All posts by Harry Morton

How to Write the Right Book

How to Write the Right Book

My guest this week is a best-selling author and coach Henry DeVries.

Henry is here to teach you all you need to know if you’ve decided to put your thoughts down on paper and finally write your book.

On today’s podcast:

  • The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book
  • How to get started
  • The eight great stories
  • The benefits of independent publishing


The who, what, when, where, why, and how to write the right book

Henry’s mission is to give people the who, what, when, where, why and how of writing the right book that will make a difference for them.

Everyone has a book inside that needs to get out. Nobody really wants to leave this world without getting their book out there. However, a lot of these books won’t serve their authors, they will not help them with their company cause or career. So Henry chooses to be the myth-buster: authors are not promoted by books, instead authors promote the books. That’s the key.

A book is a tool to help you get what you want. Henry thinks that a book is the number 1 marketing tool. Speaking as a result of a book is the number 1 marketing strategy.

How to get started

If you already have a title and an idea about the book, the first step is to create a blueprint for the book. There are some starting elements for the blueprint:

  • A book needs a working title. Henry likes trifecta titles:
    • They work as speech titles
    • They work as book titles
    • You can get the .com URL (the domain name) so that you can start to create a little fence around your intellectual property
  • The book also needs a working subtitle about the promise, the outcome that people want.

How do you figure out if the title is right? You start with a working title. Henry calls it “The North Star”. You should always go for clarity when choosing your title. And then try to be congruent with your audience: they need to know what your book is about by looking at its cover.

The eight great stories

After you have a working title and a URL, you have to understand the eight great stories. There are eight great stories that humans are hardwired to hear:

  1. The overcoming the monster story
  2. The underdog story
  3. The story about a comedy
  4. The story about a tragedy
  5. The story about a mystery
  6. The story about a quest
  7. The story about a rebirth
  8. The story about an escape

The story you choose dictates its table of contents. There is a different table of contents for an overcoming the monster story (it’s a problem-solution table of contents) and a different one for a quest story (it’s about a call to this quest).

You need three parts in a book. The biggest mistake new authors make is the fact that they want to launch into part two of their book, without having written part one. Part one is the why, part two is the how, and part three is the what’s next.

You need to start with the why and tell the reader why this is important. In chapter two you ask the question: “If this is important, how do we fix it?” It’s the how, the guts of the book. Afterwards, there needs to be an aftermath.  

The benefits of independent publishing

You can record your thoughts, and take notes for each chapter. You can find a service to do the transcription for you. You can also hire an editor or a ghostwriter to help you.

There are many technologies and techniques to get the thoughts out of your head and down on paper so that others can read them.

Traditional publishing can be an ordeal. You have to make a proposal, it can take months for them to decide whether they will publish your book or not, then it might take a year to get the book out there. That’s the old way of doing things.

Henry helps authors be independently published. This is not the same as self-published. Independently published means that you hire experts in the field who know editing, art design, book production. For most people it’s a zero net sum investment: if you sell 1000-2000 books, which is doable if you really market your books, you can earn all the money you invested in the publishing back.

If you choose independent publishing, you retain control of the project and of the intellectual property.

The real money is in getting hired as a speaker or as a consultant or coach. Experts with a book can speak in the $5.000-$10.000 range.

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

Shepherding: A New Model of Leadership

My guest this week is Holly Culhane, founder, and CEO of Presence Point, a non-profit organization that supports leaders in their journey of becoming shepherds to their people.

On today’s podcast:

  • Shepherding: servant leadership in action
  • Shepard leaders genuinely care about their people
  • Key elements of shepherding
  • How to bring shepherding to your company
  • How to be a good servant leader
  • How do we measure our success as servant leaders?


Shepherding: servant leadership in action

Shepherding is a tweak of servant leadership. Servant leadership allows us to take our workforce into consideration. If we want to be successful as leaders, we have to serve our employees more than they serve us.

What is the true measurement of leadership success? Good employee engagement, satisfaction, productivity, and how the employees treat the customer. We’ve got to treat our employees like they’re our customers.

When you put other people first, you have more success in your own life.

Shepherd leaders genuinely care about their people

In today’s workforce, 50% of employees are millennials. They are also starting to take leadership roles, along with boomers and Xers.

Shepherding emphasizes presence. Presence requires you to be fully engaged, and millennials expect full engagement.

