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Growing leaders from within the organization


The Many Facets of EMPATHY


Out of Sight; Out of Mind

Productivity Paranoia is a Thing...Really

Develop a Curiosity-Driven Workplace

You need curiosity to balance healthy skepticism

These FREE eGuides contain ideas, strategies, and tactics from Donn's coaching, masterclasses, seminars, and consulting programs. Some have appeared in FRAUD Magazine. The information in them will help you hone your leadership, influence, and communication skills to accelerate your personal and professional development.


Let Donn know if you're interested in a topic as a general session presentation for your association conference or masterclass for leaders in your company.

The Belief Continuum is a model that explains how people's beliefs evolve over time. Whether you’re trying to get hired, win a promotion, sign a new client or land that huge consulting gig, you have opportunities along the way of gaining converts to your value and branded expertise as you move through a Belief Continuum in a hiring, negotiation, or contract cycle. Learn how this psychological bias can work in your favor with decision makers.  

Neuroscience has demonstrated the critical role of the mind in the human operating system. Our beliefs influence our thoughts, which influence our feelings (the InnerGame). Our emotions dictate our actions, and our actions produce results (the OuterGame), which affirm our beliefs. If that’s not working well for you, maybe you should think about changing your BELIEFS instead of your ACTIONS. Our human operating system is really a system of checks and rechecks that let us to modify our beliefs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions to achieve goals. Here are some tactics on how to maximize your Innergame to achieve external success.  

We can often find opportunities not in new circumstances but in those that already exist. We just have to look at them with new eyes, with more than one perspective, set of assumptions, and preconceived expectations. A VisionShift gives rise to sparks of genius, innovation, creativity, breakthrough thinking, and new possibilities. It contributes to shaping the circumstances that can lead to tremendous personal and professional results. A VisionShift can also be viewing the world through the eyes of your competition. President Reagan always looked at nuclear disarmament through the eyes of the Soviets and understood how his adversaries would think and act. Learn some strategies for seeing things anew.

A Pattern Interrupt disrupts someone's normal attention state and creates a new experience that sharply focuses their awareness. People are creatures of habit who tend to follow predictable patterns in their lives and putting their attention on cruise control. Introducing something unexpected or novel into these patterns jolts people out of their mental autopilot and captures their focus. Learn how to use pattern interrupts to your advantage to introduce new ideas, thoughts, and possibilities with decision makers — or yourself.  


“Valueocity” (value + velocity) is what happens when your value and branded leadership expertise are delivered with lightning speed to decision makers. Most people understand the time value of money, but have you ever thought of the money value of time? Like most things, the longer something takes to complete, the more costly it will be. Learn how to accelerate the time value of your skills, knowledge, and experience to chart a stellar professional path, build your champions and advocates list, and convert more decision makers to your value sooner than later. 


Like the musical earworm (a song you can’t get out of your head), you can create a brand mindworm with one or more elements of your expertise that dominates decision-maker mindshare to the point it goes beyond creating familiarity with you and the value you offer. With repeated exposure to any element of your branded value and expertise, it starts to generate feelings of familiarity and trust, which leads to engagement, and ultimately to a preference for your skills, knowledge, and experience. Learn this important element of Donn's E.P.I.C. Results© approach. 

A successful talent search builds on identifying candidates with a solid brand, demonstrated expertise, and quantifiable accomplishments. The challenge with spotting talent and hiring them is complicated by something called "irreducible unpredictability" — you can only predict so far whether a person will be successful on the job because of the nature of the hiring process. Learn how to spot and separate the candidate just wanting a job from the problem solver, solutions provider and game changer you want. Or, use these strategies and tactics to become "spotted talent" yourself.  


Although it may seem like an odd statement, the underlying message is quite clear. It implies that one's confidence and self-assurance are essential for leadership, particularly in situations where there is pressure to take decisive action. In other words, if someone doubts their ability or feels insecure about their appearance, they may not be able to inspire others to follow them into battle or into the corporate suite. The quote emphasizes the importance of projecting confidence and strength when leading a group of people toward a common goal. Learn strategies and tactics for developing your leadership presence that attracts opportunities.


