- Servant Leadership
- Healthcare industry entrepreneur
- Counterintuitive philosophies into the international business spotlight
- Expert in Human Creativity
- Counterintuitive Thinking Strategy
- Creative problem solving.
Alexander J. Berardi, CounterThink™ expert, insatiable curiosity and tradition shattering preoccupation still get him into trouble on a regular basis.
A series of IQ tests revealed young Berardi wasn’t the hopeless dunce he was being made out to be; but a genius—with an IQ estimated to be above 189.
Berardi quickly regained his love for learning, his lust for experimentation and his intolerance of the status quo.
Berardi’s trademark counterintuitive business strategy now known as CounterThink™. The way Berardi tells it, “CounterThink™ is all about “discovering Innovation by examining the opposite side of everything.”
Within eighteen months, the venture went from a staff of two to one employing hundreds of doctors, nurses and medical research technicians.
This level of growth is certainly exciting, but it also comes with its share of unique challenges. For instance, raising operating capital to pay salaries was a near impossibility.
Berardi recalls the experience: “At the time, nobody took a twenty-something entrepreneur seriously. We were laughed out of more banks than I can even remember.”
CounterThink™ is Born
Every one of the clients fueling the explosive growth of Berardi’s fledgling company could have easily turned the tables on his outrageous demands and laughed him right out of business.
But, oddly enough, none of the companies balked at the notion and the young renegade walked away with exactly what he needed.
Leadership Struggles Put CounterThink™ to the Test
In just twenty-four short months, Berardi’s little shop had grown to “corporate” proportions, but the organization’s leader knew nothing at all about leading people.
“It was trial by fire,” Berardi recalled. “I was floundering, and I couldn’t figure out why,” he added. “I read every management and leadership book I could get my hands on, I went to all the seminars, and I did exactly what the experts said to do…but all l got was frustrated”, said Berardi.
The young entrepreneur recalled feeling helpless, like the place was running amuck, and all he could do was stand by and watch it happen. Then finally, and maybe because he had finally run out of management how-to reading material, he came up with what he called “the perfect solution.”
Berardi’s perfect solution?
To stop following the advice of the so-called experts, and instead, do the exact opposite of what they said to do.
“It was like that episode of Seinfeld— where George rationalizes that every decision he’s ever made has been wrong, and every hunch he’s ever had has led him to failure. So, he decides to go completely against his gut and do the exact opposite of what he would normally do.
Ten years later, the painful problems one normally associates with leadership where nowhere to be found in Berardi’s organization. Over that ten-year period the company had grown to employ over eighteen hundred professionals, and had branched out into many other fields.
But doing the opposite, once again, turned out to be a winning strategy for Berardi. There was a pattern building here.
It wasn’t long before others started noticing Berardi’s success, and began seeking him out for advice. One day Berardi got a call from the CEO of a hospital management corporation, asking him to please come and present his leadership strategies at a meeting of his executives. Berardi, being naturally shy and somewhat self-conscious, turned him down flat.
“Me, get up in front of a group of total strangers and give a speech…I’d rather sit in a hot tub and open a vein,” Berardi recalled saying.
But the executive proved far more tenacious than Berardi had anticipated. “The guy called me every day, for two years, begging me to come and speak. I finally caved to the pressure and told him I’d come
although I thought it was more common sense than anything else,” said Berardi.
Berardi must have said something worthwhile that day, because he was soon flooded with additional requests to deliver the same message to other eager audiences.
Berardi’s counterintuitive message—a leader’s primary role is to serve the needs of those he leads—soon became popular among leaders in the healthcare and pharmaceutical fields.
As time passed, and success stories poured in, his offbeat strategies became more and more mainstream.
Berardi went on to deliver his counterintuitive teachings, hundreds of times, to executives and entrepreneurs in many other industries including retail, hotel and hospitality, banking, insurance and finance, biometrics, and direct sales.
“Twenty years ago, if you would have told me I’d be doing what I am today, I would have told you to lay down and wait for the drugs to wear off.”
But as counterintuitive as it may seem for an introvert to make his living in front of an audience, it all seems to be working out just fine. It also seems that this “shy, awkward, underachiever” might have found his niche. Anyone watching can tell Berardi loves what he is doing.
“Berardi’s not at all what you’d expect, given his renegade reputation. From the moment you meet him, his unassuming nature, and shy, boyish manner are disarming. He’s totally at ease on stage, too—dialoging with the crowd like they were a group of close friends over for dinner. Only when you engage him one-on-one do you begin to see his trademark bashfulness come into play.”
“Berardi is a master motivator”.
“He has a seemingly uncanny ability to translate complex ideas and insights into a language the rest of us can understand.
He then weaves his wisdom nuggets together with a patchwork of intoxicating stories and colorful real-life examples that leave even the most jilted seminar goers overflowing with enthusiasm. Watching him at work—whether on stage, with a client over the telephone, or interacting with his staff, even a casual observer can tell he deeply cares about people.”
For him it’s all about his passion for entrepreneurs and for the message—“There is no safety in numbers,” he’s fond of saying.
“Only crowds of lazy thinkers hopelessly trying to discover new ideas by looking the same old places.”
Dare to be different, he tells us. His CounterThink™ success strategy in a nutshell:
“Just watch what everybody else is doing, and then do the opposite.”
Books by Alexander J. Berardi
- Never Offer Your Comb to a Bald Man:How to get what you want by giving others what they need!
- Wishes of the Soul