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Marketing is Broken: Gee Ranasinha

Marketing is Broken: Gee Ranasinha

September 22, 2022

The Marketing crisis for small business and startups

Beware of the trap of choosing efficiency over effectiveness

Episode 113 (Gee is based in Strasbourg, France)

In this conversation with Gee Ranasinha, we explore:

  • Why marketing is broken and the resulting marketing crisis 
  • Appreciating the value of differentiation and danger of not
  • How to recognize "the people who call themselves marketers"
  • Why it starts and ends with how people feel
  • Why you want to consider the amygdala in your marketing plans
  • The real purpose of branding when connecting with your decisions

About Gee Ranasinha:

Founder and CEO of  KEXINO, an award-winning start-up and small business marketing agency.

Gee's background is in B2B marketing, small business marketing, branding, differentiation, and customer behavior. 

Gee's been in marketing since the days of dial-up modems. For seven years Gee was Worldwide Director of Marketing for a software company, working with clients such as IKEA, Marvel, Nestlé, Airbus, and Time Magazine. For the past 14 years he has been CEO of KEXINO, an award-winning marketing agency specializing in helping startups and small businesses around the world deploy next-generation marketing within - and across - their organizations.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute Of Marketing, Gee is also Visiting Professor at European business school IEF, teaching final-year MBA students on Marketing and Behavioral Economics.

Connect with Gee and learn more at



Excerpts from this conversation with Gee Ranasinha:


It's quite simple, really, it goes to my history, way back when, for seven years, I was worldwide director of marketing for a software company, fairly large software company in Europe serving blue chip clients such as timing can IKEA, Nestle, Airbus Marvel people like that.

And whenever I was invited, to have marketing agencies come in to pitch for our business, I was always amazed at how little notice they took towards any fiduciary responsibility for the marketing plans that they proposed.

And at the same time, this is back in 2007 or so the thing called the internet was beginning to affect our daily lives. I don't know George, maybe you've heard of it, this thing called the internet.



It was, it was the big brands who were the ones taking advantage of the potential of the internet because they had greater technical experience. And obviously, deeper pockets.

And small businesses and startups are getting left behind. And so I figured that there was an opportunity for a marketing agency resource, specifically aimed at helping small businesses and startups that could help them leverage the power of online engagement and the evolution of customer buying processes.

And so that's why in January 2008, I resigned my comfortable corporate position, with all its trappings and international travel and company cars and expense accounts, and all that sort of stuff. And we launched our marketing agency.



So firstly, I think marketing is in crisis, because it is ideologically disliked, in the higher tiers of business. Okay. And secondly, I mean, I'll expand upon this in a minute. Secondly, I think marketing is in crisis, because much of the work conducted by people who call themselves marketers, notice I didn't call the marketers I said people who call themselves marketers is only a tiny bit of what marketing is actually about.



And what the people who call themselves marketers are actually doing is communications is promotion.



Which if we go back to the four P's of marketing is you know, only 25% of what marketing is.

And so, as a result of just focusing on comms and communications and messaging, marketing has been relegated to a sales support function. Right. And within so many organizations, the marketing function is seen as, producing brochures, updating the website, getting some tote bags made, getting some stress balls printed, and at the other end, marketing is being used as an automation tool to automate lead generation and advertising.

But it's delivering substandard and increasingly ineffectual results. So what do I mean that CEOs have a dislike to marketing?



I think they have an inherent distrust in marketing because it goes against the way they think, CEOs and CFOs, accountants, numbers-people, that they look at other areas of the business. And those areas are very pragmatic and they're very, they're based on rationality. They're based on sequential thought.


Businesses are looking to create a, a data driven repeatable process, but one that's devoid of creativity, salience, or resonance, and then they wonder why their marketing doesn't work.




It needs to have in in my opinion, it needs to have somebody who understands a customer. There are far too many conversations that I have with business owners with people who call themselves marketers who haven't spoken to a customer in the past six weeks. Now to me that tantamount to a dereliction of duty,


The book he mentioned, Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.


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Find Your Authentic Voice: Susan Murphy

Find Your Authentic Voice: Susan Murphy

September 15, 2022

Connect with Listeners with Your True Voice

How can you uncover and leverage your authentic voice

Episode 112 {Susan is based in North Carolina)

In this conversation with Susan Murphy, we explore:

  • Why is your authentic voice critical to your success?
  • What mental and physical exercises can you use to uncover that voice?
  • The three simple techniques to improve your voice today
  • What can you learn from the voices of Darth Vader and Jar Jar Binks?
  • How to connect with the audience when telling the story
  • Recognizing that the presentation is part of a process
  • What grade level so you speak from?

