Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
Today I welcome Brian Smith author of Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak.
VH: Hi there Brian, at what age were you the happiest? What triggered such joy?
Brian Smith: Right now – I’m in a great space right now. Yes – Getting married (not the divorce); the birth of my son and the birth of my grandchild are all happy moments and great memories for me. But right now – I’m truly happy – I love what I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else. I love teaching – I love travelling around the country speaking at events and facilitating workshops. I love working with young people who want to own or manage a business some day. I love working with up and coming managers, team leaders and supervisors – teaching them what skills they’ll need to be successful managing in the 21st Century. I love coaching individuals – helping them formulate and implement their game plan to become more successful at what they want to do or prepare for that all important sales meeting or job interview. I love spending time with my grandchild and son. (My grandchild Chloe is now 2 years old – she’s growing up quickly and talking to be the band). Life is truly what you make it. It’s not easy – it’s never easy but it sure beats the heck out of the alternative. I love being me.
VH: After a difficult day what do you do to recuperate? Does it work?
Brian Smith: Me-time - Spending quiet time with myself. I love coming home to a quiet place, pouring a glass of red wine and thinking about the day. Asking myself - What went well? – What didn’t go so well? And what I’m going to do tomorrow to be better and do better? (Yes – I talk to myself all the time) I don’t mind being alone – matter of fact I prefer it most of the time. I’d have no problem living alone somewhere in the country – away from civilization. I can picture myself in the not-too-distant future having a small cottage in the rural country side where I can spend me-time and just listen to music and write. I like my own company. I talk for a living – teaching, coaching and facilitating workshops so by the time the end of the day comes – I need quiet time to re-charge my batteries so I can do it again the next day. I cherish my weekends. (I do a rare Saturday workshop now and again) I’ve now gotten into baking. It’s a great way to relax. Chloe and my son love my oatmeal with raisins and cranberry cookies. I bake decent banana bread as well.
VH: If you could go back in time to when you were seven years old, what wisdom or advice would you pass on to yourself?
Brian Smith: You are going to be a father one day – and when that time comes – don’t worry about your career, don’t worry about making money, that is all secondary. Just work at being the very best father you can be. Spend time with your child – build that bond – develop that relationship. I have a relationship with my son but we aren’t as close as I’d like to be. He rarely comes to me for advice and when we are together - talking with each other doesn’t come easy. (Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin) My son did not take the divorce well. He and my ex (his mother) have always been very close – their relationship is more like a friend to friend relationship not a parent to son relationship. I was not my son’s favorite person during and after the split. It’s getting better – we do talk and hang out some times – but it’s not as close as I would like – but it’s better than it was so I’ll keep working at it. The career will come and go – and so will the money. At the end of the day – it’s the relationship you’ve developed with your child that will give you the most joy. Your number one job as a parent is to teach your child what he/she needs to know – so they can be a better parent for their son or daughter one day. You can’t be teaching them those important life lessons if you are spending all your time building your career and working to make money.
VH: Good point Brian. Really great to meet you.
Managers aren't born - they're made. Communicating and interacting more effectively with people is a learned behaviour. I wrote this book in the hope that managers, team leaders and supervisors are able to learn from my sins. And trust me - in my 40+ year career as an award-winning entrepreneur and general manager for one of Canada's best managed and most profitable companies, I've committed each one of these sins at one time or another.
"The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them" are woven into the ten chapters of this book. I know from my own experiences what works - and more importantly - what doesn't work. If I knew then what I know now, there is no question I would have managed differently. After reading this book you will manage differently too.
Managing today is about attitude - not aptitude. You don't need to be the smartest person in the room to be the most effective manager in the room. Today's manager needs to do three things very well. They need to be able to communicate, educate and delegate. This book will teach you how to develop a 21st Century management style, improve individual and team performance, create lasting relationships and manage conflict, problem solve and deal with stressful situations better. And most importantly, it will teach you how to communicate and interact more effectively with clients and colleagues.
Brian Smith – Speaker, Author and Educator is a behaviorist by training and a leading authority on soft-skills training and leadership development. Brian works with people who want to learn how to communicate and interact more effectively; and who want to discover how to get the best out of themselves and others. He is the author of “Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak – The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them” a personal / management development book. Brian understands the challenges managers face – having spent over 40 years as a General Manager for a major corporation and an award winning entrepreneur. He wrote this book in the hope that managers, team leaders and supervisors might gain some valuable insight into what it takes to be an effective and efficient 21st Century manager.
“The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them” are woven into the ten chapters of this book. Each chapter is dedicated to one of those sins. And yes – Brian’s committed each one of those sins at one time or another so he knows from his own experiences what doesn’t work and more importantly what does work when it comes to communicating and interacting with others. Today’s’ manager needs to do three things very well. They need to be able to communicate, educate and delegate effectively. Brian’s book will teach you how. Brian is a member of the faculty and professor at Algonquin College’s School of
Business where he teaches entrepreneurship, skills for success and professional selling. When not in the classroom he travels throughout North America delivering speeches and facilitating workshops and seminars on the challenges facing managers today.
To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization or to purchase a copy of his book “Confessions of a Reformed Control Freak – The Top Ten Sins Most Managers Make & How to Avoid Them” visit his website – http://briansmithpld.com – Have a question or comment? You can contact Brian directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~