Mark NicholasI really enjoyed my interview with author Mark Nicholas about his new book entitled ” I Come First-How the Individual Ego Rules Every Business Decision“.   Mark points out that in business we encounter a world very much out of our control.  We find mangers and colleagues of all types, each with individual aspirations, issues and priorities.  Same are very smart and competent; others, difficult, bossy and incompetent.  Mark says that no matter how hard we work, or how powerful we become, the business world is as it always has been: a bit unpredictable, subject to strong personalities and aspiring politicians, and more than a little personal.

Business is the adult version of the neighborhood playground and Mark’s book at its core is a discussion about how we interact in the business sandbox with all of these colorful characters.  You see…the playground is as it always has been, undeniably and overwhelmingly human–and none of us can change the underlying nature of human beings.

First, Mark’s book strives to help you play in the sandbox, and offers formulas for success. Second, he offers short courses in negotiating, and discusses perception issues and political tactics used every day and in a practically every workplace interaction. Third, this book hopes to convey information not from a psychological or therapeutic viewpoint but from the point of view of people who live in the trenches: aspiring, hiring, firing, scrapping, fighting, negotiating and maneuvering every day in some very complex environments.  Fourth, unlike books that direct their attention to people aspiring to the highest levels of the business world, this book is designed for the daily battles in the trenches.  Fifth, you will not be asked to change the nearly unchangeable fabric that defines who you are, but hopefully you will find that you might improve in our ability to see your world more objectively and understand those various tools available to you.

Mark lends some wonderful advice for all of us working in the business world–” The solution to surviving and succeeding within business lies in knowing how to see, understand, and take advantage of the behavior that surrounds you, all the while knowing how to utilize the best and most effective characteristics of your own humanity, along with your talents, skills, and resources in a manner that allows you to get where you want to go. ”
If you are working in business and want a book that will help you navigate the land minds in which we are working, then I highly recommend that you read Mark’s book “ I Come First“.  You can learn more about Mark and his book by clicking here to be directed to his website.

Richard DaftI thoroughly enjoyed my interview with author Richard Daft about his new book entitled ” The Executive and the Elephant-A Leaders Guide to Building Inner Excellence“.  I have interviewed 100’s of authors in the personal growth industry, but none  have as good of perspective  as author Richard Daft with the challenges we face in applying and sustaining change in conjunction to our beliefs,  behaviors and associated actions.

In my interview with Richard Daft we discuss what is referred to as the knowing and doing gap.  As Richard states ” Kings, heads of government, and corporate executives have control over thousands of people and endless resources, but often do not have mastery over themselves. From a distance larger-than-life leaders may look firmly in control of their businesses and their personal behavior.  What about up close?  Personal mastery is a difficult thing.”   The book is truly about helping leaders to recognize the two parts of themselves and to learn how to calm down, train and guide their inner elephant toward the desired success.

Richard gives an assignment to his MBA class at the beginning of the school year. He asks them to find one thing that they would like to change about themselves over a period of three weeks such as an improved exercise plan, diet, better nutrition etc. What he finds after checking in with the students is that the things they wanted to change about themselves were short lived and unsustainable over a long period of time.  He quotes from Dr. Jim Loehr ” Everyone has the same amount of self-discipline, almost none.  People mistakenly think they can change their lives if they just try harder and summon enough willpower.  It seldom happens.”
Richard says that a human beings seems composed of two selves-one it habit bound, impulsive, and emotion driven, and the other more thoughtful, circumspect, and rational. The idea of the two selves has a long tradition in Western culture; they are represented in the battle between reason and emotion, superego and id, angel and devil, the light side and the dark side, good and evil, and the spirit and the flesh.   This all adds up to as having two parts, or two selves, so to speak that sometimes are in conflict.  The bigger part is unconscious and forceful, and manages most of our behavior,  the other, smaller part is conscious and makes deliberate choices, and seems to play a subsidiary role, being used only on occasion when needed.

I sincerely appreciate how the author explains these aspects of our personality, and how they interfere with us reaching personal mastery or our highest potential.  I highly recommend this book, for its simplicity ease of reading as well as overall wisdom on the topic of personal mastery.

If you would like to learn more about the author Richard Daft please click here to be directed to his website. Enjoy this wonderful interview with a great author.

