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Disrupt Yourself Podcast with Whitney Johnson

English, Finance, 345 seasons, 383 episodes, 4 days, 18 hours, 27 minutes
Best-selling author Whitney Johnson (“Disrupt Yourself”) explores her passion for personal disruption through engaging conversations with disruptors. Each episode of this podcast reveals new insights about how we work, learn, and live.
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377 ENCORE Brené Brown: How Are You Holding Yourself Back From Feeling – And Why?

Is there a particular conversation you’ve had with someone, that keeps resurfacing as you grow and get older? In difficult moments, you find yourself traveling back to that day at the cafe or whatever it was, sitting down for a conversation you didn’t know would shape you as much as it has.  For me, it’s my talk with Brené Brown, all the way back in 2019.  In case new listeners need an introduction, she holds the Huffington Foundation Endowed Chair as a research professor at the University of Houston. You might know her best as the writer of Daring Greatly, or The Gifts Of Imperfection, or as the speaker for one of the most popular TED Talks ever. When we spoke, she had just released her Netflix special, The Call To Courage, and it was a conversation that reminds me even today to appreciate the meaning that emerges from the human condition. I want to bring back that conversation today in light of her most recent book, Atlas Of The Heart – all about the thousand different ways our body generates emotion. Like Emma McAdam says, stop trying to feel better, and get better at feeling – that’s something I’m still working on today. Brené’s work on the link between emotion and the meaning we make for ourselves is just as important today as it was in 2019.   
6/14/202438 minutes, 14 seconds
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376 Cathy Carroll: When You’re Facing Generational Loggerheads, Turn Your Tug Of War Into A “Hug Of War”

It’s not a pretty truth of life, but we all argue with family, eventually. In fact, those arguments can be some of the most explosive moments of our lives. But why? Is it just that the folks closest to us know how to push our buttons? If so, how can we overcome that to grow? And grow alongside our family? Our guest today has a couple ideas. Cathy Carroll is the president and founder of Legacy Onward, a leadership coaching business dedicated to helping – you guessed it – family businesses. All those images I just conjured up, of fighting with your family: now add money, a lot of money, to the mix, and that’s where Cathy operates. She even comes from a family business herself – rodeo equipment manufacturing. Today, Cathy’s out with a new book, Hug of War, a real guide to navigating that tension between the good of the business and the good of the family. So what do we do when we’re fighting with the people we love most? Is it possible, as Cathy claims, for both of us to be right? And if so… then what?  
6/7/202446 minutes, 7 seconds
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375 Steve Lebowitz and Eli Manning: The Plays, On And Off The Field, That Make Private Equity A Little Kinder

Think of a relationship in your life that you’d describe as a true partnership. Why did that person come to mind? There are words and phrases that come easily when you’re describing a partnership that works:  feeling supported, encouraged, the sense that when I have my back turned, you’ve still got my back. So where do those feelings come from, and how do we solidify them? How can we grow a new relationship into a partnership? How do you pick the people you can trust? Today we’ve got two guests that are partners on paper, at the private equity firm Brand Velocity Group, but as you’ll hear, it goes much further than their roles. Steve Lebowitz is the founder and managing partner of BVG, and Eli Manning – well, you might recall his S Curve with the New York Giants, but this episode is all about a new S curve.  So how did the first overall draft pick in 2004 partner up with a revolutionary in private equity – and what do they do to make it work?  
5/31/202453 minutes, 33 seconds
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374 Coaching Roundtable: What Does The Call To Coaching Mean To You?

Back in July, we tried something a little new for this show – episode 329 was all about hearing from the listeners of Disrupt Yourself. What was important to you while you were listening, what insights you wanted to bring back from older episodes and refresh. It was a lovely experiment, so today we’re bringing you another roundtable. This time, we’ve got three coaches instead, all of whom are Smart Growth certified. We wanted to explore what that initial call to action was for all three of them, as well as what certification meant – practically – for their clients’ success. Today we’ll be joined by Sarah Glover, Jordan White and Rebecca Woodard, all independent coaches in the process of growing their practice.  
5/24/202452 minutes, 5 seconds
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373 Nathan Tanner: Are You Neglecting Your Internal Game To Succeed At The External Game?

Self-fulfilling prophecies – and falling into their trap – are part and parcel of being human. From ancient Greek tragedies to television like Breaking Bad, they’ve popped up time and time again. We just can’t escape our flaw of telling ourselves stories about the future, and then making them reality. But what if it… wasn’t a flaw? What if there was a real power, a real gift in being about to tell yourself a story and see it through? You might know Steph Curry from his legacy at the Golden State Warriors, but would you believe he wasn’t even scouted coming out of high school?  Our guest today is a big believer in turning the self-fulfilling prophecy stigma on its head. Nathan Tanner thought he finally had it all with a cushy investment gig at Lehman Brothers. The problem was, he joined up in 2008, right before Lehman went through the biggest bank collapse in history. To hear him say it, it would have been the easiest thing to write a personal story… of failure.  But since then, Nathan’s worked through top positions at LinkedIn and DoorDash before settling into his own coaching practice. Today, he’s out with a new book, suitably titled The Unconquerable Leader – Mastering the Internal and External Game. It’s all about learning to show up for yourself so that you can properly show up for others.  
5/17/202449 minutes, 58 seconds
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372 Michael Bungay Stanier: How You Can Turn Coaching Into An Automatic Reflex

Today, we wanted to bring back a conversation I had with Michael Bungay Stanier back in 2018, where we explored what it really means to be a coach. His self-published book The Coaching Habit had only been out for two years, and it had already sold 300 thousand copies. Bringing the philosophy of coaching into our lives can be one of the most personally disruptive and rewarding projects we take on. It changes and strengthens how we support others in our lives, and the support we receive in return. Michael breaks this down in such an accessible way that we felt a re-air was more than worth it.  
5/10/202446 minutes, 50 seconds
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371 Eduardo Briceno: When You’re Not Seeing Growth, Learn To Change How You’re Changing

So much of what we talk about on here is change – navigating change, embracing change, creating change. I think it’s fair to say that if you’re listening, change of some form is on your mind. We’re no strangers when it comes to figuring out how to get from A to B. But what happens when we have to change… how we’re changing? What happens when we plateau with our progress, and the old models of learning just aren’t sticking anymore? What does jumping to that new S Curve look like? That’s where our guest today comes in. Eduardo Briceno is the co-founder of Mindset Works, a firm dedicated to bringing Carol Dweck’s growth mindset to workplaces world-wide. He’s out now with The Performance Paradox, a book dedicated to that question of changing how you’re changing. From Caracas, Venezuela to the Stanford Business School, Eduardo has navigated all kinds of change, even a fear of public speaking. So what do we have to learn from him?  
5/3/202448 minutes, 25 seconds
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370 Roger L. Martin: How To Turn Around A Failing Business School – Without Doing A Whole Lot Of Anything

This week we’ve got a special episode, a longer one than we normally do. But when you have an opportunity, to talk to the person who built the Rotman School of Management into the powerhouse it is today, you have to use every minute you get.  Roger L. Martin was told that the Toronto’s Rotman School wasn’t worth his time, that it was a quote – cesspool of intrigue. Roger himself will say that he didn’t do much in his 15 years as dean, just tinkering and prodding. He’s a bit of an understated enigma, as you’ll soon find out. But when Rotman’s prestige today ranks up there with Stanford and Harvard, you can’t really argue with his results.   There’s so much to mine in this conversation, we thought it would be a shame to cut it down and fit it within our normal episode length. If you have the time, I’d love for you to give it more than just one listen.  
4/26/20241 hour, 25 minutes, 11 seconds
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369 Ruth McKeaney: To Make A House A Home, Tailor Your Family Systems With Intention

Ask a thousand people how to make a house a home, and you might get a thousand different answers. Some will say it’s family; others say it’s all in the interior decor – neighborhood pride, or a furry friend, maybe.  Regardless of how you answer the question, you can’t just sit back and wait for it to become a home – everyone agrees that something needs to be done.  Our guest today is an expert on making that transition from house to home. Moving every 18 months or so, Ruth McKeaney raised five kids alongside her husband. Move into a fixer-upper, fix it up with the family’s help, sell it, rinse and repeat. It was only a matter of time until Ruth’s ability to structure her family’s systems came to the attention of book publishers. Hungry for Home is Ruth’s manual on building a home, everything from home restoration to frozen cookie dough.  
4/19/202453 minutes, 44 seconds
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368 Cal Newport: Why The Factory Model Of Work Doesn’t Work In The Modern Age

How many of us have mastered the skill of looking busy, at some point in our professional lives? It’s an art, really – moving from one tab to another with lightspeed, peering at the screen and making that face that you think communicates determination, drive, intent.    Our guest today says that it’s nothing to feel bad about. When a portion of the population moved from factories to cubicles, they still brought that factory-floor mentality with them. Look good in front of the boss, keep working, don’t stop moving. Cal Newport calls this pseudo-productivity – the art of looking busy.   Cal says there’s a way out, though. He calls it Slow Productivity – also the title of his new book, out now. How can we accomplish our dreams without the emotional and physical burnout that so many industries seem to take for granted?  
4/12/202450 minutes, 4 seconds
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367 Chris Dixon: (Re)learning The Streets And Signs Of Our Virtual City

Many of us feel comfortable navigating a city. Whether it’s New York or Kyoto, the rules remain mostly the same. Count the amount of blocks you’ve walked, remember that the E train runs express to Manhattan, if you see the Duane Reade, you’ve gone too far. We can get lost, for sure, but there’s a joy in knowing that you have the freedom to get lost. A wrong turn could mean your new favorite Chinese spot, or a new friend. Now think about how you navigate the internet. We don’t explore and get lost as much as we stay within one small neighborhood – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.  Our guest today is fighting back against this centralization of our virtual city. Chris Dixon has been a partner at Andreessen Horowitz since 2012, most recently in charge of its crypto investing wing. From that birds-eye view, Chris has taken the charge on reimagining how we interact with the internet.  And now he’s out with a new book, Read Write Own, all about the Web3 revolution on our doorstep. So – a lot of buzzwords, and a lot of metaphors. But what does it all mean for you?   
4/5/202452 minutes, 56 seconds
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366 Brooke Romney: Falling Into The Comparison Trap (And How To Get Out)

In this episode, we wanted to bring you a redux of a conversation I had back in 2022. As a new mom, Brooke Romney left behind her roots on Capitol Hill to move to a new community, new friend –– a new S Curve.    But instead of making new connections, a normally extroverted person, Brooke found herself withdrawing from the community. Why? Well, she was surrounded by successful people, and Brooke fell into one of the most human traps there is – comparing yourself to others, and feeling she was coming up short.   As the new spring rolls around, this is a perfect episode to remind us to stop comparing. That little voice in our head can convince us that we’re coming up short, and only that little voice – your voice– can convince you that you are worthy, unique –– one of a kind.   
3/29/202452 minutes, 32 seconds
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365 Donald Miller: How To Write Your Own Story With Intention

What makes a good story? Characters, plot, setting, sure – you can boil it down to those elements – but what makes a good story? Is it the moment where you’re up all night burning the midnight oil, because you’re dying to find out how it ends? Is a good story one you believe in? Our guest today believes in the power of stories. Donald Miller is the CEO of StoryBrand, a creative firm that specializes in clarifying a company’s message. In other words, taking a good story and figuring out how to make it great – how to make it one customers can genuinely believe in. Now Donald’s out with a new book, Coach Builder, all about how newly-minted coaches can write their professional story and succeed in the industry. Link to Coach Builder promo:  
3/22/202446 minutes, 21 seconds
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364 Jerry Colonna: It’s Not Enough To Be An Ally – You Have To Be A Co-Conspirator

“True transformation, begins with a broken heart.” It’s something you’ll hear our guest today say a couple of times, this idea that a real crucible moment begins when something inside you breaks. When a force fundamental to you and your soul says – no more. Jerry Colonna has taken that message and run with it throughout his entire career, from the hallways of venture capital to his current venture in coaching. Today, he’s out with a new book on healing that break, titled Reunion: Leadership, and the Longing to Belong. But how do you harness the power of a broken heart in the first place? How do you turn that into fuel for true transformation?
3/15/202449 minutes, 45 seconds
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363 Peter Sims: A Practical Guide To Sparking Your Humanity “In An Inhuman Time”

When’s the last time you felt out of place? I’m sure a lot of us have sat with that feeling, whether that’s professionally or personally. It can hit you just as easily in a boardroom meeting as when you’re out with friends. So now that you feel like an alien that’s crash-landed, what do you do? Our guest today has built his career around finding community for these so-called “black sheep.” Peter Sims is a former corporate investor who became disillusioned with the high-powered world of finance and left to form his own creative firm – appropriately named, Black Sheep. It’s also the name of his new book, out in May, subtitled The Quest To Be Human In An Inhuman Time. What can we take away from Peter’s journey, to help us better navigate those moments when you feel the need to find a new tribe?
3/8/202449 minutes, 40 seconds
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362 Carol Fishman Cohen: Disrupting Yourself When You’ve Been Disrupted

At DA, we’re all about discovering and harnessing disruption, but sometimes, disruption finds you. It’s a fact of life – our car skids on ice we didn’t see on the road up ahead. Your boat hits a reef at night. A business deal falls through out of nowhere, and there’s nothing you can or could have done. Now that your car’s in a snowbank, what’s next? Our guest today has been there and back. After the company she worked for collapsed while she was on maternity leave, Carol Fishman Cohen decided to leave the workforce for 11 years to raise her children. Today, she’s the CEO of her own company, iRelaunch. Carol’s had to fight through the nitty-gritty of getting back into the office, remembering and trusting in her capabilities, and today her company helps others make the same jump. Her story is, quite literally, a case study in how people disrupt themselves in response to being disrupted.
3/1/202450 minutes, 45 seconds
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361 Paul Allen: How AI Can Supplement Our Humanity Instead Of Supplanting It

When we talk about robots, machines, artificial intelligence, it’s usually within the context of something theorists call the singularity. That’s the moment when AI figures out how to upgrade itself, and leaves us in the dust. After all, it can learn a library in an instant – the AI doesn’t need to stop for a snack and a nap.  In the world of the Terminator, it took Skynet a single day to become self-aware, destroy most of human life, and then send Arnold back in time to make sure no one could stop it. But in the end, The Terminator is one person’s vision of the future – a vision that’s also designed to sell well at the box office. Isn’t it just as possible to write a different version? Our guest today is spending his time doing just that. Paul Allen, the co-founder and former CEO of, is asking instead – what if we saw AI as an ally, not an arms race? With his new venture, Soar, Paul is writing a different story, one where the robots aren’t sent back in time to strip away our humanity, but rather – they exemplify everything that’s unique about being human.  
2/23/202451 minutes, 57 seconds
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360 Sam Cooprider: Leave Behind Your Ego And Pave Your Own Path

“If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” Famous words by Bruce Lee, sure, but when we’ve felt like a stone our whole lives, what does becoming water actually look like? How do we learn to be more malleable in difficult situations? And how can we be confident we’re flowing in the right direction? Samantha Cooprider is the senior director of global leadership development at Meta – formerly Facebook. Today, Sam’s shaping leaders at a corporate level, but her path to the top has been anything but straightforward. She’s had to learn how to flow from a Midwestern childhood, through the non-profit world, and into the C-suites of Tesla, Meta and Google.  So how does Sam keep her mission top of mind when she’s moving from one cup to another?  
2/16/202449 minutes, 9 seconds
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359 Dr. Michael Gervais: Why We Betray Ourselves For The Approval Of Others

After 49 days fasting under the Bodhi tree, Siddhartha Guatama was struck by an idea. We suffer because we are attached to things, to people, to desires. When we can’t have it, we feel an emptiness. But what if we never wanted it in the first place? Guatama taught his philosophy for the next few decades, and centuries after that his followers would give him a new name – the Buddha. Total, complete elimination of your yearnings was called Nirvana. In our networked world, where we broadcast on social media what we want others to see of us, Nirvana can seem far away. But our guest today says that the yearning to belong shapes our behaviors in ways we’re not often conscious of. Dr. Michael Gervais is host of the podcast Finding Mastery, where he pulls on his experience as a high-performance psychologist to draw out what makes these top athletes and board room professionals tick. He’s out with a new book – The First Rule of Mastery, Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You.
2/9/202452 minutes, 41 seconds
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358 Robert Sutton: How To Spot Bad Friction And Create Good Friction In Your Workplace

When’s the last time a customer service phone menu left you… genuinely angry? We build these systems to make things easier, layer systems on top of other systems, but who’s doing the gardening and pruning – the upkeep? Our guest today calls this phenomenon friction. Robert Sutton has taught at Stanford since 1983, in that time covering everything from psychology to business management. Now he’s out with his 8th book, The Friction Project. Bob and his co-writer Huggy Rao took on this idea of a maddeningly-frustrating phone menu to nail down where friction comes from – and how to treat it. But also, how can friction in our organizations actually be a force for good?
1/30/202444 minutes, 46 seconds
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357 Gov. Spencer Cox: Lessons On Inclusive Leadership, From The Farm To The Governor’s Mansion

What does it take, day in and day out, to lead a group of people effectively? It’s not easy, that’s for sure. On a very granular level, leading is balancing a thousand decisions, huge and small, every day. So what guides your hand? Republican Governor of Utah Spencer Cox is an anomaly in a time of waning bipartisanship. His vice chair in the National Governor’s Association is a Democrat – and a close friend at that. He’s also been a bit of an anomaly in how he’s charted his life, too, turning down Harvard and a cushy lawyer job for his family farm in Fairview. But Governor Cox is an anomaly we can learn from. How do you build a belief system as a leader – and strengthen it, when it seems like the political winds are blowing against you?   
1/23/202448 minutes, 31 seconds
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356 Keith Allred: Meeting Folks Halfway Is A Virtue, Not A Weakness

We find ourselves compromising every day – it’s how things get done in a society where we all want something else. But what’s the root of compromise? Isn’t it this idea that solving the issue, whatever it is, is more important than checking off everything we want? It can seem that those ideals have been left by the roadside in the past couple years, but the issue of honest compromise has crept into our boardrooms, too. Our guest today is working to instill that idea of meeting folks halfway back into our political culture. Keith Allred is the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, a DC non-profit dedicated to pushing through bipartisan legislation. What can we take from the House of Representatives into our own C-suite?
1/16/202448 minutes, 41 seconds
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355 Ashley Smith: The Hidden River Of Energy Flowing Through All We Do

In middle school physics, we learned that an object at rest has potential energy – an amount of currency it has to spend, if it wants to move. When you pull back an arrow, the potential energy flows from your muscles, to the bow, to the string, and then the string pays all that money in one go to propel the arrow – turning potential into kinetic energy in a single motion. Our lives are organized around those same flows of energy, too. We dream, we store energy, and then we trade in potential for kinetic. Ashley Smith has made a career out of translating these flows of energy – and showing others how to do it, too. It’s in her dance studio, turning emotion into movement. It’s in her partnership with her husband, Ryan Smith, the executive chairman and co-founder of Qualtrics. And it’s in her love for the state of Utah, flowing from Ashley’s love for community, downstream, to ownership of the Utah Jazz basketball team with Ryan. How can we better understand the flows of energy in our own life, and in our bodies?
1/9/202447 minutes, 38 seconds
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354 Chip Conley: On Finding Your Love Of Life, Even In Midlife

Do you know that feeling when you’re cooking, and you’ve got all your ingredients chopped and ready to go, spices measured, oven pre-heated? All that’s left is for you to spin your magic as a cook. In the kitchen, the French call it mise en place, everything in its place. In that same vein, to disrupt yourself, your strategy and support need to be in place. You need to give yourself the room to roam, so to speak, to realize your full potential.  Our guest today is all about creating spaces that let you realize that potential. Chip Conley is the former founder of Joie De Vivre, a boutique hotel chain. He’s worked with AirBnB as a quote unquote modern elder, and now Chip’s turning his attention to the potential of midlife – a word so laden with stigma, he’s building regenerative horse ranches to change that. His new book, "Learning To Love Midlife", is out January 16th.  
1/2/202452 minutes, 32 seconds
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353 ENCORE Tara Swart: Your Neurons Are Much More Nimble Than You Realize

Isn’t it frustrating when we feel like a passenger to our own thoughts and actions? In Buddhist thought, we’re supposed to watch our thoughts pass by like clouds in the sky… but that’s the ideal, after all. It’s a hard truth to swallow, that the human mind is much more mysterious than we’d hope it to be. So for today’s episode, we wanted to bring back a conversation I had back in 2020 with the neuroscientist and author Dr. Tara Swart. She’s spent her career tinkering with our brains, as both a doctor and an executive advisor, figuring out how we can harness this mysterious power we have. The machinery of our minds might be unknowable, but the way it adapts is not.  So what can we learn about not being a passenger to our own thoughts, about taking the wheel? I hope you enjoy.  
12/26/202349 minutes, 35 seconds
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352 Ken Woolley: Saving Space In Your Career For Trust And Love

What does it mean to have a friend? What does it mean to be a friend? Someone you can rely on. Someone who understands you, not just the “you” that you project into the world. A friend is someone who knows they can rely on you, too.  How many times a week, a day, do you lean on your friends when you feel like you can’t stand on your own? Our guest today has built his career on the power of those friends – and being a friend, too. Ken Woolley is the founder of Extra Space Storage, those ubiquitous blocky buildings you always see from the highway. He’s managed airlines, developed apartments, even flipped vintage cars. But to hear him say it, none of it would be possible without that true spark of trust that comes from the friendships he’s built.
12/19/202341 minutes, 18 seconds
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351 Jennifer McCollum: How Can Women In The Workplace Find Their Own Voice?

When’s the last time you got caught in the expectations others had for you? One person wants one thing, one version of you – another needs you to be someone else entirely… And who do you want to be? Do you even have time to think about that? The things people expect from us has a profound effect on how we act – we are social beings, after all. We aim, to please. Our guest today says that the burden of those expectations in the workplace fall unfairly onto women. Jennifer McCollum is the CEO of Linkage, devoted to advancing the real power of women leaders through leadership development. But how she got there has been a story of what Jennifer calls the double-bind of expectations on women. It’s a story of what she’s been called, too – a cupcake with a razor in it.  
12/12/202347 minutes, 44 seconds
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350 Scott Edinger: Ask Yourself, 'Would You Pay For Your Own Sales Call?'

There’s an allure around the idea of sales. It’s the same allure they packaged so neatly in the show Mad Men, all confidence and charisma. But take it from the other perspective – have you ever had such a pushy car salesman, that you just left the lot? Our guest today says that’s because charisma isn’t a sales strategy. There’s no room for building trust in your solution when you’re focused on the close. Scott Edinger is a sales consultant to Fortune 50 companies, including AT&T, and he’s out with a new book – The Growth Leader. With such a disconnect from their company leaders, Scott says, sales teams are left to fend for themselves in their calls with clients. So how do you bridge the gap between the sales department and the C-suite?   
12/5/202346 minutes, 50 seconds
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349 Alex Osterwalder: Finding The Beauty In Your Company's Organizational Chart

Growing your people to grow your organization – it makes sense, right? But what about approaching the problem from the other direction – growing your organization, to grow your people? When’s the last time you looked at the state of your org chart? And how willing are you to experiment with it? Today, I want to bring back an old episode. In 2020, we spoke with Alex Osterwalder about his idea of an invincible company – one that is constantly reinventing itself to stay on the bleeding edge of disruption. Alex, along with his mentor Yves Pigneur, is one of the top-ranked management thinkers in the world – as of Thinkers50 2023, which just wrapped up, the duo is number 8 on that list. I hope you enjoy.  
11/28/202351 minutes
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348 Scott Osman and Jacquelyn Lane: Learning To Make The Most Of The Hard Truths

Coaching often involves speaking a truth the other person doesn’t really want to hear. Even when we’re lost for direction, being pointed in the right way can feel like this indictment on being lost in the first place. But a lot of clients will describe this idea of the unlock – the a-ha – when that self-doubting voice fades, and the voice of the coach comes into focus.  How can we prime ourselves to receive these messages? Our guests today have a new book out on exactly that question. Jacquelyn Lane and Scott Osman are co-authors of Becoming Coachable, along with Marshall Goldsmith. The book was borne out of the 100 Coaches agency, which Scott co-founded with Marshall. So what does becoming coachable actually look like?
11/21/202356 minutes, 21 seconds
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347 Austin Hillam: Lessons From A 22-Year-Old Garage Entrepreneur

It’s just the nature of our show that we often talk to folks in the mastery part of their professional S-Curve. It’s easy to talk to a CEO about leadership. It’s also another fact that our guests tend to be older – at least, out of college. But it is rare that we come across an entrepreneur in that very first launch point of their career. A person that put college on hold to pursue an idea, a person willing to put their dreams on hold for an hour to talk to us. Austin Hillam is the co-founder of ZipString, a handheld toy that keeps a string in constant motion.  It's easier to just watch than explain, here. And we’ve got Austin today for a rare look at the phase of professional life that a lot of our guests can only reflect on – starting that first business.   
11/14/202336 minutes, 54 seconds
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346 Dr. Bill Kapp: So You Want To Become A Leader In Your Health. How Do You Start?

If we’re being honest, we’ve all felt the toll of going into a meeting on a couple hours sleep and a double espresso. The work can often come first, and the body comes second. But as leaders, we can’t do our job effectively if we’re jittery and wiped. We can’t do our job if we’ve got the worry of heart disease lurking the back of your mind. What if we could take charge of our health before any of these things happen? Not just waiting for the symptoms, but… intecepting them? Dr. Bill Kapp realized that changing the paradigm of healthcare means taking on the Goliath in the room – the health insurance industry. A former US Air Force flight surgeon, Dr. Kapp is using his company Fountain Health to argue for a more holistic, preventative approach to living and aging, alongside Tony Robbins and Peter Diamandis.    
11/7/202347 minutes, 34 seconds
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344 Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove: How Do We Think About Top Thinkers?

