, so there’s a tendency for us to want to make things automatic.”

21:01 [On what allowed her company to evolve to include new industries, and write her book] – “Partially out of my own wanting to do new things, but also that I was recognizing that technology was becoming much broader than the tech industry itself…other industries are pulling us in to see how business consumers are using tech products.”

Expert Bio

Adrian C. Ott is the CEO and founder of Exponential Edge® Consulting. She was named Silicon Valley Enterprising Woman of the Year 2011 by the National Association of Women Business Owners – Silicon Valley, and called “one of Silicon Valley’s most respected (if not the most respected) strategist” by Consulting Magazine.

Adrian works with some of the most innovative Fortune 500 and start-up companies in the world to gain a market edge in today’s exponential economy. In addition to assisting clients, she writes a popular column at FastCompany.com, and Chairs the Strategy & Growth Roundtable for the Harvard Business School Association of Northern California, the largest HBS alumni club in the world.

She is also the author of The 24-Hour Customer, a Library Journal “Best Business Book 2010”.

For more information, visit Adrian’s website.

Contact Info for Adrian Ott

Business Phone: 650-331-7378

Web address: ExponentialEdge.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Adrian:

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Books by Adrian Ott

Walking the Halls – Featured Interview with Thomas Barta

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Speaker, Writer, Consultant 

On this episode of My Quest for the Best, Thomas Barta talks with Bill Ringle about the difference between doing marketing and leading marketing, and the challenges faced by both CMOs and customer-facing employees alike.

 

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • What it means to “Walk the Halls” in Marketing
  • Popular Myths still held by senior managers
  • How a CMO overcame his problems with both agenda and budget.
  • The question every marketer should ask themselves
  • What it means to be in the value creation zone

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 Barta discusses how his Mother was an early inspiration for his young life.

1:40 “She had one principle, and that is, ‘You can always advance.’ Whenever I had a new idea, her best advice was, ‘Go try it.’”

2:00 How growing up in Germany and driving ambulances for civil service prepared Barta for his career.

2:36 [On speaking to people in the fields of marketing and customer relations] – “The main challenge – everybody who does marketing and everybody who worries about customers is facing – is how do be relevant, how do get things done, how to really help customers.”

3:12 “I believe everybody who works with customers or for customers deserves a stronger voice in their organization.”

3:39 “Over 50% of C-suite executives, just surveyed by The Economist, just said they do not believe that marketing drives revenue, which is a problem, because, as a marketer, if you’re not revenue, you may end up being cost.”

4:16 “It’s super important that every marketer who listens asks themselves, “Am I cost or revenue?”

4:49 The story of the CMO and his problems with agenda and budget, and what Barta’s team did to help him overcome these roadblocks.

5:48 [On the importance of removing buzzwords from marketing speech] – “We really stopped the buzzword: “Bingo!”

6:32 “When he started to use the language of the rest of the c-suite…he changed so much [about] what the discussion was.”

6:53 “We need to get marketers into the flow, because that’s where the customer always belongs.”

7:20 Barta describes his inspiration for developing a course and writing his book while working at McKinsey, and how he ultimately decided to do it on his own.

7:34 “What you do when you want to do something at McKinsey like this, you’ve gotta get your act together and find the best practices, tools, research, and what have you.”

8:23 “My reason for writing this book was really that there wasn’t one, plus, I felt probably it was a good way to get the word out.”

8:44 How long the writing, editing, publishing, and promotion process for the book was, and why feedback from industry leaders made it worth the wait.

9:22 Barta describes the 3 surprises he uncovered while distilling down acquired data into 12 central ideas.

9:21 “The first surprise was that doing marketing is very different from leading marketing, and in fact, you can be a very good technical marketer – you can be very good at branding, segmentation, and what have you – but have absolutely no impact in the market.”

9:45 “What found is that the skill of marketing inside a company, of leading marketing, are very different from the skills of branding, segmentation, pricing, and all the things you would technically do in marketing. It’s a whole new set of skills.”

10:25 “So few marketers are actually equipped with the skills to lead.”

11:15 [On the biggest myth held by senior managers] – “It’s the company’s fault.”

11:18 “A lot of marketers will tell you that they would be so much more successful if they only were working in another company, if they only had another boss, if they only had another industry.”

11:55 “About 55% of the success is driven by the leadership skills of the marketers. Another 15% by the skills.”

12:51 Barta lists two pieces of advice to offer marketers listening to the program.

13:10 “Make sure the issues you’re tackling as a marketer are big.”

13:45 [The Value Creation Zone] “Where company goals and company needs and customer needs are overlapping.”

14:52 “Tip #2 – Make sure you are in the revenue camp.”

15:18 “Get in the revenue camp, figure out how much your work is worth, do it together with finance if you need to.”

16:10 “What’s the opposite of a delighted customer?”

16:15 “In marketing, even if we have the greatest idea about customer service, there will always be a lot of people that we need to convince, and have play and play, so we can actually make great customer service happen.”

16:40 “As marketers, we are in the business of change.”

17:12 “As leaders, we are dealers in hope.

17:28 How the Marketing director of Ford used company pride to launch a brilliant marketing campaign.

17:53 [How to market effectively] – “When you think about your work, think about the story you can tell that will give people hope.” 

17:59 What it means to “walk the halls” in marketing.

18:30 “You have to go out and talk to people [about] where you want to see change, sharing your ideas. It also means shutting up and listening, and not making decisions straightaway.”

19:25 Why it’s important for people to be involved, even if they don’t agree.

19:35 “As a marketer we have to go out, we have to walk the halls.”

20:10 “If you talk to very successful senior marketers, in fact, very successful leaders, you’re typically touched by their passion, their conviction, their strong beliefs in what they’re doing.”

21:41 What “fire in the eyes” looks like, and how to test for it.

22:48 Some of Barta’s tips and tricks for staying productive.

Expert Bio

Thomas Barta is the world’s premier expert, speaker, and author on marketing leadership.

Thomas is a former McKinsey partner. He speaks to Fortune 500 leaders worldwide on marketing from a CEO’s perspective—and on why, to make customer focus and innovation actually happen in organizations, leadership is the key.

His latest research is the world’s largest ever study, with over 68,000 assessments, on what makes for an influential Chief Marketing Officer.

A professional keynote speaker and conference host, Thomas inspires attendees at more than 30 annual events for companies, industry associations, and conferences—including Advertising Week New York, Financial Times Innovators Summit, Adobe Summit, and Ad:Tech Asia.

Thomas is the co-author of the path breaking new leadership book: The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader.

Thomas is a former senior marketer and an organizational psychologist. He has consulted and marketed for over 20 years, in 14 industries, in 45 countries. Thomas has addressed leaders from the world’s most prominent companies, including over two dozen from the Fortune 500.

As a dean of the firm’s highest-rated internal program, Thomas has trained over a thousand McKinsey leaders on making change happen without authority. He is also the leadership dean for the CMO Fellowship Programme (a joint venture between McKinsey and the Marketing Academy to prepare CMOs for a CEO role).

Thomas’s leadership columns appear in publications from Forbes to Marketing Week.

For more information, visit Thomas Barta’s website.

Contact Info for Thomas Barta

Web address: http://www.thomasbarta.com

Travels from: Koln, Germany

Phone: (512) 904-9253

Contact:

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Resources Mentioned by Thomas Barta:

Mastering New Media – Featured Interview with Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton

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President & CEO of Cave Henricks Communications

CEO of Shelton Interactive, Speaker & Author

Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton talk with Bill Ringle about how traditional media and social media reinforce each other to build an audience for thought leaders and brands.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • How the mind shift from marketer to media exec helps you stay open and develop new opportunities
  • The key differences between owned media, rented media, and earned media, and why that matters to your business
  • That traction can be measured with new media: with the interactions on your blog posts and subscribers to your audience list
  • The #1 factor to focus on to be successful with new media: creating content that your audience wants to share
  • How Tom Rath used a quiz in Strengths Finder 2.0 to gain more than 160,000 subscribers, and what 2 techniques new authors (who aren’t already famous) can use to build a subscriber list quickly

Expert Bios

Barbara Cave Henricks is president of Cave Henricks Communications. She has spearheaded campaigns for some of the biggest names in business today, including Jack Welch, Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan, John Bogle, Tom Rath, Marcus Buckingham, Maria Bartiromo, and Clay Christensen.

Rusty Shelton is the founder and CEO of Shelton Interactive, an award-winning digital marketing and PR agency that helps clients, from bestselling authors to the world’s biggest brands, start conversations that matter. He has led digital strategy for more than twenty-five New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers.

For more information, visit Barbara’s website and Rusty’s website.

Contact Info for Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton

Barbara Henricks:

Web address: http://www.cavehenricks.com

Travels from: Austin, TX

Phone: (512)-301-8936

Contact:

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Rusty Shelton:

Web address: http://www.rustyshelton.com

Travels from: Austin, TX

Phone: (512)-206-0720

Contact:

LinkedIn Twitter

 

Resources Mentioned by Barbara Henricks and Rusty Shelton:

 

Janice Presser

Team Well and Prosper – Featured Interview with Dr. Janice Presser

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Behavioral Scientist and CEO of The Gabriel Institute

Dr. Janice Presser talks with Bill Ringle about Teamability®, and reveals some essential tips and tricks for team success on My Quest for the Best.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The connection between employee satisfaction and engagement, and meaningful work
  • The 4 elements of teaming that are essential for team chemistry and success
  • New methods for testing new hires for collaborative work
  • The crucial differences in showing that appreciation and respect for the people on your team
  • The formula for understanding team characteristics and successful teamwork

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:09 [On Presser’s early life experiences“My earliest questions didn’t have answers, I had to spend a lot of time seeking them out myself.”

2:00 “Everything is about people interacting with other people. And why is it sometimes that you have this amazing feeling that you’re yourself but you’re like the best you that you ever are when you’re doing it with these people?”

3:00 Teaming up with Dr. Jack Gerber.

4:15 [On being a female entrepreneur during the women’s movement] “We were on a mission to change the world.”

5:15 [On the power of teams] – “Everyone else did all those other things that I didn’t do very well. I was great at coming up with ideas, but you have to have people who will lead the execution, or who make sure the details get followed up on, or the person who handles the emergency as it happens.”

5:53 “It was so gratifying, not just because it was my mission in life, but that I also could do it with people who felt that the way in which they were contributing to this thing that was bigger than any of us, that that was meaningful to them, and that’s a very contagious feeling. That feeling that what you’re doing is meaningful and important.”

7:36 “Teaming is a science. Great teamwork, that great team chemistry that we want, there’s an operating system for it.”

7:55 [On incorporating the formula for teaming] – “Whether you’re a startup or a huge multinational, it doesn’t matter, we all start new things at different times.”

8:20 [One of the most important question to ask about people] – “How do they really make meaningful contributions to something bigger than themselves?

9:18 Two more important points to think about when evaluating the people on your team and their level of contribution.

10:17 “It’s not that people are good or bad or indifferent, it’s that everyone has an optimal place that they’re going to make a better contribution from the standpoint of the team, but also do it in a way that’s fun for them.”

10:50 Presser uses herself as an example to describe teaming characteristics.

14:34 “If you want to understand anything about someone, all of the ways that existed prior to tenability are some variation of directly, or indirectly, asking someone what they’re like.”

15:26 “It’s not good for business to not have their needs met, and it’s not great for people to be in a job that isn’t going to be satisfying to them in at least some way, and to have that feeling of at least doing something productive.”

16:43 The characteristics which don’t factor into Teamability.

17:18 “If you ask someone how good they are at something, very often you’ll get something completely incorrect, because people do not know what they do not know.”

18:01 [On objective evaluation] – “The fact is, evaluating yourself you use yourself as the reference point.”

19:57 [On hiring for skill based work] – “Think about what’s important, what is truly important, in this job. If it’s something like lifting boxes, then ask someone to lift the weight of a typical package, or the heaviest package, that has to go on. That’s a pretty good test. But if the test is: Will they smile at the person they’re delivering it to? Do they have to deal with any regulators on the road? Ask yourself, ‘To be successful at this job, how does this person need to interact with other people?’”

21:46 How teaming characteristics affect personal interactions.

21:52 “Rethinking what we expect of people in terms of personal interactions or longer term relationship is really key, because, you know, why do people leave jobs? Because they don’t like the boss or the people they’re working with. Most people don’t leave because, well, they don’t like the actual task that they do.”

22:33 How Presser’s clients use her expertise on Teamability.

24:54 The 4 components used for the Teamability Playbook.

25:30 [Basis 1 – Well fit] – “Give people actual work, tasks, day to day things to do that align with the way in which they contribute. They will be happier and so will you.”

25:46 [Basis 2 – Team Fit] – “Make sure every person on the team is meeting on of those key needs that that team has.”

26:34 [Basis 3 – Team Chemistry] – “If we try to do everything we don’t succeed very well and we feel like we’re being stretched in too many directions. When we find our role partner…then one person starts, and the other person finishes.”

27:55 [Basis 4 – Role Respect] – “Role is the way you make that contribution, and role respect is the way that a manager can manage, communicate, respect, appreciate any other person on the team in a way that aligns with the way in which they make their contributions.”

31:00 How to appreciate the people on your team in the role that they play.

33:41 “If you want to have better teaming, make it real, make it visible. Acknowledge people for the parts in which they contribute. And, by the way, if you start to do this at work, you will start to do this in your personal life.”

34:13 How growing up in your family structure creates the foundation for your views of teaming.

34:48 “If you want to leave a legacy, leave a legacy of great teaming.”

35:00 “When you make the workplace a better place to work, you make the world a better place to live.”

37:32 “If you are wanting a successful company, or division, or team, or anything, if it’s successful you are very likely doing something right, wouldn’t you like to know what it is so you don’t have to go through the aggravation of ‘Why did this work so perfectly last time and now it doesn’t?’”

39:56 “When you think of any sport team, you tend to think of the players that are on the field, but for every player on the field, how many people are there supporting them?”

