Watch Mark on Personal Accountability
Watch Mark on Utilizing Talent and Real Coaching

Watch Mark on Family, Time & Love
Watch Mark on Facing Challenges

Success Stories

There are many success stories, but let me start with this one, that describes what typically happens when an audience member first makes a commitment to beg, borrow and steal an idea I presented and then implement it.

I shared with that audience a way to better communicate a ‘headline’ to any decision maker/audience including Executive VP’s who determine the fate of their projects. I included this exercise based on a specific request from an audience member who shared with me their frustration in getting projects approved.

I suggested that they include a descriptive headline on their projects just like I provide a headline for my broadcasts to open the games on ESPN.

One project manager took that idea and ran with it. He had 14 projects to propose to his EVP. On 7 documents he submitted as he always had with no headline. The other 7 included a short descriptive headline right at the top of the page.

All 7 non-headline projects were rejected. However, 5 of the 7 headlined projects were approved! Pretty cool, Huh?

Mark A. Parrish–Director, President & CEO of Deceuninck North America, L.L.C.

Why did you hire Mark Adams?

Having known Mark and his unique abilities for years, I reached out to him during tumultuous restructuring activities confident his leadership education and coaching capabilities would inspire my team of managers and supervisors in seeking opportunity during time of crisis.

What did you learn from Mark?

Leveraging his extensive personal and professional experiences as context, Mark facilitated exercises designed to increase self-awareness, personal accountability, and professional accomplishment. The follow-on coaching sessions prove time and again to be invaluable in galvanizing critical lessons learned from throughout his sessions.

How did Mark bring value to you?

As our organization underwent massive changes (downsizing and restructuring) the morale of those weathering the storm actually improved. The tools taught by and lessons learned from Mark Adams have helped us thrive rather than simply survive in this, the “Great Recession.”

Why do you think someone else should hire Mark Adams?

I would encourage anyone seeking an uncommon breakthrough experience and demanding follow through in tools, tactics and techniques to consult with Coach “Enthusi” Adams. Winning is contagious and Mark has caught the bug!

Ron McCulley–Director of Purchasing and Contracting – Douglas County School District

Why did you hire Mark?

CASBO heard from other state affiliate organizations that Mark was a top notch keynote speaker. After hearing it from so many of our peers, CASBO decided to reach out to Mark. After having Mark be our keynote for our Spring Conference we worked with him to present a two-day session/workshop at our Fall Conference.

What did you learn from Mark?

I learned the importance of family as well as my work family and my association family. We all have a constant need to “spread our roots” and make sure we have a built-in support system to hold ourselves up.

How did Mark bring value to you?

I reached out to Mark when I was struggling with a recently diagnosed health problem. I didn’t really reach out to him, as he heard me talking to a colleague about my problem and asked me about it, so really he reached out to me. He was an integral part of “my team” during my stem cell transplant procedure, in fact I referred to him as my coach. He was there whenever I needed anything and he checked on me regularly. Still, there isn’t more than a couple weeks go by that Mark doesn’t take time out of his busy schedule to check on me and see how I’m doing. I learned first hand the lessons Mark was trying to tell us all, the importance of family and friends.

Why do you think someone else should hire Mark Adams?

I think every business or association should hire Mark as a speaker. His message simply never gets old because we can never lose sight of the important things in our lives. Additionally Mark is an overachiever and is always changing and adding to his presentations. In short, you simply couldn’t go wrong by hiring Mark!

Peter A. Popovich–VP, Industry Relations at PepsiCo, Foodservice Division

Why did you hire Mark Adams?

Simply put… Mark Adams delivers! He has translated his experiences and learnings into straight-forward, powerful and direct learning sessions. It’s not just motivation, it’s learning. Mark has a great ability to connect with a large crowd on an individual basis and communicate a message we all need to hear and adopt.

What did you learn from Mark?

Great coaches and leaders identify their goals, assess their strengths and weaknesses, prepare and then go on and execute. Mark’s experiences present an open and shut case for success.

How did Mark bring value to you?

Having played Division I basketball, I appreciate great talent and great coaching. Mark has reinforced for me that my success and subsequent happiness are ultimately dependent upon Me. Yes, coaches are important, but no coach or leader can substitute for one’s inner desire and passion.

Why do you think someone else should hire Mark Adams?

I will hire Mark again as he is real, straight forward, easy to work with, and he delivers a powerful, straightforward and actionable message. Mark also delivers from a service standpoint. His desire to exceed your expectations is supported by his impeccable follow-up and attention to detail.

Neil G. Kiefer–President / CEO of HOOTER’S INC. and affiliated companies

In planning for our annual management retreat, I was looking for a guest speaker to jump start our 3-day event. Our partners at PepsiCo highly recommended Mark.

Mark certainly challenged and stimulated our team, covering topics from advice on dealing with personnel and business challenges, as well as “playing to one’s strengths.” Mark enlightened, entertained and educated all of us. We all left the 3 day retreat with many new goals and objectives.

Mark’s unique style, wealth of experience, and passion make him an ideal choice for any group looking for a very different and enthusiastic presentation.

