From Pyramids To Circles: Shaping Groups To Succeed

A small, rural Wisconsin county has created several spectacular successes as well as world, national, and state firsts. Learn how the residents of this county reach around the world with positive influences.



I am revising this book.

The cover for the new edition may change.


I wrote the first version of this book (From Pyramids To Circles: Taking Hierarchy Out Of Small Groups) as an independent study project in graduate school. I self-published it as a spiral bound, 8-1/2 x 11 inch book with a glossy cover. An English professor friend of mine contacted a friend of hers who was an executive at a national corporation and told her about my book. The corporate executive bought 5 copies of my book and set them on a table with other free books for a regional conference. According to the corporate executive, my book “was the first to go and it went fast.” My self-published spiral bound book out did all of the perfect bound books on the table.

That friend also knew several Catholic nuns. She told me where I could buy a mailing list of convents. I got an 11% return on my marketing efforts. My book has matured since then into the book my Small Business Development Center (SBDC) consultant thinks would make an excellent college text.

In my new edition, I am writing about Portage County Wisconsin at the beginning of the book. Portage County is a hot bed of spectacular success.  Christine Thomas used that phrase when I interviewed her about the amazing number of spectacular successes in Portage County, a small rural county. My understanding of spectacular success came from making my documentary, Renewing Energies: The Ingredients For Spectacular Success. I discovered the 26 situational, organizational, ingredients for spectacular success. My definition for spectacular success comes from these facts:


1 ingredients focuses on self

1 ingredient focuses on self

2 ingredients focus on task

9 ingredients on working with others

14 ingredients focus on satisfying others


Spectacular Success
The unimagined success other people intentionally create for you
because you intentionally create success for them.


Portage County, Wisconsin’s successes include world, national, and state firsts.

Portage County’s spectacular successes include:

The world’s largest Trivia contest

The first connected green circle in the United States

A college of natural resources

An outdoors program for women

The longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world

A cultural fest

An agricultural organization

A community assistance organization

A jazz festival

A walking event

Portage County accomplished all of this with a 2020 population of 70,822 people.


© Paula M. Kramer
All rights reserved.
Updated December 19, 2022.


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