Author Archive for Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy

The Patient Experience Should Be Everything, But, What Happens When it’s NOT?

Recently, I gave a keynote speech to one of the top-rated hospital and healthcare groups in the country.  My immediate take away is that great organizations are consistent at empowering their people to be great. 

Becoming top rated, the best or one of the greats doesn’t happen by accident, luck or wishful thinking. It happens through attitude and action.
It happens on purpose!

In the case of this article, the focus is on patient care and creating an exceptional patient experience.  You might assume that is the goal and mission of every healthcare facility, program and hospital, but what happens when it’s NOT???

Here is my story, recently shared at an LDI – Leadership Development Institute Day for one of the top rated hospital and healthcare groups, as a learning example. I didn’t share it as a professional speaker and author, but rather, as a patient, a father and a husband.


I think there are three words that can best sum up my Patient Experience this past year. Disappointing. Sad.  Scary.


When I speak at leadership development meetings for healthcare groups and hospitals, I always start my speech off by saying:

“The patient experience is everything.”


While not everyone has direct contact with patients, everything and everyone contributes to the patient experience – legal, billing, maintenance, nursing, education, registration, help desk, and so on. Every position plays a role in the creation and contribution of the big picture. It’s the culmination of attitude and action. It communicates a vital message to patients – “Either we care about you and will demonstrate it or we won’t.”

Some hospitals and healthcare groups make
patient experience their biggest priority.

The result of how that happens can be credited to leaders and leadership who authentically care and are accountable to upholding a standard of excellence. This doesn’t mean you are perfect every day, but you learn from the “off days” and mistakes and get better. That is part of the pathway to how you achieve excellence in this workplace environment.

Let me share my year-long experience with a healthcare group that I will leave anonymous. My family and I reside in Carmel, Indiana. Healthcare is important to us. As a father of two little girls and a husband to an incredible wife, I don’t want mediocre service and treatment for them.  Nobody should ever tolerate mediocre service or healthcare treatment. That is never an option. Ever! I want the best for my family because I love them, and they are everything to me. I want security and confidence that they are being cared for the right way.

When I arrived, or have ever arrived, for my regular doctor visits, there is never a smile at check in. I’m not expecting a ray of sunshine, but something to make me feel human would be appreciated.

When you walk into the doctors office and peer through the glass office window, someone rolls over in their chair, reaches out and slides the glass window open almost like you are interrupting their day or selling them life insurance. They ask for your insurance card and driver’s license, tell you to have a seat, and that someone will call you.

Let’s break this down a little:

The nurse called me back, weighed me, took my temperature and blood pressure and said the Dr. will be into see you soon. Twenty five minutes later, the Dr. arrives.  Immediately, he opens his laptop, asks a few questions, checks my heart, looks in my ears and throat and makes suggested recommendations for meds and a blood test.

When I arrived at the pharmacy to pick up my medications, they were not called in yet. The pharmacist indicated this particular doctor is very slow to respond to requests and that I would have to come back the next day or call him myself.

Then, found out the meds I was prescribed didn’t mix together well, and I ended up experiencing significant side effects. My wife researched which meds work best based on my condition and found a better treatment. My question is, why did my doctor not care enough to do a good job in the first place? I dismissed it as an oversight. When I called my doctor and suggested a different combination via voice mail, the doctor called it into the pharmacy based on my non-medical degree suggestion and no discussion.

  1. Insurance – when you check in and provide your insurance card, it’s a form of how you will pay for the visit or treatment. For some reason, this healthcare group never updated my insurance and tried billing my old insurance, which lapsed over four years ago. However, they photocopied my insurance card every time I went in. I guess they like to photocopy stuff for fun? I didn’t know this until we got a call from a creditor in Chicago informing me that we need to pay our IU bill now. Even when we did pay IU Health the full amount, they never communicated this to the creditor – so they kept calling and calling and calling.

I even took time out of my schedule to go in to the doctor’s office to discuss it with the people who do billing. They made it seem like it was all taken care of and fixed. However, throughout the rest of the year, we got harassed by credit collectors for medical bills because  this healthcare group never fixed my insurance like they said they did when I took time out of my day to go there and fix it. So, now my credit score has taken a hit, and it’s all compliments of people who are not driven by excellence.

  1. Blood test – I had to get a blood test done. When I was getting my blood drawn, the nurse who took the blood kept looking at the clock and sighing. I asked if everything was okay, and she said, “My shift is up in twenty minutes. This day is going so slow. Just want to get out of here.”

This is coming from the person who has a needle in my arm and keeps looking away.

  1. The Nurse – Whenever I called my doctor’s nurse to follow up on my blood work or prescription refills throughout the year, she never called the number I provided her – which is my only number. She always called my emergency contact. Even when I informed the nurse that the number she kept calling was my emergency contact and to call my direct line, she continued to call my emergency contact.


  1. Chest pains – I had pulled a muscle in my chest; however, it didn’t feel normal. At my age, you get medical attention fast for any chest pain. I thought it was a heart attack. I went to the hospital, where my doctor’s office is located, and when I asked to see my doctor because of chest pains, she said she couldn’t get me in until Thursday – and this was a Tuesday. (I should have just got to the emergency room, but I didn’t want to make it a big deal with drama, and I didn’t know what was happening.) It wasn’t until someone stood up and yelled at the receptionist, “He is having chest pains!!!! Get him to a doctor now!!!!”

