10 Speakers That Were Trending in October 2018

Every month, Clients call, email, and even text us asking about different Speakers they are considering for upcoming events.  They ask questions, view videos, read testimonials and in some cases request a call with a Speaker, something we are delighted to arrange. Based on all that activity, here are the 10 Speakers clients were talking about in October 2018..

Michelle Ray – Change, Communication and Leadership Speaker

Born in Australia and now residing in Vancouver, Canada,  leadership  expert, Michelle Ray is an award-winning speaker and founder of the Lead Yourself First Institute. Michelle began her career in the media industry with one of Australia’s leading broadcasting networks. She worked her way up the management ladder and was responsible for the sales revenues of 25 radio and television affiliate stations.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Michelle-Ray

Adrian Gostick – Bestselling Leadership Author & Organizational Culture Expert

How do today’s best leaders accelerate business results? By engaging their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. In his challenging, information-packed talks, #1 bestselling  leadership  author Adrian Gostick provides real solutions on managing change, organizational culture, driving innovation, and leading high-performance teams.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Adrian-Gostick

Janet Lapp – Expert on Change and Employee Motivation

What would happen if everyone in the organization saw the positives and not the problems in change? This question inspired Dr. Janet Lapp and her team to conduct decades of research enacting these types of changes in the workplace, with amazingly positive results. Janet shares the evidence-based results derived from years of experience in both her books and stage performances. She has a professor’s ability to translate complex theory into usable answers, and a humorist’s knack for getting ideas across in an entertaining way.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Janet-Lapp

Stuart Knight – Award Winning Entrepreneur, Critically Acclaimed Author, and Hit Producer

Stuart Knight has written, produced and starred in live presentations that have been seen by over one million people and each year speaks internationally helping some of the world’s biggest companies reach new levels of success. When he is not on the road speaking, you may have seen or heard him on some of Canada’s biggest TV and Radio stations where he is often asked for his expert opinion on high level communication.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Stuart-Knight

Greg McKeown – Social Innovator, Peak Performance Speaker & Author

Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t. The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller,  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Greg–McKeown

Polly LaBarre – Bestselling Author, Co-Founder of Management Lab,  Founding Writer of Fast Company

For more than 20 years, Polly LaBarre has used her writing, business consulting, and speaking to help organizations unleash and organize human potential in ever more powerful ways. Polly has devoted her career to helping leaderslearn to lead differently. The disruptive  business environment today demands it, and the best leaders and companies today have found out-of-the-box ways to invent the future by shedding bureaucracy and engaging their people in completely new ways.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Polly-LaBarre

Dr. George Friedman – Speaker and Author on the Future of Geopolitics

George Friedman is an internationally recognized geopolitical forecaster and bestselling author. As Founder and Chairman of Geopolitical Futures, a new online publication dedicated to forecasting the course of global events, Friedman combines his passion for writing and publishing for his readers world wide who follow international affairs.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-George-Friedman

Natalie Stavas – Harvard Doctor, Athlete, International Humanitarian, Motivational Speaker

Dr. Natalie Stavas shares inspiring real-life stories based on her experiences as a physician at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an instructor in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is also described as a healer, educator and Boston community leader, and received the 2012 Change Maker award from The Boston Foundation.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Natalie-Stavas

Josh Linkner – Speaker on Creativity, Innovation, and Leadership

Josh Linkner – who started his career as a jazz guitarist – personifies creativity, entrepreneurship and disruptive innovation.  He has been the founder and CEO of four tech companies, which sold for a combined value of over $200 million.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Josh-Linkner

Commander/Dr. Mary Kelly – Author, International Speaker, and Leadership Economist

Dr. Mary Kelly with a PhD in economics, is an internationally-known economist and expert specializing in the fields of leadership, productivity, communication, she focuses on strategy and tactics that improve productivity and profit growth. Commander Mary Kelly served 25 years in the US Navy as an intelligence and logistics officer, mostly in Asia. She was an HR Director, a chief of police, and she was part of the team that ran Pearl Harbor.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dr.-Mary-Kelly

