MVP Seminars Blogs

Café’s use the term Americano because no one is going to pay $5 for watered down coffee.  Well its no surprise that some business change gurus do the same thing.  The more exotic something sounds, the more expensive its going to be.  The truth is most personal and organizational development concepts are very simple.  Over the decades the same ideas get re-branded and sold under a more exotic label.

Another truth is, simple is good.  In today’s busy world with distractions around every corner, simple ideas are what is needed for your people to understand let alone implement in a way that will make a difference on Monday morning.

I developed the presentation, ‘The Goldfish that Barked,’ to feature seven simple things anyone can do to help distinguish themselves and improve their lives immediately. 

7.  Be ready for Success, 6.  Don't fall into Traps, 5. Learn to Communicate, 4.  Educate Yourself, 3.  Find you Superpower, 2.  Give Thanks, 1.  Pursue your Mission.

Another benefit is that these simple ideas do not necessarily require spending money.  The presentation takes time proven ideals and packages them in a way that is entertaining and rememberable so they are more likely to be implemented in the audiences’ own lives.

So enjoy your Steak Au Poivre, but once you get down to the basics, you can save the money and grind the pepper yourself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Jack W. Peters

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This is not just for Human Resources. Employers need to use an informed approach to help boost employee satisfaction, retention and productivity while protecting the company’s legal and financial interests. It is the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world and is projected to cost $6 trillion by 2030. Two-thirds of these costs are attributed to disability and loss of work. And yet shockingly, of the 450 million people worldwide who suffer from mental health conditions 60% do not receive any form of care. “Jobs” is the key word in American politics these days. How to get them back from other countries is important, of course, but what about helping companies retain the employees they have by successfully promoting mental wellness in the workplace?      How? Here are four ways: * Prevention: Promote mental health as part of an overall corporate wellness campaign. For example, bring in professionals who specialize in mental health and substance abuse issues to present mandatory, yet interesting educational seminars. That will help reduce the stigma attached to mental and substance abuse disorders. Businesses who have done this reported reduction in health expenses and other financial gains for their organizations. * Awareness: Changes in sleep, mood, appetite, weight, behavior, and personality are caused by many drug addictions and mental health disorders. Other telling symptoms include tardiness, missed deadlines and unexplained or unauthorized absences from work to counter these problems, it is critical that management and HR be given sensitivity training and that professional information and referral resources are readily available. Taking these steps can help employers manage situations before they get out of control. * Work-Life Balance and Accommodations: The Family Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and professionally diagnosed medical reasons, including mental illness or alcohol/substance use disorders. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” to assist people with disabilities, including mental health impairments, perform job duties. Employers can help employees with mental health issues by encouraging the use of written checklists, instructions and offering more training time. Sometimes providing a mentor for daily guidance and meeting regularly to discuss progress. * Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs designed to address substance abuse and addictions, as well as personal and family problems, mental health or emotional issues, marital or parenting problems, and financial or legal concerns. EAPs have evolved and grown in popularity during the last 25 years. The number of organizations with an EAP increased from 31% in 1985 to 75% in 2009. Providing a variety of treatment options for an employee will not only help reduce their suffering - it will curtail the incidence of impaired functioning at work. More jobs in America? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, some 60% to 80% of people with mental illness are unemployed. In part, this is the crippling nature of the disease. But a large part of the problem that we have in hiring people who have some mental disorder is that we lack the sophisticated vocabulary to talk and act regarding these illnesses. Managing mental health should hold no fear for managers – whether they realize it or not, they already have many of the skills needed to look after their employees’ well being. Sometimes all it takes is an open mind. Mental health is the mental and emotional state in which we feel able to cope with the normal stresses of everyday life. If we are feeling good about ourselves we often work productively, interact well with colleagues and make a valuable contribution to our team or workplace. The good news is that line managers already have many of the skills needed to promote positive mental health at work. They are usually well-versed in the importance of effective communication and consultation, and the need to draw up practical workplace policies and procedures. Add to these skills an open mind and a willingness to try and understanding mental health problems, and organizations can make real progress in tackling the stigma often associated with mental health. “The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves.” -- Matthew Quick (Author of The Silver Linings Playbook) Invest in your employee training and development by offering Business Training Seminars that produce tangible results.  
