<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=474710470599804&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

CMI Blog

the latest from cmi speaker managment

Leaders Keep Learning - Ty Bennett

By cmiadmin | Nov 30, 2016 | Comments Off

humility-copyIt was John F. Kennedy who said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Ego inhibits learning, growth, and progress.

Humility, however, encourages it. The word Humility comes from the word humus, which is the rich, organic part of the soil that allows for growth. Ask yourself if you are sufficiently humble? Do you allow yourself to learn and grow? Do you allow others to grow and develop? Humility is what Jim Collins (in Good to Great) says separates good leaders from great leaders.

The leadership capacity of someone with true humility is absolutely immense, because you cannot contain or restrain his or her personal growth and development.

There is a story of a boy who was walking through the garden with his father. His dad was one of the best gardeners in the town and proud of his work. As they finished the father asked the boy if he had learned anything. All the boy could come up with was that he could tell his dad loved gardening. At that point the dad said, “Son, I had hoped you would observe that as long as the vegetables were green, they were growing, but when they got ripe, they started to rot.”

Successful people stay green; they are constantly learning and growing.

More from Ty Bennett!

EPISODE #004: A HARBOR TO HARBOR RECAP - Trail Angels Podcast

By cmiadmin | Nov 28, 2016 | Comments Off

On this episode, we give a recap of our recent San Diego Harbor to Harbor Trek, a 2-day, 50-mile adventure that begins in Oceanside Harbor and ends in San Diego Harbor. We share some of the people and stories that made this trip such a memorable one, and how it impacted the lives of everyone who participated. We also invite you to check out next year’s adventure (link below).

You’ll Also Discover:
  • Why H2H is a different type of trip than we normally offer.
  • Why the morning of Day 2 was such a special experience.
  • Stories of some of the participants, and what made them so memorable.
  • Why H2H is a great introduction to Project Athena adventures.
  • Why spotting a double rainbow was such a special moment for the team.


Art Morales on data, the placebo effect and the future of clinical trials - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 28, 2016 | Comments Off

Art Morales is the CTO at Analgesic Solutions, a clinical research company focused on the conduct of clinical trials in pain. I caught up with Art to try and understand how emerging technologies like data, AI and algorithms will impact the way we both research and test new medicines in the future. One of the most interest areas of innovation is the cross pollination of ideas and frameworks from one industry to other. To that end, Art and his team are bringing in concepts from manufacturing and statistical process control to monitor and improve the effectiveness of clinical trials for pain medication. Upon completing his Ph.D. with Dr. Paul Schimmel at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Art started his career with Genome Therapeutics as a Senior Computational Biologist. He subsequently led a variety of teams at various companies including the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he was Global lead for Biology Platform Informatics.

More from Mike!

Limitations Are Mental and Self-Imposed - Ty Bennett

By cmiadmin | Nov 23, 2016 | Comments Off
What holds you back?  What really stops you from achieving?

11-23My first foray on stage was as a magician. You can laugh now but when I was 12 years old I was a magician at birthday parties, community events and even a state fair.  I loved magicians and of all the magicians I think the greatest in the world was Harry Houdini. If you’ve ever seen anything, read any books, or seen any TV shows on Harry Houdini you know he was a master magician, but more importantly he was probably the greatest escape artist in history.  He escaped from everything, it didn’t matter – chains, ropes, locks, underwater, he could escape from anything. And at one point in his career, he kind of issued a challenge.  He told the world that he could escape from any jail cell in the world within an hour and he did it on several occasions. And then one day there was a jail that was built in Great Britain and they thought it was the greatest jail ever so they issued the challenge to Houdini.  They said, “Come and test it out.  We’re pretty proud of our jail.  So come and escape.  We don’t think you can do it.”  And Houdini loved the publicity and he certainly loved the money, so he decided to come do it.

