The free League of Extraordinary Minds is over.
Rich Schefren and Jay Abraham have put on a series of 9 panel sessions with outstanding business minds of the present time.

The free sessions were intended to showcase the format which was to continue on indefinitely at a monthly subscription price of $49.

In this post I’ll give you a report on the last free session with panel number nine of the League of Extraordinary Minds and the biggest surprise that took place at the end of it.

Then I’ll ask you to choose the subject of my last post/report from among three selected free panel sessions.

Before you continue reading this you may want to read my previous posts concerning the League:

53 Extraordinary Minds League, Rich Schefren, Jay Abraham
First Extraordinary Minds Panel

Let’s now get to the last Extraordinary Minds free panel session discussion number nine which featured, in contrast to the previous sessions with 6 to 7 panelists each, only two panelists – Dr. Spencer Johnson and John Kotter.

Jay Abraham called this session “probably the most relevant session we are going to do in this first round.”


How to Manage, Maximize and Master the Opportunity That Constant Change Presents

Jay Abraham says that in the two chosen panelists, Dr. Spencer Johnson and John Kotter “We have together the most widely read and most respected expert on individual change and the most widely read and most respected expert on organizational change.”

If you’ve never heard of Dr. Spencer Johnson and John Kotter here is a very abbreviated list of what they’ve accomplished so far:

Dr. Spencer Johnson has written 12 books which put together have about 50 million copies in print. He co-authored the “One-Minute Manger”. He’s also the force behind “Who Moved My Cheese?”. His recent book on individual change is titled “Peaks and Valleys”.

John Kotter is very highly regarded world authority on leadership and change and has written more than 15 books, (Jay Abraham knows of 17) which include the latest 3: “A Sense of Urgency”, “Leading Change” and “Our Iceberg is Melting” He also is a very prestigious professor at Harvard.

As he did with the previous panel sessions members, Jay Abraham poses questions to John and Spencer and stimulates the conversation as it develops. John and Spencer are good friends and feel at ease with this format. Rich Schefren is heard less than in previous sessions.

Since this discussion went on for close to two hours I’ll only cover the most important and profound points as they were arrived at by this panel.

Dealing With The Current Conditions Of Constant Change And Economic Upheaval:

Spencer – It’s remarkable to see today how many people are understandably afraid. What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

It is a very practical question because you wind up doing things that will help you prosper. Rather than living in an illusion, be practical.

What do you believe and what should you be doing?

John – There is no question that there are some people that are actually taking advantage of the conditions we’re in today and are doing very nicely by it.

So it’s not just a wishful thought. You can go out and find opportunities to grow your business.

But fear can stop you in your tracks.

It’s just so easy under these conditions to be frozen by fear and do nothing. It is very useful to help your business stay alive and move ahead.

Or the anxiety just drives you to engage in all kinds of activity, not productivity. This is when you run around, trying to do this and that
and a little more of this and a bit more of that. But it’s not focused, it’s frenetic.

Can you picture it? Much like a confused and frantic chicken; a bit scared, and truly ineffective in its pursuit of freedom and abundance. Does that image describe your recent business-related behavior?

How do you deal with the good, the bad, and pinpoint the issues that are relevant?

How do you not freeze?

Keep a sense of urgency but first get clear on what are the few things that would really help you succeed today.

The questions to ask are:

What do people really need or want?

What is the market asking you for?

It’s important that you don’t fall into the trap of focusing on what you think is a good idea.

Reach out to your current customers and listen closely to their remarks.

Spencer – I think one of the biggest mistakes you can make in these troubling times is doing too much.

Half of the key to succeeding in bad times is stopping, really reexamining what are the few things that you could do that could make you very successful and not do all of the others.

If you can do things differently than everybody else, you can do very well right now. But if you keep doing more of what you usually do or what everybody else is doing, my experience is that it just makes the valley deeper.

Two Rules of Thumb (one by John and one by Spencer):

John – Never have more than five priorities. When people try to stick on the sixth, it just kills it. Before you add on a sixth, you have to eliminate one.

This works well under any conditions. In the conditions we are under now it’s even better since volatile times can make you feel volatile.

You’re kind of running around and the next thing you know there are 63 things and therefore there is no focus just when you really need focus.

Spencer – You need to be taking care of yourself, not exhausting yourself with a lot of unnecessary and ineffective activity.

If you don’t stay focused and rested and calm and dear, you’re going to put your health in danger, you’re going to be spinning your wheels and won’t be effective.

What Are The Fundamental Forces Of Change?

John – In general the fundamental forces affecting business have been for some time now technology and globalization.

Spencer – What drives change is one word: better. Either someone else has made a better product or they can get to the customer at a better price.

Better is the operative catalyst for change and that is getting something better.

If you think of change, change equals better.

In this scenario, ask yourself these questions:

How can I make my business better?

How can I serve my customers and prospects better?

Can I price my products or services better?

John – What we are feeling most right now is just the business cycle which is bringing all kinds of changes with it.

