This is Kathie from the conference - making my very first post! I did this a little backwards from most of you - as the past couple of days have been my first exposure to Mark and Mike's work.

I can truly say that this was the most worthwhile training I have received in my professional career. You don't come out of these things often thinking, "THAT was life changing stuff." I will make certain I let every single person I know who manages or aspires to manage other people know about this site and recommend they attend any upcoming conferences.

I am thankful for those of you that I got to spend time with and learn from. I am hopeful that we'll continue to keep those connections strong.

That's about all my sleepy brain can muster at the moment, but I had to get this onto the screen while it was fresh. Safe travels!

jbird's picture

Hi all,

These past two days has been the best value for my job and my management career. I learned not only from Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy (Hope I spelled that right), Travis, and Laura, but also everyone else I was able to meet and talk with.

Safe travels as well. See you on the forum and email. Having met in person many of the people people posting here, the conversations and advice will be even more interesting and fruitful.

Jonathan Bird
(Saskatoon SK Canada <- see better already, context to who I am! :-)

MattJBeckwith's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

Talk about ironic... I just passed Jonathan in the halls as I was looking for a vending machine that had bottled water.

This conference is helping me change my life!

Even though I have listened to every 'cast (some more than once) and have made a lot of progress in the 18 months I've been listening, seeing it... and doing it... for two days (very fruitful and long days) is just the catalyst I needed.

I can't wait to get back to work!!!

Special thanks to the other attendees. What a diverse group of talented managers! The interaction with everyone made the training so much more valuable. Practicing giving feedback to Steve or Jason right in front of Mike or Mark was difficult at first but what a thrill to learn with such an awesome group of managers.

royak74's picture

I couldn't agree more.

The last two days have already changed my life. I am awake late tonight itching to get into work tomorrow so I can give some positive feedback.

Mike, Mark, and team - Simple...Thanks.

To my manager peers, I learned a tremendous about from you and I hope that I was able to offer at least one piece of insight to someone.

Hand's down, the GREATEST value for Management Training...ANYWHERE!!!

Roy Krauthamer
Detroit, MI

frago's picture

An absolutely unprecedented experience!
Mike (we finally got to see what you look like!) and Mark were awesome. They were warm, funny, smart, insightful and inspiring. The rants were excellent!
One of the best things for me was meeting such an outstanding group of professional managers. During introductions, I was awed at the breadth and depth of experience we had in that room. And now I have faces for those screen names...Dave.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mike, Mark, Michael, Cathy, Mike's mom and Travis for making this the best (by a mile!) manager's conference I've ever attended.
It's really late but I'm still too jazzed to go to sleep! It was THAT good.

John Frago

yanick's picture
Training Badge

The conference was outstanding! It's difficult to describe all the things that I took out of it, but I will try:

1. I realized that even those things that I thought I was doing fairly well, I needed to do better. The conference helped me re-focus and get excited again, just like the first time I learned about One-on-Ones and feedback. This conference was a real wake up call that in order to be a better manager, it's not enough to simply know about the right thing to do, but to do it the way Mark teaches it. I thought I was giving plenty of feedback, only to realize that it was praise, not feedback. I thought I was doing great with one-on-ones, only to be reminded of the importance of careful note taking. And to no smaller degree, it was painful, but great to be reminded of my responsibilities for coaching and developing my people, not just passing judgment.

2. The energy in the room was incredible. Of course, Mark is an amazing communicator and clearly is very passionate about delivering his message, but I am talking about something else here. The energy was created by being in the room with 100 other managers who are just as excited about Manager Tools as I am. This is the first conference of its kind, and it was a truly unique experience.

3. Mark and Mike not only delivered what was promised, but they over-delivered on virtually everything they promised that we could expect from the conference. They demonstrated by personal example the many of the principles they teach us every week. I have no idea how so much energy can exist in one person, but it seemed that Mark did not stop or even slow down for two days, early morning through late evening. He made himself available for questions at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which only contributed to the overall feeling of just how passionate he is about teaching us to be better managers. It's incredibly difficult if not impossible to find teachers with that kind of dedication, and I really appreciate it.

Mark and Mike, Thank you for putting one an amazing conference.

All conference attendees, it was a privilege sharing this experience with all of you.

-- Yan Kravchenko

drdeb's picture
Training Badge

Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis and Mom... Thank you for your sincerity, passion, integrity and generosity in sharing with us your knowledge and experiences.

I echo the sentiments of my new extended Manager Tools family: This conference has changed my life. It's made me both a better manager and a better human being.