We might think that millennials are unengaged, as they are often texting or emailing. In reality, they want engagement and they resonate with people who care for them genuinely and deeply. And that’s what servant leadership represents.

A shepherd is the ultimate example of a servant because he lays down his life for his sheep. This changes the whole approach on how people work and accomplish their goals.

Pivotal elements for shepherding

There are three key elements for shepherding.

The first one is provision. Provision is to care of or to furnish or supply the need of another. Leaders should ask themselves: “Are we providing equipment, hardware, software, ergonomically correct chairs, and the information our employees need to do their job well?”

The second element is protection, the act of safeguarding. How do we shield our employees from harm? If there is a conflict, we need to step up. Sometimes we even need to protect them from themselves.

The third element is presence. Presence is being at hand, even if you are not there physically.

Bringing shepherding to your own workforce

Every responsibility of a leader falls under one of these three categories.

So how do you bring shepherding into your own organization? First, you need to figure out how it applies to you.

You can start by looking at how you were led in the past. You should look at the effects of good or bad leadership styles.

How to be a good servant leader

We need to have the vulnerability of being honest and open enough to say “I blew it, let me fix it”. Just because we’re in a leadership position, it doesn’t mean that we’re free from mistakes or from failure.

Many leaders think they shouldn’t be too vulnerable because they would give people too much information and they won’t be respected.

A servant leader is willing to say “We need to work on this, I’m struggling here”. The difficulty with servant leadership is not just our pride, it’s also our fear. We have to move from pride and fear to humility and confidence.

How do we measure that we are successful as servant leaders?

If you want to know whether you are doing a good job as a servant leader, you just need to ask. Do a monthly or quarterly check-in. Ask your employees:

  • Am I giving you what you need?
  • What do you need to be more effective in your role?
  • Do you have all you need to serve the customer?

The Importance of Having a Personal Strategy for Success

Impact strategist Avery Blank is our guest this week. She talks about why having a strategy is crucial to your success, and how to create one and progress your career.

On today’s podcast:

  • It all starts with your strategy
  • How to become a strategic thinker
  • Make small steps
  • Market yourself for maximum exposure
  • Keep up with the news


Before you start, you need to have a strategy

Leadership is both an art and a science. You have to be able to understand the science before you can paint the portrait of organizational success.

Success doesn’t happen by chance. American comedian Milton Berle once said that if opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

Women are expected to mostly be team players, and not be so much focused on themselves.

Being strategic about your career is about having a plan: knowing where you want to go and how to get there. Strategy is a key to success.

How do you become a strategic thinker and use it to progress your career?

First, you need to think about what you want, and then identify the steps that will lead you to your goal.

Second, you need to be aware of what’s going on around you. You may have a goal, but you also need to understand how other things might impact your goal. You need to understand the context in which your goal sits.

Third, put yourself in other people’s shoes. Understand what it is that other people want or value. In order to add value, you have to be valuable to someone else.

Where should you start developing your strategic plan?

You have to take small steps. Sometimes our goals are massive, and we don’t know where to start.

Make daily, weekly, monthly sub-goals that continue to move you closer to your ultimate goal.

Also, write it down. When you see it, you can pursue it better. Sometimes people are hesitant to put down numbers.

Share your goals with others, if it helps you to be more accountable. If you are not intrinsically motivated to achieve your goal, it’s going to be difficult for you to do so. It has to come from you. You have to want it more than anyone else.

How do you market yourself for maximum exposure?

Your mindset is critical to your future success.

You are your best advocate. You have to identify your opportunities. Every great company has a marketing team. You have to think of your career as your business, and you have to be your own marketer.

It’s absolutely critical to know what is going on around the world. Our knowledge is only valuable if it’s timely. People are not going to listen to you or pay for your services if what you say or what you provide is outdated.

The brands that survive are the ones that keep up with the times. Your career is your business and your brand.

You should ask yourself these questions:

  • How does my knowledge apply to what is happening in the world?
  • How is the world impacting my work?

Keep up with what’s going on around the world

Avery is constantly reading, keeping up with the news, with current trends.

It takes discipline to stay updated with what’s going on in the world.

Staying current with the news is a career advancement strategy. Some people think it’s wasting time. It’s not. It’s strategic.

Keeping up with the news allows you to see opportunities.

