Our Approach

The Transcript

Hello and thank you for joining me for LA 101, and you’re listening to module one, which is Introductions Please. What is this exactly, and that’s exactly what this module is all about is helping you to identify if you want to even listen to this mini course, and what is the purpose of this mini course. Before we get into that, I think that I should introduce myself so you know exactly who you’re speaking to for this course. My name is Samm Smeltzer. I am the founder of Leadership Arts Associates, and so this whole shindig is kind of my result of my personal think tank and is my baby. The ideas and the years of marketing paths and directions and things you’ve seen on social media that may have intrigued you, that have maybe led you to this course wanting to fully understand Leadership Arts Associates, that was all me.

I am a HR professional by trade that shifted over to what I call the softer side of HR, which is training to provide proactive solutions to not have to deal with the dark side of HR, which is what I spent a lot of time doing early on in my career, which was accountability mostly leading to a lot of involuntary terminations that can just really take a toll. I have my master’s of education from Penn State in training and development, so I really have a big focus on adult education, really gearing towards individuals in the workplace and engaging them to focus on topics that are necessary for them to do their jobs. The topics that I want them to focus on … I shouldn’t say want them. I do want them to, but my area of focus in training is on the softer side, once again, is the soft skills.

A lot of trainers are very skilled at the things that we know that we need to do our jobs, whether it’s a high-risk job, a sales kind of skill, a safety of any kind of precautionary for legal or compliance, things like that, we can see automatic value in. It’s really hard to put that tangible value on soft skills, talking about how we have to work with each other, talking about motivating each other. That fascinated me, and so that was the area of specialty that I have chosen and dive into, and really does come alive in Leadership Arts Associates. Leadership Arts Associates really was created as a result of me wanting to have a platform to truly provide the best solution, the best mechanism and methodology to allow people to have training on the softer side that was actually effective and not just what I call a dog and pony show, which is just kind of like a circus. Makes you feel good, but really has no actual impact. What drives me and makes me passionate is really that impact.

I live in York, Pennsylvania area. I am married and I have two children, which at the time of filming this course are going on three and six this June of 2017. I’m not originally from York, Pennsylvania. I grew up in California in the Los Angeles area, specifically Pasadena, Home of the Rose Bowl. I was there until I was about 16 and then was relocated to York, Pennsylvania with my family as a result of my father finding his dream job in York, PA. I went through a lot of different identity kind of issues as a teenager, even going through my undergrad, and early on in my career, but I’m very excited to call York, Pennsylvania my home now and feel very privileged to be a small business owner in that area. That’s a little bit about me so that you kind of understand the person who you are listening to and the mentality, or at least the passions, of the person who created this organization.

With that, let’s talk about this LA 101 and what is it. It’s definitely an introductory course to Leadership Arts Associates, but why would you, as a listener, want to listen to it when you’re not an employee? Typically, this is something that I would give to an employee to onboard them. Well, in the speaking world, we use introductions to convince people that we have something worthwhile to say. That’s how we entice you, that’s how we get you. It’s all about proving that you have some sort of value to your potential listeners that really make or break if you’re going to listen to me for my entire speaking engagement or for this mini course. LA 101 is just that. It’s a mini course to not convince you, but to share with you how we provide value. Let me be perfectly clear that this is not a sales pitch presentation. My intention of this course is to truly show you how we do what we do.

People ask all the time when we do the 30-second elevator pitches, the 45-second elevator pitches, even the 10-minute business showcase presentations, we’re at the trade shows, we get lots of questions, at least I do, about how does this even work, how do you even make this possible? There’s a lot of people out there, and maybe yourself included, that believe or have never been exposed to all of the theory and methodologies used for leading and managing people that you don’t even know that that is possible, that getting those kinds of outcomes, that that could even happen. That’s what I wanted to put in here. I know there’s a batch of people who, whether you’re exploring Leadership Arts Associates for a large proposal and you need to fully understand how we do and what our methodology is, or somebody else who’s just curious and you want to know more.

We get a lot of people. I’m so blessed to have people who are genuinely curious about Leadership Arts Associates. Hopefully this kind of quenches a little bit of your thirst or helps with you handling the hesitancy that you have about choosing to sign up for a class, because then you’ll understand a little bit more about exactly how we work and what we’re striving for. One of the things in my past when I worked for a previous employer that I was pretty much in awe of, I worked in retail for most of my 10 years, my early career. When I was in retail, there was one specific retailer that, what I found fascinating about them is that their customers were so loyal to them. They were the first place that when I would walk a store, as a corporate representative, the customers would stop me and basically reassure me how much they loved the store and to make sure that we weren’t there to shut the store down.

