Tag Archives: National Speakers Association

Bill Wallace to Present at January First Friday Book Synopsis

We are pleased to announce that Bill Wallace, who founded and has chaired Success North Dallas for 28 years, will be our guest presenter at the January 6, 2017 First Friday Book Synopsis at the Park City Club in Dallas.  He is pictured below with Karl J. Krayer, President of Creative Communication Network, which sponsors this event each month.

Wallace will present the popular book, The Power of Who:  You Already Know Everyone You Need to Know (Center Street) by Bob Beaudine.  He notes that this book has been very meaningful to him over the last several years, and believes that the book synopsis audience will find it powerful.  Part of this is due to the unique 100/40 principle featured in the book.

Bill Wallace is a member of the National Speakers Association, and has been a staunch and devoted supporter of the First Friday Book Synopsis.  From his website (www.successnorthdallas.com), we read the following biography:

Bill Wallace has often said his greatest skill is putting the right people together. Emanating from a database that would put the U.S. government to shame, Bill’s generous “connection-making” has benefited countless individuals who have turned to him for trusted referrals, strategic business support, personal coaching, and educational mentorship.

“Bill’s professional career flourished along with his development of Success North Dallas, first as owner of Wallace Financial Group—a provider of business continuation planning, insurance and financial strategies and estate and family protection—and, later, as Chairman and CEO of The Wallace Companies, a consulting firm specializing in capital development and executive management strategies.

“As a member of the Board of Governors of Northwood University and a strategic partner and board member of the University of North Texas Professional leadership program, Bill continues to help aspiring college students forge successful careers in business and the community. He also serves as Chairman of the non-profit Empowering Single Parents, which was inspired and created through relationships developed through Success North Dallas.

“Wallace is a charter member and past president of the Addison Rotary Club, a long-time member of CEO Netweavers, a past member of the Million Dollar Roundtable and the New England Financial Leaders Association, and the Author of “Peacefully Rich™ the Financial Road Less Traveled.” He has also served on the Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Advisory Boards of St. Acuin Montessori School, Bryan’s House, and Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. In recognition for his work in the community, The Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values honored Bill with the Heroes of Humanity Award in 2009.

Online registrations for the January 6, 2017 First Friday Book Synopsis will open on Monday, December 5.


Vaden’s Books Make Significant Contributions

I am pictured below with Rory Vaden, whose two best-sellers I delivered at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas.

I met Vaden today at the monthly meeting of the National Speakers Association of North Texas, of which I was the chapter president in 2002.

The books, Take the Stairs, and Procrastinate on Purpose, are examples of his philosophy of service.  He stated today that his goal is to provide 10 times value versus the purchase price.  That applies to his books, keynotes, consulting, presentations, coaching, and the rest of his services.

If you missed reading his books, which I encourage you to purchase, you can hear the original synopses at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.

I think you will agree that these are high quality works, written from the heart, and filled with practical information that will help you.



Getting Motivated about Motivation? I Don’t Think So!

Many of you know that I am a 12-year member of the National Speakers Association and a Past President of the North Texas Chapter.  Therefore, I run in circles with all types of speakers, including the highly-paid keynote style.

I found this point interesting in a article published last year in Meetings and Conventions magazine (July 1, 2010).  Key subscribers to the magazine are meeting planners, who often have the responsibility to book keynote speakers for conventions, annual meetings, and other large-scale events.

The article noted that motivational messages are among the most appropriate keynote categories.  Of the 116 meeting planners who responded, 69 percent say an uplifting speech is highly appropriate for their groups.  Also popular are industry-related topics, cited by 62 percent, future trends (47 percent) and humor (41 percent).

Why is this of interest to me?  Because the factors that have actually motivated workers has been consistent for more than 25 years.  And, “feeling motivated” is not in the list.

Beginning in the mid-’80s, lists of “what motivates employees” started to include items such as:  feeling “in” on things, doing work that matters, and being recognized for a job well done.  Pay slipped from the # 1 spot, and has consistently fallen below items such as those that I listed in the previous sentence.

So, what I don’t get is why do people want to hear motivating messages as their # 1 topic from a keynote speaker, rather than about content or process items that actually motivate them on the job?  If people are motivated by content or process items in the jobs that they do, then why would they not want to hear about those items from keynote speakers?

I will admit to you that this is close.  Notice that industry-related topics (62%) and future trends (47%) are not far from motivation (69%).  Yet, motivation remains at the top.

I personally find that motivational messages have a “glow.”  You feel good after it is over, but  it wears off quickly.  And, I never seem to feel the same again.   When I hear messages with tangible content, at least I have some knowledge of what to do, how to do it, and so forth.  It really doesn’t matter how I feel, or if I am motivated about it – I know where to find it, and what it is.

How about you?  Are you surprised by this finding?  What do you think about motivational messages?

Let’s talk about it!

Hold on Governor Perry – Let’s Get it Right, not Faster!

Earlier this month, the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, proposed that Texas abandon using traditional textbooks in public schools and replace them with computer technology.  

In the story, published by the Associated Press in newspapers across the country, Perry asked participants at a computer gaming education conference in Austin, “I don’t see any reason in the world why we need to have textbooks in Texas in the next four years. Do you agree?”

“Paper textbooks get out of date quickly,” Perry said, sometimes even before they reach the classroom. He noted that since he took office in 2000, some schools have used textbooks saying Ann Richards was governor. She served from 1991 to 1995.  You can read the entire article here.

There is no question that authors can update electronic content faster than traditional textbooks.  Indeed, by the time that a book is released for distribution, up to 18 months can have passed since the author wrote the material.

