Want to be Perceived as an Effective Leader? STOP being an Asshole or Jerk

Why do most workers assume that leaders are ‘Assholes”. Mainly,because some promenade leaders are seen as arrogant, abusive, make too much money and lack effective interpersonal communication skills such as, empathy, listening and understanding. Most ineffective or bad leaders seem to lack patience and are experienced as selfish. An article in the Washington Post summarizes this issue in very dramatic ways by listing many of these asshole leaders from General Patton to Steve Jobs and the infamous Donald Trump. After reading this insightful article you will understand why many people make the connection between poor leadership and being an asshole.

Dr.Robert Sutton, author of the business bestseller The No Asshole Rule , has recently said, “Everyone has their own private Steve Jobs. It usually tells you a lot about them—and little about Jobs.” Most potential leaders who thing Jobs, Trump or Patton are good role models for leadership seem to be taking a narrow and dying view of an old leadership style called the Command and Control model. Most people would agree that the CC style is a sure way now of days to doomed or de-railment their career because the 21 Century leader knows that communication and excellent “people skills” and emotional intelligence are a more fruitful path for career advancement.

So what is the answer for avoiding the Asshole syndrome as you move forward in your career ?

 People who want to stop being an asshole must re-learn or learn how to improve their communication effectiveness and empathy. Recent research by Zinger and Folkman indicate that this was the most common skill that that bad leaders (assholes) needed to improve. Communication skills can be fine tuned and learned once the individual knows their current level of communicating and is committed to learn new skills. These skills are very changeable with deliberative and focused practice. For many leaders, improvement in communication skills is less about learning new skills than about using the skills they already possess, but are under utilized. If you choose to improve and be perceived as an effective leader recent research shows that when struggling leaders spend time improving presentation skills, the effort can produce an immediately payoff.

After a leader acknowledges a need to improve communication skills and a focus plan for change is created, and before action is taken, you need to get into the right mindset. The power of your thoughts, your positive mindset, your committed focus on your goals and your plan will improve your chances of success in each area you take action in. You must believe in yourself and your ability to achieve your goals. You must become aware of your thoughts and maintain the ones that will support you’re getting what you want. You must eliminate distractions and focus on your strengths and  the end result.

Create a more inspirational, open and supportive workplace environment. Don’t miss this article on what bad leaders need to do to improve their perceived leadership effectiveness. Many of the factors Jack Zenger and Folkman point out in their recent HBR articles are common sense behaviors and actions not being practiced commonly enough. Their data show that taking these change steps are especially effective in increasing the success of leaders who’ve been formerly regarded as poor, but they can improve all leaders.

So, read these articles and stop holding yourself back by under performing behaviors that yo can change.

 

Critical Questions to Answer for Continuous on going Personal and Professional Development.

“I don’t have any special talents. I am just passionately curious”.–Einstein

What Do I need to do to take charge of my personal and professional development and growth?

The answers to this question are varied.  For me, the broad answer is this:  I write down what I want, and I write down what I need and then how I plan to get there. I write down barriers to accomplishing what I want and need to create a meaningful and fulfilling life.

That’s the overarching purpose, but I’ll give you some specific examples of what to include in your personal growth and renewal assessment.  Some of these items I added after recommendations from a spouse, friend ,colleague and coach.  One thing to note though is there are no hard and fast rules – your personal development and renewal assessment and plan are all about you, and what you want to accomplish in critical areas of your life-like the following:

Directions: A quick way to get a picture of where you are in your career and life development is to answer these questions by assigning a number from 1-10 for each of the 10 categories.  Score a one if you are unsatisfied and a ten if you are highly satisfied with your awareness, knowledge and comfort in these areas of your life. After completing the exercise review and reflect on your scores. Identify the three lowest scores and then identify the two areas you would most like to improve. Are you committed to change and improve these areas? If so what action can you take to improve or move forward in these areas.

1. Purpose and Personal vision—Why do I get up in the morning?

2. Satisfied and clear on your values, strengths and talents?  Do your talents and work responsibilities align

3. Career and work fulfillment fit with values—Where am I now and where do I want to be in 12-18 months? Where do I get stuck or feel frustrated?

