Ignite creative genius in all aspects of your life.
Bio for Mark Shekter
Mark Shekter is the Co-Founder and CEO of Think8 Global, an international business design firm headquartered in Montreal, Canada. His progressive system is used in business schools and university post-graduate programs in both the US and Canada.
He is also a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and original thinker who has pioneered a new system of creative thinking empowering start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in building robust and sustainable enterprises. His book, “Think8: 8 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Genius in Business, Career, & Life,” quickly soared to #1 in five categories in pre-release on Amazon.
Mark has a unique background as an internationally acclaimed producer, writer, and composer for film, television, and new media, with numerous honors, including Emmys, New York Film Critics, and US Parents Choice Awards.
In this episode, I have the pleasure of having an interview with Mark Shekter, the multi-talented individual. Mark shares his journey from a small Jewish community in Canada to Hollywood and how his upbringing shaped his innovative approach to business. He discusses the importance of mentorship, collaboration, and creating a positive work environment. Mark’s 8-step program, outlined in his book “Think 8,” is designed to help individuals unlock their creative potential in business, career, and life, and he gives a sneak peek into the eight steps.
- “If you’re not operating your best, if you haven’t created that space and that structure, then the company is suffering to that degree.”
Mark grew up in a family of lawyers but he took a different path and joined arts. He did art for fun, and little by little, people started picking up his work. Before he knew it, he was directing movies in Hollywood. According to Mark, his upbringing was a fertile ground for his talent. His mother was involved with amateur theatre, and his father was a musician. Being a man of many talents, he recalls the many mentors in his life who saw his talent, held his hand, and helped him flourish.
Hamilton, where Mark was born, had a close-knit Jewish community, and all their events were community-based. Everybody was mixed and knew each other. From this backdrop Mark always did his homework to have a better understanding of anyone he worked with. Mark had an opportunity to create a film about the famous soul musician Ray Charles, who was visually impaired. Ray Charles was always performing behind a curtain because of the audience and manager prejudice at the time. Mark wanted to get Ray Charles seen in a unique way. Mark filmed Ray Charles playing the piano with reflective glasses on, and the musicians in the background. He focused a camera on every musician. Every camera had a monitor, and the monitors were placed in front of Ray Charles. As each musician entered the song, they were seen in Ray’s reflective glasses, which was a new movie device.
Personality and Temperaments:
Mark believes he is blessed with good genes. His father passed on at almost 100 years of age, and he believes he will live as long. He is a good mediator because he listens well and is always interested in the people he works with. Mark recalls one day when he sat on a negotiation table, and he was silent. The people who were presenting said to his partner that he looked serious and unhappy with the deal. They offered to pay him more. Gary, Mark’s partner, then thought this silence was a brilliant way to get a bigger salary, but in reality, Mark was just listening and did not have a hidden agenda.
Mark was used to being a free agent where he would do everything by himself. When he moved to the USA, he got the shock of his life. People were working in teams, and he was no longer a freelancer; he had a job where he would work from 9 to 5, then pitch his idea, then go to the studio from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am.
He recalls his first big break as a writer. Two producers gave 12 writers an opening line and they all had to come up with a script. The producers made it clear that their contributions would earn them credit. Mark admired the other writers who were his seniors and had written award-winning shows. When Mark pitched his idea, the producers were impressed and Mark ended up writing 50% of the show.
What Brings the Best out of Mark?
Mark believes that with creativity you can influence your environment. He works with people who are open and interested in bettering themselves.
Check out his book, “Think8: 8 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Genius in Business, Career, & Life”.
Mark Shekter certainly had talent in the arts growing up and had opportunities to develop that talent in Eastern Canada where he lived. But his dogged determination to learn from volunteering on film sets is what took him into the world of acting, producing, and directing. He now has a comprehensive list of personal connections with arts celebrities around the world and is well-respected for his work, having won many awards for it. I was intrigued to hear Mark’s story and to find out how he now gives back those who did not have advantages, by intentionally developing their careers. His philosophy and book, “Think 8: 8 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Genius in Business, Career, & Life”, is used in business colleges around the world.