Dan H. Mathews–NCE5, CCS, Executive Vice President & COO of National Automatic Merchandising Association, Chicago, IL and
LyNae Schleyer–CMP, NCE, Sr. Director Education & OneShow, NAMA

Mark took the time to learn about and understand the challenges, successes and vision of our industry through one-on-one conversation, on-site visits and engagement with members. This has led to keynote addresses, workshop presentations and regional programs coast to coast over several years and we continue to our working relationship with him today.

He is a fun, energetic presenter who draws in his audience through interaction, meaningful stories and powerful learning “ah ha” moments that change the way a person thinks and relates to others.

He has a wonderful ability to relate to audiences of all sizes and delivers a compelling message on the importance of training and developing people at all levels. With a variety of topics to learn from, Mark has always delivered the right message because he took the time to understand the need.

Cheryl Sorenson–Manager, Conferences and Meetings for CUNA Councils (Credit Union National Association)

When I need a motivational, get-the-audience involved speaker, I immediately think of Mark.

I plan six conferences annually each with a different focus – Mark is very willing to customize his message and has done so very nicely for each of my groups. I’ve had the pleasure of having him at every single one of my conferences and in some cases, multiple times over the last several years.

Mark always scores very high on the conference evaluations and is always the crowd pleaser. So if you are looking for a motivational speaker or a master of ceremonies for your next event, I highly recommend Mark – he is the ‘Enthusiastic’ behind the Adams!

J. Scott Schrempp–President, Bank of Hartington (Hartington, Nebraska)

Last year I and my wife Jan were the President and First Lady, (This is the title I gave my wife on my own) of the Cedar Catholic High Schools booster club. We had many duties during the year. Our last and probably most important duty was the end-of-the-year athletic booster club kick-off party which introduces the members of the organization to its new officers and celebrated the clubs annual accomplishments. As a part of this meeting the President and the First Lady are required to find a guest speaker. I knew who I wanted immediately.

I had met Mr. Adams at the Graduate School of Banking, University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2005. He was a very dynamic motivational speaker. I have read his books and visited his website. The more I learned, the more I believed we needed him to come to our school. I was very impressed by the Student Athlete Leadership Academy and the “Redwood: Spread Your Roots and Coach Your Team To Success” Series.

I felt these topics were so important to the success of not only our teams but our kids and our coaches. I found these to be life lessons that go far beyond a student’s athletic careers. They are lessons on how to communicate and build relationships with your coaches and your team which spill over to your family and friends. The motivational examples that are used are thought provoking and in some cases life changing. I highly recommend all of them.

We as the CCHS booster club officers wanted our kids to have the opportunity to experience this type of message personally. I was concerned, however, as I knew Mark was a nationally recognized motivational speaker and I didn’t know if an event at our small school in Hartington, Nebraska could be fit into his busy schedule. To my amazement no only did Mr. Adams get back to me with a response immediately he was excited about the event! I was impressed!

I new right then and there our school was in for a treat. Mark kept in close contact with me on all the important issues and actually designed a program that fit our school. He used pictures of our students and coaches. It was awesome! The event was held in August of 2009 and here is a copy of the e-mail I sent him the day after the kickoff party:

“Thanks for everything Mark. The event was a great success in a big part because of you. Your message was right on target. You tailored your presentation to fit our school. We couldn’t have asked for any more. I can’t remember a time that our booster club members and guests had so many great things to say about the speaker and the message. I think that your message tonight will bring our school a new feeling of unity and pride. Your message contained a tone that reflects your beliefs and it showed. The story about Rachel was very touching; the video of the father reading his son’s diary brought a few tears to everyone’s eyes. The night was electric. Wow, is all I can say! I can’t remember a better event, so Thanks! I really appreciate everything you did for us.

Last Saturday May 29th, 2010 my wife and I attended a local wedding celebration. At the dance that followed I was talking to one of our football coaches about the upcoming year. Mr. Johnson made the comment at that dance that night that he didn’t think we would ever top the speaker Mark Adams and the message we all got last year. This is almost a year later in general conversation and to me epitomizes the impact it had on our coaches and teams.

I personally believe that the message our coaches, students and parents took from the event that night helped them to understand how to become more successful not only as a team but as individuals.

Mr. Adams taught us how important it was to be the 6th man/woman in any sport and in life. It was inspirational and I know it made a difference.

Mr. Adams, thanks again for what you do and how you do it. Our school is a better place because of you, our teams are better teams because of you and our coaches are better coaches because of you. Congratulations on your success and good luck in the future.

Hope to see you again soon.

J. Scott Schrempp
Bank of Hartington
Hartington, Nebraska

Additional Testimonials

Here are just a few recent letters sent to Mark … Mark receives literally thousands of notes just like these after his events every year.


I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your session last year. You challenged each participant to focus on their strengths for one month and see what a difference it made in our careers and lives. I had every intention of being the first person to actually call you with the report out, but suddenly found I was much too busy to make the time.

In the two months after the session I focused on my strengths, and shared them with my bosses, and was promoted to AVP in Technology at my company. I continued to focus on my top two strengths for the remainder of the year and am now quite proud to say that I have been promoted again and am the President of a subsidiary company.

