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BUSINESS, MARKETING, SALES

Neil Berman: Results-driven email marketing

Joined in studio today by Neil Berman, the president and CEO of Delivra, results-driven email marketing.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Neil Berman:

Neil Berman1. The importance of email marketing.

2. Email marketing tips for small and mid-sized businesses.

3. Using email and SMS messaging to generate revenue.

4. Do’s and Don’ts of drip campaigns.

5. What are people still doing wrong with email marketing?

6. How to properly build your mailing list.

About Neil Berman:

With nearly 20 years in the software industry, Delivra founder and CEO Neil Berman continues to be driven by a passion to find innovative solutions that help clients win in their industries. Neil draws upon his extensive skills in executive leadership, strategic planning, financial management and team building to lead his Indianapolis-based company. He promotes strong cultural values as the essential ingredient to sustaining a high performing team, which has helped the company earn the ranking as one of Indiana’s Best Places to Work. Neil also is steadfast in promoting the company’s mission to succeed by focusing on helping its clients succeed first.

In addition to helping Delivra’s clients overcome their marketing challenges, Neil regularly shares his knowledge with the business community as a speaker, blog author and interview subject for media outlets. Neil’s commitment to Delivra, his staff and clients has helped the company land on Inc. 5000’s List of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. The company’s clients include small- to large-size businesses across the nation, including Samsung, Red Gold, The American Legion and Butler University.

Neil, a graduate of University of Minnesota’s Business Administration School, has served as a member and leader for various industry organizations, including the Indiana CPA Society, the American Marketing Association and the Business Marketing Association.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP

The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 4 of 4

This is the final segment of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Previously I talked about the first 3 steps in the MOVE model
M = The Middle
O = Organization
V = Valor

Today I want to talk about the fourth and final step in the MOVE model: E= Everyone

Although you can lead a transformation from the top, you can’t DO a transformation from the top. Successful transformation requires that everyone participates. If they don’t move forward, you don’t move forward.

Telling does not equal communicating

You need to be ready to consider this first telling of your strategy to your organization as pretty much a throwaway effort. Yes, it’s a step in the process. Yes, you need to communicate top down. But to genuinely communicate, and to get your message internalized, and for your transformation to take hold, you need to create a fundamental shift in the way that you think about communication. You need to change your existing idea of communication to instead become conversation — that involves everyone.

Your broadcast has almost nothing to do with whether or not something has been communicated. Simply telling people your strategy does not mean they heard it.

You should not assume that just because you have told everyone your strategy (for the first time!), that they were listening carefully, internalized it, know what they need to do personally to act on it, know how to optimize it with regard to their current work, and will actively do the right things to implement their piece of it.

And in fact, it’s kind of funny, when an executive realizes that people “aren’t getting it”, typically I find there is an inverse relationship between the level of emphasis an executive will use to say, “but I was very clear” and how much has actually been internalized by their audience!

Conversation vs. communication

The right measure is never about how clearly you think you have communicated. The only right measure is about how much your audience has internalized.

You have communicated successfully when the people in your organization are talking about it amongst themselves.

For your transformation to work, the change must be part of the social fabric of the whole organization in a very real way — and that happens through conversation.

For example, when you can approach an employee at any level at random and ask, what is the most important thing for us to be doing right now, and why? — and get the same answer most of the time — then you can say that your communication has been successful.

Conversation creates forward momentum, and safety

People will only feel safe to keep doing the new thing if they hear their peers are still talking about it. If the conversation stops people will start asking, “Are we still doing this?’ and your strategy will stall.

Decorate the change
To give people confidence to keep going they need to see signs of the new strategy every single day. Through your conversations and physical modifications to the workplace you can “decorate the change” to make the new way a tangible part of the social fabric of the organization.

Listen and Share
Too many organizations treat communicating as an afterthought, and this is deadly to a successful transformation. It’s important to do not only top down conversations, but foster and environment of sharing information across groups (by making information sharing part of performance objectives!)

Power and Trust
As leaders we have a choice to share power or hoard power. If you share power you build trust, and trust is rocket fuel for keeping motivation and momentum in a transformation. And with trust there is no neutral. You are either building trust, or destroying it. You must invest in building trust through building conversation.

