MikeDilbeck.com and DignityU.com

Public Speaking Is No Longer a 'Soft Skill.' It's Your Key to Success in Any Field

By Carmine Gallo: Keynote speaker and author, 'Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great' @carminegallo

Click here for the original post in Inc. Magazine.


The hard data show that "soft skills" are in high demand.

In a new LinkedIn analysis, "persuasion" was one of the top skills "most worth learning" in 2019. "Strengthening a soft skill is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style," according to the study.

After conducting dozens of interviews for Five Stars, my new book on persuasion, I've concluded that it's time to stop referring to public speaking and the art of persuasion as "soft skills." A wealthy entrepreneur at Y-Combinator, the iconic investment firm behind startups such as Reddit and Airbnb, persuaded me to stop using the term. During our conversation, he called out my mistake.

"Let's talk about a soft skill like storytelling," I said.  

"Soft?" he shot back. "If an entrepreneur...

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There's leadership. And, there's courageous leadership.

As I redesign my message on courage to be RESPONSE ABILITY: A Call for Courageous Leadership, I assert there are some of you who have asked the question, “What the heck is courageous leadership?” This is a very valid question, especially with so many definitions of leadership out there and many of them including some kind of qualifier: ethical leadership, servant leadership, organizational leadership, personal leadership…on and on. So, how is courageous leadership distinct from any general definition of leadership along with any variation of it? 
To answer this question, I must first provide my definition and then look at how this stacks up against others. First, to be clear, this is not simply about leadership.  It’s not about simply being courageous.
Courageous leadership is standing up, stepping in, and speaking out. That’s it. It’s that simple. Yet, it’s not easy. 
I can expand on this by defining...
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We Just Want to Belong

by Matt Mattson, Co-Creator of The Social Excellence Project

Note: this is a re-publish from the original post on the Social Excellence Project blog.

Access the podcast on iTunes | Google Play | Stitcher

You're one of us, aren't you? You're a people person. But you get that being a “people person” isn’t just about being chatty and smiley and super-duper nice, it’s about transforming the world through relationships.  You're one of those people who understands that HUMAN CONNECTION is the key to everything. You're one of those people who understands that humans are social animals, and we're all deeply longing for real, meaningful, deep-spirited connection in all aspects of our life. You're one of those people who understands that the secret to creating the world you want is found in your ability to connect. You're one of us. We are people people. And you found our show.

Mike Dilbeck’s name has become synonymous with the idea of “bystander...

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Why dignity? It's all about the cookie.

To even begin answering this question, we must first ask, “What is dignity, anyway?"

Dignity is one of those words that is thrown around quite a bit but very few actually know what it means. To be honest, I didn’t know before I started to explore it more. Furthermore, as I pitch my newest project to potential sponsors and attempt to get people engaged in this conversation, I am sensing that many others have the same confusion about dignity.

So, let me try and clear this up a bit...

Very simply stated, dignity is our inherent birthright to always feel valued and worthy. We are born with the right to always have the experience that we matter, are appreciated, and have something to contribute to others and to the world. A violation of dignity is when we don't feel this about ourselves based on what someone else has done or said. Any time we feel less than, not valued, not appreciated, not enough, or that we don't matter, this is a violation of our own dignity.

Starting to...

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The Power of a Parent

From time to time, I get messages from people to let me know of situations where someone did -- or did not -- show courage and intervene in a problem situation. Well, I just got a message from a friend letting me know this:

A mother (this person's sister) was recently at a parent/teacher conference when the teacher shared with her that her son is part of a group of athletes at the school who is known for bullying others. The teacher proceeds to tell the mom that her son does not participate in this behavior. At this time, the mom lets the teacher know that she will be talking to her son about this when she gets home and the teacher replies, "Oh no, I was telling you that as a compliment to your son -- he doesn't participate in the bullying!"

The mother's reply:

He's been taught better -- if he doesn't stop it, he's participating. We teach our kids to treat others as you'd like to be treated and to stand for the oppressed. This is not acceptable in our home!

This is truly the power...

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What really is a hero, anyway?

