3 Reasons You Should Have Been at the SCORRE Conference

I have been giving speeches and presentations for a lot of years. Some went well and others were just okay. I found myself struggling at times to put a speech together in a way that impacted my audience. I would get hung up with the content and trying to find the direction to take the speech.

But that all changes this week after I attended the SCORRE Intensive Training in San Clemente, CA.

If you are regularly in a position to give presentations or are asked to give a speech, then it would benefit you greatly to get the SCORRE training by Ken Davis because of the gains in effectiveness you will see in your presentation or speech.

Here are three ways your speeches will be more effective:

  1. Your main focus will be on your audience. By focusing on the audience and their needs, it will be much easier to identify the objective your speech must address in order to serve those needs. So much in the past, I had my own objective in mind and tried to make it fit my audience. My focus was in the wrong place.
  2. The content of your speech will point to the objective you now have identified. Before this week, my content was developed first and the speech – opening, close, stories and examples – were all built to fit the content I wanted to give. It didn’t actually serve the audience.
  3. Your speeches will have more impact on the audience. It occurred to me this week, in my speeches I was trying to serve me and my interests in the speech. Now, I know for the most impact I need to be focused on the audience. If I focus on their needs, struggles, challenges and triumphs, the message I deliver will be remembered and my prayer is that it has a lasting impact.

Ken Davis has put together a premier process for speech, sermon and presentation development and deliver. As Ken says, his purpose for the SCORRE training is to:

  • Prepare with Focus.
  • Deliver with Clarity.
  • Speak with Power.

I encourage you, if you want to be more effective in your speaking – whatever avenue it takes – you need to consider attending a SCORRE Intensive training. In the meantime, until the next one, you can get a jump start on the training by getting the SCORRE Training Series DVD and Workbook set at kendavis.com.

Your audience deserves it.

Why You Should Be Excited For Tomorrow

Our country remains the symbol of freedom, hope and dreams and every four years is another reminder that the ‘experiment’ continues to be successful.

beginningsThe only enjoyment I can get from our very contentious elections these days is the fact that anyone who aspires to a higher goal has the potential to achieve it

Whether you are seeking an elected office or a new job or promotion, your success is greatly determined by the belief you have in yourself.

YOU are the key to your own success.

Years ago I wanted a position with a local hospital.  I applied and had a phone interview.  I didn’t get the job.  Going back over the interview, I realized I didn’t have the belief in me to go get the job.  I didn’t expound on my achievements, knowledge and abilities.  At the very basic level, I didn’t think I deserved this job.

But that was early on in my own personal development journey.  It took a lot of work – on me.

I realized, if I didn’t continually fill my mind with positive thoughts, new ideas, encouragements and knowledge I would never be in a position to achieve greater goals for my career and family.

Filling your life with goals, positive thoughts, encouragement and knowledge is like the gas tank in your car.  As long as you keep putting in the gas you will keep on going farther and farther  If you don’t fill it with gas, eventually to stop and go no where.

Where are you today?

Are you growing, learning and filling your tank with the gas that will fuel your personal growth?  Or are you neglecting your tank, out of gas, and stuck?

If you’re moving forward, keep it up and keep going!  If you’re stuck, let me know in the comments below.  Let’s re-discover your dreams and goals, and put some gas I your tank.

This may be a new beginning with the leadership of our country, but the today can be an even greater beginning for the future of your life.

Seasons of Success

Fall is quickly coming on here in the Southwest – it seems everything in nature is slowing down and preparing for a rest.


Is that how fall makes you feel in your life or your career?

Growing up on a farm in Kansas, fall wasn’t just a time for harvest. It was also the beginning of setting a course for the next spring.

If we didn’t start planning for the next harvest now, it would very possibly be a poor one or not happen at all.

That’s the way it is with our own success.

No matter what season you are in with your career or success journey, your success depends directly on what you do to prepare for the next harvest.

A successful harvest begins with fertile soil.  It needs to have the right nutrients and micro-organisms built up that will enable the seed planted to germinate and grow into a healthy plant.

