In 1986, I founded what was to become the largest independent market research/database marketing company in the consumer electronics and high tech fields. By the time I sold it in 1997, The Verity Group employed 400+ people at its California and Costa Rica offices.
Prior to that, I cofounded Barcus Berry Electronics, Inc. a venture capital-backed start-up with a proprietary audio technology called BBE, which was licensed for use in audio, video, computing, and telecommunication products.
From 1977 to 1983, I wore several hats at Pioneer Electronics (USA), Inc. including Director of Market Research, Director Sales Planning, National Sales Manager, Special Markets, Vice President Marketing and, ultimately, Senior Vice President Marketing and Product Development.
Today, I serve on corporate advisory boards, am a contributor for TWICE(the consumer electronics industry’s major trade publication) and lecture frequently at industry events around the world on managing change, strategic planning, and customer relations.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I am a business-planning consultant, one who realized my clients were not doing all that well achieving the goals in the plans they paid me to help them create.
After researching the subject I found that business, in general, was achieving less than half their plan goals (McKinsey & Co 2002, IBM Global Business Services 2008). That revelation turned into a 4+ year investigation into the problem culminating in “The 7 Keys to Change”.
What books have influenced your life the most?
Not as much books as it is portions of books, sometimes only a few words.
For example British doctor and preacher D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, who said in his book Spiritual Depression: Its Cause and Cure, “Most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself.”
He’s referring to the “little voice” inside all of us that more tells us the bad rather than the good news, and not all that accurately.
Also Gertrude Chandler Warner’s “The Boxcar Children”, the first book I recall demonstrating to me the power of reading. Even at that young age (probably 3rd grade) I could “see” those kids and their boxcar home.
There are many others but these two represent two very important contributions to my life.
What are your current projects?
Attempting to balance the time necessary to:
- be a good husband
- be a good father to two adult sons
- be an effective “Big” to two “Littles” in the Big Brothers/Sisters program
- promote my book
- run my consulting business
- do whatever other things not listed above that I also want to do well.
- If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are other aspects of the subject I would like to address, however most of that has only become obvious as a result of getting feedback on the book. So maybe a 2nd edition.
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
My alleged tendency to supposedly write long, involved, run-on sentences that attempt (they say unsuccessfully) to address far too many thoughts, ideas, and concepts, which, taken together, are too much (they say) for the reader to comprehend in a manner that serves them well, nor one that offers any tangible benefit to me personally.
I know, crazy right?
What has been the best compliment?
That the reader leaned something important to them.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Do not underestimate the requirements for writing something others will find valuable, useful, etc. It will likely prove to more difficult to do than you first imagine.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My optimism. I really do see the good in almost every situation, including the negative ones.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
Occasionally my temper, particularly with those close to me.