My new book MOVE is about decisively executing strategy

Get your copy of MOVE to help you truly engage people on a personal level, build trust, and increase confidence to move your strategy forward. Learn how to change communication into the kind of conversation that fuels forward momentum, and how to decorate the change so the path forward is an obvious part of the environment every single day.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Five: Leading Teams, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology

Welcome to Episode Five of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Teams – Part 2, Shifting from Me-Ology to We-Ology!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Five:

1. In Leading Teams Part 1 we talked about recalibrating yourself to lead teams, in part two, we talk about how to develop the team around you.

2. The tension of time, and how are relationship with time now has to shift. Time now has to be an investment in your people.

3. “You cannot think about taking time away from YOUR work to help others. Helping and serving others IS YOUR WORK!”

4. Relieve the tension from being a practitioner to now becoming a philosopher.

5. And you know have to worry about how your people are spending THEIR time.

6. The shift from being a “today” leader to becoming a “today AND tomorrow” leader. You are in the mix of a lot of things now, not just focused on your little world.

7. The tension of now having to worry about the organization is a difficult shift for many new leaders.

8. In addition to leading your direct reports AND serving the organization, you also now have to pay attention to peer-to-peer leaders, and be sure you are serving in cross-functional ways too.

9. Protecting your team, your peeps, may NOT be serving the organization well. And you have to be cognizant of this tension.

10. The tension of capacity. Do you have the capacity to handle all of this? And you have to teach capacity building to your team as well.

11. “Lack of capacity is the biggest reason most organizations do not make it to the next level.”

12. Composure is also important! Do you have the temperament to lead? Will you bring positive attributes to leadership? Or will you be negative?

13. You have to resolve issues at the point of contact, BEFORE they escalate.

14. Silos versus cross-functional collaboration. Mission critical to leader on behalf of the organization, especially as you are moving towards enterprise level leadership.

15. “Talent is an enterprise asset. Not yours.”

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Sid Mohasseb: Don’t leave change to chance

Joined in studio by Sid Mohasseb, adjunct professor at USC, and author of The Caterpillar’s Edge: Evolve, Evolve Again, and Thrive in Business. Learn more about the book here!

Discussion guide from our conversation with Sid Mohasseb:

Sid Mohasseb1. One of the taglines around your book is “Don’t leave change to chance.” Sounds self explanatory but how does that relate to your book?

2. Your first chapter tackles the subject of “addiction.” What addiction(s) are you referring to?

3. What lessons does a caterpillar teach us about business?

4. We’re entering some uncharted territory in the global business world. What advice can you give to those looking to thrive amid uncertainty?

5. You write about getting grounded and not moving too fast. What’s the importance of being grounded in a world that seems to be moving very fast?

Find Sid Mohasseb’s book here:

About Sid Mohasseb:

Sid is a serial entrepreneur, investor, venture capitialist, and business thought leader. He is formerly the Head of Strategic Innovation for KPMG’s Strategy Practice, where he consulted with Fortune 500 clients worldwide. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the Marshall Business School, University of Southern California (USC), where he teaches strategy and data analytics.

Sid has founded and led several early-stage and hyper-growth companies from inception to acquisition. He has also led company turnarounds—from near bankruptcy to profitability. His expertise is in connecting theory to reality and helping people see the bend in the road ahead.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Michael Alden: The total power of incremental change

Joined in studio by Michael Alden, the President of Blue Vase Marketing, and author of 5% More: Making Small Changes to Achieve Extraordinary Results. Learn more about Michael here.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Michael Alden:

Michael Alden1. The benefits of incremental growth.

2. “Large enough to be productive, small enough to be sustainable.”

3. Spend 5% more time with your current customers: It is much smarter to spend a little more time with your current customers than to chase new “leads.” Your customers have already decided to buy from you. The key is to make sure that they are satisfied — or better, yet, delighted with your product or service.

4. Increase product/service prices by 5%: Don’t be afraid to increase your prices. People will pay slightly more, if you are providing something that adds value to their lives.

5. Increase results by 5%: Stop focusing on activities, and focus on results instead. Looking at how to increase results, even by a small amount, will help you identify and eliminate actions that waste time.

6. Do something 5% differently than your competitors: Be a little more creative and think a little bit harder than your competitors. Whether it is going the extra mile in customer service, or offering a product that’s just slightly better than that of your competitors, makes the difference in winning sales.

