Take Charge of Your Talent provides the keys to help people tap their amazing potential and enjoy lasting results in their work, families, and communities.get engaged with your don jay

The most precious assets on the planet are the talents we have. Yet, few of us give much attention to developing them. Unlike physical resources, talents do not become depleted. What’s more, when you develop and apply your talents, you can help others explore and enjoy theirs as well.

We are on a mission to help people take charge of their talent. We want you to join the thousands of people in dozens of organizations who have used proven keys to unlock their potential and followed straightforward steps to enjoy more of their talents.

“Take Charge of Your Talent invites each of us to explore and enjoy more of the talents within us.”

~ John Steinhart, Silicon Valley HR expert, former Director, Stanford Sloan Executive Program


Use the Take Charge of Your Talent Manifesto as a foundation to share the hope of talent development that works for all. As more people use the keys, each of you will have more support for your own growth—and we will all benefit.


The Take Charge of Your Talent Manifesto

1.    We each have untapped talents and opportunities for greater satisfaction.

Satisfaction corresponds closely with how much of our talent we put to use. Experience shows that even hard-working people who are the best and brightest people in their field typically have 30–40 percent of their talent untapped. We have a wealth of opportunities to contribute to the world and improve our personal well-being. We just need help to figure out how.

2.    Accessing our hopes helps us to get out of our own way and stimulates better results.

Our brains work both to protect us and to help us grow. When we are in a hopeful frame of mind, we engage the parts of our brains that specialize in creativity, insight, and development of alternatives. We need all these faculties to tap our talents and enjoy them more fully.

3.    We can be Talent Catalysts for one another to generate new ideas and precipitate action.

With carefully targeted questions, generous listening, and a focus on action, Talent Catalyst Conversations help us to look at our careers and lives from a new angle. We can readily learn and share these conversation skills with others.

4.    Abundant resources are available to help us realize our deepest hopes.

Each of us has access to far more resources than we may think. Indeed, a useful talent is learning how to identify and attract the resources we need.

5.    We can get the time we need to pursue our hopes and take charge of our talent.

One of the biggest blocks people cite as getting in the way of their talent development is a lack of time and focus needed to pursue their hopes: “I could do it if only I had time.” We can be like surgeons and slice through overwhelming workloads to do what’s most valuable.

6.    The self-organizing culture of talent development creates enduring assets and fulfillment for individuals and organizations.

Pumping up the troops with inspiration from the top brass or from outsiders can feel good but is often short-lived. While inspiring leaders can give us a jump-start, we need to be running off our own batteries to stay engaged. Truly sustainable motivation rests within each of us. Trusting people to engage their hopes and giving them permission to pursue what’s important to them produces results in many ways. We feel more responsible for our organizations because they become ours, as we helped to create and foster the talent that fuels them.

7.    Everyone can participate because the “See one, do one, teach one” approach supports a culture of accessible and self-organizing talent development.

Talent wants to flow freely. Indeed, the movement to take charge of your talent can go viral in the positive sense that it is a highly constructive and contagious process. As one participant learns the process, serves as a Talent Catalyst, and then teaches someone else, that person can serve and teach others. The process builds a network of learners and teachers such that talent emerges within us and all around us.


Are you ready to explore the bright horizons ahead for you and your organization?

“Take Charge of Your Talent gave me fresh insights and a successful path to becoming a leader in our organization.”
Fran, new manager



Don Maruska, Co-author and Chief Development Officer

As a founder and CEO of three Silicon Valley companies, venture investor, and recipient of the National Innovators Award, Don writes from a broad base of experience. His lifelong passions for creativity, translating innovative ideas into practical applications, and bringing out the best in others stimulate his work.

Don’s own story is one of learning how to take charge of his talent. He was the first in his family’s history to attend college, and he earned a BA magna cum laude from Harvard University. At twenty-two, Don was a legislative assistant in the US Senate and thereafter developed management procedures to implement a national housing program. He subsequently earned an MBA and JD from Stanford University and joined McKinsey & Company, where he led strategy and organization projects for corporations, government agencies, and nonprofits.

