Constructive Criticism Equals Straight Talk

Straight talk – constructive criticism – is welcome in the workplace and as a volunteer.  As a matter of giving back, I did some community service organization volunteering.  As my kids were growing up I did a fair share of volunteering.  For my kids, whether for Scouts, Basketball, Baseball, Football or family outings, I figured that volunteering was a way to force myself to do the things with my kids that I wanted to do anyhow.

Whether as an employer, or a volunteer, a pet peeve of mine is the person who says, “someone, they asked me not to say who, didn’t like “x”.”   The peeve is not with the messenger.  My automatic responses are generally 1) what do you think? and 2) tell them if they have a concern, they should share it with me.  I welcome constructive criticism.  The way to deal with concerns is to make them explicit, to examine them, and to find resolution.

That matter of fact approach isn’t cold.  It’s realistic.  Complaining to someone who is not in a position to change what you’re complaining about is just complaining.  Complaining to someone who is in a position to change what you’re complaining about – in as positive a manner as you can muster – is constructive criticism.  Complaining in hopes of  changing outcomes is the mature, thoughtful approach to take, in my opinion.

I was reminded of my pet peeve about (the lack of) constructive criticism when I saw the following TED for Work talk, The Secret to Giving Great Feedback.



Humans have been coming up with ways to give constructive criticism for centuries, but somehow we’re still pretty terrible at it. Cognitive psychologist LeeAnn Renniger shares a scientifically proven method for giving effective feedback.

As one of the Organizers of Wisconsin Business Owners, I welcome your constructive criticism.  Use our contact page or call me…preferably after you’ve viewed the video above.

Keith Klein

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Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner, Volume 3

November 13, 2019 is the release day of Brilliant Breakthroughs Cover Photo of Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner, Volume 3 #BrilliantBizBookfor the Small Business Owner, Volume 3

Did you know this is the 3rd Volume in a #1 Bestselling Business Book Series? This is how you get your copy:

Sale starts at 2:01 am CST. Volume 3 is the one with the Ruby Red Cover.

Go to:

Get the Volume 3 eBook at Amazon for only 99 cents today, release day only.  That’s an 87.5 % discount!  Regular eBook pricing after release day is $7.95.

Many of your Wisconsin Business Owners Organizers and fellow Members are Authors of Volumes 1, 2, and 3!   Many of the Authors have been outstanding Presenters at our Lunch & Learns and Special Morning Workshops.

If you want a Brilliant 2020 Business Year – get your copy today to improve your business’s success rate with these practical strategies and techniques on Profitability, People, Productivity, and Peace.

Appreciatively, Author Team of “Brilliant Breakthroughs for the Small Business Owner: Fresh Perspectives on Profitability, People, Productivity, and Finding Peace in Your Business”

Please look for #BrilliantBizBook on social media and spread the word!

You’re invited to “Like” and “Follow” us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

And please follow us on LinkedIn.

Last, and not least, join us at if you’re not already a Member (free to join).

Please Contact Us with suggestions and questions anytime.


Generational Shift – What Does it Mean to Your Business? Oct 25 Morning Workshop

Generational Shift – What Does it Mean to Your Business?

By Brad Herda

Generational shift – we have all heard the news stories, media reports, and have our own experiences and biases for every generation. The issue is no matter what you think as a Business owner, the generational shift will impact you and your business.

It will not matter if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or a Small Business with no employees. The shift in the market will impact you. So, the question is what does this mean for your business?

In this interactive workshop we will look at the 6 generations in the workforce through your experiences. Work to create impactful understanding of each generations needs and desires through your words. We will then work to understand the dynamics of communication across the generations. If you have employees, 1099’s or strategic business partners, knowing how to better communicate across generations will be a critical component to your business’s success.

At the conclusion of our event we will have created an opportunity for looking at your employees and business partners in a different light. As an avid golfer the following is so true “A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.” — Payne Stewart. We need to ensure we have the proper attitude for every generation we work with.