A successful harvest in our career and lives begins with a fertile mind.

You should be continually preparing your mind so that when you plant a seed of a new idea, a new project, or a new goal – you have nutrients to help it grow and flourish.

So what makes a mind fertile?

First, it is a mindset – a willingness – to make the necessary changes you might be lacking for a successful outcome.

Second, you need to spend time identifying what tools (skills, knowledge, books, mentors, coaches, etc.) you need to accomplish your successful outcome.

Third, you need to commit your time and effort to learning all it’s going to take to accomplish your successful outcome.

I am still a farm boy at heart and I always grow a garden.  Fall and harvest are wonderful and satisfying reaping the benefits of my labor.  But although it might be fall, I am already preparing the soil for the next season.  And, I already have my fall garden growing so I will always have a harvest.

Do that with your life and your career – your success journey.

Begin now to learn what your need, make plans for developing your mind and look forward to the harvest.

3 Lessons I Learned From An 8 Year Old Boy

Nicholas and his twin brother were born 8 years ago.  Nicholas was born without eyes, without hands, without feet and with a cleft palette.  The hopes and dreams his parents had of two boys growing up together, best friends, changed suddenly.

Today, they changed again.  Nicholas was buried today.

His life was short, he couldn’t speak, but he taught three important lessons.

1. We all have a purpose.

You spend most of your life trying to figure out what you are supposed to do with your life.  Sometimes you have a significant event in your life that sets you on a determined path, but for most of us we spend our lives trying to figure out our purpose.

So what could Nicholas teach us about having a purpose?  His entire life he depended on others for everything.

Nicholas taught us what true love is.

With all his physical challenges and needing to rely on everyone else, he only had love to give because he could offer nothing else.  And in return, he got a lot of it himself

His purpose on earth?  To teach us what true love is.

2. A smile speaks louder than words.

Even with his significant physical challenges, Nicholas’ face would light up into a big, bright smile that warmed you straight to the heart.  It was obvious he was full of life and making you smile was thrill for him.

We all have seen babies and children who learn what to do to make you smile.  Nicholas was no different.  His smile was infectious.  His joy became your joy.

The next time you meet someone on the street or in the hallway, just smile without speaking.  They will smile back.  It’s a universal language.

3. Everyone can be a superhero.


Nicholas’ hero was Superman.  His tiny casket had a red Superman cape.  Many at the funeral wore superhero shirts – mine was Batman.

What is a superhero?  It’s a costumed character who possesses superhuman powers and who is dedicated to fighting crime, protecting the public, and battling supervillains.

Nicholas needed superhero’s every day of his life.  His dad and mom are amazing superheros.  Every day they fought to protect Nicholas and battle the challenges he faced.

A superhero is someone who stands up for and fights for another.

Nicholas needed a superhero, he was surrounded by them, and was the toughest superhero of all.


There is a hole in the fabric of his family’s life, and his 8 year old twin brother is still trying to understand.

Say a prayer for his family, and thank God in heaven for putting one of his sweet angels on this earth for a little while to teach some valuable lessons.

Barrel of Monkeys: It’s Not That Fun

For years I have been proud to be the fixer.  Bring me your problem, I’ll fix it or find a way to solve it.  Yep, I’m your guy!


You’ve heard the saying, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a many to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

Typically it is used to describe helping so that they can help themselves and not rely on others.

You might not be as familiar with the saying: “Don’t take the monkey”.

What is a “monkey”?  It is a problem that belongs to someone else.

We all take monkey’s that aren’t ours, and we’re happy to do it.  I should know, that’s been my style and I have had a barrel of monkeys and it hasn’t always been a lot of fun.

Now I look for them coming and I use a 4 step plan to deal with them.

1. Identify the problem

You know how this begins.  An employ catches you in the hall or stops in your office and says, “Got a minute?”  This is your first chance to spot the monkey.  They will then begin to explain the problem they have.  You just need to simply ask them, “What is it you want me to do?”

