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How to leverage your past to prepare for the future

By Dan Thurmon | Oct 16, 2019 | Comments Off

 

How do you leverage the trajectory of your life and step more confidently into the unfamiliar? 

When I describe the work that I do for organizations and individuals, sometimes I put it like this: I help people leverage the past and be more present in order to create a better future. That's it. Life is trajectory. You're either on an upward trajectory of improvement, or a downward path of decline. Growth happens when we seize the present moment. But it's often precipitated because we found a new way, a better way to leverage our past. 

For example, perhaps you're facing change in your life right now. Maybe it's a difficult decision you're trying to make or a challenge that you must overcome. Maybe it's related to your job, your family, your health, your finances or a passion you feel compelled to pursue. You're not sure what to do because this seems so different than anything you've encountered in the past. When we perceive change as completely new and different, it puts us at a huge disadvantage, and almost guarantees that you will miss opportunities and make unnecessary mistakes. So when people tell me, “What I'm about to do is so completely new for me,” I usually respond by saying, “what you are facing right now is extremely similar to what you've already experienced.”

Leverage the similarities 

When I was in my late teens and early twenties paying my way through college by performing, I was constantly going into new venues and new situations—whether I was the opening act for a major recording artist at a music festival, or performing for CEOs after dinner at a corporate function, or as the fire juggler on the ledge of a building outdoors at night. Hundreds of different challenges that were exciting, because I'd have to, in a matter of moments, evaluate my surroundings, my audience, their expectations, my skill set and find a way to rise to the occasion. 

How did I do it? By leveraging the similarities. I haven't done this before. But this challenge reminds me in some way of situations I've moved through in the past successfully, or lessons that I've learned along the way. By associating to those positive reference points, I was able to step into the new moment with familiar confidence. So again, if you're thinking right now that what you’re going through is completely new to you, I strongly suggest that it isn't. 

What experiences from your past have prepared you for this one? What lessons have you learned that do not need repeating? What skills have you developed that enable you to rise to this challenge right now? I promise you, you've been preparing for your future all of your life. It is time to leverage your past and step into this moment with the confidence that you are ready. Take the confident step from yesterday to today, knowing that your footing is solid, and your trajectory is moving ever upward. 

Dan Thurmon and his keynote Off Balance On Purpose excites audiences with an interactive performance while giving a multi-dimensional view of success. He doesn’t stand behind a podium and talk about dealing with fear and change – he does handstands on the podium to demonstrate what being uncomfortable and living off balance on purpose truly looks like. Your audience will talk about this presentation for years to come!

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Success begins with you - Phil M Jones

By Phil M Jones | Oct 09, 2019 | Comments Off

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There are 25 word sequences in Exactly What To Say. During my keynote, I bring copies of my books on stage and directly ask the audience:

“Who wants these?”

“Does anybody want two copies?”

“I'm just wondering who wants these?”

People are offered an opportunity. Everybody sticks their hand up. Everybody waves their hand around. What they are doing is they are asking me to choose who's going to be successful. Like their success is my responsibility - but their success has nothing to do with me.

What the majority of people do is nothing. What some people do is put their hands up and expect me to pick them. Still, some people get to the point where they could have had success and right at the parapet, they walk away. Even when some people are brave enough to run up to the front, they still get to the front, and they still say “please pick me”.

Other people are brave - they come and take the book.

Everybody wants to be successful. When it comes to successful actions and outcomes you say “please pick me to be more successful” - “please shine that light on me.”

Don’t wait for success

Everybody says they want success - but very few people are prepared to get off their backside. Most people want it handed to them. They want the ball sent to them.

Please don't wait. Success starts by you picking yourselves to be successful. I promise you will have the opportunity to achieve anything that you wish. You are the people that everybody else should be chasing. You cannot win the race if all you're doing is looking behind you.


In Exactly What to Say, Phil delivers what he calls his “Magic Words” and direct examples of how you can use them. The book is a quick read and you’ll feel instantly motivated to create your own examples to help you win more business, have more influence in your workplace and grow your persuasiveness in social situations.