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

Decisions: How To Manage Grey Space by Ross Shafer

Your life will be judged by the thousands of decisions you have made. Some decisions will be as easy. Some will be hard. Others live in what is called GREY SPACE. Come back in five seconds and I’ll explain how to manage the GREY SPACE. RLC . Ross Shafer here and I want to talk to you about GREY SPACE…those times when ambiguity causes your decision making to freeze up. Grey Space can make you see a problem both ways; which makes you pause. You stall. You postpone because you think you need more evidence. And if your company and coworkers are depending upon YOU to make a choice, WAITING is a bad option. And, compiling more and more data isn’t always helpful either.

It merely makes the Indecision of Grey Space last longer. So how can you unblock yourself? First you have to be realistic about WHO YOU ARE. If you are new at this particular kind of decision and don’t have a lot of experience, relying on data is safe. You’re like an airline pilot who trusts the instruments in bad weather. However, if you have a lot of experience and you’re still frozen to decide, you are probably trying to reconcile the data – with your instincts. Consider this: Author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book BLINK, describes how data can’t tell the whole story. Gladwell says, according to a lot of Big Data, Millennials are highly mistrustful. They don’t trust companies or politicians or food labels – yet that data doesn’t explain why they will happily get into an UBER vehicle with a total stranger…or rent their home through AirBNB to someone who could be a serial killer.

The data and the behaviors don’t match but that gives you a lcear decision path. The fact that UBER and AIRBNB are successful is the answer. If you can’t decide, look at what is selling. What sells – and what doesn’t sell is always the best indicator. Watch Shark Tank. Inventors come to the Sharks with Data like, “Wooden Bowls are a $200 million dollar industry and I have the finest bowls; hand-carved from Peruvian Ironwood. “It’s $1,000.” A shark says, “How many have you sold?” “Four” “I don’t care how big the industry is, I can’t invest $200,000 in making Thousand-dollar bowls that don’t sell.

People want a $12-dollar bowl from Wal-mart.” Don’t get me wrong. I love data. But when you are trapped in the Grey Space because you’re still trying to convince yourself you need more evidence, STOP! More data isn’t the answer. The best decisions are made from a recipe that contains data, instinct, and most importantly…results. If you want to eliminate the Grey Space in your brain, the best decisions will be based upon actual behavior and actual sales.


Ross Shafer is an Emmy award winning network talk show host and comedy writer who has turned that same talent toward the corporate marketplace. He has written and produced 14 Human Resource training films on Customer ServiceLeadership, and Sales. Ross has also authored several business books, which include Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shouts Back, and Are You Relevant?. His most recent book is Grab More Market Share: How to Wrangle Business Away from Lazy Competitors.


To Learn more about Ross contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

3 Great Books on Leadership Everyone Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching speakers on Leadership for 18 years and have seen some incredibly insightful presentations. Here are 3 of the best books on Leadership by 3 great speakers.

Ram Charan – Highly Acclaimed Business and Leadership Speaker and Advisor

Ram Charan is a world-renowned business advisor, author and speaker who has spent the past 35 years working with many top companies, CEOs, and boards of our time. In his work with companies including GE, MeadWestvaco, and Bank of America, he is known for cutting through the complexity of running a business in today’s fast changing environment to uncover the core business problem. His real-world solutions, shared with millions through his books and articles in top business publications, have been praised for being practical, relevant and highly actionable – the kind of advice you can use Monday morning.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Ram-Charan

 

Geoff Colvin – Senior Editor-at-Large FORTUNE Magazine, Bestselling Author/Commentator on Business & Economic Issues

Geoff Colvin is an award-winning thinker, author, broadcaster, and speaker on the most significant trends and issues impacting business and the economy. As Fortune magazine’s senior editor-at-large, Geoff has an insider’s perspective fueled by long-standing relationships with the world’s top leaders in business and government. He knows what they’re seeing, thinking, and planning and reveals how they’re leading, making choices, and responding to today’s challenges in ways that others can learn from.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Geoff-Colvin

