Speaker Date Topic
Robert Beezat Jan 25, 2018
Character Based Management

Excerpted from a Chicago Tribune article by Rex Huppke:


After years of writing about workplace problems, I've finally found a universal solution: Every company in America needs a Robert Beezat.


You probably haven't heard of Robert Beezat, but after I tell you about him, you're for sure going to want one. He's a veteran manager, now 74 and semiretired, who has written a book that isn't the kind you'd find on shelves at airport bookstores or stacked high at a Barnes & Noble.  It's not glossy or filled with fancy charts and edgy buzzwords. It's short — an even 100 pages — and not much to look at from the outside. But, oh, what's inside. Imagine you're lucky enough to have a veteran colleague, a person of character, a person whose career is enviable, and that colleague takes you aside for a couple of hours and shares the secrets to being a good worker and a good manager.

That's what it's like to read Beezat's book, "Character Based Management." (Even the title's a little dull, BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER!) The secrets he shares aren't complicated: shut up and listen; learn by watching others; do what you say you're going to do; foster a sense of love — yes, love — in your workplace.

It's all simple, in a sense, but it's not the sort of thing we hear often enough. If we did, and we took it seriously, our working world would be considerably more pleasant.

"I'm one of 10 kids, the second oldest, and we learned to get along with everybody and work with each other and care for each other and respect each other," Beezat told me. "I guess that just always kind of carried over into my work life. You read all these management books and they all have some pluses to them, but they don't last because they don't get at what the core is when it comes to management, which is who you are. If you don't have good character, people see that."

He builds his book around a wonderful quote from Henri Fayol, a French engineer who developed a general theory of business administration in the early 1900s: "In making decisions … the moral character (of the decision-maker) … determines the quality of the decisions."

Beezat encourages readers to "find ways to understand" the characteristics and behaviors that enhance a person's character, things like kindliness, equity, a willingness to accept responsibility and tact.  He writes: "Our behaviors flow from how we understand reality as a whole; and, in particular and very importantly, how we understand ourselves and others as human beings."

I'm guessing most people have known someone in their career like Beezat, a person who just seems to get it, the one colleague everyone likes to work alongside. He recounts one of his proudest moments as a manager, when he was leaving for another job and a co-worker spoke up at his going-away party and said: "Bob, you bring out the best in people."

Jill Keenon Feb 01, 2018
Brain Health and Prevention of Dementia

Jill is an RN working in Assisted Living and Memory Care as a Health Coach helping clients to understand prevention as a road to health.


Mike Lauesen Feb 08, 2018
Motivational Speaker

Mike Lauesen is a lifelong learner and student. Mike’s purpose in life is to make an impactful, positive difference in every life he touches. He was greatly influenced by his upbringing. He grew up with seven brothers and sisters in a modest three-bedroom ranch-style home with one bathroom. He worked several jobs in high school, learning the value of hard work from his parents and older siblings.

While attending the University of Minnesota on an athletic scholarship, he learned invaluable life lessons one summer selling cutlery door-to-door. After graduation, Mike started his career in accounting (a recovered C.P.A.), then sold computers and software and eventually founded his own specialty chemical/coating company (Nicoat) in 1985 at twenty-eight years of age. After building Nicoat into a successful professionally managed international company, he exited as founder/CEO and started a new career as a professional speaker and life coach.

He is passionate, funny, and entertaining as a professional speaker. Mike is a Competent Toastmaster (International Speaking Association) and coaches/ mentors business leaders or anyone who is a ready student.


Jeffrey G. Shepard Feb 15, 2018
What is Bitcoin all about?

Jeff Shepard serves as a wealth advisor at Eastgate Capital Advisors, located at 650 Green Bay in Winnetka.   He is an accomplished financial professional with deep experience as a portfolio manager, as well as fixed income sales, real estate, and foreign exchange. Previously, Jeff served in fixed income Institutional Sales with William Blair & Co LLC; a Partner with LaSalle Jackson LLC and Fixed Income Associates LLC; a fixed income portfolio manager with Segall Bryant & Hamill and was a Senior Vice President and Director of the Insurance Asset Management Group of Columbia Asset Management where he managed $4.4 billion.  Jeff has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in Economics and earned his AM in Economics from University of Chicago. Jeff lives in Chicago with his wife, with whom he has three adult children.

Alison Henderson Feb 22, 2018
Sexual Harassment and Your Mind

I specialize in developing the leader within each individual through language, non-verbal presence, and understanding the decision-making process. Through the MOVEPRINT program, business leaders and teams learn more about themselves and how they are empowering or sabotaging their business! They discover what type of person to add to their team, how to make the best enrollment conversation, and how to improve client relationships. Every individual discovers their best self and how to best communicate for their personal brand.