Business Growth Archives - My Quest for the Best

Category Archives for "Business Growth"

Episode 194: Consulting Success – Featured Interview with Michael Zipursky

Co-founder of Consulting Success

Bill Ringle and Michael Zipursky discuss the mindset and methods that lead to consulting success.
Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth.
Top 5 Highlights from this Interview 
  • How Michael and his partner Sam were able to see and solve a problem in their community by starting Consulting Success.
  • The prerequisites for making the transition from part-time to full-time consultant.
  • The traits of the most effective consultants.
  • How having conversations can connect you to your ideal clients. 
  • Why technology is often a detriment to a consulting practice. 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:01 Michael tells about his experiences in Japan under Moria-san, who opened up doors for him when he was creating a new branch of his business.

2:46 Michael recounts his time growing up with his cousin Sam, and how they eventually began to work together. – “We created a bond really quickly, and we’ve been like brothers ever since.”

3:55 “We wanted to create a way to really help others, but do it online.”

6:11 “I think anyone can be a consultant if they have a few things. The first and most important is the ability to provide value to the client you’re consulting.”

6:42 Why it’s important to see your consultancy business as an actual business.

7:26 “The best consultants are people who ask questions consistently.”

9:21 “Instead of focusing on the process or the methodology to gather data…he should shift it to focusing on what the buyer actually wants.”

11:40 “One of the prerequisites to reaching a higher level of success is the desire to continue learning.”

13:32 Why it’s so important for new consultants to put in place the right fundamentals when they’re starting out.

15:10 “What you really want to get focused on is #1 identifying who your ideal clients are.”

15:54 “If I were to encourage people to do one thing and one thing alone, it would be to have conversations.”

18:22 How one of Michael’s clients took the idea of having conversations to the next level.

19:57 “If [new consultants] don’t have the fundamentals into their business, it doesn’t matter what tools or technology they use, it doesn’t really make an impact.”

22:38 “There’s a lot of things we can do that might seem a little more uncomfortable, because it’s very easy to hide behind technology, but it’s infinitely more effective because it gets you in front of your ideal client in a more direct way.”

23:57 “If your goal is to bring in more business now, writing an article and putting it on your site rather then finding the time to get in front of your ideal clients, that’s not good prioritization.”

24:53 The Lightning Round

Expert Bio

Michael has consulted for organizations and advised leaders throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and the Middle East in over 30 industries, from service providers to billion dollar multi-national corporations including Panasonic, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Royal Bank and many others. Michael is an in-demand speaker and gives keynotes and workshops for the Certified Management Consultants Association, Canadian Internet Marketing Conference, Social Media Camp and others.
Michael’s work has appeared in MarketingProfsHuffington Post, Financial Times, FOX Business, Maclean’s, HR Executive, Business Edge, Marketing Magazine and in several other media and publications. He is the author of 5 books including Profitable Relations: How to Dramatically Increase Your Profits By Giving Customers What They Really Want, the Consulting Success System: How to Become a Successful Consultant, and the Masters of Consulting Interviews. Michael speaks English and Japanese and loves traveling, jazz music, wines and foods of the world, and spending time with his family.
For more information, visit Michael Zipursky’s website.

Contact Info for Michael Zipursky

Web address: https://www.consultingsuccess.com

Travels from: Vancouver, Canada

Contact:

LinkedIn  Twitter

Resources Mentioned by Michael Zipursky:

 

Episode 183: The Road to Excellence: Featured Interview with David Mattson

President and CEO of the Sandler Organization

Bill Ringle and Dave Mattson discuss some of the crucial blind spots to building a successful business, as well as the 6 phases of the Excellence Process: Planning, Positions, People, Processes, Performetrics, Passion.
Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:
  • Growth is continuous, so training to succeed should also be continuous
  • You have to become comfortable talking about money to reach higher levels of success as a small business owner
  • Surprising how many companies fail to take advantage of creating an onboarding playbook for success and the many forms it can take
  • How a sales manager can successfully link an employee’s personal and corporate goals
  • The 6 P’s in the Excellence Process

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:14 How his grandfather inspired Dave to have a strong work ethic.

3:55 “I came from a family of non-sales people.”

5:26 The importance of putting your own personality into sales.

5:39 How Dave started working with David Sandler.

7:09 Characteristics of entrepreneurs who need outside help

8:04 Why it’s essential for a team of sales people to use the same sales language.

9:54 How to recognize when you have a blind spot and what to do about it.

10:30 “Being an entrepreneur, it’s a lonely business.”

11:10 “People will work harder for themselves than they will for you.”

12:06 “In order to link the corporate goal to the personal goal, you should sit down and have a conversation that would look something like this.”

14:09 “Do you know the top 2 or 3 goals for the people who work for you? If not, you have a blind spot.”

15:21 “If you’re working on the business it’s really tough to work on the business.”

15:45 How having best practices allows your employees to mimic success.

17:06 “If someone’s stepping into that role, i want them to produce at the same level as the person who’s leaving that role.”

17:17 The 6 “P’s” in the excellence process.

18:19 “Where I want to be then affects where the company will be.”

22:12 How to set up your company’s practices so that if the leader or a pivotal employee leaves, the company isn’t paralyzed.

24:31 The Lightning Round

Expert Bio

David Mattson is the CEO and President of Sandler Training, an international training and consulting organization headquartered in North America. Since 1986, he has been a trainer and business consultant for management, sales, interpersonal communication, corporate team building and strategic planning throughout the United States and Europe. A Wall Street Journal bestselling author, his new book is The Road To Excellence: 6 Leadership Strategies To Build a Bulletproof Business.

For more information, visit David Mattson’s website.

Contact Info for David Mattson

Web address: https://www.sandler.com/about/our-story/dave-mattson

Travels from: Owning Mills, MD (Baltimore area)

Phone: 410-653-1993

Contact:

LinkedIn Twitter

Resources Mentioned by David Mattson:

Redeem Your Sandler Class Crash Offer: 

Click here to redeem your complimentary sales class with the Sandler Corporation!

Just message a nearby Sandler Training Center and say “I listened to Dave and Bill on the My Quest for the Best podcast, and I want to crash a class!”

Thanks so much for this generous offer, Dave!

  

Episode 181: Guide to Winning Clients – Interview with David A. Fields

Founder of Ascendant Consulting

David Fields and Bill Ringle discuss proven methods to winning clients for consultants.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • Tried and tested ways of getting more prospects
  • What it means to have “learning conversations”
  • The number one attribute of a right prospect
  • How to know it’s time to upgrade your network
  • The 5 marketing musts in consulting.
  • How to set a basic dashboard to measure outreach
  • A better way to ask for referrals
  • The significance of putting your client first

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:52 What David is excited about in his life and business right now.

2:10 “One of the benefits of running a small business is that the practice serves you if you do it right.”

3:28 How having a book in accessible spaces leads to an influx of inquiries.

4:15 What it means to have a learning conversation

5:21 “In order for me to remain a thought leader in consulting I have to talk to people and understand what they’re doing.”

5:58 Why David is interested in how people have failed.

6:51”You have to be willing to admit you don’t know, and you need to have a genuine desire to learn.”

7:44 “The obstacles are all internal.”

8:54 Why if you’re targeting smaller company prospects, you need to make sure they have big issues.

11:14 “The place to start is not by defining your target.”

11:20 “The number one attribute of a right prospect is that you can reach them.”

12:32 Why you need to reach the influencer and the decision maker and make A1 relationships.

13:47 Trade associations and the 5 marketing musts in consulting.

14:40 How David helped a small firm explode their business through trade associations.

16:14 Why trade media is still relevant.

17:18 Ways to measure the success of your outreach.”

18:08 “There’s a difference between goals and behaviors.”

20:10 “Most people absolutely suck at asking for referrals.”

21:53 “People who are interesting are people who are doing things.”

22:53 “Consulting is not about you.”

24:29 How you interact with people everyday, how you respond, affects your business.

25:49 “We are wired to think about ourselves.”

25:59 Lightning Round

 

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:

   

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk

Episode 173: How to Hire A Players: Featured Interview with Eric Herrenkohl

President of Herrenkohl Consulting

Eric Herrenkohl talks with Bill Ringle about how to hire A-Players for Small Business Leaders.

Key points that you’ll learn from this interview:

  • The fatal flaw of treating hiring as a transactional process
  • Understanding that outstanding performers often need to be managed and supported differently than others
  • Recruiting is a critical leadership skill
  • The magic of involvement leading to buy-in
  • The precaution that C-players may be able to sell themselves better than A-players
  • The best questions to ask to discover the real responsibilities that a candidate undertook
  • How to coach your team to find the best fit for the role without worrying about offending candidates (you’re actually doing them a service, too!)
  • Even very good businesspeople have blind spots that can limit their effectiveness (in hiring as well as in performing)

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

3:04 Eric discusses what it was like meeting Bob Perkins at YoungLife.

3:19 “Great leaders lead other leaders.”

4:01 “If you want to hire and keep great people then you’re going to have to be prepared to invest in a few and have that team be the core that impacts the many.”

6:08 Why “A Players” can sometimes be difficult.

7:48 “I think there’s a difference between disagreeable [people] and people who are behaving poorly because they’re not getting the attention, and not getting treated the way that they need.”

9:25 Why leaders should always have a Plan B when it comes to dealing with toxic A Players.

12:02 “You’ve got to get your whole team involved in recruiting.”

14:25 What it means to have an A Player scorecard, and what the process means for team buy-in of new recruits.

14:51 How asking questions can create a whole new level of employee engagement.

16:23 “We get better at things that we practice.”

18:03 Tested tips and tricks for putting interviewees at ease before and during an interview.

18:08 “The most important interview question is the follow-up question.”

20:54 “What you’re doing as an interviewer is working to ensure a good mutual fit: good for the company, and good for the person.”

22:45 “There are not that many great leaders out there, so if you invest in your own ability as a leader, if you get better as a leader, then you’ll attract other leaders.”

23:25 “I’m committed to finding and hiring the best people that I can.”

23:57 What inspired Eric to write the book How to Hire A-Players.

26:54 “Over the last 6 months the talent markets have gotten hotter, making it harder to find and hire the best.”