Expert Bio

Dr. Janice Presser is CEO of The Gabriel Institute, a behavioral scientist, and architect of the technology that powers Teamability®. She has studied team interaction in academic, clinical, and business settings for over 40 years, and has applied her expertise in the areas of HR metrics and measurements, workforce planning, and the future or work. Dr. Presser has authored seven books, most recently, Timing Isn’t Everything. Teaming Is (July 2017). In an era of digital disruption and transformational change, Dr. Presser’s integrated technology and management methods create collaborative culture, generate extraordinary business results, and open new paths to meaningful work and organizational health.

 

For more information, visit Janice’s website and blog.

Contact Info for Dr. Janice Presser

Web address: http://www.thegabrielinstitute.com

Travels from: Philadelphia, PA

Phone: (215)-825-2500

Contact:

Twitter Linked In

Resources Mentioned by Dr. Janice Presser:

  

chuck_martin

Building the Mobile Future – Featured Interview with Chuck Martin

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CEO, The Mobile Future Institute

Chuck Martin talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about mobile tech, the potency of apps, and engaging customers.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How business is being transformed by mobile technology and access.
  • Why a mobile app is not a strategy!
  • What companies like Best Buy, Macy’s, and Apple are doing to engage with the mobile customer.
  • What Lowe’s did to build a competitive advantage through buying iPhones for each employee and getting suppliers to change their box coding.
  • What small business owners can do with QR codes to bond with customers through mobile technology.

Expert Bio

Chuck Martin is the CEO of The Mobile Future Institute and Director of the Center of Media Research at MediaPost Communications Inc. Through his research and public speaking, Martin has been a digital pioneer in the interactive marketplace for more than a decade.

The Mobile Future Institute is a U.S.-based think tank focusing on business strategies and marketing tactics for a world gone mobile. The Institute and Martin are on the forefront of exploring mobile research, focusing on how marketers can most effectively reach users in this digital landscape.

As the Director of the Center of Media Research at MediaPost Communications Inc., Martin conducts, markets, and analyzes the intentions of media buyers and planners. The Center provides a dependable source of research material to help media professionals identify trends and patterns in traditional and online advertising.

Chuck is a former Vice President of IBM, where he ran a division responsible for business strategy solutions in the media industry, including publishers and advertising agencies.

He is a New York Times business bestselling author of The Digital Estate. He has also written seven other books, including, most recently, The Third Screen Revolution: Marketing to Your Customers in a World Gone Mobile. He has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Fox and ABC-TV News Now.

For more information, visit Chuck’s website.

Contact Info for Chuck Martin

Web address: MobileFutureInstitute.com

Follow Chuck:

Twitter Linked In

Books by Chuck Martin

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anita_campbell

Following Small Business Trends – Featured Interview with Anita Campbell

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Founder and CEO, Anita Campbell Associates Ltd.

Anita Campbell talks to Bill Ringle about the nuggets of advice that small business owners need to succeed in the midst of their busy schedule.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How she made the successful transition from the corporate world to being a successful entrepreneur.
  • What other entrepreneurs want from learning materials and networking.
  • Four trends that are driven by different forces and are shaping what tools and strategies entrepreneurs use to grow.

 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:38 Campbell’s journey from corporate attorney to business decision-maker and consultant to founder of Small Business Trends.

4:07 [On curating content in the web’s earlier days] – “We would follow our website statistics and see which articles were most popular. We would see which articles were getting linked to by others, just which ones were getting the attention, and from there we were able to do more of the things that were really popular.”

5:08 [On reacting to customer feedback] – “Like any magazine we get communications from readers and we act on that.”

5:47 The different types of content, personalities, and media Campbell hosts on her podcast.

6:37 “We like an eclectic mix of good information whether it’s on technology, or human resources, management, marketing, whatever it is, as long as it’s of interest to small businesses.”

7:08 “People are interested in actionable kinds of advice rather than long essays that may be real thought pieces, I mean there’s a place for those, but we need to have a steady diet of good actionable tips.”

7:52 “A lot of our advice applies whether you are a sole proprietor, or if you have a staff of 5,10, 50 people working in the business. We just react to ‘What do people say is the most important to them?’”

8:22 How tracking private email shares can indicate the success of published content.

9:25 [On SBT’s most popular content] “Our perennial favorites are the startup failure statistics, they get quoted a lot…People are just trying to make sure that they don’t become a statistic.”

10:10 [On SBT’s popular 1 page marketing plan] “People are looking for something that doesn’t overwhelm them, and when you think about your typical small business owner – well think about yourself, I think about myself – I have so many things coming at me in a day’s time I don’t have big blocks of time to sit down and write a lengthy marketing plan.”

11:15 “We want help. We look for aids and assistance. But it’s gotta be stuff that we can deal with quickly, because we don’t have a lot of time.”

12:25 [On the inspiration for Visual Marketing] “We’re very busy, our brains our fried from all of the other things we have to worry about and get done in a day. Even if we have some outside marketing help, we’re rolling up our sleeves and helping our outside marketing agency or consultant. And we have to think up new ideas and that’s very tough.”

12:50 Campbell’s technique for quick idea formulation.

13:20 [What the book is about] “It’s 99 examples that you can use of low-cost creative marketing to pull ideas and hopefully trigger some ideas of something you can apply in your own business.”

13:55 “With the explosion of blogs today, so many small business, and in particular those that sell B2B to other small business, have started their own blogs. And while getting information and advice was useful, one thing that so many of them were looking for is a way to also get visibility for their own blog, for their own thoughts, and to be able to share with the world what they are doing.”

14:24 “One of the very powerful things that we learned was that we could become more popular if we helped our readers become better known.”

15:01 “While we want to give you information and resources as a reader, we know that it’s also key for you as a small business owner – perhaps you’re a consultant, account, or some sort of professional, head of your own marketing agency – you need to establish your own thought leadership, and to be able to get out there and let the world know what you’re doing.”

16:00 The story of BIzSugar.com and what it does for small business owners.

17:57 [On BizSugar’s content] – “We keep the site very focused on small business, we don’t allow anything off topic in there. If you are really into sports or entertainment, there are plenty of sites for that. BizSugar is not one of them. And it’s because we keep it so focused that it’s a useful resource.”

19:35 “We’re open and we relish serving even the smallest of small business, or even if you think your business is a mundane kind of business, there’s probably a place for it to be mentioned in some way. We always look for the unique, what’s special about a business. I think every business has something special – I don’t care how small, where you’re located, there’s something special in your business, and if we can spot that, we love to talk about it.”

20:45 On how Small Business Trends is able to track changes and trends in the market, especially with emerging technology. 

Expert Bio

Anita Campbell is a small business expert who serves as CEO of Anita Campbell Associates Ltd, a woman-owned consulting firm helping companies and organizations reach the small business market. Prior to starting her own businesses in 2001, Anita held a variety of senior executive positions in the corporate world, including Senior Vice President of Bell & Howell Publishing Services, culminating in the role of CEO of an information technology subsidiary of Bell & Howell.

As Publisher of several online media properties and syndicated content, Anita reaches over 1 million small business owners and entrepreneurs annually. She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Trends, an award-winning online publication, and hosts Small Business Trends Radio, where she interviews other small business experts.

Anita is a prolific writer and a regular speaker at small business, marketing and technology events. Her new book, Visual Marketing, was published in September, 2011. In addition to her own publications, her articles and columns have been published at places such as Inc Technology, OPEN Forum, and Success Magazine. Her expertise is often sought by the media, and she is quoted in The New York TimesFortuneUSA Today, and many other outlets.

For more information, visit Anita’s website.

Contact Info for Anita Campbell

Business Phone: 330-242-1893

Web address: AnitaCampbell.com

Web address: SmallBizTrends.com

Travels From: Cleveland, OH

Follow Anita:

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Books by Anita Campbell

9 Steps to a Better Bottom Line – Featured Interview with Dorriah Rogers

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Founder of Paradyne Consulting Works

In this episode of My Quest for the Best, Dorriah Rogers talks with Bill Ringle about the principles and benefits described in Decide to Profit.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The impact a mentor had on Rogers’ life and career, and how he inspired her to be her own person.
  • How the Lego company used a single, unified goal to really turn things around.
  • The importance of not only giving everyone in the company or organization, not just the decision makers, a voice.
  • How to teach employees to tie their ideas to the overarching goal: making money.
  • Rogers’ 9 steps to a better bottom line.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:15: [On the mentorship of Tom Schumacher] – “[Schumacher] inspired me to be a problem-solver and a speaker, and he showed great faith in my abilities and always pushed me to be my own person.”

1:59: “I’ve never really been an employee. I’m what I call a serial entrepreneur.”

2:20: [On what it means to be your own person] – “Not being easily influenced by either peer pressure, social pressure, or any other types of pressure that may exist either in the workplace or in society.”

2:44: The 3 primary aspects of any business.

3.27: [On finding and keeping clients] – “I’ve started with a handful of people that I’ve come in contact with, and they saw what I was doing, they saw my work ethic and my reputation, and some of them gave me a chance. That’s really all it took, was getting my foot in the door.”

4:07 [Characteristics of an ideal client] – “I think one of the primary characteristics, more than anything, is openness. What I mean by openness is openness to change.”

4:36 [On client transparency] – “I’ve gone into situations where I talked to some of the key managers, and although they recognize they have a problem, they don’t recognize that they need to change. And they’re not willing to look in the mirror.”

6:30 [On asking the difficult questions] – “I may attend a meeting, and I may interrupt the meeting and say something to the leader, or maybe even the CEO or exec, and challenge them in front of the team. Saying ‘hey, why are you asking that question?’ or ‘hey, it may be a good idea for you to listen to some of the other input.’ Or perhaps, ‘We haven’t heard from Jim, let’s hear what Jim thinks.”

7:14 “I really challenge people to get outside of their own heads, to push them to think and behave differently.”

7:54 [On building trust with clients] – “Before I begin any of the real work, I will spend a lot of one on one time with the decision maker. I will get to know them as people. I will ask them a lot of questions. I will get them to what I call the comfort point. And also, I will ask their permission. I will let them know that I will ask hard questions, and get their permission to do so.”

8:55 Rogers’ Inspiration for writing Decide to Profit: The 9 Steps in a Better Bottom Line

10:40 The nine steps in a better bottom line.

12:00 [On the importance of understanding the goal] –  “A lot of people get mired in the day to day tasks and activities. And they kind of grind through their day. They have a tendency not to stay focused on the bigger picture.”

12:30 [The fundamental driving force behind the company] – “My whole purpose in writing both the book, and identifying the goal – as one of the steps, is to keep people focused on the bigger picture. And in any company, and any organization…the fundamental driving force behind the company is making money. So there’s an overarching financial goal.”

12:55 “And my idea was, have everybody within the organization tie every decision that they are making to the larger goals of the organization. Number 1 has to always be: making money.”

13:30 [On the importance of quality] – “The quality of your product, that also has to be a goal. You can’t make money and sacrifice quality, because that’s not sustainable.”

13:40 [Deciding the profit] – “Every organization can have 1, 2, or 3 goals that they are primarily focused on. And if you make sure that everyone knows what those goals are, and tie their day to day decisions to them, that’s how you can decide the profit.”

14:04 The importance of keeping day to day decision in line with organizational goals

15:10 The Lego study

16:09 [Sacred cows] – “In some of the companies that I’ve worked with, I see them hold on to business decisions, or I see them hold on to product. I even see them hold on to no-productive people. And all of this is counterintuitive, and it’s not in alignment with the overall goals of the organization.”

16:32 [On unified goals] – “[The lego study] shows how one single unified goal enabled a company to completely turn around.”

17:31 [On teams holding themselves accountable] –  “Have you ever been in a meeting where there’s a lot of discussion and a lot of ideas, and everyone leaves the meeting and 90% of the ideas and discussion has been forgotten? That’s what I experience in a lot of the companies I work with. There’s a lot of ideas, a lot of good discussion, a lot of innovative discussion, yet nobody ever captured the discussion, nobody ever circled back – there was no feedback loop, and there was no accountability.”

18:23 [On accountability] – “What makes people accountable can be something as simple as an action list. And I don’t mean minutes, I don’t mean a detailed list of who said what verbatim. I mean, a ‘we talked about this, we decided to do this, this person owns it, and this is when they’re going to get it done.’”

19:45 [On employee contribution] – “In the book I have a tool for employees to do a very straightforward return on investment analysis. One of the disconnects that I was increasingly becoming aware of is that managers would often miss ideas because they couldn’t see how that idea would benefit the organization.”

20:16  [On helping employees choose ideas that are tied to financial goals] “The benefit of the 9th step is that it provides employees a tool and a methodology to demonstrate both quantitatively and qualitatively how to give an investment to the organization and show how their idea will either improve the financial goals or other goals.”

21:38 The importance of checklists and forms for employees.

23:00 [On brainstorming] – “The people that make the decisions tend to shoot down the ideas of those that don’t make the decisions. Allowing people to free think, allowing for ideas to be equally valuable no matter who they’re coming from, is very, very important. All of the rules that I put down for brainstorming are a result of all of those rules being broken during brainstorming meeting I’ve been to.”

24:21 Rogers describes the timeline and process of writing Decide to Profit: 9 Steps to a Better Bottom Line

25:03 “The book isn’t written for specialists. The book is not meant to be a dissertation on continuous improvement or operational streamlining or productivity. It’s meant to be a comprehensive overview of all of it, and it’s meant to be understandable, and it’s meant to be utilized by both managers and employees.”

26:06 Discoveries Rogers made during the writing process.

26:50 [On staying humble] – “I found that I fall prey to a lot of the same things that executives fall prey to, which is, believing my own press, believing my ideas are the best, believing that only my opinions count. I’ve found that really listening to the people around me makes a big difference.”

27:00 Rogers discusses some of the milestones in her career, and the significant clients she’s worked with

28:42 The two primary factors of inefficiency, and the importance of time management.

30:12 Roger’s preferred tools for productivity during travel.

