Dr. O’Connor’s Story

Dr. Michael J. O’Connor

My Story: Professional Life Journey and Contributions Summary

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My Most Memorable Professional Experiences

As I have reflected on my own professional life journey as an advisor (consultant), speaker, coach, trainer, and facilitator, many stories of my experiences serving communities, organizations, leaders, managers, front-line employees, and customers have come to mind. In hindsight, I now wish I had kept a journal of these experiences (and encourage others to do so for both their own and others benefit). That said, here is my brief recall among the more than 50 stories I was able to recall that stand-out as more memorable.  Some are more extraordinary than I ever expected given my view of myself an not being extraordinary, but simply a resource for  ‘timeless truths’ with high impact for both success and satisfaction intended to better the lives of all. These are listed in the historical sequence they occurred—interestingly during my 40’s and 50’s when I was extensively travelling back and forth throughout the USA and Europe serving others. 

Keynote Consultative Speaking

  1. Keynote Consultative Speaking for Hay Group International’s organization and executive consultants at the Palace of Versailles, France in the room where the World War I Peace Treaty was signed. This was perhaps the first time I realized the respect of clients for what I was sharing with them during the 1980’s and 1990’s with a common focus on ‘effective performance’ at all levels through practical insights, applied resources, and practices.

Consultative Facilitation

  1. Consultative Facilitation for Selected ‘South Africa’ private and public sector leaders. I was invited to facilitate a session focused on the revitalization and unification of South Africa during this late 1980’s declining era of ‘Apartheid.’ The requested focus was on identifying the quality of ‘leaders’ going forward so that South Africa could peacefully exist among its controlling white minority and black African majority. This memorable experience provided all with specific, actionable insights about the primary importance of MOTIVATION (especially types of ‘personal values’) and contributing importance of ‘ADAPTABILITY’ (a correlated concept to ‘Emotional Intelligence’ well before the term even existed)!  To this day, I wonder whether the invited leaders in that room may have been among the key change agents for the successful, peaceful transition from Apartheid to universal voting rights and the ‘peaceful transformation’ which followed.

Consultative Training & Coaching

  1. Consultative Training & Coaching for ‘Iron Curtain’ Business Leaders The Day Before & After The ‘Berlin Wall’ Fell on 11/9/89.  I recall vividly this experience in Verona, Italy with these business leaders on our first day with them. While polite, they were not genuinely engaged with my world famous speaking partner, Dr. Ken Blanchard, or me as his follow-up hand-off consultant-coach-trainer. However, that evening their own personal worlds was turned upside down when the ‘Berlin Wall’ collapsed, and with it, the signal that their autocratic power as leaders/managers along with it!  I remember the next morning their flurry of questions about “WHAT do we do now” and “HOW do we make sure we are still able to succeed as leaders and as a business?” For these next two days they quickly changed from ‘command and control’ leader-managers to discovering and applying the principles and practices of ‘Effective Leaders and Managers.’ It was a very uplifting experience to show them how both they and their people can win by what we shared, discussed, had them apply for real-life situations they identified, provided guidance as well as support by answering their questions, along with encouragement, and confidence building.  They were most grateful and, most importantly, the corporate sponsor reported thereafter a high level of success and satisfaction experienced by these transformed leader-managers of their respective businesses in their Eastern Europe countries.

Managing by Values®

  1. For Leaders About Our ‘MANAGING BY VALUES’® process for building ‘all-win’, high performance organizations based on the model and process explained in  that book. In the early 1990’s Dr. Ken Blanchard and I co-authored what became a best-selling book translated and published in more than 20 languages world-wide based on my research and our experience successfully implementing it with companies. I recall the two of us speaking across the USA and internationally on the interest in this process of ‘Becoming a FORTUNATE 500’ Organization! Among these experiences, my most memorable one was as the Keynote Speaker for a European Conference held in Pamplona, Spain (more famous for the annual ‘running of the bulls’ day). It was the first time I recall speaking to a multi-national audience, most of whom used ‘headsets’ for the group of translators for me as the English-speaking invited expert. Our three hour session including my presentation covering the purpose, key principles, practices, insights, and resources for them to implement it in their own organizations, followed by an extended, high interest question—answer session, book signing (English, Spanish, and French versions), and lunch for the nearly 1,000 attending leaders-managers. After that, I was interviewed by local TV and newspaper (and later given a copy the next morning on our return flight), toured the local university to meet with professors, and most graciously entertained at a private dinner by our hosts along with my wife which was followed by a private play held in our honor.  Certainly an experience consistent with our MBV® all-win business philosophy!