Generational Shift

Brad Herda, Presenting Generational Shift


Brad Herda is a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach and has spent his life learning how things work including people. He has over 200 hours of behavioral and communication training from Northwest Partners Inc. while with Bucyrus International. Brad has been required to build teams, develop suppliers, and be part of one of Caterpillar’s largest integrations after the acquisition of Bucyrus in 2011. At the root of all his success has been communication and being aware of other’s perspectives. He has been a FIRST Robotics Mentor at Sussex Hamilton for 8 years and has seen how communication has changed across generations firsthand. Communication is one of the foundational elements Brad works on his client with as it is foundational to an origination’s culture and setting up expectations and accountability.

Direct Dial: 414.852.4224
Email: Bherda (at) FocalPointCoaching (dot) com

Come Join Us!***
Click on the “I’m going box” to register now.
You’ll reserve your seat to network with other authentic relationship builders. Bring plenty of business cards and brochures to share!

***ITINERARY Friday, Oct 25, 2019***

9:00 Registration & Open Networking. Full Coffee Bar, including juice, water and bakery included
9:30 Presentation by Brad Herda
11:00 Open Networking for an hour, followed by our
Lunch & Learn at Noon:
Learn how the new tax laws impact Your Business
register separately at

Thanks to our Organizers & Sponsors:

Tamara Burkett

Ron Chandler

Maggie Mongan

Mark Mullarky

MIke Raber


Jamie Shibley

Dave Walter

Gerard I. “Jerry” Schritz  Paging Design, Telephone Systems, Consulting, Installation, Service & Repair

Frame Your Awesomeness with Jennifer Bartelt at

Your attendance means you accept being shown on tape +/or in photos.

Keith Klein
Owner, OnYourMark, LLC
Organizer, Wisconsin Business Owners < Register & Create Your Free Profile today
Author, WebForging,
A Practical Guide to the Art of Forging Your Web Presence
Phone: 262-853-7900

Come Join Us!***
Click on the “I’m going box” to register now.

Lunch & Learn at Noon:
Learn how the new tax laws impact Your Business
register separately at

Diversity: It Isn’t Just for Big Business Anymore | Oct 26 Lunch & Learn

Diversity: It Isn’t Just for Big Business Anymore

By Susan McCuistion

– Are you confused by all the mythology around Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) – myths like, “Diversity is only about non-majority people,” and “Diversity is a win/lose proposition”?

– Does your growing business suffer from “diversity debt”?

– Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

As a small business owner, if you think, “Diversity and inclusion don’t apply to me. It’s only for big businesses,” you’re wrong. The practice of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) applies to everything we do – from internal processes and procedures to interactions with clients to customer sales and interacting within our communities.

Navigating the complexities of D&I can be daunting. It’s easy to be afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, but avoiding D&I isn’t a solution. Businesses often “do diversity” because it’s the “right” thing. The truth is, it’s the only thing. When we look at diversity broadly – the influences, experiences, and education that create our unique perspectives in the world – it becomes obvious diversity is a part of every interaction we have. Not only do diversity and inclusion permeate every area of our lives, but both are essential to building a successful, thriving business.

If you’re interested in connecting to clients, customers and employees in a more meaningful way, then join us to learn how to begin building a more inclusive business culture.


Photo fo Diversity & Inclusion Expert, Susan MccuistionSusan McCuistion is a cultural practitioner and creator of Compassionate Diversity®, which integrates concepts from the fields of intercultural competence, emotional intelligence, leadership, neuroscience, and more into powerful tools for change. Compassionate Diversity® uses three interrelated concepts – Comprehension, Connection, and Compassion – to help build empathy and create an action plan for addressing the historic and systemic issues that are a part of our current world.

Susan offers 25 years of human resources consulting and training experience, together with specialty skills in national culture and subculture, and diversity best practices.

Susan McCuistion’s Contact Information:
Email: Susan (at) (dot) com
Phone: 847-400-4181

***Come Join Us!***

RSVP AT  Click on the “I’m going box” to register now.  You’ll reserve your seat to network with other authentic relationship builders. Bring plenty of business cards and brochures to share!

