Balanced Leadership

As a speaker and experienced business professional, my goal will be to challenge you to think of your business and your relationships with your key constituents in new ways. As lifelong learners, we are compelled to see important things in a new light and our quest should be to go to where the puck is going not to where it has been. This has also been a prevailing theme in my career. From part-time trailer loader at UPS to President of The UPS Store and later UPS Supply Chain Solutions, this approach has helped me shape simple yet thought-provoking lessons into tangible results. I challenge myself and others to not stop at the first right answer and to consider these same things as they are managing their operations. It also is what led me to write my book “Tighten the Lug Nuts.”

As you are reading the signs of your industry and looking for ways to stay ahead of the pack in a dynamic market, I encourage you to holistically look at your business through the lens of what I call, Balanced Leadership. These are principles to manage by that, I believe, help optimize business performance while satisfying the needs of your customers, your people and your stakeholders. After 40 years, I continue to use this philosophy. For me, it has become invaluable, because I see so many leaders who focus only on one area of their business – usually the bottom line. By using such a myopic approach, these leaders are neglecting two very important business components that drive true success: the people and the processes.

 Balanced Leadership

It doesn’t matter who you are or what your job and level, as a leader you are responsible for balancing the needs of your three constituent groups: your people, your customers and your stakeholders.

• Balanced Leaders think like a customer and ensure their people think like a customer.

• Balanced Leaders act like an owner and understand the business and what makes it profitable.

• Balanced Leaders ensure their employees and stakeholders feel valued.

But where do you start? Which is the most important? How do you keep them equally in balance?

Let me address your most important constituent – your customer. For without them, your business wouldn’t exist.

Think Like Who?

Think like a customer. It a simple statement – pretty straight forward. But how do you breathe life into this concept for your customers to experience it and your people to understand it? The answer is fairly simple: It’s essential to create a brand identity from a customer perspective and then get your team to execute the organization’s customer strategy.

Here’s an example from my days at UPS Supply Chain Solutions. We were focusing on customers in the healthcare industry, and as a solution was being developed in concert with a large customer, the question was asked: who is the customer? Some in the group responded, “the patient.” Others said, "the healthcare provider” or, “the vendor network.” Still others felt that the customer was, “the hospitals, clinics and pharmaceutical companies.” 

At times, all may be right, but in this particular solution and for this strategy, the question had to be answered before they could move forward. Who is the customer? Once you establish this critical point, then you can establish some very important next steps in the process:

• What are you solving for?

• What won’t you compromise?

• What are your boundaries?

• What keeps the customer awake at night?

• What are the key metrics that you will hold yourself accountable to?

• What does good look like?

There are many other examples, but this is a fundamental question that must be answered to ensure everyone is in sync.

For us in UPS Supply Chain Solutions, and in particular our health care vertical, it became our mantra and part of our branding: “It’s a Patient, Not a Package.” Now, the branding is: “United Problem Solvers.” That’s thinking like a customer!

Constantly Question Your Status Quo

For you to think like a customer, you have to think and be a solutions provider. Ask yourself, how do I help my customer by providing them the best possible solution? It starts with asking your customer, “What keeps you awake at night?”, that begins the solution process. You’ll need to think about new opportunities to participate in the aftermarket industry or create new solutions … new ways of doing business that don’t currently exist.

Think like a customer by approaching each challenge as a true solutions provider. By watching you and seeing your example – your people need to embrace this concept so they will think like a customer in all they do. Doing so will help your team view the business from the eyes of the customer. This mindset and vision will better guide their decisions and actions.

Someone is going to be the best, so why not you and your team? Make sure you are tightening lug nuts in your control as you lead by example.

Rocky Romanella speaks, consults, trains and advises on leadership development, customer service and business optimization. The author of TIGHTEN THE LUG NUTS: The Principles of Balanced Leadership can be reached @ 949-551-2669.

Rocky Romanella




Generation Z: Two billion people coming of age... Jason Jennings


Soon I’ll be delivering the commencement address at the large university I attended in the heartland of the US. Just as I was about to go to work on my speech serendipity came calling during a recent cross country flight when an inflight magazine in front of me plopped open to an article titled, The Next Generation Gap.

The article reminded me that that the young people graduating this year are the first members of Generation Z (aka the iGen and born between 1997 and 2012) to enter the workplace. I became even more intrigued when a Google search revealed the sheer magnitude of Gen Z; there are more than 2bn of them worldwide.

Because the worldwide workplace has struggled for years to attract, engage, accommodate and retain millennials and never quite figured it out, I started wondering about what traits and characteristics social scientists attribute to Gen Z and exactly how the business world should prepare for the avalanche of this generation into the marketplace.