4. Energy and vitality for life.

5. Relationships, communications and support systems at work and in personal life?

6. Health and Physical fitness– Are you doing what you need to do to stay physically healthy and and energized?

7. Spirituality–Do you spend time and make contact with a power ( religion, nature etc) greater than yourself ?

8. Time and Stress Management– Do you spend time on your real priorities in life?

9. Fun-Do you take the necessary time to enjoy life and recover from stress ?

10 Financial resources and stability–How are you handling money issues in your life?

The Fox and the Hedgehog–How to build a lasting and Meaningful Career as a Generalist

Remember, if you try to build a career the same way everyone else does by being an expert in your field, it’s hard to imagine you’ll be in demand for senior corporate positions in the future. Don’t miss the following HBR article, entitled All Hail the Generalist by Vikram Mansharamani who is a Business Management expert and lecturer at Yale University. Here is a piece in the article to wet your interest:

“Approximately 2,700 years ago, the Greek poet Archilochus wrote that “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” Isaiah Berlin’s 1953 essay “The Fox and the Hedgehog” contrasts hedgehogs that “relate everything to a single, central vision” with foxes who “pursue many ends connected…if at all, only in some de facto way.” It’s really a story of specialists vs. generalists. Don’t miss this important article on career changes and what corporations are looking for when hiring.

More tomorrow on thewick blog about how to start building a Generalist career portfolio.

Part 1 Revised–Art and Science of Presentology

” …the key question for Mastery: is the potential for mastery innate or just hard work ? The answer to this question is that “mastery” takes some innate ability (20%) but requires more  sustained practice (80%). Most research says that we need to and accumulate approximately 10,000 hours of smart and deliberative practice . So if most of the success in becoming an “master” presenter is deliberative and structured practice of 10,000 hours … the difficulty is how anyone can find this kind of time and motivation to become a master.  Recently, Dr. Boscoh a researcher in the field of high performance published an article that answers most of your questions around motivation and the importance of deliberative practice. And I will provide you a framework and structure for designing an exceptional presentation by understanding and using what I call the Four Pillars of Presentology:  the 4 M’s. methodology for “Winning from Within”

1. Message–make it “sticky”

2. Methods–use a proven structure for design

3. Mechanics–identify verbal and non-verbal strengths

4. Mental Toughness –overcome fears

So what makes a Master Presenter? I didn’t create any kind of scientific ranking while making my choices, but did consider five criteria:

  1. Does the individual’s message and ideas resonate to the audience—Relevance Factor?
  2. Are the ideas presented in a way that connects with the participants needs and expectations? Unique Connect Factor?
  3. In what ways can the message inspired me to take action or put the ideas to work immediately? Action Factor?
  4. To what degree has the presentation affected me personally? Memorable Factor?
  5. Know your strengths and “go with what you have” and make improvements from this starting point to reach your goals? Focus Factor?

For example, if you want to be more expressive and charismatic find out through feedback what you need to change and then use Ericsson’s Deliberative practice or a process like “Smart Steps” for personal change.Tell me what you think works or doesn’ t work with this Presentology framework.

Daily Quote And Reflection: Top Athletes and Singers have Coaches–Why not You?

Quote:” Elite performers, researchers say, must engage in “deliberate practice”—sustained, mindful efforts to develop the full range of abilities that success requires. You have to work at what you’re not good at. In theory, people might be able to use self-coaching, but most people do not know where to start or how to proceed. Expertise, as the formula goes, requires going from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence to conscious competence and finally to unconscious competence. The coach provides the outside eyes and ears, and makes you aware of where you’re falling short. This is tricky. Human beings resist exposure and critique; our brains are well defended. So coaches use a variety of approaches—showing what other, respected colleagues do, for instance, or reviewing videos of the subject’s performance. The most common, however, is just conversation.” Top Athletes and Singers have Coaches. Should you? Atul Gawande

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

Action Challenge: Given that we can all improve our skills the question for you in the next week is to identify–What areas would you like a coach to assist or provide feedback on so that you can become a more effective professional? 

