Tag: Leadership Society of Arizona (page 1 of 2)

How School Didn’t Teach Me My Most Valuable Lessons

When I graduated high school, I had my life figured out. I thought that I knew everything. I was the ideal product of the education system: great grades, a hearty resume, good test scores, the works. Growing up, I was told that if I got good grades, a good job would eventually be handed to me. I was taught that more rigor meant more success. I decided that the most rigorous degree field I could go into was engineering.

Two years into my undergraduate career I realized I wasn’t really cut out for engineering. I wasn’t enjoying my classes, and I lacked direction. While my classmates were memorizing differential equations, I was having an existential crisis. I started to realize who I really was… just a dumb kid without a clue in the world, trying to convince myself that I had everything figured out. For the first time in my life, I realized that in the big scheme of things, I didn’t know anything. It didn’t matter how much information I memorized, or how many tests I passed, because I wasn’t happy and my life was a mess. Nothing I learned in school prepared me for this kind of struggle.

It was at that time that I really started searching for who I wanted to be and not so much what I wanted to do. I looked high and low for mentorship. I had a bunch odd jobs and took a variety of different classes, but everything changed when I met Dr. Dean Kashiwagi.

I met Dr. Dean when I signed up for his leadership course that proposed he could teach someone “how to know everything without knowing anything”. Through his research, he found that effective leadership is more about understanding and accepting, instead of controlling and commanding. He taught that the best leaders don’t try to know everything, instead they know how to leverage the knowledge of the people around them to accomplish a greater goal.


These lessons in leadership helped me realize my greatest downfall. Throughout my academic career, I was too focused on my own life. I was lost in the details of what I was doing and I never stopped to figure out why I was doing it. To find direction, I needed to look outside of myself and seek the guidance of leaders around me.

This story is all too common for many other Millennials. We’ve grown up in an increasingly complex world. We’ve been trained to memorize, regurgitate, and repeat. Most of us have done well in school and learned valuable information, but school doesn’t teach us how to apply it in a meaningful way. As we finish 17 years of education and walk away with thousands of dollars of debt, we just want to know that it was all worth. We want to know that we have what it takes to add value to society. We want to make a difference.

Modern college and high school students are facing a depression epidemic, and I believe the problem is much deeper than chemical imbalances or too much social media. I believe that these students are overwhelmed with the complexity of life. Students are taught that if they don’t know all of the answers, they will fail. Students don’t need more answers, they need to learn how to ask for help, how to recognize when they don’t know, and how to be okay with being wrong or failing.

Since working with Dr. Dean, I have earned three degrees: a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, and master’s and doctorate in management with a construction focus. Through my two decades of education, the most valuable thing that I learned is that my success doesn’t depend on how much I know, it depends on how willing I am to ask for help. This is the message that I want to share with the world. This is the reason why I co-founded the Leadership Society of Arizona.

I want to simplify the complex lives of students by helping them feel comfortable with not knowing.

Philosophy Makes Students Smarter in Math and English

Many parents have the perception that philosophy does not improve their student’s education. However, philosophy courses may actually help students to improve in their courses in a far greater manner than any would suppose. A case study by the Endowment Education Foundation had the following characteristics:

  • Controlled test on the effectiveness of philosophy
  • Nine- and Ten-year-old children
  • Test comprised of more than 3,000 kids in 48 schools across England
  • Classes were for 40-minutes, once a week for a year
  • Twenty-two schools acted as a control group, while students at the other 26 took the philosophy class

The Topics Discussed:

  • Concepts such as truth, justice, friendship, and knowledge, with time carved out for silent reflection, question making, question airing, and building on one another’s thoughts and ideas.

Results in Academics:

  • Increased math and reading scores by the equivalent of 2 extra months of teaching
  • Children from disadvantaged backgrounds saw an even bigger leap in performance: reading skills increased by four months, math by three months, and writing by two months
  • Teachers also reported a beneficial impact on students’ confidence and ability to listen to others
  • The beneficial effects of the philosophy course lasted for two years
  • Even though the course was not designed to improve literacy or numeracy, the intervention group continued to outperform the control group long after the classes had finished

See more information at:


A Philosophy Course For Your High School Student

Similarly, Leadership Society of Arizona teaches a unique leadership philosophy in its course. This philosophy is based off 24-years of research at Arizona State University. This course teaches students a way to learn 5x quicker, how to decrease worry and stress, and a structure that enables them to “know everything without knowing anything”. Consequently, the leadership methodology helps students to develop the mind of an experienced leader at an early age. The course helps students break down complexity by using logic and natural laws to identify and solve issues.

What is Taught?

The course teaches simple natural laws that that will enable students to simplify complexity and understand “the why” with minimal amounts of information. Furthermore, the course material comes from history’s visionaries, including Socrates, Einstein, and Deming. Through discussion, debate, presentations and written assignments, students will learn natural laws that will help them quickly understand people, life, social issues, and themselves.

The main Natural Laws and Logic learned in this course are as follows:

  1. Cause and Effect
  2. Natural Laws do not have exceptions
  3. Everything that you go through is connected to you.
  4. No-influence
  5. No one knows everything.
  6. Extremes simplify life.
  7. Leadership is aligning resources

Students that have taken LSA’s courses have made lasting changes to their lives, while also improving their academics. As students are less stressed and take more accountability for their lives, they will produce better results in the classroom as shown here and here.

