Simon Vetter Years ago I was attempting to get Dale Carnegie and Associates to look at a software system I had developed for sales representatives, when I met Simon Vetter. At the time, Simon was working for the San Diego office of Dale Carnegie as a sales associate. That was quite a few years ago and both Simon and I have moved on to other ventures. However, Simon always kept in touch with me over the years and as a matter of fact I hired him do some marketing consulting for a company that I owned. I have always been impressed with Simon’s tenacity and thorough approach to everything that he does. He is a master at marketing and has developed those skills through study and application in the field of sales. Currently, he is coaching people and organizations on marketing and branding themselves.

Simon’s recent book entitled, “Stand Out! Branding Strategies for Business Professionals“, is an excellent book for anyone wishing to learn more about personal branding. Simon can help anyone find their unique qualities and talents which will help them in differentiating themselves from the rest of the crowd. In my interview with Simon, he reveals what he learned from the following professionals, who Simon believes are amongst the best at personal branding. Simon interviews are with professional speakers and business people such as: Nido Qubein, Tony Alessandra, Beverly Kaye, Marshall Goldsmith, David Allen, Gayle Carson, Brian Tracy and Jim Kouzes. Simon learned something different with each of these professionals and articulates how they built their strong personal brand. In my interview with Simon he reveals the top ten (10) rules of personal branding, five (5) insights and five (5) commandments.

Simon states that, “Whatever we do, we leave an impression. We send out signals all the time. It’s like walking through fresh snow. We cannot hide the footprints behind us. People all around us-at work, at home, in the gym, at a restaurant-see and observe us. Our brand is based on the experience people have with us. Every action, every word, every element of our appearance is noted, recorded, and judged by everyone we meet. Ultimately, we always leave a mark and at the same time this is the process of brand building.”

I encourage you to listen to the informative interview on personal branding. Simon discusses important issues as it relates to building a better personal brand and image. I love the quote in his book by Gandhi , ” Be the change you wish to see.” If you want to build a better YOU, then I encourage you to visit Simon Vetters’ site and pick up a copy of his book, Stand Out! Branding Strategies for Business Professionals.

I first met Karen through a good friend, Joe Sterling. Joe had started a non-profit organization in San Diego called, “The Free Agent Ecosystem“. During its formation, Karen was one of his partners and an original founder. I was intrigued not only by the work they were doing together, but by Karen’s knowledge around corporate storytelling.

Karen ultimately left San Diego a few years ago and headed to Tennessee to become the Executive Director of the National Storytelling Network, where she was responsible for growing the organization’s membership. While at the National Storytelling Network, she became friends with Lisa Silverman and Karen helped author a book with Lisa entitled, “Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over: How Organizations Use Stories to Drive Results“. In this book Lisa and Karen explore how storytelling can help create clear direction, increase energy, and save millions in decreased costs while helping with the retention of talent.

In this interview with Karen, we explore the power of storytelling for the listener, and how it can transform an organization’s culture. I personally have been coached by Karen and her ability to help you take your story and transform it into a compelling, engaging and enlightening talk is truly amazing. Within a matter of a few sessions, a story that what was once dull and unexciting becomes something that your audiences will be moved by and desiring to know more. She truly knows how to coach you and so that you obtain incredible results. I found working with her to be one of the best investments I’ve made in my personal career.

If you don’t know much about the art of storytelling and you want to learn more to help you convey your message with vivid pictures and moving examples, then you have come to the right place. I welcome you to set back, relax and enjoy this great interview with a lovely woman who knows how to craft words into more than just words, they become moving pictures in your mind.

If you would like to learn more about Karen’s coaching practice please visit Polaris Associates web site. She has information about her workshops and consulting services.

Tom VoccolaI met Tom Voccola in a very serendipitous manner. I happen to be attending a reunion for my graduating class at University of Santa Monica and had the wonderful fortune of setting next to Tom and his lovely wife Frances with whom I graduated in 2005. As the evening progressed our dialogue become more intense and I become quite interested in what both Tom and Frances were doing through a company they jointly owned called CEO2, Creating Extraordinary Organizations. I found out that Tom had just authored a book entitled, “The Accidental CEO – A Leader’s Journey from Ego to Purpose“, which is about a leader’s journey from Ego to Purpose. Tom, having been a CEO for several different companies, certainly speaks from a position of experience and authority. He has coached and consulted with many other CEOs. It is his own personal journey and the journeys of those other CEOs that make up the content for this new book.

