By the Bay

Maruska again writes to inspire

judysalamacha@gmail.comMarch 17, 2013 

‘Unlock the great in yourself and others” is the catalyst offered in Don Maruska’s latest book, “Take Charge of Your Talent,” co-written with Jay Perry. And if further explanation about “three keys to thriving in career, organization and life” is desired, Maruska’s office has been in Morro Bay for 19 years. He loves demonstrating his concepts. Recently, he gave a presentation to Morro Bay Rotarians.

Just a few insights Maruska invites readers and audiences to ponder include: “You have a treasure chest of talent.

Every high achiever has 30 to 40 percent of untapped talent. Encourage self-motivation. Power through the obstacles. Power up your talent story. If you want to play the banjo, don’t put it in the closet.”

“What gives me joy is bringing out the best in people,” Maruska said. “My first book, ‘How Great Decisions Get Made,’ taught people how to solve tough issues together. This book encourages the individual to seek his/her passion. It is written for anyone, anytime, anywhere to take charge and be the hero of their talent story.”

Maruska took his own advice when his family deliberated about a move to the Central Coast. Wife Liz was diagnosed with urban-air allergies. Her doctor advised living by the water. His consulting business allowed them to test out Morro Bay for a month, which was all it took to give up the “Silicon Valley vortex.”

Since 1993, Maruska, a master certified coach, has helped corporations, colleges and clients maximize their potential. But first he experienced his own life lessons. After Harvard, he learned he was better suited for the private sector while serving as a legislative assistant for a political neophyte and consulting for HUD on the 1974 Housing Act.

“It was an exciting time during the Vietnam War balancing late nights researching and writing legislation and daytime meetings with Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda and random invites to Georgetown’s exclusive Jockey Club.”

He left Washington for Stanford and MBA and Juris Doctor degrees. Following the ideals of motivators such as Tom Peters (“In Search of Excellence”) and James Collins (“Good to Great”), Maruska was recruited to be vice president of E-Trade and challenged to “rethink” how brokerage houses did business. Helping hospitals become profitable while consulting for Health Advantage was his next success story. Then the emerging entrepreneur decided to coach and consult for a startup firm, Don Maruska & Co. After clients kept asking when he would put theories into a book, he added author to his portfolio.

The Maruska-Perry team has a goal encouraged by “think big” motivator, James Collins. Discover their “Take Charge 20/20 Vision” by reading the book, or better yet, invite the authors to share their hopes. You can reach him at

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at or 801-1422.

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