Leading by Example: Intel and us

January 27, 2011

On January 26, 2011, Intel Labs announced a $100 million cash investment in U.S. university research over the next 5 years, marking a new model of collaboration for the organization. The Funding will support a number of Intel Science and Technology Centers; the first such center will be led by Stanford University and focus on next-generation visual computing. According to the Intel Labs press release, this new model of university-lead research is expected to provide U.S. researchers with up to 5 times more funding from Intel Labs compared to the previous approach, and enable engagements across a broader set of universities.

In the video below, Justin Rattner, Intel’s chief technology officer, explains the “what” and the “why”.  For  information click here

Intel’s CTO Justin Rattner shares the vision for Intel’s new investment on science and technology with U.S. Universities.

On the same day,  Intel announced that forty high school seniors from across the country were named finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search 2011, a program of Society for Science & the Public.   You can see  more about people sharing their stories with the hope of becoming a catalyst for action and a voice for change in global education at www.inspiredbyeducation.com.

Leaders by Example

Intel has long been a strong voice in the choir of U.S. technology companies calling for a greater focus on science and technology in our schools and universities.  They are doing more that talk about it.  They put their resources behind it.   “Intel has sponsored the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for 13 and 14 years, respectively. Because Intel views education as the foundation for innovation, over the past decade, Intel and the Intel Foundation have invested more than $1 billion and Intel employees have donated close to 3 million hours toward improving education in more than 60 countries.”photo via  AvnetTechGames.com

Here in Arizona, Avnet, Inc., the worlds largest technology distributor, sponsors the The Avnet Tech Games (ATG) an annual college technology competition that provides students with an opportunity to apply what they learn in school to real-world scenarios and compete for scholarships.

Great Examples, but I’m not a multi billion dollar company…

Most of us don’t have the luxury of billion dollar wallets and thousands of employees who can volunteer their time and talents, but that does not mean that our leading by example is any less important.  We each have skills, knowledge, and experiences we can share in the areas where we passionately lead.  Here are some more examples:

Francine Hardaway of Stealthmode Partners combined her passion and experience in entrepreneurship with a desire to help at-risk individuals find economic self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.  By rolling up her sleeves, and recruiting many others (including me) to help both The Opportunity Through Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conferences were created and continue to make a difference year after year.

Lon Safko’s passion is innovation.  A celebrated inventor whose work appears in the Smithsonian, Lon’s study of the evolution and innovation in social media lead to the bestselling book The Social Media Bible was volunteering his time and sharing what he knew with a gathering of Arizona teachers, so that they in turn could share with their students.

Patti Blackstaffe has a talent for helping businesses grow and a passion for helping children.  She combines these things as a volunteer to support Providence an very special place in Calgary with a mission to enhance the health and development of preschool children with disabilities & their families with early intervention and high quality health, education and therapy services within their community

Morris Callaman is an engineer,attorney, venture capitalist and  entrepreneur.  There was a time in his youth when as a teen runaway he dealt with the harsh realities of living on the street.  Today he has quietly donated his time and talents to local organizations like OTEF and St. Mary’s Food Bank as well as providing legal assistance pro bono to those who really need a hand and could never afford his services.  It’s his way of being the change he would like to see in our societies.

Gloria Feldt and Alex Barbanell believe in the power of women in changing our world.  They created and sponsor the Women of the World lecture series at Arizona State University to inspire current and future women leaders.  In addition, Gloria shared her experiences as part of a multi generational group of women leaders who took their show on the road to college campuses around the country to do the very same thing.  Today, her new book: No Excuses inspires women of all ages to use their power to lead.

See, it’s not just companies like Intel.  We can lead by example too.

Leading by example means putting your time, talent, and money where your mouth is.  It’s not just something for “them” to do.  It’s an opportunity for all of us.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.  Her past career includes two decades on the team at  Avnet, Inc. and service as Chairman of the Board of Advisors to Parenting Arizona.  Today, she serves her community as the Chairman of the Board of the Opportunity  through  Entrepreneurship Foundation.  To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business in 2011, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved

Saturday morning, we all got a wake up call

January 9, 2011

It was a beautiful Saturday morning in Arizona.  As I checked in with friends on Twitter, Facebook and the like, I was chatting about the weather and the sun creeping over the mountains.  That morning, I came across a wonderful quote from Catherine Leyen (@MRIchat).