Consultative Coaching

  1. Consultative Coaching with my client’s hands-on experience as ‘first responders’ for the 9/11/2001 NYC ‘Twin Towers’ Terrorist Attack!  I remember early that morning during our Advisory Board of Caterpillar’s H.O. Penn Company hearing the strange sound of jets flying over our hotel meeting room. While some commented how unusual this was, within a few minutes we discovered why as their ‘command center’ in the base of a tower shared with the NYC police for emergency responses made a call to H.O. Penn’s President informing us of what was happening as they began to evacuate the building. Within the next few hours, all became clear and for the next two months H.O. Penn responded with all its resources and others provided by Caterpillar in efforts by its people to first rescue survivors, the recover bodies, power up NYC and ‘Wall Street’s’ stock market, and related humanitarian efforts. While it was the ‘worst of times’ for its city and citizens, in hindsight it was viewed as the ‘best of times’ for our company by how it responded to this crisis. The company re-focused its business, resources, and people on getting ‘NYC back on its feet’ for the next two months with actions by its individual employees at all levels guided by their same ‘one boss’—their company’s four core business values—especially their #1 priority of being ‘ETHICAL’ (defined as ‘doing the right thing’)!  Their experience, unlike that of some competitors, was guided by the principle and practices developed by the company’s ‘Managing By Values’® process culture. By doing so, it transformed the lives of both its people and their view of their jobs as one dedicated to ‘protecting our communities and lives of its people’!

My Story: Professional Life Journey and Contributions

An Overview: My professional life has consisted of six different types of professional services which fall into the four dimensions of personal, group, organization, and cultural/societal performance. Both ‘WHAT’ I focused on, discovered, and did as well as ‘HOW’ is summarized below. Thereafter, this is described along the seven decades of my career efforts.  

What I Did? (Content Focus): My initial formal academic studies focused on people and naturally evolved to three other areas which became the basis for the ‘Optimal (Business) Performance Model’ that I eventually authored in 1998 based on my own and others proven models, personal/client/colleagues experiences, and need for an easy to understand, though comprehensive, inclusive, practical model.  These four performance factors are: Culture, People, Processes, and Strategy. 

How I Did This? (Process Focus): My career began with teaching/training and then evolved sequentially to six other focused services—beginning with group facilitation, then performance coaching, keynote speaking, authoring, advisory consulting, and mentoring. 

These two dimensions of my career journey are summarized through my seven decades by the following four dimensions:  Collaborations, Key Experiences, Breakthroughs, and Publications (Partial Selective Listed). 