About Susan Murphy:

Susan has been in the broadcast industry for more than 40 years and she is always open to reinvention. Voice coaching is the most rewarding job she has ever had.

Her primary clients are in the broadcast industry and she can you improve your voice to deliver a more powerful and intentional message.

Visit her website to learn more and arrange an initial consultation at

Connect with Susan on Linkedin


Excerpts from this conversation with Susan Murphy:


I work with reporters and anchors at TV stations around the country. And the primary thing I work with is finding helping them to find their authentic voices.

They all have them. It's just that women in particular, don't tend to use them. Which I think goes back to their childhood where that breathy girlish Barbie doll voice probably served a need back then got them the attention they wanted or needed, allowed them to navigate, perhaps a sort of dysfunctional home life or whatever.

But it doesn't serve them well getting into adulthood. So what I do is, I don't teach anything that they don't already have, you know, in their bodies, I just help them discover it, I just uncover their authentic voices.

So once you do that, already, you have started with a rising a blossoming confidence.

And that's what a lot of reporters lack too. But that's mostly because of their age.

So the authenticity piece starts and then I move into some writing with them, because they all go out on different stories every day, or they're looking at anchor copy different every day. Are you making an intentional connection to this story?

And they look, and you wouldn't do a story with a grieving mother the same way you would do a St. Patrick's Day parade, which you Okay, everybody gets that.

But there's more to it than that. So making that intentional connection, not only with the story, but how about with the people you work for?

Oh, and that's not your bosses, the people you work for is the audience. If you can't make an intentional connection to what you're talking about, or to what you're delivering, I try never to say reading because there's a difference.


Write your script, like a fifth grader, how old are you in fifth grade, you're 10. Deliver it, like a college professor.



Short sentences are a reporter's best friend. You can do so much more with the tone of your voice in a short sentence, then you can do in a long one, because in a long one, you're just trying to get from A to Z.



If you keep the sentences short, if you make sure you take those pauses between the sentences, tone happens, you almost don't have to manufacture it, because those words will automatically trigger tone.

And when you're not worried about tripping over the next word, or the next thought. It's amazing how authentic that delivery can be.



If you were going to rephrase all of that, say for a group of seventh graders, is there a way you could explain it to maybe seventh graders that might be better for my audience?

Oh, okay. And then hopefully, they'll be able to explain it in a way that helps the seventh graders but then it allows you to write it better.


Scientists who explained complex ideas in simple sentences include:

Albert Einstein

Carl Sagan

Neil deGrasse Tyson


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Book Marketing for Authors: Judy Baker

Book Marketing for Authors: Judy Baker

September 8, 2022

How to use a book to promote your business

Write and publish your book, then promote it to boost your success

Episode 111 {Judy is based in California)

In this conversation with Judy Baker we explore:

  • How to leverage your book as a business marketing tool
  • Five mistakes to avoid when marketing your book
  • Why give your book to clients and prospects as a gift
  • What you and me have in common with the armadillo
  • How to positive your service business with a competitive advantage
  • What you can learn from the reshaping of the wine business in North America
  • What you can learn about marketing even if you don't have a book

About Judy Baker:

Book Marketing Mentor, Judy M. Baker, helps business authors get more bang for their book, turning content into cash long after a book launch.

After conquering cancer in 2014, she became an author advocate and self-publishing evangelist. Her memoir will publish in 2022.

Her workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions have inspired hundreds of author to build awareness about themselves, their books and their businesses.




Are you a nonfiction author that wants to revisit your book marketing strategy? then visit Book Buzz Audit to arrange your 30 minute mentoring session with Judy Baker. No charge, no obligation.



Excerpts from this conversation with Judy Baker:



Oh, Well, you brought up a good point because that would make a great subtitle.

But if your intention is, how do you know it's about your brand, or how you show up or how you make an impression on people, you want to look at a title that is, well, and these days, this is even more important.

Most of the time, people are not walking into a physical bookstore, they're looking for you online. And so a short title, one or two words is far better.

And then you can have a humongous subtitle, you could have, I think it's up to, like 30 words in the subtitle.

So amplify what that book is about, but grab people's attention with something that is very important to them, and tells them what they're going to get out of it.

You're You're completely right on that someone I just interviewed recently has a book out called raise your fees, without losing clients? Well, yeah, you know, immediately what that's about.

Now, that's a little bit longer title than, then I would typically say, but because she knows her audience really well, she came up with the title after she was working on the book.

