057 Charlie Jett Discusses Careers, the Critical Skills, and the Harvard Business School

Today’s career world has changed. No longer are the traditional “career paths” available in most organizations. Today, it’s up to the individual to manage his or her own career. And that process presents a significant challenge.

The Critical Skills are essential for success in this evermore career environment. Individuals must understand what the critical skills are and how to master them.

The curriculum of the Harvard Business School is designed to enable students to master these skills in a challenging, yet safe environment. No wonder why the Harvard Business School is nearly always rated at the top of the heap!

Join internationally certified coach (PCC) Charlie Jett as he discusses the Critical Skills, their importance, and their relationship to the Harvard Business School.

056 Bill Ochs, Project Director of the James Webb Space Telescope, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills.

Imagine creating one of the most sophisticated instruments ever conceived, building it, and then successfully placing it one million miles from earth. Bill has “been there – done that.”

Bill has 40 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He has worked in both private industry and for NASA and is currently the Project Manager for the successful James Webb Space Telescope.

Bill received a B.S.E.E and M.S.E.E from Fairleigh Dickinson University and Masters in Operations Research from George Washington University. He began his career in 1979 with the Bendix Guidance Systems Division in Teterboro, N.J. as an electronics/software engineer, developing the flight software for the Hubble Space Telescope safing system.

In 1983, Bill transferred to Goddard Space Flight Center as a systems engineer for HST operations. In 1990, Bill joined NASA as the HST Operations Observatory Systems Manager. Bill has also served as the HST Deputy Operations Manager and the HST Operations Servicing Mission Manager.

James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is to many astronomers the space observatory of the next decade.

In 1998, Bill became the Project Manager for the Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) which was successfully launched in January of 2003. After SORCE, he was appointed the Project Manager for Landsat-8 and led the project through controversial period of various mission concepts from Data Buy, flying an instrument on a weather satellite, to the final mission implementation.

In December 2010, Bill was appointed the JWST Project Manager.

Bill has been the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award, various NASA Group Awards, NASA Honor Award for Outstanding Leadership Medal, and most recently the Robert H. Goddard Award for Outstanding Leadership.

055 Dr. Ethan Hollander, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wabash College and Charlie Jett Discuss Democracy and the Critical Skills

Dr. Ethan Hollander is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Wabash College and creator of “Democracy and Its Alternatives”, now available on Wondrium (formerly known as the Great Courses). 

“Democracy and Its Alternatives” is a 24-lecture series on the future of democracy, not just in the US, but globally. It addresses questions like: Does democracy have a future? What’s causing it to falter? And is there anything we can do about it?

To watch the trailer or stream the course, go to Wondrium. Get the DVD and guidebook (or to download them electronically) at The Great Courses. The course is also available at a number of 3rd party sites, like Audible or Amazon.

Dr. Ethan Hollander

In his own words,” I am also the author of Hegemony and the Holocaust: State Power and Jewish Survival in Occupied Europe (published by Palgrave MacMillan Press, 2017) and a number of scholarly articles on topics ranging from demoratization and authoritarian regimes to the politics of organ transplant.” 

“I love my job, this college, and its community because it gives me the ability to teach and learn from the most engaged students an educator could hope for, to ask questions about important and fascinating social and political phenomena, and to be a part of a dynamic and supportive community.”

“In both my teaching and my scholarly research, I hope to bridge academic disciplines in an effort to better understand the world in which we live. My teaching portfolio includes such varied courses as Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict; European Politics; Politics of the Middle East; Cuban Politics and Culture; Political Development; Voting and Electoral Systems; The Holocaust and Genocide; and Research Methods and Statistics. I also enjoy sharing the process of original scholarly research with my students, and I have worked with students on topics such as the politics of warfare, European Union immigration policy, South African electoral reform, and Vietnam War photography, just to name a few. Part of the beauty of working in a small college is the opportunity to share the learning process with my students who, in turn, teach me more than I could learn on my own.”

