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    NARRATOR: Mike Siegel is a communications consultant; a media giant; a pop culture icon, you can find him on Wikipedia; a big mouth lawyer; a liberal turned conservative; an advocate of business; a bit of a health nut; and a good momma's boy from Brooklyn. What most people don't know is that Mike Siegel has a PhD in communications, volunteers for several charity groups, and has dedicated much of his life to higher education both as student and teacher. Now, enjoy this presentation from Dr. Siegel.

    DR. SIEGEL: Folks, in order to explain the process of how we come to a decision, how do we solve a problem, many of you listening right now work in corporations, work as managers, work as executives, and I know sometimes it gets frustrating, because meetings can become basically run-on sentences. They go on forever, and they never solve the problem that you were really were there intending to solve in the first place; so, how do we go about solving those problems for which we are meeting? That's part of leadership.

    Leadership functions are involved directly, as I have been trying to say all along, in solving the problems for which we are getting together, and so, let's deal with that in a very concrete way. There is a system that I have used over the years that works with groups, repeatedly and consistently. It's a system that is almost flawless if you implement it the way it is supposed to be implemented. It is called the reflective thinking process. I will do a little bit of an example with that right now.

    I have a kind guinea pig over here, who decided he would participate with me in this, without even knowing where we are going with this, and so it will give you a real concrete way of understanding how you can actually come to a decision or solve a problem when you are in a group with some of your colleagues.

    It's called the reflective thinking process, and Denny Andrews joins us. Confessions of a Mortgage Insider is his book. I'll tell you, Denny, that's a subject that is desperately needed out there in the marketplace, so good luck with the book, first of all, and thanks for being with us.

    DENNY ANDREWS: Yeah, thanks a lot, Mike, I'm happy to be here and learn more about your process for solving problems, because coming from the mortgage industry, there's no shortage of them.

    DR. SIEGEL: All right, that's for sure. So let's take this one. Let's take one, and maybe people out there can relate to this or identify with it. You certainly can professionally, watching people in this situation. Let's take the problem of people who were qualified for loans and because of all of the changes in the mortgage industry, they're no longer qualified. Income-stated loans are no longer acceptable stated income, and those sorts of things, for many banks, many mortgage companies, restrictions are much greater. There is much more scrutiny. There is a much more microscopic look at people's records and credit and background and income and all of that. So, let's deal with that, and let's go to the first step, taking that. Does that make sense, talk about that issue?

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    DENNY ANDREWS: Absolutely. That's a great issue, and I'm sure there are lots of people that are probably in that same boat right now.

    DR. SIEGEL: All right, so let's go to the first step. The first step in this reflective thinking process is the formulation of the problem as a question. Now, that means it cannot be answered yes or no; it must be simply phrased so that people understand it, and it's open-ended. So, give us, in your mind, what an open-ended, simply phrased question would be about the topic that we're talking about.

    DENNY ANDREWS: I think the open-ended question would probably be something along the line of how can I qualify for a mortgage loan now that a loan I had has been turned down?

    DR. SIEGEL: Okay, so in this environment, though, we could maybe even simplify that.

    DENNY ANDREWS: Yeah, sure, in this environment, how can I qualify for a mortgage loan in this changing environment?

    DR. SIEGEL: Perfect. Okay, so, how do I qualify for a mortgage loan in this changing environment? Now, the second step is a definition of the problem, so we're all on the same page. Define that problem for us from which that question emanates.

    DENNY ANDREWS: The problem would be the fact that we no longer have a stable mortgage industry. You may be approved today, and five days from now, either the lender you were approved with is out of business, the program you were approved on has been canceled, or the guidelines have changed such that you no longer fit the guidelines anymore. So, things are changing so fast and furiously that you don't have a single target anymore; it's a moving target, and once you get a loan approval, you have to try to stay within that target, so that would be the issues.

    DR. SIEGEL: Okay, well done. Now, let's get to the third step: History of the problem, which means, how did this historically evolve as a problem in the way it is today within the mortgage industry? What happened in the mortgage industry to cause this historically... and I'm not talking, by the way, about 100 years ago. When we say History of the Problem as the third step in this outline, we're simply talking about how this problem evolved, and the history of that evolution of the problem.

    DENNY ANDREWS: Yeah, the history of this problem actually goes back less than a year. It was just last summer, the summer of 2007, that all of these loan programs that were once available: Zero down, stated income, negative amortization, no income, no asset, all of these very aggressive loan programs, within a two-month period vanished. So, all of a sudden, at one point you had a borrower who could literally borrow $2 million to buy a home, and one month later couldn't get a loan for $50,000.

  • About the Author

    Mike Siegel is a communications consultant, a media giant, a pop culture icon (you can find him on Wikipedia ™), a big mouth lawyer, a liberal-turned-conservative, an advocate of business, a bit of a healthnut and a good momma's boy from Brooklyn. What most people don't know is that Mike Siegel has a PhD in Communications, volunteers for several charity groups and has dedicated much of his life to higher education both as student and teacher.

    Mike has made numerous appearances on a variety of television talk programs including Oprah, The O'Reilly Factor, Politically Incorrect, Geraldo, Fox News Sunday and more. He is revered and respected but most of all he is a great lover of learning and strategic communication. We invite you to learn more about how Mike's broad professional experience and communications expertise.

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Have you envied others for their leadership skills? Are you frustrated that you have not commanded the respect of other leaders you have observed? Simply put, you can change that by exhibiting the leadership skills reviewed in this program. Listen, Learn, and Grow.

Mike Siegel is one of the nation’s foremost experts in media and communication. He is an author, attorney and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, with a PhD in Rhetoric and Communications. Few others are as uniquely qualified for understanding the nature of human communication, the political system and business positioning.

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