Leadership Society of Arizona Is For All Students

Leadership Society of Arizona works with all students to increase their productivity, to develop their problem-solving skills and to expand on the knowledge that they already have. Catering to the student needs, LSA focuses on coaching students to become successful in all facets of their lives. Sign up for one of our 2017 summer programs here, and if you have any questions, feel free to call Joseph Kashiwagi at 480-313-4488 or email at joseph.k@old.leadaz.org.

The Real Problem with Education as Taught by W. Edwards Deming


Edward Deming (1982) is one of the most respected experts in the area of continuous improvement. His philosophy is the reason for the success of the Japanese car manufacturers, including Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. It is from his work that Six Sigma and Lean were developed. Deming advised that slogans, standards, and management had no influence over an individual’s performance. He enforced the idea that the alignment of people with the correct functions in the system would govern the productivity of the group. Therefore, the role of the leader was not to focus on influencing and changing the individuals, but to focus on the system and the placement of individuals. Deming explains, “The leader also has responsibility to improve the system – i.e., to make it possible, on a continuing basis, for everybody to do a better job with greater satisfaction.”


Everyone is Different

Deming also proposed that a stable system assumed that all individuals were different, some were faster and some were slower, and this would never change. This means that individuals have limited capabilities to change to the expectations of others. Deming taught that not only do people have limited capabilities, but it is the organization’s responsibility to maximize a person’s capability by aligning them in the correct function. He states, “The company hired him for this job; hence has a moral obligation to put him into the right job.”


Deming vs. Traditional Education

When looking at the education system we find that society has ignored the ideas that Edward Deming used to make the Japanese auto manufacturers successful. The education system has gone against best practices in the industry and focused its efforts on trying to influence children to be better by setting strict standards and high expectations that all students are required to meet. The system is focused on creating an education system that is based on telling the student what they need to learn instead of placing them in the right place and letting them learn on their own. The education system has spent its resources on trying to develop teachers and the system to change the students instead of changing the system and hiring teachers to assist the students’ needs and constraints.


Misalignment in the Classroom

The resources of education go towards trying to improve the classroom, instead of going towards placing the children into classes that will benefit them more.

This is similar to putting a fish in a horse training class; no matter how much money you spend on getting the best instructor, the best resources, and the best curriculum, the fish will not benefit from the class. You might encourage the fish to jump like the horse, you might explain to it why being a horse is better, but the fish will never be a horse. The more you feed it like a horse the worse the fish will get. You might evaluate it poorly, and you might punish it for not meeting the standards of the other horses.  You might even single it out and require to get additional help and train for more time each day; however, this will only make the fish worse, decrease its quality of life, and make it feel worthless.

Teaching for the Individual

The education system does not realize they have caused their own issue. By focusing on changing the students they have caused them to fail. As Deming identified, it is the school’s moral responsibility to place the child in the right classes. That is why a child goes to school. Children go to school to succeed in life and in learning, not to be told they are not good enough and to fail. If we were to follow the best practices of Deming, we would focus more on creating the right classes and the right system to ensure everyone succeeds. A system to ensure that if someone is not good at Math or English, that they learn something that enables them to be successful in life.


The Result of Alignment

How do we know if we are aligning students correctly and creating the right structure for children?

We will see more children:

  1. Wanting to go to school.
  2. Graduating from school.
  3. Adding value to society after their schooling,
  4. Who are not depressed, stressed, or angry.

With alignment in education, we will see more people happy!


Deming, W. E. (2000). Out of the Crisis. MIT press.

Consistency Yields More Effective Learning



Due to the large amount of information around us, we rarely stop to analyze our own lives. This causes an issue when we are trying to identify why we keep losing our keys, why we forget our homework assignments or why bad things keep happening to us. Not having an understanding of why we find ourselves in certain situations causes us grief, confusion and an attitude of ungratefulness. Consistency can help.


What is consistency?

Consistency is the ability to repeat an action or a routine over a period of time. A person can be consistent in thought, speech or actions. When a person is consistent, they do the same thing over and over regardless of the environment or the people they meet; they repeat the same process because it produces a desired result. For example, it takes more than one workout to get fit. Through irregular workouts, a person will be more stagnant in their growth or weight loss than someone who is consistent. In a study among overweight women, inconsistent physical activity over 12 months resulted in 7.0% average weight loss; 40 minutes a day for 5 days a week over 12 months resulted in 13.6% average weight loss.

A person who wants to have more friends does not be nice one time and assume that they will have more friends immediately. A person who wants to be happier will not smile one time during the day and think that everyone in the world is evil. In order to get stronger, more friends or in order to be happier, the person has to repeat an action over and over again.


What have studies said about consistency and success?

Those who work on consistency will be able to measure how they are changing over time. Those who are consistent can see if something works or if it does not work. Consistency will also keep you accountable. Like working out, you cannot expect instant results unless you consistently exercise. Consistency also builds discipline to make a person successful. Consistency is important for branding, and for establishing who you are to other people. Robots and automation are replacing factory workers even in China because they can consistently produce a certain desired result each time, which minimizes accidents and increases productivity. Consistency is the key to success.


