Hello, my name is Mark Nicole. I work closely with our Southern California clients in developing a customized growth track that helps them meet their unique personal development goals, and I facilitate Productive Learning workshops locally and abroad.
I was lucky to have found Productive Learning right at the beginning of my career. After graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, I was recruited by AT&T for their sales training program. Within that initial role and the positions into which I progressed, I felt a disconnect between the mentoring offered by my company’s management and everything I wanted to learn as a young professional. It simply wasn’t there.
Since I was finding a great deal of success in my sales career without the leadership and mentoring I needed, I knew I had the ability to reach even greater heights with the right support. So, I began a quest to surround myself with some of the best minds possible. In one of my many networking groups, I was introduced to one of the founding members of Productive Learning, and the course of my life slowly began to shift.
To take my skill development to the next level, I attended Productive Learning’s Mind in Business workshop, and it opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities. I began to look into the future and define my own path for perhaps the first time. I transitioned into a smaller telecommunications company, where I quickly became a product manager and subject matter expert (SME). But even with all the success I was experiencing, there was a little voice inside my head that questioned whether I could continue on a path that required me to show up in my professional world as a different person than who I was in my personal life. The lack of consistency began to take its toll on me, as incongruity always does.
After two short conversations with both founders of Productive Learning in 2005, I was joining the Southern California team and aligning my career with my mission to help others live lives of purpose.
My favorite part of facilitating workshops is the experiential nature of it. There’s something wildly rewarding about exploring a topic and then catching it in the moment for someone – watching them hear or experience themselves in a new light and in real time. There’s a transformation that takes place in the workshops; you can literally sit in front of someone and witness change. Perhaps the only thing more rewarding is having the honor to interact with clients who took their first Productive Learning workshop when I came onboard 12 years ago and seeing the distance they’ve traveled.
Known as the Master of Metaphors, I find that one of my greatest strengths is in my ability to compassionately hear the details behind someone’s emotion, make connections from past stories they’ve shared, and then boil it down to be presented as something relatable. My coworkers joke that my mind is like a steel trap that can’t be fooled, but I think it’s so much simpler than that. I listen and honor each interaction with my full attention. I believe in being present, and that’s how I’ve made such progress in my own development.
In life, we often get caught up in the serious nature of it all, which is why play and creativity becomes more important to me each year. I find it essential to stop and experience the beauty of this world as much as humanly possible. So, whether I’m out surfing, watching my garden grow, or on an adventure, I can’t help but get wrapped up in the wonder of it all. This is the one life we have to live, so let’s make it exceptional.