By the time he made it over to Great Britain, the whole country was in a frenzy, they were so excited for him to come. Houdini got there, he walked into the jail with this swagger and this confidence that only Houdini had.  He had escaped from everything in his life.  The jail cell closed and Houdini took off his coat and he got to work. Hidden inside he belt he pulled out this little piece of metal.  It was flexible but it was pretty strong and he started to go to work on the lock. After about 30 minutes, he was getting pretty frustrated.  The lock was not moving.  After about an hour he was perspiring heavily. After two hours he got so exhausted, he literally collapsed and he fell against the door and it opened.

You see, the door was only locked in his own mind. At any time that great escape artist could have pushed that door gently and he could have walked right out. I love that story because it illustrates an important point.  Limitations are mental and they are self-imposed.  So often we doubt ourselves, we limit ourselves, we doubt our potential in out abilities.  Don’t doubt yourself. I love what Price Pritchett said.  He said “If you are going to doubt something, doubt your limits.”

More from Ty!

Perry Oosting on Hasselblad, post-luxury and the rise of Chinese consumer electronics - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 22, 2016 | Comments Off

Perry Oosting, who started his life as a gold and silversmith, is now the CEO of famed Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad. It is hard to overstate the significance of Hasselblad in the world of imaging. Most famously, the iconic camera was used during the Apollo program missions when humans first landed on the Moon. I myself learned studio photography and black and white printing, while using a Hasselblad 500CM. The first time I looked down through the viewfinder with this cult camera held at hip level, was like catching a glimpse of a strange, beautifully inverted version of reality. I met Perry a number of years ago, when he was the CEO of luxury phone manufacturer, Vertu - and given his twenty year background with brands like Prada, Bulgari and Gucci, I was interested why he has decided to ban the word luxury at Hasselblad and what the future of the company might hold, given their recent strategic investment by Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI.

See more from Mike Walsh!

Engaged Employees Make or Break Your Business - Jason Hewlett

By cmiadmin | Nov 18, 2016 | Comments Off

officejim_1225930411Disengaged and uncommitted employees cause more loss of money to business owners than anything else.

I’m not talking about non-engaged employees, they at least keep the lights on…I’m talking about disengaged employees that drive business AWAY!

Think of the last time you had a GREAT experience at a restaurant, a theme park, or checking into a hotel. You probably didn’t post anything about it anywhere on the interwebs, you just went about your life, because it’s expected that things ought to just be done well, that’s why you went there!

But BAD customer service? Oh boy! You’re on every review site known to man, furiously typing, venting frustration and eventually assisting in that company losing business for years to come.

And that’s how it should be.

McDonald’s. A necessary evil. We have put up with their choice of whatever plasticky whatever it is food for years, mostly because often it’s the only road warrior option. But my goodness, add in some bad customer service and you’ve just lost someone and a whole family.

I drove through one the other day in Florida, in desperation on a road trip after accidentally getting caught on a Toll Road (thank you GPS), no other options anywhere for food but gas stations. I asked for a few special things like,

“Do you do hamburgers in a lettuce wrap option?”

Response: “What are you talking about?”

“Do you have any Diet drinks?”

Response: “Why would we have diet drinks other than Diet Coke?” 

“Do you want me to leave?” 

Response: “What? What are you saying?”

Yeah, that was it. I just pulled away and committed not to go to McD’s anymore. I’m done with them. So is my family. Gas station has better choices.

And now I’m blogging about it.

Disengaged employees make life miserable. The restaurant waiter that doesn’t refill your drink or bring your food fast enough; the theme park’s yawning employees not caring that you just waited 45-minutes in line and they shut it down for maintenance by the time you’re on deck; the hotel front desk uncaring, disinterested in your status, comfort, or answering phones while you’ve been waiting….

These things drive us crazy. And it drives us away. And you lose business over it.

No matter how many meetings you have, coaching them to be their best selves, to always smile, to give their all, it doesn’t matter.

As owner you have done EVERYTHING right, as manager you have drilled it into their heads: Guys, it’s SO EASY to engage, be positive, apologize and just smile!!!

So what is the answer?

The answer is The Promise.

What are your employees committed to?

Do they know your mission statement?

Are they actively engaged in living it?

Are they rewarded by acknowledgment for being awesome?

Do you, as manager or owner, offer up enough appreciation, high-fives, recognition on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to encourage this type of loyalty?