Here are eight traits the various generational social scientists with whom I’ve recently spoken say the marketplace will confront and deal with in recruiting and retaining Gen Z’s.


Gen Z’s are not idealistic and jaded like their predecessors the millennials. They know that retirement plans don’t always grow, companies routinely off load peopleand trophies and ribbons aren’t awarded for merely showing up. They have a very realistic view of what awaits them.


Their preferred method of communicating is via Snapchat and Whisper. Don’t look for them on mom and dads or grandma and grandpa’s Facebook. They want their messaging to be untraceable and disappear in a poof. And, here’s a big one; the majority want to have a private office instead of a communal workplace.

Cause and value driven

They are cause driven and want to work for companies that align with their values. Almost 30 per cent of them already regularly volunteer and 60 per cent want jobs where they can make the world a better place. If your company is unable to succinctly and convincingly explain your purpose, your values and how what you’re doing will positively impact the world they won’t want to work for you.


They are far more entrepreneurial that millennials and, according to 360i research, a staggering 72 per cent of them want to start their own company. They plan to get started by having a say in writing their job description and coming up with their title.

Hyper Aware

If Gen Z’s don’t look you in the eye when they’re talking to you it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t listening, it simply means that they are multitasking and paying as much attention to the multiple screens in front of them as they are to you.

Boundless curiosity

It’s estimated that 25 per cent of Gen Z’s post an original video weekly. These are people who can reimagine your products and services and then shoot and post the video (what television commercials are going to become) and identify markets you’d not previously considered. 


This is the first generation that rebelled against rote memorisation as the way they were willing to be educated and instead they prefer to discover on their own terms at their pace.

Technology as a right

One of the most surprising things about Gen Z’s is that they place the same importance on technology as they do oxygen and water and consider it an inalienable right for everyone.

What do these eight characteristics of Gen Z’s mean and how will it all play out?

I got a glimpse of the future last week while talking to a doctor friend of mine. His son is a sophomore attending a prestigious US university and had been having difficulties landing a summer internship so his father pulled a lot of strings, called in a lot of favours, identified a possible opportunity and even set up the interview with the head of HR.

I told him how nice it was that he’d gone out of his way to help his son that way. He said, “No, wait, you have to hear the rest of the story,” and went on to explain that a few minutes before the interview was scheduled to start his son had called the head of HR and asked for her Skype address so they could have their chat. Later, the patient father – more patient than I probably would have been – explained to his son that he wasn’t supposed to have a chat; it was actually a job interview and he was supposed to show up in person for something so important.

The son’s response was an emphatic, “You don’t get it. I was there Dad,” adding an exasperated, “I was there phigitally,” further explaining to his father that showing up physically or digitally on someone’s screen are both the same thing.

Business leaders would be wise to remember the way they blew the opportunity to embrace the traits and characteristics of the millennials and how they squandered a decade bemoaning how different they were and wasting precious time and resources trying to force them to conform to their view of what they should be and how they should act.

This time around business should rejoice in what the Gen Z’s will bring to the table; realism, being true to what they believe in, a shoot for the stars entrepreneurial spirit, boundless curiosity and being the most tech savvy group of people on the planet.

Now, I’m really looking forward to spending a graduation and commencement with thousands of Gen Z’s. Aside from the little bit of life advice I’ll offer in my speech I can’t wait to spend the weekend hanging out and learning from this remarkable group of people. I’ve had a peek at the future and I am excited. 

Jason Jennings

Jason Jennings is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA TODAY bestselling author of eight books on leadership. His two most recent titles are, The High Speed Company, and, The Reinventors – How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change and USA TODAY has called him one of the three most in demand business speakers in the world.  



What we can learn about Presentation Skills from Donald Trump!


Needless to say, it has been one of the most polarizing and nastiest Presidential elections of our time and one of the biggest upsets too. Regardless of whether you are Democrat, Republican, Independent, Libertarian, or Green OR whether you voted for Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, or wrote in Bernie’s name or someone else’s…this election was a stunner!

