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We Need More Women Speakers At Industry Events: Invisible Close Speak-to-Sell Virtual Mentorship

I just got this email from my friend, Lisa Sasevich, creator of the fantastic program, Invisible Close,  that I’ve recommended many times.

She’s bemoaning the paucity of female speakers at industry events.

This is A PROBLEM!

Two stories.

First, when I programmed over 20 global events for ad:tech from 2001-2006 our team made a concerted effort to get women and people of color on the dias. We cultivated speakers. Worked with them. Sought them out. And gave them an opportunity to shine.

Not enough of this effort is being done across many conferences.

Secondly, I recently had the experience of getting a conference promoter to allow me to lead a high profile session of all women executives. I had his agreement. And then he was never happy with any of the women we came up with or if he thought they’d be a draw, they were already busy.

I was sorely disappointed that after a year of wrangling with this conference planner, I ended up with three dudes on my panel.

Even with focus, it’s hard to get women speaking ops.

Maybe this is one of the reasons below?

This is an email I got today from my friend, Lisa Sasevich. Her “Invisible Close” product is smart, helpful and valuable for ANYONE who sells from the front of the room, stage or via tele-seminars.

She’s entreating women to take her course to become better spokespeople.

If you are or know a women who needs this training to pop herself up to a more high-visibility role in her industry, please forward this post.

A Special Invitation

Wow Susan,

You may find this hard to believe but I just returned from speaking at 3 major industry events and at two of them, I was the only female.

It’s worse than that.

One of them was a 5 day, multi-speaker event. This means it was speaker after speaker for 5 solid days.

I was the only woman speaker.

The other was a 4 day, multi-speaker event. With the exception of the vendors and a few people who got up to share testimonials or success stories…

I was the only woman speaker.

How could this be, you ask?

I’m going to tell you some cold hard facts that promoters have shared with me. Let me warn you, you may not like this. But please, don’t shoot the messenger. I’m telling you the truth of what I hear behind the scenes so you can use it to wise up and join me in taking your place on stage.

Promoters and big, well-known speakers have shared the following with me in confidence:

“Most female speakers can’t hold the room…”

“They get up there and tell their story too long…”

“They are generally all over the place, don’t make their point well and don’t know how to make an offer.”

In other words, here’s what they’re REALLY saying:

*** They don’t see women speakers who are confident, ready with their signature talk and have their offers down***

Forgive me ladies, I’ve seen you out there and many of you are winging it…and it shows!

Now for some GOOD NEWS!

I told the last 3 promoters I spoke for that it’s my mission to foster some powerful ladies onto the big stages currently occupied by the big boys.

And they LOVE it.

Because, you see, they’ve also shared with me that they are dying for more powerful female speakers to book! They’re excited when they get a lead on a confident woman speaker with a hot offer. We light up the stage when we’re in our power ladies! And we’re in our power when we feel ready and prepared.

SO HERE’S MY INVITATION TO YOU. And I’m only going to make it once.

I have a small, exclusive virtual class starting next Wednesday that will have you ready with your Signature Talk and Irresistible Offers before Thanksgiving…so you can step into the spotlight in the New Year, or sooner, like you know you should!

There will be no big free call to promote this and no string of emails about it because I’M ONLY ACCEPTING 6 MORE STUDENTS.

So I’m sending this one announcement and trusting that if you are one of the ladies who are supposed to step up, you will join me for my Invisible Close Speak-to-Sell Virtual Mentorship, starting next week.

And to make it a total no-brainer, you can jump in right now for $500 OFF. Just use coupon code SAVE500 at the link below and you will receive the course pre-work immediately.

(If the link doesn’t work or the 6 spots are gone. Email  Peggy Murrah peggy at theinvisibleclose dot com with questions or to double check.)

You will be working live with me by phone. If you miss a call they are all recorded and transcribed, and you will also receive my world famous Speak-to-Sell System in the mail to have in your success library forever. In it is my paint-by-numbers formula for getting your talk done.

