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125: Bernie Swain: Ronald Reagan brought us great legitimacy

//125: Bernie Swain: Ronald Reagan brought us great legitimacy

125: Bernie Swain: Ronald Reagan brought us great legitimacy

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Bernie Swain Show Notes

Bernie Swain was facing gargantuan competition to be the lecture agency that would represent President Ronald Reagan. He was certain that he would lose out to a more experienced and larger firm. When Bernie got the call, he prepared for the worst. Listen to Bernie share his story of how wining helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Bernie was born in Riverdale, Maryland but grew up in Arlington Virginia with his younger/older brother John.

As a young boy Bernie could always be found on the baseball on the playground or listening to a New York Yankees games on the radio and cheering on his idol, Mickey Mantle.

Inspired by his high school football coach, Bernie planned on a career in college athletics. Despite the fact that no one in his family ever attended college.

Bernie earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from George Washington University. In the last few months of graduate work, he met his lifelong partner, Paula, a special education teacher.

When Bernie was 32 years old he became the assistant athletic director at a GW. When the athletic director announced his retirement, Bernie was offered the job. It was my dream job and at 36 years old, he far exceeded the goal of that high school boy who may or may not have ever gone to college.

Then in 1979 Bernie and Paula’s friend, Harry Rhoads, sent them the note that inspired all three of them to turn their lives upside down.  They quit their jobs to start a lecture agency—without experience, without a plan, and without a single client.

The trio worked from a small supply closet belonging to Chuck Hagel, who would later become Secretary of Defense. For eighteen rocky months, they sat in that closet with their savings running out, unable to compete against the dozens of established agencies up and down the east coast.

Then Bernie got his first exclusive speaker, sealing the deal with a handshake. That handshake became a “defining moment” for their company as word spread in the small town of Washington.

Bernie Swain is the author of What Made Me Who I Am and the co-founder and Chairman of Washington Speakers Bureau and today’s foremost authority on the lecture industry. Over the past 35 years, he has represented former US Presidents, American and world leaders, journalists, authors, business visionaries, and sports legends.

Today Bernie and Paula currently split residence in Nantucket, New York and Florida. They have three kids in New York City – Michael, Tim and Kelly and a grandchild on the way.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @Swain_Bernie and get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow Click to Tweet

“We started our company based on handshakes.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet

“When an old person dies it’s like a library burning.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is defined by volumes that can teach us.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is a storehouse of wisdom and knowledge.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Each life is its own library stuffed to the rafters.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Sitting down and giving thought to who you are saves you a lot of time.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Success you haven’t experienced before gives you a lot of temptation.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“There are no shortcuts to success.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“We have to pay attention to the defining moments and powerful influences in our lives.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“If we face our problems and find solutions then the load is easy to carry.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“In life, it’s a step at a time and those steps are building blocks.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“It’s paying attention to other people and learning from them that’s most important.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Most of the heroes today are social media personalities that come and go.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“We don’t slow down to pay attention to our own life and learn from it.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“Young people today need heroes and examples to look up to.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“I have to stay curious about the world around me and then I can stay involved.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

“I had the passion to look for skills and develop those skills.” -Bernie Swain Click to Tweet 

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Hump to Get Over

Bernie Swain was facing gargantuan competition to be the lecture agency that would represent President Ronald Reagan. He was certain that he would lose out to a more experienced and larger firm. When Bernie got the call, he prepared for the worst. Listen to Bernie share his story of how wining helped him to move onward and upward faster.

Advice for others

Pay attention to the defining moments and powerful influences in your life.

Holding him back from being an even better leader

Curiosity. I have to stay curious about what’s going on around me to stay involved.

Best Leadership Advice Received

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry the load.

Secret to Success

Passion. And the belief in myself.

Best tools that helps in Business or Life

Strategic thinking. Think ahead.

Recommended Reading

What Made Me Who I Am

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Contacting Bernie

Website: http://bernieswain.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernie-swain-0a704b4/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Swain_Bernie

Resources and Show Mentions

54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward faster. Get your free list today.


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By | 2017-06-14T02:28:23+00:00 June 14th, 2017|Podcasts|0 Comments

About the Author:

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Your Fast Leader Show host is Jim Rembach. Jim is a panel expert with the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and spent many years in contact center operations and leverages this to help others. He is a certified Emotional Intelligence (EQ) practitioner, Certified Employee Retention Specialist, Certified Better Place to Work Expert, and frequently quoted industry expert.