27:35 What Eric does to stay productive and on track. 

Expert Bio

Eric Herrenkohl is the President of Herrenkohl Consulting, a consulting and retained executive search firm that he founded in 2002. He works as an advisor to CEOs on building superior leadership teams.

Eric is the author of the upcoming book Crowbar: Pry away top talent, surround yourself with the right leaders, and create the team your customers demand.

His previous book How to Hire A-Players is an Amazon bestseller published by Wiley that is described as one of the top 10 recruiting books of all time by Recruiter.com.

Business Week, Fox News, NBC News, the Toronto Globe and Mail, the Philadelphia Business Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Inc.com, Careerbuilder.com, MSNBC.com, Monster.com, and the LinkedIn Talent Blog have all featured his work.

Eric holds a master’s degree from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis and an undergraduate degree in economics and history from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He and his wife and four children live in the Philadelphia area.

For more information, visit Eric Herrenkohl’s website.

Contact Info for Eric Herrenkohl

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

Travels from: Wynnewood, PA

Phone: (610) 742-8196

Connect on Social Media

LinkedIn Facebook Twitter YouTube

Resources Mentioned by Eric Herrenkohl:

Bob Perkins – WRTI

melinda blau

Episode 157: Striking Up Conversations with Strangers – Featured Interview with Melinda Blau

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

  

 

adam_witty

Episode 155: Get Yourself Published – Featured Interview with Adam Witty

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

     

anita_campbell

Episode 145: Following Small Business Trends – Featured Interview with Anita Campbell

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:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Anita Campbell

Steven-Snyder

Episode 132: What Does Success Teach Us? Nothing – Featured Interview with Steven Snyder

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:

 twitter Twitter Facebook  

Books by Steven Snyder:

 Leadership Steven Snyder

 

Mark-Levy

Episode 128: What’s Your Big Idea? – Featured Interview with Mark Levy

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:

twitter Facebook

Books by Mark Levy:

Additional Resources Mentioned 

Bill Treasurer’s Courageous Leadership

Lisa McCloud’s Selling with Noble Purpose

gerald chertavian

Episode 125: Never Let Them See You Sweat – Featured Interview with Gerald Chertavian

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

altalt

 

Victor-Hwang

Episode 124: Designing Innovative Ecosystems – Featured Interview with Victor Hwang

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 

Michael Stanier

Episode 122: Great Work vs. Good Work – Featured Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

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:

Facebook Linked In twitter

Books by Michael Bungay Stanier

altalt altalt
mike figliuolo2

Episode 120: How Good Managers Become Great Leaders – Featured Interview with Mike Figliuolo

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:
Twitter linkedin facebook

Books by Mike Figliuolo

altlead-inside-the-box-figliuolo altelegant-pitch-compelling-recommendation-approved altone-piece-paper-approach-leadership

Episode 118: What Do You Really Want? – Featured Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

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:

linked in facebook twitter

Resources Mentioned by Michael Bungay Stanier:

altalt altalt

Additional Resources:

michael tchong

Episode 117: Ubertrending – Featured Interview with Michael Tchong

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:

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

altBooks by Michael Tchong

Social Engagement Marketing Coveralt

Doug Conant2

Episode 116: Turning the Coin Over – Featured Interview with Doug Conant

CEO of ConantLeadership and former CEO of Campbell Soup Co.

Former CEO of Campbell Soup Co. Doug Conant talks to Bill Ringle about personal leadership and taking charge of the things you can actually control.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How getting fired can lead to new and better opportunities
  • What it means to “turn the coin over” when presented with a problem
  • The two top qualities of mind that set exceptional leaders apart from well-intentioned leaders
  • How you can use the criteria to win in the marketplace in your own business
  • What resulted from combining the social agenda with the value agenda at Cambell’s Soup for employees and other stakeholders

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:12 Where Conant started his career, moving from Kellogg in Chicago to General Mills in Minnesota.

2:05 [On how to get things done] – “I learned very early on that most of the people I worked with had full lives. If they were going to be helpful to me, I generally needed to be helpful to them.”

2:53 How getting fired from General Mills played a pivotal role in Conant’s career, and how meeting executive outplacement counselor Neil McKenna helped get Conant made the difference in getting him back on his feet.

4:45 “It reaffirmed for me the importance of just trying to be helpful, to be helpful in a thoughtful caring way, with intentionality to move the enterprise forward.”

5:27 [Lessons learned: The Importance of Empathy] – “My first thought was one of betrayal and devastation, I had given everything to this company for nine years, and I felt it was incredibly insensitive the way it was handled. And that was a good thing too because I’ve had to make tough calls too, but I’ve made them in a caring way.”

6:45 Turning the coin over after devastating news.

8:09 [Paraphrasing Louis L’Amour on Perseverance] –  “He never knew when he was licked, so he never was.”

9:37 “Great things are having powerful incremental impacts in the moment with people.”

10:21 “Life is just a sequence of interactions. And if I’m really alert and thinking abundantly I find that I can be helpful in those small interactions, and cumulatively over time, I develop enormous credibility, which Stephen Covey might call a very positive emotional bank account with people. And as we build the emotional bank account up, it’s amazing what we find we are able to do collectively and individually.”

11:01 “It’s about making it personal. People are either at work or thinking about work, more than anything else they do, including spending time with their families. I think we sort of have to honor that as sacred ground, their work, and I think we have to take it personally.”

11:19 “I have found that if I make it personal and it I lean into creating a personally fulfilling work experience for people, they lean into the agenda of the company in a more personal and committed way.”

11:41 “Make it personal, be alert to the moment – be helpful in the moment, are two of the foundational ideas that I have…The third one would be that leadership, ultimately, it starts with personal leadership and getting comfortable with the things you can control.”

12:20 “If you really want to be good at leadership, my observation is that you have to treat it as a mastery model. You have to apprentice at it, you have to work at it, you have study it, you have to be thoughtful about it, you have to think through your philosophy of how you want to walk in the world and how you want to lead.”

13:06 “I take issue, for the most part, with this concept of born leaders. Some leaders have a capacity to lead at a certain level that may be above average, but to be great I guarantee you they all work at at.”

13:17 Jack Welch’s leadership work ethic.

14:14 Some of the problems Campbell’s faced internally and externally before Conant took leadership in the company.

16:33 “We were overpraising and under delivering and making bad decisions to patch up the performance.”

18:29 Conant lists the four criteria you need to win in the marketplace.

21:01 [On challenges in taking over leadership at Campbell’s] – “It literally took a few years to get the kind of traction we needed and get the company on solid footing.”

23:04 “I was going to bed thinking about all of the things we needed to do 365 days a year for the first three years.”

23:45 “Employees are not mind readers. You need to tell them what’s expected and how to expected to deliver that performance.”

24:25 “The more clear we could be, the more accessible the whole came to every employee.”

24:34 How Conant used the “Balanced Scorecard” create clarity and direction for employees.

25:50 “The single most important thing in any of these organizations is employee engagement.”

26:32 “I have found over time that if I just focus on the people, the people take care of the business. But if you have to put one over the other, you put the people first.”

27:02 The Campbell Success Model – metrics for management.

29:14 The Boston College reputation institute.

30:17 [Campbell’s success model] – “Winning in the workplace, winning in the marketplace, winning in the community, and winning with integrity.”

30:59 “It helps to have metrics, it helps to create focus for the organization that says, at a high level, this is what we stand for as a company.”

32:04 “The more engaged people can become in the work of the enterprise, the better you’ll do.”

32:15 Four things which drive employee engagement.

33:15 “Driving an aggressive social agenda, while we were driving an aggressive economic value creation agenda was very synergistic. Because we were saying, ‘Here’s how you can leave a legacy of contribution through your work that transcends your ordinary work experience while you’re making a living, while you’re feeling valued, and while you’re learning.”

33:44 “The more we leaned into building a better world, the more engaged our employees got, and the better we performed in the marketplace.”

35:14 “I think the challenge in the next decade is going to be for corporations to build this intuitively obvious practice more into the fabric of how they run their companies.”

36:01 Examples of companies building a better world by building better companies.

37:11 “All organizations aspire to be relevant in the world, to certainly create economic value, but they also are committed to enduring success. All leaders want to be associated with enduring success. And they see the value in being good citizens.”

38:12 “It’s important that once you declare yourself, you deliver on it.”

39:24 What Conant reads for inspiration.

Expert Bio

Doug Conant is the founder and CEO of ConantLeadership, which is dedicated to helping improve the quality of leadership in the 21st century. He is passionate about employee engagement and firmly believes in the importance of coming up with your own leadership model.

Doug was appointed President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company in 2001. Under his leadership, Campbell reversed a precipitous decline in market value and employee engagement; the company has won many recognitions since, including the prestigious 2010 Catalyst Award. When Doug retired in 2011, he received the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) 2011 Champion of Workplace Learning and Performance Award.

Doug joined Campbell with 25 years of experience from three of the world’s leading food companies: General Mills, Kraft and Nabisco. He began his career in 1976 in marketing at General Mills. After 10 years, he moved to Kraft where he held top management positions in marketing and strategy. Immediately prior to coming to Campbell, he was President of the $3.5 billion Nabisco Foods Company where he led his team to improved marketplace performance and five consecutive years of double-digit earnings growth.

During his tenure at Campbell, Doug established the Campbell CEO Institute to train the company’s future leaders and ensure that the company’s highest-potential employees were well-equipped to handle the challenges and surprises that inevitably create a leader’s impact and legacy.

He is now a sought-after speaker on leading with integrity and other business topics, and is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling book TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments.

For more information, visit Doug’s website.

