Kevin Johnson Part 1 | CEO of Starbucks: Relationship Building in Leadership
In this episode, Charlie Mechem sits down with Kevin Johnson, a good friend and the CEO of Starbucks. Kevin uses his experiences in business and leadership to reflect on anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” You can learn more about the book at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore. Learning Beyond Your Comfort Zone Kevin has always thought of himself as a lifelong learner. Part of that includes being able to push the boundaries of his comfort zone. Kevin cites his current position at Starbucks, as well as his time working with Microsoft and Juniper Networks; all of these companies were willing to step out of their comfort zones, place their stakes in the ground, and work toward their missions. Your Brand is How Customers Perceive You Understanding what your brand stands for is at the core of good marketing. In the case of Starbucks, they serve premium Arabica coffee—but it’s the experience they provide in their stores that really creates the brand. You can’t control your brand, the customers control your brand. Accountability in Leadership In leadership roles, a lot of it has to do with taking responsibility and being accountable. Starbucks has some 400,000 partners that don the green apron; each day, Kevin wakes up knowing he is accountable for those individuals and the services that they provide the customers. It is his job—and every other leader’s job—to empower and enable their staff across the board, and guide the company through both simple or complex issues. Accountability is an imperative part of leadership and relationship building. Trust in relationships is earned over time, by people being accountable. What’s Really Important From his visits to Starbucks partners around the world, Kevin has been able to come to the understanding of one absolute thing all humans have in common—the human experience. Regardless of where we come from, we all know what it is like to be human, and all of the ups and downs that humanity entails. Personal relationships are what matter the most in the human experience, especially in times of adversity. These imperative personal relationships are formed through the sharing of vulnerabilities and challenges, as well as successes. It is in any leader’s best interest to work to understand their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, and build trust, in order to solidify such invaluable relationships. Set your priorities Kevin reiterates, in his experience, relationships and people have been the things that matter most. The key to having worthwhile and special relationships, in both personal and professional life, is authenticity. Don’t sweat the little stuff and make room for what’s important—like a good cup of coffee. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
25 Sep 2019
David Feherty | Former Professional Golfer and Personality on the Golf Channel
In this episode of 15 Minutes With Charlie, Charlie Mechem sits down with David Feherty. David played professional golf on both the PGA and European tours. More recently, he hosts a highly regarded TV show on the Golf Channel, which features one on one interviews with notable figures in golf. David uses his experience in the golf world to reflect on anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” You can learn more about the book at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore. Adaptability and Flexibility in Golf Adaptability is incredibly important in golf. Sometimes what you have been trying isn’t working. Like your swing, David says, sometimes you need to tweak it in different ways in order to improve. If you are unwilling to adapt, there’s no way that change—either positive or negative will not occur. Keeping Ego in Check Talent isn’t talent without ego, but you must keep your ego in check, David advises. In the golf world, there are a lot of big egos, some people have succeeded in managing those enormous egos, while others have not. As soon as you’ve got the answer, someone will change the question, this is something David’s father used to say. Because of this fact, communication is key. Ego must be taken into consideration in communication. A huge part of communication is being likable, and it’s hard to like someone with a big ego. Humor is Critical Humor should never be at the expense of others, however, it is a great tool for breaking tense situations with a good laugh. Many people use their sense of humor as a self defense mechanism, facing difficult and high pressure situations. Growing up in an urban warfare environment in Northern Ireland in the 60s, it was compulsory to find humor in hard times. Forecasting the Future David recalls meeting Yogi Berra in the past, and what an extraordinary man Yogi was—and mischievous at that. He found that many of the great quotes that Yogi had were purely accidental. There is beauty in naivety, especially in children, David says, he believes Yogi kept that charming and lovable naivety his whole life. Hard Work & Passion Whether it’s intellectual, physical, emotional—you have to put effort in if you want to reap the rewards. Hard work is required in order to find success, it will not simply fall into your lap. While he didn’t graduate highschool, David’s high school did invite him back several years ago to do a commencement