Following nearly two decades in Silicon Valley, Don became a Master Certified Coach, focusing on helping leaders and teams to cultivate success in their organizations. He is proud to claim that coauthor Jay Perry was one of his mentor coaches in learning the coaching profession. Don’s clients include large firms such as Accenture, Blue Shield, Duke Energy, Intel, Microsoft, and Wells Fargo, as well as growing midsized businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits. He also founded and directs the Cal-ICMA Coaching Program, which provides professional development for over three thousand leaders in local government each year.

For more than a decade, Don wrote the “Business Success” column distributed through the Knight-Ridder Business Wire to more than two hundred newspapers in the United States and via Reuters overseas. He also wrote How Great Decisions Get Made: 10 Easy Steps for Reaching Agreement on Even the Toughest Issues, with a foreword by Margaret J. Wheatley. This book, reprinted in Asia and Africa, has helped businesses, governments, and communities around the world to enjoy major breakthroughs and enduring results. Don has appeared on over thirty radio and television interview programs throughout the United States. He delivers keynote speeches and workshops across the country and abroad.

Don and his family live on the shores of Morro Bay, California, where he enjoys the rhythms of nature amid thriving farming, fishing, and artist communities. As an avid swimmer and tennis player, Don is grateful for the lessons he learns from improving his skills.

“Don Maruska embodies a rare professional combination: a blend of intellectual horsepower and creative instinct, analytic rigor and people skills, hard and soft. He has dedicated himself to inventing ever better methods for developing the right people into better performers.”

~ Jim Collins, author Good to Great



Jay Perry, Co-Author and Chief Talent Catalyst

Jay Perry is a Master Certified Coach who helps people to take advantage of both business and personal challenges in unique and powerful ways. His clients include Fortune 500 corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and creative artists. He is also known as one of the world’s leading mentors for new coaches seeking professional certification.

Jay’s clients appreciate his fresh perspectives that help them to see themselves and their situations in a new light. He earned a BFA from Boston University and an MFA from Ohio University. With a background in professional theater as an actor, teacher, director, stage manager, and theater owner, Jay approaches his work with a sense of playfulness and a passion for developing creative communities. In the 1980s, he applied these skills in operating the Actors’ Information Project to empower performing artists to take charge of their careers and lead healthy lives. He also served as CEO of a digital imaging and archiving business with offices in New York and Los Angeles.

Jay has coached and led workshops for thousands of people around the world on topics such as business planning, leadership, transformational change, coaching skills, communication, and career planning. In 1991, he began working with legendary coach Thomas Leonard and participated in the creation of Coach University and the International Coach Federation. Jay’s coaching clients include executives at AT&T, Avaya, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, Shell, and Schlumberger. Additionally, he has a personal mission of bringing the benefits of coaching to traditionally underserved and at-risk populations and has volunteered his services in jails and prisons.

Jay lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, Susan; dog, Mozart; and cat, Shadow. His son, Max, works in the entertainment industry.

“Jay Perry has tremendous skill in finding and clarifying people’s creative potential. He does this almost effortlessly, with great listening talent and pin-sharp questions at just the right moment. He can rely on a huge range of experiences and taps into that very effectively – but only when needed. It’s sometimes almost uncanny how he manages to plant a creative ‘seed’ that only months later shows its true meaning and strength.”

~ Angelo Vermeulen, HI-SEAS Crew Commander (NASA)


Certified Talent Champions

Certified Talent Champions are people who have been through extensive training in the 3 Keys from the book, have used the 3 Keys to take charge of their own talent, and have demonstrated their ability to help others take charge of theirs.  They are distinguished professionals who are prepared to support you in a variety of ways.