 

Contact Info for Doug Conant

Web address: ConantLeadership.com

Travels From: Philadelphia, PA

Follow Doug: Twitter

Books by Doug Conant

altalt alt

 

mette norgaard

Episode 115: Share Your Code to Become a Better Leader – Featured Interview with Mette Norgaard

Strategic Leadership and Learning Expert and Author

Mette Norgaard talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about how you communicate with your team will make or break you as a leader.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What leaders who care about the human side of business can be observed doing regularly
  • How the Finnish Broadcasting situation was turned around one lunch conversation at a time
  • What distinguishes a conversation from a Touchpoint opportunity
  • Why sharing your “code” with your team can make you a better leader
  • How to combine your words and energy in an interaction to produce extraordinary impact
  • What you can do to sidestep the myth of “no time to slow down”

Expert Bio

Mette Norgaard, Ph. D., MBA, is an expert on strategic leadership and learning. She works with executives to design and deliver learning solutions that advance the company’s strategy. She has also designed and participated in executive dialogues and workshops with thought leaders such as Stephen Covey, Jim Collins, John Katzenbach, Rob Goffee, Margaret Wheatley, and Ram Charan.

Over the years, Mette has taught thousands of leaders from a wide range of organizations, including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, GE Capital, Estée Lauder, the US Armed Forces, and Harley-Davidson. In addition, she has worked closely with the executive teams at companies like Metro International, Pandora Jewelry, and Finnish Broadcasting. Finally, she has been a long-term partner on the development of high-potential leaders at companies like Campbell and Microsoft.

Her latest book, co-authored with Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell, is TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments. She is also the author of the international bestseller The Ugly Duckling Goes to Work: Wisdom for the Workplace from the Classic Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, which has been published in many languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese.

Prior to starting her own practice, Mette worked with FranklinCovey Co for ten years. She was the director of Principle-Centered Leadership Week, an executive retreat at Sundance, UT. In addition, she was part of a small team of consultants who led large-scale change processes for Fortune 500 firms and the US Government. Before joining FranklinCovey Co, Mette served as a leader in both healthcare and manufacturing, and she knows first-hand the incessant pressures to do more with less and do it faster.

For more information, visit Mette’s website.

Contact Info for Mette Norgaard

Web address: MetteNorgaard.com

Travels From: New York, NY

Follow Mette:

 Twitter LinkedIn

Books by Mette Norgaard

altalt altalt

 

Elaine Pofeldt

Episode 114: Building Great Relationships – Featured Interview with Elaine Pofeldt

Independent journalist specializing in careers and entrepreneurship

New York, NY

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Keys to building great relationships with clients
  • How the criteria you use for evaluating opportunities change as you change your business vision
  • The central role of courage for succeeding as an entrepreneur
  • How trusting your observations and taking action lead to success
  • Important networking advice for corporate managers and leaders

Expert Bio

Elaine Pofeldt is an independent journalist who specializes in writing about careers and entrepreneurship. When she was a senior editor at Fortune Small Business magazine, she was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her feature stories.

She went freelance in October 2007 and has since written for publications including Fortune Money Forbes and a variety of other print and online publications. At Crain’s New York Business, she is a contributing editor, focused on the weekly’s small business coverage. She writes a how-to column and one on startups, called Startup Scene. At Fortune, she writes a column called David vs. Goliath, looking at small companies that are taking on giant competitors.

Having built traffic Fortune Small Business Online from a fledgling site to one with 2 million to 5 million page views a month, she frequently draws on her experience to help clients improve their online presence. She also founded Fortune Small Business’s national Business Plan Competition and ran it for 5 years.

For more information, visit Elaine’s website.

Contact Info for Elaine Pofeldt

Dave-logan

Episode 111: The Oracle Question – Featured Interview with Dave Logan

Co-Founder and Senior Partner of Culture Sync, Author New York, NY

In this interview, Dave Logan talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about the role of management in business.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What’s easy vs. important.
  • What to do if something unexpected comes along. 

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

0:59 Dave discusses how he became interested in business, and talks about the role that management plays in business.

1:34 Dave’s father enjoyed his job until management changed, which is what Dave considers the catalyst of interest in working on fixing the “conspiracy toward mediocrity.”

4:10 “Running a company… requires a lot of raw intelligence.”

7:22 “When people are struggling, they do what’s easy rather than do what’s right.”

7:55 Dave talks about an addiction to the status quo, and that often businesses don’t want to rock the boat when they really should be changing with the times.

9:03 Even when it’s uncomfortable, often the best thing for businesses leaders is to get out of the way of others who can do their job better.

10:14 Business leaders must follow their gut and intuition when answering important questions.

10:40 Dave brings up the Oracle Question: “What is likely to happen in the business if nothing unexpected comes along?”

11:05 People act as if their answer to the Oracle Question is the right answer, but depending on their answer, this can negatively impact the business.

11:41 Dave lists the ways in which this sense of superiority can cause a lack of forward movement and growth.

12:21 “Even if they are preaching vision and change and growth… when you actually examine what they do, there’s a default future, the answer to the Oracle Question, that is something other than they are preaching, and they and other people are actively bringing that about. And I think that’s the most important question that business leaders can ever ask.”

12:51 Dave gives an example of a business with which he has worked that was not aware of this questioning process, which led to an undesirable default future.

18:34 “When you actually figure it out and implement it, there’s this wave of enthusiasm and relief and passion and innovation, and every thing that people want ends up happening naturally. You don’t need to bribe people into innovating; they just do it.”

19:34 Dave tells us that there are four things that a business needs to get right, and that there is at least one of the four that need attention: Strategy, Structure, Systems and Processes, and Culture.

20:23 There is an instrument on Dave’s website that can help a business leader find which of the four needs to be reviewed.

21:26 Most of what analysts have written about Culture is dead wrong, and Dave’s book Tribal Leadership discusses how to get it right.

22:14 DaveLogan.com contains a free download for the audiobook of Tribal Leadership, a free instrument called Fix Your Company, and other instruments that can rate a business’ culture.

22:50 The objective of these free instruments on his website is to help a business leader see what is really going on in one’s company.

23:12 Dave was surprised to learn that very few employees would devote themselves to the company’s values, regardless of the bottom line.

25:20 One of the most widespread problems in management is that many of the management techniques are out of date.

Expert Bio

Dave Logan studies how people communicate within a company — and how to harness our natural gifts to make change within organizations. He looks at emerging patterns of corporate leadership, organizational transformation, generational differences in the workplace, and team building for high-potential managers and executives.

He’s the co-founder and senior partner at CultureSync, a management consulting firm, and works with Fortune 500 companies, governments, and nonprofits. Much of CultureSync’s work is derived from a ten-year study of over 24,000 people published at Tribal Leadership (2008), which shows how organizational culture evolves over time and how leaders can nudge it forward.

For more information, view Dave on CultureSync.net

Contact Info for Dave Logan

Web address: CultureSync.net

Follow Dave: Twitter linkedin facebook

 Books by Dave Logan

tribal-leadership

fred catona

Episode 110: Digital Convergence Marketing – Interview with Fred Catona

Chief Marketing Strategist for Bulldozer Digital

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The most memorable lesson he learned from Priceline founder, Jay Walker
  • Why having a message foundation is the critical step to get right for a marketer
  • How to leverage the speed and feedback advantages of direct response radio advertising
  • What role the trust agent plays in marketing for businesses that range from medical practices to travel, especially if you have a skeptial audience
  • What specific criteria you can use to decide if radio advertising can help you grow your business

Expert Bio

Fred Catona is the Founder and Chief Marketing Strategist for Bulldozer Digital, a full-service advertising and marketing company that specializes in Digital Convergence Marketing. Fred has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, Entrepreneur Magazine and over 100 TV, radio, magazine and online media outlets.

After graduating from East Stroudsburg University, Fred taught school for twelve years during which time he became an award-winning teacher and successful coach. During the later part of his teaching career, he started The Taste of Philadelphia which became one of the first companies to ship perishable food products overnight nationally.

In 1993, Fred founded Radio Direct Response, the first advertising company to focus solely on radio as its advertising medium. Fred developed and pioneered Direct Response Radio, an extremely effective method to generate sales and sales leads. DRR is easily manageable, measurable and cost effective.

Jay Walker, the Founder of Priceline.com, turned to Fred and Radio Direct Response in 1995 to launch Priceline.com whose valuation grew to $20 billion in just 18 months. RDR has had numerous successful advertising campaigns with other notable companies such as Free Credit Report.com and Disneyonline.

Fred is currently plowing new fields by drawing upon his vast expertise in Direct Response Radio, and its immense lead generating capabilities, by developing a natural progression into the digital world with Radio-Digital Convergence Marketing.

In addition to his executive responsibilities with his companies, Fred does consulting and is a frequent guest speaker. He has also long time active member of Big Brothers of America.

Visit Fred’s Wikipedia page for more information.

Contact Info for Fred Catona:

No further contact info is available for Fred.

Travels From: Philadelphia, PA

kendra lee

Episode 109: Selling Against the Goal – Featured Interview with Kendra Lee

Author and Founder of the KLA Group

Denver, CO

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How to set criteria for overcoming your self-doubt
  • Who to ask for business advice (and who can’t give you helpful advice, even if more convenient)
  • Looking beyond cold calling for lead generation
  • How a $5 MM lab simulation company got out of their own way and doubled revenue
  • The big breakthrough for a $100 MM security company
  • Why campaign success cannot be measured after a single event or e-mail, and how to really make it work

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

00:59 “Does anyone ever imagine a career in sales when they’re growing up?”

1:27 How growing up in a family of entrepreneurs, including her grandfather who owned a successful shoe peddling business, inspired Lee to become an entrepreneur herself.

2:21 “I started with a corporate job. I didn’t know what I wanted as a business. I had a very cavalier attitude toward it all.”

2:58 “In a corporate job it’s often hard to tell what are your talents. What should that job be when you start, or what should that business be when you start one? So it took me a while to figure out what were my true talents, that somebody would like to purchase, that would make a good business.”

3:31 “When I left IBM I had been in sales, but I didn’t believe that I was as good as I was.”

4:20 “Well I started in sales and knew, because of this entrepreneurial background, that I wanted to be what was called a new business sales rep, better known as a hunter…I really wanted to work with companies that had never worked with IBM before.”

5:18 “We don’t always recognize what we’re good at and what makes us different. We think everybody else could do it.”

5:45 “I actually did not feel that I had the skills to start a business, and still didn’t really know what made me different, and what the market needed. So I chose to leave IBM to see if I really could sell.”