 

Linda Galindo – Accountability Expert, Author, and Consultant

Linda Galindo is a fierce advocate for personal accountability. She wants to create a world in which everyone, regardless of circumstances or position, is accountable for their results. Galindo’s mission is to help others to find the courage to see, hear and tell their own truth so they can live fully accountable lives.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Linda-Galindo

 

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]

3 Great Books on Motivation Everyone Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching Speakers on Motivation for 18 years and have seen some incredibly motivating presentations. Here are 3 of the best books on motivation by 3 great motivational Speakers.

Scott Burrows – Quadriplegic Speaker on Transformational Change

Scott Burrows is living proof your life can change in an instant. By the age of 19, he was playing college football at Florida State University as a Wide receiver and a top-ranked kick-boxing champion, with his last fight broadcast by ESPN. On November 3, 1984, Scott’s life took a dramatic and irreversible turn. He was involved in a serious automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. Despite his grim diagnosis, Scott refused to be sidelined. He made the decision to take action, to focus on the positives of the experience as opposed to dwelling on the obvious and overwhelming negatives.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Scott-Burrows

Dan Clark – Inspirational Speaker on Teamwork and Sales

As a modern day Napoleon Hill, Dan Clark has interviewed, studied and worked with the most powerful and successful business leaders, political and military leaders, and world champion athletes of our generation, which is why companies around the globe bring Dan in for his expertise in developing emerging leaders, increasing sales and productivity, building winning teams in the midst of mergers and acquisitions, and transforming the culture of an organization from successful to significance.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dan-Clark

Mel Robbins – Award-Winning CNN Commentator, Co-Founder of Inspire52

Mel Robbins is a serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, internationally recognized social media influencer, and one of the most sought-after motivational speakers in the world. Her digital platform inspires more than 20 million people a month with transformative videos, articles, positive psychology research, and inspiring content. Mel’s latest book, The 5 Second Rule,is a fixture on Amazon’s “Top Ten Most Read List” and one of the most successful audio books ever published. Her TEDx talk about change has more than eleven million views.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Mel-Robbins

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

The SECRET to “show business” success for YOUR business! by Scott McKain

A good movie has the power to make us laugh, cry, angry, hungry, or even want to quit our job, unplug, and live in the wilderness for the rest of our natural life.

A lot goes into a movie to make us feel so emotionally invested that we’ll want to tell our friends about our experience immediately.

  • We’ll tweet about it…
  • Share our critiques on Facebook…
  • Or, go straight to Instagram Live

…with a face still glowing from all the excitement!

For this reason, the entertainment industry spends more time studying one aspect even more than the most advanced visual effects or new camera angles:

Human emotion!

Why?

It’s because an emotional connection is the most potent and influential connection possible.

To make 1997’s Titanic, it cost a staggering $200 million. (In 1997 dollars!)

However, not very many people stepped out of the theatre marveling over the fact that a special Russian submarine was used or every detail on the ship matched the original Titanic down to the doorknob. The audience walked out in a trance, swooning over Jack and Rose’s romance, saddened by the massive loss of life — or enraged that Jack’s death could have been prevented had Rose just shared the door she was floating on!

  • The fact is, people rarely remember the details.
  • But they will remember how something made them feel.
  • And that’s why ALL business is “show business.”

It has come to the point where we have created a culture of customers who demand compelling experiences whenever they do business.

Regardless of your industry, what your product or service is, you’re selling an experience.

The entertainment business has already unlocked this secret and recognize that the more powerful the connection, the greater the success. Ultimately, to succeed individually and organizationally, you need to change the way you relate to customers and employees.

And I’m not saying that you should be more entertaining. Entertainment, after all, isn’t all song and dance, explosions or slapstick. A CEO isn’t expected to be a stand-up comedian at corporate meetings, and a barista isn’t supposed to break out in song the next time someone orders a latte.