It turns out it was a pulled muscle, but when that lady yelled – you saw all the receptionists and people behind the plate glass window MOVE!!

I will end my personal patient journey here, but will leave out the scary details about my families experiences with this healthcare group.

The really sad part about this experience is that me and my family are left wondering, “Who can we trust?”

We thought it would get better, but it never did.

It was almost like each visit was progressively worse. It’s a scary feeling, and one that we shouldn’t have. The goal of a patient experience isn’t to instill more fear, but to do your best to eliminate it or manage it.

Trust is the byproduct of healthcare groups that make excellence a priority in patient experience.

A lack of this is a lack of real leadership.  You can be in a leadership role and not grasp what real leadership is and that seems to be the case in my experience. Again, the goal isn’t to be perfect every day, because we won’t be.  The goal is to get better every day and use the imperfect days as a spring board – not a sink weight.


When I share this story with audiences, you can see their eyes get HUGE and heads shaking back and forth in complete disbelief.  But, I also want to point out, these audiences I am sharing this message with are top rated, the best and driven to achieve excellence.

Average and mediocre health care groups run by leaders who have a leadership title, but don’t understand leadership don’t hire speakers like me or plan for events that empower their people. They view empowerment and engagement as a waste of time and resources.  That is blind leadership, because real leaders understand that action and attitude is what drives the bus!

When a group hires me, they aren’t buying a speaker.  They are investing in their people, their mission and the quality of their patient care experience.  For me, its an honor, a privilege and a huge responsibility to help make this kind of contribution.  As one head surgeon told me after a staff meeting,

“Sam, I just attended a week long conference and I got more out of your one hour speech than the whole week at that conference.”

Recently, the CEO of a Hospital was giving me a tour of their facility, and we came upon the emergency area. It sure does move fast there. My observation is the medical and healthcare world is overwhelming and demanding. The amount of change that happens is incredible. People are responding to detail, the unexpected, new people, new technologies, new challenges, changes in the system, and the list goes on and on.

But, the key to making excellence real in a world of change is when you choose to care, improve, communicate better, find purpose in your work, do a little extra, lend a helping hand, encourage the people around you, and give your best through your attitude and actions.
It’s got to be “everyone on board” and heading the same direction to work. If it’s not, you add more problems to the equation and author more sad stories.


The positive to this story? The hospital where my doctor’s office is located has an excellent cafeteria employees and the food is fantastic. And that’s all I have to say about this.

How To Shut Down a Workplace Bully with a Tic Tac

Sam Glenn is an Award Winning Motivational Speaker, Author and Performance Artist

(Please share this article if you believe in standing up against workplace bullies, egos and rudeness. You never know who may need some encouragement in this area.)

This may seem slightly humorous and I hope it makes you laugh, but the reality is there are workplace bullies who make life way more stressful than it should be and going to work incredibly miserable.

So, is it really possible to shut down a
workplace bully with only a Tic Tac?

Let’s just say, I am speaking from experience on this one. You don’t have to do this, but it will definitely give you something positive to think about or day dream about.

Understand, at some point, if a workplace bully doesn’t change their behavior or minimal effort is being taken to effectively deal with the situation, you are kind of forced to either lose your mind or get creative!

I say, “Get creative!”

Now imagine me switching into my infomercial voice….
Because it’s just more fun to share this technique in that voice.

Have you ever wanted a simple, yet effective way
to silence the office or workplace bully?

You know the person with high insecurities, a bloated sense of ego, always out for themselves, is often rude, sabotages other people’s success and believes speaking down to people is acceptable behavior. That person! The person who makes you fear Monday’s and pretty much every workday.

Do you know anyone like that?
Well, have I got an idea for you!

My training strategy only costs about $.99 cents —depending where you shop. There is no confrontation involved whatsoever, so don’t be afraid or nervous. In fact, there is fun built into this technique. All you need are breath mints and the ability to act a little bit.

Any breathe mints will do, but my personal preference are tic tacs because it draws attention when you shake them in the bottle and they are only 1 1/2 calories and come in many delicious flavors and colors. But, be careful, if the real J. Peterman catches you with them, you will be out on your can. (Can you guess what TV show that line is from??)

How it works:

The next time someone is being rude, disrespectful or talking down to you, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Create a weird expression on your face and turn away like you smell something insanely horrible and toxic. If you want, for better dramatic effects, make your eyes roll back a little as if you may pass out or possibly faint. You don’t need to be perfect, but set aside some time to practice in front of a mirror.

This is called the distraction. It should be distressing enough that it gets their attention and they pause their bully ways and ask “Whats wrong or what’s your deal?”

Step 2: Hold your hand up in a gentle and non threatening way – like your asking someone to stop or step back. Almost a pushing someone away motion, but don’t physically do it. This indicates you are trying to escape or get away from something pungent and gross.