Teresa R. Schwab, United States

Fluent Languages:  English, Solomon Islands Pidgin

Bio: Through an independent leadership development firm, Teresa provides individual and team coaching, training and facilitation services to increase the capacity of individuals and organizations to make progress on complex social challenges.  Teresa is a Licensed Master’s Social Worker, an Associate Certified Coach and a Certified Civic and Community Leadership Coach.

3514 Clinton Parkway 253A Lawrence, KS  66047, 785.393.0039, teresa@arnavonstrategies.com, www.arnavonstrategies.com, Twitter:  @TeresaRSchwab, LinkedIn:  Teresa Schwab


Andi Roberts, United Kingdom

Fluent Languages: English, Spanish

Bio: As a Professional Certified Coach, Andi focuses his work on supporting people to accelerate to reach their personal and professional goals. His coaching style is relaxed, positive and engaging. Andi helps people to go beyond the obvious and easy by requesting  healthy stretches that create significant insights and long lasting personal change.

+44 7850 752 106, andi@andiroberts.com, Twitter: andi_roberts, Skype: andiroberts, www.masterfacilitator.com


Dr. Axel Meierhoefer, USA

Fluent Languages: German, English

Bio: Internationally operating facilitator, coach, mentor, and consultant offering Take Charge of your Talent consultations, custom learning design and deliveries, and decades of experience helping people help themselves become successful. Being a catalyst for individuals, groups and organizations is what drive and motivates me to help.

1149 Vuelta de las Acequias Santa Fe, NM 87507  Cell: 805-708-6830  Skype Name: AMeierhoefer  http://www.AxelMeierhoefer.com


Tuncel Gulsoy, Turkey

Fluent Languages: Turkish, English

Bio: International Executive Coach, Specialized in mentoring and coaching young executives for being tomorrow’s leaders. Take Charge of Your Talent global team member. Offers a unique coaching style developed over his long years of business life experience, interest in music and written and oral interviews, He is motivated by his dream to be a contributing team member of the coaches of the globe in shaping a more humanistic world.

Defterdar Yokusu 48/5, Karsinlar ap. Cihangir. 34433 Istanbul, Turkey, Cell: +90 532 216 25 99, Skype Name: merlincoach, http://www.tuncelgulsoy.net


Name: Johann (Hannes) Entz-von Zerssen,  Canada

Fluent Languages: English, German

Bio: Talent Champion, Coach, Trainer/Facilitator and Consultant with years of international work experience uncovering what makes his clients engage with and trust their talents. Touching and inspiring people through authenticity, play, delight and humor and creating space though generous listening and reflection.

4021 Hessington Place, Victoria, BC, V8N 5C5, T: +1 250 298 7096 M:+1 250 507 4646, johann@evz-coaching.com



Name: HeideMarie Klein, Germany

Fluent Languages: German, English

Bio: With three distinctly different careers in the corporate world, speaking three languages and having lived and worked in 3 foreign countries HMK has developed an acute sense of true leadership and the  possibilities that can be created by unleashing talented people’s potential. As a Leadership Coach HMK works with talented females to design and live the lives and careers that fully express their unique talents.

+49 89 388 79637,  +49 172 867 5636, heidemarie.klein@kleinleadershipcoach.de, skype name: heidemarie klein, www.xing.com/profile/HeideMarie_Klein


Siobhan M. Murphy, USA

Fluent Languages:  English (and un pico Espanol)

Siobhán (Sha-vaun) Murphy, founded The Quest Connection, an Executive Coaching, Facilitation and Training company to support individual leaders and organizations of all sizes to improve communication, develop leadership capacity, increase sales, and move from the battlefield to the playing field at work.   Involved in the Take Charge of Your Talent program since 2009, Siobhan enjoys facilitating powerful coaching conversations to assist clients to take charge of their careers and bring their deepest hopes to life.  She holds the Master Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation.

631.277.8880 Eastern Time Zone, 410 Mystic Way, Bay Shore, NY 11706  (Long Island), info@thequestconnection.com

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