The most significant changes in life are on the other side of any Courageous Conversation.

These past few weeks, with increasing coverage of Floyd’s death and the fatal shootings of unarmed Afro-Americans, from 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery out for a jog in Georgia, 26-year-old Breonna Taylor killed in her Kentucky home by police.

It hit me when people consistently started asking me for advice, guidance, and leadership on how to have difficult conversations, that my silence against what was going on in the world was hurting the cause. I felt that my silence from the “hard conversations” wasn’t an option anymore.

Breakdown of R-A-C-E to merely having “hard conversations” to help create a healthier culture in the workplace:

R- Reduce ANXIETY and FEAR behind Race / Inequality
A great way to reduce fear and anxiety behind Race/Inequality issues is to have “safe and open conversations” with people facilitating dialogue where employees and team members can feel free to express themselves without fear of being judged. You must set ground rules for these conversations, and your facilitators must stay alert and aware that the rules for the talks are properly followed…
A-Accept how people see RACE
One way to do this would be for the leadership team to share some of their experiences around race. Then, the Leadership team can invite employees to do the same.
C-Create a Team of Diverse individuals to overlook the Diversity & Inclusion of the company
Leadership teams can also encourage employees to develop a diverse network of internal and external allies and lean on these individuals for help when needed.
E-Expect that you will have to provide ANSWERS/RESOURCES/TOOLS to back the brand’s stance on equality
Leadership teams will want to develop a “How To” plan which will allow each leader to handle “hard conversations” according to the companies policies and procedures

It is usual for Leadership team members to question whether they are doing “the right thing” when addressing issues of race and equality in the workplace.

The Leadership Team needs to empower its employees and provide them with resources for having productive conversations about race. Backing these conversations with experiences, evidence, and good intentions are better than not having the hard conversations about race/equality in the workplace. We are all in this together, and with healthy dialogue and strong inclusion, we can start to create real change on the other side of the “hard conversations.”


Building a brand with a team of Leaders who lead with listening is crucial. Leaders who master the skill of listening are the most humble leaders.

Do not build a team of “Yes” team members, build a team of honest and real team members, who are willing to give you honest and constructive feedback. Some people look at being humble as a weakness, when it should actually be recognized as a strength in people. Transparency and Effective communication is key to achieving strong relationships between team members, building inspiration, and increasing profitability through achieving the desired results.

When you carry to much pride and have a BIG EGO as a leader it tends to seclude you from the team and increases your chances of experiencing more errors, poor decision making, and will destroy relationships. Instead let the ego go and build a power team of knowledgable, competent, and confident individuals who can provide honest, authentic, and timely feedback. As a leader, you often feel like you need to know everything and that is not true. Great leaders are those who ask for help when needed, know the resources to refer individuals to when they are unable to assist, and they welcome feedback and constructive thoughts of others.

Mastering your listening skills and becoming more of a humble leader you become more approachable, trusting, and reliable through your team’s eyes. Having strong leadership skills allows you to create an inclusive environment where each team member finds a sense of purpose and respect.

The more successful your organization and team becomes requires you as a leader to remain in touch with all new and upcoming items that can add to the efficiency of your team and organization. Be a leader who inspires others to embrace change, encourage feedback, and grow as leaders themselves. Organizations that remain strong with an excellent foundation of leadership, through all the changing times and in the competitive market place increase their chances of success and profitability.

Leaders who do not master the art of listening will be surrounded by individuals who have nothing to say. Which will lead to communication barriers, critical errors,  loss of inclusion, which could easily lead to the demise of your brand!

In conclusion, LEARN TO LISTEN MORE!

Listen authentically to understand someone’s real problem,  and not just to reply. Be present and intentional with all communication and eliminate distractions.  By doing this you give yourself the best chance to succeed in all areas personally and professionally!

Marques Ogden

Keynote Speaker/Executive Coach


The majority of salespeople are highly trained in the information part of their sales. They also are
very knowledgeable about their product or service. However, many individuals struggle with closing out the transaction. The key to a successful close is knowing the balance of product/service information vs. personal benefits.

Looking to close more sales and increase your profitability?

STOPPING these 5 things is a must…

1. “Getting Fixated on the price point.”

How can you bring value to them?

