Comments from participants in Take Charge of Your Talent:

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“Take Charge of Your Talent is an excellent framework to engage your employees in their own professional development.  It is practical, scalable, and enticing.  We implemented it at MINDBODY, and it fit perfectly with our culture and core values.”

  Rick Stollmeyer, CEO, MindBodyOnline, a fast-growing 800+ employee software company named one of the Top Places to Work in America by GlassDoor and Outside Magazine

Not only the CEO valued the Take Charge of Your Talent program but also people in the organization. Here’s an unsolicited testimonial sent to the CEO by a participant.

Laurel Mitchell“Thank you so much for creating the Take Charge of Your Talent workshops for everyone. I was lucky enough to serve as a Talent Champion, and the experience has been a very profound one for me, personally.  I went through a time where I felt drained by my responsibilities, rather than energized. Ironically, taking on more responsibility was the answer to this, which is what got me the opportunity to help with the workshops, ultimately helping me pinpoint what I am passionate about (and, thankfully, good at), which is people development. I have never been more jazzed about my career.” ~ Laurel Mitchell, Tech Support Team Lead, MINDBODY, Inc.

And another unsolicited testimonial from a participant.

Spolarich“Don skillfully led the MINDBODY’s team through his “Take Charge of Your Talent” program. Don is an insightful and thoughtful facilitator and mentor, who has the ability to help others understand and manifest their own skills and talents. I’ve personally found the work Don and co-author Jay Perry have done to be transformative in my own life, helping me clarify my own professional goals and ambitions. I believe both individuals and organizations can benefit by engaging in these ideas and this book.” ~ Brian Spolarich, Senior Director, Data Management at MINDBODY, Inc.


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Brown“The Take Charge of Your Talent program delivers great value for both employees and business. Our team members in 13 locations around the world reported an average 20% increase in use of their talent and a corresponding increase in job satisfaction. In the first six months of the program, the business gained enduring assets (documented knowledge, skills, and processes). The team continues to bring new assets online and remains actively engaged. I highly recommend this program.” ~ Steve Brown, Managing Director, People Mobility, Accenture

Update: Steve reports that his team members doubled their net bottom line contribution to Accenture this year. Congratulations!

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CSMFO Conference Maruska Keynote 2014-02-21“Don Maruska’s keynote presentation on Take Charge of Your Talent provided an inspiring and thought provoking close to our annual conference with hundreds of finance professionals. So often, we just react to the work before us and can become victims of our own circumstances. This presentation engaged us to become heroes of our talent in concrete and compelling ways. I endorse this program for organizations that want to empower their members to become more productive and fulfilled.” ~ Jesse Takahashi, President-Elect, California Society of Municipal Finance Officers

Take Charge presentation earns high marks at ATD International Conference, May 19, 2015

Don and Jay’s interactive session, “Solving Your Talent Equation: The Moment Is Now,” earned 4.9 rating out of a possible 5.0 from attendees. Here are the comments that attendees added to their ratings:

• Very tangible! Loved it!ATD 0814195-ICE_Speaker_Graphic

• Very beneficial for my career possibilities.

• Great audience interaction and engagement.

• Fun interactive session that left me with lots of personal and professional clarity. I really enjoyed working with

a teammate.

• I really enjoyed this session. Very engaging.

The Association for Talent Development is the world’s largest professional association for talent development. This conference drew approximately 10,000 attendees.


Central Coast Writers Conference“Don Maruska’s “Take Charge of Your Talent Story” was the perfect choice to close the 30th Annual Central Coast Writers’ Conference (September 2014). After a weekend of intensive workshops to develop and improve writing skills for aspiring and previously published authors, Maruska’s interactive session demonstrated specific actions to enhance a writers’ quest for productivity and personal achievement. I highly recommend his keynote for audiences looking for engaging, inspiring, and practical ways to make the most of their talent.” ~ Judy Salamacha, Director 2010-2014


United Way“Don Maruska’s ‘Take Charge of Your Talent’ is a remarkably effective tool and was proficiently utilized throughout our 2014 United Way of San Luis Obispo County Board retreat. The 3 Keys stimulated an environment of collaborative thinking, engagement and a thoughtful connection to discovering possible action steps needed to attain hopeful results.” Rick London, CEO, United Way of San Luis Obispo County

Mark Scott, City Manager, Burbank, CAWatch Mark Scott’s comments at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3LBFwmLn80 about Don Maruska’s presentation with Ted Gaebler entitled: “Why is most of your team sitting on the bench?” This session engaged City Managers throughout California. Mark Scott is City Manager of Burbank, CA.