However, faster is not the equivalent of better.  The Governor’s proposal removes a critical element of scholarship, and that is peer review, or refereeing. 

When your child reads a traditional textbook, you can be sure that its content has passed strong scruitiny by expert reviewers.  In most cases, at least three independent experts review the content of each book prior to publication.  I know this because I have served as a reviewer for several publishing companies over the years, and my own co-authored book, Organizing Change, published by Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, underwent rigorous peer review.

If we allow authors to update their own material without subjecting those changes to referreed expert review, we are placing the quality of our children’s education in severe jeopardy.  The entire purpose of having texts read by experts is to eliminate and correct factual errors before they reach the printed stage. 

Two parallels come to mind.  The first is the entire self-publishing industry, frequented by many of my colleagues who are members of the National Speakers Association.  In order to get a book out quickly and effortlessly for back-of-the-room sales, they create their own work through a made-to-order publishing arm, using a process that bypasses refereeing.  The second is Wikipedia, whose content is built by users, and whose corrections are formal and bureaucratic, but hardly scholastic in the tradition of academic review.

Maybe it is wrong that today’s students read that Ann Richards is Governor of Texas.  But, the reality is that the history is true.  She was the Governor of Texas.  I would rather my children read accurate history than up-to-date fallacies.

Should this be an issue that affects his re-election at the polls?   Do we really want a Governor who thinks that faster is better, and who is willing to sacrifice quality and accuracy for speed?

What about you?  Send me a note so we can start some dialogue about it.

Is all the business world a field or court?

A quick stroll through the business section of a bookstore or a search through the management section of an on-line retailer will quickly reveal the plethora of  titles available from sports figures.  Working from the analogy that the activities inherent around a basketball court, a football field, or a baseball diamond simulate the activities in the workplace, many current and former athletes and coaches have penned treatises teaching us how to be successful on the job.   Topics for these books include leadership, management, motivation, teamwork, self-improvement, finance, and others.

A great recent example of this is the book by John Wooden that we featured at the First Friday Book Synopsis and that you can purchase at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.   This book is also accompanied by videos, manuals, and training courses.  No one can question Wooden’s success as a repetitive NCAA champion head basketball coach at UCLA.   You could say the same thing about practically any of these authors.  After all, who would read a book from a loser?  I learned a long time ago in attending conventions of the National Speakers Association, that if you want to be successful in the business, follow the path of a successful speaker, not a failure. 

Here are some others:

Rick Pitino – head basketball coach at the University of Louisville:  Success Is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life 

Fran Tarkenton – former NFL quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants:  What Losing Taught Me About Winning: The Ultimate Guide for Success in Small and Home-Based Business

Mike Ditka – former NFL head coach for the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints:  In Life, First You Kick Ass: Reflections on the 1985 Bears and Wisdom from Da Coach

The assumption behind all of these books is that the activities and best practices which yielded success for these authors in sports are relevant and applicable to what we do at work.  Therefore, a manager can use the techniques that a head coach uses, employees are players, competitors are opponents, strategies are plays, pilots or rollouts are practices, groups should become teams, and so forth.  We can use terms and phrases such as, “she struck out today,” “this looks like a home run,” “he’s our quarterback,” and “we’re in a sand trap.”  You get the point.

I think that there is some legitimacy to this, although I can tell you that in teaching my MBA courses at the University of Dallas, students are tiring of the sports analogy in business, particularly for teamwork.  You may remember the series of silly commercials from American Express a few years ago entitled “Great Moments in Business,” where employees piled up on each other in a room after a successful presentation, and high-fived each other as if they had just won a World Series after a closed sale.

If you believe that the principles that motivate human beings are the same, no matter what the context, then you would have no problem with what these books try to do.   Who would not advocate “practice” before performance, whether that is a presentation, a draft of a document or e-mail, or a pilot program prior to a national product introduction?   The same principles and behaviors that qualify a group of people as a team on the court or field should apply on the job.  Consider trust, which is a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for teamwork.  Without trust, there is no team, no matter where it is.   We don’t have to talk about money –  that’s an issue in the business of sports as much as the business of business.  Some have a lot, and some don’t have enough.  Some even go out of existence, such as the recent announcement that the 20-year Arena Football League will cease operations.  Some look for outside buoyance.  The Federal Government keeps General Motors alive.  Major League Baseball did the same for the Montreal Expos before moving them to Washington, D.C.   Every sports franchise is as much of a business as a firm on Wall Street, or anywhere else.

And, managers and employees can go through all the motions of strategic planning, just like coaches and players study a playbook, diagram motions, and run through plays on the practice field or court, only to learn that when they face a competitor, it is considerably different.   Rarely is there a situation where the presence of an opponent is the not the cause of substantial modifications in strategy, and the possibility of failure. 

Remember when George Will told us that baseball players are not the “boys of summer,” but rather, “Men at Work.”  He argued that baseball managers, just as business managers, examine a set of complex variables in making decisions.  And, that players perfect their skills on the diamond in ways that go well beyond how employees do the same in the workplace.

In conclusion, advice from sports personalities about business is probably no worse than the lessons we can read about based upon Abraham Lincoln, Jesus Christ, Machiavelli, or General Robert E. Lee.   Like many of these sports personalities, they didn’t run or work for any of today’s companies, but authors have used their best practices to show us how to work better in our jobs. 

Is all the business world a field or a court?  Perhaps no worse than a stage.  No matter how we do it, we all have to perform.  The question is simply what resources we want to use to guide us to success. 

Let’s talk about it.  What do you think?