As we all hear the word "hero" used from time to time, have you ever asked yourself the question, "What is a hero, anyway?" I have asked that question many times. As I inquired into this more, and have spoken to many people about this, others also came up for me:

  • Is a hero someone we simply admire, respect, look up to?
  • Is a hero some kind of "superhero" with "super powers?"
  • Does it take a lot of money and fame to be a hero?
  • When I show courage, does that make me a hero?
  • What's involved in being a hero?
  • Can we call ourselves a hero?
  • Why do we have such a weird relationship to the word "hero?"

You may have asked yourself these same questions. So, let's start now by looking at the concept of "hero" and "heroism."

While there are many interpretations of what a hero is, I have adopted the definition used by the Heroic Imagination Project:

Heroes are people who transform compassion (a personal virtue) into heroic action (a civic virtue). In doing so, they put their best selves forward...

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What is integrity...really?


As you just read that word, what is your relationship to it? To you, what is integrity…really?

I assert that you have integrity as some form of being honest, telling the truth — not doing the bad and doing the good, knowing what you should and should not do. To a certain extent, this is all true. However, I take a different, and much deeper, approach to this strength.  In my model, I say that we all must have, and practice, integrity to not only have power and have our life work, but also show courage.

In my work, I distinguish the six core commitments each of us needs to be able to show courage: integrity, generosity, curiosity, equality, vulnerability, and bravery.

As you notice, integrity is the first of these commitments and I boldly declare this: none of the other five commitments will make any difference without integrity. From this, I will also take a stand for integrity being the foundation for courage. Without integrity,...

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HazingPrevention.Org™ Partners with Mike Dilbeck and DignityU for Institute for Hazing Prevention

March 14, 2018 (LaGrange, GA) – 

Because violations of dignity are foundational to so many problems in our society, including hazing, and all forms of violence, HazingPrevention.Org proudly announces a partnership with DignityU, presented by FindGreek and the latest project from Mike Dilbeck, creator of RESPONSE ABILITY.

DignityU, presented by FindGreek, is the next conversation we must have to empower us all to make the choice of honoring someone’s dignity rather than violating it. This program is based on the research and work of Dr. Donna Hicks, author of Dignity and renowned international authority on the subject. To view the growing list of 23 national fraternity and sorority organizations supporting this effort, click here.

'We are thrilled that Mike will be joining the faculty of The HazingPrevention.Org Institute for Hazing Prevention, June 18-20, 2018 on the campus of Louisiana State University, to share a first-look at the brand new program with...

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Affinity’s FindGreek Becomes Title Sponsor of DignityU, Helping Greek Organizations and Campus Communities Reinforce a Culture of Dignity


Carlsbad, CA, February 19, 2018 – Affinity Consultants’ recent creation, FindGreek, the largest and most diverse source of quality licensed fraternity and sorority products anywhere on the internet, announced today its principled and financial support of DignityU, a powerful and critically important educational program designed to promote the inherent value and worth of others. Modeled after the work of, and endorsed by, Dr. Donna Hicks, the preeminent global authority on the concept of dignity, DignityU explores and addresses the root cause of problems that plague society and impact college communities, like hazing, sexual violence and substance abuse. Sponsoring organizations of DignityU are fully equipped to educate, engage and empower their members through a comprehensive platform of workshops, online curriculum, provocative videos and effective tools that take participants on a transformative journey to ensure that dignity is always at the...

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From Passive to Powerful

(This post was originally written in March of 2015 following the incident at the University of Oklahoma that got national attention.)

Like many of you, I have been paying close attention to all the news regarding the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter at the University of Oklahoma. As someone who visits campuses and speaks to tens of thousands of college students each year, I often think I have heard it all. However, I wasn’t prepared for this. Maybe it was because I had just seen the inspiring footage over the weekend of the tens of thousands of people marching in Selma, Alabama. Maybe it was because of the tears I shed as I listened to our president’s remarks in front of that bridge. Maybe it’s because the actions were just outright abhorrent and, as OU President Boren swiftly and powerfully said, “disgraceful."

Even amidst all of my personal feelings, I know this is not who we are. I know this is not what Sigma Alpha Epsilon is truly about. I know this is not...

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