Consistency in Practice: Sleep

Going to sleep at the same time every day is highly important. “Studies of people whose sleep sessions are irregular or short show they are at higher risk of developing diseases that can lead to early death, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. David Schnyer, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Texas, Austin said, “Changes in sleep can create system wide changes in the organism, and all of the stages of sleep affect the entire body and brain.”

In a study about freshmen college students, sleep patterns influenced GPA; each hour delay in weekday or weekend rise time decreased the GPA by 0.132/4.0 and 0.115/4.0, respectively.  This means that each hour a student is inconsistent and stays up past their usual bedtime, they decrease their GPA by 3.2%.  Research also shows an association between later bedtimes and lower GPAs.  Sleep duration was not different between the groups, but subjects with a more irregular sleep pattern had lower academic performance.

In another study, researchers evaluated students’ confidence and performance following two sleep scenarios: 24 hours of sleep deprivation (All-nighter study sessions) or 8 hours of sleep. The all-nighter participants were more confident that they put in more effort. However, the all-nighter participants actually performed worse on the tests than those who received 8 hours of sleep.

Depression and sleep are also interrelated, especially with irregular sleep. During college, 14.8% of students report a diagnosis of depression and an estimated 11% have suicidal ideation.  In a study of female college students, sleep debt of 2 hours per night and/or a bedtime after 2 am was associated with greater depressive symptoms. Irregular sleep schedules are also associated with greater rates of depression.


What are five things we can do to be more consistent?

Becoming consistent, especially in the mundane things of our lives, will bring  faster and better ways of doing things. Here are 5 ways to become more consistent:

  1. Simplify –Cut the clutter out from your life.  Try and make less decisions on what you’ll wear and how you’ll act around certain people.  Wear the same shirt for a week.
  2. Focus on 1 thing – There are lots all of us could change in our lives, but doing them all at once is not sustainable.  Try and find 1 or 2 easy things you could be a bit more cognizant of one thing. When you do this rather than everything at once, you will have a more effective and lasting change.
  3. Measure it – Measuring can help you tell where you are and how you have progressed over time. W. Edwards Deming, the creator of Lean management, stated, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”.  Consistency helps with measurement.
  4. Ask for help – Try to find someone who can help you with your goal of becoming more consistent; parents, a coach, friend, teacher, counselor, etc.
  5. Form a routine – Routines are the essence of consistency and will show you ways that you can improve.



In order to be happy, you must be consistent in what you do. Consistency will decrease the amount of times we are unprepared for the curveballs life throws at us. You will be able to fall asleep more easily if we go to bed at the same time every night. Consistency can help in every facet of life.

Issues of the Chinese Education System

The education system in China is very different from the U.S. education system. China has the largest education system in the world. The most important component of the education system are the exams. At every level of a child’s education they will need to take national exams that will determine the path of their education. High scores are required in order for a child to be eligible to attend highly ranked schools in the area. From elementary to high school, these exams determine a child’s future. Schools judge students solely based on their test scores. Some schools even arrange students’ seats from students with the highest score to students with the lowest score.

The most important examination is after high school graduation, The National Higher Education Entrance Examination (Gao Kao). Students must take this exam to identify which university/college they can attend and other opportunities that will be open to them.  Due to the significance of this one exam, taking it is considered to be the most important moment of a person’s life in China. The results of the test is something that will not only affect the individual, but their entire family.

Stress And Pressure In China

The importance of the Gao Kao and other exams, has created an environment of high pressure and stress for students in China, resulting in many students developing different behavioral and mental issues. A report that China Daily published on May 14, 2016 showed that the national examination was the cause of 79 suicides by elementary and high school students last year. 93% of these suicides happened after arguments with teachers or were attributed to the student’s intense pressure to study. Of the 79 suicide cases, 33 were middle school students and 28 were high school students. The report also cited suicides by students dismayed by homework burdens and poor test scores, as well as those reacting to the realization that favored schools would not admit them.

Mental Instability In China

Student’s levels of depression and stress are rising with the uncertainty of their career path. After graduation from college, most students don’t know what they want to do for work. A 27-year-old PhD student, Sun, was called to suicide intervention hotline in Shanghai to share a story about his depression when he said, “Sometimes, I would sit in my lab staring at the equipment and ask myself over and over again, ‘Why am I alive?’ It was a few years ago, but at the time I just couldn’t see a future,” he said. “I still can’t, I guess.”

An uncertainty for the future exists for most young students in China; even after they have received additional education, they are still ‘lost’.  Students in China are trained to be ‘exam machines’ instead of knowing what they’re good at and applying it to a career field. Stress and worry does not decrease after students’ come to college. Success is not as simple as a high score on a test. Many of these students’ futures are not as bright as they’d expect after overcoming so many exams.

Solution: LSA Encourages Students To Do What They Love

Students in China believe that success is conditional upon a high test score. However, the reality is that people are all different and they all have different characteristics. Students should not feel like their future success is determined by a single exam score. Due to the differences among the students, the education system is not able to define the students’ value by one national exam.  Success is not linked to exam scores. Successful people always do the things they love. The high stress environment for teenagers in China is unhealthy and unproductive. The Leadership Society of Arizona (LSA) encourages students to find their passion and work on developing that skill. Instead of distinguishing by grades, LSA encourages students to discover their unique talents and abilities.