Step 3: Use this this script I created:

“I am so sorry, I want to hear all what your saying, but would you mind taking a breath mint or something…pleassse? Do you not smell that??”

Then offer them a Tic Tac and encourage them to keep the entire bottle as a gift. Let them know you insist. Then ask, “Would you mind if we took a short break or picked this up later? I really need to get some fresh air or I may get sick.”

Optional sayings to include :

You can add on to the above script by saying any of these creative lines (below)…but don’t go to far over the top or you could mess up the whole process and you don’t want that. These just make it funnier.

“Please, I may get sick if you don’t eat a mint soon – for real! Did you have ketchup and onions for breakfast? Did something happen to you on the way to work? Do you not smell that – the plants look sad. Seriously, is everything okay…that doesn’t smell normal? I would get that checked out. Has anybody else said anything to you or are they just hiding? Do you need to go home for a bit and lay down?”

At this point, you have interrupted their negative pattern. This pattern is a behavior known as being a bully. Halting this pattern is huge and your goal.

At this point, take a mental picture because the look on their face will be priceless. They will look embarrassed, worried and perhaps confused. They may want to go hide and curl up in ball. There is nothing wrong with that.

Scoreboard time:
Bully: 0
You: +1

You have now knocked them off their high horse without being mean or saying anything bad. You were creative. You deserve a pat on the back or a trip to Starbucks at least.

Repeat the process as many times as needed until a boundary has been created and the bully just tries to avoid you at all costs. A boundary is important because it prevents them from making your life more stressful.

If they pop a Tic Tac likes it’s no biggie and continue to be rude or bully you, pause again and say, “Oh no, that didn’t work. You gotta go do something. For real. Please!”

Sometimes it take a second round to make the bully go down.

The benefits to you, less stress and you will actually enjoy going to work, work harder, get more done and not live in fear of someone trying to mentally push you around daily. All thanks to a tiny Tic Tac and some creative thinking.

Remember, what you permit is what you promote.

Do not empower bullies or tolerate their shenanigans. If you don’t do something, they will continue to push you around, treat you poorly and make your life miserable. Being a bully and allowing it in the workplace is unacceptable. They need to learn there are consequences to their attitude and actions no matter what role or what level.

Something to keep in mind, If you don’t want to wait for karma,
go buy some Tic Tacs and have some fun!


Sam Glenn is an award winning motivational speaker who kicks off big meetings and conferences with energy, engagement and enthusiasm. For speaking inquiries and booking information: email us:

How Winning Organizations Transform Their Conference Openings from Average to Unforgetable

“Logic will get you from A to B.
Imagination will take you everywhere.”

Albert Einstein

My name is Sam Glenn and for the past 20 years, companies and associations from every type of industry, have hired me for one very specific purpose. They want an exceptional conference opening that captures the human attention, creates focus, produces energy and promotes engagement for the balance of their event. It sounds like a mouthful, but a conference opening is the one segment that sets the tone for the rest of the conference.

The opening session either creates focus, enthusiasm and engagement or it’s business as usual and hoping for the best.

How do you know if you need to upgrade your conference opening session?

One big sign is if the best seat in the house is located anywhere in the back of the meeting room away from the front. If attendees scramble to fill up the back of a conference room first, it should communicate that people do not fully trust the stage or agenda of presentations that will be taking place. Their frame of reference for this reasoning is based on past conference experiences. They feel the safer place is away from the front or stage area. The good news is, with a little strategic planning, this can easily be adjusted. The front of a meeting room should be like a magnet that draws people in with readiness and excitement.

So, let’s play this out a little — let’s say your company is planning their annual conference for leadership. Your event will be held in Orlando, Florida. Most everyone arrives the day before the conference officially begins and there is an opening cocktail reception that evening. Then the next morning, breakfast starts at 7-7:30 and 8 am sharp the conference opening starts. The day is filled with general sessions, workshops, concurrent breakouts, networking, training, possible team building and extra curricular activities. The next few days are jammed packed with learning, and more networking and activities. By the time the conference is over, you are pretty much ready for a 12 hour nap. Sound familiar yet?

The question is, how will you (your company or association) start your event knowing that everyone is going to need a lot of energy and focus to be engaging, learn and participate???

Some organizations stick to the same format year after year because they are simply afraid to change or fear resistance from attendees. Let’s be real, nobody really loves change, but do you know what conference attendees dislike even more than change? A boring -no life -put you to sleep – same as usual opening session. Trust me, I give 100 + speeches per year, and after 20 years of doing this professionally, you pick up on what works and what doesn’t. If people aren’t engaged, then what’s the point of being there?

When you are planning your company or association conference

It’s important to understand the two most memorable or what I call “stick with people” moments to any event are – the opening and closing. Again, for the sake of this article, I’m gong to focus on the opening because the opening is the key segment that defines everything else.

Think of it this way – do you have a favorite sports team? Do you like when they won? Of course you do. Now, what do you think a winning coach might say to “your” personal favorite sports team before game time? Do you think the coach gets everyone pumped up, focused and ready to play? Or do you think the coach simply tells the players to hope for the best? If you had to pick an option for your personal favorite sports team, which option might you pick? When you want people to win, hoping for the best is simply not a winning strategy. The game plan must consist of raising the energy level, establishing focus and preparing for engagement.

