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CMI Blog

the latest from cmi speaker managment

John “Gucci” Foley is Glad To Be Here

By John "Gucci" Foley | May 21, 2021 | Comments Off

John “Gucci” Foley is cmi’s newest addition to our exclusive roster.

Imagine at the end of your fingertips is a 22-ton jet fighter - flying 500 miles an hour - upside down! How do you help your organization to achieve this kind of precision, trust and teamwork? That’s what John “Gucci” Foley, former Lead Solo Pilot of the Blue Angels, teaches in his astounding keynotes. Attendees learn how to reach and stay at the highest level of performance. The Glad To Be Here ® mindset (a Blue Angels mantra) is the cornerstone of how he inspires business teams to create and sustain a culture of excellence.

John’s early life included an engineering degree from the US Navy and three master’s degrees, 1.) Sloan Fellow from Stanford Graduate School of Business 2.) Strategic Studies from the Naval War College 3.) International Policy Studies from Stanford University. He was a “Top Ten Carrier Pilot” six times before becoming a Marine instructor pilot and then a Blue Angel.

John and his wife Carol have founded The Glad To Be Here Foundation - he works with every client to donate a portion of his fee to a charity of their choice. This Foundation has raised over $2,000,000 to 360+ charities in 57 countries around the world.

Known for his golden pilot’s helmet and The Glad To Be Here mindset, John’s varied and illustrious career includes him as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist and best-selling author of Fearless Success

Why You Should Hire John “Gucci” Foley

  • He delivers customized virtual and in-person presentations that fit with your culture and event goals.
  • He provides engaging stories and electrifying videos of Blue Angels aerobatics, bringing a renewed spirit, purpose and energy to your organization.
  • An expert in high-performance and execution, his Diamond Performance Framework, combined with the Glad To Be Here mindset, inspires your team and improves your processes, ensuring you operate at the highest level possible.
  • John has reached over 1 million individuals, teams and organizations with his dynamic keynotes, workshops, and programs.


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Top 4 Things To Do this May long – by cmi

By cmiadmin | May 20, 2021 | Comments Off


Wishing everyone a Healthy and Happy May long 2021! 

There are still some awesome things to do this May long weekend, but we will have to do them safely and in accordance with Alberta’s Health Orders. We’ve put together our Top 4 things to do this weekend that include a reserved trip to Zoo Nights, a visit at the Heritage Park Opening, a reserved fire-pit picnic, or a wonderful walk in the beautiful outdoors around Calgary.

What is Open Closed in Calgary
Due to COVID-19, many attractions are closed, all indoor social gatherings – public and private – are prohibited and outdoor gatherings are limited to five people.

1. Heritage Park Opening Weekend

Exciting outdoor-only experience awaiting you beginning May long weekend, including the brand new Prospect Ridge area – an exciting new addition that will take visitors on a journey through Western Canada’s energy past. The S.S. Moyie is back in the water and ready to welcome you starting May 22! All programming will be moved outdoors in and around the historical exhibits.

  • Details
    May 22 to 24, 2021 | 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Heritage Park, 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB, Canada
    $12.95 to $24.95

2. ZooNights

ZooNights is a regular day at the zoo – with extended hours – so you can enjoy your favourite animals and the outdoor zoo grounds a little longer. While there is no extra charge for ZooNights (daily admission rates apply), you may find some special entertainment around the park during the evening and there will be adult beverages and special concessions items available for purchase. You can think of it as the 3 B’s – booze, bento boxes and buskers!

  • Details
    May 21 & 22, 2021 | Extended hours from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m
    Open daily and Open on Victoria Day | 10:00 AM to 05:00 PM
    Calgary Zoo, 210 St. George’s Drive NE
    Regular Admission.

3. Outdoor Fire Pits

Enjoy a picnic at the outdoor picnic areas. The city of Calgary introduced reservable fire pits in various parks last fall so that Calgarians can reserve them for a safe outdoor gathering with their bubble. The city has reopened the pilot program once again for this spring and summer.