Becoming an influencer is a significant achievement, but it takes more than just popularity to become a thought leader. Thought followers quote from the lives of interesting people; thought leaders live interesting lives others quote from. Thought leaders are individuals who lead the way in their respective fields, setting new standards and influencing industry-wide conversations. To make this transition, learn eight important strategies that experts and influencers need to do that will help them establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche. 

Disruption and discord are inevitable in any organization. However, it is how leaders manage these situations that determine whether the outcomes will be positive or negative. Positive redirection involves taking advantage of these disruptions to make necessary changes that can lead to growth and progress. Discover strategies for turning no-win scenarios into win-win ones.  


In normal circumstances, leadership can sometimes be thought of as the daily management of micro-crisis incidents. Issues and problems often get resolved quickly or are delegated to others for resolution. However, in larger moments, such as war, natural disasters, or pandemics, crisis leadership demands the expression of a unifying vision of mythic proportions as the effort by all affected must be focused on returning everyday life to a sense of normalcy sooner than later. Learn key crisis communication strategies for such times.

Residents of C-suites and boardrooms who exhibit the “Icarus complex” often initially soar but ultimately plummet from lofty heights and take their companies with them. It's also known as the "Ahab Syndrome" where a leader is all-consumed by pursuing some personal or organizational "white whale." I’ve worked in such an organization (detailed in this eBook) that created a hostile work environment and crossed the line with unethical and illegal business practices. Here’s how organizations can identify them in the hiring or vetting process and prevent disaster.

You do it. I do it. We all at times rely on immediate first impressions. But can rapid cognition be a tool to help solve problems? Intuition, sensitivity to non-verbal cues, pattern recognition — our brains are capable of rapidly processing information to help us make judgments and decisions. This ability is called "thin slicing" and often serves as an "early warning" system that something might be amiss. It can be another tool for leaders and others to follow their instincts to the truth but only when we use it properly (like following up with a more rational, deliberate thought process) and recognize its limitations.

During the course of their careers, nearly everyone will inevitably run into major problems while managing a high-profile project. The project management field provides many helpful resources to bring projects to successful completion but throw people in the mix and that human interaction can become a messy affair. All too often, people's confidence exceeds their competence, and that's where the trouble starts. Here are some tips to minimize cognitive bias and other psychological pitfalls that sabotage best-laid plans.

When I speak at association conferences, I always meet people who want to rebrand, reinvent, or repurpose themselves but don’t quite know where to start.  It's often more of an issue of professionals having difficulty articulating the value of their existing brand to others in a way that invites deeper conversations and engagement. Creating a strategy and executing a plan for cultivating your personal brand can help establish your skills and expertise while differentiating you from others in the field. Here’s how to get started.

Board members who opt to hire CEOs from outside their organizations should read Michael Lewis’ 2003 book, Moneyball (W.W. Norton & Company) or see the Brad Pitt movie of the same name. This is the story of the Oakland Athletics’ baseball team that exploited industry market inefficiencies to experience one of the best seven-year runs in franchise history. Baseball teams have learned to develop talent by bringing players through minor league teams. They learn systems, work with teammates and team coaches, improve technical skills and increase knowledge of the game. Here's a few ideas on how to bring Moneyball Leadership to your organization.

When it comes to unethical behavior, people have a knack for producing
rationalizations (one side of the Fraud Triangle) to justify their actions.
Whether it's "the devil made me do it” (a version of Hamm’s Excuse) or "everyone else is doing it” (the Golden Rationalization), there's always an explanation for why someone did something they shouldn't have or acted in a way contrary to their nature. The rationalizations people use for unethical or even criminal behavior ultimately offer no valid excuse for their actions. Whatever the rationalization, it is usually based on some form of self-interest.

The idea of empathy (the ability to understand other people’s emotions, values, and behaviors) was once believed to be too “wishy-washy” or submissive to be taken seriously as a valid approach for investigations or negotiations. However, empathy is actually a highly valued dimension of interpersonal, communication, and strategic competence that can help fraud examiners more easily obtain an admission of guilt from a fraudster and gain insight into their “why.”

