Show cover of Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast: where culture, communication, and context meet at work. Discover what cultural influences have formed the careers of noteworthy leaders in a variety of professions, by exploring the groups that shaped who they are today. Learn about the collective context and experiences that affect their worldview, leadership style, workplace communication and behaviour. 


Dr. Paul White: Developing a Sense of Appreciation in Workplaces
Appreciation is a crucial element for a healthy work environment.Bio:Paul White, PhD, is a psychologist, author, and speaker who "makes work relationships work." He has written articles for and been interviewed by many media houses. His expertise has been sought by people from across the world.Links:Website:"When we show interest in other people and open ourselves up to learn even more or be influenced by them, it's a huge door of opportunity."Episode Highlights:Today, Dr. Paul White shares his journey to becoming the person he is today and discusses the different languages of appreciation in workplaces, and gives us his view on life in general. His passion lies in motivation by appreciation. He has authored a book and created resources to share his wisdom and knowledge.Childhood Memories:Dr. White worked in his father’s factory from junior high school until college. His dad’s motive was to teach him the value of education and training. Through his experience working in the factory, Dr. White knew he didn’t want to work at the end of the conveyor belt later in life. As a child, Dr. White always went fishing with his mother to have a moment of bonding. His mom learned how to fish as a way of creating a special bond with her children.Cultural and Leadership Influence:In life, having a community and developing relationships is essential for times when crises arise, so at least you will have people who can step up. Dr. White recalls when they had their twin sons in Phoenix away from family. The first two years were not easy for them, and it got as far as sleep deprivation.Influential Groups:When Paul and his wife were raising their children, it gave them an opportunity to meet parents of their kids' friends and develop friendships. Unfortunately, when their lastborn left the local school, there was a vacuum of friendship since there were no activities bringing them together with other people.Cultural Epiphanies:Dr. White realized that in a white male business group of older decision makers, expect respect to be communicated by giving your full attention, listening, and looking them in the eye. In contrast, culturally, both Native Americans and some groups of African Americans view looking a superior in the eye as disrespectful. He learnt the we need to work harder to understand people’s culture. Personality and Temperament:Paul describes himself as a social animal. He is socially outgoing, fairly spontaneous, flexible, and loves to have fun. Impulse control is one characteristic that Paul has grown and continues to grow. He can be spontaneous, but he is learning that there are times to slow down, think through things clearly, not react as much, and be more thoughtful and listen.What Brings Out the Best in Dr. Paul White?Dr. White enjoys some structure but also appreciates opportunities to think on his feet and give answers from his life and brain. Recently, he spoke to a group of 30 to 40 business leaders in New York City, during a half-day interactive training. This group really challenged him and asked thoughtful questions that made him stop, think, clarify, share thoughts, and pull information together.Soapbox Moment:Dr. Paul White invites us to check out the resources and materials his team created for the website. These resources will help managers build a healthy team and organization. Support the Show.
40:46 5/14/24
Insights: What is Career Trauma?
What is Career Trauma?Imagine the teacher, interrupted mid-lesson by her principal's inappropriate whispers, or the immigrant worker denied a bathroom break, only to be mocked as he wets himself.Consider the unfairness of a negative evaluation and pay cut from someone who's never even seen your work or being passed over for a promotion in favor of the boss's less qualified nephew.Who hasn't felt the burnout from impossible demands or the frustration of training your replacement?All these experiences cause us work wounds, which require us to be intentional to heal.Importance of Emotional Safety in Workplaces:According to Employment and Social Development Canada, key risk factors for poor workplace psychological safety include high demand and low control, unfair treatment, harassment, and lack of professional development.A report from the Centre for Addictions and Mental Health revealed that 500,000 Canadians miss work daily due to these issues, costing organizations $200 billion annually as of 2023.This trauma leads to hyper-vigilance and increased anxiety. However, recognizing emotional safety cues and fostering a safe environment are crucial for healing career trauma.Doctor Steven Porges' research on polyvagal theory explains that by identifying and processing emotions and sensations, the amygdala's threat reaction is reduced. This allows for the release of emotions tied to recent unpleasant memories, improving overall emotional balance and perception of current situations, without having to revisit past traumas.While coaching or therapy can significantly help with career trauma, individuals can start their healing process by intentionally focusing on the following three key aspects:Breathe Intentionally: Focus on the breath to divert the amygdala's attention from a threat response to a safety response. During a virtual training with oil field managers, one manager had a meltdown due to personal and work-related stress, including the recent loss of a worker and family challenges. I suggested he take a moment to breathe, which visibly calmed him. We then took a few collective breaths, further calming the entire group. The manager explained that a colleague had tragically drowned in a tailings pond, and this trauma had amplified his existing stress. However, the simple act of intentional breathing helped him and the group regain composure, highlighting the power of mindful breathing.Move: When the nervous system feels trapped or tired, it becomes dysregulated, hindering movement and causing distress. To regulate the nervous system, it's essential to recognize and honor the body's need for movement, much like dogs naturally do through stretching and shaking. Dogs rest and heal after conflicts, then resume their normal activities without forcing themselves to overwork. Similarly, humans should balance movement with rest to maintain emotional regulation. So, when tempted to overwork or skip breaks, ask yourself, "Would my dog do this?" First, breathe intentionally, and second, move even just a little to help regulate your emotions.Connect with Others: Social connection is crucial for healing career trauma, as isolation exacerbates feelings of distress and can shorten life expectancy by up to nine years due to loneliness. In the world's five blue zones, where people live longer and healthier lives, strong social connections are a common factor. Human beings are inherently wired for connection; even babies react positively to emotional connection. In these communities, people regularly interact and care for each other across generations. To maintain emotional regulation, it's essential to connect with others, share experiences, and support each other.Support the Show.
18:23 5/14/24
The Spirit of Work: How The Soul Relates to Work
How the Soul Relates to WorkEpisode Highlights:In this episode, we explore the qualities and nature of the soul from various sacred traditions and how they matter for good work. We delve into the teachings of multiple western and eastern religions and Indigenous spiritualities to understand how the soul relates to and influences our work. From the power to accommodate to the concept of respect and interconnected relationality, the insights from these sacred traditions provide a unique lens through which we can approach work and workplace dynamics.Defining the Soul:On page 22 of my book, “Soul in religion and philosophy, is the immaterial aspect or essence of a human being that confers individuality and humanity, often considered to be synonymous with the mind and the self. In theology, the soul is further defined as that part of the individual which partakes of divinity and is often considered to survive the death of the body.”According to the Baha’i teachings, the soul is not a combination of elements. It is of one indivisible substance, associated with the body but not inside it, and eternal.How Various Religions Define the Soul:Page 21 lists simple summaries of how different religions have spoken about the soul.The ancient Egyptians talked about the soul as being buried in a stele, meaning the container in which the body had been buried, and that the soul was inside this container, meaning the body.In Christianity, Saint Augustine wrote about the nature of the soul as having 3 parts, the body, or somatics, the soul or the psyche, and the spirit or the pneuma.In Hinduism, there is the concept of Atman, which is the essence of life that exists in all living things and within human beings is an opportunity to achieve transcendence.Islam and Jainism state that the soul exists before its association with the body and must pass through the physical life to overcome bondage and become liberated from the constraints of self and desire. In both Judaism and Christianity, the soul is alive if it follows the commandments of God and dead if it does not.Many North American Indigenous spiritualities have references to life as emanating from the Great Spirit who imbues all living things with the spirit of life.Qualities and Powers of the Soul:On pages 23 to 32 in my book, The Spirit of Work: Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities, I highlight the qualities and powers of the soul. Interestingly, these qualities are the same across all sacred traditions. The qualities include purity, peace, love, joy, bliss, and knowledge. The powers of the soul include the power to accommodate, be flexible, consider the other person, and act based on both your needs and the other person's needs, power to back up, and the ability to bring things to closure and move on.Understanding the soul and its characteristics can inform and improve workplace dynamics, including addressing issues like bullying and toxicity. When work is only a struggle for existence, it feels hopeless. If work is only a search for purpose and meaning, then we may not develop the necessary practical tools required to be able to deal with the struggle of existence. I propose work that is meaningful because it is related to the qualities and characteristics of the soul. It combines the struggle for existence with purpose.If you are finding these episodes insightful, you can purchase the book The Spirit of Work: Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities online on Amazon and Barnes & Noble or directly from my website Feel free to send me your insights and stories at the Show.
18:46 5/3/24
Pavini Moray: Embracing Authenticity and Play
The Somatic Leadership JourneyBio:Pavini Moray has started, failed, and succeeded in many businesses. A serial entrepreneur, they have built private practices, a worker collective, and a for-profit company. Pavini is a somatic leadership coach, specializing in helping relationships be easy. Moray holds an M.Ed in Montessori curriculum design, as well as a Ph.D. in Somatic Psychology. Pavini has authored, How to Hold Power: A Somatic Approach to Becoming a Leader People Love and Respect.Links: Instagram: Highlights:In this episode, Pavini delves into their experiences of cultural disconnect, sharing personal stories of their childhood and how counterculture and punk music provided a sense of belonging and freedom. They discuss the importance of somatic approaches in leadership and personal growth.Childhood Incidents:As a child, Pavini’s mother decided that Pavini should have a cultural education of experiencing the arts. As a single mother, cultural education was a luxury she had to prioritize and save for. Contrastingly, Pavini’s dad had season tickets and a box at the opera. One night, when mother and child were at the opera, they noticed the dad sitting in his box in the theatre which was Pavini’s first awareness of wealth disparity.In January 1986, Pavini’s friends invited them to a punk party. While there, Pavini felt the difference between the world they lived in and the current world they were experiencing then. This experience set Pavini on a journey to find spaces of belonging.Cultural Influences:Pavini’s purpose comes from living a life informed by pleasure, embodiment, and communication, tempered with transparency and kindness. Leadership Influence:In 2008, Pavini attended an activist camp and experienced the power of transparency and power sharing along with strong organization. This shaped their foundational beliefs about leadership, elderhood and the importance of structure. To date, Pavini cannot stand being in a poorly organized meeting and strives to incorporate elderhood into leadership since it increases the capacity of an entire community.Temperaments and Personality:Pavini believes they came into this world as a dancer, with a sense of awe, magic and connection to nature and spirit. Curiosity is also part of Pavini’s temperament. As a child, and later as an adult Pavini developed both a playful and pragmatic side to their personality. Cultural Epiphanies:Pavini lived in Bulgaria in the 90s and experienced the Bulgarians' sense of powerlessness and hopelessness as shocking. Pavini recalls a time they went to the mayor asking for transportation for books that had traveled 10,000 miles around the world, and now required transportation for the last 200 miles to get them to the destination. The mayor said it was impossible, but Pavini was able to show him how doable it was when he opened his mind to possibility. When Pavini was working with a worker collective, a sense of anger at late meetings arose frequently. One of the people they worked with told Pavini that the time intolerance and anger was white supremacy and not all people understand time the same way.What Brings out the Best in Pavini?Pavini enjoys working in environments where they can laugh and be playful. Soapbox Moment:Pavini encourages us to be attuned. They recognize how vulnerable it can be when we open ourselves to attune with someone else's needs, feelings, desires, fears, and grief. Support the Show.
