Trailblazers: Leadership Lessons from 12 Thought Leaders Who Beat the Odds and Influenced Millions

Trailblazers: Leadership Lessons from 12 Thought Leaders Who Beat the Odds and Influenced Millions

by Tony Rubleski
Trailblazers: Leadership Lessons from 12 Thought Leaders Who Beat the Odds and Influenced Millions

Trailblazers: Leadership Lessons from 12 Thought Leaders Who Beat the Odds and Influenced Millions

by Tony Rubleski


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Trailblazers reveals how leaders trailblaze and move markets when others say it’s impossible. Readers discover what 12 very different, yet highly successful, leaders did to achieve massive global success despite countless setbacks, adversity, and critics during their upward climbs to amazing influence on millions of people. Based on in-depth, recorded interviews, their stories are not only inspiring, but also reveal how they pushed onward when it seemed like quitting was the only option. Leaders learn from the valuable wisdom and tips shared in Trailblazers, including the seven key characteristics all super successful trailblazing leaders possess, and use them to immediately blaze their own successful trail in both business and life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683508731
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Tony Rubleski is the bestselling author of the Mind Capture book series. He is also an in-demand keynote speaker, strategic business coach, and global event promoter. His work has been featured in various media outlets ranging from the Detroit Free Press, the FOX TV network, ABC, to CNN Radio, NPR and Entrepreneur Magazine Radio. He’s also been a faculty member and instructor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (IOM) and CEO Space. His core expertise and message is designed to help people ‘Capture’ more minds and profits. Tony resides in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho.

Read an Excerpt



"What the Internet is doing is many things, but one of them is completely undermining the system."

Seth Godin

Big Picture Trailblazer

They say that lightning rarely strikes twice. Well, I must say that getting Seth Godin to do a second interview certainly felt like it. Yes, Seth Godin is in a league of his own. When you read his body of work, it shows not only range but genius on multiple fronts ranging from marketing and history to economics and sociology. If I had to make a list of ten people who've influenced my career the most, he'd easily be on it.

With his book The Icarus Deception, he deconstructs the old way of work and the Industrial Age and how each of us can thrive in the new connection-based economy. Yes, a tall task. A complex topic. Strong opinions. Lots of dots to connect and synthesize. Perfect for someone like Seth Godin.

The three main things I enjoy most about Seth's writing and message include:

1. Seth's style is engaging, makes you think, and always questions the status quo.

2. He shares why we're all artists now and how the global economy will reward or punish those who understand this major shift in socio economic thinking.

3. The wisdom and raw honesty of his own stories, career, fears, and wins is not only revealing but inspiring.

Key Highlights from Our Interview

Tony: You mention in your new book, The Icarus Deception, that we're all artists. You and I understand that ... (but) what do you mean by artist for someone who may have pigeonholed their old definition of the industrial title?

Seth: Don't confuse art and painting, please. A painting might be a work of art, but it probably isn't. It's probably a copy or inspired directly by something else. Art is the work of a human being who is doing something that might not work — something personal and something generous.

You can go to the Avis counter after a long flight to rent a car, and you can interact with someone who is playing it by the book. That person is basically a human cog in an industrial machine. Or, you can go to that counter and find a human being who is looking you in the eye, who is engaging with you, who is talking to you as if you matter. That person in that moment is doing a form of art because it's touching us. It's bringing us closer together. She is saying something that might not work but probably will. When we put ourselves in that position of mattering, putting our name on it, saying to someone, "I made this," we're being artists.

Tony: Amazing ... Seth, let's talk about the title of the book. It's the old classic mythology, but I like how you explained where you came up with The Icarus Deception.

Seth: I was really surprised when I read a 150-year-old copy of the Myth of Icarus because it was not what you and I were taught in school or at bedtime. In 1500, and 1600, and 1750, if you heard the story of Icarus, what you would hear is the following: Icarus and his father, Daedalus, were isolated on an island by one of the gods, and his father, who was an inventor, took feathers from birds, wove them into wings, and made a set for him and his son.

And he affixed — they always used the word "affixed" — he affixed the wings to the son's back and said, "We're going to fly away. But there are two rules. Rule number one, don't fly too high because the sun will melt your wax and you will die. And rule number two, Icarus, no matter what, do not fly too low, because if you fly too low the waves and the mists will weigh down your wings and you will surely perish."

What was interesting was that starting around 1800, we started leaving out the second part and the reason is the culture wants people to fly too low. The culture wants the story to be a story about obedience, not a story about possibility.

What I wanted to get across in this book, which is a hard thing to sell people on, is that we are flying too low. It feels like we're doing the best we can in the face of the economy blah, blah, blah. But basically, we're scared and we're flying too low.

Tony: You talk about some things that are important now. I'm going to list them, and I'd like to hear which are your favorites. You talk about trust, permission, remarkability, leadership, stories that spread, and humanity connection. Why are they valuable today?

Seth: If we're leaving the industrial economy and entering the connection economy, where value is created through connection and our ability to do things with one another, whom are we going to connect with? We are not going to connect with a selfish person because they just take. We're going to connect with a generous person because it helps both of us. We're not going to connect with a person we don't trust. We're going to connect to a person that we trust.

