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March, 2019
Welcome to YOUR newly designed and re-formatted Results Report.
TAKE ACTION. For on the clock of life or watch of winners THE key word is NOW!
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"Real courage is knowing what is worth fearing and what is worth pursuing."
     - Aristotle
"Wonder what your customer really wants? Ask. Don't tell."
     - Lisa Stone, co-founder and CEO of BlogHer
"Do you know what the best thing is about honesty? It doesn't require a good memory!"
"You have a greater likelihood of listening a customer into an investment, as opposed to talking them into a buy."

The preceding two quotes, are excerpts from the new 5th edition of my bestselling, Peak Your Profits. Now available on Amazon at:


This year, my recent "birthday week" was unlike any other. The day before my birthday, February 19th, my beloved 91-year-old dad, Irv, passed away. The day after my birthday, February 21st, were dad's funeral and interment.

Dad was the best mentor a little boy or adult son could ever have.

He taught me the significance of little things that matter. He helped me understand—grandiose plans are nice, but results inform the world. He stressed, "good work" brings success, but "great work"—helps you achieve beyond your wildest expectations.

Dad taught me integrity is a non-negotiable. Do the right thing. Know life is a game, AND to get good at it, bust your butt, play by the rules. But that doesn't mean, you can't be a creative, bold, independent thinker.

Dad was one of the smartest guys I knew. Yet he was baffled by a multi-line house phone, VCR, DVD player, fax machine and cellphone.

To the world, he was a CPA, lawyer, board member, bank chairman or advisor. To me, he was, Dad. Popp. Papa. Or Irv. Terms of endearment, affection and love.

Dad had three great "loves"—his family, his work and food! (Am convinced, when we took a final peek at him in the coffin, running down his lips and chin, was a small streak of barbeque sauce!)

Together, dad and I "played hard." We spent lots of hours tossing a football, playing catch with a softball or baseball, taking batting practice, shooting baskets, firing hockey pucks, and turning any "ball-like" object, like a fruit or a vegetable–into a quickly flung projectile! (To the shock and "anger" of mom—because these activities were conducted—inside the house!)

Following dad's death, the outpouring of love and admiration from across the world for him, has been overwhelming. Folks repeatedly told my family, and me, about the difference dad made in their lives or careers.

One of the most profound things dad ever told me, was, "JB, life is a series of adjustments."

And one of the ways we "adjusted"—was with sports, playing and watching them.

Dad loved to play and watch sports. Me too. It was one of our shared passions.

It began when I was a little boy and dad was in his thirties. I'd watch him play softball with his buddies on Sundays at Proesel Park in Lincolnwood. (A northern suburb of Chicago—where mom and dad lived for 51 years.)

It's the community/area where I grew up and played competitive baseball from the age of six through high school—where the guys I played with at Niles West, won state championships.

Then, like dad, my softball career began at nineteen and ended at fifty-two. (The same age dad stopped playing.) We even played together on his accounting firm’s softball team. Dad, 52, behind the plate. Me, 23, at shortstop.

Plus, a 16-inch softball, always "traveled" with dad. I made sure of it. (I brought one to every rehab facility he was in—following multiple surgical procedures or numerous visits to the Emergeny Room.)

When dad entered a long-term care facility on May 10th, 2018, I once again, placed a softball in his room.

On February 19th, within seven hours of dad's death, my wife Sheryl and I, removed dad's belongings from his room.

And securely tucked into one of the nightstand drawers, next to dad's bed, was the 16-inch softball. I took it. Not knowing what to do with it.

Then, on my birthday, February 20th, it hit me. I took a black Sharpie and scrawled:

Papa–For Our Eternal Game of Catch!

Love, JB

The next day at the funeral, other family members scrawled on the ball, their personal messages. Yet, we don't have the ball. Dad does.

It's inside the casket. Dad is clutching it. In his right hand.

Dad, I love you!

Yet now, we must adjust to life without my Dad, Irv Blackman. Yet he'll forever live in our hearts, minds, and tummies. Yet it'll be different...

Because life is a series of adjustments.


Two to three times a year, I look forward to having lunch with John Trakselis. We met several years ago, when I spoke to CEO and executive leadership groups John coaches.