Do these people on your team have any hope to move up in the company and fulfill their dreams?

Want to create employee loyalty, joy, engagement, and trust? Simple: just tap that most essential part of the brain that secretes oxytocin, known for it’s social interactions and bonding, by literally giving a high-five or positively reinforcing positive actions of your wayward worker. Do it enough so the synapses in their brain changes toward you and their job. Repetition drives performance, positive performance drives your business. It will begin to shift their brain, and in turn, their actions. Do it once and that’s ok. Do it every time you see them do something right over a few weeks and they will become the best employee on the planet. Want to learn more on activating the brain? Read “Activate Your Brain”by Scott Halford, he’s my friend so I’m biased, but his studies are genius and will change the game for your company.

It all comes down to COMMITMENT & TRUST. Does your employee feel they are trusted to be the FACE of your empire? Do they feel they have ownership of some kind, not in bottom line and stock shares, rather in personal pride to make the company look and be even better than advertised?! What is their level of commitment? That’s your job to help them understand it and be excited about it.

When you TRUST your employees, give them room and a place to shine, give acknowledgement and social congratulations, be sincere and suggest they use their Signature Moves as only they can – after all, that’s why you hired them in the first place. And when they apply these simple things, and truly live The Promise of the Employee, The Team, AKA The Family, your customers will stay, and not write negative reviews, and your business will continue to thrive the way you meant it to in the first place.

And from there it’s a matter of achieving such a high-level of The Promise & The Engagement Experience, that people will turn to the interwebs and write a review out of sheer joy and wonderment all about your company. And that’s the next step in your Promise training.


Learn more about Jason!

Mark Bowden on body language, communication and the challenge of creating an emotional machine - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 14, 2016 | Comments Off

Mark Bowden is an expert in human behaviour and body language. His bestselling books include the bestselling Winning Body Language; Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals ; and Tame the Primitive Brain – 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work. Bowden originally received a university degree in performance in the UK, and studied the gesture-control methods of Jacques Lecoq’s Laboratory of Movement in Paris. He then went on to work with leading practitioners of movement psychology, building upon the influence techniques of Dr. Milton Erickson. When we met up in Toronto, he explained to me how the ancient survival instincts of our brain wire us to interpret gesture, and what this means for the future of both human communication and also the design of machines that can understand and relate to us.

Episode 1 of Trail Angels with Robyn Benincasa & Project Athena!

By cmiadmin | Nov 09, 2016 | Comments Off

On this episode, the first of the Trail Angels podcast, we introduce you to our “base camp” hosts Amanda, Vanessa, and Robyn, and share a little about our backgrounds and the reason we are so passionate about inspiring others to live their most amazing lives. But the show isn’t just about us–it’s ultimately about helping you live a “C4” life: doing cool things with cool people in cool places for a cool cause. Thanks for joining us, and we’re thrilled that you’re taking the journey with us.

You'll also discover:

  • What to expect on each week’s show.
  • How Project Athena helps survivors live their adventurous dreams as part of their recovery.
  • How you can inspire and amaze yourself when you take on challenges you’ve never faced before.
  • The number of Ironman triathlons Amanda has participated in.
  • Vanessa’s story of hiking across the Grand Canyon.
  • Fascinating details about Robyn’s upcoming adventure–the world’s longest non-stop paddleboat race.
  • The difference between “poodles” and “rottweilers” in the racing community.
  • Details about several of the upcoming adventures Project Athena is hosting.
  • Previews of the next few podcast guests.
  • Why you should always have a goal on your calendar.

Subscribe to the Trail Angels Podcast right here!

5 Things That Help Me Stay Motivated - Vinh Giang

By cmiadmin | Nov 07, 2016 | Comments Off


More from Vinh!

