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Hugh Ballou on September 30th, 2016

This is Podcast 14Orchestrating Success

Interview with
Frank Shankwitz:
The Legacy of
Make a Wish Foundation

 

 

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

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Leadership is Redefining “Profit” see my post HERE

 

Frank Shankwitz

Frank Shankwitz

 

Frank Shankwitz, along with his wife Kitty and several others, founded the Make-A-Wish Foundation in 1980, with Shankwitz being the first President/CEO. Thirty-four years later, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has grown to 64 chapters in the United States, 36 International chapters, covering 5 continents, and has granted over 300,000 wishes worldwide, with a wish being granted somewhere in the world on an average of every 38 minutes. Shankwitz continues to work with the Make-A-Wish Foundation as a Wish Ambassador and key-note speaker at fund-raising event for chapters throughout the United States, as well as a former board member of the Arizona chapter.

Shankwitz and his wife Kitty are still volunteers and wish-granters for the foundation.

In 2004, Shankwitz received The President’s Call To Service Award from President George W. Bush for service and civic participation, and recognition and appreciation for commitment to strengthen our Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.

Shankwitz received the Tempe, Arizona Sister Cities “Making A World of Difference” award.

In 2010, Shankwitz was featured in Brad Meltzer’s book, “Heroes For My Son”, identified as one of the 52 people who have made a difference in the world.

Shankwitz has been featured in USA Weekend Magazine, The Huffington Post, and other publications.

Shankwitz has one book released, co-authored with Rachelle Sparks, “Once Upon A Wish.” Shankwitz has also been featured in Greg Reid’s, “Universal Wish” and Lisa Heidinger’s, “Wishes In Flight”.

my-brother-elvis-book-cover

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

This is Podcast 13Orchestrating Success

Interview with
David Stanley:
My Brother Elvis

 

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

Leadership is Redefining “Profit” see my post HERE

 

David Stanley

David Stanley

The My Brother Elvis Foundation is a new charity that will increase awareness, provide support, and fight the battle against the massive crisis of prescription drug abuse.

Founded by David E. Stanley, stepbrother to Elvis Presley, the My Brother Elvis Foundation has been established in honor of the philanthropic spirit that Elvis showed David in supporting others in need during the 17 years he spent with him.my-brother-elvis-book-cover

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Interview with David Stanley

Hugh: This is Hugh Ballou. Today, I am interviewing David Stanley. David, you and I have known each other about ten years.

David: It has been a while. How are you doing today?

Hugh: I’m doing great. I interviewed you years ago, in 2007, for my book Transforming Power about your leadership skills and putting a team together to do a movie. Your themes have been around your brother, Elvis. You are launching an initiative called “My Brother Elvis.” Give us a little background on who you are, your relationship with Elvis, and why this vision is so important to you and to others.

David: Let me start off by saying I am excited about the new foundation called My Brother Elvis Foundation, which is a charity designed to educate and support and fight against the drug abuse problems that we have in America today. Some may ask why I would want to do that and what that has to do with Elvis. I spent seventeen years with Elvis Presley beginning in 1960 when my mother divorced my father and remarried Vernon Presley, Elvis’s father. I became Elvis’s stepbrother and moved into Graceland in 1960, and I lived there for seventeen years. This was a great experience. Elvis was a wonderful human being. He took me into his family. He really raised me. He was my father figure, my mentor, the person I looked up to. It was unusual to be driven to school in a pink Cadillac every day; I got a lot of attention for being Elvis’s brother. It was a very cool lifestyle.

In 1972, I went to work for Elvis as his personal bodyguard. Working for Elvis meant being part of his entourage, traveling with him everywhere. I went on tours with him, to movie studios. Wherever he went, I went. When I toured with Elvis, I saw a chink in the armor. Elvis had a drug problem. He started off taking a couple pills to help him sleep. That number went from two to four, four to six, six to eight, and by the late ‘70s, Elvis had a very serious drug addiction problem. Unfortunately, we lost Elvis to a drug overdose on August 16, 1977. I was there. I walked into his bedroom to discover his lifeless body.

While this is a very brief interview, it’s hard to discuss all of this in detail. That’s why I wrote a book called My Brother Elvis: The Final Years, which is about the final five years of my life with Elvis on the road and the things we are discussing right now. I wrote this book to tell this story about Elvis’s tragedy.

Growing up with Elvis, he was such a giver. He was always giving to charities, giving his time and money. He kept writing checks to different charities throughout the world. That was his ultimate gift. I thought about my life. I was brought up this way. I saw the tragedies of what drugs can do firsthand, and now I am telling his story. Elvis’s death does not have to be in vain. Sure, it was a tragedy. Sure, he was a wonderful, loving person, a wonderful father, and a great big brother. He was the king of rock and roll. But the tragedies and realities of the human side of Elvis Presley cost him his life. I said to myself, “I can write this book and share this story. I’m not going to do a tell-all. But I want to communicate that if it can happen to Elvis, it can happen to anyone.” Therefore, I wrote the book. As a result of writing the book, I created the Elvis Foundation, naming the charity after Elvis in the spirit of Elvis’s giving because he was the ultimate giver. It also connects it to that if it can happen to the King of Rock and Roll, it can happen to anyone.

I know that’s a mouthful early this morning. That’s what we’re doing, that’s who I am, and that’s what motivated me.

Hugh: That’s a great story, that you’re motivated by that. What is the purpose of this foundation? Why do we need this foundation?

David: I think that we’re living in a society of drug abuse at the highest level. 78 people die a day from prescription drug abuse. 15 million are affected by it every single year. 9% of the teen deaths in America are from prescription drug abuse. It’s not just teens, but it’s adults as well. I grew up in a rock and roll society; I’m from the entertainment world. My whole life was growing up with Elvis Presley in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, touring with him and being around rock and roll bands. We lost Elvis, which was a tragedy. We lost Michael Jackson, which was another tragedy. That was a carbon copy of Elvis’s death: prescription medication. Most recently, we lost Prince. I thought to myself, Two kings and a prince: What can we learn from these tragic deaths? Superstars, phenomenal individuals who went down the path of addiction that cost them their lives. What can we learn from this? Through the celebrity-type background that I have, I can draw attention to this epidemic issue of prescription drug abuse on America today. It’s not just America, but it’s throughout the world.

The purpose of it is to draw attention to the issue, to raise awareness. The other thing is to support foundations that are existent that provide treatment for drug abuse. And sustaining the level of consciousness about it. This is a serious issue. This is a serious problem that is plaguing America today, and throughout the world. The U.S. is the biggest problem. The opiates that are out there and all the prescription drug medications kill people daily. It’s a way to draw people to the situation through the celebrity of Elvis Presley. Everybody knows who Elvis is. It’s important that people read this book and hear my message. I’m not putting Elvis Presley down. I’m not saying he was a gun-totin’ drug addict. Elvis had a very serious drug problem that cost him his life. People remember that. They remember the great Elvis and say, “Look at the great tragedies of the losses of Michael and Elvis and Whitney Houston and Prince and countless others.” People are affected by this every single day. I created the foundation as an awareness support for people to wake up and fight back so we can save a lot of lives.

Hugh: Why you? Why are you called to this?

