I am a lucky guy. I am in love with my bride of 38 years, Susan, and I feel very fortunate to work with her in the development of my career. Our work together gives me the opportunity and privilege to speak to various audiences each year. One of my audience members, Cameron G. Fisk was moved to take my “Nice Bike” messages and run with it. His questions took me back to my roots and reminded me again of how very appreciative I am. I thought you might enjoy this interview, too. Nice Bike, Cameron! — Mark
Nice Bike! An Interview with Mark Scharenbroich
By Cameron G. Fisk, originally published June 2015 at CamFisk.info
When I worked in Westmoreland, I was selected and had the true honor of joining my Principal for a trip down to Florida to attend a National Leadership Conference hosted by Josten’s Renaissance. There, I was motivated and enlightened by so many educational leaders, authors, and speakers. While I took notes at each seminar, I not only learned how to be a great leader, but was also inspired to be a better human being. Mark Scharenbroich inspired me with his humor, wit, and meaningful connections. Take a look below:
With that, one of the key concepts I took with me was the power of making meaningful connections with people. Mark Scharenbroich inspired me so much that I purchased his book, “Nike Bike”.
Upon returning home, I read the book within a day, most of which, sitting by a campfire for a few hours. Fast forward several years and I reached out to Mark for an interview. As a teacher, I have adopted the “Nice Bike” principles and applied them to my daily routine. In return, I have found my work to be rewarding, and certainly more fulfilling.
I would like to thank Mark for taking time out of his own life and routine to do this interview with me. It is an honor of mine, considering the impact he made on my daily outlook.
The following are excerpts from my interview with Mark.
Cameron: What motivates you to do what you do? What inspired you to pursue your career?
Mark: I was heavily involved in all activities during my high school years. My Dad, who worked manual labor encouraged me in this way – I told him I wanted to get a job and buy a car during high school. He said, “You are going to be working a job for the rest of your life. You can only be a kid and make memories once.” I took his advice. My senior year, a group of us formed a comedy group called, “Mom’s Apple Pie.” We did short sketch comedy. The group kept performing throughout our college years in high school and colleges. When the group broke up, I kept performing at those same schools with a comedy/message presentation entitled, “The Greatest Days of Your LIfe…so far.” The message was in line with what my Dad told me, make memories not regrets – get involved.
For twenty-five years I carried that message to more than 3,500 high schools across North America. I also started speaking to educators about their impact on the lives of students. With the invention of Google, students who heard me in high school now wanted to bring me to their company of association and speak. At that point I started speaking to business groups. The message was all about engagement and connecting with others.
What motivates me? Sharing the message my Dad gave me. Be involved in life. Be fully engaged. Contribute to those around you. Be connected.
Cameron: What are your current ambitions?
Mark: I saw the Rolling Stones in concert in Mpls. a few weeks ago. I’ve never been a Stones fan and didn’t really want to go, however my wife Susie got tickets with some friends and I reluctantly went. I was blown away. The Stones performed every song with the joy of playing it for the first time and the passion of perhaps performing it for the very last time (they are in their 70’s). My ambition is to continually create messages and deliver them with the passion of the Stones.
We have added three definitions to our Nice Bike principle of acknowledge, honor and connect:
- Acknowledge: To be fully present in the loves of others.
- Honor: To create memorable experiences for others.
- Connect: To make it personal.
My big picture ambition is focus on family, health and experiences. To always leave the campsite better than how I found it.
Cameron: Are you working on anything else at the moment?
Mark: I have never considered myself a writer. I am lucky to be married to Susan as she not only acted as the driver on the book, she also was the editor-in-chief. One of the most fulfilling aspects of writing the book is hearing back from people who have never heard me speak and to know that the book and message connected. No other books at the moment.
Cameron: What is your favorite motivational phrase or quote?
- Boy Scouts: “Leave the campsite better than how you found it.”
- Barbara Jordan: “It’s more important to be interested than interesting.”
- Mark Twain: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you discovered why.”
Cameron: What advice would you give to an educational leader?
Mark: The best schools I have ever visited have three things in common:
- A strong, visible leader who embraces excellence across the board.
- A staff that is collaborative and is on a mission to reach and teach every child.
- A school where students feel truly connected to the culture.
My advice? Never underestimate your ability to have a huge impact every single day.
Cameron: What advice would you give to your younger self?
Mark: As I noted earlier – I was involved with everything in school. Although I was never in band or choir, I went to all the concerts. I was connected to all the different groups in the school. I made memories – not regrets…so my only advice to a younger self would be: Push even more, do even more, tap the potential and work harder to see what you can truly do.