Expert Bio

Dorriah Rogers, Ph.D., began her career in the engineering and advanced technology industry in the late 1990s. She founded Paradyne Consulting Works in 2003, and brings almost 20 years of unique experience providing guidance to numerous Fortune 500 organizations throughout North America. She specializes in identifying and solving issues affecting efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Her client base includes Fortune 100 organizations, as well as the Department of Defense, U.S. Navy, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. As CEO of Paradyne Consulting Works, she has led her team in the areas of productivity and process improvement, strategic business planning, operational streamlining, profitability, and organizational change management.

For more information, visit Dorriah Rogers’s company website.

Contact Info for Dorriah Rogers

Web address: http://www.paradyneconsulting.com/

Travels from: Thousand Oak, CA

Phone: 858-442-4295

Follow, connect, and learn from this guest’s social media channels:

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Resources Mentioned by Dorriah Rogers on My Quest for the Best:

Push Yourself to Say Yes – Featured Interview with Mark Beckner

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High Tech Consultant, Advisor, and Author

Mark Beckner talks with Bill Ringle about the vast opportunities available for freelancers who code when they prioritize and demand more from themselves.

Listen to this interview to learn:

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The importance of structure and intention when starting your business
  • The different skill sets you’ll hone when you’re building a business instead of software
  • What happens when you push yourself to say “yes” to opportunities.
  • The role of conducting experiments for business growth
  • Two types of clients that are easily available through established business models
  • How Mark has set up his day for maximum productivity

Expert Bio

Mark Beckner is a technical consultant specializing in business strategy and enterprise application integration. In addition to running his own firm, Inotek Consulting Group, LLC, he advises developers on how to launch their own independent practices.

Beckner has been in the industry for over 16 years and formed Inotek Consulting Group in 2007. Under his leadership, the firm delivers innovative IT solutions and projects range from mobile application development to complete integration solutions.

He has authored numerous technical books including BizTalk 2013 Recipes, BizTalk 2013 EDI for Health Care, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM API Development, and has presented at industry conferences, including Microsoft TechEd. His newest book, The Coder’s Path to Wealth and Independence, offers programmers a prescriptive guide to leaving the corporate world and launching an independent, successful, and fulfilling career.

For more information, visit Mark’s website.

Contact Info for Mark Beckner

Web address: http://www.inotekgroup.com

Travels From: Colorado

Contact:

twitter

Resources Mentioned by Mark Beckner:

The Coders Path to Wealth and Independence by Mark Beckner

Joe Calloway

Focus on WOM – Featured Interview with Joe Calloway

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Business Author, Consultant and Speaker

Joe Calloway, author of Magnetic, talks with Bill Ringle about being intentional about attracting new business and satisfying your existing customers.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The importance of committing to make every business experience to be a positive one for all involved
  • How to get more positive WOM (word of mouth)
  • The single most important strategic asset for many companies and how it relates to your relationship with your customers.
  • What he said to correct a misunderstanding, even when it came at significant out-of-pocket expense to replace 600 of the wrong title books sent to the meeting planner

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:03 Calloway recounts his childhood experience with entrepreneurship despite growing up in a small town with a father who was not, by any means, an entrepreneur.

1:53 “From an early age I was into selling stuff. I mowed a million yards, I raked a trillion yards. I think part of that came from my dad…if there was something special that I wanted, he would say ‘That’s great, how much money do you have saved up?’”

3:00 How Calloway transitioned from an interest in politics to a career in business.

3:49 [Recalling a stint in a real estate agency] – “The way I got paid was based on how much all the agents made, it was based on all the revenue generated in the firm, and that’s where I got big by the bug of ‘What can I come up with or what can I pass along in terms of ideas that will help other people be more successful?’ Because the more successful they were, it had an absolute direct impact on my own income.”

5:00 “I just am really good at paying attention. And that was my technique and my method, and I do it to this day, my job is to study the marketplace, and to look for individuals and organizations, businesses large and small, across the board, every kind of industry, and profession, and business you can imagine, and what I look for is quite simply this: who are the ones who are the market leaders who are successful and able to sustain that success?”

5:55 “What is it that top performers do that any of us could do if we just chose to?”

6:18 “It’s not easy to succeed in business, but it’s not a mystery. I don’t believe there are any secrets to success. I think the ideas that work are right out there in the open for all of us. So it’s a matter of getting intentional about using those ideas and doing the hard work necessary to execute on those ideas.”

7:58 Calloway describes why it’s important for people in this industry to stay relevant.

8:17 “I have to stay relevant, which means I’ve got to stay current on what is working in the marketplace.”

8:31 [On being hirable as a speaker] – “I work really hard at having a deep understanding of who is in my audience.”

9:04 The significance of tying what you’re speaking about to the audience you’re addressing, regardless of whether or not you’re an industry expert.

9:26 “You can have what you think is the greatest idea in the world, and be very passionate about it, but if other people don’t want it, if they don’t see the need for it, then you’ve got a hobby, you don’t have a business.”

11:00 Calloway asks the question: What’s the competitive advantage of being easy to do business with?

13:05 [On how to address people in an industry you’re not an expert in] – “What I can do is help make the link between ‘Here’s the principle, here’s the illustration of it, and here’s quite clearly what it has to do with you and your business.’”

14:20 “I perceive myself as being more of a facilitator than a speechmaker, because…I want to facilitate their thinking in a way that’s useful when they go back to work.”

14:50 [On what small businesses all say] – “How do I get customers, keep customers, and attract more customers?”

15:25 “It’s not what you say about yourself that matters one way or another, it’s what other people are saying about you, it’s what your customers are saying.”

16:08 [On using the internet and social media to you’re advantage] – “My biggest energy isn’t about what I post on social media, it’s about being intentional about creating a customer experience that is so compelling that my customers are saying things that drive new business to me.”

16:35 [On the worth of positive word of mouth] – “The biggest force in being magnetic is passed through word of mouth.”

17:25 The story of Western Water Works California and what they’ve done to become a market leader.

19:58 “The single greatest competitive advantage out there is satisfied customers.”

21:30 [On not apologizing to customers] “A lot of businesses [who] find themselves apologizing frequently to customers – well, hello, that’s a clue that you need to back up and solve whatever’s causing you to have to apologize.”

21:50 How a humble response to an honest mistake – but a big one since he sent 600 of the wrong title books sent to the meeting planner – kept chaos at bay and even made the situation better than expected.

23:14 “The point though is this, you don’t argue with a customer, you make it right, and you make it right so overwhelmingly that they say, ‘Ok, you just knocked my socks off. I’m going to talk about this.’

25:28 A nod to Warren Buffett and a discussion of the importance of using “no” to narrow your focus.

26:30 “Over the years, little by little, I’ve learned that it makes me a lot of money over the long haul to stick with what I do best and let other people do what they do best.”

27:45 How having a low tolerance level for jerks can be an effective filter in creating new business.

28:35 “I think it serves people really well to say ‘No’ more often, because it actually creates opportunity for the right things.”

29:20 Why you should say no to or walk away from those clients whose philosophy is in conflict with your philosophy.

31:15 [On saying no to clients who will be a drain on your energy] “Even though it’s money, it’s not good money.
32:35 The story of the Saint Paul Saints and how the owner’s dedication to hiring great people and getting out of their way makes the organization successful.

34:48 [The Saint Paul Saints method] – “If you hire the right people, you can totally turn them loose as long as they understand the direction that the business is going, you’ll be successful.

35:07 [The Saint Paul Saints method cont.] – “Fun is good.”

36:51 Pig-asso the baseball delivering pig.

37:10 “If people like doing business with you, that is a competitive advantage.”

37:55 How Old Dominion Trade Line simplifies their company language to encourage personal responsibility and ensure employees’ high performance.

40:00 [Paraphrasing Steve Jobs] – “If you can make things simple, you can move mountains.”

41:27 [On how expanding focus can lead to losing magnetic mojo] – “One trap that’s easy to fall into is to say ‘We could also do this, and we could also do that, and we can also this service, and we could also offer those products.’ Which might be the right thing to do, but we often stretch ourselves way beyond where we should be in terms of trying to do too many things.”

42:16 “For every ten ideas I have, for nine of them the market says ‘No, I don’t think so.’”

43:19 “You have to change to stay relevant. You have to improve, you have to innovate. But you’ve always got to create value in the eyes of the customers, otherwise it won’t work.”

43:45 [On reevaluating inventory] “We all need to periodically sit down with ourselves or with our teams and ask ‘Where are we spending way too much energy?”

46:02 Calloway’s daily rituals for productivity and success.

47:28 “You have to work at constantly being sure that you, and everyone else, are focused on what is most important.”

Expert Bio

Joe Calloway is a business author, consultant, and speaker who has served Coca-Cola, Verizon, and American Express among other well-known corporations. He also works with medical practices, law firms, and a range of professional services groups. Joe is the Executive in Residence at the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship.

Joe is the author of Be the Best at What Matters Most and five other business books that have been well-received by publications like The New York Times, Retailing Today, and Publisher’s Weekly.

His latest book is Magnetic: The Art of Attracting Business.

For more information, visit Joe’s website.

Contact Info for Joe Calloway

Web address: www.JoeCalloway.com

Travels from: Nashville, TN

Phone: (615) 429-7600

Contact:
LinkedIn Facebook Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Joe Calloway:

mark sanborn

Become a Presentologist – Featured Interview with Mark Sanborn

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President of Sanborn & Associates, Award-winning Speaker, and Bestselling Author

Mark Sanborn talks to Bill Ringle about how becoming a more effective leader means focusing less on the future, and more on the present.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What clients really want to hear from consultants and what audiences want to hear from speakers.
  • Ways in which change itself has changed.
  • A key question that effective leaders ask daily to build a shared sense of vision and progress.
  • How leaders at any level can share what matters most to help an organization move more rapidly towards business success.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 Sanborn describes how the origins of his career path began with public speaking in 4H.

2:21 “The reason why that’s important is that the [experience in 4H] got me down a path of learning how to speak well. Through speaking I started to understand the process of mastery.”

2:50 “[Youth Organization Leadership and public speaking] combined together to create a great interest in how leaders communicate, how leaders influence others, how they create great organizations that deliver extraordinary service.”

3:21 [On his company] “We work with leaders at every level, showing them through my speaking and through my books and my advising, how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

3:41 “For anyone to get better at anything, [it] begins with desire.”

3:51 “Those people who want to improve have taken the first and most important step in the process. But they now have to figure out how to channel that desire into action.”

4:15 The two reasons why there’s no better reason to be alive if you want to learn how to lead than now.

5:01 “I think probably today the biggest challenge [if you want to learn how to lead] is evaluating which ones are really good…the real challenge is to find those resources which will best help you with your particular needs and desires become better at leading.”

5:42 [On the biggest roadblocks for leaders] – “Today leaders struggle with uncertainty. There’s always been uncertainty in the world. I’ve heard some of my colleagues say we’ve always had change, change is nothing new. I think change itself has changed. I think its more complex. I think it’s happening at a greater speed. I think that there are challenges happening with change that we didn’t have 5 years ago, much less 50 years ago.”

6:16 “I think the very nature of change is that uncertainty has become so unpredictable that’s its hard to know day to day, week to week, month to month what we should be doing.”

6:23 “One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my work is focus less on trying to predict the future, less on being a futurist, and more on being a presentologist. A presentologist isn’t somebody that predicts the future, they’re somebody who’s pretty sure, based on what’s going on, in what they can foresee in the future. They’re sure about what needs to be done now.”

6:51 [On the importance of creating shared focus] – “Leaders not only have to be focused on doing the right things, but they need to create shared focus. In other words, they need to identify what we should be doing now, to hedge our bets, assure our success, mitigate the downturns, if you will, and then they need to make sure that those things are being done.”

7:28 [Paraphrasing Scott Ginsberg], “What are the three or four things you do everyday to ensure your ongoing success.”

8:07 “The reality is that there are a few, a very few [things we do every day] that really create the majority of our results and our success.”

8:15 The significance of creating a structure that creates focus in times of potential uncertainty.

8:41 “If business development is key, you need to make sure that everybody from the person who answers the phone, to the salespeople, to the ones who work in the warehouse know their job perspective…Everybody needs to know, even if their job isn’t specifically business development, how their job impacts business development.”

9:55 [On building the structure that supports the philosophy of focus] – “What I suggest is you work with each of the people you lead, begin with yourself, but each of the people you lead to identify their MVP activities. We know in sports being an MVP is for most valuable player, but in this sense it stands for most valuable and profitable activities. And that simply means that you look at all the things you do every day through that lens of focus and you say ‘What are those key things, those most valuable and profitable activities, that will give us the biggest payback on our investment of time and energy and expertise”

11:00 “If you could spend 60-80% of every day on your most valuable and profitable activities, you would a) be almost laser-like in your focus, but more importantly you would increase dramatically the results you enjoy.”

11:40 [The difference between activity and accomplishment] – “Life isn’t about how busy you are, it’s about the results you create. There are times when we can accomplish more by doing less, by editing out the unimportant, or the trivial, or the insignificant.”

12:53 Sanborn describes his experiences in branding himself as an author, and discusses some of the key points of his most famous works.

15:10 “People are less interested in what you and I have learned or done, what they ultimately want to know is what they can learn from what we’ve learned or done.”

Expert Bio

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change.

Mark holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA), is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, and recently served as the president of the National Speakers Association. He was recently honored with the Cavett Award, the highest honor the NSA bestows on its members, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the speaking profession. Mark is also a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable, made up of 20 of the top speakers in America.

Mark is the author of seven books, including TeamBuilt: Making Teamwork Work, Sanborn on Success, and Upgrade: Proven Strategies for Dramatically Increasing Personal and Professional Success. Mark’s book The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Make the Ordinary Extraordinary is an international bestseller. His most recent release, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, is making an impact on leadership development at every level. He has created and appeared in 20 videos and numerous audio training programs. His video series Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People made it to the #2 spot for bestselling educational video series in the U.S.

Mark’s list of over 1,500 clients includes Capital One, Costco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, FedEx, and many similar major players.

For more information, visit Mark’s website.