6:27 “I thought, ‘If I could make it at the number 2 player, then maybe I could sell, and get over this imposter complex.’”

6:58 “Inside of 6 months I was the top rep worldwide, and I had done my million dollar deal. So that was when I realized, ‘Uh, oh. Now I have to do what I said I was always going to do and go start this company. What is it?’”

7:20 What Lee did with KLA group to figure out the path the business should take.

8:15 “Yes, we still do what I founded KLA Group on.”

9:36 “Market analysis could just mean going and talking to the people who are going to buy from you and asking them what they really want.”

10:53 “I think talking to your real market gives you a better feel for what exactly it is that you have to offer, and what would they pay for it. Your friends and family can’t do that.”

11:57 “The reason I wrote the book is because my staff kept saying to me, ‘Kendra, we have to have a book. People want a book. They want more than just the class.’”

13:48 [Myths of prospect generation] – “I think the biggest one is that they can either hiring a telemarketing firm to set appointments, and that they’ll have all the appointments they need; or that cold calling is the only way to get new appointments.”

14:09 “When we talk about prospecting, your goal is to set an appointment with a prospect that is qualified at the very highest level.”

14:48 [On criteria for cold calling] – “They forget that there’s a consistency that’s required, there’s training, and those people who are going to be calling on their behalf really need to understand what your solutions are, who your ideal audience is, why that target market would want to talk with you.”

15:27 Why it’s so important for people who are managing the people making cold calls on behalf of the company need to understand sales.

16:51 Lee recounts two common downfalls of sales managers.

18:12 “The executive team or the business owner needs to recognize how they have to evolve their sales team, and be ok with the fact that they may have to bring in a different caliber of person.”

18:53 The story of HSF and how KLA Group helped them grow more aggressively.

20:14 “Whether you are a small company with only 20 employees, or a larger company like HSF…you still encounter that sales management team that may not truly understand sales, for many it’s like a foreign language.”

21:00 [On why people hire KLA Group] – “They may have had failure or a series of failures in either hiring sales people or in executing lead generation, so they may have tried many different lead generation techniques but they’re not seeing results.”

22:42 [Common misconceptions about lead generation] – “If they’re thinking about campaigns – lead generation campaigns, nurturing campaigns – they may oftentimes think, ‘If I do one email campaign or if run one event, a lunch and learn or a webinar, I will get leads and that’s all I need to do. They don’t realize that what lead generation is all about or what makes selling easier, even if you’ve got a great hunter salesperson, is that name recognition.”

24:15 “Even if you have great [brand] awareness, you have to have certain strategies in place to make sure that your market is going to notice that you are doing that event.”

24:39 [On brand awareness and demonstrating consistency] – “It is having a strategy in place that outlines what exactly you want to do from who is your target market to what are the issues they are experiencing that you can address to what can you offer them that’s going to make them want to talk to you.”

25:38 How Lee was able to convince one of their largest clients to hire KLA Group.

27:43 “When you’re doing lead generation, you can start to identify who are those people who need you right now, and you’re going to move those people into your sales process and start working with them.”

28:13 “Lead generation gives you that consistency of a funnel where you’re continuing to nurture until they’re ready.”

28:25 Lee’s 4 essential tips for lead generation: strategy, sales follow up, targeting, and the right message for your target market.

30:37 “There are processes in lead generation and processes in sales, there’s a structure.”

31:08 “As a business owner, once you’ve had the systems in place – you’ve identified your target market and you have your strategy in place – it’s no different than directing your operations manager. When you’ve got a person who’s fully trained and knows what they’re doing, they don’t need a lot of direction.”

32:28 “The biggest thing that I do is communicate with the staff. Direct reports I meet with on a weekly basis.”

34:00 “I look outside our industry. I have one person I network with who runs a retail business, another that owns an oil company. For me, I want to talk to people who aren’t just in my same type of business, because I could pick up some great idea.”

Expert Bio

Kendra Lee, owner-president of KLA Group, is a prospecting prodigy and virtual sales magnet who advises and trains mid-market companies to generate leads, prospect and sell to mid-market companies in innovative ways that breakthrough common sales and prospecting barriers.

Named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2012 by Top Sales World, Top 25 Influential Leaders in Sales for 2012 by Inside View, and Faculty Chair in Prospecting and Lead Generation for the Sales Training Institute, she is author of the award-winning book, Selling Against the Goal and The Sales Magnet (coming January 2013).

Her clients have included Apple, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and countless mid-market companies.

For more information, visit Kendra’s website.

Contact Info for Kendra Lee

Web address: KLAGroup.com

Travels From: Denver, CO

Follow Kendra:

twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Kendra Lee

altalt

orvel ray wilson

Episode 108: Guerilla Selling – Featured Interview with Orvel Ray Wilson

Bestselling Author and Certified Speaking Professional on Guerrilla Selling

Boulder, CO

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How insisting on a meeting with a decision maker led to a great friendship and business partnership with Jay Levinson
  • What Red Bull did to break into the London bar scene
  • Economic trends that every business owner can use for growth
  • The business growth leverage opportunity in upgrading the skills of your team

Expert Bio

A full-time professional speaker since 1980, Orvel Ray Wilson has led more than a thousand large-audience seminars, custom training events and on-site workshops. His first book, Guerrilla Selling, published in 1991, became a bestselling classic, and made his name as an innovator in sales and marketing. As Senior Partner in The Guerrilla Group, he built with his team a multi-million dollar seminar company and conducted hundreds of public and private training programs for clients all over the US, Europe, and Australia.

Orvel Ray, together with co-authors Mark S. A. Smith and Jay Conrad Levinson, expanded the Guerrilla Marketing franchise to include Guerrilla Trade Show Selling, Guerrilla TeleSelling, Guerrilla Negotiating, and Guerrilla Retailing, and numerous audio and video programs distributed worldwide. The Guerrilla series now includes 47 titles with 21 million books sold worldwide in 61 languages.

Today, Orvel Ray shows sales teams “How to Sell More at Higher Prices”. He is a Certified Speaking Professional, and speaks to sales meetings, dealer meetings, trade shows, association conventions and small-business groups about unconventional sales and marketing tactics that build business. His programs draw standing ovations and rave reviews from audiences worldwide. He was voted one of the Top5 Sales and Marketing Speakers in America for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

For more information, visit Orvel Ray’s website.

Contact Info for Orvel Ray Wilson

Web address: GuerrillaGroup.com

Travels From: Boulder, CO

Follow Orvel Ray:

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Orvel Ray Wilson

Selling Retailing Trade Show TeleSelling Negotiating

nick sarillo

Episode 100: A Slice of the Pie – Featured Interview with Nick Sarillo

Author, Speaker, and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub

Chicago, IL

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The most important aspect of a business is not it’s product or people or process, but another “p” word
  • The importance of making your company values current and present to each employee so that employees can use values in day-to-day decision making
  • The case of the burned bottom pizza, and the broader lessons any business owner can draw from it
  • Why you need to oversee multiple health dimensions of a business for all stakeholders
  • What exceptional factors drives higher profits and lower turnover in a traditionally slim margin and low commitment business that you can model in your business

Expert Bio

Nick Sarillo is the founder and CEO of Nick’s Pizza & Pub, the sixth busiest independent pizza company in per-store sales in the United States. Founded with the purpose of providing the community with an unforgettable place where families could relax and have fun, Nick’s Pizza & Pub has margins nearly twice that of the average pizza restaurant and boasts an 80 percent employee retention rate in an industry in which the average annual turnover is over 150 percent.

A regular speaker at entrepreneurship and HR conferences, Sarillo credits his company’s success to his purpose-driven culture. Nick is also the author of A Slice of the Pie: How to Build a Big Little Business, which offers small business owners a handbook for creating a culture that will support a business through good times and bad – even in an industry where turnover is high, expectations are low, and a college degree is not required.

For more information, visit Nick’s website.

Contact Info for Nick Sarillo

Web address: NickSarillo.com

Travels From: Chicago, IL

Follow Nick:
Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Nick Sarillo

altalt

carol roth 2

Episode 98: The Entrepreneur Equation – Featured Interview with Carol Roth

Business Strategist and Bestselling Author

Chicago, IL

Carol Roth talks with Bill Ringle about tough love for entrepreneurs.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The importance of re-evaluating business models from a non-emotional basis
  • How to think about what “good risk” means
  • A secret to successful business planning that separates thriving businesses from business casualties
  • How the Rule of 3x lets you budget resources, and more importantly, manage expectations better
  • Why scalability is so important to think about as an end goal

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:48 Roth’s first entrepreneurial experiences as an 8 year old selling toys to her younger sister.

3:20 [On problem solving for business leaders] – “I look at other people and I ask them what their problem is, or I spend time with them to try to uncover their problem, and try to solve this problem for them.”

4:55 “I tend to favor frameworks because I believe that everyone has their own definition of success, not to mention their own circumstances, goals, and objectives.”

5:16 Roth tells about some difficult experiences that occurred in her young adult life.

6:49 “Through all these times when I felt I wasn’t going to make it, I was not going to be able to go on another day, I kept persisting. I kept keeping my eye on the goal, on what was going to make me strong, and what was going to help me give back to the world.”

8:01 [On inspiration for writing the book] “I wanted to give people a realistic, decision-making framework, again, very particular to their own situation. I didn’t want to say, ‘This is the way to do it.’

8:17 “My definition of success, and what I’m able to bring to the table in terms of resources and experiences, is very different from what other people bring to the table and what they’re looking to accomplish.”

9:27 [Why people appreciate The Entrepreneur Equation] “It’s just having that structure, that non-emotional, non-biased ‘What am I trying to do and how am I going to get there focus’ that has been very valuable for people.

9:33 [Roth’s definition of success] – “Getting through a day without collapsing.”

9:39 [Roth’s actual definition of success] – “It revolves around accomplishing certain goals that I’ve set out, that involve being a good wife and friend and relative and person. I sort of have a whole list of criteria that I live my life by.”

10:19 “I don’t think success is a place that I get to, I think it’s a journey. Because every time I accomplish something, we’re coming up with three additional things to add to the list.”

