Keni is the best speaker we've EVER had at our conference and we've been doing this for 25 years. Not only was his message heartfelt and inspiring, it completely hits home with exactly what our conferences are about--safety, training and leadership.
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My Mission, My People, Myself
The Ranger servant-leadership model of “My Mission, My People, before Myself” is a mind set that is taught and lived by our decorated combat operators from the Special Operations community; Army Rangers and Special Forces commandos. The Battle of Mogadishu ( Blackhawk Down ) is still the most highly decorated single battle in the history of the United States Military. The stories of selfless service are an opportunity for each leader in the audience to evaluate their personal leadership style, how it affects others, the organization and the success of the mission.
Become the Kind of Leader Others Want to Follow
There is no greater responsibility than to lead others. So please, take that responsibility seriously and learn to lead well. Being a transformational leader requires more of you than the transactional tasks of managing metrics and making decisions. Transformational leaders must also know how to provide the purpose, direction and inspiration required to accomplish any mission for the greater good. When you learn how to motivate others to work together, you will then inspire operating excellence. As we move through the battle we will use the story to define what it really means to lead others and discuss the ideal model of the transformational leader you want to become.
GET IT ON! WHAT IT MEANS TO LEAD THE WAY
The Ranger motto is “Rangers Lead the Way”. Leadership is at the core of every skill developed as a Ranger. But they will never tell you leading others is dependent upon your rank the stripes on your sleeve, the position you have, or the title you hold. Leadership is the example we set for the people we serve. And we all serve somebody.
Keni Thomas’ stories of Task Force Ranger are extraordinary examples of leadership. And, the stories are not about Generals, Colonels or Captains. For example, Private David Floyd was in charge of one person that day - himself. But his leadership and example saved lives.
In the pace of life, it is easy to lose perspective on our value to others. Make no mistake: Your presence is crucial! The individuals to the left and right are directly affected by the result of your actions. Each team is a puzzle with invaluable pieces.
There is no greater responsibility than to lead others! When you raise your hand or assume a task, you have put on the “uniform”. This is a choice you have made. Duty follows that responsibility. It’s up to you to deliver because your actions directly affect those around you. Keni Thomas helps attendees see themselves in the light of extraordinary. Because people who believe they have something to offer, who believe they have what it takes, will be the ones to rise to the occasion and step up in difficult times. It is the ultimate definition of LEADING THE WAY...
KEY POINTS OF EMPHASIS:
Training and planning will prepare the team for the mission. But, the mission’s execution hinges on leadership - every person at every level taking care of one another. General Garrison oversaw the entire package while Private David Floyd was responsible for himself, but each carried responsibility.
“Leadership is not a position...it is the example you set!”
No-one in the world is better at team-building than US Special Operations forces! Special operations units like the Rangers operate globally in small teams and squad-sized elements. Since every job is dependent upon the other, and lives are on the line, it’s critical each member of a team understands their value to mission success. Enduring hardship together, builds trust and instills a unified sense of purpose. These are required necessities for creating an extraordinary team. Companies who understand this become important players.
Tough, realistic training demands that every team member constantly seeks to improve. You will only be as good as you prepared yourself to be. Preparation will define your performance. “Train as You Fight Fight as You train”
It wasn’t raining when Noah built the arc! A well defined plan is essential to mission success. Rangers have a very deliberate process for planning. The 5Ws..Who, What, When, Where, Why help develop a mission statement and get everyone on the same page. “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”
Note: Keni Thomas ends his presentation with a song accompanied by his guitar.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION (BREAKOUT AFTER KEYNOTE)
The single biggest problem in communication is assuming it happened. The ability of a team, a squad, or any military unit to communicate quickly and accurately with each other is a critical battlefield necessity, perhaps second only to military strength. Effective communication enables a leader to efficiently disseminate information so their intent is clearly understood. This enables all involved to understand their role in the mission with clear expectations. In other words, the ability to communicate clearly—to get your intent and ideas across so others understand your message and act on it—is one of the primary qualities of a good leader.