Contact Info for Mark Sanborn

Business Phone: 1-800-650-3343

Web address: MarkSanborn.com

Travels From: Denver, CO

Follow Mark:

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Books by Mark Sanborn

   

 

mark satterfield

Tell Better Stories – Featured Interview with Mark Satterfield

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Founder, Gentle Rain Marketing

Mark Satterfield talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how telling better stories will give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How stories are a powerful tool to help people understand what you do
  • Ways to differentiate yourself effectively in a competitive market
  • Some of the best ways to find your authentic voice
  • How to use stories to grow your business, whether you work for a Fortune 500 or a small business

Expert Bio

Mark Satterfield is a founding partner of Gentle Rain Marketing. Since 1992, he has worked with leading professional services firms on the design, development and implementation of new business pursuit strategies. Prior to founding the firm, Mark held executive positions with Atari, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods, in addition to having served as the Director of Career Services for the Graduate School of Business at Emory University.

In addition to his consulting work, Mark has written over 250 articles on professional and business development which have appeared in publications including the Atlanta Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, and numerous professional, trade and technical journals. He is also the author of five books, including Unique Sales Stories, a #1 Amazon bestseller, Power Prospecting: How to Gain Access to Key Decision Makers, How to Negotiate the Raise You Deserve, and Career Etiquette.

He is a two-time winner of Dow Jones Award for Writing Excellence, the American Marketing Association Award for Training Excellence, and has been included in Who’s Who Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in Higher Education, and many other biographical guides.

For more information, visit Mark’s website.

Contact Info for Mark Satterfield

Business Phone: 770-643-8566

Web address: GentleRainMarketing.com

Travels From: Atlanta, GA

Follow Mark:

Twitter

Books by Mark Satterfield

  

 

chris zane

The Magic Number – Featured Interview with Chris Zane

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Entrepreneur, Bicycle Retailer, Author, and Speaker

Chris Zane talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about company culture, the magic number, and bicycles.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The impact that taking full responsibility has on the culture of Zane’s Cycles.
  • Factors that are used to successfully differentiate from competitors.
  • Why free lifetime service is included with every bicycle sold.
  • How the “magic number” helps his team members remember to treat customers with great care and respect.
  • His philosophy of “not being in the bike business, but in the customer service business” and how that can benefit your company, too.

Expert Bio

Chris Zane is a veteran of the retail bicycle industry who bought his first bike shop at age 16 and built Zane’s Cycles into largest bicycle shop in Connecticut by the age of 30. Today, Zane’s Cycles is one of the largest retail bicycle stores in the nation. He has positioned himself at the forefront of the industry by continuously setting standards in customer loyalty and creative marketing.

Chris is a sought-after speaker and the author of Reinventing the Wheel: The Science of Creating Lifetime Customers. His cutting-edge marketing techniques have been used as case studies in more than a dozen college textbooks worldwide and he has been the subject of several articles in publications such as The Harvard Business Review, Inc. magazine, Fortune magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.

Since 1985, Chris has been accumulating awards and accolades such as the Better Business Bureau’s “Award of Recognition for Customer Service and Outstanding Business Practices,” Fast Company magazine’s “Customer First Award,” and North American Bicyclist magazine’s “North America’s Best Bicycle Retailer” Award.

Contact Info for Chris Zane

Business Phone: 203-488-3244 or 800-551-BIKE (toll free)

Travels From: Hartford, CT

Follow Chris:

Twitter

Books by Chris Zane

jill_konrath

SNAP Selling – Featured Interview with Jill Konrath

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Internationally Recognized Sales Expert, Speaker, and Bestselling Author

Internationally recognized sales expert Jill Konrath talks to Bill Ringle about sales and shaking off outdated assumptions about what it means to be a salesperson.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • That successful sales work is a learnable skill set, not an innate trait.
  • Practical steps to set up meetings with key decision makers.
  • How proper sales training led to a morale boost in a client company.
  • What SNAP selling means.
  • How certain assumptions help you in sales, rather than hurt you.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:15 How Jill moved from disliking the idea of sales to embracing it the business she wanted to start.

2:27 “I became the designated person in our group to learn how to sell, so we could launch our business.”

3:01 “I think I maintain my focus on sales, and teach people to maintain their focus on sales, because if they don’t do it they won’t be able to do what they really love to do.”

3:34 “Unless you dedicate a portion of your life to actually going after the business, you’ll be financially on edge at all times.”

4:12 “I see so many people living with this old perception of sales, they think it’s about pitching and it’s about going forward and touting their stuff, and they’ve invested no time to learn what it actually means to be successful in sales.”

4:57 “The best sellers of ideas are the people who actually look and learn to study what it takes to make things happen in this arena.”

5:13 “The biggest barrier I’m seeing right now is inability to set up meetings with decision-makers. Over the last 5-7 years we’ve seen a number of technologies emerge that totally protect decision-makers from ever having to talk to a human being.”

6:35 “The reality is if you want to get more customers, if you want to set up more meetings with potential buyers than you literally have to study what it takes and figure out what business issues that you solve for your clients, the business ramifications, and the impact of what you do on your key business drivers.”

7:37 The organizations Konrath works for and how she helps them set up meetings with decision makers.

9:01 “It really does help people because they really do get discouraged. They think well I just don’t have the right genes for this or clearly they’re not interested because they’re not getting back [to] me.”

10:24 “Until you learn to study what it takes to be successful, you’ll continue to get some of those same results.”

10:40 Konrath describes her inspiration for writing the book.

12:38 “I figured that there’s gotta be a way to work with these people to help them achieve their objectives, because that’s really what sales is all about, to help them achieve their business objectives, and at the same time keep the sale moving forward so I can reach my objectives.”

13:44 Konrath describes the elements that make up SNAP.

14:00 “Crazy busy people are evaluating on 4 criteria. The S is simplicity, the N is the invaluableness of your work, the A is the alignment with their business objectives, and the P is priorities.”

14:21 [On the rating scale for simplicity] – “Either you are simple or you are complex. You’re writing an e-mail that gets to the point, or you’re writing a rambling one that goes on and on forever and bores them to death.”

15:46 “The first thing I always say to people is you need to focus on prevention so you don’t get yourself into that hole.”

16:11 Things you can do as a sales person do be aligned with potential clients.

17:27 “There’s a fundamental shift that it’s all about them and you have to remind them of the business value of what you’re doing at all times and align it with key priorities that are important to them.”

18:40 “If they’re not talking about changing, and there’s no money in the budget, then the entire focus has to be on the business issues that the client is facing that are addressable by your products or services and how you can help them meet the objectives they’ve set out for themselves this year.”

19:43 “Researching potential clients ahead of time is a sales imperative.”

20:08 On the importance of assuming certain things when addressing decision makers.

23:43 “In most cases you’re not going to get the sale in one call, in many cases it may take 6-10 calls over the course of several months to win the business. And we really need to be aware that it’s a process. We need to move people to the logical next step of the process.”

25:30 Konrath describes how your website can make an essential first impression with new clients.

26:45 “From a productivity standpoint it’s really hard to constantly be trying to sell. You need to have your website as the attraction center and it needs to get people to be able to sign up for certain things.”

27:55 “You really need to be focusing on what are people doing that are good at this, and how can I continue to get better to demonstrate my company’s expertise all the time.”

Expert Bio

Jill Konrath is an internationally recognized expert, popular speaker, and bestselling author whose career is defined by her relentless search for fresh sales strategies that actually work in today’s business environment. She excels at helping sellers crack into new accounts, speed up sales cycles and win more business.

Her first book, Selling to Big Companies, addressed the major sales problem of how to set up meetings with prospects who’d rather avoid salespeople all together; Fortune Magazine named it one of eight “must reads” for sellers. When the economy tanked in 2008, Jill wrote Get Back to Work Faster, a game-changing career book. SNAP Selling, Jill’s highly acclaimed new book, jumped to #1 on Amazon.com within hours of its release.

Jill’s newsletters are read by 80,000+ readers worldwide, she writes a popular blog that’s been syndicated on numerous business and sales websites, and she’s frequently published in top business media.

For more information, visit Jill’s website.

Contact Info for Jill Konrath

Business Phone: 651-429-1922

Web address: JillKonrath.com

Travels From: Minneapolis, MN

Follow Jill:

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Books by Jill Konrath

Randy Pennington photo

The Most Significant Trait of a Company Culture – Featured Interview with Randy Pennington

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Award-winning Author and Consultant

Randy Pennington talks with Bill Ringle about how to make company culture work to increase productivity and morale.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The importance of company culture in attracting talent.
  • The risks of not changing fast enough as a team or company.
  • The 6 choices that need to be made regarding how a culture develops.
  • The single most significant trait of a company culture.
  • How structure and process are the building blocks of habits.
  • The executive team that rolled out training to emphasize its importance to the company.

Expert Bio

Randy Pennington helps leaders achieve positive results in a world of accelerating change an disruption. He is a twenty-five year business performance veteran, award-winning author, and consultant who has worked with many of this country’s best-known organizations including: Alabama Power Company, Motorola, LSG Sky Chefs, SmithBucklin, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Texas A&M University, Marathon Oil, Sprint, Huntsman Chemical, State Farm Insurance, and DFW Airport in addition to government agencies at the local, state, and national level. Additionally, he serves as an adjunct instructor in the Cox Business Leadership Center at Southern Methodist University.

Pennington is the author of three books: Results Rule!, which received the 2007 Best Books Award from USA Book News, and On My Honor, I Will, which Ross Perot described as having “cracked the code of great leadership.” His third book, Make Change Work, received the 2013 Best Books Award for general business from USA Book News.

Randy’s background is a unique blend of line, staff, and consulting experiences ranging from hourly employee to senior management. He holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Psychology and completed Postgraduate work in Organization Administration and Management. He is a past Chairman of the Board for the American Heart Association, Texas Affiliate, and a founding member of the Texas Council on Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke. Randy has been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the National Speakers Association and is past Chairman for the NSA Foundation.

For more information, visit Randy’s website.

Contact Info for Randy Pennington

Web address: http://www.penningtongroup.com/

Travels from: Addison, TX

Contact:
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Resources Mentioned by Randy Pennington:

   

Julie Williamson

Purpose More, Transform Less – Featured Interview with Julie Williamson

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Vice President of Strategy & Research for Karrikins Group

Julie Williamson talks with Bill Ringle about overcoming the obstacles to growth so you can create a company that matters to its employees, customers, and the larger community.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The connection between an unclear purpose and growth stagnation.
  • How when it comes to transformation, less is almost always better.
  • An example of a construction company transformation based on elevating its business relationships
  • A sure sign that technology is not being deployed effectively
  • A breakdown of how investing in customers, employees, and your community reflects both an abundance mentality and measurable ROI.

Expert Bio

Julie Williamson has worked with major corporations, helping them set and execute on strategy and transformation. She has also worked with smaller organizations (for-profit, non-profit, and government) to drive success as they seek to grow their revenue and their impact their communities.

Julie is an educator with experience at the undergraduate and graduate level, teaching organizational strategy, behavior, and change. Her students learn to connect theoretical concepts to real-world applications.

Her work with Peter Sheahan on the book MATTER: Create more value, move beyond the competition, and become the obvious choice highlights Julie’s commitment to shifting the focus of leaders to optimum levels.

For more information, visit Karrikin’s Group website.

Contact Info for Julie Williamson

Web address: http://www.karrikinsgroup.com

Travels from: Denver, CO

Contact:

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2 3

Resources Mentioned by Julie Williamson:

Dan Negroni

Millennials, Relationships, and Company Culture – Featured Interview with Dan Negroni

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Business Management & Talent Development Consultant

Dan Negroni talks with Bill Ringle about unlocking the potential of millennials in the workplace by creating better quality relationships and company culture.

Expert Bio

Dan Negroni is a business management and talent development consultant and coach addressing today’s critical cross-generational issues. Dan leverages his no-nonsense approach and experience as a CEO, attorney, and senior sales and marketing executive to help companies bridge the gap between managers and their millennial workforce to increase employee engagement, productivity, and profit.

Through his training workshops, consulting and coaching services, he empowers millennials and management alike, providing the content and tools needed to communicate more effectively, build powerful relationships, maximize personal effectiveness, create high performing teams, and deliver value to each other and their organizations.

Dan is also a frequent keynote presenter at all types of management and millennial-related events, including corporate gatherings, association conferences, industry events and sales meetings.

Clients include DLA Piper, Booz Allen Hamilton, Mintz Levin, American Bar Association, Rubio’s, KPMG, ADP, Qualcomm, Paylease.

For more information, visit Dan’s website.

Contact Info for Dan Negroni

Web address: http://www.launchbox365.com

Travels from: San Diego, CA

Phone: (858)-314-9867

Contact:

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Resources Mentioned by Dan Negroni:

Try and Buy – Featured Interview with Linda J. Popky

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Program Advisor and Author

Redwood Shores, CA

Linda Popky talks with Bill Ringle about marketing above the noise as a way of achieving a strategic advantage for leaders of growth-oriented companies.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why reputation matters now more than ever
  • Keeping track of metrics that matter, so they indicate progress and not obscure your direction
  • Why timeless truths of marketing still trump the latest social media trick
  • How the “try and buy” technique can help you gain more customers quickly and why this works
  • What Coldwell-Banker learned from asking for feedback from every real estate transaction
  • How to view customer complains as valuable feedback instead of something to ignore or suppress

Expert Bio

Linda Popky is the president of Leverage2Market Associates, a strategic marketing company that helps transform organizations through powerful marketing performance. Her clients span start-ups through Fortune 500 enterprises.

In 2009, Popky was named one of the top women of influence in Silicon Valley and inducted into the Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. She is the first marketing expert worldwide certified to offer the Private Roster™ Mentoring Program for consultants and entrepreneurs, and the first licensee of Alan Weiss’s workshops and seminars. Popky is the past president of Women in Consulting, and she served as VP of marketing for the Northern California chapter of the Business Marketing Association. She is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Consulting and Watermark, the organization for exceptional executive women who have made their mark, where she serves on the Strategic Development Board.

Popky has served as program advisor for the Integrated Marketing Program at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning, and she is a member of the Advisory Board of University of California Santa Cruz Extension in Silicon Valley.