I shared it with friends on Facebook at 9:07 AM Arizona time.

It read:

Never pass up the opportunity to tell somebody how much what they do makes a positive difference in the world. ~ Catherine Leyen

A two hour trip down the road, at the Safeway on Ina and Oracle in Tucson, events were unfolding that would horrify the nation, destroy families, and and send a wake up call to us all.

Shortly after 10 AM Saturday morning a gun man opened up on a crowd of Arizonans who had come to see Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. (For the video series, see MSNBC.com)

As events unfolded, Arizonans and people from around the country watched in horror, misinformation abounded as reports came out that someone had shot into a crowd of people and that Congresswoman Giffords had died. They were later corrected to say that she was fighting for her life – and winning.  Others were not as lucky.  This link from CNN provides the time line, and information on those who were lost on a sunny and crisp Tucson morning, including a Federal Judge, a nine year old  girl who came into this world on 9/11 and left it on another day of terror and tragedy, parents, grandparents, a local pastor,and a young man planning to be married. Two local  physicians who happened to be on the scene gave aide to the wounded while Daniel Hernandez, a trained nurse and a Giffords intern,rushed to see what happened and used his medical training to “apply pressure to the Congresswoman’s wound and keep her active and alert,” according to  Arizona state Rep. Steve Farley. Hernandez was Farley’s former campaign manager. (source: Jodi Powers- Community Public Relations)

In Tucson, hundreds gathered leave flowers, light candles, sing songs, and pray outside of University Medical Center and outside Gabby’s Tucson office.

Up on Phoenix, many, including Annie Loyd and Jodi Powers and friends of the The Fusion Foundation rallied friends, community leaders, and others to the Arizona Capital in Phoenix for a candlelight vigil and shared news updates locally as well as the insights that were coming in from friends in the the South.

As the evening drew to a close, prayers were being sent from around the country and around the state.  At the vigil at the Capitol, Eric Landau used his talents to send the strains of Amazing Grace soaring into the night while later singer Olivia Calderon raised her voice in prayer and song with the Ave Maria.

Saturday, January 8, 2011, began with a glorious Arizona sunrise and ended with the world’s prayers.  But prayers, as important as they are, are not enough. On Saturday, we also received a wake up call.  A reminder to all of us that…

As parents…

It is important to pay  attention to what our children are saying and doing. In addition we must talk with them, no matter their age, build up their positive values, and help them understand that senseless violence and hate is never an answer. We change the world with our words and actions….not bullets.

As leaders…

We must remember that what we write, what we say, and what we do impacts others.  It’s been speculated that the “virtol” of recent years both locally and nationally combined with the violence that we see on the news, in film and in games fueled these events.  Maybe it did and maybe it didn’t.  We may never know for sure.  But perhaps, what is better to keep in mind is that it can and that with leadership comes the responsibility to build up our community, not tear it or others down.  When we exhibit negative behaviors and beliefs as leaders, we, as leaders, should never be surprised if someone follows our lead whether we intended them to or not.

As Arizonans…

It is a reminder that in our state we have so much to be proud of and to share. We have seen how in times of crisis we can rise up and come together.   Yes, we have challenges, so does the rest of world.  But we also have opportunities to combine our talents, listen to opposing viewpoints, build solutions and coalitions and make things better.  Saturday serves as a reminder that this is the best use of our time, energy, and talents.

And most of all, as People, to remember what Catherine Leyen shared…

Never pass up the opportunity to tell somebody how much what they do makes a positive difference in the world. ~ Catherine Leyen

None of us can change what happened yesterday, but together we can all help with the healing… and never pass up on an opportunity to make a difference.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned….

Joan Koerber-Walker

To the families of these who lost their life on Saturday (U.S. District Judge John Roll, 63; Christina Greene, 9; Gabe Zimmerman, 30; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Scheck, 79.) as well as all who were injured in Saturday’s events my thoughts and  prayers as well as those of so many others are with you.

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits, as well as to community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.   She and her family have made their home in Arizona since 1992.