And that's the other thing, you probably are going to have a working title, great.

But what you wind up at the end, might be something different. And you can find out if it resonates with people, because you ask them.

And that's, that's a that's another thing authors often do that can hold them back. You write on your own, but at some point, you need to collaborate with editors, with your book designer, you need to interact with the people you intend the book for, and get their feedback.

And if you've ever looked at any of the successful book, funding campaigns, crowdfunding, Indiegogo, or Kickstarter, you're going to see that people are saying, Oh, here's my ideas. What do you think? And do you have any suggestions?

And if you know, here's, here are my possible covers. So when you get engagement going on as early as possible, that's fabulous. But sometimes you don't know until after.

And if you're self published, it's a lot easier to change your book cover and your book title. But even if you are working with a team, listen to what other people say, we can't we don't see ourselves the way others do.

We don't see that our books the way other people do. So we need to ask questions.



Judy, you told us some of the mistakes they made. What are some of the best practices that you've seen people do?



Well, one of the one of the best strategies  I've seen is creating companion pieces to your book.

Some authors are now are now creating a limited series podcast where they're sharing information about the book.

And that makes it a little more manageable.

But if you say, Okay, I'm going to do a series based on my book, and maybe I'm gonna go chapter by chapter and are just part of it, then you're revealing information, but you're inviting people in.

So that's really great. The other strategy that seems to be very effective is not only audio, but video.

So if you are a nonfiction author, and you serve your clients, there's probably something you're doing that's included in your book that you could do short short videos about, and put that out there.

And this is another tip. If you're doing video, yes, put it up on YouTube, because YouTube is one of the largest search engines.

But you want to make sure that video in its native form, if you're going to use it on social uploaded in its original form, on to say LinkedIn, or Facebook or Twitter or Instagram.

Because there's a bias on all of those rented platforms, for native information, they don't want you going out the door, they want to keep you on the platform, but you still have your video in all of those places. And you can include it wherever you want to share it.


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Communicate in the Positive Instead of the Negative: Pamela Jett

Communicate in the Positive Instead of the Negative: Pamela Jett

September 1, 2022

How to be communicate to your team in a positive way

How to tame the negative thoughts in your head that can sabotage your success

Pamela Jett is a leadership and communication skills expert who has been working with leaders for almost three decades to them communicate, lead and succeed.

Episode 110 (Pamela is based in Arizona)

In this conversation with Pamela Jett we explore:

  • The critical difference between being relentlessly positive instead of pursing happiness (happiness is an unrealistic goal)
  • Words to chose and words to lose (stop sabotaging your intended message)
  • How to stop the negative ranting in your head
  • The three principles of positive communication
  • Situational life-saving phrases to escape emotional traps
  • How to communicate as an effective leader in any situation

About Pamela Jett:

As an internationally recognized communication and leadership expert, speaker, author, and executive advisor, Pamela Jett works with professionals to better understand that choosing to be “Relentlessly Positive” even in difficult situations isn’t naïve… it’s leadership.

After graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in Speech Communication and receiving recognition as one of the top 20 speech and debate competitors in the country, Pamela went on to earn her master’s degree in Communication. It was while pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Utah that her love of teaching adults powerful success skills was kindled.

Learn more about Pamela Jett and her programs at her website




Learn more about the turnkey leadership academy here.

No charge to check out this coaching assessment quiz.


Excerpts from this conversation with Pamela Jett:

So I believe in instead of chasing happiness, I believe and fostering relentless positivity or choosing to be relentlessly positive. Because when I am relentlessly positive, my likelihood of having happiness increases. So in many ways, relentlessly positive attitude is one of the key drivers of happiness. And relentless positivity is all about our mindset.



Okay, so we just had a fire in the plant. How can I be positive about that?

Well, here's the key. 

Relentlessly positive communicators focus not on the past, they focus on the future.

So they would acknowledge the devastation or the challenge. So a great leader would say something like, we have just had a very devastating fire. And I am confident that we as a team can put together a fast recovery plan so that we can get back on track in a timely fashion.

So there are a couple of keys to that.

The first is acknowledging that something bad happened because if you're a leader after a devastating fire in a plant, and you go in and you say hey, it's gonna be a great day, and you use that rah rah, cheerleader, kind of happy clappy positivity, that doesn't work.

But if I say, yes, we've had something bad happen, we've had this bad fire. And so the word and is a word to choose the word but is a word to lose.

Because if I said, Oh, we've had this devastating fire, but it really kind of negates that empathy piece that I just gave as a leader.