He's a fascinating guy. Bright. Friendly. And philosophical. Our conversations can be focused or tangential—on a variety of topics; family, business, politics, travel, current events or what-if possibilities. As you'll soon see, John has a unique perspective and valuable insights.

Jeff Blackman: What's foremost on the minds of the leaders you work with?

John Trakselis: Uncertainty: with their marketplace, tariffs, inflation, the stock market, cybersecurity or meeting customer demands—because of labor and/or material shortages. Plus, the economy will change significantly in the future because of technology, artificial intelligence and robotics. Middlemen are being eliminated by a process called disintermediation. For example, retail has taken it on the chin because of Amazon.

JB: How is the political climate in the U.S., affecting our "culture" of business and dialogue?

JT: Talking politics can make us highly irrational, yet most businesses abhor the current political environment—if they believe the primary task of government is solving problems. The current political environment in the United States—is sucking all the air out of thoughtful deliberation. Washington sets a poor example of how to discuss difficult issues and reach a resolution. And money in politics and the lack of term-limits, creates fiefdoms and divisiveness.

By contrast, an aircraft carrier changes its personnel annually, and they're still combat-ready. Because they have a clear mission and create a strong culture that manifests their values. Most successful companies also have a strong mission, clear values, and engaged employees.

Many of our electorate don't care what the facts are—they just want to go forward with their beliefs on how things should be done. Carl Jung said, "Thinking is difficult, that is why most people judge."

In business, bias can be lethal. Fortunately, most businesses must respond to customers, who vote with their dollars. They also must compete for talent in this tight labor market, who vote with their feet.

JB: You assert, "The United States has a fever." Yet, you have a prescription, which is?

JT: I'm troubled by our public and private discourse. We have freedom of expression, it's a basic right. However, with rights come responsibilities. Conversational responsibility now requires greater emotional intelligence. Otherwise, we agitate others, and that, in turn, prevents constructive dialogue.

Here's my full prescription:

  1. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.

  2. Control your impulses—strive for emotional maturity.

  3. Beware of false prophets—separate fact from fiction.

  4. Think critically—set aside your biases and prejudices.

  5. Employ these Stephen Covey habits: Seek first to understand, then to be understood. And think win/win.

  6. Make sure your brain is engaged before speaking.

  7. Seek clarity. Be clear.

  8. Mind your own business. Take care of your internal state instead of projecting it on others.

  9. Remember:
   a. Personal character is necessary for a healthy society.
   b. Rights carry responsibilities.
   c. Attachment is the source of all suffering.
   d. Merely winning an argument, is a delusion of grandeur.

JB: What do effective leaders do, others don't?

JT: A leader develops a vision, enrolls others to buy into the vision, consistently communicates the vision, executes according to the vision and holds oneself, and everyone else, accountable for achieving the results envisioned. The most effective leaders orient to something bigger than themselves.

True leaders are believers about where they want the business to go. They also assemble their team and gets them to play from the same playbook. It's about getting results that are planned for.

JB: What are simple, yet powerful ways, for an individual or company to create a competitive edge?

JT: Here are seven:

  1. Be yourself. As Oscar Wilde said: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."

  2. Seek new, uncontested markets.

  3. Be alert to what's going on in your world.

  4. Know what you want. Define your future state.

  5. Validate. Find others to challenge your beliefs and assumptions.

  6. Use your head, heart and gut to make decisions.

  7. Ask for help. Reciprocate.

For more insights from John, please take a peek at


Want to see how Jeff helped one client drive results?
Please take a peek at this video, where Chris Randall, CEO of Ultra Risk Advisors, talks about Jeff's positive and powerful impact on his team:
Your cup of inspiration,   reflection and laughter!
Tis' the season!
Last month, on February 27th—following a speaking engagement in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, I was walking through the PC airport, heading to the departure gate. Which of course...
Required the unavoidable, obligatory trek through their duty-free adventureland! And about every ten steps, I was greeted by these large, "subtle" floor-teasers:
Exactly WHAT "season" is ending in Punta Cana?
They basically have ONE season, it's called "hot and muggy." While a beautiful Caribbean nation, their daily temps are in the sticky 80s. (Every morning, by 7 o'clock, the temperature was already at 70+ degrees. With 93% humidity.)
While this was a welcome change, from the "balmy" temps of a Chicago winter—I'm committed to "truth" in floor advertising!
However, if in future Februaries, you really want an "end-of-season sale"—please come to Chicago for "Polar Vortex Value Day!" This was my phone's "weather reading" on January 30th, 2019:
And the "real feel" was -49. (In Chicago, we call this, Spring!)