Sometimes they just want you to listen but do nothing.  Other times they are looking for a solution to their problem.  One solution is for you to NOT take the  problem from them, that’s the time you ‘don’t take the monkey’.

Make sure you find out what the problem really is.  Identify the true problem – identify the monkey.

2. Is the problem really a problem?

The next step is to have a conversation with the employee to determine if there really is a problem.  Sometimes what may look like a problem is only a need for clarification or more information to get past a roadblock.

Some problems, when faced with them, may seem like they urgently need a solution.  You need to decide if the problem needs to be addressed or sent packing.  It may be so low on the priority list that you decide it is not a problem and move on.  Don’t feed a monkey you don’t need.

3. Identify the true owner of the monkey.

Make sure you are clear the monkey belongs to the employee and so does the solution.  It might be appropriate for you to offer advice or suggestions, but don’t take the monkey.  Tell them to come back and report their progress and the solutions they came up with to solve the problem.

4. Schedule the feeding and care of monkeys.

Sometimes you are the one who needs to take the monkey.  When you do, make sure it is not just dumped on you.  Schedule time in the future with the employee to address the problem, identify the solution to the problem, and follow up on it’s progress until completed.

Make sure each time you meet to discuss the problem, if it remains unsolved then schedule the steps that need to be taken to move toward the solution.


I’m learning every day to identify the monkeys that come into my office.  My goal is to make sure they leave with the same person they came in on.

How about you?  How big is your barrel of monkeys?  What challenges do you have in managing the monkeys?  Leave your comments below.


4 Actions You Must Take to Improve Your Life

You feel it inside you – some days it consumes you.  You know deep inside there is more you want in life.  But what can you do about it?  The challenge seems too big.


June 14th is flag day.  The most memorable flag is the Star Spangled Banner.  When I visited Ft. McHenry in Baltimore, knowing the story and the song, tears poured from eyes when I thought about the relentless pounding of the British with their bombs and rockets.  For 25 hours the men in the fort endured a hellish barrage from a much bigger and stronger enemy.

Why the tears? Because we won.  The flag is a symbol of struggle and victory.

It is a flag that overcame huge challenges.  The odds were stacked against it, and the few men who held the fort.  But their commitment to a future they couldn’t yet see was bigger than the challenge.

That story and that flag serve as our guide to overcome our challenges.  But it takes commitment.  Here are four actions to take to change your life.  I call them the FLAG strategies.

1. Focus on what’s good

Surviving starts by changing your focus from what’s bad in your life and what’s not working because it will get you down and feeling depressed but will in fact put you in the position to have more bad situations to come into your life.

Why does this happen?  Because we simply get what we focus on.

Ken Davis, a best-selling author, speaker and humorist, tells a story when he went moose hunting with a bow and arrow.  After spending considerable time practicing aiming and hitting a target with precision, he set off into the woods in search of his prize.

When he suddenly came upon a huge elk with massive antlers.  It was very close, an easy shot, but he couldn’t take his eyes off the horns.  He drew his arrow back, aimed, and hit the elk in the antlers!  Exactly where his focus had been.

You see, we always get what we focus on. It doesn’t matter if you have some great things going on or happening in your life.  If you continue to focus on the bad or negative things you will get more.

So you need to change your focus.

First, start with what’s going well or right in your life now.  Ask yourself what makes you happy. Write it down.  Spend some time thinking about these answers.  You’ll find you have a whole lot more going right than you thought.

It’s easy to slip into the old mode of focusing on everything going wrong.  But if you spend even a few minutes a day, preferably first thing in the morning, focusing on what’s good your entire day will begin to change for the better.

You can even take it a step further and find another person who also seems to be struggling and give them some of your focus.  Help them with a problem, do an act of kindness for them or just spend some time helping them see what is good in their life.

When we turn our attention to others, and away from ourselves, our attitudes and outlook immediately brighten.