speech. He didn’t do well in school, couldn’t pass an exam, he was a “classic ADD child”—which many around him just thought meant he was stupid. In his speech he was sure to instill the importance of working hard and having passion to the audience. David had a passion for golf, he was supported and believed in by the people around him, and he created a goal to work toward. It is this combination of passion and hard work that ultimately aided David in making a name for himself in golf. What’s Really Important Keep Good Company by Seeking Positivity Being around positive people and accepting help are crucial in life. Surround yourself with successful, hard working people who have your best interest at heart. You must be aware of the fact that you need to be around successful people, as it is successful people that do the things that unsuccessful people don’t want to do. Step Out of Your Comfort Zone You have to want to be in a place that you know you’re going to be uncomfortable. When you take a step out of your comfort zone, you can explore the things that you may have once thought impossible. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
8 Oct 2019
Mike Whan | Two LPGA Commissioners Walk Into a Podcast Studio
Charlie Mechem sits down with Mike Whan, who has been commissioner for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) since 2010, a position formerly held by Charlie in the 1990s. Mike gives his input on the anecdotes from Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” as he relates them to his experiences as Commissioner and a businessman. Charlie’s book is available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher. Change is Order in Itself Change is always happening, whether positive or negative, especially in business. Mike recalls having to identify the three different kinds of employees: those who were leaders of change, those who were accepting of change, and those that needed to be former employees. Too many leaders of change can be disastrous, as this can lead to too many opposing opinions. When Mike worked at Procter & Gamble in the 1980s, they would always set their strategy, they’d write it in calligraphy and frame it. These days, he finds, they may as well write their strategy down on a napkin—that’s just how fast things are changing. There’s no way to know what is happening in the rest of 2018, let alone in 2025. The Key to Success Growing up as a “marketing guy,” Mike found that the best way to be successful was to get the consumer to the product and to get out of the way. Mike provides the example of the LPGA at the Kia Classic. He says that no matter how much he sits in a board room, or tries to intervene as the “marketing guy,” it does not mean the product will necessarily deliver what Kia wants. There is only so much that can be done before the rest must take care of itself. Success is doing what you can, to the best of your ability, whether that be as a “marketing guy” or the Commissioner of the LPGA. Look Back to Look Forward It is important to make some kind of plan for the future, otherwise you’re bound to end up somewhere you weren’t expecting or hoping to end up. This can be done by looking back in order to look forward. The Founders Cup was meant to connect the LPGA with its roots. At the Founders Cup, new players could meet old players and old players could meet new; each party given the opportunity to learn from the other. By looking back at the LPGA of the 1950s, Mike has been able to adjust the strategy of the LPGA from 2010 to today. He believes that the growth that the LPGA has experienced has been a result of this return to the LPGA’s origins. Meetings Don’t Sign the Checks Mike has found that companies and meetings can sometimes create a separation from the core business. He gives the example of talking about the HSBC Women’s World Championship. They’d discuss the golf course, the camera angles, and how the players would get to the course. However, he found that they never really talked about the HSBC itself, who was paying for everything. He says that it is important to remember who is writing the checks, who is funding and cultivating the success of a company. Opportunities Sprout From Difficulty Mike identifies himself as an optimist through and through. However, he recognizes the importance of pessimism in getting things done. Yes, he says, the “doer” is very important in any business. However, having someone who can see when something is not possible is equally as important. Mike admits that when he pitches an idea, he will almost always sound like he is right, like he can get it done, even when he is not and cannot. Dreamers need realists, or nothing would get done. Equally, realists need dreamers to create opportunities and succeed in the face of difficulty. Tell the Truth and Learn from Failure Being honest, even if the result is ugly, is always the best. Mike has found that even failed business pitches have sometimes resulted in beneficial connections. If you’re honest, your customers will know they can trust you. Even if you don’t get their business in that moment, they may keep you in mind for the future. You may even have another associate who is more qualified to complete the job. In order to accept your successes, you must also accept your limits and failures as well. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.