Yes, this is the exact formula that has landed me honored spots on the most coveted stages in the speaking industry. This is also the exact formula that many of the speakers you see “everywhere” are using. You can see exactly what we’re going to cover here:

And yes, gentlemen, you are welcome to join us. I just really needed the ladies to know what’s being said in the industry and how much promoters are dying for female speakers to step up and share their gifts from the stage in a powerful way.

I look forward to sharing the stage with you!



P.S. Remember, you get $500 off but I ONLY have space for 6 students to join this exclusive class, so you better hurry:


How To Differentiate Your Brand Strategically, Not Tactically, with Rich Horwath, Author of Deep Dive

Rich Horwath, Author, Deep Dive and Founder, Strategy Skills

Rich Horwath, Author, Deep Dive and Founder, Strategy Skills

Is your company strategically aligned for success? Do you know HOW to approach your business strategically? Or are you caught in a cycle of tactics and forecasting that ensures failure?

White Space Hack Small

Listen to this week’s interview with the author of Deep Dive: The Proven Method For Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources and Taking Smart Action. And yes, yes, yes, Rich has two personally autographed copies of Deep Dive available for you, DishyMix listeners. Just post your desire at to be a winner.

Here’s an excerpt from the show:

Rich Horwath: Really what we’re talking about is competitive advantage, and,  if you go around your office and you ask ten people, “What is competitive advantage?”, you’re most likely to get ten different answers. It tends to be that Holy Grail in business, but very few people have a concrete understanding of what that means to their business.

So what I try to do is break competitive advantage down into simply three things: capabilities, activities and offering.White Space Hack

Capabilities are our resources or assets.

Activities then are what we do with the resources and assets.

And offerings then are the things that emerge from our activities that customers actually see, hear, touch, feel, the products and services that we bring to the market, and the reality is that stepping stone of competitive advantage, going from capabilities to activities to offerings, is really how we differentiate ourselves from the marketplace.

Rich Horwath: It is ruinous for us to try and focus on all three — the reality is, we cannot be all things to all things, especially today. You look at companies like United Airlines whose gone bankrupt trying to be all things to all people, trying to come up with a low cost airline called TED to serve the cost conscious travelers, while still trying to do a really high-end job with business and international travelers. The reality is that’s going to lead you to bankruptcy. We’ve got to have a laser like focus today, and the value disciplines really help us think about where that focus does lie.

The triad – product leadership, customer intimacy and operational excellence are the options. You must choose one to lead with for competitive excellence.White Space Hack SmallWhite Space Hack Small

What I’ve found in most companies is that they’re doing a little bit of each, and what that’s going to get you is a mediocre return on your business. You know, it’s like investing. If you spread your investments across the boards from bonds to gold to stocks to mutual funds, you’re going to probably get a fairly mediocre return, and it’s the same way in business. We’ve got to choose which one of those best fits our core competency and hone in on that.

Susan Bratton: What if, for example, you’ve been focused on all three – because you didn’t know that you have to focus on one of three value disciplines, and you’ve worked on having a really good product, you’ve worked it having operational excellence, you’ve worked at customer intimacy – but what if you say, “Boy, I actually think that the thing I’m doing the least well (customer intimacy) is the area where I can actually WIN in the competitive environment.”

Lets just say you have a reasonable product and your customers can get it from you and they’re reasonably satisfied, but you’ve never really focused on something like customer intimacy, and you decide that is actually the opportunity for your company. You realize that the real market opportunity is in customer intimacy, yet you’ve put no time there. What would you recommend on a strategic level that a company do? How would they go about implementing a change? And if it’s the worst thing you do as a business in this moment, but you see it as the market opportunity, should you go after it?

Rich Horwath: Susan, you hit on a really key point. You know, one of the things that we need to remember at the end of the day, strategy is always about serving customers.

Sitting in a conference room and saying, “Well, this is what we do best, so we’re just going to put the blinders on and go do it”, without really understanding where’s the customer value in the marketplace and can we serve that above and beyond our competitors. That’s the real thing people miss, is they put blinders on, they don’t focus on what’s the customer value.White Space Hack Small

So if you find in your research that customer intimacy is the real key to driving customer and brand loyalty, then absolutely what needs to happen is you need to get your people together, not just the senior ones, but mid-level, as well as some up and comers, and you need to sit down and have a strategic thinking session, two hours, three hours, where you really talk about what would it take internally to get our organization to be a customer intimate organization and what does that start to look like.