The news items and videos included here are the property of the respective news agencies.  Images of the Arizona sky and Giffords Memorial are the work of Frank Quiroz.

Following your star…

December 24, 2010

Over 2000 years ago, three wise men followed a star.  A young woman and her husband  began a journey that started with the ‘impossible’ and a child was born that became one of the greatest leaders ever known.  The world has never been the same. 

For many of us, 2010  has been a year of personal and professional challenges, but just imagine the challenges these people once faced. 


The image above is message I created for my CorePurpose Christmas Card in 2010 and it is one I firmly believe in.  Opportunities are like stars.  There are millions of them out there. It is all a matter of which one we choose to reach for, to believe in and to work to achieve.

As I write this on Christmas Eve,  there are signs that opportunities are rising like stars.  The New York Times writes that economists see signs of a stronger recovery while other analysts predict growth in 2011 also.  In reviewing my notes form this year’s Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference, I see point after point that the speakers made about where the opportunities lie and how to reach them. 

This is the time of year when we reach out to others. 

Christmas cards, business and personal newsletters sharing stories of a year that soon will be past and hope for the year to come, notes on LinkedIn, on my personal Facebook and the CorePurpose and OTEF Facebook pages , and Twitter’s tweets.  Each of these is an opportunity to connect, engage, say hi or say thank you and each conversation strengthens relationships and can begin a journey towards a new opportunity. 

It is also a season of hope.

For many, 2010 has brought times of frustration and worse, but now is the time to draw strength from the energy  around us and take a look at the  gifts that we have to work with.  Our friends, our families, our co-workers, and our customers have also faced challenges this year.  But at the end of the day, we are all still here. And being here we can take the energy and the camaraderie of the season and use it as fuel to move us all forward towards new opportunities in 2011.

So remember…

Opportunities are like stars.  There are millions of them out there. It is all a matter of which one we choose to reach for, to believe in and to work to achieve.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned….

I’ll be sharing more tips to help you get ready for 2011 throughout the month of December.

And for all of the friends who have visited here, chatted with me on Twitter, have  worked along side me in projects, or just dropped me a line or made a call to say hello, THANK YOU  and best wishes for a  very happy and hopeful holiday season, a very Merry Christmas, and a 2011 filled with opportunities.   

Joan Koerber-Walker

About the Joan:

Koerber-Walker-056 An entrepreneur, author, speaker and corporate advisor, Joan Koerber-Walker’s journey has spanned from corporate America to entrepreneurship and non-profits, as well as into community leadership and into the halls of Washington D.C.   To learn more about how CorePurpose and the CoreAlliance can help you grow your business or if you would like to receive  a hi res version of “Opportunities are like stars…” for your home, your office or your team, you can contact her by clicking here.

CorePurpose  is a registered trademark of CorePurpose, Inc.  CoreAlliance is a  service mark of CorePurpose Inc.  All rights reserved

Are you MARKED for success?

July 11, 2010

How committed are you to your success?  I like to think I am but I don’t think I would go as far as my friend Kevin Daum has.  He is on a quest for what he calls the “Jewish Super Bowl Ring”; a New York Times Best Seller with his latest book, Roar!

Kevin shared his thoughts earlier this year with Mike Michalowicz, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur about personal commitment and what it takes to succeed in the Sales and Marketing Jungle.

“Go Big or Go Home” – Kevin Daum

In days like these,  we hear a lot about leaders who are looking for commitment, engagement, and the need for people who are willing to give all they have to the project, the plan, and the goals of the company.  Yet, how many of us as leaders are truly committed to ‘go all in” as they say in Vegas.

Commitment is not measured in words – JKW

The true measure of commitment is not your words, it’s your actions.  If you don’t believe me – ask your team.  They know what their leaders are truly committed to because they pay attention to not just what we say but what we do.

Your team may listen to what you say… but they do what you demonstrate. – JKW

I’ve met a lot of authors who say they want a New York Times Best Seller. OK, lets be honest, most of us would be doing the happy dance if this happened.  But would we sell our big house, and move to a nice (but small) apartment in Manhattan to be closer to the action.  Would we hound our publisher with idea after idea to get extra support, stand on a street corner in the cold passing out flyers to passer-byes,  meet  with group after group telling the same story over and over again, or chronicle each step of the way on a blog for all the world to see.  I’ve watched Kevin do it.  (Ok, I admit it – after the tattoo I had to see what he would come up with next.  And I am not even his publisher, that honor went to John Wiley and Sons.)