***ITINERARY Friday, October 26, 2018***

11:00 AM – MEET & GREET
This is the start of the Lunch & Learn…
early arrival allows more open-networking time.

12:00 (Noon) – All-You-Can-Eat Buffet & Salad Bar!
Network with great Business Owners and build strong
relationships at your table while Lunching.

12:30 to 12:37 – Break
12:37 – Keith’s Minute
12:40 – Speaker Introduction
12:45 – Speaker Presentation: Susan McCuistion
1:15 – Prize Drawings
1:25 – End… or stick around to build relationships!

Your attendance means you accept being shown on tape.

Join us!  RSVP Now at 


Jennifer at in Lannon – Frame Your Awesomeness!

Gail Yaeger, Chief Flight Attendant at

Gerard I. “Jerry” Schritz, Phone and Public Address Design, Sales, Installation & Repair at

Nate Klein, Patriot Lawn Care &amp; Landscaping services

And get your barbeque on with Ben Houle of

Last, and certainly NOT least:  Jamie Shibley helps you show your gratitude with class!
Check out some of her offerings at

—-Thank you sponsors!—-

Check out our Wisconsin Business Owners ORGANIZERS

Keith Klein
Owner, OnYourMark, LLC

p.s.:  Your suggestions and questions are welcome.  Join us!  RSVP Now at 


Authentic “Authenticity” by Guest Blogger Dr. Jim Bohn

In my opinion, the word ‘authenticity’ may be perhaps the most overused word in the 21st century. As a leader and manager, I wonder what that word really means.

  1. Does it mean: “Tell me everything you know, so I’ll know what you know and I won’t be caught by surprise?”
  2. Does it mean: “I want you to demonstrate every emotion you have so I know exactly how you feel”?
  3. Does it mean: “I want you to be true to your values and convictions”?
  4. Does it mean: “I want to know your real motives, because I don’t trust anyone”?
  5. Could it be a combination of the above?

Maybe it’s a Millennials’ way of saying something a hippie would have said in the 60’s like: “Be real man.”

Authenticity is not a new word – sorry, but it is not the discovery of Millennials. Authentic leaders have been around for a long time, but they may manifest different behaviors than expected by those who are insecure and want to know every detail, every motive, every intent, every strategy.

Raw, unfiltered data benefits no one. Emotional outbursts do not indicate authenticity.

In other words, authentic leaders do not need to download every last bit of drivel that arises in their gray matter.

Maybe there’s something more happening that requires patience on the part of followers.

  • Authentic leaders may be acting on deeper values of restraint and respect when they don’t respond in anger or frustration and demonstrate a calm demeanor. A reserved manner can be an authentic demonstration of care and concern for people.
  • Authentic leaders may be slow to respond because they are considering options and weighing things in a thoughtful manner. That does not mean they’re hiding something.
  • Authentic leaders may be considering more than the needs of one person in the room when they respond to someone, and thereby reserve commentary for a later time.
  • Finally, authentic leaders may be thinking deep into the future when they respond, and not give an impression of immediacy longed for by those who want immediate gratification.

At the risk of social heresy, I’m convinced the pressure from followers for leaders to constantly demonstrate ‘authenticity’ seems to be a veiled desire to have more information to achieve self-determination, and if that’s the case, authenticity may become the least authentic motive of all.

Leadership Integrity is the key to authentic authenticity.

It is the integrity of the leader that is really at issue here.  Authenticity is more about how leaders conduct themselves every day.  We don’t need to reveal everything, but that doesn’t mean we’re hiding something.  It means we’re not quite ready to give out information that may do more harm than good.  Now that’s an authentic way to live – don’t you think?

picture of Dr. Jim Bohn, presenter, Overcoming Leadership Blind Spots and author of Authentic Authenticity

Author of Authentic Authenticity, Dr. Jim Bohn, Wisconsin Business Owners Presenter of Overcoming Leadership Blind Spots

About Guest Blogger Dr. Jim Bohn,
Author of Authentic “Authenticity”

Dr. Jim Bohn is “The Blue-Collar Scholar”. Raised by a factory-working father and armed with a PhD, Dr. Bohn puts theory that works on the table and invites you to roll up your sleeves and go to work! He has organizational expertise and insight from decades of successfully leading leaders and business savvy derived from observing and evaluating the organizational behavior of multiple Fortune 500 organizations. Jim’s rare alloy of practice & theory is hard to find in today’s market, making him a much-appreciated advisor.

