Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest Sharon A. Burstein Leadership Image and Motivational Speaker and author of Life Snacks – 50 Tasty Motivational Messages and soon to be released What’s Your Leadership Image.
Norm: Good day Sharon and thanks for participating in our interview.
Please tell our readers what is a leadership image and motivational speaker? As a follow up, how does one become one and how did you get to be where you are in your life today?
First of all, I would like to thank you Norm for having me as a guest
on bookpleasures.com. This is a lot for one question. I could spend
an hour just answering this, but will work to break the question down
into a few segments.
Your Leadership Image is a part of who you are. Everyone has a Leadership Image. It is a combination of personal and life traits, education, and life experience. Most people do not know what their Leadership Image is and so often there is a disconnect from peoples leadership roles and what they say and how they present themselves.
Through my talks and seminars I work with people to discover and uncover what their Leadership Image is. Once you know and understand your Leadership Image, you become much more effective, understand yourself and others. I have broken Leadership Image into seven different easy to understand color groups. Once you understand the traits of the seven different types of Leadership Image and their colors you begin to instantly recognize the type of Leadership Image of others, which also helps to communicate more effectively with others to achieve greater and more positive outcomes.
I have spoken for many years to diverse groups, associations and corporations and colleges on marketing and communication taking a motivational and interactive approach with my motivational presentations. Two years ago I realized from peoples responses to my talks that I really connect to my audiences and effect peoples lives in meaningful ways. My motivational talks combine the key essence and lessons learned from being an executive in business, entrepreneur and educator. I decided then to write books to support many of the areas that I speak, train and coach on. My books are different in their content and approach as my audiences are diverse as well.
Throughout my life I have always been a curious person in all of life’s pursuits from a young age, mastering tasks with the goal of excellence and then trying new things. Life is a wonderful journey. I think of my career and life as being layered. Each step adding greater depth and texture to my life[s tapestry.
Norm: Could you tell us more about your award-winning television programs and documentaries that you have developed and produced?
Sharon: Over the past 25 years I have been very fortunate to have worked and created numerous programs and documentaries spanning diverse topics. They have ranged from cooking shows to wine and food, environment, education, and history.My role has varied from being the creator, executive producer, and director and marketing development. The experiences have provided me with great opportunity to work internationally. A number of the programs and films have been nominated for and received numerous awards and recognition.
Norm: Could you tell us about people or books you have read that have inspired you to embark on your own career?
Sharon: I am always inspired by other people their books and messages. Several people who have inspired my own life and career through their writing and books are the great Napoleon Hill, Bob Danzig, and Jack Canfield and I love reading Harvey Mackay’s editorials. Some of the inspired books would be – Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Leader Within You and There is Only One You by Bob Danzig, and Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson.
Norm: Briefly, what is your most recent book, Life Snacks – 50 Tasty Motivational Messages and What’s Your Leadership Image all about?
Sharon: Life Snacks – 50 Tasty Motivational Messages inspires people of all ages. In this book I have taken 50 words that are inspirational and powerful in life and then written motivating meaningful messages for each. The book has been wildly successful and is read by people of all ages from children to seniors and is being used for pleasure reading, inspiration and in classroom discussions.
Life Snacks is
intentionally written in short format. These days people wish to have
their lives enriched and receive meaningful nuggets of wisdom to use
in their lives, but do not want to spend a great deal of time
searching through the reading to find the message. Life Snacks could
be compared to Chicken Soup for the Soul except that Life Snacks
takes word and creates messages to inspire, where Chicken Soup for
the Soul is about stories.
Life Snacks is being made into a series. It is available in bookstores, specialty stores, Barnes and Noble and Amazon and is also available in electronic format in Kindle and Nook. The audio version is soon to be released. Life Snacks has also recently won an International Readers Choice book award.
What’s Your Leadership Image is my newest book, which will be released in January 2016. It’s release is exciting as it will now bring to readers globally many of the ideas that I speak about globally, many of the ideas that I speak about and use in my training and coaching of what Leadership Image is, how knowing what your Leadership Image is can change your life in meaningful ways. What’s Your Leadership Image is written in long form and is 15 chapters. While reading the reader is encouraged to take notes. The book is both engaging and interactive.
These are two separate books. Lets talk about the overall goals and objectives for my writing books. My goal always is to inspire and uplift people to learn more about themselves and be inspired. In everything I do, writing, speaking, business and in my life is about creating excellence with lasting impressions.
The more you read the more you learn about yourself, ideas and principles in life that will help you achieve more success in your life. The first step is always having a positive attitude and open mind. That really applies to all learning.
My books are intentionally written for diverse audiences with ideas, thoughts and messages that everyone who reads them can understand and relate to and have them realize that – “ Wow, I get that, yes I can do that.”