Daily Quote and Reflections: Power of Genuineness in Building Trusted Partnerships

Quote: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie

Reflection : Genuinely caring for and recognizing the accomplishments of others helps to create unique connections and builds trusting relationships. This approach reduces competition with others and creates a more positive and collaborative climate to accomplish goals and increase work place satisfaction. Confidence is required to command respect, but authenticity and genuineness are the glue for building long-term relationships.

Action Challenge: In the next thirty days create a relationship development plan consisting of five key people in your life and commit to building a “trusted partnership”. One suggestion is to show more positivity toward them by doing specific activities that focus on recognizing and supporting their effort to accomplish their goals.   

Daily Quote and Reflection–Framework for Successful Job Interviewing

Quote: ” Before you even think about assessing people for a job, they have to pass through three screens. The first test is for integrity. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. The second test is for intelligence. The candidate has a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world. The third ticket to the game is maturity—the ability to handle stress and setbacks, and enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility. I then apply the “4-E (And 1-P) Framework” for hiring that I’ve found consistently effective, year after year, across businesses and borders. The first E is positive energy. It means the ability to go go go—to thrive on action and relish change. The second E is the ability to energize others, and inspire them to take on the impossible. The third is edge, the courage to make tough yes-or-no decisions. The fourth E is execute—the ability to get the job done. Then I look for that final P, passion—a heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work”. Jacek Welch, Former CEO of General Electric

Reflection: I think Jack had a unique framework for finding talent or A players as he called them. The only dimension missing in his first three screens was to measure for Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Emotional Intelligence, is defined as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions”. Recent studies on leadership and recruiting talent see EI as critical for predicting job success. Freedman et al.: “Emotional Intelligence is a way of recognizing, understanding, and choosing how we think, feel, and act. It shapes our interactions with others and our understanding of ourselves. It defines how and what we learn; it allows us to set priorities; it determines the majority of our daily actions. Research suggests it is responsible for as much as 80% of the “success” in our lives.” 
–From Handle With Care: Emotional Intelligence Activity Book  

Welch’s 4 E’s + P are more specific and powerful because they hone-in on key behaviors that company HR people ar looking for. His 4E’s are helpful for people interviewing when you combine them with my PAR concept for preparing for a job interview.  

Action Activity: I f you are preparing for a job interview develop some examples that would help you answer Welch’s criteria and create real world answers for the PAR questions. If you do this preparation you fwwl more confident in the interview and impress the interviwer with your EQ and Communication skills. Good Luck   

Daily Quote and Reflection: Jeremy Lin Lesson of Luck– “Always be Ready”

Quotes:

“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success”. Henry Ford

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning” Thomas Edison

Reflection:

The Jeremy Lin story is a story about preparation, luck and a desperate coach taking a chance on someone. You can call this luck or the “stars and moon” aligning for someone. What you can’t deny is that Lin was ready when the opportunity presented itself.  Jeremy Lin was hiding in plain sight but was overlooked by the so-called recruiting experts and numerous NBA coaches. Why did this happen? It could be inflexible definitions of what talent looks like, stereotype thinking or just plain stupidly on the so-called experts part.  I wonder how many people have suffered this experience and gave up or didn’t get the chance to show their stuff. This story will probably level off but is a testimony to the above quotes: always be ready–know your strengths and refine your skills, find someone who will give you a chance and find the system where you can show case your talents.  This story is about sports but could easily be said about other performing arts and professions. It is also about “lady luck” when the opportunity comes your way be ready to take the risk to do your best.

Bottom Line vs Power Of Emotional Intelligence: Review 19 Research Studies

“Research by the Center for Creative Leadership has found that the primary causes of
derailment in executives involve deficits in emotional competence. The three primary
ones are difficulty in handling change, not being able to work well in a team, and
poor interpersonal relations.”

This is only one study that highlights the importance of Emotional Intelligence and other factors in being successful in business. To do more investigation checkout the through discussion on why EI is one of the most important elements for any organization in reaching their productivity, profitability and people goals.

