ron's books


In 2021, Ron Wagner released his first book, Relevant Different Better: 109 Bite-Sized Tips, Insights, and Lessons To Help You Stand Up and Stand Out.

Ron always fashioned himself as a bit of writer. As a kid in the mid-1970s, he would write letters to his sports heroes, asking them for autographed pictures, stickers and memorabilia. His younger brother, Ed, also wanted autographs from his heroes and would ask, “Ronnie, can you write me an autograph?”

As he hit high school, Ron got a taste of some public speaking and loved the idea of being able to influence or persuade others with the spoken or written word. When college drew a bit closer, he was either going to pursue journalism, be an ad-man or maybe a prosecuting attorney. He went the ad-man route and graduated with a degree in Advertising from Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.

Speaking of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications, in spring 2019 Ron was invited to have lunch in Philadelphia with the Dean of College. He thought it would be a group lunch with 10-20 other alums in the area, but learned it was lunch for just him. He was flattered but also puzzled as to why the Dean would be interested in meeting with him solo. During the course of lunch and conversation, the Dean told Ron that his story was interesting in that it’s so much like that of the College’s other alums. Ron thought, “Okay, maybe it’s a story worth sharing in conversation. But a book? Who’d be interested? Why would anyone care?”

Ron’s fortunate to have a strong memory. That memory has allowed him to recall and record in some detail the events of his life from childhood through present day, chronicling the events that have helped build and define him. These stories are unique to him. The fears, struggles, concerns, joys, anxieties, successes and failures of life and career were all distinctly his. Except that they weren’t. The more people Ron spoke with, the more he learned that his experiences were shared by many.  

Maybe the Dean was right. Maybe there’s value in being a normal guy going through life, building a life and career, and sharing his journey and lessons learned with others. That’s why Ron wrote the book. 

The stories found within Relevant Different Better have been shared over the years on other communications channels, and in 1-on-1 discussions, and have resonated with many people in varying occupations at various stages of their career. The book collects those stories and categorizes them.

Ron built his book knowing that time is our currency. Yes, there are chapters to categorize the content but, really, each story is its own chapter, and many stories could easily be flipped and switched to the other chapters; life, career, personal and professional development are inexorably intertwined. You can just pick up the book, open it, and read whatever story appears. Each story is a quick-read of a different step, event or observation in his — and your — progression though life and career. 

Readers flipping through the pages may see themselves in some of the stories of my development from childhood to adulthood, from neighborhood to classroom to office. They may consider the lessons and learnings shared, look for ways to apply them to their own personal and professional development then move it forward, doing their best to help make other people better along the way.

time is
our currency…  each story is its own chapter

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