I want to share the experience and wisdom I have gained throughout the past four decades with businesses in the Southeast Wisconsin area. I earned my doctorate through 10 years of night school — a lesson in persistence! Having worked with hundreds of leaders and having led teams myself, I have gained a deep knowledge of effective leadership.




Interested in more plain talk from the Blue Collar Scholar?  Read his books, including “The Nuts and Bolts of Leadership”.

See Jim Bohn’s Wisconsin Business Owners Member Profile here.





Peak Performance! A Great Friday Morning Session with Stephen Hilgart from Tony Robbins


Your Peak Performance Strategy Session with Stephen Hilgart

Improve your performance by integrating a three-step process for creating lasting change. Clearly identify what is holding you back from reaching your true potential by closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

Peak Performance Strategist Stephen Hilgart will be conducting your Turning Action Into Results workshop.


• Ignite your momentum going into the new year with the three actions you absolutely must take to be successful in any business.
• Destroy the two obstacles that are dramatically limiting your sales and start the year stronger than ever before.
• Discover the fastest method to doubling your sales without spending a penny.
• Master a proven method for tripling your referrals in any interaction.
• Develop an unshakeable mindset that will give you the competitive advantage in your industry.


Picture of Stephen Hilgart presents the keys to Peak Performance.

Peak Performance! Join us as Stephen Hilgart presents the keys to Peak Performance.

Stephen is a Peak Performance Strategist from Tony Robbins Companies. He advises and consults with executives, managers and sale professionals in the areas of personal and professional achievement and sales mastery.
He travels and speaks to over 350 companies a year giving presentations and running training programs throughout North America. Stephen’s greatest passion is to inspire and help human beings achieve their full potential and dreams.

Stephen will share strategies from Tony Robbins with us today designed to create immediate and lasting results in our personal and professional lives, as well as the opportunity to attend a very special and rare live event with Tony Robbins called . . . UNLEASH THE POWER WITHIN!

p.s.: Stephen offers a free disc profile to all attendees!  

RSVP now! Click on then click the “I’m going” button to start your registration now.

Reserve your seat to network with other authentic relationship builders. Bring plenty of business cards and brochures to share!

***ITINERARY Friday, MARCH 30th, 2018***

9:45 REGISTRATION BEGINS – Coffee and danish bar included!

10:00 AM – INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP (we will start promptly)


Your attendance at Wisconsin Business Owners means you may be shown on tape…and you’re okay with that!

Join us – RSVP now!  Click on then click the “I’m going” button to start your registration now.


Stacy Kaat of Stacy Kaat Photography
She makes YOU look like a million!

Earl Smith
Consultant / Legal Shield

Mark Mullarky of Mullarky Business Systems! Mark is your guy for Computers and Computer Networks

Maggie Mongan of Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc. Rocks!
Simplify your business success!

Ron Chandler of Summit Investment Management, Ltd.

Tamara Burkett of Tamara Burkett
Learn how to build lasting business relationships

— Thank you Organizers! —

Jamie at ~ offering busy professionals a convenient greeting card service to make sure they are prepared for every special occasion

Jennifer at in Lannon – Frame Your Awesomeness!

Gail Yaeger, Chief Flight Attendant at

Gerard I. “Jerry” Schritz, Phone and Public Address Design, Sales, Installation & Repair at

Nathan Klein, Patriot Lawn Care & Landscaping services
Find him at

And get your barbeque on with Ben Houle of

Whatever your Promotional Needs – Free Style Graphics has you covered!
Shop 1,000s of ideas at

—-Thank you sponsors!—-

RSVP now! Click on then click the “I’m going” button to start your registration now.

Keith Klein
Organizer, Wisconsin Business Owners
Owner, OnYourMark, LLC
Author of WebForging