But, as we connect to these people, they need leaders. So, when we think about what skills are important to us, they are not the skills of scarcity. "I have a machine that's faster than your machine to make widgets." They are the skills and, actually, it should come with abundance, the abundance of choice, the abundance of connection, the abundance of trust. The more you trust people, the more it is created.

Abundance is a bonus there. It is not a minute you are paying for, and what we have to do is figure out how to change our mindset, because if you are insisting on scarcity and keeping things a secret and being selfish and taking what you can off the table, no one will choose to connect with you. If no one connects with you, you're not going to win.

Tony: So, I'm drawing a parallel there, and what I love about your writing is you are not afraid to push people to think. In my estimate, you started out many years ago as a marketing guru and you shifted much more into the social-economic scene. This whole game is crumbling whether you choose to believe it or not. Again, that's why every time I interview I'm glad the book is moving. It's spreading. And you also give some practical tips for those that are new to the artist way, so I thank you for that and move into this tough one: Why are critics so dangerous to fellow artists like you and me?

Seth: What critics are is the physical embodiment of the lizard brain, right? The critic is busy using exactly the same voice that the voice in your head is using when it told you not to ship the thing in the first place. So, it reinforces and it amplifies, and no one ever built a statue to a critic for a reason, which is that when it's all said and done, we remember Van Gogh. We don't remember the critics who said he had no talent.

Tony: True.

Seth: When all is said and done, we remember Winston Churchill, not the critics who said he didn't know what he was doing. Yet, we give the critics space in our media, and now thanks to public social media, everyone can be a critic. Everyone can criticize. It's easy to see anything that's said and come up with a snarky 140-character rejoinder to it. Some people who are critics get applause for being critics, and so they do it more.

We have created this culture where it's okay to be a critic. I would be humiliated and embarrassed to be called a critic. But there are plenty of people who seem to think that that's their role. The only thing the artist can do is walk away from it, not engage with it, and not try to teach these people a lesson, because there are an endless number of them. You will never be able to drown them out. But as soon as we start ignoring them and get back to our first principles of making work that might not work and being able to say to the critic, "Sorry, it wasn't for you," it helps us open the door to do the work we're capable of.

Tony: Keep shipping that great art, my friend. Time for a final question? Can we do one more?

Seth: Yes sir.

Tony: All right. As you look at your career, you've done a lot. You were on Entrepreneur magazine's cover a couple of months ago for Icarus Deception. If you fast-forward and someone said, "What do you want your art to be remembered for," what would you say to them?

Seth: I would like to be measured by how much the people who have learned from me have taught other people.

Tony: Interesting. I like it. It's brief. I would not expect anything less from you to keep it provocative. Ladies and gentlemen, we've had the honor to interview again Seth Godin, author of multiple international bestsellers. His latest is The Icarus Deception. Pick it up, and be prepared to have your mind expanded. Seth, anything else for us?

Seth: Just thank you, Tony. Keep leading the way. It matters a lot.

Five Key "Mind Nuggets" from Seth to Ponder and Reflect Upon

1. #1: "What the Internet is doing is many things, but one of them is completely undermining the system."

2. #2: "What I have found is that there's a lot of desire to ignore the way the world is changing."

3. #3: "What I wanted to get across in this book, which is a hard thing to sell people on, is we are flying too low. It feels like we're doing the best we can in the face of the economy ... But, basically, we're scared and we're flying too low."

4. #4: "Grit is the artist saying, 'Nope, we're not going to do it that way!' Grit is someone sticking it out when it doesn't seem to be working. Grit is the wherewithal to have it match the vision you have in your head. If you're just going to go along to get along, you're not going to get any ... but you don't have any grit."

5. #5: "If we're leaving the industrial economy and entering the connection economy, where value is created through connection and our ability to do things with one another, whom are we going to connect with? We are not going to connect with a selfish person because they just take. We're going to connect with a generous person because it helps both of us."

What Else Seth Revealed During Our Interview

Here are a few more of the areas we discussed during our Captured Wisdom audio interview, which can be accessed at

Why we're all artists now especially in the Internet-based economy

How to handle the resistance to push ahead and get more done

The story and lesson behind the book's title that most people overlook

What industrial propaganda is and how it impacts each one of us

The shift to the connection economy and why it's important to embrace

The power of grit to help you persist onward in the face of doubt and critics

Advice for today's youth on how to shift from industrialist to artist

Why trust, permission, remarkability, leadership, stories that spread, and humanity connection are valuable today

About Big Picture Trailblazer, Seth Godin

SETH GODIN is the author of 18 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his book Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow.

He was recently inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, one of three chosen for this honor in 2013.

His newest book, What To Do When It's Your Turn, is already a bestseller.

For more information visit:



"Bravado is pretty easy when you have friends around and the sun is shining. In the middle of the night, looking at the ceiling in a hospital, you're thinking, 'Oh my God. What happens if I'm paralyzed for life? What happens if I can never feed myself again? What if I can't work?' That's what really gets tough."