Strategy is key to crafting an effective
and energetic opening conference session.

I subscribe to Steve Jobs philosophy, “Keep it simple.” This doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Here are 3 simple rules to transforming any conference opening from average to unforgettable! And by the way, these ideas are what Winning organizations do who desire their people to win everyday – in service, leadership, sales, teamwork, etc..

Rule #1. Energy is essential.

You want your opening session to have LIFE. If people have traveled in the night before, chances are they maybe a little fatigued. It means they have been working, had to pack, prepare and plan to attend. Their energy level may not be at a 10. Now, I travel over 200+ days a year. which puts me into a category called road warrior, however when I get off a plane, I feel exhausted. Travel equals fatigue. Take my word for it, travel by land or air, it can zap you of valuable energy. So imagine how unseasoned travelers might feel when they arrive to the conference? A lack of energy creates a lack of focus and engagement.

Creating an energetic opening doesn’t mean people have to be jumping all over or bouncing off the walls. If you watch or attend a Tony Robbins event, the reason he gets everyone fired up, jumping around and going full on bananas is a strategy. It’s done with a purpose. Tony does this to get people energized because they are going to require a lot of energy to learn, think and grow based on their week long conference agenda.

To get people focused and excited about learning, growing and getting involved, energy will be required. Coffee will help, but it won’t be enough.

Rule #2. Position presentations
and presenters with purpose.

Recently, I attended a conference and the opening was the CEO giving a 55 minute “meat and potatoes” kind of speech about the state of the company, partnered with a less than thrilling power point. All while the audience seemed out of it, tired, unfocused and disengaged. There was no part of that opening that captivated and connected. It was business as usual. Conservative or not, creating a captivating opening should be a huge priority if you value the overall purpose of why you are there having a meeting in the first place.

My suggestion: Position the meat and potato
type sessions for the middle of your event.

I understand a lot of elements have to be squeezed in to a very short time period. However, to be effective with these elements, it’s best to position them where they will have the greatest impact and connect with people verse just doing something to mark it off the checklist. Sandwich the heavy stuff between an awesome opening and a grand finale closing.

If your CEO or someone in leadership wants to do a greeting, that works and I think a warm greeting is always a must- but keep it simple. They should greet people, praise them for being there, maybe share a personal story and why they are looking forward to the conference – be heartfelt and connect. Then follow that with a really great opening presentation that fuels people to go from fatigued to charged up. The goal of a great opening is to get everyone focused, ready to participate, learn, grow and be engaged. This is smart and strategic planning.

You want to be strategic about who and what you position in the opening. It can be fun, creative, entertaining or balance out part of the opening that may entail heavier agenda objectives. What I often suggest to my clients is they don’t have to overhaul everything, but implement some balance.

Sometimes when I speak at an opening, the first half of the opening may be on the heavier side, but my program balances everything out going into a break. Think about it, you probably don’t want to start things off with a social media presentation, a panel session or a sad story kind of presentation. While those may be great segments to have depending on your group and agenda, they are not effectively positioned as strong in the opening.

The reason my clients love opening with my presentation is that it’s not to content heavy, but it’s a session “purposely designed” to get the audience focused and ready for the rest of the meeting. I have done this for every industry you imagine and it works for all of them – healthcare, real estate, employee meetings, insurance industry, banking, education, sales, leadership, sports, plumbing, administration, retail, government, legal, manufacturing, oil, agriculture, food and that list goes on and on.

Often, I am the only non industry speaker at these events, but I am there with a purpose – I am an expert at kick starting a meeting. My clients want that because they more than want the entire event to be a great experience for their employees or members.

There are so many unique and creative ways to open a conference. One of my clients in the banking industry hired a famous drummer to kick start things and he brought the place to their feet. It got so loud, the conference center thought there was an earthquake. That’s awesome!!
I’m not suggesting a drummer for your opening, but it’s an idea.

Now remember, not all openings have to be
over the top, crazy or insane.

It’s about positioning the right presentation that will set the right tone. My personal tools for creating engagement involve using humor in my speeches and performance art that visually communicates a simple message. At the end of the conference, the group that hired me might auction my painting off for a special cause they support. It normally auctions between $2,000 -$29,000! I also give away a free painting to someone in the audience. So I try to make the experience fun, offer take away points that pertain to personal and professional growth, but most importantly set a tone of enthusiasm, focus and energy for the balance of the event.

Positioning is everything when it comes to a great conference opening session.

transform opening session with strategic plan
Rule #3. Have Fun.

The more fun you have, the better your event will be. Even if it’s a lot of training and informational sessions, you can still have some fun.

This last year, a few groups I worked with actually based their conference theme off the title of my book, Be Your Own Real Life Superhero. They decorated everything in a superhero theme and even allowed attendees to dress as their favorite superhero for the evening reception or pick a t-shirt at registration that signified their favorite superhero and inspirational quote. I personally like to make learning fun, and it creates more retention. It creates a memory that people talk about and look forward to again.

