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Mike Rayburn- Dr. No VS Dr. How Can We

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 14, 2020 | Comments Off

Are you a Dr. No or a Dr. How Can We?

Toward the end of every presentation, I always ask for someone from the audience to stand up and share a new idea. Maybe something they got from the message or something that would move the group forward to a resolution. And one day, I was presenting for a group of CEOs and facilities managers. I asked that question toward the end, and there's a little bit of a pause.

Finally, this really strong guy raised his hand, he stood up, and he said, "You know, in my organization for the past 20 years, my nickname has been Dr. No, because I'm the guy who always says, No. No, we can't do that. No, we can't afford that. No, we don't have enough time. No, that's too much of a risk."

He said it's not working. He said morale is down, and revenues are down, and something needs to change.

He knew that as a leader, that needs to come from him.

So He said, "I'm saying this so everyone can be my witness. From this day forward, I am no longer Dr. No... I am. Dr. How Can We."

Well, there was an audible gasp in the audience because he got it, and it was so powerful. I ended up giving him my backup guitar to commemorate the moment, which I do now in every program.

I give away a guitar when someone shares an idea. Because it's so important to remember that, especially post COVID-19, we need not just leaders who are Dr.No. We need Dr. How Can We's!

We need entire organizations of Dr. How Can We's! It's my mission in life to create this.

So my question for you is, who have you been? Dr. No or Dr. How Can We?

And how could you become a Dr. How Can We?




Mike Rayburn Takes the Stage

By Mike Rayburn | Oct 11, 2020 | Comments Off

It's been seven months since Keynote Speaker Mike Rayburn and his guitar have been on stage. COVID 19 drastically transformed the meetings, conferences and events market. The entire industry found itself moving, delaying and outright cancelling functions to accommodate the secluded life of quarantine.

While the world learned to connect with people and businesses virtually, we found ourselves missing physical gatherings' simple pleasures. Like Ariel sang in the Little Mermaid, we wanted to be where the people are. We wanted to see 'em dancin' and walkin' around on those (Whad'ya call 'em?) oh - feet, instead of just their far off faces flooding the screens of our handheld devices. After 7 months of conversing with cameras, addressing audiences from his home studio and urging attendees to ask questions in chat boxes, Mike was ecstatic to hop on a plane to Great Falls, Montana and engage directly with people.

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This two-time TED Talk presenter, successful entrepreneur, member of the speaker hall of fame and a featured artist on Sirius/XM has been on stage almost every week of his adult life until the pandemic hit. Human connection is an integral part of Mike's What If Experience and Become A Virtuoso talk. Still conveyed powerfully through screens, the action only amplifies and strikes a more resonant chord delivered in person.

Mike Rayburn-  First Live Gig


The Montana Electric Cooperatives' Association hosted a noon-hour presentation for their Annual meeting for electric cooperative utilities. There are 25 co-ops in Montana that deliver electricity to about 40% of the state. The Governor gave permission to the cooperatives' association to host the 250 people in attendance. Some masks were worn, and tables were safely distanced from one another.

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The event was a huge success! One attendee wrote ...

Thank you very much for autographing your book and guitar. I just finished the book and am looking forward to sharing it with my family. As you point out in chapter 16, You Will Have Help!

I have been thinking of what to put on the break room whiteboard at work. I'd been searching the web for something catchy the last two weeks, and now I will be writing 'What if...' and see what employees add. Coincidence? Keep up the great work you are doing."

Book Mike for your virtual or live event today



Diversity & Inclusion Speaker - Heather R Younger

By Heather Younger | Oct 07, 2020 | Comments Off

What do truly inclusive workplace cultures look like?

They look like places where leaders sit with their people and empathize with them. Where they embrace their people for who they are and what they stand for. They sit with them and ask them how they're doing inside and outside of work.

I know what it feels like not to be included or to feel like I don't belong, from a painful experience in my past. Being shunned from my own family because of what I look like, because of my race. But I use that pain from the past and transform it into a positive catalyst to help leaders understand what they need to do to create inclusive workplaces, where employees truly feel like they belong.

Now, I know right now is a tough time. Many of us don't know all the right words to say. But if we lead first with empathy and compassion, we will all be just fine. Come with me as we explore what it looks like to have a truly inclusive workplace where our employees can finally feel like they belong.