Let me say that as a Presentation Skills Coach, I never publicly pick sides, and I will never do so, but I use public figures to help make some points about Public Speaking. And I have always used Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan in my seminars and keynote speeches as examples of two, two-term Presidents who both were considered “great communicators”. So regardless of whether you are happy or sad about the outcome of the election, let’s simply focus on the communication skills of Donald Trump and see if we can learn something to help us with our messaging…

1)     Keep Your Message Simple, and Repeat

Many studies have proven that people remember statistically less than 10% of what they hear when listening to a presentation. I always ask my participants, “What do you remember from school or college?” That gets a lot of laughs and proves the point…case closed. Regardless of the actual percentage number, one of the first things Donald Trump did was keep his message simple. He had special names for his Republican competitors during the primaries, and of course a special name for Hillary…need I say more. Point is he said these words and phrases over and over again, and in essence he kept the message simple even above and beyond name calling.

2)     Keep Your Vocal and Body Energy Up

Trump joked about Jeb Bush having low energy, and then accused Hillary Clinton of exactly the same thing. Generally speaking, Donald Trump had more vocal energy, used more body language, and generally took the energy from the crowd to help him soar even higher. Bill Clinton used to do the same thing. Both of these guys enjoy the spotlight, and like seasoned rock stars, they get inspired by their audiences and then they deliver. They use the energy of the crowd to lift them up!

3)     Be Authentic, and let out the Optimum You!

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton was more of a behind the scenes, get the job done, type of person, and that she dreaded the actual campaigning part of the job, regardless of her overwhelming qualifications. Hillary supporters were always telling us how “funny” and “charming” she is one on one or in private. Too bad for her we didn’t see more of that in public? Furthermore, Donald Trump (again love him or hate him) seemed like he was being himself. Self-assured, confident, brash, unapologetic, and never tentative…

In summary, I always tell my clients, it is okay to “know your stuff”, but also “look good” in the process, therefore you can have the best of both worlds, by not only being smart, but looking smart too!

Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Speakers For Success....To Book Till Kahrs...949-551-2669






The following story illustrates just how difficult letting go can be. Certain parts of the world, especially India and parts of Asia, have a real problem with troops of marauding monkeys. These critters steal food, destroy crops, and are even responsible for having transmitted the HIV virus to the human population. When monkeys move from being a mere nuisance to being a full-blown threat, they have to be captured and moved.

The most common method of catching monkeys has been to shoot them with tranquilizer guns, place them in crates, and move them to the wild. But monkeys are very fragile creatures, and many of them die as a result of being captured this way. In recent years animal rights activists have forced monkey catchers to revert to a method of capture that’s hundreds of years old. Here’s how it works.

Enlightened monkey catchers use only a bag of gourds, some string, a sharp knife, and peanuts or candy to handily capture their unsuspecting victims. Upon spotting a group of monkeys in a tree, the monkey catcher begins by tossing a few small stones or pieces of bark into the tree to scatter and isolate them. Then, moving to the base of a tree where a monkey is perched, he takes out one of the gourds, cuts it in half, hollows it out, puts the two pieces back together, and wraps it round and round with string. Using his knife, he cuts a small hole in the gourd, and then, in full view of the monkey, he begins stuffing the gourd with candy or nuts. Very curious by nature, the monkey watches intently as the monkey catcher continues filling the gourd with treats. When the gourd is about half-full, the monkey catcher sets it down on the ground and backs off.

Sensing an opportunity, the monkey quickly scrambles down from the tree, grabs the gourd, tries to peer inside, smells something it wants, and begins working its tiny hand through the tinier hole in hot pursuit of what’s inside. Wrestling its hand deep into the gourd, the monkey grabs a handful of treats. However, when it tries to remove its prize-filled fist from the gourd, it can't get it out. The harder it tries, the less success it has, and eventually the monkey  catcher approaches the preoccupied monkey, delivers a quick shot of a short-term  tranquilizer, and places the monkey in a crate for its journey to a new home.

The moral of the story is best posed as a question: What was the only thing the monkey had to do to get free? The answer, of course, is “Let go.” But it’s simply not in a monkey’s DNA to let go when its little fist is stuffed with candy or nuts. “Hey, I’m no chimp,” you might say. No, of course you’re not. We humans only share 98.5 percent of our DNA with monkeys. I’m guessing that the gene for not letting go is part of the DNA we have in common.

Contributed By:  Jason Jennings...Keynote Leadership Speaker/NY Times Bestselling Author

Standing Ovation Speaker..Jason Jennings





Do you worry about a lack of urgency at your company? If you do, you're in good company. I've asked 11,000 highly successful business leaders in the last dozen years, "What keeps you awake at night?" A lack of urgency has consistently been at the top of the list. "It's hesitation and half-hearted execution that'll kill us," they say, "not our competition." Here are five myths that that keep you from creating the urgency you need to compete in a nanosecond culture. 