The Army Field Manual for Leader Development states
“Leaders communicate by clearly expressing ideas and actively listening to others. By understanding the nature and importance of communication and practicing effective communication techniques, leaders will relate better to others and be able to translate goals into actions”
Being heard is not necessarily being understood. There are thousands of leadership books on the shelves describing what leaders should be, know and do. However, they give little attention to the importance of effective communication and what that really means. We are drowning in communications tools, and the victim is good leadership. PowerPoint, video conferencing, e-mail, social media, are great tools, but they are no substitute for clarity. Research shows all these advances in communication capacity are actually having a negative effect on message clarity. Fortunately, the solution is remarkably simple: acknowledge the importance of effective communication and integrate the teaching of good communication skills.
This class will be a fun practical exercise to help illustrate the biggest problem in effective communication which is assuming it happened. Just because we said it, doesn't mean they heard it! Communications are effective when the recipient of your message, whether by listening or reading, understands the meaning intended by you the speaker or writer. Good communication is simple and direct, sometimes intensified by emotion, but never confusing.
- Understand the importance of effective communication
- Explain the Communication Process
- Know when effective communication occurs
- Experience the “ah hah!” moment when discovering what you said is not necessarily
what they heard
...Keni takes a monumental task in his life and breaks it down into everyday terms. He's teaching folks that they are extraordinary and that every person matters.
He is the best speaker we've ever had at our conferences and we've been doing this for 25 years. Not only was his message heartfelt and inspiring, it completely hit home with exactly what our conferences are about--safety, training, and leadership.
I just wanted to let you know that we had an AWESOME day with Keni Thomas!! He was absolutely FABULOUS! He tailored his message on leadership and it was exactly what we wanted for our teachers and administrators here in Cherokee.
Your incredible energy was infectious and really got us on the right track.
You were awesome! I must say that the consensus among all the attendees at our off-site meeting last week was that you were the best speaker we've ever had.
Your keynote address was extremely well received. Everyone was very moved by your story and the song you performed at the end.
In our feedback meetings after Keni's talk, the kids were able to restate his message about leadership, self-reliance, & the benefit of preparation. The kids really appreciated having a quality, sincere, & entertaining speaker.
He stayed afterwards and met with every student who wanted to be with him. He really made a difference.
Keni takes a monumental task in his life, and breaks it down to everyday terms. He is teaching ordinary folks to think and act extraordinary, one person at a time.
This was one of the best speakers we have ever invested in for our school system. I cannot tell you how many of our faculty and staff members have told me that they loved his presentation and that it was right on target for what schools are facing today.
One of the most riveting talks that I've had the honor of hearing in a long time. Throughout his speech I looked around the crowd and he had everyone eating out of his hand. What a fabulous story! His energy is so contagious!
Keni's appearance was unique and engaging. He did a superb job of storytelling while weaving a message of teamwork, duty and training.
I cannot tell you how lucky we were with Keni! Many of my attendees said he was the best speaker they've ever heard. Now I'm just afraid I'm not going to be able to top him next year!
Keni Thomas was AWESOME! We are still getting rave reviews about him. He was perfect for the event. So easy to work with. He really cared.
Keni was great; I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to make a direct impact on leadership, safety and accountability. Thanks again for making this happen for us, it's appreciated. Keep up the good work and "Get it On" everyday!!
There were a number of comments from the attendees on how inspired they were to do more in their communities and to make stronger efforts to support our military.
We can't thank you enough for your willingness to stay longer at our conference to help us with our fundraising efforts . . . we raised over $10,000 last night for the SOWF!
Keni exceeded my expectations.... I have never seen a keynote speaker have such a positive impact on our conference.
You were truly one of the best presenters with the most inspirational message that we have EVER brought to Oklahoma! We have received SO many compliments about your message of teamwork and leadership!
In a word, WOW. In my work, I have an opportunity to hear many speakers. This was without a doubt the best I have ever heard.
Keni was awesome!! . . . He moved the staff, spent time with them, and struck a chord with so many people.
Keni Thomas had a profound effect on us.
