031 Hamilton Star Miguel Cervantes Talks About the Critical Skills and the Performing Arts

Miguel Cervantes starred in the lead role of Alexander Hamilton in the four-year run of the musical “Hamilton” in Chicago. Now he returns to Broadway where he will again be the lead in that popular musical. Hamilton will reopen in early September at the Richard Rogers theater.

Miguel and Charlie talk about the importance of the critical skills in the performing arts and what it takes to become successful on the stage.

030 Debbi McCullough and Charlie Jett Talk About the Communications Skill and Positive Intelligence Coaching

Debbi McCullough is from New Zealand and now lives in Wisconsin. She is an Internationally Certified coach under the name, Hanging Rock Coaching. She offers a hybrid of communications coaching, positive intelligence coaching, and customized training to help replace her clients’ fears  – – – with courage—and joy.

Debbi is a prime example of someone who knows the power of the number one critical skills – Communications.

Debbi has interviewed countless executives for global business media and has taught communications at colleges for a combined 30 years. She knows even the brightest, most respected leaders can sometimes struggle expressing their thoughts through speaking (and writing) to audiences they fear.

Debbi saw this first-hand  when she was reporting on business and social trends for global media (like the Economist, the Guardian, and the Financial Times) and when she taught executive communication to MBA students.

Debbi gained her coaching skills from

  • the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Professional Coaching program,
  • Positive Intelligence’s certification program,
  • and the International Coaching Federation.

She is well-known for her compelling narrative, clear language, effective frameworks, and bottom-lined, accessible ideas.

And, as one the very first coaches certified in Positive Intelligence, she is someone who can shed light on this important concept.

029 Ina Pinkney – the Breakfast Queen – Discusses Her Career and the Critical Skills

Ina Pinckney is the Breakfast Queen!

INA was the Chef/Owner of INA’S, an American Food restaurant and a pioneer in the West Loop Market District, that closed at the end of 2013.  

She is a frequent and welcomed guest on radio, local news and cable TV, has done interviews on shows in the U.S., Canada and Germany and appeared in a national Quaker Oats commercial as herself – the Breakfast Queen.

Articles about her have appeared in local, national and international newspapers and magazines, as well as trade and in-flight magazines.  Her recipes have been syndicated globally and featured in many cookbooks.

Ina has been a guest lecturer on Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University,  DePaul University and the University of Illinois, and has been the keynote speaker at food conferences and culinary school graduations.

She also speaks about breakfast trends for food companies.

In 2014, Ina was awarded the Golden Whisk Award from the Women Chefs and Restaurateurs Organization for excellence in the kitchen, lead a coalition of Chicago Restaurateurs and Chefs to support Chicago’s smoking ban and co-founded the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition for restaurants in Chicago with Dan Rosenthal for which they received Chicago Magazine’s 2011 Green Award.  

She was named 2008 SBA Woman in Business Champion and in 2020 received the Jean Banchet Culinary Achievement Award.

In 2013 she published INA’S KITCHEN: Memories and Recipes from the Breakfast Queen so that her recipes would live in everyone’s home.

Besides writing a monthly column for the Chicago Tribune called BREAKFAST WITH INA, a documentary about the closing of INA’S screened in 48 film festivals around the country.

Despite the awards and acclaim she has garnered in her career, the most significant title she holds is Polio Survivor.  Ina now speaks to Rotary groups about the late effects of polio in her effort to help Rotary and the Gates Foundation achieve their goal of the global eradication of polio.

028 Dr. Clark “Corky” Graham Discusses the Critical Skills and LET’S GO BOYS & GIRLS

Dr. Clark ‘Corky’ Graham, is the Founder and CEO of the nonprofit LET’S GO Boys and Girls Inc.

Dr. Graham received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from MIT in 1969 and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the US Naval Academy. He retired as a Captain following a 30-year career with the U.S. Navy as a Naval Architect and Marine Engineer.

Following his Naval career, Dr. Graham joined Northrop Grumman as Senior Vice President in the shipbuilding sector. His positions at Northrop Grumman included Technical Director of the Zumwalt Destroyer program and Senior Vice President in charge of Northrop Grumman’s Gulf Coast shipbuilding operations with over 10,000 employees

Dr. Graham has the distinction of being the only individual to receive both the David Taylor Gold Medal from the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) and the Gold Medal from the American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE).