One meeting I spoke at last month was a retail Jeweler, and they did it right. From the start they made energy, focus and engagement a priority. They were impressive to say the least. But the key factor was the leaders and planners worked as a TEAM, worked hard and had an incredible amount of fun in the process. It transferred over to all the attendees. They all had fun!!
Fun is one of my favorite attitudes and a key element to Winning in life and setting the tone to a great conference.

If you found this article useful, please share it with someone in your organization who could benefit from it.

Sam Glenn
Award Winning Motivational Speaker, author and performance artist
Celebrating 20 years of empowering and inspiring conference openings
Booking Inquiries

Do You Stand or Kneel?

The other day, I drove past a gigantic American Flag in Carmel Indiana. It was dancing in the cool breeze. I started to think about everything that is going on with the NFL and players kneeling during our National Anthem and how it has spread to sporting events at all levels.
Here is my take on it all:

When my 3-year-old daughter asks me why we stand and honor our flag and country during the National Anthem, it is something I can explain with clarity. It’s a uniting purpose. It is tied to the sacrifices made by men and woman who laid down their life so we could live in a free country and have the freedom and rights we do … like kneeling during the National Anthem.

We have that freedom and right to kneel, but the question is – should we exercise that right in that specific moment? When we stand for the National Anthem, it’s a moment that we all stand together in unity, strength and honor. It’s not about politics, race, religion or sex – it’s about honor, respect and character.

However, when 13 random football players kneel and my daughter asks me why, I have no simple answer. NONE. Each has their own personal agenda as to why they choose to kneel. However, do the kneelers not realize that the millions of fans watching also have a reason and right to kneel as well? (I will explain that in a minute) Maybe when a player kneels, their “intention” isn’t to be selfish, but it’s still a personal choice that has personal and public consequences. You can’t escape that truth. But, it is still your right…a right that was provided at a cost.

The bigger picture

There isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t have some unique reason to kneel during the National Anthem. Think about it, if you have a heart, you are aware that our world is not perfect and it is filled with injustice, so does kneeling help or hurt the injustice we see or feel called too? For the sake of unity, is there a better approach to getting a better result?

The presentation of kneeling gets attention, but is it getting the job done? Isn’t that the actual goal-to get something accomplished or make something happen?

The saddest part to this picture is now people are kneeling because they think it’s trendy. They do it to get attention. (It’s not trendy at all.) The moment you kneel is the moment you communicate to everyone standing, “I have my own personal agenda in this moment, so I choose not to stand with you.”

And now, Colin Kapernick is suing the NFL for keeping him out of the NFL. He calls it collusion, but isn’t it really more of a leadership choice based on the circumstance? Choices have consequences. The moment he sat and then eventually kneeled, he took the football out of football. It was no longer about beer and brats and fans and having fun. He made it about something else. He altered the focus and planted a distraction.

If I am an NFL owner or in a leadership role , I have a responsibility to eliminate distractions and keep everyone focused and headed in the right direction. Great leaders do not promote or fuel division and distractions in the workplace. This is true for any organization in any industry. Just watch an episode of Undercover Boss. Colin might have a lot left in the tank And be exceptionally talented, but anyone in leadership understands that distractions and division are what weaken a team, a company or a relationship. At the end of the day you might have a great heart and a good intention, but the truth remains distractions that lead to division do not win games.

What do those words really mean to us?

The National Anthem is a brief moment we are privileged to stand and demonstrate unity. It’s a showcase of strength. While each of us has our own unique reason to kneel, for a brief moment, we instead choose to rise and unite. That is how we persevere and conquer life’s injustices; we find strength in each other. Like the saying states, “The strength of the wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf.”

The bottom line is, you have the right to kneel, but remember that right came at a significant price. When we stand, we stand united. It’s a moment that says we are stronger together than we are divided. I heard a quote the other day, “On one leg we limp, but with two legs we can sprint.”

We can always accomplish more if we come together and work together. The more divided we are, the weaker we become. If we are going to solve, correct or do anything about an injustice in our world, we can do more together. We can always do more when we create a plan, have a strategy, inspire, get involved, lend a hand, focus on what we can control, seek wisdom and think of the best presentation to create awareness and a call to action.

Be thankful and honor those who provided the right to kneel, because in China – if you kneel during their National Anthem or protest it, they give you an minimum 3 years in prison.

Lets take action and evolve our thinking by doing what unites us and makes us stronger. That is how we will rise up and defeat the injustices in the world. Again – UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.

Remember – Attitude Changes Everything!


Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guyby Sam Glenn – The Attitude Guy
Award Winning Superhero Speaker, Author, Dad, Husband and Very Bad Golfer

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Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

They give people hope and strength

Most of my work is speaking at conferences and talking about what it means to be a real life superhero in the workplace. My hope is that by the end of my speech, people feel more inspired to use the best of who they are and what they have to make a positive contribution. One of my key points is that not all superheroes wear capes. It’s not an original point, but the content is. It just fits right, especially after I speed paint my favorite superhero – Batman!

The phrase “Not all Superheroes Wear Capes” has been floating around for decades and is credited to a superhero named Anonymous. Nobody owns it – meaning, we all have an equal share in it. The freedom in having that kind of ownership is that we can add our own interpretation as to what we believe that quote means to us. So, here is a little bit of mine.