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As part of my continuing education, I listened to Angela Lee Duckworth yesterday on TED. The TED Talks on YouTube are a great way to increase your learning. During Angela’s career as a seventh grade math teacher, she discovered that I.Q. was not an indicator of performance. The brightest students did not necessarily make the highest grades, nor did the ones who scored lowest on I.Q. tests make the lowest grades. She quit teaching to pursue a career as a psychologist so she could study kids and adults to discover who was successful and why they were successful. She tried to predict what individuals would be the most successful at West Point, at spelling bees, at troubled schools, and at private companies. What she found was the most prevalent indicator was not intelligence or social intelligence, but grit. Angela defined grit as passion plus perseverance for long term goals. Grit, she said, is living life like as if it is a marathon, having the desire to move through tough obstacles to get to your goal for a sustained period of time. My question to you is: Do you have grit? Do you have what it takes to sustain for long periods even when the road seems to get muddier every day? Do you have what it takes to believe in something possible even when it looks as if there are road blocks at every turn? How do you get grit? I think it is something you can learn. You start by being a lifelong learner. You read and then read some more. You go to seminars. You listen to people who are the top of their fields. You ask questions. You try and when you fail, you try again. If you really want to change, to get the grit to reach your dreams, I suggest reading some of the following books. They are not magic and they won’t turn you into an instant success, but they will cause you to think, and they will provide you with a different way of looking at things. Here are some of my favorite books to date:
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
  • Excuses Begone by Wayne Dyer
  • Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott
  • Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness by Jim Rohn
  • Seven Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
  • Influence Science and Practice by Robert Chaldini
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  • The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz
  • The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino
  • The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
Education is started in school, but what school really does is teach you how to learn. Real learning occurs once you have left school. This type of learning is up to you. You have a world of possibility in front of you. If you want grit, go find out how to manifest it and keep it growing.
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LEADERS HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THEIR POTENTIAL How can you help your team members find their true potential? Did you know that most of your employees don’t know where they want to go? They don’t have an action plan of what they want. It is difficult to be motivated or inspired when they don’t know where they want to go. You’ve probably heard this quote: “Failure to plan is planning to fail.” If you asked your employees if they agreed with this statement, most of them would nod affirmatively. Yet, if you asked how many of them had a ten year plan, a five year plan, or even a one year plan, most of them would avert their heads before they answered “No.” Why do people fail to plan? THE FEAR OF FAILURE There are many reasons why people don’t want to create goals. One of the reasons people don’t want to create goals is that they fear failure. Once something is written down, it makes them vulnerable to not achieving what they desire. For them, it might be better to never having dreamed at all rather to admit to being a failure. Somewhere in their lives they were either punished or ridiculed for failing. They don’t see failure as a stepping stone; they see it as a graveyard. THE FEAR OF SUCCESS Other people might fail to plan because they fear success. To some people success means greater responsibility and more work. At one university I worked at, employees soon discovered they better they were, the more work they were given. This extra work did not come with extra pay. It did not take long for people to show their incompetence. FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO SET GOALS Goal planning is problematic for others because they don’t make their goals clear or specific enough. When I was a young basketball coach, I made the mistake of asking my players to write down their goals without providing them with proper instruction. I got back goals that looked like this:
  • I want to be a better basketball player.
  • I want to become a better shooter.
  • I want to play defense better.
These goals did not provide a clear and specific vision of who they wanted to become. In order to have goals which convey meaning, it is best to follow the SMART method: specific, measureable, action-oriented, results-oriented and time-driven.  A goal should have looked more like:

I am going to shoot 50% from the two point line for my junior season.