We throw around this term a lot in the management profession, in the coaching profession, really everywhere in business – top thinker.  But how often do we really interrogate that title? Because, really, wouldn’t we all like to think of ourselves as top thinkers? In politics, it’s the journalists that hold politicians to account. In the world of management, there are two former journalists who are holding these top thinkers to account as well. Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove used to write columns for The London Times, when they realized they could have a bigger impact connecting these thinkers directly. As the founders of Thinkers50, an organization that comes together every two years to celebrate the true top thinkers, Stuart and Des have brought their skills of commentary and curation from the front page to a much larger audience. So what makes a top thinker, truly?   
10/24/202349 minutes, 57 seconds
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343 James E. Dixon: Finding 'Absolute Motivation' By Showing Your Scars

For all the credit Superman gets, for being the Man of Steel, do you think he ever cries? When he’s Clark Kent, working at the paper, do you think Superman’s ever broken down in a bathroom stall? When he’s flying folks out of a burning building, it’s easy to forget that his parents are dead, his home is dust and the only family he has wants him dead. All we see is the Man of Steel. For 45 years, James Dixon only showed others what they wanted to see. What they didn’t see, was his prosthetic leg that he had kept hidden all that time. Until he decided to show them. Today, James is out with a book about his experience, titled Absolute Motivation. From team lead at General Motors to firing up Fortune 500 crowds, James is in the business of building people up. That’s only after he learned to build himself up, too.  
10/17/202342 minutes, 14 seconds
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342 Lori Winkler: There Is No Work You Or Home You, Only The Real You

When you’re making decisions, professional or personal, what’s your north star? How many people know your north star? How many of your colleagues know what you’ve built your life around? There’s this idea, of leaving home at home and only bringing into work your work self. Can you really leave at home what fuels you and drives you? When Lori Winkler at the top of Johnson and Johnson’s HR department, she was a high achiever, sure – but as you’ll hear her say, no one really know who Lori Winkler was. They just knew what she did, and that she did it well. But that wasn’t Lori. So who is Lori today, as the Chief Human Resources Officer for Zimmer Biomet? You’d be surprised how much Bruce Springsteen is involved.  
10/10/202345 minutes, 49 seconds
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341 Chris Rainey: What Do We Really Mean When We Say 'Human Resources?'

 Human resources can be a funny term. What kind of resources do we rely on as humans? Food, water, shelter – but what about emotional resources? What about the resources to become a good person, not just a healthy person? In a company, human resources are always comprised of other humans, and Chris Rainey’s made it his mission to cast a light on the wonders of this profession. We can forget that HR has a hand in just about everything a company does, and Chris’s podcast HR Leaders is out to make sure they get the credit they deserve.     
10/3/202358 minutes, 46 seconds
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340 Diana Kander: The Magic In Going Big (And Refusing To Go Home)

There’s a saying that curiosity killed the cat. Have you ever seen a cat investigate a glass you left on the countertop? Or knock over a shelf of books while they try to perch on top?  There’s something to admire in that attitude, that kind of pure, unabashed curiosity. You’ll find Diana Kander to be that same kind of curious. A self-described serial entrepreneur, she played and continues to play a vital role in building up the Kansas City economic area. Today, she’s packaged what she’s learned from pitching those businesses, and the case studies of businesses who landed the impossible pitch, into a book – called “Go Big Or Go Home - 5 Ways to Create a Customer Experience That Will Close the Deal.”
9/26/202340 minutes, 25 seconds
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339 Hal Hershfield: Learning To Love The Person You'll Become

Who were you ten years ago? How did that person think? How did they see the world? And what about today? How have those things changed? How would you feel if you passed that person on the street tomorrow? Would you recognize them? Now instead of who you were, ten years ago, what if it’s who you want to be ten years from now?  Hal Hershfield understands that connecting with our future selves can feel like a vague, unfulfilling endeavor. But to hear him say it, it’s one of the most valuable ways we have to connect with our spirit and our purpose.
9/19/202341 minutes, 7 seconds
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338 Matt Abrahams: What To Say When You’re Put On The Spot

Isn’t it frustrating when you just can’t say what you want to say? You have all the words ready in your head, you’ve practiced what you’re going to say, but you… just… can’t? It’s frustrating in part because it seems like we’re failing at the basics. Communication? Saying words out loud? Didn’t we figure that out around the same time we figured out farming, and the wheel? So why are we sweating and stuttering in a conference room in 2023? Matt Abrahams has an idea. His new book, Think Faster Talk Smarter, speaks for itself. And his podcast, Think Fast Talk Smart – naturally – is dedicated to figuring out why our minds go blank and our feet start pacing. So let’s talk with Matt about talking well.   
9/12/202343 minutes, 39 seconds
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337 Gail Miller: Phi·lan·thro·py, Noun

To give to another is to give up something you have. It’s the basis of the world philanthropy, “phila,” meaning love for one another. Two episodes ago we talked with Alan Mulally, about how that kind of love isn’t wired anywhere in our brains. We are not that far from our hunter-gatherer ancestors – why would we ever give up our food to strangers? Aren’t we hungry too? Our guest today is a philanthropist, to no surprise. Gail Miller is the wealthiest person in the state of Utah, having taken on leadership of her late husband’s foundation after he passed in 2009. In the time since, Gail’s reorganized almost all of the company’s assets, selling off the Utah Jazz, moving money and effort into real estate, healthcare, homelessness services.  What does philanthropy mean to Gail? I hope you enjoy.  
9/5/202344 minutes, 34 seconds
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336 Chris Duffey: Augmented Intelligence

With ChatGPT now released in a usable format, the world’s been abuzz with the potentials – and pitfalls – of artificial intelligence.  Our guest today says that the word – artificial intelligence – is misleading. Artificial anything, artificial turf, sweeteners, they all try to get as close to the real thing as possible. Chris Duffey, strategic development manager for Adobe, says that isn’t the goal. This tech revolution isn’t so much about replacing us, as amplifying the magical powers we already have. Through art school and the fast world of advertising, Chris has spent his professional life weaving that magic. So what does AI really mean for us?  
8/29/202342 minutes, 42 seconds
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335 Jayshree Seth: Active Advocacy, Or, Say Yes To The S!

What does it mean to advocate for something? We all know what it’s like to give a nervous presentation. But to adjust the question a bit – what does it mean to advocate for someONE? Specifically, yourself? Joining us today is Jayshree Seth, Chief Science Advocate at 3M. Her role today involves clearing away the brush and undergrowth of misinformation to show the world that science is not a scary monolith. She's also coming up with new ways to show us that we’re all scientists in our own way. But Jayshree couldn’t have found herself in this unique role without the experience of advocating for herself.
8/22/202346 minutes, 58 seconds
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334 Alan Mulally: Love Them Up

Today, we’ve got a special episode. You’ve probably sat in a Boeing 737 before. He helped design that. You might have a Ford sitting out in your driveway. He’s the reason Ford was the only major American car company that didn’t take a bailout in 2008.  Alan Mulally has sat in many seats -- Executive Vice President at Boeing, President and CEO of Ford -- but you have to hear it from him personally, how you put together four million plane parts, thousands of employees and even more shareholders to get around 188 passengers (and their bags) from New York to LA.  Funny enough, it all comes down to love. Link to Alan's Working Together Principles  
8/15/202350 minutes, 48 seconds
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333 Sam Horn: Ask A Librarian

Attention is the real currency of all advertising. It’s how many seconds they can keep your eyes glued on whatever billboard or TV ad is in front of you at that moment. And then there’s the science of why exactly it caught your attention, in the first place. Advertisers represent this fascinating intersection of business and psychology, so today we want to find out what we can glean from this unique industry.  Today we're joined by Sam Horn, CEO and founder of the Intrigue Agency, where she helps brands craft their communication. She’s also an author focusing on how we can navigate conflict in our everyday lives, including Tongue Fu and Sam’s latest, Talking on Eggshells.  
8/8/202351 minutes, 45 seconds
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332 Jaime Leverton: Cryptography in Action

For almost as long as humans have been using coins and dollars to trade and grow, we’ve also been using them as weapons.  It’s almost a magical thing, one thing that can be traded for anything you want. And the people in charge of that currency control the magic. The idea of a common currency is intertwined in just about every facet of our lives, up to the very top on Capitol Hill. It seems natural that someone should be in charge of this huge power. But this is where a cryptocurrency butts in and says, why does anyone have to be in charge? Today we’re going to focus on the practical promise of this emerging tech with Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8. Practical, like two billion unbanked people getting access to a stable bank account. Hut 8 is one of the largest crypto mining operations today, and we’ll hear from Jaime how her background in everything from IBM to Blackberry enabled her to take the lead on this new project.   
8/1/202356 minutes, 40 seconds
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331 David Burkus: Trust, Risk and Respect

We form teams every day. Boarding a plane, figuring out the best place for overhead bags. On the highway, we form impromptu caravans to squeeze through traffic. There are the more formal teams, too, the ones we occupy at work or at home. We’re all teammates. So how can we be better? David Burkus has the answer. The best-selling author of Leading From Anywhere and Friend of a Friend is out with a new book – Best Team Ever, The Surprising Science of High-Performing Teams. NASA, Adobe, everyone wants to know what David knows about good teams.
7/25/202351 minutes, 6 seconds
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330 Shade Zahrai: Your Opinion Of Yourself

Were we born with our instincts, or were they imprinted on us as at an early age? How do turtles know to lay their eggs in the exact spot they themselves were hatched? It's part of a field called evolutionary psychology -- evolving in ways that influence our behaviors as much as whether or not we walk on two legs. Shade Zahrai is a master of unpacking that hindbrain thinking. Shade is a behavioral strategist and leadership coach, and the founder of Influenceo Global Inc, where she works to strengthen the leadership of companies from Microsoft to McDonalds. With one-point-two million followers on Instagram and almost a million on Youtube, Shade’s bringing her unique take on building confidence and team compatibility to new audiences.  
7/18/202357 minutes, 24 seconds
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329 Listener Roundtable: The Building Block Of That Growth Is You

We start every episode of this show with those words -- the building block of that growth is you. Today, we want to bring our focus back to that philosophy, that change begins with the individual. Every question for our guests, and every show itself, is structured around that core idea.  So we’ve got a special episode – a roundtable discussion of business leaders from around the world, as well as big fans of the podcast. We want to turn the mic back to the individuals listening to us, to hear how they're changing and disrupting. Thank you to Alice Kirk, Gary Stockton, Jane Barratt and Molly Cantrell for joining us on this experimental format.  
7/11/202349 minutes, 47 seconds
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328 Ed Catmull: Zen And The Art Of Making Movies

A rat learns to cook. A trash compactor learns to love. Two office workers -- who are the monsters under your bed, mind you -- discover a new source of renewable energy. The possibilities at Pixar are infinite. But how do you shoot a movie entirely on computers? And who’s going to make the software for all of this? Ed Catmull took on those questions in the early 70s, inventing many of the early computer techniques that got a 3D image on the big screen. With funding from fellow visionary Steve Jobs, Ed and his team at Pixar did what was impossible just a few decades earlier. In 1995, Toy Story -- the first computer-animated feature film -- was on the big screen. But it wasn’t just money or software that made Pixar into the storytelling, tear-jerking behemoth that it is today. Out this month is an expanded edition of Ed's manual to success, Creativity Inc. In the book and in our conversation, Ed details his careful, cultural maintenance over 40 years at Pixar.
7/4/20231 hour, 6 minutes, 33 seconds
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327 Sudha Ranganathan: A True Practitioner

If this show was about medicine, we do a lot of classroom learning. But today we’re going to hear from the equivalent of a front-line Army medic, hitting the ground to get an idea of how all these theories about leadership actually get used.  Sudha Ranganathan is the Director of Product Marketing at LinkedIn. In that role, ecosystems are at the heart of what she does. She creates the conditions that allow these ideas like the s-curve thrive in the ecosystems she builds. From the University of Mumbai, she’s brought her systems-engineer mindset to Singapore, to San Francisco, to companies like Proctor and Gamble and Paypal.
6/27/202348 minutes, 11 seconds
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326 Zeynep Ton: Figure It Out

When sales are down and overhead costs are skyrocketing, what’s the instinct? Cut costs, maybe? Fire some folks? Trim down, get leaner? Zeynep Ton says that instinct is shortsighted. It’s outdated. More than just old, it’s a deadly cycle, because cutting costs continues to come at the expense of the foundational unit – the employee. Zeynep is a professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Business, and her new book – The Case for Good Jobs – is out next month. By turning almost 40 years of Jack Welch-ian thinking on its head, Zeynep builds the argument that the only way to grow in those crucible moments is to spend more – on the employee. Shortsightedness will kill us, Zeynep says. Nothing beats a good job.
6/20/202342 minutes, 36 seconds
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325 HRH Ambassador Reema Bandar: Architects Should Be Forgotten

Representation is the basis of our political system. We can’t get everyone’s vote on every issue – folks are busy, and that would take way too much time. So we pick someone we trust. Have you ever represented someone else? It's terrifying. You have to make decisions on behalf of all those people, and those decisions could impact their home, their business, their politics, their whole way of life. But in that way, representation can be one of the highest callings a human can achieve. Our guest today has put the representation of others at the center of her life. Her Royal Highness, Ambassador Reema Bandar is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s representative to the United States. In every conference room and congressional office, she’s speaking for about 38 million people. From a museum curator to a champion of women's rights, the ambassador has learned to center her own voice, and in the process, the voices of millions.
6/13/202350 minutes, 47 seconds
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324 Kelly Richmond Pope: Predator, Prey and Whistleblowers

What does it mean to be the only one in the room who knows something is wrong? You're the only one in your company who sees the number they missed. What do you do? Do you speak up? Try this on -- is anything really that bad going to happen if you keep it to yourself? All those little decisions, to sit on some information, or fudge a number, they add up to the tune of about one trillion dollars of fraud a year.  Kelly Richmond Pope is a forensic accountant, a professor at DePaul University and an award-winning documentarian and filmmaker. Her documentary on the not-too-distant world of fraudsters and whistleblowers is called “All The Queen’s Horses,” out on Netflix. And now Kelly is out with a book, "Fool Me Once," diving deep into that same world. She’s covered everyone from Madoff, to Elizabeth Holmes, to the embezzler of a grill from Lowes. We’ll talk about what makes a predator in this world, what makes prey, and how the line isn't as distinct as we'd hope. That's where the third path -- whistleblowing -- comes in.  
6/6/202350 minutes, 45 seconds
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323 Shirzad Chamine: Look At The Palm Of Your Hand

It’s said that cliches become cliches for a reason. There’s at least a bit of truth to them. So try this one on - you are your own worst enemy. There’s a reason it gets repeated. Everyone finds a moment where you just can't get out of your own way, no matter how good your intentions are and how strong your will is. So how does the founder and CEO of Positive Intelligence fight back against his own saboteurs? Shirzad Chamine is the mind behind democratizing Positive Intelligence, sometimes abbreviated as PQ. And your PQ score is a test of how strong your mental fitness is -- how you bounce back after something negative. Before his work with Positive Intelligence, Shirzad was CEO of the Coach Training Institute, the biggest coach-training organization in the world. He's a New York Times bestselling author, and an electrical engineer -- which you'll hear informs a lot of his perspective. We'll talk about Shirzad's life, his own worst enemies, and how he learned to be his own best friend.  
5/30/202347 minutes, 23 seconds
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322 Vanessa Patrick: Marigolds and Black Walnuts

Have you ever had trouble saying something simple, like "no?" No, I can’t do that. What about all the times you might have said yes, when in your heart all you wanted to say was, no? Vanessa Patrick is an award-winning consumer psychologist, she's currently the associate dean at the Bauer School of Business, and now she’s out with her new book, “The Power of Saying No.”  Have you ever said no, and it felt like you discovered a superpower you didn’t know you even had? You have to learn how to say no so you can say yes to your life. Vanessa’s got the secret – she calls it an “empowered refusal” – and we'll speak with her this episode.  
5/23/202344 minutes, 37 seconds
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321 Magdalena Mook: Don't Be Mediocre

The temptation to compromise on our values is always there. Compromising could make things easier for us. Not only can it get you out of a hole, compromising could even make the number on your paycheck bigger.  Sometimes we have to. Sometimes those expectations were ridiculous to begin with. But when it comes to compromising on the core of who we are, why would you ever meet yourself in the middle? Magdalena Mook, CEO and executive director of the International Coaching Federation, joins us this week. From the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland to the top of the coaching movement, Magda embodies that idea, that investing in yourself means refusing to compromising with yourself.  
5/16/202350 minutes, 6 seconds
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320 Robert Pasin: Memories That Last A Lifetime

You know that little bright red wagon, with the long front handle? Maybe, you might have even sat in one, careening down a hill. The wagon, and the company that makes them, is called Radio Flyer.  Over a hundred years since that first stamped metal wagon, that same company now makes a Radio Flyer Tesla S for Kids, in that same bright red. Right next to the classic wagon on their website, you can now buy Radio Flyer e-bikes, Radio Flyer go-karts, even a Radio Flyer trampoline. Behind the company’s sustained success is one family – the Pasins. Three generations have sat behind the wheel of Radio Flyer, starting with Antonio Pasin in 1917, all the way to Antonio’s grandson, Robert. Robert became Chief Wagon Officer at Radio Flyer when he was just 27, taking on the burden of legacy. He joins us this week to talk about turning around a floundering family company, and remembering why you're in the business to begin with.  
5/9/202337 minutes, 17 seconds
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319 Stacey Gordon: Reworking Work

Joining us this week is Executive Advisor and Diversity Strategist Stacey Gordon. Stacey is the Founder and Principal Consultant of Rework Work, and author of UNBIAS: Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work.
5/2/202342 minutes, 48 seconds
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BONUS-Tom Peters: Resume Virtues and Eulogy Virtues

Tom Peters has walked many, many paths in life, more than many of us can claim. He's been a Navy Seabee overseas in Vietnam, a White House advisor, a McKinsey consultant, even a PBS show host. You might know him as the author of the 80s management bestseller, "In Search of Excellence." Recently, Tom had the idea to start up a podcast of his own, and asked our host Whitney to be his first guest. Tom even had a name for the podcast ready: "Extreme Humanism," after another of his books. The two friends talked in front of microphones for over an hour, and then Tom retired, deservedly so. With Tom's permission, we're happy to polish up that tape and present a bonus episode of Disrupt Yourself, one where Whitney actually won't be doing the interviewing. Join us (and Whitney's daughter, Miranda!) for a thoughtful dialogue about drawing maps to nowhere, five-star generals in the Indian military, and everything in between.
4/25/202342 minutes, 29 seconds
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Encore-Emma McAdam: Stop Trying to Feel Better and Get Better at Feeling

Mental health has never been more top-of-mind than in recent years, and Emma McAdam has built an extraordinary therapeutic resource in an unlikely place: YouTube. Emma is a licensed marriage and family therapist best known for her incredibly popular "Therapy in a Nutshell" videos that demystify things like anxiety, depression, and emotional regulation. This candid conversation will completely change your perspective on stress, happiness, and why our brains perceive stuff like email as a constant survival threat. Emma also has very practical tips on how to form new pathways in our brains and break the "anxiety loops" that can trap us.
4/18/202353 minutes, 40 seconds
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315 Kute Blackson: Yes, Surrender!

We tend to associate the word surrender with quitting or giving up. Something less than honorable. In his book, The Magic of Surrender: Finding the Courage to Let Go, transformational teacher and bestselling author Kute Blackson endeavors to change how we view the word. Kute joins us this week to discuss how the book came about and what exactly should we be surrendering to.  
4/11/20231 hour, 2 minutes, 56 seconds
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ENCORE-Ozan Varol: Think Like a Rocket Scientist

Leaping to a new S-Curve of learning can be an overwhelming experience. As we transition from being at the top of our field into a new and less experienced trajectory, our emotions and anxieties can get the best of us. Our guest this week believes science, specifically the discipline of rocket science, can help us better navigate personal and professional disruption. Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning law professor and bestselling author. A renowned professor, author, and speaker, Ozan writes and speaks often about creativity and critical thinking. He's authored many book chapters and law review articles, and now he has a new book: Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. In this episode we learn how Ozan stays attune to his mind and body, sensing when it is time to disrupt. He shares how important it is to see yourself through a forgiving lens and discusses the importance of failure in the trajectory of success.
4/4/202347 minutes, 43 seconds
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314 Morra Aarons-Mele: Leading with Anxiety

Anxiety isn’t bad….it’s just data. For some it can even serve as a catalyst, driving them to achieve. Morra Aarons-Mele is the founder of the communications firm Women Online, and hosts the award-winning Anxious Achiever podcast for LinkedIn Presents. Her book, The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower, is out next month. Morra would like to put an end to the demonizing of anxiety, and her argument is pretty compelling.
3/28/202338 minutes, 50 seconds
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313 Tony O’Driscoll: Be The Change

This week we’re chatting with Tony O’Driscoll, professor at Duke University’s School of Business. Tony is co-author of the graphic novel,  Everyday Superhero: How You Can Inspire Everyone And Create Real Change at Work.  
3/21/202347 minutes, 18 seconds
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312 Tim Harrison: The Enjoyable Pain of Growth

Tim Harrison knows a thing or two about growth. At a young age, doctors said Tim would be physically behind all his peers. He outgrew every single one. During his time playing basketball in college, Tim faced significant  on and off court challenges, propelling him to…grow. Today, Tim strives to instill that same growth mentality into underserved high school students via his non-profit organization, EPOG Academy.  
3/14/202341 minutes, 7 seconds
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311 Mauro Porcini: Love ≠ Profit

Mauro Porcini was the first Chief Design Officer at both 3M and PepsiCo. He’s also  author of the book, The Human Side of Innovation: The Power of People in Love with People On this week's show, Mauro shares with us his insights on how we can identify and deal with  hidden rejection, as well as how companies can cultivate a Unicorn Culture. 
3/7/20231 hour, 12 minutes, 21 seconds
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310 Angela Ahrendts: What Breaks Your Heart?

Stewardship. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Servant leadership. Not the first things that come to mind when thinking about leadership in the corporate world, but our guest today sees these as indispensable core values that served as guides throughout her career. Angela Ahrendts is the former C.E.O. of Burberry, former head of retail at Apple, and is currently chairwoman of the board at Save the Children.  
2/28/202341 minutes, 36 seconds
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309 Tina Opie: Don’t Talk About it. Be About It

Joining us this week is Tina Opie, author of “Shared Sisterhood: How to Take Collective Action for Racial and Gender Equity at Work”. My conversation with Tina was a tough one, but I hope it’s just as meaningful for you as it was for me.  
2/21/202349 minutes, 48 seconds
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308 Carol Kauffman: The Coaching Spirit

Victor Frankl once said, “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In that response lies our growth and freedom”. Our guest this week seeks to help us optimize that space. Carol Kauffman, founder of the Institute of Coaching at Harvard Medical School, and co-author of the soon to be released Real-Time Leadership: Find Your Winning Moves When the Stakes Are High, joins us to talk about the new book, her super power, and so much more!   
2/14/202338 minutes, 5 seconds
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307 Andre Menezes: There's Something We Can Do About It

Andre Menezes is the CEO of Next Gen Foods. On this week’s episode, Andre will share insights from his  journey of becoming a visionary in the world of sustainable food production. We’ll also learn how Andre developed a broader perspective about the world and how he learned at an early age to be the protagonist of his  story and not succumb to the victim mentality. In Andre’s words, “There’s no way to solve death. For all the other things in life, there’s something we can do about it.”  
2/7/202344 minutes, 55 seconds
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306 Jennifer Smith: Working Smarter, Harder and Faster

What is special about you and what you know how to do, and how  do you scale yourself ? How do you make sure you spend most of your time doing that thing? Jennifer Smith, C.E.O. and co-founder of Scribe joins Whitney to discuss this and so much more.
1/31/202344 minutes, 22 seconds
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305 Jon Clifton: How Do You Rate Your life? work. A novel concept? An oxymoron? Far from it. Jon Clifton is the CEO of Gallup, and author of Blind Spot: The Global Rise of Unhappiness and How Leaders Missed It. Jon joins Whitney this week to discuss how happiness in the workplace is not elusive as some may think.
1/24/202338 minutes, 54 seconds
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304 Mbali Maseko: I'm A Product of My Home Environment

Joining Whitney this week is Mbali Maseko, Head of Well Being at Sasol South Africa, a global chemical and energy company. Mbali has a Masters in Public Health, a Masters in Business Administration and an Honors degree in Dietetics, attained through grit, hard work,  and the support and sacrifice of her family.
1/17/202342 minutes, 35 seconds
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303 Seth Godin: You're an Imposter, and So am I!

This week Whitney shares a portion of one of her recent LinkedIn Live sessions.  Joining Whitney this week is  NY Times best-selling author, Seth Godin – his most famous books being This is Marketing and Linchpin. In this episode, Whitney and Seth talk about one of his latest projects, The Carbon Almanac, the idea of imposter syndrome, and of course, marketing.
1/10/202332 minutes, 21 seconds
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302 Year-End Review

12/27/202211 minutes, 16 seconds
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301 Garry Turner: Give Yourself Permission to Disrupt the Status Quo

Innovation doesn't have to be world-changing. In fact, Garry Turner says it's crucial, even if you’ve been doing the same job at the same company for decades. Garry is a fierce advocate for internal disruption: Challenging the status quo within an organization (and within yourself!) to get better results. And for Garry, better results doesn’t just mean efficiency and profit. It means sustainability, equity, fairness, diversity and more. Garry’s work at a global chemical distribution company touches nearly everything in our lives – the products we buy, the food we eat, and the global supply chains that keep everything moving. For Garry, it’s not a question of whether to innovate. He feels it’s his responsibility.
12/20/202236 minutes, 21 seconds
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300 Tom Peters: Listening Is….

