8 must-read stories about our speakers for 2023

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8 must-read stories about our speakers for 2023

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James Clear – from nearly dying when he was 15 to holding several sports records before graduation

On the last day of tenth grade, James Clear took a full-force baseball bat in the face from one of his classmates: the bat had accidentally slipped from his hands and hit James right between his eyes.

The accident was horrific: the blow crushed the bones in his nose causing instant swelling in his brain. He had multiple skull fractures, a swollen nose and shattered eye sockets. He gave wrong answers when asked by the school nurse what year they were in and what President was in office. It took him ten seconds to remember his mother’s name. After that, he lost consciousness and was rushed to the emergency room.

Shortly after he arrived at the hospital, his body collapsed: he stopped breathing and was hooked to a ventilation machine. The seizures started. The hospital wasn’t equipped to manage his particular situation so he was flown to a bigger hospital where he was placed into an induced coma and underwent emergency surgery to reconstruct his skull.

The surgery was successful, but the recuperation was long and difficult. He had always dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player and that dream seemed impossible to achieve now. Still, he was determined to get his life back.

Six years after the accident, he became the best male player at his university and was selected for ESPN’s Academic All-America Team, a unique recognition enjoyed by only 33 athletes in the country.

By the time he graduated, James had records in eight different sports categories. He received the Presidential Medal, the highest honour in academia.

He achieved all that after discovering the power of good habits and putting together a system of meeting goals. He never realized his dream of playing in a professional baseball team, but what he did was more important than that: he realized his potential.

Learn how tiny habits can lead to remarkable results in life and career from Bestselling Author of ‘Atomic Habits’ James Clear, at BRAND MINDS 2023.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb‘s first two books almost didn’t get published

Nassim Taleb has confessed in a recent article that writing was a childhood dream. He had always wanted to produce literature. Nothing surprising about that. Except for the fact that his idea of literature was quite unique.

According to Taleb, “literature should not have explicit boundaries”, a point of view which you can imagine, didn’t go well with publishing houses. His first book, ‘Fooled by Randomness’ was, in his own words, “practically impossible to publish”. The book was a collection of autobiography, philosophy (of probability), mathematics, inductive logic, musings on historical events and financial markets and parables with fictional characters. Publishing houses said the book confused the reader.

“What’s wrong with confusing the reader?”Taleb answered them unwaveringly in his determination to resist every attempt of editing coming from editors at publishing houses.

Why? Because he wanted to write his own version of literature, one freed from the limitations of subject and style. This led to his books gaining an aura of ‘unpublishable’ status and Taleb receiving many rejection letters in which editors described with an abundance of details how the books would fail. At that time, book publishing was still a type of business where local bookstores were an important part of the ecosystem.

While Taleb was struggling to get his books published in Europe, in the US, a new disruptive force was rising: Amazon. Amazon’s ability to connect authors to readers in other parts of the world convinced Taleb to leverage its power and gain awareness and readership.

Becoming antifragile in a world dominated by uncertainty and risks is essential for the survival of the company.

Renée Mauborgne has created 20 strategy tools to help businesses adopt the Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy is based on a 10-year study of strategic business moves across 30 industries.

What prompted this study?

Seeing American companies lose customers and market shares, in the early 1990s, to a new competitor who was coming from outside of the country: Japanese companies.

Global competition was changing everything for companies anywhere in the world. The markets were becoming crowded. For the first time since World War II, demand didn’t exceed supply. Businesses were entering a new era and the old business strategies were becoming obsolete. It was time to design new business strategies.

Renée Mauborgne’s and Chan W Kim’s Blue Ocean Strategy concept was powerful and research-based and was soon embraced by millions of executives around the world. But while they saw the value of the strategy, they didn’t know how to adopt it. That’s when Renée and Chan created templates and frameworks to help businesses shift from red oceans to blue oceans.

These strategy tools are: Value Innovation, Strategy Canvas, Buyer Utility Map, Three Tiers of Noncustomers, Six Paths Frameworks, Four Actions Framework, ERRC Grid, PMS Map, Price Corridor of the Mass, Sequence of Creating a Blue Ocean, Five steps to a Blue Ocean Shift, Three Components of a Blue Ocean Shift, Three Components of Humanness, Four Hurdles to Strategy Execution, Fair Process, Tipping Point Leadership, Blue Ocean Leadership v Conventional Leadership, Leadership Canvas, Leadership Grid and Costs of Disengaged Employees.

At BRAND MINDS 2023, Bestselling Author of ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ & ‘Blue Ocean Shift’ Renée Mauborgne taught participants how to uncover new markets and create exceptional business growth.

Neil Patel began learning digital marketing at 18 to market his company

Growing up, Neil Patel was surrounded by family members running multiple companies and being successful entrepreneurs. When he was a little boy, he was always thinking about what he could do to become an entrepreneur. He did odd jobs for a while like selling vacuums or working at a grocery store.

Not yet 18, he started his first company, a job board, called Advice Monkey. He quickly realized that if the company was to be successful, he had to market the company’s website on the internet.

He hired an internet marketing firm to promote his company and fired them a few months later when the firm didn’t deliver any results. Neil went on to hire two more marketing firms with the same result: they took his money but didn’t deliver results. Since all three marketing firms couldn’t bring him relevant results, he decided to learn digital marketing and market the company himself.