40:43 4/25/24
Insights: What It Takes to Manage Well
What It Takes to Manage WellEpisode Highlights:Delve into the three essential categories for effective management and self-regulation, differentiation, and high-level thought integrated throughout and responsive to operations.Three Essential Categories for Effective Management Self-Regulation:Self-regulation is crucial for good decision-making. It involves recognizing and accepting your feelings. It means being aware of your feelings and thoughts and choosing not to act on them impulsively. Self-governance enables you to consider the impact of your actions leading to more thoughtful and beneficial outcomes. Self-awareness and self-governance: This results in the ability to manage and release unpleasant emotions safely, interpret reality accurately, and maintain a sense of calm and peace. Other awareness and empathy: With genuine self-awareness, you'll have heightened empathy and notice and understand others' feelings and experiences. Increased other awareness and empathy in the workplace is a sign of effective management.The ability to change and sustain one's habits for elevated thought and action: True self-regulation means not defining yourself by routines or limitations but continuously expanding your sense of self through learning and applying new insights to work habits. Differentiation:Differentiation is the ability to see the separate within the whole and the whole within separate and to bring them together. It's the ability to do analysis and synthesis. Separation of identity from in-group and out-group bias: The ability to separate your identity from the groups you belong to is crucial in management. A strong in-group and out-group identity is necessary for a sense of belonging and security. However, it's essential to maintain a balance and not let these identities define you entirely.Being able to hold multiple points of view without attaching yourself to them: This is a sign of effective management, allowing you to make decisions based on what's best for the collective rather than your personal biases.Capacity to inspire others and be inspired: If you are inspired by others, you're likely to be more inspiring yourself.Ability to balance encouragement and challenge: It means when people are not feeling strong, you can encourage them and build them up. When they're feeling strong but not showing their best selves, you can challenge them to step up to the plate. Being able to read reality without becoming hopeless in the face of difficulty: There are a lot of challenging realities in the workplace, and people go through many difficulties. If you can read and understand these difficulties without losing hope, it's a sign of great leadership.High-level Thought Integrated Throughout and Responsive to Operations:It's not enough to have great ideas if no one can act on them. Frequent conflicts between departments occur when high-level thought is not integrated, usually due to lack of consultation.Have principle-based discussions that respect individual inputs: Listen with interest without getting defensive or allowing anyone to dominate.Collective decision-making that promotes honest and kind participation: Making decisions as a group where everyone is both honest and kind leads to agreed-upon solutions benefiting the whole without excluding individuals or groups.Ability to translate thought into action, reflect on the outcomes, and make adjustments: Changing your mind isn't a sign of weakness, but constantly changing it is. Making a decision and sticking to it despite negative outcomes is not a sign of strength.Support the Show.
18:24 4/18/24
Yosi Amram: Embracing Spiritual Intelligence for Effective Leadership
The role of spiritual intelligence in effective leadership.Bio:Yosi Amram, PhD, is a distinguished psychologist, an executive coach catering to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and other influential leaders, and a pioneering researcher in the field of spiritual intelligence. Holding an MBA from Harvard University and a PhD from Sofia University in Clinical Transpersonal Psychology, Dr. Amram is committed to enabling individuals to unlock their potential through spiritual intelligence. This profound connection to the core of one’s existence – their spirit, where inspiration and deepest interconnectedness reside – enriches their overall functioning, improves their effectiveness, and enhances their well-being. He is the author of Spiritually Intelligent Leadership: How to Inspire by Being Inspired.Links:Website:“I think great leaders can also drop back and lead from behind, which is more of a facilitative role of leadership. You can think about it perhaps in terms of the yin and yang of leadership.”Episode Highlights:In this interview, Yosi Amram tells us how a leave of absence from his company was a blessing in disguise. The board of Yosi’s company gave him a break because they felt he needed it. Initially, Yosi felt shame for being let go from his company, but later, it provided him an opportunity to find his identity and passion in psychology. Childhood Incidents:When Yosi was four years old, he learned from older boys that flicking someone's legs while they're running or walking could make them trip and fall. One day, he experimented on a boy in front of him. The boy tripped, scraped his knees, and started bleeding and crying. The teacher started yelling, asking who did it, but Yosi never came forward. This experience taught him the importance of not causing pain, suffering, harm, or violence to others. At age nine, Yosi went to a movie theatre without his parents and was molested by a stranger. This incident made him feel like there was something wrong with him, like he was damaged goods. He repressed his feelings about this experience and only addressed them in therapy when he was 40. Influential Groups:Yosi comes from Middle Eastern, Iraqi, and Jewish backgrounds. Middle Eastern Iraqi culture is emotionally expressive, warm, and highly hospitable. In contrast, Jewish culture emphasizes Socratic methods of debate for truth's sake and taking responsibility seriously.Cultural Influences:As Yosi grew older, his interest in spirituality deepened. He joined various spiritual communities, including Jewish Renewal, Buddhist communities, and a particular path called the Diamond Approach, which emphasizes inquiry and a love for truth. All these communities highlighted the importance of service.Cultural Epiphanies:When Yosi moved to the US, he experienced culture shock; people valued personal space and privacy, which was not the case in Tel Aviv or the Middle East in general. He grew up in a one-bedroom house with his grandparents and parents.What Brings Out the Best in Yosi? Yosi believes in directness and honesty. He values relationships where people are honest, open, and direct, built on a foundation of kindness and positive regard. He also appreciates regular mutual feedback to keep relationships clear and clean.Soapbox Moment:Yosi encourages everyone interested in becoming more empowered and inspired leaders to check out his book, Spiritually Intelligent Leadership: How to Inspire by Being Inspired.Support the Show.
44:18 4/12/24
The Spirit of Work: Is This Soul Enhancing or Soul Diminishing?
 Is This Soul Enhancing or Soul Diminishing?Imagine bringing your whole self to an action informed by purposeEpisode Highlights:Today we delve into the concept of building a sense of purpose using the principle of choosing soul enhancing versus soul diminishing actions in our work behaviour. This episode equips you with tips to increase a sense of purpose at work, while providing you with a tool to autocorrect when you fall short of the ideal. Getting to the Bridge of encouragement:The first question to ask yourself is, “Is this soul diminishing or soul enhancing?” Take an instance of a workplace where people are always gossiping. What does that do to the soul? It diminishes the soul and destroys positive company culture. Employees don't feel they can be their authentic selves, fearing they will be attacked. They can't admit to mistakes because they anticipate punishment.In a soul-enhancing workplace, people encourage each other. They're clear about expectations, communications, and they operate transparently. They think about ways they can help each other, be kind to each other, and progress within the organization. When there's a mistake, they can talk openly about it because they know they will not be punished for bringing it up. Soul Enhancing versus Soul Diminishing Attitudes, Actions, And Outcomes:Soul enhancing is encouraging, expansive, joyful, creative, and love-promoting. Increasing soul-enhancing behaviours develops virtues—positive qualities admired across cultures such as kindness, helpfulness, courage, and wisdom.Soul diminishing is discouraging, constrictive, oppressive, and hate-promoting. Increasing soul-diminishing behaviours develops vices—the negative qualities that destroy cultures such as aggression, violence, hatred, superiority, and self-centredness.The Essence of Controlling Your Anger:A Buddhist saying is: “The monk who subdues his arisen anger sloughs off as a snake its decrepit old skin.”Learning to align our emotions and desires with principles that help us engage in soul-enhancing actions can be extremely useful, not only for work but also for our interpersonal relations and other activities outside of work. The more we practice orienting ourselves towards making soul-enhancing thoughts, words and deeds, the more workplaces will reflect virtues, qualities, and powers that make work increasingly pleasant and enjoyable.Key Takeaways from the Episode:Purpose is inspiring but has both a light and dark side. You choose the side you want. To choose a purpose that nurtures your light side, opt to develop virtues rather than vices which are soul diminishing.You can ask either in the moment or later in reflection, “Is that/was that…soul enhancing or soul diminishing?”When you fall short of soul-enhancing thoughts, words, and actions, the answer is to forgive yourself and move forward through service, which is like prayer—it helps us autocorrect.If you’re finding these episodes helpful, you can purchase the book, The Spirit of Work, Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities, online at Amazon, Barnes &  Noble, or directly from my website.Support the Show.