The 19 studies reported by Cary Cherniss, Ph.D. at Rutgers University, is part of a larger effort by the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations 

This report builds an over whelming business  case for how emotional intelligence contributes to the bottom line in any work organization. Based on data from a variety of sources, this report can be a valuable tool for HR practitioners and managers who need to make the case  for more assessment EI in recruiting and Leadership and Manger training using EI has the foundation for improving their business culture.

As you read the Report try to identify three ways that you could use EI in your organization and always we look forward to hear your feedback an insights.

Attention Women: Want more Career Success Learn this Little Secret

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice”. Steve Jobs

Don’t miss this inspiring story about self-confidence and its impact on how we evaluate our potential to be successful. Ginny Rommety became IBM’s new chief executive and during that process told an interesting story on assertiveness and false humility. ”  spoke about a point early in her career when she was offered a promotion she initially turned down because of fear of failure and underestimating her achievements and belief in her abilities. Encouraged by her husband’s question : “Do you think a man would have ever done that?” She reapply and got the promotion. Lesson learned — to be self-confident on the outside ( fake it) even when she felt self-critical on the inside.

What is it about women’s self-confidence that holds them back from self-promotion. There is a small change in thinking that  could have a major impact on women’s careers. What is this secret weapon that women don’t understand that could mean faster promotions, higher salaries, better jobs, and more meaningful career?  Find out this secret women are afraid to use and men overuse. Jodi Glickman provides an interesting argument in the HBR blog on this confidence issue for women. She talks about confidence as a recognition of accomplishments and a numbers game. I am not sure that this lack of self-promotion and confidence can be solved by her solution, but I do know it would be better for all of us if women had the opportunity to identify their strengths and then learn how to assert those strengths to receive the recognition they deserve.  Remember what the John Wooden, famous coach of UCLA,  said: “It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”  John Wooden  

 

Key to Getting Unstuck in 2012–Understanding”Locus of Control” and Choice Theory.

Trapped or Stuck?? Find your niche in the world by discovering your strengths and making your own choices. Are you an external or an inner directed type? Internals think they have more choices and can control their futures and externals think things are more determined by outside situations , fate and luck.

An acquaintance of mine talks about his first love for music and the Arts and yet continues to work in the automotive industry to support his family.  The more we talk the more I realize that he feels and thinks being “stuck” is just his fate. Suggestions for problem solving and opportunity finding are seen as an opportunity for him to play–” Yes, but… He is unhappy and feels stuck and trapped in a thankless and meaningless job because of his responsibilities as a bread-winner.  He is a super smart and very talented but seems sad and frustrated most of the time. He has always done what is right and mostly listened to others to find direction in his career. The kids are moving on to college and he feels life slipping by. He hasn’t had time to follow his dreams. He keeps asking me –what should I do?

I avoid answering this question because advice is cheap and he needs to make that decision; so as a good coach, I ask questions and listen so he has a sounding board for his frustrations.  The problem seems to be his powerlessness to make his own choices and his perception that external sources and situation control his life. He has been doing the right thing and following everyone’s advice except his own dream. He constantly worries about what others think about him and his religiosity of faith and God’s will be done keeps him stuck in the “status quo”.  So in my quest for answers I ask–What can Social Psychological theory tell us about these kinds of situations? My search leads me to Dr. Rotter, a social psychologist, who developed a framework called the “Locus of Control” and how inner direction for life decisions provides a strong basis for making life decisions. Continue reading “Key to Getting Unstuck in 2012–Understanding”Locus of Control” and Choice Theory.”

New Leadership Model for 21st Century–Get started now “Walk the The Talk” of Strategic Action

Strategic Action Leader–Risk Taker not just talker. 

“Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes… Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”.

Peter Drucker  Happiness is seeking a balance between pleasure, commitment and meaning – a sense of purpose in one’s life. Happy managers will find it useful to apply this thinking to themselves, and to the people they manage. This final quote again echoes this fundamental philosophy of “The Happy Manager”. Drucker argued that the critical question we should all ask ourselves is not:

“How can I achieve?” but “What can I contribute?”