“Finally, this community allows me to pursue my non-academic interests, which include hiking, pottery, and making good food. I also serve on the Crawfordsville City Council as a representative of Ward 2.” 

054 Dr. Arthur W. Zimiga, Native American Educator and Member of the Oglala Lakota Teton Nation and Charlie Jett discuss the Critical Skills

Dr. Arthur W. Zimiga, a master and doctorate graduate from the Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, is known nationally and worldwide as a top Native American educator.

Dr. Zimiga has presented curriculum material and has lectured on such subjects as Native American Education and business development for the “Cultural Different.”

Institutions where he has either taught or lectured include foreign educational agencies and major universities in the United States including Harvard University, UCLA, University of Arizona, University of South Dakota, and others.

Dr. Zimiga has an extensive background in Native American cultures and specializes in the Lakota Culture of which he is a member of Oglala Lakota Teton Nation. He is well respected by his fellow colleagues in business development as well as higher learning as well as elementary and secondary education worldwide.

His humor and can-do attitude are refreshing attributes that audiences enjoy. Dr. Zimiga is a poet, writer, soldier, artist, sportsman, executive, business developer, politician, educator, community leader, and family-oriented person.

He is also my friend – we were elementary school classmates in Hot Springs, South Dakota.

He brings insights that enlighten audiences – so you are in for a big surprise with Dr. Arthur Zimiga.

053 Dr. Doug Slakey, Transplant Surgeon and Worldwide Respected Academician and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Dr. Douglas Slakey is Professor and Chief of Surgical Services at Christ Medical Center in Chicago and Program Director of General Surgery Residency at Advocate Aurora Health.

Dr. Slakey’s responsibilities include clinical, operations and strategy for in-patient and outpatient, adult and pediatric, surgical services.

His mission is to advance and promote safety, outcomes effectiveness and value-based practices across all surgical disciplines; to maintain a collaborative interdisciplinary environment for patient-centric tertiary and quaternary surgical care and related service lines.

His responsibilities also include medical education, research, financial management, contracting, and strategic planning.
Dr. Slakey has an active surgical practice involving advanced surgery for pancreas and liver disease, kidney transplantation and dialysis access.

He has broad experience in developing innovative techniques for assessing reliability in medical systems, and in medical education and training including the use of simulation.

His research and international medical education experience includes the application of human factors and team training to improve outcomes, healthcare efficiency and patient safety.

052 Bill Carmody, Co-Founder of the Positive Intelligence Program, Discusses the Critical Skills with Charlie Jett

Bill Carmody is a master of marketing and sales and an exceptional coach. He is a “maker of millionaires” and is committed to helping more than a million people reach total financial freedom.

Bill Carmody

Bill’s experience has included entrepreneurship, consulting, coaching, writing, volunteering, promoting social justice, and a builder of businesses.

In 2020, Bill co-created the Positive Intelligence (or PQ) program with founder Shirzad Chamine and the business has become one of the most powerful and fastest growing programs available today for coaches to supplement any coaching certification and to enable them to develop a six-seven figure income.

051 Glain Roberts-McCabe, Founder and President of The Roundtable, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills.

Glain Roberts-McCabe is the President and founder of Toronto-based THE ROUNDTABLE – a place where leaders can cultivate their leadership skills.

Through their innovative and multi-award Roundtable Peer-to-Peer Coaching programs and their “leaders teaching leaders” community, The Roundtable is reimagining the traditional consulting firm model.

Prior to launching The Roundtable in 2007, Glain was the Managing Partner of one of Canada’s most respected mid-sized consulting firms specializing in the area of leadership development.

050 JD Hoye, ex-President of the National Academy Foundation and Nationally-Recognized Work-Based Learning Expert and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

JD Hoye is the Former President of the National Academy Foundation (NAF).

With a deep commitment to preparing students for college and meaningful careers, Ms. Hoye has worked at both the grassroots and the highest levels of government to reform how young people are engaged in learning and how they are positioned to pursue their academic interests and career goals. Through this work, she has become a nationally recognized leader in forging partnerships between educators and employers.

