Todd Schnick

Founder and Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA, Todd Schnick is a media + business strategist and talk show host + producer. He is a former marketing strategist, national political operative, and lobbyist. Todd has published five books, writes a business + lifestyle column, is a distance runner, and lives in Chicago with his wife Stephanie + family.

CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE

I am not wishing you Happy Birthday on Facebook. Deal with it.

My birthday is coming up soon, and frankly, I am dreading it. Why?

Not because I am getting older (but that sucks too).

It’s because of Facebook and their infernal mother-farking birthday function. It’s ruined birthdays for me, and has taken the fun out of my celebrating the birthdays of people I care about.

For the record, I no longer wish people “Happy Birthday” on Facebook, or any other social network for that matter.

I really don’t want my greeting buried under hundreds of others.

So, if you’ve been offended that I haven’t said anything to you on your BIG day well, sorry, but I am not losing any sleep over it.

Why?

Because most of what I see and hear isn’t genuine, and stems from one simple fact:

From half of my Facebook friends, I hear from them one day per year. And yeah, you guessed it: it’s on my birthday when I get the perfunctory “Happy Birthday [insert name here]!”

And it doesn’t help when you attach one of those motion-GIFS. Frankly, that’s your attempt to make it “more” personal. Despite the fact that I will receive 100s of those on the big day. All they really do is clog up Facebook’s servers.

These particular Facebook friends who pass along greetings once a year NEVER like anything else of mine. They never engage with me on my content. Never comment on stuff I share, whether it is on music, photos of my activities, food I eat, issues of the day, etc.

Now, it’s a VERY FAIR question to ask why am I connected to someone who only contacts me ONCE A YEAR? Yes, #truth. And the subject of another essay for another day. And I bear my share of responsibility in this too.

Frankly, when I observe others on their actual birthday, I am quite saddened when they are spending time ON THEIR ACTUAL BIRTHDAY responding to birthday wishes on Facebook. Do you not have other things to do on this special day? Really? You have to get out a little more friend…

I also hate the standard “Thanks for all the birthday wishes, I am very blessed, and I have the bestest friends” notes that people post, you know, so they don’t have to acknowledge all of these greetings. Probably from people they also only hear from once per year.

So yeah, at the end of the day, I’ve stopped doing it because I don’t want people to think of me the way I think of others who do it to me.

No, on rare occasion, I will send someone a birthday message via Facebook, but I’ll make it a point to personalize it and make it legitimate. Or, I will take advantage of Facebook reminding me, and send them greetings through another, more personal, medium.

And for the record, I am grateful when someone I know and interact with year round sends me a real, human, personal note.

Social media has changed the world. It connects us in ways that most never dreamed possible, and its wonders continue to marvel and hint and what’s still possible down the road.

But the downsides are its automation and lack of a personal touch.

I’ve been binging the AMC series TURN, about George Washington’s spies. Seeing them write meticulous letters on parchment with a quill pen and ink, that correspondence seems so real and genuine…

…verses the automatron scanning today’s list of birthdays on his Facebook page, and BANG-BANG-BANG-Done.

Ok, good. Moving on to the next task…

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AUTHORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

Dave Griffin: How running leads to both personal AND professional growth

Joined on the show today by Dave Griffin, founder of Flying Feet Running Programs, and author of a new book called In the Distance: Why We Struggle Through the Demands of Running, and How It Leads Us to Peace.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Dave Griffin:

1. How the focus and drive needed to become a runner can aid and enhance professional motivation. This is more than just about running, it’s about professional development too!

2. How he used the benefits of training and running with others in his leadership of his corporate risk management team – his 4 unique takeaway tips.

3. The statistics that indicate successful leaders are also regular exercise enthusiasts – the psychological truths behind this.

4. How running takes us back to our early childhood years and why it is important to be in touch with that part of ourselves as we mature in business.

5. Of course, we discuss the health (and mental) benefits of running.

6. And for those who are NOT runners, Dave shares some insights on HOW TO START!

Find Dave Griffin’s latest book here:

About Dave Griffin:

Dave Griffin began running in 1976 as a high school freshman. He ran competitively through 1989 with PRs that include a 25:43 5M, a 32:11 10K and a 1:12:24 half marathon. After a 12-year period of casual running when his children were young, he returned to competitive running as a master.