7. Motivate your team to give 5% More: Your business will never grow, if your team keeps doing the same thing over and over again. Invest 5% More in training and supporting them, so that they can do the best job possible.

Find Michael Alden’s book here:

About Michael Alden:

Michael, author of 5% MORE is the founder and CEO of Blue Vase Marketing, a multi-million dollar marketing firm that has been ranked by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest growing private firms in America. Alden is also a recipient of SmartCEO Magazine’s 2016 Future 50 Award. A successful serial entrepreneur, who hosts his own podcast and a writes a popular blog, Alden is a speaker and regular guest on television and radio throughout the country. His first book Ask More, Get More was a national bestseller.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP

Angela Sebaly: How to be a courageous leader

Joined in studio today by Angela Sebaly, CEO of Personify Leadership, and author of The Courageous Leader: How To Face Any Challenge And Lead Your Team To Success.

Discussion guide from our conversation with Angela Sebaly:

courageous leader1. How does Angela define courage?

2. “Everyone has equal access to courage.” Why some are more courageous than others.

3. You must have the courage to accept pain.

4. There are tools to build courage.

5. The importance of humility.

6. The “Delegation Doom Loop!”

7. Leaders need the courage to both give AND receive feedback.

8. This isn’t about having courage to face a grandiose problem. This is about being courageoud every day.

Find Angela Sebaly’s book here:

About Angela Sebaly:

Angela Sebaly, author of The Courageous Leader (Wiley, spring 2017), is co-founder and CEO of the firm Personify Leadership, a training provider. Formerly the Vice President of Leadership Development for a global oil, gas and chemicals inspection company, Angela also serves as principle consultant for the firm Invested Leadership. An entrepreneur developing a global presence, Angela has been coaching, facilitating and leading teams and organizations for over two decades. Education, communication and courage are the pillars of her life’s work. She lives with her family in Fort Lauderdale.

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, CONTRIBUTORS, LEADERSHIP

The Hazards of Business Execution, Part 3 of 4

This is part three of a four-part series!

I want to share with you in a series of 4 brief articles, how to overcome the obstacles to effective and predictable business execution of strategic initiatives.

There are chronic issues that exist in all organizations and far too many leaders accept them as a non-negotiable part of the business environment — things like resource disconnects, decision stalls, organizational politics, weak or passive-aggressive support, or everyone simply being too busy.

Previously I talked about the first 2 steps in the MOVE model:
M = The Middle
O = Organization

Today I want to talk about the third step in the MOVE model, V= Valor:

Everyone is scared

If you are human, you will be scared sometimes. If you are leader you will be attacked and challenged sometimes. At times your job will feel so ugly and impossible that you think you will surely fail. In my experience, the bigger the job, the harder it gets. Because as you move higher, there is less clarity of expectations, less support from your direct manager, less feedback, and higher stakes. There is also much more competition for budget, people, and charter.

That brings us to the section on V=Valor. Because leadership is hard. That’s why you need Valor to progress through the long Middle.

Welcome to being a leader

I can remember feeling at various points in my career, that the mission just didn’t make sense, or that it was unsupported. I felt like I was out on a limb owning all of the risk, and with not enough resources to succeed. Or I felt like the corporate bureaucracy, the board, or another group or particular adversary, was blocking me (or sabotaging me) from doing the right things that I knew needed to be done. Or I would get a directive that didn’t make any sense like, “you must cut costs by 50% but you can not make any cuts to the biggest program.”

As a leader, this unreasonable, soul-crushing stuff is just part of the job description. There are always big, ugly, seemingly impossible problems, annoying people, and exhausting obstacles in the way of getting your job done. And when you are leading, by definition you are going to a place where others aren’t. You are embarking on new territory, which can be scary and lonely.

Think of Valor in this way:

Once you embrace the fact that: YOUR JOB = Your job description PLUS all the crap that gets in the way of delivering on your job description…You will feel (and BE) in a lot more in control.

I coach a lot of senior executives and with pretty much everyone we reach a point where I tell them, “You’ll be better off if you start your thinking with this:

Everything is impossible and everyone is a shark.

That’s just the way it is. And it’s your job to deal with that.” Usually that makes people feel better because they can let go of the idea that it is about them personally, and they can step back, see the problem more clearly, and treat it like any other challenge or project.

