About the Series

The I in Team Series explores three separate areas of life, starting with the self. In Find the “I” in Team, you will be led on a journey to find who you are as an individual. In Be the “I” in Team, you will learn the traits of a positive leader and come to understand the momentous responsibility of your influence. In Build the “I” in Team, you will learn how to build the best teams in your life by being a positive leader. The I in Team Series was created by Brian Smith, inspired by his years of work as a business consultant. His second daughter, Mary Smith, went to school for English literature and continues working with Brian in the writing, editing, and development of The I in Team Series.

About the Authors

Dr. Brian Smith

Brian Smith was born to a lower-middle-class family, raised between Illinois and California, and delved into the world of drugs as a teen – eventually learning the consequences. After being forced to choose between joining the army and going to jail, he lifted himself up from rock bottom and went on to build the American dream. Brian has built over fifty successful companies and helped over eighteen thousand business owners, leaders, managers, and employees realize their individual advantages on all seven continents.

Brian has a PhD in organizational psychology, a master’s degree in management information systems, a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and is a certified Six Sigma master black belt consultant. He has helped business owners and managers since 1988, and leverages both his thirty years of consulting experience and his varied and extensive educational background to share his insights on how to best approach personal and professional development. His love for consulting is driven by his passion to see individuals reach their full potential, as is evidenced by the thoughtful and meticulous approach he employs throughout the book.

When did you first begin to philosophize individual advantages?
In 1995 when I began working with Cornerstone Consulting Group, Inc. This company bought Business Account Solutions (our first consulting company) from us. It was with CCG, Inc. that I first recognized each individual using their advantages for the betterment of their team and clients.
What lessons do you hope people will take from the series?
That each person (individual) is an advantage to themselves and others. That the actions we take (individually) are also an advantage that helps us to gain experience in life. That experience is what we use to positively or negatively influence others. Simultaneously, we are each part of something bigger than ourselves—an Individual (group) that can be defined as family, friends, companies, towns, states, countries, etc.
What is your personal definition of prosperity?
Realizing in each moment that I am in control and responsible for my own destiny; whatever that may bring. Prosperity can be figurative to some and literal to others; prosperity is an individual concept that will vary in definition between us all and when reached it creates advantages individual to our self.
What is your personal motto?
Live in the present. There is nothing more important than what you are doing at this moment, it’s the time you have to make your best decision!
What is your favorite book?
It’s actually a series of books: the 1632 Series by Eric Flint.
What are some of your hobbies?
I love to cook with my wife (especially when it’s nice enough to grill), ride my jet ski, and watch baseball. That being said my greatest joy in life is spending time with my family!

Mary Smith

Mary Smith, Brian’s middle child, has a bachelor’s in English literature and minored in psychology at the University of Redlands. She has been working with IA Business Advisors and her father since June 2014, starting out as an editor. After graduating in 2016, she became a full-time employee; while her main job still revolves around writing and editing, she enjoys helping her team with various projects ranging from presentation creation to data analysis. Her dog, Bilbo, comes to work with her daily and is adored by all who meet him. Mary’s biggest passions in life are animal advocacy, music, reading, and art.
Why did you get involved in the individual advantages philosophy?
One of my strengths is identifying and helping people develop what makes them unique; the individual advantages philosophy directly correlates to this strength, making it a perfect opportunity for me to help more people realize their individual advantages. I love developing people and watching them grow.
What lessons do you hope people will take from the series?
That no matter how small or insignificant someone may feel, they are still an integral part of this world. Nobody is quite like them and that gives them a unique edge to offer everyone around them. Their influence matters and they matter.
What is your personal definition of prosperity?
Finding contentment in knowing that nothing is certain and nearly everything is chaos; in that chaos, I choose to see the beauty that surrounds me. My prosperity comes from finding the smallest glimmer of hope in a vast sea of darkness—knowing that I am known and seen by those who love me and whom I love.
What is your personal motto?
In the words of Neil deGrasse Tyson, “For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.”
What is your favorite book?
Hands down The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. However, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini are in close second and third. I prefer reading sad/dark fiction; it helps keep me humble.
What are some of your hobbies?
One of my favorite hobbies is making music on my computer. I love drawing with charcoal and am trying my hand at painting. Reading is always a favorite, too. My favorite nice-weather pastime is hiking