After retirement from Northrop Grumman, Dr. Graham founded Let’s Go Boys and Girls in Maryland.  LET’S GO stands for Leadership, Engineering, Technology, Science Generating Opportunities and is a program that is inspiring and supporting underserved students to become professional scientists and engineers.

027 Dorie Clark Discusses the Communications Skill and Her Upcoming Books

Dorie Clark has been named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, and was recognized as the #1 Communication Coach in the world by the Marshall Goldsmith Leading Global Coaches Awards. Clark, a consultant and keynote speaker, teaches executive education at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School.

Dorie Clark – #1 Communications Coach in the World

Recognized as a “branding expert” by the Associated Press, Fortune, and Inc. magazine, she is the author of Entrepreneurial You (Harvard Business Review Press,), Reinventing You, and Stand Outwhichwas named the #1 Leadership Book of 2015 by Inc. magazine and one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year by Forbes. It was also a Washington Post bestseller. Her books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Arabic, French, Polish, Korean, Spanish, Italian, Vietnamese, and Thai.

Clark, whom the New York Times described as an “expert at self-reinvention and helping others make changes in their lives,” is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review. She consults and speaks for a diverse range of clients, including Google, the World Bank, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, the Ford Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Yale University.

A former presidential campaign spokeswoman, Clark has also taught for Spain’s IE Business School, HEC-Paris, Babson College, Smith College Executive Education, UNC’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business, and more.

She has guest lectured at universities including Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Georgetown, NYU, the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the University of Michigan.

Her work has been published in the Harvard Business Review Guide to Getting the Right Job and the Harvard Business Review Guide to Networking, and she is quoted frequently in the worldwide media, including NPR, the BBC, and MSNBC. She has been a regular commentator on Canada’s CTV and was named one of Inc. magazine’s “100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference.”

A former New England Press Association award-winning journalist, Clark directed the environmental documentary film The Work of 1000, and was a producer for a multiple-Grammy-winning jazz album. She is a Broadway investor, as well as a participant in BMI’s Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, widely considered the premiere training ground for musical theater lyricists and composers.

At age 14, Clark entered Mary Baldwin College’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. At 18, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Smith College, and two years later received a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. You can download her Entrepreneurial You self-assessment at dorieclark.com/entrepreneur.

026 Christie Hefner Discusses Continuous Education and the Critical Skills

Christie Hefner is no stranger to leadership.

She graduated Summa cum laude from Brandeis University and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After free-lancing for the Boston Phoenix for a year, she joined Playboy Enterprises in Chicago where she became President in 1982 and Chairman of the board and Chief Executive Officer in 1988.

Christie is the longest serving female chief executive officer of a publicly traded company – serving in that capacity for 20 years.

She now serves on several corporate and non-profit boards of directors and is always busy in charitable affairs as well as simply making a difference in the world.

Christie has always been a living example of someone with all of the “critical skills,” and these days is particularly interested in continuous education.

025 Amy Gardner Discusses the Critical Skills and Coaching with Apochromatik

Amy M. Gardner, JD, CPC, ELI-MP

Amy brings to Apochromatik a unique track record of working with law students as dean of students at a top 5 law school and a successful career practicing law, first as a Skadden litigation associate and later as an associate and then partner at a mid-size Chicago firm.  In addition to countless hours completing stand-alone coaching trainings, she is a graduate of the Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching.

Until March, 2016, Amy was the Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Law School.  Through her work as a dean of students, Amy developed an expertise in understanding the unique needs of law students and in tailoring professional education and development opportunities to their needs.  

Her work as a dean of students was described as “transformative” and “visionary.”  In addition to counseling and advising law students on a variety of issues, she drew on her legal experience to revolutionize the way the Law School prepared students for legal practice.  These efforts took the form of programs and initiatives to prepare students for the reality of the legal practice outside the classroom that are now being mimicked at other law schools.  In one such effort, Amy partnered with the Booth School of Business to create the Kapnick Leadership Development Initiative, the first program at a top law school to introduce systematic leadership development to all 1Ls.    

While serving as dean of students, she received the Class Award from the Class of 2014 for outstanding contributions to improving the quality of student life and the spirit of community at the Law School.  In 2013, she was nominated to and completed the University of Chicago’s Executive Program for Emerging Leaders. 