7 Nov 2018
Kevin Johnson Part 2 | CEO of Starbucks: Humor and Great Leaders
Be sure to listen to part 1 of this interview! In part 2 of this episode, Charlie Mechem continues his conversation with Starbucks CEO and his good friend, Kevin Johnson. Kevin reacts and shares his insights on several more anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” You can learn more about the book at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore. The Importance of Humor Sharing energy and emotion really connects people, Kevin says. Because life is so short, it’s important for people to really step back and enjoy life sometimes. Especially in work environments, where things can become tense or stressful, there is nothing that uplifts spirits like humor. Great Leaders Charlie takes a moment to seek Kevin’s insights on leadership outside of the context of “Total Anecdotal.” Charlie begins by discussing what he believes to be the three forms of leadership. 3 Forms of Leadership: Those who rule by intimidationBriberyLeadership by example In the Leadership Arena In leadership you’re “in the arena,” people are always watching and judging, Kevin says. Values are demonstrated through behaviors. In times of success great leaders don’t become arrogant, in times of adversity they don’t give up. There are two major motivators for individuals to follow leaders, those are fear and love—love being the ideal. Leaders should use love to create strong emotional connections to their cause, ultimately inspiring those around them to gain that same connection. They should have conviction, make hard decisions, and be courageous and accountable when it comes to their decisions. Great leadership sprouts from authenticity, compassion, and vulnerability—and of course, a little bit of humor. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
2 Oct 2019
Most Popular Podcasts
Christine Brennan | Highly Respected Sports Journalist
Christine Brennan is a highly respected sports journalist who has worked with USA Today. She also works with ABC News, CNN, PBS NewsHour, and NPR. Christine is from Toledo, Ohio and graduated from Northwestern University School of Journalism. She is a sports columnist as well as a bestselling author. Christine is a woman of many firsts. She was the first female sports reporter for the Miami Herald, the first woman on The Washington Post Redskins beat in 1985, and the first president of The Association for Women in Sports Media. Christine reacts to anecdotes from Charlie’s book “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Think Before You Speak Today, in the digital age, Christine has observed that many people, young and old alike, are always on their phone—texting and not speaking. She notes that this could be a positive thing, as they are thinking about what they are saying as they type, rather than just babbling away. “Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion,” Christine’s late father would always say. As a journalist Christine does much more listening than anything else, as she’s always making sure to get as much information as possible for her work. She wants peoples opinions, so she always makes sure to listen carefully. She advises, listen first and talk second. Equality is About as Easy as a Hole-in-One Since she was young, her parents were very pro-girl and pro-women. While this was how her parents raised her, they could not change how the world worked. She remembers a time when her mother needed her father just to get a credit card. As a woman in sports—a woman in general—Christine holds immense respect for title 9, and can’t help but stress its deep importance. Christine tries her best to be an advocate for feminism, especially in the sports industry—where a lot of inequality can be found. As the first female sports reporter for the Miami Herald, the first woman on The Washington Post Redskins beat in 1985, and the first president of The Association for Women in Sports Media, she is a true role model for all women. Speak and Write in Respectable Truths What you say and write should always be based on the fact that your name and your reputation are on the line. Don’t just do things for shock value—which seems to be happening more and more in our culture today, Christine thinks—as they will be inauthentic. Christine proudly states that in her 37 years in the business, she has never spoken or written for shock value. She says that well thought out and respectable opinions are the most important in our world, especially today in the journalism industry where it can be hard to decipher what is news and what is gossip. Home and Away, Where Else? Humor is such an important thing, especially for coaches. Everyone is very serious these days, but they need humor, Christine insists. She calls forth NFL names such as Joe Gibbs and Don Shula were always at their best when they used humor. Joe Gibbs, who Christine calls the greatest NFL Pro Coach ever, was very serious, but he used humor sometimes. She recalls a fond