Watching Kevin pursue his dream, I believe him when he says he will be a New York Times Best Selling Author some day.  And because HE is so committed, it made me want to ‘join his team’ by offering some encouragement here.

If you want your team engaged, keep your sense of humor. – JKW

As leaders, we need to keep trying new things, finding ways to add more value, and deliver a quality product .  We need to recruit champions and inspire our team to carry the message further.

In Kevin’s case he has come up with some very innovative ideas to promote his book.  I’ve even used some of them, with his blessing, in promoting CorePurpose Publishing’s latest release, The Recipe: A fable for leaders and teams by Amilya Antonetti.  It must be working – after a while Amazon started to offer the books as a pairing together.

In watching Kevin what I have noticed, through it all, is he is loving every step of the journey.  He never loses his smile or his personal belief that he will get to the end of the road.  He has a quality product (I bought the book and read it) and he’s kept his sense of humor.  For example – check out his “book trailer”…

So whatever dream you and your team are pursuing, you might want to take a page from Kevin’s book and live your commitment.  You just might end up doing your own happy dance!  (Hey Kevin – what IS the name of that song?)

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

Turning ‘Round and Looking Up

May 22, 2010

Lynn Tilton - Graphic credit:  Kevin DeSoto - Photo - courtesy of Patriarch Partners

Graphic credit:  Kevin DeSoto – Photo – courtesy of Patriarch Partners

Just like the horses and riders on a carousel, American businesses are turning around and looking up.  And when it comes to the art of the  turnaround few do it better that maverick CEO Lynn Tilton of Patriarch Partners.  This month I had the opportunity to chat with Lynn when she was honored as an Extraordinary Leader during the launch of Amilya Antonetti’s new book The Recipe: A fable for leaders and teams in New York City.   (Here comes the FTC disclaimer, one of my companies, CorePurpose Publishing, published this book.)

Over the past week, at the CorePurpose Business Blog and at Amilya.com, Part 1 and Part II of the interview with Lynn Tilton focused on what she is doing and why.  Now it is time to take it one step further as we share that most important lesson of all…HOW to turn things around and how Lynn is doing it in the 70 companies within the Patriarch Partners portfolio.

I asked Lynn what were the FIVE key factors of successfully turning around individual firms and our nation’s economy.  Here is what she had to say…

1.  Search for the Truth

If we do not understand where we are and what we are facing, there is no way to find solutions to the challenges we face.  This is true in our businesses, our communities, and our country.  You must have an understanding of the truth of the situation; you can not fix what you do not understand.  We must all persevere in our search for the truth even when we don’t like what we find.  It is the answer that has value.  Once you find the truth, you can do something about it.

“Truth is cold and hard but it is also the first step on the path to hope and salvation.” ~ Lynn Tilton

2. The American Dream was built upon the concept of living with dignity.

Dignity and pride come in many forms.  One of the most basic is a job with a decent wage and the ability to take care of your family.  In America, the vast majority of jobs come from small and medium sized businesses.  Entrepreneurs are America’s job creation engine. Yet in recent years we have failed to provide them the fuel this engine needs in the form of capital.  Each of us must let our representatives know that we expect and require that they address direct lending to small and medium businesses so that they can do what they do best, create the jobs our economy and our people need so that they can do what they do best and live a life of dignity.

“Until job loss turns to job creation, we have little chance for a true economic recovery. Absent job creation, little else matters.” ~ Lynn Tilton

3.  Women, working together, will make a difference.

One of the greatest resources we currently have at our disposal to turn things around is America’s women.  If there is a need right now it is for talented women to band together and build. Trying to tackle huge projects alone is fraught with challenges and a hard and lonely task.  But if two women come together, combining their talents and their experiences, success and jobs are the result. The more we build together as teams, the better the opportunities for success.  Find a colleague, explore how you can make a difference – and do it. Too often as women we have felt the need to compete for relationships, for jobs, for opportunities.  If we stop competing and start partnering ,we can move the recovery forward faster.

