21st January 2004 From Dan Peña – Executive Coach and Mentor to the High Performer.

Dear Friend and Subscriber,

I rarely write news letters so close together, but I have good reasons to do so now. One, I received this thought provoking message (below) on my (our) bulletin board at and two, I am happy to write the seminar I announced in my Newsletter of 9 Jan is over subscribed, so I have decided to have another seminar this summer. As you will tell from my writing here the momentum has become infectious. If it feels right, smells right and tastes right – it must be right! It also seems you appreciate the greatly reduced prices! Remember it’s hot – or it’s not!

1. As I have written and said countless times we should live every day as if it were our last. I have even begged seminar participants to live life on purpose. My Pe�aisms and other writings are filled with quotes about taking account of your lives. I have demanded you take responsibility for your lives and actions. Many of you have heard me ask, "what will be your legacy?", "What would you want put on your tombstone?" But I never thought about what I would put on mine! So when this message appeared on my (our) site I was moved. I was especially moved by the two questions below, because of the very recent loss of my Mother who I had just moved to be with me at Guthrie.

She was a very special person, though I really didn’t appreciate what she had done for me till late in her life, since I started coaching in 1993. My Mom was always supportive of everything I did. As I have said many times, she read in Readers Digest (or somewhere) in about 1946, you should never use the word "no" when dealing with your child. Therefore, I was raised in an environment that had no negatives associated with it from my Mom. We now all understand how extremely important that was to establishing a basis for my self esteem. Until I had started coaching I had always taken self esteem for granted. Of course I worked on it, but I never gave it any conscious thought till I started trying to build a model for others to follow. I have said more times than I can remember; "self esteem is the basis for excellence in all high performance individuals." All that have heard me speak or listened to my tapes have heard me bellow, "I may be wrong, but I am never in doubt!" In that vain when questioned how I would view my life’s legacy and what would I put on my own tombstone, I was truly moved. It made me ponder what words should I write on my mothers?

The message below was left a few days ago.

Hi Dan !

First of all I’m deeply impressed about your career in business and private life. I’ve watched your video seminar over and over and was overwhelmed by your energy.

Dan, what will be the legacy from you to all of us in one sentence??

What is this key message on your tombstone?? I’m eager to read the answer….

Keep on going!


I won’t try and relate my thoughts in one sentence vis-�-vis my legacy, but I can tell you what I tell the ones I love: "wrap your life around what you’re passionate about and leave this life with no regrets for the things you didn’t do – but could have done!"

And though I haven’t planned my tombstone yet, "To Your Quantum Leap" would be appropriate as my good friend and colleague Bruce Whipple suggested. The time capsule near the Guthrie loch and 4th tee of Guthrie Castle Golf Course has inscribed on its marble top, "Yesterday’s Dreams are Today’s Realities." Perhaps I will have both phrases inscribed. The real point of this message in response to the Bulletin Board query is to consciously think every day of what we are attempting to achieve in our short lives and did we get any closer today? Normally we think about our lives when we are at the end. My entire QLA Methodology is based on doing now – not later! Taking positive action now! Living life to its fullest! Being all we can be!

Ask yourself how you would answer the questions put to me? – Hopefully some of you will use the Bulletin Board to answer.

As an aside, the Bulletin Board, along with other parts of the site, will have changes soon to make it more "user friendly and interactive", including DVD, CD video and sound bites.

2. I was pleasantly surprised to see the seminar I announced in my last news letter was over subscribed in a few days. I purposely didn’t give a date, or price. I only said it would cost 50% of my last Castle Experience in August of 2001. Those that enquired were told, it would be 2-6 April at Guthrie. Virtually all were pleasantly surprised at the cost. A few didn’t understand the cost also included room and board at Guthrie. I am having a lot of fun with the idea of giving a seminar again and have already started tinkering with a few content details making it current, though the concepts are timeless. Therefore, because of your positive response, and a new enthusiasm fired up in me, I am announcing another 3 day, 4 night seminar 18-22 June at Guthrie for the same cost. Or as the seminar gurus say, "Not cost but – Investment". Details can be obtained from Paul Morris at I am looking forward to interfacing with attendees in April and June. The last night will be a "black tie event" as is customary for a Castle Experience. Understandably, a few have requested stretching their time for local travel and golf. All reasonable requests will be considered.

The material covered will be QLA day 1, Raising Capital day 2, and Deals and Acquisitions day 3. Days 2 and 3 will be structured around the participants own needs after the QLA basics are covered. All questions will be addressed. My time is your time whilst you are here. I look forward to sharing what I have learned over my 34 year career at my home. As you will see and feel Guthrie Castle and its environs are an extraordinary venue to learn and share dreams!

If today was a test – how did you do?

For those of you that decide to take positive action and attend a castle experience – I GUARANTEE you will answer this question much differently subsequent to your attendance!

And to answer a few queries – I have no plans on giving QLA Seminars anyplace other than Guthrie.

To Your Quantum Leap,


P.S. Yesterday the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) filmed part of a documentary here at Guthrie. When talking about dreams and our two friendly ghosts, I shared true stories about others dreams being initiated here at Guthrie. Whilst Guthrie was my dream, it has been at the core of many seminar attendees dreams coming true dating back to 1994. I have written and talked about the "Verdiers" who came to Guthrie 10 years ago. Their lives were changed, as have many others. They have now lived on a rural estate in a large mansion near Washington DC for 7 / 8 years and are the proud owners of a thriving business that continues to expand greatly. Before they came to Guthrie they were already successful. They had already found a model that worked, but they wanted more and were willing to change. The experience had a major effect on their entire family, as they have readily written and said many times. They remain my friends.