10:52 “I always have a plan. And it’s always a very large plan. And the way that I approach things is that I start with a big goal, some people call it the B-HAG, I some times call it the balls to the walls crazy goal, and then I break it up into smaller chunks that kind of lead there.”

11:45 [On entrepreneurial self-awareness] –  “I think so many people go into business because they are in love, or rather in lust, with an idea, with the emotion driving what they are trying to accomplish rather than rational thinking.”

12:22 The value of properly thinking through new opportunities in light of the risk/reward trade off, and taking the time to fully build the necessary foundation before taking the leap.

13:11 Why entrepreneurs should avoid the field of dreams business model.

14:40 [TGFO – Thank God for Oprah] “If it takes Oprah a couple of years to get her venture off the ground, it will probably take you the same”

15:00 “I’m convinced that once you become an entrepreneur you catch being bipolar, I didn’t know that it was contagious, something that you can get, but it’s amazing to me the high highs and the low lows that you go through, sometimes in rapid succession after another. And you really have to have the constitution, the stomach to be able to handle those because that is what throws so many entrepreneurs for a loop.”

15:59 [What it takes to be an entrepreneur] – “It really is something that you have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable with leaning into the ride on the rollercoaster and realizing that if you get knocked down seven times, that you need to get up eight times.”

17:10 “Equity value is the value of the business as a going concern, the value of the business by itself that’s separate from you.”

17:31 The story of the Terry the massage therapist: examples of companies with and without equity value.

18:32 “The way that most entrepreneurs really make a lot of money, and the ones you see on all the magazines and on the media, when they’re able to sell their business or create this value that’s not completely dependent upon them.”

20:01 [On the rule of 3] “Anything that you would do in business is going to take three times longer, is going to cost three times more, and be three times as difficult as you anticipate.”

20:45 “In terms of scaling, you have to go back to what’s the end goal. What are you trying to do? Are you trying to build a business just for a lifestyle? Or are you trying to build something that has equity value? Are you looking to employ other people and give back to the community? Are you looking to leave a legacy?”

21:15 “It always goes back to having a lot of clarity about what you see in the future.”

22:05 “One of the things I always encourage people to do, especially if you are financially risk averse, or that you don’t have the financial wherewithal, is to think about entrepreneurship within the confines of somebody’s else’s organization. You can be an entrepreneur in spirit without risking your own capital.”

22:55 “If you’re not willing to take the financial risk or even gain some relevant experience, go do it on somebody else’s dime, go do it within the confines of another organization. You still have something at risk, you’re still risking your reputation, you’re still risking your job, your salary; but it’s a different kind of risk, and sometimes that makes people more comfortable, and can be a good starting point.”

24:14 “One of the things I’ve learned is that you let the market tell you what it wants from you. You can go out with any product or service, and the market is going to tell you if they want it.”

24:35 The Doctor is in, Roth’s role as advice-giver.

26:00 “I’ve always been an advisory business, I started my career as an investment banker, that’s what I was clearly meant to do, and that’s frankly what people want from me.”

26:41 How Roth uses expansive lists to stay productive.

28:47 Roths’ sources of inspiration.

 

Expert Bio

Carol Roth is a business strategist, content producer, deal maker, former investment banker, and author of the New York Times bestselling book The Entrepreneur Equation. Carol has worked with hundreds of companies, ranging from a single entrepreneur with an idea to Fortune 500 businesses, on all aspects of business and financial strategy. Collectively, she has helped her clients raise more than $1 billion in capital, complete $750+ million in mergers and acquisitions, secure high-profile licensing and partnership deals and create 7-figure brand loyalty programs.

Carol is known for her tough love style – she tells it like it is, but as she says, she will give you a hug afterwards. She draws upon her broad experience base to provide advice ranging from the business basics to the bold (think firing your customers) with a fresh, no-holds-barred approach. She refers to her advisory style as the “Spinach in Your Teeth®” philosophy, warning business owners to never trust anyone who won’t tell them that they have spinach stuck in their teeth.

She is a frequent radio, television and print media contributor on the topics of business and entrepreneurship, appearing regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, Fox Business, and WGN TV Chicago, among others. To supplement her active media participation, Carol has completed media and improv training with The Second City, the leading improvisational comedy school in the US. Her Unsolicited Business Advice blog at CarolRoth.com was recently named as one of the Top 10 small business blogs online, and she herself was named a 2011 Top 100 Small Business Influencer. Carol is a contributing blogger to outlets like The Huffington Post, AllBusiness.com, and Crain’s Chicago Business/Enterprise City.

For more information, visit Carol’s website.

Contact Info for Carol Roth

Web address: CarolRoth.com

Travels From: Chicago, IL

Follow Carol:
Twitter

Books by Carol Roth

altalt

 

les mckeown

Episode 97: Predictable Success – Featured Interview with Les McKeown

Founder and CEO of Predictable Success

Marblehead, MA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The causes of complexity in a growing business
  • The 7-stage lifecycle of a business
  • How to achieve the key balance between systems and processes vs.  creativity and innovation
  • Overcoming the arithmetic extension myth

Expert Bio

Les McKeown is the President & CEO of Predictable Success. In this role, he advises CEOs and senior leaders of organizations on how to achieve scalable, sustainable growth and speaks to Fortune 500 companies about his breakthrough strategies.

Prior to founding Predictable Success, Les established himself as a serial founder/owner in the global business spectrum, starting more than 40 companies, in addition to being the founding partner of an incubation consulting company that advised on the creation and growth of hundreds more organizations worldwide.

Les is the author of Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization on the Growth Track—and Keeping It There and of THE SYNERGIST: Leading Your Team to Predictable Success. He has appeared on NBC, ABC, BBC, and CNN, and in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, USA Today,and The New York Times.

For more information, visit Les’s website.

Contact Info for Les McKeown

Business Phone: 617-237-0235

Web address: PredictableSuccess.com

Travels From: Boston, MA

Follow Les:

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook

Books by Les McKeown

altalt altalt

rory vaden

Episode 96: Take the Stairs – Featured Interview with Rory Vaden

Bestselling Author, Self-Discipline Strategist, and Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting

Nashville, TN

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The paradox principle, in which easy short-term choices lead to difficult long-term consequences.
  • Why balance is not something that high performers make a top priority.
  • What to focus on to have great fitness, great relationships, and great finances.
  • The perspective of peace as a form of wealth that is undervalued in society.
  • Daily habits that lead to high focus and productivity.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:10 “I have always been infatuated with successful people and how they become successful.”

1:25 How a conversation with a friend in the airport led to Vaden writing Take the Stairs.

2:30 Vaden’s early experiences with public speakers, and how his stint working as a door-to-door salesperson with the Southwestern Company as a freshman in college instilled essential business skills in him.

5:10 “Southwestern really created this system of self-discipline, getting perhaps the most least likely person to succeed in sales – a college student – putting them in one of the toughest sales environments imaginable – residential door-to-door – and the training them to be extraordinarily successful.”

5:52 “I realized self-discipline was the key and with the most disciplined people the world, it’s not that they like discipline more than the rest of us. In other words, their brain processes their choices that are presented to them through a different set of criteria, and they make calculations of opportunities based through a different set of lenses.”

6:44 “There are these seven key distinctions in how the most disciplined people think that is different from everybody else.”

8:00 [On the book’s case studies] – “We tend to think that success is about luck or skill or education level or who your parents are or who you know, and you know all of those things do play a role, but all of these people they somewhere along the line learned about thinking differently, they learned how to process things differently from most people.”

9:00 [The Paradox Principle of Success] – “Easy short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences. Meanwhile, difficult short term choices lead to easy long-term consequences.”

9:35 “We are governed by emotions, feelings, and impulses and what feels good right here and now in the moment.”

10:03 “The most successful people they realized at some point that the inverse is also true, if you save that money, your money grows by the virtue of investing or saving it.”

10:21 “When we make good choices on the front end – the students who work hard in school and pay the price while they’re in school have a whole different set of opportunities that are open to them in the long run that are not necessarily available to everyone else.”

10:45 “Problems that are procrastinated on are only amplified.”

11:32 The Harvest Principle – Time Management, how do you use your time?

12:05 “Balance is a horrible metaphor for spending time. Balance by definition means equal force in opposite directions.”

12:51 “It doesn’t matter how much time you spend on something, all that matters is the results that you create.”

13:42 “They’re strategy was imbalance: imbalancing their energy, time, and their resources in one specific area of their life, and once they created that result, it was much easier to maintain it.”

14:21 “Balance is not equal time spread across equal activities, it’s appropriate time, spread across critical priorities.”

14:47 “You learn to work double time part time for full time free time.”

15:53 What Vaden did to introduce self-discipline in his own life for a healthy lifestyle.

17:15 “When you let go of the escalator mentality of the magic pill and the secret potion and the hidden formula and the escalator way of thinking of there’s gotta be some convenient way to make the change, and instead you embrace the change of this take the stairs philosophy, in taking pride in things you don’t want to do, you get the life you want to have quicker.”

18:18 “I’m not interested in increasing your motivation, I’m interested in changing your mindset.”

18:38 “If you can change the way a person thinks just by providing a few insights, then I don’t have to tell them what to do.”

19:58 The perspective principle of faith

20:20 “All of the other 6 strategies of the take the stairs methodology all have to with achieving success, they all have to do with accomplishing something and how to get yourself to do things you don’t want to do. But this one, the perspective principle of faith, is the one that talks about how do you respond to failure. What happens when there’s unexplained tragedy in your life.”

21:55 How to respond to everyday challenges in a way that positive and productive.

22:43 “What horrible thing could happen to me today that in 1000 years would affect the whole world.”

23:07 “Our ability to have peace has nothing to do with money. Our ability to have peace has nothing to do with success. Our ability to have peace in the face in the face of failures, setbacks, and tragedies is directly proportionate to the term of our perspective.”

24:43 How Vaden uses spirituality in his own life to cope with unseen circumstances.

25:45 “You do your best and you forget the rest.”

27:20 “If I’m not consciously choosing a good attitude then I’m unconsciously choosing a negative one.”

27:40 Vaden’s regular habits for positivity and productivity.

