Nice Start


You know that you have to buy a ticket if you want to win the lottery. You know that there’s not some vast secret of life that can only be told now. You know that if the universe maintains an advice department, it’s more likely to encourage that you take action than to recommend that you sit at home and hope really hard. You know that few of the people you admire attribute their joy and success to wishful thinking. You find it hard to imagine Captain Picard facing a galactic emergency on the starship Enterprise by commanding his crew, “Wish it so!”

You’re a grown-up. You don’t need someone to tell you “you can do it” and to fill you with heroic imagery of gold medals, triumphant parades, or soaring eagles. You already know, grasshopper. You’ve learned by experience that it works to work at something and that there’s not enough time to work at everything.

You have learned much. You realize the difference between positive and negative thinking. You know the value of honesty, especially with yourself. You respect responsibility, in others and in yourself, and its power to inspire progress. You understand the strength of integrity.

What comes next, what you do with what you’ve learned, is up to you.

This presentation is not about silver bullets, magic pills, psychobabble, too-good-to-be-true anecdotes, or be-like-me advice. It is about good questions, because from good questions come good answers.

This presentation is not about my answers to those questions. I’m not wise enough, brash enough, or young enough to have your answers. It is about good questions and YOUR good answers.

Mark Chussil


Mark Chussil is Founder and CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies, Inc., and a Founder of Crisis Simulations International, LLC. Mark designed ACS’ award-winning ValueWar® simulator and CSI’s patent-pending DXMA™ simulator. He’s helped executives in dozens of Fortune Global 500 companies on six continents, and he’s a frequent speaker about simulation and strategy decisions at conferences. Mark has published a book on strategy simulation and analysis, chapters for five books, and dozens of articles. He has been featured and quoted in CBS News, Computerworld, Fast Company, Harvard Management Update, Oregon Business, The Wall Street Journal, and more.

Mark earned his MBA from Harvard and his BA from Yale.

All of which is barely relevant for this presentation. What’s more relevant is that he’s been around, seen a lot, thought a lot, and written Nice Start: Personal Growth for Grown-Ups.