Meet Skip

Hello, I’m Skip Prichard. Just like you, I’m on a journey. I work hard every day to be a little bit better at everything I do. I’ve learned amazing things over the years from a wide range of highly accomplished people, as well as during my own professional experiences. I’m thrilled to share these insights with you. Thank you for joining me on this journey.

Skip Prichard is an accomplished CEO and growth-oriented business leader, best-selling author, and global keynote speaker.

Skip is an Inc. Top 100 Leadership Speaker and author of the WSJ bestselling book, The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future. He is known for his track record of successfully repositioning companies, dramatically improving results and corporate culture. He is a keynote speaker on topics ranging from leadership, personal development, growth strategies, culture, corporate turnarounds, and the future of publishing.

His views have been featured in print and broadcast media including the BBC, The New York Times, CNN, NPR, The Daily Beast, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Writer’s Digest, Information Today, Inc., The Bookseller, Publishers Weekly, Christian Retailing, Forbes, and the Library Journal.

Let’s start this with a confession.

I’m not sure if it’s unusual for a blogger, but I’m uncomfortable writing a section about myself. It seems self-centered and I can’t imagine anyone caring to know anything personal. My career has been as a CEO and business leader, and I’ve always been much more at ease talking about a company than writing about me. If you want to skip all the personal, great with me!  Jump down to the paragraph that starts “professionally” or see my profile on LinkedIn. Or, if you’d rather read about this blog and what it’s all about, you can click here. You can also read various news stories where I am quoted or interviewed here.

But some wise friends have offered me advice, and I’ve consistently heard that the personal side is important. So, I will move the section about the company below the section about me. Deep breath, and here we go.

I grew up in Maryland.

What that really means is that I carry a tin of Old Bay with me and sprinkle it on everything I eat.  It’s just something we Marylanders do.  From vegetables to popcorn, pretty much everything but dessert tastes better that way.

Being from Maryland also means that I love the beach and can body surf with the best of them.  Since I mentioned Old Bay, I should say I’m a devoted foodie.

I’m equally comfortable eating tacos at Moe’s as a great steak at Morton’s.  Mostly, I love regional cuisine at locally owned restaurants.  Speaking of what I’m equally comfortable with, when I was a kid, I also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, meaning I’m ok camping on a trail or staying at the Four Seasons.  Okay, maybe not.

I’m a lifelong student of success.

I guess I was an unusual kid who listened to motivational seminars and read inspirational books.  (For more about how I grew up, see my first post Room for One More).  I still love to watch and listen to great speakers, which is one reason I love visiting churches, community events, and seminars of all types.  Who wouldn’t want to hear great advice while watching people who speak for a living?  I love speaking and give a good number of keynote speeches on a wide variety of topics from personal development to trends in the information and publishing businesses.

And now I need to pause and let you know that I’ve written my first book. Deep breath again! Why are you reading this so far into this bio? Because writing a book is scary. What if everyone hates it?! It’s a big risk to put yourself out there in a book! So far, the reviews have been amazing and encouraging. Phew! I knew that my mom would like it, but when you get endorsements from the likes of Andy Andrews, Jon Gordon, Stephen M.R. Covey, Lee Woodruff, Bob Burg, and Michael Hyatt, well, that’s a sigh of relief!

I’m sure you want to stop and immediately purchase a copy. I can’t blame you. Here’s how…

What is standing between you and your wildest dreams?

The Book of Mistakes, a self-help tale wrapped in fiction, will take you on an inspiring journey through nine mistakes that prevent many of us from achieving our goals. This success parable is packed with wisdom that will help you discover and follow your personal purpose, push beyond your perceived capabilities, and achieve more than you ever dreamed possible.

Order your copy today or find it in a library near you.

If you really want to learn more about the book, visit the book’s website. You’ll see some great endorsements about it, but also the amazing bonuses now available!

(Yet another update on the book: it hit two national bestseller lists. Publisher’s Weekly top 25 for all non-fiction in week one and then Wall Street Journal at #8 a few weeks later. This is one amazed new author!)

OK, back to the exciting information about me. If you’re still with me…

I’ve had a long love affair with books.

My house has shelves everywhere.  My wife even surprised me for Christmas and had shelves added in our furnace room.

Yes, I own every digital device, too, but I still love to have printed books around. You just feel smarter when Steve Jobs and George Washington are staring down at you from a shelf. My insomnia is also a big help because I have a lot of extra hours in the day to read.

I’m married to the most amazing woman.

She’s probably even more uncomfortable with me writing about her than I am writing about myself. Strike that, no question about it. So, I will limit what I write about her to say we’ve been married over 25 years and I’m still crazy about her. For our 25th, I wrote about our marriage publicly and she was okay with it! You can read about our experiences here. My daughter is also phenomenal, and we spend a ton of time together.

We finally scheduled a new photo. I guess we do this every ten years!

Time in the gym is important.

I need to burn the calories and I find it the best way to reduce stress. If you’re still reading this, maybe you also have insomnia or maybe I have put you to sleep. I love tea, and have about six thousand types of tea in our pantry. We’re talking tea leaves and the whole thing. Dark chocolate is my sweet of choice, and I can list the health benefits as if my life depended on it. Naturally, I store my chocolate bars in the vitamin cabinet where they belong.

Finally, I love attending live sports events of all types. I miss Camden Yards, but I am excited to attend some Ohio State Buckeyes games. Finally, I’m addicted to Twitter. I wrote a piece on why I joined Twitter. Twitter gave me a little blue check next to my name calling me verified, which may be what they do when you’re always on? I also wrote about why I started blogging.

Okay, I think that’s enough personal information for now.  Not so bad.

Professionally, I’ve enjoyed running companies.

I’ve had the chance to run businesses in almost every business cycle from start-ups to very mature businesses in the billions of dollars.

I am the President & CEO of OCLC. Based in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a global nonprofit computer library service and research organization.  Its goals include furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs.  Full credit goes to a wonderful team of leaders who are helping transform the organization.  One cool fact most don’t know about it is that, not only are we a technology company, but we also publish the Dewey Decimal system.  Before OCLC, I spent about five years as President & CEO of Ingram Content Group, Inc. Ingram is one of the largest behind the scenes companies in the book business. During that time, we had great success repositioning the company to improve results and grow key parts of business significantly. We expanded our operations as far away as Australia while also pushing further into digital business lines.  Prior to Ingram, I was President & CEO of ProQuest Information & Learning where I led the company through a dramatic financial turnaround.

If you are still not sleeping, you may want to read my official bio on LinkedIn.  That’s written in the third person, making it much more official.

I recently learned that Wikipedia has a page on me as well if you want to jump around even more.

Thank you for visiting and joining this leadership journey.  Whether you agree or disagree, I appreciate you stopping by to read and encourage you to voice your comments.

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