Norm: What were your goals and intentions in writing the book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
Sharon: My goals in writing my books – Life Snacks and What’s Your Leadership Image is to inspire people and help motivate them with useful messages and ideas that people can use in their lives to inspire greater success in their personal and professional lives. I feel that I am being successful with reaching my audiences. Life does not have to be complicated. Making meaningful changes in your life can really be quite simple and does not have to take a lot of time. A great deal of bringing about change is adjusting your mindset and keeping a positive attitude and one that is filled with gratitude.
Norm: Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book? As a follow up, what are some of the references that you used while researching these books?
Sharon: So many people inspire me. Many of the stories and messages are woven into my talks, training and in my books. We can all learn so much from so many people. I am also a big believer in paying it forward. If you learn something that helps change your life, do things that inspires others. Random acts of kindness are the best. When you genuinely give, you receive so much more. I love people who lead their lives as examples and help people to succeed and give them tools and teaching moments to help them achieve great success.
Bob Danzig the former Publisher of Hearst Newspapers to me is a magic unicorn and is such an incredibly giving person. He has been a tremendous mentor in my life. Charlie Wood who owned the Great Escape then known as Storytown and who I worked for throughout summers in college was a huge person in my life. I so admired his teaching ways with people and his people skills. When he did not like the way someone was doing a task, he jumped in literally and showed by example without a lecture or demoralizing people. He was all about helping people grow at all levels. He was a marvelous person! I learned so much from him. When you show people an example either through doing or a visual example they retain the information so much longer.
Norm: Are there vocabulary words or concepts in your book that may be new to readers? Define some of those.
Sharon: The words are certainly not new, but I do introduce new concepts and ways of thinking. One of the concepts that I tell everyone is – “ Always be an ABLE person. ABLE means Always Be Learning Everyday. I work to inspire people to think of 3 things in the morning that they can do that will inspire themselves and others through their actions. At the end of the day before you go to sleep take a minute and reflect and think – “What did I learn today?” It is really about making good habits in life and using time wisely.
Leadership Image is also a new concept.
Norm: What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your subject/genre, that isn't so? As a follow up, what is the most important thing that people DON'T know about your subject/genre, that they need to know?
Sharon: With regard to leadership, so many people think that leadership and Leadership Image are about power, which cannot be further from the truth. Leadership that is effective leadership is about empowering others. You need to know who you are before you can be an effective leader. Titles do not make the leader. Another would be that great leaders are not about talking, but listening. Listening is a huge skill. Listen to learn. Learn to listen.
Norm: What are some ways in which you promote your work? Do you find that these add to or detract from your writing time?
Sharon: I promote my work in many diverse ways. With a communications background I completely understand that no one medium will reach everyone you wish to connect to. I speak a great deal on both coasts; do a variety radio and television interviews, social media, print articles, speaking engagements, networking (connecting) events and others. I find one motivates the other.
I do find that I need to stay disciplined in both my writing and the promotion of my books and speaking. Writing and speaking are parts of my business. I also have goals for short, immediate and long term, which I work to review at least once a week, which helps keep me on track.
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your books?
Sharon: My books can be found on line through AMAZON and Barnes and Noble and in book and specialty stores. People can attend my seminars and training. Sometimes I am a keynote speaker and sometimes especially with seminars work with others in different industries.
Norm: What is next for Sharon A. Burstein?
Sharon: I am really enjoying speaking and training, which brings together all that I have successfully done throughout my career. I am also in discussion with some international speaking engagements, which is exciting. I will continue to write books and have several more outlined. One area that I truly enjoy is speaking with college and youth on Leadership and Leadership Image. The earlier we help students develop greater confidence in themselves and their skills the more effective they will be in their careers and in life.
Norm: As this interview comes to an end, what question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
Sharon: Now that is a very good question Norm! Perhaps a question could be “ Do you see any age or audience limits for people to learn more about themselves?” The answer is we all have greatness inside of us. How we choose to use our life and our journey is largely up to us.
Two things that I do advise people about and are good to share with you and your audience is a question I often pose to my audiences. “What are two things in life that once used you can never get back?”
Think and ponder that for a moment Norm,
The answer to the question above is time and words. Every minute, or and day that passes, you can never get back. Once lost it is gone. Why waste time. The other part of the answer is – words. Once a word is verbally expressed to someone or written and sent, it is out there forever. Think before you speak.
My last words to share with you and your audience are to go out and create a life that you are proud of. Keep moving forward. Every step that you take forward is a step in the right direction.
Norm, thank you so much for having me as a guest interview. This has been lovely. You ask wonderful and insightful questions.
Norm: Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.