Tracey JonesWhat a great little book about lessons of leadership taught from the perspective of the authors dog “Mr Blue”.  Tracey Jones the author of this wonderful book is the daughter of Charlie Tremendous Jones and current CEO of “Tremendous Life Books“.  Tracey took over the business after his fathers death, and has been doing a wonderful job running the publishing business. Her new book ” True Blue Leadership” is as much about her love for her dog “Mr. Blue” as it is about the lessons she is conveying that she has learned from her beloved dog “Mr. Blue”.

You see ” Mr. Blue” is an Australia Shepard and if you know anything about this bread they love to work.  Mr. Blue states to be a True Blue Leader you must embrace each task with freshness and enthusiasm. You must work with all your soul and be loyal to the task as you are to your pack.  What a wonderful lesson, hopefully we can all live our lives with this work ethic and enjoy the tasks before us–it certainly makes life more fun.

Mr. Blue also states that we should greet everyone with ‘enthusiasm” just like her grandfather “Charlie Tremendous Jones” did.  If  you remember Charlie he was filled with enthusiasm and he always would say “life is tremendous”.  I don’ t think you will every find a time when Mr. Blue is not greeting you with enthusiasm.  If we would all endeavor to greet and meet people with enthusiasm imagine the wonderful feelings we would transfer to other as well as receive.  As you probably know the word “enthos” means seeing the God within.

Tracey likes to point out the most important decisions in life from her fathers best selling motivational classic ” Life is Tremendous”.  Who are you going to life your life with? What are you going to life your life in? What are you going to life your life for? She believes if we would spend sometime contemplating these very important questions that our lives would be more fulfilled and we would approach any challenges we face with faith and belief that we can overcome the challenges.
If you want a fun quick read on lesson in leadership told from the perspective of “Mr. Blue” then I highly recommend this inspirational read by author Tracey Jones.  If you would like more information about Tracey Jones and the “Tremendous Life Books” publishing organization please click here to be directed to their website.

Enjoy this wonderful interview with a lovely lady and heart centered leader herself Tracey Jones.

Dean DrawbaughI recently had the privileged of interviewing author Dean Drawbaugh.  Dean has a great new easy to read book entitled “The Art of Making Things Happen In Your Life“.   The essence of this book is to provide the reader with self-assessment and reflections on ways to manifest their desired outcomes and goals.   At the end of each chapter Dean provides thought provoking questions and short assessment as a tool to assist the reader in determining where they are now,  and what they can do to change the current situation for a more positive outcome .

I love the story that Dean tells in the book and in our interview about the two wolves that live inside of us.   One evening a warrior in a remote village began to prepare his son to face life as an adult with the inevitable afflictions and adversities he would face.  The warrior told his son that all challenges ultimately are fought first between the two wolves inside him.  One is the wolf of fear which takes control of emotions and masquerades as lies, regret, feelings of inferiority, self-pity, envy and anger.  The other wolf is faith, consisting of trust, hope, joy, peace, humility, power and love.  The son thought about the scenario for a few minutes–of the two wolves battling against each other in his mind.  He asked, “Which one wins, Dad?” The wise father simply said, “The one you feed.”
How true this story is, and what a great way to illustrate a point.  We are what we think about, and if we can change our thinking we can change what we become.  Dean’s book “The Art of Making Things Happen In Your Life” is truly about observing what is happening now, and with some shifts in our thinking and our actions creating a better life.

I highly recommend this great little book, packed with practical advice on how to make things happen in your life.  If you would like to learn more about Dean Drawbaugh you can click here to be directed to his website.

I hope you enjoy this interview with author Dean Drawbaugh.

Mark SamuelI was introduced to author Mark Samuel by my good friend and author Jonathan Ellerby.  His book entitled ” The Power of Personal Accountability” is really a wonderful read for anyone who is interested in taking action with relation to your desired outcomes.

During our dialogue in this interview we discuss Mark’s “Personal Accountability Model” which has two loops.  The first loop is that of being a victim, and the second loop is that of being accountable.  What I find interesting is that accountability is all about a choice.  If a situation arrises and we set our intention to become accountable, then we own the outcome and it is so much more empowering.  On the other hand if we choose to be the victim, them we frequently go into the blame game and rationalize our actions.