In leading the National Academy Foundation, Ms. Hoye oversees a network of 500 college preparatory, career-themed academies in 39 states, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NAF academies focus on one of five career themes – finance, hospitality & tourism, information technology, engineering, and health sciences – and work in partnership with over 2,500 businesses.

Prior to her appointment at NAF, Ms. Hoye served as President of Keep the Change, Inc., a nationally recognized consulting business focused on helping communities reform education and develop a skilled workforce. An active public speaker, Ms. Hoye worked closely with the National Academy Foundation while President of Keep the Change, Inc. and built strong relationships with the organization and its leadership.

049 Ex-Navy Seal Officer and Author, Marty Strong, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Marty Strong has been a leader for decades, first in uniform as a combat-decorated Navy SEAL, and then in commercial business.

In this episode, Marty discusses his career as a Navy Seal and prolific author – the rigors of Navy Seal training, and the transition from a military career to the business world.

After leaving military service Marty spent seven years as a successful investment advisor focused on high net worth clients, ending that phase of his career at the United Bank of Switzerland. He transitioned into business management as a senior vice president for a billion-dollar-a-year defense contracting company.

In 2009, he joined a small, early-stage growth company in this same industry as an equity partner. Since then, Marty has led first one, then two employee-owned healthcare startups as CEO, and Chief Strategy Officer.

He is a thought provoking guest with over 350 appearances to his credit on national cable TV. He is a popular Podcast personality and has conducted hundreds of stimulating interviews in large metro radio markets across the United States. Marty plans to continue writing business insight books over the next few years and is currently working on, Be Exceptional: Personal and Professional Leadership in the age of Optimization.

048 Henry Kimsey-House, a Founder of the Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), and Charlie Jett Discuss Coaching and the Critical Skills

Henry Kimsey-House is one of the first professional coaches in the 1980s and the co-founder and lead designer of the Co-Active Training Instute’s (CTI) provocative experiential learning programs. He is also the co-author of Co-Active Coaching and Co-Active Leadership.

An actor since age 9, Henry honed his insights into human emotion and the narrative process through classical theatrical training and years of stage, television, and film experience.

With deep conviction that education should be driven by immersive, contextually based learning and not dry information dumps, Henry is committed to creating richly engaging and transformative learning environments where retention approaches 80% rather than the traditional 20%.

Henry continues to develop new, innovative curriculum and collaborate with other dynamic thought leaders. Along with his wife and partner, Karen, has written Co-Active Leadership – now in its second edition.

047 Steve Robinson, a 50-year Veteran of Public Radio and Classical Music Broadcasting, Discusses the Critical Skills With Charlie Jett

When one thinks about public radio networks and classical music radio, one name comes to mind and that name is Steve Robinson.

Steve Robinson in his home studio

It’s difficult to imagine a highly successful radio station without a leader like Steve Robinson. Steve is well known for his unflagging energy, endless creativity, and deep knowledge of classical music and radio operations.

Steve has been creating, producing and developing radio programs for 50 years that have been heard throughout the U.S. and around the world. He is an example of someone who is a master of the critical skills of Communications, Production, and Technology.

In Chicago, Steve spent sixteen years at the helm of the great classical radio station, WFMT FM (98.7). He retired from WFMT in 2016 and now lives in Boston where he is President and Head Cheese of a company he founded, New Media Productions. The company creates and produces podcasts, CD’s and provides consulting services to a variety of media clients.

046 RADM (Ret) Tom Lynch and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Retired Rear Admiral Tom Lynch is my classmate from the great Naval Academy class of 1964.

At Navy, Tom was active in sports – especially football where he lettered three times and was the captain of the great 1963 Navy team. He was also the brigade heavyweight boxing champion.

Tom’s Naval service focused on surface warfare culminating his taking command of the USS Eisenhower battle group during the course of Operation Desert Shield.