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Ask for what you want

By Phil M Jones | Oct 09, 2019 | Comments Off

Phil M Jones knows that in order to be successful and get that you want out of life, you must ask for what you want. Phil speaks on topics such as Leadership, Customer Service, Sales and Marketing, Business Growth, Engagement, Performance.

 

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How to Hire an Exceptional Leadership Keynote Speaker

By Karen Harris | Oct 08, 2019 | Comments Off

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There are a lot of leadership keynote speakers out there in our industry. Some good, some better, and some exceptional. As someone who’s been around this “block” a long time and keeps a keen eye on the talent both experienced, and emerging, I’m asked often what I believe to be the differentiators. 

What Makes An Exceptional Leadership Keynote Speaker?

Constant reinvention. 

The top leadership keynote speakers in the business aren’t trading on topics from 20 years ago. They recognize that our world is changing at a lightning pace, and the truth is that it always has. Because of that, they are constantly reimagining their message to meet the needs of shifting markets, mindsets, tools, and technology and helping clients and audiences make those changes in their own lives and businesses. I love Dan Thurmon’s take on this with his keynote, Off Balance on Purpose.  He challenges audiences to lean into change rather than run from it -- and shows them what a game-changer that can be.

They say no to the status quo. 

Whatever position you hold and wherever you are in your life, there are six little words that are almost a guarantee to keep you stuck in the past and shut down forward momentum in a heartbeat. They are, “the way things have always been.” Exceptional leaders are just fine with getting a little (or a lot) uncomfortable. They look at status quo as a limited belief system and send it well on its way. Leadership speaker like Mike Rayburn is extraordinary at conveying this message to audiences. His “What If” keynote asks participants to see opportunities where they once only saw obstacles and to turn the tables on “impossibilities”. Questions like, “What if I could accomplish that big goal -- how would I?” That’s the kind of anti-status quo thinking that creates real change. 

They are future-minded.

We live in a time when technology is outdated practically the moment it’s released, if not before. That’s why bringing in forward-thinking, future-paced keynote speakers who bring the insights and strategies audiences need to anticipate future trends and stay ahead of the curve is so vital for many organizations. We love keynote speaker and futurist Mike Walsh’s amazing ability to take what can feel like overwhelming and difficult topics such as Artificial Intelligence and swiftly shifting algorithms and have them not only make sense for audiences, but generate an excitement about what the future lies as well. 

They are focused on creating an experience. 

Anyone can get up and deliver a “talk” or a “speech”. The keynote speakers and leadership experts who get invited back year after year are the ones who take that up a notch (or a hundred notches) to create an experience for audiences. The kind who  make people laugh, think, reimagine, believe, and adopt new ideas and innovation that they know can make a difference in their lives. 

I think of the way Vinh Giang infuses keynotes with magic, illusion, and an ability to help people see things in entirely different ways. 

Or how Clint Pulver creates a next level experience with an electrifying drum solo. 

Those are just two examples of exceptional leadership speakers that are extra-mile performers who don’t believe in delivering “good-enough”. They go above and beyond to deliver entertaining keynotes. The kind who spend infinite hours of practice, patience, content-building, and performance nuances before a presentation that lasts less than an hour. Because it’s that important to get it right for every audience. Those are the folks that we applaud here daily.  And the kind of leadership keynote speakers we are crazy proud to represent. 

I invite you to learn more about the exceptional leadership speakers here at cmi speaker management. Watch their videos. Read their bios. See what difference makers they are. 

And when you’re ready to learn more about how to hire an exceptional leadership speaker, please give us a call. We’ve got some experience with that!

What Is A Leader's Role In Making Meaningful Connections?

By Chris Bashinelli | Oct 02, 2019 | Comments Off

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A leader is someone who is an example for others to follow. How do we become an example for others to follow? How do we, as leaders, create meaningful connections with others? We have to be committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That is greater than ourselves. 

When we're committed to a mission that is beyond ourselves, then it doesn't matter what happens to us, it doesn't matter what challenge comes our way, because that becomes fuel for us on our path and makes us stronger. That only inspires us. It creates empathy within us so that we can make deeper, more meaningful connections with others. 

There's a perception that we're connected, but many people feel more lonely and disconnected that ever. This is especially true in remote work environments. A leader's role, especially when leading a team where some members are remote, is to build meaningful connections that engage and motivate people.