Think and Grow Rich for Women

Think and Grow Rich for Women

Keynote speaker and business strategist Sharon Lechter believes that financial education should start at an early age.

She also wants to empower women to take control of their lives and explore a myriad of business opportunities.

On today’s podcast:

  • Are you feeling stuck?
  • Take control of your life and commit to it
  • Stop complaining and focus on the progress you’ve made
  • Fear will always hold you back
  • A board game for teenagers can teach them about finances


Feeling stuck?

Sharon wrote a book inspired by Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, but oriented towards women. Her book is called Think and Grow Rich for Women.

In another of his books, Outwitting the Devil, Napoleon Hill focuses on the things that hold us back, on the obstacles that we create in our own minds.

Outwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich helped Sharon transform her mindset. If you feel stuck, you should go and read Outwitting the Devil, with Sharon’s annotations.

Take control of your life and commit to it

Sharon believes that the steps to success are the same for men and women, but we tend to approach them differently. She asks women how much money and impact they want to make, and what is their deadline.

Sharon was getting frustrated with the conversation about work-life balance for women. When you start striving for success, you are ashamed of losing your balance. However, nobody is in balance. Women have so many more components in their lives, besides work and life: their financial, physical, spiritual, business, family and friends sides.

If you feel guilty about what happened yesterday, you will waste precious time today. Just acknowledge it and spend today differently. Take control of your life and commit to living one big life.

Women should stop complaining, and focus on their progress instead

More and more women are coming to the business table. When men and women are both at the table, you have the best of both worlds.

Sharon was getting frustrated with all the negativity, with women complaining about the men holding them back. Complaining attracts negative things. Instead, women should earn their status, and celebrate the progress they’ve made. If women focused on the positive, they would see more change quicker.

Sharon’s goal was to change the dialogue towards positivity and celebration.

Fear will always hold you back

At the end of the day, we have things that are embedded in our psyche that create fear. This fear holds us back from achieving the success that we deserve. It’s not just fear of success, it’s also fear of poverty, illness, criticism.

When you think about the subject of money, what did your parents say about it? Most likely they’ve made negative comments on it.

As a result, it’s no wonder that we grow up with this fear of money, of scarcity. Money becomes an emotional subject. We’re afraid we will never have enough. When we become successful, we’re afraid we’re going to lose it.

Once you acknowledge all that, you can release it and start looking at the world of abundance that we’re truly living in.

Time to play

Sharon also helped developed a board game for teenagers, ThriveTime for Teens. She wants to help young people make better financial choices.

The board game introduces the concepts of assets and liabilities. It also has a lot of humor. Every situation in the game has happened to either one of Sharon’s children, or to one of Sharon’s friends’ children.

ThriveTime creates a lot of conversation around the table. It also creates the opportunity of having the money conversation with your children, without it being so personal.

Mastering Your Elevator Speech

Mastering Your Elevator Speech

On this episode of The Ultimate Leadership Podcast, speaker and coach Fred Miller shares his nuggets of wisdom on how to deliver the most effective elevator speech to take your business to the next level.

On today’s podcast:

  • Elevator speech vs elevator pitch
  • Delivering your elevator speech in a group vs one-on-one
  • Phrases you should use
  • Clarity is not optional
  • Be conversational
  • Practice, practice, practice


What is an elevator speech?

There is a difference between the elevator speech and the elevator pitch.

The elevator pitch is about pitching your product or your service. The elevator speech is giving an infomercial of yourself.

The DNA of Fred’s elevator speech is: “Speaking opportunities are leadership, career and business opportunities”.

When you discover your why and make that the DNA of your elevator speech, it changes everything.

Goals of elevator speeches

In a group, the goal of the elevator speech is wanting people to know exactly what you do. Clarity is not optional.

For a one-on-one elevator speech, you want to disqualify the people you are interacting with. Not everyone is a prospect for what you do and your time is limited.

Go-to phrases that work

An elevator speech is a speaking opportunity that can boost your career. If you don’t develop and practice one, you are losing opportunities.

An important phrase to use is: “Businesses hire me because…” You shouldn’t say “I work with…, I help them with…” “Because” is an influencer word.

If you are not comfortable with the phrase “They hire me”, don’t use it, because it will come across that you are not comfortable. You can say “They become my clients” instead.

A friend of Fred who works in real estate uses the phrase “People choose me”.