David: I believe that God gives us all a gift. I am a believer; I am not ashamed of my faith. God gave me the gift of communication. I think God put me in the Graceland mansion for a reason, for a platform to be able to communicate my message. It’s one thing to be related to Elvis Presley and another to say what that was like. It’s one thing to tell them, but it’s another to talk about the tragedies that cost him and what it almost cost me. Addiction was taking control of my life. I overcame that, and I was blessed to overcome it. I think we’re all gifted. I think my gift of being related to Elvis Presley opened the door, and then God gave me the gift of communication to be able to share it with authority, with passion, with purpose, motivated by the fact that I could help save a life. When I cradled Elvis Presley in my arms on August 16, 1977, along with others on the day he died, I had a wake-up call. His death was my resurrection. His passing was my wake-up call, and I woke up from addiction. I had my faith and was able to overcome what killed him. But I will never forget the loss, the pain, the suffering of loss of a guy who had picked me up seventeen years ago and said, “Welcome to my family.” You’ve heard me speak. You have been in my functions, I have been in yours, we have worked together many times. I am always talking about how I don’t talk about Elvis Presley unless I can communicate a positive message. The positive message unfortunately lies in the tragedy of his death. I’m not taking away from the greatness of who he was by talking about the tragedy of his loss. God picked me. This is my ministry. This is who I am.

Hugh: That’s a profound statement. You said it’s the My Brother Elvis Foundation.

David: That’s correct.

Hugh: If people wanted to support this vision that you have, if they wanted to join as a donor or a sponsor or provide grants for you, where could they find My Brother Elvis?

David: Mybrotherelvisfoundation.org. We’re a new organization. We are building this from the very beginning, coming out with my book next month on the 16th of August, which will draw awareness to us. This foundation is in the process of being created. They can donate a tax-deductible donation at www.mybrotherelvisfoundation.org. They can also get a copy of my book if they give a certain amount of money. There is a limited edition of my book called The Founding Member Limited Edition. The bottom line is it takes money to get a message out there. We can all do something. We can help out a family in need. We can walk down the street and share our faith. We can always be there. Using the power of today’s media and the celebrity of one of the biggest rock and roll icons ever, we are going to be able to reach a lot of people. People can help us. We are challenging people. I am not ashamed to ask for money. This is a tax-deductible gift to help start this foundation and communicate our objectives to the world of prescription drug abuse. We need to help these people. Anything from $10 to $20 to $35 to $1,000 to $25,000. Companies, organizations, structures can contact us for major donations. People across the street can be a part of this. We can save lives. This is about saving lives. Somebody asked me the other day, “Are you honoring Elvis?” I’ll always honor Elvis. I’ll always love Elvis. At the end of the day, this is not about honoring anyone. This is about saving lives. This is about touching people’s lives and saving lives.

Hugh: Speaking of Elvis, you know things about Elvis that nobody else knows. You’ve said to me a few times that Elvis was a giver. He wrote checks to support people. That’s an important part of this legacy, too, isn’t it?

David: It goes back to what we discussed at the beginning. I was brought up with a giver. Elvis Presley was the king of rock and roll. He did 33 movies. He had countless records sold. He had platinum records, gold records. He is the undisputed king of rock and roll, and probably the most popular rock icon ever. But his thing was giving. That is what we were talking about. If you see somebody walking down the street, you might give him a buck, but Elvis would give him a job, buy him a car, put his kid in college. Elvis would go to St. Jude’s hospital and give out teddy bears and perform concerts for the kids. Writing checks to them all the time. God gives gifts to everyone. Elvis had the gift of music, of melody in his heart. His heart had music. But his main gift was giving. Elvis always said, “The main reason I have anything is to give it.” In the spirit of that giving, I was brought up to give. This is my way to honor him from that perspective of giving. What I have learned from him, I want to share with other people. He taught the importance of giving. When David Stanley is dead and gone, the news will talk about the youngest stepbrother of Elvis Presley. I’d rather say that the youngest stepbrother of Elvis Presley leaves the legacy of the My Brother Elvis Foundation to reach and help prescription drug abusers throughout the United States and the world. It’s a legacy to leave behind for my children, and long after my children’s children are gone, we are in the spirit of giving to people who can’t help themselves, to others who are lost in a needle or a bottle or a pill or the abuse of self-prescribed prescription medication. We have to reach.

Hugh: As we are wrapping up here, I want to talk about David Stanley the leader. A lot of people have ideas. Only 3% of the population acts on those ideas, and 97% of those people are not successful. What I know about this project so far—let’s just declare that you and I are going to be working together on building it out. Part of your wisdom in leadership is identifying what your skills are and what your gaps are. Bringing in people who know how to fill those gaps is a strong leadership trait, as is transparency. You are very clear that you don’t know everything. You are also very clear that you are going to bring people in around you—with a board, with advisors, with staff—to run this organization with your vision very clearly articulated by you. I have heard you present a number of times. You are very gifted at articulating your vision. Speak about the work we are going to do in building this sustainable organization. We are going to do strategy. We are going to build the right board and the right team. Where do you fit, and what is your primary leadership focus in making sure this thing goes where your vision sees it to be?

David: I believe every great thing is started by a vision. Once you get a vision given by God, it’s going to happen. I am the visionary, seeing what it can do and what it will do. I am also the spokesperson driven by passion and purpose to make sure it does happen. By delegating to Hugh Ballou, my strategic team, my board of directors, my lawyers, everybody involved has a part that makes this the reality. My part is I am the spokesperson. I am not an expert in addiction. Yesterday, I met with an individual who has been an addiction specialist for over 30 years. He is an attorney. He has written books on it and done thousands of interventions. He did one that you will be meeting and in conference with later this week, somebody that will be a part of what we are doing. He is very aware of your part, very aware of the part I want him to have. Within the structure of us communicating right now, we can already see that we are putting the pieces together. You are the expert in strategy, in taking this thing from the page to the stage, from the mind to the marketplace. My job as the communicator is to lay the groundwork so that people such as you and the attorneys I will be working with can build up. Delegation is key. Too many people that fail have such egos. Their ego suppresses their results. They need to have an ego for success instead of an ego of success. They need to embrace the reality that they have a part, which they then need to take and turn into that reality. They delegate the other portions of that to individuals. They are transparent. They are authentic. Nobody knows everything, but everybody knows something. If you don’t know it, somebody else probably does. I don’t know strategic planning like you do. That is why you are on board. I don’t know treatment specialists personally; that’s why I need them. That is why I have worked with attorneys and other individuals in this specific field in order to turn this vision into a reality to reach millions of people.

Hugh: That was the essence of the story in Transforming Power. You put together a team of people to do the movie around your vision. As a concluding piece, when you speak on a stage, you have this very powerful story at the end around “Dream the impossible dream.” You stepped up to Elvis and said, “Elvis, I need your attention for this boy.” Give us a capsule about that story. You’re dreaming an impossible dream here, which you’re going to pull off. I have no doubt. For people who haven’t heard that story, give us a snapshot of that.