In my interview and podcast with Tom we explore many different and interesting subjects. All of it focused on the personal growth and mastery of a leader through finding purpose. One of the areas I found quite informative was what Tom refers to as the Reactive Identity (Ego Self) and the Creative Identity (Purpose Self). He does a wonderful job in his book of providing the reader with clear examples and diagrams that help you understand the differences. He states that our default operating system is what runs us long before we’re aware that we have one. Our reactive identity pretty much dominates who we are. Without clear knowledge of our purpose, there is little free choice, and our responses to life are simply a reaction-automatic, mostly invisible and dominant-although much can be changed by the user if they ever knew it existed. “Real choice occurs only when we’re aware of the distinctions Ego, Self and Purpose. Until then we are pretty much stuck in the automatic reaction of Ego.”

How do we navigate through the rough waters of leadership and maintain our course with integrity, purpose, authenticity and humility? What does it take to become a great leader? What sets apart the great leaders from the mediocre ones? These questions and more are the subject of my interview with Tom. I invite you to explore with me a fascinating man and leader in this wonderful interview. You’ll learn what it truly takes to become a leader on purpose. Please visit his web site CEO2 for more information on his workshops, book, and coaching programs.

Jan PhillipsI first met Jan Phillips about eighteen months ago at a workshop that she was facilitating. The workshop was entitled “The Original Think” Seminar titled after her new book “The Art of Original Thinking: The Making of a Thought Leader“. I immediately fell in love with Jan and her philosophies about life. She is definitely an out of the box thinker. I love people who are continual learners and enjoy exploring new ways of seeing the world.

In her new book “The Art of Original Thinking: The Making of a Thought Leader“, Jan is a masterful storyteller as well as a visionary thinker testing how we think, and bringing greater awareness by asking us to explore deep personal questions about our assumptions. Jan does not waste anytime in her first chapter as she focuses on freeing ourselves from illusion. She states that illusions are false beliefs. They are notions and ideas that we have inherited from our culture, our families, and almost every institution which we’ve been associated. She states that to be thought leaders we need to be free and original thinkers, capable of focusing on how we are thinking as well as what we are thinking.

The premise of this book is to advance the evolution of thought, of human sensibility, of our own personal potential to be more than anyone ever said we could be. Its intention is to inspire thought leaders who are willing to be visible, vocal agents of evolutionary thinking for global good. The focus is the triple bottom line: People, Planet and Profits. A quote from the book from Paul Hawken, “Business is the only mechanism on the planet today powerful enough to produce the changes necessary to reverse global environmental and social degradation”, is so accurate. I hope that this book and podcast will inspire you to take action, to question your thoughts and assumptions and create a future for yourself and others that is filled with hope, inspiration and positive change.

My podcast is a powerful interview with a fascinating woman who is on a mission to assist others in changing their thinking and create greater awareness. To become thought leaders requires that we liberate ourselves from the old modes of thinking so that we can release our imaginations and live more authentically. Jan’s book explores how you can release the past, embrace the present and create a better future. I highly recommend this wonderful book. I know that it will change your life, and the lives of everyone with who you working with and are in relationships with. If you would like to learn more about Jan and her workshops, CD’s, retreats and speaking engagements just click here.

 

Michael Ray Ph.DA good friend of mine, Craig Neal who is the founder of Heartland Circle a wonderful group that helps in the development of thought leaders, recommended that I give a few of his close friends a call to inform them about our new software Digital Seed. In the process, and by no accident, I started a dialogue with Dr. Michael Ray a fascinating professor at Stanford University. As I endeavored to find out more about Michael I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was the author of a book called “The Highest Goal: The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment” of which I had just made a purchase of at Amazon. I had not read the book yet, but was intrigued by its title and content. As our dialogue ensued I not only got to learn more about the creativity course Michael has been teaching at Stanford, but I got to understand more about the authenticity of the person behind the course.

