12 Books on Leadership to Read in 2017

by Bernie Swain
Vision, goals and the ability to communicate are what leaders and business books most often attribute to their success and achievement. But there is one thing central  to great leadership that is all too often overlooked. Great leaders must fundamentally understand their strengths and weaknesses. In other words, leaders who want to be effective and successful must first understand who they are. They must stop and ask themselves,  “What do I do well?” ”What will I need help with?” “What … Continue reading "12 Books on Leadership to Read in 2017"

How to Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur

by Bernie Swain
After 15 years of working for other people, I quit my job—I finally realized I needed to do something on my own. I was frustrated and demoralized, my ideas were being marginalized and I wasn’t waking up in the morning looking forward to a new day. With my wife, Paula, and our business partner at my side, I started a lecture agency, with no experience or real plan. Before too long, other people were working for me. I wanted them … Continue reading "How to Unleash Your Inner Entrepreneur"

Family Ties: What Better Place to Start Learning

by Bernie Swain
Every day, we are shaped by one thing or another—these are the influences and defining moments, the turning points in our life. One of the biggest influences is frequently the first—our family and, in particular, our parents.  If we are lucky enough, our parents—and our grandparents—will care for us and guide us. They will give us the foundation—initially formed by those who came before them—that will largely make us who we are. “Whenever I need strength and inspiration, all I … Continue reading "Family Ties: What Better Place to Start Learning"

Reading the Book of Life

by Bernie Swain
Success and accomplishment don’t happen in a vacuum; they rise from our most profound experiences—if we’re paying attention. I credit Alex Haley, the author of Roots and one of the most compelling people we’ve had the privilege to represent, for helping me to recognize that. One day in the late eighties, Alex showed up at our office unannounced. He was like that—even though he was one of the best-known writers in the country at that time, he would just walk … Continue reading "Reading the Book of Life"

On Character & Accomplishment

by Bernie Swain
May is graduation month—which means any number of famous and accomplished people are doing commencement speeches.  (Think Sheryl Sandberg, Spike Lee, and Michelle Obama.  Other top-rated speakers this month include Sir Ken Robinson, Condoleezza Rice, Mike Krzyewski, and Madeleine Albright.)  Many of them are asking, What shapes someone’s character?    This question shouldn’t be relegated to graduation exercises.  I’ve had the privilege of working with famous world leaders, business visionaries, authors, media personalities, and sports legends for over 35 years.  … Continue reading "On Character & Accomplishment"