A wise man once said, “ Listening is the ultimate mark of respect, Listening is the heart and soul of engagement.” On the commemoration of our 300th episode, the Disruptive Advisors team would like to thank you for your respect, as we strive to provide you with engaging content.  Our guest this week is management icon  Tom Peters. Tom, the aforementioned wise man, has a new book out titled ,” Tom Peters' Compact Guide to Excellence. “ Join me as I talk to Tom about the new  book, lessons he’s learned through the years and the power of listening.
12/13/202237 minutes, 52 seconds
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ENCORE-General Stanley McChrystal: The Biggest Risk to You Is Yourself

Sometimes the business landscape can be a battlefield, but this week's guest puts all that in perspective. General Stanley McChrystal is a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran who is no stranger to real battlefields. He’s a retired four-star general, and commanded an enormous contingent of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s also an avid student of history, who acutely observes how the great successes and failures of the past are so deeply intertwined with risk management. His latest book is called Risk: A User’s Guide, and it documents the unsuspecting factors that undo successful organizations, and provides a framework of preparedness so you can weather the storm.
12/6/202242 minutes, 28 seconds
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299 Jennifer Moss: The Cure For Burnout Isn't Self-Care

A healthy amount of stress is so important for personal growth, but chronic stress that demands our attention 24/7 can disconnect us from our work, colleagues, and purpose. This is burnout, and Jennifer Moss observes that we are facing an epidemic. She's an award-winning journalist, columnist, and author of The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It. But contrary to popular wisdom, making time for that bubble bath or movie night isn't the solution. Burnout is a "we" problem, and the root causes are at the organizational level. Jennifer shares her surprising research on where burnout comes from, why it's worse than it's ever been, and why we need a system of preventative care.
11/29/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
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298 Steve Arntz: Your True Purpose May Not Be Revealed Yet

Even when our best laid plans are rock-solid, life (and the marketplace) has other ideas. Some surveys suggest that 70% of successful businesses end up doing something they never intended in the beginning. For career and personal growth, being prepared for a big pivot isn't easy. Steve Arntz learned this all too well. He's been developing technology products and their marketing for more than 15 years. His current company, which he co-founded, is called Campfire. The platform was on a mission to connect people. The tech was good and the team was right. But its true value came from an unexpected place. Steve shares valuable lessons about leadership, including the importance of getting out of the way: of yourself, and those you care about.
11/22/202254 minutes, 24 seconds
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297 Will Ahmed: What You Measure Matters

Will Ahmed and this podcast have a mission in common: To maximize human potential. For Will, it’s all about the data of health. He’s the founder and CEO of WHOOP, which makes wearable tech-like fitness bands that track things like heart rate, exercise, sleep, stress levels, and more. It's beloved by pro athletes and CEOs alike, and its holistic view became a secret weapon in the early fight against Covid. He is the child of immigrants, who taught him the value of "showing up" for life, and his journey as a startup founder has put a lot of things in perspective for him.  
11/15/202243 minutes, 27 seconds
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296 Brad Feld & Matt Blumberg: How to Get the Most From Your Board of Directors

What is a board of directors? What is its purpose, and what makes for a good board member? And how can you get value from a board, especially if you're a startup? This week, we have another tactical learning episode to answer these questions and much more. Brad Feld and Matt Blumberg – together with Mahendra Ramsinghani – recently republished and vastly expanded the second edition of their book: "Startup Boards: A Field Guide to Building and Leading an Effective Board of Directors." Brad has been a venture capitalist since the ‘90s, with a special focus on technology companies like Zynga and Fitbit. Matt has been a VC and a start-up founder, having created and sold numerous companies, and worked for larger ones like AOL and General Atlantic Partners. They both agree there’s no better time to discuss the value in building a great board, than when you first start a company.
11/8/202256 minutes, 18 seconds
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295 Jesse Iwuji: Never Let Someone's Opinion of You Become Your Reality

Jesse Iwuji is a first-generation Nigerian-American, U.S. Navy reserve officer, college football star, and if that’s not enough: an accomplished and beloved professional NASCAR driver. So, how did he become a racing star? He just … wanted it. And one day, he decided to go for it. Along the way, many people told him he'd never succeed. He didn't have the money. He didn't have the connections. No sponsorships. People even said that "African Americans don't race cars." Jesse's entrepreneurial savvy allowed him to self-fund his own outside-the-box training and compete with far more established racers. Today, he's on TV in the professional circuit, despite all the naysayers. How he got there is incredibly inspiring.
11/1/202226 minutes
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294 Arthur Brooks: Are You Investing in Your "Happiness 401k?"

Many successful people at the top of their field hit a certain age, and the excitement of work starts to diminish. It may seem counterintuitive: Wouldn't mastery lead to satisfaction? Social scientist and author Arthur C. Brooks thinks of it another way: That there are two S Curves of life. If you're starting to feel restless (especially after age 39), perhaps it's time to stop fighting the first curve, and embrace the second. His latest book, "From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life," goes in depth on how to reap the well-being you've spent your early career cultivating. Overcoming "success addiction" and resisting the urge to constantly add things is a big part of the equation.
10/25/202241 minutes, 23 seconds
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293 Annie Duke: Know When to Fold Em

On this week's show we have Annie Duke, professional poker champion turned decision strategist. She's written the best seller "Thinking in Bets" and  her new book is titled "Quit".
10/18/202253 minutes, 23 seconds
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292 David Epstein: Why Experimentation (Not Narrow Focus) Is Key to Long-term Success

David Epstein is an investigative journalist and author who is fascinated by extraordinary people. Are they born this way? Is it their upbringing? A lot of “hard work?” Modern thinking about this, spearheaded by Malcom Gladwell, points to "10,000 hours" of narrow, focused work. Yo-Yo Ma and Serena Williams have been practicing their craft since the womb. But David discovered a different paradigm: That the most successful professionals and entrepreneurs were not narrowly focused on practice, but had spent long portions of childhood “sampling” and exploring. By combining skills from many arenas, they become far more adaptable in the long run than those who stay narrow – and ultimately burn out. David's latest book is called "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World." His thesis has huge ramifications for education and career training, and as you’ll hear, he even went toe-to-toe with Gladwell on the topic.
10/11/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 52 seconds
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291 Jillian Johnsrud: Money Gives Us Options, But Doesn't Solve Our Problems

Jillian Johnsrud is an author, blogger, podcaster, and coach who covers personal finance. But she’s not just providing stock tips and savings plans. Jillian wants us to rethink our relationship to money itself. This passion is personal for her. When she and her family encountered major medical and student debt, she began to study how the language of finance is passed down – often detrimentally – from one generation to the next. Despite major setbacks, Jillian and her family are now financially independent, and it’s her mission to help others do the same. She puts herself out there online every day, which inevitably invites some detractors. That’s what her new book is about. It’s called “Fire the Haters,” and it’s a study on how to keep online discourse productive, and when to ignore bad-faith arguments.
10/4/202245 minutes, 24 seconds
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290 Wes Carter: Small Changes Become Huge Results

We don't give much thought to consumer packaging — the "stuff" that all our stuff comes in. But the packaging industry has a massive influence on how we perceive products and the companies that make them. It also plays a huge role in what we’re doing to our environment. Wes Carter is the president of Atlantic Packaging, which is the largest, privately-held packaging company in North America. Chances are, if you’ve bought something recently (and who hasn’t?), it was touched by Atlantic somewhere along the supply chain. But Wes sees that influence as more than big business. It’s also an opportunity to affect sustainability in ways that individuals, companies, and even governments struggle with. Small, conscious changes across the global supply chain can have huge ramifications for our environment. And these lessons can be applied to our career S Curves as well.
9/27/202241 minutes, 56 seconds
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289 Steve Young: Choose Selflessness in a Transactional World

Legendary San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young is a Super Bowl champion, an MVP many times over, and a member of the Football Hall of Fame. His level of elite play required the utmost confidence and perseverance. So why was he going days without sleeping and throwing up before taking the field? In this very personal conversation, Steve opens about about his childhood social anxiety that he never understood until well into his NFL career, and how these challenges have completely shaped how he views everyone fighting their own battles. A philosophy of pure selflessness has allowed him to tackle his anxieties head-on and unlock his full potential, on the field, in his businesses, and family life. Even in extremely transactional negotiations, the language of selflessness can eliminate "winners" and "losers," and make business more like a team sport. His new book is called "The Law of Love," which is full of tactical advice and extremely personal stories.
9/20/202255 minutes, 8 seconds
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288 Becky Robinson: Your Network Is Bigger (and More Generous) Than You Think

Launching a project, a product, or a work of art that you've spent years creating is terrifying to say the least. That's the space that Becky Robinson thrives in. She's the CEO and founder of Weaving Influence, a marketing agency that specializes in book launches and PR. Her new book is called Reach, and it codifies 10 years of wisdom she’s gained working with brilliant thought leaders from across the business world — many you’ve heard on this podcast. Becky and Whitney unpack what sustainable influence looks like in an age of social media virality and fractured attention, and why small, in-person connections are more valuable than ever.
9/13/202248 minutes, 52 seconds
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287 Stephen M. R. Covey & McKinlee Covey: Manage Things, Lead People

Trust is a thorny topic. In business and relationships, we're always assessing whether someone is trustworthy. But what about our ability to trust others? To delegate those big projects we are so used to doing ourselves? To relinquish control and face the possibility that someone else might do it differently…do it worse…or even do it better than us? This can be scary, but Stephen M. R. Covey and McKinlee Covey say that overcoming this fear is well-worth it, and can be absolutely life-changing for both the truster, and the trustee. This father-daughter team have a new book out, entitled "Trust & Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash the Greatness in Others." It's filled with fantastic examples of how setting up clear expectations and boundaries can form a cycle of trust that inspires teams to greatness. They also argue that the old approach to management, about commanding and controlling, is outdated, especially in an era of hybrid work and high burnout.
9/6/20221 hour, 8 minutes, 43 seconds
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286 Richie Norton: Value Your Time and Stop Timing Your Values

The only finite resource in our lives and work is time. We always want more, and there's no way to create it. But we can radically rethink how we relate to time. That’s the crux of Richie Norton’s captivating philosophy. He says the tools of “time management” are designed to squeeze every drop of productivity out of us. The results – as we’ve discussed – are burnout, career dissatisfaction, and S Curve stagnation. Richie’s new book is called Anti-time Management, where he illustrates a skill called “time tipping” that can re-prioritize daily tasks at the micro level, and change the trajectory of your life in the macro. Personal tragedy has compelled Richie to think deeply about the power of “now,” and why the past is not as influential as we might think. He also explains why setting positive constraints, like where you physically live and what devices you use for work, can have an enormous impact on the quality of your life.
8/30/202256 minutes, 54 seconds
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285 Jason Feifer: Want to Succeed? Be Adaptable

This week we cover the one thing we're ALL bad at: Change. Jason Feifer is obsessed with the moral panic we feel when faced with new technologies, trends, and social norms. 19th century musicians despised record players. Elevators would tear apart our social fabric. And Teddy Bears threatened our very children! What he's learned from these now-laughable examples is that the people who see opportunity in change have more long-term success than those who only see loss. By day, Jason is the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine. By night, his podcast and new book Build For Tomorrow is all about finding ways to strengthen our adaptability in a world where change is inevitable (and accelerating).
8/23/20221 hour, 4 minutes, 41 seconds
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284 Regina Kim: How Korean Pop Culture Disrupted Global Entertainment

If your family's viewing habits changed a bit during the pandemic, you're not alone! One enormous trend was the rise of Korean dramas on U.S. streaming services. But entertainment journalist Regina Kim says this has actually been happening for years, even decades. She wrote a fantastic piece for Elle Magazine called “The K-Drama Renaissance: How South Korean entertainment took over your TV.” The South Korean entertainment industry has been enormously disruptive to the media landscape, with pop groups (BTS), hit TV shows ("Squid Game"), and blockbuster movies ("Parasite") that dwarf the global popularity of their U.S. counterparts. So, what’s their secret? Regina says it a has a lot to do with innovation, iteration, and a generational history of cross-cultural investment that is now paying off in a global way.
8/16/202228 minutes, 17 seconds
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283 Davis Smith (Cotopaxi): Want a Resilient Business? Empower Resilient People

The outdoor brand Cotopaxi is known for colorful backpacks and athleticwear. But its founder and CEO Davis Smith explains that the origin and mission of the company is about much more. Davis had a unique childhood and a profound experience in South America that compelled him to start a company with social change in mind. But as you’ll hear, this was not an overnight success. In fact, it wasn’t his first business venture, and the road to where Cotopaxi sits today is about as rocky and steep as the volcano in Ecuador for which it’s named.
8/9/202255 minutes, 23 seconds
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282 Bobbi Rebell: Raising Our Kids to Be "Financial Grown-Ups"

Money can be one of the hardest things to talk about with your kids. It's emotional, and often tied to feelings of generational self-worth. But just like the "Birds and the Bees," we also need to be honest about "Dollars and Cents." That's where financial journalist, author, and podcaster Bobbi Rebell comes in. She has written extensively about the financial relationship between parents and children, which — at its core — is based on love. Her book, "Launching Financial Grown-Ups," unpacks the complexities of imparting financial literacy on your kids. Bobbi explains that meeting your kids where they are, at the appropriate moment, and having an honest dialogue about money – even your own struggles with it – leads to far better outcomes than avoiding the topic or pretending everything’s perfect.
8/2/202240 minutes, 6 seconds
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281 Jonathan Johnson: Challenge Ideas, Not People

Jonathan Johnson became CEO of in 2019, right before the world was turned upside down by Covid. Like many leaders, he was tasked with difficult choices about how to protect employees and keep the business healthy. But the company was uniquely positioned to re-focus its core business and create a very progressive hybrid work policy that continues to pay dividends. Jonathan and Whitney talk about how this extreme focus weathered the storm, and why always telling the truth isn't just the right thing to do, but often leads to the best business outcomes. He also shares lessons learned from his candidacy for governor of Utah, his trick for making contentious conversations more productive, and why challenging ideas without personal conflict is a better way forward.
7/26/202259 minutes, 10 seconds
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280 Brooke Romney: Don't Define Yourself By What Can Be Taken Away

Comparing ourselves to peers is natural, but when that gap creeps into our self-worth, the damage begins. When she was a new mom, Brooke Romney fell into this trap. After a lot of reflection and personal growth, she came out the other side as the author of the book “I Like Me Anyway,” which is about knowing yourself, finding your strengths, and empowering your children to do the same. Brooke and Whitney discuss the the power of focusing on what you can control, giving kids the gift of self-confidence, and why supporting your child's dream — even if it's doomed to fail — is better than saying "no."
7/19/202252 minutes, 36 seconds
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279 Marcus Buckingham: This Is Your Brain On Love

Marcus Buckingham is obsessed with challenging common wisdom about human potential. He's a self-described psychometrician, on a quest to find the real data behind how and why we act. He spent so much time studying high-performers at Gallup that he co-created his own Strengths Finder tool, and now coaches executives around the world. But there are some things about human achievement that simply can't be measured. His latest book is called "Love + Work" and it's about that special magic that unlocks when you're passionate about anything. It's about much more than finding the "dream job." It's about asking deeper questions: What do you actually love to do? And when was the last time you were really there?
7/12/20221 hour, 12 minutes, 34 seconds
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278 Ken Blanchard: Life Is a Special Occasion

Ken Blanchard is one of the most revered thinkers and writers on business, leadership, and management philosophy. He’s authored more than 60 books, consults with Fortune 500 companies, and speaks around the world. You probably know him from his 1982 book "The One Minute Manager," which has sold more than 15 million copies. Ken has no intention of slowing down, despite turning 83 years old this year! If you’re craving a dose of inspiration, you’ve come to the right podcast. Ken and Whitney discuss how to seek the "pearl of good" in everyone, the power of the word "we" when it comes to servant leadership, how to avoid being a "seagull manager," and the importance of vulnerability. You can learn more about "The Mulligan" movie, based on Ken's book, here:
7/5/202245 minutes, 27 seconds
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277 Emma Seppälä: Where Happiness Comes From, According to Science

What IS happiness, really? And what’s the difference between biting into a bar of chocolate and a much more sustained contentment that often eludes us? Ph.D. psychologist Emma Seppälä has studied happiness for much of her career. She’s a best-selling author who also teaches business leaders at the Yale School of Management. Turns out, achieving career success and wealth doesn’t lead to that contentment. If you’re searching for mental well-being, Emma says: Start with your body, specifically, your breathing. She explains how anyone, from a stressed out manager to a soldier in a warzone, can use breathing techniques to gain focus and ingenuity. Emma also deconstructs many myths about what makes us happy, and how focusing our minds on others leads to long-term emotional resilience.
6/28/202241 minutes, 23 seconds
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276 Danny Ainge: Disrupting Basketball, Disrupting Life

Danny Ainge has a storied career in the NBA as a star player, coach, advisor, and executive, currently with the Utah Jazz. To say that sports are Danny Ainge’s life is an understatement. The work, the preparation, the visualization, and competition create a meditative focus for him. Sometimes this was all-consuming, and as a husband, father, and now grandfather, he came to a point where he had to take a step back. Danny and Whitney talk about how basketball – a seemingly simple game – has been disrupted multiple times, even during his career. He also explains how the S Curves of playing and coaching are different but deeply intertwined, and why hiring women was the best move he made as a leader.
6/21/202245 minutes, 28 seconds
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275 Reggie Fils-Aimé: Creating a Culture of Mentorship at Nintendo

Back in 2004, the marketing definition of a "gamer" was narrow. It was young, and mostly male, and the video game industry was starting to stagnate. But Nintendo was poised to disrupt the gaming landscape (as it had done previously in the 1980s), and re-open the video game community to everyone. In North America, they had help from an enthusiastic new marketing VP named Reggie Fils-Aimé. Reggie later became president of Nintendo of America, and during his 16-year tenure with the company, he became its public face in the West. Video game fans around the world looked forward to his presentations and game announcements because they could tell he loved "Super Mario Bros.," "Pokémon," and "The Legend of Zelda" as much as they did. Nintendo's big swings resulted in some of the best-selling game systems in history: The Nintendo DS, the Wii, and the Switch. Reggie has since retired from Nintendo, but his new book "Disrupting the Game" recounts the successes, risks, mistakes, and many mentors he found along the way, including Satoru Iwata, the late president and CEO of the company.
6/16/202242 minutes, 12 seconds
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274 Lindsey Shipley (Lactation Link): Natural Things Don't Always Come Naturally

Parenthood is arguably the ultimate S Curve of learning. We read the books, we get advice, and we plan the perfect Pinterest nursery. But we don't REALLY know what we're in for until we hear that first cry. Lindsey Shipley saw this gap in parental preparedness, specifically when it came to breastfeeding. After giving birth to her own kids, she observed the current hospital system wasn’t providing new moms with the confidence and knowledge they need to breastfeed. So she set out to build an online business for breastfeeding consultation called Lactation Link, an extraordinary feat in itself. But she did it while raising her own family and battling life-threatening cancer 4 times over. In the midst of recovering from surgeries and chemotherapy, Lindsey says she “couldn’t sit still.” Today her company serves 1,000 families per month and was recently acquired. Her community of 130,000 followers on Instagram is a testament to how much she’s helped families with newborns over the years. Lindsey shares her inspiring story of survival, service, and family.
6/14/202250 minutes, 13 seconds
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273 Frans Johansson: Diversity Is Your Competitive Advantage

In 15th century Florence, the Medici family was well-known for patronizing great artists, scientists, engineers, and writers. This investment in cross-disciplinary thinking planted the seeds of the Renaissance, a time of extraordinary growth and enlightenment in Europe. Today, we have other words for this practice: Diversity & Inclusion. Author, speaker, and consultant Frans Johansson wrote "The Medici Effect," about how expanding your "surface area" of perspectives can help companies, families, governments, and any organization benefit from the alchemy of diversity. And he has the stories and data to prove it. Frans' book was originally published in 2004, and has exploded in popularity as D&I and social justice conversations move to the front of our culture. In this fascinating conversation, Frans and Whitney unpack the philosophy of intersectional diversity, and focus on very practical ways to activate it in your organization.
6/9/202251 minutes, 23 seconds
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272 Anne Chow: There's No Such Thing as Failure - Only Success & Learning

Getting your "big break" rarely comes down to luck. But it's also hard to engineer a breakthrough moment. Anne Chow believes it's a combination of science and serendipity: Planning ahead so you can seize a lucky moment when it appears. Her career embodies that philosophy. Anne is the CEO of AT&T Business, and a 2nd generation American. As the daughter of Taiwanese immigrant parents, their outlook on success was tremendously formative for her. She's a Julliard-trained musician who became an engineer before one mentor suggested she try sales as a path to leadership. Despite being rejected multiple times, she credits that unlikely S Curve jump as the key to her long-term success as an executive. Anne and Whitney discuss the resilience it takes to stay with one organization for so long, how to make our inherent human biases work for us, and why it's time to re-think what retirement looks like in the 21st century.
6/7/202255 minutes, 28 seconds
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271 Sarah Jaffe: "Work Won't Love You Back"

When we spend 50-60 of our waking weekly hours at the office, our "work family" sometimes eclipses our actual one. Companies capitalize on this. Our jobs become our identities. Our work becomes very personal. And this can lead to emotional disaster during career changes, layoffs, and other transactions. What if we valued work differently? What would the world look like if we stopped treating work itself as our purpose, but as a means to enjoy a more important purpose: Family, relationships, hopes, dreams, and love? That’s just the starting point of Sarah Jaffe’s book, "Work Won’t Love You Back." Sarah is a journalist who covers labor issues and social movements, and she’s observed a major shift in the way we view our jobs. She profiles teachers, interns, programmers, and professional athletes to identify which kind of work is valued, and which is not. And as “The Great Resignation” has hinted, many people want out — but where are they actually going?
5/31/202250 minutes, 8 seconds
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270 Russ Wheeler: Hire Athletes, Then Teach Them the Sport

Any career contains thousands of S Curves, large and small, and Russ Wheeler's journey certainly embodies this. He's the CEO of BBQGuys, a retailer for all things grilling, smoking, and camping, but he's worked as an executive in the home improvement business for decades. That means many tough decisions about how to balance the needs of his employees, customers, and himself. But Russ' core values keep him grounded, even when he's not sure if his decision is right. As he explains in this candid conversation with Whitney, "sharing the gains" with every member of the team was a way for him to take leaps he was initially skeptical about. Russ shares the difficult choice to not take the company public, despite years of work to do so, and why he loves hiring people at the beginning of their careers so they can grow into mastery on the job.
5/24/202256 minutes, 59 seconds
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269 Susan Cain: The Upside of Seeking Sadness

Nobody wants to be sad. We actively avoid it, and use all the technology in our power to distract ourselves from it. But Susan Cain says, maybe we should seek sadness out. She knows a thing or two about it. Her books about introversion and quiet reflection are New York Times bestsellers, and her TED talk has been viewed 40 million times. Her latest book, "Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole," is about what we miss when we stop confronting sad feelings. Susan explains that reflecting on pain -- including the pain of others -- is something we need more of in our lives, especially in a digital world, where we increasingly only see vacation photos, smiling kids, and job promotions. This practice can be about deep personal connection, or simply seeking a sad song or choosing a heartbreaking movie once in a while. After all, there's a reason history's most enduring art is about longing and loss. This episode references Whitney's recent newsletter, which you can read (and subscribe to!) here:  No Time Like the Present  
5/17/202232 minutes, 58 seconds
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268 Roger Martin: The Single Worst Thing You Can Say to an Employee

"The way we've always done it" is often not the best way. This is the very definition of disruption, but getting "stuck" on old habits can sneak up on us — in our personal lives, and our companies. That's what Roger Martin explores in his latest book, "A New Way to Think." Roger has built his career as an author and professor studying disruption, mainly identifying business models that we've relied on for decades, and then asking, "Does this really work?" Roger returns to the show for another rousing discussion about career satisfaction and employee retention, especially in the wake of "The Great Resignation." He also contends that we've structured modern knowledge work too rigidly, and why that can stifle innovation. He also shares the single most discouraging phrase you could ever say to a member of your team, and how to avoid it.
5/10/202251 minutes, 19 seconds
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267 Marshall Goldsmith: If You Want Happiness, Redefine Your Success

Achieving something that's important to you: That's probably a big reason you're listening to this podcast. But what is it about success that drives us? Do we achieve for its own sake, or is there something more? That's what Marshall Goldsmith is exploring. He's one of the most recognized thinkers and writers on the topic of leadership, but in his latest book, "The Earned Life," he asks: Why are we doing all this? Does success really make us happy? And what if those two things were not so deeply connected? Whitney and Marshall sit down for a conversation that turns traditional Western views of success and happiness on their head. He notes that some of the most successful leaders are great at delaying gratification, only to look back on what they missed out on in life. In fact, after we accomplish something great, we should stop expecting more, but default to a new beginning.
5/3/202237 minutes, 12 seconds
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266 Patrick McGinnis: FOMO Isn't Always Bad (Until It Is)

"Fear of Missing Out" or "FOMO" is wired into our brains for a reason. When our ancestors flocked to greener pastures, it was advantageous to follow. FOMO can inform modern, strategic decisions as well, but Patrick McGinnis says we should be vigilant against its more dangerous sibling, FOBO: "Fear of Better Options." This is a kind of decision paralysis that's catastrophic for personal well-being and companies. Patrick has studied it closely. After all, he invented the term "FOMO" back in 2004, written multiple books on the topic, and hosts the podcast FOMO Sapiens. He and Whitney discuss how the breakneck speed of 21st century FOMO can trick us into "fear-based decision making," and why outsourcing low-stakes choices to Siri or a coin flip can be incredibly liberating.
4/26/202250 minutes, 37 seconds
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264 Jami & Jeffery Downs: Why Tiny, Laughable Steps Lead to Huge Achievements

Running a marathon, writing a book, or learning piano. These are big undertakings that require discipline and practice. The harder we work each day, the faster we'll succeed, right? Wrong, say authors and podcasters Jami and Jeffery Downs. Biting off more than our daily chew can lead to a cycle of discouragement. Instead, commit to laughably small steps: Write one sentence a day. Practice for five minutes. These micro goals are much easier to sustain, and when you keep the streak going, you'll find that sentences turn into pages, and minutes turn into skills. A revelation in their personal lives lead this husband and wife team to develop "Streaking," a philosophy of personal accountability that applies to anything: Learning, personal relationships, and health. Jami and Jeffery speak with Whitney about the myths of habit forming, and why some tasks — no matter how often you repeat them — will never become automatic.
4/12/20221 hour, 5 minutes, 35 seconds
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263 Kim Scott & Trier Bryant: The Invisible Tax of Workplace Bias