Today, it seems any which way we look,
we see something disheartening.

Massive hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, and, most recently, the Vegas shooting. If you observe people watching the news at airports like I do, all you see are heads shaking back and forth. The looks on their faces say, “What in the world is going on?”

I had just finished my speech at an all company development day, and as I was meeting people afterward, I met a woman who was actually in the crowd when the Vegas shooting happened. She still seemed a little shaken by the experience. I mean, you could see it in her eyes. But she said something that seemed to diminish the fear in the experience, “Sam, it was scary, but what made a difference were a lot of good people showed up and helped out.”

The thing about real life superheroes is they give people hope and strength in the midst of something that bombards us with fear and tragedy. A real life superhero doesn’t wear a cape; rather, they use the best of who they are and what they have to make a positive contribution. People started lining up to give blood just hours after the Vegas shooting. That’s huge.

A real life superhero never asks,
“What’s the least I can do?”

No, a real life superhero rises up from the ashes and lends everything thing they’ve got in an effort to make a positive contribution.

I happen to believe we need more real life superheroes in our world – everyday people willing to take extraordinary actions.
As I tell my audiences in my speeches, “You don’t have to be perfect to be amazing!”

Real life superheroes are everyday people who do the seemingly little things, but with an exceptional heart and attitude.

  • It’s the single mom working two jobs to support her two teenage daughter,
  • it’s the young person who stands up and speaks out when they see someone being bullied,
  • the co-worker who helps you get stuff done so you can meet a deadline and get home to your family,
  • the person who lets you merge over in traffic,
  • the teacher who makes learning fun,
  • the friend who gives you their last dollar to help you get by,
  • the sales person who actually cares for you instead of pretending to be nice just to get your business,
  • the receptionist who smiles and makes you feel welcomed,
  • the leader who is personal and asks about your life, family, and goals,
  • the stranger who holds the door open when your hands are full,
  • the customer service agent who goes two extra miles to fix everything for you,
  • the neighbor who picks up your blown over trash can,
  • the first responders who go above and beyond,
  • the doctors and nurses who work as a team to save lives,
  • the police officer who pulls you over for speeding, but ends up praying with you because you lost your child to cancer,
  • and the list goes on and on.


Be Your Own Real Life Super HeroIt’s comforting to know there are real life superheroes around us.
They give us hope and strength to keep going.
They give us a reason to lift our heads up and believe that everything will be okay.


My encouragement to you reading this – you’ve got all the superpowers you need to make a difference. Extend the best of who you are and what you have, and you will make a bigger difference than you can imagine. My personal philosophy – Capes Optional.



By Sam Glenn, Award Winning Motivational Speaker and Author

Speaking engagement inquiries:

Ignite A Positive Attitude, 10 Unforgettable Quotes

Can our attitude really change everything?

For the past 20 years, I have been speaking at conferences, working with outstanding leaders and professional athletic teams on the topic of attitude. What I have learned is that our attitude is the main thing that affects everything. EVERYTHING! Our attitude plays one of the most significant roles in every aspect of our life. Everything follows our attitude. Our attitude is either working for us or it is working against us and we determine which every day. In fact, we all have certain skills, education, talents and abilities, but what drives us around every day is the attitude we choose. If our attitude isn’t working right, then nothing will be right.

In my newest book, Attitude Changes Everything, I focus on creating more awareness or mindfulness of how our attitude is working. Is your attitude rewarding you or making things worse for you?

Think about this for a second, how much would you pay your attitude to give a pep talk to your favorite sports team, 10 minutes before game time? Today, professional athletes make pretty good money, so why would they invest in making sure everyone has the right attitude? Hmmmm…it’s because attitude changes everything! Attitude is the ultimate game changer.

Attitude is our brand, logo, culture, leadership, service, product, communication and anything else you can think of. It really is!

words for attitudes

Do you know anyone who has ever worked with a negative co-worker or boss? They can tell you that attitude is a very big deal. For some people, they get physically sick because their workplace is so toxic. Why do you think Monday is the number one day for heart attacks? People are stressed out about going to a place to work that isn’t healthy or supportive. Attitude changes everything!

If you Google road rage videos, you will instantly see people who lack emotional management skills. Meaning, they let their heated attitude control their responses. They are reactive and make choices that lead to negative consequences.

If you have ever met someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or an illness, they will tell you that attitude is everything.

Here is an attitude quote from the late ESPN announcer, Stuart Scott, regarding his battle with cancer.

“When you die, it does not mean you lose to cancer.
You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”
– Stuart Scott

Our attitude becomes what we feed it.
10 Life Changing Attitude quotes that will Awaken Your Mindfulness to how incredible your attitude is.


  1. A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.

-Joyce Meyer

  1. Being positive in a negative situation is not naïve. It’s leadership.


  1. Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it.

-Charles Swindoll


  1. The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but your thoughts about it.

-Eckhart Tolle


  1. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

–Viktor E. Frankl

  1. Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, surrounded by assholes.