12:35 4/2/24
Mark Mears: The Power of Purposeful Growth
How can purposeful growth impact your leadership?Bio:Mark A. Mears is a #1 Best Selling author, keynote speaker, consultant, and visionary business leader. He has a significant track record of building stakeholder value, driving innovation, and profitable growth among world-class, high-profile brands such as PepsiCo/Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and The Cheesecake Factory among others.Today, Mark is the Chief Growth Officer for LEAF Growth Ventures and has just released his new book titled, The Purposeful Growth Revolution: 4 Ways to Grow from Leader to Legacy Builder.Links: LinkedIn: Website: “When we do things randomly, they don't stick. But if we do things intentionally over and over, it forms like wet cement. It hardens and it becomes a habit. In this case, a positive habit.” “Leadership is like the seed of an organization and the root system. You must have a strong root system for any plant or tree to grow.”Episode Highlights: In this insightful conversation, Mark shares about purposeful growth and the importance of feeling loved in the workplace, breaking down the concept of love into an inspiring acronym. He shares his experiences, upbringing, and professional journey, imparting valuable wisdom on leadership, community, and the power of feedback. He also shares how being fired from a C-Suite job was a gift in disguise for him. Childhood Incidents: Growing up, Mark was an avid swimmer. He had a coach who helped him achieve excellence through hard workouts, and he became a lifeguard and swim coach in high school. Mark put his best foot forward and as a result, became head guard responsible for managing the pool. That experience hones his love for leadership, service, and hospitality.Influential Groups/Cultural Influence: Mark sees culture as a set of norms and expectations that people establish amongst themselves as a natural course of interaction. He recalls growing up in the swim team. He was always with his teammates during practice; they carpooled to practice and had bus rides together. Church and college also influenced Mark, giving him a sense of belonging.Mark has worked for and with many organizations, and his greatest desire has always been to leave the place better than he found it. His experience with various groups taught Mark how to leverage his God-given gifts, talents, abilities, intellect, and experiences to bring organizations to ever-higher levels of excellence. Personality and Temperaments: As a child, Mark was passionate and competitive. He was curious and had the resilience to overcome obstacles in his life, which is an enduring trait. Today, Mark has become softer on the competitiveness side and more forgiving of himself. He has learned how to take the best of his core characteristics, round off some rougher edges, and grow new ones.Cultural Epiphanies: In Mark’s last leadership position, someone called him a narcissist. It was difficult for Mark to understand where it came from, and he later realized that what he viewed as selflessness was seen as grand-standing by others.What Brings out the Best in Mark? Mark lights up like a Christmas tree when he helps align a team. Their increased unity allows them to accomplish more than they even thought possible.Soapbox Moment: Are you interested in purposeful growth? Mark invites you to visit his website for a self-assessment to experience the power of his acronym for LOVE: Listen, Observe, Value, and Empower.Support the Show.
41:33 3/28/24
Why Employees Resist Their Bosses
Resistance means you don’t feel safe.Quotes:“The reason people resist is because they don’t feel safe." “Courtesy is the first sign of safety. Respect is the outcome of courteous behaviour.”“When working with colleagues or bosses work to create a matrix of safety for the head, the body, the heart, the spirit and the culture.” Episode Highlights:Part A – Your nervous system and its relationship to feeling safeYour amygdala is responsible for perception of threat, even if that threat is not real. When there is a perception of threat, the body reacts via the amygdala in an instant freeze, fight, flight response. The remedy to threat is to create a safe work environment.Part B – How to create safety for yourself Start with an incident that is bothering you: “When I think about X situation…I feel (what emotion?) (angry, frustrated etc.)”Measure the intensity of the emotion from 1-10.Slow down your breathing and become conscious of where you feel this emotion in your body.Move to release the energy.Part C – Intentionally creating a climate of safetyCreating a workplace matrix is similar to the matrix in the womb that surrounds and nourishes a baby. You can help create this matrix of safety by: Helping the head feel safe – give it an explanation and facilitate regular communication of listening, speaking and coming to a shared understandingHelping the body feel safe – is it pleasant to work in this place, is it ergonomically viable? Would you want to work there? If you wouldn’t why would you allow others to work in that condition? Helping the heart feel safe – listening, acknowledging, validating how other people feel. Acknowledge difference of opinion without vilification of the other person. Treat others with courtesy and civility which creates respect as the outcome. Helping the spirit feel safe – If people are trustworthy and show courage to address problems, doing what they say they will do, the spirit feels safe. Helping people feel safe culturally – be sincerely interested in others, and ask people about their expectations about how things should be done at work. Part D – Incidents and solutionsLook for the principles involved in an incident to get to a solution. What principle would help elevate thought and behaviour? Incident: An employee is resisting working with a boss. Maybe they don’t have experience or training. Maybe they feel incompetent to do the task and don’t feel safe saying so. Maybe they feel they don’t matter. No one wants to be invisible, it is a denial of our humanity. Maybe they don’t know how to interact with a person in authority. Or they had bad experiences with a boss when they spoke up in the past. Experience with too many changes with ‘flavour of the month’ decisions, so employees have become cynical. People are unhappy with their job. They act badly or their performance drops. There is a personality disorder or an addiction issueTakeaways:People resist because they don’t feel safeWe all have a nervous system which perceives threat via they amygdala You can calm this reaction by naming an emotion, measuring the intensity, slowing breathing, movingBuild a matrix of workplace safety that helps the mind, heart, body, spirit and culture to feel safeIf you still have resistance consider training, acknowledgement, how to interact with a boss, job unhappiness, personality/addiction issues. Support the Show.
23:36 3/20/24
Stephanie Brown: The Journey to Finding Your Next Perfect Role
You deserve a job that allows you to thrive.Bio:Stephanie is the Founder of Creative Career Level Up, a program that helps those in marketing, creative, and tech industries accelerate their careers and secure their next perfect role—along with a promotion and a salary increase. She has authored, Fired: Why Losing Your Job is the Best Thing that Can Happen to You.Links: LinkedIn:“The only way to get over fear is to face it head-on and realize that either it's never as bad as what you think it's going to be or the worst does happen, but you survive.”Episode Highlights: Stephanie explores the unifying and passionate nature of sports culture, emphasizing how it brings people together and showcases human potential. While acknowledging the darker side of sports organizations, Stephanie shares her personal experiences and the impact sports have had on communities, providing a balanced perspective on this influential aspect of society. Stephanie also discusses her experiences at Nike and the development of her coaching platform to support professionals in marketing, creative, and tech industries.Childhood Incidents: When Stephanie was 15 years old, she changed schools to an all-girls school. At that age transitioning to a new school wasn’t easy for Stephanie; she had a hard time making friends and the group of girls she associated with bullied her. Changing schools taught Stephanie that she didn’t always have to be where her friends were, and even if bad things happened, you could move past them into a better present. Cultural Influence:Stephanie’s dad grew up in a family with plenty of love, but the resources were limited. He made sure that his children had more resources and opportunities than he ever got, such as attending university. Later in life, Stephanie worked for a winery which gave her an opportunity to meet people from all over the world and ask about their life experiences which triggered an urge for her to see the world after finishing her schooling.Leadership Influence: When Stephanie finished university, she secured a job in a sports company and later moved to London, England, where she joined Nike. Despite having an educational background in economics and finance, she found herself in a marketing role in the creative industry. At Nike, Stephanie found her tribe and people who mentored her to become a leader.Temperament and Personality:According to Stephanie, her general temperament is to love helping people. As a child, she wanted to become a schoolteacher and today she has taken it full circle as a career coach. Over the years, Stephanie’s personality has developed to embrace the bravery required to step out of her comfort zone and take on new challenges.Cultural Epiphanies: When Stephanie was in university, she went to Italy for an exchange program and found some of the local jargon had changed when she came home six months later. Since she couldn’t understand the origin she felt like she didn’t belong. Later on, Stephanie experienced reverse culture shock after being in in the UK for 17 years. What Brings Out the Best in Stephanie?Stephanie thrives in environments that challenge her and create room for her to learn. Soapbox Moment: According to Stephanie, leadership is about serving others, and she sees it as a privilege and a blessing. For those looking for work, Stephanie recommends first taking the time to analSupport the Show.
44:22 3/14/24
The Spirit of Work: Purpose and Cora's Restaurant
The Spirit of Work: Purpose and Cora's RestaurantCora's Restaurant, a breakfast establishment originating in Quebec, exemplifies the transformative power of a clear organizational purpose. With a mission centered on "promoting the importance of breakfast," Cora's has expanded from a single location to a global presence, spanning North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Africa.The guiding principle of promoting breakfast's significance influences every aspect of Cora's operations, from menu choices to environmental initiatives. Cora's serves vibrant, nutritious breakfasts to infuse people's mornings with energy and joy. Their commitment extends beyond the dining experience; they partner with the Breakfast Club of Canada, donating a portion of each meal's proceeds to provide nutritious breakfasts for Canadian children.Environmental responsibility is a cornerstone, with decisions rooted in local food sourcing, exclusive use of biodegradable packaging for takeout, and collaboration with environmentally conscious partners. The emphasis on a warm, friendly atmosphere is ingrained in staff training, fostering creativity, work-life balance, and opportunities for advancement.This purpose-driven approach aligns internal and external processes, creating a harmonious organizational culture. The success of Cora's Restaurant is a testament to the profound impact of a well-defined purpose, inspiring growth and unleashing creative potential.In The Spirit of Work, I emphasize the importance of purpose to work. A lack of purpose leads to scattered efforts, breeding cynicism and suspicion among the workforce.Discovering Purpose – Cora's Journey:Finding purpose, whether individually or collectively within an organization, is a challenging but critical endeavor. Cora, a divorced mother of three, stumbled upon her purpose when she sold her house to start a small snack bar. Her knack for creative, nutritious snacks evolved into the first Cora's Breakfast restaurant, emphasizing the importance of breakfast.Over seven years, Cora and her children expanded the venture from nine restaurants in Greater Montreal to a global, multi-million dollar franchise. Her journey underscores the link between clarity of purpose, values and branding. Purpose, Play, and Joy in Workplaces:Purpose, like children's play, involves dedication to an activity that energizes and brings joy. However, purpose can either contribute to the betterment or detriment of society. It serves as fuel, requiring direction to ensure it serves the greater good. Reflecting on Cora's example, how has purpose affected your business or career journey?Reflection Questions:Similar to Cora, how has facing difficulty in your life contributed to personal growth and purpose?How did your purpose evolve when creating something new and testing it with others?If in a leadership position, can you state your organization's founding principle in 5-7 memorable words?Purpose, is pivotal chapter in my book, The Spirit of Work: Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities. If you liked this episode, the book is available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or directly through my website. Support the Show.