Read more:http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/p/peter_drucker.html#ixzz1hNvBOJX6Peter Drucker

One thing you need to be as a leader is the ability to take strategic action with limited information. In other words you must be a risk taker. One of the most often overlooked aspects of leadership is the need for pursuit. Great leaders are never satisfied with traditional practice, static thinking, conventional wisdom, or common performance. In fact, the best leaders are simply uncomfortable with anything that embraces the status quo.  The new leader is always imaginative, focused on quality, truthful, and aware of what’s next, of what to do in times of rapid  change and how to produce value and results by being of service to others

So now let us examine –what it means to “walk the talk ” of leadership. I’ll examine the value of being a strategic action leader. Here’s the thing – pursuit leads to visible “walking the talk”. What you  act on will determine  your journey , the people you meet and connect with,, the character you display and ultimately, what your happiness and fulfillment in life. Having a mindset focused on strategic action is critical to leadership that lacking this one quality can be costly. The manner, method, and motivation behind any action is what sets truly great leaders apart from the masses. If you want to become a great leader, become a strategic action leader no matter what position you occupy in the organization.

A failure to embrace opportunities and be action orientated is to a follower. A leader’s failure to act relegates you to the routine and status quo. Your failure to take initiative leaves you stuck  with the present situation.  Your failure to be action orientated  subjects you  to be marked as expendable and of little value to the organization. Let me put this as simply as I can – you cannot attain what you do not act on.

Smart leaders understand it’s not just enough to have a vision of where the organization is going, but action and risk must be a part of it. Action must be   consistent,  focused, assertive and thoughtful. You must take action on the right situation at the right time to the right people by weighing risks and upside potential.  Perhaps most of all, the best action is thoughtful and strategic. Agility and building coalitions to accomplish your goals are the cornerstones of leadership.  Leadership at the core is highly dependent on collaborative,  inclusiveness and transparency. The greatest strength of leaders is the ability to leverage resources and relationships.

I also want to caution you against trivial pursuits – don’t confuse leadership and strategic actions with tactics.  Outcomes are clearly important, but as a leader, it’s what happens after the outcome that you need to be in pursuit of. Pursue discovery, seek dissenting opinions, develop your ability unlearn what you have learned by embracing how much you don’t know, and find the kind of vision that truly does see around corners. Knowing what not to act on is just as important as knowing what to do and when to do it.

It’s important to keep in mind that nothing tells the world more about a leader than what they do. – that which you do not what you say is who you are as a leader.  If your message to your organization you value talent, but don’t treat people well and don’t spend time developing the talent and rewarding them, then I would suggest you are a hypocrite  Put simply, you can speak  all you like, but your actions will ultimately reveal what you truly value.

What’s been the best thing you’ve done as a leader of others’ this year? When and where have you “walked the talk” of an action leader either at work, in the community or with your family? Based on that personal evaluation what do you commit to differently in 2010?

Can you answer these make or break interview questions? TRY “PAR” Technique

Recently, I played tennis with a recent grad from UNC Chapel Hill. During a break at the water cooler he was telling us the challenges and difficulties of pitching the value of his MBA to prospective employers.  I asked him what differentiates him from other applicants? How did his experience and strengths match the consulting firms needs? In other words what unique and extraordinary talents and experiences was he going to bring to the  table  for his interview next week. This what I call the talent proposition or value he is going to sell  as an individual. The questions seemed to puzzle him. He was a bit general and flippant with his response. While I  reviewed their webpage and brochures so I know they need three  IT Strategist for their office in Washington D.C. .  I guess he missed my point that to be seen as a “talent” by a brand name  Consulting Firm they like to hear about you achievements and tangible examples of how you can contribute to growing and differentiating the Firm. What can  you contribute to the organization that is unique to you?  In Marketing, the big questions are always “What is our unique contribution?” and “What differentiates our company from others?” Answers to these questions provides a value contribution answer for the recruiter.

So I ask you as candidate for a position with a Firm , what is your value contribution?  What differentiates you from other candidates?   What do you need to say as a candidate about your experience or strengths so as to be perceived as a potential contributor to the organization?