Have you ever been to a conference where on the last day you wished it [i]wouldn't[/i] end? Although I'm going to miss my daily live MT fix :shock: and learning together with a dedicated group of managers, I can't wait to get back to the office and share with my colleagues. This is the best and most useful training I've been to ever.

trandell's picture

This event gave me the deeper understanding of the material and energy to get to the next level of managing people, changing my personal behaviors and living my life. It is a privilege to have met everyone and established relationships that I sincerely hope will last a lifetime.

grayanna1's picture

This is the only word I can can muster that comes anywhere close to describing my experience at this conference. The entire MT team (Mike, Mark, Michael, Cathy, Travis and Mom) are outstanding. You can always hear Mark's and Mike's passion for effective management and helping people on the MT podcasts. To actually see it and be an active participant was a true joy.

I do not remember looking at my watch except when they announced the times just before breaks. I am amazed how the time seemed to fly by. Also the only conference, I have ever attended in which those who could, actually stayed 1.5 hours after the conference officially ended for more Q&A. It would have gone longer if the hotel had not needed to start cleaning the meeting room at 7:00 PM. I wish I could manage time.

MT has changed my professional life and perspective. More importantly, I know it will impact my colleagues and direct reports.

I enjoyed meeting everyone and making what I hope will be life long friendships. If you are ever in RTP (Raleigh/Durham), NC, look me up.

Thanks to all of you who joined us for dinner Tuesday evening and Thursday night. It was a great way to informally kick-off and end the event.

Warm regards, Terry

palantir's picture
Licensee Badge

Sitting at Dulles airport waiting for my flight back to Amsterdam. Man, am I excited after the two most valuable days in my professional career! Dan and I bumped into Mark and Travis at the airport. Folks, you gotta believe me. After two [7:30am until *late*] days you would think Mark would want some time for himself, traveling home. Not. 10 seconds into the conversation Mark was again sharing and teaching! Those of you that were there will know what I mean.

To all of you out there that missed it: make sure to be on the next conference (or the next, or the next). This will *definitely* make a difference…

Thanks Mark, thanks Mike, thanks Laura, Cathy, Travis and Michael: [b]You Rock![/b]


pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge

I'll say what I said at the conclusion of yesterday's session:

[b]This is the best manager training I have attended in my career. [/b]

By a wide margin.

Do yourself a huge favor: As soon as registration opens for San Antonio, sign up!

JoeFuture's picture

I've taken week-long manager training courses that were FAR less valuable than 30 minutes with the MT gang. It's been said over and over, but I have to agree - this was the best manager training experience I've ever had.

I was a feedback model skeptic before this conference and am now a convert.

I thought I was doing effective ones-on-one but M&M showed me how to be much more effective in half the time.

I will never, EVER give my manager feedback again.

I made some great friends and contacts at the conference as well. Everyone I met was extremely interesting, willing to share & discuss ideas, open to learning, and I believe genuinely cares about their own success AS WELL AS the success of their organization.

thank you!!!

jvose's picture

I have attended Dale Carnegie, American Management Association, etc conferences and the MT conference [b]blew them away![/b]

It was a great opportunity to interact with Mark, Mike and their team and 99 other great managers. You can sense Mark's energy and the Mark/Mike banter on their podcasts but seeing it live is even better.

I agree with the comments on not looking at your watch. The success of the conference and its content was apparent when darn near everyone showed up at the 7am breakfast (1 hr before the conference start time) and participated in an impromptu Q&A. And, in the evening, we stayed an hour or two after the end for more Q&A. How many conferences have you attended where that happens? My experience is that most people show up right at or a little after the start and then want to leave early in the evening.

If you weren't able to make the inaugural, I'm sorry because there will only be one inaugural. However, no doubt the Sept conference and others will be just as great so do yourself a favor and make this a must see event. I am absolutely dead serious gang!

And now, I will practice one thing we learned...... :)

May I give you some feedback? (Assuming the answer is YES)
When you didn't attend the MT conference, here's what happened, you robbed yourself of a management growth opportunity. What can you do differently next time?


RichRuh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I'm trying to add to the response above, but words are failing me. Helpful? Energizing? Productive? Exciting? Life-changing? I'm not sure how to make the conference better. I'd say make it longer, but I really need to stop thinking about management for a few hours- so I can get some sleep.

I'm collecting the responses above to put into an e-mail to send to the other managers at my company. Mike and Mark- I know you realize this, but you can't BUY testimonials like these.

It was an honor and a privilege to be amongst such a great group of people. Thank you to EVERYONE.

clearviewadam's picture
Training Badge

Great job guys- I would have to agree with everyone- the conference was very well done. Both Mike and Mark are so passionate about what they do- I would strongly encourage this for every manager in any field- if you have direct reports you will get alot out of this. Thank you

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livlab's picture

I echo everyone's comments on the high quality and standards that this Mike, Mark and team have exceeded during this conference. Thank you so much for putting it together.