He also served as chief of Navy Legislative Affairs, and for three years was Superintendent of the US Naval Academy. Tom retired in 1995 and since then has pursued a very successful business career primarily in mortgage banking.

045 Hugh Shields, Master Coach and Co-Founder of Shields Meneley Partners, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills.

As a Master Coach, Hugh Shields is one of the top leadership and career coaches in business today and is a co-founder of Shields Meneley Partners – one of the nation’s leading career transition and executive coaching firms.

Hugh Schields

Hugh’s experience fits his role as an advisor to executives in transition. He has extensive profit and loss, strategy development, sales & marketing and operations experience in a variety of industries including professional services, specialty chemicals, electronics and controls, and electrical products

Hugh’s clients appreciate his peer-to-peer “straight talk” way of helping them see, own and overcome their leadership blind spots. The result is that clients are better able to achieve the results they want for their careers and the organizations they lead.

044 Jill Wine-Banks, the “Watergate Girl,” and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills.

Jill Wine-Banks is best known as the “Watergate Girl,” and has enjoyed a multi-faceted career in law, corporate, education, and as a regular prime time legal analyst on MSNBC, PBS and other networks.

Jill Wine-Banks

Her story is documented in her book, “The Watergate Girl,” a memoir available in bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.com.

She currently hosts two podcasts – “Sisters-in-law” with her legal colleagues and “iGen Politics” – the intergenerational program discussing issues facing our nation.

Jill is truly a woman who has “been there – done that.

043 Jim Carr, Former Wheaton Mayor and Business Owner, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Jim Carr is the owner, president and CEO of Blue Book Services, Inc., in Carol Stream, Illinois. Blue Book Services, Inc. is a credit rating and information company for the fresh fruit, vegetable, and lumber industries.

Jim Carr

Previously, Jim worked for Harris Bank in Chicago from 1974 to 1979. He has also served as the mayor of the City of Wheaton for 14 years from 1993 to 2007.

I’m proud to say that Jim and his family lived across the street from me for about 30 years where we enjoyed our friendship and watching our children grow up and mature into responsible adults.

042 Master Executive Recruiter, Fred Wackerle, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Fred Wackerle earned a reputation as a master Executive Recruiter. He had a forty-year career in executive search specializing in Chief Executive Officer succession and governance.

According to Business Week, Fred was named as one of the nation’s top five general management executive search professionals by Chief Executive Officers and high-ranking executives.

He has been the recipient of the Gardner Heidrick Award from the Association of Executive Search Consultants for outstanding contributions to the executive search consulting profession.

Truly a dean of his profession, Fred retired from search and now spends time as an artist, painting in oils. His works may be seen on his website, www.wackerle.com.

I’m proud to say that Fred is not only a dear friend, but an incredible partner.

041 Greg Pohlmann, a Store Brand Expert, and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Greg Pohlmann worked professionally in the store brand industry for 40 years. He is an expert in private labeling – store brands.

Greg worked for the cream of the crop in private labeling – Topco Associates and Daymon Associates which together cover over fifty percent of all private label product sales in the United States. Greg was also part of the original start-up team that brought Aldi Stores to the United States.

Greg is an expert in the private label industry and has documented what he has learned in his book, Thinking Store Brands First – Best Practice Guidelines to Enhance Customer loyalty and Increase Operating Profits.

040 Charlie Jett Discusses Reliable and Accurate Information for the Critical Thinking Process

In this short (7 minutes) episode, Charlie Jett discusses the importance of information validity to the Critical Thinking process. In short, if you want to think critically, your information needs to be reliable and accurate.

039 General Charles Krulak, USMC, Former Marine Corps Commandant, and Charlie Jett Discuss Leadership and the Critical Skills

General Charles C. Krulak served honorably in the United States Marine Corps for 35 years and I’m proud to say that he is my US Naval Academy classmate in the great class of 1964.

General Krulak’s military service brought him into wartime combat roles in Viet Nam and operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He is the recipient of many awards including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Three Bronze Stars, Distinguished Service Medals from each of the three branches of the military (Navy, Army and Air Force), and, among others, two Purple Hearts.