In comparison to the goal of becoming a better shooter, this goal actually provides something they can determine and see. REMEMBERING HOW TO DREAM I had a friend who texted me last week. She asked me how she could remember to dream. She claimed she had no more goals in life. She thought when she retired she would love life, but what she discovered was that she felt lost. This is what happens when people don’t have goals; they no longer have a purpose and quickly find they have lost the motivation to try. As a leader, it is your job to help people remember how to dream. This begins with teaching them how to set goals and why they have not set goals. If you can get them beyond their resistance to goal setting and help them see where they want to go and that they can get there, their motivation to excel will probably surprise both of you.  
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                                                                            Ty Cobb was one of baseball’s greats.  His lifetime batting average was an astounding .367.  He was the last man to hit over .400 in a full season.  It is told that when he was seventy years old, a young sports reporter had the opportunity to interview him.  The reporter asked, “Mr. Cobb, what do you think you would average if you were playing today?”   “.290, possibly even .300,” replied Cobb.   “Is that because of the new pitches, the travel, and night games?” the reporter asked.   “No,” said Cobb, “It’s because I’m seventy!”*   Cobb’s confidence was not haughty but it did carry with it a positive attitude.  This is the type of attitude that inspires others.  This is the type of attitude that instills confidence in others.  Because good leaders have confidence in their ability to get the job done, they instill confidence in others.  Confidence begets confidence.  Some leadership styles destroy the confidence of others.  Good leaders however, have the proper skills and attitude that instill confidence.  Be a leader who inspires.  Be a leader who instills the confidence that leads your people to bigger and better things.   *Mark T. Sorrels, Understanding Your Role As A Leader, (Bloomington, IN, Xlibris Publishing, 2011), 36.
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Why I Consider Myself an “Inspirational” Speaker and not-so-much a “Motivational” Speaker.
Although motivate and inspire are thought of as synonyms, there are significant and real differences between motivating and inspiring someone.
A motivational speaker tries to motivate or compel the listeners to act in a specific, certain, defined way as dictated by the presenter or the assigned topic. An inspirational speaker, moves or influences thought on the part of each individual in the audience as defined by the listener’s experiences as each applies the inspirational words to their life at that particular moment in time.
The goal or objective of motivating is to fire the listener up. The purpose of inspiring is for the listener to look deep inside themselves and become a better person
A motivational speaker pushes, drives and impels you to act. An inspirational speaker helps you to decide how to better yourself by providing examples, engaging imagery and words that, hopefully, move, stir, and arouse action.
I am more of an inspirational than motivational speaker. I am not fire and brimstone, I am thoughtful, humorous, genuine, real and insightful.
Let me inspire your sales force, workforce, whatever force.
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Think back to a time when you were most resourceful, productive and successful. You led yourself, and possibly others, to exceptional results.

This is a time when you felt your happiest, most congruent, confident, fulfilled and actualized as the unique and gifted person you are. At whatever is most important to you in life. This would most likely be a time when you'd accomplished some great and important goal or life milestone.

Where in your body did you feel your success, congruence, power and joy? Many people feel this in their chest, their heart or their stomach.

Where do you feel it? What does it feel like? Feel it now and describe it to yourself. What sensations are associated with this feeling? And where in your body do you feel them?

What do you see, hear, sense and feel when you experienced your greatest sense of personal achievement, efficacy and success?

Did you smell or taste anything? This may sound silly, but our olfactory sense is powerful and can elicit equally powerful feelings and memories. Describe to yourself what you felt while in your most congruent, powerful state and see, hear and feel it right now in perfect detail.

Now multiply that feeling by a factor of two. Then dial it up even higher. And higher. Feel how you have the power to access and dial up (and down) this feeling in your body and mind at will.

Imagine yourself right now with even more than your wildest dreams come true. Life is incredible. It couldn't possibly get any better than this. How will you spend your days? Imagine how much fun and how rewarding your work will be. Picture all of the free time you will have to spend with your family and to travel. You live in a home you never would have imagined you could afford. Life is beyond perfect.

Keeping this feeling alive and vibrating inside you, think now of your greatest dream for your life? Get the specific images, sounds and sensations your will get when you achieve this dream.

Your fulfillment, success and achievements in life will correlate with your ability to consistently inspire, motivate and guide yourself to discover, access and consistently tap into and optimally use the passion in your heart, the power in your mind and your connection with and ability to persuade, build relationship with YOURSELF and OTHERS.

Never under-estimate the power of passion.