Ken Rutkowski on the future of media, hyperloops and life extension technology - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 07, 2016 | Comments Off

Ken Rutkowski is, hands down, one of the most connected people I’ve ever met. And not in that very East Coast, I know everyone, sort of way, But rather, in a friendly West Coast, I know just the person who can help you, manner. Many years ago I spoke at his weekly METal (Media, Entertainment and Technology Alpha Leaders) event which has become a key node in what Ken calls the ‘Creative Coast’, an emerging epicentre of innovation and disruption in Los Angeles. Ken Rutkowski founded ‘Business Rockstars’, which was the number one business radio talk show in America, heard on over 185 radio stations nationwide, reaching 3.5 Million daily listeners. Catching up in Las Vegas, we had a far ranging discussion about the power of podcasting, the future of radio, why Apple needs to become a content company, why LA is better than NYC, the merits of uploading your personality into the Cloud, why Ken has been using electroshock therapy to boost his IQ and whether or not the Chinese have figured out quantum encryption.

More from Mike!

Xiaomi & Shanzhai - Mike Walsh

By cmiadmin | Nov 04, 2016 | Comments Off

philippe-starck-mi-mix-xiaomi-design-technology_dezeen_2364_col_3-852x426When photos of the Mi Mix smartphone hit the web, more than a few jaws also hit the floor. Black, sexy and ceramic with a bezel-less display, this sophisticated Philippe Starck designed phone was exactly the kind of device that a young Steve Jobs might have imagined and then built. Except this wasn’t Apple. It wasn’t even American. It was Xiaomi, a Chinese manufacturer once known for copying, rather than creating products.

To understand the rise of Xiaomi and the growing number of emerging Chinese technology and appliance brands, you need to know something about the way that the Chinese think about innovation.

Valerio Cometti, a good friend of mine from Milan, is an Italian industrial designer. He once told me the story of how he was invited to China to help some local brands with their design process.

One by one, a group of tapware manufacturers brought in their products and placed them on the table in front of him for his feedback. To his astonishment, none of the brands had invested in a single, uniform product range, their product catalogs were filled with literally thousands of designs, from Baroque swans to spaceships.

Valerio realized that the Chinese approached design and innovation very differently to the West. Rather than enforcing a strict product vision, mainland brands tended to leave it to the consumer to decide what features, functions and forms they want.

Like taps, Chinese consumer electronics exhibit a similar kind of product fecundity, especially the infamous devices from Shenzhen known as ‘Shanzhai’.

Shanzhai literally translates as ‘mountain stronghold’. Once a term used to suggest something cheap or inferior, Shanzhai has come to represent a certain Chinese cleverness and ingenuity.

Shanzhai devices are generally modeled on a famous original concept. Three months before the iPhone 5 was announced, a local manufacturer managed to not only steal the design, but also release its own version, the gooPhone i5. To add insult to injury, they immediately copyrighted and threated to sue Apple. Not all Shanzhai designs were direct copies. Many sought to ‘improve’ on the original with the addition of TV tuners, dual-SIM card support, higher resolution cameras, solar chargers or telephoto lenses.

Xiaomi is a case in point. Long before its Mi Mix smartphone, it already established itself as the first mainland brand that local teenagers actually wanted to own. They sold online using flash sales strategies, and priced near cost. Their plan was to make money from software, accessories, and expanding margins as the cost of components fell over time. In other words, a very different, rather than purely derivative, device company.

Xiaomi is not alone in their unique approach to innovation. When I speak, I often tell the story of Haier, the world’s largest white goods manufacturer that decided to learn from their customers’ strange use rituals, to re-engineer their washing machines to be able to wash not only clothes, but potatoes. Joyoung is another example. A Hangzhou-based appliance company, their first invention was an unlikely machine that makes soy milk. It went on to become a diversified maker of small household appliances that include steamed bun cookers, noodle makers and robotic chef tools.

Whether it be industrial robots, consumer appliances, smart devices or messaging ecosystems, China is not only catching up to the West, it is in many respects already surpassing it. Shenzhen, where most of the world’s smartphones are assembled, has become ground zero for a highly flexible and rapid manufacturing ecosystem.

Shanzhai brands may have started out as copiers, but they have now become something else entirely: creative, customer-focused idea factories.

 More from Mike!