While I won’t give you all of the credit in my success, you definitely helped me better articulate my beliefs and drive to build on my own and my team’s strengths.

I hope you have continued to enjoy success in your life and career as well.


Hi Mark,

It was great meeting you at the PMINAC conference in Edmonton earlier this week. I thoroughly enjoyed your key note presentation, and was even more grateful for the few minutes of one on one time we had. I really appreciate the great advice you gave me (both personally and professionally). I truly valued the honesty and candor of your feedback, as well as the time you took to recommend books and listen to my situation. I don’t believe you realize what a positive impact you’ve had on me. I consider myself extremely blessed to have had the opportunity to meet you, spend a few minutes together, and best of all draw on your experience and counsel. The few minutes I spent alone with you and Lee was my absolute highlight of the conference.

I can’t wait to read the books you recommended and conduct the “strengths survey/exam”. Seeing the success you’ve had in your career and family, and listening to your counsel, has truly inspired me. Thank you so much Mark.

Congratulations again on your son’s wedding, and I wish you the best of luck this weekend. I hope to hear back from you, and look forward to staying in touch in the future.

Take care and thank you again Coach,

Sean in Edmonton, AB

Hello Mark,

I attended the April 2010 Phoenix PMI Conference and very much enjoyed hearing your presentations. You asked us to email you on May 19th with what we learned after 30 days so here I am.

For me, it was a reminder about setting my top 3 goals for each day, and working on those things. Since that conference, I’ve been working on my top 3. Thanks for that reminder.

Here’s my story: I’m trying to career shift into a technical IT position in telecommunications management. I’ve set myself on a course of technical study, even resigning from my previous job to allow time for immersion in technical stuff and education. But I was letting myself get distracted with small stuff and wasn’t making the progress I wanted. Now I am. I like the feeling of accomplishing what I promised to myself let alone promises to anyone else!

So thank you for your timely words, and best of wishes to you!

Amy in Phoenix

Hi Mark,

We met at the PHX Symposium Monday (I was one of the breakout speakers and fellow UC alum). I didn’t need to wait 30 days to get back to you on things were going or what I had begged, borrowed, or stolen from your presentation. It only took 30 minutes. You see, I was scheduled to do my last breakout presentation right after yours. I felt that my Monday presentation had been a little flat. Well-received by the audience, perhaps, but I felt that it was missing something. So, to make the Tuesday presentation better, I borrowed something of yours: enthusiasm. energy. I fed off the energy of your presentation and carried it into my session. And it was easily the best performance of my life. The audience was engaged and energetic, and I felt that they went away with something valuable, informative and entertaining. Thanks!!!

Paul in Arizona

Hi Mark, I am a week late, but wanted to complete your challenge to follow up after your PMI presentation here in Phoenix.

Since the event, I have followed through on many of the things that had been running around my head for months (maybe years). Noteworthy items include attending PMP Boot camp and passing PMP certification exam, taking StrengthsFinder 2.0 Assessment, and attending a 12 Step Retreat.

Keep up your good work and thanks for your fearless enthusiasm and personal sharing.

Rhonda in Phoenix


I really enjoyed your presentation in April. I had it on my calendar to email you with an update on how I am doing today.

I was supposed to go out to a web site and find out my strengths and weakness as a leader. What I found was not surprising. My leadership style is servant leadership. I assist my team in producing a better product, by helping them with their problems. However I was not helping them learn from their mistakes because I was not taking ownership of their training or learning. I was also not pointing out their mistakes very well so they were making them again and again. I would allow them to get so far behind the “8 ball” that they could never catch up and then I would wind up having an intervention rather an a discussion at the first sign of a problem.

I am working on this area. I find that people think you care about their work if you expect them to do better rather than resent you for it. At least that is what I keep telling myself.

Hope things are going great for you.

Michael in Edmonton AB


It was fabulous to have you up here in Edmonton. It was also ‘fun to play’.

One thing I want to thank you for was your perspective on Coaching. You said… coach yourself 1st and then you will have the capacity and capability to coach others. I have also learned that we need to be coached in order to coach. Put the two together and it provides a powerful network and circle of coaches. You, coaching yourself, being coached and you coaching others around you. I also observed (and it has really come to the fore over the last 2 weeks) that the more powerful our network, the more powerful we truly are.

I had a close friend have two pulmonary embolisms form in his lungs last week. He nearly died. What has been amazing is to see how his network has responded… not only to meet his needs but also to meet the needs of his family.

Take care and keep on coachin’,

Randy in Edmonton AB

Recent Blog Posts

Why Hire Me?

  • I am a REAL coach with a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful in today's competitive world.
  • I ‘scout' your individual and key team members up front and use their input and direct quotes to craft a message that fits their challenges and needs.
  • When most speakers are done they grab their check and walk out the door. Not me, I coach your team members long after the applause dies down. I give every audience member my personal e-mail address and cell phone number and invite them to check-in with me in 30 days.
  • I love coaching before, during and after the event!

More About My Approach >

Success Stories

Read real stories and unedited letters from clients!

See For Yourself >

Connect With Mark

    Facebook >
    LinkedIn >