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Interview with Michael Schindler

Keynote speaker Michael Schindler is one of the nation’s leading experts on leadership development, team dynamics, government relations, and veteran transition issues. A U.S. Navy veteran himself, Michael is passionate about enriching the lives of military veterans and their families. Read more about him in this interview.

What got you interested in leadership?

It was really my dad who got me interested in leadership. At an early age – like 3rd grade – I was sure we could be doing better events and cool stuff with our school monies so he encouraged me to run for ASB treasurer. I had to give a big speech in front of the entire school on why I was the best candidate and why my leadership was worthy of their vote. I lost that election to a 6th grader by a couple of votes, but it put me on a track of exploring WHY leadership is so important to every day life. I’ve been mentored by some of the very best leaders in the world – from Bill Canfield to John Maxwell – and today the topic of leadership couldn’t be more important in our personal and professional lives.

 

What are your biggest goals in your life/career currently?

My biggest goal in life is to set the right example for my daughters. I want them to know that in life it is always better to start with what your dreams are and then work to find the income and opportunities that will help them become reality. Too often we get an income and then find a dream. I want my daughters to know that they need to start with the dream first. In my career I want all industries to know the value of America’s Greatest Asset – our military and veteran families – and how they will add to the improvement of morale and profits. The big goal: One Hundred Million Dollars earned – a dollar for every life we impact.

 

How did you begin your speaking career?

My first speaking gig (unpaid of course) was 3rd grade – running for school treasurer; and over the years I was “in training” through school plays, running for different offices, and through corporate presentations. After the release of my first book – Operation Military Family – I was booked into a number of military events across the country…and I discovered quickly that people didn’t want to hear a speech…they wanted to have fun, be entertained and educated, and leave transformed.

 

Why should clients use you for their next event?

If they like FEET, they should book me. Let me explain – if a client is looking to mix Fun, with Entertainment, be Educated in some of the best leadership principles, and walk out Transformed, then I’m the guy. I weave my military and corporate experience – both the highlights and the scar tissue issues – throughout every talk in an effort to ensure teams will have fun understanding how they can improve morale and profits through practical, tactical methods.

 

Who is your role model?

This is tricky. I have surrounded myself with mentors, as opposed to a Role Model. Years ago I had a mentor who said the best way to achieve what you want – whether it was improved finances or better relationships – was to find someone who had it and find out what they did to achieve it. So, I did…and continue to do so. But if I were to pick ONE Role Model, it would be Jesus. He was compassionate, he listened, he overcame temptation, and yet he was bold when it was necessary.

 

What are 3 habits of resilient people?

There are so many different “levels” to resiliency – certainly in the military resiliency is truly different from what some consider being resilient in the civilian or corporate sector. Regardless, what tends to be common are these three:

They hold on to a vision bigger than their circumstances. Regardless of the issues they face, they hold on to their dream, their vision, their WHY.
They remain committed. They don’t give up easily. When one is committed to his/her dream, family, new business, new product – you name it, they will weather high seas that sink many others.
They frame their day. They start with the end in mind. When you know WHY you are doing what you are doing and WHAT your end-game is, the stuff in between – all the crap that will happen – is easier to tolerate.

 

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