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13: Bruce Turkel & RESPECT in Advertising

By August 29, 2018 No Comments
Does RESPECT exist in today’s marketing and advertising world? Listen as world-leading branding expert and author, Bruce Turkel, discusses with host Mike Domitrz how respect plays a role in the media and advertising world today.

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Bruce Turkel. Useful, Valuable, Enjoyable.


Whether creating brands, books, or explaining brand strategy on national TV, Bruce’s energetic creativity makes brands more valuable. He’s created campaigns for AMEX, Miami, Discovery, Hasbro, Bacardi, and more. Simply put, Bruce is a brand builder, keynote speaker, TV personality, and author. Bruce appears regularly on MSNBC, CNN, and CCTV. He’s been in Fast Company, The New York Times,and Forbes and has authored five books on branding and creativity.


Bruce has helped create some of the world’s most compelling brands, including Hasbro, Nike, American Express, Charles Schwab, Citicorp, Discovery Networks, Bacardi, Sol Melia Hotels, Partnership for a Drug-Free America, HBO Latin America, Canyon Ranch, Miami, and many more. He is a keynote speaker, author, musician, artist, and runner who tours extensively.


Perhaps you’ve seen Bruce on TV.He is a frequent guest expert on the national news and appears regularly on FOX Business, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, CCTV (Chinese Television) and NPR.


Perhaps you’ve read about Bruce.He has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Communication Arts, AdWeek, and Speaker Magazines.


Perhaps you’ve heard Bruce speak. He has spoken at MIT, Harvard, TEDx, and hundreds of corporate and industry conferences around the world. In 2017 the National Speakers Association inducted Bruce into their Speaker Hall of Fame.


Perhaps you’ve read one of Bruce’s five books. His most recent book, All About Them was chosen as one of Forbes Magazine’s best business books of 2016.


Perhaps you’ve heard Bruce playing his harmonica. Bruce fronts the popular Miami R&B band Blackstar.


Perhaps you’ve seen Bruce’s artwork. Bruce is an incessant doodler and is famous for his caricatures of the local and national business leaders he’s worked with.


Perhaps you passed Bruce in your last marathon. He is a dedicated — but slow — runner.


Meet Bruce Turkel. He is about to share some of his simple yet proven powerful brand building techniques with you.






READ THE FULL TRANSCRIPTION of the EPISODE HERE (or download the pdf):

**IMPORTANT: This podcast episode was transcribed by a 3rd party service and so errors can occur throughout the following pages:

Mike:                       Welcome to the Respect podcast. I’m your host, Mike Domitrz from, where we help organizations of all sizes, educational institutions, and the US military create a culture of respect. And respect is exactly what we discuss on this show, so let’s get started.

Mike:                       This week. We’ve got a very special guest also a friend of mine’s, I love having friends on the show. That is Bruce Turkel. He’s a brand builder, keynote speaker, TV commentator and author. If you watch any business news on cable, you’ve probably seen him, whether it was MSNBC, or CNNI, or Fox News in the past, you’ve seen this guy. I’ve gotten to know him and I realized he sees things others of us just don’t see, and that’s one of the cool things about getting to talk with Bruce. So Bruce, thank you for joining us.

Bruce:                     Thanks for inviting me, Mike. You’re right. It’s fun to do this with friends.

Mike:                       Absolutely. And you and I are going to get into a decision you’ve made recently and publicly, via blog. It’s really powerful. Before we get into that, I want to talk about how you view respect in its role in advertising and marketing. For everybody watching and/or listening. Bruce is a guru in the marketing branding world. That’s what he’s known for. He’s worked with some of the largest brands in the world. How do you feel that respect plays a role?

Bruce:                     You know, there’s two ways to look at marketing, branding. I think there’s two ways to look at a lot of things. There’s the positive way and there’s the negative way. And you hear people talk about the negative way that advertisers and marketers try to convince people to buy things they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford. And that’s certainly the negative way of doing it. Or you can say the positive way, which is that advertising, marketing. Branding is the engine of the economy. It’s what keeps people interested. It’s what keeps people involved. It’s what keeps people engaged.

