Trusted Business Advisor
- “It’s very LONELY the top of the pyramid“
- CEOs tend to live isolated lives where the must be accessible around the clock
- Many CEOs find great value in talking to someone in complete confidence and candor
- Often CEOs retain Trusted Business Advisor for a second opinion when making decisions and judgement calls
His role is to assist the CEO
- In identifying strategic decision-making options
- In inspiring harmony, collaboration, and unity
- In recognizing unanticipated consequences
- In separating facts from emotion
- In navigating board dynamics
- In thinking through issues
- In avoiding the Fatal Flaw
Why Somers White is qualified and experienced to be the CEO’s advisor.
At the tender age of 30, without nepotism, he became the youngest Bank President in America for and bank located in any major metropolitan center.
His mentor’s passing was written up in Time Magazine. About Somer’s Mentor.
As a result, he experienced working with different constituencies, including:
What About Somers Education
The Two Schools that do not have graduate school’s but rather focus on undergraduate and liberal Arts, and are most always rated the highest are Amherst College and Williams College.
Somers had Amherst as his first choice. He received a message from the Dean of Williams College. “You will undoubtedly be admitted to Amherst but if not, contact me immediately.”
Somers was the first person in his class to receive a job offer. It was from an organization that Somers Preferred because of their training program.
He applied only to one one graduate school for an MBA from Harvard. While at Harvard, there were several clubs for example, there was the marketing club, that had over half of the student body as members. Somers was president of the marketing club.
There was the finance club, where he was vice president.
He was also on the board of directors for the public affairs club.
Why did Somers set up his own management and consulting firm.
While at the Harvard Business School, he picked Arizona as a place with wonderful climate and dramatic growth.
When he became the youngest bank president. He had to move to Seattle, so when the offer came for him to come back to Phoenix.
He got a surprise on the first day when the bank was sold. For me, more details on how he became the youngest bank president, because of his marketing success, and because of his position in Seattle. Please see the third section forward about Confident, Dynamic, and Effective, Speaking about the 2 most important speeches.
2 most important speeches
I thought you might gain insight into me by my revealing to you the two (2) most important speeches I ever gave.
Somers White Before 3,000 Paid Speeches
Although Somers White has given over 3,000 Paid Speeches in all 50 states and on six continents, the two most important speeches he ever gave were not for money and before the thought of speaking professionally.
In The Credit Department
Two months before the opening of a new bank facility, Somers was hired as the fifth bank employee, to head the Credit Department.
After a week he heard the person in charge of New Business was to receive an EXPENSE ACCOUNT. At that point in his career, this was beyond something which was not only a symbol, but represented an echelon which he had never been at.
He also heard that this person would probably, eventually receive a membership to the best Country Club in Arizona.
Asking to Head Something When He Had No Experience
He went to the Bank President and said, “I want to head New Business.” The response was, “You cannot.” Somers asked, “Why not?”
The President of the bank replied, “Because I do not have anyone to run the Credit Department.”
Somers replied, “The first rule in all nature, whether it is a bee or a plant, is to replace itself. I already have my replacement. His name is Dick Thomas. He is a better credit man than I am, and I am sure that he would accept the position.”
President: “Well, I do not know Somers. Perhaps you can talk to the Board of Directors.”
Somers: “Great! When will they be meeting?”
All The Reasons Why Not
At that time, Somers had never waited on a customer face-to-face. All his previous work had been in the back room analyzing financial statements. His only contact with those outside the bank was by telephone.
Speech Before Board Of Directors Of The Guaranty Bank
Somers prepared very carefully for the meeting. In the middle of it, the Bank Director who was acknowledged as the most successful in marketing and one of the five largest shareholders jumped up and shouted:
“THIS IS THE GUY! THIS IS THE GUY!!” Right then and there they voted to have Somers head marketing.
Because of his lack of experience, Somers was not bound by the conventional operations and the bank had a super, rapid growth.
Speech Before Board of Directors of the Northwest Bank
A friend let Somers know that a new bank was being formed, so a couple years later he went to Seattle to meet with the Board of Directors. He prepared very carefully.
Somers made a presentation and they hired him on the spot. He was told, “Your first job is to write all the other applicants.” Here is what he found:
There were 487 applications
All applicants had bigger titles
Somers was an Assistant Vice President
No one who applied was Assistant Vice President
No one applied who had the title of Vice President
Everyone who had applied was 20 years older than Somers
Then he learned that he was the FIRST one they interviewed
Somers at that time:
For any major metropolitan center
The Youngest Bank President in America
Martin Luther King’s Speech “I Have A Dream”
Martin Luther King’s speech was a GAME CHANGER and after 50 years it is still well remembered.