If it’s hard to pronounce, leave it aside

If you have a hard to pronounce last name, you should introduce yourself using only your first name.

You shouldn’t use buzzwords or acronyms. Clarity is very important.

People should have different elevator speeches for different audiences.

Practice is the key to perfection

You have to deliver your elevator speech in a conversational manner. You have to practice, practice, practice.

You should record yourself using audio and video. Then watch it again with the sound off. Check your body language.

The second time, just listen to yourself. The third time, watch and listen. The fourth time, have someone next to you.

Seven Secrets to Better Communication

Seven Secrets to Better Communication

We are joined by author and coach Denise Dudley who shares her seven communication components to ensure state-of-the-art communication and maximize your success.

On today’s podcast:

  • Denise’s seven communication components
  • How important is eye contact?
  • Mastering the art of handshaking
  • Hand movements done right
  • Control your voice tone
  • Avoid using fillers


Keep an eye on your facial expression

Oftentimes people assume that communication will happen naturally. In order to be a really great communicator, we need to study our communication skills.

Denise teaches seven communication components. The first one is facial expression.

Initial research showed that the first impression occurred in 10-15 seconds after talking to someone. Recent research has discovered another first impression that occurs in under one second. This impression is based on facial expression.

When you first look at another individual, the best facial expression to have is a neutral-to-positive open facial expression.

How important are eye contact and posture?

Denise’s second component is eye contact. We should mostly make eye contact, but we should break it a little bit every once in a while.

If we stare at someone and never look away, we tend to come off either as aggressive or attracted to the person.

The third component is your posture. We should make sure our posture is straight and erect, shoulders back. Posture will communicate to people whether we are interested or engaged, or even reliable.

What about the handshake?

In order to make a positive impression with your communication skills, you need to control your handshake. When we are shaking hands with someone, we are offering the person visual, tactile, and auditory information about ourselves.

A handshake communicates whether you are assertive, passive or aggressive, or whether you are glad to be there.

The just right handshake is firm but gentle. Along with the handshake, you are making direct contact, smiling and saying your name.

Use your hands more

The fifth component is about your hand movements. You should use your hands to describe and elaborate.

If you are nervous and fidgeting with your hands, put them on your side.

You shouldn’t touch your face or your hair if you are sitting at a table or in a group.

Control your voice tone

The sixth component is voice tone. It communicates whether you are feeling powerful or sure of the message you are delivering.

If we want to sound powerful and assertive, we should stay in the lower ranges of our voice tone.

Women tend to speak a bit higher. They have a widely varying intonational pitch pattern. That means that women like to go up and down the scale.

Avoid using fillers

The seventh component is loudness. A lot of people are too soft or too loud, and it becomes too distracting to the listener.

If we are too soft, people are making an effort to hear us. It is the speaker’s job to look for feedback in the listener to make sure they are loud enough.

We should also pay attention to our content and avoid using verbal crutches. These are repetitions of “um…” or “you know”. It’s more powerful to be silent than to use fillers because they take away your credibility or your power.

In order to become a great communicator, you have to practice, practice, practice.

How to Ace Your Interview

How To Ace Your Interview

On this episode of The Ultimate Leadership Podcast, career coach and bestselling author Thea Kelley shares her expertise on how to build a proactive strategy prior to your interview to finally get that job.

On today’s podcast:

  • Why is interviewing so terrifying?
  • It’s not enough to be qualified for the job
  • Find out what your key selling points are
  • REV selling points
  • How to come across as authentic
  • Don’t recite, be conversational instead


Why is interviewing so terrifying?

It’s very natural to be nervous about an interview. A lot of it is about fear of the unknown, a lack of control. You don’t know what to expect.

You should take control by having a proactive interview strategy. This is where leaders have an advantage because they are used to strategic planning.

You won’t get the job just by being qualified

The company may be interviewing an average of five candidates, all of whom are qualified.

Your task is not just to show that you’re qualified, but to stand out. To make yourself memorable as the best candidate.

It’s not a matter of magic, it’s a matter of having a proactive strategy. Most candidates will go to an interview without an overall strategy.

Brand yourself

Strategy has to be complemented with authenticity. Strategic planning has a lot to do with strengths and weaknesses.

You need to make an effort to identify what makes you stand out. What are your key selling points?