  • Collaborations: My earliest jobs included sports reporting which included major and minor league baseball, football, and basketball teams. From that experience, I took away two valuable lifelong lessons—first, most athletes are characterized by talent and the same flaws as other people, and for sure are not ‘heroes’ to be admired; second, while I enjoy sports, I don’t want to spend my life working in this arena. After college graduation, I began my career as a secondary school teacher, while continuing my graduate level degrees. Being naturally interested in people, I also sought and capitalized on opportunities for additional learning with a focus on ‘conflict resolution’ based on my U.S. Army National Guard experiences and the chaos occurring nationally at that time.  During this process, I was fortunate to meet, be mentored by, a wonderful counseling psychologist and be asked by him to provide conflict resolution intervention services with him for ‘racial tensions’ in urban areas and other conflict-reduction, prevention services for groups, individuals based on talents he saw in me that I wasn’t aware of until that time. 
  • Key Experiences: This was a busy time in my exciting young life highlighted by two key experiences:
    • 1st and always — my marriage to my college sweetheart (who I was blessed to meet and enjoy 54 glorious years together before her passing from being an earthly angel to now a heavenly awaiting our reunion).
    • 2nd — I have been a dedicated advocate of lifelong learning as the pathway to enlightenment and the ‘right path of life’ for myself and others. This first became evident to others when, in addition to my daytime job of teaching, I began my focus on graduate degrees work, adjunct college teaching, and the eventual development of a training and development business required to respond to requests for training, coaching, speaking, and resources that I had developed and became quite popular.
  • Breakthroughs: My personal life experiences as well as my formal research about Personal Values led to many valuable, lifelong insights about prevention and resolution of conflict. Based on this interest, I discovered and became certified in a very popular all-win problem-solving program for helping others. What I subsequently also discovered was that while the process worked, most people struggled and were unable to effectively use it since doing so required multiple personal and interpersonal skills. This eventually led me to a breakthrough solution by realizing people didn’t actually need those skills, but instead the right ATTITUDE (wanting an all-win result) and then simply using a written, logical, sequential process protocol for successfully getting it!  This was the birth of a process, tool, and training program that I named and copyrighted as “POPS: People-Oriented Problem Solving.”  Today, decades later, it is still as valuable as ever, and perhaps even needed more in today’s era of adversity, turmoil, and losing relationships among people, groups, and in/between organizations! 
  • Publications: At this early career stage, my primary contribution was the thesis from the formal research for my master’s degree which focused on understanding the various Personal Values Systems among people worldwide. This research study was encouraged by my uncle, who had been exposed to conflict since his days of service in WWII (and later as Head Chaplain of the U.S. Army in Vietnam and also later a Ph.D. in Psychology), in response to my question to him about why it seems so difficult for people to just get along with each other. He said it was because of different personal values (socialized or self-selected) and suggested this research could be very enlightening for me and likely helpful for others.  He was so very correct!!! 
  • Collaborations: During this stage, my personal life was heavily involved in community service in my community as an advocate for public education and youth, while professionally my efforts expanded in two ways—through others who I certified to deliver LIFE workshops and courses I had developed as well as by my own personal travels across the country in response to professional audience requests. These collaborations varied from local community Services (vice-chairman/board of education, founder of youth basketball league); to directly providing and then certifying others to provide college graduate level courses for educators, businesses (Boston State College/UMass; Fairfield university, St. Joseph’s College, Others);  to similar services for independent trainers, consultants, and performance coaches for businesses through my LIFE Associates business based on popular requests about Motivations, Capabilities, and Effective Performance around the country; also through my LIFE Associates business, delivering a graduate level curriculum accredited by areas colleges for master’s level equivalency credit for the Connecticut Education Association and the American Federation Of Teachers; and serving on a voluntary basis as editor for a national publication, the Humanistic Education Quarterly Newsletter. 
  • Key Experiences: During this life stage, three key professional experiences seem to stand out most to others: 