Examples Of People That Are Successful In A Non-Traditional Way

Cesar Millan: As the most popular dog-trainer in the world, Cesar Millan did not receive any professional education from school. Cesar Milan was self-taught. Crossing the border illegally at a young age, walking dogs was what he was able to do for work. Cesar discovered that he really liked spending time with dogs and working with them. He would normally be hired to walk the most ill-behaved dogs. After some time working with dogs, he discovered that the only thing he really enjoyed doing was walking dogs. Due to the nature of sensing what the dogs were feeling and realizing that his value came from pursuing a career in what he loved to do, he became the most famous dog-trainer in the world.


The traditional education system aims to score one exam to judge a student’s ability and value. Especially for students in China, this has obviously increased stress level and unhappiness. LSA has been able to help students decrease their stress through teaching them simple logical concepts. LSA states that each student is different and they can be successful of doing what they love. The results from Cesar Milan also can prove the logic of success.  Life is not just about taking exams. A successful life that students are looking for should always match who they are and what they like.

The Secret to Solving Personal Problems


One of the greatest mysteries that continues to perplex the education system is why so many students are still depressed, stressed and failing to learn critical life skills that help them solve their personal problems. For many years, the education system has tried to aide parents at home with this issue by creating entire curriculums to help students. These curriculums are based on what the students should and should not do, but have had a difficult time helping students understand why they should be doing the work.

The Leadership Society of Arizona (LSA) has observed why these students struggle in life and how to help them implement correct principles to change for the better. To first understand this idea, we must consider the amount of information a high school student understands, and how this relates to their behavior. Let me propose a question: “Who is more likely to perceive more information about who they are, how they fit in society, and what value they add to others; a 15-year-old or 50-year-old?” Of course, the answer is a 50-year-old. This is true because a 50-year-old is more likely to perceive more information than a 15-year-old.

The whole idea is ironic because society continues to request students to figure out their entire life at such a young age who don’t know much about themselves. With this kind of pressure, and very little education on the why in life, students become stressed, and begin to display irrational behavior at times. In other words, life, according to the perception of the student with very little information about how it works and who they are, seems complex. When life is complex, the stability of a student begins to struggle and the mystery of their irrational behavior suddenly makes sense.

Exposing the Mystery

This is why LSA exists. We have developed a high school curriculum that teaches students logic and natural laws that help simplify their complex lives, by providing them the why in life. Interestingly, as students begin to understand the why in life, very little needs to be done to help them along; students start to act in their own lives and change it for the better on their own.

In our high school education programs, LSA can explain the following ideas to students:

  • Why they are born where they are born.
  • Why they are different and what makes them unique.
  • How their differences are the key to their success.
  • Why they have the family and parents they do.
  • Why they experience the struggles in life.
  • They have total control over their lives and are fully accountable.
  • Why they can never make a mistake. That everything in life happens for a reason, and when they gain more information, begin to see how everything they have gone through or will go through is for their growth and learning to become a better person.
  • Why people are the way they are and act the way they do.
  • What the purpose of life is and why it is important to understand it.

What’s in Everyone’s Mind

Many students think about these questions in school, and often administrators and parents try to explain their views on these ideas, but cannot. This is met with resistance by the students/children because it was not made simple enough for them to understand for immediate application in their life. What makes the LSA curriculum so valuable is its ability to make things simple using basic logic and natural laws. These concepts are easy to understand and observable in the students’ lives and prepare them for the challenges of life beyond school.

The program content has been researched, developed and shaped to its maturity over 24 years at Arizona State University, and has become the most licensed technology at ASU (49 licenses). It is the choice professional model to deliver professional services in the country of the Netherlands and many other countries.

CHS Leadership and Deductive Logic Program

Over the past 4 years, the LSA has been teaching this innovative curriculum to numerous high schools and its students, and has seen phenomenal results. In the fall of 2016, LSA began working with Coronado High School in Scottsdale AZ, who identified a leadership and personal development need in the football program.

Coronado High School Leadership and Deductive Logic Course

The Coronado High School (CHS) program had the following characteristics:

  • Ran by 1 professor, 4 PhD candidates, 2 graduate students, and 1 CHS faculty.
  • CHS initially did not have any additional funding in its budget to support the program fully.
  • LSA and CHS created an innovative 8-week pilot program, which met once per week for 75 minute sessions.
  • Initially, CHS did not have adequate funding to support the program. To make this effort happen, LSA donated $2.2K worth of services.
  • Student participants came exclusively from the CHS football program. Four students from each grade level [9-12] were hand-picked by the football coaching staff and participating administrators.
  • CHS allowed LSA to use an on-campus facility at no charge. 1 administrator attended the course and provided full support of the effort, taking care of administrative efforts for the school that were required of the program.
  • Out of the 20 initial football players selected, 10 of them attended the program over 80% of the time. The remaining 10 students participated in at least one class.

The Value Parents Observed

CHS hosted a family leadership conference on November 2, 2016 for all of the program participants. There was a record number (24) of parents and students in attendance. According to the Principal, this was one of the most attended evening events they have ever held. The students and parents had the opportunity to learn concepts to improve life in the home, at school, and in the workplace. LSA facilitated three unique workshops about simplifying decision making, communication and improving relationships in the home. On the third week of the program, there was a parent night.