Bruce:                     If you’re running a business, it’s what allows you to actually provide the products and services that you provide, because people are interested in them. If in fact, you are consumer, it allows you to find out what’s out there, what’s available. It also subsidizes a lot of media that we take advantage of, whether it’s radio or television, or online, or any of the things that we don’t pay for.

Bruce:                     Part of the reason we don’t pay for that content is because of advertising and marketing/ So I, of course, prefer to look at the positive side of. That being said, then respect becomes very important, because if you’re going to do this from a positive point of view, then in fact you have to be careful not to be selling people things they don’t want, don’t need, and can’t afford. But instead, to be demonstrating to people why your client’s products and services, or why your products and services actually will make your customer’s life better.

Bruce:                     That’s what the respect is about. Now, you’re providing something of value. I tell people that when I speak, when I write, when I commentate on television or when I create marketing campaigns, I want the stuff I do to be useful. I want it to be valuable. And I want it to be enjoyable.

Mike:                       What-

Bruce:                     In order to accomplish those things. It has to be respectful as well.

Mike:                       What percentage of advertisers that you see out there, companies selling, do you feel fall into that negative stereotype that brand has such harmful viewpoint of advertising marketing that people get. You know, the old stereotype which could be unfair, that used car salesman stereotype. How many people do you feel that are out there? What percentage that is manipulative? That it’s not based on respect, that it’s based on emotional and psychological manipulation, just to sell?

Bruce:                     Well, as soon as you use the word percentage, then you’re asking for metrics that I don’t actually have. I don’t know what percentage. I do know that often the pieces we remember, the pieces that put a bad taste in our mouth tend to be those. I mean you used as an example, the used car salesman. Now you’re thinking of the sleazy guy, the polyester jacket, the sleeves rolled up. And the guy who’s just trying to get you into a car and get your money. But again, think about the other side, you have to get your kids to school. You’ve got to get to work. You want something safe. He wants them to reliable. A used car salesman who knows what they’re doing, and is intent on providing service is not like that at all, but what do we remember?

Bruce:                     We remember the negative stereotype. And there’s plenty of it. Believe me, I am not making excuses for the industry or for the negative practitioners. I’m simply saying that what a lot of us do in my opinion, actually makes the world a better place.

Mike:                       Oh, I agree. And that’s why I said that whether it be an unfair reputation of that used car salesman, because we buy used. So I’m not somebody that runs from a used car salesman at all. If you find the right person, they’re wonderful and they do take care of you very quickly. But it is, you’re right, it’s that negative impression people have about-

Bruce:                     That’s right.

Mike:                       … marketing. Because the media environment is so confrontational right now. Do you think that respect is passe?

Bruce:                     Passe? No, not at all. I think respect is less and less prevalent. I think what’s happened is there’s an old political saying, “There’s no margin in the middle.” And I think what you find is a lot of the practitioners will avoid names for the sake of whoever’s listening and might have an opinion different than mine. But a lot of the practitioners are using the bassist most, brutal forms of communication because they’re always easier, cheaper to use, and they always hit hard. I mean, getting hit with a bat is a pretty low level communication received, right? If I want to convince you of something, I could try to convince you. I can quote the masters, I can give you good information. I can hit you with a bat and say, if you don’t believe me, I’m going to hit you again.

Bruce:                     It works. It just doesn’t work well and it’s a brutal backward facing way of getting your point across. And I think that’s what we’re seeing now. We’re seeing that so many of these backward thinking strategies are working that people are utilizing them. So no, I don’t think respect is passe at all. I think that respect right now is taking a backseat in many instances to things that maybe work a little quicker and a little stronger but don’t ultimately work better.

Mike:                       So there’s a documentary out now, at the time we’re recording this on Mr. Rogers, called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” And this discussion is actually prevalent to that, because he talks about when TV came forward and really hit its mainstream, how it was the lowest forms of comedy the TV was turning to. The pie in the face, the violence, the cheap violence. And he was so offended that why would such a wonderful tool, why would be a wonderful medium be used at the lowest common denominator spread these messages?

Mike:                       And that sort of what you’re saying right now is that there’s so much of that lowest level being used, that it’s overwhelming. So the question became in the documentary is, can there be a place? How do you get back to that place where respect can be at the forefront where you can think at a higher intellectual level in the advertising? What do you think it would take for market advertising to have that paradigm shift, to go to a place that’s really built on respect, dignity for the consumer, for people watching?