    • 1st — I founded LIFE Associates, Inc. (Living In Fuller Effectiveness)—focused on People development (personal and work life from youth onward) and Selective Performance Professional Performance Practices (For Educators, Managers/Leaders, and Sales) which derived from both my personal life experience involving a wide variety of jobs starting at age 12 and my professional studies (both formal and self-explored interests);
    • 2nd — I found myself becoming recognized, referred, and requested for a wide variety of speaking presentations and workshops both regionally and nationally which ranged from personal delivery, to training and certification for our LIFE programs for other professional trainers/college teachers/business coaches and even university graduate level course curriculum resulting in advanced accreditation
    • 3rd — These two experiences motivated me to develop a variety of learning workshops, courses, and practical tools used by individuals for greater Success and Satisfaction consistent with my embraced all-win life philosophy and personal purpose to ‘help people and organizations’.  At that point, my interest began to shift from being the personal source of solutions to ways of providing these through others for greater impact for my inner quest to be of both more help and to more people
  • Breakthroughs: My formal and personal studies led me to eventually discover ‘Why People Do What They Do?’ (which eventually became the sub-title of my first ‘book’—an intentional primer, the Mysteries Of Motivation). My primary focus was on ‘Motivations’ first which I had come to see from both real-world experiences, observations as well as formal research is the root source for both our natural talents and developed capabilities. Eventually, this resulted in what I have termed the ’Big 6’ individual performance factors (3 Types Of Motivations & 3 Types Of Capabilities. During this period, I studied, applied, and was called on to provide Strategy Workshops for leaders and organizations. Given my own inner wiring for finding ‘better, simpler, more impactful’ solutions, this led me to a major insight—namely, all decision-making (not just Strategic) problem-solving, influencing processes and practices can be understood and effectively implemented by use of a “3D” process. 
  • Publications: During this period I was very busy and, over time, began to write, distribute, and publish papers describing these breakthrough insights and ‘how to use’ various guides, tools, and practices for our own and others benefit. As part of my doctoral research, I focused on ‘individual burnout’  which was becoming an emerging trend for the first time—and, of course, more than forty years later once again recycling to a state of widespread ‘relevance.’ Yet at this point in my life, I still was an avid reader and thinker of all I could learn from others who I viewed as much more knowledgeable, insightful, and worth learning from than personally being a source of such for others by authoring. 
  • Collaborations: Based upon my success as a consultant, coach, speaker, and workshop presenter, I was approach by Performax Systems Int’l./Carlson Learning Company located in Minneapolis about a joint venture between it and Life Associates. They would market and further help develop the services and products I developed for resale through their worldwide network of consultants, trainers, and distributors in return for me serving as their Vice-President for Resources Development. In that role, I would be in charge of refinements to their existing products (largely assessments at that time), both creation as well as approval of other prospective new resources, and—selective consulting for enterprise company clients both domestically and internationally. After discussing with my wife, we agreed to move to Minneapolis for at least five years from our home in the Northeast and entered both a personal (5 year) and companies agreement(15 years) in the mid 1980’s. Subsequent to that time I was asked and served on the ASTD National Competencies Experts Panel; became the direct consulting resource for Performax/CLC’s relationship with Blanchard Training & Development; Co-authored and served again as its professional ambassador with Dr. Morris Massey of Massey & Associates; did the same with Dr. Tony Alessandra, including his request for me to co-author a popular, practice book on Personal Styles (‘DISC’) with him which we did;  Was their consultant to the American Management Association; Served as the primary international consultant for Hay Consulting International throughout Europe and beyond my tenure with Carlson which ended in 1990 any relocation with my wife to Florida and resumption of my Life Associates business. 