Parents were asked to provide their feedback so far; the results are as follows:

  • 33% of parents reported already seeing a positive change in their child.
  • 4/10 parent satisfaction rating on value and applicability of concepts covered at the conference.
  • 6/10 overall parent satisfaction of leadership conference.
  • 100% of parents at the conference recommended the program for students.

Parent testimonials:

“Thank you for the classes. I believe that me, as a mother and with my son, we were able to learn together.”

Dr. Jacob Kashiwagi introducing the innovative new education paradigm at the Parent Night

“I can see growth in my son since beginning the program. Thanks.”

CHS Leadership and Deductive Logic Program Results

As part of the program, students were asked to fill out surveys before and after the course. Additionally, 15 CHS teachers completed 34 performance surveys on behalf of 18 students who took the course. The results of both are as follows:

  • Student Responses (13 Total)
  • Students rated the program 9.8/10.
  • 85% of the students identified the program will help them in school.
  • 62% of students reported feeling less stressed.
  • 46% felt more confident about their futures.
  • Understanding, social aptitude, and college-readiness improved by 10%.
  • Teacher Responses (34 total)
  • 10 of the 15 teachers noted student improvements.
  • 14 of the 18 students showed improvement in class.
  • Student overall class performance improved by 9%.
  • Time management improved by 13%.
  • Respectfulness improved by 12%.
  • 54% felt more accountable for the lives.

Solving Personal Problems

Throughout the course, 13 students identified a personal impact of the course in their lives. Regardless of course comprehension, students reported decreased stress, increased confidence, and increased career preparedness. Every student who attended more than 3 classes was able to make progress towards individualized goals relating to school, grades, personal relationships, familial struggles, and character development. The students who attended 5 or more classes showed the greatest impact. Here are just a few major examples:

  • Student 1 had severe anger problems and left home. He returned home after the second week of class (2.5 hours of instruction). He decided that he wanted to be a better person. His mother and administrators were in shock and very pleased. His mother reported that their relationship has drastically improved.
  • Student 2 was suffering in school due to a poor sleeping schedule. He set a goal to not use his cell phone at night to get more sleep. He changed his bedtime from 1am to 10pm.
  • Student 3 was very stressed about test-taking and his future after high school. After taking the course, he felt more confident about school. As a result, he started to use better study habits which improved 3 of his class grades to A’s.
  • Student 4 was struggling to do his homework and set a goal to complete it all. He was able to finish the year out completing all of his homework assignments. In addition, he is now trying to spend more time talking with his parents.
  • Student 5 was experiencing relationship issues that were negatively affecting his performance in school. He stated that, after taking the course, he was more in control of his emotions, and was thus able to focus more in his classes.


When life is made simple to a person, it makes a drastic difference in the way they feel about and manage their life. At CHS, LSA saw many teachers and parents happy with the changes their boys made in such a short amount of time. Many people are seeking simplicity, but do not know where to find it. We believe that all people are doing the best they can, but when they are not aligned in life, their performance is minimized. When people’s minds are aligned correctly, they can make big changes and add value to society. It just takes the right information at the right time presented in a manner that anyone can understand.

At LSA, we understand and have developed an approach that is simple that can help reduce the stress and pressures of life. From business to personal life, we know our approach works! We will continue to share it with people from around the world. If you are someone who is reading this article and agree with what we are proposing and want to learn for yourself, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We offer after school and summer programs for high schoolers, college courses, and professional services for established and entrepreneurial ventures. Whatever your need, we can help you on your journey to simplifying your life.

The Natural Laws of Success – A Lesson from Professional Athletes

Success is different for everyone. It doesn’t matter what your passion is in life, if you have a dream, you have goals. What is the best way to achieve our goals?

There’s a pattern to success and achieving goals. Our program teaches students the laws of human nature that lead to success in all aspects of life. We call these principles “The Natural Laws of Success”.

Coronado High School Logic & Leadership Academy

In the Fall of 2016, we had the unique opportunity to teach a leadership development course to the Coronado High School (CHS) Football Team. Over the course of a semester, we offered 20 students 6, one-hour workshops to help them become more successful. Many of the students struggled to keep their grades up in school and had disciplinary issues. After talking to CHS administration, we decided to develop a curriculum specifically for high school football players.

Life Lessons from Professional Athletes

The Natural Laws of Success are present in all aspects of life. They are clearly exemplified through the lives of highly successful people. At CHS, we chose to focus on professional athletes to make the course more relatable. Keep reading to find out what we taught about Stephen Curry, Ray Rice, and Tom Brady!

Stephen Curry – Success is Not an Accident

Stephen Curry is an all-star, plain and simple[1] [2]. He has seen some incredible record breaking moments in his career[3]. The impressiveness of his talent pales in comparison to the inspiring story of his rise to fame.

Curry was always talented, but what set him apart from others was his coach-ability and hard work. One summer in high school, Curry’s dad (a former NBA player) told him that if he wanted to be better he needed to completely change his shot[4]. At first, this change hurt his game, but Curry spent the entire summer mastering this skill. This is only one instance of Curry’s dedication. In the video below, you can see how relentless Curry was in striving to be the best.

Success – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxsdiusm1NQ

We often think that successful people catch a lucky break, but that might not be true. Nature is governed by cause and effect; every action must have a reaction. Your success is the result of your work. Curry is a champ because he asks for expert advice and then he relentlessly works to improve himself.

Success is not an accident. It’s a natural law: if you utilize expertise, and work hard, you will reach your desired results.