Expert Bio

Rory Vaden is a self-discipline strategist and the Co-Founder of Southwestern Consulting, which works with organizations, companies, and individuals on leveraging self-discipline to create extraordinary performance.

His book Take the Stairs: 7 Steps to Achieving True Success is a #1 Wall St. Journal, #1 Amazon, and #2 New York Times bestseller. He is a two-time world champion of public speaking finalist for Toastmasters International and is currently on a “Take the Stairs World Tour” where he is taking the stairs to the top of the 10 tallest buildings in the world to raise money for America’s high schools.

Rory is a regular contributor to several publications, including the Huffington Post, and has been featured on Oprah radio, Fox news, CNN, in BusinessweekThe Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere.

For more information, visit Rory’s website.

Contact Info for Rory Vaden

Business Phone (Southwestern Consulting): 877-589-0606 ext 704

Web address: RoryVaden.com

Travels From: Nashville, TN

Follow Rory:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Rory Vaden

altalt

sam richter

Episode 94: Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling – Featured Interview with Sam Richter

Bestselling Author and Award-winning Sales and Marketing Expert

Minnetonka, MN

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How information gives you a competitive advantage with your own confidence.
  • Tips and tricks for accessing specific sites and finding important file types online.
  • Where to go to access exclusive and very expensive database resources at no charge.
  • The importance of recognizing and developing your skills with both the art and science of online research.

Expert Bio

Sam Richter is an internationally recognized expert on sales, marketing, and reputation management. His award-winning experience includes building innovative technology, sales, and marketing programs for start-up companies and some of the world’s most famous brands.

He is the author of the bestselling book Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling, named the 2012 “Sales Book of the Year” by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals, as well as a “USA Book News Winner” and a “Sales Book Awards Silver Medalist.”

Sam is founder and CEO of SBR Worldwide/Know More! and SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at ActiFi, a software and solutions firm serving the financial services industry. He was named by InsideView as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in Sales, and he was also named as one of the Top Chief Marketing Officers on Twitter.

For more than six years, Sam was president of a not-for-profit business library, where he led the transformation of an eighty-five-year-old private, non-profit business research organization into a nationally renowned institution serving entrepreneurs and small businesses via cutting edge online resources. Sam has created programs for companies including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Major League Baseball, Northwest Airlines (Delta), Kraft/Nabisco, Polaris Industries, National Geographic, 3M, Brunswick, and other large and small firms.

For his marketing work, Sam has won numerous regional, national and international marketing awards including Best of Show and Gold Awards, Webby Awards, and a Gold Award at the International Film Festival. He’s also won a Retail Vision Award and a Codie Award “the “Oscars” of the software industry” for Best E-commerce Software. He is a member of the Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list honoring the top Minnesota business leaders under the age of forty. He also was a finalist for Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year and he’s one of the more highly recommended persons on LinkedIn.

For more information, visit Sam’s website.

Contact Info for Sam Richter

Business Phone: 612-655-3397

Web address: SamRichter.com

Travels From: Minneapolis, MN

Follow Sam:

Twitter Linked In Facebook

Books by Sam Richter

altalt

josh linkner

Episode 91: Disciplined Dreaming – Featured Interview with Josh Linkner

Bestselling Author and Founder and CEO, Detroit Venture Partners

Detroit, MI

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How creativity is the new currency of success
  • The most exciting news about creativity (hint: it’s something we can all tap within ourselves)
  • What one corporation did to encourage calculated risk-taking among all employees
  • What creating an arch enemy does for boosting creativity at all levels in a company
  • A novel technique for overcoming timid ideas in brainstorming sessions

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 How an interest in jazz music sparked Linkner’s early passion for creativity.

1:55 “Creativity, truly, is the currency of success.”

2:08 “Today with the challenges of our times more difficult than ever, creativity has shifted from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘mission critical.’”

2:31 “In business we’re often heads down and doing task-oriented things and are following a manual, procedure, or process. In creativity involves using your imagination to come up with new ways, whether it’s a new product or service, or new way to communicate and tell the story of your business.”

2:59 “What we’ve found is that following the operating manual is no pathway to success. If anything that we learned from the financial crisis of 2008, it’s that the rules of the game have fundamentally changed.”

3:25 Why improvisation is such a valuable skill in the marketplace.

3:44 “In today’s world of dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and ruthless competition, creativity has really become job #1. A recent survey of 1500 CEO’s across 32 countries reveal that the #1 most important attribute for success in the next 5 years of business, in fact, is creativity.”

4:09 “What we need more than ever aren’t people who can just do what they’re told and follow the rules and cut costs, we need people that can think on their feet and who can innovate new products and services, and reimagine the way they do work. The people that are always obsessed with finding a better way.”

4:19 “Creativity is fundamentally a learned behavior, which means that all of us as human beings have enormous creative potential, we just need a systematic approach to unleashing it.”

5:13 “Most of us are brought up in environments that restrict creativity. We’re taught in school to follow the rules, there’s only one right answer, and whatever you do don’t make any mistakes. The problem is that if you run that game plan in the real world, if you run that game plan today, it’s a surefire path to mediocrity. Doing exactly the opposite is what allows us to reach our potential.”

5:41 Examples of companies who are fostering creativity well.

6:34 “So many individuals in companies spend their lives trying to play it safe, only to discover playing it safe has become the riskiest move at all.”

6:47 “The companies that embrace making mistakes and failing along the way, understanding that mistakes are the portals of discovery, are the ones that truly thrive and are building sustainable organizations.”

7:15 The story of ePrize and how they used creativity to stay ahead of competitors, even the ones they invented themselves.

9:52 “The most important natural resource of all is the human creativity that lives inside your team…Your job as a leader is not just to manage costs, but to help unleash that creative capacity.”

10:27 Why the way leaders interact with their teams affect productivity or, in some cases, keep employees from unlocking their creative potential.

11:50 How 3M fosters continually fosters innovation.

12:41 “No matter how big or successful you get, you always want to be focused on reinvention. You always want to be the force of disruptive change. Because it’s always more fun to be the disruptor than the disruptee.”

13:20 The difference between incremental and disruptive change.

13:29 “Disruptive thinking has to start with the ability to imagine what can be, instead of what is. It’s about imagining the possibilities and not being restricted by the way things currently are.”

14:25 The story of Detroit and its innovative early years, complacent middle years, and its rebirth of innovation in current years.

15:51 [On Detroit’s future] “Creativity can be applied not only to small companies, but even to troubled cities.”

16:38 “Sometimes the only way to make progress is through bold action.”

17:55 What if the Founding Fathers had not taken bold action?

18:30 The prevalent myths of creativity.

19:16 “Everyone in an organization, irrespective of job title, not only has the ability to be creative, has the responsibility to be creative.”

19:50 Why it’s important to spend time doing things you enjoy away from work.

20:15 The art of role-storming, rather than brainstorming.

Expert Bio

Josh Linkner is the New York Times bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity, named one of the top 10 business books of 2011. He is also the CEO and Managing Partner of Detroit Venture Partners where, together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and NBA team owner Dan Gilbert, Josh is actively rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship.

Josh is the Founder, Chairman, and former CEO of ePrize, the largest interactive promotion agency in the world providing digital marketing services for 74 of the top 100 brands, and has founded three other successful technology companies. He is also Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at the University of Michigan.

He has been honored as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year, and is a President Barack Obama Champion of Change award recipient. Josh is a regular columnist for Fast Company and Inc. Magazine, and his work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, and The New York Times.

Josh is also a Berklee-trained professional jazz guitarist who performs regularly in jazz clubs throughout the United States. Most importantly, Josh is on a mission to make the world more creative.

For more information, visit Josh’s website.

Contact Info for Josh Linkner

Business Phone: 760-603-8110

Web address: JoshLinkner.com

Travels From: Detroit, MI

Follow Josh:

Twitter Facebook

Books by Josh Linkner

stephen_shapiro

Episode 90: Best Practices Are Stupid – Featured Interview with Stephen Shapiro

Innovation Evangelist and Bestselling Author

Quincy, MA

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What a difference it makes to realize that all businesses are in the marketing business
  • How cracking the PR code boosts your visibility to prospects
  • A secret of running a profitable business is keeping your overhead low
  • What it means to “think inside the box” and to “define a better box”

Stephen Shapiro talks with Bill Ringle about building an innovative practice to serve large companies with big ideas.

Expert Bio

Stephen Shapirois one of the foremost authorities on innovation culture, collaboration, and open innovation. Over the past twenty years, his message to hundreds of thousands of people in over 40 countries around the world has focused on how to enable innovation by bringing together divergent points of view in an efficient manner.

Stephen has shared his philosophy in books such as 24/7 InnovationThe Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas, Personality Poker, and Goal-Free Living. He led a 20,000 person process and innovation practice during his 15 year tenure with Accenture. And his Personality Poker® system has been used by more than 50,000 people around the world to create high-performing innovation teams.

His latest book, Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out Innovate the Competition, has been featured by many major media outlets, was selected as the best innovation and creativity book of 2011 by 800-CEO-READ, and was the #1 best selling business book in Canada.

His work has been featured in NewsweekEntrepreneur MagazineO-The Oprah MagazineThe Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times.  His clients include Staples, GE, NASA, BP, Johnson & Johnson, The United States Air Force, Fidelity Investments, Pearson Education, Nestlé, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

For more information, visit Stephen’s website.

Contact Info for Stephen Shapiro

Business Phone: 617-379-1177

Web address: SteveShapiro.com

Travels From: Boston, MA

Follow Stephen:
Twitter

Books by Stephen Shapiro

    

lisa bodell

Episode 81: Creativity is for Everyone – Featured Interview with Lisa Bodell

Founder and CEO of futurethink

Lisa Bodell talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about creativity, positive thinking, and spring cleaning.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The reality behind how innovation occurs in business.
  • What makes leadership harder than it has to be for some.
  • The importance of mindset in approaching solutions.
  • How you can unlock creative energy in your company by killing stupid rules.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:37 Lisa’s days in advertising showed her that she was creative in a strategic way, leading her to create innovative businesses.

2:53 “I thought that everybody could be creative and innovative, they just needed to be able to flex it in different ways.”