Start with making a list. You can ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I do better than most?
  • What skills do I have that are hard to find?
  • What’s my most impressive accomplishment in the last 5 years?
  • Is there anything impressive about my career trajectory?
  • What would my clients or managers say it makes me especially valuable?

Be REV: Relevant, Exceptional and Verifiable

The best key selling points to emphasize in an interview or on a resume need to be REV: Relevant, Exceptional and Verifiable.

The first interview question is important. You can answer it with an introduction that focuses on your key selling points. Right off the bat, you’re hitting the interviewers with a few memorable points about you.

You should use stories and examples from your work that illustrate your top selling points.

People tend to remember what they heard first and what they hear last. So you should end your interview by bringing your key selling points up again.

How to come across as authentic

Authenticity starts with telling the truth but goes beyond that. You can tell the truth and still come across as not being authentic.

One of the things that makes people sound inauthentic during an interview is reciting. It appears that they don’t have faith in their communication abilities enough to say it in a natural way.

If you’re reciting something you’ve memorized, you are not as believable.

Being conversational is part of being authentic. Painting a picture with stories and examples also makes you more authentic.

Interview with Tom Goodlet, author of MentorU, on mentorship

Mentorship for Business Leaders with Author Tom Goodlet

One of our most popular interviews last year was with Tom Goodlet. As we look at our goals for 2018, mentorship remains critical to our success as leaders so I wanted to repeat this episode so that we can keep the lessons in mind as we plan for the year ahead.


Mentorship is key to successful professional development and as leaders, we have the responsibility to offer ourselves as mentors to the next generation of business leaders.

But what is involved in a mentor-mentee relationship and how do you go about finding a suitable individual to work with?

To answer these questions we spoke to Tom Goodlet, co-author of the book MentorU.


  • Why is mentorship so important?
  • Chris’ mentorship story from his time in the military
  • How do you find a mentor?
  • Tom’s formula to a CLEAR and successful mentor relationship
  • How do you develop trust in following the guidance of a mentor?
  • What is the responsibility of the mentee?
  • Tom’s book, MentorU


There are many factors that go into defining our achievement. You should have a solid skill set and business expertise. One of the key ways you can develop this knowledge and these skills is by making mistakes. As we reflect on these mistakes we grow and know what to avoid in future.

Making mistakes is a part of our growth. But another way that we gain the required expertise and grow professionally is by finding a mentor.

Usually, there are two big failures in the business world. Firstly; the individuals don’t use and benefit from mentorship. But secondarily, the people that could be mentors aren’t stepping up to take that responsibility.

Aligning yourself with a mentor will allow you the opportunity to learn from their knowledge. They can guide you in developing future opportunities in your career and business.

So how do you best find a mentor? When you find a mentor, how do you know that they have your best interests in mind? How do you develop the trust in following your mentor’s guidance?

In today’s show, we’re going to answer those questions and more.

Today’s guest is Tom Goodlet – an Author of ‘MentorU’, Speaker and Associate Minister at Harborside Christian Church.

Tom’s expertise is in the religious institutions industry. He is skilled in Theology, Leadership, Event Planning, Discipleship, Pastoral Counseling, Curriculum Development, Mentorship and Volunteer Management. For more information about him and his book MentorU checkout

Why is mentorship so important?

Mentorship is a dynamic tool that stands above the rest. Tom highlights the 2 main strengths of mentorship:

  1. Mentorship allows you to go deep and grow fast. There are great resources available through conferences, podcasts, blogs etc. but with mentorship, you hone in on the mentee and you can be laser-focused on their growth. It’s an efficient way to learn and grow because the topic is ‘you’.
  2. You get a sense of accountability. You have somebody to discuss mistakes made and learnings that come from business experience, dissect what has happened and learn from it. Being held accountable for your goals and actions keeps you focused on growth and the ability to analyze and reflect on mistakes helps you to learn.

Chris’ mentorship story from his time in the military:

When I was in the military, I had a Chief Master Sergeant who was complaining about a process.

I said ‘Chief, I think we need to try this.’

For dramatic purposes he slams his hands on the table and says ‘Sergeant, I’ve tried that a hundred times and it doesn’t work.’ And I felt about 2 inches tall.

But then he said ‘But who’s to say it doesn’t work the 101st time? Go ahead and give it a try.’

Well it didn’t work the 101st time, but he didn’t stifle my creativity.