Bruce:                     I think what happens is over time, technologies and use of new technologies adapt and they adapt progressively and get better and better. So when movie cameras were first created, the silent movies, all they did was record plays because plays. Because plays where the way, theater was the way you presented a story. And it never dawned on anybody that you could do something different. So what do they do? They set up the camera, they set up the tripod, and they filmed the play. Then someone said, wait a second, we don’t have to keep this camera in one position. We can actually take it outdoors.

Bruce:                     We don’t have to make believe we’re on a wagon going into the wild west, we can actually go out and film it and they went out and changed the way they did that. When television took over from movies, took over from radio rather, what did they do? They took the same radio characters, the Amos, and Andy’s, and the Lucy Balls, and all of those who were on radio and they simply put them on television, because it never dawned on anybody that you could create a new paradigm, a new visual language with this new technology that you had.

Bruce:                     And what we’re seeing now because of where the Internet has gone, is that people are saying, “Okay, I have this new technology. I can go on a Facebook. I can go on a Linkedin and I can change people’s opinions, and I … ” Same thing that marketing and advertising has always tried to do. And what did they do? They use the old tools and techniques. But over time, what happens is those things fall by the wayside as people start to see different ways of utilizing the tools.

Bruce:                     Now remember, there’s an old saying in marketing, “Does marketing take its cues from popular culture, or does popular culture take its cues from marketing?” Meaning, if you see somebody wearing an outfit on television that you like, do you go out and buy it? You took your cue from popular culture or are the people who were putting out popular culture walking on the streets and saying, “Oh, I like what that guy’s got on, and then moving it into popular culture.”

Bruce:                     And my answer is, it doesn’t really matter. As I see it, it’s a back and forth. It’s a constant give and take. So if what’s going on in popular culture is of a lesser respectful nature, less of a regard for people’s individual rights, people’s individual space, however you choose to define it. Then you’re going to see that reflected in popular culture and then of course the popular culture. And, I’m sorry, the actual culture builds on popular culture and vice versa. As you see respect returning to the mainstream, you will also see it happen more and more in marketing materials. It’s a constantly moving, constantly self-perpetuating, self-feeding process.

Mike:                       And what do you think it’s going to take for respect to come to the forefront in either one, so that that cycle you mentioned, you know, if it comes to the forefront in society, then marketing will follow? Or if marketing leads, what do you think it’s going to take for that to happen?

Bruce:                     Leadership. People standing up and saying, this is the way things go. I mean, if you think about respect, if you think about respectful behavior throughout history, you can find certain benchmarks in history based on people, based on leadership. And whether its religious leadership, or political leadership, or business leadership, or technology leadership, or medical leadership, irrelevant. You can find that different fence posts, signposts rather, where respect, concern for the other became the way you get things done.

Bruce:                     Conversely, you can also find times in history where the opposite was true and you can see where those trains were driven to completely mixed my metaphors. And if you think about the statues in a park, you never see a statue with a group of people pointing in a direction. In fact, the only statue I can think of with a group of people, is the flag raising in Iwo Jima where all the GIs, the marines rather, are putting the flag up.

Bruce:                     Every other statute is one person, tends to be male, but that’s because of the way history was written. Right? But one person on a horse with the sword pointing, because it’s these leaders that show us the right way.

PART 1 OF 3 ENDS [00:11:04]

Bruce:                     It’s these leaders that show us the right way to proceed, the right way to move forward, and the right way to behave. Unfortunately, it’s also leaders who drag us backwards and show us that the other works as well.

Mike:                       Yeah, my wife was driving by a billboard this weekend and stopped and took a picture because the billboard, and I’m paraphrasing, was a simple statement, but powerful. Something along the lines of, who I love should not be able to get me fired. That was the whole billboard, and you thought, “Wow, that’s an important discussion,” and obviously, in the line of work I do, we believe strongly in that, respect and dignity for all, but you don’t see a lot of billboards like that, and if you do, it tends to be, as far as from a moral or civil comment, it tends to be of a religious organization.

Bruce:                     Well remember that for a billboard to be there, someone had to pay for it.

Mike:                       Right.