Stir-fry syntax!

Spotted this clever cooking-communication over the weekend, in the Bardstown area of Louisville, KY:


Kudos to Krafft!

On March 1st, my former Chicago radio partner and longtime, dear friend, Steve Krafft—retired, after spending the past 34 years as a TV reporter for Fox 10 in Phoenix.

Steve, like me, was trained as an attorney. Yet after we spent three years together, co-hosting The Chicago Talk Exchange from 1982 to 1985 on WFYR 103.5FM, (part of the RKO Radio Network), Steve said goodbye to Chicago and "the law" and pursued his TV dream. And he did it brilliantly!

Steve was a two-time Emmy Award winnner and was recognized as Arizona Journalist of the Year.

Yet long before he showed his TV chops, we had a ball on Chicago radio. Interviewing pro athletes, bestselling authors, TV and movie stars, musicians, journalists, artists, comedians—really anyone, who had an interesting story to tell.

Including our first guest in 1982, Bill Veeck, Jr. He was an incredibly smart and innovative baseball promoter and owner; the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox.

Veeck's father, William Veeck Sr., became president of the Chicago Cubs. Yet in 1937, it was Bill Veeck Jr.'s idea—to plant ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field.

Before the tape began to roll, Steve and I listened intently to Veeck.

And what's amazing, is that since 1982, for me and Steve, our hairlines haven't changed! (Yet, I'm not quite sure, how that small, furry animal became lodged above my upper lip!)

Stever, good luck—on what I'm sure will be, your next champion chapter!



For a bonus dose of inspiration and knowledge, please take a peek at our latest blog posts:

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Looking for the ideal gift for yourself or others—to make 2019 your best year ever, then please head to Amazon for the new 5th edition of the bestselling  Peak Your Profits:

"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy books—and that's kind of the same thing!"
     - Unknown
MEET JEFF |Jeff helps you win BIG in today's competitive marketplace. His high-energy and high-content messages deliver immediate take-home value, growth and results for you and your team. Whether he works with you once in a dynamic keynote or once-a-month in an ongoing coaching and learning-system, he helps you drive relationships, revenue, profits, results and rewards. Jeff is singularly focused on helping you achieve and surpass your desired outcomes. And you're even protected by Jeff's incredible No-Risk Assurance.
RIGHT FOLKS, RIGHT RESULTS |What's driving current or prospective members of your team? Your salespeople? Service 
                                                    pros? And leaders? What causes them to produce, lead or loaf? What motivates them to attain, or not attain, new levels of success? What direction are they headed? Where do you want their journey to go? How valuable would it be, if you had the answers to these questions? Well now you can!
AUDIO EXCERPTS | Listen to powerful excerpts from Jeff's audio growth tools, CDs or interviews. | LISTEN NOW
"Jeff, the feedback is the best I've received in 9 years of coordinating our Forward meetings. You scored a Grand Slam! Thank you for doing such a great job, in preparing and motivating our team."
David Wallach President
Barclay Street Real Estate
"Thanks for your program at our National Distributor meeting in Montreal. It was very entertaining and provided a lot of energy at the end of a long day. More importantly, the distributors and employees thought it was valuable and even expressed interest in going beyond the 90 minutes. I've heard much talk from our distributors and team about creating their 'power probes.' That certainly resonated!"
Tom Watson President
Petro-Canada America, a Suncor Energy business
"From the moment we met Jeff, he was interested in knowing our business at a fundamental level. He spent multiple sessions with our team, learning our merger challenges, interviewing customers and suppliers, and tailoring his 'change' message. He then set our conference tone with a fantastic kick-off. I highly recommend Jeff to anyone looking to launch a new initiative or jump-start their organization wiht new energy and direction. We value his hard work and preparation and were thrilled with his presentation."
Paul Dean Executive Vice President
LBM Advantage
Please click the following link, to see a
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of Ultra Risk Advisors:
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