We've covered bias in previous episodes, but this week we tackle it head-on — specifically, how our language choices affect people, and the difference between bias, prejudice, and bullying. Kim Scott is a coach to some of Silicon Valley's most influential CEOs, and known for her groundbreaking book Radical Candor, about the complexity of giving critical feedback, even when it's hard. Trier Bryant is the CEO of Just Work, a consultancy specializing in identifying harmful bias and injustice in the workplace, and providing the tools to overcome it. Together, they help employees and managers develop a shared vocabulary so everyone feels safe to say, "that word/phrase is not OK." It's a crucial, but often missing step on the path toward true diversity, equity, and inclusion. It's harder than it seems, but making the effort to own your language — even during this very interview — is a great first step. Kim, Trier, and Whitney go deep on how caring for others can go hand-in-hand with challenging them directly, and why casual word choices take a heavy toll on marginalized people over time.
4/5/20221 hour, 6 minutes, 45 seconds
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262 Johnny C. Taylor: Our Relationship to Work Is Changed Forever

Hybrid offices. Work-from-home. Unlimited vacation. Parental and sick leave. Diversity, equity, and inclusion. The scrutiny of company culture has intensified during the pandemic as millions ask: Is there a better way to work? Johnny C. Taylor set out to write a book about this in March 2020 when we all expected a 2-3 week "pause" in normalcy. Two years of pandemic later, the thesis of his book transformed. RESET: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval is Johnny's analysis of a radical post-COVID re-think. But he's not just an observer. Johnny is a lawyer, longtime HR pro, and currently the CEO of the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), an organization that educates and advises HR professionals. And while HR was previously viewed as the team to nag about payroll and benefits, Johnny says they've become the "emotional first responders" in a time of unprecedented uncertainty. Johnny explains what workers want and expect from companies in 2022, the power of the perfect CHRO + CEO partnership, and why Diversity & Inclusion efforts require more than passionate good intentions. He also shares how firing one employee long ago changed his life forever.
3/29/202258 minutes, 47 seconds
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261 Amy Webb: The Future Isn't So Scary When We Talk About It

If you feel like the world is "speeding up" technologically and culturally, you're not alone. "Future shock" is real. We are faced with daily decisions that our grandparents could never conceive. This makes planning your life, career, and family rather hard. Amy Webb is a quantitative futurist, who uses data to imagine the unimaginable. She doesn't predict the future, but plans for every possible outcome so companies can be better prepared. One area she's been particularly fascinated with is synthetic biology. It's the merging of computer science and genetics. Imagine a world where we can program cells like tiny computers to cure diseases, grow corn in a city warehouse, and manufacture real meat without ever killing animal. It's already happening, and the benefits are huge. But when people hear about modifying DNA and growing chicken cells in a bio-reactor, they bristle. The "newness" of this science, filtered through politics, media and social media, often disrupts honest discourse about it. In her new book, The Genesis Machine: Our Quest to Rewrite Life in the Age of Synthetic Biology, Amy explains that healthy skepticism of new things is good, so long as it's tempered with a good faith discussion of the data.
3/22/202257 minutes, 2 seconds
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260 Amanda Ripley: How to Break the Cycle of Destructive Conflict

Navigating conflict is part of everything: Family, relationships, business. Productive disagreement can lead to innovation, compromise, and inclusion. But investigative journalist Amanda Ripley has spent much of her career studying what she calls "high conflict." This is where disagreements get so entrenched that they become identities, and a cycle of blame. People are quickly sucked into a tribal mentality: "It's Us verses Them." This is what has become of our politics, our online discourse, and actual warfare, as we've sadly seen in recent weeks. But there's hope. After covering disasters, warzones, and local politics for years, Amanda has identified specific signals that turn good conflict into high conflict. And there are tactics we can use to break the cycles of tribalism. Through this lens, Amanda and Whitney discuss ways to address intractable conflict at any scale: Marriages, co-workers, neighborhoods, government, and even the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
3/15/202255 minutes, 9 seconds
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259 Alexi Robichaux: The Power of Asking for Help

When we think of high-performance jobs like pro athletes and the military, practice is 90% of the work. An NFL quarterback trains a lot longer than the handful of games he plays, and benefits from a team of coaches. Yet in the professional world, we are thrown into the deep end, often learning on the job. This has its benefits, but also creates uncertainty, stress, and burnout. With mental health in sharp focus recently, so too has professional coaching become more important. But not everyone has access to it. That's the problem Alexi Robichaux has been trying to solve as the co-founder and CEO of BetterUp. It's an online platform that connects thousands of people to coaches to maximize their potential. But figuring out what the world wanted from a company like this was a confusing, bumpy ride. "There is no hack," Alexi says, when re-framing leadership coaching as a well-being practice, rather than a corporate band-aide. Alexi shares the "gentle intervention" he received from a colleague that lead him to re-think his career and start the business, and why the world wasn't ready for an online coaching network...until now.
3/8/202243 minutes
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258 Ulcca Joshi Hansen: What Should Education Look Like in the Future?

We never stop learning on this show, but this week's topic is about the formal structures of education we all grew up in: school. It comes in many flavors these days, but in a world of rapid technological and social acceleration, many teachers, parents, and students wonder if the current model is still working. Dr. Ulcca Joshi Hansen is a teacher, author, researcher, and the Chief Program Officer at Grantmakers for Education. Her new book is called "The Future of Smart," and it looks at history, psychology, and our current technological moment and asks: “What if school was more dynamic, more inclusive, and more empowering for all kids?” We all want this. But getting there isn't a 3-5 year tweak to the curriculum. Dr. Hansen argues it's a generational project that could take 20 years — but there's no better time to start than right now. Dr. Hansen and Whitney discuss the history of modern education, and how a holistic, mastery-based approach might better prepare students for a world of rapid change.
3/1/202249 minutes, 11 seconds
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257 Unexpected S Curve Changes

You're in the sweet spot. You've mastered your role. Everything is going right. And then: You're laid off. The market shifts. A company goes under. These are always looming threats, but they came into sharp focus during the pandemic. Matthew Swaney has been an airline pilot for more than 35 years. When travel patterns shifted at the height of COVID, he was let go from his job with limited prospects for a new one. Re-inventing yourself early in your career is one thing. But Swaney built a lifetime of experience around flying, only to have it taken away so close to retirement. As a regular listener of "Disrupt Yourself," he reached out to Whitney for advice. The result is this candid conversation about grieving the loss of your identity, and the fear of jumping to a completely unknown S Curve in uncertain times.
2/22/202234 minutes, 31 seconds
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256 Apolo Ohno: What to Do When We Hit the Wall

Sometimes, we're racing forward at 35 mph. Everything is going right. Momentum has kicked in. We're flying past the competition And then: WHAM. This week's guest knows this figuratively, and literally. Apolo Ohno is a world champion speed skater and Olympian with 8 medals, two of them gold. Even as one of the world's greatest athletes, he's hit his share of walls — sometimes on the ice, and sometimes in business, personal relationships, and in his challenging transition away from sport. As part of the recent "Begin, Grow, Pivot & Learn" event, Whitney had a chance to interview Ohno about his life after the Olympics (a time he calls "The Great Divorce"), which taught him to stop saying "no" to new experiences and explore strengths and weaknesses he never knew he had. Ohno also shares insights from his new book, "Hard Pivot," which is available everywhere on February 22.
2/15/202225 minutes, 13 seconds
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255 Angela Ruggiero: You Learn the Most When You Hear "No"

Jumping to a new S Curve is hardest when your identity hangs in the balance. This happens often with professional athletes and members of the military who have trained their entire life for one job ... until it's gone. Our guest this week is Angela Ruggiero, one of the greatest ice hockey players in the world. She has represented the U.S. at four Olympic games, brought home multiple medals (including the gold), and served on the International Olympic Committee. But one of the greatest challenges of her life was reinventing herself after all that came to an end. A lot of soul-searching and more hard work resulted in the Sports Innovation Lab, a market research firm devoted to understanding 21st century fandom. Angela shares the hard lessons about teamwork she learned on the ice, the time she gave herself permission to walk away from hockey (and eventually return), why CEOs must get used to hearing "no," and the advice her father gave her as a young player that informs every decision she makes to this day.
2/8/202246 minutes, 19 seconds
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254 Scott Barry Kaufman: How to Be a Cognitive Explorer

Finding the gift that makes each of us special is apparent to some, and a long, difficult journey for others. Waking up every day and choosing growth as our default setting goes a long way toward this self-actualization. So says Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a cognitive scientist who has written several books on the subject of human potential, and hosts the Psychology Podcast, which has received more than 20 million downloads. And even when you do self-actualize, you'll likely need to jump to new S Curves later in life. After all, Scott was an opera singer and American Idol contestant before he found his true instruments: writing and listening. Whitney talks with Scott about his popular sailboat metaphor for emotional wellbeing, why exploring your own mind is just as important as exploring the world, and the importance of letting go of shame from the past.
2/1/202242 minutes, 28 seconds
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253 Fran Katsoudas: How to Create a Culture of Purpose

Workplace culture, work/life balance, and burnout have been under the microscope in recent years. But long before the unique challenges of the pandemic, Fran Katsoudas has worked to build a "conscious culture" at Cisco. She's a 25 year veteran of the technology company, and currently the Chief People, Policy and Purpose Officer, who knows that our "work selves" can't be separated from our "regular selves" — especially when we work from home. Because of this, purpose is paramount — not just for the individual, but for the entire company. “Purpose has to be embedded in your day-to-day business,” Fran tells Whitney. And that's not just a feel-good mantra. She has the data to show that a "system of goodness" improves your products, and is always better for the bottom line. Fran shares how we can bust commonly held myths about employee satisfaction, use tech to facilitate leader attention, and why hybrid work can be a powerful force for inclusion. She also shares the time she stepped back from a big promotion in order to change her perspective.
1/25/202244 minutes, 10 seconds
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Adam Grant: When to Give, and When to Take (Encore)

We've got another bonus episode for you this week, because who doesn't love Adam Grant? Whitney's conversation with the author and organizational psychologist from July 2019 is one of our favorites. It's all about how we perceive reciprocity: givers, takers, any why it's so important not to confuse "takers" with those willing to receive help. Adam breaks down why this informs so much of our personal and professional lives. If you haven't heard this one, you're in for a treat. And even if you have, it's absolutely worth another spin. --Original Show Notes: July 16, 2019-- When Adam Grant joined his high school diving team, his coach told him he had good news and bad news: Adam lack flexibility and grace, two of the three components needed to be a successful diver. The good news? His coach would be there to support him the entire way. This event had a profound impact on Adam. His coach not only believed in him but was willing to match the effort that he would put into his own success. His influence was also felt as Adam reached out to help other divers—even those that would be in direct competition with him—because he knew that he could help.
1/20/202234 minutes, 57 seconds
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252 Smart Growth Chapter 1: Explorer (Official Audiobook)

This week, Whitney shares the entire first chapter of her new book Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company, which covers the launch point of any new S Curve of learning: Exploration. Exploring something new is exciting, and we can be better decision makers if we consider criteria like: Is this achievable? Is it worth the cost? Does it align with my values? We also take a lesson that TV host Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs) shared on this very podcast. If you're learning a new musical instrument, a TikTok dance, or a major career shift, this chapter will be your road map. Smart Growth is now available as an audiobook, paperback, hardcover, and Kindle edition on Amazon, or wherever books are sold:  Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company  
1/18/20221 hour, 53 minutes, 11 seconds
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Simon Sinek: If You Only Look For Obstacles, You'll Keep Finding Them (Encore)

We have an extra dose of inspiration for your week with this encore episode from January 2020. Author and speaker Simon Sinek sat down with Whitney to ask the simplest question: "Why?" "Why am I doing this work? Why am I on this career path?" These questions lead to a disruptive change in Simon's life. Despite uncertainty, Simon is so successful because he seeks out challenges, rather than looking for obstacles. --Original Show Notes from January 7, 2020-- To kick off 2020 I am talking to Simon Sinek, who is best known for popularizing the concept of “why” in his 2009 TED talk. To date, it is the third most-watched talk at with over 40 million views. Simon is the author of several best-selling books, including “Start With Why,” “Leaders Eat Last,” and “The Infinite Game,” which was released in October of 2019. For those who are long-time listeners to this podcast, my first question may surprise you. Instead of my usual beginning, I asked Simon one simple thing: What is your “why”? “My ‘why' is to inspire people to do the things that inspire them, so together each of us change our world for the better.” There really was no other way to begin the conversation. Simon has been speaking about the importance of “why” since 2005, when he “fell out of love” with his marketing career and began speaking publicly about the importance of “why” to friends, and eventually friends-of-friends. The organic growth of his ideas eventually caught the attention of the US Air Force, and by mid-2006 he was invited to speak at the Pentagon and military bases across the US.
1/13/202232 minutes, 17 seconds
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251 Adam B. Levine: How Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, and NFTs Actually Work

We can't talk about personal disruption without discussing disruptive technologies, so this week's episode is a bit different. It's a 101 course on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and the philosophy behind the decentralization movement. Most of us have heard these terms by now, but many (even those who dabble with them) don't understand how they actually work, or why they matter. Adam B. Levine joins Whitney to provide a primer. He's the managing editor of CoinDesk, host of the "Speaking of Bitcoin" podcast, and the CEO of Levine shares practical examples (and some great metaphors!) about how blockchain tech verifies "who owns what stuff" on the Internet, and what the future might hold for NFTs and Bitcoin once the current mania subsides. Editor's Note: This episode does not provide financial advice. Commodity and currency trading of any kind carries risk.
1/11/20221 hour, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
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Shawn Stevenson: Food Is Your Secret Weapon (Encore)

Eating smarter is always popular in January, so we're excited to share another bonus episode with you this week. This time, it's Whitney's conversation with wellness author and podcaster Shawn Stevenson from February 2021. Shawn was diagnosed with a debilitating disease in his early 20s. Doctors gave him pain meds and told him to lay in bed. His athletic career was over. That is, until he disrupted his diet. Today our guest is Shawn Stevenson, the host of the #1 Nutrition and Fitness podcast in the U.S., The Model Health Show. He’s the author of Sleep Smarter, and now most recently Eat Smarter, which at the time we spoke, was one of the top ten selling books on Amazon. Shawn’s passion for empowering individuals to take control of their health and wellness is apparent to all who connect with him. Diagnosed with a debilitating degenerative bone disease at just 20 years old, Shawn found himself overweight, in constant pain and severely depressed. Determined to change his circumstances, he began a transformational journey discovering just how much influence we can have on our bodies through nutritional and behavioral levers. Now, motivated to help others discover the power of nutrition, Shawn provides actionable steps to help people embark on their own wellness journey.
1/6/202248 minutes, 7 seconds
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250 Why You Should Hire People Into Roles They're Not Qualified For (Yet)

The S Curve of Learning is about personal development — our skills, mastery, and career aspirations. But applying it to teams unlocks a whole new way to run a business. After all, the individual is the fundamental unit of any company. In her latest article for the Harvard Business Review titled "Manage Your Organization as a Portfolio of Learning Curves," Whitney expounds on why it's not enough to track your team's performance and goals. Knowing where each individual is on their personal S Curve has huge ramifications for talent development, team configuration, and the long-term health of your business (long after your current team has moved on). Some of this advice may seem counter-intuitive. Having a dream team at 100% mastery sounds like a win ... until they all get bored and leave. And hiring a person who is underqualified for a role sounds like a recipe for disaster ... unless you're thinking about the big picture. Disruption Advisors coach and veteran broadcaster Steve Ludwig joins this episode as a guest host to interview Whitney about the HBR article and how it connects to her new book Smart Growth, which is available for pre-order now. Read the full article: Pre-order Smart Growth:
1/4/202237 minutes, 36 seconds
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249 Dan Roam: How to Craft the Perfect Pitch

Turns out, people like Star Wars more than they like spreadsheets. That's pretty obvious, yet we constantly find ourselves in front of boring presentations. Data and facts are important, but when woven into a "hero's journey," they become undeniable. Dan Roam is on a mission to put the tools of our greatest storytellers in your hands. Next time you need to convince your boss, your team, or a customer to get on board with an idea, consider his book, The Pop-Up Pitch. Whitney and Dan discuss why humans are wired to love visual storytelling, the key moment of drama you need in every presentation, and the fateful day the back of a napkin changed the trajectory of Dan's career forever
12/28/202154 minutes, 57 seconds
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Livingston Taylor: Life Is a Performance (Encore)

We're thrilled to bring back another one of our favorite episodes that we know you'll enjoy during Christmas week. Whitney spoke with Livingston Taylor in August 2020. He's a singer, songwriter, teacher and the brother of James Taylor. Livingston reminds us that you don't need to be on a stage to perform. We're performing every day with our words, choices, even body language. Simply stepping back to see that can be enormously clarifying, no matter where you are on your S Curve. -Original Show Notes: August 18, 2020- Our guest this week, Livingston Taylor, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, performer, recording artist and teacher. He has enjoyed a storied career that has spanned five decades. Livingston has shared the stage with Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Buffett, Linda Ronstadt and his sister and brothers who are all musicians. Having spent 50 years understanding and perfecting the art of performance, Livingston has documented his learnings in the renowned book “Stage Performance: Stay lean and simple. Tell the Story.” In this episode of the Disrupt Yourself podcast, Livingston shares insights into family, life, love, teaching and the art of performance. We learn why Livingston prefers the periphery of the limelight and discover the melodic connections between speaking cadence and song structure. As a special treat, Livingston teaches us the importance of tone through the gift of song.
12/21/202150 minutes, 1 second
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248 Scott Miller: It's Time to Redefine Mentorship

When we think of role models, we often picture mythical heroes, overnight success stories, and leaders who made key decisions in the nick of time. But Scott Miller is far more interested in the mistakes of successful leaders. He discusses them deeply in his bestselling books and immensely popular podcast On Leadership. For every world-famous actor, there are box office flops. For every bestselling author, there are manuscripts in the dustbin. Scott argues we can learn much more by "hyping our failures," and that true leadership isn't about being right, but being vulnerable. And in an age of connectivity and intimate media, even if you think you don't have a mentor, you probably do. Just look to your favorite podcaster, author, or influencer to see how they've grown. Scott isn't all talk. He had to step back from a comfortable CMO job at the leadership training company FranklinCovey when he realized he was an "accidental diminisher." This re-examination of his skills changed the course of his career, and he's on a mission to help other S-curve jumpers do the same.
12/14/20211 hour, 1 minute, 10 seconds
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247 Howard Morgan: How to Make Hard Work Feel Joyful

Hard work is a pillar of any success, but it doesn't always have to feel so hard. Howard Morgan started his first company at 13 years old. Today it generates $130 million a year, and he hasn't slowed down. But Howard's joyful optimism around hard work is what sets him apart. It was instilled in him at a young age by his grandfather and a rich family life. Howard shares inspiring stories from his career, building multiple businesses, and his fascinating time settling labor disputes. His work illustrates how fairness and respect are much more productive than "taking sides" — sage advice for crucial conversations in any context. His wisdom around letting the headlines be about others is essential listening for anyone who manages (or is part of) a team. Howard also warns against why investing in "overhead" is risky and often misguided.
12/7/202156 minutes, 53 seconds
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246 Syd and Shea McGee: Make Life Beautiful (Encore)

This week we're bringing you an extra dose of inspiration. It's our conversation from October 2020 with Syd and Shea McGee, founders of Studio McGee, one of the most successful and fastest growing interior design companies in the country. But Syd and Shea didn't start out in the design world. They took a huge risk in jumping to a new S Curve, and it all began with a single Instagram post.
12/2/202132 minutes, 35 seconds
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245 General Stanley McChrystal: The Biggest Risk to You Is ... Yourself

Sometimes the business landscape can be a battlefield, but this week's guest puts all that in perspective. General Stanley McChrystal is a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran who is no stranger to real battlefields. He’s a retired four-star general, and commanded an enormous contingent of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s also an avid student of history, who acutely observes how the great successes and failures of the past are so deeply intertwined with risk management. His latest book is called Risk: A User’s Guide, and it documents the unsuspecting factors that undo successful organizations, and provides a framework of preparedness so you can weather the storm.
11/30/202142 minutes, 16 seconds
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244 Bob Proctor: Change Your Paradigm Change Your Life (Encore)

We are excited to share a bonus episode with you this week. It's our conversation with Bob Proctor, originally published in March of 2021. Bob Proctor is a towering figure wherever the mention of self-improvement comes into discussion. For more than 40 years, Bob has focused his entire agenda around helping people create enriched lives, full of rewarding relationships and spiritual awareness. Listen in to hear about Bob’s journey from obscurity to successful entrepreneur, teacher, author, business consultant and counselor. His latest book, Change Your Paradigm Change Your Life was released in August 2021.
11/25/202144 minutes, 53 seconds
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243 Emma McAdam: Stop Trying to Feel Better and Get Better at Feeling

Mental health has never been more top-of-mind than in recent years, and Emma McAdam has built an extraordinary therapeutic resource in an unlikely place: YouTube. Emma is a licensed marriage and family therapist best known for her incredibly popular "Therapy in a Nutshell" videos that demystify things like anxiety, depression, and emotional regulation. This candid conversation will completely change your perspective on stress, happiness, and why our brains perceive stuff like email as a constant survival threat. Emma also has very practical tips on how to form new pathways in our brains and break the "anxiety loops" that can trap us.
11/23/202152 minutes, 59 seconds
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242 Smart Growth: Why My Friend "Eviscerated" the First Draft of My Book

This week, the tables are turned when the host becomes the guest on her own show. Amy Humble, president of Disruption Advisors, interviews Whitney about the challenge and personal growth that comes out of writing a book. Smart Growth, which expounds on the S-Curve of learning for organizations, had a dramatic development curve of its own: unbridled excitement at the beginning, with a plummet to the bottom when the work began. It was "laborious and painful." But as Whitney explains, writing a book is not a solitary endeavor. "It's a team sport." Many hands have touched Smart Growth. A trusted friend even "eviscerated" an early manuscript — a terrifying ordeal that bore essential fruit. As Whitney explains in the book, growth is contagious, which is why personal growth among individuals is critical to organizational growth. The birth of this book is no exception. Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company is available for pre-order now wherever books are sold. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here:   
11/16/202143 minutes, 48 seconds
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241 Tanya Dalton: When We Don't Know What's Possible, Anything's Possible

If you're not great at long-term planning, you're not alone. In fact, the human brain is wired to seek short-term gains. Neuroscience even shows that we perceive our "future selves" as strangers — people we're aware of, but don't know personally. These ideas intrigue our guest Tanya Dalton, a productivity expert whose new book "On Purpose" unpacks success and motivation through a variety of lenses: perfectionism, fear, psychology, and being a woman in a world that suffers from bias. Tanya's practical toolkit for knocking down productivity barriers confirms what we know deep down: Most of our blockers are self-inflicted. Most of our fears are not of failure, but of public perception. And when purpose and productivity align, the sky's the limit. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here:  Disrupt Yourself Podcast 2021
11/9/202142 minutes, 29 seconds
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240 Rob Cross: The Invisible Cost of Dysfunctional Collaboration

If your company has too many meetings, this week's episode is a must-listen. Email, Slack, and Zoom are technologies built to make us more productive. But when we use meetings and messages to solve all our problems, it leaves little time to actually get work done. This is "collaboration overload." Our guest Rob Cross, who studies this phenomenon, says that collaborative demands on workers have risen 50% in the last decade, yet the enormous cost (time, money, and employee well-being) is often invisible to organizations. "If anything else had increased 50%, a CEO would be all over it," he says. But tech tools are not the enemy, Rob explains. The culture and ground rules about their use (which come from the top!) are the culprit. His book, "Beyond Collaboration Overload," is filled with data and personal interviews to back it up. In this week's discussion, Rob lays out his extraordinary research showing how not all tasks are equivalent when collaboration is involved, and why our culture of always "jumping in" to solve problems probably makes them worse. He also makes the case for a new executive position — Chief Collaboration Officer — who is responsible for empowering great teamwork, and rooting out dysfunction. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here:  Disrupt Yourself Podcast 2021
11/2/202147 minutes, 52 seconds
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239 John Tesh: How Positive Thinking (Literally) Saved My Life

John Tesh wears many hats: News reporter, sports commentator, TV host, radio personality, composer, author, and touring musician to name a few. What you may not know is how a variety of mistakes and "crimes" (as he puts it!) lead him to become a household name. In this candid interview, John recounts how disappointing his dad, being homeless, and the kindness of one friend set him on a disruptive path toward radio and TV production. Thanks to his tinkering with reel-to-reel tapes and microphones in his childhood basement, he felt at home when sneaking into a college radio station to make the demo tape that would later get him on the air. Fast-forward to a wildly successful career in broadcasting, and then a terminal cancer diagnosis in 2015. When his doctors told him to "get his affairs in order," John became a "victim," as he puts it: of cancer, depression, and alcohol. But a profound shift in his attitude and faith changed everything. He recounts the story of how he and his family beat the odds in his latest book, Relentless: Unleashing a Life of Purpose Grit, and Faith. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here:  Disrupt Yourself Podcast 2021  
10/26/20211 hour, 10 minutes, 58 seconds
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238 Jennifer Moss: The Cure For Burnout Isn't Self-Care

A healthy amount of stress is so important for personal growth, but chronic stress that demands our attention 24/7 can disconnect us from our work, colleagues, and purpose. This is burnout, and Jennifer Moss observes that we are facing an epidemic. She's an award-winning journalist, columnist, and author of The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It. But contrary to popular wisdom, making time for that bubble bath or movie night isn't the solution. Burnout is a "we" problem, and the root causes are at the organizational level. Jennifer shares her surprising research on where burnout comes from, why it's worse than it's ever been, and why we need a system of preventative care. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here: Disrupt Yourself Podcast 2021  
10/19/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 28 seconds
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237 Steve Bullock: What Golf Pioneers Teach Us About Taking Risks

Even if you don't play golf, there's a surprising amount to learn from pro golfers who broke with tradition to "swing their own swing." That's what Steve Bullock learned when he analyzed tons of data for his book Out of the Box Golf. Think: Moneyball for the 9-iron crowd. For instance, even holding a club the "traditional" way puts players at a huge disadvantage. Yet even when golfers find clear advantages through technology or alternate practices, most players ignore them (often for decades!) and fall behind their peers. "Humans tend toward conformity," he explains. It's not hard to see how this applies to the business world as well. Whitney and Steve discuss the extraordinary ways that experimenting with risk can pay off, in your professional life, and on the fairway. And Steve stresses that if you don't have the pioneer's stomach for risk, make certain that you're a fast follower when innovation comes knocking. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here: href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener noreferrer" data-saferedirecturl="">
10/12/202133 minutes, 12 seconds
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236 Pamay Bassey: Make Learning Your Superpower

A 21st century career path can take many twists and turns. The skills you learn for one S Curve may not map perfectly to the next. That's why learning is the most important skill of all. That's some wisdom from Ekpedeme “Pamay” Bassey, the Chief Learning and Chief Diversity Officer at Kraft Heinz. And she should know. Before earning her many prestigious titles in the corporate world, she came from a background in standup comedy and improv. Pamay is a first generation Nigerian-American, born in New York City. Her heritage has deeply informed her approach to diversity and inclusion, but her passion for comedy made her career path unconventional to say the least. Pamay and Whitney discuss how to translate skills from one S Curve to another, especially when it comes to job interviews. And why it's so important to fill your eyes and ears with the stories of others who have accomplished great things. Pamay also explains how journaling regularly became a powerful self-reflection tool, especially during a difficult time of loss. We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here:
10/5/202142 minutes, 9 seconds
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235 Leena Nair: Raise Your Hand for the Hardest Job

We all have jobs to pay the bills, but what is your purpose? And what's your company's purpose? Leena Nair asks these questions every day. She's the chief human resources officer at Unilever. She's also the first female, first Asian, and youngest CHRO in the company's history. "Companies with purpose last. And people with purpose thrive," Leena explains. And she has the data to back it up. Ensuring the well-being of 150,000 employees is a monumental endeavor, but her success stems from spending time with people to understand their motivations. And she rejects outdated business models that only view employees as a cost, rather than a company's greatest asset. Leena's made huge investments in purpose workshops and mental health programs. It's not only good for people; it's good for the bottom line, too. "For every $1 I invest in human well-being, we get $2.50 back." Whitney and Leena discuss why raising your hand for the most difficult jobs is one of the most important things you can do. "When was the last time you did something for the first time in your life? That's the last time you grew." We're conducting a quick, anonymous survey to understand our audience better! It takes less than 1 minute, and is enormously helpful. Take it here: href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-saferedirecturl="">
9/28/202143 minutes, 30 seconds
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234 Harry Kraemer: Do You Have TRUE Self-Confidence?