Bruce:                     In order for it to be paid for, it has to be an institutional viewpoint. You’re not going to pay for it. A billboard costs between 3, 10, 20, $30,000.00 a month. You have those good feelings, that who you love should not get you fired, but are you willing to reach into your bank account and buy that sign? You’re probably not, so most opinions that you see in popular marketing tend to be institutional, businesses, governments, associations, religious institutions and so on and so forth, because they’re able to put their money where their mouth is. They’re able to go out to their constituents and say, “We’re going to promote this viewpoint.”

Bruce:                     What’s changed in today’s society is social media. Social media has completely democratized communication, and completely democratized information, and completely democratized the individual’s ability to go out and make a message, so one person can go out and say something on social media, that we never could do before. This broadcast that you and I are doing is a perfect example. Neither one of us is investing the kind of money that billboards would cost to get our opinions out there, and so what you are going to see is more and more popular speech become more and more widely disseminated. Of course when that happens, you’re talking about non-sophisticated marketers, who don’t understand how to use marketing tools yet, and they’re out there screaming into the chasm, and hoping they hear something back, other than their echo, and what gets somebody to scream back the quickest? Being provocative, saying something that will clearly upset somebody else, that’s how you get the back and forth, if you don’t know how to utilize creativity, if you don’t know how to utilize psychological tools and techniques to get people to pay attention. As this social media gets us more and more democratized, what you’re going to see is more and more low level marketing until the populace learns how to use the tools.

Mike:                       How do you, or who do you feel is a good example of somebody that is leading from a moral conviction and getting messaging out there? I can think of one. For the past decade it was the Dove campaign, and the Dove campaign had the women in underwear, and saying all shapes and sizes, that everybody is of value, that we should be able to love your body. Actually I know, Stacey, one of the original women in that campaign, is a friend, a fellow speaker, an NSA member. They were leading the way at that time. Who do you see leading the way right now? Who are some top brands that you’ve seen? Saying, “Hey Mike, they’re taking on social issues,” and in doing so maybe taking risk, but it’s in alignment with what they believe institutionally.

Bruce:                     Well, it’s not only through marketing. It’s also through corporate behavior, so for example we saw what happened when Starbucks had that issue, I believe it was in Philadelphia, where two African American patrons were waiting for a friend, didn’t purchase anything. The manager called the cops, and that became a big issue, and we find that offensive on a very basic level, which is that didn’t happen to the White patrons, it happened to the Black patrons, therefore we’re all offended. It was offensive on even a greater level to Starbucks’ authentic truth, which is they provide what they call the third space, the place you and I can go and have a meeting, and use a bathroom, and have a cup of coffee and chat, and air-conditioning and lights, the Wifi and all of that.

Bruce:                     In response, Starbucks could have very easily said, Howard Schultz could have said, “It’s one store. It happened once. It was in Philadelphia. We have,” I don’t know how many stores they have, “We have 28,000 stores around the world, come on, give us a break,” but he didn’t do that. Instead, what he said was, “This is unacceptable.” He didn’t blame the manager. He said, “We have not done our jobs making sure that everybody in our universe understands the way we treat our patrons, and therefore we are going to commit ourselves to providing a respectful environment.” They closed all their stores for half a day. They did training to all of their employees. They are committed to continuing training. They’ve already hired 10,000 veterans. They’re committed to hiring another 10,000. They’re committed to hiring another 10,000 inner-city, Black, Hispanic, and other minority workers. They are committing to keeping their bathrooms open for people who don’t have access to bathrooms. They are doing it on every level. It’s not simply, “Look at our advertising,” although the advertising reflects exactly what they’re talking about, and they’re not making jokes about Black coffee, you know, which they could, right, because that’s the quick way to get that message out.

Bruce:                     Instead, they’re saying, “This is who we are. This is what matters to us, and this is what we’re going to do about it.” Why? One guy, it was Howard Schultz, who came back from being, he had moved from CEO to Founder, to Chairman of the Board, to whatever, but he came back and said, “No, no, no. It’s not going to work this way. Here’s how we’re going to do it.” One guy on a horse with a sword.

Mike:                       Your book’s all about this. Your latest book title is, All About Them, which is what we’re talking about right now. They made it about their alignment of their customer, and their client, and their demographic, not about just getting out there and defending themselves, that would be all about me, right? That’s not even who I am, that’s one fluke like you’re describing.