Mark has identified “forgiveness” as one of the legs on his accountability loop.  As Mark states ” forgiving others–and one’s self–is like hitting the “un-scribe” button in response to those annoying e-mails you get, which you never asked for.  That unsolicited spam is just there, taking up space in your e-mail box, taking time in your day. They don’t add anything; they’re just a nuisance. The same holds true for those judgments: they take the place of creative thoughts, of loving thoughts.

If you are at all interested in learning how accountability to yourself and other can empower you, and propel you into understanding the power of your stated actions and desired results then you need to listen to this interview with author Mark Samuel.  Mark has been teaching classes and conducting seminars for years empowering people about accountability.  Through self-examination you learn the most important thing, to have control over yourself.
If you would like to learn more about Mark Samuel then I would recommend that you visit his website by clicking here.  Enjoy this wonderful interview with a master in accountability, Mark Samuel.

Roger ConnorsI recently interviewed author Roger Conners, and was so intrigued with the message that I invited him back to discuss another one of his other successful books entitled ” The Oz Principle“.

Many of us who are involved in the personal growth and human potential fields know that one of the first things we learn is personal responsibility.  This concept is at the cornerstone of being in integrety, and living a life of authenticy.  In my interview with Roger we discuss the “Oz Principle”  which by the way is borrowed from the characters in the Wizard of Oz.   I know everyone remembers the journey of Dorothy and her cast, the Tin Man, The Scarecrow, and the Lion.  And if you remember all of them were seeking something to make them whole, and they all were victims.

One of the most challenging situations for individuals and organizations is when they get into the cycle of being a victim as Roger explains it.   In this book Roger explains how the attitude of victimization has captured businesses everywhere in a chocking stranglehold.   In the book Roger explains why people in organizations must avoid the debilitating effects of the victim cycle in order to achieve results.  Also revealed are the “Steps to Accountability” as the key to obtaining what you desire, or yourself, your team and your organization.

If you are at all interested in creating personal accountability in conjunction with organizational accountability, then I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “The Oz Principle“.  It is a must read for any person in management seeking to improve the performance of their organization, and create a happier, healthier and more creative organizational culture.  If you would like more information about the “The Oz Principle” please click here to be directed to the Partners In Leadership website.
I hope you enjoy this interview with a very knowledgeable change agent Roger Conners.

 

Craig NealI have known Craig Neal for a number of years, as a matter of fact I attended one of his “The Art of Convening” meetings at the Gap in Northern California several years ago.   I recently reconnected with Craig and had the opportunity to discuss his newly released book entitled “The Art Of Convening-Authentic Engagement in Meetings, Gatherings, and Conversations“.

If you are like me, you have attended lots of meetings during your career and frequently walk away wondering “why” did I attend?  If you have ever asked this questions, then Craig’s new book “The Art of Convening” is a must read.

In my interview with Craig we discuss what he refers to as “authentic engagement”.  Authentic engagement is , simply, a genuine expression of what is true for us, and an attentive listening to what is true for another, or others.  Why this simple human interaction often eludes us can be a matter of habit, distrust, faulty modeling, lack of attention, or fear.

Craig has created a wonderful model in the book that assists “the convener” in understanding the art associated with creating a gathering.  The model is referred to as the “convening wheel” and at the center is “The Heart of the Matter” with eight adjacent spokes:  Clarifying Intent , The Invitation, Setting Context, Creating the Container, Hearing all the Voices, Essential Conversations, Creation, Commitment to Action.   Craig states that there is a lot of pressure in our lives to go, go, go all the time–to drive to results and spring into action, often before the actions’s optimal time has come.  It’s counterintuitive to take the time to reflect on how we ill be in relationship with others. In a way, we have to slow down and do the internal due diligence to know what results we really want to drive and when it is time to take the action.
If you are at all interested in better understanding how to hold meeting with meaning, purpose and aligned outcomes then I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “The Art Of Convening“.  This book will instruct you with essential questions to better understand your purpose, your meetings purpose and the associated actions you really would like to achieve from meetings, gatherings and most importantly conversations.  I hope you enjoy this interview with one of the masters in the business of “authentic engagement”.

You can learn more about Craig and Patricia Neal the authors by clicking here to be directed to their website.