Griffin started the Flying Feet Running Programs in 2004 while his daughter, Katie, was running in high school. The program has since grown to provide year-round coaching and support to runners of all experience and talent levels in the Carroll County, MD area.

Griffin began writing about running and life in 2006, when his bi-weekly column, Dave Griffin on Running, was introduced. In 2010, Dave published his first book, After the Last PR – The Virtues of Living a Runner’s Life.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Steve Gold: Harnessing the power of smart experiments

Joined on the show today by Steve Gold, a leadership consultant and author of a new book called How We Succeed: Making Good Things Happen Through the Power of Smart Experiments. You can learn more about Steve Gold by clicking here.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Steve Gold:

1. “Life is a series of experiments and explorations.”

2. The back story and the research for How We Succeed and the concept of a smart experiment.

3. What exactly does Steve mean by an experiment…

Note: You are doing experiments ALL THE TIME…You just aren’t doing SMART experiments…

4. Why are we doing experiments all the time, every day? Do both individuals AND organizations conduct experiments?

5. What’s the difference between a SMART experiment and a not-so-smart experiment?

6. FINALLY, we discuss how to conduct a SMART EXPERIMENT. And it involves four steps: Design, Decide, De-Risk, and Deliver.

Find Steve’s book here:

About Steve Gold:

Steven K. Gold empowers individuals and organizations using the lessons of entrepreneurial strategy and practice. As Chairman of Gold Global Advisors, he advises clients throughout the United States, Europe, Middle East and Asia. Steve began his career as an entrepreneur. He started and successfully exited several ventures in the fields of biotechnology, software, mobile mapping and intellectual property. He was then invited to teach entrepreneurship, first as Senior Partner for Entrepreneurship at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and later as Professor of Entrepreneurship Practice at Babson Global.

Steve has taught entrepreneurial strategy and practice to audiences around the world. Steve is the author of Entrepreneur’s Notebook: Practical Advice for Starting a New Business Venture (2006) and How We Succeed: Making Good Things Happen through the Power of Smart Experiments (2016). He’s an expert on the behavioral science of sustainable success who helps leaders and organizations compete most effectively in today’s global environment.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Rick Tiemann: A new approach to developing world class leaders

Joined on the show today by Rick Tiemann, President of The Executive Group, and author of Developing World Class Leaders: The Ultimate Guide to Leadership Development.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Rick Tiemann:

1. Why do the vast majority of leadership programs fail?

2. We discuss how great leadership is related to emotional intelligence.

3. Rick shares his opinions on the standard way we assess leaders (performance reviews, peer-to-peer, assessment reviews). Do they work? Should they even be used?

4. Rick shares a different way to assess leaders!

5. What are the best ways to invest in staff, and why that’s one of the most important tasks an organization can undertake.

6. Training vs. Development

7. We discuss Three Dimensional Leadership and its impact on organizations.

You can find Rick Tiemann’s book here:

About Rick Tiemann:

Rick Tiemann started The Executive Group in 1991 and works with companies in the areas of organizational and business development. His expertise is on developing organizational effectiveness through employee selection and development with a targeted focus on sales and leadership. His experience in mergers and acquisitions including turnarounds and employee integration make him a sought after consultant to organizations preparing for or in the midst of implementing change.

With over 40 years of business experience including having owned three businesses, Rick has worked in both national and international arenas and has held positions of Director of Sales and Marketing, VP of Sales, Asian Business Development Manager, and President of a 75 million dollar company in the fire and security industry.

He brings a unique mix of sales and business expertise along with a deep understanding of personality and performance potential to his practice. Over the past 24 years he has interpreted more than 12,000 16PF assessments.

Rick is also an accomplished Executive and Behavioral Coach and uses his insight into behavior to assist CEO’s, Sales and Operations Managers, and business owners in their professional development.

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BUSINESS, INCUBATOR, PERSONAL GROWTH, WELLNESS

INCUBATOR 030: Jane Curth: Improve health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation

Joined in studio today by Jane Curth, Founder + CEO, of Healthyou. Healthyou improves users’ health by combining the power of an activity tracking device with expert evaluation. With data analysis, weekly feedback, and personal encouragement, users embark on a lifelong trajectory of healthy living.