Answer: I can be a valuable contributor to XYZ firm because I have managed projects on the development of IT strategies for different industries and companies during my MBA internship and in my last professional job. The project  goal and objectives were ABC. We developed an integrated hardware and software strategy that focus on converting legacy systems to SAP. The project design team that I led involved my supervising and managing 12 contractors. Our result was to bring our project in and complete both on time and within budget.  This approach to answering recruiter questions is concise and concrete. It provides an opportunity for follow-up questions so that the interview becomes a two-way conversation not an interrogation.

So the next time you want to show value and your potential value contribution try using the Project/Problem, Action/strategy and Results ( PAR) framework for answering questions.  I guarantee you with practice and forethought your answer will differentiate you as a talented candidate the Firm will want to make an offer to. Good Luck and as always share your results with us.

What Leadership skill can make you successful in 17 Minutes?

“Presentation Skills are worthy of extreme obsessive study”. Tom Peters, Management Guru

Here is more of what Tom had to say ” CNN wire, afternoon, June 4: “He was an obscure state lawmaker. But after a 17-minute star-making turn as a keynote speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and a scant two years in the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama is on the verge of becoming his party’s presidential nominee.”

You can love or loathe President Obama, but you must acknowledge his oratory skills were a major part of his rocket like ascendency to political success.

Seventeen minutes!
Seventeen minutes!
Seventeen minutes!
Seventeen minutes!

17  inspiring and uplifting minutes—and you, too, can have a 50-50 chance of occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!

Well, probably not, but you get my point—I’ve made it before, albeit without evidence that’s this drop-dead compelling.

Fact, in “our” more modest worlds: Poor or average or even “okay” presentation skills trip up or hold back an incredible number of very talented people at all levels, including the highest in big orgs—and yet it is rare to see someone launch a martial-arts-training-like, no-bull, I’m-gonna-master-this-or-die-trying offensive on presentation skill improvement.”

My question for you–When and where do you start to create “kock’em dead” presentation and communication skills?


Want to improve your Presentation Skills–Don’t miss this unbelievable offer to “Jump Start” the New Year.

Speaker Training “TASTER” OFFER—Jump start your career by starting the New Year Right

LEARN the KEYS TO “STICKY “PRESENTATIONS

“It is not enough to have sticky concepts and ideas. You have to present them so people get it.” Jay Ehret, The Marketing Spot

Sometimes you’re just not sure whether something is right for you, particularly if you’re thinking of skill training or personal changes. Taking up a new approach or breaking through an old fear, like speaking before a group, can seem daunting.  When it comes to public speaking, it’s usually seen as a bit like going to the dentist – you know that you need to do it to stay healthy or you ignore it till it hurts so much you hardly have a choice or you hate it so much you have to be dragged to the office.!  I took some time to listen to the feedback from a recent survey I ran with participants in my presentation seminars regarding their feelings about learning to be better presenters. Two of the main issues raised were the need to have a more convenient (less time away from office and easier access to coaching at a reasonable and affordable cost) way to get speaker training. Second, is the need to be able to experience 1 on 1 coaching and the opportunity to try out some of the more pertinent and customized advice before committing to a bigger investment in speaker coaching.

I am now ready to be responsive to your needs. I’ve designed a special ‘Taster Offer’ especially for those who’d like to experience a more personalized exposure to improving their presentation skills and confidence without any major financial outlay or time commitment. This special Presentation Training Package is brought to you by Mark W. Hardwick, Ph.D., who has over 30+years of coaching executives, lawyers, accountants and other professionals in how to improve their communication skills.