Mike:                       When we talk about All About Them, why do you think we fall into the trap of whether you’re a speaker, an expert, a big, large institution, organization of making it about ourselves, right? Look at me, look at my product. Why do we fall into that, and how can we be more aware and present to making it about them? What are steps that we can take to make sure we’re making it about them every day?

Bruce:                     Well there’s three reasons why we do it. The first one is just personal insecurity. “Look at me. Look what I’ve done, because I need to build myself up. I need to feel good about myself.” That’s for a different show, and people with different expertise, but the other two reasons that we do it, reason number one is because in the old days, pre Internet, if you didn’t blow your own horn, if you didn’t tell people who you were and what you did, who was going to tell them? There was no way for anyone to find out about you.

Bruce:                     If I was interested in having Mike Domitrz to come and speak at my event, how could I find out about you, other than calling you and saying, “Hey Mike, would you send me a video tape? Would you send me a brochure?” You needed to go, “Look at me. Look at me. Look at me,” but today, before I call you on the phone, I know everything I want to know about you. The key is that I want to know because some people go to your website, go to YouTube, look things up. Go to Google, what we call the belt and suspender people, right, they wear both because they want every detail. Other people don’t care that much. They don’t bother, but you being out there yelling, “Look at me. Look at me. Look at me. Look at me,” is a fool’s errand because that information is available. We used to say, “Imagine if we each had a magical device that knew everything.” Siri, Cortana, Google, Alexa, Echo know everything, so being out there and yelling, “Look at me,” there really is no benefit to it. That’s reason number two.

Bruce:                     Reason number three should be the simplest one of all, no one taught you this. Nobody said, “When you’re marketing, when you’re branding, when you’re building your business, stop talking about yourself.” You know about it when you go on a date. You could be that guy on the date who says, “Yeah, I did this, then I did this, then I did this, then I did this,” but you understand that if you do that, the conversation’s not going to go very far, but when we talk about our businesses, nobody said to us, “Look, here’s the way you do it.”

Bruce:                     Look at the best advertisers. Look at how they promote themselves. What you will see is, they never talk about themselves. Apple does not tell you why their computers are better. They don’t talk to you about speeds and seeds. They don’t talk to you about technological advances. What are they saying right now? Behind the Mac, and they show a picture of a person with a laptop. Oh, I don’t want to print this so I’ll open it, and they show the person behind the computer. On the billboard I saw yesterday, they guy’s like this. Now you don’t know what he’s looking at. You don’t know what this means. It could mean, “Oh my God, I just declared bankruptcy.” It could be, “Oh my God, look at my new granddaughter.” You have no idea, but you have been in that position before, and so they’re not talking about their equipment. They’re talking about you and I. They’re talking about the experience of being behind the Mac.

Bruce:                     When they had their campaign thing different, they didn’t say, “Think different because we have an M17 megahertz processor.” They talked about the people who have thought different in history. Joan of Arc, Leonardo Di Vinci, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and so on and so forth, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and why you can be like them. Why Apple empowers you to do this. We see these messages all around us. We see the best companies, the best marketers, do it. We just have never been told, “That’s how you do it.” Now you’ve been told.

Mike:                       Right.

Bruce:                     That’s why I wrote the book, by the way.

Mike:                       Well I love that, and so pick up the book and we can all learn that. That becomes really important to talk about. How does someone help people find, like you said, you can do anything to find anything you want about people, so are you referring to the fact that you need to be serving up content, you need to be serving up valuable information? If you’re going to put yourself out there, put it out there in a way that you’re serving, that you’re providing helpful information so that when they are searching, and they run into you, they see somebody who aligns with what they’re looking for, is that what you’re referencing there, versus look at me?

Bruce:                     Of course.

Mike:                       No, no, let me just … Hey I’ve got some info., helpful information here.