4:40 A big misunderstanding in business and innovation is that only artists are creative, and Lisa wants to make sure people understand that every person at every level can be creative and innovative.

6:11 “It’s often the folks that are stereotyped as least innovative, that want to be innovative the most.”

8:20 Lisa observes that one of the biggest obstacles to fostering creativity is skepticism, and that business leaders need to break down their propensity to immediately be skeptical of new ideas.

9:10 “Skepticism definitely does [have a place in the creative process]. But what we’re talking about is a balance with potential. What we’ve groomed today are professional skeptics, and when that’s all you do, you don’t give ideas that have potential a fair hearing, and you might miss out on big opportunities.”

12:10 Lisa estimates that 80% of companies around the world are committing a grave mistake: having a complacent culture, where employees are resigned to the status quo and to not make waves.

13:25 There is a diagnostic in Lisa’s book “Kill the Company” where an employee can see how complacent they are, and she outlines three things one must do to no longer be complacent: diagnose oneself, figure out which behaviors one wants to change, and then figure out what small things one can empower others to do to contribute to an overall cultural change.

15:00 Lisa is careful to point out that these changes should be implemented from the middle out. In other words, it is not effective to have upper leadership telling people what to do, instead empowerment should come from the people at the center.

16:01 Lisa implements something she calls ‘Little-Bigs’ in which a company can see the biggest overall change by doing little, every day changes. She gives two examples that have been effective for her clients.

17:30 One of the most effective exercises Lisa has used with executives is having them imagine they were trying to kill their own company as a competitor would, which helped them identify the things which were weak or not working, enabling them to root out the bad to make room for more prosperity.

21:03 Lisa makes sure her own company implements these practices she teaches, and does a lot of ‘spring cleaning.’

Expert Bio

Lisa Bodell is the founder and CEO of futurethink, an internationally recognized innovation research and training firm that helps businesses embrace change and become world-class innovators. She founded futurethink on the premise that everyone has the power to innovate — they just need to know how. Clients such as 3M, GE, and Johnson & Johnson look to futurethink to develop new styles of thinking and generate innovative ideas.

Lisa is globally recognized as a leader and pioneer in the field of futuring and innovation — creating a unique, straightforward approach to an otherwise complicated topic. She created the widely adopted SIPC Innovation Framework (STRATEGY, IDEAS, PROCESS, CLIMATE), which has helped innovators around the world easily embrace innovation, providing a clear method that breaks innovation down into manageable parts.

In addition to running futurethink and lecturing, Lisa currently serves as an advisor on the boards of the Institute of Direct Marketing in London, The Women’s Congress, the Association of Professional Futurists, and the prestigious Institute for Triple Helix Innovation think tank, the only innovation initiative of its kind within the U.S. government. She also serves as a finalist judge at the annual Idea Crossing Innovation Challenge and FIT’s innovation challenge (which futurethink co-created), has taught courses on marketing and creativity at American University, and serves as a faculty member of the American Management Association.

She is the author of Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution and an author of Success Simplified, a collection of works featuring other chapters by Dr. Stephen Covey, Dr. Tony Alessandra, and Patricia Fripp. Lisa has appeared on FOX News, and in publications such as Crain’s, Business Week, The New York Times, WIRED, Investor’s Business Daily, Successful Meetings, Harvard Business Review, and The Futurist.

For more information, visit Lisa’s website.

Contact Info for Lisa Bodell

Business Phone: 646-257-5737

Web address: futurethink.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Lisa:

Twitter

Books by Lisa Bodell

altalt altalt

tom_searcy

Episode 80: Systems that Succeed – Featured Interview with Tom Searcy

Founder & CEO of Hunt Big Sales

Tom Searcy talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about systems that succeed and how to create explosive growth.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How to build systems that allow you to repeat your successes.
  • How to minimize risk in going after big sales.
  • The advantages of tracking your success through the measurable success of your clients.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:23 Tom discusses how he entered the world of Big Sale Hunting, through large account selling.

2:05 “What I learned, I learned through some trial and error. You can make some really big mistakes when you’re trying to sell big companies.”

2:18 Tom says he had to build a system for sales, rather than relying upon networking, relationships, luck, or right timing.

3:15 Bill and Tom discuss minimizing risk: “There are a lot of pieces to minimizing the risk…you need to run it as a regular system or process to make it happen.”

3:35 Tom gives Bill three brief ideas around minimizing risk: 1. A business owner must figure out what is the best opportunity for them. This eliminates “between 90% and 95% of ideas that might look good,” but are really what he calls a ‘Black Hole Prospect.’

4:06 A business owner must know up front what the characteristics of successful relationships are.

4:10 The second idea around minimizing risk: A business owner must know their own capacity and goals, and be able to climb the ladder rather than take a running leap across a chasm.

4:40 The third idea around minimizing risk: A business owner should not hunt one large account at a time, but rather one should hunt multiple accounts at a time.

4:58 “By defining what that stretch account is on the ladder of your growth, you put yourself in a good position to only get those kinds of accounts that fit into a plan or a pattern.”

5:15 Bill uses a pool analogy to describe setting oneself up for future growth and success.
5:41 Before entering a deal with a large and impressive company or entity, one must know both the qualifying and disqualifying attributes of said company.

6:10 Tom cautions against lack of research on how entering into a relationship might cause lack of goal completion.

6:30 One must be strategic rather than purely optimistic.

7:09 Tom discusses some questions he might ask his clients prior to meeting with a big potential large account.

9:27 A business can get ahead of their competition by asking multifaceted and non-standard questions that tell them more about their potential clients and accounts.

10:26 If a potential client or business does not have long term goals or has not considered what improvement they wish to make in six months, then they are likely not going to be good partners, nor are they serious about their business.

12:13 By asking these questions, the risk is not only reduced for the company, but also for their potential clients.

13:36 Tom tells us about a solution that enables to him and his company to connect with ideal clients and grow his business, in spite of the rapidly changing marketplace, and social media has been central to that growth for him in the last six months.

14:19 “Social media puts together people who have unique problems that are specific to the kinds of problems we solve… and that gives a lot of endorsements in the social media space for the benefits we bring the client.”

19:20 Engaging on multiple platforms, especially social media, can attract new clients, and allows a welcoming and easy experience for them.

20:08 Tom talks about why and how he became a consultant: he was asked to do some consulting for companies, and although he had the ultimate goal of buying a company, he began having fun as a consultant, so he began his own consultancy.

22:40 “When you sell growth and can deliver on that promise, let me tell you, things roll forward better.”

Expert Bio

Tom Searcy, the foremost expert in large account selling, has made a career out of doing big deals and creating explosive growth. By the age of 40, he had lead four corporations, transforming annual revenues of less than $15 million to as much as $200 million in each case.

As the founder and CEO of Hunt Big Sales, a fast-growth consultancy and thought leadership organization, he’s helped clients transform the way they do business and close deals they would have never thought possible. With Tom’s guidance, Hunt Big Sales clients have closed more than $4 billion in new sales with 190 of the Fortune 500 companies, including 3M, Disney, Chase Bank, International Paper, AT&T, Apple and hundreds more.

Tom is a successful speaker who shares the secrets behind explosive sales growth with audiences around the world. As a regular contributor to the Inc. Magazine conferences and Vistage International, the leading organization for CEO thought leadership, he’s introduced more than 5000 CEOs to the concepts that can lead to their biggest deals ever.

He is the author of RFPs Suck! How to Master the RFP System Once and for All to Win Big Business, the co-author of Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, and regularly blogs about sales strategies and techniques.

For more information, visit him on the Hunt Big Sales website.

Contact Info for Tom Searcy

Business Name: Hunt Big Sales
Business Phone: 317-816-HFBS (4327)
Web address: Hunt Big Sales
Travels From: Indianapolis, IN
Follow Tom: Twitter

Books by Tom Searcy

tamara gerlach

Episode 79: Cultivating Radiance – Featured Interview with Tamara Gerlach

Founder, Cultivating Radiance

Tamara Gerlach talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about networking, persistence, and what it means to cultivate radiance.

Top 3 Highlights from this Interview:

  • How to take yourself lightly and your business seriously
  • The rapid business boost a successful book can provide
  • What interviews and focused networking can do for your business growth

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

2:28 Tamara has found that creating partnerships and collaborating have grown her business in the last six months.

4:09 These partnerships have been intuited through paying attention to the clues that others display when they want to work with Tamara.

7:17 A core part of Tamara’s business is referring to others’ works and networking.

8:57 Tamara finds self-care is essential to creating a sturdy foundation on which people can then help others: “People will take care of everyone and everything else, and put themselves last.”

10:30 Tamara gives an example of a ‘Radiance Makeover’: start with self-awareness and think of an aspect of your life you could be a bit more radiant, create a new story to see what else might be possible, then recalibrate and let your light out.

11:56 “It’s about turning up your lights. The new story is the beautiful, radiant ‘turn up your lights’ story, and you get to enthusiastically choose what you’re going to do with confidence, and wake up all your passion. Tell the story about the life you want to have, and then you start acting like that.”

14:21 One of the first shifts towards sustainable business practices was finding a mentor, who told Tamara that she was running a business, not just working a job, after she started her own gymnastics center.

16:07 Tamara identifies resiliency and persistence as key aspects for business owners to have in order to promote change by taking risks.

21:13 “Be more radiant; your life will be better!”

Expert Bio

Tamara Gerlach has taught, mentored, and coached thousands of people in creating freedom and Cultivating Radiance in their lives since 1982. She loves to create opportunities for others to deeply experience what they are learning, and to inspire others to become empowered by getting into action around changing their lives.

She began life and business coaching in 2001 after working with Rich Fettke for several years and seeing the impact coaches have on people and businesses. She obtained her training through the Coaches Training Institute, as well as completing Leadership training through Coactive Space. She has assisted the leaders of numerous coaching courses as well as a nine-month leadership course.

She is passionate about working with business leaders, entrepreneurs, athletes, parents, students, and anyone who wants to empower their life to achieve their goals.

For more information visit her website, TamaraGerlach.com.