David: I’m glad you asked that. I worked with Elvis for the last five years of his life; I was at over 1,000 concerts. We were at a concert in Boston, Massachusetts playing the Boston Garden. I walked out on stage before the concert. Everybody was getting seated, settling down. I walk out on the stage before all concerts to check the height of the stage, make sure security was in place. If Elvis did a concert, 500 young ladies would rush the stage, and then 500 old ladies would rush the stage. It was an event. Elvis was the historical event of the evening everywhere he went. I was checkin’ all of this out. When I came off stage that night, I noticed the challenged section on the left. Elvis always made sure that the left side was the physically or mentally challenged section, that there was always a section for them. That spoke volumes of Elvis right there, that that section was always provided. I saw a guy sitting in his wheelchair. He was quadriplegic, and his arms and legs were turned in. He was drooling, and his parents were behind him, obviously excited to see the show. The boy was holding a frame in his hand, one of those Office Depot frames. I looked closer and noticed it was the lyrics to a song called “Dream the Impossible Dream,” which is another phenomenal song. “Dream the impossible, To follow that star, This is my quest, No matter how hopeless, No matter how far, I will reach the unreachable star.” Phenomenal song. I thought how odd it was to have those lyrics. At the end of those lyrics was a handwritten signature that said, “My impossible dream is to meet Elvis Presley.” I can make dreams come true in this case. When you can make a dream come true, you do. I am Elvis’s brother. I had full access to the backstage area to meet Elvis. I said to him, “Son, you’re coming with me.”

His parents asked, “Where are you going?”

I said, “I’ll take care of him.” I rolled him backstage, took him to Elvis’s dressing room, and asked the police to keep an eye on him for a second. I walked into Elvis’s dressing room, and he was getting ready for the concert.

He asked me, “What is it?”

I said, “I want you to meet somebody.”

He said, “David, this is not the time. I have a show in five minutes.”

I said, “Take a minute.”

He said, “Okay, this better be good.”

I rolled the guy in. Elvis saw him, fell on his knees, dropped his head on his lap, and began to cry. He was so overwhelmed that this crippled, broken man wanted to meet him. Elvis was so overwhelmed by it. The guy took his broken hand and said, “Elvis, I love you.” He still had the frame in his hand, which Elvis did not see yet.

Finally, after six or seven minutes, I said, “Boss, you have a show to do.”

He stood up, still crying, and wiped the tears from his eyes. He said, “Take care of my boy. Make sure he has the best seat in the house.”

I said, “You got it, boss.” I rolled the guy out and sat him next to the stage. Elvis came out on stage. 500 young ladies rushed the stage. Two minutes later, 500 old ladies rushed the stage. The historical event was doing what it did best: entertaining the people. The boy was overwhelmed with excitement. I said to the conductor, Joe, “Dream the impossible dream.” Mind you, Elvis had not seen the lyrics. He had not seen what the guy’s frame said. He was dealing with the guy. So they break into the song. Toward the end of the song, I looked at a buddy of mine and said, “Help me out.” We lifted the wheelchair onto the corner of the stage. Elvis saw him out of the corner of his eye and walked over, singing the lyrics to him. It was a phenomenal moment. The guy was lighting up, so excited. It was a beautiful thing to see. Suddenly, Elvis sang that last note, dropped on one knee, and the guy pushed the frame out at Elvis. Elvis took the frame from the guy. The song was over. All of the spotlights went to black except for one on the boy and one on Elvis. In a concert with Elvis Presley, there was never not a standing ovation after a song. That night, there was no standing ovation; the only thing you could hear was the teardrops dropping on the concrete floor of the Boston Gardens. That is the impossible dream. That was the most unbelievable thing I would ever see in my life. I tell people that today, that I saw Elvis make that boy’s dream come true. It was one of the most incredible moments. People say to me, “What is your dream, and what is keeping it from coming true?” With that story, in the spirit of giving, I created the My Brother Elvis Foundation to help people reach their impossible dreams, to reach their unreachable stars, and to turn their lives around and let them know that they are loved by God, by the people. There is much more to life than addiction and self-destruction.

Hugh: David Stanley, amazing. Thank you for sharing your stories today.

David: Thank you, Hugh. I am looking forward to working with you. For those who will read this article, thank you for reading it. Go to mybrotherelvisfoundation.org, and give, give, give. You can help us reach them.

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

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Hugh Ballou on September 28th, 2016

This is Podcast 12Orchestrating Success

Interview with
Ken Courtright:
Establishing Legacies

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

Leadership is Redefining “Profit” see my post HERE

 

Ken Courtright

Ken Courtright

Ken Courtright is the founder of Today’s Growth Consultant, a two-time Inc. 5000 designee with revenues that have doubled in each of the last 5 years. Started in 1992, the company is now an international, multimillion-dollar enterprise. TGC has worked with over 3,300 companies in 49 states.

Ken is the author of the upcoming book Guerilla Marketing Today, part of the best-selling Guerilla Marketing series, and best-selling author of Online Income: Navigating the Internet Minefield and co-author with Brian Tracy of Against The Grain. He is currently working on his next book Trust Trumps Everything: Why Your Digital Footprint Determines Your Income. He’s a popular speaker for business and academic groups.

As a regularly requested guest on business growth Ken has been interviewed by WGN in Chicago, The Daily Herald, The Biography Channel, A&E and USA Today, among others.

In 2012 Today’s Growth Consultant launched “Income Store” which helps individuals, companies and private equity firms buy revenue-generating websites at two times earnings.

He lives with his wife, Kerri, and their three children outside of Chicago.

Here’s the podcast:

 Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Interview with Ken Courtright

Hugh: Ken, what does legacy mean to you, and how are you creating legacy?

Ken: Kerri and I have spoken of legacy since day one, since 1992, before children. We were talking about getting into business, creating at least a very strong revenue stream. In the mid-to-late ‘90s, it switched to a desire for multiple revenue streams. Then it became vocal, and we even did a dream board of it in 2006 to where we wanted to ensure that our children started on our shoulders. What I mean by that is we don’t want to spoil our kids. As a matter of fact, our second oldest and our youngest—we have four kids—are at coding camp this summer. They were learning Python and other coding languages. Our oldest daughter, she is 18, just spent ten days at our corporate office in Pennsylvania studying under our chief marketing officer and one of our creative directors so she can work part-time for us when she goes off to college.

Our view is we had some very difficult times in 1999 financially. To put it lightly, we couldn’t wait to be broke. We were in such debt. We were in such a financial situation. We couldn’t wait just to have no money, to not owe people. What we wanted to do was: How do we raise four children in a way where we don’t spoil them; we don’t give them too much; they work for what they get; they have a complete respect for money, time, work, and effort; but at the same time, when they hit young adulthood, they are physically standing on our shoulders with a different vantage point? I don’t want them pulling cones at Dairy Queen, not that that’s bad. I want them getting a different vision, and I want them to be able to hit the ground running financially.

At a very young age, we started teaching them about savings accounts, just like how my dad between 16 and 18 years old brainwashed me that I will not have a credit card, I will pay my home off in five years, and I will buy used cars until I can afford a new car. I lived exactly the lifestyle of my father. We had 17 years in a one-bathroom home with multiple children. We delayed gratification, where the rest of my friends were driving fancy cars and living in massive homes. Today, we have the fancy cars and the massive home on a private ski lake. But because we delayed gratification for so long, our children understand how we did it, why we did it, and more importantly, when we did it. We did it in our 40’s. We didn’t go out and buy a massive home in our upper 20’s to mid 30’s when we could have. We absolutely could have, but we taught our kids through example what it means in this very difficult society of keeping up with the Jones’s to delay gratification. That gets us to legacy.