Roger ConnorsI recently did an interview with Roger Conner the author of “Change the Culture, Change the Game“.  In our dialogue together we discuss the importance of having a organizational culture of accountability.   As Roger states in the book, either you will manage your culture, or it will manage you.   Organizational culture is nothing more that the way people think and act.  Every organization has a culture, and they either work for you or against you.

Roger and I discuss what he refers to at the Results Pyramid, which is the tool that his organization uses to help create accountability within organizations.  At the core of the Results Pyramid are the experiences, beliefs, actions and ultimately the results that are created.   So the leaders of the organization must create the needed culture, the culture produces the results, the most effective culture is a culture of accountability then this helps transition the organization into one with a competitive advantage.  Sounds simple doesn’t it.  Well hold on just a minute—this only happens when the people in every corner of the organization make the personal choice to take the Steps to Accountability–and each step builds on the previous one.

So what are these steps of accountability that are require to produce results.  1) See it– means moving Above the Line or staying there whenever a new challenge arises.  2) Own it-means being personally invested, learning from both successes and failures, aligning your work with desired company results and acting on the feedback you receive. 3) Solve it-requires persistent effort as you encounter obstacles that stand in the way of achieving results.  When you take this step, you constantly ask the question “What else can I do?’  4) Do it– the final step in the process, represents the natural culmination of the first three steps–it means doing what you say you will do.

If you think that this stuff is just for business people, think again.  The basic principles that Roger speaks about in this book are so important to your own personal growth and development.  If you follow the sound advice in the book about being personally accountable, not only to yourself but to those you work with you will find a wonderful transformation in your personal life.  You can only imagine the amazing results that occur when you can get a whole organization where personal accountability is the guiding light for the employees.  This is a company that you will want to do business with.

I highly recommend that you obtain a copy of “Change the Culture, Change the Game“.  It will give you the guidance both personally and professionally in creating cultures of accountability, once you know the forumla for creating accountable people,  positive organizational transformation is bound to occur.
If you would like to learn more about Roger Conner’s and Partners In Leadership  please click here, and enjoy my interview with Roger.

 

Laurence KotlikoffI throughly enjoyed my last interview with Larry Kotlikoff  about his book “The Coming Generational Story“, so we decided to do this interview about his new book entitled ” Jimmy Stuart is Dead-Ending the World’s Ongoing Financial Plague with Limited Purpose Banking“. You will also be treated to another interview about his book entitled ” Spend til The End” in another future podcast.

I think that most people are aware of the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” with the trustworthy  banker George Bailey played by Jimmy Stuart saying he was going to guarantee his depositors money.  The correlation between Larry’s book and the movie,   is that there no guarantees even in the banking business.  As a matter of fact the current economic mess is due to the fact that our banking industry invested in unsecured mortgage backed securities, which we all know completely collapsed.

In my interview with author Larry Kotlikoff he proposes a strategy that he believes would solve many of these problems moving forward.  Larry refers to the system as “Limited Purpose Banking”.  So just what is “Limited Purpose Banking”?  As Larry states “It’s a simple and very low-cost change to our financial system, which limits banks to their legitimate purpose, namely connecting borrowers and lenders and savers and investors.  In my interview Larry refers to mutual funds as an example to explain how it works.  Mutual Funds have been around for a half century, they only invest the money they collect from investors and do not borrow or leverage the dollars deposited by investor.  While they are subject to the risk associated with the underlying investment in stocks etc, they are not leveraged so the mutual fund has limited risk.

Under limited purpose banking, all banks-all financial and insurance companies with limited liability that are engaged in financial intermediation–would operate as pass-through collectors of securities.  That is, the banks would simply function as middleman.  They would never themselves own financial assets or borrow to invest in anything except those specified assets, such as computers, office furniture, and buildings, needed to run their mutual funds operations. Hence, banks would never be in a position to fail because of ill-advised financial bets.

If you think about what author Larry Kotlikoff is proposing it makes lots of sense, it also would prevent from another collapse like we have just experienced in the banking industry.   If you are at all interested in reading about some of the malfeasance that lead to our current financial collapse, and want to know what one very bright economist is proposing to help regulate our banking industry moving forward then I highly recommend that you read “Jimmy Stewart is Dead”.

Please enjoy this great interview, and visit Larry’s website for more information.