08:31 3/6/24
Gerald J. Leonard: From Music to Making a Difference
Unveiling Gerald J. Leonard’s journey from music to making a differenceBio:Gerald is the CEO and Founder of the Leonard Productivity Intelligence Institute and the CEO of Turnberry Premiere, a strategic project portfolio management and IT governance firm based in Washington, DC. He attended Central State University in Ohio, receiving a bachelor's in music and later earning a master's in music from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Links: LinkedIn: https://productivityintelligenceinstitute.comQuotes:“Once you learn the complexities of things, I think you can implement it with very simple processes.”“Words shape our world.”Episode Highlights:This episode delves into the significance of personal development, reframing negative thoughts, and embracing cultural diversity. Gerald shares insights on overcoming constraints, the power of relationships and the importance of learning from diverse cultural groups.Gerald has authored three books: Culture is the Base, Workplace Jazz, and A Symphony of Choices."Childhood Incidents:From his father’s example of building a construction business and his mother working as a seamstress, Gerald knew he had to be industrious. In middle school, Gerald was part of junior achievement where he learned more about business and the monetary value of hard work. Influential Groups: As a child, family shaped a lot of things for Gerald. He saw how hard his father worked to provide for them, how he was there for them and his business. The experience taught Gerald what it was like to be a family man.Gerald grew up Methodist, but after joining college, he learned about other religions. He got a chance to interact with people from different backgrounds and used the scriptures as point of reference to see if he was on the right track. Cultural Influences:Gerald never saw his parents meditate, but he integrated meditation into his life from Indian spiritual practices into his life. He credits a course with Judith Glaser on conversation intelligence for teaching him about the brain and nervous system which he has incorporated into his own behaviour. Personality and Temperament:Gerald believes that he values long term friendships. He has people whom he has known for years, and he goes out of his way to ensure they remain close.In 2018 he lost 86% of his right inner ear capacity and experienced constant vertigo. Although he was six weeks away from giving a TEDX talk, he did everything in his power to heal , incorporating music therapy as part of the process. His resilience and determination paid off and he delivered his TEDX talk on the appointed date and time. Cultural Dissonance:Gerald once worked for a big law firm where the work culture was different from what he was used to . In the Ivy League environment Gerald knew he had to find ways to belong but it felt uncomfortable. He looks at it now as a positive learning experience that taught him new skills.What brings the Best in Gerald Leonard?Gerald has a focus on spending quality time to make a difference in the lives of others. He isn't counting the money made or time spent, rather the impact of the exchange.Soapbox Moment:Gerald invites us to check out his books and podcast from his website. He also encourages us to check out KIVA provide microloans that support people in difficult circumstances to reach their dreams. Support the Show.
41:33 3/4/24
Insights: What I Learned About Culture From 100+ Interviews
What I Learned About Culture From 100+ InterviewsCultural insights from 100+ interviewsQuotes:“When you don't have cultural awareness, you tend to take things personally when they are not personal. They're cultural.”Episode Highlights:In this episode, I delve into a rich tapestry of cultural insights drawn from over a hundred interviews on the Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast and my own intercultural experiences. Building upon our previous discussion on leadership, this episode focuses on unraveling some of the dynamics of culture. Before we embark on this journey, let me offer a brief glimpse into my background. With a doctorate in culture and learning in the workplace, my personal narrative, shaped by immigrant roots and diverse professional experiences, serves as a lens through which I navigate the nuanced terrain of culture. From becoming fluent in French to changing my religion, I've undergone transformative changes that allowed me to see culture with more nuances. I once had a conversation about traditional names with my late mother-in-law. She told me that parents should give their children “proper French” names. According to her, those proper traditional names were like the names she gave her own children. I asked her what names were given to her mother and siblings and their ancestors. It turned out that a so-called traditional name was dependent on the generation and didn’t carry over between generations. This was a revelation to my mother-in-law!From the 100+ interviews about culture that I have had the privilege of hosting, I have noticed certain recurring themes and characteristics. Insights About Cultural Awareness From The interviews:Awareness of one's culture deepens when you move away from it and experience culture shock as you become aware of differences between what you have experienced and what others experience. There are degrees of cultural flexibility and rigidity in all people. If people express cultural rigidity, it is best to accept that and move on to another topic where there is more willingness to explore.Third culture: In cultural studies, third culture refers to people who have moved a lot because of the military were displaced due to war or because of immigration. Now because of our interconnectedness, more and more people are showing characteristics of third culture in their view of the world. They feel more comfortable with people who have had broad experience rather than narrow experience. Those who have reflected consciously about the role of culture in their lives tend to be more credible than cultural competency experts in the field who have not reflected on their personal cultural selves.Characteristics of People Who Reflect on Their Culture:They suspend judgment and hone the ability to bring it back to themselves and say, “Is this me or is this them or is it a little bit of both?”As we become more nuanced in cultural understanding, we start to see the person in the culture, and the culture in the person.Those who feel the most uncomfortable in a new cultural experience tend to adjust faster than those who feel comfortable because they try harder to make sense of their world. However, when people leave a cultural experience without being able to join cultural understandings, it's because they feel that their values have been compromised.Support the Show.
24:28 2/23/24
Liz Jaluague – The Amazing Power of Mentorship and Gratitude
Every person needs a mentor for personal and career growth.Bio:Liz Jaluague is a Toronto-based cybersecurity engineer and Canadian Army reservist. She earned a BSc in Biochemistry and a postgraduate certificate in Computer Security and Digital Forensics, and has been a non-profit leader in seven different organizations since the age of 19, currently volunteering with a NFP cybersecurity organization. She believes in the power of mentorship from her own experiences, Liz consistently commits her time to guiding others along their professional paths. Links:LinkedIn: Quotes:“When you're constantly learning different skills, you kind of remember that everybody is a different level, and it's a humbling experience.”Episode Highlights:On today’s episode, we delve into the captivating story of Liz Jaluague. From navigating cultural experiences to challenging conventional career paths, Liz shares her journey of resilience, determination, and growth. She shares insights into the ethical implications of cybersecurity, the power of mentorship, and the impact of cultural influences on leadership. Childhood Memories:Liz grew up in a Filipino family in Toronto. She had a great understanding of both English and Tagalog. In Tagalog, there are suffixes that one uses when addressing people older than them to show respect. At some point, Liz started questioning why she wasn’t accorded the same respect as a young person. She dropped the suffixes, and it caused her issues with her parents. A year or two down the line, her parents came to term with it. Later in her own life, she came to value the respect accorded to elders and now sees both sides of the issue.Cultural Influences:Growing up, Liz had a desire to learn new things and really valued the learning culture. She was able to grasp a lot of new things but learned later on that she couldn’t ace everything and became more selective with her learning and more humble in her approach to others.Liz’s parents had her much later in life which gave her an opportunity to learn from her older cousins.Influential Groups:After university, Liz volunteered in several NFP organizations, currently with a cybersecurity non-profit. Looking back at her leadership journey with the NFPs, Liz realized that the people she most admired had a sense of purpose, and in every job, she connected with the mission and vision of the organization. Liz vividly remembers a time when she was in Las Vegas for a conference and she recognized one of the sponsors. She walked up to him and thanked him for giving her the opportunity to make friends working in that organization. The simple act of gratitude gave Liz a mentor.Personality and Temperaments:Liz describes herself as a pessimistic optimist. By nature, she looked at things glass half empty since her family didn’t have a lot of material means. On the flip side, Liz learned to adapt and understand that things always work out in the end.Cultural Epiphanies:In Belgium and the Netherlands, Liz began to consider cultural differences through the experience of a glass of water in restaurants and different types of door locks in AirBNBs. What brings out the best in Liz?:Liz loves working with people who are authentically themselves. She is not a fan of hierarchy. Soapbox Moment:Do you have a question on cybersecurity? Liz invites you to send her a message on LinkedIn, and she will be more than willing to answer the question.Support the Show.
27:40 2/14/24
The Spirit of Work: Spiritual Awareness for a New Future of Work
Spiritual Awareness for a New Future of WorkWithout the experience of work as spiritual, we see only parts of the whole.Quotes:“People's behavior starts to autocorrect with self-awareness. Without that self-awareness, it doesn't go anywhere.”“We can't create a new future of work if we can't imagine something different or better.”Links:Website: http://www.shiftworkplace.comEpisode Highlights:In Episode Two of the "Culture and Leadership Connections" podcast, the focus is on the need for spiritual awareness for a new future of work. The episode begins with a traditional Jewish story about a rabbi whose selfless actions inspire others. The story illustrates the power of leading by example and highlights the importance of spiritual awareness in leadership.The podcast discusses the concept that humans are spiritual beings, and work is an expression of the soul. It emphasizes the necessity of recognizing the spiritual nature of work and compares it to the story of the blind men and the elephant, suggesting that without a holistic understanding, workplace issues may persist.I share a personal story about addressing a health issue involving dissolving teeth. I saw a dentist, hygienist, an oral surgeon, and a naturopath. They all had ideas and suggestions on how to help me, but my solution came after seeing a naturopath. I kept wondering, what if the three experts had worked as a team, wouldn’t my teeth have been saved earlier?The workplace example of holding onto toxic managers for their operational knowledge, despite the emotional and psychological impact on other employees, is presented. Another scenario involving a toxic manager who transforms after a passing comment sparks self-awareness is shared. Our workplaces require us to have a certain level of self-awareness.Overall, the episode aims to inspire a shift towards spiritual awareness in the workplace for a more positive and respectful environment.Key Takeaways from the Episode:Spiritual Nature of Work: The foundational premise is that humans are essentially spiritual beings, and work is an expression of the soul. Leadership by Example: The episode underscores the power of leadership by example, using a traditional Jewish story about a rabbi whose selfless actions inspire others. Holistic Perspective: The blind men and the elephant metaphor is used to stress the importance of a holistic perspective in understanding workplace issues. Transformation through Self-Awareness: A real-life scenario is shared where a toxic manager transforms after a passing comment prompts self-awareness. Metaphor of Spider's Web: The metaphor illustrates our interconnectedness and shows how each person's actions impact the entire organization.Reflection Question: How could your workplace be better if interactions with others were animated by a deep sense of respect for the dignity of others? What would be different?Support the Show.