“America’s greatest asset is human capital. Women, shoulder to shoulder, can be the driving force that leads to the economic healing and requisite transformation of our great nation.” ~ Lynn Tilton

4.  Focus on helping others and you will find you have helped yourself.

Lynn shared that one of the biggest lessons she learned along her personal journey is that when you help others, you ultimately help yourself.  How we help others is relative and ties back to our own skills and talents. Finding the  truth, identifying what we are best at, and then putting that to work on behalf of creating good outcomes for others, creates a positive spiral up for all of us.

This is especially true on the case of innovation.  Based on the concept that innovation is doing something in a new way to make life better for others, we can each look at how we do what we do and how we can improve upon it.  By shifting away from “what’s in it for me” thinking and focusing on what’s better for them, we increase our customer base, increase our sales of goods and services, and need more people to support the subsequent growth.  The end result is a life of dignity for our teams, more job opportunities in our businesses, and sustainable economic health for our country.

“The key components of a successful turnaround are rationalization and innovation.” ~ Lynn Tilton

5. When the day is darkest, look up and find the light

Today there is so much darkness and negative energy.  Negativity creates a downward spiral that leads to greater problems and more negative outcomes. Simply look back over the last two years and you will find too many examples of this.   The way to combat this is with light and positive energy. Each of us has the ability to create this through our actions.  What we can do is relative to what resources we have, but if each of us does one thing for someone else each day, the aggregate impact would be enormous.  Each thing we do to create a bit of light for another makes a difference. It can be a small bit of praise, a few minutes of mentoring, a shared resource, or a winning idea.  But each of these things builds positive energy and it is positive energy that moves us forward just as negative energy hold us back.  As Lynn shared with me “the tree grows from the seeds you plant.”  If our seeds are positive and our actions support them – we reap the benefits. 

“We must all strive to be better people and to demonstrate those qualities that create light in a world gone dark.” ~ Lynn Tilton

Not what you were expecting?

Perhaps you were expecting more of a tactical approach and a how to list made up of the more traditional answers like watch your cash flow, manage your inventories, provide great customer service, monitor your markets, and invest in R&D?    These could readily have been Lynn’s answers.  In talking to members of her team, I learned that she does all of those things.  But so do thousands of other firms.  It is the leadership and life philosophy of Patriarch’s matriarch that has supported the firm’s growth to unprecedented levels where today Lynn and the Patriarch team manage a portfolio of 70 companies representing 250,000 jobs gained or saved and with over $7 Billion in assets under management. 

To follow along as the Lynn Tilton story continues, you can find Lynn on Twitter and Facebook.

Author’s note:

I hope you enjoyed the three part series from my interview with Lynn Tilton.  I really enjoyed getting to know Lynn better.  Don’t miss Part I here and Part II at Amilya.com.  This post (Part III)  was originally written to appear on Going for the Brass Ring my Member Blog at  Fast Company.  The post is appearing here since Fast Company has chosen to no longer support new posts from Fast Company’s Member Bloggers.  It’s a shame –  really – when it comes to running in fast company – nobody tops Lynn Tilton.

About Joan Koerber-Walker:

She is an entrepreneur, an executive, an investor, and an active volunteer in her community. You can find her on Twitter,  on LinkedIn, on Facebook, and lots of other places.  Just check out her Google Profile. Joan’s career includes 20 years in executive roles within a Fortune 500 company, entrepreneurial ventures, angel investments (starting in 1989), non-profit and community leadership, and as an advisor to universities, corporations, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. A popular keynote speaker, blogger, and friend to over 100,000 across social media platforms, she is also a wife and a mother to two BIG boys. Joan and her family make their home in Phoenix, Arizona.


Making A Difference in a World Gone Dark

May 14, 2010

Lynn Tilton light in the world 

This week, while in NYC launching The Recipe: A fable for Leaders and Teams, our new book by Amilya Antonetti, I got to meet an amazing woman.  Her name is Lynn Tilton – and boy is she making a difference!

It’s not every day that you meet a girl from the Bronx who has worked her way up to not only phenomenal success (her company Patriarch Partners has SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS under management) but who is so “together” that her success comes not from a desire for cash but from a drive to make a difference for others by saving companies and saving and creating American jobs.

