Note: The current article has been written more than 12 years ago!
Find out below why, to me, Jim BAGNOLA is the best trainer I’ve seen. I hope you’ll learn just enough of him to go to his trainings.
Note: I hope you’ll understand why I don’t mention too many things about what Jim actually does. Is it magic? Is it so-carefully-planned science? I don’t know. Each time I watch Jim I’m amazed. I always hope – “You do something bad. Say something I can pick upon. Have a wrong feeling at a wrong time”. And he always lets me waiting for nothing. Nothing like this ever happens. I really can’t pick the one thing that he says, a way of thinking, some patterns of behavior. But I’m always amazed.
First of all, I think you should see more of him. This is his professional web site in English. Also in Romanian. Here is Jim BAGNOLA doing some trainings, filmed on YouTube. He also has a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook profile. In Romania he works closely with HPDI. Contact HPDI for details in seeing him live in Romania.
1. What’s the basis of comparison?
At the very first glimpse, one can say that a person who’s job is public speaking must be compared with everyone that does just that: public speaking, training, seminar, coaching etc. Even stand-up comedians, preachers, teachers and singers might entitle to be public speakers.
But I’ll reduce the circle rather abrupt and only compare Jim BAGNOLA to the people that have a life led by design. You can truly be a public speaker that is only interested in your own good, you have a message to say, you say it one way or another, you get paid, go home and the next time you speak in public you speak the same. Or you only learn and apply the few things that are to be learned in a natural way of leaving (if someone tells you in a loud voice that you do something bad, you change; if everyone’s happy, then you stay the same).
How do I view Jim BAGNOLA’s solution? Instead of not learning by your mistakes or instead of learning by your own mistake, I think that Jim BAGNOLA’s closest solution comes with learning from other people’s mistakes. This is living a life by design: instead of just waiting for things to happen to your life, skills, attitudes and actions, you choose how should life be like.
In that way, I can’t compare Jim BAGNOLA to every public speaker I see. Perhaps I’m thinking all wrong in here, but to me most people learn, most of the time, by their own mistakes. I myself may be mistaking when assuming that Jim BAGNOLA learns by others’ mistakes.
Just by this challenge only, you should understand the level at which I compare him: people that are doing their best to have a perfect behavior. The circle of persons I compare Jim BAGNOLA with is small.
2. How have I met Jim BAGNOLA?
The story goes back to the year 2001. The organization for students Volunteers for Ideas and Projects had a Business School between 1st and 15h November. In one of those days, the organizers announce us that they’ve managed to borrow Jim for a session with us from a foundation (it was the first time I’ve heard of this – LEADERS Romania). I was a freshman, who got to Bucharest for less than two months, very quiet.
And then it happens: I see Jim. We had some trainings before him, we had some trainings after him, and this is really how I separated things – the trainings before Jim and the trainings after Jim. He was funny (I laughed a lot), he challenged us with questions, he put us to work (exercise and such), and I remember to this day some things he said about leadership.
I took part in an exercise, I watched and learned a lot of things. At the end of the Business School, we had a poll about which speaker did we like best. I was a very serious student back then, didn’t miss all of my classes at school, so I missed a few speakers at the Business School. But I do remember that not only me, but also most other people picked Jim BAGNOLA as a favorite speaker. It wasn’t even on the list at the beginning of the business school.
Now the business school ends and I remained in wonder – how can I see another of such beautiful thing? I knew he came from the United States of America, invited by the LEADERS Foundation. I had very little hope of them getting Jim BAGNOLA back, but I could still try to join that great organization that brought Jim BAGNOLA to Romania.
In May 2002 there was an event in one location in Bucharest about entrepreneurship organized by LEADERS Romania. Great to know more about them.