Go big or go home

HP made a huge bet on Compaq and it cost them $13 billion. Merrill Lynch bet big on sub-prime and it cost them their company. Time Warner and AOL was the biggest bet of the new millennium and the biggest loser too (costing 70% of their stock's value). Sprint and Nextel were another sad tale. Like so many 'go big or go home' strategies each was a business bust costing billions. 

High-speed companies go big too. They acquire, they merge, they expand, and they reinvent whole categories. But before they go big they follow the first rule of creating a fairy tale ending; if you want to find a prince you got to kiss a lot of frogs.

High-speed companies think big and act small, making many smart, bite-sized bets to uncover big opportunities. They experiment more and prototype everything. They've learned customer's stories and can read between the lines. They've curbed their egos. They have the courage to anticipate further, fail fast and to say, "It's okay to make mistakes." They get more buy-in. And they've filled their ranks with the rarest type of business executive- the open minded, lifelong learner. 

You must amaze and delight your customers

You can't grow fast if your good customers are leaving you. But the critical first step in keeping good customers isn't to "amaze and delight" them. 

"We're not looking for over-the-top service to stay loyal," 75,000 business clients and consumers told the researchers from the Corporate Executive Board. "Just don't lose our luggage, make dealing with you a pain in the ass and deliver less than you promised us." In other words, don't suck. 

High-speed companies understand all business has a blind spot that must be cured. "By the time you figure out you suck've sucked for a long, long time," is our immutable law of suckage. Any business that's lost good customers was disappointing them a long time before revenues headed south. 

High-speed companies figure out the four or five basic expectations customers have. Then they find out if they've executed flawlessly. Stop asking, "Do you like us and are you satisfied?"  Instead ask, "Did we do A, B, C & D as we promised?" If they say no to any one of them how can you think they're satisfied?" And if you discover you've dropped the ball, take heavy action. 

Every minute of planning saves ten

Companies have taken common sense (don't run your business by impulse and emotion) to exaggerated levels. How exaggerated is planning these days? Big organizations now spend 200,000 man-hours planning and budgeting for every one billion dollars in revenues. Effective planning can save time and money. But as the North American President of IKEA told us, "Exaggerated planning is death." n Exaggerated planning wastes time. 80% of meeting time these days addresses only 20% of what's important. n Exaggerated planning causes executives to be rigid and lose flexibility as they blindly administer the "500 page plan from headquarters." n And it contributes to "paralysis by analysis," where our worry over being wrong tie ties individual initiative into knots. Instead of exaggerated plans, truly high speed companies have a short list of "the shall's and shall not's" for their business. Their guiding principles act as boundaries - increasing ethical, strategic action and motivating everyone to adapt, improvise and overcome all obstacles quickly.

Consequences make people more accountable

When an engineer in ancient Rome finished building a bridge, by law he had to sleep under it. Centuries later the English upped the ante, making his family join him under that new bridge. Harsh consequences made people more accountable in ancient minds - if your work was defective you and your loved ones would suffer. Some bosses totally agree. High-speed CoBank has a better idea. Under CEO Bob Engel's leadership the fast growing, highly profitable, incredibly productive bank uses engagement and clarity instead of blame and punishment to achieve greater accountability. "Our leadership teams sit across the table from those expected to follow through and says, 'This is something important and we're important and we're going to entrust you to be accountable. Now, let us tell you what we were thinking, where we're trying to go and let's discuss it and find out what do you need from our end?'" "You got to be out there," says Engel, "and get on the same page."

Nothing succeeds like success

In 1988 one in four beers sold in America was a Budweiser. Now it's one in twelve. n Between 1990 and 1999 The Gap grew sales double digits every year. Since 2004 sales have stalled. n Blackberry (RIM) surged, $300 million in 2003 to $20 billion eight years later. By 2014 Blackberry had tumbled to just $6.8 billion. In all these cases and at every other high flyer that plummeted over the last four decades, success has been a double-edged sword. Nothing beats the elation of winning, putting up big numbers and leaving the competition in the dust. But success also makes risk takers risk adverse, empowers a bureaucracy and motivates "yes men" to sweep any uncomfortable truth under the rug. High-speed companies follow the wisdom of Franklin, Grove and Solo. "Doubt your own infallibility," wrote Ben Franklin. "Only the paranoid survive," wrote Intel's Andy Grove. "Great job kids...don't get cocky," advised Han Solo.