Bruce:                     That’s right and information is only one way to look at it. It can also be entertainment. It can also be explanation. It can also be editing. I mean, for example, some of the most popular sites on the net are travel sites because when I travel somewhere, I don’t know where to go, so I look for people I trust. The reason I think that Anthony Bourdain was so successful was we could relate to him. We felt his pain. We felt his normal-ness. He was one of us. [inaudible 00:21:41] what we should do. He became our editors. We went to Paris, or we went to Peking, we could see what did Anthony Bourdain suggest we do, so editing is a great thing you can provide for people. “Hey, here’s what I know a lot about. Let me help you have a better experience.” Travel, food, music, electronics …

PART 2 OF 3 ENDS [00:22:04]

Mike:                       Food, music, electronics, software. Whatever it is you know about, providing that level of, let me help you. I use an algorithm in the book, CC 2 CC. The first CC stands for company centric, the number two stands for to, and the second CC stands for consumer centric. How do you take what you know, company centric, and how do you transfer it to your consumer? And more importantly to your potential consumer. And that’s what we’re talking about. Put the content out there, that there’s things I want to read, because either I’m interested in the information or I find it amusing. Or I find it thought provoking, or I find it provocative. Or I find it helpful. Again, I don’t know what your interests are, and you don’t know what my interests are.

Mike:                       But if your an expert in something, you know what it is you can provide. And you have to demonstrate to people that by interacting with you, with your materials, their lives will be better.

Bruce:                     And so, is the mistake that some people are making today, in thinking when they put out an video, or they put an article, they put something out in the world, is they’re thinking, what do I need to say to get attention? Versus, what is the best way I can entertain, serve those who would enjoy this the most.

Bruce:                     Right instead of just saying, look at me, versus how can I be of service or of entertainment? Is that what you’re referring to there? That idea that, “Hey, I’m going to do this video, because then I’ll be the one everyone’s talking about”. Versus, “I’m going to do this video because nobody’s saying this right now, and we need to have this conversation”.

Mike:                       So I love the word serve. Because if you say serve, that includes inform, entertain, excite, edit, whatever because it all fits under the umbrella. Yeah, you don’t want to be the little kid at the pool, on the diving board going, “Look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me”. And at that point there’s only two things he could do to make it worth my while. He could either do a perfectly executed double back flip. Or he can jump up in the air, and belly flop and make me laugh. There’s nothing else that kid’s going to do that’s going to make up for him interrupting me.

Mike:                       Think about old school marketing, the look at me, as the foot that someone sticks out in the isle of the airplane or the movies that you trip over. It interrupts your day to day. It makes you pay attention, but it’s not necessarily a good thing. And the provocative statements tend to do that. Whereas the person who says, “Oh, you’re going to Des Moines, well let me tell you some great places to eat”. I’ve never been to Des Moines before, I’m interested, I want to hear that. That will make my life better. “And when you go to this restaurant, you know what, the maître d’s name is Christina, tell her I sent you and she’ll take really good care of you”. Wow, now I get to travel like a local, that’s awesome. Very different than the person tripping you and saying, “Hey here’s some coupons, when you go there you can save money on stuff”.

Bruce:                     Yeah.

Mike:                       One’s respecting your time. One’s respecting your intelligence. And today’s show’s obviously all of our shows are all about respect. For you Bruce, who instilled respect in you the most? Through your growing up? Through your development? Through the business years?

Bruce:                     There were I think probably three or four people who did it. The first two were my parents. My parents were real sticklers for this. My dad’s belief was, you do the right thing, because it’s the right thing to do. I remember when my friend Alan got $5 for a B and $10 for an A. And I came home, and said, “Hey, Alan just got” … Alan wasn’t that smart I don’t think he got that much money, but. “Alan just got 25 bucks for his report card Dad, and looking at you owe me 70 bucks”. My father looked at me like I had three heads, and he said, “What are you talking about?”I said, “You know, Alan gets $5 for a B and $10 for an A”. And he said, “You’re supposed to get A’s, that’s your job, my job is to clothe you, feed you, house you, teach you about the world. Your job is to be the best you can be. Now I’m not saying that you might not get a D occasionally, or a C and that’s so terrible, but your job is to do well”. There was no reason why. There was no explanation right. It was the right thing to do. And I saw my dad do that in business. And I saw my dad do that in all his social activism.

Bruce:                     My parents did the first anti-segregation sit in’s in the South in Miami in 1959. My parents did amazing things. My mother was just as upright, but also added an intellectual component. Where she wouldn’t just say it’s the right thing to do. She would give me five books that I had to go read. That explained throughout history, why these things mattered.