Being a leader and teaching leadership are two very different things. Harry Kraemer found this out when he jumped S-curves later in life. Harry is the former chairman and CEO of Baxter International, a $12 billion global healthcare company. But more importantly for this conversation, he now teaches leadership at Northwestern University. Harry explains the importance of self-reflection and genuine humility, and identifies the nature of "true self-confidence." It's not about taking risks or getting up in front of people. By contrast, true confidence is a leader's ability to say "I don't know." Harry and Whitney discuss the qualities that make leaders both effective and relatable, and why it's never OK to say, "I don't know where you're coming from." Harry's most recent bestselling book is titled: Your 168: Finding Purpose and Satisfaction in a Values-Based Life.
9/21/202150 minutes, 49 seconds
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233 Jacqueline Novogratz: When the Work Gets Hard, Look For Beauty

When we talk about starting a new S-curve, few exemplify this better than Jacqueline Novogratz. She upended her successful career in international banking to focus on addressing global poverty through the impact investment organization Acumen. Her journey is extraordinary, inspiring, and at times heartbreaking. Jacqueline and Whitney talk about what it takes to have a "moral imagination," the foundational work of building a better world. As she puts it, "the opposite of poverty isn't wealth, it's dignity." Jacqueline explains why top-down and bottom-up solutions lack the nuance to effect lasting change, and how she learned to leverage her privilege, rather than distance herself from it. And when extreme poverty and violence make everything feel futile, Jacqueline reminds us to look for beauty wherever we can find it. "Beauty reminds us why we're here to do the hard work."  
9/14/202151 minutes, 21 seconds
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232 Astrid Tuminez: Nobody Is "Self-Made"

Dr. Astrid Tuminez is the first female president of Utah Valley University, and her journey is incredibly inspiring. Born in the Philippines and raised in extreme poverty, Tuminez made pivotal choices and gained important mentors which led her to the U.S. Her passion for international relations made her an influential voice of peace at the height of the Cold War. In her conversation with Whitney, Astrid explains how she got comfortable with failure, and how the kindness of teachers completely changed her life. "No person in this world is self-made. Somebody along the way did something for you," she says. She shares the three most important decisions in her life, the benefits of getting fired, and a key lesson from martial arts: "Be a limp noodle."
9/7/202143 minutes, 58 seconds
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231 Mike Rowe: Why I Chose Projects Doomed to Fail

TV host, author, and podcaster Mike Rowe would have been a construction worker if not for advice from his grandfather: "Find a different toolbox." Turns out, Mike wasn't great with his hands, but his grandfather and other mentors recognized different skills. They pushed him out of his comfort zone and in front of microphones and cameras. Today, Mike's wildly popular "Dirty Jobs" TV series has shown millions of viewers what it takes to do extraordinary jobs that don’t get talked about on “Career Day,” but are critical to a well-functioning society. And Rowe credits a lot of his success to multiple failures. The show itself was born out of a TV news segment gone wrong. In this episode, Mike and Whitney discuss the unusual mindset of his early career: He sought out bad ideas and was happy to get paid to work on projects that were doomed to fail. Removing the stakes freed him up to experiment and take risks, which led to much more interesting projects. Mike also discusses the importance of music in his life, and how a conclave of war veterans singing sad barbershop songs changed his perspective. "It was so uncool I was fascinated by it." What did you learn from this conversation with Mike? What risks are you taking these days, and what are your fears about them? Email Whitney Johnson at [email protected] for a chance to receive a signed copy of Mike's book, "The Way I Heard It."
8/31/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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230 Chris Dancy: Use Tech to Be More Human

Chris Dancy's life used to be a lot different. Back in 2008, he weighed more than 300 pounds, smoked two packs and drank 36 cans of Diet Coke a day. But he had one disruptive skill in his back pocket. As a database engineer, he's obsessive about tracking information. And when he put the lens on himself, it changed everything. By tracking every aspect of his life (food, feelings, TV, social media posts, etc.) he collected "big data" on himself, the way a tech company would. Using a variety of sensors, apps, and home-brewed systems, Dancy harnessed his habits and completely disrupted his life. Today, he's an author and speaker who warns against the dangerous discourse that technology is "breaking" people. Instead, he says "don't unplug," and explains how the systems that suck our attention and data can be reverse-engineered to make our lives better, and ultimately make us more human. "Today's technology is engineered around reactions, not feelings," he says, and shows us that it's within our power to change that. In this extraordinary and emotional conversation, Dancy discusses how our culture weaponizes time, looking back at your own emotional data, his mother's gift that changed everything, and training yourself to schedule things like "kindness" and saying "I love you." In his own words, "we need to stop valuing our schedule and schedule our values.” For a complete transcript and links from this conversation, visit
8/24/202147 minutes, 35 seconds
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229 Sally Helgesen: How Women Can Harness the Language of Achievement

The proverbial "glass ceiling" is real, and can block women from reaching their full potential. There is a lot of work to be done here, but not all women are in a position to effect systemic change. So what can women (and their allies) do in their daily lives and careers to close the gap? That's the subject of Sally Helgesen's book, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job. Helgesen's groundbreaking research with thousands of women and companies over 30+ years reveals the fascinating differences between genders in the workplace, and the reasons some women struggle to claim credit for their achievements and vocalize their career aspirations — habits that often come more naturally to men. In a corporate culture where achievements are rarely valued unless you shout them from the rooftops, women constantly balance perceptions of being "too aggressive" and not advocating for themselves enough. Helgesen says, "why not both?" And she shares practical advice for women navigating these tricky waters. For a complete transcript and links from this conversation, visit
8/17/202142 minutes, 12 seconds
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228 Take the Right Kinds of Risks (Encore)

If you've already answered the question we posed in episode 80 (Why should you disrupt yourself in the first place?), then it's time to revisit risk, the first accelerant of personal disruption. In this encore episode, Whitney discusses why not all risk is created equal, and why taking the right risks can have huge upsides. If this podcast is valuable to you, email Whitney at [email protected]. She responds to every one.   80 Why would you disrupt yourself? 7-point framework for personal disruption.   First accelerant of personal disruption, encore.  
8/10/202122 minutes, 57 seconds
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227 Katy Milkman: How to Change, According to Science

There's a lot of common wisdom around building good habits: stick to a schedule, reject constraints, and seek out great advice. But science would like a word. Katy Milkman is an economist and behavioral scientist who has done breakthrough research on how people form (or break) habits. Surprising data from her book, How to Change, shows that flexibility, not routine, is the key to conquering procrastination, exercise, and more. Environmental changes, even small ones like the start of a new week or a new year (resolutions, anyone?) can be psychologically huge in effecting change. And constraints on creativity often yield better results than unlimited resources. Science also explains why when it comes to mastering a skill, tis often better to give advice than to receive it.
8/3/202137 minutes, 30 seconds
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226 The Power of Discovery-Driven Planning

Reframing failure as a learning experience is so hard to do. But when you can, it's one of the most powerful tools for personal growth. This week, Whitney explores the value of a discovery-driven mindset through the advice of many past Disrupt Yourself guests, and her own experience. Knowing where you are on your emotional journey before walking into the unknown removes so much risk. And traditional planning isn't always enough. Discovery-driven planning is a different, and often more flexible way to embark. Whitney also discusses testing your assumptions by setting milestones, and why sometimes the bravest thing you can do is just show up.
7/27/202126 minutes, 20 seconds
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225 Ray Wang: Don't Compete, Create

In an economy dominated by tech giants, growing your business to compete with Amazon or Google can feel futile. But Ray Wang thinks differently about this challenge. Wang is the founder and chairman of Constellation Research, a Silicon Valley advisory firm that finds opportunities for businesses to scale — especially in highly competitive climates. He explains why companies that have won the digital innovation battle have yet to win the war. From Domino's Pizza, to Honeywell, to Walmart, and even Mom & Pop businesses, Wang shares numerous examples of how successful companies stopped playing their competitors' game, and invented new lines of business they can uniquely own. Wang also re-thinks personal data as a property right — a simple regulatory shift that would completely disrupt tech in favor of consumers and small businesses.
7/20/202131 minutes, 28 seconds
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224 Brooke Snow: How to Have a Good Bad Day

Brooke Snow is an author, meditation instructor, musician, podcaster, and parent who prefers to define herself by her qualities, rather than any of these roles. Reframing identity as traits (kind, thoughtful, determined) rather than titles allows Brooke to be so much more than the sum of her jobs. Brooke explains why bad days are actually good when you can recognize your wins (however small), putting floors and ceilings on your daily productivity, where her S Curves as an entrepreneur and a parent inform each other, and why it's not always a bad thing to be "self-centered." Learn more about Brooke's work here:
7/13/202143 minutes, 2 seconds
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223: Scott Miller: Becoming the Leader People Want to Follow (Encore)

“Listen first” and “Disrupt yourself before you are disrupted.” Those are some of the hard-won lessons from Scott Miller on this encore episode.  Scott is the Executive Vice President of the Thought Leadership practice at FranklinCovey and author of Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, about becoming the leader you would want to follow. In this episode, he offers many lessons that are critical for the challenges facing today’s leaders. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
7/6/202137 minutes, 42 seconds
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222: Suneel Gupta – How to Gain Backers in Life and Business

What does it take to get someone to believe in you? To back you and what you are doing? This episode’s guest is Harvard University Visiting Scholar Suneel Gupta, author of the new book Backable. We talk about what you must do, and what you must leave behind, to get people to take a chance on you. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
6/29/202145 minutes, 6 seconds
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221: Chris Yeh: Blitz Your Career

Writer, investor, and entrepreneur Chris Yeh joins on this episode of Disrupt Yourself. He has been in the world of startups for 25 years and shares amazing insight and wisdom he has gained along the way including going faster than you might be comfortable with; deciding what you are willing to go “all in” on; how to realize that you need to discover the new rules, and others. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
6/22/202149 minutes, 38 seconds
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220: Sarah Feingold (encore) – Play to Your Strengths

Play to your strengths and play where no one else is playing These are the first two of the Seven Accelerants for Growth™ on the S Curve of Learning™. Sarah Feingold is a great example of both. She former General Counsel of Etsy, and general counsel of, and co-founder of Fourth Floor that helps women become ready for the Board Room—and her stories provide guidance and inspiration for all of us looking to have a great career.   Enjoy this encore episode that we recorded in 2016. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
6/15/202134 minutes, 46 seconds
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219: Scott O'Neil: Connect, Be Present, Dream Bigger

Scott O’Neil is head of the organization that owns the Philadelphia 76ers basketball team, the New Jersey Devils hockey franchise, and the Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. He’s just written a new book, Be Where Your Feet Are and we talk about jumping to new S Curves of Learning™, how to encourage other people to take new risks, how to be present where you are, and the importance of dreaming big. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
6/11/202157 minutes, 14 seconds
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#218: Justin Osofsky—Insight from Instagram

Justin Osofsky, Chief Operating Officer at Instagram, shares some of his hard-won insights about Building an A Team. The five takeaways from the episode can help any manager be more engaged and supportive of their team.
6/1/202144 minutes, 59 seconds
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217: Aicha Evans--Human Spirit and Technology

When you combine the human spirit and technology all sorts of great things start to happen. Aicha Evans, CEO of the autonomous vehicle company Zoox, is our guest. There are six big takeaways from this conversation including understanding everyone’s importance in a company’s value chain, how complaints can help reveal truth, how to add value to a team by not just focusing on individual output. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
5/25/202142 minutes, 32 seconds
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216: Aidan McCullen – Innovation and Transformation

Innovation and transformation are never easy. Aidan McCullen, author of Undisruptable, talks how giving failure its due can help lead to personal transformation, leaving the old way of doing things to move forward, and how resistance is often the marker that we are near our goals. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
5/18/202141 minutes, 39 seconds
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215: Julie Lythcott-Haims, Disrupt Your Mindset

Author, speaker, and activist Julie Lythcott-Haims helps people find their true north. A New York Times bestselling author, her latest book, Your Turn, is how to be an adult. We discuss a number compelling topics including how being adult is not about accomplishing some sort of checklist, rather growing through the process. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
5/11/202142 minutes, 9 seconds
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#214: Erica Dhawan – Digital Body Language

In this episode I talk with Erica Dhawan. She is an author and advisor on 21st century teamwork and today, we are discussing her latest book, Digital Body Language: How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance. In the past, we humans have drawn heavily upon body language to connect and build trust. But now a significant, if not majority, of our interactions occur in a digital medium. This new reality has made it challenging for many of us to connect and build trust. Erica helps guide us in and through this brave new world by drawing on research and employing the art of skillful storytelling. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
5/4/202140 minutes, 26 seconds
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#213: Ellen Bennett – Dream First, Details Later

Our guest today, Ellen Bennett has created a roadmap of sorts for young entrepreneurs in her appropriately titled book, Dream First, Details Later. Bennett is the CEO & Founder of Hedley & Bennett. Their mission: To make the hardest working, best looking aprons, and kitchen gear in the world. Bennett’s belief in herself, her company and nearly everyone she connects with, is truly inspiring. She truly leaves one feeling we can dream first and save the details for later. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
4/27/202140 minutes, 22 seconds
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#212: James Altucher – Skip the Line

James Altucher is a serial entrepreneur, chess master, prolific writer, successful investor and stand-up comedian. James is a lot of things, but maybe most of all, he is an experimenter. His latest book, Skip the Line, provides a roadmap for those of us looking to do the same. He has frequently appeared on CNBC and on many podcasts, including one hosted by yours truly (see episode 06). James also hosts his own podcast the James Altucher Show, a top-rated show since 2014. Altucher is talented, successful and inspiring. He pushes the limits, challenges the status quo and encourages us all to do the same. Join us for a riveting discussion about success, failure, experimentation and of course, disruption. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
4/20/202150 minutes, 26 seconds
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#211: Stephen M.R. Covey – The Speed of Trust

Today our guest is Stephen M.R. Covey, the best-selling author of the critically acclaimed book, The Speed of Trust. He is the son of Stephen R. Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and co-founder of Covey Link and the Franklin Covey Global Speed of Trust practice. And today, he is here with us. Stephen’s work shows us that trust is a valuable lever, one that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable and relationships more energizing. In this episode we learn how, in the midst of a strained and possibly failing merger, Stephen zeroed in on trust – doubled down – and never looked back. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
4/13/202150 minutes, 5 seconds
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#210: Ed Catmull – Marvelous Moments

Today our guest is Ed Catmull. Ed is the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios (along with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter) and former president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. He has received five Academy Awards, and his work as a computer scientist has contributed to groundbreaking developments in computer graphics. As if all that weren’t enough, Ed is also the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Creativity Inc. His list of accomplishments is long and are enough to fill more than one lifetime. But I have asked Ed here today to talk about something else, I want to talk people. As with so many other projects in his storied career, Ed has developed an incredible approach to managing people. Throughout the span of his career, he has made it possible for people to do their best work. He's made it possible for people to disrupt themselves and when they get to the top of that S curve, to keep climbing. In this episode we discuss how Ed developed his unique approach to management. We learn how he stuck to his recipe in the midst of mergers, leaks and when the team accidentally deleted a year’s worth of work on what would eventually become a blockbuster animated film (you will have to listen to learn which one!). For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
4/6/202147 minutes, 11 seconds
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#209: Meghan Rothenberger – Stepping Back to Heal

Today, our guest is Dr. Meghan Rothenberger, an infectious disease doctor specializing in HIV and AIDS, formerly a professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School. Meghan wants to disrupt the stigma around physicians talking about their mental health and we are here to help. From the outside looking in, one might assume that Meghan’s life is an idyllic one. After all, she is happily married with two sons and a daughter, and Meghan’s husband is also a doctor. She has a great family, a great career and had always wanted to be a doctor. However, in 2018 Meghan’s thoughts began traveling to painful places. Meghan kept up the façade for as long as she could until one day, under mounting pressure and expectations, she experienced an emotional breakdown. Join us as we explore the immense pressure experienced by medical residents and physicians and learn about the barriers that keep them from seeking treatment. Meghan’s story is one of healing and self-discovery and today, she generously shares her journey with us. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit: 
3/30/202135 minutes, 43 seconds
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#208: Bob Proctor – Change Your Paradigm Change Your Life

Bob Proctor is a towering figure wherever the mention of self-help comes into discussion. For more than 40 years, Bob has focused his entire agenda around helping people create enriched lives, full of rewarding relationships and spiritual awareness.  In 1960, he was a high-school dropout who had worked a string of dead-end jobs. Crippled by debt, he struggled to find a path forward. However, his life changed dramatically when a friend gave him a revolutionary book, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The result was a remarkable transformation. Listen in to hear about Bob’s journey from obscurity to successful entrepreneur, teacher, author, business consultant and counselor. His latest book, Change Your Paradigm Change Your Life, is due out this August. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
3/23/202144 minutes, 17 seconds
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#207: Ashley M. Fox – Wealth Builders

Money is a resource, and yet many of us are not comfortable talking about money, let alone talking about building a wealth. Fortunately, today I am speaking with Ashley M. Fox. Ashley, a former Wall Street analyst and expert at financial education, is her to help us disrupt our view of money. As part of her mission, she founded Empify, an organization dedicated to changing the mindset of communities across the United States through financial empowerment and education. They have reached thousands of students in over 50 different schools and organizations across the United States. Ashley is also a financial journalist for Black Enterprise magazine and has been featured on Jim Cramer's The Street, Yahoo Finance, and Glamour magazine. Join us as we discuss giving your money a job, dispelling myths around guilt and shame, and learning how to pay yourself first. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
3/16/202137 minutes, 26 seconds
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#206: Charlene Li – The Disruption Mindset

Our guest today is Charlene Li, a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Altimeter Group, acquired by Prophet in 2015. Charlene and a handful of partners disrupted the industry analyst world in 2008, via their unique business model – FREE. As Charlene put it, “You couldn’t buy us.” In this episode we discuss Charlene’s path to disruption and why she ultimately chose to sell Altimeter. We also break down learnings from Charlene’s most recent book, The Disruption Mindset. Join us for a deep dive into all things Disruption. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
3/9/202155 minutes, 24 seconds
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#205: Sumeet Shetty – Letting Your Mind Play

Like a bee to honey, so goes Sumeet Shetty with books. His love affair with the written word began when he was a young man, growing up in India, competing in Quiz Bowls. The experience taught him the value of hard work and helped him develop into a gifted speed reader. Now, Sumeet Shetty is the Development Manager for Enterprise Software Solutions at SAP India and the founder of Literati, India’s largest corporate book club. Through his work with Literati, Sumeet is helping others to discover the inspiration and instruction available to us through books. In this episode we discuss Sumeet’s most formative experiences, his favorite books and how he is helping his team scale the S curve of Learning™. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
3/2/202137 minutes, 22 seconds
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#204: Lewis Howes – Unwanted S Curves

Tragedy often brings unwanted change, pushing us onto new and unfamiliar S Curves. What do you do when faced with the unthinkable? Do you back up? Do you freeze? Or do you rise up and scale the curve before you? Our guest today, Lewis Howes, was faced with the unthinkable. In 2001, while just a senior in college, his family was thrust into a life altering experience that would eventually set Lewis on a crash course with a new future as the founder of the School of Greatness. Lewis is relentless in his practice of personal disruption. He is a New York Times best-selling author, a former pro football player, a collegiate all-American athlete in football and the decathlon, a successful entrepreneur and wanting to go to a school that taught in the way that he learned, Lewis launched The School of Greatness podcast in 2013. Lewis Howes is also dyslexic. He's been sexually abused. He struggled in school. When he was eight years old, his 19-year-old brother went to prison. Scared, embarrassed, ashamed, Lewis was determined to be great... and so, the journey of disruption began. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
2/23/202138 minutes, 50 seconds
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#203: Jamie & Melbourne O’Banion – In Good Company

When I think of our guests this episode, I am reminded of the Turkish proverb, “No road is long with good company.” Jamie and Melbourne O’Banion are on a disruptive journey and have most certainly found themselves, in good company. Jamie is the CEO and founder of Dallas-based BeautyBio which has more than US$100 million in annual sales. Her initial beauty care line on the HSN channel in June 2011 and it immediately sold out. Her products remains a top seller on the network to this day. In 2016, Melbourne co-founded Bestow, Inc., an insurance technology company, where he serves as the CEO. In addition to Bestow, Melbourne founded O’Banion Capital in 2012 and being a is a partner to Jamie at BeautyBio. Join us as today for a real conversation about balancing marriage and parenting while also building thriving businesses. Jamie and Melbourne talk about what support in action looks like and share the unique way they keep the entire family focused and fired up! For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
2/16/202136 minutes
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#202: Shawn Stevenson – Eat Smarter

Today our guest is Shawn Stevenson, the host of the #1 Nutrition and Fitness podcast in the U.S., The Model Health Show. He’s the author of Sleep Smarter, and now most recently Eat Smarter, which at the time we spoke, was one of the top ten selling books on Amazon. Shawn’s passion for empowering individuals to take control of their health and wellness is apparent to all who connect with him. Diagnosed with a debilitating degenerative bone disease at just 20 years old, Shawn found himself overweight, in pain and depressed. Determined to change his circumstances, he began a transformational journey discovering just how much influence we can have on our bodies through nutritional levers. Now, motivated to help others discover the power of nutrition, Shawn provides actionable steps to help people begin their own wellness journey. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
2/9/202150 minutes, 22 seconds
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#201: Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas – Humor, Seriously

Laughing lowers stress – so much so – that simply the anticipation of laughter, just thinking about it, decreases cortisol (stress hormone) and epinephrine (our flight hormone) by 39 and 70% respectively. Our guests this episode, Dr. Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas, understand this better than most. The two teach “Humor: Serious Business”, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. This course is designed to help the business minded serious folk experience, through humor, more joy in their lives. Jennifer and Naomi have documented their insights and learnings in their latest book, Humor, Seriously Jennifer and Naomi share their scientific based discoveries regarding the reverberating impact of laughter on leadership, teams, health, relationships and overall wellness. We learn the different humor styles they uncovered through their research – Standup, Sweetheart, Magnet and Sniper – and discover how drawing upon each, can help us show up better for one another.
2/2/202150 minutes, 17 seconds
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#200: Give Failure Its Due

In this episode we discuss the complicated role failure plays in our lives... today, we give failure its due. This, the sixth accelerant in our personal disruption framework, is possibly the most instructive. Yet, because of the pain and shame associated with the experience, we often blow past the lessons, missing out on the gold mine of data revealed to us in the process. However today, we take it all in - we discuss failure openly and learn together how to ditch the shame. We do this by first setting the context, explaining why failure is hard and then we’ll focus on the reframe - sharing amazing stories along the way. Join us as we journey into a reframe of the past and a new way of looking to the future. Together, we will discover that failure is not something to be ashamed of but rather a gift - one that yields dividends for years to come.  For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
1/26/202145 minutes, 53 seconds
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#199: Martin Lindstrom – The Ministry of Common Sense

Our guest this week is a New York Times bestselling author and champion humanizer, Martin Lindstrom. His latest book, The Ministry of Common Sense, releases today. Martin is passionate about business culture and the customer experience. Today, we discuss his methodology of persistence - what can only be described as an above and beyond, up close and personal, all in, every time radical approach to organizational transformation. Martin's methods produce results and awaken cultures.  He’s been named as one of the twenty most influential management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50, and by TIME Magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Join us for a riveting deep dive with a truly exceptional human! For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
1/19/202141 minutes, 44 seconds
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#198: Margo Georgiadis – Future focused and extending legacies.