What type of ROI can they expect on the investment of your product/service?

Is the ROI going to be more than just financial?  

Will it bring emotional, and mental stability to your clients business vision?

2. “Offering them more time to think about it…”

The more time you give someone to think about it the more likely, they will pass up your offer.

Get them set up within the first call or call back of interest.  

Having a follow-up call within a week is essential.  

Studies show almost 55 percent of people who are spoken to on the second call within a week, are more likely to get sold that product or service by the salesperson.  

3. “There’s no pressure / I get it..”  

Instead of putting pressure on the customer to buy something, focus on increasing the value your product or service can provide for them.  

Show them ways that you can positively impact their lives, with your fantastic product and immaculate customer service.  

4. “Feel free to reach out anytime”…”

Keep your calendar open for individuals who find value in your services/product but don’t be someone who wastes time on potential clients who are obviously not serious about buying your products.

 Learn to show others your time/service is valuable.

Set this tone early, and you will save a lot of your precious, valuable time.

5. “Check your options and let me know.”

Be in control of getting the “know.”

Always schedule a follow-up call before hanging up call.

Don’t’ allow them time to shop around, instead show them value at the beginning and make them not wanna shop around.  

This is why I like to have my follow up calls within a week.  It’s not too aggressive, while at the same time it allows you to stay present in that potential client’s mind.

Mastering the art of communication and body language is essential to sales also.

There are 2 types of salespeople:

1. The Farmer:

Plants seeds/Markets to many different sources But waits patiently to nurture relationships.

Does the preparation to achieve the best results/Researching the client.

Harvest the crop/Knowing how and when to approach the client.

2. The Hunter

Go in for the kill right away, Not patient.

Overaggressive can seem desperate

‍In conclusion:

If you learn to stop doing the 5 things above, along with learning how to be a more of a farmer and not so much of always trying to be the hunter, you will start to see a much more successful track record with your brand.

Marques Ogden, Keynote Speaker


When your low can’t go lower, eventually we hit bottom. Whether hitting that bottom in rock bottom or close to rock bottom. Hitting bottom personally and professionally does not always have to be a bad thing. It is essential to reevaluate who we are. Ask yourself this, “Are you living your best life?”

This is the time you look at your goals, your vision, your story, and most importantly, your purpose or passion. You are never alone, it may seem as though the bottom can be the loneliness, but that is where you will truly learn who you are, where you want to go and what it will take. Ask yourself this, “Am I truly being authentic with who I am, or where I want to go in life?”

This is a great time to evaluate who you spend your time with. Think of the individuals you spend the most time with. Do you spend time with individuals who are lacking in inspiration, maybe lacking in positivity, or even just lacking in energy altogether? You have the opportunity to choose who you spend your time with. Make sure you are spending time with individuals who lift you up, support your vision, and believe in you. Do not feel obligated to give time to the dream crashes, the negative Nelly’s, or the individuals who are complacent in life. Ask yourself this, “Do these individuals bring me joy and lift me up?” “Are they there for me when I need them?”

OK, now after doing self-evaluation dust yourself off and get right back up. The longer you spend at rock bottom or living, the worse it will be to get back up.

Figure out what living your best life will indeed look like with these steps:
1.    Am I doing what I love to do?
a.    If not, Why are you not enjoying what you are doing?
b.    If yes, What can be done to bring more joy to your life?
2.    What is something I have always dreamt of doing or being?
a.    Can you add or apply it to what you are currently doing?
b.    Is this something completely different from what you are doing?
3.    What will it take to get you started living your best life?
a.    Do you know your Avatar or ideal customer?
b.    Do you know what challenges they face and how you can be of a solution for them?
4.    Who is going to be your greatest support?
a.    Does your network of individuals know and believe in your vision?
b.    Are they capable of helping you achieve this vision?
5.    What is the burning desire behind this vision?
a.    How will this allow you to live your best life?

We all have the same opportunities as others to live our best life’s. It all comes down to are you will step out of your comfort zone, put in the hard work, and sacrifice something to achieve this vision. It all begins with YOU!

Do you believe in you, your vision, and the ability to live your best life?

Marques Ogden
Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach

Marques Ogden

Marques Ogden/Speaker

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