Lynn was one of three leaders that AMA Enterprises and CorePurpose honored as inspiring leaders at a private VIP and Media Event in New York as we launched The Recipe.  While the book is a story about how teams and leaders come together, Lynn’s LIFE is a prime example of how one woman’s quest to make a difference can affect millions!   (You can see more pictures from the event honoring Lynn here. )

Lynn graciously agreed to answer some of my questions about how she has achieved so much.  As she spoke, I learned so much that this is actually the first of a three part series I will be running about our conversation in the week to come.  It will start here, continue on Amilya.com, and conclude on Going for the Brass Ring, my blog at Fast Company

So here are some of the first bits that Lynn shared with me…

It started in the Bronx…

My life journey has evolved from my birthplace – Bronx, NY- through the
ivory towers of Yale and Columbia Universities to the male-dominated world
of Wall Street.  Today, as the founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, I
focus not only on the more than 70 companies in our portfolio, but also on
“the Main Streets” of once thriving towns across America, that struggle for
survival in the new economy that has turned its back on the American worker.
Patriarch’s mission is to rebuild America one company at a time and one job
at a time and it has been made possible through hard work, an innovative
spirit and an unwavering quest for truth and light where others see

The truth is cold and hard but the first step on the path to hope and
salvation. ~ Lynn Tilton, Patriarch Partners

Saving America…Once Company at a Time

My business is founded upon my personal mission…the attempt to save
America, one company at a time, one job at a time.  The Patriarch platform
is built upon the premise that each company otherwise would have been liquidated, but
instead saved and rebuilt, is value added to our economy and our nation.
With the restructure and renewal of each of these companies, jobs are
sustained and created.  Over the years we have saved approximately 150
companies from the throws of liquidation and 250,000 jobs associated with
those companies.

Who was your inspiration?

My father–his teachings and his values–have long been my inspiration.  We
were raised to give back to the world and to others.  It is for this reason
that my firm is named Patriarch Partners; in the name of the father.  My dad
died my junior year in college but that which he taught me lives on in our
work and the lives of the families who we touch. 

Turning Dust to Diamonds

My business and my personal life no longer have boundaries.  I am driven by
the cause that this business has become.  Knowing the loss of a working
parent while young, I experienced the devastation such loss can bring to the
structure of a family.  That loss and the memory motivates me to spare
families from that desolation.  In the end, I believe that making money and
making the world a better place are not mutually exclusive options.

If you had 3 wishes – what would they be?

  1. People standing shoulder to shoulder with common vision and perseverance to
    rebuild America.
  2. A world with more appreciation and less expectation.
  3. A little more calm and sleep for me.

So that’s how we started…

But I have so much more to share.  Please stay tuned as the interview continues this weekend on Amilya.com and concludes next week on Going for the Brass Ring, my blog at Fast Company.  I’ll be posting the links on Twitter, on Facebook, and through the comments link here on this first part of the series.  Just subscribe to the comments here on this post so you don’t miss the great insights from Lynn to come.  You can also follow Lynn on Facebook and Twitter.  I do.  🙂


Not Just Accepting Change … Leading It. An Interview with Mike Henry Sr.

January 25, 2010


The first step to success is being passionate about what you do.  Don’t just take it from me – talk to Mike Henry Sr., founder of the Lead Change Group.

Mike Henry Sr.He draws inspiration from the words of Margaret Mead:

“Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Mike’s passionate about developing people and making a  difference through relationships.   He founded the Lead Change Group because… that was what he could do.  It started after he was  laid off from a position as a Vice President of a small electronic payments company.  To make ends meet, he began trying several different projects to make a difference and earn a living.   Best of all – he’s succeeding! 

“We accept our powerlessness too easily.”  – Mike Henry Sr. 

One part of the strategy has been to make a difference by encouraging people through social media channels to ‘give themselves away’ and help other people. Sharing from his own experience, Mike draws on decades of work in technology, operations and administrative positions in industries as varied as transportation, energy, telecom and financial services.

“I’ve learned you can always help people. Almost no-one will turn down help, encouragement, and interest.”   Mike Henry Sr.