Today we are joined by Margo Georgiadis. Margo is currently the President and CEO of Her career exemplifies the power of the S curve, in particular, the launch point. In this episode, we discuss forging your own path and not being afraid to be the “only”. Margo shares the importance mentors have played in her life and tells us about her incredibly impressive mother – a tenacious woman that served in three separate presidential administrations. We learn how it looks to step back to grow and what her time at Google taught her about the importance of being comfortable with ambiguity. Join us for a delightful interview with a prolific risk taker. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
1/12/202135 minutes, 14 seconds
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#197: John Mackey – Conscious Leadership

In this episode, we are joined by John Mackey. In 1980 he co-founded small supermarket in Austin, Texas. Over the years the company has grown a bit. It now has more than 500 stores in North America and seven in the United Kingdom. You may have heard of it. It’s called Whole Foods. In 2017, the company was acquired by Amazon for $13.7 billion. We discuss what it means to be a conscious leader and how this shows up in everyday leadership. John and I explore how outside events can push us to a new s curve and how those unexpected moments can actually help us grow and mature. John shares how his marriage has made him the man he is today and offers advice to others trying to practice conscious leadership. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
1/5/202133 minutes, 41 seconds
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#196: Disrupt Yourself Today

Before you can be an agent of disruption, you first become its subject by disrupting yourself. Keeping this in mind, today’s podcast is a bit different. If you’ve been a long-time listener, this will probably come as no surprise (disruption is what we do, after all)! Join as Disrupt Yourself host Whitney Johnson coaches you, our listeners! Today we discuss: The top 5 reasons you might want to disrupt yourself. Disruption – what does it truly mean? How do we get started? How do I disrupt? For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
12/29/202024 minutes, 26 seconds
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#195: Edward Brodkin and Ashley Pallathra – Missing Each Other

Today we discussing the new book called Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections, with its co-authors Edward “Ted” Brodkin and Ashely Pallathra. In Missing Each Other, they argue that we need to tune back into each other. Especially now. Because of COVID, we’ve all been pushed to a new S Curve, one that increasingly involves digital forms of connection, making it possible to miss each other even more. Ted is a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and has been named a top doctor in America for over a decade. He holds his MD from Harvard Medical School. Fun fact: he attended the pre-college division of music at Julliard where he studied the clarinet. Ashley is a Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate at The Catholic University of America; p previously she was the Clinical Research Coordinator at the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. In this episode we learn about what Ted and Ashley call attunement, an elevated form of human connection – one that considers not just connecting with another person – but considering our state of body and mind as part of that connection. And we discover the value of meeting people where they are can foster unique and genuine opportunities to connect. The authors provide a helpful framework and useful tools that can help us all to be more tuned into our conversations professionally and personally. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
12/22/202035 minutes, 32 seconds
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194: Roger Martin – When More is Not Better

In this episode we talk with Roger L. Martin, Professor Emeritus of Strategic Management, and former Dean at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. In 2017 Roger was named the world’s #1 management thinker by Thinkers 50, a global ranking of management thinkers. He’s written 28 articles for the Harvard Business Review and has published 11 books. Roger’s latest book, When More Is Not Better, analyzes society’s increasing inequality and the impact it has on democratic-capitalism. Today, we discuss: The idea that we are actually better off with things not being perfect. He’s talking about this from an economic perspective, but I believe this also applies to the individual. How over-emphasizing efficiency drives unequal distribution of the benefits of growth. How we as individuals can modify our behavior to influence how our economy looks and operates in the future. Roger and I discuss this from the perspective of citizens, consumers and educators. This is an episode that will get you thinking and talking – calling into question many of our societal and structural assumptions. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
12/15/202039 minutes, 45 seconds
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#193: Sandy Stelling – The Language of Growth

Our guest this week, Sandy Stelling, is fluent in the language of growth. She started her career with Boeing, fresh out of college. After nearly eight years and rising to the level of Senior Engineer, Sandy took a leap and accepted a position with Alaska Airlines as a Project Manager. Twenty years and six titles later, she became the Vice President of Strategy, Analytics and Transformation. This may seem like an unexpected rise for someone who was hired on to manage projects, but Sandy’s approach to every role she takes tells a different story. In this episode… We hear a true insider take on how the airline industry has been navigating the pandemic and how the power of choosing optimism – despite it all – has helped Sandy and the organization weather this storm. We learn how the ability to operate in ambiguity can help you support and lead. We talk about grace and space – the power of expressing radical forgiveness in the midst of exceptional circumstances.   For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
12/8/202043 minutes, 49 seconds
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#192: Ryan Westwood -The Power of Partnering

Our guest this week is Ryan Westwood, the CEO and founder of Simplus. Ryan, a serial entrepreneur and disruptor, began creating a bit younger than most – and he has never looked back. At just eleven years old Ryan discovered he had an ability to create wealth. Several years and a few tough lessons later, he is a wildly successful creator. Simplus, his most recent venture co-founded with his brother, has grown to 600 employees on four continents and was recently acquired by Infosys. In this episode we discuss Ryan’s approach to his employees S curve journeys, his views on partnership and how the power of saying no transformed his leadership. This is a conversation you do not want to miss! For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
12/1/202035 minutes, 9 seconds
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#191: Bettina Hein & Andreas Goeldi – Dynamic Duo

Our guests this episode are Bettina Hein and Andreas Goeldi, a husband and wife duo. Bettina is the founder and CEO of juli Health, a company that helps people manage their chronic diseases with an AI powered app. Andreas is a partner in btov, a European venture capital firm. This couple understands the s curve of learning™ uniquely well and are gracious enough to share their learnings with us. In this episode we discuss their approach to running companies and their marriage. We learn about Bettina’s passion for starting technology companies and hear Andreas' journey of self-discovery that led him back to his passion for coding. In addition to founding juli Health, Bettina is the founder of Pixability, a company that optimizes video on social media. She is currently an investor in Dragons Den, Switzerland's version of Shark Tank. Andreas is also a serial entrepreneur. He's formerly the co-founder and CEO of Namics, Switzerland's leading e-business services firm and was the Chief Technology Officer at Pixability. As impressive as all their credentials are and as you have heard, they are impressive, this only scratches the surface of what makes Bettina and Andreas so fascinating. Join us for a journey into the life of these unique and talented individuals. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
11/24/202040 minutes, 41 seconds
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#190: James Clear – Atomic Habits

“Disruption,” as a word, has always had an explosive sound to me. Disruption causes your world to shift and change—an earthquake in the making. However, every once in a while, I’m reminded that disruption does not have to be earth shattering. Sometimes, the smallest changes can have a long-lasting impact on your life, especially when those changes become habits. Our guest this episode is James Clear author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones.  James advocates that the way to build habits is to try and get just one percent better each day—something that sounds almost too easy to do, and yet builds a firm foundation for continual improvement. In this episode we learn practical and manageable tips for improvement… Habits are the “compound interest of self-improvement”. The two-minute rule – be wary of going big. Point and call, an audible habit builder. Implementation intentions; be specific! Track your habit – seeing is believing. Repetition is a form of change. Never miss twice.   For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
11/17/202042 minutes, 46 seconds
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#189: Brené Brown – Called to Courage

Few things are as terrifying as vulnerability. Yet, when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we allow ourselves to be free. Free from shame, free from fear and free from the untrue stories we tell ourselves. That is why I am excited for this episode. Our guest, Dr. Brené Brown has spent the past two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of five #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and her latest book, Dare to Lead. In this episode Brené shares what first inspired her to dig into research on vulnerability and how that decision changed her life. We discuss the stories we tell ourselves and how to deal with the negative effects of working in the public sphere. Brené shares her views on scaling up versus keeping things slower and closer, and we discover a new way to lead when someone leaves our organization. Brené is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation – Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work. She is also a visiting professor in management at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Brené hosts the Unlocking Us Podcast and the Dare to Lead Podcast. Her TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks with over 50 million views. She is also the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix; The Call to Courage debuted in April 2019. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
11/10/202039 minutes, 38 seconds
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#188: Marcus Whitney – Create and Orchestrate

At just 20 years old, Marcus Whitney was a young father with another child on the way. He had dropped out of college, was working as a waiter and living in an efficiency hotel. But as Marcus, a now successful Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist explains, what you do when your back is against the wall makes all the difference. Listen as we discuss: Overcoming poverty, depression and past trauma to become a thriving individual and successful entrepreneur. How success can camouflage unaddressed trauma, showing up as Marcus teaches, in the form of some dysfunctional behavior that you probably don’t love about yourself. Marcus' book, Create and Orchestrate, an elegant and fresh business framework applicable across industries.  Honestly evaluating the "ROI" of your educational dollars.  Marcus Whitney is a self-taught software developer, was the head of technology at Emma Email Marketing, is the co-founder and co-owner of Jumpstart Foundry, one of the most active healthcare venture capital firms in the United States; is the CEO of Health: Further, a healthcare strategic advisory firm; and is co-founder and a part-owner of the Nashville Soccer Club, Nashville, Tennessee’s Major League Soccer Team. 
11/3/202039 minutes, 31 seconds
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#187: Syd and Shea McGee – Make Life Beautiful

This week, our guests are Syd and Shea McGee of Studio McGee. This power couple run and are the sole owners, no outside capital, of one of the most successful and fastest growing interior design businesses in the country. Shea graduated from college with a degree in public relations but quickly realized that her passion was to create… she wanted to be an interior designer. Syd started his career building a startup for digital marketing but found himself unfulfilled in the mechanics of the business. Then, the light bulb went off and Studio McGee was born. Now, with more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram, a popular YouTube channel, a newly launched brand with Target, a new book titled Make Life Beautiful, and a Netflix show Dream Home Makeover – Syd and Shea are climbing the S curve of their dreams. Join us as Syd and Shea share the beautiful and messy stories of building a thriving business with your significant other. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
10/27/202033 minutes, 1 second
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#186: Kara Goldin – Undaunted

My guest this episode Kara Goldin, is the CEO and founder of Hint, Inc., a healthy lifestyle brand based in the United States, in San Francisco, California. Kara is a textbook disruptor. Although she never intended to be an entrepreneur, she has become just that. On a quest to improve her own health, Kara was struck with the realization that her go-to beverage, was holding her back. This realization triggered an avalanche of ideas. Kara had identified how to improve her health and she charted a mission to do the same for others. Today Hint water is the number one flavored water in the U.S., generating more than $150 million in revenue / year. Kara started her career in sales at Time Magazine and CNN. She moved to AOL, where she served as the VP for E-Commerce and Shopping. In 2005, she founded Hint, Inc. At the time unsweetened flavored water wasn’t a thing. But that’s what disruption looks like–––you play where no one else is playing – and Kara does this so well. Kara has been widely recognized as a leading entrepreneur, being named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business; Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, was selected as the EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. And she has a new book titled Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters. Join us as Kara shares fascinating stories about her path to becoming an unexpected entrepreneur. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:  
10/20/202039 minutes, 31 seconds
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#185: Ben Shewry – Feeding Disruption

The ability to pivot well during a time of crisis is crucial. When the pandemic hit last spring spurring a global crisis, chef, entrepreneur and philanthropist Ben Shewry did this and more. At a time when many, if not most restaurants are struggling to stay in business, Ben and his team have thrived through disruption. Since taking over Attica in Melbourne, Australia in 2005, chef Ben Shewry had earned reputation for excellence. The restaurant has made the World’s 50 Best list multiple years. But Ben’s mission is much deeper than cooking great food. He is a deeply compassionate and caring leader, and a trail blazer in his industry. In this episode we discuss Ben’s journey, how he came realize his dream of owning his own restaurant, the high and lows along the way and his unique approach to leadership and hiring. Join us as we learn how this creative entrepreneur is feeding disruption. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
10/13/202056 minutes, 56 seconds
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#184: Shellye Archambeau – Unapologetically Ambitious

Some people wait for life to happen and then there are those who make it happen. Our guest this episode, Shelly Archambeau, is definitely the latter. Blazing trails seemingly her entire life, Shellye is one of the first African American women to be named CEO of a Silicon Valley company. Through a combination of sheer will and the strong, guiding influence of her parents, Shellye learned to persevere through whatever life sends her way.  Her parents didn’t coddle her in the face of adversity, instead they asked “What are you going to do about it? Shellye answered full throttle with “I will succeed.” Shellye currently sits on several boards, including Nordstrom and Verizon. She's formerly a chief marketing officer at two public companies, began her career at IBM and has a new book out titled "Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms". In today’s episode, Shellye shares about her life and career – the successes, disappointments, love, family and how she became unapologetically ambitious.   For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit  
10/6/202047 minutes, 40 seconds
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#183: Zaza Pachulia – The Game of Disruption

Disruption helps us grow, stretching and developing us in ways that comfort cannot. Our guest this episode, Zaza Pachulia, is a great example of this truth. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former professional basketball player. Born in Georgia, when it was still part of the U.S.S.R., Zaza moved to Turkey to play basketball when he was just 14. A year later, he made the Turkish national team and became one of the youngest players ever in the Euro League. And at 19, he was drafted into the NBA. Zaza played for Orlando Magic, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Atlanta Hawks, the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors, and the Detroit Pistons. He was with the Warriors in 2017, 2018, when they won back to back NBA championships. In addition to his experience as a professional athlete, he owns two hotels in his hometown of Tbilisi, Georgia, the nation's capital. He's a partner and brand ambassador for Crosti, an athletic shoe company, he's the partner of a real estate development firm, and runs the Zaza Pachulia Basketball Academy in Tbilisi for nearly a 1,000 young people from the ages of 5 to 20. In 2019, Zaza retired from playing basketball and is now exploring the business side of the Warriors organization, searching for his next learning curve leap. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
9/29/202041 minutes, 29 seconds
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#182: Mikaila Ulmer – Bee Fearless

Experiencing pain and fear can shape us in good, and bad ways. We can recoil, avoiding that which inflicted the pain, or we can let it drive us to positive change. Our guest this week is a prime example of the latter. Mikaila Ulmer, through the thoughtful guidance of her parents, transformed a painful childhood experience of being stung by bees into a thriving and growing business with a purpose. And now, her product, Me & the Bees Lemonade, is sold in stores nationwide. Mikaila appeared on Shark Tank and got buy in from Damon John, she also received an eight hundred-thousand-dollar investment from a consortium of football players. She started a nonprofit and now, has written a delightful book titled Bee Fearless. Although Mikaila is only 15 years young, she and her family spent the last 10 years growing the business and the brand. Their efforts have brought awareness to a bee population in peril and have highlighted the importance purpose plays in organizational growth. We are grateful to have Mikaila as our guest and we are sure you will find her as engaging as we do. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
9/22/202037 minutes, 22 seconds
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#181: Pim de Morree – Corporate Rebels

In business, we often talk about the value of learning from our own and other organization’s mistakes, but what about learning from what is going well? What might we gain if we open ourselves up to a new way of working? If we did, could work actually be fun? Our guest today is Pim de Morree, Co-founder of Corporate Rebels, an organization dedicated to making work more fun. In January of 2016, he and his business partner, Joost Minnaar, gave up promising careers to explore companies and organizations that were making work fun. They spent the last few years on a learning mission, gathering research by interviewing amazing companies around the world.  Fortunately for us, the two have documented their discoveries in their new book, Corporate Rebels: Make work more fun. Today, Pim shares the mission of Corporate Rebels and reveals the innovative organizations they discovered that are doing work differently. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
9/15/202038 minutes, 35 seconds
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#180: Step Back to Grow

In Episode 80 of our podcast, we started a series, on our seven-point framework of personal disruption. In Episode 100, we took a deep dive into accelerant #1, take the right risks. We moved to play to your distinctive strengths in Episode 120 and then on to embrace your constraints in Episode 140. In Episode 160 we confronted battling our entitlement––the S Curve Killer. Which brings us to today, Episode 180. We are focusing in on accelerant number five, step back to grow. This is an especially challenging point in the framework. So many of us think in linear terms. This is to be expected as it seems our entire lives are arranged sequentially. We measure time in linear terms, days, weeks, months, years – it is the undergirding framework for most of what we encounter on a day to day basis. Maybe this is why so many of us struggle to see the value in stepping back to grow. The cognitive leap it requires seems so out of step with the structure of our lives – and we ask, “How can taking a step back help move me forward?” But studies show the power of this accelerant. At some point along your S Curve of Learning™, your growth will stall, it is inevitable, at which point the only way forward may be back. The only way up, maybe down. Join us as we unpack this powerful zig-zag approach to growth. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
9/8/202041 minutes, 20 seconds
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#179: Robert Glazer – Friday Forward

Most of us desire to be more intentional in our personal and professional lives. We want to steer life rather than have it steer us – but where do we start? Our guest this episode believes we start by defining our core values. “One of the things about core values I've come to understand is I think they've been there since you were little. You just don't get the instruction manual, you know, when you're born saying, hey… here's, here's how you work.” – Robert Glazer Robert Glazer’s intentional yet curious approach to life has yielded success. He is the founder and CEO of global partner marketing agency, Acceleration Partners and is the co-founder and Chairman of BrandCycle. A serial entrepreneur, Robert has a passion for helping individuals and organizations build their capacity to elevate. A regular columnist for Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur, Robert’s writing reaches over five million people around the globe each year who resonate with his topics, which range from performance marketing and entrepreneurship to company culture, capacity building, hiring and leadership. His leadership focused newsletter, Friday Forward, reaches over 100,000 people and fifty countries. And now, Robert has published a new book showcasing 52 of his most brilliant and impactful stories. His book, appropriately titled Friday Forward, continues to deliver on what has set his newsletter apart – insightful and compelling stories that help lead you to lasting and positive change. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
9/1/202045 minutes, 51 seconds
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#178: Mark Metry – Screw Being Shy

Our guest this week Mark Metry, is as he puts it, a 22-year-old trying to do his best during his limited time on planet earth. Mark is a genuine and driven individual with a list of impressive accomplishments already behind him. He is a successful entrepreneur and the host of Humans 2.0, an iTunes top 100 podcast. Mark is the founder of VU Dream, a virtual reality tech company based in Boston. At 12 he started a YouTube channel which grew to 35,000 subscribers and at 15 he started the World’s #1 Minecraft Serve experiencing a six-figure business. However, despite Mark’s early successes, he experienced Social Anxiety and Depression. Outwardly, Mark appeared to be a highly successful young entrepreneur but inwardly, he was struggling. His, is a story of feeling beyond lost, yet somehow, finding himself. Mark was able to work his way through the darkest points and now, he is on a mission to share his learnings with others. Mark has recently published a new book titled “Screw Being Shy: Learn How to Manage Social Anxiety & Be Yourself in Front of Anyone”. It is an inspirational book that Mark hopes, will provide help and understanding to those struggling with Social Anxiety and Depression. We are grateful to have Mark with us and hope that you draw as much inspiration from his story as we did. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
8/25/202044 minutes, 52 seconds
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#177: Livingston Taylor - Stories from the Stage

Our guest this week, Livingston Taylor, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist, performer, recording artist and teacher. He has enjoyed a storied career that has spanned five decades. Livingston has shared the stage with Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Buffett, Linda Ronstadt and his sister and brothers who are all musicians. Having spent 50 years understanding and perfecting the art of performance, Livingston has documented his learnings in the renowned book "Stage Performance: Stay lean and simple. Tell the Story." In this episode of the Disrupt Yourself podcast, Livingston shares insights into family, life, love, teaching and the art of performance. We learn why Livingston prefers the periphery of the limelight and discover the melodic connections between speaking cadence and song structure. As a special treat, Livingston teaches us the importance of tone through the gift of song. In February 2019, Livingston released "The Best of LIVe - 50 Years of Livingston Taylor Live". This album features 11 song selections from his upcoming "LIVe - Livingston Taylor Live" Box Set. Upon release, the album was ranked in the top 10 and his song "Good Friends" was #2 on the Folk DJ chart. We are grateful to have Livingston with us and trust that you will enjoy this interview as much as we did. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
8/18/202051 minutes, 25 seconds
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#176: Darrell Rigby – The Agile Life

Our guest today Darrell Rigby, is an expert in the philosophy called Agile. According to Darrell, “Agile always begins thinking from the customer backward. What is the customer’s problem? What is the customer’s dilemma?” Basically, identify the issue and solve for it. Agile, when practiced correctly, is like an operational superpower - helping employees and organizations outperform their capabilities and circumstances. Darrell knows this superpower better than most. Darrell is also a consummate disruptor, but his story is unique. in He discovered a way to disrupt and continue to grow all while staying at the same company for four decades! In this episode, Darrell shatters every preconceived notion about needing to leave your organization in order to disrupt yourself. Darrell’s research is widely published in the business pages of many U.S. and international publications, including The Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and The Financial Times. He is a frequent speaker and author on strategy issues, including Agile Innovation, BothBrainR innovation, Open-Market Innovation, Winning in Turbulence, and Omnichannel Retailing. Darrell has been a keynote speaker at global business conferences, and has made media appearances on CNN Moneyline, CNBC, NPR, and Bloomberg We are grateful to have Darrell with us today and are excited to share his story with you.   For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
8/11/202051 minutes, 27 seconds
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#175: Mary L. Gray - Ghost Work

Open google, type a word or a phrase, any phrase... red car, modern couch, dog, and a slew of results will populate your browser window. Who is responsible for the avalanche information that lies just a few keystrokes away? Are there downsides to this world of information accessibility? Our guest this week, Mary L. Gray lives to answer these questions and attempts to do so in her new book, Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. The book, written with co-author Siddharth Suri, tackles explaining the new and ever-changing workforce responsible for captioning photos, flagging and removing inappropriate content, or even writing, designing or coding a project to move it along. Mary and Siddharth explore the lives of these workers – ghost workers – exposing a world marked by low pay, no benefits and wildly unpredictable income. An estimated 8 percent of Americans have worked at least once in this “ghost economy,” and that number is growing. Mary L. Gray is a Senior Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research and Faculty Associate at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Along with her research, Mary teaches at Indiana University, maintaining an appointment as an Associate Professor of the Media School, with affiliations in American Studies, Anthropology, and Gender Studies. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit:
8/4/202035 minutes, 14 seconds
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#174: Buster Benson – Why Are We Yelling

Conflict is becoming an ever more present reality in our lives, yet most of us try desperately to avoid it. The widening gap between the world in which we live and our lack of ability to navigate conflict, is showing up in our personal and professional spaces. Given our discomfort and conflict avoidance bend, how do we address this? Is there a way back? Can we face conflict head on, hash it out and be stronger for it? Our guest this week, Buster Benson, believes navigating conflict is an achievable “meta-skill” that allows us to integrate the differences we encounter in the world. In his book, Why Are We Yelling?, Buster reveals that conflict can serve as a valuable tool, that when channeled properly can be leveraged to deepen our relationships, strengthen our problem-solving skills and stimulate our creativity. As the mastermind behind highly successful teams at Amazon, Twitter, and Slack, Buster Benson spent decades leaning into and facilitating difficult conversations in high stress environments. Buster exposes the psychological underpinnings of awkward, unproductive conflict and the critical habits anyone can learn to avoid it. Buster Benson is an entrepreneur and a former product leader at Amazon, Twitter, Slack, and Patreon. This is his first book. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
7/28/202041 minutes, 31 seconds
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#173: Ozan Varol - Think Like a Rocket Scientist

Leaping to a new S-Curve of learning can be an overwhelming experience. As we transition from being at the top of our field into a new and less experienced trajectory, our emotions and anxieties can get the best of us. Our guest this week believes science, specifically the discipline of rocket science, can help us better navigate personal and professional disruption. Ozan Varol is a rocket scientist turned award-winning law professor and bestselling author. A renowned professor, author, and speaker, Ozan writes and speaks often about creativity and critical thinking. He's authored many book chapters and law review articles, and now he has a new book: Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life. In this episode we learn how Ozan stays attune to his mind and body, sensing when it is time to disrupt. He shares how important it is to see yourself through a forgiving lens and discusses the importance of failure in the trajectory of success. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
7/21/202045 minutes, 43 seconds
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#172: Michelle McKenna - Change Agents

Organizational change can be a disorienting experience. We all have bristled against it at one time or another, unnerved by the unknown. However, leaning into change and following the path of disruption can be a liminal moment for organizations and the individuals involved. Our guest this week, a self-described change junkie, knows all to well the discomfort and rewards of disruption. Michelle McKenna is currently the Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer for the NFL. She is responsible for their technology strategy, shared service delivery and management of the league’s technology activities.  In this episode we learn the benefits of asking why we do it this way and how important it is to never stop innovating. Michelle offers an inside take on producing the 2020 NFL Draft and previews the future of data driven decision making for players and coaches. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
7/14/202052 minutes, 21 seconds
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#171: Ryan Gottfredson - Unlocking Success Mindsets

Mindsets are foundational to everything we do. Improving our mindsets can improve our success across life, work, and leadership. Our guest today Ryan Gottfredson, Ph.D., takes us on a deep dive into the power of mindsets. In his book, Success Mindsets: Your Keys to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work and Leadership, Ryan blends the latest in mindset research and practice to present the most comprehensive mindset framework to date. Ryan is a mental success coach and cutting-edge leadership consultant, author, trainer, and researcher. He helps improve organizations, leaders, teams, and employees by improving their mindsets. Ryan is currently a leadership and management professor at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics at California State University-Fullerton (CSUF). He holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources from Indiana University, and a B.A. from Brigham Young University. In this episode, Ryan exposes how the lens in which we view the world impacts our mindset. He walks us through four main mindsets and explains how we can adopt a better way of showing up in the world. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
7/7/202046 minutes, 37 seconds
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#170: Molly Beck – Creating in Spite of Constraints

One in three Americans listen to at least one podcast per month. This is an astounding number given podcasting was a relatively unknown medium as recently as 2012. Recently, Apple surpassed the 1 million mark in podcast titles, and we’ve witnessed an explosion of genres ready to tickle our ears on demand.  Our guest today, Molly Beck, knows the power of podcasting firsthand.  Molly is the founder of podcast creation site, creator of the lifestyle blog Smart, Pretty & Awkward; and a marketing expert who has provided digital strategies for numerous companies including Forbes, Venmo, Rice University, and Hearst. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, Parade, Refinery29, Lifehacker, The Boston Globe, and more. In this episode of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, Molly shares how early career constraints stimulated creativity and spurred her into an unexpected entrepreneurial journey.  For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit 
6/30/202046 minutes, 15 seconds
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#169: Dr. Benjamin Hardy - Personality Isn't Permanent