Dave Liniger

Persistence Trailblazer

It's not every day that you get a chance to interview a business legend who single handedly disrupted an entire industry. This thought-provoking one- on-one interview with RE/MAX founder Dave Liniger is not only inspiring, but loaded with a ton of wisdom and insight.

The first time I spoke with Dave on the phone in August 2012, I was amazed at not only how personable he was, but frankly that he was still alive. A routine back surgery many months earlier had nearly cost him his life, and he awoke four months after the surgery from a long coma. Not only did it nearly take his life, but it also paralyzed his once active body.

In this second interview conducted six months later, we discussed not only his then-new book titled My Next Step: An Extraordinary Journey of Healing and Hope, but also the continued growth and recovery he's seen not only in his personal life but within RE/MAX as well. His zest for life and "can-do" attitude is evident throughout the interview as he revealed many success gems that translate over to any business or endeavor.

The three main things I enjoyed most about my interview with Dave include:

1. Dave didn't sugarcoat that to be successful, hard work and persistence are musts.

2. He spoke with candor and honesty and has a sense that the company's impact to positively help others is a major priority.

3. He's never lost a sense of his roots and humility from his early days of working on the farm in Indiana to building one of the largest real estate franchise companies in the world.

Key Highlights from Our Interview

Tony: Let's go back a little bit and talk about the early years of RE/MAX to set the stage, and then we'll fast-forward into the book. Talk about how you started the company and some of the challenges, Dave, that you had in the early years.

Dave: We founded the company in 1973. It was a fairly new and exciting concept in the real estate industry. Traditionally, Realtors split their commissions with the broker of the company or with the office in a 50/50 split. The company used their part of the commission to pay the overhead — secretary, advertising, rent — and make a profit. The agent used their half to pay their own personal overhead like automobile, health insurance, and that type of thing. Then they kept the balance for their income.

What we did was said, let's organize the company like a group of doctors, lawyers, architects who share the expenses of running the company and then keep the vast majority of the fees for themselves. Not an unusual cooperative system — just not used successfully in the real estate business.

Tony: Now, Dave, what did you find? I'm sure the industry did not roll out the red carpet, but how did you deal with the adversity? I've got to think you took some heat for many years. How did you push through in the early days when people said it couldn't be done?

Dave: We had two or three major problems. First, the status quo — the powerful business leaders in the real estate business did not want to see us succeed. If we did, it meant they would lose their top agents to us or be forced to pay them a higher commission split.

The second problem we had, obviously, was my own lack of managerial talent or experience, which certainly was a difficult thing to get over. Then, finally, the skepticism of the agents we were trying to recruit. They all said, "Boy, this sounds good on paper. If it works, I'll join you someday, but I'm not going to leave the company I'm at now for a maybe."

Tony: Let's fast-forward. I'm delighted to really dig into your new book titled My Next Step. Early 2012, it's late January, and something forever changed your life that happened that really will guide our conversation today in your new book. What happened to you in that time frame of late January 2012?

Dave: I was on a speaking tour throughout the United States. I was in Galveston, Texas, preparing to give a speech the next morning. I went to bed, and my back had been giving me fits. I needed back surgery and had put it off for two years. My surgeon was a great surgeon. He said, "Let's try some steroid shots, and let's see if we can put off cutting as long as we can." I just felt like my back was finally going out.

I woke up at two in the morning paralyzed from the waist down. I wasn't terribly frightened. I just figured, well, I've got a slipped disc or some kind of pressure there. I guess I'm going to have back surgery. I sent a text to my friends and said, "When you guys get up, would you come to my room and unlock me and get me into a hospital?" I asked my CEO, Margaret Kelly, and I said, "By the way, I think you're giving my speech today."

So, they rushed me to a hospital. They got a corporate plane in and picked me up and took me to Sky Ridge Hospital in Denver near where I live. I was admitted. They gave me lots of shots for the pain — several shots of morphine — and I was just about as happy as could be. I went to sleep thinking, Okay, tomorrow I'll get back surgery, and a week from now I'll be home and starting therapy. The only problem was I didn't wake up for four months.


Excerpted from "Trailblazers"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Tony Rubleski.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword Dave Liniger xv

Introduction Tony Rubleski xix

Chapter 1 Big Picture Trailblazer Seth Godin 1

Chapter 2 Persistence Trailblazer Dave Liniger 8

Chapter 3 Spirit Trailblazer Wm. Paul Young 19

Chapter 4 Free-Thinking Trailblazer John Stossel 33

Chapter 5 Belief Trailblazer Dan Bylsma 43

Chapter 6 Social Media Trailblazer Joel Comm 57

Chapter 7 Marketing Trailblazer Dan Kennedy 69

Chapter 8 Sales Trailblazer Jeffrey Gitomer 78

Chapter 9 Strategy Trailblazer Jay Abraham 87

Chapter 10 Fascination Trailblazer Sally Hogshead 101

Chapter 11 Communication Trailblazer Brian Tracy 114

Chapter 12 Influence Trailblazer Ben Gay III 128

Chapter 13 Generational Trailblazer Brad Szollose 140

About The Author 155

Free Resources 157

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