Susan Bratton: How do we do the research to find out what our customers want?  Assume we’re a small-medium business, because if you have money you can always do more, so assume we don’t have much budget…

Rich Horwath: Okay, yeah. If you don’t have much money, the first place to start is with your current customers. We tend to say, “Well, we know our customers.” But the reality is we don’t talk to customers, especially if we’re at a senior level, as much as we probably should. So the first place to start is to actually go on some customer calls, talk with customers, find out what they’re doing. Social media is another important area as well. You know, you can glean a lot of good insights from Twitter, from Facebook if you have a presence there, so understanding what are people saying about our industry, about our market, and then maybe even about us, relative to our products and services. And then the other thing – and this is more painful, but it’s an important piece – is you’ve got to contact, in some way, shape or form, former customers, people who no longer are working with you and find out why that is. What is the reason that they’ve moved to another offering or to another company? And if we do those three things that starts to help us better understand if this is truly an area of value.

To listen to the whole interview, especially understanding how to tell the difference between strategy and tactics, click here.

Rich Horwath on New Growth from New Thinking, Setting Your Strategy and Contextual Radar

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Seeking an Affiliate Marketing Manager for Personal Life Media’s New Publishing Division

Image representing Personal Life Media as depi...
Image via CrunchBase

We’ve just launched an information product marketing division at Personal Life Media. We now need an affiliate marketing expert to help us sign up and manage affiliates and JV’s. We have four products launched and another dozen in the pipeline. If you understand the affiliate and JV world and want to work for a great company that provides life-transforming products, check out this role.

The sky is the limit as to where this can lead, but to start, we need a detail-oriented, super-friendly sales person who loves to enroll people in great new ideas.

You get to work with me one-on-one, account by account and I will teach you all I know about sales, marketing and business development in addition to publishing and information product marketing while we co-create successful relationships with partners.

You can live anywhere in the world, but your English must be perfect, your grammar excellent, your writing skills warm and powerful and your commitment to your responsibilities resolute.

Team PLM!

Team PLM!

Affiliate Marketing Manager : Full Time : Contract : Base + Commission

We are seeking a self starter with a demonstrated ability to run a successful affiliate marketing program. You must be able to identify, recruit, motivate and retain successful affiliates.


Create affiliate marketing materials for products including sample blog posts and sample emails for affiliates.

Create affiliate marketing campaigns and promotions to motivate affiliates.

Identify and recruit top affiliates for each product including JV partners and publishers.

Upload and manage banner ads and affiliate assets into our affiliate marketing network site,

Manage JV launches and ongoing affiliate relationships.

Communicate weekly with affiliates to keep them informed about new Personal Life Media products, new promotional tools, upcoming promotions, and recommended best practices for promoting the various Personal Life Media products.

Monitor affiliate activities and insure compliance with company policies. Verify affiliate payment amounts and approve affiliate payments.

Conduct surveys of customer prospects to understand buying behavior and make recommendations for improving conversion rates.

Manage auto-responders and track conversion statistics from email campaigns.

Create training materials such as tutorials, FAQs, and demo videos for affiliates.

Analyze metrics such as click through rates, conversion rates, commissions per sales, total cost of sales and commission per impression and make recommendations for improving ROI on program as well as products, landing pages, and affiliate promotional materials.

3 – 5 years managing affiliate programs
Bachelor’s degree
Excellent communications skills, both written and verbal
Fluent in English
Very reliable broadband connection
Direct experience with affiliate software such as Post Affiliate Pro preferred.

About Personal Life Media
Personal Life Media ( is a multimedia lifestyle brand producing digitally downloadable content. The company publishes 40 weekly audio shows (podcasts) and companion blogs and is an eBook publisher of direct-to-consumer online information products targeted to consumers interested in personal and professional growth.
PLM provides a technology infrastructure of automated platforms for podcast and information product publishing to serve experts who deliver motivational programs, talk shows, virtual workshops, downloadable training systems and support programs via blogs, audio, video and eBooks.