Bruce:                     And then, when I was in the orchestra. My orchestra leader, and crazy enough, my band leader, because I was a musician in school. Both of the two of them, really instilled this idea, that music is this ideal that you strive for. And the reason you strive for it is because you have to respect everyone who’s come before. The composers, the musicians, the audiences. And if you get up, and you don’t do a good job, you’re not only disrespecting yourself. But you’re disrespecting this entire tradition of music. And you’re disrespecting the people who are listening to you. They didn’t say you had to be perfect. Hey we were Junior High School musicians, we weren’t that good. But the point was, you’re doing the best you can do, because you respect yourself. And you respect the people that you are producing this music for. And you respect everyone who’s come before you and who’s laid the path. So we stand on the shoulders of giants. And that’s how we become giants ourselves. And I think that is a clear indication or why respect matters.

Mike:                       I love that. And you spoke of your mom giving you books to read. And I know you’re a big reader, obviously your book is one that we’ll have a link to for everybody, All About Them. You also told me about two other books that you’re a big fan of. And that is, Orbiting the Giant, I believe it is Hairball by Gordon Mackenzie.

Bruce:                     Orbiting the Giant Hairball, yup.

Mike:                       Yep. And Designing Your Life by Burnett and Evans. Can you explain what about these two books you love?

Bruce:                     Well let me, you brought up three points. So first of all, my mother and books. I had brunch with my mother yesterday, I left with two books. I need to read The Undoing Project and The Sense of an Ending, so my mother still does that to this day.

Mike:                       That’s awesome.

Bruce:                     Designing Your Life is sitting right on my desk. It’s not because I thought you [inaudible 00:28:10]. I have notes on every single page. Designing Your Life is a great book. It simply talks about, what is it you want out of life? It was a class at Stanford that has no become the most popular class at the university. And every student is required to take it. And they make you do something that I thought was fascinating. They make you write just a 30 minute, one pager, it’s easy to do. A business plan. Here’s where I think my business is going. Here’s what I think I want to accomplish, on and on and on. A couple of pages later, they ask you to write a life plan. Here’s what I want to accomplish in my life. Here’s who I want to be. And then they say, okay now put the two of them together. And you find a sense of congruity between the two. Does the business plan help you achieve what you want to do in life? Does the life plan help you decide what you want to do in business. Amazingly enough, I have never thought of that before. And my guess is, the people listening are going, “I never thought of that either”. So that’s why I like that book.

Bruce:                     Orbiting the Giant Hairball, which is back there on my bookshelf, is a book written by the guy who was the creative director for Hallmark Cards. And he’s the one who took Hallmark Cards from just having the plain, sappy greeting cards, to all those little wacky cards. And cards that talk to different groups, and different people and different interested. And the entire book is about moving forward towards being the ultimate manifestation of who you are. And why you matter. While bureaucracy, entropy, all the other forces try to drag you back. Accept even though those are big words, by the title of the book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, you can tell that he doesn’t take it seriously. And so he’s talking all the time about Why you matter. Why Earth matters. Why music matters. Why you need to express who you are. And it’s just really an inspirational and a wonderful, wonderful book.

Mike:                       I love it. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliance with us, Bruce. I know you and I just recently got to spend a little time together. And being around you, your energy, your spirit, your brilliance is always awesome. So thank you.

Bruce:                     Wow. Thank you.

Mike:                       Absolutely. And for everyone listening, remember you can join us on Facebook at our discussion group. So it’s The Respect Podcast Discussion Group and really dive into your favorite parts that were shared today by Bruce. Insights maybe to check those books out. But let us know what you loved. That’s on the Facebook discussion group for The Respect Podcast.

Mike:                       Thank you for joining us for this episode of The Respect Podcast. Which was sponsored by The Date Safe Project at And remember you can always find me at

PART 3 OF 3 ENDS [00:30:55]


Mike Domitrz, CSP

Mike Domitrz, CSP

Speaker, Author, and Authority on Respect Culture For almost 3 decades, leading institutions around the world and the US Military have been turning to Mike for helping them transform their culture. To have Mike help your organization ignite this vital and necessary conversation, call 833-801-0247 or email

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