However, there are industries such as retail or hospitality who will find that by increasing humor and fun, they’re creating and enhancing their connection with customers and employees. And a B2B organization or an insurance firm may find that by showing genuine care, concern, and empathy, an emotional bond is formed because the clients feel their unique challenges are understood and being taken care of.

To approach your business as “show business” is not to be confused with putting on an act, being overly dramatic, or being fake.

  • It’s about differentiating yourself from the competition by understanding your clients in the same way that show business understands their audience.
  • It’s about creating specific strategies based on your customer’s distinct preference in order to deliver experiences that are compelling and engaging.

It’s about taking what we can learn from the entertainment business and leverage that insight into building strong and lasting emotional connections with our clients and colleagues.

About Scott Mckain:

Scott McKain creates captivating presentations and bestselling books which clearly reveal how to create more compelling connections between you and your customers and how to stand out and move up, regardless of the economic climate in your industry. McKain’s calling is business – and his passion is platform presentations. He is a unique combination of vast speaking experience and new, cutting-edge information. His presentations benefit from three decades of experience, combined with his innate talent for articulating successful ideas. McKain has spoken before and consulted for the world’s most influential corporations. His keynote presentations help organizations conquer change and increase sales.

To Learn more about Scott contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Ways to Succeed in Sales in 2020 by Ryan Estis

Ryan Estis has

become one of the most requested Speakers for Sales Audiences across the country. His inspiring ideas, innovative insights and take-action philosophy helps Sales people take their game to a whole new level. Here are Ryan Estis 5 Ways to Succeed in Sales in 2020.

1. Do your homework.

I get four or five cold sales emails a day. Rarely does the seller take the time to properly research my company. As a prospect, I’m a pretty easy target. I have years of blog content in the archives available for anyone who’s interested in my business. If a seller researched me, determined I was a good fit for their solution or service, and reached out in a way that focused on me and my business challenges, you better believe I’d pause before hitting “Delete.”

2. Find opportunities for customization and personalization.

Do you believe deeply that you can help the customer? Prove it. Get specific. Tell prospects why they should care, and show up prepared for impact. Your ability to customize for every client is imperative. It’s what the customer expects today.

3. Be a teacher.

Teaching sells. I walked into a client meeting this week and they had already read my last 10 blog posts and consumed a bunch of video content. That created an immediate connection and helped us have a much more personal, productive meeting. That’s the blog delivering value and doing the work.

Today, expertise is the price of admission to earn the opportunity to sell, and it pays to demonstrate that expertise where your customers are spending time. Teaching is a gateway into a credible relationship built on trust. Look for every opportunity to contribute value and provide expert guidance up front. If you aren’t ready to deliver compelling insight (on your industry, your solution, the market, your customer), go back to step #1.

4. More isn’t better. Better is better.

Automation makes it easy to blast out an email to 20,000 people on a list. Somebody’s gotta respond, right? Wrong. I cannot think of a faster way to take a relationship from neutral to negative than to consistently assault someone’s inbox with irrelevant information. Instead, slow down and make every interaction count. Every touchpoint with a potential customer is a chance to add value and advance the relationship. So often, “less but better” is the right approach.

5. Human connection.

Sales isn’t just about the science. There’s a craft to professional selling. Look for ways to build a meaningful connection. That might mean closing the laptop and finding a way to talk to your clients and prospects, on the phone or in person. Can you differentiate and win on human connection? The best way I know how is to deliver a little bit more than the customer expects every single time. Be remarkable consistently.

If you are preparing to win in a 2020 world it’s essential to embrace process discipline, brand the sales experience and deliver impact that a customer knows they cannot get from anyone else. In the eyes of the customer, you are the company!