Fast forward two decades and Neil Patel is one of the world’s most experienced digital marketing experts. His website neilpatel.com is one of the top 10 marketing blogs in the world and has been selected by President Obama in the Top 100 entrepreneurs under the age of 30.

At BRAND MINDS participants learned how to reach more customers from Digital Marketing Expert Neil Patel, live, on stage.

Lynda Gratton’s insights and vision helped Japan design a new human resources strategy for its citizens of all ages

‘The 100-Year Life’, Lynda Gratton’s book about longevity and societal change was published in 2016 and earned modest sales. But when the translated version was published in Japan a few months later, it quickly went on to become a national bestseller. The country with the world’s highest number of senior citizens acknowledged the issues presented in the book and recognized the immediate need to design a nationwide strategy for its people.

In September 2017, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe established the Council for Designing 100-Year Life Society whose goal was to create a society in which all citizens are dynamically engaged and equally contributing to the country’s development. Lynda Gratton accepted his invitation to serve on the Council and help him outline a revolutionary human resource strategy to reform the work style of the Japanese people and increase productivity.

The Council’s reforms have yielded positive results: they introduced the concept of lifelong learning, future of work and increased employment rate among senior citizens.

Learning new strategies for employee engagement and retention from Future of Work Strategy Expert at London Business School Lynda Gratton was highly appreciated by participants at BRAND MINDS 2023.

Anne-Marie Imafidon made history in England when she became the youngest girl ever to pass A-level Computing at the age 11

And she was only 20 when she got her master’s in Maths and Computer Science from the University of Oxford. She worked for a number of investment banks but then in 2013 set up Stemettes, an award-winning social initiative, dedicated to inspiring and promoting the next generation of young women in the STEM sectors.

She was 27 when she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her services in UK tech. Other MBE holders are multiple Grammy winners Adele and Ed Sheeran.

At 30, she was voted the most influential woman in tech in the UK by Computer Weekly. She has 6 honorary doctorates, is the President of the British Science Association and was listed as one of the BBC’s 100 inspirational and innovative women. She has achieved what others achieve in a lifetime and she is only 32.

How did this extraordinary life begin?

Anne-Marie was born in London, to Nigerian parents, the eldest of five children. Education was very important to her parents. She grew up in a progressive environment where she and her siblings were allowed to experiment with everything. One of her earliest memories is playing on her dad’s computer when she was four or taking apart the VCR to see where her favourite animation characters came from.

Drawing from her wealth of knowledge and experience, Tech Leadership Expert Anne-Marie Imafidon has seen how Artificial Intelligence is influencing the future of work and the business environment and had unique insights to share with participants at BRAND MINDS 2023.

Blair Singer has been advising Robert Kiyosaki on sales for over 25 years

Blair Singer first met Rich Dad Poor Dad Bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki in 1980 when they were both struggling entrepreneurs.

Blair became a Rich Dad Advisor in the early 1990s. The team was originally assembled by Robert Kiyosaki to provide him with business and investing advice. Blair’s role in the team is that of the Business & Sales Expert. The team meets once a week and Blair’s responsibility is to teach Robert and the rest of the team about sales.

You could say that seasoned experts like Robert Kiyosaki and Blair Singer don’t need to learn anything new and you would be wrong. The Rich Dad Poor Dad Advising team nurtures a culture of continuous learning. Every member of the team is both a teacher and a student. Because no one knows everything because knowledge has been growing exponentially.

That’s why it’s essential for professionals, juniors or seniors to keep learning from experts and each other.

World Famous Sales Expert Blair Singer shared his proven sales process to increase sales.

Duncan Wardle convinced NASA to send Buzz Lightyear, the beloved Toy Story character…into space

‘Toy Story’ was Disney’s one of the most successful and highest-grossing animation films of all time. In 2008, a new attraction based on the film was launching at Disney Parks and Duncan Wardle and his team were tasked with promoting the new experience.

A fan of ‘Toy Story’, Duncan knew that Buzz Lightyear’s dream was to fly into space. Though nothing but a toy, many girls and boys loved Buzz and shared his dream. Why not realize his dream and show every boy and girl that if a toy can do it, they can do it too and they should keep dreaming about it?, thought Duncan.

But how are they going to get NASA’s approval on this “crazy” project? By finding and solving one of the agency’s pain points. At the time, NASA had many challenges they were struggling to overcome one of which was the waning interest of Americans in space exploration. Little interest meant little to no funding from Congress. So Duncan pitched the heads of NASA that sending Buzz Lightyear to space was a great way to introduce a new generation of kids to space travel and to build interest in STEM skills for youths across the country. NASA agreed and Buzz Lightyear spent almost one year and a half in space at the International Space Station firing the imagination of kids and grown-ups alike through contests, learning games and many other activities. The project was a huge success!

What amazing achievements could your team unlock? Participants discovered first hand at Duncan Wardle’s Innovation & Design Thinking Masterclass, on Day 2 of BRAND MINDS 2023.

BRAND MINDS is the complete business training your team needs to supercharge your company’s scale-up.

Share these stories with your team leader.


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