Earl R. Smith II. PhD

(Read More From My Blog)

(From Self-Sabotage: 12 Nasty Habits):  


  • Make or become different
  • Take or use another instead of
  • The act or instance of making or becoming different

This definition is a useful place to start. Notice the three different parts. The first is intentional towards an object – either animate or inanimate. “I changed the color of my car.” The second implies an alternative. “I used this rather than that.” The third is intentional within. “I changed my mind.” It is this part of the definition that will serve us best as we work through the chapter.


OK – I’ll admit it – “over my dead body” is an offer that I have sometimes found very hard to refuse. I make a distinction between serious dedication to exhaustive inquiry – constructive engagement – and the kind of pig-headed obstructionism that this behavior evidences.

I have great patience for constructive engagement – a dedication to detail and thoroughness. Often it has been the differentiator that has allowed me to prevail over the shallow-water types who just skim the surface and phone it in. I like to have lots of constructive engagers around me. They are the professionals who will beat out the amateur every time.

The type I am describing here has none of those positive characteristics. These are people who just don’t want their routine disturbed – don’t want the deckchairs rearranged even if the ship is sinking – can’t stand the idea that the world of tomorrow might be different from their world today. Since all life is change, they are, in a fundamental way, in opposition to life itself.

I look back on the first three months of my work with Dr. Smith with wonder. My journal reflects a journey of self-discovery so vast that I hardly recognize the person who wrote the first entries. It's been a year now and I am happier now than I have ever been.

PJ, Mentoring Client

"It's the most amazing experience I have ever had. I needed to find a new path. A friend recommended Dr. Smith. What was most amazing was the wisdom and perception that he brought. New vistas have opened up and, as a result, a new chapter in my life. There's no way that I could put a value on what he has contributed to my life."

Mentoring Client, CEO and Serial Entrepreneur

"Chief - that's how Dr.Smith was introduced to me and, based on our work together, I have come to understand why - helped me focus on the possibilities that I had been missing in my life. He guided through developing a new vision for my life. My life is richer because of working with him."

Mentoring Client

"Earl is a wise mentor with lots of experience. He has a great way of explaining things and getting you to look at them from another perspective. Dr. Smith is a tough mentor, but, if you can learn just some of what he knows, your life will change forever."

Mentoring Client, Deloitte

“Dr. Smith is a very different kind of mentor. If you’re looking for a warm and fuzzy adviser, this is the wrong guy for you. But if you are dedicated to change and want to be challenged by a very experienced mentor Earl may be just what you are looking for.”

CEO of Croix Connect and Host of ABC Radio’s ‘Taking Care of Business’

“Dr. Smith's mentorship has been of great value and inspiration to my personal and professional development. I felt the need to take a new direction. He helped me sort out the possibilities and showed me ones that I never considered. Working with him has been a truly life-changing experience.”

Partner, IT & Telecom, Defense Solutions