Rotary“Don Maruska’s presentation of Take Charge of Your Talent actively engaged our Rotary de Tolosa members. Our members were captivated and enjoyed the fresh insights from neuroscience and psychology and the practical ways Don provided to unlock talent. On a personal level, our firm is currently working with our staff members to unleash the power of their individual talents, and Don’s presentation provided me with useful insights to propel this project to the next level. Needless to say, the presentation was homerun with our Rotary club. I highly recommend the presentation for business and professional audiences and look forward to the opportunity of working with Don in the future. ~ Daniel J. O’Hare, CPA, CGMA, President and Managing Director, Glenn Burdette


“I’ve seen the key practices in ‘Take Charge of Your Talent’ work with hundreds of people–from front-line employees to CEO. This book provides valuable ways to develop talent at all levels. Read it and help your career and your organization thrive.”

 ~ Frank Benest, Senior Advisor for Next Generation Initiatives, International City-County Management Association



“It was about 20 years ago that big corporations finally broke the promise with employees of long-term job security. Since then organizations have used terminations and reductions-in-force as a first resort for expense control, and that is why we have all become ‘free agents.’ Throughout the past two decades, there have been many books on the topic of self-promotion and even more guides on how to navigate the job market. What has been missing until Don Maruska and Jay Perry’s new book, ‘Take Charge of Your Talent,’ is a practical approach to develop your talent to provide enhanced opportunity as well as greater satisfaction and fulfillment.

“Organizations will also benefit from this well-written, step-by-step approach to focus on their talent pool and prepare the next generation of managers and leaders to fill in behind the large numbers of people who are retiring or seeking new career opportunities. Embracing Don and Jay’s approach solves the problem of transmitting the knowledge and skills of outgoing employees to their future replacements, rather than losing the knowledge base and experience that typically disappears when a key employee leaves or retires. Providing this support to underutilized employees who seek new and more responsibility may help fill the void of loyalty lost when organizations stopped offering the assurance of long-term employment. 

“In the new era of free agents, this book provides exactly what both individuals and organizations are looking for. Don and Jay have delivered a proven and easy to understand process for the development of an organization’s most precious resource, its talent pool. In so doing, they inspire more job satisfaction and greater career fulfillment.”

~ John Steinhart, Silicon Valley HR expert and former Director of Stanford Business School’s Sloan Executive Program


“Maruska and Perry’s book shows us how we can harness our talents in ways that expand our horizons, ramp up our ability to bring out our best, and energize those around us in the same way. Their proven approach leads us to interact with others to open up worlds of possibility. This book provides a distinctive, brilliant structure. If you add your passion and discipline, you can’t imagine what you and your team, organization, family, and community will achieve. Indispensable.”

~ Michael Ray, author of Creativity in Business and professor emeritus, Stanford Business School


Williams“In Take Charge of Your Talent there is a course mapped out that will have any motivated reader engaged, excited and challenged to take a healthy stretch. Yet the reader may also be surprised to find authors who suspend judgment and point out how to discover that many of the answers to moving forward are already available. In the chapters that follow, they offer helpful guidance and tangible steps to work toward attaining personal and professional desires and aspirations. One final note, if you simply read the book you will certainly benefit, but its purpose goes beyond that to the emphatically practical. This book really gets traction when you participate in the Talent Catalyst Conversation outlined throughout, so plan on this activity as you discover insights to help you and those around you move forward with your hopes.” ~ Scott Williams, Finance Manager, Regional Government Services Authority

Additional praise from leaders in the field:

 “This practical volume, filled with detailed coaching and useful exercises, reflects the extensive experience of the authors in coaching executives. This book will help you clarify, enhance, and finds ways to apply your talents.” 

~ Jim Clawson, Johnson & Higgins Professor of Business Administration, The Darden School, University of Virginia


“The heart of this book is a profound but easy to learn approach to becoming a ‘generous listener.’ Using the transformational power of this mindful practice, Maruska and Perry expertly guide the reader in a step-by-step process for recognizing, catalyzing, and optimizing talent. As you learn to take charge of your own talent, you will also develop the ability to help others discover and express their gifts. Highly recommended.” 

–Michael J. Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age


“This wonderfully practical and inspiring book is based on a belief I cherish: that all humans are creative and have talent. I’m delighted that Maruska and Perry provide the tools for this to become self-evident to more and more people.”

~ Margaret J. Wheatley, author, Leadership and the New Science and other books.





“This inspiring book will teach you how to unlock your gifts and release your power and potential.”

~ Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow



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