A leader needs a lot of Valor to navigate a transformation through the long Middle because people will lose faith, rebel, and there will be political attacks along the way.

Burn the ships at the beach

You need to be so unfailingly consistent in your communications and decisions that people realize the only way through is forward. As Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell… keep going”.

Too busy to scale

Most new strategic initiatives fail because the pressures of the current workload are so overwhelming that there is no time to do new things. You must find a way to rise above the current workload and priorities the strategic over the urgent. This is one of the hardest parts of leadership but has the biggest payoff if you are willing to do it.

Clarity and Conflict

The more clear you become about what it will take to stick to your strategic initiative, the more fire you will draw. It’s more comfortable to keep your goals at a generic level that everyone can agree to.

Once you start getting specific, “in order to do this new thing, will take these resources from the old thing, and delay the current plan on this other thing” people will disagree! But this is the only way to actually make progress.

If you never talk about what you will actually do in this concrete way, you will never actually do it!

Don’t trade a comfortable shallow agreement in the short time for a slow moving train wreck in the long term as you fail to implement your strategy.

Get your copy of MOVE to help you increase your confidence as leader to guide your team through the long Middle to implement your strategy decisively without hesitation, doubt and fear. You need Valor to stick to it and to help your team feel confident to keep doing the new stuff despite the many pressures to go back to the old way.

Check back next time for the final part of the MOVE model, E = Everyone.

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You can find Patty Azzarello’s upcoming book here:

Download a FREE Preview of MOVE

In my years of leading business transformations and turnarounds, building highly successful management teams, and working with countless clients to implement their strategies, I have determined what factors enable faster, more decisive execution, and reduce risk.
It’s all in the book! I can’t wait to share it! Available in February.

Get a copy for your whole team!
Or if you’d like to pre-order a copy for everyone on your team, contact us for bulk-order discounts.

AUTHORS, BUSINESS, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Episode Four: Leading Teams, Recalibrating Yourself As A Leader

Welcome to Episode Four of the Tensions of Leadership: Leading Teams – Part 1, Recalibrating Yourself As A Leader!

Discussion guide from the Tensions of Leadership, Episode Four:

1. Now that we are shifting our knowing and doing to leading teams, this is still You on You.

2. You are now moving from “delivering work” to “developing,” or delivering work through OTHER PEOPLE. What is this transition about? Before, you were a practitioner, a contributor. This is an entirely different set of skills.

3. Remember, leadership is a skilled profession, and these are skills you can learn and develop!

4. The shift from ME-ology to WE-ology!

5. A critical first tension is letting go of the work. Can you let others do the work you were once responsible for, not that you are leading a team? Can you give your team the space and the coaching to learn those new tasks? Many struggle with this tension…

6. You now have position power. And the problem comes when new leaders abuse that power.

7. You want to use your “personal” power to engage and influence, not your “position” power which is just top down command and control.

8. You want to be carefrontational, not confrontational.

9. The next tension is dealing with obstacles, challenges and problems. Are you going to address them? Or avoid them?

10. Next tension to face: will you provide answers? Or questions? Are they dependent ON YOU? Or FROM YOU?

11. Will you EMPOWER your team? Or will you CONTROL your team? People need to understand the WHAT you are asking, but need the freedom to complete the task. We need to create the space that our team can grow into the people they can be.

12. This is where emotional intelligence and self-awareness is so important! EQ is more important than IQ!

13. “If you have to be the smartest person in the room, you probably aren’t the right person to be a team leader.”

14. Are you the leader of the team? Or a part of the team? Your role is to DEVELOP your team, not to PROTECT your team. You need to PREPARE your team to do what they need to do.

15. How does the team make decisions?

16. Are you going to be a leader that makes your team EARN trust? Or will you GIVE trust? Why does that matter?

17. Will you as a team leader resolve the tension of clarity and closure?

Click here to listen to all of Season Four!


Erica Peitler, intrepidNOW

About our host, Erica Peitler:

Erica is a Leadership Performance Coach who courageously partners with individuals, teams and organizations who want to realize their visions of success by transforming their leadership potential into visible, on the ground, breakthrough leadership performance!

