I am a stutterer and am always going to be a stutterer.

As a stutterer, I knew I had to work smarter and harder than fluent speakers to be successful in my career. That’s what led me to HCRI where I acquired the tools that enabled me to speak fluently.

With a continuing drive for excellence and my new-found communication abilities, I was able to excel through the ranks of a global corporation. I was told by H.R. that I would be appointed within a year as the new company G.M. Yet, when it came time for the board of directors to vote, they chose someone else to fill the position.

It was a tremendous blow – especially since I had turned down a lucrative job offer on the assurance that I was in line for the big job. As a result, I left the company and put my expertise and success strategies to work for another organization; this time an advertising agency.

One day, shortly after I left, I received a call from a board member from my former company. He was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer and wanted to meet with me right away. In our conversation, he revealed that he had resigned because one board member convinced others that my stuttering was a symptom of mental illness and I could not be trusted to lead the company.

I was shocked by the news and resolved that day to prove my abilities by making my current company the best in the world. Fifteen years later, the organization rose to the top of the ad agency world and I had accomplished my goal.

I am a stutterer and am always going to be a stutterer. I am fluent most of the time because I practice each day the techniques I learned at HCRI. I believe the miracle is in each of us to succeed. We must use what we have.

Sander A. Flaum
Managing Partner & CEO
Flaum Partners

Chairman, Fordham Leadership Forum
Fordham Graduate School of Business