I work as a professional speaker, consultant, and workshop leader. My professional practice has taken me to countries around the world to work with individuals, governments, groups, and organizations. Each time I work, I create something new for the given circumstances. I mention this because often when people contact me they ask if I have a speech or workshop on a topic. That is not the way I work. My professional practice is part of my academic work, which means it is research-based. I do not have an idea or approach to sell, I just do my best to keep up on what works and then try to share that with whomever asks me to help.
Working with leaders, athletes, artists, teams, and organizations, my focus is on the ways we can do what we do better. Each time someone contacts me I ask them to give me as much information as they can. I study it, and then connect it to research that I believe could be of benefit to them and draw on examples where top performers have made progress in the area. There is no magic to it, but it takes a lot of time to survey the relevant areas and then keep up on developments. There is too much work in this area. My calling and commitment is to academic life. I believe that is a life of public service, so I will always want to do professional work, both to serve, and to continue to learn about innovations in other areas of work. To address the number of requests I receive, I am about to publish a book that will attempt to give this work away so people can do it themselves.
Avuncular. Whenever I speak I mention this word. It refers to someone, usually an older figure, who speaks to you in a way that seems condescending. They speak as if they know something you need to know, but when sharing the information, it makes you feel inferior. One of my best friends, and one of the scholars I respect most helped me understand this word and its relevance to my work. Because I share the success stories from performance experts I must be careful that people do not think I have it all figured out. I do not. Not by a long shot. I just spend my time studying people who do.