–Sigmund Freud

  1. A positive attitude doesn’t stop adversity from knocking at the door. However, a better attitude gives us mental clarity, creativity and resilience to deal with life’s curve balls, learn from them, grow from them and move on from them.

– Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy

  1. Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have.


  2. Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.


  3. Drama does not just walk into your life. Either you create it, invite it, or associate with it.

There are more quotes I could post here, but these stand out to create some perspective on how valuable our attitude really is. Nobody can choose your attitude but you. You own your attitude and the results and stories it creates. Remember, a little bit of the right attitude can make a huge difference. Attitude changes everything!



By Sam Glenn,The Attitude Guy
Author, Attitude Changes Everything
Speaking engagement inquires:

10 Super Simple Ways to Boost Your Conference Opening and Closing Attendance

By Sam Glenn, the Attitude Guy

Simple Ideas Work

I want to share just a few very simple ideas that I know will help boost your attendance at both your opening and closing.  I am a big believer in simple. Planning an event requires many details that aren’t always simple, but complicating things is a recipe for a mess and more stress.

My simple ideas based on 20 years of opening and closing conferences for more than 2000 audiences and some as large as 75,000 people at stadium events.

Boost Conference Opening and
Closing Attendance:

1) Sometimes my clients will ask me (a presenter) to help promote their event on social media and post little videos to build the buzz for the conference.

    • If you follow The Rock on social media, he is always doing little videos to promote, thank and connect with his audience.
    • The result – it works!  Have people in leadership do this and presenters.
    • These videos don’t need a production crew – just a minute at most to connect and build a buzz for the event.

2) If you want attendees to stay until the very end, the very end should be smoking hot! 

Have you ever noticed that the number of people who stay until the very end of the conference is often times significantly less than those who started the conference?

WHY didn’t they plan to
stay in the first place?

There are a number of reasons people don’t stay until the end of a conference. Mostly it’s because they didn’t plan to stay in the first place.  It’s because:

  • The closing just isn’t worth sticking around for.
  • They don’t feel like they are going to miss out on anything special or valuable to them.

I know that sounds a little harsh, but it’s the ugly truth. People go off of past event experiences. So if past closings were not that great, the assumption and expectation of future closings will be the same as past ones, so I will take the early flight home.

The big question is, how do
you get people from leaving early?

Think of it this way, it’s the 4th of July and everyone gets in the car so you can find a great place to sit and watch the big fireworks display.  When you attend a fireworks display, it’s exciting at the start, but there is an even bigger feeling of excitement and expectation – the grand finale!!!

Have you ever seen crowds of people BOLT before the grand finale? No way!  You just know it’s going to be awesome. You can’t wait!  And yes, you end up sitting in traffic for an hour after it’s all over trying to get home, but it was worth it.

If you want a higher attendance at your closings, then you need to upgrade your closing to a grand finale experience.


One example we can learn from is a group that had me as their closing keynote presenter, had 2000 people registered for the conference, yet only 150 showed up at the closing.

Do you know how weird and awkward that is speaking to 150 people scattered throughout a room that is purposed to fit 2000 people?  It’s not a good site.  There is no energy or in depth connection that captivates you. Most people at this event sat in the back of the conference hall, while exhibitors packed up and were loud and distracting. The lesson is the planning team just didn’t see the closing as “big deal” and when this happens; nobody else will see it as a big deal, so why stick around?

People will stay when it’s a big deal.  Finish strong!
Remember, it’s not how we start a race,
but how we finish that matters.

3)  Get feedback.

Since every group and industry does things differently; I think the best place to start is by asking people point blank, “What type of closing would have to happen in order for you to miss your flight and want to stay until the very end?”

It’s easy to get this in a survey, but have people in leadership roles connect with a personal touch and ask this.  Doing this will give you an idea of what a great closing session can be to your particular group.

4)  Offer extra educational credits.

But, offering extra credits for your industry can definitely increase attendance at the start and finish of your conference.  It doesn’t have an emotional “wow” factor, but it can logically work to motivate people to stay until the very end of the event.

5)  Do Door Prizes Right.
Bigger Prizes Aren’t Always Better

The bigger the door prize doesn’t always mean a bigger attendance at the end.  I just remember at one conference, this one attendee won a huge 65 inch TV. Most people would be excited with such a win, but she was not. Her response was, “How the hell do I get this thing home? Who is going to pay for shipping? I’m not!” She wasn’t happy.

I think the best door prizes for the best responses are gift cards, gift certificates to experiences like travel or the prized favorite- cash!

People love cash – who doesn’t?
Cash is always king when it comes to
door prizes. It just is.

One company I worked for did table cash drawings – it was pretty awesome and expensive.  So, how it worked was they had 100 tables in the room (10 people per table) and during the closing, they would randomly pick a number out of a hat – so if they called table 3, the entire table would go up and get a cash prize.  It gets cooler!  Before they picked the table number, they pulled another number out of a hat and that was the amount everyone at the table would each win.  So some tables won $25 each, $50 and $100.

However, what really got the blood flowing in the room was when they did the cash drawings for $250,$500 and $1000.  So if 10 people are sitting at a table and your number gets called – everyone at that table is going to get $1000 cash! I know that’s insane!  I don’t even work for that company, but I want to go to their closings every year.