We also started a business that has evolved overtime that allows my wife and me well over 100 different revenue streams that are all independent of each other. If one or three or ten revenue streams go down, they will not affect our lifestyle or our income. We decided in 2009 to diversify our income and our legacy by helping other people create revenue streams through web properties. Whether you are a private equity fund, an individual, or a business, we might be in partnership with you on a website.

It’s all built in a company that is willable to my kids and grandkids. When it is time to pass this thing on, my one daughter is going to Pepperdine for Business Administration with a minor in Marketing. My second daughter just got out of coding camp and can’t wait to go into writing and programming, which our company needs at a high level. All of our kids are physically pursuing paths with a current want—and we have not asked them—to come in and take over this company. But the key is even if they didn’t want to, and I could just will something to them, we have a portfolio that will run a billion eyeballs in 2017. That will give our kids a traffic pattern, eyeballs, a platform for whatever business they want to start, and more importantly, a revenue stream that will provide them options.

You and I both know, Hugh, that money has nothing to do with people. Money is an inanimate object. If you were a good person before money, you’re a good person with money. If you’re a bad person before money, you are a bad person with money. The odds of your character changing because of a positive or a lack of money, I’ve never seen it personally. What Kerri and I wanted to do was help the kids avoid the trauma we faced in our early years in business of lacking capital and that traumatic event for a year and a half where we almost lost everything. We want to be there for them and give them a legacy that they can respect and grow further.

Hugh: That’s amazing. One of the things that we don’t do well in charities is establish a succession process. What you described is a succession process is your legacy for your company. Thinking of charities and legacy, you support a number of charities in a number of ways. Part of your legacy is helping charities be more successful. Talk about that a little bit.

Ken: As you well know, we support SynerVision and your organization. I think we are at seven organizations that receive 5% of our gross revenue, not net revenue. 5% of gross monthly revenues that come in get dispersed between seven organizations.

My wife’s and my church is the biggest recipient; they are building a very large addition. It’s actually three times larger than the current church that they are building onto the church. We actually had our church on payroll for three years. We physically have God on payroll at $600 a week for no other reason than why not? That does not count as one of the seven. We are a big believer in Malachi 3:8 that says, “You have to give him back the first fruits.” That is the only time in that best-selling book where he says, “Test me on this.” I have definitely tested God on that. I believe we are seeing the results of that as we have hit the Inc. 5000 list three of the last four years. In our early days, we doubled our gross revenues five out of seven years in the early years. Outside of those couple lean years in the middle where I diversified so wide in so many businesses without management, we have been consistently growing. I do believe there is a lot to be said for corporate tithing and dealing with worthy causes because I believe that is why we are on this planet.

Hugh: We did a podcast earlier where you talked about companies asking the legacy question. Could you reframe the legacy question inside of a church or a charity? What is the legacy question that these organizations need to be asking so they don’t go out of business? My church is a Methodist church. Currently they are losing 1,200 members a week. That is typical of most mainline churches. They are not asking the legacy question of what they need to do to maintain our members.

Ken: First things first, you have to understand that a charity or any type of organization is a business. It doesn’t have to be a for-profit business, but it certainly is a revenue-generating entity. Parishioners who tithe and parishioners who buy different books and equipment from churches like CDs and coffee, they are supporting that church. It is a revenue stream any way we slice it.

Let’s get to the fundamentals. The legacy question was built to counter what is called entropy. The definition of entropy says anything manmade or God-made was built to go from order to disorder. It’s built to break down. A business is breaking down; our body is breaking down. Everything is breaking down at all times. It is our job as leaders of businesses, which charities are, to be asking the legacy question, which is the counter to entropy.

The legacy question says: What can we do nights and weekends that doesn’t cost us any extra time or resources that could bring in a secondary source of revenue to our organization? A church for example. Many churches do bake sales or kids’ camps. They come up with 5-20 things throughout the year to raise or supplement income, one of the reasons being they themselves as a church support smaller churches or organizations overseas. For themselves and what I will call “their children,” they want to protect these entities. They are coming up with what I call one-off revenue streams.

For a church or a charity, if they simply shifted the mindset from the bake sale or the kid’s camp and go away from a one-time event to creating something that provides a monthly revenue stream. For a big church, I don’t know why I don’t see big churches getting with what I call the floating pastors who love to go from church to church just to give sermons. I don’t know why they don’t capture some of that information, some of those sermon notes into a think tank, like a Lynda.com. Lynda.com just got sold to LinkedIn for a billion and a half. All Lynda did was turn to the teachers of the world and the universities and ask, “Will you donate to me ten minutes to two hours to ten hours of the greatest video you have of the greatest teaching points of your classroom or institution?” Whether it’s Notre Dame or a mom and pop teacher in Milwaukee, she got all of these great videos donated, and then she simply charges the world what used to be $9 a month and $29 a month for the monthly rates to access the greatest teaching tutorials of the world. She just aggregated great content.

I don’t know why churches and organizations, even the Cub Scouts or the Girl Scouts have these great speakers come in and talk to the kids. Why don’t they record them, transcribe them, and then create some form of 100% monthly contributions getting donated to this church getting put to use and create a second passive revenue stream because that would be what is called an S-curve, or a response to the legacy question? That could be done three times a year. You would pick your head up in ten years, and that church has 30 additional monthly revenue streams that support their church and their expenses and allow that church to grow and then provide the necessary changes that need to take place so those 1,200 parishioners don’t leave every week. Does that make sense?

Hugh: Absolutely. In the podcast we just did, we talked about leaders who dealt with the situation. You hit it head-on. I find a lot of charities are hoping it’s going to change. They have one source of revenue, and you can’t create a legacy if your one source of revenue, which is mostly donors, dries up. Certainly donor money is up and down. Define the legacy question. Be clear so a pastor or a non-profit executive director understands how to frame that.

Ken: For a back-up, I have a 20-25 minute podcast. It was the first episode on Today’s Growth: Growing Business Today. That is the technical name of the podcast. Go to iTunes and type in “Ken Courtright.” There is a podcast that describes in detail what I am going to give you in 60 seconds.

The legacy question, which comes from Jack Welch, the CEO of GE Capital in its greatest growth spurt, says this: What can we do nights and weekends to add a secondary revenue stream to our main source of income? Jack Welch is presupposing that every family, every business, and every charity, which is a business, has a main source of income. We will call that the 9-5 income. So the legacy question says: What can we do 5-9, meaning in our off hours, that doesn’t cost any extra money or time, no extra equipment or expenses, with the creative energies we have to build a second residual repeating revenue stream? Initially, it’s to take the pressure off the main revenue stream. But once you do three or four or five of these, you realize Holy mackerel! One of these has just become bigger than our main source of income. What you do is every couple years, you stack another two to five revenue streams. In the business world this is called the research and development department. You just continually keep stacking as what is now mandatory at every major corporation. There is not a single Fortune 500 company today that does not have a research and development department that is currently spending money knowing it is not going to come back. It gets wasted and exhausted in the pursuit of the next decade’s revenue stream. If major corporations have to have the R&D division, why don’t households or charities have R&D divisions? It doesn’t make sense to me. Again, what you don’t know, you don’t know. That is the legacy question.