How does a leader make meaningful connections with others? 

The real secret to making meaningful connections with others is to not want anything from them. That's the most important thing in the world; to not want anything from others, except for their wellbeing. We run into trouble when we are making connections with a subconscious intention to only benefit ourselves. Of course we want a beneficial outcome. We want to support our families, we want to make an income, we want to make a profit. But that can't be our driving motivation in connecting with others. That’s not impressive. What's really impressive is connecting with others without any selfish motivation. And that's difficult to do. 

Leading an inspired life

The real work is connecting with others solely to benefit them. Any profit, any gain is really a side effect of our wanting to help them. The way that we inspire others is by leading an inspired life. It all goes back to that commitment to a mission that is beyond ourselves. That's how we can inspire others—when we're inspired. That's how we make our team inspired. 

People don't want to be influenced, people don't want to be manipulated, and people are not going to follow us because we want them to follow us. People are going to follow us because they see that we're altruistic, that we're inspired, that we're committed, that we're on a path. That is what will inspire better team performance and positive business outcomes.

Our differences are our greatest strength

By Chris Bashinelli | Oct 02, 2019 | Comments Off

What if by embracing a unifying perspective inclusive of all beliefs, backgrounds and cultures, we created a more powerful team than ever before? Chris Bashinelli shares how we can create safe spaces at work to share ideas and connect with each other. In an age of division, Bash brings to life a transformational and inclusive perspective, that embraces all of our “uniqueness” to create the strongest team possible.

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The Secret of Charisma

By Ty Bennett | Sep 25, 2019 | Comments Off

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“Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can’t buy. It’s an invisible energy with visible effects.” — Marianne Williamson

Is charisma something you are born with or something you can learn?

I am asked this question by leaders and salespeople quite often. 

Charisma is a combination of confidence and people skills and a very special and overlooked ingredient. 

I have a friend named Kenton Worthington who is a successful entrepreneur and the prototype for charisma. He’s positive, confident and great with people. 

However beyond all those fine qualities, he is genuinely focused on other people. That, I’ve decided, is what sets him apart. It’s what gives him that elusive quality of charisma. When you have a conversation with Kenton it’s about you, not about him. He asks questions. He shows real excitement over your successes and concern over your challenges. He finds ways to genuinely compliment whomever he’s talking to and engages in a way that makes the other person feel better about themselves. So to answer my wife’s question, “What is the secret of charisma?” It’s a mix of ingredients – optimism, energy, confidence – but more than anything else, it’s based on outward rather than inward thinking. That’s Kenton’s secret — and, I’m convinced, the secret of other charismatic people — and it’s really no secret at all.

The Secret Of Charisma: Outward Thinking

Here are a few thoughts from others regarding charisma:

It was civil rights activist Cornel West who said, “Humility means two things. One, a capacity for self-criticism … The second feature is allowing others to shine, affirming others, empowering and enabling others. Those who lack humility are dogmatic and egotistical. That masks a deep sense of insecurity. They feel the success of others is at the expense of their own fame and glory.”

“If you would win a man to your cause, said Abraham Lincoln, “first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

“Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience,” said the wildly popular tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Charisma is the ability to make people feel better about them for having been with you. It’s being more outwardly focused on others, their needs and their interests, rather than focusing on yourself. 

Questions To Ask Yourself About Charisma 

Ask yourself these questions: How do I make people feel after they have met me?  Do they feel inspired and listened to? How are you focusing your attention (inward or outward)? Does their body language portray them as receptive? Are you really listening to what the other person is saying rather than talking about yourself? The answers to these questions are qualities of a partner leader and partnership is the new leadership.  Whether the relationship is within your own company or with your clients and customers, we all need to be a little more like Kenton – a little more charismatic.

Influence is not about YOU - Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | Sep 25, 2019 | Comments Off

Ty Bennet shares how to influence people; the secret - make it all about them. Ty explains that when you connect with people and know the most you can about them, influence comes easy. 