And if I don't acknowledge that this was tough, everybody's gonna think that I am as a leader, completely delusional that I don't have any empathy that I have no feeling for what they're going through.

But if I say, hey, this was a really, really devastating fire, and I'm confident that we as a team can put together a great recovery plan, I use the and it doesn't negate my empathy.

And then I'm using another principle of relentlessly positive communication, which is the future focus.

And I'm confident we can put together a great recovery plan. So it gets us working on solutions, not sitting there moaning and groaning over the problem.

Now, that's a very simplistic example. That is how relentlessly positive communication differs from that rah rah cheerleader, have a good attitude, always be positive.

Look, on the bright side, it's very strategic. I'm doing it intentionally to build trust with my team. And I'm doing it to also help move forward into problem solving.


But if I just accept, or even simply say, Wow, that was interesting, which is a neutral statement. Wow. That was interesting.



Feelings drive decisions, not logic, not reason.

And I know, when people are listening to this, they might be thinking, wow, that's not true. I decided to buy my car because I researched and I did and yes, you do that, and you have your data and your logic and rationale to back it up.

And some people have the space between the feeling and their decision is just so minuet that they can't be they don't recognise that they're gathering those facts.

For some of us, Hey, I know I've got a feeling. And I am aware now that I'm gathering facts, and I've made my decision, neither way is right or wrong.

It's just some people make their decisions so differently, and they gather their facts so quickly, they can't really recognise that they went through a feeling phase because they aren't really thinking about their feelings, because feelings aren't thinking they're feeling.

So every decision we make is starts out as a feeling person that's been proven, by the way our brains architecture works, it's just how our brains are.

And how this impacts us as humans is obviously on an individual level, I need to be aware of my feelings, because that impacts the decisions I make.

I also know that as a leader, if I want to have a team that's engaged, if I want to have a team that thinks that their work is meaningful and important, and decide to come in with a problem solving attitude, that they come in, ready to work, and to be focused and to be collaborative, and all those decisions we want our team members to make.


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Building High-Performance Teams: Noel Dibona

Building High-Performance Teams: Noel Dibona

August 25, 2022

Self Awareness and Openness Builds Winning Teams

What can we learn from the Special Forces to build workplace teams?

Noel DiBona has served on high performance teams in private business and in military Special Operations. 

Episode 109 (Noel is based in North Carolina)

In this conversation with Noel DiBona we explore:

  • How self awareness is the foundation for strong teams
  • The importance of sharing strengths and blind spots
  • Recognizing the effects of stress on you and your teammates
  • Behavioral analysis and how to use it
  • How not to forgo your perspective and authentic self
  • When independence and collaboration clash

About Noel DiBona:

Noel began his career as an operations supervisor in a Clorox manufacturing facility and he was frustrated at the lack of productivity.

He set out on a mission looking for ways to build better teams. Over 35 years he served on high-performing teams in military special operations and business.

While serving in executive management at Fluor Corporate, CH2M and Tetra Tech he perfected a system to develop high-performing teams.

As a consultant he has helped clients save millions of dollars through better resource use. His clients included Electrolux, DuPont, GSK and many others.

Learn more about Noel DiBona and his services for building high-performing teams at the website

You can arrange for a Team Improvement Plan (no charge) at the website.


Excerpts from this conversation with Noel DiBona:


Delighted to be talking with you all. And I'm curious of all the teams you worked on, I would imagine working in Special Forces, one really learns how to appreciate all the nuances of a team working together for one purpose.



Absolutely George, in a team such as that high performance team, we all knew what our jobs were, we could fill in with for each other, we were cross trained, and were brutally honest with each other.

But we would put our lives on the line for one another. So it was what you would consider to be the utmost highest respect, trust and open communication that you could possibly expect of any high performance team.

It was truly a pleasure and an honor for me to be part of that through my career.



And Noel, did you find that you could take lessons learned in that team environment and apply it into business?



Absolutely, George, one of the things that we were able to do, when I came out of the military was really understand how people are orienting themselves towards getting their work done and how everybody works just a little bit differently.

And when I came out of the military, I was very prone to looking forward to talking to people to understand what they were doing.

And to just put myself in the learn mode. I was very inquisitive, asked lots of questions. I wanted to know how everything worked.

And I got that from being in the military, because we're in contact with so many people, so many different folks from different walks of life, that I'm extremely comfortable dealing with many, many different types of individuals.

And so right from the very beginning, when I got out of the military, I was focused on really building relationships with the people I worked with.



In taking a deep dive into understanding ourself, and perhaps putting into words, features, characteristics that we never put into words, that's probably good for ourself.