She received her B.A. from Luther College in English and political science before spending two years working in Iowa politics. Amy received her J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School in 2002, where she served as a Topic Access Editor for the Law Review, among other activities. She earned her M.A. in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University in 2017.  Amy spent five years as a litigation associate at Skadden in Chicago, where her extensive pro bono work was profiled by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and resulted in her receipt of the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation 2006 Distinguished Service Award. While an associate at Skadden, she also founded and led the Chicago Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society from its first organizing meeting in 2003 to its being named the Lawyer Chapter of the Year for 2006-2007. 

From Skadden, Amy was a commercial and intellectual property litigator at Ungaretti & Harris LLP in Chicago, first as an associate and later as a partner. 

Amy’s extensive community service has included serving as president of the University of Chicago Alumni Club of Chicago from 2008-2010 and as a member of the University’s Alumni Board of Governors from 2010-2016.  Her service to the University was recognized by her receipt of the Young Alumni Service Citation in 2007. 

In the spring of 2010, she traveled to five European cities as an American Marshall Memorial Fellow, meeting with policymakers and prominent members of the business, government, political, NGO, and media communities.

In 2017, Amy was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Character & Fitness.  She is a member of the Illinois and U.S. Supreme Court bars.  

024 Captain Charlie Plumb – A Prisoner of War in Vietnam – Talks About His Use of the Critical Skills

Captain Charlie Plumb graduated from the Naval Academy at Annapolis and went on to be a fighter pilot flying the F-4 Phantom jet on 74 successful combat missions over Vietnam. On his 75th mission, with only five days before he was to return home, Plumb was shot down, captured, tortured, and imprisoned in an 8-by-8 foot cell.

He spent the next 2,103 days as a Prisoner Of War in communist war prisons.

During his nearly six years of captivity, Captain Plumb distinguished himself among his fellow prisoners as a professional in underground communications, and served for two of those years as the chaplain in his camp. Since his return home, more than 5,000 audiences in nearly every industry have been spellbound as fighter pilot keynote speaker Captain Charlie Plumb shares his story and the lessons he learned from it.

In this episode, Charlie talks about his use of the Critical Skills as a POW.

You can access Charlie’s website by clicking HERE.

023 Ted Dysart, Vice-Chairman of Heidrick & Struggles, Discusses the Critical Skills in Executive Search

Ted Dysart is Vice Chairman of the premier executive search firm, Heidrick & Struggles.

He discusses the Critical Skills, the Executive Search profession, and the application of Critical Skills to Executive Search.

You can access the Heidrick & Struggles website by clicking HERE.

022 Mark Herschberg Discusses “The Career Toolkit” and the Critical Skills

Mark Herschberg is the author of The Career Toolkit: Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. 

From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces and new authentication systems,

Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and Fortune 500s and in academia. He helped to start the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, dubbed MIT’s “career success accelerator,” where he teaches annually. At MIT, he received a B.S. in physics, a B.S. in electrical engineering & computer science, and a M.Eng. in electrical engineering & computer science, focusing on cryptography. At the Harvard Business School, Mark helped create a platform used to teach finance at prominent business schools. He also works with many non-profits, including Techie Youth and Plant A Million Corals. He was one of the top-ranked ballroom dancers in the country and now lives in New York City, where he is known for his social gatherings, including his annual Halloween party, as well as his diverse cufflink collection. You can visit his website by clicking HERE.

021 Natalie Cordone and Kevin Kelly Discuss “The Connected Performer” and the Critical Skills!

Natalie Cordone and Kevin Kelly are professional performers having performed for over 20 years off Broadway, with major symphonies, and in television and film.

In 2018 they were tired of witnessing universities churn out students – many of whom had incurred six-figure college debts for their four-year performance-based degrees.

Seeing these young people with immense talent but struggling with the business of the performing arts motivated Natalie and Kevin to found “The Connected Performer” in Orlando, Florida. It is through this entity that they apply their own talent and experience as musical theater career coaches.

Their goal is to help professional triple threat performers connect to their talent, their scripts, and the performing arts industry.

And they are successful – they radiate enthusiasm, confidence and a true knowledge of the performing arts in education.

020 Career and Success Coach Heather Vickery Discusses Her Application of the Critical Skills

We have a wonderful guest today. And she’s a coach! An energetic and dynamic success coach.

Heather Vickery shares her strategies to help her clients move their personal lives and businesses so that they can create and support lives that they absolutely love. In just a few minutes after meeting her, you know that she cares about improving your quality of life – both business and personal.

