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Ross Shafer

Emmy Award Winning Comedian and TV Host

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Ross Shafer: Emmy Award Winning Comedian and TV Host

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Ross Shafer grew up in the Pacific Northwest and graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where he studied business management and played varsity football (linebacker). After college, he took a job as a training manager for a department store (Yard Birds) and was able to save $10,000. He took that money and launched his life as an entrepreneur. His first venture was as the owner/manager of America’s only Stereo and Pet Shop in the small town of Puyallup, Washington (population 5,000 at the time).

Cleaning pet cages wasn’t as appealing as it sounded to Ross, so after 3 years he closed the store and took a job as an advertising manager for the 28 store Squire Shops retail clothing chain in Seattle, Washington. Writing ad copy and concocting campaigns paid the bills, but at night Ross haunted local comedy clubs in search of a career in joke telling. After years of slogging around the comedy circuit, he won the Seattle International Comedy Competition and immediately became an opening act for performers like Crystal Gayle, Eddie Rabbitt, Nel Carter, Neil Sedaka, and Dionne Warwick.

In l985, Ross pitched a TV show idea to the NBC affiliate in Seattle (KING). It was a risky idea to emulate a local Letterman-like comedy talk show. Regardless, ALMOST LIVE was born and for the next 5 seasons Ross hosted the show while he and his team collected 36 Emmys. They won the Esquire Magazine dubious Achievement Award one year for attempting to change the Washington State song to Louie, Louie. During those years Ross also hosted an afternoon drive radio show on the 50,000 watt KJR-AM.

In l988, Ross was wooed by the Fox network to take over The Late Show. The Late Show was a nightly talk show that competed with The Tonight Show and David Letterman. The show lasted a year and Ross next found himself in New York co-hosting Days End on the ABC network. It was here that he sat beside Matt Lauer and Spencer Christian as they interviewed the movers and shakers of New York and the world. Dick Clark told Ross, Always have a back up plan, my boy, TV is terminal and predictably Days End was cancelled. Ross always wondered what happened to Matt Lauer? Ha!

The next stop for Ross was hosting the revised Match Game on the ABC network. Love Me, Love Me Not followed and numerous TV pilot projects.

By this time, Ross was headlining all of the leading night clubs and casinos. He produced a highly acclaimed comedy album about the Clinton administration titled Inside The First Family. He also wrote a comedy cookbook that became a best seller; Cook Like A Stud - 38 recipes men can prepare in the garage with their own tools.

In 1994, Ross heard Bill Gates give a speech where he said, “Someday you will all be watching television on your telephones.” Ross took that message to heart and he made the decision to leave TV and get back to his corporate training roots. Human nature and the human condition were always fascinating to Ross because that’s what comedians do. They study the laughter and tears business. To date Ross has produced (14)

Human Resource training films on Customer Service, Motivation, Leadership, and Peer Pressure and has authored the business books, Nobody Moved Your Cheese, Customer Empathy, The Customer Shouts Back, Are You Relevant?

12 Reasons Smart Organizations Thrive in Any Economy and Grab More Market Share:How to Wrangle Business Away from Lazy Competitors.

Today, Ross is one of the most sought after Keynote speakers and seminar leaders on the subjects of Customer Empathy, Personal Motivation, and Business Relevance. The father of two grown sons, Adam and Ryan, he lives in in Denver, Colorado with his wife Leah and their daughter Lauren.
How to Stay Relevant in Business - Ross Shafer
In this fun and enlightening Keynote, Ross dissects which organizations succeed, which ones have failed…and why.

Remaining Relevant (to both customers and team members) is the ONLY way to sustain your growth in an ever-evolving economy. Ross unveils inspiring case studies that span the landscape of retail, manufacturing, B2B, construction, and healthcare.

The Take Aways
  • Why You Must Stay Relevant Ross likes to say, "If you don’t like change, you are really going to hate extinction."If you are losing market share - or your sales are lagging - it's probably because your customers, clients, or accounts don't think you matter to them as much as your competition. Ross will coach you on how to “regain your mojo” so that you continue to be important to the people who are paying your bills. He will cite case studies of (formerly significant) organizations that have gone extinct –and you will celebrate those companies that have remained vital and relevant.
  • How to Engage the "On Demand" Customer Mentality. Due toreliable technology, your customers' expectations have evolved to become "on demand." They expect customer "service" to mean customer "urgency!" They want what they want – when they want it. Furthermore, if you don't respond at near Broadband Speed, they will think you are substandard, lazy, or too "old school."Your customers and clients are able tomanipulate how they watch TV, listen to music, when they shop, and how they make friends.That’s why they expect real-time communication from you…at their behest. Ross will show you how to make sure you are consistently aware, empathetic, and urgent…so you are in the best position to wranglebusiness away from your competitors.
  • How to Generate Tiny Innovations that Produce Explosive Profits.The organizations that thrive today have the ability to maintain a culture of ongoing innovation. They are growing profits and share points by dominating the cutting edge of employee retention, product and/or service offerings, and more emotional customer engagement. You'll get an exclusive peek inside the organizations that consider innovation (and change) their reason for living.
  • Accountability is Your Underutilized Growth Engine.More than ever, user-generated content and the social networks are able to expose poor practices. The public consciousness is taking its cues from the so-called Reputation Economy; which means their dollars gravitate toward authenticity and accountability. Ross will talk about the power of personal and corporate transparency to generate more revenue. He will inspire you to be more responsible and accountable for your efforts - and the efforts of your team.
How to Become a “PERIPHERAL VISIONARY” Ross Shafer
This Keynote is a fun and insightful way to earn more immediate revenue. Often, an organization frustratingly searches for new income (only) from within their own company...or from inside their industry. Ross can coach your team how to find innovation and opportunities from outside your immediate scope, even when under extreme pressure.