Some tables were designated for higher rewards and people could win seats at those tables throughout the conference.  It was like you were on “The Price Is Right”.  This is an expensive way to do a closing, but wow – what a grand finale!  It works! People stay!  In fact, this closing becomes a marketing tool that more people want to sign up early for next year’s conference.  They make it fun, entertaining, rewarding – it’s a grand finale! 

The group I just closed for in North Dakota did something like this, they did a drawing of 50 names and those people walked up and got $100 cash.  The closing had the most attendance they have ever had because they built it up and made it worth the stay.

Even if you have a tight budget,
you can be creative and find ways
to make your opening and closing
segments memorable.

When I hosted a National Leadership Conference in Chicago, we had a shoe string budget, so one thing we did was move our event site from a hotel location to a meeting site that was just a different setting than the norm.  That was a big draw for us.  Our attendees loved it!  Mostly because it wasn’t like every type of conference they have ever been too.  We had to think creative to make it a great event and we did.

6)  Network and find out what others are doing at their closings.

  • You may pick up 2 or 3 really good ideas that will improve your closing attendance and make you look like a rock star.
  • Always be looking for ideas and asking what others are doing.
  • It doesn’t mean you mimic what others are doing, but rather take an idea and tweak it a little.

7)  Wrapping up the conference in the evening, so the next day people can get back home or back to work at a reasonable time.

  • I know this isn’t always possible, but when it is–attendees tend to stay until the last event or function if it goes into the evening.
  • Maybe offer breakfast and do a short wrap at breakfast the next day, so people can get on the road.
  • I personally think it’s a tough wrap to do at lunch.  Many do it and I tip my hat to them, but it makes for a tougher closing. For some reason, a closing lunch seems to draw a lower crowd attendance.

8)  For really strong opening and closings, I suggest to upgrade your speakers and presenters.

Have you ever eaten something with little to no flavor?  It’s not enjoyable is it?  Well, some conference openings and closings have no flavor to them. Nobody is going to line up to taste something that has no flavor.

I often share with event planners, the reason why conference rooms fill up from the back of the room first is people just don’t trust the stage.  Attendees want to separate themselves from potential boredom and the unexpected.

They want a spot where they can play on their phone, easily get up and walk out, blend in or just not be caught drifting off to sleep, doodling or daydreaming.

Remember, positioning of speakers
for your opening and closing
segments is everything!


Most of my clients hire me as a kick off presenter because they know I’m going to set a tone and energy for the rest of the event.  As you research speakers, you want someone that draws people in, has energy, captivates, and is memorable.  I can’t stress that aspect enough – It has to be memorable.

So maybe don’t kick things off with a social media expert or wrap things up with a futurist.  You get the picture. My advice, upgrade the stage experience.  Just because someone is a bestselling author and their demo clips seem good, doesn’t always mean they are a good kick off or closing presenter.  You want them to have the fourth of July Power to their presentation – where people show up early to get a good seat and don’t leave before the grand finale.  Remember, positioning of presentations and presenters is the key.

9.  Have an engaging and proactive theme for your event.

Some groups have a simple theme and build around it.  But a very proactive theme can take your event energy to a new level.

When I wrote the book, Be Your Own Superhero – how to be a real life superhero in leadership, service and life, my clients started using that theme for their events.  People dressed as their favorite superhero. They had contest. They had ice breakers and activities and giveaways customized around this theme.  Having a theme like this makes your event more memorable and engaging.

Trust me – this is awesome.  My superhero theme is a hit.  If you do it, you need to give me credit!  Being an everyday superhero is one of my most requested speeches – and it’s really good.

10.  This is the most important factor and sometimes the hardest – be consistent with your kick off and grand finale.

If you are starting from scratch and making some upgrades, don’t expect 100% buy in from everyone at once.  It takes time to achieve momentum and progress.  That is okay, if you are consistent with your efforts and make your opening and closing awesome, you will notice an increase in attendance at both your openings and closings. The other benefit to this is it becomes a huge selling point that gets people excited about coming back the next year, early registrations, attracts new members and more people wanting to attend.

In closing, planning a conference
or large event isn’t easy.

You are trying to make many different personalities happy and that isn’t always an easy job.  Sometimes that pat on the back isn’t going to be there, but someone complaining about something will be.  My advice is to not complicate what is meant to be kept simple.  But have fun doing it!  When you are having fun, it’s going to turn out so much better for you and others.  My wife always tells me before every speech, “Sam, just have fun. If you have fun, everyone will have fun.”

Sometimes you gotta step out of the comfort zone and try new things or do things different than prior years.  Some things may work and some may not. Just keep learning. Do the best you can and always remember the best pat on the back is the one you give yourself!

Sam Glenn keynote motivational speakerAbout Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy
For the past 20 years, Sam Glenn has become recognized as a meeting planner’s delight. Sam’s speeches are award winning, his books are top sellers and he also is a talented performance artist.  Sam has been named Speaker of the Year several times by different meeting and event organizations and magazines.  

For more information on booking Sam Glenn, the Attitude Guy for your conference or meeting kick off, visit:  Or email his office:

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