Ultimately General Krulak served as the 31st Commandant of the United States Marine Corps from July1, 1995 until June 30, 1999.

Following his 35-year Marine Corps career, he entered the world of banking as Chief Administrative Officer of MBNA America and then as Senior Vice Chairman of MBNA Europe until his retirement in 2005. He then served as the 13th President of Birmingham-Southern College until his retirement in 2015.

General Krulak has served on the Board of Directors of several corporations and non-for-profit entities.

038 Former Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti and Charlie Jett Discuss the Critical Skills

Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, is a wife, working mother of three, and an attorney by trade.

The daughter of a Cuban refugee and an Ecuadorian immigrant. she grew up in humble beginnings in Florida – attended university in Florida and earned her law degree at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Her early private law practice focused on victims of housing discrimination, and subsequently was appointed an Illinois Assistant Attorney General. She served on the Wheaton, Illinois City Council and, in 2014, was elected the first Latina Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois – and the first Latina Lieutenant Governor in the United States.

After serving as Lieutenant Governor for four years, she joined the HOPE Fair Housing Center as Executive Director.

037 Coaches Tom Anstett and Tom McCormack Talk About Basketball Programs and the Critical Skills

Coaches Tom Anstett and Tom McCormack have a combined 92 years of coaching experience, having developed winning programs in major high schools in the Chicagoland area. Together they embody the qualities of coaches and teachers that constitute winning programs that not only provide victories but lay solid foundations for the lives of their players.

Late last year, Coach Anstett and Tom McCormack published a terrific book – endorsed by many of the top collegiate coaches in the United States – called “Victory is in the Details: Building a Basketball Program.” You can buy the book on Amazon.com by clicking HERE.

As Duke University coach Mike Krezyzewski said, “Coaches at every level of our sport can learn from this book. They have articulated clearly about the attributes of building a highly successful program and, more importantly, relay it to readers in a way that is practical and easy to understand.”

Tom Anstett has coached for 38 of his 41 years in secondary education. He was an assistant coach at his alma mater, (Chicago) Quigley North Seminary High School where he was mentored by IBCA Hall of Fame Coach Bill Schaefer. Tom was the head coach at (Elmhurst) Immaculate Conception High School, (Northbrook) Glenbrook North High School, and (Elmhurst) York High School. He earned IBCA District Coach of the Year twice with more than 275 wins. For 13 years Tom has been an assistant at (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way Central High School and finished at (Frankfort) Lincoln-Way East High School.

Tom McCormack has coached basketball at all levels for 50 years. He was a head high school basketball coach for 33 years, 32 of them at (Hoffman Estates) Conant High School after a year at the helm of (Elmhurst) Immaculate Conception High School. His teams won a total of 14 IHSA Regional titles, 5 IHSA Sectional crowns, and 1 IHSA Super-sectional victory. His 1993-94 team played in the IHSA Class AA Elite Eight. 17 times, Tom’s teams earned 18+ victories in a season. His career victory record stands at 593.

036 Natalie Siston and Charlie Jett Talk About Positive Intelligence and the Critical Skills

Natalie’s career has taken her from Silicon Valley to the Fortune 100 and into entrepreneurship, but being raised in Republic, OH (population 600) is where she learned her greatest leadership lessons. Natalie uses these lessons from small town living to help leaders and organizations create big success in the world.

In addition to being a 10-year 4-H member and repeat State Fair champion in public speaking, Natalie is a two-time graduate of The Ohio State University and Professional Coach accredited through the International Coach Federation. She has 20+ years of experience coaching, developing leaders, and strengthening teams in the non-profit, higher education, and corporate sectors. She works both 1:1 and in small groups, coaching clients to help them be more connected – to themselves, their work, families, and communities. She is a frequent speaker at leadership, university, and corporate events.

Natalie resides in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, Rob, and two young daughters. When she’s not writing, speaking or coaching, she enjoys mentoring students, training for endurance athletic events, and improving her golf game.