Ray Rice – You Control Your Life

Ray Rice is another all-star player[5], but his recent fame is for a much different reason. In 2014, Rice’s career was turned upside down because of a domestic violence case[6]. In the course of one year, he was dropped from the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely from the NFL. Eventually, he was permitted to play again, but today, teams still won’t hire him.

Since his suspension, Rice has done some serious soul-searching[7]. He’s been forced to rethink his career. He continues to work as a free agent, but he still hasn’t been picked up by a team. In the meantime, he’s turned his focus to the community:


Today, Rice isn’t playing football, but he’s making an even greater impact by speaking out against domestic violence. While his actions might have ruined his NFL career, he doesn’t let that dictate his future. Rice never blamed anyone else. His story is powerful because he’s willing to take full accountability for his actions: “I’m not proud of what happened, but I am proud of what I did to never, never, never, ever get to that place again.” (Ray Rice, NY Daily News).

True success cannot exist without accountability. We cannot learn from our actions unless we’re willing to own them. We can only grow when we admit our faults. Success is a mindset.

Tom Brady – The Key to Life is Constant Improvement

Tom Brady is another common household name. You probably know about Tom Brady even if you don’t watch football. What you might not know is who he was before becoming one of the best quarterbacks of all time.

Brady wasn’t much of a player when he was young. The one thing that made the biggest difference in Brady’s life was his approach to learning. From the beginning, Brady stopped at nothing to find good coaches. Well into his professional career, the 4-time Super Bowl champ continued to get help from his high school coach. Take a look at these two videos (they’re a little long so feel free to skip through):



Brady’s propensity for constant improvement doesn’t stop at football. He is a fanatic about every aspect of his health, family life, and personal routine[8]. Brady maintains a rigorous diet at all times: at home, on vacation, and during the off-season. His life isn’t about winning a couple Super Bowls, it’s about achieving excellence in all things.

The number one characteristic of all successful people is a commitment to progression. Success requires the willingness to learn and dedication to a routine conducive to growth. Success is a 24/7 lifestyle.

Program Results

The students at Coronado High School were deeply inspired by the lives of these three athletes. As part of our program we wanted to measure how the Natural Laws of Success affected the students. We asked 15 teachers to observe how students’ behavior changed after completing the 6-week program. The results are staggering:

  • 10 of the 15 teachers noted observable improvements in the students
  • 14 out of 18 students showed improvement in class performance
  • Student overall class performance improved by 9%
  • Time management improved by 13%
  • Respectfulness improved by 12%
  • Understanding, social aptitude, and college-readiness improved by 10%

These changes came after only 6 hours of instruction. We interviewed several of the students and found that the course inspired them to repair relationships with their families, improve their study habits, complete all of their homework assignments for the first time, and live healthier lifestyles. Every student who attended more than 3 classes achieved the goals that they had set at the beginning of the program.


Life is governed by unchanging laws of nature; success is no different than gravity. Every individual has the ability to reach for their own measure of success. As we adopt more successful habits, we naturally begin to achieve our goals, big or small. Results require the right actions. You decide what you will do with your circumstances. If you’re always learning, you will always improve.

Leadership isn’t a job title, it’s a lifestyle.

Jake Gunnoe Recognized as the 2016 “New Leader” of the Year


In December of 2016, Ubiquity Leadership selected 25 professionals who stood out from among their peers as top leaders. Jake Gunnoe, from Arizona State University (ASU), was selected as the “New Leader” of 2016. He was chosen from a highly competitive pool of candidates from over 60 large companies (including Apple, Shell, KPMG, and the NFL).

Ubiquity Leadership is an Executive Coaching & Leadership Development firm based in Ottawa, Canada. They have worked closely with executives for the past 16 years offering a variety of services ranging from leadership coaching, assessment, training, and etcetera.

In the Fall of 2016, Jake had the opportunity to work with Ubiquity’s President, Terry Lipovski. Terry coached Jake in preparation for a keynote address at the International Facility Management Association World Workplace 2016 conference on October 5th. With Terry’s guidance, Jake successfully delivered a crowd-winning speech to over 2,500 attendees. Of Jake’s performance Terry is quoted:

“This guy has serious talent! I worked with Jake in preparing for his World Workplace 2016 Keynote Talk and I must admit to being blown away by his remarkable result. Delivering his first big conference Keynote, Jake *Rocked It*, delivering a talk that I later described as “True Art On Stage”. His message was excellent yet it was his Style and Timing that took this talk from Good to Great to Simply Amazing. Jake, I encourage you to continue to find audiences to enlighten. Bravo!!” –Terry Lipovski, 2016

Performance Based Studies Research Group

Jake is now completing his Ph.D. at ASU, and expected to graduate in May 2017. Since 2013, he has worked under the mentorship of Dr. Dean Kashiwagi, Director of the Performance Based Studies Research Group (PBSRG). His current research efforts focus on integrating engineering and scientific processes with professional talent management and leadership development. He has authored 10 publications and personally worked with over 15 organizations conducting service delivery and management research implementation.