Our inner desire to label ourselves into personality categorizations is strong. In the quest to understand one’s self, we find solace in labels and fixed ideations. However, focusing on labels alone can lead to a belief that we are who we are and as such, are incapable of change. Our guest today, Dr. Benjamin Hardy, is keenly aware of our propensity toward self-labeling. Through his research and work as an Organizational Psychologist, Dr. Hardy reveals that our inner makeup is not fixed, that we are in fact capable of learning and growing into new patterns of behaviors and beliefs. He encourages us to be aware and choose the meaning we give things. Dr. Hardy has authored two books, the bestseller Willpower Doesn’t Work: Discover the Hidden Keys to Success (2018) and his latest, Personality Isn’t Permanent: Break Free from Self-Limiting Beliefs and Rewrite Your Story (2020). He is a #1 rated writer on for three years with blogs featured on Forbes, Fortune, CNBC, Cheddar, Big Think and countless others. In this episode of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, Dr. Hardy shares his own personal journey of forgiving his past self and explains how your future self is more important than who you are today. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
6/23/202049 minutes, 23 seconds
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#168: Liz O’Donnell - Stepping Back and Showing Up

Today on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, our guest is Liz O'Donnell, a marketing executive who is an expert on taking a step back to slingshot forward and that will be the topic of our conversation today. Liz is the award-winning author of Mogul, Mom & Maid: The Balancing Act of the Modern Woman and Liz's latest book is Working Daughter: A Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents While Making a Living, a book in which she discusses her personal experiences and lessons learned from having to transition quickly from working mom to working daughter - working in a busy career, caring for her own family and taking on the care of her elderly parents. Many of the lessons she outlines in the book apply not only to taking care of elderly parents, but how to go through any type of disruption while showing up for others. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
6/16/202034 minutes, 21 seconds
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#167: Gregory Haile - Closing the Education Gap

Today on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, our guest is Gregory Haile, President of Broward College in Florida. On this episode, Greg takes us through his educational journey and background - beginning as a child in a dangerous neighborhood in Queens, through his decision to attend college. Ultimately graduating magna cum laude from Arizona State University, going to Columbia Law School and eventually President at Broward College two years ago.  Though we did this interview several weeks ago, at the time of this recording, the United States is in the midst of riots and racial protests across the country. We hope this episode will give you a chance to listen and understand and start to help dismantle and battle any feelings of entitlement that might be holding you back from disrupting yourself and growing in the way you’d like to. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
6/9/202043 minutes, 42 seconds
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#166: Luvvie Ajayi Jones - Privilege Means You Have a Start

Today's episode is a rebroadcast of an episode we aired back in 2017 with speaker and New York Times bestselling author Luvvie Ajayi Jones. Pamay Bassey, the Chief Learning Officer at Kraft Heinz posted this quote from Cleo Wade on LinkedIn: “My friend Maud once said, 'There are times when we must speak, not because you are going to change the other person, but because if you don't speak, they have changed you.' Silence doesn't change the world. It changes us.” I don’t want to be silent, but I’m not yet sure what to say. But what I’ve learned from Luvvie, is that when you don’t know what to say, you pass the mic. That's why we decided instead of airing the episode we had scheduled today that it was important to re-air this episode. Several people shared with me on social media that it was this conversation that started them thinking differently about privilege, and that's a good place to start when it comes to seeing others as people and not objects.  Luvvie – I’m taking your advice. Here’s the mic.
6/2/202028 minutes, 49 seconds
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#165: Hubert Joly - Focus on Purpose

Today, on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, our guest is Hubert Joly, former CEO of Carlson, member of the board of directors of Ralph Lauren and Johnson & Johnson and currently chairman of Best Buy, where he was previously CEO for seven years. When Hubert took the job of CEO at Best Buy, they were in shambles. But he focused on people and purpose and ended up quadrupling the stock price. He was named as CEO of the year. At this moment, every company is in some sort of crisis. We've all been disrupted. It's not about deciding if we're going to jump to a new S-curve, we've just been pushed. So who better to turn to than a proven leader in a crisis. Hubert is talking to us today about his approach at Best Buy and how he would approach our current situation as a leader, why work is transformational for people and why purpose should be the thing that guides all of your decisions in work and in life. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
5/26/202050 minutes, 21 seconds
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#164: David Peterson - Reflect and Learn

Today on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, our guest is Dr. David Peterson. David has been the Director of Leadership and Coaching at Google since 2011, Chief Transformation Officer at 7 Paths Forward, one of the original members of the Marshall Goldsmith 100, and one of the most influential coaches in the world. When you want to learn a new skill or level up - especially in sports - the first thing you do is find a coach. And in the world of leadership and personal development, it’s the same. One of the fastest ways for us to slingshot forward is to have someone help us see our blind spots, both the good, and the bad, and a coach can help us do that. And David Peterson is one of the best, and it is our absolute pleasure to have him on the podcast so that you can learn from him about how to navigate these uncertain times. For a complete transcript and links from this episode, please visit
5/19/202042 minutes, 8 seconds
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#163: Jennifer Petriglieri - Thriving in Relationships and Career

Today our guest is Jennifer Petriglieri, associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD. She's been shortlisted for the Thinkers50 New Thinker and Talent Awards and been named one of the world's best business school professors under 40 by Poets and Quants. Jennifer is an expert on how people craft and sustain their personal and professional identities under conditions of high uncertainty such as organizations in crisis or mobile careers, basically when disruption is in play. Which is certainly true in the case of dual-career couples where there is a dance of disruption as by turns each partner upends the other, or in a time like we're experiencing at this airing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Jennifer discusses some sound principles and frameworks for navigating the transitions that allow us to thrive in relationships and careers. Complete transcript and show notes available at
5/12/202041 minutes, 48 seconds
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#162: Kelly Goldsmith - The Paradox of Uncertainty

Today our guest is Kelly Goldsmith. Kelly received her PhD from Yale, is now a professor at Vanderbilt, where she's received numerous teaching awards including being one of the youngest professors ever to be nominated for Professor of the Year at Kellogg where she taught previously. Kelly studies how people respond to uncertainty and scarcity, uncovering the seemingly paradoxical effects, which is why I wanted you to hear from her. Pursuing a disruptive course involves embracing constraints, the lack of something, which in addition to her academic research, Kelly knows about first hand, not only because she went on the job market in 2008, but because she was a contestant on Survivor: Africa, the third season of Survivor. Complete transcript and links available at
5/5/202039 minutes, 48 seconds
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#161: Alex Osterwalder - The Invincible Company

Today, on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, we welcome innovation expert and one of the top-ranked thinkers in the world, Alex Osterwalder. You will hear how Alex views failure, about his mentorship with Yves Pigneur, and which companies he views as leaders in business model innovation. Alex explains the ideal work structure in the 21st Century, including why your company might need a Chief Entrepreneur or Chief Internal Venture Capitalist. We also talk about the power of using visuals, and what it’s like to be a company in the “sweet spot”. For links and a complete transcript, please visit
4/28/202051 minutes, 4 seconds
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#160: Battle Entitlement

In Episode 80 of our podcast, we started a series, on our seven-point framework of personal disruption. In Episode 100, we did a deep dive accelerant #1, take the right risks, we moved to play to your distinctive strengths in Episode 120, to embrace your constraints in Episode 140, and now we are to Episode 160, we are talking about battling our entitlement––the S Curve Killer. In this episode, Whitney will share her current thinking on the process of battling entitlement - discussing what entitlement is, what it can look like in different examples in our lives and what it takes to battle entitlement as we climb our own individual S curves of learning.  Complete transcripts and links available here:    
4/21/202042 minutes, 50 seconds
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#159: Mark W. Johnson - Lead From the Future

Our guest today is Mark W. Johnson, the co-founder and senior partner of Innosight, a strategy and innovation consulting firm he co-founded with Clayton Christensen in 2000.  Mark's latest book is titled Lead From The Future: How To Turn Visionary Thinking Into Breakthrough Growth, and today, we're going to talk about what this means. Because whenever you make the decision to disrupt yourself, you are giving up what you have today for something you could have in the future, and the status quo that you have today, whether it's good or bad, is comfortable. We're more motivated by what we lose than by what we gain, and that's where Mark and his co-author Josh's work comes in. They've developed a process called future back thinking, a process that whether you are an organization or an individual, helps make living the present a little less scary, and the future a lot more hopeful and exciting. For a complete transcript and links from this conversation, visit
4/14/202036 minutes, 22 seconds
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#158: Jen Goldman-Wetzler - Optimal Outcomes

Conflict is everywhere. Even in "normal" times, it's all around us. And it is inherent in the process of climbing an S-curve of learning. There will be challenges, there will be friction. Conflict is a constraint, so what do you do with that conflict? Does it stop you or does it become a tool of creation? Dr. Jen Goldman-Wetzler has an answer. She has the answer. She is the author of the new book, Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home and in Life, which was recently named as a Financial Times Book of the Month. Show notes and complete transcript available at
4/7/202042 minutes, 27 seconds
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#157: Susan David - Emotional Agility

You may decide that you are going to change jobs, move to another country to physically disrupt yourself, hoping to improve your lot. But based on Susan David's 20 years of academic and clinical research, it's how you navigate your inner world, your thoughts, your feelings, and self-talk; how you disrupt your mindset that determines how successful you will be. Her article on Emotional Agility was named the Management Idea of the Year by Harvard Business Review and her book by the same name has been a number one Wall Street Journal bestseller, USA Today bestseller and Amazon Best Book of the Year.  Links and complete transcript:
3/31/202050 minutes, 45 seconds
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#156: Dr. Tara Swart - Unlock Your Mind & Reach Your Potential

Our brains control almost all of our thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions. For instance, the thought of wanting to get ahead in one’s career originates in the brain. The actions that we take (or do not take) to turn that thought into reality are governed by the brain. But while all brains may be created more or less equal at birth, some people nourish and exercise their brains to make them grow stronger while others do little to grow the brain beyond its natural progression. “To be an agent of disruption, first, we must become its subject, and that starts with understanding how our brains work.” To learn more about how we can tune our brains for peak performance, I invited Dr. Tara Swart to speak with me on the Disrupt Yourself podcast. Tara is highly accomplished; she’s a neuroscientist (Ph.D.), a psychiatric doctor (MD), a senior lecturer at MIT and King’s College London, and an executive advisor to business leaders throughout the world. Now more than ever, we need principles and truths to anchor us. The wonderful news is, that no matter what is happening around us, we have a brain that can forge neural pathways that serve us if we can be deliberate about what we are thinking and doing. Tara Swart’s work will not only help you accomplish your goals and dreams, but her work is also critical in managing through times of stress.  
3/27/202049 minutes, 24 seconds
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#155: Cali Yost - Reimagining Where and How We Work

As we find ourselves in the midst of a great experiment around how and where work is done, I wanted to talk to someone who has been thinking about and leading companies through this process for years. Our guest today is Cali Yost, CEO and Founder of Flex+Strategy Group - a company that helps leaders reimagine how, when and where their people work today and tomorrow. Join us as we discuss 5 things you can do right now in your organization to help you weather our current coronavirus crisis and how you can take the things you learn into improving your culture in the future. Transcript and Links:
3/24/202036 minutes, 55 seconds
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#154: Scott Miller - Becoming the Leader People Want to Follow

Our guest today is Scott Miller.  Scott is the Executive Vice President of the Thought Leadership practice at FranklinCovey. Scott is a twenty-three veteran of FranklinCovey, which is part of the reason that I wanted you to hear from him. His 20+ year tenure would suggest that FranklinCovey recognizes that for an organization to get where it wants to go, its people need to grow --- to practice personal disruption. Scott faced more than his fair share of struggles on his 20+ year path to leadership success. He has distilled those lessons into his new book, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, about becoming the leader you would want to follow. Join us as we talk about Scott’s journey through his various roles, the biggest challenges he faced in going from individual contributor and aggressive Type-A sales personality to seasoned leader, and get Scott’s hidden gems that can help make you the leader you yourself would want to follow. Show notes and transcript available at
3/19/202038 minutes, 45 seconds
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#153: Calm in Times of Chaos - Keep Planting Cherry Trees

Right now, we find ourselves in uncharted waters. A pandemic, political wrangling, a volatile stock market. Most of it we’ve experienced before. But it feels a bit like we’ve sailed into the Bermuda triangle of uncertainty, even chaos. These macro events coupled with the micro anxieties that accompany our everyday human lives might make us fear we are sinking. There’s no question that the past few weeks have been disconcerting. Most of us are finding it discombobulating; pretty normal to be feeling that right now. Our way of life is without a doubt being disrupted. On this episode, we will review the framework of personal disruption within the context of our current crisis. It is a seven-point framework, and typically I refer to the seven steps as accelerants. And they are. But right now, when it often feels like we are on a ship that could sink any minute - they are guardrails. 7 Guardrails for the present; 7 accelerants for the future.
3/17/202044 minutes, 16 seconds
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#152: Stew Friedman - Parents Who Lead at Work and Home

Today our guest is Stew Friedman, an organizational psychologist at Wharton. He's one of the most influential management thinkers in the world, as named by Thinkers 50, one of HR Magazine’s most influential thought leaders, and one of America's most influential men who have made life better for working parents according to Working Mother Magazine. And this is the subject of his latest book, Parents Who Lead, which he co-authored with Alyssa Westring, a management professor at DePaul University. Because for anyone who has become a parent, you will know that parenting is a very big disruption, but if you will let it, it will help you slingshot into who you want to, and can be.
3/10/202045 minutes, 56 seconds
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#151: Michael Bungay Stanier - Taming the Advice Monster

Our guest today is Michael Bungay Stanier, and if that name sounds familiar, you may remember him from our previous conversation on the podcast in early 2018. Michael is our first repeat guest on the Disrupt Yourself podcast, and it would be hard to find a worthier candidate for the distinction. Michael is the number one thought leader in coaching as named by Thinkers 50 MG 100, and is the bestselling author of The Coaching Habit, which has sold a staggering 700,000 copies. His new book, The Advice Trap, is an excellent companion piece, filled with focused guidance on how to change behavior so you can, as Michael likes to say, “stay curious a little longer.” Join us as we discuss the three personas of “The Advice Monster,” the seven questions you can use to identify real problems, and the six “fogger fires” that distract us. Show Notes & Transcript:
3/3/202059 minutes, 15 seconds
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#150: Marco Trecroce - Take Time to Plan

My guest on the podcast today is Marco Trecroce, Senior Vice President and the first ever Chief Information Officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. I had a chance to meet Marco in Toronto a few months ago, and on hearing about his completion of a 10-year technology transformation which obviously requires all sorts of internal and personal disruption, combined with the fact that the Four Seasons is known as the global industry leader of luxury hotels and resorts, not technology, I was intrigued and wanted to hear more. Join us as we discuss what it takes to roll out and complete a project of this scale for a global brand and how sometimes innovation and disruption take time. Links and Show Notes:
2/25/202036 minutes, 8 seconds
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#149: Gabrielle Blair - Driven by Discovery and Design

Today's guest is Gabrielle Blair, a woman whose life has been full of disruption, of playing where no one else is playing and discovery driven learning and growth. Beginning with her lifestyle blog Design Mom - which she started in 2004 - a blog focused on the intersection of motherhood and design, she then founded Alt Summit, the premier summit for creative entrepreneurs and social media content creators. Gabrielle is a New York Times bestselling author of the book Design Mom: How to Live with Kids, and is the wife of one and mother of six with children ranging in ages from nine to 22.
2/18/202051 minutes, 36 seconds
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#148: Jeremy Andrus - Building Something of Value

My guest on the podcast today is Jeremy Andrus, the CEO of Traeger Grills and the former CEO of Skullcandy. During his tenure, Skullcandy grew from $1 million in sales to $300 million, and over the past few years, Jeremy has taken Traeger from $70 million in revenue to almost half a billion with a goal to reach $1 billion in the near future. Join us as we discuss Jeremy’s journey, from childhood dreams of being a CEO to realizing he needed to be a good CEO; his short-lived but thrilling career as a day-trader; and the importance of creating experiences for other people. Links and complete show notes:
2/11/202057 minutes, 31 seconds
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#147: Tom Rath - Discover Your Contribution

Our guest today is Tom Rath, the New York times bestselling author of How Full is Your Bucket and Amazon's top selling non-fiction book of all time StrengthsFinder 2.0. For the past five years Tom has served as Gallup senior scientist and he recently co-founded the publishing company Silicon Guild with Peter Sims (a previous guest on this podcast). Tom has sold over 10 million books, including his latest works Life's Great Question: Discover How You Contribute to the World, and the autobiographical It's Not About You. While many thought leaders focus on individuals “finding their passion,” Tom believes that we must shift focus outward to find work worth doing. Join us as we discuss the “buckets” of contribution, how to have conversations at cocktail parties, and the importance of challenging experiences. Transcript and show notes available at:
2/4/202033 minutes, 58 seconds
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#146: Angela Blanchard - The Measure of a Great City

Our guest today is Angela Blanchard, a globally recognized expert practitioner in community development, disaster recovery, and effective long-term integration for immigrants and refugees. It may be sad to think about, but we have culturally become accustomed to seeing the immediate aftermath of natural disasters. Dramatic visuals of fleeing citizens, devastated buildings, and heroic rescues fill social media feeds for the days immediately following the unthinkable. Join us as we discuss the measure of a great city, the concept of “No one’s coming,” and how when everything is lost we can be the ones to stand in the gap and stabilize those who have been disrupted in unthinkable ways. Full Show Notes and Transcript -
1/28/202047 minutes, 43 seconds
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#145: BJ Fogg - Creating Tiny Habits

Our guest on the podcast today is BJ Fogg, world-renowned behavioral scientist and the founder of Stanford’s behavior design lab. BJ’s new book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, he examines the fundamentals of what it takes to modify our habits and lays out a framework for individuals to make small adjustments that lead to lasting change. Many authors once dreamed of writing a book, but BJ can state unequivocally that this book exists because of a dream. When he began teaching the concepts of Tiny Habits as far back as 2011, he was frequently asked when the book would come out—but unfortunately for his students, BJ wasn’t writing a book. He didn’t have the time. However, his priorities changed when he had a terrifying dream where he was about to die in a plane crash. The thought that remained with him long after that night was his gut reaction of deep, deep regret that he had never shared his work in a way that would help people outside of his classroom. BJ had long had the technical ability to write a book, and he was constantly being prompted to write the book, but now, the final piece of the equation slipped into place: BJ had motivation. There are many other pearls of wisdom sprinkled throughout our conversation, and I’m excited to share it with you. If you enjoy what you hear I hope you feel motivated to pay it forward and share the episode with someone you know.   Show notes:
1/21/202037 minutes, 29 seconds
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#144: Claire Diaz-Ortiz - Finding Social Media Success

My guest today is Claire Diaz-Ortiz, digital strategist and author of the new book Social Media Success for Every Brand. Claire’s journey in social media expertise began as an early user of Twitter, and to put that in perspective, her Twitter handle is @claire. That’s it. No other words, numbers, or symbols. Just @claire.  After effectively using the platform to raise funds and promote awareness for her nonprofit organization, Twitter hired her to help others do the same and proactively make a positive change in the world. Claire took this experience and successfully pivoted into consulting with startups on their branding and marketing strategy. She would create detailed marketing plans, including a strategic social media presence, but she began to notice an unfortunate trend: many clients firmly believed that their best social media strategy was to have a post “go viral.” “I think there is this crazy mistaken idea that social media is really only good for, quote on quote, going viral. And that, thus, that is your only strategy when it comes to being on social media….[a]nd it was only after kind of this experience and me thinking through it in my head that I really realized that a clear solution needed to be found.” Her solution was to create the SHARE model, a social media strategy based on the principles of the StoryBrand marketing framework developed by Donald Miller. SHARE is an acronym for the components of the strategy, and you’ll want to have a pen and paper ready to take notes when Claire outlines it on the podcast today. Full show notes and links at
1/14/202048 minutes, 33 seconds
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#143: Simon Sinek - There is No Finish Line

To kick off 2020 I am talking to Simon Sinek, who is best known for popularizing the concept of “why” in his 2009 TED talk. To date, it is the third most-watched talk at with over 40 million views. Simon is the author of several best-selling books, including “Start With Why,” “Leaders Eat Last,” and “The Infinite Game,” which was released in October of 2019.   Join us as we discuss how to shift your mindset from finite to infinite, the role of worthy rivals, and how becoming the leader you wish you had can change the future of a company. Complete show notes and podcast transcript with links mentioned in the episode available at
1/7/202032 minutes, 58 seconds
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#142: A Look Back at 2019

The end of the year is a time for reflection and looking back at the progress made. We love taking a look at where we are as a team in our S-Curve of Learning as podcasters. looking back at some of our most popular episodes, which interestingly, include the solo episodes; we also love sharing our favorite conversations and the impact they’ve had on each of us. Full show notes and links available at
12/31/201940 minutes, 25 seconds
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#141: Jim Ferrell - Leadership and Self-Deception

On today's episode of the Disrupt Yourself podcast, we're talking with Jim Ferrell. Jim is a bestselling author, sought-after speaker, and renowned thought leader on mindset and organizational change. And we're talking all about self-deception. Understanding this concept of self-deception is key to one of the most important accelerants in disrupting ourselves - battling our sense of entitlement. This is where we preference ourselves above others, effectively turning those around us into objects, rather than seeing them as people, resistant to their feedback and ideas, preferencing our wants and needs above all else. This is a learning curve killer. For show notes and links to the books and people mentioned in the episode, visit
12/17/20191 hour, 5 minutes, 17 seconds
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#140: Embrace Constraints

Constraints. For most of us, just hearing this word evokes a negative response. Limitations. Restrictions. A cage that prevents us from spreading our wings. However, if you’re familiar with the accelerants of disruption, you’ll know that Accelerant #3—Embrace Constraints—will be one of your finest friends if you are really serious about growth. To build momentum toward the life you dream of, you need resistance. You need structure. And constraints provide both. Full Episode & Blog Post:
12/10/201943 minutes, 51 seconds
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#139: Heather Hawkins - Radical Authenticity

When a photo of a new “boy band” crossed PR Agent Heather Hawkins’ desk in 2001, she was surprised at how glamorously they were presented. The era of Backstreet Boys was over; kids were listening to “real music” (like highly produced punk), and what was more, the look of the band didn’t match the sound. As Heather and her coworkers listened to the music and got to know the band members, they quickly realized that something needed to change. “[W]e realized that in order for them to survive in the ecosystem we needed to absolutely double down on the music and who they really were as people. We understood that that was going to mean making some really tough decisions.” Heather and her crew took on the philosophy of “Radical Authenticity” and proudly began shipping the band to Jeep Jamboree campouts, Sam Adams beer festivals, and locations, where bands respected for their musical proficiency, would be expected to play. Their long game paid off: the band, Maroon 5, became a globally recognized tour de force, and are still producing hits today. Now the CEO and founder of Elevation Strategy, a visibility consultancy, Heather loves working with companies to crystallize their brand DNA and find their “guiding North Star.” Listen in to our conversation and learn more in the show notes at
12/3/201950 minutes, 8 seconds
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#138: Dave Ulrich - Reinventing the Organization

Disruption can be a powerful personal tool, but as we discussed during the re-launch of Disrupt Yourself earlier in the month, disruption is not limited to individuals looking to jump into the entrepreneurial life. Significant disruptions can come from within large organizations, leading, as Kaihan Krippendorff pointed out, to important innovation. But how do you disrupt from within a large organization? My guest today is one of the foremost experts on this very topic. A professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and partner at the consulting firm RBL Group, Dave Ulrich has published over 200 articles and 30 books, including his most recent collaboration with Arthur Yeung, Reinventing the Organization. For complete show notes and links from this episode, visit
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#138: Dave Ulrich - Reinventing the Organization

Disruption can be a powerful personal tool, but as we discussed during the re-launch of Disrupt Yourself earlier in the month, disruption is not limited to individuals looking to jump into the entrepreneurial life. Significant disruptions can come from within large organizations, leading, as Kaihan Krippendorff pointed out, to important innovation. But how do you disrupt from within a large organization? My guest today is one of the foremost experts on this very topic. A professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and partner at the consulting firm RBL Group, Dave Ulrich has published over 200 articles and 30 books, including his most recent collaboration with Arthur Yeung, Reinventing the Organization. For complete show notes and links from this episode, visit
11/26/201955 minutes, 30 seconds
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#137: Allison Holzer - The Spark of Inspiration

As a child, Allison Holzer was fascinated with the invisible. When asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she would enthusiastically tell the listener that her dream job was to be a nuclear physicist (even though she wasn’t completely clear on what that meant). All she knew was that she wanted to study the teeny tiny particles that, when tapped into, could create huge amounts of energy. Years later, Allison’s career trajectory took a turn when a psychology professor dramatically helped her realize the importance of mindset in shaping our reality. This ignited a new spark in Allison: a desire to understand what inspires people to do what matters to them, and what gives them the energy to achieve it.   Join us as we discuss how inspiration is “contagious”; how to pull ourselves out of burnout; and tips for activating inspiration when we really need it. Full show notes -
11/19/201934 minutes, 44 seconds
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#136: Disrupt Yourself: Master Relentless Change and Speed Up Your Learning Curve

Today is the day! Disrupt Yourself: Master Relentless Change and Speed Up Your Learning Curve has officially been re-launched into the world. As with all my book “children,” I am very proud of this creation. You, my audience, have been so receptive, and I am gratified and humbled by your many emails and comments characterizing what this book has meant in your life. Your stories are inspiring, and I am eager to learn more! On today’s episode, we have our wonderful producer, Macy Robison, back in the interviewer’s chair. This week’s podcast is really a reflection of the book—it’s a wide-ranging conversation, free-wheeling, and full of energy. I love the insights that Macy brings to the table as we discuss her connection to the book, the story behind the re-release, and what lessons I took away from the first launch. Thank you for being with me on this journey. Show notes available at
11/12/201944 minutes, 27 seconds
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#135: Eric Schurenberg - Be Discovery Driven