  • Key Experiences: During this period most of my key experiences domestically involved services I provided directly for Performax/Carlson and its very large national network through products and services development, training and support for its certified professionals and large corporate clients along with personal Keynote Speaking, Training, Consulting, Coaching. This included several interesting corporate engagements and the most memorable one for a U.S. government agency for which I had to first get ‘national security clearance’ since it involved my visit (with my face covered by a mask for secrecy) to provide Effective Management Training At the Los Alamos National Laboratory where the top secret ‘Stealth’ aircraft was under development at that time.  Internationally, I also worked on behalf of Carlson with its international arm of Carlson Marketing in the U.K. as a consultant, trainer, speaker and especially with the Hay Group throughout Europe.  Among the specific key experiences during this period, I recall work with Hay as ‘consultant to their consultants’ for various projects for a decade of monthly to bi-monthly travel to Europe for this purpose. Among the most memorable key experiences are an organization assessment study of a large company in Italy where its employees were represented by the ‘Communist Party’ and were turned around from being hostile to management to cooperative based on management’s positive response to their ‘voiced concerns’ and acceptance of the recommendations provided in my report. Additionally, I was the keynote speaker over the years for various aspects of our work (including in the same room at the Palace of Versailles where the Treaty To WWI was signed), ranging from ‘DISC’ applications,  to ‘Job Profiling & Effective Hiring Practices’ as a successful solution to problems experienced by even Hay’s top consultants, and led to the creation of our ‘Hiring & Developing Winners’ process, resources based on our key discoveries, to work on projects focused on increasing sales with some of its key clients—the largest department store throughout Italy (Coin) which involved restructuring, restaffing, and retraining, coaching with great success; with Glaxo Pharmaceutical involving a project involving related to sales to doctors based on understanding of their personal styles (DISC) and values—again with wide success. 
    • 1st — However, the two most memorable experiences for during this ‘decade’ was on 11/10/89—the day AFTER the ‘Iron Curtain’ fell. The day previous I was involved training Managing Directors from the ‘Iron Curtain’ countries with my colleague, Dr. Ken Blanchard, about ‘DISC And Situational Leadership’.  They had little interest in the subject on 11/9—however, when we reconvened the next morning after that unpredicted, unforeseen ‘Fall of the Iron Curtain’ in Berlin the previous evening, they had experienced a ‘Significant Emotional Event’ and were suddenly desperate to know what they could do now to be more effective leaders and managers AFTER losing their ‘position power’ over others that went with this revolutionary change!
    • 2nd — The second memorable event among the many during that energetic to exhausting period of my life occurred on my requested consulting trip to Johannesburg, South Africa when Apartheid tensions were high and pressure beginning for change. I was asked to conduct a consulting session among invited leaders from various sectors(military, political, business, religious, education, others).  The focus based on my reputation and work on “Leadership Effectiveness” was to focus on the type of leadership most likely to enable South Africa to move forward in a way that was beneficial for sustained stability and growth. I did so by asking them to identify what key factor they viewed as most critical—which they agreed was the Leader’s Character—not Temperament/Preferences/ Habits/Style (‘DISC’), but Personal Values. They identified real figures who would be the ‘worst’ and ‘best’ match and then individually completed individual Values assessments for the best match. After we, compared and ALL in this group (about 20 invited total) came up with the same Values pattern.  We discussed what they gained, what they planned to do (if anything) with this information, and anything else I could help with. Internal pressures for change along with the ‘Fall of The Berlin Wall’ ended the threat of the ‘Red Scare’ which helped along with international pressures for change. After I left, a few  years later Apartheid ended, a new constitution was passed, and the rest is history!
  • Breakthroughs: During this period I developed Effective Leadership & Management resources personally and with Blanchard authors, consultants, and coaches. And, I focused heavily based on my work with Hay on Job Analysis, Job Profiling & the Jobholder Selection Process project as it fit with our ‘Big 6’ predictors and patterns by both higher performers and higher potential performers, including assessments of these dimensions. 
  • Publications: Books — The focus on individual performance resulted in my first book, the primer called Mysteries Of Motivation (1988), followed by another co-authored book about Persona/Social Style (‘DISC’) & Adaptability– People Smart(1990). I also published many articles on this subject both individually and with several different authors (Blanchard, Alessandra, Massey, Zigarmi, Forrest, Ratti, others). 
  • Collaborations: During this period I continued to work extensively with the Ken Blanchard Companies; Hay Consulting International; my co-author and friend Dr. Drea Zigarmi of Leadership Legacies; my colleague and friend, Phil Forrest–Chairman of England’s National Business Award and Managing Director of Aegis Int’l. Consultancy; Spader Business Management, my colleague and friend Duane Spader’s growing financial consulting business serving  dealership businesses in several industries across the USA—and his support for my continuing movement from automated organizational performance assessments to ones for individuals and teams;  and other consultants, coaches who requested training, certifications, or support from me professionally both in the USA and internationally. 