A Young Mike Henry with (then baby daughter) Jessica ) I did a little checking up on Mike’s leadership talents by asking two people who REALLY know.  Here’s what his grown up kids have to say…


“Mike Henry is a good leader because he can distinguish between right and wrong ethically and morally.” –Michael Henry Jr.


“Dad is a good leader because he is always there to pick you up when you fall and encourage you on how to move forward. Thanks Dad for always lifting me up.” – Jessica Henry


Q&A with Mike Henry Sr.

Lead Change Group LogoJKW:  What’s your favorite project?

Mike:  I’m very excited about the growth of the Lead Change Group and our role in the development of the Leader Palooza un-conference on February  19-20, 2010 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

The Lead Change Group makes a difference because it’s an open-source, peer-based leadership development community. We formed on LinkedIn and started growing on Twitter. We’ve also started finding new friends on Facebook as well.

LeaderPalooza We’re committed to applying character-based leadership to make a positive difference. Since we all “met” virtually, we decided to host our first face-to-face get-together this February 19-20 in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Angie Chaplin named it LeaderPalooza. Here we will further the mission of the group by enabling deeper collaboration and cooperation between members who have met and shared a common experience. The time will be used to enable us to work together, energizing and equipping one another to actively apply character-based leadership in our own personal spheres of influence.

Just the trust between the people who cut out 3 days of their life  for this effort will generate new energy and enable some exciting new ideas. We’re not dictating a lot of structure because we want to allow time for people to interact and create.

Some of the ideas that we’ll be talking about at LeaderPalooza will include:

    1. Further define the promise of the Lead Change Group. What is a character-based leader and how can one make a positive difference?
    2. How do we measure the impact of a character-based leader?
    3. how we can use social media to expand our reach as leaders and as a group.
    4. how we can help each other in our own spheres of influence after the conference.

We’re using an un-conference format so the actual agenda will be finalized when the meeting begins. I can’t wait to see what happens as a result. 

Vicky Henry

JKW:  Who Inspires YOU?

Mike:   I’m most inspired by my wife, Vicky. She’s been married to me for 27 years and it’s been a tremendous roller-coaster. My personality is quite a challenge for her, but so is her health. She daily can’t do the things she’d like to do physically, but she keeps plugging. She inspires me through her patience and her persistence. She’s steady as a rock, which also tells you something about how unsteady I can be.

JKW: Why do you do What you do?

Mike:   I almost backed out of the interview because of this question.

I don’t know why I’m doing this.

I can’t just sit by and do nothing, and I seem to hit obstacles at many other things I’ve tried to do in my past, so I do this.

I enjoy people. We’re at our best when we’re giving ourselves away. For me, the best way to do that is to find a common purpose and form a team. There we can serve each other and it’s not charity. The service is in pursuit of a common goal that’s bigger than the individuals.

“There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.” Jim Hightower

The frustration for me comes when the something I’m doing doesn’t achieve the results I’m pursuing. Sometimes it’s difficult to maintain balance and create a sustainable team.

In the end, for me every day the question needs to be, “Did you help someone?” If I can answer yes to that question, that needs to be enough. When I’m really honest, many days that’s not enough. But it needs to be. (It’s very hard to say that right now.)

JKW:  If you had Three Wishes – what would they be?

Mike:  First, I’d wish that the Lead Change Group idea would become sustainable. I enjoy investing in people and seeing them shine.

Second, I wish my wife could get some rest from her physical problems.

Third, I wish I could manage as much online activity as Joan Koerber-Walker.

(My real third wish would be to deepen my relationships with my two grown children, daughter-in-law and grandson. )

JKW – If folks wanted to  get in touch – how can they find you?

Mike:    You can’t build a team if people can’t find you.  I’m pretty accessible – here are a few places where I can be found.

Email:  mike@leadchangegroup.com

Phone:   (918) 401-0011

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mikehenrysr

Twitter:  @mikehenrysr

So Reader – What do YOU think?

Has Mike’s story inspired you to reach out, share ideas, or lead a  little change?  Check out Leader Palooza, connect with Mike on Twitter or Linked In.  Find out what a ‘a small group of committed individuals’ can do when they commit to #LeadChange.


Thanks for stopping by.  Stay tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker