A tribute from Art Bauer

How would you like to have a mentor and friend who was the first business author to appear on the NY Times best-seller list, the first hall of famer and charter member at the National Speakers’ Association. He was a top management consultant who gave me and gave the Army the goal of “be all you can be.” My mentor also wrote 12 books, was featured in 42 videos and traveled extensively as a world-wide speaker. He was truly a brilliant man.

My mentor was also my boss for seven years, and for the first four years would spend two to three hours a day two to three days a week coaching me, teaching me, and answering my questions.

That mentor’s name is Mr. Joe Batten founder and president of Batten, Batten Hudson and Swab Inc. a management education, media, and management consulting firm. His personal mission statement was “enrich others through the richness of his own” and he did just that. Joe Batten passed on February 20, 2006.

I founded and built the largest soft-skill video training company in the world, American Media Incorporated. Had it not been for Joe AMI would never have happened. He taught me what I needed to accomplish that goal, and he taught me what to teach others in the videos as well.

Someone asked me recently “what is the best gift you ever received from Joe Batten?” He has given me so much, so very much, but the answer was not what you might think, not just a lot of knowledge concerning people, business, management, leadership, and psychology but something even more important than that. The answer to the question, Joe Batten gave me unconditional acceptance and love. No matter what I said or did I was always OK in Joes eyes. But many times I needed to change my behavior, and he was quick to build on strengths, not dwell on weaknesses, but was always strongly candid, sharing reality with me and caring at the same time. And that was his favorite phrase and he practiced it to the fullest “Build on Strengths don’t dwell on weaknesses”.

For 36 years Joe Batten was first my friend and then my mentor. My time with him at BBH&S was the best seven years of my life. I learned so much, gained so much in skill, in experience, in knowledge and most importantly in acceptance and love.

What an incredible opportunity, I accepted his mentoring and gifts to the fullest, delivered by the best mentor and friend one could ever have, Joe Batten.

Art Bauer