The currently available titles include:
Talk Show Tips – 72 Show Host Secrets

Naturally Slender Quick Start – Hypnosis for Weight Loss

Speak Up With Power and Influence – Achieve More Confidence
Expand Her Orgasm Tonight – 21 day Program for Partners

Qualified individuals may send their resume to “jobs at personallifemedia dot com”.

Having known and worked with Susan Bratton for nearly ten years and I can not endorse her highly enough. Susan is incredibly bright and polished, but she’s also is fun to work with and always on the cutting edge of marketing and technology. Susan is and incredible mentor and partner. She fosters an amazing atmosphere that’s full of energy and creativity. I highly recommend working with Susan! – Heidi Kadison, former employee, Excite@Home

I wanted to write a quick note to let you know that it was a pleasure working for you while at Excite@Home.  You are one of the most strategic and eloquent leaders I have met and consider you to be my most influential mentor.  You can move mountains with your words and build powerful teams with your management acumen.  One of the most connected people in the industry, I welcome any opportunity to work with and/or for you in the future. — Brendan O’Brien, VP & GM, Digital Media Group, ISM Entertainment

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Living Your Calling Is Good Business – Creating a Purposeful Organization with Chip Conley, author of PEAK

This week’s DishyMix interview is with Chip Conley, founder of the delicious chain of California boutique hotels called Joie de Vivre Hospitality.

Chip’s latest book, PEAK:

Here’s a short video clip of Chip and I. Listen to the whole audio interview below.

Chip Conley, Joie de Vivre on Creating a Culture of Recognition, Potka’s Scorecard and Finding Your Calling



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Chip created a boutique hotel chain of niche targeted properties and is the author of several books, including “PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow.” In this episode we talk about Maslow’s Hierarchies as Chip has applied them to The Customer, The Employee and The Investor.
Get Chip’s “Peak Prescriptions” for creating a culture of recognition and providing inspirational work that goes beyond a job or even career for employees and creates their “calling.”
Then Chip takes us on a tour of Asia, with highlights of his many trips to Bali.


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Bernie Borges’ Find & Convert Interview with Susan Bratton

Bernie interviewed me today for his terrific show, Find & Convert.

Bernie Borges, Find & Convert

Bernie’s Show       Bernie’s Blog        Find and Convert in iTunes

He asked me a number of questions in advance of the interview and I thought I’d blog the answers here.

Who is Susan Bratton and what does she have her hands in now?

I’m a CEO, Publisher, Blogger, Podcaster, Speaker and Author.

DishyMix is my weekly podcast and companion blog. My coverages ranges from brain science to new gadgets to landing page conversion to the future of the social graph.

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Personal Life Media, an aspirational company and next-generation publisher focused on providing virtual, fully downloadable content experiences.

Our mantra is “frank talk and deep discussion for your personal life.”

We publish 40 podcasts, companion blogs and are launching 15 new information products I call “ebooks with benefits.”

Our first info products to market are, Talk Show Tips, Speak Up with Power and Influence, Masterful Techniques to Overcome Anxiety and Fear, Naturally Slender Quickstart and a 21 Day Lovemaking Program for Couples. We have another 10+ info products in production.

Top shows on Personal Life Media include:
DishyMix, Inside Out Weight Loss, Expanded Lovemaking, Buddhist Geeks, Living Dialogues, 3 Digital Photography Shows, The Diva Cast, The New Man, Just for Women, Philosopher’s Notes, Tantra & Kama Sutra and Sex, Love & Intimacy.

What is my high level view of social media marketing?

I view social media as being in three categories, Listening, Appvertising and Participation. Shiv Singh of Razorfish really helped me gel my concept of these buckets and his DishyMix interview is coming in June.

Listening is getting the most traction with Participation second and Appvertising third.

Listening: New companies like Unbound Technologies, a next generation Neilsen Buzz Metrics, is focused on opportunities around the social graph and social influence marketing. They create a list of the most influential individuals for any given brand and then provide an “affinity map” of the other most-influential people and brands related to that single, key influencer. This is fantastic for outreach, prioritization of influencers and joint promotions to important clustered audiences.