The COVID-19 pandemic created new concerns for managers addressing
workforce productivity with different work options. This multi-faceted
“productivity paranoia” is the result in part of increases in absenteeism,
presenteeism, quiet quitting, outside work, and burnout. Managers
questioning reported remote worker output and effort are asking: How do we get reliable productivity data from an unseen workforce? Where’s the

Research shows that those with inquisitive minds seek novel solutions to unique challenges. Nowwhere is this more true than in fraud investigations where curiosity and a healthy dose of skepticism are two sides of the same coin. Fraud investigators won't detect many instances of financial deception if they don't use curiosity as a problem-solving skill and probing psychological tool.


WINNER of the 2012 International Book Award for Business/Careers

GOLD MEDAL WINNER of the 2012 Global eBook Award for Business/Careers

Available through Amazon resellers

Donn's award-winning books are available through Amazon resellers.

Confessions of a Hiring Manager Rev. 2.0 (out of print)

Getting to and Staying at the Top of the Hiring Manager's Short List

Find out what decision makers want in candidates so you can adjust your approach to become the candidate of choice throughout the entire hiring process - right up to the job offer. Your job is to connect with, to engage, decision makers on a level that establishes familiarity with your branded value and expertise and builds trust. To do that, you have to know

David Newman, Author
Do It! Marketing and Do It! Speaking

Donn's books

WINNER of the 2016 International Book Award for Business/Careers

SILVER MEDAL WINNER of the 2016 Global eBook Award for Business/Careers

Available through Amazon resellers

GOLD MEDAL WINNER of the 2008 Global E-book Award for Christian Non-Fiction

Available through Amazon resellers


SILVER MEDAL WINNER of the 2012 Global E-book Award for Performing Arts

WINNER of the 2012 International Book Award for Performing Arts

Available through Amazon resellers

Strategic Career Engagement

The Definitive Guide for Getting Hired and Promoted (out of print)

Becoming the decision maker's candidate of choice is not a matter of luck - it's also about how well your accomplishments and benefits of your expertise can contribute toward the organization's success. It's also understanding that people hire you, buy from you, and promote you because of one thing: You help them get something they need or want better than anyone else.

"Once again, Donn LeVie proves that he is the king of the hiring process. STRATEGIC CAREER ENGAGEMENT gives a clear pathway to strategic career success with milestones along the way to check your progress."

Lt. Col. Robert J. Blair, CFE, CGFM, CICA

United States Air Force, retired Branch Chief for Financial Plans and Policy at the U.S. Central Command

It's All About Hymn

Essays on Reclaiming Sacred Music and Traditional Hymns for Worship (out of print)

"...It's All About Hymn should be read by all leaders of Christian worship — and by members of their congregations as well." 


Dr. David Music

Baylor University

"Through the varied chapters of It's All About Hymn runs an admirable commitment to the importance of congregational song in the formation and expression of the Christian faith and practice..."


Dr. Carl P. Daw, Jr., Executive Director                                         

The Hymn Society of the United States and Canada

"...Readers of It's All About Hymn will find in the overarching themes the heart of a church musician who fervently desires that the church rethink its present musical direction."


Dr. Calvin Johansson

Evangel College (retired)

Instrumental Influences

Reflections on the Classical Guitar from the Instrument's Most Influential Performers and Pedagogues (out of print)

"A 'must read' for all guitarists! Donn LeVie...You knocked this one out of the park!"


Bill Swick

Music Department Chair, Las Vegas Academy of Performing Arts

"I find Instrumental Influences to be an enjoyable and insightful reading which promises to impart new knowledge on familiar subjects."


William Bay

 CEO Mel Bay Publications, Inc.

"Author Donn LeVie Jr. provided a significant contribution to the musician's literature that probes the questions of what is required to become, and what it means to be, a great musician."


Andrew Zohn

Classical Guitarist, Composer

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