memory from the 80s when Gibbs claimed that he was being misquoted after an interview. The problem was, the interview had been recorded, so all of the journalists could prove him wrong. In response he said he doesn’t care what it said, he didn’t say it! Humor is always there to make a tense situation a bit lighter. Thoughtful People are Caring People The thoughtful people are the ones that dwell on things, Christine says. Her late father always said that that fact will never change. He said that it was like that 50 years ago, and it’ll be like that 50 years from now. Caring for others and the work you do are timeless and will never go away, and always be rewarding. Common Sense, Intelligence, and Listening Christine has memories of stories that her parents told her about their lives in Depression-era South Side Chicago. Such stories of her father, financial struggles, and WWII. Between her father and mother, who had a little bit of business school, there was about one year of college experience. While this was the case, this did not stop them. Christine advises, be smart and work with what you have, learn what you can, have common sense, and of course remember that some paths are not right for some people. Christine believes that it is because they were in the United States that her parents were able to live beyond their wildest dreams. In order to be truly happy in life, everyone must try their best, enjoy when they succeed, try not to dwell on the failures, and always keep moving forward. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
19 Mar 2019
Pete Blackshaw | Digital Advertising Pioneer: Investing in the Future
Charlie Mechem sits down with Pete Blackshaw, newly appointed CEO of Cintrifuse, a Fund of Funds and startup incubator created by Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Western Southern, and other major entities in the Greater Cincinnati region. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, the fund primarily invests in venture capital funds outside of the region in order to strengthen local deal flow and access to start up innovation. Prior to joining Cintrifuse he was a global head of digital marketing and social media for Nestle the international giant based in Switzerland. Pete provides his input on anecdotes from Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Courage, Tenacity, and Intestinal Fortitude for Failure Having been a digital advertising pioneer, Pete has a lot of experience in the department of pushing the frontier in the digital age. Courage, tenacity, and a fortitude for failure are necessary if you want to push forward. Pete remarks that it can get very lonely when you are just one of few making that push forward. The world is volatile and complex, which keeps an innovator like Pete on his toes. It’s important to be able to handle change, because it is one thing that can be guaranteed in a world with few guarantees. Forget Hubris, Embrace Humility Know where you’re going, but be flexible about how you’ll get there. Anyone who is overly confident is asking for something to go wrong—even the most seemingly perfect idea or plan can fall on its face at any given moment. The world is unpredictable and ambiguous, ever changing, so you must be careful to lead any endeavor with humility. Beware of a Sense of Entitlement Pete warns, beware of a sense of entitlement! You have to put some “skin in the game” or co-invest if you’re looking to get anything in return. If you don’t put anything in, you’re not going to get anything out—you must take the initial step, in order to get from one point to another. Pete finds that this lesson applies quite well to his children—really any child or teen, even some adults. He always tries to teach his children that they must work hard to get what they want, and that things certainly won’t simply fall from the sky into their laps. The Customer is Always Right Many companies and leaders have a deep hubris that leads to them working off of the wrong assumptions. Pete relates as a marketer, as well as a consumer, to this idea. Pete has found that many managers like to put their own data, spin, or preferences above consumer common sense. The consumers opinion should always be placed at the center of the business, as they’re the ones that are being catered to, the ones that keep the product and business relevant. With the help of the internet products are constantly popping up left and right, and they always seem to look like they might be the next big thing. But what once seemed perfect for consumers may ultimately flop if the marketers miss a certain consumer truth, or refuse to adapt or make changes when needed. After all, the customer is always right. Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics In an age where data is worshipped, and can be accessed and distributed anywhere on the web, it can be hard to tell what is true and what is false. Pete says that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics. Many people give precise numbers with confidence, they feel as if they can trust a solidified number—even if those numbers make little to no sense. Statistics can be manipulated just as easily as they can manipulate. The Scariest Path is the Most Satisfying One Since getting into his new role, he has developed a management philosophy focused on bringing out people’s capabilities and skills that they may not know of or talk about. He recalls having managers in the past who saw things in him that he’d never seen before, who helped him develop and grow. The best managers create an exponential value in people, Pete says, they encourage and give others the confidence to “walk through the fire” and go through uncertainty in order to be stronger and more confident in the end. During his time in school, Pete had a boss who insisted he always reach for the top. Pete believes that great encouragement can help you down even the scariest path, the path less traveled—as it is a scary path, but a satisfying one. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
5 Mar 2019
Jay Stockwell | Courage and Adaptability: From Submarines to Sales
Charlie Mechem sits down with Jay Stockwell, senior executive and a former naval officer. Jay has worked for companies like Procter and Gamble, ConAgra, the Nielsen Company, and Nielsen Catalina Solutions. Jay played a large role in Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” by allowing Charlie to present his book at a sales meeting. Charlie’s book can be found available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher. Jay reacts to Charlie’s book and anecdotes as he applies them to his experiences and wide variety of careers. From Submarines to Sales Meetings As Jay has had a very versatile career path, it is no wonder that he is an expert in adaptability and flexibility. With his wide variety of jobs, he has had to go through a number of transitions. Jay left the military in 1994, and from there he made the huge transition from tracking submarines to tracking mucus viscosity on Puffs facial tissue for P and G. He is now a sales executive at several companies. Any time you move from working at one place, or working with one team, to another, there are going to be some obstacles. Flexibility and adaptability are vital to overcoming and thriving through any transition. Be Confident, But Don’t Be Arrogant Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between confidence and arrogance, especially since both seem to be an integral part of human nature. Over the years, after interviewing many candidates, Jay has found that what one person considers arrogance, another may consider confidence. For example, Jay usually interprets someone with this kind of attitude as confident, not arrogant. The best way to deal with anyone with too big of an ego or an arrogant mindset, is to deal with each one at a time. Be Prepared to Take Risks No one ever accomplished anything extraordinary by playing it safe. If Neil Armstrong played it safe, he never would have boarded that spaceship, let alone made it to the moon. Instead of treading in shallow waters, Armstrong took on the big waves. He made the courageous and risky decision to board a ship that would send him hurtling into space, and it surely paid off. Courage and risk taking are integral elements of success. It is important to be confident—though not arrogant—in the risks you take. Jay believes that people from the military make the best business people; this is mostly because they know how to take risks and courage, after all, you don’t join the military on a whim. Additionally, they especially know how to follow directions, which you’ve got to do if you want to make it in business, and really in life. Live Today, Tomorrow Isn’t Happening Yet Jay attended the Dreamforce conference with his wife, Betsy Jones, last year. He met Peter Schwartz, the futurist at Dreamforce, who was always looking toward the far future. Peter assured Jay that his children would be the generation that would stop aging. This stunned Jay, as he’d never thought of something like that before, but the thought is now ingrained into his mind. At this time he was always thinking in business terms, which is very short term; he was always looking toward the next days, weeks, months, quarters, etc. While dreaming and striving toward the future is important, if you look too far forward, you’ll surely miss what is in front of you today. Mentors, Ethics, and the Truth Jay notes that Charlie is one of the most important mentors in his life. Charlie has mentored Jay and his partners in his three companies for some 20 years, and has altered them and their companies in a positive way. Amazing people, mentor relationships like Charlie and Jay’s, are the ones that remind you what is worthwhile. Whether you encounter these people for just a moment or they’re a part of your entire life, whether that encounter is quaint or substantial, the impact they make is always significant. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.