 

About Ryan Estis:

Ryan Estis understands the challenges business leaders and top performers face, because he’s been in their shoes. He spent 15 years helping companies connect with employees and customers as an ad agency executive, building a client roster of category leading brands. Nine years ago, he decided to put that experience into practice and launch his own research and learning organization. Ryan is afforded an inside look at what the world’s best companies do differently and he shares that insight by helping clients initiate change, improve performance and deliver growth.

To Learn more about Ryan contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Great Books on Peak Performance Everyone Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching Speakers on peak performance for 18 years and have seen some amazing presentations. Here are 5 of the best books on peak performance filled with ideas, insights and practical tips that everyone should read.

Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour – First African American Female Combat Pilot and Motivational Speaker

Known simply as FlyGirl, Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour went from beat cop to combat pilot in 3 years. Within months of earning her wings, she found herself flying over the deserts of Iraq supporting the men and women on the ground. After serving two tours overseas, she had become America’s First African American Female Combat Pilot. After returning home, she realized that many people wanted to create breakthroughs in their own lives, they just didn’t know how.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Vernice-Armour

Chris Johnson – Speaks about Health, Wellness, and Peak Performance

Chris Johnson is the leading authority on small steps to healthy living. As Founder/CEO of On Target Living, Chris is a highly respected expert and accomplished executive, who has spent over 30 years researching and building optimal health and performance programs for individuals and corporations. He is the architect of the Food Target® that shifts from counting calories to concentrating on the nutrient values of foods that guide healthy choices.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Chris-Johnson

 

Molly Fletcher – Inspiring Speaker on Leadership, Business development, and Peak Performance

Molly Fletcher is a trailblazer in every sense of the word– a rare talent of business wisdom, relationship brilliance and unwavering optimism. A popular keynote speaker, she shares the unconventional techniques that helped her thrive as one of the first female sports agents in the high stakes, big ego world of professional sports and now a successful entrepreneur.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Molly-Fletcher

 

Greg McKeown – Social Innovator, Peak Performance Speaker & Author

Greg McKeown has dedicated his career to discovering why some people break through to the next level—and others don’t.  The definitive treatment of this issue is addressed in McKeown’s latest project: the instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  As well as frequently being the #1 Time Management book on Amazon, this book challenges core assumptions about achievement to get to the essence of what really drives success.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Greg–McKeown

 

Dan Waldschmidt – Runner & Best-selling Author and Speaker on Peak Performance and Sales

An elite ultra-runner and internationally awarded business strategist, Dan Waldschmidt is considered to be one of the top sales thinkers in the world. His book EDGY Conversations has sold over 250,000 copies around the world and hit the Amazon best-seller list on 3 different continents.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Dan-Waldschmidt

 

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

Avoid the Trap of Focusing on What Was Rather Than on What Is By Dan Coughlin

It’s business planning season.

All of my clients are working on plans for next year. I’m guessing you are too. The temptation is there to take last year’s plan, tweak a few things, fill in the numbers, and hand it in. I’ve actually seen groups do that for 10 consecutive years.

I encourage you not to do that.

Every day brings changes. Industries change, businesses change, employees change, customers change, and markets change.

A long-term key employee leaves the organization. That changes the type of value that can be added to customers. A large client leaves and now you have to adjust. You’ve invested a great deal in improving the value you can deliver to customers, and you need to take that into consideration as you move forward. And on and on.

A Definition of Management

I encourage you to use this definition of management: management is converting resources into results.

That definition implies a few questions for you to consider:

  1. What resources do you have available to you?
  2. Who are you trying to impact?
  3. What results do you want to improve for them?
  4. What results do you want to improve inside of your organization?
  5. What will you do to convert your resources into those desired results?
  6. How will you do those things?

As you sit down to plan for next year, I suggest you take out a sheet of paper and write down very clearly your answers to each of those questions. This is the real work of planning for the next year or two.

Resources

Resources include facilities, technologies, finances, suppliers, and your network of customers, past customers, and prospects. Resources include the values, talents, passions, and character strengths of the individuals in your organization. Resources also include your values, talents, passions, and character strengths. And much, much more.