14:08 2/6/24
Mark Shekter – Unlocking Creative and Innovative Brilliance
Bio:Mark Shekter is the co-founder and CEO of Think8 Global, an international business design firm headquartered in Montreal, Canada. His progressive system is used in business schools and university post-graduate programs in both the US and Canada.He is also a best-selling author, keynote speaker, and original thinker who has pioneered a new system of creative thinking empowering start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in building robust and sustainable enterprises. Links:LinkedIn:“If you're not operating your best, if you haven't created that space and that structure, then the company is suffering to that degree.”Episode Highlights: In this episode, I have the pleasure of having an interview with Mark Shekter, the multi-talented individual. Mark shares his journey from a small Jewish community in Canada to Hollywood and how his upbringing shaped his innovative approach to business. He discusses the importance of mentorship, collaboration, and creating a positive work environment. We also get to hear a little about his book.Childhood Incidents: Mark grew up in a family where all of them were lawyers. By default, he was slated to be a lawyer, but he took a different path and joined arts. He did art for fun, and little by little, people started picking up his work. Before he knew it, he was directing movies in Hollywood. According to Mark, his upbringing was a fertile ground for his talent.Influential Groups:For Mark, whenever he worked with anybody, he always did his homework to have a better understanding of them. Mark had an opportunity to work with Ray Charles, a famous soul musician, who was visually impaired. Because he was black, and prejudice was rampant, Ray Charles was obligated to perform behind the curtains. Mark wanted to get Ray Charles seen and to see his performance himself.One day, Mark had Ray Charles sit at a piano with reflective glasses on, and his band was distant from him, and there was his orchestra. Mark placed a camera on every instrument and musician. Every camera had a monitor, and the monitors were placed in front of Ray Charles. As each musician entered the song, they were reflected in Ray Charles’ reflective glasses which was a powerful movie effect.Personality and Temperament: Mark believes he is blessed with good genes. His father passed on at almost 100 years of age, and he believes he will get there too. He feels he is a good mediator; he listens very well and is always interested in the person he is speaking with. Cultural Epiphanies:Mark was used to being a free agent where he would do everything by himself. When he moved to the USA, he got the shock of his life. People were working in teams, and he was no longer a freelancer; he had a job where he would work from 9-to-5, then pitch his idea, then go to the studio from 8:00 pm to 3:00 am.One day, Mark and other writers were called to a meeting by the producers. All the other writers presented funny ideas, but Mark’s idea impressed the producers, despite his inexperience. As a result, he was tasked to write 50% of the show.Soapbox Moment: Check out his book, “Think8: 8 Steps to Ignite Your Creative Genius in Business, Career, & Life.”What Brings the Best out of Mark: Mark believes you can impact your environment if you use your natural creativity. He works with people who are open and interested in bettering themselves.Tagline: Ignite creative genius in all aspects of your life.Support the Show.
53:16 1/25/24
Insights: What I Learned from Interviewing 100+ Guests
What I Learned from Interviewing 100 Plus GuestsA reflection on 120 podcast episodes.Episode Highlights:In this first episode of "Insights into Culture and Leadership," I share a powerful story from my experience in Haiti after an earthquake. I draw a contrast between good and bad leadership, exemplified by a compassionate youth leader working with orphans and harsh teachers in a school.In Haiti, I met a Haitian youth leader who demonstrated exemplary leadership by working with earthquake orphans, fostering healing through music and expression. This contrasts with a negative example in a nearby school of teachers berating, punishing and humiliating students. The youth leader's approach inspired self-expression and confidence in the orphans. The contrasting experiences highlight the influence of leadership on behaviour and actions. I define good leadership as that which brings help, insight, health, and healing to individuals, community, and the environment.The story serves as a backdrop for my subsequent reflection on the common themes I observed in the 120 interviews I conducted for the Culture and Leadership Connections podcast.Six Key Insights That Emerge from The Interviews That I’ve Conducted:Role of Hardship and Adversity: All interviewees, regardless of the type or severity of their challenges, spoke about the transformative role of hardship and adversity in shaping their character.Transformation from Suffering: Those who thrived, understood the value of transforming suffering, leading to increased empathy and a profound ability to connect with others.Embracing Community: Almost all interview guests expressed a sense of belonging to a community or society, recognizing the importance of collaboration and shared values. Only three out of the 120 felt like they did not need a community to thrive.Fluid Identity and Solid Values: Interviewees exhibited a willingness to evolve and adapt their identities while holding onto solid values. Humility Through Unexpected Challenges: Even those with privilege and talent faced unexpected challenges, fostering humility and a realistic understanding of life's uncertainties.Influence of Family: Family, whether positive or challenging, played a foundational role in the development of each person interviewed.I conclude the episode by emphasizing the significance of reflection, transformation, and humility in leadership, whether at home or in the workplace. Considering how these themes have proven formative for you, could reveal some new insights!Support the Show.
18:01 1/17/24
The Spirit of Work: The Power of Beliefs and Relationships
The Power of Beliefs and RelationshipsPotential expands by seeing others as competent and good. Quotes:"If we change the beliefs of limited potential into unlimited potentiality for good, it has a completely different effect on how we show up at work.""People often think, only poisonous things grow in the workplace, but kind things grow as well."Episode Highlights:Last year, I published a book called The Spirit of Work: Timeless Wisdom, Current Realities. Here is a quote from the opening page by the late Indigenous author Richard Wagamese. He wrote, "All my relations mean all." With that quote, Richard focused on principles of harmony, unity, and equality for all of creation. In this episode, we'll look at what we have been missing in our workplaces, how to and the power of having positive relations. What Has Been Missing in Our Workplaces?Relationality, harmony, unity, and equality have been missing from the workplace since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Richard's text describes a mindset, an attitude about who we are and how we should be in the world. We all carry these attitudes, mostly unconscious expressions of what we see social reality as. One of our powers as humans is to reflect on who we are and our actions.The problem is a misdiagnosis of a malady that cannot be solved with logical proof alone. Research, statistics, and logical arguments do not have the power to affect hearts, minds, or behaviors. Reasoning does not affect people's deep-seated beliefs and allegiances to the communities they identify with. Attitudes and beliefs that see human nature as predominantly aggressive, self-serving, and incorrigibly motivated by self-interest dominate our workplace systems. They are supported by books, movies, and games that project a bleak dystopian view of a human race with no future other than destruction. These attitudes have in common a limited view of what it means to be a human being and what it means to be a human being at work.How Our Beliefs About Others Discourage or Encourage Growth:What if we saw that people are motivated by being inspired and seen as competent and good? Changing these limiting beliefs about others into seeing their unlimited potentiality for good has a completely different effect on how we show up at work. I used to believe I was surrounded by incompetence. When I examined it, I had a sense of superiority and rightness over everybody else that did not allow me to be open to learning or see things as they actually were. Now if I feel frustrated with someone at work, I ask how I could have contributed to the issue and how we could turn this around together. This allows me to suspend judgement, investigate reality and make better decisions. The Power of Positive Relationships:As human beings, we need to appreciate the importance of positive relationships to growth. An 83-year-old Harvard study started in 1938 about the determinants of health, concluded that positive relationships keep us happier, healthier, and living longer. Although other actions matter, positive relationships have the most influence on well-being.Reflective Questions:How does your belief about who you are and how you should be in the world affect your relationship to work?How do your beliefs about how the world works, why people act the way they do, and what constitutes reality affect your approach to the workplace? How do you show up at work because of these beliefSupport the Show.
11:25 1/4/24
Daniel Gagnon – The Power of Self-Disruption
Bio: Daniel Gagnon is an organizational agility adviser who co-founded the Agile Leader Academy, a boutique training, coaching, and consulting firm, to help leaders develop progressive team-building skills in dynamic and adaptive work environments—while avoiding the traps of naive over-optimism or simplistic positivity. Links:LinkedIn: Quotes:“Rejection is as painful as physical pain to the brain.” Episode Highlights: Daniel Gagnon's journey is quite a roller coaster of self-discovery and growth. His experiences, from working in a TV station to venturing into stock trading, showcase a person willing to disrupt his own path for personal and professional development. It's fascinating how these disruptions eventually led him to establish the Agile Leader Academy, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and progressive team-building skills in dynamic work environments.Childhood Incidents:One day, his mother gave him 25 cents to go get a book of his choice at the school book fair. The first book that caught his eye was one with a rocketship to the moon. Unfortunately, the money wasn’t enough, and he had to get a smaller book. When he got home, told his mother what happened. A few months later, his dad sent for them, and they moved to Sudbury. One day Daniel found some books on the table, he asked his mother where the books came from. His father had gotten them for him after hearing his book fair experience and promised to get more every two weeks. The experience created a reading culture in Daniel and his brother, which still exists today.As children, Daniel always thought his little brother was annoying, but that changed one day when they visited the beach. His brother almost drowned, but Daniel got him help. Since that day, Daniel loved his brother even more. Influential Groups:Daniel grew up with a dual heritage in cultures and languages. His parents always insisted that they had to learn Canada's two official languages and become good at both so they could get accepted wherever they went. When Daniel and his family moved to Montreal, his best friend asked him if his parents were sending him to the college on Rosemont Avenue. The school was expensive and needed good grades, and Daniel had the grades. When Daniel talked to his parents about it, his dad said they would do everything in their power to send him there. Daniel joined different groups in school that made him feel like he belonged. He even had a girlfriend for two years who gave him his first chance to go on vacation.Personality and Temperaments:Growing up, Daniel was introverted and self-reflective. Despite being an introvert, he understood the survival imperative of being gregarious and outgoing. Currently, Daniel has attained a balance on when to say no, make a move, and when to reach out to people.Cultural Epiphanies: During a family dinner in Germany in 1984, Daniel realized that people were looking at him because he kept transferring his fork from the left to the right hand. In Germany, that is seen as a waste of energy. Since that day, Daniel adopted the German way of handling the fork.Soapbox Moment:Daniel and Bruno Collet started Agile Leader Academy to offer training to leaders on vertical development. What Brings out the Best in Daniel:Daniel believes in genuine commitment, and it’s the first thing he looks at before working with a client.Tagline: Where would you be without self-disruption?Support the Show.