  • Key Experiences: While I did not actively seek speaking engagements, during this period I was called upon to provide various Keynote Speaking Engagements both national & internationally in addition to my Consulting, Coaching and Training.  My books and other authoring reached its peak during this period with other co-authors and five books in ten years which focused on People, Work Culture, Manager-Leader Effectiveness, and Performance. It continued to be a very busy time with my primary focus being on organization performance consulting and coaching.  In reflecting on this period, two types of key experiences continue to stand out for me. 
    • 1st — Traveling back and forth across the USA with client culture and effective performance initiatives in more than twelve states and the same still internationally in Europe which provided a wealth of daily learning opportunities as well as solidifying, refining, and enriching my understanding with a common focus on performance for both Success and Satisfaction for all. Exhausting—yes, Worth it—for what I viewed as my secular ‘missionary’ calling as clients and colleagues called it, absolutely (especially made easier by my wife’s belief and support for its importance when away from home so much)
    • 2nd — Multiple consulting experiences involving medium to large, well known organizations that were ‘Significant Emotional Events’ for me with respect to seeing the full range from the ‘worst in people and organizations’ to the ‘best.’  This ranged from being retained to provide culture and leadership help following fraud, espionage (treason), and other criminal acts to heroic ones.  The most impactful to this day for me was with a client organization where I served as an external consultant and member of their Board of Directors.  I was in a Board meeting in NYC the morning of 9/11/2001 when we first heard the road of fighter jets overhead and within just a couple minutes got a message that the ‘Twin Towers’ had been hit by two terrorist planes and collapsing. We immediately stopped our meeting and this company went into action since it was a Caterpillar dealer (H.O.Penn) responsible for recovery efforts—including human, return of power to NYC and the Stock Market, and other vital services. For more than the next month it virtually shifted its business to this humanitarian effort from owners, company leaders-managers, technicians, and other employees all working day/night/weekends to put ‘NYC back together again.’ When all was said and done, it received several commendations for its selfless work. The owner asked employees how he could honor them for their sacrifices.  Their answer was simply to put together a book for internal use only (not for writing a best-seller or making a movie) to share how proud they were to work for their company in what was both their “worst and best experience” in their lifetime. The worst being this attack on our nation and the best how they and their company responded.  The book was based on internal interviews of employees which reflected how their company’s VALUES became the single, common boss for what they did, how, and when to guide their self-managed actions.  Today it still serves as both an inspiring reminder for them of ‘the true business they are in’ as well as one for new employees.
  • Breakthroughs: It was during this era, based on engagements with client organizations, that I co-authored the best-selling book Managing By Values® with Dr. Ken Blanchard which has since been published in 21 languages.  It was based on both my own study and our co-consulting experience with several companies refining and implementing this process. Many times in my life, I discovered that situations I encountered provided the ‘necessity for invention(creativity)’ by new or reconfigured thinking and solutions.  To help organization owners, boards, leaders, and managers understand the ‘whole organization’ I developed my own, comprehensive organization performance model as a simpler option to the many other successful, but more complex ones developed by other respected sources. I found it embraced by both this group, other practitioners, and academics since it was  easy to quickly explain, understand, and most importantly, immediately apply to one’s own situations. Eventually it became known by its current name, the ‘Optimal Business Performance’(OBP) Model. This led me to further focus on ‘Winning Cultures’ as the foundation for ‘OBP.’  This was a revolutionary insight at that time (though popular now) since it challenged Leaders and Managers who typically were taught and thus thought that Strategy came first. I ultimately published this in various articles with titles such as “Managing Forwards, Not Backwards!” and in highly respected publications. 
  • Publications: Books — During this time I was asked by other, more well-known ‘celebrity’ authors based on my formal research and broad experience to co-author several books about People, Work Culture, and Processes—Performance and Manager-Leader. These were: People Smarts(1994,1995), The Platinum Rule(1996), Managing By Values®(1997), The Leader Within(2005); Multiple Articles Published By Different Sources; Applied Performance Research White Papers.