Jake is only one of several promising graduate students who work under Dr. Dean. The researchers at PBSRG have created an educational experience that enables students learn at an exponential rate. This model equips graduates with the skill sets of a seasoned professional without requiring years of technical experience. Dr. Dean is quoted saying:

“…Jake Gunnoe took the stage at Worldwide IFMA and time stood still. A number of people who truly know the effort realized that the future generation [of Best Value] is knocking on the door. Congratulations to Jake Gunnoe. For those who were not there, try to appreciate the years of effort and the dreams of the PBSRG young guns (under the mentorship of Jacob Kashiwagi and Kenneth Sullivan) that culminated in the most outstanding presentation [by] Jake Gunnoe on the largest stage ever.” –Dr. Dean Kashiwagi, 2016

Future Leadership

The PBSRG leadership development model is based on the Information Measurement Theory (IMT), the founding philosophy behind the world famous Best Value Approach. Dr. Dean’s protégés are the next step in proliferating IMT and Best Value to companies everywhere. Jake Gunnoe will be graduating in May of 2017, Dr. Dean anticipates 6 others to follow and prepare to look for future employment opportunities over the next 5 years.

 Watch Jake’s 2016 World Workplace address CLICK HERE

Learn more about Ubiquity Leadership CLICK HERE

Find out about the IFMA Greater Phoenix Chapter CLICK HERE

Learn about Leadership Society of Arizona CLICK HERE


The PBSRG team at an IFMA meeting. Bottom Row: Nguyen Le, Steve Georgoulis (IFMA), Sylvia Romero, Dean Kashiwagi, Isaac Kashiwagi, Yutian Chen. Back Row: Charles Zulanas, David Gastelum, Jake Gunnoe, Jose Ayala, Tamil Elango, Alfredo Rivera

Why College Might Not Be for Everyone


Some things in life are painfully overrated and college might be one of those things. Teachers and administrators tell students ,who want to be successful, go to college. They encourage students to earn a degree from one of the venerable institutions of higher learning. However, college may not be the only path to success.

Have you ever wondered why students are able to learn quicker when they are younger (picking up new languages, developing athletic abilities, etc.)? Common sense says most students respond better to a three-dimensional learning process. This is a process in which a person can visualize things from the beginning all the way to the end. For example, it is easier to learn engineering by building a house than by reading a book about it. Some students can respond to two-dimensional learning, but most of them respond better when the learning is hands on.

Students are under-prepared and lack skill

In a poll done by the Jordan Porco Foundation, 87% of students said that college preparation during high school focused more on academics than emotional readiness, and 50% said their independent living skills need improvement for college readiness . This clearly indicates that most students are under-prepared for college. Another study shows that college dropout rates continue to be a  national embarrassment (29%) but it doesn’t end there. Even after college, industry workers say that most college graduates are not prepared to work in their specialized field. Recent graduates require at least 6 months of training before they are qualified to be put in their position.

4 Year University isn’t the only option

After graduating from a four year university, 51% of students don’t utilize their technical knowledge from their degrees! The problem is that most of the students don’t know who they are, what makes them happy, or what they enjoy doing most. As a result, they spend time doing things that they think are “required” to be successful. This type of mentality creates students that do not enjoy school and are unmotivated to succeed. School should not be focused on simply preparing students for work but it should help students to find things they enjoy doing.  When we help students to find things they enjoy, they will be more motivated and interested in learning.

Ultimately, students have to think about their life goals. Mary Docken, a prominent voice in education advocacy, says that “Students need to think about what their interests are, how they like to learn, what motivates them, what financial realities they face, what type of work they enjoy and see themselves doing” . Sometimes college will limit the number of options that students will have for a career.

History of Career and Technical Education (CTE)


During the first 50 years of the United States, public education was largely limited to boys.  Although in the early-1800s, girls began to enter schools to prepare for teaching. In the early 19th century, the U.S. workforce and public education system started together to train the streams of workers for different jobs during school. Later on, the first manual training school, established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1879, set the foundation for modern career and technical education.

Near the turn of the 20th century, agricultural education started to thrive. The first mass acceptance of career and technical education came after World War I and the movement spread in the years that followed. Career and technical education expanded to include adult education and re-training citizens to enter the workforce. World War II caused a surge in career and technical education as technical skills were needed for defense purposes. However, Joel Klein, former New York City school chancellor, said the following about vocational education 40 years ago, “Vocational education programs, where you send the dumb kids who weren’t suited for the classroom learning, are awful and just waste of time and money”. Last century’s vocational programs offered old-fashioned woodworking and auto mechanics, providing good skills and for work or in their daily life. However, these programs were poorly structured, which brought about a negative stigma.

CTE – Vocational Education  

Last century’s vocational programs offered old-fashioned woodworking and auto mechanics, providing good skills and for work or in their daily life. However, these programs were poorly structured, which brought about a negative stigma. Today, Career and Technical Education (CTE) provides a vastly different pathway; one that leads to high school graduation, higher education opportunities and jobs in skilled trades, applied sciences and technology. The idea behind CTE is to align high school students with post secondary options. Students learn to read blueprints, make detailed drawings and use machinery commonly used in a very different woodworking industry. Similarly, automotive careers have adapted to a changing industry where computerized equipment, electronics and advanced materials are now standard, and students can choose to study fuel cells or electric car design.

