19th November 2004

From Dan Peña – Executive Coach and Mentor to the High Performer.

Dear High Performance Person and Visionary,

It's been a hell of a month for me – and it's not over. In two weeks I travelled from Guthrie to Birmingham, (Alabama not England), London, Dubai, New Deli, Sydney, Singapore, London and back to Guthrie. Some of you may think it was a holiday, but it wasn't (in fact it got interesting when we had to avoid Northern Iraq airspace on the flight from London to Dubai.) It was all business except for a few workouts in the gym! And before the month is over I will go to Birmingham (England this time), Amsterdam, Munich, Guthrie, London and back again.

Some of you may wonder why I still can or want to travel so much. The answer is simple. I still love what I do – and I am enjoying coaching and mentoring far and wide more than I did when I started. On my country entry travel documents I list myself as Chairman, because that's what I am in most of the business deals I am involved in. This recent trip was dedicated to new protégés and mentees. Of course not all of my mentees require me to travel so extensively and of course I am not Chairman of all entities I mentor and coach. Most of my mentee/mentor work is done on a continuing basis on the phone, email and group conference calls and in person. In fact I just got off the phone with a group of 25 business consultants from around the world that want to increase their effectiveness. I spent about an hour discussing "positioning" yourself for success. I have another call later today with a group of aspiring property magnets from the USA and earlier today I talked with an aspiring healthcare mentee. In the last few hours I got a call and an email from two mentees/protégés from the past. Frank Slagen. I hadn't heard from him in a couple of years, or so. It was good to hear they were both doing very well. Frank is still in The Netherlands. I plan on seeing them both soon in the New Year. They are both at a new level in their lives and careers.

As those of you that frequent will see the new user friendly message board is finally up, along with sound bites of the QLA product. (People walk in to my office and hear me listening to myself from time to time. After all these years I still marvel at some of the stuff I say! If you haven't heard them, take a minute for a short Dose of Dan). In addition was recently launched with one of my mentees, Heiko Faass. He currently runs our German and NYC practice for The Guthrie Group. Other neat stuff will follow on my site.

Opportunities Abroad

Whilst I was travelling half way around the world and back I was struck by the immense business opportunities that were available whether you were in Birmingham, Ala, or Sydney, Australia. Focused people with real commitment can find opportunities anywhere. At the same time I also noticed whilst sitting in a number of airports most people read novels. I asked myself why? In New Deli I saw the three people sitting around me all reading different books, by the same author. Though I saw a few people working on lap tops and shuffling papers I only saw one person reading a book on business – me! The same is true of magazines and news papers. I saw a couple of people reading the Economist, and saw many more reading the Financial Times. Though I feel it's not a good benchmark for financial reading anymore because so many read it as a regular newspaper now! I thought to myself, perhaps everybody is on holiday and wants to relax, etc. I then thought more realistically most people were probably just doing what they do most of the time and that's escape from the realities of their lives. I have said countless times, "Most people live quiet lives of desperation." This may sound a harsh opinion! Perhaps, but I never understood since most people aren't happy with their financial position in life why don't they do something about it? People that travel have many hours on planes and in airports. What a perfect place to take on new or replicate old information to assist yourself in attaining your goals and enhancing your position down the road to success.

In the vain of what people read and don't read, I have attached (see P.P.S.) a reading list of books I like, along with magazines and news papers I read. I have been asked for this list many times. It's by no means comprehensive, but it does reflect what I have read and liked vis-à-vis business and success, since I started coaching in 1993.

Of course some of the authors like, Peter Drucker, I started reading in the mid '60s. There were countless books recommended to me, I never picked up or only read a few chapters or even pages. Before I take the time to read something I seriously consider the source. And I would recommend a similar procedure for yourselves! Like seminars most books on self help and business and success are crap! They are crap because virtually all of them tell you it's easy to be successful and are written by authors that have not achieved any success themselves! Well you know the rest. Just read "The Big Lie" on my site.