Those basic forces of technology and globalization and the crashing of the business cycle demand real leadership.

The Eight Steps for leading Change

Find out what they are by visiting the following section of John Kotter’s web site:

8 Steps for Leading Change

The Four Necessary Change Skills

can be found at Red Tree Leadership (formerly Spencer Johnson Partners) web site.

Spencer – You have to stop kidding yourself.

The situation may not be as good as you’d like to think it is.

The biggest reason people come off peak is arrogance masquerading as confidence.

We lose our humility, we become arrogant and we think we’re some kind of a genius when more often than not it is the cycle.

We don’t stay humble and listen and keep looking for the truth. So we fall off our peaks.

On the other end of that coin, the way you stay in a valley too long, the most common reason you stay in a valley longer than you want to is fear masquerading as comfort.

The quickest way to change is the way you look at your situation.

John – Perspective makes so much difference.

We sit around moaning and groaning right now and there are literally billions of people on this planet that would take our place in a nanosecond.

Spencer – Uncover the good. It is hidden in the bad times. There is good that is hidden.

Unfortunately it is hidden so well that a lot of us don’t see it. If you can use that good to your advantage, you can do well in bad times.

Getting outside of yourself is one of the fastest ways to get outside of a valley.

To stay on a peak longer, appreciate and manage your good times.

Most of us don’t realize good times need to be managed.

Be humble and grateful, do more of what you do there. Remember the basics that got you on the peak?

It wasn’t all you. Some of it was timing and cycles and so forth.

But what did you do that got you there and have you forgotten to do those things?

Enjoy making things better. Your competition is. The world is. So enjoy improvement.

Don’t just sit back and be complacent. Do more for others.

To stay on a peak, to appreciate what you have, do more for others.

Don’t get so self-absorbed that you become arrogant without even knowing.

Save some resources for your upcoming valleys.

They are coming up. If you get too arrogant you’ll spend your resources, your money, your relationships, whatever. Save your resources for upcoming valleys.

What Is The Right Time Perspective To Have ?

John – You have to have both short term (about 15 minutes) and the long term, if you’re a small business person, is more like two years.

In this kind of economic environment right now, anybody who isn’t thinking two years out and how they’re going to be able to grab the opportunities to really prosper when the economy goes up is taking a risk.

Spencer – Agree with John. Immediately the goal would be survival. If that means cutting back expenses, if that means taking any realistic, not fearful steps.

Don’t do things just because you are afraid that things won’t turn out well if you don’t do them.

Do what you would do if you weren’t afraid.

What got you into the valley?

If you overspent then cut the spending. Do the opposite of what put you in, short range.

After survival, there is prosperity.

I would say at least two years out. I would build it on the things that we talked about so it would be balanced.

Do what you need to do immediately so you don’t go under, so you don’t lose.

That would be the short goal.

The long goal would be to win by going back to basics and doing what really works.

I would say make a friend of the truth.

That’s been my biggest ah-ha that took me many years to get.

I think it is the thing that has added the most to my life I would say in both business and a personal sense.

I used to always try and rearrange reality to make it different than what it was.

Make a friend of reality and realize the truth will set you free.
And the challenge is: Can you see the truth and can you build your plans on it?

That would be the one thing that if I couldn’t do anything else and somebody left me with only one tool, that would probably be my tool.

This ended the panel session 9.

I had to leave out the non-essential parts of it to avoid making this post even longer.

I was surprised and delighted at how John and Spencer stayed close to reality and while remaining positive didn’t lose sight of the hard truths.

What I never expected – the biggest surprise that Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren decided to deliver after the panel session 9 ended.

The biggest surprise is that the League effectively ended with the last free session.

All future paid members of the League have been automatically “upgraded” to the already existing Founders Club at a lower monthly fee of $47.

Even those who have not yet committed themselves to be paying members of the League of Extraordinary Minds future sessions were given a chance to sign up for this entirely different membership.

Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren say that the reason for this “upgrade” is doing what the survey of the League of Extraordinary Minds audience wanted which was basically to get:

Immediately actionable steps and information to make money right away when starting from nothing or next to nothing with very little or no money.

The League of Extraordinary Minds was a great experiment which has never been done before and that may never be repeated again.

Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren are incredibly talented and successful men with great foresight.

I want to thank them for giving everybody the opportunity to participate in listening to the greatest business and personal development minds of our time for free.

Jay and Rich consider the 9th panel and session the best of the nine discussions. I don’t fully agree with that assessment.

If you’d like to read a post about what I think was the best free session of the Extraordinary Minds League please say so in your comments.

Better yet, tell me which subject out of the following tree you’d be most interested in:

1) Getting People Who don’t Buy to Buy Enthusiastically

2) Operate At Peak Performance to Get the Best Results from Everything You Do

3) Accelerators That Drive Rapid and Soaring Success

So go ahead, post your comments and tweet and bookmark this post so others can find it and do the same.


Authored by Vance Sova

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Filed under: League of Exraordinary Minds, Life Altering Stories