Taking behaviorial targeting to a new high with the inclusion of social graphing is Media6Degrees. They offer ad targeted based on social graphing. I also need an update on Lookery who is aggregating social media data across social networks to use for ad targeting. My interview with Scott Rafer of Lookery is here.

Appvertising is being well handled by ClearSpring, Gigya and RockYou! as well as and ContextOptional. Brands who create useful aps or sponsor useful aps for their target consumers are brilliant players at a high-level of sophistication in the social influence marketing sphere.

Participation is certainly evident in Facebook Pages. Here’s my DishyMix Fan Club where I give away all kinds of goodies to my listeners.  Also popular and smart are consumer generated content experiences like HP on YouTube described here in my interview with Daina Middleton and the darling of the moment, corporate Twitter accounts like this one.
What is the biggest difficulty in Social Media Marketing?

I believe in larger organizations, it is around internal ownership. Should social marketing be part of marketing, corp comm, where? In smaller organizations, I see the problem being one of overwhelming choice. Where do I start as a small business with limited resources?

Also, tracking and ROI still being figured out. Here is a great presentation on social media ROI.

Lee Odden (the wonderful soul who connected Bernie and I in the first place through his superlative Top Rank Online Marketing Blog  and I talk about integration of web analytics and social media analytics in this interview I did with Lee at SXSW for the #Community Powered project. Emphasis on real time data. The data that you can collect through something like a social media monitoring tool, like Buzz Logic, Collective Intellect, Radian6, married with web analytics, like Google Analytics, Omniture, Web Trends.

Lee Odden and Susan Bratton SXSW

Lee Odden and Susan Bratton on Web and Social Media Analytics

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Podcasting? How did you get into it? What is the current state of podcasting and consulting your crystal ball on podcasting’s future.

Podcasting is still a nascent market.

The beauty of it is that anyone can create an audience of raving fans. (and in my ebook with benefits, called Talk Show Tips, I teach you how to empower your raving fans with the tools they need to help you grow your audience.)

If you are articulate and like to talk more than you like to write, audio may be better for you than blogging. And with transcripts, you can have the best of both worlds.

For video, the bar is very high on production quality. Make sure you are adequately resourced before pursuing.

Commercial podcasting is a very smart solution for brands who have deep knowledge to share with their customers and prospects.

The ADM (Association for Downloadable Media) is working on ad models, audience measurement and consumer attitudes toward sponsorships of podcasts.

It’s a greenfield opportunity for sponsors. Integrated social media programs are key. You must leverage the hosts’ social media influence.

There are two excellent video clips on Volomedia’s blog about Podcasting Metrics and Podcast Advertising and Sponsorship that Jeff Karnes and I just presented at the eMetrics Summit.

My presentation is at about some of my best programs from TrustedID, Holosync’s, Better Sex Institute, Lensbaby, Accuquote and Audible.

Finally, Talk Show Tips: 72 Secret ‘Master Host’ Techniques will teach anyone how to land big name guests, prepare for their show, ask killer questions with my easy question-generator mini-course, create and manage a facile show flow, conduct professional in-interview techniques and learn a dozen ideas for using social media to radiate your show and help your fans promote your show for you.

Talk Show Tips - How To Interview Guests on Your Show, Blog, Podcast or Info Product

What is your DishyMix podcast and blog business model?

DishyMix #1 Social Media Podcast

I’m very fortunate to have sponsors who underwrite my show to reach my valuable, sophisticated audience of marketers, agency pros and digital media mavens. DishyMix is sponsored by Isobar US Carat, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summits, adtech conferences, Trusted ID, Upstream Habitat and Audible.

Who are some of the most memorable guests on DishyMix?

I’ve created a blog post to wrap up my Top 10 Favorite DishyMix Guests.

DishyMix: Success Secrets from Famous Media and Internet Business Executives

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And Coming Soon! Alvin Toffler, author of Future Shock on his newest tome, Revolutionary Wealth and Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone on his newest angle, Who’s Got Your Back?

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DishyMix Top 10 Best Episodes Ever! Woz, Bogusky, Battelle, Bushnell, Buckingham, Sir Ken and More!