36:17 1/1/24
Father Raldy Jhack Diaz – Blessings Delayed Are Not Blessings Denied
Bio:Fr. Jhack is a Parish Priest, Diocesan Vocation Director, Vicar and among other titles, Incoming Diocesan Catholic Women League’s Chaplain. He is the first Filipino priest ordained in the diocese of St. Paul, Alberta and is currently the Pastor of a Catholic church in rural Mallaig. He entered the seminary at age 17 and after long years of patient waiting, received his ordination into priesthood at the age of 35. He brought with him a personal battle cry: "Blessings delayed but not denied.”Links:Facebook:"Life is not about accumulation, but it's all about contribution. It's all about giving, not getting.""Prayer is the weakness of God and the strength of men."Episode Highlights:In this episode, Fr. Jhack shares his journey of becoming the servant leader he is today. How Father Jhack is Handling Cultural Divide:Fr. Jhack believes his faith in God and love of people have been instrumental for him in handling the cultural differences between the Philippines and Canada.He attributes his ability to work with diverse cultural beliefs to his personality and his philosophy to live the way people live. In his parish, Fr. Jhack is often referred to as a 'rock star' because he helps farmers collect rocks from the fields. When he rides on a combine with his parishioners, he delights the people he serves and they welcome him as part of the family.Childhood Incidents:Fr. Jhack comes from a humble Filipino background with a staunch Catholic faith. As a child, the family walked several miles a week to attend mass. During church, Jhack admired how the priests dressed and desired to be one, after realizing that his first choice of being a physician was not possible given his family’s financial situation.Influential Groups:Fr. Jhack's parents were strict with discipline and laid a strong foundation for his faith. They encouraged him to pray, not to be ashamed of his faith, and always aim higher. Knowing it could lift him out of poverty, Jhack took his education very seriously.Cultural and Leadership Influences:Fr. Jhack defines his leadership style as servant leadership. He draws his inspiration from the Founder of Christianity, Jesus, serving as He did. Personality and Temperaments:In spite of his seriousness and discipline, Fr. Jhack said his natural state is being the life of the party. He loves people, seeks attention, and enjoys being front and centre, even boasting a YouTube channel of thousands of superfans from around the world! Although his strong sense of competition causes him to struggle with humility, he believes his vocation helps tone this down.Cultural Epiphanies:One day, Fr. Jhack was going to renew his passport in Calgary. He got into a merge lane, and because of his driving experience in the Philippines, he yielded instead of speeding up. The people behind him began honking, and one of the people showed him the middle finger, apologizing later upon seeing his priest collar. From this experience, he realized that things were different in Canada.Soapbox Moment:Fr. Jhack urges us to believe in ourselves, never give up, and keep praying.What brings out the best in Fr. Jhack:Father Jhack believes music brings out the best in him and is an avid song writer, something I personally experienced when he played a delightful song he wrote for my husband’s aunt’s 90th birthday celebration! Tagline: DelaySupport the Show.
38:44 12/13/23
Peter Cappelli – The Art of Being Counterfactual
Bio:Peter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School of Business and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA.He is a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal and writes a monthly column for HR Executive magazine. Links:LinkedIn:"Psychology is the most closed field, in terms of arguments that have to be internally consistent, and they have to fit with what we've done already."Episode Highlights:Children ask questions, but Peter Cappelli's degree of questioning was at another level. He was always counterfactual and bombarded his mother with "what if" questions. All along, nobody knew he had ADHD, and this could have been the reason why he was highly counterfactual. In the end, his ability to question turned out to be a strength for him.In this episode, Peter shares his experiences and how his studies at Oxford, MIT, and in the Soviet Union affected his leadership style.Childhood Incidents:As a child with ADHD, Peter was always getting into trouble and had difficulties working on tasks with multiple steps and paying attention to details. In high school, Peter vividly recalls how his chemistry titration was a different color from everyone else. When Peter got to college, things got more complex, and he would lock himself in dark libraries to ward off distractions.Cultural Influences:Peter grew up in his father's family who were first-generation Italian-Americans. He vividly recalls his family discussing topics loudly in Italian, but not understanding the language.Peter's home was 10 miles from a strategic air force base. Duck and cover drills were part of his life. According to Peter, this experience created a sense of urgency and purpose.Influential Groups:At 21, Peter moved to Oxford; to him, it was a more verbal place than what he was used to, and English society felt more hierarchical, with a class system that he wasn’t accustomed to as an American.Oxford was a wonderful social experience. Students spent much time talking and learning about each other. For example, during lunch and dinner, there was a rule that they had to sit next to whoever was in line in front of them. Mixing up with all these other people gave students a chance to develop many friendships.Temperaments and Personality:As a child, Peter was argumentative and counterfactual. Earlier in his career, he made strong efforts not to be argumentative. Even so, he retained his love of questioning and finding truth. Cultural Epiphanies:When Peter meets people from the same class and background, he feels more at ease. It is harder for him to deal with the concept that somebody from a different background thinks about the world differently.What Brings Out the Best in Peter:Peter loves novel questions with rich information. He also enjoys interacting with people who share similar experience and interests.Soapbox Moment:Peter has authored a book called Our Least Important Asset. It focuses on showing businesses how they make bad decisions when they base them on financial accounting alone. His books provide alternatives for how businesses can approach issues from human perspectives.Tagline: Do you ask questions when you are not happy with something?Support the Show.
39:25 11/21/23
Dr. Alan James Yu – The Guide to Creative Change
Bio:Dr. Alan James Yu is an inspirational speaker, author, facilitator, retreat leader & coach on love, creativity, and leadership. He aims to help leaders from all walks of life build healthy and lasting organizational, community, and global change. For the last decade, Alan has worked in corporate, higher education, and non-profit sectors as a facilitator.He has lived in places as diverse as Singapore, the United States (Iowa City, Seattle, and San Diego)and currently resides in Bali, Indonesia. In 2022, Alan spent a month in Cambodia and began reflecting on his experiences living and working with Balinese communities in rural Bali. He put his thoughts into his first book, On Love, Leadership and the Collective Soul: A Guide to Making Creative Change.Links:Website: love_courage_passionTwitter/X:"We express a lot of our spirituality through art.""It's through the power of love that people can they form relationships with each other and support each other's spiritual growth, and we act as mirrors for each other."Episode Highlights:Alan Yu was born in Iowa, and is a second-generation Chinese American. Growing up, Alan and his family traveled a lot, and that exposed Alan to new places, people, and cultures.When Alan took his doctorate program, he had no idea that Bali would become his home. His interest was to teach leadership. Childhood Incidences:When you grow up in a family that has some Asian history, learning Western classical music is a big deal. Growing up, Alan had to learn how to play the piano. It didn't come naturally for him, and he had to put in a lot of work. Even so, he credits his piano discipline with working towards a goal and achieving it.Although he was born in the US, he was walking into an American fast food in his hometown one day, and an older man pointed him towards a Chinese restaurant that was across the street. It dawned on him that no matter how well he adapted, there would always be something to remind him that he was a foreigner.Influential Groups:Alan has had opportunities to perfect leadership in universities and the social sector, which has shaped the leader he is today. During Alan's doctoral program, his mentor, Rose Martinez, taught leadership creatively using the arts. Alan found her teaching method resonated with him.Cultural Epiphanies:While in Harbin, China, Alan caught himself making casual remarks to a teacher, not recognizing that there was a hierarchy to respect. His Japanese friend explained why his familiarity with superiors was considered rude.From his ethnographic research in Bali, and help from a cultural guide, Alan made the decision to live and work in Bali. The Balinese culture informs Alan's personal values, meditation, and teaching practice. Soapbox Moment:Alan has a calendar of leadership training offered in Bali. He invites anyone interested in going developing creative thinking within their organization to get in touch with him for more information.Receive Alan's FREE guide on How to Spark Creativity and Innovation...Without Banging Your Head Against the Wall for Days...Even if No Fresh Thoughts Are Coming to Mind! Send an email with "Gervais" in the subject line with your name and email address in the body of your email.Tagline: How love, leadership and collective soul foster sustainable organizational change.Support the Show.