Think now to something truly exceptional any human being has ever purposefully accomplished in life. Art, science, business, athletics, you name it. Anything truly remarkable that any person has ever done (or will ever do in the future for that matter). One of the common denominators and necessary ingredients to that exceptional accomplishment was passion.

With passion, we will figuratively move mountains to achieve our goal. We will engage in the long-term, sustained, peak performing behavior necessary to success. And we will storm through, over and past obstacles in our path.

Without passion, we will crumble early and easily when we encounter inevitable obstacles.

This is important: you must consistently connect with and move yourself if you hope to move yourself to the manifestation of your potential, dreams and goals.

The truth is, most all of us get so caught up in the craziness, responsibilities and stress of daily life, that we lose touch with our mission, our passion, our purpose and our greater vision. You must keep the passionate congruence and certainty you felt in the above exercise alive in your body, spirit and mind all day, every day.

Keep the fire of passion alive and burning strong in your spirit and body every moment, every day. And share your fire, your passion, with others. Inspire them to be their greatest self. Inspire them to join you on this mission to greatness in life.

Give to others more than you expect from them and much more than you accept or take from them. Give constantly and selflessly.

And celebrate each moment, each day, you are granted here in life. This will attract the people and results that will accelerate your success curve; the realization of your potential, your dreams and your goals.

And if all of this strikes you as "too touchy-feely" or too emotional, I encourage you to try looking at this from a different angle, a different perspective.

Science has shown that we are most productive and perform at your highest potential and for the greatest frequency, duration and quality, when we find great meaning or purpose in what we are doing.

Science has also shown that when we attach great emotional meaning to something, it acts like a turbo-charger to the facilitation of new habit, behavior and skill.

Common sense and intuition alone tell us that people that achieve great things do so, in part, through the attachment and habitual experience of great motivation, inspiration and personal meaning.

Life presents us with constant obligations, activities, distractions and stressors. It is up to understand the one instrument we have with which to succeed in life: us. Our brain, our mind; including our emotional and mental states.

Seek and gain constant mastery over your one instrument of fulfillment, achievement and success. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of circumstance and personal limitations.