Popky is the author of Marketing Above the Noise. Her previous books include Marketing Your Career and Promoting Your Non-Profit. A classically trained pianist, Popky recently released “Night Songs,” a CD of classical piano music.

For more information, visit Linda’s website.

Contact Info for Linda J. Popky

Web address: http://www.marketingabovethenoise.com

Travels From: Redwood Shores, CA

Contact:

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Resources Mentioned by Linda J. Popky:

bookcover-marketing-above-the-noise-popky

Organizations Don’t Change, People Do – Featured Interview with Peter Sheahan

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Peter Sheahan

Peter Sheahan talks with Bill Ringle about what it takes for an organization to MATTER in an age where commoditization and infoglut threaten public, private, and not-for-profit organizations, so you can move beyond the competition, create more value, and become the obvious choice.

Listen to this interview to learn:

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • The vital reminder that organizations don’t change, people do.
  • How the best companies convert their ideas into insights and their insights into applications.
  • What it really means to embrace the complexity of an industry disruption
  • The shift Adobe engineered to shift their market perception, helping not just themselves, but their customers add more value
  • How Utah-based Standard Plumbing found profitable opportunities in partnering with Amazon, instead of competing head-on or abandoning the parts business

Expert Bio

As founder and Group CEO of Karrikins Group, Peter Sheahan is known internationally for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership. With staff in more than 23 cities across seven countries, he knows firsthand the challenges of growing a business in these rapidly-changing times.  Through a focus on brand differentiation and generating net new demand for clients, Karrikins Group is considered a global leader in two specific areas: 1) Transforming their clients go-to-market approaches to position themselves as trusted advisers and strategic partners in the minds of their buyers; and 2) Aligning social investment and sponsorship with business strategy so companies do well, by doing good.

Peter has advised leaders from companies as diverse as Apple, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Hyundai, IBM, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, and Cardinal Health. He is the author of seven books, including FlipGeneration Y, Making it Happen, and Matter.

Peter has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to over 500,000 people in 20 different countries, and he has been named one of the 25 Most Influential Speakers in the World by the National Speakers Association.

For more information, visit the Karrikin Group’s website.

Contact Info for Peter Sheahan

Web address: http://www.karrikinsgroup.com

Travels From: Denver, CO

Contact:

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Resources Mentioned by Peter Sheahan:

            

Make Learning Sweet – Featured Interview with Erika Andersen

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Business Thinker, Speaker, and Author

Erika Andersen talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about leadership, strategic planning, and why it’s never ok to tell other people to do the things that you, yourself, are not doing.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why being a novice is so important for business leaders.
  • How executives have started to put resources behind developing their own leaders and managers to succeed at a higher level.
  • Why it’s important for learning to be sweet
  • What key inflection points made the biggest difference in growing Proteus in the last 10 years.
  • Six characteristics and skill sets of effective leaders.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:47 How Andersen’s work with Tim Galway in the 80s started her on her chosen career path.

2:10 “I really loved the whole focus on how organizations learn and don’t and how individuals learn and don’t.”

3:08 “I began Proteus in 1990 and it was really, from the beginning, the focus was helping our clients, both organizations and individuals clarify and work towards their hope for a future.”

4:35 [On her second book, Being Strategic] – “There really isn’t even a common definition about what it means to be strategic.”

4:50 [Definition of being strategic] – “Consistently making those core directional choices that will best move you towards your hope for a future. And that implies knowing what that hope for a future is.”

5:14 “If you don’t know where you’re trying to go, either individually or organizationally, and have some pretty clear stakes in the ground about what success will look like, and you don’t know where you’re starting from, you don’t have an accurate sense of your beginning point, then how can you make those core directional choices?”

6:13 “You need to know where you’re starting from, you need to know where you’re gonna get to, you need to be able to make those core statements of intention, which is what strategy is, and then consistency is filling them in with tactics.”

6:46 [Ideal Clients] – “Ideal clientness, in our mind, really has to do with openness. If someone is really open to new ways of operating, new ways of thinking about their situation, new skills, new techniques, new models…if someone is open, it makes it a 150M times easier to work with them.”

7:10 “Our ideal client is curious, honestly.”

8:07 “Even though our mission is very clear in helping people move toward their hope for a future, we have three practice areas where we work to do that.”

8:37 [On strengthening leaders] – “Even if you’re clear about your hope for a future, if you don’t have good, authentic leaders who can help you move in that direction, it’s probably not going to happen.”

9:10 What it means to have be at an inflection point.

10:04 “A lot of what I personally do is in that vision and strategy area.”

10:32 The story of how Andersen helped a media company be more mindful about their upcoming future.

12:09 “Quite often, in my experience, strategic planning is not satisfying. It is too abstract, too theoretical – people don’t often leave with a map, they leave with this huge binder that doesn’t really direct their actions.”

13:32 [On helping people open up to change] – “If it seems like there’s going to be a high degree of skepticism, we make sure to talk to people beforehand and explain the process to them, and, in some cases, show them.”

14:45 [On the benefits of making it fun] – “I’ve always felt as though when people feel powerful and engaged and ‘this is my thing,’ then they can learn. Learning doesn’t happen unless people feel like their having a good time.”

15:59 “The learning arises from inside the learner, and should be drawn out.”

17:06 “People are more interested in doing vision and strategy work than they were 3 or 4 years ago.”

17:27 “Senior executives are more cognizant of the fact that what helped them get through, and is still helping them get through, tough times is having great people who are really skilled, and smart, and productive, and committed to the enterprise.”

18:55 “My belief is that we are wired as human beings to look for certain characteristics in leaders.”

20:11 “I think whatever the circumstance, whatever the culture, people continue to look for these certain elements in people that they will allow to lead them.”

20:57 The six characteristics and skill sets of effective leaders.

23:07 [Definition of politics] – “The web and influence of power through which you need to navigate to reach your goals.”

23:24 [Politics in the workplace] – “To figure out in the organization who are your allies, who are your adversaries, and who are your fence sitters.”

25:05 The path that Proteus has taken to be successful and some important milestones along the way.

25:40 “It really shifts things when you have a book published. When it does well and it gets reviewed well and it gets published by a major publisher that really shifts the landscape and people really see you differently.”

26:50 [On tenability within Proteus] – “What an important thing it is for you to choose well and make certain that you’re well suited to your business partner.”

27:50 “We are really rigorous about practice what we preach.”

29:36 [The story of Mahatma Gandhi and the boy who ate too much sugar] – “It’s not ok to tell other people to do the things that you yourself are not doing.”

Expert Bio

Since 1980, Erika Andersen has developed a reputation for creating approaches to learning and business-building that are uniquely tailored to her clients’ challenges, goals, and culture. She and her colleagues at Proteus International, Inc. offer practical methods and skills for individuals, teams, and companies to clarify and then achieve their hoped-for-future.

Much of her recent work has focused on organizational visioning and strategy, executive coaching, and management and leadership development. In these capacities she has served as consultant and advisor to the CEOs and top executives of a number of corporations, including MTV Networks, Rockwell Automation, Turner Broadcasting, GE, TJX, NBC Universal, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Cablevision Corporation.

She has been invited to share her insights about managing people and creating successful businesses by speaking to corporations, non-profit groups and national associations. Her books and learning guides have been translated into several languages, and she has been quoted in a variety of national publications, including Glamour, Fortune, and The New York Times. She is the author of Growing Great Employees: Turning Ordinary People into Extraordinary Performers and Being Strategic: Plan for Success; Outthink Your Competitors; Stay Ahead of Change, as well as the author and host of Being Strategic with Erika Andersen on Public Television.

For more information, visit Erika’s website.

Contact Info for Erika Andersen

Business Phone: 212-830-9870

Web address: ErikaAndersen.com

Travels From: New York, NY

Follow Erika:

Twitter

Books by Erika Andersen

Steven-Snyder

What Does Success Teach Us? Nothing – Featured Interview with Steven Snyder

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Founder of Snyder Leadership, Management Expert and Author

Management expert Steven Snyder talks to Bill Ringle about what leaders have in common, and why success is a bad teacher.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How consulting offers a post-graduate education in business.
  • Details about the what leaders find in common while advancing their business goals: change, tension points, and feeling off-balance at times.
  • The importance and value of embracing one’s own struggle story as a way to greater authenticity, clarity, and power.
  • When success can make a lousy teacher.
  • Different types of blind spots that leaders typically face.
  • How working to solve the wrong problem can be corrected.

Expert Bio

Steven Snyder is the founder and managing director of Snyder Leadership Group.

Snyder joined Microsoft in 1983, when the company was in its infancy. His work there, praised by Bill Gates, secured the relationship with IBM during a crucial stage in Microsoft’s growth and helped shape the history of the personal computer industry. Promoted as Microsoft’s first business unit general manager, Snyder led the company’s Development Tool business, where his team won PC Magazine’s Technical Excellence Award on three occasions.

In 1996, Snyder co-founded Net Perceptions, where he commercialized “collaborative filtering” – a technology that enables the real-time personalized recommendations that have become central to the online shopping experience. This groundbreaking work won Snyder the first-ever World Technology Award for Commerce in 1999 for “contributing to the advance of emerging technologies for the benefit of business and society.”

Snyder holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Leadership and the Art of Struggle is his first book.

For more information, visit Steven’s website.

Contact Info for Steven Snyder

Web address: Snyderleadership.com

Travels From: Orono, MN

Contact:

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Books by Steven Snyder:

 Leadership Steven Snyder

 

scott_ginsberg

Hello, My Name is Scott – Featured Interview with Scott Ginsberg

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The Nametag Guy/Founder, Hello, My Name is Scott

Scott Ginsberg talks with Bill Ringle about approachability, embracing failure, and the advantages of “Try-Listen-Leverage” as a business tactic.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The importance of “I did” versus ideas.
  • The advantages of just jumping into the abyss with “Try, Listen, Leverage”.
  • About joining versus buying brands.
  • What is a “brand tag.”
  • How you can learn to fail with style.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:04 How Ginsberg’s fascination with approachability led him to conduct some ultimately successful experiments in college.

1:55 [Ideas vs. Execution] – “You don’t need an idea, you need an I did.”

2:54 “It is a mindset, execution, it’s sort of a way of life, and there are key distractions and things people need to get rid of. And it’s not about productivity, it’s not about ‘getting things done,’ it’s about creating a filter for your life.”

3:21 “It’s about being willing to delete the people, being willing to delete the processes, and deleting the irrelevant stuff that’s just killing you.”

4:27 [On ready, aim, fire] – “A) you’re never ready, B) aiming is overrated, and C) fire burns people.”

4:37 “Try, Listen, Leverage.”

4:45 [On Try, Listen, Leverage] – “You just try stuff, you just jump, you take the risk whether it’s a blog post or a new product or an idea or you wanna create a group on Facebook. Just try it. You listen, you see what happens, and then you leverage it. If it works, then great! If not, you move on.”

5:25 “You gotta fail yourself to success.”

5:40 “I’m actually not afraid of failing. I fail all the time. I love failing. I feel like failing is the best way to learn. I think it’s more fun. I think it makes a better story.”

5:59 “Can you imagine anything more terrifying than getting exactly what you want?”

6:40 [Paraphrasing Estée Lauder] – “Men buy brands, but women join them.”

6:48 “We should invite people to join our brand, not ask them to buy it, because it’s a totally different mindset, not to mention heartset.”

7:12 [On branding his company] – “What I wanted to do was create a piece of art that makes the mission more than a statement. It’s not just some sense that people memorize or something people stick on the wall.”

7:50 [On brand tagging] – “I don’t think people should wear a name tag everyday. I think they should find something that takes their identity and shares it.”

8:40 “My job is to come in as both a writer and translator to interview the key people and hang out for a couple hours and find out: who are these people, what’s important to them, why are they. What’s the why behind what they do?”

9:25 “Never fall in love with your own inventory.”

9:48 “Every brand tag has an intentional typo. It’s put in there as a reminder to be human, to be imperfect, and that’s a good way to get conversations started too.”

10:50 The importance of injecting life into your company mission with the use of a brand tag.

13:20 “Execution and commitment are part of my constitution. It’s not just what I do, that’s who I am.”

13:53 [On creating motivation for yourself] – “I don’t have deadlines, I have smell dates.”

15:15 Ginsberg’s experience giving a speech to a Rotary club, and how an audience member’s encouragement made him think.

15:45 “When you have a topic like approachability or you address an issue like execution, you frame it in a way where you can meet people where they are, and you can let them put themselves into your equation.”

16:40 “You open yourself to a lot of new markets, and a lot of it has to do with your willingness to just stick it out there and to be open and to be welcoming when people add different angles to your theme.”

17:34 “The first word after no is next.”

18:00 “I don’t work with people I don’t like, and I don’t have clients that annoy me to no end.”

18:18 “Part of execution is knowing when to say no. I’d rather be known for things I don’t do.”

19:02 “I think the secret is coming to this realization that saying ‘No’ to the good you make room to say ‘Yes’ to the best.”

19:38 “You gotta know where you suck.”

19:45 “I’m not much of a team player, I work really well alone. It’s my style, it’s my personality type. I love people, I crave human interaction and I have to have it every day. But when it comes to my work, I have to do it alone.”

21:39 Ginsberg’s daily routines for success and productivity.

Expert Bio

Scott Ginsberg transformed wearing a nametag into a six figure enterprise. His publishing/consulting company, HELLO, my name is Scott! offers an array of products and services. Dubbed “The Authority on Approachability” and voted as St. Louis’s “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2008 by The St. Louis Small Business Monthly, Scott is the author of twelve books including HELLO, my name is ScottThe Power of ApproachabilityHow to be That Guy and Make a Name for Yourself.

Scott gives presentations, breakout sessions, keynote speeches and seminars to tens of thousands of people each year. Companies and organizations worldwide, including Staples, Verizon Wireless, and Boeing, have been successfully implementing his programs on approachability since 2003. He is regularly interviewed by and writes for major media outlets.

Scott is the only person in the world who wears a nametag 24-7 to make people friendlier. (In case you’re wondering, he has a nametag tattooed on his chest for certain occasions.)

