We had the privilege of sitting down for coffee with Jason Jennings today – the day his new book, Hit the Ground Running, landed on bookshelves. While Jason’s previous New York Times Bestsellers – Think Big, Act Small and Less Is More – have focused on top-performing companies, Hit the Ground Running looks at the 10 best performing CEOs from 2001-2007. Learn more about the CEOs he profiles and the lessons learned in this video:
Hit the Ground Running is certain to be yet another bestseller for Jason, and likely, one of the top business books of the year. For any leader aspiring to greatness, we highly recommend it. Here are some of the memorable quotes from the CEOs who are profiled:
“People come first on our list of basic beliefs. We will always be fair with our employees and maintain an environment that encourages personal responsibility. In return we look to them to be responsible for their jobs and for the company as a whole.” – Tim and Richard Smucker, cochairmen and co-CEOs, The J. M. Smucker Company
“You could get tempted to bend the numbers. It’s not worth it. I’d rather be fired for not producing.” – Marshall Larsen, chairman and CEO, Goodrich Corporation
“People don’t work for companies just to earn a paycheck. They want to feel good about the companies they work for and they want to feel like they’re making a difference in the world.” – Ron Sargent, chairman and CEO, Staples, Inc.
In addition to talking about Jason’s new book, we also discussed his approach to his keynote speaking engagements – he is, after all, one of the three most in-demand business speakers on the planet alongside Jim Collins (Good to Great) and Tom Peters (In Search of Excellence), according to USA TODAY. Here are some highlights of our conversation:
Relating to the Economy…
Although Jason’s presentations are not specifically related to the economy, he recognizes that any “business” presentation that doesn’t acknowledge the current economic climate risks being perceived as irrelevant, so he embraces the role of re-assuring meeting participants that “everything is going to be okay,” citing the fact there have been 60+ recessions or downturns in the economy since the 1790s and we’ve emerged bigger and stronger after every one. [Jason has the actual numbers.]
Adding Value to the Engagement…
Meeting budgets are being reduced and some meetings are even being canceled, so if an investment is going to be made in a speaker, there must be real ROI. To ensure that his presentation is relevant and capable of generating real results, Jason spends a significant amount of time on the phone with an organization’s CEO prior to an event, and also speaks with 8-10 other key individuals, in order to truly understand the issues that are important to a given audience. Within the first few moments of a keynote address, he highlights some key points from those pre-event conversations and sets out to address them through the remainder of his session. In the end, the meeting participants will walk away knowing that presentation was specifically for them.
The Real Hero of Your Meeting…
…is you! Jason understands that it is the meeting planner and/or the meeting owner (a CEO, department leader, etc.) who need to be the hero of the program – not him. He approaches every engagement as if it is his last, giving his all to make sure the client and the audience are completely satisfied and enriched by his presentation. With that philosophy, there’s no wonder he fills his calendar with 80 dates a year – even in this economy – and is named one of the most in-demand business speakers.
Check out Jason’s new book, and if you’re looking for a great leadership speaker for your next event, Jason offers one of the greatest values on the circuit. Learn more by viewing his profile, or give us a call to check his availability today.