I was bombarded with some nasty "big balls" to juggle at work today (I haven't even returned yet!) but felt way more comfortable about dealing with them than I have before - knowing that I had taken the time to invest in my personal improvement as a manager made me feel more confident about my abilities to deal with those challenges.

When I came to the conference Tuesday night I was feeling overwhelmed and quite distressed about a lot of competing responsibilities as well as an overall feeling of not doing a good job at supporting my reports. I am now feeling energized about going back to the office and whipping things into shape.

Thank you again Mike and Mark for delivering such powerful tools and supporting a growing community of managers who will make a difference.

PS: If anyone's interested, I took some [url= of the conference[/url].

juliahhavener's picture
Licensee Badge

I want to thank all of you for posting your views after the conference. I wanted to be there and simply could not this time (everyone who knows me in person could tell you that I *squeaked* for a week when the announcement was first made). Your experiences will give me much more to take to my director to make the argument for the funds next time around.

BTEDWARDS's picture
Training Badge

Mark/Mike – Since leaving the hotel early this morning, I have thought of nothing but my experiences with you and your Manager Tools team. The seminar experience and the foundation which was set, will influence my future personal and professional behavior… forever.

The Slug Line: Two of the most influential, inspiring and exceptional days of my professional career.

Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis, Mom and the other 99 managers
- Thank you.

P.S. I am sure I am not the first to report that one of my best directs [MAV] asked for “negative feedback too” today, right on cue.

iainmagee's picture

It looks like there's not going to be much requirement for a Marketing Budget for the next conference! More likely extra security needed on the doors ..... :)

Looking forward to attending a future conference.

aharris's picture
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Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis and Mom - Thank you.

When you get promoted to management they never hand you a book to go with the promotion. There is no training to speak of.... well there wasn't - until now. MT podcasts helped me through the last year and a half as i started towards middle management and now the conference has changed my view on my role as a manager. I am so energized and excited to continue what we learned on Wednesday and Thursday. In the hotel on Thursday night i was thrown several curveballs that i would have dealt with far differently if i had received the curveballs on Tuesday. That's because i feel so much more confident as a manager and I know that i have an entire manager family from this conference that I can ask for advice. This conference changed my life. My sincere gratitude to every manager that i came in contact with at this conference. Your stories and life experiences were incredibly valuable.

I have never attended a conference that i didn't want to bolt out the door when it was over. The conference was AMAZING!


JohnGMacAskill's picture
Training Badge

Where can I start? Just back to Scotland and a bit some initial thoughts before I gather myself...

1) A huge thanks to the MT gang; Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis and Laura (thanks for the sweets!). An experience where you gave 100% and held nothing back. I have never been to a training/development event that started at 7am and finished when we were removed from the room by the hotel staff!!! :shock:

2) Thanks to all entendees, all. The interactive nature of the event was massively enriching. To share this with such curious, imaginative managers was excellent. I think to have the drive and imagination to be in the audience for this event is a marked differentiator in your professional life, never forget that.

3) I have details of some folks, but I want to keep in touch with all of you. If you are ever in the UK, contact me, and we will practice some feedback!! :wink:

4) Thanks for the photos Livlab, a great reminder...I'm missing it already!

5) Cannot wait 'til Monday!



PattiBarcroft's picture

What a gift to meet all of you.

Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis, Laura - you walked the talk, gave of your hearts, and taught by example. Thank you!

To the generous person who bought the first round of drinks in the hotel bar on Thursday evening, thank you very much.

And, to the other 99 eager, bright, charitable, curious attendees, thank you for your honest and courageous interactions with all of us. It was extremely helpful to see how similar we all are. I look forward to hearing the success stories from the group.

MattJBeckwith's picture
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Hello Patti. I believe that first round was courtesy of Dave D. from San Diego.

Thanks Paul for the second round! What a great after-conference get-together.

sholden's picture
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I have to echo the previous comment that this conference was the best conference I have ever attended.

It exceeded and surpassed all my expectations.

Thanks to Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis, and Laura for letting us participate in the dream.

Thanks also to all the great people I met at the conference. It was an honor to learn so much from a great group of talented friends.

Respectfully, Steve

c_taylor's picture
Training Badge

Mark, Mike, Michael, Cathy, Travis, Laura and the other attendees:
Thanks to all of you for a learning experience that far exceeded my expectations.
As soon as I arrived at my office on Friday, I immediately started using my new manager tools. Three previously scheduled O3s were restructured to follow the MT format. Five people received positive feedback and 1 received negative feedback following the feedback model. And, I showed one of my Section Heads the coaching model so that he can coach one of his scientists on effective presentations.

