Each individual featured in Motivation for Learning and Performance was personally interviewed by the author.

To assist in the analysis of motivation, full transcripts, audio, and video of the interviews are accessible at no cost via site REGISTRATION.  


Leadership can be defined in many ways.  For some, being a leader is excelling in a chosen field.  For others, leadership means setting a positive example for others to follow. Leadership is often demonstrated by using one's talents and abilities to enhance the lives of others. Although there is no magic formula or exact script to become a successful leader, all leaders know the power of motivation. 

The individuals featured on this page help exemplify what leadership means.  Their experiences are used as examples throughout Motivation for Learning and Performance to illustrate and explain the scientific principles discussed in the book. Each individual exemplifies a unique combination of drive, spirit, and abiltiy that has helped them reach their personal and professional goals. Click on each name below and learn more about their challenges, their obstacles, and which motivational strategies they used to achieve their goals.


Bernard "Bernie" Madoff is a man with an international reputation.  Convicted of the largest securities fraud  in the history of the world, arguably Madoff demonstrated extraordinary motivation to reach his desired goal. Before incarceration, he amassed billions of dollars in wealth for his celebrity clients.  Vilified in the media for his fraudulent investment advisory business, Madoff explained why the media has exploited his story and what really motivated his behavior.  Read more... 


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Cheryl (l) and Rebecca Hines (r) are a dynamic duo!  Cheryl is best known for her starring role on the hit HBO comedy show Curb Your Enthusiasm, but Cheryl's talent and abilities transcend TV and include many successes in theater, cinema, writing, and directing.  Dr. Rebecca Hines is an academic star at the University of Central Florida with renowned expertise in exceptional education. Yes, their careers are very different, but the commonalities between them may surprise you. Read more...


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Nick Lowery, is a 16-year NFL veteran (NE Patriots, KC Chiefs, NY Jets) and a 3X Pro Bowl Player, who when he retired in 1996 ranked first in NFL career field goal percentage and also held the record for the most career field goals in NFL history.  Now a successful entrepreneur and leadership trainer, Nick heads the Nick Lowery Youth foundation an organization dedicated to education and anti-bullying. Read more...


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LaSonya Moore is a 38-year-old African American, who grew up in an inter-city urban environment, or in what most people call “the ghetto.” As a young girl it was difficult for LaSonya to have big dreams, because her life appeared so small. She had the first of her two sons while still in high school, but childbirth didn’t temper her drive and ambition. As LaSonya told us she refused to become what society considered “another statistic” because of the color of her skin or because of what she didn’t know as young woman. Read more...


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Senator Darren Soto  is an attorney and member of the Florida Senate, representing the 14th District, which includes parts of Orange, Osceola, and Polk Counties in central Florida. He is currently the Senate Minority Deputy Whip.  Darren believes that the role of a politician is to serve his constituency through strong bipartisan cooperation.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University in 2000 and Juris Doctor from George Washington University. Read more...


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Alexis Paige Dixon is a courageous young lady. At a critical juncture during brain surgery, Alex, age 12, had a stroke . . .  Alex was a normal, bright, and healthy little girl, when the sudden onset of a mysterious illness began to take over her life. Doctors across the country were at a loss for answers. A last ditch attempt at treatment—brain surgery—ended up with unexpected consequences. Read more...


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Nick Holes gave up the conventional life of suburbia, including traditional college and business to pursue his dream by becoming a profession piercer. His innovative and authentic approach to life reveals that there is much more to the culture of body art than one might imagine.  Nick tells the story of how his choices have lead to a life of happiness. Read more...


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Jessi Colter is an internationally known country music star. She is best known for her collaboration with her husband, country singer and songwriter, the legendary outlaw Waylon Jennings, and for her 1975 country-pop crossover hit "I'm not Lisa". Mother of country star Shooter Jennings, a celebrity in his own right, Jessi is a country music icon who... Read more


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Alec Torelli is a professional gambler who travels the globe seeking high-stakes poker action. He has twice played on the final table at the world renowned World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, where the winner earns $10,000,000. On any given day Alec may be risking a fortune but, contrary to conventional wisdom he doesn't play poker for the money....Read more


Amanda Boxtel, sometimes known as the bionic woman, is an writer, activist, and motivational speaker that maybe more than anyone on earth knows the power of motivation.  Victim of a paralyzing ski accident Amanda was unable to walk for 22 years before becoming the world's first recipient of an exoskeleton providing her complete mobility...Read more  


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Robert Knowling, Jr. is an entrepreneur, business turn-around guru and a expert in leadership. He has served on the Board of Directors of 12 different corporations.  He is a CEO and global business development consultant that knows the key to organizational success is motivating others....Read more