22 Jan 2019
Jay Ratliff | Major Media Aviation Consultant and Stock Day Trading Advisor
Charlie Mechem sits down with Jay Ratliff, an aviation consultant to several major media companies and an advisor on Stock Day Trading, as well as a substitute host for a number of major broadcasters. Jay shares his wisdom on the importance of applying hard work and passion to your goals as he reacts to anecdotes from Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Give Your Mouth a Rest and Put Your Ears to Work Some of the best leaders do more listening than they do talking, Jay says. The most effective leaders recognize the collective experience around them that could be a great asset to them. Avoiding arrogance, he stresses, helps you avoid mistakes. Be Brief Recalling a speech by Edward Everett, which was more than two hours long, Jay can’t help but stress the importance of being brief and concise. Saying what you need to in the shortest amount of words helps make the meaning stick in people’s minds—perhaps this is why so few people remember Edward Everett. The more we talk, Jay says, the more evident it is that we might not know what we are talking about. You can gain a lot from cutting things out, getting to the point, and implementing time management skills. Success Demands a Paycheck Never give up, don’t let anyone get you down, Jay says. It is easy to say, but much harder to do. Hard work does not guarantee success, Jay explains, it guarantees opportunities. It is through this hard work, perseverance, and determination that you can create opportunities for success. Jay notes that his father, as well as Charlie, have been great inspirations for him, and truly taught him that hard work is so important. Jay remarks, “Success demands a paycheck.” We Are All Replaceable We are not all irreplaceable parts. Some of us believe certain organizations couldn’t go on without us, but the fact is that many could get on—if not better—without us. People with huge egos don’t realize that they have them, and it does end up getting in their way in life. Be Afraid of Your Goals and Overcome Them If your goal doesn’t scare you, get another one, Jay says. Success demands that we stretch, in every aspect of our lives. Jay has experienced meetings where one person will give out an idea and everyone around them will be totally shocked and they will work together to accomplish that idea. He recalls the Apollo Space Program as an example of a situation such as this—at one point we could barely put a satellite in the sky, now we’ve got people on the moon! Teams of passionate individuals often makes for successful endeavors. It Takes a Whole Lot of Patience to be Patient Patience is an endangered species in these days, as we live in a world of instant gratification. Many business owners manage their affairs in an impatient fashion. He takes pride in his patience with customers and his long and hard work in trying to win people over. You can’t run off before the opportunity window is even open. Patience is one of the most important aspects to a successful business leader, Jay says. Everyone needs to have patience. It’s a hard trait to develop-it truly takes patience to get patience! If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
2 Apr 2019
Annika Sörenstam | Shattering the Glass Ceiling One Golf Ball at a Time
Charlie Mechem sits down with professional women’s golfer Annika Sörenstam to discuss her career as a Hall-of-Fame golfer and business woman, and life as a wife and mother. To tell her story, Annika reacts to the anecdotes from Charlie’s book, “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer,” which can be found available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher. No Shortcuts Annika learned early on that there are no shortcuts to success, she knew that if she wanted to be the best of the best, she would have to work through rain, snow, and wind. This kind of commitment would lead her to over 100 golf victories worldwide, make her the first female player to shoot a 59, and the first female to play in a men’s PGA tour event since 1945. After a nearly career ending injury, Annika had to make the hard decision to stop and heal. But, just because Annika had to put her professional golfing career on pause, did not mean she was going to stop being a professional. While she recovered from her injury, Annika set forth to develop her Annika brand and ANNIKA Foundation; she took something negative and sprouted something positive out of it. The Course and the Environment Global warming and climate change are huge issues today. Many worry that golf courses, with their use of large amounts of water and fertilizers, may have an effect on the environment. Annika is an advocate for environmental conservation, and believes that time on the golf course is actually a great way to come up with new ideas to save the planet. Annika and Arnold Annika worked with her friend Arnold Palmer to develop a domestic golf course in Minneapolis. Annika designed the front 9, while Arnold designed the back 9. They call the course the King and the Queen. This course was a great way to develop Annika and Arnold’s relationship as friends and fellow golfers, as well as a way to promote communication on the golf course. Annika believes that there is no better way to get to know someone than to play a round or two of golf with them. Women on the Course Women’s careers and wages in professional sports, as well as off the course, has been a prevailing topic for a long time. Recently, great strides have been made to level the playing field—or rather, course—between men and women. Annika has had a huge part in promoting equality on the course. Annika is confident that their hard work toward equality will pay off, and open many opportunities for the next generation of golfers. Recipes for Success Golf played a huge factor in Annika’s life to inspire her to be the very best, it helped her learn to always push for what she wanted. Golf promotes imagination and communication, two key ingredients to any recipe for success—though it should be noted that there are innumerable recipes. Annika Sörenstam is an inspiring example of doing what it takes to be successful and working through the negatives to come out with grand positives. When Annika and her family were faced with the difficult early delivery of her son, Will, there was no way they could have known what the future would hold. However, Annika did what she always has, and that is push forward. Annika knows to take every opportunity that she is presented with, as she can never know what that opportunity, and the future in general, may hold. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit charliemechem.com or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and our publisher.