Hugh: Do you want to do a summary before we quit here?

Ken: The summary is: The first step of all success for business, a charity, and a household is to stop lying to yourself. As soon as you stop lying to yourself that things are good, things are going to maintain, things are going to continue, the reality is 100% of main sources of income fail. 100% of them. Not most, not half, but 100%. Whatever the main source of income is in that charity, at some point it will fail. If you take a church, that body of parishioners today is not going to be the body in 65 years. They will all die. So the reality is, as the world changes, every organization has got to say to themselves, “Okay, what are we going to do when, not if, our main source of income fails? What is our next source of income?” If they are not asking that question, they are lying to themselves. That’s my summary.

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

Hugh Ballou on September 27th, 2016

This is Podcast 11Orchestrating Success

Interview with
Berny Dohrmann:
Establishing Legacies

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

Leadership is Redefining “Profit” see my post HERE

Berny Dohrmann

Berny Dohrmann

CEO Space was founded by Bernhard Dohrmann, a fifth-generation San Franciscan and expert in income acceleration training. “Berny”, as he is known, is featured in the acclaimed movie, “Tapping the Source,” and is the subject of a movie that is being made about his life.

The author of Diamond Heart, Money Magic, and Super Achievers, he is also the inventor of Super Teaching™, an accelerator learning hardware that enhances whole brain activity and supercharges a person’s ability to learn and retain information.

Berny’s Super Teaching™ technology has been studied at universities and is installed in public schools and colleges across the country. Super Teaching™ is also utilized at CEO Space to help provide MBA-level training to the membership.

Here’s the podcast:

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

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Hugh Ballou on September 26th, 2016

Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.  – William Wordsworth

Profit CompassHere’s what I found online when I asked for a definition of “Profit”:

Simple Definition of profit

  • : to get an advantage or benefit from something

  • : to be an advantage to (someone) : to help (someone)

  • : to earn or get money by or from something

Are You Focused on Money or Results?

Traditionally leaders, especially social entrepreneurs running a business, charity, or religious institution, are driven by passion and purpose. Many want to “save the dolphins” without building an infrastructure to accomplish their worthy mission…that’s focusing on passion.

Many entrepreneurs are in business to achieve financial gain…that’s focusing on money.

Successful leaders have a balanced approach to success. They provide value to others and receive income as a result of the value given.

Looking through this lens of balance allows a leader to review the classics, such as Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and learn something very different…it’s not about money. Even Hill stated that financial wealth is at the bottom of his list of the attributes of wealth because it was the least important of the traits.

In James Allen’s classic, “As a Man Thinketh,” he noted that we don’t attract what we need, we attract what we are.

 
How do you define success? Does your team reflect your philosophy?

 
Your culture is a reflection of your leadership.

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on September 26th, 2016

This is Podcast 10Orchestrating Success

Interview with
Roberta Gilbert:
The Legacy of Murray Bowen

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

Leadership is Redefining “Profit” see my post HERE

Roberta GilbertDr. Roberta Gilbert is a psychiatrist whose special interest is Bowen family systems theory and its extensions and applications to individuals, families, and organizations.  She is the founding director of the Center for the Study of Human Systems and is on the faculty of the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family (formerly Georgetown Family Center).  She is a life fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

Dr. Gilbert is the author of five books that deal with applying Bowen theory to life.  The first book, Extraordinary Relationships, published in 1992 by John Wiley & Sons, grew out of her work with families and individuals.  Her second book, Connecting with Our Children, published in 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, is a story of the principles of Bowen family systems theory for parents.  Both books have received wide acclaim.  Her newest books, The Eight Concepts of Bowen Theory; Extraordinary Leadership: Thinking Systems, Making a Difference; and The Cornerstone Concept: In Leadership, In Life were written as texts for the Extraordinary Leadership Seminar.

Her books can be found on Amazon.

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Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

Here’s the transcript of the interview:

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Hugh Ballou on September 24th, 2016

This is Podcast 9Orchestrating Success

Identify What Blocks a Leader’s Success, Pt 2

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

 

Unblocking ourselves starts with knowing ourselves. This 2-part session is about knowing self through the work of Murry Bowen, who created a very useful and relevant leadership system. Here’s part 2.

Here’s the transcript:

About Murry Bowen

A psychiatrist, Bowen had dedicated his life to the “human cause,” producing a remarkable new theory of human behavior, family systems theory, also known as Bowen theory. The new theory has the potential to replace most of Freudian theory and to radically change treatment approaches, not only in psychiatry, but in all of medicine. Potential applications of Bowen theory extend beyond the human family to nonfamily groups, including large organizations and society as a whole.*

*Gilbert, Roberta M. (2011-03-14). Extraordinary Relationships . Leading Systems Press LLC. Kindle Edition.

Other Bowen Terms Relating to the 8 Concepts in Part 1

Guiding Principles

Statements that guide our decisions personally as well as in organizations. Written principles provide a foundation for differentiating self and for alignment in groups.

Anxiety

When the leader is anxious, that emotion spreads to everyone in the group. This leads to everyone in the group emotional system potentially escalating the emotional state and making decisions based on emotions rather than using sound thinking.

Focus Child

When the leader focuses the negating energy on one person is like the parent blaming one child continually for bad behavior. This is a downward spiral where the focus child (or blamed person in the group) actually takes on the behavior that they are accused of.

Basic Self/Pseudo Self

Basic Self is making decisions using our guiding principles. Pseudo Self is making decisions to gain the favor if others regardless of our own principles.

Fusion

Reflexive, or automatic, behavior in families moves toward undifferentiation of fusion with others.  The condition of fusion is the “eclipse” of one self by another self or by a relationship system. When fusion occurs, an individual loses personal distinctive attributes and becomes lost or submerged in the characteristics of the other or the relationship system.

Nodal Event

A nodal event is a significant change, such as a migration, that brings with it many related changes.  In retrospect, a nodal event appears as a turning point in the intergenerational history of a particular family.  Patterns of interaction in these periods generally reflect important characteristics of the overall functioning of a family. Nodal events also include birth, marriage, death, divorce, illness, institutionalization, and occupational change.  These complex major shifts in a family’s relationship network trigger automatic behavior patterns that may or may not be adaptive for the family undergoing these changes.

 

Links:

8 Bowen Concepts on the Bowen Center Site: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/theory.html

Books on Bowen Syetems:

Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions http://amzn.to/HuEHlG

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Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.
Hugh Ballou on September 22nd, 2016

This is Podcast 8Orchestrating Success

Identify What Blocks a Leader’s Success, Pt 1

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

 

Unblocking ourselves starts with knowing ourselves. This 2-part session is about knowing self through the work of Murry Bowen, who created a very useful and relevant leadership system.

Here’s the transcript:

About Murry Bowen

A psychiatrist, Bowen had dedicated his life to the “human cause,” producing a remarkable new theory of human behavior, family systems theory, also known as Bowen theory. The new theory has the potential to replace most of Freudian theory and to radically change treatment approaches, not only in psychiatry, but in all of medicine. Potential applications of Bowen theory extend beyond the human family to nonfamily groups, including large organizations and society as a whole.*

*Gilbert, Roberta M. (2011-03-14). Extraordinary Relationships . Leading Systems Press LLC. Kindle Edition.