With an engaging, provocative and straight forward approach, Erica inspires leaders to reach beyond their comfort level as they pursue becoming the performance based leaders they aspire to be in both their professional and personal life.

As a keynote speaker and author, Erica educates, entertains and enlightens audiences on leadership, transformational change and professional/personal growth initiatives.


Find Erica Peitler’s book here:

The essence of Leadership Rigor is creating change-ready leaders who can embrace challenges because they have the tools, models, and language to assess, structure, and facilitate aligned actions. They also have the mindset and emotional skills to lean into the change process despite its uncomfortable nature. By innovating on their preparedness first, these change-ready leaders are equipped to realize the growth in themselves and in their teams or organizations. Are you ready to take on your personal journey of Leadership Rigor?


Series co-host Todd Schnick is the Editor-In-Chief of intrepid.MEDIA and a media and content strategist. A former marketing strategist, lobbyist, and national political operative, Todd now lives and works in the Chicago Loop with his family. He is a writer, foodie, bibliophile, distance runner, and nearly full-time dog mom.



This series recorded LIVE from our Merchandise Mart studios in Chicago, Illinois! (Click on photo below for history of our studios!)

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AUTHORS, BUSINESS, INCUBATOR, LEADERSHIP, PERSONAL GROWTH

Bob Kulhan: Is Improvisation the most important business skill?

Joined in studio today by Bob Kulhan, founder and CEO of Business Improv, and author of Getting to Yes And: The Art of Business Improv. Learn more about Bob Kulhan’s book here.

Discussion guide from today’s conversation with Bob Kulhan:

Bob Kulhan1. What is improv?
2. And how does improv integrate into our daily business practice?

3. “REACT, ADAPT, and COMMUNICATE.”

4. What is “YES AND” and how does it work?

5. What are the cognitive and social psychology behind this?

6. How does “YES AND” and improv help with creativity and innovation?

7. Improv is a skill. How do we learn and develop stronger improvisational skills?

Find Bob Kulhan’s book here:

Bob Kulhan

About Bob Kulhan:

Bob is an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration for The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University as well as an Adjunct Professor of Business for Columbia Business School, Columbia University. He also is the Founder & CEO of Business Improv. Based out of Chicago, LA & New York City, Business Improv (BI) is a world-class leader in developing experiential learning programs for businesses. For over 21 years Bob has performed and taught improvisation with the most elite improvisers in the world. His teaching and performing credits include Chicago’s famed Second City, iO, the Annoyance Theatre, Columbia College, The Australian Graduate School of Management, Koç University in Istanbul, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA Anderson School of Management (MBA & exec. ed.), Columbia University Business School (MBA & exec. ed.), and Duke University’s 
Fuqua School of Business. Kulhan is a cofounder of the critically acclaimed Baby Wants Candy improv troupe, with which he has toured internationally.

His consulting and teaching work in leadership and managerial improvisation includes an emphasis on team skills, fostering a collaborative corporate culture, whole body listening, busting blocks to creativity, conflict management, dyadic relationships, creative and adaptive problem solving, leadership, influence, and fostering creative cultures. Since 1998, his customized Business Improvisations programs have benefited a number of companies, including NY Redbulls, The Spaceship Company, Young Presidents Organization, Ford Motor Company, Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS), Cushman & Wakefield, The University of Notre Dame: Renovare, SAS, Mazda, American Express Cards, Glaxo Smith Kline, DuPont, Hilton Hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, PepsiCo, Capital One, National Cancer Institute, Neutrogena, Progressive, Colgate-Palmolive, Raytheon, WebMD, Procter & Gamble, R&D University, and the US Naval Academy.

In a unique collaboration with global leaders in Behavioral Decision Making, Bob co-introduced improvisation into the MBA curriculum of the Fuqua School of Business. The Workshop in Managerial Improvisation blends experiential exercises, adapted from traditional improv, with classroom lectures, case studies and discussion. It has consistently ranked among Duke University’s highest rated MBA electives. In addition to the MBA program at Fuqua, Bob has designed workshops for Fuqua professors and staff, Ph.D. students, communications & development departments, R. David Thomas Center management and staff, Program Managers’ Development (PMD), Management Challenge, Advanced Management Program (AMP), Duke Corporate Education, and Duke’s Executive Education department.