18 Dec 2018
Bill Barretta | Illustrious American Puppeteer and Producer for ‘The Muppets’
Charlie Mechem sits down with Bill Barretta, American puppeteer and producer for the Muppets. Bill reflects on anecdotes from “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” You can learn more about the book at charliemechem.com/book, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore. Sunrise or Sunset Person Some people prefer sunrise, where others prefer sunset—however, Bill finds himself to be somewhere in-between as a “noon person.” In the morning, the day feels new, you dont know whats coming. However, in the evening there is time to relax more, it is the end of a possibly hard day. So what better place to be than noon, in the middle of it all. It is only appropriate that Bill be a “noon person,” in that that is the point of day when the sun is brightest and highest in the sky—attesting to Bill’s role as someone who uses his work to spread brightness, happiness, and laughter. The Importance of Humility & Anonymity Humility has always been very important to Bill because of the collaborative nature of the Muppets. Relying on each other is a key factor, as some characters take two or three people to perform. It’s not about one person shining, Bill says, but creating something collectively. This kind of collaboration and shared effort takes a certain degree of humility. Bill recalls a story about one of the famed former Muppet performers, Jerry Nelson. On a plane ride to New York, Jerry sat next to Al Pacino. Together they discussed the fact that Jerry did not seek the recognition and fame that he could from his career. As they arrived at their destination, leaving the plane, Al was stopped by a mob of people while Jerry was able to move smoothly through the crowd—due to his lack of face recognition. This story itself is proof that humility and anonymity can be great assets. Passion Drives Everything Bill finds he is more passionate about projects that are closer to him as a person than something that may have been written by someone else that he must interpret. Passion is everything, Bill says, it is what drives the talent within you. Not just in success, but being around friends and family, passion is a key factor in life. Always seek passion, it can be found even in the little things—whether you are performing for an illustrious group such as the Muppets, or simply eating a sandwich or riding a bike. Encourage Laughter Bill grew up in a family with a good sense of humor, there was always time for play, teasing, cleverness, and silliness as they all strived to make each other laugh. It is important to see people smiling and happy, to encourage laughter. In his career he followed this same philosophy, which can easily be recognized in the fun loving characters in the Muppets. In this day and age with the internet, there is a certain lack of personal connection. Because of this lack of connection, it is very common for humor to couple with insensitivity. This is wrong, intentions must be good in humor, otherwise it will become malicious. If you’d like to listen to more episodes of “15 Minutes With Charlie,” please visit the podcast page or search for “15 Minutes With Charlie” in your podcasting app. If you are enjoying the show you should check out “Total Anecdotal: A Fun Guide to Help You Become a Better Speaker and Writer.” Learn more on our book page, or find it available through Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and perhaps your local bookstore.
18 Sep 2019