October 26

Umar Hameed


John Saunders The Optimizer

On Episode 95 of The No Limits Selling Podcast, we have John Saunders, Founder of Forward Advisory Solutions. When he was working on Wall Street, John Saunders (EMBA’17) discovered so much talent in his peers whose skills, he observed, were under-utilized due to their fear of a changing environment. After writing about his observations in a LinkedIn series, Saunders will publish a book titled “The Optimizer” this December.

Saunders wanted to create a greater awareness and show how innovation, albeit frightening, is necessary.

“I hope to instill this same sort of passion and excitement that I have for leading change in people who read this book,” said Saunders “I hope readers discover how you can build a team of what I like to call “optimizers” or a “team of optimization” to drive meaningful change within your organization.”

The book can be a tool to engage people around in specific missions and processes. When people are energized by being part of the organization, he said, that’s what will drive change. Rallying around the energy they have around their passions is what fuels ingenuity in a business. 

He shared that he had not intended to write a book, but after sharing his series of posts with Prashant Malaviya, senior associate dean for MBA programs and associate professor of marketing, Malaviya suggested the posts could be something larger. 

Saunders’ engagement at Georgetown extends past the Executive MBA (EMBA) program. He is a member of McDonough’s MBA Alumni Advisory Council (MAAC), he mentors students on Hoya Gateway, and he is a formal EMBA mentor. He attributes this passion for leadership to his time at Georgetown McDonough.

“I will never forget the advice I received from Bardia Kamrad, senior associate dean for executive degree programs, who helped me solidify the lessons our professors taught us during this program,” he said. “He asked us to carry the Georgetown values forward by creating opportunities for others, not just yourself.” 

“The Optimizer” highlights these pivotal moments during his time at Georgetown McDonough. Saunders suggests that instead of berating failures, you celebrate and learn from them. That way innovation keeps surging forward to create new opportunities for others down the line. 

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[EDITOR’S NOTE: This podcast is sponsored by No Limits Selling. It is a fun, fast-paced podcast that delivers hard-fought business advice that you can implement today to improve your sales and performance]

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Introduction and Background

The podcast begins with an introduction of John Saunders, who is described as the "Optimizer". Saunders has a forthcoming book that discusses how individuals and organizations can optimize themselves to gain an edge. He draws from his 25 years of experience working on Wall Street, where he observed many individuals with incredible abilities that were often left hidden due to complacency or fear.

Motley Fool's Story

Saunders shares his experience interviewing the founders of Motley Fool, a company that started in the 90s with the belief that there was a better way to invest in stocks. The founders, who were English majors and loved Shakespeare, chose the name "Motley Fool" to represent their role as the speaker of truth to Wall Street. They started in an AOL chat room and have evolved significantly since then.

The Optimizer Mindset

The key element of Saunders' book is the principles that make up the "optimizer mindset". These principles include being vulnerable, being a problem solver, being customer-centric, and having an extraordinary focus on excellence. Saunders believes that these skills are crucial for both leaders and contributors in an organization. He shares a personal story of how he sought feedback from his best relationships to improve his performance, which led to him winning a significant award the following year.

Brand Awareness

Saunders discusses the importance of brand awareness, using a personal anecdote to illustrate how one's brand is what people say about them when they're not around. He emphasizes the need for individuals to manage their brand effectively, making others aware of their contributions and achievements.

Building Trust and Unleashing Potential

The ultimate goal of Saunders' book is to help individuals build trust and create a process system to unleash their gifts. He believes that building trust is a crucial part of this process, and there's a whole chapter dedicated to it in his book. He also discusses the importance of creating a safe environment where people feel comfortable expressing their opinions and ideas.


In conclusion, the podcast with John Saunders provides valuable insights into the principles of optimization in both personal and professional contexts. Drawing from his extensive experience on Wall Street and interactions with successful companies like Motley Fool, Saunders emphasizes the importance of vulnerability, problem-solving, customer-centricity, and a relentless focus on excellence. He shares personal anecdotes to illustrate the power of feedback and brand awareness in personal growth and career advancement.

His forthcoming book, as discussed in the podcast, aims to guide individuals and organizations in building trust, creating safe environments for expression, and ultimately unleashing their full potential. The podcast serves as a compelling exploration of the "optimizer mindset" that Saunders believes is key to success and growth.

Questions & Answers

Who is John Saunders and what is his background?

What is the "Optimizer Mindset" that John Saunders talks about?

What is the significance of the Motley Fool's story in Saunders' discussion?

How does John Saunders view the role of feedback in personal and professional growth?

Why does Saunders emphasize the importance of brand awareness?

What is the main goal of Saunders' forthcoming book?

How does Saunders view the importance of creating a safe environment in organizations?

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About the author 

Umar Hameed

Umar Hameed is an expert in changing individual behavior and improving team dynamics. He uses techniques and tools from the world of Applied Neuroscience and NLP to make individuals and organizations more successful. His business savvy and neuroscience combination gives him the unique ability to help salespeople become exceptional. Umar is an international keynote speaker who has done presentations in 16 countries. ✅✅✅He is the author of three books; the latest is Unleash Your Crazy Sexy Brain!


brand awareness, career advancement, real estate

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