For more information, visit the Hello, My Name is Scott website.

 

Contact Info for Scott Ginsberg

Business Phone: 314-256-1800

Web address: Hello, My Name is Scott

Travels From: St. Louis, MO

Follow Scott: twitter

Books by Scott Ginsberg

Chuck_wall

The Ridiculously High Cost of Not Listening – Featured Interview with Chuck Wall

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Author and Founder of Customer CEO

Founder of Customer CEO Chuck Wall talks to Bill Ringle about brand recognition and the ridiculously high cost of not listening to your customer.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The big idea behind why Starbucks ≠ coffee and how it has helped the company prosper
  • Insights into the Clayton Christensen model of looking at what work needs to be done
  • What it really means when a company is customer-centric and how that becomes a competitive advantage
  • The transformation you can use to turn pain points into gain points at your company
  • How to avoid the trap of becoming overly dependent on big data analysis

Expert Bio

Chuck Wall is the founder of Customer CEO, a customer insight, engagement and marketing consultancy. For the past 15 years, Chuck has passionately taught organizations about the genuine value of understanding their customers in order to facilitate growth.

Based on his work of more than 100,000 customer interviews and suverys, Chuck’s new book Customer CEO: How to Profit from the Power of Your Customers explores how companies can navigate the new business dynamic that customers are primary decision makers in business.

As an expert in explaining unmet needs of customers through primary research, Chuck translates his knowledge into actionable insight to help organizations design innovative products, services, and experiences. He aims to serve every customer with gratitude and humility, inspire through example and teach practical business solutions that will help contriubute to a better world.

Prior to launching Customer CEO, Chuck started six other enterprises across multiple industries, including manufacturing, media, technology, marketing and insurance. A serial entrepreneur, Chuck has a deep understanding of entrepreneurship, business, strategy and marketing and is passionate about sharing that knowledge with others.

Chuck has shared his knowledge working as a business strategy and marketing advisor to companies of every size. His clients have included HP, Intel, Campbell’s Soup and Yahoo!.

For more information, visit Chuck’s blog.

Contact Info for Chuck Wall

Travels From: Austin, TX

Web address: CustomerCEObook.com

Follow Chuck:

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Books by Chuck Wall

customerceo2

 

Understanding the Q-Loop – Featured Interview with Brian Klapper

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Founding Partner of The Klapper Institute

Internationally recognized expert in operational and cultural transformation, Brian Klapper talks to Bill Ringle about how to implement effective organizational change.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What professional incident created the turning point for why he must start his own firm.
  • How Brian redefined success for his firm and how that’s made all the difference for his clients.
  • What makes The Q-Loop different from the thousands of other business books in publication.
  • What he does for a “mental cleanse” on a regular basis that you can do, also.
  • The secret to effective organizational change: people hate implementing things that they haven’t had a hand in creating, but can’t wait to do it when…

Expert Bio

Brian Klapper is the President and Founding Partner of The Klapper Institute and is an internationally recognized expert in operational and cultural corporate transformation. Brian has worked with global companies in a variety of sectors including financial services, consumer products, manufacturing, food service, utilities, retail, and healthcare. While Brian’s experience spans all elements of the value chain, as well as all customer touch points, his work primarily focuses on helping his clients create a culture of Execution Excellence.

His clients have included Bank of America, Avon Products, New York Life, Corning Glass Works, Hartford Financial, KFC, Bassett Furniture, and Northeast Utilities.
Prior to founding The Klapper Institute, Brian was a Partner in the Financial Services practice of Mercer Management Consulting (formerly Strategic Planning Associates now Oliver Wyman). Brian has been profiled in several publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, and Forbes.Brian holds an MBA from The Wharton Graduate School of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University

For more information, visit Brian’s blog.

Contact Info for Brian Klapper

Business Phone: 203-966-4113

Web address: TheKlapperInstitute.com

Follow Brian: twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Brian Klapper

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Mark-Levy

What’s Your Big Idea? Featured Interview with Mark Levy

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Author, Writer, Founder of Levy Innovation, and Magic Illusion Designer

Magic Illusion Designer Mark Levy talks to Bill Ringle about marketing, Jerry Garcia, and how to  get narrower in order to perform bigger.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How one consultant’s business went from earning from about $1800 to over $ 100,000 each month.
  • The single most important thing a business can do to have others seek them out for business.
  • What one consultant did to become #2 best-selling author on 800-CEO-Read.
  • How Jerry Garcia compares the Grateful Dead to licorice to help him think about marketing.
  • The “mentoring perspective” and how it helps stripe away generalizations and hyperbole.
  • The importance of immersing yourself in reading.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:22 [On what it means to be a positioning expert] “[A positioning expert/consultant is the one who finds] in a business the big, sexy idea of what that business should be about. The thing that people are going to talk about, the differentiated point…and bring that to the fore of the business  so it comes through loud and clear.”

2:14 The story of Bill Treasurer, aka Captain Inferno, and his career evolution from stunt performer with a fear of heights to management consultant to courage builder.

4:32 [On Bill Treasurer’s Big Sexy Idea] “All of Bill’s workshops, all of his keynotes, all of his consulting, all of his material started to revolve around ways of driving fear out of the workplace.”

6:00 Levy describes his early days in the publishing field.

6:55 “The interesting thing in the field I came from, the books I had were identical to the books my competitors had, and identical to the ones my customers had…I had to bring ways of making my product stand out from other people’s products.”

7:57 “After I left the book field, I just took that knowledge of how to sum up what the story was behind something, and whether it should be sold or not, with me.”

8:13 “So it’s like, here’s your compelling idea, here’s what you need to go to market with it.”

8:52 How spotting a trend and taking a risk in the publishing industry helped Mark win over one of his best clients.

10:15 [On taking the leap from publishing to his current career] “I remember that someone hired me to write a book with him, and that gave me the courage to jettison this career…I didn’t leave my work to go to nothing, I had one big client.”

12:04 How attending conferences, and speaking at conferences, helped Mark to jumpstart his “point of differentiation” consulting business.

12:46 “What’s your big idea? And how do you write about this big idea?”

13:19 [Common obstacles and blind spots] – “When people come to me they often think they want to be differentiated, they think they want to stand out, but they don’t really. In order to stand out, you have to have a very specific message, but it has to be for a very specific audience. People are often scared to choose who it is they’re speaking to.”

14:30 “You have to talk to an audience in such a clear way about their problems and their vision and their worldview, and you have to talk about it with such precision. You can’t use the same language and the same ideas for everyone that you’re speaking to. It’s just not going to resonate.”

14:40 [On narrowing your focus] “It seems counterintuitive, but again, because you can’t reach everyone…you just have to be accepting that way to success is too narrow rather than to expand.”

16:11 How Mark helped Sales Training Consultant Lisa Earl McCloud narrow her focus and harness the power of her big idea to have more success in her field.

18:19 “You have to get narrower if you want to get bigger.”

19:16 Mark explains the benefits of targeting subgroups within larger groups.

19:55 [Paraphrasing Jerry Garcia] “The Grateful Dead is like licorice, now some people out there hate licorice, but the people who love licorice, really love licorice. So you find the people who really love licorice, and give them licorice.”

20:54 [On Why People Hire Mark] – “If people knew what their big sexy idea was, they would already be using it. They wouldn’t need to hire me.”

21:38 “[On finding the big sexy idea] –  “I instantly assume that whatever their directly saying is not working to the extent that it should be. So what I need to do when I’m working with them is I question them from such a variety of angles…I try to take backdoor routes to get them to be more honest about what they’re actually saying.”

22:38 The one question Mark asks people to get them to realize their true focus.

24:20 [On why facts are more compelling than hyperbole] “I say to them, ‘Look, I believe your service is remarkable, you even use the word remarkable, what would I see if I watched you delivering this remarkable service? What would I actually see you doing.”

26:57 [On spotting trends in your own business] “I didn’t come up with a claim and find ways of justifying it. I dispassionately looked over my business and asked what are all the ways I’m helping customers?”

28:08 How Mark’s book Accidental Genius helps readers use free writing to take off the limits of their thinking.

30:26 [On the extensive reach of Accidental Genius] “I can’t be everywhere in the world, but the book gets to places I don’t know about and acts as an emissary for me.”

31:01 How Mark uses free writing to stay productive in the midst of a busy schedule.

33:55 [On the importance of varying your inputs and also being immersed in your field] – “It’s very hard to create in a vacuum.”

Expert Bio

Mark Levy is the founder of Levy Innovation LLC, a positioning firm that helps consultants, authors, and other thought leaders increase their fees by up to 2,000%.

  • Marshall Goldsmith, named by the London Times as one of the 50 most influential management thinkers in the world, says “Mark helped me understand who I am, establish my brand, and communicate my brand to the world.”
  • David Meerman Scott, who authored the biggest-selling social media book ever written, calls Mark “a positioning guru extraordinaire.”
  • TED speaker, Simon Sinek, says, “Mark helped me find my why.”
  • Fast Company “Expert Blogger” Cali Yost says: “Mark helped me rethink my entire business in a day. He’s a miracle worker.”

Before devoting his work fulltime to Levy Innovation, Mark served as Chief Marketing Officer at an Inc. 5000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Bank of America, Samsung, Time Warner, Tivo, and Harvard and Stanford Universities.

Mark has written for the New York Times, and has written or co-created five books. His latest book, “Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate Your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content,” has been published in eleven languages.

Mark has also taught research writing at Rutgers University.

In addition to being a positioning consultant, Mark creates magic tricks and shows. His work has been performed in Carnegie Hall and Las Vegas, and on all the major TV networks. He also co-created the off-Broadway show, “Chamber Magic,” which has played for twelve years, and is the longest-running one-person show in New York City.

For more information, visit Mark’s website.

Contact Info for Mark Levy

Web address: levyinnovation.com

Travels From: Clinton, NJ

Follow Mark:

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Books by Mark Levy:

Additional Resources Mentioned 

Bill Treasurer’s Courageous Leadership

Lisa McCloud’s Selling with Noble Purpose

gerald chertavian

Never Let Them See You Sweat – Featured Interview with Gerald Chertavian

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Author and Founder/CEO Year Up

Gerarld Chertavian talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about talent, opportunity, and turning your passion into your career.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What he is doing to redefine who is talented.
  • Why you should never “let them see you sweat.”
  • How sensitivity and respect lead to opportunity.
  • What skills companies are in demand of and how we can give those skills to America’s young adults.
  • That turning your avocation into your vocation is possible.

Expert Bio

Gerald Chertavian is dedicated to closing the opportunity divide that exists in our nation. To that end, he founded Year Up in 2000 and subsequently wrote the book A Year Up: How a Pioneering Program Teaches Young Adults Real Skills for Real Jobs-With Real Success.

Year Up is one of the fastest growing non-profits in the nation. It has been recognized by Fast Company and The Monitor Group as one of the top 25 organizations using business excellence to engineer social change. Gerald himself is the recipient of the 2003 Social Entrepreneurship Award by the Manhattan Institute and the 2005 Freedom House Archie R. Williams, Jr. Technology Award. In 2006, Gerald was elected as a Fellow with the Ashoka Global Fellowship of social entrepreneurs, and in 2008, he was appointed by Massachusetts’ Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the MA State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Gerald began his career on Wall Street as an officer of the Chemical Banking Corporation. Following graduate school he co-founded Conduit Communications and fostered its growth to more than $20M in annual revenues and more than 130 employees in London, Amsterdam, New York and Boston. From 1993 to 1998, Conduit ranked as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies. Following the sale of Conduit to i-Cube in 1999, Gerald turned his full attention to opportunities for others.

For more information, visit Gerald’s blog.

Contact Info for Gerald Chertavian

Web address: TheOpportunityMovement.com

Travels From: Boston, MA

Follow Gerald:

twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Gerald Chertavian

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Victor-Hwang

Designing Innovative Ecosystems – Featured Interview with Victor Hwang

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CEO/Co-Founder of T2 Venture Capital

Victor Hwang talks to Bill Ringle about Silicon Valley, breakthrough technologies, and the nature of the innovative ecosystem.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why some places thrive and others struggle with comparable levels of the talent pool and opportunity.
  • What is a trust network and why it matters.
  • The surprising key to an innovative ecosystem
  • A simple belief to cultivate that makes an ecosystem sustainable

Expert Bio

Victor Hwang is CEO, co-founder and Managing Director of T2 Venture Capital, a Silicon Valley venture firm that builds startup companies and the ecosystems that grow them. T2VC mentors and invests in innovative companies with breakthrough technologies. But unlike any other firm of its kind, T2VC also leverages the practical knowhow of company-building to design innovation ecosystems around the world. This expertise includes capital formation, innovation policy, and entrepreneurial development for partners such as the World Bank, USAID, and numerous governments and corporations.

Victor is primary co-author of the book The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley (Regenwald, 2012), which explains how society can foster innovative economies.  The book has been praised as “an insightful, forward-thinking assessment of what makes Silicon Valley tick” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a detailed analysis of the power of environment on startup success” (Forbes).  Victor is author of the follow-up book, The Rainforest Blueprint: How to Design Your Own Silicon Valley (Regenwald, 2013), a short, full-color, lively do-it-yourself guide to catalyze innovation in any company, organization, or region. Victor is also a contributing columnist to Forbes magazine, where he authors the blog Riffs from the Rainforest. He has also written for The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Entrepreneur.

Victor graduated from Harvard University with an A.B. with Honors, studying Government plus additional studies in Computer Science, Computer Architecture, and Operating Systems Design. He graduated from the Law School of the University of Chicago with a J.D. He was appointed as a Law Clerk in the General Counsel’s office of the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1997 and served in national politics from 1995 to 1997.

For more information, visit Victor’s website.