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Want to get the most from and for yourself? I’m talking money, freedom, respect, career, impact, influence, love, you name it—there are common traits and habits that life’s most successful people habitually employ. This series of posts will explore the 30+ habits and traits life’s most successful people intentionally develop and use. First, let’s address the monkey in the room. There are people who are naysayers when it comes to personal development, so I will address that up front. These people believe that self-reflection and personal development are nonsense. But upon examination, these people fall in to one of two groups: either they already are self-reflective and have and continue to develop themselves (and are correspondingly successful in whatever is important to them). These people already live Habit #1, but simply have not identified their habit as self-reflection and/or personal development. The second group of naysayers are, in fact, not self-reflective or engaged in purposeful personal development and this absolutely reflects in their low degree of success in what is important to them. Think of it this way: We are the only instrument we have with which to succeed (or fail) in life. You and I do not possess any other mind, brain or vehicle of action than our own. Even a computer, cell phone or any other external tool is only as useful as we make them through our skill-awareness, self-education and productive use of them. The same goes for leading other human beings. We succeed or fail at leadership only to the degree of our commitment to self-awareness and ongoing personal development. The following posts will articulate and illuminate the more than 30 habits and traits truly exceptional leaders (of self and others—after all, leaders must first lead themselves) habitually employ and make their own.
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There are more than 20 Laws truly exceptional, breakout leaders inhabit and own. In this article we will discuss the first Law. Others will follow, to be posted twice each week. Brilliant leadership—whether of ourselves or of others—requires a bold, vivid and compelling vision. If we don’t know exactly where we are going, we are like a leaf on the ocean—we end up wherever the breeze of circumstance blows us. But with a clear, compelling vision, one we continuously burn in our imagination and emotions, we have a bright, constant target to habitually move towards. This vision acts like a beacon on the hill—ever present, guiding us to its singular point, while also lighting the path before us. Secondly, a compelling vision is necessary to create and excite the passion that is so necessary to sustained, exceptional action over the long period of time success requires. Vision acts as fuel to your passion and purpose in that it provides you with compelling evidence of what you must fight for: that is, your life’s greatest meaning and purpose. When we MUST have something, we will do what we have to do to get it. We will conquer all obstacles and expend all energy to achieve it. Thirdly, compelling vision provides a fertile environment and energy for your imagination and creativity, which are valuable success tools. Your vision remains fixed and certain, while it also encourages flexibility in whatever will most likely hasten your vision’s actualization. A vivid, compelling vision acts as fuel to the fire of tenacity and creativity, while it provides a clear, ever-present target that excites the passion and focus of your mind, energy and action. Vision can be broken down into 3 components: Long term vision; short term vision; and immediate vision (what we will call "stories"). Long term vision is the bright beacon on the hill referred to above. This is usually a vision whose actualizaiton will happen in anywhere from ten to thirty years. Short term visions are those that act as milestones on the pathway towards your achievement of your long term vision. They should be equally vivid, compelling, bold and specific. Immediate vision (stories) are what others recognize as your "attitude." This vision is every bit as important to leadership (of self and others) and success as is long term vision. If you habitually manage and craft your stories such that they are bright, compelling and positive, you will excite your greatest energy, focus and creativity moment by moment and will engage in high level behaviors and activities that are most likely to consistently move you closer to your long term vision's actualzation. What's more, if your immediate visions are positive and compelling, you will act as a great influence on ambitious, industrious and well-intended people in your environment. In short, they will look to you as a leader and will be influenced to follow you, perform like and for you. You will inspire and motivate them to their best behavior and action as they are compelled by you. Each day, re-create and live your long term vision vividly within your imagination. And constantly ask yourself throughout the day "what stories" you are telling yourself in the moment. If they aren't passionately positive and powerfully motivating, well, change your story. See, hear and feel something creative, motivating and inspirational in your imagination. After all, you get to choose what happens in there, right? Cheers! And great success in leadership, productivity and wealth.
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Cognitive dissonance is a powerful argument structure to use in persuading an audience. Cognitive dissonance occurs when you are presented with information that is inconsistent with your attitudes, values or beliefs. This causes an uncomfortable emotional feeling as you consider or hold two contradictory ideas. Cognitive dissonance theory states that people are motivated to reduce dissonance by changing or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs or behaviors when presented with a facts or a situation that violates their current attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. Dissonance in Argument Structure Creating dissonance in a speech can be an effective way to persuade your audience to change their attitudes, beliefs and/or behaviors. Illustrate Audience Pain -> Then Introduce Safety or Relief To use cognitive dissonance in an argument, first introduce a problem or need that you know is probably in violation or opposition to an attitude, belief or value held by the audience. This creates cognitive dissonance in the minds of your audience. You do this to create discomfort within the person to get their attention and to get them motivated to change the uncomfortable internal situation. You then introduce additional information, a solution or alternative to the dissonant information that restores cognitive balance or equilibrium for the audience. By doing this, you create a logical and emotional road for the audience to travel down towards the solution you introduce. An example of constructive use of dissonance would be to introduce the audience to the concept of personal failure. Show them, through a vivid story, the reality that if they continue with their current limiting thoughts and behaviors and their justifications for personal inaction, that they could reach the end of their life having actualized but a fraction of their dreams and potential. This should create dissonance in your audience. Most people hope to realize their dreams and to actualize to their greatest potential in life. If you share a vivid story viscerally highlighting the reality that most people never realize anywhere near their full potential, you will create dissonance in those audience members that have high expectations of themselves and their lives. Now, you can introduce tools that teach the audence, personal empowerment, time management or any other activity that will allow them to take greater control over their lives and their results. By doing this, you will close the gap between the pain of dissonance they feel and their dream of where they would like to be. You have used dissonance to serve the audience. If you merely "tell" the audience: 'I have these tools that you can use" they are less likely to feel the motivation to act on their own behalf than they will be if you say "see, hear and feel this story of failure. This could be, and probably will be you, statistically speaking. Doesn't this hurt? Well I have tools that will allow you to avoid this pain AND gain the immense pleasure of personal success." You have won. More importantly, the audience has been served and they win. Copyright Christopher Babson - All Rights Reserved
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