Who are some of the most memorable guests on DishyMix?

Without a doubt, this list of amazing human beings are my all time favorite guests. The interviews are delightful, inspiring, educational and entertaining:

Sir Ken Robinson on The Element, Talent Assessment and Feeling Lucky

 Sir Ken Robinson, author of “The Element”

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Dacher Keltner, Born to Be Good, Your Jen Ratio and Cro-Magnon CEO’s

 Dacher Keltner

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Lynda Resnick on Predicting Winning Products, Outliers and Rubies and Cuties

Lynda Resnick

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David Szetela and the PPC 10 Cylinder Engine

David Szetela

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Nolan Bushnell, 20 Start Ups Later, on Chemical Engines, Existentialism and “My Cave.”

 Nolan Bushnell

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WOZ Steve Wozniak, Apple Computer on Inventing as Art, Philanthropy and the Spirit of Creativity Part 1 of 2


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Marcus Buckingham on The Truth About You, Career Intervention on Oprah and the Strength’s Revolution

 Marcus Buckingham

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John Zogby, Preeminent Pollster on The American Dream, Retail Politics and the Value Chasm

John Zogby

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Alex Bogusky of Crispin, Porter + Bogusky on Culture Jamming, Hermie the Pygmy Elephant and Telling the Subservient Chicken to Go “Pluck” Himself

Alex Bogusky

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John Battelle on The Conversation Economy, Hairy World Issues and High School Musicals Part 1 of 2.

 John Battelle

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For Your Pleasure, Connection and Growth: The Latest PLM Episodes. Please RT, Listen and Enjoy!

Learning Practical Steps to Decouple Fear From Our Moment-by-Moment Choice-Driven Evolution with Guy Finley

Inside Out Weight Loss on “Gain Money, Lose Weight.”

The Alchemy of Passion: Building Polarity with Saida Désilets and Sol Sebastian, Renowned Tantric Teachers

Philosopher’s Notes: “Could gives us a choice, and we are never wrong.” ~ Louise L. Hay from You Can Heal Your Life

The New Man: Sera Beak – Bust Out of the Cultural BS and Follow Your Own Path

Buddhist Geeks: Alan Chapman on Advanced Magick for Beginners.

Just for Women: Newt Bailey: How To Tell Him What You Need.

Kelly Mooney, Resource Interactive on The OPEN Brand Framework, Your Social Profile Manager, Blizzard Rafting

Words to Mouth on the Rooftops of Tehran with Mahbod Seraji

Close Your Ears and Dream On – Wallace D. Wattles “The Science of Being Great.”

The DivaCast – Putting Together a Best of Reel

Smile with Lumineers, Veneers, Invasalign And More: Dr. Dan Spills All He Knows on Beauty Now

Say No to Paraben and Yes to Carrots in Natural Beauty Care Products on GreenTalk Radio

Are you willing to feel good and have your life go well ALL THE TIME? Gay Hendricks on Philosopher’s Notes

Stanislav Grof On the Road of “2012 NOW – Empowering the Transformation” on Living Dialogues

Finding Your Niche in Digital Photography with Gene Higa on Camera Dojo

Tuscany Photography Workshop with Gene Higa. I want to go!

Secrets of a Temple Priestess for Women with Triambika

The Weight Loss/Sleep Connection

Increasing Water Efficiency with the EPA’s WaterSense Program on GreenTalk Radio

Business Success Tips with Mike Williams and the GuruTube

How do you transform everything that happens in a relationship into more intimacy?

Driving Under the Stars (feat. Stephane Pompougnac, Lovespirals, and more…) Music for Midnight

Immigration and Naturalization with genealogy lecturer and blogger Stephen Danko.

You know deep inside you that you will never be fully satisfied until you have anchored yourself in your Zone of Genius.

A Handshake Deal with the Universe on Philosopher’s Notes

Gay Hendricks from The Big Leap

Reading the Thoughts of God on Philosopher’s Notes with Wallace D. Wattles

Am I Normal? Embracing Sacred Sensual Minorities and Majorities with Loraine Hutchins, PhD.