At the time of the 2016 Presidential Race Somers had someone call him saying, “I heard you speak at the Barber and Beauty Institute.”
Somers: “I have spoken for the group four times. When did you hear me?” Reply: “1983”
Somers: “I am greatly flattered ●that you remembered ●something
33 years ago● What possibly could make you call me now?”
Response: “I not only remember● how powerful your ideas● and how persuasive you were● but HOW you answered questions I want you to contact● the 2 major Presidential Candidates● show them how to answer a question”
Somers: “I replied 2 months ago● I was able to locate● the private email● of one of the campaign managers● and wrote to that person● but have not heard back.”
They then discussed● Somers SEVEN SECRETS● for answering questions.
Somers was telling this to a group and said the following, “Picture tomorrow● you are having a business conversation● one on one● with a group. What are the chances● you would receive a call:
3 days later
3 weeks later
3 years later
30 years later”
Nobody Started at The Top
Someone had to teach Mozart the musical scale. Someone taught Albert Einstein that 2+2=4. Due to certain speech problems, Demosthenes did not have an easy start in public speaking.
When he started he was like any beginning speaker. He needed help and needed a speech coach.
In order to improve his speech, Demosthenes would talk with pebbles in his mouth, so he had to work harder to get the sound out.
The reason behind this is that when your mouth is full you have to enunciate more clearly than normal. Eventually, you would get used to this and so when you took them out you would still be enunciating more, which would lead to improved speech.
Comments From Others About Demosthenes’s Speeches
Longinus likened Demosthenes to a blazing thunderbolt, and argued that he “perfected to the utmost the tone of lofty speech, living passions, copiousness, readiness, speed”. Quintilian extolled him as lex orandi (“the standard of oratory”).
Cicero said about him that inter omnis unus excellat (“he stands alone among all the orators”), and he also acclaimed him as “the perfect orator” who lacked nothing.
Move Listeners To Action
When Cicero finished speaking they said, “How well Cicero spoke today.” When Demosthenes finished speaking the crowd shouted with one voice, “Let us take up arms and MARCH.” Somers White aims at having his speech clients move people to
action, so results are produced.
A Protégé Recognized It
Somers had a protégé named Tom, who became a Bank President. He said, “Somers, you were very young to be President of a Bank at 30 years old.” I replied, “I got out of college at 22 and became a Bank President at 30, which gave me 8 years of experience.”
He replied, “Somers, you went into the military service for 2 years, so that only gave you 6 years of experience. Also, you went to the Harvard Business School for 2 years, so you really only had 4 years banking experience to become the Youngest Bank President without nepotism.” I replied, “Tom, you are the first person to figure it all out. Please do not tell anyone else.”
Can’t Be Done
This is probably why I like the expression,
“Don’t tell me it can’t be done unless you have done it.”
Je Ne Sais Quoi
Somers mentions 3 Presidents. When he does this, he is not concerned with whether you like someone or hate that person. Rather, it starts with acknowledging that each had a different style and each was extremely effective. All were elected to a second term.
They were Presidents Reagan, Clinton and Obama. Each had a different style. There is a French phrase, “je ne sais quoi,” which is difficult to translate about that INDESCRIBABLE, SPECIAL QUALITY.
Speaker’s Objective: For Example Neutralizing The Opposition
Each speaker should go with his or her own style, so that they are able to make a connection, create credibility and motivate to action not only their constituency, but others who are outside their usual bailiwick. In advising political candidates, Somers tell them, “Often you have little chance of winning over a hardcore person on the other side. Your success may come in neutralizing the opposition.”
Neutralizing Example: Ted Kennedy And Ronald Reagan
As an example of this, one would think of Ted Kennedy, who was the ultimate Liberal Senator. However, you probably never read or heard of Ted Kennedy attacking Ronald Reagan. Reagan neutralized him. In public speaking, one wants to be very clear what his or her objective is with different constituencies.
The First Ring in Pealing an Onion
This is just the tip of the iceberg in professional speaking but lets you see how Somers did what he did. You can get an insight into the concept, “In the right situation one carefully prepared and eloquently delivered speech, can equal a lifetime of work.”