Contact Info for Victor Hwang

Web address: Innovation Rainforest

Travels From: Silicon Valley, CA

Follow Victor:
Facebook twitter

Books by Victor Hwang:

The Rainforest 

Mitch Joel

Staying on the Bleeding Edge – Featured Interview with Mitch Joel

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Award-winning Social Media Expert and President of Twist Image

Social Media Expert Mitch Joel talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about brand recognition, Walmart, and the biggest changes in the industry since the 1990s.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How when you help brands stay on the leading edge, you often have to stay on the bleeding edge
  • Changes that are occurring between the pure play ad agencies vs. the digital agencies
  • Impact of reaching customers when they have many choices of screens, from desktop to iPad/tablet to mobile
  • Fundamental tenets of customer engagement that still guide online marketing strategies
  • What Walmart did differently to engage customers around a Mother’s Day campaign led by Twist Image

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:07 How Joel started his career as a rock journalist and how that experience allowed him to “cut his teeth” on writing and marketing.

2:23 “My real role is business development, everything I do is sort of filtered back to the agency.”

2:45 “I thought, well, I love to write and I love to publish and communicate so why don’t I put my thoughts about the marketing and media landscape out there and see if that attracts a certain type of client?”

3:51 “Helping brands stay at the leading edge forces us to be at the bleeding edge.”

4:26 “Brands want to connect more to their consumers, they want to build more loyalty, they want to create more attention, they want to get customers to spread the gospel for them.”

5:06 Joel recounts the biggest changes in the agency world since the 90s.

5:52 “I think for us it’s been the exploration of other interesting areas of products and services that we can bring to clients.”

7:23 [On engaging customers] – “It’s not just about putting a marketing message in front of them with these tools. These tools allow them to be hyperconnected, completely untethered, and they’re doing things in different environments.”

8:15 How a change in platform allowed Walmart to do a successful Mother’s Day marketing push that effectively engaged its audience.

10:31 “If we do everything right, we have to be prepared for success. Most brands aren’t prepared for success.”

11:26 “Anyone can have an idea and publish that idea in text, images, audio, and video – and what that means is that suddenly you have the ability to publish content, because you can, but to connect in a very real way.”

11:50 “While everybody’s getting more connected in more and more places, brands are still trying to disrupt or jump in on it, versus trying to figure out how to connect within it.”

12:30 “I believe that the winners are the people doing compelling things, and actually it’s a very slow, long, hard, and arduous process to build connections.”

13:21 “Instead of chasing how many likes people have of your company, why not go out and like your customers?”

14:25 “There seems to be a friction between the B2B world and social media, which to me is somewhat quizzical. I think the primary driver of B2B sales is driven by relationships and white papers and testimonials and that sort of more robust marketing endeavors. [It] seems to me that social media is a more compelling platform to share and distribute that type of content in a much more personal way.”

16:05 Joel discusses visions of a future world with products without brands.

16:57 “There seems to me like there’s this interest and burgeoning trend around indie brands and people connecting to things that are less about the logo…and more about the individual.”

17:26 “I think all trends are worthy of paying attention to.”

17:48 “The lessons for me are really about just being aware of new things and I think it’s the new things and how they connect to one another that makes branding and marketing and communications that much more interesting.”

18:28 “I get really excited about the possibility about what it means to have a relationship with a consumer.”

18:58 “Marketers can create things.”

19:22 The phenomena of “Utilitarianism Marketing.”

20:10 “It is staggering to me what one person with a laptop can do.”

Expert Bio

Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image, an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. He is also a blogger, podcaster, passionate entrepreneur, and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his marketing insights on digital marketing and new media.

Marketing Magazine dubbed Mitch the “Rock Star of Digital Marketing” and called him “one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.” In 2006 he was named one of the most influential authorities on Blog Marketing in the world. In 2008, Mitch was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media, one of the top 100 online marketers in the world, and was awarded the highly prestigious Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Most recently, Mitch was named one of iMedia’s 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators in the world.

His first book, Six Pixels of Separation, named after his successful Blog and Podcast, is a business and marketing bestseller. His next book, CTRL ALT DEL, will be out in Spring 2013. Mitch is frequently called upon to be a subject matter expert for BusinessWeekFast Company, and many other media outlets. His newspaper business column, New Business – Six Pixels of Separation, runs bi-monthly in both The Montreal Gazette and Vancouver Sun and he also has a regular column, Media Hacker, on The Huffington Post.

For more information, visit Mitch’s website.

Contact Info for Mitch Joel

Business Phone: 514-987-9992

Web address: TwistImage.com

Blog: TwistImage.com/Blog

Travels From: Montréal, Canada

Follow Mitch:

Twitter LinkedIn

altBooks by Mitch Joel

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Michael Stanier

Great Work vs. Good Work – Featured Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

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Author, Speaker, and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons

Michael Bungay Stanier talks with Bill Ringle about practical ways to do more great work instead of only good work.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The importance of structuring training that includes objectives for employee self-sufficiency
  • Understand what it means to great work vs. good work
  • Criteria for asking great questions
  • What effective coaching most resembles
  • How to overcome “hacking your own productivity systems”
  • When it makes sense NOT to coach as a manager

Expert Bio

Michael Bungay Stanier is the Senior Partner of Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations do less Good Work and more Great Work. On the way to founding Box of Crayons ten years ago, Michael lived in Australia, England, the US and now Canada. As an innovation expert he helped invent new products and services, and as a change management consultant he supported companies as they evolved.

He’s written a number of books, the best known of which are Do More Great Work and the philanthropic project End Malaria; created a series of short internet videos, such as The Eight Irresistible Principles of Fun; and designed a wide range of training programs that are being used around the world.

He was the first Canadian Coach of the Year and a Rhodes Scholar. An internationally acclaimed professional keynote speaker, Michael is a popular speaker at business and coaching conferences around the world, including International Coaching Federation conferences, the OD Network, the International Association of Facilitators, CSTD and SHRM. He’s also Thinker in Residence at Knowledge Blocks, a resource for readers of business books. He’s been the Creativity Coach for David Allen’s Getting Things Done online community.

For more information, visit Michael’s website.

Contact Info for Michael Bungay Stanier

Business Phone: 416-532-1322

Web address: BoxofCrayons.biz

Travels From: Toronto, Canada

Follow Michael:

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Books by Michael Bungay Stanier

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Russell Bishop

Clear Your Focus – Featured Interview with Russell Bishop

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Bestselling Author and Managing Partner of Bishop & Bishop

Bestselling Author Russell Bishop talks to Bill Ringle about how selective focus allows you to stay on track and be productive.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What it means to have a solo focus rather than an organizational focus
  • Why strategy and objectives DON’T matter
  • A perspective on complaining that can transform the conversation into one of contribution
  • How good questions provoke clear thinking
  • Two simple questions to ask yourself to stay on track and productive

Russell Bishop talks with Bill Ringle about alignment and empowerment within organizations as key growth drivers.

Expert Bio

Russell Bishop is Managing Partner for Bishop & Bishop, a boutique consulting and coaching company. His seminars, coaching, and consulting expertise offer individuals and organizations a new approach to integrating personal and spiritual values into their personal and professional lives. As an internationally regarded speaker, educator, and consultant, his corporate clients include Fortune 500 executives in aerospace, healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications and oil and gas.

Having started five different organizations in his career, Russell is well versed in the growth and expansion challenges faced by founding entrepreneurs and CEO’s. Executives and senior teams frequently engage his services on issues of leadership, growth and work-life balance. In 1978, he created Insight Seminars, one of the largest and most successful personal transformation programs in the world, with well over one million graduates in 34 countries.

In addition to his bestselling book, Workarounds That Work: How to Overcome Anything That Stands in Your Way at Work, he is the author of hundreds of articles on the power of choice and awareness and a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post. He has also lectured on productivity for the executive MBA programs at UCLA, University of Texas and Washington University in St. Louis.

For more information, visit Russell’s website.

Contact Info for Russell Bishop

Web address: RussellBishop.com

Travels From: Los Angeles, CA

Follow Russell:

twitter LinkedIn Facebook

altBooks by Russell Bishop

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mike figliuolo2

How Good Managers Become Great Leaders – Featured Interview with Mike Figliuolo

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Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC

In this interview, Mike Figliuolo discusses the components help good managers become great leaders, and why the focus of leaders should always be on the people they’re leading. 

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The distinction between managing and leading, advocated by Admiral Grace Mary Hopper
  • Stages to building a profitable, scalable training company
  • What leaders did to deepen trust and improve communications at a Fortune 100 company
  • Why boundaries are so elusive for leaders and how to make them work better
  • The mindset needed to grow your company in a short period of time

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:12 How Figliuolo’s experiences at WestPoint launched him into a career in leadership.

2:52 “I think the biggest realization in terms of people leadership is getting to know people as individuals and treating them that way.”

3:23 “To lead [people] effectively you couldn’t treat them like a cog in the machine, you needed to understand who they were, what motivated them, who inspired them in order to get the best out of them.”

4:47 “I say to them, ‘Tell me what you’re spending your time on,’ and invariably a lot of that time is spent in meetings, on email, on powerpoint, or in excel. The question I then ask is, ‘Help me understand how replying to e-mails and clearing out your inbox is more important and more impactful than sitting down with a member of your team for ten minutes or fifteen minutes trying to figure out what they’re working on or what they care about.”

5:50 [On the biggest myths in leadership] – “We confuse management and leadership.”

6:22 [Paraphrasing Admiral Grace Mary Hopper] – “You manage things and you lead people.”

7:07 “If you didn’t understand your people and you burn them out in the process and your people felt like you didn’t care about them as you got all these things done and managed well, I would think that you’re not really a good leader, you’re a poor one.”

7:24 “The best leaders I know are the ones who do both. To be a great leader you also have to be a really good manager.”

8:08 The importance of giving people room to make mistakes, and also to stand up for them.

9:20 [On Figliuolo’s Ideal Client] – “Most of our clients tend to be large corporations, Fortune 1000’s types of organizations, because we spend a lot of time with their executives as well as their learning development professionals.”

10:06 [On problem-solving communication issues] – “We tend to go in and teach people a method for being clearer, being more succinct, and being more impactful.”

11:00 [On decision-making issues] – “We all see the analysis paralysis which can grip an organization, and we help them understand how they can make decisions more quickly, how can they reduce the risk in the decisions they’re making, and how can they break that gridlock.”

11:45 “The reason I built the course was: I was seeing a lot of folks who were spending more time managing than they were leading, and I was seeing some confusion around that. I was seeing folks miss major aspects of leadership, which were causing major problems.”

12:55 What leaders did to deepen trust and improve communications at a Fortune 100 company.

13:05 “When people really understood a lot better what drove the other members of the team, you could see the connections happening in the classroom.”

14:30 [On leadership skills] – “One thing that I see as a need is being able to let go and give people space.”

15:17 “As companies grow, we might outgrow our leaders. And the very mature organizations I’ve seen and the successful ones I’ve seen have a recognition of: we need that next level of talent and how do we get there?”

16:05 “I think the role of that senior executive is really setting that direction first and foremost, because the pressing needs of the daily operations tend to pull us down and we focus on the minutiae in front of us.”

16:55 “You have plenty of people on your team who can solve those day to operational issues, but you have very few people on your team who are doing that longer range look at where you’re taking the organization.”

17:36 “One of the reasons we don’t have balance in our work or in our lives is that we don’t set those boundaries, we don’t think about them. Or even if we do think about them we don’t always articulate them to the people around us and share what those boundaries are.”

20:09 [On the Leadership Maxim] – “It’s that individuals responsibility to spend that time reflecting and being introspective on what is important.”

20:55 Why it’s important for employees to talk to leaders to ascertain how to be better aligned with the company’s goals, and why leaders should create space for these conversations to happen.

21:45 “If you don’t know what motivates and inspires your people, it’s really hard to motivate and inspire them.”

22:39 “Once you understand what that person wants, you’re better able to get that higher performance out of them, because you have an understanding of what’s important to them.”

23:08 [Challenges of owning your own company] – “You are fully responsible for the success or failure of your organization as an entrepreneur. I like to say, ‘If I don’t sell, I don’t eat.’”

23:50 [On benefits of owning your own company] – “When your organization is extremely successful, you know it’s because of all of your hard work, and there’s a direct correlation between the input and the output of the organization.”

24:31 [On letting go] – “If I send one of these senior people out, I need to be comfortable that they’re going to conduct the training in a manner that’s most effective for them.”

26:15 Figliuolo’s path from part time consultant to full time entrepreneur.

28:09 How Figliuolo is inspired by his clients.

29:02 “We get to ask ourselves, ‘Is what we’re building and delivering meeting the needs, meeting the latest challenges of our clients?’”

30:23 “We’re always trying to make that what we’re delivering is going to help the organization at a broader level.”

31:00 What Figliuolo looks at to gauge progress in his organization.

Expert Bio

Mike Figliuolo is the Managing Director of thoughtLEADERS, LLC, which he founded because he believes practitioners make the best instructors and because he has a passion for people development and organizational improvement. Mike’s book, One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership, is designed to help leaders define who they are and what their personal leadership philosophy is.

Before founding thoughtLEADERS, Mike was a United States Army Officer, a management consultant at McKinsey and Company, Group Manager at Capital One Financial, and Vice President of Strategic Planning at The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. He was named the Columbus, Ohio Small Business Leader of the Year for 2010 by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Business First.

For more information, visit Mike’s website.

 

Contact Info for Mike Figliuolo

Business Phone: 804-241-9757

Web address: ThoughtLeadersLLC.com

Travels From: Columbus, OH

Follow Mike:
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Books by Mike Figliuolo

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Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

Burning Your Ships – Featured Interview with Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

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Co-Founders of Courage Crafters and Bestselling Authors

Courage Crafters co-founders Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton talk to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about learning to love the word “no.”

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How they started their business by “burning their ship”
  • A clever approach to expanding business within a client company
  • Understanding that each of us has a “relationship” with the word “no”
  • When it makes sense to celebrate a “no” to encourage positive behavior
  • Getting off the roller coaster of reactivity

Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton talk with Bill Ringle about using the power of no to create the results you want in business and in life.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:22 Waltz  tells about her first real job working for LensCrafters: how she met Fenton and launched into her own business at a young age.

2:44 Fenton –  “From my earliest memories, my earliest ages, I had always had a desire to be a professional speaker and to write books.”