Fan Mail for DishyMix and Sir Ken Robinson, Author of “The Element”

Here is a delightful email from a DishyMix fan. (Thank you, Michael and Pam!)

Hi Susan,

First, Thank You and everyone at Personal Life Media for all the thought provoking, insightful and compelling content you provide. From DishyMix to Philosopher’s Note’s, my wife and I look forward to every new episode and we keep our favorites in our iTunes Libraries.

DishyMix #1 Social Media Podcast

We are so happy you brought back Sir Ken Robinson on DishyMix. Your first conversation was fantastic and we look forward to resuming the podcast after finishing this email. We would LOVE to opportunity to be considered for an autographed copy of The Element. It will be put to great use.

The Element, by Sir Ken Robinson

Please keep up the outstanding work your organization provides. You make our commutes, work outs and life so much more fulfilling,

Michael Carr and Pam Hoffman

Editors Note: Michael and Pam were advised to post their requst on the DishyMix Fan Club page on Facebook. If you would like a personally autographed copy of The Element, you can post your desire there too.


Are You in Your Element? Where is the Intersection of Your Talent and Passion? How to Find it HERE with Sir Ken Robinson

One of my all time most popular DishyMix guests is Sir Ken Robinson. He has a new book out called, “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.” Sir Ken is an international leader in human potential and creativity and education.

Sir Ken Robinson, author of “The Element”

Here’s an excerpt from my interview with Sir Ken about finding your passion and being in “the element.”

Susan Bratton: Sir Ken, when I read your book I really felt like what you did was kick open the door to a new realm of talent assessment tools. I, poof, popped into a whole new place where there was so much more for me to understand about myself and the people that I love and work with, about their talents and their capabilities. You referenced a lot of people’s work and stitched it together, with your own special spin and look at humans and their unique ways of being. Please describe The Element for us. Give us that level set.

The Element, by Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson: Okay, well The Element, the title comes from an expression that a lot of people use, and I hear myself saying, you know, which is that people do their best when they do the thing they love, when they’re in their element. And I thought, “Well what is that exactly”, because it’s clear to me in my experience that an awful lot of people do things for a living that they don’t really like doing, they don’t much enjoy it, they just get on with it because they have found their way into it and, you know, they live their lives in a kind of low grade sense of tolerance, is what they do.

And yet I also meet lots of people that actually love what they do and couldn’t really imagine doing anything else. You know, they’re in their element, so to speak. Well it’s two things it seems to me. One of them is to be in your element you have to be doing something that you have a natural attitude for, a natural feel. And the truth is, we all have very, very different attitudes. You know, we take the things in very different ways. But it’s not enough to be doing something you’re good at, because I know lots of people who do things they’re good at that they don’t really much like doing. To be in your element you have to love it too. And if you are doing something you’re good at and something that you also love to do, that seems to me to be the perfect place and that’s what being in your element is.

Susan Bratton: So it’s the intersection of your talent and your passion… And that was the point in the book. It doesn’t matter what your talents are if you don’t love them. If you’re really good at numbers and they bore you to death, don’t do it. If you love plants and growing things and that’s your passion and it’s a part of your talent, that’s where you should be.

Sir Ken Robinson: That’s right. And it applies definitely to people in all sorts of different walks of life, you know. For some people it’s math, for some people it’s working with people, it’s teaching, it’s doing what you’re doing now, you know, or it’s, it could be cooking or raising families, or anything at all. I mean our attitudes are very different, and that’s in a way a major point in the book. You know, the book is really about diversity and celebrating difference.

Susan Bratton: You wrote, “The best hope for the future is to develop a new paradigm of human capacity to meet a new era of human existence.” I think that goes to what you’re saying, that every one of us has a unique talent. You know, you’ve been very critical of our education system being a part of the industrial revolution mechanism. That we are thinking about people’s talents and pigeon holing them as well, and you want to get out of that and find a lot of new ways. What are some of the things that we can do as people who manage other people for example, to create this new era of human existence?