8 Concepts of Bowen Family Systems

Links to The Bowen Center are below each concept

Triangles

When there are three people in a relationship. Triangles are neither good nor bad – they are. Triangles sometime have one person on the outside when the other two are strongly connected causing tension.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/concepttri.html

 

Differentiation of Self

Strong grounding in personal guiding principles where a person does not depend on the approval of others for decisions. Each person in a group emotional system thinks for themselves rather than opting in to the will of the group in what’s called “group think.”

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptds.html

 

Nuclear Family Emotional System

The basic family unit is where we learn patterns and behaviors. By observing our family, we learn about ourselves and gain abilities to observe other emotional systems.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptnf.html

Family Projection Process

We all inherit problems and strengths from our parents who have projected their fears and hopes to us. Observing these patterns frees us the be independent and function in basic self.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptfpp.html

Multigenerational Transmission Process

We all posses learned behaviors that have been taught to us knowingly and unknowingly through multiple generations. Response to these emotional triggers results in less differention of self. Observing these patterns allows us to make good decisions staying true to our basic self.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptmtp.html

 

Emotional Cutoff

This is where we avoid or minimize contact with people with whom we have unresolved tension. Often, we establish new relationships as a substitute with the same issues appearing over time. Meanwhile, the tension continues with the original person creating unresolved anxiety.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptec.html

 

Sibling Position

Bowen continues the research of Walter Tomin on the patterns of sibling position. Being aware of our position as well as the position of others in our emotional systems.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptsp.html

 

Societal Regression/Societal Emotional Process

There are parallel patterns in society and family systems. Observing these patterns of regression and progression can inform us about our personal relationship patterns in families and in irganizations.

More: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/conceptsep.html

Links:

8 Bowen Concepts on the Bowen Center Site: http://www.thebowencenter.org/pages/theory.html

Books on Bowen Syetems:

Extraordinary Relationships: A New Way of Thinking About Human Interactions http://amzn.to/HuEHlG

This Podcast Sponsored by Wordsprint

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Get Hugh’s Mini-Course on the 5 Pillars of Success for only $7

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Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.
Hugh Ballou on September 15th, 2016

This is Podcast 7Orchestrating Success

Branding Interview with
Julie Cottineau

Get it on the iTunes store HERE

Get it on Stitcher HERE

 

With this podcast, I am starting interviews with some really incredible experts. Julie’s publicist found me because of my branding! I was so impressed by that information. She’s a master of branding and you will really enjoy this interview!

Get ready to take notes!

 

Julie Cottineau, Brand Twist

 

 

 

 

Julie is the Founder and CEO of BrandTwist, a brand consultancy group that helps entrepreneurs and corporations build stronger, more profitable brands. Prior to launching her own business, she was the VP of Brand at Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, overseeing branding strategy for new and established Virgin companies in North America.

 

Julie’s Website http://brandtwist.com

Get her book Twist

Before we start today’s interview, I just want to tell you. Julie’s publicist sent me an email about her new book. I get all of these requests, so I need to check this out and see what it’s really about. We scheduled a call. A little bit of time with Julie, and I figured out she is the real deal. I want other people to know about this, as we move into our position of influence as leaders. The conductor has a very distinctive style. Watch for the twist of this interview as it is quite remarkable. This is Julie. Here is the interview. Hope you like it.

Hugh: It’s Hugh Ballou, and my special guest is going to put a twist on your thinking. Julie Cottineau, and I am holding her book, which she so kindly gave me. I just couldn’t put it down. You have twists on every page. Let me read a little bit of the back. This is a cool picture of you by the way. It’s a nice color scheme, and you represent what you teach with brand. “Julie honed her branding chops at a series of high-level client and agency positions, including Virgin Management, Grey Global, and Interbrand. She is a highly rated and engaged keynote speaker and a global authority on impactful and effective branding.” This is something that really got my attention, and I looked at some video testimonials. She is the creator of Brand School by Brand Twist, an actionable online branding class for entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits. Julie, I am lovin’ having you on this interview today. Thank you for being here.

Julie: Thanks for having me here.

Hugh: This might be second to CNN, but I love that name. I have watched your videos. You are very good on stage, and you are very engaging. I would say that you represent your brand. Why don’t you set a context? Why is brand important for people who are running any kind of enterprise?

Julie: I think a lot of people make the mistake of thinking of your brand as your logo, your website, and the name of your company. Your brand is really your business. It is your organization. There is no separation between the two. For entrepreneurs and small businesses, it is your most important business asset.

Hugh: I looked at the testimonies of people who had been to Brand School, and they said there was a remarkable difference in how they attracted people. We haven’t talked about my brand at all. I have some who are scattered. As far as the Hugh Ballou brand, I am the guy who shows up and teaches leadership with the tails on. I don’t know if you’ve seen the piece in Forbes or not, but people ask me if I’m the conductor guy.

Julie: I love that piece.

Hugh: It’s a twist. It’s what I’ve done and how I have repositioned myself. The leadership market is very competitive, as is the branding market. You talked some about your work with these significant clients. You worked with Richard Branson’s company Virgin for a while, didn’t you?

Julie: Yeah, I was the head of brand for North America for almost five years.

Hugh: That is when they were starting in North America.

Julie: They had been there for a while, but that is when we launched Virgin America and made some serious inroads into other businesses as well.

Hugh: That is pretty high-level work.

Julie: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Richard has an expression, which is “Screw it, let’s do it.” That is one of his famous expressions. I took that to heart…

Hugh: It’s in the book.

Julie: And quit my job, and started my own company five years yesterday actually.

Hugh: You’re one of us. You’re one of these entrepreneur people.

Julie: Yes.

Hugh: Why do you do this? What’s important to you about branding that you wanted to start a business?

Julie: I think a great brand can make or break a business. Having a business that allows you to serve the people you are really passionate about serving can really change a life. I feel like I am helping people fulfill their dreams.

Hugh: I can feel that. In front of a group of people, you come alive. Whether it’s five or 500, it’s still a group. It’s engaging, interacting, and helping people think in a twist, as you say. How did you come up with this brand for yourself, this twist thing?

Julie: It actually happened about ten years ago when I was working for Interbrand as a brand consultant. I was in an airport, and I was beaten down by air travel. All of the airlines look and sound and feel the same. I was running late for my flight, and I stopped in my tracks because I saw this 747 with McDonald’s golden arches on the tail fin. I remember thinking to myself, That has a twist. That is something different. Maybe it will be colorful and service-friendly. Maybe I could have a regular seat and supersize it into a premium seat. From that moment on, I realized that is the way to do things. The funny thing was it was a mirage. It was a reflection of the food court window, and there happened to be a plane parked behind it. But it really changed my personal and professional life in that moment.

Hugh: That story is in your book, and that really spoke loudly to me. It’s a mirage, but it is a real clear vision of possibility thinking.

Julie: I went back to the agency the next day, and I started changing the way we were dealing with our clients. I had a meeting at Avon a few days later, and I said, “Let’s stop thinking about Revlon and Mary Kay and all of these other brands that we consider our competition because we are just going to do ‘Me too’ marketing. Let’s go in and talk about brands like BMW and Virgin and IKEA and Starbucks that have great brand experiences but nothing to do with cosmetics.” We had so many great ideas in a couple of hours.