  • Details
    May 14 to October 11
    Various Parks

4. Go for a walk

Spring has sprung. It’s time to go out and enjoy the great outdoors. And lucky for us, Calgary has a lot to offer in that department. Check out one of these 25 Nature Attractions and Parks in and around Calgary. There are hiking and biking trails, picnic spots, off-leash dog parks, birding areas, and much more.

Full List of Things To Do

Calgary List of Things To Do

Get Calgary Weather Report

Weekly Weather Report from Government of Canada


NEW PRESENTATION: Getting Ahead of Burnout by Tim Sanders

By Tim Sanders | May 18, 2021 | Comments Off

Burnout is a threat to companies in 2021—the pandemic’s new world of work is showing collateral damage including turnover, loss of productivity and a lack of creative energy.

Many of your best people are on the verge of suffering professional burnout. They’ve stepped up the number of working hours, partially due to the new work-from-home environment, but mostly because they need to get more done with less.

Researchers declare that burnout is a threat to companies in 2021—the pandemic’s new world of work is showing collateral damage including turnover, loss of productivity and a lack of creative energy.

The good news is that burnout can be prevented and alleviated in the early stages through designed workstreams and personally managed through the development of boundaries and wellness habits.

In this presentation, Tim provides insights on what it takes to restore work-life integration in 2021. He’ll share the latest research as well as best practices from companies and wellness advisors.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Spot the early warning signs of burnout in individuals and groups. 
  • Design workstreams to ensure load-management of key talents. 
  • Leverage resources such as the work marketplace to offload tactical burdens. 
  • Coach others to reduce stress and recharge energies while they work from home. 



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How do you deal with uncertainty? by Dan Thurmon

By Dan Thurmon | May 17, 2021 | Comments Off

"When you lean into the uncertainty, create a new action and go off-balance on purpose, you position yourself for greater success."

Imagine doing a handstand on a podium. Feel your body trying to balance against the wobble, as you try to keep your body straight in the air. After all the effort of trying to position your body up in the air, while the podium shifts back and forth, you are still in the same place, only a lot more exhausted. This is how many organizations and teams deal with uncertainty.

When your teams are fatigued, anxious and productivity has slowed, you feel the foundation is shifting and things feel unstable. It’s easy to hold on tight to the same processes and strategies, but this is a mistake and will keep your people from being agile and rising to the top.

In every uncertainty, there is a huge opportunity to create something extraordinary. When you lean into the uncertainty, create a new action and go off-balance on purpose, you position yourself for greater success.

Balance is not what you get. Balance is what you do.

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Live from Chris' Studio - Chris Bashinelli

By Chris Bashinelli | May 11, 2021 | Comments Off

"The Well-Being and Mental Health of your teams are Paramount to the Success of Your Organization."

Chris Bashinelli walks you through his personal and production studio in New York City where he delivers uplifting virtual keynotes directly to his audience. Bash's virtual presentations are recorded on an ultra-high-definition 4k camera, with all audience playback on a dedicated monitor, and a fully dedicated recording space with an on-site producer to ensure that everything runs smoothly. His virtual sessions are customized to meet your specific business challenges and fit your company culture.

Chris empowers people and business teams to restructure the way they view the world, beginning with themselves. He also shares the real-life tools that deepen concentration, connection and inspiration – right from his virtual office.

Bash has traveled the world as Host of Bridge the Gap, a television series featured on PBS and the National Geographic Channel, where he discovers what it’s like to walk in someone else’s shoes. 

Top THREE reasons why people LOVE working with Chris that include:

  1. He curates a unique experience through interactive exercises
  2. He engages in breakout sessions to strengthen relationships
  3. He provides exclusive videos from his National Geographic and PBS Productions

Bash’s keynotes and training will help your business teams transform their connection, overcome anxiety and stress, and increase confidence, providing more present teams for your organization. Book him for a custom, virtual or in-person presentation today!