That very first year of study I applied to about three organizations for students. Rejected. The second year I tried again, to two of those old ones, to a new one (so again I apply to three organizations). Same result. All-in-all I had 6 rejected interviews in those two years. Sometime in October-November 2002, something magical happens: there are some posters in the Academy of Economic Studies that LEADERS Romania wants some new people in their team. I might have even not notice the posters, they were only on a few posting boards in the large University that the Academy of Economic Studies is. I announced a friend about this, we both went to LEADERS Romania, we both got in.
Here comes the second year of study, I was announced in LEADERS Romania that Jim BAGNOLA is coming, once again, to Romania. It was a sunny day outside, I was rushing from a class I had to keep and got to the training a bit late. And, while sitting at a table with Jim BAGNOLA, I couldn’t believe that I am in that position. Thoughts went into my mind again and again. He talked about Romania, about leadership, about teams. While I was still hearing what he said, I was mostly interested in the way in which he communicated non-verbally. And I liked that a lot.
And things got better and better. Jim BAGNOLA came from time to time to Romania and, for quite a few times, I went again and again to see him. The last two events I’ve seen him were held for large audiences, in some quite-good locations in Bucharest, chosen by the LEADERS Romania’s team and from now on it wasn’t only the LEADERS Romania team who saw Jim BAGNOLA – a lot of other persons saw him.
3. What do I like about him?
Perhaps you expected that in this blog post I’ll write about specific behaviors and words of Jim BAGNOLA, and I would say how I feel about them. But the thing is – there is not such thing. Detailed as I may think, the thing I like most about Jim BAGNOLA is everything: I like it all. I will try to detail just a bit below, with my remark still remaining valid (I like everything on him):
A. The things that he says – His basic principle is saying simple things in such a way that everyone understands; He won’t complicate things; I think he’s actually tricking us: Some basic things he says can create broader insights; So, by saying simple things he can actually create very smart affirmations; Then there’s this Latin quotation: “Non idem est si duo dicunt idem” (If two persons picture the same thing, each still has his own idea – translation source); I don’t think it’s the same if Jim BAGNOLA and the person who hears him share the same thought; If he speaks for four hours, I must say that from time to time I disagree with him; But most of the time he says things on which I agree; (even if I just thought about them) And while hearing him speaking on the same subject, I still learn new things;
B. The way in which he acts – I’m sorry to disappoint you, but to me it all seems perfect; He has some gestures which I’ve only seen on him, but somehow they seem natural; He has a lot of exercises in which he involves the audience; Hopefully, you’ll be able to take some things home with you;
C. The way in which he makes me feel – Sometimes I wonder if that’s a training or an hour of stand-up comedy; And most of the things he says are strictly related to what happened in that moment; He will make an affirmation relevant to what you say, and somehow you might get to laugh; I wrote messages about quite a few persons on this blog; Writing about Jim BAGNOLA was easiest;
D. My relation with him – He has this nice way of entering in your life in such a way that you’ll like it; He’ll come with jokes, with good humor; But he’ll also come with trust, and empowerment, and loads of common sense; And to me all these matter for a good relation.
4. How can you see him?
This is his own web site. You can see a few videos on YouTube with him. You can also check out his Facebook profile. He’s also on LinkedIn and Twitter. He even has a web site in Romanian, from which I’ve got the photo.
What about other countries? Back in 2001, the CEO of LEADERS Romania, Ovidiu BUJOREAN, managed to get Jim BAGNOLA from the USA to come to Romania. I’m sure there are options for you too.
PS: I’ve also written about Jim here:
- Follow-up: how it was at “Leading change laugh crisis” workshop with Jim BAGNOLA? (Marriott Hotel Bucharest, 2010.11.24);
- 2010.06.04 Jim BAGNOLA, interviewed by Olivian BREDA;
- Trainings with Jim BAGNOLA in November in Cluj Napoca and Bucharest;
- My life learning experiences at a training with Jim BAGNOLA and Florin TALPEȘ, 2010.06.04, Radisson BLU;
- What I learned at Leading Teams with Jim BAGNOLA and Marius GHENEA, May 13th, 2008, UzinExport, Bucharest.