I was just so touched at how loyal customers could be in a shopping environment. That’s something that I definitely wanted when I formed my own organization is I wanted customers to not force loyalty on them, but afford to just automatically be embedded. I want them to fall in love with Leadership Arts Associates. I want them to truly feel like it is a part of them for their professional and personal growth. What we have found in the last three years is that is what is happening, and I am incredibly blessed that that is what has been happening. Because of so many of our past clients doing word-of-mouth referrals, I think that’s where a lot of these questions that this mini course is going to answer, that’s where they have come from is individuals saying, “Oh. You need Leadership Arts Associates.”

I get phone calls at the office all the time that says, “I was told I need you. I’m not really sure what you do. Can you help me figure it out?” Which is a very interesting process to try to back track as to how we think we could help this individual organization just off of a very generic referral. Hopefully this mini course will kind of feed that. Lastly but not least, this mini course is also known as the meat of Leadership Arts Associates. When is started training and I had these highly engaging training presentations, I had a supervisor who provided me feedback saying that basically I had not a lot of meat in my presentations and a lot of potatoes, and people are enjoying their potatoes, but they’re not really getting anything out of it. That really rubbed me the wrong way because I do value putting the content and obtaining the learning objectives, and that is all built into my design. I never thought I should be penalized for the fact that you can enjoy learning, which I think is ultimately every corporate trainer’s goal.

If I can help you enjoy if, then I let down the resistance barriers and you’re more likely to essentially buy into whatever I’m facilitating. As Leadership Arts Associates launched, I got more commentary of that, thinking that we’re the touchy feely side. Just because that’s how you leave and you feel when you’re here, there really is some hardcore substance that is into play, which is what allows us to manifest the culture changes, the individual growth at the rapid pace that we’ve done in some circumstances. It is because we have that embedded in there. We just don’t leave by just putting that out there because it’s not so much fun sometimes to be so raw. This is the intro to the meat, so just a little peak into what you’ll get in the next four modules, so this is a five-module mini course. I’m wanting to keep them short, and allowing you also to pick and choose what you want to listen to that might pique your interest.

Not the first three, but the next three modules that you’ll be listening to are really kind of theory-based. I picked high-level theories that historically have had huge impact on me and really have been embedded in the philosophies of Leadership Arts Associates and how we do business and the things that we believe versus not believe. Module two is talking about Maslow’s Hierarchy. I called the module Maslow’s Forgotten because I will talk about the specific tier that we are working for. It is the tier that I think is probably the most forgotten when we’re talking professionally and sometimes personally as well too. I don’t know why we downgrade it so much. I think this is also the reason why there’s many people who think that Leadership Arts Associates is a non-profit or a not-for-profit organization is because we cater to this particular population. That will be module two called Maslow’s Forgotten.

Module number three is Elton Discover’s Engagement. A doctor, Elton Mayo, his study that he did fascinates me and I think speaks to the birth of the engagement trend before we even were really talking about it. I want to use that to really demonstrate some of the simplicity in the recommendations that we make, which are easy to say, but not so easy to do. That will be explored in that entire discovery and that study and then talking about how that’s embedded here at Leadership Arts Associates. Then module number four is Heron and Reason, which is basically the methodology. It’s a research methodology. They created collaborative inquiry. They did not create collaborative inquiry, let me correct myself. They had the four ways of knowing as a theory. I was introduced to using that embedded in a collaborative inquiry. That really was the last ingredient of the magical potion that became Leadership Arts Associates. That’s where the art does come into play.

We get a lot of questions about why “art” is in our title. When I really put it together originally, it was because I define leadership as an art. I think it truly is an art to master, but as I looked at the title over all and some of my methodologies that I use in training, it made even more sense. Part of that is because of Heron and Reason, so Heron and Reason’s theory on four ways of knowing, that’s what module four will be all about. That’s usually a new one for a lot of people. Then last but not least, we’ll end in module five, which is our ideology. Basically, this is our philosophies at play. This is how they have manifested. This is how everything that I’ve talked about in the previous four modules, how they come alive for us.

These are the beliefs that I embed in my … I don’t embed them in my employees, but I highly encourage or I at least look for them to be bought into them before they’re allowed to work on our team that really does explain the foundation to how we do the work that we do at Leadership Arts Associates. That is what this mini course is all about. I hope that if this serves you that you continue to listen. If not and this was just a simple introduction to me, then thank you so much for listening for this purposes. I look forward to meeting you in person in the future. Thank you so much. I’ll either see you at a future event or I’ll talk to you in the next module. Bye.

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