On June 7th, Michael delivered a keynote address to 720+ attendees of the azcentral.com Top Companies to Work for in Arizona presented by the Arizona Commerce Authority. In his address at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, he begins with a brief review of his own journey growing up in a small West Michigan town, getting married and divorced in his 20s, completing an MBA, and his executive coaching experiences. Michael shares a definition for the pain-to-purpose journey and reminds everyone the challenges they experience aren’t in vain, but can be used to help others overcome similar challenges of their own. His mission is focused on finding untraditional methods to help people disconnected from their purpose uncover and live their purpose.

Michael reviews five ways (1-to-1 meetings, 1-to-many meetings, change management, continuous learning, process focus) that the pain-to-purpose journey can be used day-to-day to benefit ourselves and our work teams to accomplish personal long-term goals and organizational strategic objectives. The audience loved one of Michael’s slides that discussed the need to “give a shit” about people to increase employee engagement. He shares that humans have deep needs for connection, especially when being challenged to overcome fears and finding ways to connect their personal missions to an organization’s mission.

Michael talks about how volunteer armies of employees help organizations lead change at scale. He talks about the most successful people on the planet realized they were the average of the five people they spent the most time with, so they became great at dropping loser friends and gaining winner friends. He also shares a brief story about a recent trip to Omaha and lessons he learned about wealth, poverty, and broken societal systems. He finishes the talk reminding the audience that they should “be the person they needed when they were younger” and encouraged everyone to learn one new detail about their colleague’s journeys each week.

Thank you to the team at USAA for recording the audio of Michael’s keynote.

Robert Waldinger, TEDTalk “What makes a good life?”, Nov. 2015
Gallup.comState of the American Workplace
Languages of Appreciation, appreciationatwork.com
Stephen M.R. Covey, “Speed of Trust” 2006, www.speedoftrust.com
Patrick Lencioni, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”, 2002
Michael S. Seaver, “Equal Chance To Be Unequal” – Episode 3- How to Uncover Your Life’s Purpose2017
Kotterinc.com, “’8-Step Model for Leading Change
Astro Teller, astroteller.net; TEDTalk “The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure”,Feb. 2016
Mel Robbins, “The 5 Second Rule” 2017, melrobbins.com
Daniel Kahneman, “Thinking Fast and Slow” 2011
Dr. Dan Ariely, “Predictably Irrational” 2008, danariely.com
Dr. Antonio Dimassio, “Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain” 1994, 2005
McKinsey & Company, mckinsey.com,  “4 Building Blocks of Change

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