Is that also meant to be shared with the team saying, Hey, guys, here's how I think here's how I think through things. So please don't take it wrong when I do this?



Absolutely. The second part of this is for each individual on the team, to have an honest conversation with one another about their strengths, and their potential blind spots, the things that might make them a little bit not so easy to get along with when there's pressure and stress.

We can talk with each other very openly, honestly, and in a cordial way, when there's no heat on us. But as the team comes under stress, the stress of everyday business, depending on what's happening in that company, people begin to work in a way where they might over utilize their strengths.

And when they over utilize their strengths, there's a flipside to the good things that we do.  For example, we might be really proactive, and we might be independent minded, which is a really good thing when you're trying to bring change about in the organization.

However, if the other people are more collaborative, and I'm under a lot of stress, then it's going to come across in a way that might not really be that good to build teamwork from it might tear down teamwork a little bit.

So we want every individual to have an open and honest conversation with one another, in order to gain a better sense of appreciation of who we are.

And we can do this with people that have worked with each other for years and years. And sometimes they know, obviously, a little bit more than if they had just started working with each other.

But it's really, really interesting to note that in most cases, they learn things about people that they never knew.


That's what we want is a situational awareness, in terms of what we're doing, and how we might need to do something different in order to bring the results that we're after.

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Leadership Story Telling: Alan McLaren

Leadership Story Telling: Alan McLaren

August 18, 2022

Why Leaders Need to Tell their Stories

How story telling teaches, builds the brand and humanizes you

Alan McLaren was the global chairman of YPO (Young Presidents' Organization)

Episode 108 (Alan is based in Oakville, Ontario)

In this conversation with Alan McLaren we explore:

  • Why leaders might be obligated to tell their stories
  • How story telling helps the business
  • The effective use of story telling as a teaching tool
  • The relationship between passion and authenticity
  • The writing on your tombstone
  • Overcoming the challenge of impostor syndrome
  • Story telling though videos

About Alan McLaren:

Alan has served as CEO of InfinityComm, a creative marketing agency, for 17 years.

As Global Chair of YPO, he lead a board of 15 global CEOs serving 32,000 members in 150 countries with aggregate company revenues of more than $9 trillion.

STRATA Originals is the program for leaders who want to raise their voice and start a conversation that will engage audiences and build trust.

Learn more at the website,



Excerpts from this conversation with Alan McLaren


CEOs need to get their voice out there in a big way. Because?



Well think about this for a moment. I think there's one part is a bit of a mandate. Our view is, if you've reached a certain level of success in life, isn't it important to give back the things you've learned?

And only you have learned them. By the way. We could argue that there have been 10,000, maybe more books on the topic of leadership.

There's only one human that's experienced your leadership journey. And that's you. So wouldn't that be awesome to be able to to express your learnings to others?

So that's kind of number one, we think it's imperative on leaders to be able to spread that message. But there are other reasons there's building your personal brand, it can actually help grow your business.

I've got a dozen reasons why. But it leads to credibility. You can develop strategic relationships. George, how did we connect again, you saw me on LinkedIn, because I'm out there with my voice and giving me an opportunity to now to share that with your audience.

That's how the game is played. When you're out there, stuff will hit you. So what a great opportunity to get out there teach and then also get opportunities to grow your business and grow your brand.



Teach? CEOs don't often think of themself as teachers. Should they?



Well, let's think about it in the context of leadership and coaching. We all know that great leaders are also great coaches.

It doesn't mean that everybody with a title is a great leader. Right? We all heard that before.

But a good coach is someone who asks great questions. And by the nature of asking great questions, you need to be very knowledgeable about the topic. So you can have really insightful questions asked, right.

We've all worked for people who were incredible leaders, because what they asked us questions that got us thinking about things. So what we want to do is encourage, and it's part of the learning as well as if you're not a good teacher.

Let us teach you to be a storyteller. So if we teach you to be a storyteller, I mean, George, in your world, as you know, you teach people to be storytellers to be able to get their message out there. It's not just here's the three things on the PowerPoint and go from because it bores the crap out of people.

You want people, engulfed in your story and engulfed in your message. So we want to teach people to do that. And through stories, they will express their experiences and ergo teach people.

So it's not in a traditional way of going to school and learning these three things. No, it's let me share my experience with you. And hopefully, you'll garner something from that. So that's why we we help them do that.



Alan, you mentioned that when you started creating videos, what took off wasn't your expertise, but it was what you were passionate about.

And my guess is that that passion was easy to identify, when watching the videos, like clearly this guy is passionate about this as opposed to lecturing.