  • Collaborations: My relationship with the Ken Blanchard Companies, Leadership Legacies, and Spader Business Management continued at this time as my stamina for international travel became to decline; the reality of not having a successor set in and I selected the one company most genuinely committed to my all-win purpose, Culture, and Performance Models, Resources—my client, the H.O. Penn Company; after the 2009 recession which hit their industry and region hard, another client made an offer to purchase another minority interest in our Life Associates Company, namely Spader Business Management. At this time, I also became the expert resource on leadership for TrainingIndustry.com and its publications, conferences, etc. for about five years. 
  • Key Experiences: At this time, a transformational shift began involving the digital transformation of products and services in the Consulting & Development field impacting Individual, Group, and Organizational Performance Assessment & Development Systems and Supplemental Applied Resources. My work continued to cause me to work with organizations requesting Culture-based consulting, coaching, and performance-focused solutions. During that time two different experiences stood out: 
    • 1st — The development of our Life Associates ‘Big 6’ Global Profiles System designed to understand, manage (by self and others), and develop people based on their three key personal motivations as well as their three key personal capabilities as related to their personal and job-focused success and satisfaction. It enabled me and others to assess, assist, and help develop people and their organizations for higher performance. I teamed with my colleagues at Blanchard in this process with respect to both their SLII model and our own ‘DISC’ model—creating software, training programs, videos, and other resources used worldwide by their distributors and clients.
    • 2nd — As part of my relationship with Spader, I was introduced to one of their large multi-national clients, Bombardier Recreation Products, headquartered in Canada. They first were interested in my ‘Culture’ work based on recommendation from the author of the best-selling ‘Good To Great’ book, Jim Collins, who had consulting with them along with McKinsey but needed specialized help with proven, practical performance management focused system and process for a company values-based approach. I was recommended, met initially with their CEO to outline the process from top (their board’s commitment) to bottom (daily implementation through their business strategy—external and internal—as deployed through their processes and people with their ‘core values’ as their guide! They embraced the process from top-down in what was about 15 years working with them in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia, and China. After personally facilitating their identification and implementation of their business vision, mission, and values, I first focused on its implementation of it as the basis for everyone’s performance management direction, coaching, development, and evaluation. Then, we were asked (Life-Spader) to jointly help them design their ‘Salesforce of the Future’ initiative worldwide which we successfully did. To do so, it required we used our Leader-Manager Effectiveness training, coaching as well as our Hiring & Developing Winners’ process resources.  And, of course, others resources like our GPS (Global Profiles System), POPS (People-Oriented Problem Solving), Collaborative Selling Process, etc.  
  • Breakthroughs: There were three primary new professional breakthroughs during this period of my career. The first was the digital transformation of my previously manual, paper assessments in our ‘Big 6’ Global People Profiles System.  It took me three years  (2003-2005) to develop, test, and then begin to certify clients as well as consultants, coaches to understand and effectively use with individuals, groups/teams, and organizations. A key aspect of this was the 360 nature which led to often powerful, insights not revealed by the overwhelming use (and misuse) of only self-view versus ours which included key observer views, identified other key groups with the same role relationship, and even personal versus work role assessments. Since based on the same individual performance factors and models, this naturally led to the development of our  Hiring & Developing Winners Process, Programs, Resources and Collaborative Selling Workshop for relationship-selling applications that merges both understanding and actions related to the nature of the ‘prospect/customer’ as well as the known ‘selling process’ and ’18 Best Practices’ we identified across the steps in this process. 
  • Publications: Books —During this period, given my limited time, I contributed as an invited author to chapters along with other famous co-authors (Stephen Covey, John Gray, Les Brown, Denis Waitley, Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield)in two books–GPS For Success(2011): Your Personal ‘GPS’; Stepping Stones To Success: The Leadership Dimension(2013);  Also, Multiple Articles Published By Different Sources; and, Performance Research White Papers. 
