Tag Archives: Dale Carnegie

Isn’t it great when people actually do the things they say they’re going to do, and do them well?

Isn’t it great when people actually do the things they say they’re going to do, and do them well?

Among the many lessons I learned when I took the Dale Carnegie Course is this: “I know people in the ranks who will stay in the ranks. Why? I’ll tell you why, because they haven’t the ability to get things done.”

Whenever I’m hiring new people for my agency, I look for the ability to get things done. (“No problem” is my favorite phrase.)

People talk (and talk) about getting things done. “I’m going to write a book” or “… getting a portfolio together” but it so rarely happens. Talking about doing things instead of doing them is dead giveaway.

I can say that I’m working on a new marketing book because I’ve already written five or six of them.

Donald Sexauer…

But people with no track record should just do it. Which brings me to my friend Donald Sexauer. He told me that he wanted to write and illustrate a whole series of books about his grandchildren and their pets. When he showed me some of the illustrations, paintings really, that he’d already done, I knew he’d come through.

He wanted books that would be fun for the kids, both of them boys, to read. The stories are based on simple homespun values. And, since he’s a retired English teacher, he wanted to improve their vocabularies.


Donald is a wonderful artist – two of his painting hang in my living room – so I wasn’t surprised when I saw his initial sketches of the boys’ faces grimacing. He called it a “moue”. It’s a pouty look that can also be an upside down smile. Here is an illustration to the right.

The first book, Kramer Makes David Smile is charming and actually true. It’s about how David (the younger boy) never smiles until he realizes he has so much to be grateful for, and that life is fun. He learns this from Kramer, the family cat.

The book was just perfect book for Donald to read to his grandsons. When people I know heard about the book they started reading it to their children, too.

The second book in the series, Kramer & Jack Make Choices, is tougher. The boys lose their beloved Kramer and learn that although a choice can make them sad, it can be the right choice.

Book Number 3, Kramer??!, just came out and it’s my favorite. Anyone who has ever lost someone dear to them can relate when a special kitten brings new happiness to the boys. The story grabs you right away and the illustrations are so charming that children everywhere will want to see, point to, and cover them with chocolate fingers.

Kramer the cat

The three-book series is now available at Amazon.com. Please order one or two and snuggle up with your own kids to enjoy these wonderful stories. This year I’m hoping the books win an award for the values they teach.

Donald Sexauer is a man who gets things done.

The Joy of Speaking

The Joy of Speaking

The Wall Street Journal ran a great article called, “Your, Um, You Know, Public Speaking” . It talked about different ways to overcome your fear of public speaking that did not involve the “take-a-gulp-of-wine” method.

According to most studies, people’s number one fear is Public Speaking. Number 2 is death. In other words, people would rather die, before having to speak in front of people.

Some of the suggestions made were:
1. Join Toastmaster’s, a non-profit that helps its members improve their public speaking and leadership skills. 2. Hire a Coach or Consultant.

I was a painfully shy person growing up. When I started working for the Meredith Corporation, I was sent to Des Moines, Iowa to do a presentation in front of a lot of people. It was one of the worst experiences of my life!

After that debacle, my boss sent me to a Dale Carnegie Course for some help– desperate help. It was exactly what I needed. I enjoyed it so much, that I went on to be a certified Dale Carnegie Instructor. From then on, speaking came to me like second nature.

Over the years, I have done countless Keynote Presentations and speaking engagements. I’ve travelled all around the world to speak.

After years of practice, I’ve come up with 5 main things that I do when I speak:

1. Right before any speech, I always make it a point to greet and shake everyone’s hand. I try to get to know my audience and remember people’s names so that I can mention them during my speech.

2. I draw my audience in by starting with an incident that happened to me that morning or a story. The typical “Today, I’m going to talk about–“ routine is boring.

3. My presentations are structured around 4 main points. My goal is for the audience to walk away with at least one of my points. At the end of my presentations I always summarize what I talked about and mention my 4 points again.

4. After my speeches, I like to continue the communication with the audience. People usually give me their business cards afterward to receive my Tip of the Week.

5. If I meet someone who I would love to work with or that I really resonated with, I like to write them a personal note via snail mail.

The most important thing is to keep speaking, as it’s the sign of a great leader.

Just do it!

Just do it!

If you look real hard, you can see this lizard.

The Nike commercial that says, “Just do it” always makes me smile, because it sounds so easy…and in life few people abide by those words.

It has especially struck home recently, as we’ve had some people come and go, at my office because they just couldn’t get things done. There’s a great saying in the Dale Carnegie Course, “I know people in the ranks who will stay in the ranks. Why, I’ll tell you why, because they haven’t the ability to get things done”

Our art director is not like that and I’ll tell you what happened at dinner last night…

His friend was telling me an amazing story. Apparently Donald was out on his terrace, and cleaning off some foliage from pillars he’s replacing. So, he was up on a ladder, and noticed that there was a palm frond hanging over the top of the roof. So, he reached up to pull it down, and jumped when the frond, leaped back away from him. Donald saw that he had pulled the tail of a huge lizard, and he said he could feel (and hear) the thumps as the angry lizard marched up the rooftop.

Wow, I couldn’t believe it. I would have moved out of the house the same night. I kidded them, and asked what the lizard’s name was. Donald said he had none. So, I named him Lizard Ferrer, as a take-off on the big investment bank, Lazard Freres.

I told my friend that I wanted to see what this thing looked like. And, first thing on Sunday morning, I received this photo of the strange looking critter. I was amazed at how beautifully Mother Nature had painted him, so he blends right in with the foliage.

And, I love the photograph so I thought I’d share it with you. And, I want to make the point that if you need to do something on that list of yours, get it done. Don’t think about, worry over it…or ponder too long. You might miss an opportunity.

Just do it!