Take some time to really think about the depth and breadth of your resources. No matter how big or small your organization or your part of the organization is, you still have a LOT of resources available to you.

Who are You Trying to Impact?

Write down the type of person or the type of group you really want to impact over the next 12 months. These could be current customers or prospective customers. It can’t be everyone. It has to be someone.

What results are you trying to improve for them?

Put yourself in their shoes. If you were going to invest in the products/services that your company sells, what would you have to achieve in order to feel good about that investment?

What results are you trying to improve inside of your organization?

Now that you’ve focused on the people and their desired results that are outside of your organization, shift your attention to determining the results you want to improve inside of your organization. Of course there are desired financial results, but it’s more than just that.

What will you do to convert your resources into those desired results?

Are there certain things you want to do more of and certain things you want to stop doing? Are there new things you want to start doing in your organization?

As the world around us changes, shouldn’t we consider changing some of our behaviors and activities as well?

Match what you will do with the results you are trying to generate. If there is no connection between what you’re doing and what you’re trying to achieve for customers or your organization, then don’t do it.

How will you do those things?

This last question converts all of your thinking into a doable action plan. How are you going to do the things you said you want to do this year. Who will do them? What will they do? What is their timeline? What are milestone, measurable indicators that will demonstrate that you are making steady progress as an organization toward the achievement of the desired results?

Conclusion

Don’t just adjust a few words and numbers from last year’s plan. Actually think about your answers to the questions based on what is rather than on what was.

About Dan Coughlin

Dan Coughlin is a leading authority on managing for long-term business success. He teaches The Any Person Mindset, a practical management approach for improving individual, group, and organizational performance in a sustainable way. It is based on his core belief that any person can make a significant difference in an organization, but no one is born with the traits necessary to make a significant difference. These are learned thinking traits.

To Learn more about Dan contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

What No One Tells You About Meditation by Dr. Tasha Eurich

Last week, I worked with a new client on their annual staff retreat. Because I was slated to close the meeting, it seemed prudent to arrive early to observe the session before mine. As I tiptoed into the conference room, I was perplexed by what I saw: thirty completely silent people staring into space.

As I tried to piece together what was going on (the actual invasion of the body snatchers?), the sound of a woman’s voice passed through the overhead speakers: “Focus on your breath and your body. Notice what you are experiencing without judgment or reaction.”

Oh! I realized. They’re meditating.

I shouldn’t have been all that surprised given the widespread use of meditation in the corporate world—1 in 7 workers practice it. And it’s so widely used for one simple reason: it works.

Meditation makes us happier, healthier, more relaxed, and more productive. As a self-awareness researcher, I’m especially intrigued by findings that it helps us see ourselves more clearly.

As I watched my clients show such commitment to this practice, I felt incredibly guilty.

Truth be told, the idea of relaxing into the present moment has always stressed me out. As a Type A person, my nirvana is achieved by checking off all the items on my to-do list. (I’m so addicted to productivity that my husband literally locked my Blackberry in the hotel safe during our honeymoon.)

And while many people who meditate describe it as a tranquil, positive, and imminently enjoyable experience, that has never been the case for me. Very much the opposite, in fact.

After the meditation session wrapped up, I was chatting with one of the gentlemen who was leading it. In a supremely un-self-aware moment, I blurted out, “I think I might hate meditation.” Without skipping a beat, he replied in the most surprising manner possible. “I agree! Meditation is awful!”

He continued amid my profoundly puzzled expression. “It can be uncomfortable and frustrating and scary, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t working.” He likened the experience to going to the gym—many visits are tough, but those are the most important days to go. “And regardless of your experience,” he said, “doing it is what matters.”

Hearing that I was not, in fact, the only person in the world who didn’t love meditation was surprisingly freeing. And almost instantly, I felt more open to getting back on the horse.