And is that a criteria that a CEO needs to examine before they start spreading their thought leadership?



George, thank you for that. It's the number one thing when you discover passion.

There's nothing that can be faked about that. And so when we look at that, and sometimes by the way, that passion doesn't necessarily relate to the business.

We have a client, who is a competition lawyer, but his passion and his stories come around the power of ideas, to spread my message, which is about hope for the world.

And so it's nothing to do with it. His experience, obviously is helpful. But his passion is about helping people.

So that's what we do with him as we discover that and there are many permutations, by the way of all the customers we have, there's not one that's exactly the same.

Their passions relate sometimes directly to their business, but often they don't. So they're either adjacent or supplementary. And, and we can work with either side of that, but it comes down passion first.

Because then authenticity comes up the passion record, you can't fake it. If I decided to, you know, learn about, I don't know, repairing printers, it wouldn't be passionate about me, I could teach you how to do it. But would you feel it, people feel it, people can feel it through these digital screens, if I'm excited about something, and they can see when it's full of crap.

So that's why passion is number one. And everything else flows from that.


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Writing Stimulates Critical Thinking: Jim Rowe

Writing Stimulates Critical Thinking: Jim Rowe

August 11, 2022

Critical Thinking and Communication Skills are Linked

How effective communication skills can save time and money

Jim Rowe has 45 years in marketing both on the client side and the agency side.

Episode 107 ( Jim is based on Long Island, New York)

In this conversation with Jim Rowe we explore:

  • The skills gap and why we should change STEM learning to STEAM
  • The skills gap in problem solving and writing skills
  • Why writing is essential to critical thinking
  • Why writing skills have suffered and what can we do
  • Why people don't know what they don't know
  • How communication challenges wastes executives' time
  • The importance of getting messages down to one page

About Jim Rowe:

Jim served as Brand Manager with Coke, VP Marketing with Cutty Sark and President of two small Satchi divisions. Currently leading Jim Rowe Marketing. Jim published a 2-book series, Get Your Ducks in a Rowe. It's a fable that helps executives address the skills gap of their new employees.


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Excerpts from this conversation with Jim Rowe

To write is to think



Analyze - Deduce - Author - Preform - Tackle - Evaluate - Refine



What has happened is that the we are not really teaching our young executives and young people in school, we're not teaching them to be disciplined thinkers in order to communicate better.

And I think what happens is, you know, if you say to somebody, do you know how to write and you know how to think, and you know, how to communicate, everybody's gonna say, yes, because we do it all day long on social media.

However, there is so little training as it relates to writing and that to me, my fundamental premise, here is five words - to write is to think.

And I think we do so little writing that doesn't fit we don't, and students in general, and a lot of executives, if we don't spend our time writing, we're not training ourselves to think clearly. And I think that's really a big part of the problem.



And Jim, I think I heard a message in there is that investing in improving the communication skills, saves money.



Well, yeah, it saves money. And because what is the big phrase that we've heard all of our lives "Time is money".

And think about the senior executive, his most precious personal resource is time. And wouldn't you know, when I walk into a meeting, and everybody's not sure nobody had an agenda,

I have a very good friend who was just hired away from a big company to go be the account person at another huge company. We know all the names. And in the interview, because he read the book, and he loved it, and he and he said to me, You know what, one of the questions they said and the point they made, it would be great if you could just get here and get everybody to have an agenda for the meeting.

Isn't that incredible? Isn't that incredible than an enormous organization is concerned that nobody is pulling the team together.

I have another friend who's in a small company read the book Love that. He said, I'm thinking of using this for everybody because our zoom meetings because they're all over the country, they're chaotic and people are talking.

Just go through the simple 10 step process. You know when you're setting up for a golf swing, there's about six steps you got to do and trying to keep them on your mind is one thing.

The same goes true for communication and thinking, follow the format and everything is going to be a little bit easier for you.


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Embrace Your Servant’s Heart: Jim Hardwick

Embrace Your Servant’s Heart: Jim Hardwick

August 4, 2022

Giving will reward you more than taking

Yes, you can build your business and life with the intention to serve

Jim Hardwick is a Fractional VP Sales who has started leading a C suite executive retreat to Kenya. 

Episode 106 (Jim is based in Phoenix, Arizona)

In this conversation with Jim Hardwick we explore:

  • What does it mean to embrace your servant's heart?
  • How can you get more success by giving instead of taking?
  • What if people take advantage of your generosity?
  • Why did you start leading dental expeditions to Kenya?
  • What benefit does a fractional VP Sales bring to a corporation?