And then after that process, we got to chat about it and he helped me reflect on what the challenge was. But I think that was a very valuable teaching moment for me.

Mentorship is a safe place to look at and learn from mistakes. We learn more by doing and so you should not be afraid of failure.

It’s not failure unless you give up. So long as you do dissect it and learn from it, it’s not actually a failure. Good mentors help you along, give you encouragement and see you through the dark time of mistakes to see the potential success that comes from learning experiences.

We need that cheering section, that mentor by our side to help get us into the celebration part of the process.

How do you find a mentor?

We have to be honest with ourselves going into mentorship. We know mentorship is beneficial for everybody, but not everybody is ready for mentorship.

You need 2 things:

  1. There are some requirements you want to meet – Tom uses the acronym ‘CLEAR’ to help you identify who your mentor should be. More on that below.
  2. It requires some resolve; some courage to take the step to commit to mentorship and the journey of working with your mentor to learn and grow.

Tom tells us we want to be able to make a CLEAR choice of who should be our mentor:

  • C: Connect – who do you naturally connect with? You don’t want to force a relationship with your mentor. You want to find a mentor that you are comfortable with and enjoy spending time with.
  • L: Learn – who can you learn from? Or who can learn from me?
  • E: Excited – who would you be excited to mentor you? You don’t want to have to manufacture excitement to work with a mentor. Find a mentor you are excited to work with.
  • A: Authentic – you want to find a mentor who is not trying to be somebody they are not. Somebody who is not in denial of their weaknesses. Someone that knows their strengths.
  • R: Reliability – you want to have a mentor that you can rely on to meet with you.

The other point that Tom makes is around resolve. Fear is often the indicator that we’re on to something good – if you are nervous or it feels risky to ask somebody to be your mentor, you are probably on the right track. Like asking somebody out on a first date.

If you can show the resolve to get past that fear, you’re likely to be setting up a relationship that gets you excited and motivated to make the most of mentorship.

How do you develop trust in following the guidance of a mentor?

If your mentor gives you some advice that you can’t see the value in yet, it’s important to trust the guidance of your mentor.

Tom suggests that time is the major factor. Mentorship is not something you should rush. You have to develop a relationship organically and not meet too frequently. Allow time to build trust with your mentor by meeting just every couple of weeks and allowing time to see the results of the advice given.

Taking the time to get to know each other is essential to have an understanding and trusting mentor relationship.

What is the responsibility of the mentee?

The nice thing about mentorship is that you have accountability both ways. As the mentee, you are responsible for being prepared for your mentorship meetings, ready to report how your career or business is developing. Your mentee is going to hold you accountable to actions, homework, follow-up.

Another responsibility of the mentee is to bring questions. You have to be prepared to get the most out of the time you spend together, so coming with a list of questions to ask your mentor/mentee is important.

Tom’s book is loaded with mentorship questions to help you in this.

Tom’s book, MentorU

Tom co-wrote MentorU with his friend and mentee, Matt Gardner.

It’s a universal first step for anybody who wants to start mentoring that leads to the individual’s next step because everybody’s next step is going to be different. Through the book, you build towards a strategic growth plan for the individual being mentored.

If you’re being a mentor, you’re always fed more when you’re feeding. Every time Tom has mentored somebody else, he has grown immensely. Mentoring delivers value both ways.

The book provides expert guidance on conducting a productive mentor-mentee relationship.

You can find MentorU on Amazon. You can connect with Tom on LinkedIn.

A New Leadership Paradigm with Steve Piersanti

A New Leadership Paradigm with Steve Piersanti

On this episode of The Ultimate Leadership Podcast, publisher and speaker Steve Piersanti shares his new leadership paradigm, an essential and timely change in today’s leadership environment.

On today’s podcast:

  • Leading to serve your people
  • Why you should your company as a network
  • Moving towards more egalitarian structures
  • Why transparency matters
  • The mindset of serving other purposes, not just yourself


Leaders should serve their people

Servant leadership is an important factor in today’s leadership environment.

Management expert Ken Blanchard emphasized that: “The world is in desperate need of a different leadership role model. People have been conditioned to think of leadership only in terms of power and control”.

We need to have leaders who lead by serving their people, rather than through power and control.

Organizing your company as a network

Rather than perceiving the organization as a pyramid, you should perceive it as a network.