After we wrapped up the retreat, I flew to Jacksonville to spend the weekend with a friend. And one morning, as we sat quietly in our shaded beach chairs, koozied beverages in hand, I decided to give it another try. It still wasn’t an entirely comfortable experience, but when I was finished, I felt calmer than I had in a long time.

We live in a world of quick fixes and instant gratification. So many of the things that are good for us in the long run require time, commitment, and courage. They can be annoying at best and excruciating at worst. The point, though, is that we should do them anyway.

Theodore Roosevelt, a great American President who had more than his fair share of challenges, put it so well: “Nothing in this world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. I have never…envied a human being who led an easy life.”

So if something important is harder than you anticipated, don’t get discouraged. Believe in what you’re doing. Honor the investment you’re making. Your future self will thank you.

About Dr. Tasha Eurich

Tasha Eurich is an organizational psychologist, researcher, and New York Times best-selling author. She’s built a reputation as a fresh, modern voice in the business world by pairing her scientific grounding in human behavior with a pragmatic approach to solving problems. Over her 15-plus-year career, she’s helped thousands of professionals— from Fortune 500 executives to early stage entrepreneurs—improve their self-awareness and success.

With a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and a BA in both Theater and Psychology, Dr. Eurich has contributed to The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine and CNBC.com, and has been featured in outlets like Forbes, The New York Times, Fast Company, and Inc. She has been named a “Top 100 Thought Leader” by Trust Across America, a “Leader to Watch” by the American Management Association, and one of Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40.” Her 2014 TEDxMileHigh talk has been viewed more than one million times.

To Learn more about Dr. Tasha Eurich contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]

5 Great Books Every Team Leader Should Read

We have been reviewing and researching Speakers on Teamwork for 18 years and have seen some amazing presentations. Here are 5 of the best books on Teamwork filled with ideas, insights and practical tips that every Team Leader should read.

Patrick Lencioni – Management Consultant and Speaker on Organizational Health

Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement. Lencioni’s passion for organizations and teams is reflected in his writing, speaking and executive consulting. He is the author of eleven best-selling books with over five million copies sold. His capstone book, The Advantage, is the pre-eminent source on organizational health. After sixteen years in print, his classic book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, remains a weekly fixture on national best-seller lists.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Patrick-Lencioni

Rob Waldman – Fighter Pilot and Motivational Speaker

Lt. Col. (ret.) Rob Waldo Waldman – The Wingman  is a professional leadership speaker and author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo. He teaches organizations how to build trusting, revenue producing relationships with their employees, partners, and customers while sharing his experiences as a combat decorated F-16 fighter pilot and businessman.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Waldo-Waldman

 

Adrian Gostick – Bestselling Leadership Author & Organizational Culture Expert

How do today’s best leaders accelerate business results? By engaging their employees to execute on strategy, vision, and values. In his challenging, information-packed talks, #1 bestselling leadership author Adrian Gostick provides real solutions on managing change, driving innovation, and leading high-performance teams. Gostick is a global workplace expert and thought leader in the fields of corporate culture, leadership, and engagement.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Adrian-Gostick

 

Matt Mayberry – Former NFL Linebacker & Peak Performance Strategist

Matt Mayberry is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and performance strategist. A former Indiana University and Chicago Bears linebacker, Matt is one of the most widely read columnists for Entrepreneur Magazine, where he writes on peak performance, leadership, teamwork, overcoming adversity, and motivation.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Matt-Mayberry

 

Stacy Allison – Author, Mountaineer and Speaker on Risk, Teamwork and Leadership

Stacy Allison has climbed the world’s most famous mountain. Now she’s helping organizations across the globe scale their own monumental challenges. Stacy understands mountains: she has been climbing mountains and leading expeditions for more than 20 years in remote regions around the world, including Tibet, Pakistan, and Russia. She also understands business: Stacy is president of Allison Construction, a residential building company in Portland, Oregon.

Video: https://thesweeneyagency.com/speakers/Stacy-Allison

To Learn more about these speakers contact [email protected]

Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866 727-7555 or [email protected]