3:29 Fenton – Tells about meeting Fenton and meshing on what it meant to be a high performer and achiever.

4:50 Waltz – [On quitting their jobs to start the new company] – “We knew that in order to really make the business work and to burn our ships…we knew that we had to leave and be completely dedicated and completely focused.”

5:44 Waltz – On getting their first client JC Penney.

6:25 Fenton – [On working with JC Penney] – “We worked for them over the course of the next 10 years, we probably did over 25 different projects for them, and over the course of time we did well in excess of $250,000 worth of business.”

7:58 Waltz talks about hers and Fenton’s self-published book The Secrets of Retail Magic and how their “Go For No” concept allowed them to become an essential resource to JCP.

9:03 Waltz tells how Fenton’s boldness got them their first client.

11:08 Waltz – “Our ideal client has a sales force and, ideally, we like working with companies with large sales forces. Right now we focus on doing keynote presentations at the annual conferences. We don’t focus on a specific industry, although we’re very popular in the direct sales and network marketing industry.”

12:00 Waltz – “The problem is that people have a fear of hearing the word ‘No.’ They have a fear of failing, looking like a failure, a fear of rejection. And that’s the problem that we solve.”

12:35 Waltz – “All of the great sales skills that [employees] get trained on are a waste if they are still too scared to use them.”

13:10 Fenton – “It’s far easier to spread your wings within an organization and to expand your reach working from the top down than it is from then bottom up.”

13:55 Fenton describes how changing their positioning to keynoters gave them a better footing with decision makers at an organization.

14:52 Waltz-  “The first thing that we do is that we help people see that they are probably avoiding hearing the word ‘No,’ and we have them identify the facts that they actually have a relationship with the word No. Because one of the things we always ask is that when you get a no, how do you respond?”

15:23 Waltz“80% of our audiences, when they heard the word no they stop, or they assume that they’ve done something wrong or that they are a failure.”

15:53 Waltz discusses the creation of “No Awareness.”

16:17 Fenton – “We try to get people within organizations to do something which is completely counterintuitive, and what we do is teach people to stop setting, at least exclusively, what we call ‘yes goals.’”

16:52 Fenton – “Instead of setting ‘yes’ goals for your business, what if you were to set ‘no’ goals instead?”

17:37 Fenton – “When we work with companies to set ‘No’ goals, we say ‘Ok, what if you were, instead of setting the goal to sell 1 copy machine, what if you were to set the goal to have 10 companies tell you ‘No?”

18:04 Fenton – “In a ‘Go for Yes’ world, most companies slow down when they hit their quota. In a ‘Go for No’ world, if you made your first call and they said ‘Yes’ to you, you still have 10 ‘No’s’ to get.”

18:43 Waltz – “To have no become a positive rather than a negative, so when you do achieve a  goal, like hitting your ‘no goals,’ it does become positive and it is something that you can celebrate.”

19:06 Waltz – “When you only reward yourself for the yes’s, the no’s do become so deflating, depressing, and that ultimately slows people down.”

20:05 Fenton – [On their process] – “It was a shifting in our mental attitude about how we rewarded ourselves for our performance. Traditionally, most people when they set a goal and hit the goal they reward themselves for hitting the goal. Well, Andrea and I realized that we were kind of telling people to do that, but in our real world we weren’t doing that.”

20:37 Fenton – “We said, ‘What if we started celebrating and rewarding ourselves every time we heard the word ‘No.’ And we stopped celebrating and rewarding ourselves every time we heard a ‘Yes?”

21:57 Fenton – “If the shortest distance between you and success is a straight line, the last thing you need is to be going up and down.”

22:00 Waltz and Fenton discuss what they do to overcome the emotional rollercoaster.

 

Expert Bio

Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton are the co-founders of Courage Crafters, Inc., through which they teach people how to reprogram the way they think about the word NO, and to fail their way to success. They have brought their message to many organizations over the last 15 years, including American Express, Kodak, Pep Boys, Harry & David, and more.

Richard’s background includes working in Distribution Sales for Disney and as Training Director for Hart, Schaffner & Marx and LensCrafters. Andrea originally wanted to work with George Lucas, but after getting rejected (she was 8 years old) she went on to build a career in sales and management at LensCrafters, where was was the youngest General Manager in company history.

Together Richard and Andrea have written four books, the most popular of which is Go for No!, which has been on #1 on Amazon’s ‘Sales & Selling’ Best Seller list and has remained in the top 20 for the last two years. Their articles have been published in Success Magazine and hundreds of online and offline journals. They are members of the National Speakers Association and the Direct Selling Association U.K.

For more information, visit Andrea and Richard’s website.

Contact Info for Andrea Waltz and Richard Fenton

Business Phone: 800-290-5028

Web address: GoForNo.com

Travel From: Orlando, FL

Follow Andrea:
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What Do You Really Want? – Featured Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

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Author, Speaker, and Senior Partner of Box of Crayons

Michael Bungay Stanier, author of The Coaching Habit, talks with Bill Ringle about how to strengthen your management effectiveness by giving less advice.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • What it means when managers create an environment to stay focused, engaged, and learning as the standard
  • How to avoid being an advice-giving maniac
  • Tactics to get beyond the first answer to a deeper question (which is not the only answer and rarely the best answer)
  • Why your organization will become more productive when there is less of a rush to action
  • What makes up 50% of our waking behavior and rarely gets the attention it deserves

Show Notes

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:23 Stanier describes how his high school peers’ teenage angst inspired him to begin coaching.

1:51 “The typical thing was we’d go out dancing, or something like that, and on the drive home I’d be sort of listening to somebody in the car…I remember feeling right there at the time going ‘you know what? I am obviously ok with this whole listening thing.”

2:34 “When I went to university one of the things I did was I took a telephone crisis counseling course, so effectively a suicide hotline for teens, and that was my first kind of formal training in this area. So I had a sense of how you might respond when somebody’s struggling.”

3:28 [On transitioning from coaching to training] – “But of course these days I actually don’t do very much coaching anymore myself. My real focus is training managers and leaders to be more effective coaches in their day to day working lives.”

4:20 [On the negative connotations of coaching] – “If you’re getting coaching you’re probably broken, you know you’ve screwed up somehow. You know coaching, it’s just a code word for ‘We’re going to fire you in three months time but we’re going to do this token thing before we get to the year 2000.”

4:37 Stanier discusses Daniel Goleman’s HBR article about Emotional Intelligence: Leadership Against Results.

5:00 “You can identify coaching as a style of leadership but [Goleman] said you know even though it really has a great job driving engagement and driving kind of cultural change and driving even bottom-line success, it’s perceived as taking too long and too much effort for it to be a much used leadership style.”

5:24 [On the importance of engaging employees with meaningful work] “What I’ve noticed over the time is that the focus now has turned into: ‘We know that we need to keep our people focused on the stuff that matters and we need to keep people engaged so that they’re doing work that’s meaningful for them.”

6:40 [On John Whitmore’s view of Coaching] – “Its not you unlocking a potential but helping others unlock their own potential and then [Whitmore] says it’s about helping people learn rather than teaching them.”

6:53 Stanier discusses the key distinction between teaching someone and helping them learn.

7:10 [On what really helps people learn] – “Helping them learn is when you help them make their own connections and that’s when new neural pathways kind of happen in the brain that’s when people with potential and capacity and self-sufficiency all increase.”

8:11 Stanier’s tools for leaders in helping their employees get to the next level.

8:19 [On the benefits of offering curiosity] “[The tool] to make your life more effective is to give a little less advice and to offer up a little more curiosity.”

9:07 [The focus question] – “The focus question acknowledges that in many organizations people are very busily, very creatively, with best of intentions coming up with answers to solve the wrong problems.”

9:26: “The focus question is about helping slow down the rush to action and actually spend time trying to figure out what the real challenge might be. So what is that question? Well, it’s pretty simple: it’s simply to ask, ‘What’s the real challenge here for you?”

10:43 [On persisting with the focus question] – “If we stick with that question for a little bit you’re going to find you’ve got better focus on what really needs to be done, but you’re also going to walk away with some insight as to how you’re part of the issue and what you need to do to overcome your own challenges so that you can better answer this problem that’s in front of you.”

12:05 How asking your people the right questions can help them change their behavior.

12:37 [On the benefits of employees taking ownership] – “It’s a very sweet thing when, actually, the person you’re working with understands what’s happening as well as you do because it makes the system even more effective and more efficient.”

13:08 Stanier discusses his company Box of Crayons and its role in managerial training.

13:42: [On why most training programs don’t work] – “Most training programs don’t think hard enough about the behavior change that’s required. How do you shift from new insights into new actions? How do you help people do things differently when they walk out the door? But the other key sites where these things fall short, in my opinion, is that they’re often, I would say, non-strategic; meaning there’s a kind of ad-hoc ‘let’s just throw some training at people and hope that works.’

14:32: How a Canadian company upped their bench strength for better problem solving.

15:42: The best coaching question in the world.

16:38 “The first answer somebody gives you is never the only answer, and it’s rarely the best answer.”

16:59: [On the importance of slowing down] – “The other thing we’re trying to achieve is a
little less rush to action just slow down the action a little bit so that when you move you move more effectively and more efficiently.

17:55 [On the benefits of strategic laziness for managers] “We actually want people to be lazy so that they’re better able to coach the other person. The other person gets to do the work and gets the benefit of the learning, increasing their own capacity, increasing their own potential.”

18:13: “[If] manager finds him or herself working too hard the focus is probably back on them providing [their employees] with the solution rather than helping develop and cultivate the kind of thinking that will make them a more valuable asset to the company.”

19:18 [On helping people use the tools Box of Crayons provides] – “if there’s one thing at the very heart of it all…it’s about teaching people how to build new habits because habits are the building blocks of our behavior.”

19:38 “At least 50% of our waking behavior is purely habitual.”

20:08 Best of the available information concerning habit building.

20:36 The three parts of Stanier’s new habit forming formula.

21:41 [On asking instead of telling] – “Asking a question always takes less than a minute.”

23:17 [On the practical nature of the formula] – “It’s not mystical you don’t have to go up on a retreat you don’t have to sacrifice a small animal, you don’t have to entice a life coach or do anything like that. It’s really practical it feels like this is accessible to anybody.”

23:31 The difficulty of forming new habits to replace old ones.

25:24 “There’s definitely a role for [managers] to play to support and encourage and
help and hold accountable and check in with people, but I wouldn’t write their habits for them…nobody wins from that.”

26:17 “If you’ve got the discipline and the courage and the willingness to be in service to the people who you lead and influence, then you’ll have that greater commitment to be able to. in the moment, be more coach like – which is where the power lies.”

26:53 The characteristics of organizations who are ready to adopt behavioral change.

27:30 “If you were a culture which is massively disengaged, where people have kind of opted out, then this behavior change won’t in itself be sufficient to shift things.”

28:15 Stanier discusses the process of writing the book, and how hiring an editing “coach” helped him create the best version of it.

31:05 “I’m not saying never give anybody any advice ever again, I’m just saying slow down the rush to [give] advice until you really know what the challenge is.”

32:42 “Often advice creates resistance so the very help that you’re offering…it really creates a breakdown in trust and influence when you go for authority first rather than truly looking to understand a problem.”

33:08 [On Edgar Schein’s Helping] “The more you try and thrust help upon people the more you create resistance.”

33:53 The research process for the books – testing with real people.

35:30 The miracle question.

36:08 “I don’t imagine it being 10% better, I imagine it being 10x better.”

36:46 [On the most powerful question: What do you want?] “Once people are clear on what they want that’s actually a strong foundation for some really interesting action.”

37:10 [On the lazy question] – ‘It’s a bit of a paradox of a title because the question is, ‘How can I help?’ And when people hear that they go, ‘That doesn’t sound like a lazy question at all that sounds like it’s more work for me…but [the lazy question] forces them to make an explicit request rather than an implied request.”

37:54 Why explicit requests are far better than implied requests.

41:00 The importance of being clear of what you want in your own mind before asking for it.

Expert Bio

Michael founded Box of Crayons, a company that helps organizations all over the world do less Good Work and more Great Work. The Box of Crayons company is well known for their coaching programs that help time-crunched managers coach in 10 minutes or less.

Michael left Australia 22 years ago to be a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he fell in love with a Canadian and explains why he now lives in Toronto. He is the author of Do More Great Work, which has sold over 100,000 copies, and several other books, including his most recent, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever.

For more information, visit Michael’s website.

Contact Info for Michael Bungay Stanier

Web address: http://www.boxofcrayons.biz

Travels from: Toronto, ON

Phone: (416) 532-1322

Contact:

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Resources Mentioned by Michael Bungay Stanier:

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michael tchong

Ubertrending – Featured Interview with Michael Tchong

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Change Agent and Founder of Social Revolution

Michael Tchong talks with Bill Ringle about Ubertrends and how they are shaping our business opportunities and personal lives.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Why analytics will become increasingly important to companies in planning
  • The Ubertrends of multitasking and control freak that technology has created
  • What to look for in global competition
  • How it is smart to use the technology you write about for clients to gain an advantage in your own business
  • Favorite sources to study to learn about Ubertrends in society, technology, and global business

 

Expert Bio

Michael Tchong is an innovation specialist, change agent, entrepreneur, and speaker. He is the founder of five startups, including MacWEEK and ICONOCAST, and has pioneered ventures in desktop publishing, personal information management, internet analytics, and online marketing. His latest startup is Social Revolution®, which aims to reinvent America by crowdsourcing innovative solutions.

As a speaker, Michael uses his knowledge of marketing, media, and technology to help audiences better grasp how massive waves, which he calls “Ubertrends,” are reshaping society, as well as the opportunities and innovations these Ubertrends propel. His ability to identify emerging trends was refined at such prestigious ad agencies as DDB and Chiat/Day. He is the author of Social Engagement Marketing, an easy-to-navigate guide to the world of social media.

For more information, visit Michael’s website.

Contact Info for Michael Tchong

Web address: MichaelTchong.com

Web address: ubercool.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Michael:

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altBooks by Michael Tchong

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