2. Lead those around you

You set the tome for everyone around you.  Probably you aren’t even aware of it.  Our attitudes affect everyone around us, and vis a versa.

Whenever we hear about leadership, our first impression is on position.  You might ask, “Well, I’m not the boss so how can I lead”?

Yes there is position-based leadership and we see it every day in every business, committee, church and event.  We place someone in charge and they are given the most responsibility.

However, not everyone who is in a position of leadership is a leader.  I’m sure you know of a time when a member of the group actually had more influence than the appointed leader.  We naturally tend to gravitate toward those people because we know they care.  They care about us, the group and the outcome.  The next time you are in a group or on a committee, sit back a little and watch.  You will be able to notice who the ‘real’ leader is.

You too can become a better leader.  It really isn’t about charisma or talent.  It’s more about caring about the people and serving them to achieve the desired outcome.  It is showing a genuine interest in them, helping them and encouraging even the smallest victories.

Whether you are at work or on a committee or helping out in the community, take some time and invest a little of yourself in others.  Maybe just focus (there’s that word again!) on one person and do what you can to help them out.  Others will begin to notice it and will naturally look to you for help also.  Don’t be stingy.  A true leader is a servant to others.

3. Acknowledge your challenges

This one is hard.  Not because we aren’t aware of the challenges or problems we have.  Most of them are tearing us up inside – and out.  This isn’t good for your health or those around you.

Just like you learned how to focus on  what’s good in your life to change your outlook, taking the time to acknowledge the fact you have challenges and problems is the first step to overcoming them.

Learning how to acknowledge them for what they are, you can turn them into an ally.

We get our strength from what challenges us.  When you know what you are faced with and take time to accept it and understand it, you will begin to find solutions that previously had not occurred to you.

This is because now your mind is focused on solving the problem instead of on how it is affecting you.  So where before you were paralyzed or stymied by the challenge it has not become an ally and helped you find a solution or many solutions.

Sometimes we, though, we just need to get through it.  There may be no other options but now you know and accept what you are faced with.

4. Grow for survival

The secret for surviving the day is planning for the next one.  Unless the end of the world comes, there will always be another day.

Your personal growth is a commitment to your future.

I grew up on a farm and was shy and introverted.  I could go to a party, sit off to the side all alone and have a great time!  By the time I went to college I decided I needed to figure out how to change.  I knew that what I achieved in my life would be up to me and the opportunities I accepted.  That’s a big challenge for a shy person.

So I began to read to self-help books, personal success and personal development books.  Books on leadership and business growth followed.  I found in those books many valuable tips, tools and actions to take to improve how I responded to the challenges I faced as an introvert.  I knew the more I continued to read and grow personally, the more opportunities I would find and have presented to me.

I may not have pursed them all, but each one gave me new skills and influence and opened up doors for others.  Without reading to improve myself I never would have had the opportunities to lead that I’ve had.

Harry Truman said “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

I found my books in libraries and book stores.  Today, all you need is a computer, a tablet or smartphone.  There is a world of information and help right there at your fingertips.   The only question you need to answer is:

Will you take the action to pursue knowledge, skills and improve your talents?

You alone are responsible for your future – no one else.  You can make it what you want you just need to prepare yourself.

So I challenge you to use this FLAG strategy to change your life.  As the saying goes, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

The next time you hear the national anthem sung, remember the FLAG strategy.  If 1,000 soldiers in a small fort can withstand the bombardment of an enemy far superior by keeping their focus, then your challenge should be easy.

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my new blog.  My name is Mark Schinnerer and my goal is to help you find and create a path to your own success and personal development and implement your leadership skills.

This is not intended to be a one-sided monologue, but a dialogue to help you answer that nagging feeling your have that there is something more or bigger you are meant to do and as a part of that how become a better leader.  Your feedback is imporant to me, so please give me your feedback in the comments section.  I will read every comment and respond as I can.

If you have a topic you want me to address, please leave a comment below.  I am looking forward to getting to know you and connecting with you!