Embracing Failure - Ty Bennett

By Ty Bennett | May 07, 2021 | Comments Off

"Ninja is the perfect metaphor for Success."

I think most people see success as one direction and failure in the exact opposite direction but I don’t think that is true. 

My experience has taught me that you have to pass through failure to find success. In other words, they are the same path. 

The problem is that failure stops us and so we don’t get far enough down the path. 

Successful people learn to embrace failure, learn from it, and use it as fuel. 

Sarah Blakely, the founder of Spanx, is someone who understands this mindset. When Sarah was growing up, her family would have family dinner every night. But unlike most families, their discussions weren’t just about the events of the day or how school went. Sarah’s father every night at dinner would ask the family, “How did you fail today?” 

That question spurred their conversation and they would share their failures. They would discuss what they learned. How it felt. I’m sure they would laugh with each other and sometimes cry together. 

I find it fascinating though, that the youngest self-made female billionaire in the world learned at a young age to embrace failure.

I don’t think it is a coincidence. 

I think that a mindset that embraces failure and uses it as a stepping stone allows us to move further down the path to reach the success we are seeking. 



10 New Rules For A New World by Mike Walsh

By Mike Walsh | May 04, 2021 | Comments Off

The Real Question is This: What is Possible in an Age of AI that was Not Possible Before?

The biggest danger in any crisis is anticipating a return to normal. As vaccine programs roll out worldwide, organizations and governments are preparing for economic recovery, a return to offices and corporate travel, and a resumption of business as usual.

The COVID-19 crisis, however, was not a pendulum now on the return swing to normal; it was a portal from the world we knew, to a radical new future that we are yet to fully understand.

While for many of us working from home has been a new and unexpected challenge - that is just the start of a much bigger transformation set to reshape the nature of business itself. In order to survive, every organization will have to virtualize.

Whether it be serving customers through digital channels or leveraging AI, algorithms and automation to ensure business continuity - we are likely to experience in the next twelve months, a decade's worth of change. Not every business will make it, but those that do will never be the same again. And for leaders, now more than ever, is a time to upgrade their capabilities, embrace new technologies, and reimagine what they do.

Becoming future-proof is more than just about getting through the current crisis - it is about being ready for the new world that awaits us on the other side.

Rule #1: Digital Disruption is Now Just Digital Delivery

We are all disruptors now. Being digital is nothing special, it is just the price of staying in business. The real question is this: what is possible in an age of AI that was not possible before?

Rule #2: There is No Remote Work, Only Work

Remote work is just the beginning of a much bigger transformation that is set to transform the nature of work itself. The true future of work will be shaped by five forces: mobility, autonomy, memory, objectivity and velocity.

Rule #3: Robots are Not Coming for Our Jobs, They are Here to Change Them

AI will not destroy jobs, but it will change them. A new world needs new kinds of capabilities - and that means that we need to evolve and upgrade, just as our machines do.

Rule #4: Experiences Matter more than Transactions

What did we learn about the future of retail, when the world’s stores had to close? Whether it be an app or a showroom, engaging experiential design is what really counts.

Rule #5: The Best Way to Lead is to be Data-led

Being a leader in the Algorithmic Age requires a very different approach. We all like to claim to be ‘data-driven’, but in truth, what we really need to be is ‘data-led’.

Rule #6: There is no New Normal

What if the new normal, is not normal at all? Thanks to COVID-19, we are now living in a radically different reality - robotics, VR, automation, protests, surveillance, fake news. The first step to survival is acknowledging that there is no going back from this.

Rule #7: XR is the New Reality

XR or virtual reality, augmented reality and mixed reality are all on the brink of becoming mainstream technologies that will transform how we live and work. Now is the time to reimagine the way we interact with our customers and create radically new experiences not possible before.

Rule #8: Social distancing is Here to Stay

Social distancing is more than a pandemic response, it is a preview of an AI-powered world in which we deliver products and services using automation and machines with minimal or no human contact.