Contact Info for Tamara Gerlach

Business Name: Cultivating Radiance

Business Phone: 925-864-2093

Web address: www.TamaraGerlach.com

Travels From: San Francisco, CA

Follow Tamara: Twitter

Books by Tamara Gerlach

alt

brian reich

Episode 78: Maintaining Networks of Knowledge – Featured Interview with Brian Reich

Founder and Managing Director at little m media

Brian Reich talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about information strategy, solving big problems, and the mistakes marketers and politicians are making on a regular basis.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • Qualities of a successful info strategist and how that can help your business
  • The importance of avoiding the shiny object syndrome
  • The big challenges on which we can be focusing our talents and technology to improve quality of life now and in the future
  • The key to tackling challenging problems
  • Tips you can use to avoid information overwhelm

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

0:55 Reich recounts his formative years in politics, working in President Clinton’s speechwriting office and as Vice President Gore’s briefing director.

1:44 “I started to look at information and how people get information and how they move and share information.”

2:34 [On how to be an information strategist] – “You have to love information, you have to love consuming and looking at the world as a constant stream of knowledge and potential insight.”

3:01 How information consumption habits change over time.

3:09 “Everything you consume and make sense of informs your work.”

3:36 “For information strategy to really work well you have to live that idea of being the expert generalist. You have to be good enough at everything in order to put all the pieces together.”

4:41 [On how his learning style and way of interpreting information affected his education] – “I was less capable of delivering the exact answer for the assignment.”

5:49 “One of the things that’s unique to politics is that when you start a campaign, or even before you officially start a campaign, you’re always on. Every minute of every day is an opportunity to engage with some prospective voter.”

7:19 [How Reich’s political work has informed his career] – “I’m always on, which is incredibly important and more important today in a digitally connected world.”

8:42 “Campaigns have been reduced to these small sound bytes, these tweets back and forth…what they’re missing is that unique and wonderful ability in today’s age to educate people. And when you have a knowledge-based connection rather than just an emotional connection, rather than just a response to whatever is happening, you actually have a greater likelihood of staying engaged.”

10:22 “The common complaint in today’s world is that there’s too much information and people are overwhelmed by it. But the reality is, there’s not too much information, there’s a lack of good information.”

10:47 “We live in this world where people have much more control over their information experience, they have far greater expectations for the level of detail and specificity that they’re gonna get for any engagement experience that they create.”

11:45 [Reich’s prescription for modern campaign success] – “Take the content that is being created  – the comments and the questions by the voting populace as a whole – and harness that and turn that around and channel that and focus that.”

12:49 How marketers and politicians are missing the obvious opportunities.

13:38 “I think in a lot of places we have let technology and social media get in the way of the core understanding of the things we’ve learned over time about how to market.”

14:30 “We have to look at technology as the tool, and use our brains to figure out what people want and when they want it and how to serve those interests,”

14:51 What inspired Reich to write his book.

15:29 “We talk about how we understand what these problems are, but we are using an old playbook.”

16:14 “Until we solve these complex problems, until we start to move and make real progress, things are only gonna get worse and that’s a very scary proposition.”

17:08 “We have three times the number of solutions and resources to address these issues and we lack the political will.”

17:16 “We lack the individual selflessness, the understanding that serving our own interests doesn’t have to come at the expense of the larger good.”

17:43 “We’re better as a team than we are as individuals.”

18:58 “None of these complex problems…is going to be solved with one strategy or overnight because people become aware.”

19:24 “You gotta think smaller. You’ve got to break these larger problems into component pieces, and you need to start solving those pieces one at a time.”

20:10 Why the only way to solve big problems is by being flexible and adaptable.

21:41 How Reich sorts through information to find the most relevant and important.

22:17 “The truth is that the definition of good information is entirely about the context.”

22:50 “It’s not about keeping it in my head or sort of finding value in the moment, it’s about processing as much information as possible, so when I need to go deeper I have a sort of repository or curated list, a refined focus.”

23:15 “You have to maintain your own networks of knowledge.”

24:01 How Reich maintains his information repository.

24:50 “I can’t be dependent upon only what I’m able to consume, I have to be smart enough to know when to ask and who to ask for help.”

Expert Bio

Brian Reich is founder and managing director of little m media, an information strategy firm that helps individuals and organizations solve complex problems. He is well known for his expertise in new media, Web 2.0, social networks, mobile, community, ecommerce, brand marketing, cause branding, and more.

Brian is the author of Shift & Reset: Strategies for Addressing Serious Issues in a Connected Society and co-author of Media Rules!: Mastering Today’s Technology to Connect with and Keep Your Audience. He also contributes as a Fast Company Expert, hosts a regular podcast discussion about the impact of media and technology on society, and teaches consumer behavior and marketing strategy in the graduate school of communications at Columbia University.

Brian began his career in politics, working on several campaigns around the country. He spent two years as briefing director to Vice President Gore in the White House and during the 2000 presidential campaign. He has spent the past decade providing strategy, analysis, and support to corporations, nonprofit organizations and charities, media companies and other groups that are looking to solve complex problems. He has held senior roles at leading digital, PR, and public affairs agencies, including Mindshare Interactive Campaigns, Cone Inc., and EchoDitto. He has led projects for many of the largest and most influential brands and nonprofit organizations, as well as media companies, start-ups, and political/advocacy groups.

For more information, visit Brian’s website.

Contact Info for Brian Reich

Web address: ShiftandReset.com

Travels From: New York City, NY

Follow Brian:

Twitter

Books by Brian Reich

altalt altalt

scott klososky

Episode 76: The Shifting Marketplace – Featured Interview with Scott Klososky

Author, Social Technology Expert, and Founder of Alkami Technology

Scott Koslosky talks to Bill Ringle on My Quest for the Best about changing marketplace technology and how to know when you’re ready to expand your business.

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • How a dyslexic boss showed how to find a willing market and build a business from the ground up
  • What it took to sell to larger companies as a startup
  • Mistakes made and lessons learned from overly ambitious business expansion
  • What CEOs need to know now about leadership skills in the age of digital marketing and social media

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:05 Scott discusses how he got his start in business with a start-up that he joined at 18.

2:13 Scott describes how he worked his way up this company straight out of high school, then began his own business.

6:19 “The first things I learned right off the bat were how much accountability there was when you’re the one who now owns [the company]. There’s no one really that’s going to come to your rescue. You have to make all the decisions.”

7:08 It took four months to get his company to stability.

8:04 Scott realized he was no longer in “start-up mode” when his company picked up big orders from large companies, as well as when they opened new stores.

9:03 However, he does admit that his naivety caused his company to grow too fast, and later had to file for bankruptcy.

9:54 Scott talks about the problems faced by young entrepreneurs.

11:50 “You have to be good at looking forward into the future.”

13:15 Scott always recommends that a company gets a two-year lead on the competition with how they use technology.

13:41 There are two areas to think about when trying to grow one’s technology use in the business: back of house and digital marketing.

18:12 Scott wrote his book “The Velocity Manifesto” because he was working with so many leaders who didn’t understand the difference that technology makes in the marketplace, and they needed to cultivate new skills regarding technology strategies.

23:01 Every company should be able to access all customer information in one platform.

23:30 Digital marketing engines are also a necessary technology to keep up with their competitors.

24:35 Some indicators of sustainability that Scott always looks out for in his company are profitability and profit growth, as well as how well the company is helping clients succeed.

29:00 The customization of how people market to specific businesses and demographics will continue to change.

30:43 Every day, Scott digests as much information as he can so that he can be more valuable in the marketplace and a more effective leader.

32:06 “The marketplace is changing, and technology is driving that change.”

Expert Bio

Scott Klososky, a former CEO of three successful startup companies, currently serves as founder and Chairman of the Board of Alkami Technology, which focuses on providing online account management solutions to the financial services industry. Scott also works with senior executives in organizations ranging from Fortune 500 corporations to universities and nonprofits, including Cisco, Ebay, Volvo, and the American Payroll Association. He helps his clients integrate social technologies into their strategic direction as well as improve their utilization of technology as a tool.

Scott is the author of three books: The Velocity Manifesto: Harnessing Technology, Vision and Culture to Future Proof Your Organization, Enterprise Social Technologies: Helping Organizations Harness the Power of Social Media, Social Networking, Social Relevancy, and Managing with Social Technology, a McGraw Hill Brief Case Series Book that is targeted specifically at giving managers a roadmap for implementing and using social tools in order to improve productivity and results.

For more information, visit Scott’s website.

Contact Info for Scott Klososky

Business Phone: 405-359-3910

Web address: http://www.fpov.com/scott-speaks/

Travels From: Detroit, MI

Follow Scott:

Twitter

Books by Scott Klososky

joan_pagano

Episode 75: Total Body – Interview with Joan Pagano

Author and Founder, Joan Pagano Fitness

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • The importance of continuous marketing.
  • How measuring concrete results really does make a difference to business growth.
  • That there really is time in your busy workday to exercise well.

Expert Bio

Joan Pagano is the author of best-selling fitness books, an informational speaker on health and fitness topics, and the owner of Joan Pagano Fitness in New York City.

Former trainer to Jacqueline Onassis and Caroline Kennedy, Joan has provided professional guidance to people at all levels of fitness since 1988, creating hundreds of training programs for individuals, groups, fitness facilities, schools, hospitals and corporations.

Joan is an authority on the benefits of exercise for women’s health issues such as pregnancy, breast cancer, menopause and osteoporosis as well as strength training through the decades. She has contributed to such publications as SHAPEHealth, FitnessOxygen and Vitality magazines,The Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and The Cleveland Plain Dealer among many others and has made national and regional TV appearances.

Formerly the Director of the Personal Trainer Certification Program at Marymount Manhattan College, Joan now manages her own staff of fitness trainers. She is a spokesperson for IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the world’s largest association for fitness and wellness professionals. Joan is certified in Health and Fitness Instruction by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is a Phi Beta Kappa cum laude graduate of Connecticut College. She has completed seven marathons.

For more information, visit the Joan Pagano Fitness website.

Contact Info for Joan Pagano

Business Phone: 212-722-8116
Web address: JoanPaganoFitness.com
Travels From: New York, NY
Follow Joan: Twitter

Books by Joan Pagano