Hugh: That’s remarkable. You stressed that in various places in the book. The book is called Twist. Where can people get this book?

Julie: You can get it on Amazon.

Hugh: Novel idea. There is a website, thetwistbook.com. They can find it there, I’m sure.

Julie: They can find it there, and they can see some fun videos called “Quick Twists” there as well.

Hugh: You like to have fun, don’t you?

Julie: I do like to have fun. Can you tell with the purple outfit? I am very passionate about what I do. For me, that is part of my twist.

Hugh: I get that. That is inspiring. I work with a lot of highly passionate entrepreneurs, whether they are in a clergy, running a charity, starting a business, or growing a business. We got all this stuff in our mind, and we don’t know why people don’t understand what we do. While we were warming up, I was telling you about a clergyman whose team had a contest to drop a new logo, but there is lot of parts to a brand. There is brand promise and brand image. Tell me what the components are of a brand and why it is so important for us to get it out of our head to something that is going to let people know what we do and why it’s important.

Julie: I think the most important part of your brand is your brand promise, which in my school we call our brand idea. It is really important that your promise doesn’t just talk about what you sell or what you offer. It needs to talk about how you make people feel, what you are able to allow them to achieve. For example, in the for-profit world, Nike’s promise isn’t really about sneakers. It is about “Just do it.” It’s about achievement. It is much higher up in what I would call the brand pyramid. The reason why that is important is because that allows you to cut through all the noise. Having a brand promise with a twist allows people who are so busy and thinking about so many different charities, clergy, nonprofit, small businesses, those customers are totally overwhelmed. If you have that opportunity to have one or two minutes with them, you need a message that is going to cut through, and that is a message with a twist.

Hugh: I like that twist thing. It’s getting under my skin here. I like to have fun. I told you that I worked 40 years as a musical conductor, and I got to hire some great orchestras and work with big choirs. It is a rush when you have 200 singers, a 50-piece orchestra, and 1,400 people sitting behind you. I have transferred all of those skills of a conductor, which people think is a dictator but really, we are enablers, empowerers, influencers. I have reframed my whole thinking and have helped people rethink their leadership. Part of the leadership is what is the compelling reason that people need us?

When I work with these enterprise leaders, part of leadership is the continuity, the pathway to profit. If I step in front of an orchestra or choir, we have to have the score; we have to know where we are going. I help people write their score and know their score and be able to create this high-functioning culture. A part of this score, which we call a strategic plan, and in my world we have relabeled it as a solution map. Where do you want to be, and how are you going to get there? A big part of it is our marketing plan, which includes our unique value proposition, our brand promise, and these other components of the branding. We skip over those pieces. I see a lot of people that are compromised. How hard is it to hone in on people’s brands? How can I make it better? If I don’t have a brand, how can I create one? It sounds like a lot of work. Tell me how hard that is.

Julie: It’s about answering four very basic questions. My version of what you just described is a brand framework. My first question is: Who do you want to serve? It sounds counter-intuitive, but the narrower you can get on that, the better. Women 25-54 is not a target. All people who want to get healthy is not a target. All people looking for meaning in their life is not a target. You have to create a target avatar and what keeps that person up at night, so you can answer the second question. That question is: What are you really promising? Again, the what should not be a diet plan. It should be, “I can help you change your life.” We support that by why, why should you believe me? Those are three brand pillars, and those are three things that are about your point of view; your category; what is unique about you personally, like your musical background; and what your process is like with your products. The fourth question is how, which is the marketing. How do we bring it to life? What does our website look like? How do we dress? What does our office look like? What does our marketing look like?

The biggest mistake that I see is that people think they have a marketing problem. If I had more money, if I just redid my website or my logo for the umpteenth time, people will know me. They really have a branding problem because they haven’t answered the first three questions.

Hugh: You make a case somewhere that if you did it right, you wouldn’t have to redo your website umpteen times or rewrite your script umpteen times. Doing it right the first time is really important, isn’t it?

Julie: If you are on your second or third web designer and they are not getting you and you are not happy with what they are doing, chances are it’s you, not them. You haven’t really taken the time to define your brand and give them a brief that has a twist so they can bring something to life that you will be happy with and will attract your target.

Hugh: I encourage people to have mentors in different subject matters of expertise. It’s amazing how many leaders say they are going to figure it out. So you are going to fly a plane and not take any lessons? Don’t you think you need a flight instructor or a license? By the way, if you have passengers, don’t you think you are going to hurt people if you don’t prepare? What you just brought to mind for me is these are blind spots that we can’t see for ourselves, and we really can’t work through this unless we have a mentor. I saw on your site that you have a program where people can apply for consultation.

Julie: We have these complimentary brand health checks. If they go to brandschoolonline.com and fill out an application, tell us about their business, and give us their URL, we will actually look at it, schedule a call, and give them some advice.

Hugh: Is it fun?

Julie: It is fun. It’s fun, but you have to be open to it. The best way to get the most out of it is not to debate why you did what you did and how good your brand is. If you are going to take advantage of the expertise, be open. We give very loving, positive, and constructive criticism and input. I think you’re right. What you’re describing is called brand blinders. I think a lot of people are working 24/7 in a certain nonprofit or category, and we are looking at our competitors, and we are head down doing the hardest work we can, but we don’t realize there is a whole other world of inspiration out there. Chances are, if you think about what your competitors are doing, you will end up doing the same thing. Frankly, that is a waste of money, time, and good will.

Hugh: I have heard that recurring theme from several people in this series. This whole series of recordings is what I call the pathway to profit. What you are highlighting for me is making good leadership decisions. We are in a spot where we have a vision. We understand the end result. How do we get this out of our head and build a system around that that is actually going to be monetized? It’s not really about the money, but we are going to build a car that we haven’t learned how to drive yet. We also haven’t put gas in the car. The revenue is like the gas. Driving the car is like having people who work with folks like this. I’d love to work on a project with you because you are hitting a lot of the high points that I see people need to learn. Weigh in on leadership for me. There are leadership decisions that you have highlighted. I am not sure if you buy into this, but I am reframing leadership as the pathway to results, which is the profit we need to actually achieve our mission. What do you think the leadership decisions are there that people need to think about?

Julie: I think most important is your decision for branding. Another definition of a brand is a story really well told. There has to be one author. To me, brand development should not be democracy. What happens is when everybody has an opinion about the name, logo, or positioning, then we brand by lowest common denominator. It’s like with mission statements that you see. You can just tell that everybody had to have their say, so they are 25 lines long and no one can remember them. When I work with clients, I want to work with the CEO, and the marketing person as well, but at the end of the day, the CEO has to be the biggest brand ambassador. He or she has to say, “I am going to listen to your opinions, but at the end of the day, I am going to be the author of this story so that we can have a very single-minded, focused story with a very strong twist.”

Now I believe that if you are rebranding, you should definitely launch it first with your employees. You should teach them the story, get their input on fine-tuning, and make sure everybody from the receptionist to the head of operations can tell the same story, but you should not develop it completely by committee. If you are the leader, you have to have the courage to say, “This is how we are going to go forward. We are going to learn. We may change it down the road, but we may not do it completely by committee from the beginning.” I don’t know if you agree with that, but I feel very strongly about that.