I found Michael to be an interesting man with deep soul and warm heart. I instantly found myself very comfortable as I spoke with him on the phone, and was able to take our dialogue deeper, delving into the spiritual aspects of his creativity course. I know you’ll find this podcast quite interesting as I interview Michael, a man with tremendous depth and insights into how we develop and evolve our creativity. We discuss the Heros’ Journey, defining your intentions and purpose, and becoming more compassionate in our relationships.

If you are wondering what this all has to do with creativity and why this kind of content would be taught in a business course at Stanford University, then just set back and relax and enjoy the journey and exploration into how to evolve your creativity from within. You will find that this podcast has two half hour segments. I was so interested in Michael’s message in our first interview that I asked him to do another podcast. It is not necessary to listen to these podcasts in any particular order, for you will receive tremendous benefits no matter where you start.

I would like to encourage you to visit Dr. Michael Ray’s web site for more information on his books, courses and lectures.

Natalie MaiselNo I am not getting weird on you writing about the benefits of yoga. It truly is a wonderful and amazingly beneficial practice both physically and mentally. I know of no other practice more powerful than that of meditation to assist you in your personal growth. I have been practicing yoga now for over 15 years on and off, and I truly wish I had developed my practice more fully, for I have seen the benefits that many of my friends have received as a result of a regular yoga practice.

I attend a gym in Vista, CA and I have a friend who teaches a spin class and also works at Cal-A-Vie, an incredible spa and resort in our city. She introduced me to Natalie and told me that she was one of the yoga instructors at this spa. What I found out is that this spa is not just any spa but that many of the “who’s who” come to this private resort to relax and reinvigorate themselves. Natalie is not only the yoga instructor at Cal-A-Vie, she is one of the best in yoga instructors nationwide. When I first met Natalie, I was struck by her abounding energy and exuberance for life. She is an amazing soul helping people get focused on improving their health.

In this podcast with Natalie, we discuss the various forms of yoga, breathing exercises and the benefits that yoga can have on your health. Natalie owns “Magic Moon Yoga” in Carlsbad, CA and has been interviewed for several magazines including, Luxury Spa Finder. The editor of Luxury Spa Finder stated that Natalie was one of the best yoga instructors she has ever encountered at a spa. Natalie is the creator of two wonderful CD’s, one entitled “A Meditative Journey” and the other a “Guided Rituals for Samhain and Yule” both available at her web site by clicking here.
I welcome you to set back, breathe deeply and enjoy this inspiring interview with Natalie Maisel and our dialogue about the benefits of yoga.

Linda Savage Ph.DOne of my friends, Natalie Maisel, who is a wonderful yoga teacher I also interviewed, suggested that I interview Dr. Linda Savage. This normally would not have been a subject area that I would have had much interest or focus on, but after doing my podcast with Dr. Savage, I am very pleased that I listened to my friend. Dr. Savage is a fascinating author and licensed psychologist, marriage and family counselor and sex therapist with a totally unique approach to helping couples rekindle their sexual desires.

Dr. Savage is an expert in areas of the pleasure paradigm and how our society has focused more on the goal of creating pleasure between the sexes and less on creating heart centered sex where the experience is more spiritual. Dr. Savage speaks about energy psychology and the various chakra centers within our body and how shifting the focus on these chakra centers changes the ultimate sexual experience. Her book “Reclaiming Goddess Sexuality: The Power of the Feminine Way, ” presents a new view of female sexuality blending ancient wisdom with current clinical knowledge. It offers powerful new ways of understanding a woman’s sexuality, historically, biologically and spiritually. For any woman seeking to expand her sexual life and for any man wanting to bring greater pleasure to the woman he loves, this book offers invaluable insights.

I hope that after listening to this podcast that my listeners will come to appreciate their sexuality more fully and be willing to reframe how they look at sex and the role that it plays in their life, not just for the pleasure attained in the act of sex, but potentially how they might be more pleased by making the act more heart centered.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Savage and her workshops, books, lectures, retreats and CD’s please click here.

Warren Farrell Ph.DIn my interview with Dr. Warren Farrell, we explore the “The Myth of Male Power“. This podcast with Dr. Farrell was quite fascinating and provided me insight into an area that I had little knowledge or understanding of. His perspective really opened my eyes about the socialization of both the sexes. Dr. Farrell dialogs with me about the expectations of males in society and the roles we play in order to be successful with the opposite sex. He also provides a fascinating perspective on why he believes that neither sex has power over the other and that our power is only in our ability to control our own life.