Contributed by.. Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker       

Standing Ovation Speaker




      Jason Jennings,  a NY Times Bestselling Author (many times over now) and may well                          be one of those speakers that " you have to book before you die"

      Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author (many times over now) and may well                          be one of those speakers that "you have to book before you die"

During the past dozen years, my research teams and I have evaluated the financial performance of more than 220,000 businesses around the world, built dossiers on more than 50,000 of the best and have interviewed more than 11,000 business leaders across every business category. We've been on a search for whatever it is that allows great leaders and companies to think and move faster than their competitors, to be dramatically more productive than their peers and to consistently innovate and grow their businesses.

The conclusion of our research is that great companies, whose success has withstood the test of time and challenging economic cycles; all have a short list of four or six guiding principles that are known, believed and practiced by everyone in the organization.

The advantages of operating with a set of guiding principles or values are numerous. When a company has a list of guiding values, the enterprise becomes naturally faster. Decisions are easily made; they either fit the guiding principles or they don't. Decision making is moved downward because the guiding principles provide a very clear roadmap for everyone to follow. When everyone knows and uses the rules of the road, everyone in the enterprise is able to spend most of their time doing what's most important; contributing to the organization's growth.

The creation of a set of guiding principles is not a group activity. The leader's first responsibility is to create and make known to everyone in the company a list of the guiding principles or values — the rules of the road — by which all decisions will be made. Here are a few of the guiding principles we discovered during the course of our research.

Doing Well by Doing Good
It starts with taking whatever you do, sell or produce and wrapping it in a purpose that gives meaning to people's lives. If a business is going to become and remain successful it must have a clearly stated noble purpose that's acknowledged, lived and celebrated daily by everyone in the organization.

The Customer
Great companies understand that the sole purpose of business isn't to make a profit; it's to find, keep and grow the right customers. The byproduct of successfully finding, keeping and growing the right customer is the well-earned profit. Only by continually exceeding the right customer's expectations and having a tacit understanding that each time you exceed them that the bar moves even higher, can a company truly succeed and consistently grow.

Transparency and Truth
The best way to build a highly successful company is to share the knowledge with all the people. As Charles Koch, the founder and Chairman, of Koch Industries, one of the two largest privately held companies in the world, told me, "Knowledge isn't power; execution is power," and he added, "the more people who have the knowledge, the more likely you are to have flawless execution."

This happens when people believe so strongly in something that they have a burning desire to make it happen immediately. The reason it has to happen now isn't for the rapid accumulation of wealth or motivated by greed, but because they truly believe that what they're doing is so important and beneficial to the end user that they need to get it in their hands as fast as possible.

A Road to Prosperity for Everyone
I begin almost every speech I deliver by asking the audience how many of them would like to make more money. Every hand goes up. Next, I ask them how many would like a promotion at some point. Again, every hand is raised high. Finally, I ask them to answer aloud one more question. "When would you like these things to happen?" The resounding response is always a shouted, "Now!"

Everyone wants a better tomorrow than today and great companies either give everyone an opportunity for actual ownership or provide a pathway to compensation and advancement that accomplishes the same objective. When Twitter went public in the autumn of 2013, one of the greatest thrills their CEO, Dick Costolo, recalls is that of the 1400 employees working at their San Francisco headquarters, more than 1200 became millionaires overnight.

Contributed by.. Jason Jennings, a NY Times Bestselling Author & International Keynote Speaker       

Standing Ovation Speaker






Sending a follow-up note is a solid way to build a new relationship. Short, upbeat, and handwritten would be ideal (as long as your writing is legible!).  It would also be ideal to send one to everyone you meet (tough to pull off, but ideal). 

Again, begin with a compliment or a statement that refers back to the conversation you shared.  Keep the tone upbeat and end by suggesting that the two of you get together for breakfast or lunch. 

Many feel that a follow-up written thank-you note is better than a follow-up e-mail.  A real signature in ink on real notepaper may take a couple of days to get to them, but it has the potential of being much more memorable than an e-mail. 

To meet the 24-hour follow-up timeline, try taking some thank-you stationery or note cards with stamps to networking events.  Write, address, and mail the notes directly following the event to the people you just met.

The Follow-up Phone Call

Making follow-up phone calls is good, but you will probably end up in voice mail.  When you do (and you will), start and end your message with your name and phone number.  If you are given the opportunity to listen to your voice message and redo it, take it.   Say your name and number closely and distinctly, without "swallowing" any words or syllables.  Assume that the person listening remembers you, enjoyed your time together, and wants to write your number down and get in contact with you.  Include a compliment or a statement that refers back to the conversation you shared. 

The Follow-up E-mail

There is no doubt that e-mail is a powerful, inexpensive, and widely used means of communication today.  I like e-mail.   It provides you with access that the phone and snail mail do not.  The same people who ignore phone messages may well respond to e-mail.  The secret is to create e-mails that are personal and focus on the relationship you have started with them – not on what your company does. 

