82: Charlie Mechem: Using Anecdotes as a Leader

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When it’s your time to lead in the midst of change and anxiety, how can you bring some clarity and humanity?

Our guest Charlie Mechem not only has an extraordinary resume—he also offers encouragement and anecdotes to help you with your leadership message.

Charlie has an extraordinary resume, including: partner in a law firm; serving as Chairman and CEO of Taft Broadcasting Company and its successor Great American Broadcasting Company; commissioner of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); serving on several boards including more than a quarter century at The J.M. Smucker Company; personal business advisor to the late Arnold Palmer and to golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Has also acted as personal business advisor to golfers Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam and Dottie Pepper. In 2000 he was named a Great Living Cincinnatian, the highest honor that can be awarded by the City of Cincinnati.

But although Charlie would have every reason to be full of himself, he is anything but stuffy. His speaking style relies heavily upon anecdotes and stories—and he has gathered the best in his book “Total Anecdotal.”

He states that his goal these days is to “make you a better speaker and writer.”

Among the topics that Charlie and Jim discuss:

  • Charlie’s crucial first meeting with the LPGA players as commissioner (when he said the organization suffered from an “institutional inferiority complex”)
  • How to best prepare for an important meeting or presentation
  • The folly of leading with intimidation or bribery, versus being the type of leader others want to follow
  • Why speaking more slowly, and with authority, will help you gain more influence
  • The state of social consciousness in sports today versus a generation ago
  • Plus stories about sports icons including Otto Graham, Paul Brown, and Gary Player


Learn more about Charlie Mechem and his work:


A review of Charlie’s latest book from Golf Digest:


Learn more about Jim Karrh’s virtual and in-person speaking and training topics:


Check out a sample of Jim’s new book, The Science of Customer Connections: Manage Your Message to Grow Your Business:


Follow Jim on Twitter:


Connect with Jim on LinkedIn:


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