Kulhan was trained in improvisation by a long list of legendary talents, including improv guru Del Close, The Second City’s Martin de Maat, SNL and 30 Rock star Tina Fey, SNL and Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler, iO’s Susan Messing and The Annoyance Theater’s Mick Napier. Bob has created more than a dozen one-man shows and sketch comedy revues and has made his presence felt on YouTube through the popular series “The Bon Vivant Gourmet,” “Gil Kaggis: Business Expert!” and “OSHA Safety Men,” and with the hit holiday song “Christmas Hot Pants.” Kulhan continues to teach and perform comedic improvisation in New York City at The PIT and Brooklyn’s branch of the Annoyance Theater, and where Baby Wants Candy performs.

Bob has performed improvisation and facilitated Business Improv workshops in the U.S., England, Scotland, Germany, Singapore, Australia, Turkey, Dubai, Mumbai, and Banff, Canada, where he participated as a Faculty Member and Master Artist in both the Creativity Forum on Creative Leadership and the Thought Leadership Forum on Ethical Governance and Creating a Climate of Corporate Integrity.

In addition to all things improv, Bob is passionate about cooking, scuba diving, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (blue belt), and his family.

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HR, PERSONAL GROWTH

There’s No Skating By Perspective

Point of View

Here’s the thing, my point of view is just that, mine. And yours is yours. There is power in what each of us sees, feels, understands, or gains from any circumstance or situation. It is perspective which drives cynicism or belief, joy or pain, worth or lack of value. It is perspective which drives decisions and creates opinions.

The ultimate power of perspective is that it can be changed, it can be altered. I never used to think this – why? Because I was so opinionated that every corner of my so-called open-mind was closed. I refused to see the room for growth – that I could shift, that a challenge to my viewpoint might be good for me.

Power

The individual who listens, learns, and implements what he learns is the one who has the power. Stephen Covey said, “To change ourselves effectively, we first have to change our perceptions.” The stubborn, all-knowing individual loses power by denying his ability to see things differently, or hear an alternative side to a story, or gain a new understanding. I freely admit that I can be stubborn. I also can happily attest that my self-described stubborn nature is also a wonderful survival tool.

I can also happily admit today that my desire to grow and change, to love and be loved, to help and be helped has overcome my stubborn nature on many occasions over the last several years. This has allowed me to achieve and receive all the above: knowledge, love, assistance.

Does Truth Change?

I soooo loved to roller skate when I was young. Nothing made me happier than doing twirls and skating backward on my driveway. I truly dreamed of being a professional roller skater, of having a cute skirt that flared and flowed as I twirled and turned. This was my truth, my future. It was utter happiness for an 8-year old girl. I failed to realize that the “real” sport was ice skating – there was no olympic gold medal for roller skating.

Update: A few years back, I was cast in a stage production, a musical which required me to roller skate, in front of an audience. I was so excited to strap on a pair of skates and show my stuff. I was bubbling over when I bought new skates; I could hardly wait. Good Lord. Out of practice 40+ year olds should not even try to twirl on skates. Luckily, I only crashed a couple times backstage – and never on stage or during a show. Sadly, I must admit that the nirvana of my youth was no longer found in a pair of roller skates.

It is all about perspective and the changing of it. Perspective and opinion are formed by knowledge and experience. Wisdom.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, a well-known idiom, exists for a reason: perspective.

Opportunity for change is real opportunity.

Knowledge is Power

Why limit one’s amount of knowledge by a declaration of “I know all I need to know” or believing only what you have always believed? Isn’t this why schools and institutions of higher learning exist? Isn’t this why Google exists? Why book clubs were founded and communities (online or not) created? – the expansion of the mind or one’s beliefs or practices. Seeds of learning. Flowers of potential. Growth and movement forward. Always forward, onward or upward.

This personal power we each hold is very real – opinion or perspective – and it cannot simply be turned up like a volume control button. It can only increase or change by opening a door, and another, and another. The turning of the knob is up to you and only you. What happens if you never turn that knob?

Understanding Chaos

I learned many years ago that chaos isn’t really chaos once it is understood. Perhaps learning individuals are just in a consistent state of chaos – looking for rule or order, searching for cosmos.

And until then, until that day when I actually find cosmos, I’ll thrive in the chaos by increasing my own super human power – my power of perspective.

It won’t be in roller skates.