Make yourself necessary to the world and  mankind will give you bread.”        -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A signature file that includes your full name, e-mail address, and phone number so it will be easy for them to contact you.   Include in your signature The subject line of your e-mails needs to encourage the receiver to open it.  Create file a brief but powerful statement of how you empower progress.

And make sure all your e-mails include the address to your own or your company’s web site.  


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales & Leadership Speaker





Leaders must ensure there are no barriers to communication

Develop a reliable process for communicating that fits your style.

To be a Good Communicator you first need to understand your role as a leader, what you do, as well as what’s expected of you.

To inspire openness and trust, listen with the intent to act and invite feedback. Articulate a clear set of organizational values that embrace integrity, fairness, and compassion.

Values communicate beliefs.

Thoughtful leaders listen and act on what they learn. This honesty and openness inspires trust, reinforces relationships and secures the loyalty of employees, customers and investors.

Good communication is vital in a business environment marked by uncertainty and change, and promotes healthy relationships.


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker









Too Stressed to Progress

1.  When do you feel overworked and overwhelmed?  

2.  What are you allowing yourself to get stressed about?

3.  What physical challenges are you having that may be related to stress?

4.  Do you have trouble sleeping due to stress?

5.  Is it time to get serious about your stress?

6.  How can you be better prepared for stressful stimuli?

7.  How can you choose not to stress?

8.  Do you have too many demands on your time?

9.  Are you too stressed to progress?

10. Can you DO something about a stressful situation?

       Bet you CAN, and if you can …DO IT. 


Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it

but if you don't dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”    

---- Danzae Pace


Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker



Balanced Leaders

Balanced Leaders Are Consistent

Leadership is the ability to quickly, accurately and effectively assess: 

  • Who you are
  • What you stand for, and
  • What you will never compromise

 As a leader, your actions and decisions should match your vision and strategy, and be consistent with what your people, customers and investors believe to be your strategy. 


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker



How Motivational Leadership Speakers can help your business and what to look for in a Speaker?

Having spoken to large groups, corporations, and at meetings for over 25 years I know that many times companies and meeting coordinators are hesitant, or reluctant to hire a Motivational Leadership Speaker, or perhaps any speaker for that matter.

Some of these concerns may be well founded, so having been on both sides of the fence (having been a speaker myself, and having had to participate in corporate meetings as an employee for many years) perhaps I can offer some insight into hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker.

  • What credentials does the speaker have? What is their experience level? How long have they been doing it? These questions may seem obvious, but so many folks out there are marketing themselves as speakers, but have actually had little to no experience speaking at all. The speaker you hire should be someone who does this for a living, not someone who has been told by his or her friends: “Hey, you’d be a great speaker”. Ask any professional comedian, and they’ll tell you that everyone is funny sometimes, but to be paid and funny on the spot, when the expectations are high, that’s a different ballgame altogether!
  • Does this speaker have any video of themselves doing what they do? In this age of digital cameras and video phones, if your speaker doesn’t at least have some ‘live’ footage of themselves delivering part of a speech, that would seem suspect. Additionally, if your speaker has appeared on TV, that’s a plus. Everyone wants to get on TV because it is free publicity, therefore TV stations and broadcast networks use “extreme vetting” before they let someone on their set. When you are ‘live’ and millions are watching, there’s no time to take a chance or roll the dice on an unknown quantity.
  • Provided you’ve found a seasoned pro, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker makes sense because many times companies are looking for a third party to make a specific point. The reason is because, most companies have already heard from their own executive panel, therefore an outsider provides a fresh and objective perspective that the audience finds “refreshing” or dare I say “motivating”!
  • Hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker also allows your audience to hear something that they may never hear from someone on the inside. For example, if your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker suggests that, “You haven’t reached your potential” or “I know that you can do a better job” that could possibly be political suicide for an executive delivering the very same message, as the audience may react in the following way: “Who does she think she is, everything is fine in the Marketing Dept.-Don’t blame us”, or “He’s just blaming everyone else, he’s in charge, that’s his problem not mine-He’s the boss”.
  • Finally the best for last-PRO TIP! Please note that I actually teach people how to speak, and I can tell you that the most important aspect about speaking is not necessarily the delivery (sure that’s always important, and image is almost everything) but rather THE AUDIENCE is even more important! Let me explain. If your hired Motivational Leadership Speaker does not ask you a multitude of important questions about who’ll be in the audience, what’s important to them and the challenges of your specific industry…then you’ve just hired the wrong Motivational Leadership Speaker! In other words if your audience perceives that the SAME speech that they just heard could have been given to a group of plumbers, bankers, insurance executives, or pharmaceutical salespeople that’s the kiss of death. The message to your group must be customized and specific to that audience, so that the audience realizes, “she really understands what our competition is trying to do to us” or “he gets the nuances of our industry, he seems to know a lot about us”.