40:34 11/7/23
Kristina Fusella – The Power of Employee Resource Groups
Bio:Kristina Fusella is a purpose-driven commercial leader with a collaborative approach. She relentlessly pursues excellence while advocating for innovation. Kristina joined Novo Nordisk Inc. in 2015 to be a pioneer in the disease state of obesity. Prior to Novo Nordisk , she had a generalist career in consulting at IBM and ZS.Kristina has a passion for people and culture. She co-led the Millennials Employee Resource Group for two years and fostered a platform that empowered early talent to push for innovation and new ideas in the organization. During her tenure, Place to Work® named Novo Nordisk one of the "Best Workplaces for Millennials."Links:LinkedIn: krfu@novonordisk.comQuotes:"When you're comfortable in a place, you don't want to change it, but without pushing yourself, there's really no growth.""We have created this world where the benchmark for success for women looks like they have to be superwoman."Episode Highlights:Kristina is a native New Yorker, who graduated from Columbia University and is a new mother of a little girl. Her parents were immigrants from China, and she observed their strong work ethic, especially her mother, who was the family’s breadwinner. Kristina's mother always encouraged her to have a practical career.Childhood incidents:Wednesdays were special days for Kristina and her grandmother. They always had lunch at Burger King. Outside Burger King, there was a man who used to beg for change. One day, Kristina and her grandmother went to their usual Wednesday lunch, but the man was not there. Kristina kept wondering where the man was. When they sat down, she noticed the man sitting at a table next to theirs and enjoying every bite of his food.Cultural Influence:Kristina didn't have a chance to experience the Chinese culture growing up, but there are values that she holds deeply from the culture. She is grateful to the earlier generations for paving the way for her to be who she is today.Influential Groups:The group that Kristina has chosen to belong to recently is sisterhood. When she had her daughter, Kristina had post-partum anxiety and depression. What astonished her was women from different parts of her life kept reaching out to her. Kristina has developed a newfound appreciation for women’s experience.Temperaments and Personality:Kristina believes that one’s mindset is critical, and that positive energy is a faster way to achieving your goals than being in a negative space. She has been actively changing her mind in terms of her self-limiting beliefs.Cultural Epiphanies:After research by Novo Nordisk, it hit Kristina hard that there are some startling differences between American culture and Asian culture. For Americans, being loud, expressive, and actively self-promoting themselves is the norm, but for people in Asian cultures, it's the exact opposite. They love harmony, being humble, and never want to brag about themselves. They let their work speak for them.What Brings Out the Best in Kristina?To bring out Kristina's authentic self, she needs an environment where people are valued for their individualism and differences rather than wanting everyone to conform to a specific standard.Soapbox Moment:Kristina encourages organizations to look at employee resource groups if they have them. If not, think about how they invest in them. She believes it would lead to positive culture changes and business success.Tagline: Employee resource groups are beyond social groups.Support the Show.
43:30 10/25/23
Juana Bordas – Leadership in the Age of Multiculturalism
Bio:Juana Bordas, LHD, originally came to the US on a banana boat from Nicaragua when she was three years old. She exemplifies the many contributions, resiliency, and determination of the immigrant spirit. Juana Bordas is recognized as an elder and icon in the advancement of multicultural and inclusive leadership that includes the contributions of Latinos and communities of colour.Links:Website: juanabordas@gmail.comQuotes:"Leadership always starts with you as a leader taking care of yourself so that you can give to others, and you can be available.""Leadership is creating a society that takes care of its people."Episode Highlights:When you have a mother who is willing to do anything to set you up for success, then you have no option but to be successful. According to Juana, her mother had a grade-five education, but she was determined to give her all to ensure the narrative changed for her children, especially Juana. When they came to the US, Juana had the finest education and did her best to make her mother proud. Childhood Incidents:As a child, Juana suffered from a cultural inferiority complex. She vividly recalls when she was invited to a party, and her mother took her to the store to buy a dress for the party. They bought a dress that they thought was the best for the party. When Juana got to the party, other girls were dressed in taffeta. She was embarrassed and ended up hiding in the bathroom all night. Juana struggled with the psychology of oppression. Her breakthrough came when she joined the Peace Corps, and she realized how rich her culture was.Leadership Style:The dance metaphor is strong for the way Latinos look at life. Looking at Juana's life, her mother took her to the dance floor and left her there, trusting that her daughter would learn how to dance. The prep school Juana attended extended a dance invitation to her, which she readily accepted and danced. What has Juana Adopted From Other Cultures?When Juana went to Chile, she worked in low-income areas where she realized there was a culture that cut across different Latino subgroups. The area she worked in held 150,000 people and was on the outskirts of the airport. Despite the poor conditions, the Chileans Juana met were incredibly kind and generous to her.Temperament and Personality:Juana grew up as a highly energetic girl. Her parents were working class and they always kept active. Through their example, Juana learned to always be active and to take the initiative when she could. Cultural Epiphanies:Juana believes that Latinos are moving more into the intellectual class and have increasingly stronger economic clout. Latinos are going to be 78% of the new entries into the labour force, and in the next 10-20 years, they will be stepping into leadership positions at a much higher level than ever before because they integrate both their cultural assets with what they’ve learned at mainstream universities and other educational institutions.What Brings Out the Best in Juana?Juana has a deep love for humanity. Whenever she works with people, the first thing she does is develop a connection with them. Her desire is not to be a leader, but to form a partnership where they energize each other, learn, support, and see the best in each other.Soapbox Moments:Juana invites us to be part of the multicultural age, because diversity is the next stage in human evolution.Tagline: How to lSupport the Show.
44:27 10/10/23
Carolyn Stern – Lead with a Strong Mind and a Kind Heart
Bio:Carolyn Stern, is the author of The Emotionally Strong Leader: An Inside-Out Journey to Transformational Leadership. She is the President and CEO of EI Experience, an executive leadership development and emotional intelligence training firm. She is a certified Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Development Expert, professional speaker, and university professor whose emotional intelligence courses and modules have been adopted by top universities in North America. She has also provided comprehensive training programs to business leaders across the continent in highly regarded corporations encompassing industries such as technology, finance, manufacturing, advertising, education, healthcare, government, and food service.Links:Website:’s Book:“When you can connect with people on an emotional level, great things can happen for you and the other people.”“It’s scary to put your ideas out there for the world to judge.”Episode Highlights:Carolyn was deemed to be a very sensitive child. Her family did whatever it took to hide things from her, which led her to doubt her ability to handle emotional issues. Carolyn had constant feelings of anxiety, which turned her worries into emotional outbursts, panic attacks, meltdowns, and ultimately, emotional dependence on her mother.Childhood Incidents:As a child, Carolyn was so dependent on her mother that anytime her mother was away, she always wore her bathrobe to have her smell. She was always afraid that her mother wouldn’t come back.Carolyn was a teacher as a young adult. One day, two of her students got into a fistfight. For Carolyn, the best way to address the issue was to give important roles to the two students. She made them both vice presidents of operations.  In touch with one of the students seven seven years later, she confirmed that this had a positive impact on her life. Influential Groups:According to Carolyn, growing up she knew nothing about Judaism and hid her religion to fit in. She confesses to never talking about Hanukkah, but always talked about Christmas. Later in life, Carolyn studied Japanese, which opened her up to the different levels of Japanese politeness.Leadership Style:Carolyn believes that leaders should give guidance and let the people figure things out on their own. Having used this leadership style herself, she believes it is the “secret sauce” because it has worked for her with the employees and clients.Temperament and Personality:Carolyn grew up a child who believed in going big or going home. She was sensitive, persistent, anxious, always worried about the future, easily distracted, and persistent.Cultural Epiphanies:At 18, Carolyn went to Japan for the first time. Her expectations were that the people there would be as kind as her Japanese friends back home. Shock hit her when she went to the subway and the kindness was missing. When still in Japan, Carolyn realized how the Japanese receive a business card when you give it to them. They grasp it with both hands and take their time to look at it before shoving it into their pockets. To Carolyn, that shows a level of respect.What Brings Out the Best in Carolyn:Carolyn loves working with people who lead with emotional intelligence and with a strong mind and kind heart.Soapbox Moment:Carolyn invites us to check out her latest book, The Emotionally Strong Leader.Support the Show.
31:41 9/28/23
Minette Norman – Lead Better by Being More Human
Minette's Bio:Minette Norman focuses on developing transformational leaders who create inclusive working environments with a foundation of psychological safety. She is deeply committed to fostering workplace inclusion and is a sought-after speaker in psychological safety, inclusive cultures, radical empathy, and collaborative teams. Together with Karolin Heibig, they co-authored The Psychological Safety Playbook.Links:Website: https://www.minettenorman.comLinkedIn:"You do not get to tap into the genius of the people you've hired and the diverse perspectives unless you have a strong foundation of psychological safety."Episode Highlights: Minette Norman grew up in California. Her dream was to become an actress. At some point, she realized how difficult it was to become an actress because of the numerous auditions and rejections. She decided to fall back to French and ended up securing a job at the French Trade Commission, New York. She later moved back to California when Silicon Valley was getting started and became a technical writer for Photoshop version 1.0. This marked the beginning of her career in the software industry. Childhood Incidents:While growing up, Minette's mom was hospitalized with a mental illness, which impacted Minette greatly. She knew she couldn't be a problem in the household since there were other problems to be handled. Minette also knew there were things she had to do for herself. This experience shaped Minette to become someone who was relentlessly challenging the status quo. How Karolin and Minette Met:Karolin and Minette met in an online class in 2021 and have been working together for two years. One day, Minette was on a podcast with one of their classmates, and Karolin was listening. She expressed her interest in psychological safety beyond research and academia. Karoline resonated with it and wrote Minette an email with the reference, "Crazy Idea."During a Zoom call, they discussed working on something small that would benefit their clients. What they originally envisioned as something small turned into a book. Their book comprises plays and moves for workplace safety. Karolin and Minette will meet for the first time in-person at the Search Inside Yourself Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.The Essence of Vulnerability as a Leader:Minette's company worked with a global team at some point, where they would meet one-on-one as a team for their quarterly meeting. One time, Minette decided to engage a facilitator because she felt they were struggling to work together as a team. The facilitator suggested they embrace their vulnerability and share something from their early years that made them who they are today. Minette shared her story, and she cried in front of her employees. A sense of empathy filled the room where her employees started opening up and they all got to know one another better. Influential Groups:Throughout her career, Minette looked at leaders and picked up all the good leadership traits and skills they had, while simultaneously pointing out — and avoiding — the traits that she wouldn't want to possess as a leader. Soapbox Moment:Minette invites us to buy their book, The Psychological Safety Playbook and download the free resources available on their website.Tagline: Become a better leader by being more human.Support the Show.