She has her own podcast – “The Brave Files” – that is all about stories from people living courageously – people who are working to transform doubt and worry into fuel that propels them toward their dreams and gets them through the tough times.

Click HERE to go to Heather’s website.

019 Hall of Fame Coach Pat Sullivan on the Critical Skills

We have a wonderful guest today. And he’s a hall of fame coach!

Coach Pat Sullivan has dedicated his career to inspiring people, helping them to discover and capitalize on their personal strengths.

In more than four decades of collegiate and high school coaching, he touched thousands of lives and impacted a new generation of leaders who today succeed in a wide range of business and civic capacities.

Coach Sullivan retired after 34 years as a teacher and men’s basketball coach at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Ill. With more than 500 victories at USF, Pat led his team to first- or second-place finishes in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) 15 times in an 18-year period and advanced to the NAIA National Tournament in 1994 and 1996. 

018 The Job Search Process with Marty Gilbert

Today, we are very fortunate to host the founder of a highly successful networking group that specializes in connecting you to your next career opportunity – Mr. Marty Gilbert!

Specifically, Marty is an EXPERT in the job search process!

In 2010, Marty founded the NorthShore Executive Networking Group, and today over 8,000 single contributors, managers, directors, Vice Presidents and C-Level executives are members, and Marty has helped over 2,000 of them obtain their next career opportunities.

Marty knows his stuff – the ins and out of the job search process, what works, what doesn’t work, and how you can be successful when you face this challenge.

You can visit his website – nsenginc.com – to find out more, to join, and to network.

017 All About Skills – Field Studies

In this episode, Charlie Jett discusses Field Studies in depth. Field Studies were highlighted by the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report, “Teaching the SCANS Competencies” as an effective means of teaching the Critical skills.

Field Studies are conducted by a team of students and focus on issues identified by local area businesses or community service organizations. The students write a confirmation letter, develop a work plan, develop an interview guide, collect data (primarily through interviews), verify the information for truth and accuracy, and conduct their analysis to develop findings, conclusions and recommendations. Assessment is authentic.

Students down to the middle school level are capable of conducting Field Studies.

016 All About Skills – Work-Based Learning

In this episode, Charlie Jett discusses the importance of work-based learning for disadvantaged youth as well for the health and well-being of the US economy.

He discusses different kinds of work-based learning programs such as tours, job shadowing, mentorships, internships, registered apprenticeships, cooperative education, service learning and field studies.

He stresses the importance of work-based learning forcollege-bound students as well as those students who are bypassing college andgoing directly into the work force.

015 All About Skills – Authentic Assessment

In this episode, Charlie Jett focuses on Authentic Assessment – what it is and how it is accomplished. Of particular interest is Professor Jon Mueller’s (North Central College) contribution of his outstanding descriptions of authentic assessment vs traditional assessment (used with permission). He has an excellent website that can be reached at the following address:  http://jfmueller.faculty.noctrl.edu/toolbox/

014 All About Skills – Parents

In this episode, Charlie Jett discusses how parents can help their children learn and practice the Critical Skills.

013 All About Skills – Brave New World

The world around us is changing at a pace that the word “dizzy” doesn’t describe. It poses challenges for young people to find for themselves a productive role in society and to engage in and lead a happy life. To do this, one must understand what has happened over the past half century and where our world seems to be heading. In this episode, Charlie Jett discusses these challenges and the growing importance of the Critical Skills in the lives of those facing the future.

012 All About Skills – High School Graduation Address

This is the text of a high school graduation address given by Charlie Jett in California. It stresses the importance of the Critical Skills, advice about choosing a college, advice about choosing a major, and advice about taking that “first job.”

011 All About Skills – Businesses

In this episode, Charlie Jett discusses the Critical Skills from the perspective of the business. He discusses how a company can identify their own unique set of critical skills and core competencies. Additionally, he discusses the well-known and usable “Lominger Competencies.”

010 All About Skills – Students

In this episode, Charlie Jett focuses on the Critical Skills from the perspective of the STUDENT. Questions addressed include, Why are the skills important? How are the skills learned in high school and college? What is a good way for a student to choose a college to attend? What considerations should be in the student’s mind when taking a new job? Critical skills ARE important for students at an early age – the earlier the focus . . . the BETTER!

