Lunch with a Leader – Barry Shrock

Barry ShrockHave you ever been around someone that just brightens your day?  Barry Schrock of Summit Coaching and Consulting Group is that kind of person.  Jim and I had lunch with him recently and from the moment we sat down, we both knew Barry was going to add value to our day.

Barry grew up in Ohio and like any Midwestern student, loved sports and underachieved in the classroom, until a day that changed his life.  He was called into an office by one of the coaches in the building who altered the path of his life forever.  This person shared they saw more potential in Barry than he saw in himself.  She saw Barry as a future teacher and coach!

Fast forward to today – Barry took the advice, changed his grades, redirected his path, and be became an outstanding educator, administrator, and successful basketball coach at the collegiate and high school levels.  He has used these leadership principles to guide thousands of individuals through the Clifton StrengthsFinder program to help them become the best person they could be.

The biggest takeaway for me during our time with Barry was how positive he was throughout our conversation.  He was not interested in us getting the “sales pitch” about his business, but he genuinely listened and cared about what we had to say and provided amazing feedback to questions we were asking him.

If you as an individual or your company is looking to go from good to excellent in production or leadership development, Barry and his group is worth a call.  You can reach Summit Coaching and Consulting at

by Jere Johnson

Lunch (Breakfast) with a Leader – Karl LaPan

karl lapanAs you know, Karl LaPan is the CEO of the NIIC (Northeast Indiana Innovation Center).  Karl was our First Fridays speaker on January 5, 2018.  Karl invested in me this morning by having breakfast with me.

Karl overflows with innovation!  I have met no one quite like him.  We talked about business impact, entrepreneurship, new initiatives, vision, culture – my head and heart are full.

Did you know that Karl speaks all over the world?  He does!  He is a leader who passionately helps entrepreneurs and established business folks become better.  He and the work of the NIIC changes lives.  How?

By helping people understand and then fulfill their dreams.  He’s honest with them as those dreams are fleshed-out.  The NIIC is great at vetting ideas and people.  And when the “product”, the people, and the plan unite, powerful things happen.  Personal economies grow.  Lives are changed.

Karl is a natural connector.  He marries what he reads, who he knows, what he has experienced into a meaningful connection experience.  He simply adds value!  And as a result, he is intentionally leaving a legacy with those that are fortunate to interact with him.

Visit to learn more about what all this group offers to our community.  Help connect a budding entrepreneur to Karl and the NIIC.

ideas at work niic


Attend the upcoming Ideas@Work 2018 on April 17.  Follow this link for more information.  I plan to be there!



Thank you, Karl, for what you do in and for our community.

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly Highlights March 2 First Fridays!

I shared an image on LinkedIn on Saturday about this, but I realize that most could not read the article that the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly published by Gwen Clayton.  So here is the link to that article:  Leadership forum covers conflict resolution

Thank you, Gwen, for sharing about Brian DeCook‘s presentation and for informing folks about First Fridays!  We appreciate this!

For more from the Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, visit them at:


3 Ways To Walk In and Make A Stranger Like You by Ben Kissam

A great article to help you connect with others.

A lot of research has been done on how we build rapport, to the point that specific techniques have emerged. There are, in fact, repeatable and measurable ways you can incorporate into how you communicate that can help someone you’ve never met like, trust or relate to you better. Think of how useful that might be for enhancing your career, business or family life.

Follow this link to read the entire article:

April 13 – a Change for First Fridays

We want to give you a heads up for our April First Fridays event.  It will not be on the 1st Friday of the month.  Spring Break is the first week of April for many, so we decided not to compete with that.

Instead, we will be hosting First Fridays on the 2nd Friday of April which is Friday, the 13th.  Did you get all of that?

April 13 promo

Mark your calendars now for this great event.  You are not going to want to miss meeting and hearing Dr. Matt Lucas and Coach Jordan Langs from Indiana Wesleyan University.  It promises to be an outstanding morning as both men share about Vision and Culture.  These are dynamic leaders from IWU and have been and will be doing great things for the university.

For those interested, IWU will be hosting a meet and greet time with Coach Langs at 9 am.  Why?  Indiana Wesleyan University has never had a football team until now.  Coach Langs is the leader who has recruited and will field the very first football team for IWU.  Many area high school students will be playing for him this fall.

Just remember in April, we will be meeting on the 2nd Friday.  And just for April.  We’ll be back to the 1st Friday in May and June.

Yes, there’s going to be a quiz…

Registration for this FREE event is now available at:  Special Date: APRIL 13 First Fridays

Build Your Career Here by Victoria Sarjeant

I (Jim) was recently interviewed for this article.  Here is an excerpt.  Follow the link at the end to read the entire article. 

Theresa Steele“Theresa Steele, owner of Steele Business Coaching suggests talking to a recruiter, HR specialist or life coach. While she hasn’t done this herself, she believes a Life Coach could certainly help in this area if you are looking to make a serious life change. I know many of you are probably like me and think of Paris Gellar’s life coach from Gilmore Girls. Don’t worry. They are a little more serious than that. If you want to shop around for quotes on life coaches, go to Thumbtack and enter in in your needs, the way you want to meet, frequency, and more!

The next expert I talked to was Jim Johnson, Vice President of Member Services at 3 Rivers Federal Credit Union. Many may know Jim from the popular new professional development group, First Fridays. “I’ve counseled many folks seeking new employment. I’ve advised them to identify their gifts, talents and abilities. A person may be seeking a different career, but that does not have to mean that they should ignore what they uniquely have within them. Look for a new career that addresses their strengths. For example, if the person has teaching experience, a training position could be a good fit.” Personally, I have seen this career change work well first hand. I have seen two teachers make a change into advisors and become very successful. Sometimes they find that helping someone one on one is just more rewarding.”
Read the rest here:  Build Your Career Here
Living Fort Wayne

March 2 Topic

March 2 2018 promo

Brian DeCook is ready for us on March 2.  His topic next month will be “Team Smart Relationships:  Conflict & the Leader’s Role”.  You will not want to miss Brian’s presentation!

To reserve your FREE spot, click on the following link or on the promo above.  Our room is filling up!

March 2 First Fridays with Brian DeCook