My Training and Entertainment Background

I no longer have time to schedule live training sessions, except in rare circumstances, but this article described my interest in performing. Most recently, this interest has let to my writing a play and a novel describing one way in which Jesus could have performed his Sermon on the Mount. 

I have worked in front of crowds, entertaining and educating, since I was just out of school. After years of lecturing and book writing, I have come to the conclusion that the most interesting and effective training must be interactive. Increasingly I focus on training games, activities, and exercises. All of these activities are based on the concepts of winning competition from Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Some activities give people a deeper understanding of the principles involved. Others offer practices in competitive decision-making. Many produce useful competitive ideas that can be tested in the participants real life experiences.   I have given presentation on strategy to people from some of the words largest organizations, speaking internationally to crowds for thousands, but my success in training back to my early years 

For a short time after graduation I worked with a improvisational comedy group, The Overhead Door, in San Francisco in the early '70s. I brought these skills to my rapid climb in corporate sales and marketing.  After the publication of my first books on computers in the early '80s, I began giving public presentation on the new personal computer technology. Bantam Books, my first publisher, sent me on a radio and television tour to promote my series of computer guides..

I continued both writing and speaking as I started my software software company, FourGen, which became one of the Inc 500 faster growing companies. Over the years as FourGen's CEO, I gave hundreds of presentations, workshops, and training seminars, and participated in speakers' panels at the largest computer shows in the industry: PC Expo,  Compuworld, Unix Expo, Uniforum, and Comdex among them.

As my success in business grew in the '90s (Deloitte Touche's Blue Chip Quality Award, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year, Inc. magazine's list of fastest-growing companies, Trendsetter Award), my speaking expanded to giving presentations based on my is business experience. I began giving presentations, both large and small, on quality and management and the classical strategy of Sun Tzu to a number of private companies, including Boeing, Motorola, GE, KFC, Hewlett Packard, AT&T (several times at the World Partners Conferences) and others. Many of these companies (or divisions of them) later became business partners. As my software business began to focus on supply-chain management, I began giving presentations and developing seminars on re-engineering the supply chain based upon my business's work with Motorola, GE, and others in the area.

At least part the public's interest in me came from my software company's promotion of competitive adaptability based on the concepts in Sun Tzu's The Art of War and my book, The Art of Sales, adapting Sun Tzu's principles to selling. PC Week wrote an article about me and our company naming me "The Son of Sun Tzu." Internationally, I was invited to speak at England's Uniforum at the Crystal Palace and at Germany's CeBIT, the largest computer and electronics show in the world. I was flown to Japan to speak at the main conference (several thousand people) of the Japanese Computer Society when my book on client/server computing was published in Japanese. I gave sales training presentations for Jardin's (known as the Noble House) in Hong Kong when they became my software company's distributors in Asia, and was given the honor of firing the noontime gun in the harbor while my wife ran the noontime bell. 

After selling the software industry in the late 90's, O focused exclusively on training, speaking, and writing books on strategy. Many of my award-winning books, including The Warrior Class: 306 Lessons in Strategy and  The Art of War Plus Its Amazing Secrets grew directly out of my corporate training sessions.  Though my first version of The Art of Sales was witten for our software company's salespeople, later version of this work plus my Art of Management and Art of Marketing books came directly from my training work with both corporations and university MBA programs. All told, I currently has over twenty books currently in print, plus a number of audio books, videos of my lectures, and an entire on-line training website, teaching the nine areas of strategic skill outlined in my books.

During this period, I was  also active on radio and television, making hundreds of appearances as a strategic expert commenting on the news of the day. I appeared on several shows on Fox New, but most of my work has been on radio. I even co-hosted a regular weekly radio show on political news in the Pacific NW, where I lived.

As a speaker and trainer, I used a number of skills and techniques to involve my audience. I am skilled at using stories and humor. One of my more recent works, The Golden Key to Strategy, encapsulates many of the stories and jokes I used in my presentations.  My presentations use graphics, music, props, magic, and even costumes, appearing as an ancient Chinese general costume at a Nokia sales conference in Asia.

I focused on audience involvement in the form of games, training exercises, and activities.  The idea is to make sessions both fun and rewarding, both in content and in life experience. Sessions were typically set up as competitions among various groups of attendees. Scores are kept among the teams and the winners in different categories are announced at the end of the session. Prizes in the form of my books, audios, and on-line training wereawarded. The game of winning begins with the game of training.