Let Her Out: Reclaim Who You Have Always Been is Natalie’s first book.

Learn more at: smalltownleadership.com or letherout.com

035 Former Secretary of the Navy, John Dalton, Talks with Charlie Jett About the Critical Skills

John Dalton was our 70th Secretary of the Navy, serving from July 1993 until November 1998.

John is my US Naval Academy classmate – the great class of 1964 and a fellow nuclear submariner.

John H. Dalton

John attended Louisiana State University before going to the Naval Academy, graduated with distinction and entered the US Naval nuclear power program.

He served in the nuclear submarine force until 1969, earn his MBA degree from the Wharton School, and embarked on a career that was mixed with corporate and government experience.

In 1993, President Clinton nominated him to become our 70th Secretary of the Navy.

034 Christine Davies, Founder and President of Poligage, Talks With Charlie Jett About the Critical Skills

Christine Davies is the Founder and CEO of Poligage – the world’s first online marketplace for public policy insights and government affairs and services. Poligage helps companies and organizations find the expertise they need, right when they need it.

Christine has built her 20-year career around the intersections of the public and private sectors, with leadership roles in the government, business, technology, and not-for-profit sectors both in the United States and internationally.

She initially served at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of State, where she worked on a variety of global economic and development issues, and later served as the International Trade Specialist at the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand.

She served as a Business Development Manager within the Public Sector Services Division at Microsoft – then gained more international experience as Vice President for Partnerships at the Asia Society in New York.

For the past year, she has been building the Poligage network and business. Click HERE to go to the Poligage website.

033 Jeffrey Shaw, Master Coach and Podcaster Talks with Charlie about Critical Skills

From humble beginnings, Jeffrey Shaw became one of the most preeminent portrait photographers in the United States. His on-location style and fine craftsmanship made him the go-to photographer for families of C-suite executives of Anheuser-Busch, Twitter, and many others, Supermodel Stephanie Seymour, news anchors Jim Nantz and David Bloom, sports icons Tom Seaver, Pat Riley, and Wall Street executives too many to mention. His portraits appeared on The Oprah Show, CBS News, in People and O Magazine and hang at Harvard University and The Norman Vincent Peale Center.

After 35 years of exceptional service to his exclusive clientele, Jeffrey decided to share his knowledge of business, branding, and marketing to support self-employed and small business owners as well as progressive-minded companies. He’s an in-demand keynote speaker at conferences such as HOW Design, Growth Marketing, corporations the likes of Verizon and BMW, and institutions such as Florida Atlantic University and the Adams Center for Entrepreneurship. Jeffrey is also the author of two books, LINGO and The Self-Employed Life, a LinkedIn Learning instructor, and a regular contributor to various publications.

In 2014, Jeffrey started a podcast, Creative Warriors, later rebranded as The Self-Employed Life which is amongst the top 15% of all podcasts. His TEDx Lincoln Square talk was later moved to TED.com which is so rare it’s been said you have a better chance of getting hurt at home by your toilet.

With abundant passion and a strong commitment to serving, we can expect there is much more to come.

032 Jim Ginsburg, Founder and President of Cedille Records Talks About Classical Music and the Critical Skills

Jim Ginsburg is the founder and president of Cedille Records, a classical label he launched in 1989 while an entering law student at the University of Chicago. Cedille is focused on recording classical music produced by artists and composers in Chicago.

He has produced 21 Grammy Award nominations and 7 Grammy Award winners and was nominated for “Producer of the Year, Classical” in 2019. In 2009, the Chicago Tribune named Jim a “Chicagoan of the Year in the Arts,” writing, “Let’s hear it for Jim Ginsburg – he is one of the last independent entrepreneurs in classical recording, a man who has stuck to his artistic vision and made a success of it at a time of market shrinkage and industry downsizing.”

It was quite a challenge for a young law student to leave law school and a promising career to pursue with great success an interest which was his real love – classical music.

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

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.