Keni was the first and only standing ovation that ANY speaker has received from our group. That statement says it all. We highly recommend Keni. His message is effective, stimulating, and refreshing.
Keni did an absolutely outstanding job as our keynote speaker. He really "touched" the hearts of our participants and left a lasting impression. In fact, several have asked me how to book Keni for their companies.
It is important to get Keni's name and message out there; he has a lot to say and says it well. He evokes a very emotional response from people and he relates to everyone.
I really liked Keni! Most honest person that I have heard speak in years.
The Summer Conference was a huge success! We received so much positive feedback from the teachers. Keni's ability to entertain and tell a story made for an awesome day.
Keni was awesome .what a terrific person. His presentation was wonderfu!
I just want to send a special thank you to Keni and Eric for making our virtual Global Sales Meeting today a hit at Nonin Medical. The audience loved Keni! I also appreciated Keni closing with a song, Not Me - it was beautiful and moving!
Keni did a tremendous job in motivating our teachers as we begin a new year. We will definitely have him back!
I wanted someone with the message we were trying to portray, which is, 'We're all on the same team.' His message was perfect.
Keni was great to work with and our audience absolutely raved about his presentation. He stayed afterwards and talked to everyone that wanted to speak with him. I would highly recommend Keni as an inspirational speaker with a great message about what it takes to be an effective leader in an organization.
Keni Thomas is awesome!" "Loved Keni's humor and message," "Keni Thomas - Amazing!" We couldn't agree more with the audience. You did an incredible job and we thank you for taking the time to not only present at our retirement seminar, but to come back with us and present at Rockwell, who also loved you. We were all incredibly impressed with how you autographed your books. You didn't just autograph the book, you had a one-on-one dialogue with each attendee
The event was awesome. Keni delivered an amazing performance. He is truly an inspiration to people of all ages. The following morning as I arrived to transport Keni to the airport, my son and I had breakfast with Keni. Then we took him to the airport. Keni showed my son his plane and took the time to explain important components of his aircraft. I can't explain the impact Keni made on this 12 year old young man in just a short period of time
Prior to our convention, people had asked me why I would invite Keni Thomas to present to bunch of auto parts people. I simply answered "wait and see". When it was over, the line stretched out the door of people that wanted to meet him and shake his hand. Leadership, communication and common goals are just a few of his messages that transcend any business or culture
Keni's ability to wrap faith, patriotism and real life experiences with a message of inspiration and leadership is amazing. My prayers out to you to keep the message going strong.
We had an excellent experience with Premiere Speakers and with Keni from beginning to end. I can't think of anything we would change!
I've been going to leadership conferences for 10 years now and never has a speaker grabbed me--from the very second they started to the very second they ended--like Keni Thomas did at this year's FCAM Professional Development Conference.
His stories of valor mixed with leadership values, laced with sincerity and humor, and finished with music have forever changed me moving forward. We should be grateful people like Keni serve us and this great nation so selflessly, faithfully, heroically.
I have seen many motivational speakers in my career. I have to say Keni's speech was one I will remember for a long time.
Thank you very much for getting us Keni as a speaker. All logistics went well and he has 300 new fans, as all attendees were blown away.
The audience loved your presentation and the feedback has been amazing. Everyone loved listening to you speak and for many, that alone was worth coming to Hawaii.
Keni Thomas did an excellent job for us as our commencement speaker. His non-traditional, informal style worked very well for our 1200 graduates and their families. People are still talking about the event and his powerful message. I recommend him highly.
I just wanted to thank you for your words of inspiration and the time you spent with my team last Thursday. They are still talking about the impact of your message.
He was wonderful! We had people saying this was the best In-Service training they had ever attended.
Keni was one of the most dynamic speakers we have seen. His story not only motivated our team but touched us all deeply. Several weeks out our team is still remarking on and trying to live his message--to lead and take care of those to your left and right!
. . . he molded the Ranger leadership tactics and strategies into approaches that all the healthcare leaders could take back and implement. Our attendees referred to Keni as a "home run"--everyone stayed after to have one-on-one time with him.