We're Hiring - Executive Assistant

By cmiadmin | Nov 03, 2016 | Comments Off

croppedimage540333-news-hiring2Executive Assistant Opportunity

 Our Company

cmi speaker management is a global leader in the meetings industry.  We represent an international roster of carefully selected authors who positively impact millions of people through their keynote speeches, books and thought leadership.

Our founder, Karen Harris, is known worldwide for her high level of integrity in all her business dealings. She has worked tirelessly to advance ethical business practices in our industry by sitting on the Board of Governors of the International Association of Speakers Bureaus for the past 7 years and is the current Past President.

Celebrating 15 years in business, cmi is expanding its roster of clients and looking for an exceptional team player. This opportunity is perfect for someone who wants to make a difference, in a high integrity environment with a fun, vibrant family-oriented team.

cmi is located in the desirable deep south (Midnapore), away from the expense of downtown Calgary yet close to shopping and restaurants.

If you would like to work for an entrepreneur who deeply cares about changing the world - be part of a team that feels like your second family – and rub shoulders with 'near celebrities' – we want to see your resume.

 Job Description

We are looking for an Executive Assistant to the Operations Manager whose role will be:

  • Calendar management
  • Taking meeting minutes
  • Confirm information for meetings
  • Occasional off-hours access
  • Experience in a B2B sales environment
  • Answer phones/light reception duties
  • Willing to take on any and all tasks

Desired Competencies:

  • Nurturing and compassionate
  • Speaks truthfully and does the right thing
  • Attentive to detail to the point of being anal especially while under pressure
  • Focused on key priorities and delivers on their promises
  • Solves problems easily and independently
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal
  • Cooperative and collaborative team player
  • Enthusiastic and passionate with a can-do attitude
  • Works hard, and if necessary, long hours during peak times to get the job done
  • Flexible and adaptable coping well with complexity and change
  • Calm under pressure maintaining a high level of performance
  • Assertive by taking a loving and firm stand when necessary

 Desired Experience:

  • Executive Assistant experience (3-5 years) in a sales and/or high travel environment
  • Proven ability to work with accuracy and efficiency in a high energy environment
  • Experience in handling and completing multiple tasks with multiple interruptions
  • Demonstrated time-management skills, experienced in setting priorities and meeting tight timelines
  • Experience with working under minimal supervision
  • Knowledge of and/or experience in the speaking, event planning or meetings industry will be an asset
  • Able to prioritize tasks from multiple executives

Essential Technology:

  • Experience with a CRM software such as Salesforce, ACT or Goldmine
  • Advanced capability with the Microsoft Office suite of programs, with a high accuracy rating
  • You are experienced with social media, particularly Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube
  • You are experienced with Dropbox and the Cloud
  • You are proficient with internet research
  • You are proficient in a Mac environment
  • You are an advanced user of Google Mail & Calendars

 Please send your resume to events@cmispeakers.com

Are You Suffering From This Deadly Disease? - Ty Bennett

By cmiadmin | Nov 02, 2016 | Comments Off

11-2-2-300x285Atherosclerosis is the progressive build up of plaque, fatty deposits, and other cells in the walls of your arteries causing them to harden. This horrible disease is the leading cause of coronary heart disease and stroke, which were responsible for 602,000 deaths in 2004 — more than 25% of all deaths in the United States. Each year about 1.2 million Americans are diagnosed with coronary heart disease and about 700,000 people suffer a stroke.

As staggering as these statistics are, I believe that an even greater percentage of people around the world suffer from a cousin disease called Psychosclerosis. Psychosclerosis is the hardening of the attitude, which causes a person to cease dreaming, seeing, thinking, and leading. It is the hardening of the mind so that we become unteachable: we stop learning and we stop growing. It is the hardening of the heart, which takes away our ability to feel, love and believe. While this disease does not physically take lives, it robs millions of people of the quality of life and success they deserve. Psychosclerosis is the antithesis of a belief in significance, the belief of renewal and growth.

While one of these diseases may not be physically as deadly, the repercussions can be dramatically life changing.  It’s crucial we stay vigilant to our mental well being as well as our physical.  What are you doing to avoid Psychosclerosis?

More from Ty Bennett!