Jan Curth

Discussion guide from our conversation with Jane Curth:

1. Healthyou background–including Jane’s background…what lead her to create Healthyou! And how was it started?

2. What does Healthyou do?

3. Importance of a healthy lifestyle. And why you have to set goals…

4. Importance of accountability in pursuing a healthy lifestyle.

5. We discuss the technology behind Halthyou. And its integration with FitBit.

6. Who is Healthyou’s target audience?

7. We discuss Healthyou’s ONLINE COURSES, who they are for… Hint: Continuing Education1

8. New initiative of Healthyou — starting a new initiative in education to enhance the work they are already doing. Online courses are being developed that will give pertinent information to clients. Also, online elite courses are being developed that will provide continuing education credits to personal trainers and fitness professionals.

9. We wrap up with THE WELA question of the week: “What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever received for given?”

About Jane Curth:

Jane started Healthyou amidst a life dedicated to educating and encouraging people on the benefits of living an active and healthy lifestyle. She has been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified Personal Trainer since 1998. She is also a retired college professor and has served for over 20 years in the field of Health and Kinesiology.

She has presented at over 18 state, regional, and national conferences on various health and fitness topics. She developed many online courses in her career and turned those experiences into her wellness coaching company, Healthyou. She is an active Baby Boomer living a wellness lifestyle and wants to help others in her generation, and younger, to live life to the fullest.

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The Incubator is made possible by the following partners:

MD Burns Nash

Wela Logo_Strategies

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Stragility: Excelling at strategic changes

Joined on the show today by the co-authors of Stragility: Excelling at Strategic Changes, Lisa Hillenbrand and Ellen Auster. You can learn more about the book, and Ellen and Lisa, by CLICKING HERE.
stragility

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with the co-authors of Stragility:

1. What “Stragility” is, and why it is critical to achieving organizational change.

2. Change is constant now, right? Do we need to adapt to this new normal?

3. We are talking about change at all organizational levels right?

4. What makes Stragility different from all other change management methodologies?

5. Strategy / Agile / People = The model!

6. How to get a company’s people truly engaged in the transformation, and why this is crucial.

7. Why “locking and loading” and “telling and selling” a change strategy can be fatal mistakes…

8. What it takes to manage the politics that inevitably arise around any change effort…

9. How to avoid “change fatigue” and build change fitness with every change your
organization takes on…

10. Why counterintuitive strategies like “going slow to go fast” and “changing less to achieve more” may be key to winning at change…

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Find Stragility (the book) here!

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About the authors:

Lisa Hillenbrand, who is the founder of Lisa Hillenbrand & Associates, previously served as Global Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble. She specializes in marketing, strategy, and organization change interventions that return brands to growth, and led the team that “re-engineered” Procter & Gamble’s company-wide brand building approach. Hillenbrand has delivered keynotes for the AMA, Marketing Science Institute and Thomas Edison Foundation, and has consulted with and led top rated workshops for Google, Facebook and many others.

Ellen R. Auster has more than 25 years of experience as an academic and consultant specializing in strategic transitions, transformations and turnarounds. Professor of Strategic Management and the Founding Director of the Schulich Centre for Teaching Excellence at the Schulich School of Business, York University, she has published widely in journals including The Academy of Management Review, Management Science, Sloan Management Review, The Journal of Business Ethics, and Human Resource Management. Auster has also been quoted in BusinessWeek, Time, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, and USA Today, among other leading news sources.

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BUSINESS

Rodd Wagner: How employee motivation impacts productivity and engagement

Joined today in studio by Rodd Wagner, the Vice President of Employee Engagement Strategy with BI Worldwide.

Rodd Wagner

Discussion guide from my conversation with Rodd Wagner:

1. We’re interested to hear about your recent work on studying employee motivation in the United States, how important is happiness at work?

