Author Archive | Adam Kornegay

Don't Start With Why

Don’t Start with Why

Ten years ago, Simon Sinek recorded his TED talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” which has now been viewed over 47 million times.  In the presentation, he emphasizes that successful organizations focus on their “why” instead of “what” or “how.” The talk has always left me feeling uneasy. It could be his emphasis on his “discovery” of what he calls the “golden circle” of “Why? What? How?” According to Sinek, this golden circle is “grounded in the tenets of biology” because it correlates to the structure of the brain.  He […]

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Three quick small talk tips

Uncomfortable with Small Talk? Three Quick Tips

Ever notice that seem people seem naturally gifted at small talk?  They can seemingly carry a conversation with anyone, anywhere at any time. For most of my life, I’ve always felt uncomfortable with small talk.  Perhaps it seemed too superficial.  Or I didn’t like the attention.  Or sometimes I just didn’t know what to say. But over time, with deliberate practice, I’ve become much better at starting and maintaining conversations with total strangers. Here are three tips that you might find helpful: 1. Be prepared. The first step in getting […]

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Prepare For Your Best Conference Yet

We know that many of our clients are planning to attend the FPA Annual Conference next week in Minneapolis. Here is the article that Adam wrote for the Conference blog that you might find helpful. Even if you’re not able to make the FPA’s conference, you’ll find lots of good tips for the next conference you do attend. Before the Conference Start with a plan (of course!). Take some time to review the agenda, particularly for those times where you have to choose from multiple sessions. Begin to develop a strategy […]

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Five Tips To Be a Better Listener

Just Listen

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are able to hear each other at all. With different behavioral styles, generational differences and even multiple ways of expressing affection, are we hopelessly lost in believing that we can make a genuine connection with others? Perhaps it can be summed up best in this quote by Stephen R. Covey: “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” I believe you can be a better listener. You just have to be deliberate in your approach. Here are five […]

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Businessman pushes a big gift on white background

To Gift or Not to Gift

While discussing client recognition with an advisor last month, we started talking about giving gifts to clients as a token of appreciation. I shared that I’ve never been much of a gift-giver.  Neither is my wife.  For example, we agreed years ago that we wouldn’t give each other anniversary gifts but would simply exchange cards. This led to a discussion of whether clients feel truly appreciated or “valued” with a small gift.  The advisor said he didn’t see the point of thanking clients in that way.  If he received a […]

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Walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow

In My Day

Be honest, have you ever started a sentence with, “In my day…?” Maybe you haven’t said it aloud, but perhaps you’ve thought it. It’s easy to do. As a father of a teen and a preteen, I often slip into comparisons of my childhood.  It’s not as bad as “walking five miles to school barefoot in the snow,” but it comes close. I will think about Saturday morning cartoons, riding my bike throughout the neighborhood and playing Wiffleball all summer. We all have stories and experiences that shape our perspective […]

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Portrait of surprised businessman on a white background

“I Like to Be Liked”

We used two characters from the television show The Office to demonstrate classic behavior styles from the DiSC behavioral model in last week’s article Don’t Beet Around the Bush. Dwight Schrute is a great example of Dominance behavior: fast-paced, action-oriented and generally somewhat skeptical. Pam Beasley is slow, deliberate and trusting, exactly what we expect from someone who exhibits Steadiness behavior. Let’s take a look at the other two styles: The Influence style is fast-paced, action-oriented and trusting The Conscientiousness style is skeptical, slow and deliberate Someone with the Conscientiousness […]

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Whole beet root half composition isolated on white background as package design element

Don’t Beet Around the Bush!

If you were to think of someone with a dominance-style behavior, who would come to mind?  Last week we discussed the DiSC behavior model and described the Dominance style as someone who is fast-paced, action-oriented and generally somewhat skeptical. Donald Trump, Gordon Ramsay, and Simon Cowell seem to fit this style, don’t they? Now, think about the TV show The Office.  Who best exhibits a Dominance style? Did Michael Scott pop into your head?  He is the regional manager after all.  It would be easy to assume that the one […]

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Take the time to identify and adapt your style to others

Wonder Woman, Lie Detectors and More!

William Moulton Marsten, a psychologist with a Ph.D. from Harvard is a fascinating figure. Some know him as the creator of Wonder Woman. Some know him as the inventor of the polygraph, commonly known as a lie detector test. Still others know him as the person who put forth the behavioral model now known as the DiSC model. Last week, we spoke about the importance of adjusting your language to improve your communication with others.  But in order to adjust your language, you must first know your preferred style and […]

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When's the last time you said ya'll?

Hey Y’All!

When’s the last time you said: “y’all?” I’m guessing it will depend on where you live and how you were raised. According to this site ( about 19% of America says “y’all” or “all y’all” when referring to a group of two or more people in casual speech. As you can see on the corresponding map, most of these people live in the southeastern United States. After living in Knoxville for 12 years, I’ve found that “y’all” has continued to creep into my everyday vocabulary. However, it only seems to […]

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