Rule #9: The Future of AI is Personal

We are fast accelerating to a future in which we will interact with applications with our voices rather than screens, but before we get there, we need a new, more personal approach to AI - virtual assistants that are a digital extension of ourselves.

Rule #10: The Future Favors the Bold

This is no time to settle for survival as a second prize to success. After the chaos of 2020, we need bigger dreams than just recovery. What matters now is reinvention, nothing less.




Team Problem Solving by asking 'What If' by Mike Rayburn

By Mike Rayburn | Apr 30, 2021 | Comments Off

“The thinking that got you where you are today, will not get you where you want to be.” -Albert Einstein

The mindset of your teams essentially defines your culture, and shapes all of your results. So, how do you shape the mindset of your teams?

Simple, by asking Questions. 

Follow me here… 

To change anything, the first thing that has to change is our brains, the way we think. And the most basic human brain function is to ask questions.

So, when we actively and intentionally choose the internal questions we ask, we shape our inner dialogue, which determines our mindset, which determines our results. 

For instance, if something unpleasant happens in your organization you and your teams could ask, “What’s wrong with us, who’s fault is this, why do these things always happen???” And the collective mindset will be to answer that question.

Or instead, you and your teams can be trained to ask, “What if there’s something good about this and what would it be? What is the opportunity or advantage here?” And the collective mindset will answer that question.

Your organization could have a list of all the negatives or the advantages and opportunities surrounding you based purely on the question your teams choose and have been trained to ask. 

I love the question, “What IF?” because it always opens opportunities. 

Think about it… every major invention, achievement, or victory in human history started in some way or another with a bold “What IF?” question. 

  1. What if… electricity could power light? 
  2. What if… we could fly?
  3. What if… we could hold all the world’s knowledge in our hands?
  4. What if… we could shop completely from home? 

At this time of crisis and disruptive change, it’s time for you and your teams to lead, to become the disruptors. And you have all you need right now… you just need to adopt “The What IF Mindset.” 


Book Mike today!


Communications Masterclass by Vinh Giang

By Vinh Giang | Apr 28, 2021 | Comments Off


Vinh Giang curates a Communications Masterclass that improves collaboration and creates innovation within your team.

Communications Masterclass

These deep dive Masterclass sessions will take your participants on a journey of communications training unlike any they've ever experienced before. Choosing from a few or all 6 sessions, this training enhances communications skillset, improves collaboration and creates innovation that inspires deep connection within your team.

Training sessions can include:

  • 5 Foundations of Communication
  • Vocal Archetypes / Storytelling
  • More on Storytelling
  • Body Language / Hand Gestures
  • Rehearse / Dealing with Fear
  • Presentations / Written vs Spoken
  • BONUS - Participants will learn the secrets behind Vinh's magic to heighten their 'impact' skillset

NOTE: these virtual sessions can be recorded and include a limited license to distribute internally.

Book Vinh's Masterclass!


Curiosity-The First Step in Critical Conversations - by Phil M Jones

By Phil M Jones | Apr 21, 2021 | Comments Off

"All selling is, is earning the right to make a recommendation."

Phil M Jones gives us the Magic Words for Influence and Impact, from his best-selling book "Exactly What to Say."

Curiosity is the first ingredient required to have success in every critical conversation. Have you ever spoken to someone who had an “I know best” mentality and style of communication? They are so certain and the more certain that they are, the more you become uncertain. The more you project your knowledge on someone else’s circumstances, the more you lose credibility.

We all have a lot of knowledge that we are experts on, that we believe is unique and we want to share with others. But, without their context it is just noise. When we show up with curiosity we earn something magical; we earn the information that matters to them.

We never ask someone to take an action unless we can say: "Because of the fact that you said blank, that is the reason I am recommending blank." The only way you can fill in those blanks is to be curious for long enough to fill in those blanks.


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