Archives for February 2013

The Miracle of Mt. Kilimanjaro and K2 Adventures

blair_singer_k21Tomorrow I climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with my son Ben as part of an adventure program put together and led by K2 Adventures. One of the things that really attracted me to is their Mission Statement: To care for children and families with special needs and or life changing medical circumstances by providing services and funds that will be used for educational and medical enrichment.

Mt. Kilimanjaro is an incredibly stunning and a true miracle that rises out of the African plains. But, the even greater miracle is these kids that we have been working with for the past 2 days, at an orphanage and school that K2 Adventures supports. It has been the most heart wrenching and moving experiences to go in and serve the albino and blind children, as well as many other kids with a variety of diseases that are in some cases terminal or very, very difficult and challenging to live with, or survive.

blair_singer_k2The money that we pay to make the climb goes towards these children who otherwise would not be getting what care they receive through K2 Adventures’ Program. Things like education and medical care, love and emotional support, and necessities like mattresses and daily items. They still sing, play and they still have fun. But, to put it in perspective, Kilimanjaro makes me a little nervous to climb… I’ll take it one step at a time and I expect to have a successful experience… but these kids have much higher, steeper mountains to climb just to deal with their daily personal challenges.

We have one albino child climbing to the top of the mountain with us tomorrow and if he makes it, he will be the first albino from Tanzania to climb the mountain. This has been an extremely touching experience for both Ben and myself, and reminds us both how truly blessed we really are. In reading this brief post, I hope you find yourself blessed, too.

Don’t Let Your Little Voice Sabotage Your Success

I had the opportunity to work with a group of salon owners and stylists in Halifax, Novia Scotia not long ago. During this workshop, we discussed overcoming the little voice that sabotages your ability to be as big as you WANT to be and as big as you CAN be.

Everyone has a little voice that will take you down if you dont learn to identify, and then overcome it, to achieve great things. Listening to me teach what needs to be done is one thing, but for any of you that have been through a training program with me, you know I like to give you an experience that drives the message home.

In this case, the experience was a 1-hour selling exercise for teams. The goal was simple, each team was to reach out to as many clients and prospects as they could and book as many appointments, as possible. There was no direction on how to reach those people, how to entice them, what you had to offer them, or for how much. Just go fill your appointment books as much as possible, and dont let your little voice sabotage your success!

We had over 30 teams participate and a wide range of responses. But, to illustrate my point about not letting your little voice sabotage your success, I want to discuss 2 specific teams:

The challenges both teams faced:

1. The appointment software was unavailable, so checking the calendar to schedule and confirm available appointment times was not possible.

2. The list of clients and prospects were back at the salon, so there was no way to access that information (there was no one at the salon to look and share the information with those at the workshop).

The difference in how the teams addressed these challenges was staggering:

In this situation, what would YOU do?

Team 1 did not make a single call or appointment. They determined they were cut off from their resources and therefore were not able to participate (they took themselves out of the game).

Team 2 booked the second highest number of appointments per teammate (8.5 appointments for each individual per hour). As a team, they filled their books with approximately $3500 in appointments IN ONE HOUR!

If your little voice tells you that there is “no way” you can do it, and you (and your team) accept that thought, then of course, youre right. And, if you tell your mind that you will overcome the obstacles that block your path, more times than not, you will.

Which team would you have been part of?

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Winning – in Business and possibly in this iPad Sweepstakes!

In today’s business world, technology can certainly give you a big advantage on the road to success. I still believe that business is all about people helping people, but technology is critical in facilitating that process. It can also be freeing, allowing people to do their work from anywhere in the world. Have technology, will travel. Live video chats, teleconferences, and Skype calls are no longer the exception, but have become the norm around the world.

How productive and technologically advanced are you? I know it can be a challenging process to keep up with constant changes in technology! To support you in that process, I created a Sweepstakes! This Sweepstakes will award one lucky winner a NEW iPad. By entering the iPad Sweepstakes, you will automatically receive tips, ideas and lessons from me on how to go after what you want most. My goal is to inspire you to stay on the path to achieving your dreams, no matter what resistance you may receive from others …or from your Little Voice.

So, if you have not entered the contest yet, sign up no later than March 30th for your chance to win:

Good luck and Be Awesome!


PS: Due to legal restriction, the Sweepstakes is limited to US residents. I wish I could have extended it to everyone across the globe, but it was not possible.

Be Who You Want to Be

I recently had the opportunity to listen to a Marine Corp General present at an event. It was amazing! I asked the general how they turn adolescences into strong men and women. He said 4 things that struck me deeply. Particularly since I am the father of 16 year old and 9 year old boys. He described the 13 week bootcamp that they all have to go through to ‘qualify’ to become a Marine. The Marine Corp process is one that every one of us can use to be who we want to be.

He said:

    1. “We want their hearts… “ When he said it, it felt like he had reached right into mine!! He said that all their other habits, tendencies, histories, experiences, intelligences etc. were not as important as capturing their hearts… I felt this to be their spirits. They want to engage it, ignite it and bring out the best of each kid.

