My First Book (Sort Of) With Big Ups to Mark Joyner

by Michael · 1 comment

It was just a year ago this week that I arrived at a hotel in Dana Point, California for a very small, very private 3-day mastermind session.   In attendance were 7 other marketer/entrepreneurs who spend most of their business time in the health markets as I do.    We were prepared for a fun but very rigorous cooperative smackdown, with egos quite definitely checked at the door – each of us took the hot seat for at least several hours to have our business activities critiqued, improved and even praised by the others.   It was as sacred and safe a space as one could imagine, and although the 8 of us have not reconvened, there is a sense of ourselves as a close collective that still endures.   We are there for each other.

One of the other guys (might as well come clean, it was all guys) at this special gathering was Mark Joyner.   I’d heard of Mark, but this was my first time meeting him, and while Mark is marketing royalty, you’d never know it from the way he handled himself during those 3 days.   Like all the best communicators, Mark is as skilled a listener as he is a speaker, and listen he did.   And while Mark and I hit it off right away, it took my own research efforts in the days after the Dana Point summit to fully gather and appreciate the full extent of what Mark had achieved way before his name had ever reached me.   He was comfortable enough in his own skin that he had neither the need nor the inclination to fully detail his achievements during our brainstorm sessions.

After Dana Point, Mark and I have stayed in touch.   He attended my Consumer Health Summit last May (after which he tweeted a confession about his man-crush on my keynoter Dr. Clotaire Rapaille), and we connected right after that at Ryan Lee’s great Continuity Summit.   And we’ve had the occasional phone call tossing around ideas for possible collaborations . . . all good and fun stuff.

Some months ago, Mark invited me and a small group of other business types to contribute material for his next book, The Worst-Case Scenario Business Survival Guide, a serious treatment of what to do in a business when things go wrong.   To add to the fun and honor of collaborating with Mark, the “Worst-Case Scenario” franchise has been to date one of the most successful of all book publishing concepts, ever.   This would be an exciting project to participate in, and after reading Mark’s list of suggested subjects, I dug in on “How to Fend Off Mission Drift”.   Since I’d studied work culture matters extensively, and done a fair amount of consulting in that area, I figured it would be a kick to write about something other than marketing for a change.   I submitted the article to Mark’s office at the last possible allowable second, and then found out within just a few weeks, my submission would appear in the book.   This made me really happy.

Fast forward to September 28, 2009: The Worst-Case Scenario Business Survival Guide is released, and is a worthwhile and even important book.    It’s relevant in these or any times.   Mark and his co-author, David Borgenicht, have caringly seen to this.   It covers things that all classic business books do like HR and financial management, but also examines workplace cultures and how to maximize the most important asset of any business — the people.   It’s written and contributed to by smart and successful entrepreneurs, each of whom is “a product of the product”, as Sean Stephenson would say — all have lived with and through their own guidance and seen it work.   Most of all, none of what’s in this book is treated the way you’ve seen it treated over and over, everywhere else.   It’s worth your dime and your time.

Back to Mark Joyner — this is a guy who wakes up each morning fully intentional on changing the world for the better, and well within his own lifetime.    He’s got the intellectual horsepower to do it, a huge purpose, and more than enough heart.   He has set up a business and philanthropic entity, ConstructZero, to get on the court and actually do something.   Check it out. If you bet against him, you will likely lose, and lose badly.

Thanks for including me in the book, Mark.   There’s more fun in store for us, I’m certain.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dr. Joel Block November 24, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Hi Michael,

Reading about the book that you contributed to, sparked a memory I’d like to share. Dr. Abraham Maslow, with whom I had the pleasure of interacting with as a student in the ’60′s, had a brother in business. Dr. Maslow visited his brother’s business and applied his concepts (for a self actualizing culture) to his brother’s operation.

He then wrote a “private” monograph about his observations and suggestions for the workplace and the consequence of integrating his principles into his brother’s business. The report was a very early look at what a people-first business would look like. I was given a copy and since I was quite up to speed with Maslow’s work, it was particularly fascinating to see the application to the business world. In short, despite not being a business person myself, the report was obviously a work of genius.

Now, here’s the part that frustrates me. I’ll have to do a search of my book collection, but I have a feeling that private publication (I don’t believe Dr. M. every took it to a mainstream publisher) was lost somewhere in my travels so long ago.

If by chance I still have it (I fear not), I will gladly share it. I suspect, Dr. Maslow, always ahead of his time–he taught me, as a psychologist, to look for people’s strengths and build on them before it was a “popular” thing to do–could still add something to today’s literature on business, despite being dated.

Regards, Joel

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