The Take Aways
  • How to find competitors in your blind spot: You know that Apple conquered music. But did you know they want to dominate banking. Did you know that Google wants to “own” your home heating and air conditioning.Which companies are gunning for YOUR business? Ross can show you how to find them. When you act quickly to these shifting will be able to shore-up your own growth to avoid being derailed by a peripheral competitor.
  • How to eliminate dangerous Tunnel Vision: Stress and anxiety can cause our vision to narrow and our heads to pound. When that happens, creativity suffers. Stress causes us to default to what we know; which may not be competitive. Ross coaches you to push past get a panoramic view of all opportunities.
  • How to Harvest and Endless supply of Good Ideas: Profitable ideas are abundant... you know where to look. That's what we do at Ross Shafer Consultants, Inc. We scour the landscape for what others miss. Each year our consultants travel to several hundred "Wrong Meetings." Our specialty is to cross-pollinate innovative ideas between dissimilar industries. We teach your team how to spot "must practices" in the most unlikely places.
  • How to Capitalize on you competitor's weaknesses: Have you ever heard..."Don't worry about XYZ company. We just need to focus on doing the best WE can." If that strategy were true, then why do championship sports teams spend countless hours studying a competitor's game film? Coaches and athletes are looking for an opponent's weaknesses. Today, business intelligence tools are free and public. It is now possible for you to do a "weakness audit" of every competitor. Ross will teach you how to find and leverage such weaknesses.
Must Practices Ross Shafer - Michael Burger - Non-Negotiable Tactics for Remaining Relevant
Best practices are a moving target. As soon as we think we are becoming "current" – or even cutting edge – industry models change, our customers shift buying preferences, or our most talented team members decide to leave for greener pastures. The encouraging news is that there are immutable tactics you can embrace that will insure your organizations will remain relevant; even in the turbulent wake of an unstable economic climate or an evolving industry.

The Take Aways
  • Win With What You Have Every leader is charged with getting more performance with fewer resources. Regardless of size or influence we have never met an organization that gets everything they want…when they want it. And, once you think you've become 100% relevant your industry changes - or a new competitor surfaces. We will provide inspiration and encouragement for your team when he reminds them, "Your competition isn't perfect either. They are worrying about the exact same issues you have."Your competitive advantage lies in your sense of urgency and ability to sustain personal relationships.
  • Act Quickly on Reality Our study of 500+ business failures has taught us that most of those organizations were quick to celebrate yesterday's profits; while being stubborn to change. Operating in denial is like "hope." Hope and Denial do not inspire enduring business models. Reacting well to reality does. We cite case studies from organizations that refused to lapse into denial - and who executed a course correction in time to save their companies.
  • Getting Total Buy-In Maybe you have gone through a recent merger or acquisition. Maybe you have had a frequent change in leadership. When you find that dramatic changes are necessary, you cannot get them done alone. You will need total buy-in from your team members. Since most people are risk-averse, we will teach you the most reliable ways to get everyone on board…and keep them engaged throughout the change process.
  • How to Premeditate Decisiveness Organizations often grind to a halt due to "paralysis of analysis." Leaders want so badly to achieve perfection – (and avoid loss) - that they constantly require more data and deeper substantiation. Often, too much information will not improve the decision. Worse, a well-meaning leader may still too long and lose a timely opportunity. High performance organizations make confident decisions (in advance) so they can move quickly against their competition when necessary. We will discuss the procedures for developing a culture of premeditated fact-based decision-making. Opportune decisions will keep you aggressive and relevant.
  • Get ROI From Everything We can no longer tolerate what are known "cost" centers. Every department must be ready to give you a return on investment. Ross will encourage your team to rethink of departments like training, accounting, marketing, and customer care as viable profit centers. The right metrics will make it so even support teams will be self-sufficient. We will cite convincing case studies.
Evolving To Customer Empathy
Customer "service" is not enough anymore. Customers who have been conditioned to buy your goods and services online need more emotion from you. They want to feel more connected - a personal touch. They want more than a transaction. They want EMPATHY. In a complex on-demand world, they want to feel that you understand their problems and desires. Today, customers and clients often feel vulnerable, helpless, anxious, and out of control. This Keynote (or breakout session) will forever change your culture from merely a “transactional” company Emotionally Trustworthy Partner.