The current Taster Offer I’ve put together has additional bonuses valued at just over $1,500 and as such, limited seats are available for the program.  The offering consists of the following:

  • TASTE training Module will focus on the following: assessment of present skill level and style, planning and preparation basics, as well as feedback on a video tape you will send me along with your application and fee for the “Taste” offering.  This module deals with planning your presentation, how to design compelling and “sticky” messages from the listener’s point of view.  There is also an assignment and several exercises for you to work through with specific and individualized feedback.
  • Bonus One you get lifetime access to the private email support group where you can talk to other presenters who have taken the “taster” module about how to overcome any barriers you’re having in executing the presentation system or Smart-Step tools provided.
  • Bonus Two you also get access to the private Facebook group, this is a closed membership group and entry is strictly limited to “Taster” participants and presentation coach.
  • Bonus Three – two sessions of speaker coaching.  I will personally spend time with you during two 30 minute sessions of speaker coaching.  These normally cost $250/session and take place via Skype. These are 1 on 1 coaching and feedback sessions not a group webinar.
  • Bonus Four – a special incentive.  If you like the “TASTE Module” and feel that you’d like to continue with the rest of the course then for those who purchase the Taster Offer there is a discount of 50% off the rest of the course, meaning that you make an investment of $195.00 for the “Taste Module” (including bonuses) as opposed to the regular price of $795-995 for live but not customized group seminars.
  • Extra Offer—An on going Coaching and feedback package. You receive Video feedback for three speeches you give during the year for additional $150/review and feedback report.

100% satisfaction or money back—no questions asked. Let’s get going. Just respond to this posting in the comment section with your e-mail or phone and we can set you up for your first session.

Thanks –Mark W. Hardwick,Ph.D.

Turn Your Dream into an Entrepreneurial Success through Optimism — The “Life is Good Story”

“Perseverance and Optimism can take you anywhere… If you don’t succeed at first–try,try and try again and “know who you are, and live it”.  Bert Jones


Original Jake drawing, July 1994 SEE: Life is Good Story


How it started–The Struggle

After six years of struggling the brothers went to a street fair, they printed up 48 Jake shirts for a local street fair in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They laid the shirts out on their rickety card table. By noontime, all 48 of those tees were gone. A star was born. Soon Jake was introduced to local retailers, and his simple message of optimism was embraced like nothing the brothers had ever seen. As demand for product soared, Jake’s team grew, and the Little Brand That Could began to spread across America.

“Know Who You Are and Live It”

The success mantra often repeated by Burt is “know who you are, and live it”. Now Bert’s no social media guru, nor is he making money from his insight (I believe he donates a lot of his speaking fees to charity – Of course hind site is 20-20. And this quiet, down to earth, and ordinary is simply trying to figure why their idea was a success. May be it is just luck and if you think or don’t know if you have a great idea or not  on other people will let you know if it is a flash or bust. His insight has helped him translate a feeling, an emotion, and a mission from his heart to employees and loving customers. Today, the New England based Life is Good brand stays close to its roots, with an emphasis on optimism, simplicity, and fun. Through Life is Good events, positive work environment  and creative products Life is Good team keeps the fun at work flowing.

His insight has helped him translate a feeling, an emotion, and a mission from his heart to employees and loving customers. For what ever reason luck, timing and great visually designed products the company has been a phenomenal success story. In 15 years , Life is Good has gone from nothing but a dream to a  $ 100 million dollar topline business. success.

In fact, there seems to be nothing Bert and John can’t do with Life is Good business — except articulate why they were successful. While they unquestionably put in the hard work went through the up’s and downs of an entrepreneurial venture , they’re quick to tell you that they were initially lucky and naive about what it would take to be a retail success.  Bert tells an engaging story about their boot-strapping beginning and how lucky they were to make it happen. The “it” is  still a mystery to the founders. Maybe we can hope that someday the details can be captured for the rest of us trying to get our dreams off the ground. The only think I have gleamed from their story is to pay attention to what you have and be responsive to what customers want and give it to them. Next  show patience, listen to others ideas, learn from your mistakes and keep taking risks as long as you can. In the final analysis their secret was to have faith and belief in themselves and be optimistic about their venture and how they lived their lives.

“Optimism focuses on what’s right with the world, rather than on what’s wrong,” says Bert. “It’s tremendously empowering.” While not an action in and of itself, it invites listening, collaboration and outreach. “It allows you to meet new people, learn new things,” he adds. “It’s the belief in the possibility of something —  because then there’s a chance of getting there.”

So what is stopping you from getting your dream job or starting your dream business?