Featured Interview with Mark Sanborn

President of Sanborn & Associates, Award-winning Speaker, and Bestselling Author

Lonetree, CO

Listen to this interview to learn:

  • What clients really want to hear from consultants and what audiences want to hear from speakers.
  • Ways in which change itself has changed.
  • A key question that effective leaders ask daily to build a shared sense of vision and progress.
  • How leaders at any level can share what matters most to help an organization move more rapidly towards business success.

Interview Insights

Click to Read the Show Notes

1:35 Sanborn describes how the origins of his career path began with public speaking in 4H.

2:21 “The reason why that’s important is that the [experience in 4H] got me down a path of learning how to speak well. Through speaking I started to understand the process of mastery.”

2:50 “[Youth Organization Leadership and public speaking] combined together to create a great interest in how leaders communicate, how leaders influence others, how they create great organizations that deliver extraordinary service.”

3:21 [On his company] “We work with leaders at every level, showing them through my speaking and through my books and my advising, how to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

3:41 “For anyone to get better at anything, [it] begins with desire.”

3:51 “Those people who want to improve have taken the first and most important step in the process. But they now have to figure out how to channel that desire into action.”

4:15 The two reasons why there’s no better reason to be alive if you want to learn how to lead than now.

5:01 “I think probably today the biggest challenge [if you want to learn how to lead] is evaluating which ones are really good…the real challenge is to find those resources which will best help you with your particular needs and desires become better at leading.”

5:42 [On the biggest roadblocks for leaders] – “Today leaders struggle with uncertainty. There’s always been uncertainty in the world. I’ve heard some of my colleagues say we’ve always had change, change is nothing new. I think change itself has changed. I think its more complex. I think it’s happening at a greater speed. I think that there are challenges happening with change that we didn’t have 5 years ago, much less 50 years ago.”

6:16 “I think the very nature of change is that uncertainty has become so unpredictable that’s its hard to know day to day, week to week, month to month what we should be doing.”

6:23 “One of the things that I’ve tried to do in my work is focus less on trying to predict the future, less on being a futurist, and more on being a presentologist. A presentologist isn’t somebody that predicts the future, they’re somebody who’s pretty sure, based on what’s going on, in what they can foresee in the future. They’re sure about what needs to be done now.”

6:51 [On the importance of creating shared focus] – “Leaders not only have to be focused on doing the right things, but they need to create shared focus. In other words, they need to identify what we should be doing now, to hedge our bets, assure our success, mitigate the downturns, if you will, and then they need to make sure that those things are being done.”

7:28 [Paraphrasing Scott Ginsberg], “What are the three or four things you do everyday to ensure your ongoing success.”

8:07 “The reality is that there are a few, a very few [things we do every day] that really create the majority of our results and our success.”

8:15 The significance of creating a structure that creates focus in times of potential uncertainty.

8:41 “If business development is key, you need to make sure that everybody from the person who answers the phone, to the salespeople, to the ones who work in the warehouse know their job perspective…Everybody needs to know, even if their job isn’t specifically business development, how their job impacts business development.”

9:55 [On building the structure that supports the philosophy of focus] – “What I suggest is you work with each of the people you lead, begin with yourself, but each of the people you lead to identify their MVP activities. We know in sports being an MVP is for most valuable player, but in this sense it stands for most valuable and profitable activities. And that simply means that you look at all the things you do every day through that lens of focus and you say ‘What are those key things, those most valuable and profitable activities, that will give us the biggest payback on our investment of time and energy and expertise”

11:00 “If you could spend 60-80% of every day on your most valuable and profitable activities, you would a) be almost laser-like in your focus, but more importantly you would increase dramatically the results you enjoy.”

11:40 [The difference between activity and accomplishment] – “Life isn’t about how busy you are, it’s about the results you create. There are times when we can accomplish more by doing less, by editing out the unimportant, or the trivial, or the insignificant.”

12:53 Sanborn describes his experiences in branding himself as an author, and discusses some of the key points of his most famous works.

15:10 “People are less interested in what you and I have learned or done, what they ultimately want to know is what they can learn from what we’ve learned or done.”

Expert Bio

Mark Sanborn, CSP, CPAE, is president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea studio dedicated to developing leaders in business and in life. Mark is an international bestselling author and noted authority on leadership, team building, customer service and change.

Mark holds the Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA), is a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, and recently served as the president of the National Speakers Association. He was recently honored with the Cavett Award, the highest honor the NSA bestows on its members, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the speaking profession. Mark is also a member of the exclusive Speakers Roundtable, made up of 20 of the top speakers in America.

Mark is the author of seven books, including TeamBuilt: Making Teamwork Work, Sanborn on Success, and Upgrade: Proven Strategies for Dramatically Increasing Personal and Professional Success. Mark’s book The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Make the Ordinary Extraordinary is an international bestseller. His most recent release, You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader, is making an impact on leadership development at every level. He has created and appeared in 20 videos and numerous audio training programs. His video series Team Building: How to Motivate and Manage People made it to the #2 spot for bestselling educational video series in the U.S.

Mark’s list of over 1,500 clients includes Capital One, Costco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, FedEx, and many similar major players.

For more information, visit Mark’s website.

Contact Info for Mark Sanborn

Business Phone: 1-800-650-3343

Web address: MarkSanborn.com

Travels From: Denver, CO

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