  • Collaborations: As time continues to move quicker for me, my energies and efforts have continued to focus on my personal (family) and professional (life purpose) priorities. Professionally, this continues through the IP I’ve developed for Life Associates Consulting, LLC, including most recently in the past two years the transition in the revitalization and further development through technology-based advances for our individual, group/team, and organizational performance resources—both in work life and personal lives. 
  • Key Experiences: This most recent, concluding era has been most characterized by my reduction of travel and officially retire in 2017. However, I discovered that my continuing work was not done and, despite my efforts to transition what I do to others, this process has taken longer based on a variety of personal, professional, and client factors.  Of course, the unexpected ‘Covid’ pandemic added to this, though a blessing in disguise allowing me to continue to work now almost completely remotely by use of vide-conferencing, client calls, etc. And, this has allowed me more time to focus on continuing refinements with both colleagues and clients to further optimize our Culture, Performance Management, Leader-Manager Effectiveness, Individual Development, and Organization Management-Development solutions. 
  • Breakthroughs: While getting older, my mind still does not seem to want to turn off. Periodically, I am awakened in the middle of the night or early morning from my sleep with ideas, insights, and actions that follow involving my prior as well as new, better solutions for all. At the present time, I am consumed with two important, motivating professional endeavors.  The first is staying relevant, connected with reality through a few selective, on-going organization initiatives along with support for consulting/coaching colleagues for other clients using our LIFE solutions. And, the second, most consuming involves exciting new breakthroughs made possible by technology at both the individual and group/team levels as well as the organization level. For the individual development digital solutions, the content is what we knew and have since learned with respect to individual behavior now being transformed for use in more user-friendly, and various ways to further optimize our individual and collective success and satisfaction. It is being renamed from the GPS to the PHPPS (Potentia High Personal Performance System). The second is my continuing work at the organization-wide performance level that involves various digital analytic reports of patterns and performance significance, follow-up actions derived from the new PHPPS as well as our OAS (Organization Assessment System) initiatives which capture company, unit, locations, functions, performance levels, and other demographic information about a company’s key performance strengths and improvement opportunities. This is now being automated for both report analysis and generation.  In doing so, we are developing AI-enabled software for analysis of employee comments for related to our OBP (Optimal Business Performance) model which provides a comprehensive audit of the organization’s ‘total performance’ (Culture, People, Processes, Strategy) as experienced and reported by all employees. The most exciting part of this is the ‘deep dive’ analysis of employee write-in comments that provide the most reliable, valid picture reported back at 2-4 levels of analysis, including identified most likely ‘root cause’ for both strengths and issues as well as known most likely solution for capitalizing and building on strengths as well as minimizing to resolving reported performance concerns for the company overall as well as by the sub-groups analyses requested by a client company. 
  • Publications: In the past few years I have co-authored one book focused on capturing the essence of effective leadership, management, influence, and performance for any organization or individual in it–Conquering Unfavorable Leadership: How To Fix The 5 Common, Costly Mistakes We All Make!(2020) and selective Applied Performance Research White Papers.
  • Collaborations: Not knowing what the future has in store for me at this life stage, I continue to be blessed by great memory and cognitive capacity as well as interest in lifelong learning and relatively good health. My intention is to continue my  contributions to my family and to Life Associates Consulting, LLC, primarily through its technology development, representation, and distribution relationship with Potentia Solutions, LLC. 
  • Key Experiences: Going forward my energies focus on collaborative mentoring and transitioning of what I have done/do for people and organizations as well as Technology Transferences  focused on our limitless potential for the betterment of people, organizations, performance, and our world during and beyond my  own lifetime by those who further that mission through their own greater contributions to our common cause.
  • Breakthroughs: I anticipate significant breakthrough solutions with respect to both ‘what’ and ‘how’ solutions through continuing advancements in machine Learning, AI, and other Predictive as well as Change resources.  
  • Publications: No current plans for additional books, though other forms of capturing and sharing desired knowledge, insights, wisdom, and practical applications likely, including possible jointly authored Applied Performance Research White Papers with colleagues and/or even client organizations.

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