2. Being cool isn’t something employers necessarily aimed for a generation ago, how important is coolness now?

3. How does pay affect happiness?

4. How did you come up with the New Rules of Engagement, and what does it mean?

5. Are you “engageable?”

6. What exactly is engagement? What role does “intensity” play in this?

About Rodd Wagner:

Rodd Wagner is the New York Times bestselling author of Widgets. A contributor to Forbes, he is one of the foremost authorities on employee engagement and collaboration. Wagner’s books, speeches, and thought leadership focus on how human nature affects business strategy. He currently serves as vice president of employee engagement strategy at BI WORLDWIDE.

Wagner is a confidential advisor to senior executives on the best ways to increase their personal effectiveness and their organizations’ performance. His work has taken him to a fiberglass factory in Brazil, a vehicle engineering facility in India, a paper warehouse in Poland, a home improvement store in Wales, a medical device design site in Germany, a pharmaceutical firm in Switzerland, the Pentagon, the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, and the attack submarine USS California.

Wagner’s books have been published in 10 languages and his work featured in The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, ABC News, BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, and the Globe and Mail and National Post in Canada, and parodied in Dilbert.

Wagner holds an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Utah Graduate School of Business. He was formerly a principal of Gallup, the research director of the Portland Press Herald and WGME-TV in Maine, a reporter and news editor for The Salt Lake Tribune, and a radio talk show host.

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BUSINESS, MARKETING

Geoff Wilson: Startup thinking for corporate enterprises

Joined on the show today by Geoff Wilson, the president and CEO of 352 Inc.

About 352 Inc: Their passion is turning great ideas into compelling websites, apps and software. They build dedicated teams around every client to get you to market quickly, so that they can learn, iterate and grow your audience.

Discussion guide from my conversation with Geoff Wilson:

1. Corporate Innovation: 352’s approach to digital product development via agile methodologies.

2. Lean Startup mentality: prototype to successful product.

3. “Barely manage to lead…”

4. We discuss The Enterprise Entrepreneurship Series at Tech Square Labs for corporate innovators.

5. We discuss “Traction Marketing,” aka lean principles applied to marketing.

6. Geoff shares a few SCRUM/UX best practices.

7. We discuss the upcoming 352inc annual Hackathon, which will take place around August/September of 2016.

Geoff Wilson

About Geoff Wilson:

President and Founder of 352 Inc., Geoff Wilson is a tech entrepreneur, investor and mentor who found his passion for business at an early age. After starting a successful computer store in high school, Geoff began building websites in his college fraternity house room and 352 Inc. was born. 17 years later, his digital product development agency has grown to more than 85 employees with offices in Atlanta, Tampa and Gainesville, FL. 

As 352 grew, Geoff began to focus on the powerful impact of lean and agile methodologies. Geoff implemented these principles into 352 by reorganizing the agency into cross-functional teams and turning managers into servant leaders. Free to focus on a single project at a time, his teams’ quality of work, productivity and morale dramatically increased. Good client relationships became great ones, and 352 began down a path of unprecedented growth. Geoff calls his management philosophy “Barely Manage to Lead” and speaks at conferences about how this approach can improve any type of business.

Geoff and his wife, Kim Wilson, also have built and sold a highly successful digital product, SocialNewsDesk. SocialNewsDesk is an online social media management platform for newsrooms, and is currently being used by 85% of the television newsrooms in the United States to manage their social presence. SocialNewsDesk was acquired in 2014 by a Fortune 500 company, Graham Holdings.

Geoff’s success lead him to be named one of America’s Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs by INC Magazine, and the University of Florida Warrington College of Business’ Entrepreneur of the Year.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS

Cam Barber: What’s Your Message?

Author Cam Barber joins me to discuss his new book, What’s Your Message?

Cam Barber

Discussion guide from my conversation with Cam Barber:

1. A lot of people offer advice on public speaking, what sets your book apart?

2. Many people have a real fear of speaking in public. What advice do you have for overcoming anxiety?

3. A big part of your book explains “chunking” your ideas to create an effective presentation? What is “chunking” and how does it work?

4. You debunk a lot of public speaking myths in the book. What are some of the more common myths?

5. You say in the book that for CEOs and leaders of any business that messaging is branding. What are some of the key factors leaders need to keep in mind when they are communicating with their customers, employees, or anyone who impacts their organization?

Find Cam Barber’s book here:

About Cam Barber:

Cam is a speaker, speaking coach and speechwriter.