Dr. Farrell tells a very interesting story about a woman who was attending one of his lectures and got up to tell her story about her brother who was the focus of her fathers attention and admiration. Her father who was a prominent physician so wanted her brother to become a physician just like him. The father paid more attention to her brother who had originally stated that he wanted to become a physician. Then one day he announced that he no longer had a desire to become a physician and the father was devastated. Jokingly, and to win her fathers approval and admiration she told her father that she would become a physician, but deep down inside she was really only doing it so that she could win her father’s approval. Interestingly enough, she followed through with her degree and become a physician. She now states that she is in her 40’s and is not happy with this chosen profession, and would like to change vocations.

Dr. Farrell was attempting to emphasize through this story that statistically men are usually the ones who take on the jobs out of a sense of obligation or family pressures. Without sounding sexist the statistics prove this fact and this story illustrates “The Myth of Male Power” and provides interesting insights into how our viewpoint and perspective about male power in society is probably distorted.

I hope that you will enjoy this podcast with Dr. Farrell and if you are interested in learning more about his research, workshops, lectures and CD’s, please click here for more information.

Joel and Michelle LeveyIf you have not already figured it out, I usually have a meaningful connection with the people I interview for the blog podcasts from previous encounters I have had through my various journeys in life. There’s no exception to this rule with this latest podcast, for these guests are wonderful people and true mentors of mine.

I first encountered Dr’s Joel and Michelle Levey through a connection I made as a result of research I was conducting in the area of mindfulness and meditation in the workplace. I happen to stumble upon their web site at Wisdom at Work. I was totally fascinated by the work they were carrying out in the workplace and the results they had achieved with various organizations, groups and thousands of employees. I remember my first encounter with Joel was a phone call to their office to inquire about their book and the research they had conducted. My call was received with such a kind reception and open heart, that immediately I knew that not only did Joel and Michelle practice what they preached, but that they were the real deal.

I remember discussing a consulting case I was involved in with Qualcomm, and that the Levey’s work in the area of mindfulness and meditation just might be a perfect match. Qualcomm was experiencing internal challenges with their employees as a result of performance pressures and expectations from management. I worked with my contact at Qualcomm and he agreed that we should have the Levey’s come to San Diego and put on a presentation. The title of the workshop was “Resilience: a Tool Kit for Living and Working with Balance in Turbulent Times”, and it was a roaring success. The coordinator at Qualcomm called me almost everyday stating that so many people had signed up and that this workshop had topped any of his previous workshops. Within two days he had over 144 people registered and he was uncertain how he was going to facilitate the program because the room scheduled for the venue was not going to be able to house that many attendees. We ultimately had to re-schedule into two separate days along with a closed circuit live TV that was broadcast to all Qualcomm facilities.

The Levey’s book “Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World” is the cornerstone for much of their work in the fields of meditation and mindfulness. They also have released a new book entitled” Luminous Mind: Meditation And Mind Fitness, which I can highly recommend as well.

I have learned a tremendous amount about mediation and mindfulness from Joel and Michelle and I am forever grateful for all of the wonderful times that I have spent with them in mediation retreats on the Orcas Islands in Washington’s Puget Sound. Each summer for the last six years my family and I have been attending the Levey’s mediation retreats at Camp Indralaya in the Orcas Islands and the experience has truly been blissful. I would strongly encourage the readers of my blog and listeners to my podcast to attend. If you are interested in going deeper into mediation or learning more about mindfulness, contact Joel and Michelle and sign up for one of their lovely retreats.

I have been so amazed at my own personal progress and transformation as a result of my years of mediation practice and my periodic work during the meditation retreats with Joel and Michelle, that we decided to create a course for the Digital Seed learning platform called “Mind Fitness.” If you would like to learn more about this Internet based learning module please visit the Digital Seed web site for a preview of the upcoming Mind Fitness Module. You will find the preview of the Digital Seed software and Mind Fitness module by pressing here.
I hope you enjoy this podcast with Dr’s Joel and Michelle Levey. It was a pleasure having the opportunity to interview them, for I learn something new each time we speak.