Interestingly I just read Charles Haanel's, The Master Key System. Oddly enough though a number of people have said, I should read it and a few have even given me copies I only just did so. Haanel was responsible for much of Napoleon Hill's (Think and Grow Rich) ideas. And Hill even said so. Though I agree with what Haanel said, I found the book hard reading in the beginning. It's written in the way of the early part of the 20th. But I can say there are QLA precepts page after page and I would recommend it! One of it's basic precepts is you are what you think. Obviously a much easier read is "Your First Hundred Million."

Mentor programme update

A number of you have written to request more info and try to better understand the new programme. The new page on the web site should be done shortly. It will include amongst other things statements from current mentees; detailed yearly programmes and agendas; including special mentee meetings and forums at Guthrie and elsewhere and guidelines for individual action plans. In the mean time here is some of the work in progress:

1. Before we even start, first and foremost, do you qualify? Are you serious and committed? Can and will you pay the price for action? This programme is restricted to the few not the many!

2. The very first thing I will ask what the mentees wants? What exactly would you like to see in the program? Each programme will be a one-off and designed for the individual.

3. In terms of support I will provide repetition of QLA methodology through conference calls once a month, twice a month, or whenever necessary depending on the individual. I will answer your questions and provide real world solutions to your day to day problems. You will send in the questions they have before each conference call.

4. You will get more support by receiving the ultimate QLA package, including all product, (a £1,500 value) so you can have additional doses of Dan when needed.

5. You will have email and fax access to me.

6. You will have access to superstar mentees and protégés on conference calls and to answer other personal questions. This has been extremely beneficial to the new mentees.

7. You will have access to other professionals, bankers, lawyers, and accountants on the calls to share their perspectives of QLA.

8. You will receive a step-by-step individual action plan. You'll be given individual homework after each call – stuff they must do and be held accountable for.

This is what the mentees are currently engaged in, though each programme is different. I hope this clarifies what we are currently doing and what you can expect. The mentor programme page will be up shortly. For more information contact

To Your Quantum Leap,

Daniel S Peña Sr

P.S. Zen Buddhist Text:

"The Master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both."

You have often heard me say play and work are no different to the high performance person!

P.P.S. Recommended Reading List:




Your First 100 Million Peña Medina
Build Your Own Guthrie Peña Great Western Publishing
The Master Key System Charles Haanel Various
I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional Kaminer Vintage Books
Weirdos in the Workplace John Putzier FT Prentice Hall
Troubleshooter Returns John Harvey Jones Penguin
Be My Guest Conrad Hilton Hilton
The Max Strategy Dale Daughton Morrow
Looking Out For #1 Rober J Ringer Fawcett Crest
Vedanta In Action Swami Chinmananda Mananam
The Wisdom of Alexander The Great Lance Kurke American Management Ass
Tough Minded Leadership Joe D Batten Amacom
My Life and the Principals for Success Ross Perot Summit
The Price of Greatness Arnold M Ludwig Guildford
Think and Grow Rich Hill Napoleon Hill Foundation
Napoleon Hill's Keys to Success Hill Napoleon Hill Foundation
The Warren Buffet Way Robert G Hagstorm Jr Wiley
Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman Bantam
The Art of War Sun Tzu Oxford
Adversity Quotient Stolte Wiley
Release Your Brakes Newman Pace
You2 Price Prichett Prichett Publishing
The Quantum Leap Strategy Price Prichett Prichett Publishing
Merchants of Debts George Anders Basic Books
The Lombardi Pules Vince Lombardi Jr McGran Hill
The Spirit to Serve Marriotts Way J W Marriott Jr Harper Collins
Any book by Peter Drucker    

Other authors I like in general; Gary Hamel, Bill Gates, Jack Welsh, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, Michael Dell

The Robb Report    
Harvard Business Review    
Fast Company    
Financial Times    
Wall Street Journal    
New York Times