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Clint Pulver: Leading Authority on Employee Retention

By Clint Pulver | Sep 18, 2019 | Comments Off

Now more than ever, employees are looking for leadership that supports, encourages, and gives them the tools they need to create an environment that allows them to grow and make an impact. cmi is proud to represent Clint Pulver, the leading authority on employee retention. In his role as a Corporate Keynote Speaker from the millennial generation, Clint offers an engaging and fresh insight supporting your corporate leadership while giving them solid insights on how to inspire themselves and the people they lead.

 

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Clint Pulver: What Everyone Gets Wrong About Millennials In The Workplace

By Clint Pulver | Sep 18, 2019 | Comments Off

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Millennials are no different 

One of the biggest things that I hear from business owners, CEOs and corporations is how do we retain millennials? How do we engage millennials in the workplace? The current approach has been to treat the millennial generation differently - to view them differently than older generations. I think we have put this generation of millennials and even Gen Z, in a box. 

I believe that millennials are no different than the generation from 20 years before. The only thing that's changed is the environment that this generation has been reared in. Millennials are also the largest generation entering the workforce. By the year 2020, over 57% of the global workforce will be filled with a younger and more distinct workforce than ever before. Gallup recently stated that over 60% of this exact workforce is currently looking for a new job.

One of the things that businesses need to remember and consider is that millennials are people.  When we bring humanity back into the workplace, and we treat millennials like people, we don't stereotype them with a name. We don't stereotype them with a certain set of behaviors or strategies because they're younger than us. Instead, we need to connect with them as people, because every person wants to be seen, heard and understood.

When we simply connect as people, not as a generation, that's where we find loyalty. That’s the foundation of connection. That's the foundation of any good, stable and healthy relationship.

We need to bring humanity back into the workplace. We need to see people for who they truly are not just seeing them as a generation.

Myths about millennials in the workplace

One big millennial myth that we found in our research with The Undercover Millennial program is that they have a greater focus on purpose over paycheck. Think Undercover Boss. We go into companies and learn how engaged their employees are, why they’re not engaged and what to do about it. What we found out of the 10,000 millennials that we interviewed is money is a major factor. Money still matters.

Yes, purpose is important - doing something significant in the world. That's still important, but so is money. I think business leaders and business owners need to remember that. They need to be competitive in their pay structure, their benefit program, their bonuses, because we're in an employee market, and millennials have options. If anybody's out there saying that millennials, don't care about money, all they want is purpose - it's just not true.

It's not true that money doesn’t matter. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. Don't be afraid to get competitive there. Because it matters. It matters to companies that are retaining millennials in the workplace. They're engaging them better, and they're able to attract better talent.

Every organization needs to remember that their employees are looking to them, as a company, to survive and thrive. As an organization, you've got to make sure that people can survive. Are you competitive in paying your people? Then focus on the thrive part - that significance in the workplace, the purpose of the job, allowing millennials in the workplace to do something bigger than themselves.

Lasting loyalty and connection

I think above all, business leaders and CEOs are learning that there is no hack to the millennial generation. There is no shortcut. There is no strategy. It all just comes down to human connection. It comes down to treating people like people, making sure people are seen, heard, and understood.

Anybody that says, “because you're this age, you should be treated this way,” or that your business leader should do a certain type of strategy or tactic because of the year that you were born in - this approach doesn’t work long term. We cannot forget that millennials are really similar to previous generations. We always have a problem with the younger generation. Gen X has a problem with the millennials, the baby boomers have a problem with Gen Xers. We tend to always look down on the younger generation as entitled.

I do think there is some validity to that sentiment in terms of growth and maturity. But again, people are people. When we throw away the stereotype, when we throw away the age, when we get to the part about them, they get to the part about you. When we remember people, people remember us.

It's basic communication. Everybody wants to feel important. Everybody wants to feel recognized. The important thing is just simply asking millennials in the workplace: ”What can we do to keep you here?” “What is getting in the way of your success?” And how can you as the business owner and the business leader, help them get where they want to go? That is true advocacy. And in doing so, you create loyalty that lasts and you create a connection where your people truly like themselves best because they work for you.

 

Keynote Speaker Clint Pulver talks on subjects such as Business Growth, Engagement, Performance, Collaboration and Culture. Click to see cmi's other speakers and topics.