About Jim Hardwick:

Jim is president of Aspire Sales. He has over 25 years experience as a VP Sales and offers his service as a fractional VP sales for corporations.

He and his wife, Jody lead a dental team to Kenya each year.

In 2023 Jim will lead a safari experience to Kenya for C suite executives with an emphasis on how to embrace your servant's heart.



Jim welcomes your questions about sales. Enjoy a no-charge conversation with him. 

Call him - 623-451-1080

Email -

Jim Hardwick on Linkedin


Excerpts from this conversation with Jim Hardwick

Don't serve to say, "I served". It's not a checkbox


But if you don't have that passion, then serving becomes a chore. And when it's a chore, then it's not your heart that's serving.  .You're serving because you feel  obligated to serve. Once you find that passion like we found in Kenya, the place we never wanted to go, It's amazing what transpires.


I give away free advice. If you have sales pain, if you need a question about sales, call me. I'm here, call me.

When I do that. George, I get calls. I talked to a CEO of a health care company, I was in healthcare for 36 years. And he knows software, unbelievable. He's got a great program, but he's still trying to learn about health care, I spent an hour with the gentleman. I didn't bill them for my time, because if I can help him elevate his business, guess what, we all win, because that's going to come back to me someday.

And that's, that's the way I live my life. I don't worry about where my next clients gonna come from.



I would say be real, be vulnerable with your employees build trust, when you can gain that trust, and the employees know that you're there to help them be successful.

And they sincerely feel that your business is going to take off. It's just taking that extra two minutes, sometimes just to praise somebody when they've done a good job with recognition.

And you've acknowledged them. I've seen it a lot where in this is not necessarily the case in small business owners, but for large corporations, when the CEO walks in walks in, you can tell a joke and it might not be funny, but everybody laughs right, because that's the right thing to do.

The important thing for those folks, is it down on the level of your employees understand what their issues are. Don't surround yourself with all the Yes Men.

We'll be out in the field, talk to your customers, your customers that are buying from you. If they're not buying from you better darn well figure out why because ultimately, it's your responsibility.

So it's not hard. The people make it hard. It's that trust. It's that vulnerability, and then lead with passion and lead with that servant's heart.


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Communicate in the Hybrid the Workplace: Brenden Kumarasamy

Communicate in the Hybrid the Workplace: Brenden Kumarasamy

July 28, 2022

How to communicate in the changing workplace

Build smarter relationships with the people around you

Brenden Kumarasamy publishes instructional videos on his YouTube channel, MasterTalk with over 25,000 subscribers.

Episode 105 (Brenden is based in Montreal, Canada)

In this conversation with Brenden we explore:

  • The challenges of communicating well in a hybrid workplace
  • How to build stronger relationships by managing your energy
  • How questions can improve your communication and hence relationships
  • Why a phone call or video message can make a big difference
  • How to rate your relationships on value
  • Why treating people fairly doesn't mean treating them all the same
  • Three exercises to boost your communication skills
  • Why you need to care better for your best relationships

About Brenden Kumarasamy:

Brenden is the founder of MasterTalk, he coaches ambitious executives & entrepreneurs to become top 1% communicators in their industry.

He also has a popular YouTube channel called MasterTalk, with the goal of providing free access to communication tools for everyone in the world.

For free resources on how to improve your communication skills, visit



Excerpts from this conversation with Brenden Kumarasamy

If you communicate 20% better, not 200% better, not 200,000% better. If you communicate 20% better than your competition, you will stand out 100% of the time.



So the way that I think about this, George is communication is so much more than giving a presentation at work or doing a job interview.

It's every interaction we'll have with every human being will meet for the rest of our lives. It's the way we talk to our families. It's the way we order food at a restaurant, and we talk to the waiter. It's the way that we travel.

When we meet strangers, we don't know we have to speak their language and figure out how to talk to them. So we can have a good time communication.

Once we realize George is not just about increasing the bottom line, but leading a fulfilling life. That's when we start to take it more seriously.

And the question to think about as we get this conversation started, George is how would your life change?

If you are an exceptional communicator, a lot of us dream about our vacations, we dream about the expensive things we want to buy.

But we don't dream hard enough about a world in which we're a great communicator in it.



And And now, what does that mean to people when they go back into the workplace? If they had a set of rules for Okay, when I'm in a online meeting versus an in person meeting? What should I do differently?



100%. So there's three key differences.

The first one is eye contact. So in their virtual George, your eyes generally just stay in one direction, which is the camera lens, whether you're speaking to one person or 10,000.