People at every level of the organization should be making decisions, not just people at the top.

In their monthly staff meetings, any staff member can add an agenda or propose an initiative to change something. This keeps everyone engaged.

More egalitarian structures within your organization

If you want to move your organization into a more servant leadership model, you should change your systems and structures. You have to move from class systems to egalitarian structures.

Decision-making is important. If decisions are made by the people at the top and the staff doesn’t know how to push an initiative, then it’s a hierarchical system. You need to set up your decision-making so that everyone can enter into the process.

Many organizations have two compensation systems: one designed to pay executives as much as possible, and the other designed to control employee cost. You should have only one compensation system. Everyone should be on it and it should be transparent.

Transparency makes a big difference

The approach in many organizations is that information is restricted. In Steve’s company, information is shared broadly. Everyone knows the salaries of everyone else.

The more people know about the organization, the more trust there is going to be in it. The employees will raise more issues the managers might not have thought of.

The management team invites staff members to join them during their meetings and discussions.

A new way of planning

The traditional approach to change is: an outside consulting group will take the executives to a retreat for a few days, and they will craft the strategic plans.

The approach Steve uses: they will bring together 50 or 100 people representing their stakeholder groups in an interactive means of planning over a few days where everyone has a voice. The implementing is happening on the spot.

Leaders who serve their people

Steve doesn’t think that their approach can work for leaders who are only concerned about their own advancement or prestige.

It really only works when leaders are trying to serve others. There is a mindset that has to go underneath that. The mindset of having the purpose to serve other purposes, not just yourself.

How to Hone Your Presentation Skills w/ TEDx Director Tricia Brouk

How to Hone Your Presentation Skills w/ TEDx Director Tricia Brouk

TEDx Director Tricia Brouk shares useful tips on how to hone your presentation skills and give a killer TEDx performance.

On today’s podcast:

  • Fine-tuning your presentation skills
  • Steps to giving a killer presentation
  • Knowing who you are as a speaker
  • Finding an event where the theme resonates with you
  • Should you use PowerPoint slides during your talk?


Getting your story out

People want to know how to develop their presentation skills so that they can get to the TEDx stage.

When Tricia first started working with speakers they had a lot of amazing ideas to share. She wondered “How can I get these ideas on the stage so that more people can be moved by them”?

She takes the idea and helps the presenter get the story out.

First steps on the journey to becoming a TEDx speaker

You have to be sure that your idea is uniquely yours. You should watch other TED talks and events.

Find out if many people have already talked about this. If they have, find a new idea.

When you become a TEDx speaker you elevate your credibility immediately. You have to be ready to take responsibility for what will happen once you become a TEDx speaker.

How to engage your audience

A TEDx event is a theatrical show. The best way to prepare is to work on your script first. Write your script in a way that allows you to turn it into a conversation with the audience.

You should really focus on rehearsing. A lot of people think that if they rehearse they will sound like a robot. If you rehearse so that you know the script inside and out, when you get on to the stage you can be free to express your idea.

Previews are very important. Do your talk in front of multiple audiences before you take the TEDx stage so that you can have the greatest impact.

Knowing who you are as a speaker

It’s important to know who you are as a speaker. If you are not funny naturally, don’t do a funny talk. If you are very shy, you’re going to require more practice in front of an audience.

Find someone who can help you. They can get to know who you are and then place you in an environment that is comfortable, but also theatrical, o that you can wow your audience.

If you are a speaker who works really well from bullet points, don’t memorize the script word for word. If you prefer to memorize the script word for word, make sure you are speaking as a conversation, not reciting from a page.

Finding a theme that resonates with you

Tricia asks the speakers and the audience to look beyond what they normally see. We should look beyond what is possible and potentially change the world by changing what we see in front of us.

If you are going to take a TEDx stage, find an event where the theme resonates with you. You have to be clear on what kind of event you want to be involved in.

You have one opportunity to get a TEDx video on YouTube and if it’s not good quality, it’s going to break your heart. When you are searching out TEDx events, find out who the organizer is, what the theme is, and what the production value is.

Should you use PowerPoint slides during your talk?

Should a speaker use PowerPoint slides? It’s all personal preference, based on what your talk needs. If they serve your talk, use them.

The speakers should not look back at the screen if they are using slides. They should stay engaged with the audience. The moment you turn away from the audience, you break the contact.