Michael, your idea of a family planning meeting on Sunday night will be implemented tomorrow night. I think all five members of my family will benefit. My hope is this coordination of family schedules on a weekly basis, as opposed to daily, will relieve some of my wife's stress as well as mine.

Thanks again,
Charlie Taylor

varun24's picture
Training Badge

Mark and Mike,

Thank you for the service you are providing to our profession.

The two days at the conference last week are the best management training I have had yet. The material couldn’t have been more suitable to being an effective manager, it was delivered with lots of good energy, and nothing better than being a part of a league of managers who we can call upon anytime.

Looking forward the podcasts and the next level up conference.


Varun Malhotra

PS - special thanks to Mike (Swenson), Cathy, Laura, and Travis for enhancing our experience.

ageremia's picture

After over 20 years of hailing Dale Carnegie as the most insightful and meaningful training session I had ever attended, I now proudly give that crown to MT! All the previous posts are spot on. The conference is an amazing experience. Mark and Mike put their hearts and souls into MT and it shows.

steveaz26's picture
Training Badge

While this is repetitive, it's well deserved. A big thanks to the MT team for this outstanding hands-on training! I want to reiterate that this is truly the best management training I have ever experienced. I couldn't stop talking about the content and especially the people to my wife and anyone else that would list over the weekend. Now it's time to execute and strive to be the best manager I can be.

How did Mark's saying go? May my good be better, my better best...?

jbird's picture

How did Mark's saying go? May my good be better, my better best...?[/quote]

From Mark's own comment: [url]

mbusch5's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

I'm not sure how I can add to all the wonderful things that have already been said so I'll just say that I agree wholeheartedly! Great conference, lots to think about and implement -- Mark and Mike, you're an inspiriation.

toddmckee's picture
Training Badge

Mark and Mike,

Thanks for an amazing conference. Although I was doing O3s and feedback prior to the conference, I understand them much better now. Better O3s are occuring this week and I'm already giving tons more positive feedback. I'm also much faster at giving the feedback (thanks for the practice).

PS thanks to Mike, Cathy, Luara, Travis and all of the participants for making the conference enjoyable.

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


Reading these wonderful comments makes sitting at OHare - waiting on a delayed (and maybe cancelled) flight a FABULOUS experience.

Mike and I were thrilled with the response you all shared with us afterwards, and here. Travis told me HE had trouble keeping his eyes dry during the standing ovation at the end of Thursday.

Seriously - the best professional day of my life. I am humbled by your trust in us and your skills and spirits.

I look forward to hearing from all of you, and will make the conference forums my first stop from now on.


rja28912's picture
Training Badge

For me, the coolest thing about the MT Conference was becoming 'convinced'. What I mean is after listening to Mark describe his dream of building a better world through building more effective managers...well at first, I must admit, I was a bit skeptical! But the material, delivery and passion were so soulful, simple and logical I started to sway...THEN, when Mark and Mike both volunteered their personal cell numbers to 100 strangers, I became convinced...this is no act. These guys are the real deal, the genuine article, and I know I am better off for having met them and quite frankly, all of the attendees.

Can I make a suggestion? For the San Antonio MT Conference, please find a way to let the Washington attendees register first. I know I have 2 DR's that I am ready to send right now, and I want to be certain they get in!

Mark & Mike: Be prepared, I think you may have created a monster in Washington! All the best to you...and thank you!

Richard (in Raleigh, NC)

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge


THank you. YOur post is a great reminder to me that no matter how passionate one is, nor how effective previously, everyone learns when they are ready. The facilitator/coach/leader/mentor/teacher must do many things, and often all of them well, to hope to reach as many as possible.

I'm sure we'll have slots for DC folks in San Antonio!


larrypage's picture

Mark and Mike,

That was an amazing conference. I'm already giving tons more positive feedback. I'm also much faster at giving the feedback. I look forward to hearing from all of you, and will make the conference forums my first stop from now on...thanks

News Department

anise's picture

Wow - what great feedback - I can't wait for your November trip to Brisbane (oops) Sydney. If you need any help co-ordinating stuff downunder feel free to call on me.

mauzenne's picture
Admin Role Badge


Thanks for the kind words ... you made my day! :-)

No worries on getting your folks in. Any previous attendee need only send me an email and we'll make sure to take care of you and your folks.

Best Regards,

tree123's picture


excellent job, i would like to get the details of the conference.