From the article by Joe Klein “Learning that works,” CTE’s academic results have been spectacular for students. “Nearly every one of these kids passed the state comprehensive test we give to 17 year olds in Arizona, in which less than about 40% of the non-vocational education students passed”. CTE programs motivate students to get involved in their learning by engaging them in problem-solving activities that construct knowledge and by providing hands-on activities that enable them to apply knowledge; bring students and adults together in a setting of collaborative learning; and offer opportunities for students to interact with community members, potential employers, and students and teachers who share similar career/vocational interests.

CTE programs offer students an alternative to college prep programs. Research shows students considered “at risk” or “disadvantaged” and students with disabilities have greater success when they are enrolled in technology education, tech prep, school-to-career, and other CTE programs.

Format of LSA

LSA believes that students will be the most successful in their future career when they satisfy three criteria. The three criteria that need to be satisfied are:

  • Choose something you are good at
  • Pursue something you are passionate about
  • Pick something that provides value to others

There are multitudinous careers available for students who dare to dream. Education should not be a hindrance to a student’s learning experience. Many students would be more apt to becoming a professional in a career provided by Career and Technical Education. Each person and each student’s path to success is unique. To standardize any path towards success is not practical for a world with different people with different passions and interests. LSA teaches students how they can find an expert and how to achieve their dreams in any field.

Partner With LSA

Those who have interest in working with LSA, contact Jake Gunnoe at jake.g@old.leadaz.org or call at 928-710-8915.

Preparing the Professional of the Future


What were to happen if employees across the country vanished but there were no replacements to fill the positions? The same thing that happens to lake without rain – a drought.

Census data shows that we are now entering into a massive nationwide “talent drought”. Between 2000 and 2010, the population of US citizens, 45-64 years, old increased by 31.5%, while citizens aged 25-44 years decreased by 3.4%[i]. Within 20 years, nearly 30% of the workforce will be retiring. Some sources have even gone as far as to compare the shortage to the Bubonic Plague[ii].

The Root of the Problem

professionalAs the talent pool continues to shrink, companies will begin losing employees ranging from executives to craft laborers. Even if companies downsize, or outsource labor, there will still be spots to fill. A drought is a drought; no matter how companies respond, the number of available employees will continue to diminish.

On the bright side, the talent drought couldn’t have come at a better time in history. There are fewer people entering into the workforce, but fewer people are needed. A recent report by McKinsey & Company suggests that 45% of job functions today could be completely automated using technology and robotics[iii]. Conveniently, 30% of workers might be retiring, but up to 45% might not be needed.

When push comes to shove, companies might not need to fill spots left by retirees. Automating jobs is much more efficient than managing employees. As time goes on, companies won’t need more employees, they will need the right employees.

We’re beginning to see signs of this today. Companies now recognize that technical skills are not as valuable as leadership skills and soft skills[iv]. Compared to soft skills, technical skills can be more easily trained or automated[v].

Looking to Education

As discussed in previous articles (here and here), the U.S. education systems is not up to par. Too many students are unhappy with their education and unable to find meaningful careers. At the same time, U.S. companies are finding that new hires are unprepared for work. Young employees lack leadership skills and the ability to think criticallyv. Over the course of four years, 45% of college students do not improve their reasoning and critical thinking abilities[vi].

The modern education system trains students to memorize technical information so it can be regurgitated on an exam, but there are very few exams in the working world. As companies begin to rely on technology, demands will change.

The Solution

soft-skillsWith the aid of technology, the impact of the “talent drought” will be minimal, and if we are wise, we won’t have to compete with robots for jobs. As people, we have one advantage over technology: we have the ability to reason. Reasoning leads to creativity and empathy; things that a robot cannot do. These skills will become more and more crucial in a professional setting.

The professional of the future has to be a problem solver who is able to understand unique situations at a very high level. He or she must be a leader who possesses key traits such as:

  • Logical reasoning abilities
  • Personal stability
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Integrity

These traits can’t be learned from a textbook or studied in a classroom. These traits should be nurtured and developed. Traditionally, someone one could only learn these things through many years of life experience, but there is another way.

As we mentioned in other posts, the Leadership Society of Arizona has created a leadership development program that helps students learn faster. Our model teaches students how to apply logic and common sense to solve everyday problems. Instead of telling students that integrity is important, we give a logical reason of why. This education drastically reduces personal stress and empowers students to be better people. The secret is to teach kids how to learn wherever they go.


The talent pool is shrinking and job functions are being replaced by technology. Companies are placing more value on leadership skills than technical training. The professional of the future must know how to think critically and solve unique problems. Modern education must adapt to the needs of society by teaching students soft skills instead of forcing them to memorize information. The Leadership Society of Arizona curriculum provides students with a framework that helps them use logic to solve everyday problems and learn faster. If we can prepare a generation of rational, stable-minded employees, there is no problem too great to handle.

Leadership isn’t a job title, it’s a lifestyle.


[i] U.S. Census 2010. Retrieved from: http://www.censusscope.org/us/chart_age.html

[ii] The Economist 2016. Retrieved from:  http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21702477-can-debt-fuelled-model-growth-cope-ageing-populations-vanishing

[iii] http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/business-technology/our-insights/four-fundamentals-of-workplace-automation

[iv] Burnsed, B. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/05/11/specialized-majors-high-risk-high-reward.

[v] Society of Human Resource Management (2015). Retrieved from: Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/Research/SurveyFindings/Documents/SHRM-Hiring-Graduates-2015.pdf

[vi] Rimer, S. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article24608056.html

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