His background as a radio executive helped him understand how to get inside the mind of an audience and trigger message recall.
He developed the Vivid Method for Public Speaking as a response to the mechanical acting skills being taught for business presentations and media settings. The first version was built on natural style and message transfer – hence the nickname ‘message man’. Delighted participants also found that this simple, practical focus reduced public speaking anxiety.

Clients now rave about the ability to relax under pressure, the power of Vivid Messages and the simple approach that generates twice the impact using half the effort. Cam Barber has helped craft presentations for dozens of Top 100 companies and coached speakers, CEOs and other presenters to make their message more powerful.

When he’s not speaking, coaching or writing, Cam consults on message management.

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CONTRIBUTORS, LIFESTYLE, PERSONAL GROWTH

You don’t need to get up at 4AM each morning to be a success

Every day, I read some article that, if true, someone far more awesome than me has already done the following by 6AM:

photo-1428954376791-d9ae785dfb2d1. They were wide awake, showered, dressed, and at their desk by 4AM…losing a half pound of weight in the process.
2. By 5AM, they had already written 2,000 words.
3. By 520AM, they had meditated for 20 minutes and achieved near enlightenment.
4. And by 6AM, with all the kids awake, bathed, and lunch boxes packed, they had also done yoga for an additional 20 minutes. Namaste my friend!

Let me boldly and proudly declare, that by 6AM, I haven’t gotten out of bed yet. But, according to the internet, I am the only person on the entire planet still sleeping at this time in the morning.

Other essays I’ve read, some of these even more amazing people have also run a 5K (or more), prepared food from scratch (that they harvested from the back yard garden), have read the entire Wall Street Journal by 617AM, and have even done a little work to lower the Earth’s core temperature by .05 degrees.

These are truly amazing people. And all doing overtly sustainable activities before the Sun even rises.

By 617AM, I have probably read one or two articles on the Red Sox. And by then I have a 5 year old Golden Retriever standing on my chest giving me the vulture look. I will usually pretend to go back to sleep to fake her out, but Shiloh usually doinks me in the eye with the cold tip of her wet dog nose to tell me I am full of it.

Around 625AM, I will have stolen a look at my lovely wife, who is forcing her eyes closed so that I am made to believe she isn’t awake yet. For she doesn’t really want to talk to me until 10AM at the earliest. Trust me, she’s awake.

Seriously, I am amazed at the amount of people who have rewritten the U.S. Constitution by sunup. Who are all of these people? Why are they so perfect? How is it that with all of these amazing people, we still have cancer, and why are geopolitical affairs still such a mess?

Are these people for real? Are they even real?

Despite my obvious failings in the wee hours of the morning, I am still happy. I am still running a growing and successful business, I have a wife that loves me (after 10AM), and I have two happy, healthy dogs.

And oh, I haven’t even told you the really bad news yet: The first two things I do in the morning:

1. Check Facebook.
2. Read my email.

Yes, since you started reading this essay, there have been about 300 new articles published condemning humans for checking email and social media before midday.

And yes, despite the fact that I DO NOT get up at 4AM each morning AND check email and Facebook whilst still in bed, here is a list of the things I happen to still accomplish:

1. I read a book a week.
2. I run at least a 5K three to four times a week.
3. I walk my dogs round Chicago the non-running days of the week.
4. I run a business.
5. I conduct a dozen radio interviews for my business.
6. I explore my city (which translates to: I eat a lot).

I do all these things when I can, and when I want to. I check email as often as I want to. I check Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram whenever I want to.

Look, I am not condemning people who have a set morning routine. I admire them for getting up early and achieving things.

It just doesn’t work for me.

For me, every day is different. My interview schedule varies each day. Some days I am on the road. Some days Stephanie and I have plans. Some days are running days. I just simply cannot follow a strict routine day in and day out.

But you do have to find out what works for you. And stick to it. Or at least know WHAT you have to do, and be disciplined to get it done over the course of the day.

Just don’t judge me when I don’t rise at 4AM. We are all different, and we are all wired in different ways. I am glad to hear you’ve figured out what works for you, and appreciate you sharing it with us. It may very well inspire someone to try something new.

Live life on your terms. Don’t be guilted into following a process that isn’t right for you, just to please some superhero that probably isn’t real…

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