But in person, meaning let's assume 16 People for the purposes of this podcast, you have to move your eyes across, because there's just looking at one direction, most of you gonna be like, oh, did this person care about me does this person and human beings start to invent stories in their mind around while you're not looking at them.

Human beings are fascinating creatures. So that's the first thing is I would start there.

The second difference between online and in person is there's the less friction to get feedback. So in an virtual meeting, if you want to get feedback on how it went, things we could do differently. You have to really sit them down one on one, get a zoom call, it's a lot more formal.

In person, you'll say Okay, guys, how did that go? What can we do next time it's a lot more. It's not the right term is but it's a lot more vivacious. It's more live, it's more like it's within the energy, it's in the flow of the group.

Whereas in virtual, it's not as it's not as cool. It's not as interesting. That's probably the second key difference.

And then the third difference is the follow up. So the follow up means if you're in a meeting with somebody in person, I mean, you guys can hang out after the meeting. Right? You can get some dinner after it's a lot easier.

It's much harder, virtually. So my best bet now I gave different advice at the height of the pandemic but I'll So my advice now is if you're having too many virtual meetings with your team, try to find a way to meet them in person, if you can, if you can, if not do the virtual social hour if you want.

But ideally, you want to try and get those things back in person. And one special tip I'll give, that a lot of leaders I coach don't really do enough, is if you all have a fully remote team, write down everyone's location, so that when people join the company, introducing the people in their own city so that at least they can meet in many groups, I'm so surprised at the fact that nobody really takes that extra step.

And it really makes a difference.


So at Rockstar, you'll find access to a ton of free trainings that we do on communication, we have a zoom call that I do every few week.

I facilitate it. So for those of you who are interested, feel free to register for it. And it's completely free. And it's fun, and it's interactive. And I hope to see you there.


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Talk to the Media: Ed Barks

Talk to the Media: Ed Barks

July 20, 2022

Why and how to talk to the media?

Talk to the media to convey your corporate messages with personal flavor

Ed Barks has 25 years experience as a specialist in media communications.

Episode 104 (Ed is based in Washington DC)

In this conversation with Ed Barks we explore:

  • Why business leaders should develop positive relations with the media
  • How to approach the media to help spread your message
  • How to prepare for media interviews
  • How to answer questions that you don't want to address
  • Why you should never say "No comment"
  • When the office sceptic becomes an asset
  • How to develop your soundbites

About Ed Barks:

Ed is president of Barks Communications with 25 years experience working with communication and government relations executives to help their companies reach long-term business and public policy goals. 

He is the author of four books. The most recent is "Insider Strategies for the Confident Communicator: How to Master Meetings, Presentations, Interviews and Advocacy.



PS: You can download a free copy of this book from his website.


Excerpts from this conversation with Ed Barks

Internalize your message so you can verbalize your message.



I'm going to kind of flip that a little bit George, if you don't mind and talk about the positives of it.

And when you look at how you're interacting with the media, you need a number of things. And let me focus on two right at the top.

First is your message, you need a magnetic message or George as you refer to it your intended message. So it's a matter of knowing what you're going to say it's developing that message ahead of time, and it's being able to stick to it during the course of your interview.

No matter what questions come up, and what questions the reporter may toss out, you need to keep coming back to that message. Now the second key that I'll mention is the notion of sustained professional development.

You can't just do one interview and think you've got it nailed. Or certainly you can't go into your first ever interview without any preparation in any planning. So what that indicates is that you need to over the long haul, sharpen your communications edge.

And that involves starting off perhaps with low risk situations, maybe you're talking to a local shop or a kind of newspaper or a trade journal that doesn't get a whole lot of circulation. And then you build upon that until maybe one day you're ready for CNN or the New York Times. So those are a couple of things that are key right off the top.



And when when one is being interviewed by a reporter, is it is the rule that you must answer every question.



Well, you have to answer every question. Sure. But on your terms, and what I mean by that we talked we spoke a few moments ago about some techniques for dealing with Q&A.

And so you need to look at how you can manage those questions and build a bridge from that question to your intended answer your intended message.

So look at how you can take the question and build upon it and you don't want to be accused of spin.

You know, we've all heard these, Sunday morning talk shows where the host says to the senator, well, gee, isn't this a beautiful day outdoors, and the senator says, Well, yes, my favorite color is red.

You can't be talking on on two distinct planes like this, you have to find a way to meet in the middle. So that's where those techniques for Q&A come into play. And I go into those in depth in both Reporters Don't Hate You and in the most recent book, Insider Strategies for the Confident Communicator.


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