How engaged are you? Do you even know what it’s like to commit your complete heart and soul to something?

    1. “We give them a goal to achieve that these kids hold as one of the greatest accomplishments to achieve in their lives.” In other words, they are not Marines until they complete their bootcamp training. Upon graduation…then they are Marines. It gives these young folks something bigger to strive for and to take pride in than many have ever fathomed before.

How big is what you are striving for?

    1. “We give them a fundamental reset of their realities.” He said that they learn the difference between a ‘request’ and an ‘order. Their world of entitlement is stripped away and they learn the reality of ‘earning’ respect, responsibility and team play.

How willing are you to strip yourself of things that are comfortable and habitual to you in order to make the changes in your life that you know you need?

    1. “We let them know that we care about them.” What was most interesting to me was this point. I pictured a tough, strict, grinding process, but what I did not envision was the deep level of caring for the lives of each of these new recruits. Clearly the Corp has a vested interest in making sure each person lives, but also that through all of the toughness there is an underlying knowledge on behalf of the recruits that someone cares about them as well. In other words, you can drive points 1-3 to the max as long as they know you love them.

Two points here: If you have a team, do they REALLY know if care about them? And secondly what shape is your self-concept and self-esteem in? Do you even like yourself?

I went away from the general’s talk realizing that the Marine Corp and other armed forces are really a special training ground for teenagers. They have perfected the art and science of human transformation and finding the best in nearly anybody and getting them to believe in themselves. The general even commented that the kids today, unlike the past where you either had to join or had no other option because of your background, are attracted to the Marines because they want to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Wanting to be part of a mission or cause… How big is your game?

Thank You for an Amazing Master Facilitator Training Event!

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to work with 41 brilliant presenters and
trainers. Our focus was on taking their current presentation skills to the next level and
training them to become Master Facilitators. Although I know that I was able to help
these 41 participants significantly up their game, they helped me up mine, too.

It was an amazing and humbling weekend for me. Their brilliance, energy and
commitment to learning was awesome! Each person’s growth was everyone’s growth.
Each person’s win was everyone’s win. Just their participation in the program has, as a
ripple effect, already affected the lives of thousands of people by these participants
simply acknowledging the unlimited capacity of others, and their confidence in their
ability to draw out the brilliance of those they work with.

Part of what I teach at the Master Facilitator Training Program is how to pull the
answers out of your audience/participants rather than focus on being the expert with all
the answers at hand. I gave this group many exercises to debrief and they showed me
over and over and over again that the answers I expected were just a few of the many
possible options. This is an experience that I have every time I facilitate a room- and it
is one of the main reasons that I continue to constantly expand my own knowledge. I
believe teachers are leaders and I also believe that by teaching others, we continue to

Facilitation is truly about pulling the brilliance and personal lessons and ideas out of
others rather than forcing your beliefs, solutions and personal experiences onto them.
We have all been taught through the traditional education systems that if we dont have
all the answers we are stupid, not good enough, and have little to contribute. From
that mindset, as teachers and presenters, we often feel that we are only doing our jobs
well if we can be the guru and have all the answers for any and all questions that may
arise in our rooms. But, what I have learned over 29 years is that the greatest gift you
can give others is the opportunity to experience a lesson and share what they learned
with the group for maximum learning and retention. Letting participants come up with
the answers allows them to be the heroes instead of it being all about the guru at the
front of the room.

When one becomes a true Master Facilitator, they accept that their job is not to
spoon feed answers or provide an entertaining show with a lesson, but to create
an environment that supports group participants in contributing their experiences,
expertise and ideas for the best results and personal buy-in among each member of the
group. This past weekend, 41 new Master Facilitators learned how to do exactly that!

Creating Profitable Workplaces through Team Motivation

Many years ago, myself and my colleagues went into the business world teaching something that at the time seemed “woo-woo”, “out there”, “nice but not real”, touchy-feely, new age-ish… name it. We taught entrepreneurs, business owners and managers that if you created a workplace with a sense of “purpose” or a reason to contribute to something noble, bigger than yourself….it would create dynamic and profitable workplaces. We also said that if your team had the ability to direct themselves, have control over their space, to treat the workplace in an organic way rather than in a machine-like way…. that would work too. It had worked in our businesses and we knew it would work in others.

Well today, according to the great work of Daniel Pink, the actual “science of human behavior” says we were right! (I love being right!) What really motivates people is not what the business or economic community really believed. (They mostly did not believe us then….but now they are seeing the light!) Financial incentives and consequences in any type of task that requires real “thinking” don’t work to increase results. As a matter of fact it is the opposite! Check out Daniel’s video to see what the real incentives are.

Years ago we set on a mission to improve the quality of life through transformation of the marketplace. It started in 1982. Today, thirty years later, the evidence and “science’ have finally caught up. How is that for lag time? To be a great leader, you have to be a great teacher. Understanding what Daniel Pink is saying in the video below will not only transform your team, your business and your results, but will transform YOU!!!! Be a teacher because “Teachers are Leaders.”

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