44:49 9/13/23
Nick Jonsson – Defeating Loneliness at the Top
Bio:Nick Jonsson holds a Bachelor of Communications in business (specializing in marketing and advertising), and a Master's degree in public relations from Bond University, Australia, where he graduated top of his class. He is also a number one International Best-Selling Author.Nick is dedicated to raising awareness and eliminating the stigma around the phenomenon of executive loneliness. As the co-founder and managing director of the Singapore branch of EGN (Executives' Global Network), Nick is passionate about matching senior executives in confidential peer groups where they can help each other face challenges and identify opportunities.Episode Highlights:In 2015, Nick experienced burnout that made him resign from his job. Seemingly overnight, his lifestyle changed for the worse. Bad habits replaced his good habits, such as drinking beer instead of going for his morning walk. Nick found himself isolated and depressed. He hid his depression for a couple of years, but got to the point where the mask fell off. It was at that point he embarked on a recovery journey.Executive loneliness is a topic close to Nick's heart, and has shared his story multiple times on different platforms and features in newspapers and magazines. Links:Website:“The pictures we put up of ourselves on social media and how we want people to see us is perhaps not the truth.”“A problem shared is a problem is already underway to be solved.”Childhood Incidents:Nick's parents came from humble backgrounds, and they made it their life mission to change the narrative. As an adolescent, Nick’s dad once told him that the easiest way is not always the best way. It shaped how he perceived things and made him choose different paths. Today, he feels like his father's words drove him forward as well as set him up for failure.Influential Groups:Nick struggled to associate with the culture in Sweden because his father was always working, and he needed someone to guide him. Between the ages of 18-20, Nick joined a group that used to travel around the world. He vividly recalls driving around Europe over the summer.Religion and spirituality are usually part of many families' foundations, but for Nick, he only got it from school. Nick feels he lacked a greater power than himself as he went out to the world and built his career.Temperaments and Personality:Nick believes his temperament is that he never settles for anything. When he was 12 years-old, Nick asked his parents for a motorcycle, but they told him he had to earn it. A year later at the age of 13, he started selling computers and bought himself a motorcycle.Over the years, Nick has realized that life is not all about him. It is about others and letting go. He now believes in progress over perfection.Cultural Epiphanies:Nick believes it takes more work to catch up and learn a new language in every country you move to. You can only become part of the culture if you are settling there.What Brings the Best in Nick:Nick believes in being vulnerable and open. He also enjoys working with people who can open up. Soapbox Moment:Nick invites us to check out his book, Executive Loneliness, on Amazon and connect with him on LinkedIn.Tagline: Fighting loneliness at the executive level and embracing progress over perfection.Support the Show.
35:06 8/20/23
Adam Keller – Make Dedication Your Passion
Bio:Adam Keller is the founder of Start a Party Rental Company. He started his party rental company at 22 years old. Through hard work and dedication, he grew it into a thriving business. In addition to his party rental company, he has expanded into other ventures, including Airbnb and a wedding venue. To share his expertise and knowledge, Adam started a YouTube and TikTok channel that’s focused on teaching people about the key principles of starting a successful party rental company. Website: Highlights:Adam Keller is a product of hard work and dedication. From a young age, his mother delegated tasks to him, and he never disappointed her. He vividly recalls helping with house chores and taking care of his younger sister while he was in seventh grade.Quotes:"Being part of a single mother household, I just did what needed to be done and didn't complain about it.""Business culture for me means you have a vision and you don't let fear stop you.""My main goal in life is to help people. I do that best by sharing what I know."Childhood Incidents:Adam was born into a single-parent household. During the winter, Adam shovelled snow so his mother could get to work. After school, he lit a fire to warm up the house since using a wood stove was less expensive than running electricity. He also recalls having to dig up roots to loosen tree stumps because his mother could not afford to hire some to do it. Adam believes his experiences prepared him to be the person he is today.Influential Groups:In middle school, Adam was part of the outcast group. They were the alternative kids who listened to punk rock and metal. This group gave Adam a sense of belonging, and the outcasts were kind to one another.Work Culture:From the onset, Adam wanted his company to be a place where people work, learn, and have fun. Adam says this is a work culture that he is determined to maintain.Personality and Temperament:Adam prides himself on his ability to evaluate situations and make decisions quickly. He thinks that’s been the primary education in his life, to train himself to think fast.He also tries to develop his employees, showing them just how capable they are.Cultural Epiphanies:Adam created a TikTok channel to get some business ideas. All he saw were a bunch of side hustles that have to do with various online concepts like copying lists and doing that and drop shipping. They were all of little value. People made the videos just for views and clicks. He decided to make videos that would be helpful. Someone told him to skip the basic questions in the comments section and get to the real meat. Adam couldn’t understand how someone would think like that, considering people were starting and needed the basics.Soapbox Moment:Adam’s primary goal in life is to try to help people. He believes the best way to do it is by sharing his knowledge. He started a YouTube channel to enlighten people and got a lot of messages from people trying to find out more about party rentals. To focus on the people who were serious, he created courses. He invites us to have a look at the courses.What brings out the best in Adam Keller: Adam loves working with people who are non-complainers. People willing to work and hungry to work for money and knowledge.Tagline: Do you want to be successful? Make dedication your passion.Support the Show.
31:46 8/14/23
Susan Allen and Tara Priya Chandra – Mess is the Mission, Laughter is the Vision
Bio:Susan Allen grew up in Massachusetts, and received her BA in communications and legal studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After three years at a healthcare policy non-profit in Boston, she moved to New York City to join the Open Society Foundations. Susan completed her master's in management at the London School of Economics in 2015. She relocated to London in 2016 to lead the Foundation's work on diversity, equity, and inclusion and to launch Here We Flo with her best friend, Tara.Tara Priya Chandra is co-founder of Here We Flo. Born in San Francisco, she studied economics at Columbia University in NYC After briefly working on Wall Street, Tara ended up in the music industry in LA while freelance copywriting for brands like Ray-Ban. Tara received her master's from the London School of Economics, where she met future co-founder Susan and received the C200Award for exceptional MBA students.Links:Website:“Our mission is shamelessly natural care for life’s messiest moments.”“Don’t be afraid to fail, everything’s not going to go perfectly. As long as you’re learning and improving, that’s the most important thing.”Episode Highlights: In this episode, we learn how Here We Flo was created by Susan and Tara.Personal Journeys:Tara grew up in San Francisco, California. Her parents were Indian and Persian. At 12, Tara lost her mom, and her independence journey started. Different people mothered her. Having the two sides of the family exposed Tara to different cultures and developed her open-mindedness.Susan was born in the US Virgin Islands and her family moved to Massachusetts when she was one year old. Her mother started working to recruit minority doctors at Boston Medical Center and at the age of nine, Susan’s parents divorced. One day Susan’s brother was shot. Their mom didn’t have money for the required surgery, so he had a colostomy bag for 18 months. Later, they found out there was a free program that could have covered the surgery. The experience made Susan’s mother a strong healthcare advocate.Childhood Incidents:Hindu culture believes service to humankind is service to God. Growing up, Tara realized that her dad always encouraged her to pursue a career that would help her serve people. According to him, the most successful people were not the rich but those who served others.Susan’s mom believes in service to others, and from Susan’s story, it is evident that her children took a similar path. How Tara and Susan Met:Tara and Susan met at the London School of Economics. One day, during a conversation in the restroom, Susan suggested they start a business, Tara was agreed and they started brainstorming. One thing Susan knew for sure was it would be a “feminine Mafia.” Tara loved her feminine organic care pack, but it was becoming difficult to find the products. They decided to launch a business for organic feminine care products, called “Here We Flo.” Workplace Culture at Here We Flo:Susan describes their workplace culture as a feminist oasis in a sea of patriarchy. Their culture revolves around trust, compassion, and appreciation for their team members. Their aim is to make Here We Flo a great workplace like Google and Microsoft.What Brings out the Best in Susan and Tara:Susan and Tara love working with people who are honest about their ambitions. To bring out the best in them, one must be open and willing to learn, vulnerable and transparent.Tagline: Shamelessly natural care for life’s meSupport the Show.
65:26 7/24/23
Gary Z. Linnen – Playing Peer Support Forward
Gary's Bio:As the CEO of PeerForward, Gary Z. Linnen has directed the nonprofit's programs for over a decade, cultivating deep experience in youth development, program innovation, and organizational leadership. Growing up as a black Puerto Rican in Spanish Harlem, he experienced firsthand the obstacles other people's assumptions place in your path. He developed resilience and social solidarity from his family, who taught him to stand and deliver.Links:Website:"In a leadership position, individuals are looking up to you. If you're not being true to yourself, they'll see that.""If you've never had to make pasta, you don't know the recipe for pasta. We can't make assumptions around it."Episode Highlights:Despite growing up in poverty, Gary's successes caused him to be chosen by the Oliver Scholars Program, which allowed him to attend the prestigious Weston School. Upon his return home, Gary realized that others who were as smart (or smarter) had yet to be given a chance to overcome the obstacles marginalized youth regularly face in academia, and he wanted to change that.Childhood Incidents:Gary grew up in a community where family meant everything to him. Material belongings only mattered to him after he was denied in school because his best outfit was a pair of jeans and a grey sweater, and not a suit. When Gary moved from his community, he realized he was primarily judged by how he looked, spoke, and behaved instead of his accomplishments or intellect. Leadership and Culture Style: According to the principle of Quakerism, regardless of who you are, there's a higher being around to help drive individuals. Although Gary is not religious, this principle guides him on many things. As a leader, Gary has made it his mission to ensure that everyone receives a fair chance. He also believes that vulnerability to oneself is essential because it helps us find where we are and how we can get past that. Temperament and Personality:Gary always believed he had everything under control based on his ability to juggle multiple tasks at once. About six years ago, he realized that he was juggling too much and needed to slow down because that pace wasn't sustainable. Influential groups:The LGBTQ+ community has played a considerable role in Gary's life. Since the age of 16, that community space provided him with a sense of resiliency, connection, sisterhood and brotherhood. Cultural Epiphanies:Being a Puerto Rican, Gary experiences people with a deficit mindset in his day-to-day life. In many cases, some wonder if he can produce the desired results, resulting in him being repeatedly questioned on his capabilities, even though he has consistent proof of his expertise.What Brings out the best in Gary:Gary has an open-door policy and loves it when people are upfront with him. Being a natural nurturer, Gary wishes the best for everyone. The ability to just be himself also helps him face challenges with ease.Soap Box Moment:Gary invites us to check out to understand how his organization helps youth be there for each other, and find out how to support educational achievement for youth in poverty. Tagline: Youth as problem solvers, not problems to be solved.Support the Show.
39:59 7/12/23