The Best Speaker Introduction Ever

Very early in my speaking career, I was saying yes to every speaking opportunity. I had a J-O-B in marketing at the chamber of commerce, a great place to make a difference in the world -- or at least your own town. 

Saying yes to every speaking engagement puts you in some pretty funny situations. 

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Storytelling in the digital age means learning video production

Business owners shouldn't master everything, but you should know enough to be able to ask the right questions and direct your team on what you want. Derek Sivers believes you shouldn't have to build your own website, but you're a better boss and leader if you know how. 

These days, if you've got your hands in your marketing, this means being directly involved in the storytelling. And storytelling in a digital age means knowing a thing or two about video production. I've put learning video production and studio work into my own job description for the last 10 years. Having produced commercials, directed subjects on camera, written campaigns and the whole deal, it's fun to flex that muscle from to time to time. 

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Innovative alignment versus institutional preservation

Why is it Starbucks instead of Maxwell House? Why is it an iPod instead of a Walkman? Why is it LinkedIn instead of the Chamber of Commerce? 

If the mission of Rosetta Stone is to teach people a new language, why haven't they offered to a six-month subscription to every non-English speaking household in America for free? 

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Gifts given and received

I was having lunch with Chris Nordyke last Thursday when I asked a question I often ask people to whom I could listen for hours: "When is your book coming out?" He wondered out loud what the next steps would be, so I rattled some off as if I had written a thousand books. 

That afternoon, I called my friend Chris McLaran. I had been thinking a lot about Chris for the whole month of March. The first anniversary of Mike McLaran's passing would soon be here. I needed a healthy distraction, and I wondered if Chris did too. Friday morning, Chris and I hatched an idea that I had been sitting on all month, too afraid to say it aloud. 

Today, I celebrate the longest run of my life.

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Follow You Anywhere

It was almost exactly a year ago when I emailed my mentor and former boss yet another thank you note after completing a huge project for my first Canadian client. His response: "always pay it forward." Today, I found myself teaching others what he taught me... Paying it forward.

I wish he was here with me to see what he's done. He started something and he should be here to see it, not to accept our applause, but to silence it and push me -- all of us -- to do more. Not more in quantity but more in listening, more in art, more in humility, more in encouragement and more in service to others.

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