Hugh: I work with a lot of clergy, and they want to go to committee. I say, “When did God ever give a vision to a committee?” It ain’t in the Bible. It’s really funny how we want to make sure everybody is happy. Getting ideas and input is not the same as you described, and there are ways to be in meaningful conversation and to nuance the decision. I think part of what leaders fear is they don’t want to upset people. Being a pleaser is not a good thing. I tend to be a pleaser. You have a vision, articulate your vision, and then I will make the call because it is my vision on the vision statement, the mission statement, and the branding. It is okay to have conversations, but they are not going to dictate your final decision. They can help you think about it.

Julie: We start off every project with a brand differentiation workshop when I work with nonprofits and companies. I am a big believer in input in the beginning. Let’s get people together, not just marketing people, but salespeople, front line people, in the case of a clergy who are out working in the community. Let’s get the CFO, the head of HR. Let’s get a lot of opinions on the table in the beginning. Get them excited about branding; get them talking about branding outside of their category. I always ask everybody to come into a workshop with a brand that they admire that has a twist outside of their realm of influence. As it progresses, then someone has to own it. I 100% agree.

Hugh: It’s amazing how many high-level business executives have trouble with those decision-making processes, which is not a good leadership skill. There is a big gap in leadership skill there.

Julie: It’s not really their fault. That is a lot of work that I do through Brand School and otherwise. Maybe they got to be a high-level executive because they are a subject matter expert, and that subject matter may not be marketing or branding. As you pointed out before, that is why it is important to have a mentor like me or you or someone else who can teach them, even if you are a 75-year-old CEO, to have the courage to say, “This is out of my comfort zone, Julie. Can you help me think about branding?” Those are the people that I like to work with and that I really admire.

Hugh: I love it. We are on the same wavelength here. I do agree. A lot of really useful things in your book. I didn’t want to spend the interview going over the book because people can get the book and read it. I did look at the Brand School, and I wanted to go now. Who is a candidate? Who is it for?

Julie: It’s really for solopreneurs, nonprofits, and small businesses who need the benefit of big-brand thinking but don’t have the time or the money. What I do is I work with small groups of 12 or so students per semester and create a community where we support one another. It’s online, but very high-touch. You see me, hear me, ask me questions, and talk to me. We have had students from all over the world: Israel, Canada, Spain, the United States. It’s a great way to do a lot of the heavy lifting yourself because I believe at the end of the day, any brand consultant is going to go away and you need to internalize the lessons, but have really top-quality guidance from me and the other faculty.

Hugh: I love it. That is a good fit for people that are listening to this. You and I just met the other day. Somehow you found me. How did you find me?

Julie: My publicist was looking for nonprofit leaders. Your name very quickly came up as a person who is a thought leader in the nonprofit segment, so I reached out to you.

Hugh: Thanks. Something I’m doing is working I guess.

Julie: I love your twist. I am not just saying this. It is a great example. There are a lot of thought leaders out there, but right away your conductor twist, the fact that you live it on the pictures with the tails, the fact that you bring such an important metaphor, because I think organizational behavior is about harmony, being in sync, and positivity. I think it’s a fabulous twist; I wish I had thought of it. It makes me happy to see that there is proof because it stood out for me right away when I was doing my research.

Hugh: I’d like to point out that we didn’t set this up.

Julie: No, I promise.

Hugh: I didn’t pay her or cue her. This just came out of the clear blue. Julie, you made my day. I love it.

Julie: You’re blushing a little bit.

Hugh: Okay, I’m busted. I like the fact that you have such passion about your work. You are very gifted at this. You want to give to people. You are a giver; I can see that. You want to help people. So you created lots of ways to help people. This is not an instructional video; this is to get people out of their box to start thinking in different ways.

My whole calling in life is to help people reframe their thinking as leaders. Earlier in this series, a friend of mine for ten years, Cal Turner, went to his leadership team at Dollar General. That may be one of the national brands you recognize. Cal said to his team, “I got this job as CEO and president because my father founded the company, because of my genes. I have a vision, but I don’t have all the skills. You got the skills. I claim the vision. This is where we are going.” Everybody stepped up, and they went public. Later he sold the company for 7.3 billion dollars, I think. What he said to me is, “Hugh, leadership is defining your gaps and being very transparent about that, letting those good people around you fill those gaps.” I think you are one of those good people. I look better than I should because I hang around smart people like Julie Cottineau. That does me good.

I am really liking this interview, and I would encourage people who are listening to or reading this to get Julie’s book. Think about this branding piece. This clergyperson I talked to today said, “We really need to think about who we are and if there is a reason for us to exist.” There is a real fit in what I do and helping people think about their overall strategy, but there is a very distinctive niche that they need to reach out for expertise. I want to give them your website again. You said brandtwist.com is where people should start.

Julie: Yeah, and if they are really interested in finding out more about the school or getting a free brand health check, they can also go to brandschoolonline.com. Everything is linked. You can find me anywhere. You can go to thetwistbook.com. You can google “twist,” and all roads lead to me. I’d love for people to tell me that they found me through your show. I’ll make sure we put them at the top of the list to help.

Hugh: That’s a deal. I’ll push it out there. This has been really good. We could talk about this all day. You are so easy to talk with, and I love the ideas. I am going to ask you to give people a tip or a twist at the end of this. What is twist? Why is it important?

Julie: Twist is really looking for something fresh, something different. Think about a twist of lime or a twist of lemon, something that is going to pep up and get people to notice. That is the first meaning. The second meaning is to twist with brands that you admire that are outside of your category. Don’t just get stuck with your brand blinders. Twist with brands that you love, like my McDonald’s story at the beginning. I was able to innovate an idea for an airline not by worrying about what other airlines were doing. I was able to do it because I twisted out of the category and thought about another great brand that stood for service in a completely different milieu. That is how you twist.

Hugh: I like that word, milieu. I am going to tell them about your book and link again, and then I will ask for a concluding thought.

Julie Cottineau. I have only made it through part of this book, but you gave it to me so I will read it. A lot of people give me books that I don’t read. I will read this one, and you are welcome to test me on that. Julie Cottineau, brandtwist.com. If you want that health check on your brand, it’s brandschoolonline.com.

As we part ways here, what thought would you like to leave with people?

Julie: I would just say that if you stay where you are, you will get to where you spin. The really important thing for any leader for any kind of company is to lift your head up, look at other brands, look at the world around you, get inspiration from other places, and then find your special sauce. Back to McDonald’s. Find your twist, and express it everywhere.

Hugh: Julie Cottineau, you rock. Thank you so much. Have a great one.

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Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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“The key to successful leadership is influence, not authority.” ~ Kenneth H. Blanchard

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The notion of being a boss as an effective leader is far gone. Once when I had a team, they gave me an official “BOSS” card. I was a card-carrying boss. The card pointed out that boss spelled backwards is “Double S O B.” Funny!

But it’s not funny. Pressuring team members and dictating what to do is not effective in today’s work environment.

Here are some polarities:

Boss Vs Influencer

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The leader is first and foremost a person of influence.

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Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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