In summary, hiring a Motivational Leadership Speaker is a worthwhile investment for sure, if it is the right person. Hire a pro that knows what they’re doing who has a proven track record and does this for a living. And finally make sure your speaker asks a lot of pertinent questions ahead of time (I typically spend at the very least 1-2 hours consulting with my clients before our presentation).


Till Kahrs is has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant








Expressing Gratitude

Creating a strong culture is critical to your company’s long-term success and growth. Balanced Leaders work hard to create the best, the brightest, most informed and best educated team in their industry.  Expressing appreciation can go a long way towards cultivating a customer-focused culture. It can be as simple as thanking customers for their business and loyalty. In every customer interaction, make sure they know you are grateful they chose to do business with you.

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker




Great Facilitators Make Great Leaders-7 Great Tips

Even if your physical Presentation Skills are awesome, if you are an executive leading a smaller group discussion, you may need to sharpen your Facilitation Skills as well. Here’s what I mean.

1)  Facilitate in smaller groups. Presentation Skills work great in a larger setting, especially if you are giving a speech at the annual meeting, or kicking off the fiscal year discussing company goals, etc. However, having meetings with smaller groups, your executive team, or different divisions of the company may require some facilitation skills that encourage feedback, discourse, and further discussion.

2)  Set the stage properly. Let everyone know that you’ll be guiding the discussion for sure, but that this is not about “me telling you what to do”…rather, “I need/want your input”, “We’re in this together…we’re a team”…

3)  Ask the group for their thoughts…but then PAUSE. Don’t answer the questions for the audience, but wait until someone says something. This trains the audience to get involved.

4)  Try to be neutral and encourage all opinions. Don’t discourage someone if they have a different opinion than yours. If you kill an individual’s spirit you run the risk of killing the entire discussion.

5)  Summarize and move the dialogue forward. A great technique is to summarize key points you’ve heard, and then move or transition to the next subject or gain some closure. PRO TIP: Keep in mind if you repeat what the group has told you, that doesn’t mean that you agree, and you can always summarize what YOU want to summarize…ultimately you are in control.

6)  Thought starters for slow going moments. Sometimes when an executive asks opinions of a group or tries to engage an audience, the participants may think it is a trick, especially if this is a new mantra. So, always have a few questions or comments at the ready to kick-start the dialogue and promote further engagement. Something like, “The other day I was at our Denver office…and someone asked…”

7)  Make a list of worst case scenarios ahead of time and contingency plans. When you open up a group for feedback, you run the risk of getting blindsided by tough questions, and this could lead to you feeling as though you’ve just been dropped into a big shark tank. Always, make a list of the potentially meanest/toughest comments and questions ahead of time with your specific answers and solutions to these issues dialed in. Although it may seem obvious, the clients I work with find this approach life-saving!


Contributed by Till Kahrs who has been a Business Communication Consultant for over 25 years. He is also a Keynote Speaker and has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Television appearing on networks such as Fox National News and ABC TV. Kahrs is also the best-selling author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills”, an international business classic now also available as a Kindle or Nook E-book. Two of Kahrs’ most popular keynote topics are “Handling the Hot Seat” and “Speaking Successfully” which address in much greater detail some of the issues mentioned above.

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant





Actively Listen to Customer Needs

Balanced Leaders consistently demonstrate to their customers they are in tune with their needs and are operating in their best interest.  Customers know what they want but may not always explain it in a clear manner. If you do not understand a request, ask clear, positively articulated questions until you understand. Do not rush customers, allow them at their own pace to discuss what they need. Once customers have expressed their needs confirm your understanding with them to ensure communication is clear. Doing so will help you Think Like a Customer going forward. 

Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Keynote Leadership Speaker





Here are “10 Great Customer Service Tips” distilled from 20 years of sales experience…

1) First impressions do matter. It has been said that you only have one chance at a first impression and that is absolutely correct. Smile, make direct eye contact, take your sunglasses off (if you are wearing them) and introduce yourself, but don’t be aggressive or pushy.