Heather Younger- Getting Unstuck

By Heather Younger | Oct 05, 2020 | Comments Off


Right now, everybody is still freaking out. It's been some months, and with all the unknown and everything that's going on in the market and with the layoffs in business...Coronavirus, are we all going to get it? What's going to happen? Living in constant fear. You know, companies and individuals are having to make a lot of pivots right now. Everyone is just feeling stuck, feeling paralyzed. Layoffs, safety concerns, uncertainty, fear for employees, fear for our families!

So today, what I'm going to do is teach you how to we can get unstuck and create results faster so that we can thrive long term. And, in doing so, we build our resilience so that if this ever happens again, anything like it, we'll be more prepared to get through it. The key, though, is that we cannot succeed or obtain the results that we want unless we muster the courage to face fear and our challenges head-on. And move away from that place of stuck that some of us may still be in.

All signs point to adjusting how we see and respond to the changes and challenges that are right in front of us, right now. So how can we see our challenges in a new and better light and strengthen our resilience muscle?

I bet you what you're thinking is "Is Heather telling us to be rah-rah and just ignore everything that's around us?! Ignore the risks and everything that's happening around the pandemic??!"

Absolutely not. We must understand risk. It's important that we understand what's happening in front of us, but that we don't allow it to overwhelm us or stop us from moving forward on our journey to wherever we were at before the pandemic. So the number 1 reason why most of us fail to see our challenges and our adversity differently is because of the unique lens we bring from our past, often from our childhood.

So this might sound a little strange or perplexing, but the truth is that many of us were raised to think in more limiting ways, and to live in fear of the unknown, of what's happening around us and feeling like we're not really in control. So often it's easier to just face up to the adversity in front of us. It seems easier to just to run away from it, or really to ignore it altogether. And a lot of people do that. They would rather sit in their home, close the door and say, "Okay, when this is over, call me. Call me out!"

But really, to thrive in this type of environment. We all need to know what we're facing and we need to show up differently. Often, you know, casting aside those the old lenses that we have brought with us from our past and replacing them with a new way to see things and conquer our current circumstances.





Mike Walsh - Technology and Culture

By Mike Walsh | Sep 30, 2020 | Comments Off


COVID-19 forced students and educators into the unknown world of virtual education. Futurist and keynote speaker Mike Walsh explains that there is no "remote learning." It's simply "learning."

Watch Mike ponder some of the fascinating things the current crisis has forced educators to recognize and see the cracks in how society thinks about remote learning.

One of the fascinating things about the current crisis is how much it forced us to realize the cracks in the way we thought about remote work and remote learning. And, you know, for some people working from home was actually… Well, it was working from hell. And the same thing applied to many parents who now had to deal with the realities of trying to deal with a blended learning model, technology and their kids being home permanently.

As we move into the future, though, it's increasingly clear that the video technology behind this, is not the hard part. I mean, zoom is nothing new. I mean, what you see here is that NSA video phone from 1960. I actually found prototypes of video phones going all the way back to AT&T in 1930. So if it took 90 years for us to get our act together with using live video technology, it probably wasn't the technology that was holding us back.

What was holding us back was essentially, culture. You see, technology can change the hardware of your school, or your educational facility. But true transformation, requires you to rethink culture, because culture is your operating system. When I say culture, I mean, the way your teachers interact with students. The way they interact with each other and faculty. The way that principals interact with you as leaders. In the end, it's the system of interactions that really drive success or failure of your transformation.



How to Create Authentic Connections

By Chris Bashinelli | Sep 22, 2020 | Comments Off

Creating an authentic connection with others can be tricky. Understanding the other person's experience, not the image we think their life is, is what it's all about. How do they actually feel?
Chris Bashinelli explains why connecting with others' experiences is vital.

One of the best ways to deepen our connection with one another is to do our best to understand the other person's experience, not the image of what we think their life is about.

When we look at someone and say, Oh, I wish I could travel like this person, or I wish I could be in a relationship like this person, I wish I could live in this type of house in this type of city and have this type of job.

It can be a very objectifying experience. We're actually removing ourselves from the other person because we're comparing ourselves only to the image of what we think their life is about. Not to the actuality of their experience.

When we can interact with others and do our best to understand their experience, not the image of what we think their experience is, then we can actually build connections. How does this person actually feel when they're travelling? What is this person's experience in their relationship with their family? In that house? In that type of job? Then we're not comparing ourselves to that person's image. We're not trying to understand their image, which is objectifying and creates separation between us and them.