The Take Aways
  • You will learn why Customer “service" has become obsolete in an On-Demand world.
  • You will learn how to create instant (and lasting) rapport with your customers and clients.
  • You will experience case studies re: how “love and money” are inextricably linked to your future.
  • You will learn how you prevent the The Final Customer Moment from becoming your highest risk of "loyalty loss."
Nobody Moved Your Cheese - Ross Shafer
High energy and hilarious keynote - perfect for setting the opening tone or ramping up your conference closing message. Ross Shafer's personal story will inspire your team members. He went from small town pet shop Emmy® award winning TV renowned business author and Hall of Fame speaker. He accomplished 'the impossible' by being a fierce proponent of taking personal responsibility in your professional and personal life. Ross will teach your team how to become World Class.

The Take Aways
  • No Excuses. No Blame. No Surrender. We can no longer blame "the economy" or "the competition" or "changes in management." Personal growth and opportunity always emerge from realizing that nobody cares more about your career and success than YOU do. Be accountable and you won't have to wait for anybody to elevate your position.
  • How Paying Attention to The Small Stuff Returns Big Rewards. Staying focused and "on task" promotes confidence in your coworkers and allows you to become a trusted advisor to your customers/clients/patients. You'll see how the "world's best" accomplish this feat.
  • How to Make Your Efforts "Go Viral" Networking can be valuable but don't solely depend upon "who you know." Viral success comes from "who knows YOU?" Become a World Class performer and you will be able to transform your customers/clients/patients into unpaid spokespeople…for YOU and your organization. Exponential growth happens when your biggest fans insist their friends do business with you.
  • How to keep your business and personal life in perspective. Understanding the difference between Making a Living and Making a Life is what will keep you curious and excited about your profession; as well as securing your legacy in the world.
“Your valuable insights and experiences paralleled perfectly with our “Inspired and Empower People” theme. Your remarks triggered new ideas that will benefi t our employees for years to come.”

“We’ve heard EVERYBODY but everyone’s still talking about how much Ross impressed us with something so new. That’s saying a lot from this seasoned group.”
Humana Health

“We surveyed our audience and all rated you EXCELLENT. Some of the comments were – Best seminar I’ve attended – Absolutely wonderful and inspiring – Anyone who stayed in bed missed something incredible.”
National Retail Hardware Association

“As a professional meeting planner for the past 15 years, I have been subject to hundreds of events. The material you selected from Nobody Moved Your Cheese! was a great blend of motivation, inspiration, and humor. Amazing Job!”
Master Builders Assn.

“Your high energy, inspirational message was a boost to an organization that needed more vigor. Nobody Moved Your Cheese was powerful, humorous, and made a lasting impression on all of us. Thanks for a fabulous job. I’m a hero!”
The Boeing Company
Financial Services
Indy Bank
Farm Credit Bank of Texas
One America Financial
Citigroup/Smith Barney
Fiserv Software
Charles Schwab & Co.
Bank of America
Wells Fargo
Citigroup/Smith Barney
Charles Schwab
JP Morgan/Chase
Countrywide Bank
Key Bank
Washington Mutual
Wilshire State Bank
People's Bank
First Union Bank
Downey Savings
US BanCorp
Epstein Financial
IndyMac Bank
H D Vest
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Everett Mutual Savings
Whidby Island Bank
Provident Bank
Avaya Financial
Providence Financial
Princeton Financial
Lincoln Financial
California Bankers Association
TexasBankers Association
Florida Bankers Association
Oregon Bankers Association
Washington Bankers Association
Toyota Financial Services
Ernst & Young

Met Life
Assurex Global
The Hartford
Montgomery Mutual
Canada Life
GE Financial
The Prudential
Intl. Association of Life Underwriters
Progressive Casualty Insurance Co.
Pemco Financial Services

Bon Marche
Big O Tires
Auto Zone
Ralph Lauren
Kinney Shoes
Jay Jacobs Stores
Discovery Toys
Eyemart Express
Gelson's Markets
Safeway Stores
American Gem Society
SuperValu/IGA Grocers
McCormick & Schmicks Restaurants

Trade Associations
Amercian Council of Consulting Engineers
Smart Tan International
Society of Human Resource Management
Associated Riggers and Carriers Association
American Real Estate Council
Washington Bankers Association
Oregon Bankers Association
Florida Bankers Association
California Bankers Association
Insurance Providers of America
Oregon Trucking Association
Washington Restaurant Association
National Snow Removal Association
International Coatings Association
Society of Sales and Marketing Executives
Sales and Marketing Professionals Association
Washington Car Dealers Association
Western Bridge Association
California Science & Techology Foundation
Florida Home Building Association
Home Builders of Greater Denver
Washington Home Building Association
American Steel and Iron Institute
Texas Oil and Gas Association