009 All About Skills – Teachers

This program discusses the Critical Skills from the perspective of the Teacher. It is no easy task to teach skills – particularly the critical skills. Simple lecturing from the front of the classroom without engaging the students in active participation simply doesn’t do it. Charlie Jett discusses the ways that teachers can actually teach the critical skills through engaging the students in ways other than sitting and listening endlessly to the teacher talking. It takes work – and, in itself, teaching the critical skills is a LEARNED skill for the teacher. But it can – and SHOULD – be done.

008 All About Skills – Continuous Education

We now live in an ever-changing world where significant and fast-paced developments in technology, worldwide competition and demands for workplace know-how require us to adapt to these challenges simply in order to survive.

Charlie Jett discusses the Continuous Education skill – the ability to constantly learn new techniques, master changing technologies, keep up with the changes in an industry, and the like.

007 All About Skills – Time Management

The time management skill is simple in concept but it is often a struggle for us all. The skill enables an individual to determine which tasks are most important — to set priorities — and to devote the appropriate amount of time to accomplish these tasks at a high level of quality.

Another way to look at the skill is as Charlie Jett describes: You go to work in the morning and you know you have ten things to do. Four of these are critical . . . but YOU have to determine which four of the ten are in that category. You do your best work on those tasks and, for the others, you do the very best you can do . . . given the time you have left.

006 All About Skills – Interpersonal

The Interpersonal skill is not the skill you use to make friends. It’s the skill that, by using it, results in other people such as your teammates consider you as a valuable asset to the team. It’s your way of contributing value to the whole and, in a sense, is an important justification for your compensation. In this short program, Charlie Jett discusses the Interpersonal skill and gives examples of its use.

005 All About Skills – Technology

The Technology skill is the skill one uses to SELECT the appropriate technology solution to address a problem. It is NOT the skill which one uses to create technology – such as to design an electronic circuit board – but the skill to USE APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY. Charlie Jett discusses the Technology skill and gives examples of its use.

004 All About Skills – Analysis

The Analysis skill is the process of taking information that has been VERIFIED as being true, developing FINDINGS from that information (what the information means or tells us), drawing CONCLUSIONS based on the findings which, in turn, are based on accurate information, and developing RECOMMENDATIONS about what course(s) of action to take. Note that FALSE INFORMATION can lead to conclusions that are either true or untrue – you can’t tell. The same is for information that is based on FAITH – or unverified information. With such unverified information, you can draw whatever conclusion you want to draw. That is the danger these days in politics . . . . and, for some, poses a problem for religion. The primary method used is “P implies Q” or P → Q. It can also be stated, “If P then Q.”  P is often called the “premise” and Q is called the “conclusion.” Q can be assumed to be true if P is true. But if P is NOT TRUE, then you might as well dream up any conclusion you want.

Improper use of the Analysis skill, such as deliberately using false information or untrue premises (i.e., LIES) and then drawing conclusions from those – and then recommending action based on the false conclusions IS THE GREATEST DANGER TO OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC!

003 All About Skills – Information

The information skill has changed over the past three decades. What once was a skill to seek out and find relevant information to apply to analysis now has become the need for sorting out from literally tons of information to separate the relevant from the irrelevant and the truth from false. Good analysis depends on accurate and true information. Charlie Jett describes the information gathering process.

002 – All About Skills – Production

The production skill is quite simple. It’s the skill of taking something from the “Idea stage” to the “Final Product” stage. It can be as simple as a group of high school kids having an idea for a float in a homecoming parade to solving the global warming crisis. The skill is the same no matter the complexity of the idea to final product, although the complexity can vary widely.

001 All About Skills – Communications

The communications skill is the most important skill you can learn. Basically it is the ability to get ideas out of your head and into the heads of others through reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is a LEARNED SKILL and should be practiced early during any educational experience including K-6.

000 All About Skills – Introduction

This is the introductory episode of “All About Skills” where Charlie Jett describes the eight critical skills, where they came from, how they were derived, and why they are important. Subsequent episodes will discuss each of the eight critical skills and, following that, he will discuss the skills from the different perspectives of such individuals as teachers, career-minded individuals, students, business managers, executive recruiters, career coaches, politicians, and many more.

This content is based on the book, WANTED: Eight Critical Skills You Need To Succeed by Charlie Jett. Click HERE if you want to go to the Amazon page for the book (among others).