What we're doing is we're creating a direct connection to their experience, and that person feels seen. That person feels heard. And we can actually build humanity, authentic connection with one another.


The Emmy goes to...CLINT PULVER!!

By Clint Pulver | Sep 22, 2020 | Comments Off


"Hello, and welcome to the Pandemmys!"

That's how host Jimmy Kimmel kicked off The Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday September 20, 2020 in Los Angeles. Covid19 has drastically changed how award shows air, but as they say in show business, the show must go on!

So The Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, a division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, went virtual too.

From ABC's American Housewife, Daniel DiMaggio announced Clint Pulver's nomination for Clint Pulver: You're Not a Problem...and he won!

Join us in congratulating EMMY WINNER Clint Pulver!


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Techniques to Connect Effectively on Camera

By Dan Thurmon | Sep 15, 2020 | Comments Off


Read instead of watch:

Here's some of the principles that we typically talk about regarding on-camera excellence and building your on-camera persona. I feel like there's a version of us that we have to think about when we're on screen, and how that version comes across.

You know, one of the things we've all heard is “You’ve got to love the lens”! You’ve got to look right into the lens of the camera, and it’s just so unnatural. It's counterintuitive because we want to watch people and so you find you watch their little pictures on screen and see what they're doing and what their body language looks like. That's what we've been told in all our training classes for so long.

“You’ve got to watch people” but it's not accurate. If you want them to feel like you care about them, like they really matters to you, you have to ignore their picture completely. Just pour yourself into that camera lens and let them watch your picture.

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How to Navigate the Racial Divide at Work

By Heather Younger | Sep 09, 2020 | Comments Off


Read an excerpt from Heather Younger's blog below and follow the link for the full post.

"The other day, I hosted a LinkedIn Live to discuss the racial divide and how we can all show up as better humans in these turbulent times – particularly in the face of people who are demanding less talk and more action. 

As an African-American woman, I believe we MUST continue to have these discussions, because they need to remain top of mind. We have to remember that this is not just another news cycle. This is a reality for so many."

Read Heather's full blog post here for her top takeaways on how to navigate the racial divide at work.

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Three Moves EVERY Successful Company Is Making - Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Sep 02, 2020 | Comments Off

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The teams, companies and organizations who are thriving right now are all doing these three things:

  1. They discover new opportunities, particularly trusting their front lines.
  2. They change quicklydrastically streamlining their processes of development and implementation.
  3. They act decisively, with extreme determination, allowing autonomy in stepping beyond what they’ve done in the past.

Here is what YOUR GROUP needs to be doing right now:

1. Discover opportunity through frontline innovation: Your teams, sales people, service providers, frontline associates see what is happening in real time. They see the daily needs of your customers and clients. So… why not trust them? Why not encourage their input, their connections with the full needs of the customer, not just what they’ve always done? Why not grant them the authority and autonomy to serve beyond what they’ve done before? Instead of a formulaic drone response, why not dig deeper, expand your offering, care for the full needs of your customers?

Solution: Arm team members with the “What IF?” Mindset. What IF… your teams expand from “service providers” to “problem solvers?” What if instead of doing what you do, your teams do whatever needs to be done? What if you used a given product or service in a new way? What if you could solve the entire problem, not just the one you've always solved, how would you do it?

2. Change quickly. This requires first a mindset change, which leads to a change in actions. Regard people who are uncomfortable with change as being uncomfortable with success, but humanize the change by talking openly about their fears regarding change, balanced by the great results which come from it.

Solution: Arm team members with the mindset to “create change" or "lead change" instead of just managing or embracing it. The questions What IF and What NOW??? work amazingly here. Create a sense of openness and urgency to change.

3. Act decisively. Decide and act. Determine your next course of action, your "change," allow some due diligence, but cut through your bureaucratic crap, lose the fear-based thinking and get on with it. Yeah, you need to be a bit less cautious. Not stupid, but bold.

Solution: Imbue your teams with the “Succeed Anyway” mindset. We’ve never done it? Succeed anyway. We don’t have enough money? Succeed anyway. It’s an untested solution? Succeed anyway. This is what is working right now. From Walmart and Amazon to Orkin to credit unions to your local churches and schools, those who are successfully navigating a post-pandemic world have the mindset to 1. Discover opportunities; 2. Change quickly; and 3. Act decisively.