2) It is not what you say, but how you say it. There’s an old saying, “The tone makes the music”…so true. Even if the words we use are correct, if you are not sincere or believable, people will know. Think about when you shop for something, can you sense when someone is being sincere?

3) Give the customer your full attention. Don’t take calls, check your email, or text while engaging your customer. If there is an emergency, explain the situation, handle it promptly, then get back to the customer immediately. That customer in front of you is all you should be thinking about.

4) Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for. If employees aren’t sure what their job is, then they might not be very helpful to customers. Everyone should clearly know their job responsibility, and that will help streamline your efficiency not only for your business, but in the eyes of the customer.

5) Never say: “That’s not my job”. Let’s say someone strolls in and is at the wrong place in your store or business relative to your exact job description. Politely explain the situation and make sure and escort that person to where they need to go. Have you ever had a waiter at a restaurant ignore you because it was not their table…How’d that make you feel?

6) Get rid of the fine print. If customers are continually confused by your policies or don’t understand something, then fix it. Your policies must be user friendly. If they are not, your customers won’t come back, and they will feel as though they’ve been cheated. If your cable company tells you that your price is good for two years, but the fine print says one…will you recommend them to someone else?

7) Never judge a book by its cover. I’ve seen it happen, a guy in flip flops and a t-shirt walks in a dealership and no one wants to talk to him yet it turns out he’s an Internet billionaire and ends up buying ten cars for full sticker…but nobody initially wanted to deal with this person. Don’t make that mistake.

8) Make sure your employees don’t gossip or talk about personal stuff at work, especially in front of the customer. I see this all of the time. If my salesperson is talking about their date or divorce to their co-worker, I’m not interested. When you’re at work it is always about the customer not your personal life.

9) Surveys and feedback are great. If someone takes the time to fill out a survey-read it. You’ve got a free consultant right there telling you what you need to know. Some people like to complain, but if you spot a trend, you better be all over it, otherwise your customers may go elsewhere.

10) Last impressions matter too. After a transaction or sale has been completed, do not celebrate your victory with other employees or rush the customer out, so you can get another customer. Focus on the customer in front of you at all times throughout the entire sales process. There will be plenty of time to celebrate after work, so save it until then.


Contributed by Till Kahrs, a Keynote Speaker who has worked with over half of the Fortune 1000 and is a frequent guest on Fox National News and ABC TV and author of “Enhancing Your Presentations Skills.”

Till Kahrs, Keynote Speaker & Business Communications Consultant




Be Responsive and Effectively Resolve Problems



Balanced Leaders know their audience because they think like a customer. It’s inevitable, problems occur. When they do, allow customers to fully explain the issue and then you convey empathy. If the fault lies with you or your organization, take ownership of it and apologize. Take the initiative to resolve problems in a timely and effective manner.


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker




Only Accept a Person’s Best

Employees often live up to your expectations whether they are high or low. Balanced Leaders keep expectations high, but realistic.

If you expect someone to be sloppy or uncooperative – and communicate that expectation to them – you usually will get what you expect. However, if you have high, but realistic expectations they often will work hard to meet them. In expecting your employees to perform well: 

· Recognize each employee’s value. 

· Convey high expectations. 

· Emphasize future needs, not past problems.


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker



Create a Place of Worth

As you move through difficult periods on your way to success, do the ‘right thing’, take care of your customers, treat others with dignity and respect, and celebrate successes. Balanced Leaders create a culture of excellence where their people thank you for not letting them stray or compromise their values and ethics. They get excited about other ways they can participate in successfully reaching their goals and those of the organization.  Your self-worth will determine your net worth, not the other way around.  


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker



Take Your Team to New Heights

Balanced Leaders connect their people with information to create a high performance culture. Your people are your most important asset. The time you spend developing others is an investment in the future, not an expense or burden on your time.  You cannot successfully grow the business without an investment in people.  Training can be both formal and information.  Continuous learning is an imperative and critical differentiator.


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Leadership, Motivation & Values.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker



Your Leadership Legacy

Organizations have strategies. Leaders have strategies. As a leader your strategy becomes known as your style and the path you choose to your legacy as a leader.

Among the values and mission of organizations, leaders also have individual values and missions. A leader’s mission statement is their compass – their purpose that defines who they are, what they stand for and what they will never compromise.

The ability to develop, and quickly and effectively assess where you are on these core beliefs as you manage through our careers is essential. More importantly, does your assessment correspond to what your people, your customers, investors and stakeholders believe to be your strategy?


Contributed by Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations, Keynote Speaker, Trainer, Executive Advisor.

Rocky Romanella, Retired President of UPS Retail Operations/Keynote Speaker