Sir Ken Robinson: The shift I’m talking about, as you say, is from an old model, not just of education but of the mind to, a richer model. You know, the current systems education are intended to develop our ability to work, among other things. But the way in which it’s done is rooted so much in the 19th century models of industrial manufacture, that most people now I think never truly discover their own talents through the process of being educated. I have lots of people in the work, I’ve interviewed all kinds of people in the arts and sciences, in business, in not for profits, and many of them didn’t do well at school at all, they. They went on to do brilliantly well afterwards, once they discovered their real talents.

I don’t mean to say that in order to succeed you have to have failed at school first; I mean that would be pushing this a bit far. But it is true that education is designed to identify certain sorts of talents and not all talents. That’s, by the way, education, traditional education at its best. The problem now I think is that our school systems have become so oppressed and stifled by standards of systemized testing that their not even succeeding in their traditional market, so to speak. So a lot of people come through the system never really know what they’re good at…

And I think for companies and organizations, and for parents and families, what I’m trying to argue for is we have to go back and think very differently about the nature of human intelligence and the nature of human ability. We’re grown up with a whole set of ideas that we take for granted about our natural abilities, and the result of it is I think we have a very impoverished view of our own potential, and I think companies have a very impoverished view very often of the real talents that align there in the people they employ.

To listen to the whole interview, click on the buttons below.

Sir Ken Robinson on The Element, Talent Assessment and Feeling Lucky

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Additional Discussion Points from the Interview:

  • What is your human potential, the intersection of aptitude and passion and finding your calling?
  • Does your job make you ecstatically happy or utterly miserable?
  • Your best attributes? Linguistic, musical, mathematical, spatial, kinesthetic, interpersonal or intrapersonal?
  • Do you have more analytic intelligence, creative or practical intelligence?
  • “The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything.”
  • Two free autographed copies for DishyMix fans!
  • The Element from @SirKenRobinson. 2 free autographed copies! Post your desire at DishyMix
  • “The best hope for the future is to develop a new paradigm of human capacity to meet a new era of human existence.”
  • Our school systems have become so oppressed and stifled by standards of systematized testing they’re not succeeding.
  • “Companies have a very impoverished view of the real talents that align in the people they employ.”
  • Howard Gardener says there are 9 main forms of intelligence. What are yours?
  • @SirKenRobinson on Robert Cooper, The Other 90 Percent, about the heart brain and the gut brain.
  • @SirKenRobinson on how experiences go first to the neurological networks of the intestinal track and heart.
  • The enteric nervous system: 2nd brain inside the intestines, independent of, but interconnected with the brain.
  • Why we often experience our first reaction to events as a gut reaction, which shapes everything we do.”
  • Robert Sternberg from Tufts, kind of an anti-IQ guy on analytic, creative and practical intelligence.
  • Herman Brain Dominance: A, B, C & D Quadrants: analytic, implementation, social and future thinking.
  • Herman Brain Dominance Instrument better than Myers Briggs.
  • The Luck Factor by psychologist Gordon Wiseman.
  • Sir Ken Robinson on The Element, Talent Assessment and Feeling Lucky

Comments (1)

Monitoring Twitter While Doing A Speaking Engagement – Bert Decker, Speaker Trainer Extraordinaire on The Twitter Phenomenon

At SXSW, I met my long-time idol, Bert Decker. Bert runs Decker Communications, a speaker’s training organization. Getting “Deckerized” changed by life. I used to be so afraid of public speaking, now it jazzes me like little else. I attribute much of my professional success to my ability to speak to large groups with confidence.Bert Decker and Susan Bratton

Bert has been on DishyMix and I have promoted his book, “You Have to Be Believed to Be Heard,” widely to my friends and compatriots.

At SXSW, Bert noted that panelists were monitoring Twitter to get audience feedback during presentations and panels. This behavior is not confined to the social media mecca that is SXSW. You’ll find panelists at ad:tech and other events doing the same thing.

I interviewed Bert about this phenomenon to get his opinions. Listen here to Bert Decker’s advice.

Susan Bratton & Bert Decker

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And below is my complete DishyMix interview with him. If you are a public speaker, or want to be, this is a great interview, chock full of relevant and actionable advice.

Bert Decker on The First Brain, Transforming Your Personal Impact and The Decker Grid

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