It’s okay to end up in a place you didn’t expect. Just ask Eric Schurenberg. As with most of our guests, Eric’s path was not a linear one. His post-collegiate occupation was acting, but after finding some success he realized that the lifestyle no longer matched his ideals. Pivoting, he went back to school and launched himself into the world of journalism. His career continued to be punctuated by strategic pivots, with the end result being that Eric is now the CEO of Mansueto Ventures, the media holding company that is home to Inc. and Fast Company. I’m excited for you to hear more about Eric’s incredible journey, as well as the amazing stories of others who have gone before. Hopefully, this will serve as a reminder: as you take the right risks and play where no one is playing, you’ll figure things out as you go, and it’s okay to end up in a place you didn’t expect. Complete Show Notes and Links:
11/5/201948 minutes, 46 seconds
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#134: Kaihan Krippendorff - Give Failure Its Due

When picturing disruptive innovators, many people picture the lone genius entrepreneur: Steve Jobs or Bill Gates in a garage, working outside of The System to get their product to market. But is this really how great innovations are created and incubated? In Driving Innovation From Within, Author Kaihan Krippendorff delves deep into the 30 most transformative innovations of the last 30 years. What he found was that despite the stereotype it is actually employees that push the boundaries of innovation, and we do a disservice to employees everywhere when we perpetuate the notion that you have to be an entrepreneur to make an impact on the the world. Join us as we discuss Kaihan’s new book, his framework for internal innovation, and what makes a company truly transformative and encouraging of employee innovators. Transcript and show notes:
10/29/201943 minutes, 24 seconds
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#133: Tiffany Shlain - Step Back to Grow

For the past few weeks, we have been taking a deeper dive into the seven-point framework of personal disruption in anticipation of my book Disrupt Yourself being re-released by Harvard Business Press on November 12. If you stick around to the end of this episode, we’ll talk about a special opportunity for those of you who pre-order the book. So, today’s deep dive is on accelerant number five. Step back to grow.  Though we always want to be moving forward in growth, this accelerant addresses the idea that our greatest progress almost always involves some type of step back: we crouch to jump, bring a fist back to punch, land lies fallow, we rotate crops. And while we’ve looked at stepping back in your career to facilitate that growth - one great example being Dan Shapero’s story in episode 97 - we haven’t talked much about the importance of rest. Our guest for this episode is filmmaker, Webby award founder and newly minted author Tiffany Shlain. She recently released her book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week exploring her family’s decade-long, transformative practice of turning off screens one day each week for what they call Technology Shabbats. 
10/22/201935 minutes
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#132: Buster Scher - Battle Entitlement

In anticipation of the re-release of my book, Disrupt Yourself with Harvard Business Press - available for pre-order now - we are continuing our look at the seven-point framework of personal disruption. Today our interview focuses on accelerant number four - battle entitlement. What do I mean by battle entitlement? There are a number of definitions that I use, but one of them is the belief that the more successful we are, the more we think we deserve that success. Buying into this mindset might look like thinking that because things have always been one way, they will always be this way. It could be forgetting, because we’ve worked really hard to get where we are––that there are always, always people upon whose shoulders we stand. Or it could be dismissing the voices of people who we work with because of their age, education, or experience––all of these things can become huge roadblocks if you want to become a high growth individual.  Our guest today, Buster Scher, has worked extraordinarily hard to get where he is. He’s built a huge multimedia platform called Hoops Nation. He regularly rubs shoulders with and is hired by NBA players and hip-hop legends. Rather than let this success go to his head though, he just keeps looking for what’s next on the horizon and moves toward it. Buster’s finding success by battling his own entitlement, and the fact that he’s building a successful media empire at age 19 helps other people battle theirs. Links and complete transcript available at
10/15/201934 minutes, 16 seconds
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#131: Jonathan Mendonsa - Embrace Constraints

In anticipation of the re-release of my book, Disrupt Yourself with Harvard Business Press on November 12, 2019, we are continuing our look at the seven-point framework of personal disruption. Today, we will be examining accelerant number three - embrace constraints. This accelerant can be tricky for people at first. It’s tricky because we think we need limitless resources to be successful. We think we can’t launch that company until we have an investor with deep pockets or think we can’t start that project until we have 4-hour blocks of time available to really focus. We somehow believe that in order to create the life we want to create we need to have nothing but blue skies and rainbows ahead. But in reality, embracing constraints - whether they be lack of time or money or expertise - can actually help us gain momentum more quickly as they force us to bootstrap and focus on what is essential.  Our guest today is an expert in embracing constraints - Jonathan Mendonsa. Jonathan is the co-host of the popular Choose FI podcast and co-author of the new book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence.
10/8/201942 minutes, 34 seconds
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#130: CV Harquail - Play to Your Distinctive Strengths

Playing to your distinctive strengths is vital to personal disruption. We covered this accelerant in episode 120, and I hope you’ve taken the time to consider your own “superpower.” Today’s episode is focused on distinctive strengths, but with a bit of a twist—instead of focusing on your own, we’re going to discuss the inherent value of the distinctive strengths of others. My guest today is CV Harquail, author, consultant, speaker, and self-proclaimed “change agent” whose life’s mission is to create a world in which all people flourish. CV wants to help leaders think differently about the relationships between business outcomes, organizations, and the individuals that inhabit the systems we create. Her new book, Feminism: A Key Idea in Business and Society, examines the role that feminism could and should play in the organizations and businesses. This episode is the second part of a seven-episode series celebrating the re-release of Disrupt Yourself by Harvard Business Press on November 12, 2019.
10/1/20191 hour, 11 minutes, 28 seconds
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#129: Adela Mizrachi - Take the Right Kinds of Risks

With today’s episode, we’re starting something new. On November 12, 2019, Harvard Business Press will be releasing a new version of my book Disrupt Yourself. As a countdown of sorts, we’re going to spend the next seven episodes focusing on the seven-point framework of personal disruption. These seven accelerants help you manage through – even embrace change - whether at work or at home. Today, we’ll be talking about accelerant one - taking the right risks. We covered this in-depth in episode 100, and we’ll link to that in the show notes, but in short, we take the right risks when we take on market risk instead of competitive risk and play where others aren’t playing. My guest today is a great example of a person taking on market risk - Adela Mizrachi, founder of the Podcast Brunch Club. Links and free resource available at
9/24/201933 minutes, 48 seconds
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#128: Nancy Duarte - Inspire Through Data and Story

Nancy Duarte is a communication and persuasion expert whose firm, Duarte, Inc., is behind some of the most influential visual messages in business and culture. She’s worked with 25 of the world’s top 35 brands, helping them incorporate story patterns into business communications. Nancy has been featured in Fortune, Fast Company, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. She’s written five best-selling books, four of which have won awards. Her most recent book, DataStory, is available today. Show notes and links at
9/17/201939 minutes, 56 seconds
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#127 - Dr. David Bray: Ushering in the Future

Today’s guest is David Bray, and hearing his life story is like hearing the movie “War Games” brought to life. At the age of 15 he began working on computer simulations for the US Military. By the year 2000 he was working as the IT Chief for the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response program for the US Centers for Disease Control, and in 2001 he lead the response to the horrible anthrax attacks that followed 9/11 as well as the SARS outbreaks in 2003 and other public health emergencies. Join us as we discuss his unusual “high school job”; the impact of cognitive easing; and what is more important than the desire to always be right. Complete show notes and links at
9/10/201942 minutes, 18 seconds
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#126: Rita McGrath - Inflection Points

My guest today is Rita McGrath, and she literally wrote the book on inflection points for businesses. These moments when the assumptions about your business change or become irrelevant are not always easy to spot, but, as Rita explains, they can make or break you. Rita gives some great insights into how organizations can plan for the future, as well as how they can avoid the pitfalls of short-sightedness. Join us as we discuss why big ideas sometimes fail; how to spot inflection points; and what may be around the corner for American businesses. Full show notes and transcript available at
9/3/201950 minutes, 47 seconds
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#125: Ali Brown - Good at Something

When we talk about disrupting yourself, I typically advise that you look before you leap. Make a planned exit, cushion the landing, prepare for the change. But that is not the route Ali Brown took. After two years at a small marketing firm, she knew she was undervalued. She had so much more to give! Opportunities to move up were limited, and to top it all off, there wasn’t even a women’s bathroom! When a freelance marketer casually mentioned to her that he thought she had the skills to be a freelance copywriter, Ali started asking questions. What’s a freelancer? And, more importantly, can I take you out for coffee to learn more? Join us as we discuss how Ali went from a simple email list to business consultant, how you can find your lane in life and the types of risk worth taking. Listen on the player below, or download the episode on iTunes. And please, let me know what you think of this episode. Can you relate to Ali? Have you found your lane? Complete show notes and links at
8/27/201939 minutes, 56 seconds
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#124: Hal Gregersen - Choose Your Questions Well

My guest today is Hal Gregersen, the executive director of the MIT Leadership Center and a senior lecturer in leadership and innovation at MIT Sloan School of Management. A Thinkers50 globally ranked management thinker, he has authored or coauthored ten books. His most recent book, “Questions Are the Answer,” examines the fact that while people are pre-programmed to look for answers, the real catalysts for innovative change are questions. Join us as we discuss Hal’s early careers in photography and politics; what makes a catalytic question; and the question that best motivates him to take action. Complete show notes and links can be found at
8/20/201956 minutes, 37 seconds
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#123: Karen Beattie - Comfortable With Change

To say that Karen Beattie is comfortable with change is a bit of an understatement. Her childhood was nomadic, with her father’s job taking her family to such diverse places as Trinidad, the Caribbean, Libya, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, and the Philippines. It was not unusual for her father to come home and say, “We’re moving to a different country.” And Karen loved it. It hasn’t been easy; Karen compares her professional life to a roller coaster. Through it all, Karen has found that being comfortable with change has given her opportunities she never would have dreamed of as a kid. “[W]hat I did was I made a choice. Yes, do I want this. It’s going to be hard. So I intentionally stepped into it.” Join us as we delve into Karen’s early career, her pursuit of flexibility and freedom, and how she took the leap for the right kind of risk. Complete Show Notes and Links -
8/13/201928 minutes, 4 seconds
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#122: Stephen Nelson - The Art of Collaboration

Stephen Nelson speaks the language of music. A primarily self-taught pianist, he has an amazing talent for composition, oftentimes performing on-the-spot “mash-ups” of famous songs for live audiences. His ability to effortlessly create melodies has led to multiple collaboration efforts, including producing the cinematic pop group GENTRI. Today’s podcast is unique for several reasons: first, Stephen composes a “mash-up” of two of my favorite melodies, and I am delighted at the result! Additionally (because we like to keep things exciting), you’ll get to hear Stephen collaborate with our very own producer, Macy Robison. Join us for an enthralling journey into the heartbeat of music and the world of collaboration.  Complete show notes and links available at
8/6/201945 minutes, 50 seconds
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#121: Julie Berry - What You’re Meant to Do

As the mother of two young children, all of Julie Berry’s focus was on keeping them safe, happy, and healthy, but despite loving them fiercely, Julie also felt intensely isolated. Walking around in maternity clothes with spit up and pieces of breakfast clinging to her, Julie couldn’t help but feel frustrated with her limited sphere of influence in the world. What had been the point of going to college? Was this really all she was made to do? Julie’s story is beautiful, and especially dear to me as Julie was a “late bloomer.” She may not have left college as a bestselling author, but her stories are made all the richer by the experiences that have led her to this point. Join us as we discuss her circuitous career path, the inspiration behind All the Truth That’s In Me, and how we should pursue the things that matter most to us. Complete Show Notes & Links:
7/30/201929 minutes, 53 seconds
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#120: Play to Your Distinctive Strengths

It’s time for something a little different.  Instead of interviewing a guest today, I’m going to do a dive deep into one of the accelerants outlined in my seven-point framework for personal disruption that I discussed in Episode 80, as well as in my book, Disrupt Yourself. In Episode 100 I did a deep-dive on accelerant #1: taking the right kinds of risk. Today, we’re going to talk about accelerant #2: play to your distinctive strengths. Links and complete show notes (including an accompanying worksheet) available at
7/23/201939 minutes, 3 seconds
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#119: Adam Grant - Give and Take

When Adam Grant joined his high school diving team, his coach told him he had good news and bad news: Adam lack flexibility and grace, two of the three components needed to be a successful diver. The good news? His coach would be there to support him the entire way. He [said he] doesn't care how good I am. That whatever level of effort I put in, he's willing to put in that level of effort as a coach too. He actually said, "I will never cut a diver who wants to be here." And, I mean to me that is the epitome of what a coach is, right? To say, look, you know, I respond to your motivation, not what I think is your talent level.”  This event had a profound impact on Adam. His coach not only believed in him but was willing to match the effort that he would put into his own success. His influence was also felt as Adam reached out to help other divers—even those that would be in direct competition with him—because he knew that he could help. The willingness of his coach to be a “mini helper” continues to influence Adam’s life, and he is a wonderful example of a giver (although he is too modest to give himself the label). I feel I have much to think about after this conversation, and I think you will, too. Join us as we discuss how he chose a career where he could be “ambitious for himself and ambitious for others,” his best dive ever, and how Givers can truly help others (without becoming doormats). Full show notes and links -
7/16/201935 minutes, 14 seconds
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#118: Carol Kauffman - Don't Hold Back

Don’t hold back. That is my biggest take-away from our guest today, Carol Kauffman, the founder and Executive Director of the Institute of Coaching at the Harvard Medical School. A veteran psychologist and Professional Certified Coach, Carol has participated in over 40,000 psychotherapy and coaching sessions, working with top leaders at some of the largest organizations in the world and is known for being “the coaches coach.” Her career in psychology began in helping trauma survivors, but over time she became renowned in her field for turning those same clients into peak performers. After twenty years, Carol had a “pivot point”—exposed to the world of coaching, she realized that she could use her same skill set to help people in an entirely new way. Join us as we discuss Carol’s circuitous (yet bold) career path, her goal with every new client, and the power of harnessing both the light and the dark in becoming a great leader. Complete show notes and links at
7/9/201934 minutes, 49 seconds
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#117: Sarah Green Carmichael - Taking the Risk

I always love speaking with individuals at the low end of the learning curve. So many emotions are on the surface, but by the time someone hits the sweet spot, they often don’t remember how hard it was to do the things that now come easily.   In an attempt to capture this movement along the learning curve, today’s podcast is in a new format: part one was recorded back in December, when my guest, Sarah Green Carmichael, had just left her position as Executive Editor at the Harvard Business Review. I’ve known Sarah for ten years, and this was a BIG jump. She was comfortable at her job and loved her colleagues, but she was clearly at the top of her curve. It was time to jump…but that didn’t make it an easy decision. Conquering her fear, Sarah accepted an offer to work as a Managing Editor of Ideas at Barron’s. In part two of the podcast, we catch up with Sarah several months later, after she’s had time to settle into her new role. We discuss the steep part of her learning curve, what happened in her first few months, what surprised her, and where she is on her learning curve after an unexpected new curve came her way. I loved discussing Sarah’s “jump,” because her story is so similar to many I’ve heard across the country. When you’ve grown complacent in your job but it’s not “bad,” is it worth the leap? It’s uncomfortable at the top of the learning curve, but it’s uncomfortable at the bottom, as well. Complete Show Notes, Links and Transcript -
7/2/201950 minutes, 41 seconds
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#116: Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez - The Project Revolution

My guest on the podcast today is Antonio Neto-Rodriguez, a passionate expert on project management and the author of The Project Revolution: How to Succeed in a Project-Driven World. In a traditional work setting, managers think of projects as something outside the regular duties of employees. Some even consider them a distraction from the “real work” that needs to be done on a daily basis. However, the evidence is beginning to suggest that projects are the work of the future: with more and more routine tasks being completed by computers and other forms of automation, projects are quickly becoming where “real work” is done. Join us as we discuss how to recognize the benefits of projects before they’re done; what to do prior to your company kickoff event; and the time that Antonio bet his entire career on the importance of projects…and the result was not what he expected. Links and complete show notes:
6/25/201938 minutes, 36 seconds
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#115: Amy Edmondson - Psychological Safety

Amy Edmondson is the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, where she studies the dynamics of organizations and how to create a psychologically safe work environment. Over the past 20 years, Amy has shown through her research that teams who are comfortable asking questions and admitting failures work more harmoniously together. “Questions are really powerful in creating safety because they indicate to someone that you actually want to hear their voice…whether you're the boss or a team member or anything, every single one of us can practice the opportunity to say things like, what can I do to help? What are you up against? What are your concerns? You know, I, I'm, I'm all ears. I want to hear from you. Is the, is the implicit message with those lovely little questions.” In her latest book, The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation and Growth, Amy has created a handy blueprint for organizations who desire to foster creativity and “redefine leadership.” Join us as we discuss why good teams make more mistakes, the psychology of the S learning curve, and the time Amy’s boss wrote a thirteen-page treatise on how Amy was actually right all along. Links and show notes at
6/18/201939 minutes, 40 seconds
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#114: Martin & Kym Frey - Life is a Daring Adventure

We’ve had two married couples on the podcast so far, and today I’m excited to introduce a third - Martin and Kym Frey.  On April 17, 2016, Martin Frey became the first person in the world to climb the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on each continent – and sail the Seven Seas. While Kym may not have climbed to the top of each mountain with him, she was nonetheless integral to Martin’s accomplishment. As he put it, she served as a “great source of strength and confidence,” becoming his biggest cheerleader and never letting him give up on his goals. From tiny islands in the South Pacific to the peak of Mt. Everest, the Frey’s have learned that stepping out of their comfort zone and accepting new challenges brings joy to their life in ways they never would have anticipated. Full Show Notes & Links -
6/11/201934 minutes, 49 seconds
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#113: Priya Parker - Purpose is Your Bouncer

My guest today is Priya Parker, the founder of Thrive Labs and a strategic advisor who helps leaders and teams create transformative gatherings. She is the author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters, and was featured on the TED2019 stage in April. In a world full of meetings, how many of them are transformative? It’s an impressive word for something so common, but for Priya, every gathering has the potential to be meaningful and memorable. Join us as we discuss the role of a host, the true moment a gathering begins (hint: it’s not when you think!), and the important power of endings. Full Show Notes:
6/4/201946 minutes, 2 seconds
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#112: Marcus Buckingham - Work Happens Through Teams

My guest today is Marcus Buckingham, Best-selling author and the Head of ADP Research, People + Performance. Marcus spent almost twenty years at Gallup, and recently released Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World, which he co-wrote with Ashley Goodall of Cisco. His vast experience, applicable knowledge, and grounded wisdom make him a wonderful guest for this podcast. Join us as we discuss the lies that we’ve been told about leadership, the myth of “high potential” and “low potential” people, and how performance reviews should be changed to make them effective (which they usually aren’t). Show Notes:
5/28/201948 minutes, 20 seconds
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#111: Brené Brown - Called to Courage

I love Brené Brown’s story. A “late bloomer,” Brené graduated from her undergrad when she was 29 years old, then proceeded straight into her master’s and Ph.D. programs. She experienced first-hand the impact of amazing professors and knew what she wanted her life’s work to be—changing the lives of students while getting to talk about what she was passionate about. And Brené is passionate about vulnerability. She shared her passion in a TedxHouston talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” and to her great surprise it went viral. To date, it has been viewed over 35 million times online and is one of the top 5 TED talks of all time. Join us as we discuss what brings Brené joy; who inspired her to pay attention to vulnerability; and how the stories we tell ourselves can make or break us. Links and complete show notes available at
5/21/201943 minutes, 20 seconds
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#110: Safi Bahcall - Nurturing Crazy Ideas

My guest on the podcast today is Safi Bahcall - physicist, biotech CEO, entrepreneur, tennis aficionado, and author of the outstanding book, Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries. Complete shownotes:
5/14/201949 minutes, 43 seconds
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#109: Tamika Catchings - Path For Success

When Tamika Catchings was a freshman at the University of Tennessee, her coach, Pat Summit, told her that someday her story would “impact thousands, maybe millions of people.” It was a crazy idea. Diagnosed with hearing loss at the age of 3, Tamika was self-conscious about speaking in front of anyone, let alone large groups, and the idea that she would willingly speak in front of an audience was mind-boggling. “And, now you fast forward, that was 1997. Now I’m a public speaker. That’s what I do, I go around, I speak, I tell, I share my story and share…about leadership and all the different things that I’ve learned throughout the course of my life.” Join us to hear how Tamika achieved her goal, and not only became a star player but a valued “role player” as well. We’ll also discuss how her hearing loss improved her performance on the court, how she’s creating her legacy, and what goal is posted on her mirror today. Links and Show Notes:
5/7/201936 minutes, 53 seconds
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#108: Jason Jedlinski - Setting Up Others for Success

My guest today is Jason Jedlinski, a digital product executive, innovator and brand builder currently serving as the Senior Vice President of Product for Gannett Media. Jason’s career in media spans most of his life, taking root in the second grade when he began producing a monthly family newspaper. It was one of many entrepreneurial avenues Jason pursued as a child, ranging from collecting toll fees outside his father’s office to tutoring computer skills on an Apple II. A discovery-driven thinker, as an adult Jason has repeatedly reinvented his role within an organization and is clearly not afraid to leap to new opportunities.  But don’t just take my word for it: join us as we discuss Jason’s humble entrepreneurial beginnings in his family’s basement, how he took on market risk and created his own job opportunities, and the time he went all the way to the C-Suite on the 24th floor to tell the powers-that-be there was a more efficient way to complete the project he’d been assigned (something he still can’t believe he did!) Links and complete show notes -
4/30/20191 hour, 6 seconds
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#107: Ty Shay - Make Yourself Obsolete

My guest on the podcast today is Ty Shay, the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Norton/LifeLock. Well regarded for his expertise, marketing is not the career path Ty originally set out on. After working tirelessly to get a job as an investment banker at Dean Witter Morgan Stanley, Ty quickly realized that it wasn’t a career he was interested in pursuing. Join us as we discuss Ty’s journey from banking to marketing, the risks of being “invaluable” to a company, and how Ty knows when it’s time to move on. Complete Show Notes & Links -
4/23/201945 minutes, 41 seconds
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#106: Maren Kate Donovan - Embracing Failure

My guest on the podcast today is Maren Kate Donovan, the founder and former CEO of Zirtual, a company that went from rapid growth and success to shutting down seemingly overnight. The measure of their success ended up being their downfall: rapid growth, combined with the reality of unit economics, created a firestorm where it became painfully obvious that continued operations would lead to an inability to pay employees for completed work.  Maren made the difficult decision to simply stop and pay everyone while they still could—a decision she still believes was the right call for the circumstances. Maren got back on her feet and is now finding her way to success through the founding of AVRA Talent. Her team partners with companies to help them fill critical roles in their staff, what they refer to as “on-demand talent acquisition,” And Maren knows that she never could have moved in this direction without her “$5 Million Dollar MBA” earned at Zirtual.    Join us as we discuss Maren’s early desire to “Escape the 9 to 5,” her crash course in Silicon Valley and the Founders Institute, and how she turned failure into perspective and, ultimately, success.  Complete show notes and links from this episode at
4/16/201939 minutes, 23 seconds
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#105: Paul Hill - Mission Control Management

Management isn’t rocket science. It’s harder than rocket science. At least, that’s what Paul Hill, former director of mission operations at NASA, believes. Paul has spent most of his life around rockets: first as a child growing up near the Kennedy Space Center, and then as an adult in mission control. From designing space stations to investigating the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle, Paul has had a front-row seat to the victories and tragedies of the space program.  Join us as we discuss Paul’s solution to the budget cuts; his epiphanies on management at NASA; and how learning management techniques from NASA Mission Control can help your team disrupt itself and stay relevant in rapidly changing environments. Complete show notes and links at
4/9/201951 minutes, 3 seconds
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#104: Gina Bianchini - A Part of Something Bigger

My guest on the podcast is Gina Bianchini, founder and CEO of Mighty Networks. Gina created Mighty Networks to be a social platform that goes beyond the typical scrolling conversations of social media and focuses instead on community and engagement between network members. Whether it’s managing email replies to a podcast newsletter or starting a discussion about living with Type 1 diabetes, Mighty Networks gives creators the opportunity to keep all of their communication tools in one place, facilitate conversations, provide content, and even charge subscriptions. Gina’s enthusiasm is contagious as she describes the possibilities of her platform in helping leaders emerge and create lasting communities.  Complete show notes and links at
4/2/201941 minutes, 49 seconds
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#103: Tasha Eurich - The Transition from “Why” to “What”

About six years ago, Tasha Eurich was in a work lull. Her coaching clients were on vacation for the winter holidays, and feeling the bug to accomplish something anyway she began to dig into one of her favorite topics—psychology. Tasha had noticed that many of her clients expressed a desire to see themselves clearly, to clarify who they were, and understand how others perceived them. A correlation was emerging between this self-awareness and her clients’ overall confidence and success, so she delved into the available literature. It quickly became clear that very little research had gone into the topic of self-awareness from a scientific standpoint. So Tasha did what any self-respecting Organizational Psychologist would do.  She decided to study self-awareness. Join us as Tasha and I dissect the nuances of self-awareness; how incremental improvement can change the way we see ourselves; and how musical theatre may have contributed to Tasha’s fascination with the human mind. Full show notes and links at
3/26/201938 minutes, 48 seconds
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#102: Liz Wiseman - Accidental Diminishers - When the Good Guys are the Bad Guys

Liz Wiseman knows a thing or two about bosses. She is the author of the best-selling book Multipliers, which explores the impact that leaders have on their teams, whether positive (multipliers) or negative (diminishers). In researching for the book, Liz and her team analyzed data from over 200 leaders and noticed a trend between the groups that seemed to maximize the potential of each individual versus those groups that experienced drains in intelligence, energy, and capability (despite having highly intelligent members).  What her research found was that some leaders inspire employees to stretch themselves and do more, while others, despite high intelligence, “diminish” (sometimes accidentally) that ability of their team members. Our conversation today explores how leaders can avoid the pitfalls that lead to becoming an “accidental diminisher,” as well as how to start on the road to recovery. We also get a fascinating look into Liz’s early life, including how she won a lawsuit at the age of only 17 years old. Complete show notes and links mentioned at
3/19/201941 minutes, 57 seconds
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#101: Erik & Emily Orton - Failing Forward, Failing Better

When Erik and Emily Orton sailed their boat up the Hudson River, there was no one to greet them. It was late, and no fanfare or celebration disturbed the stillness of the night. But the Orton’s and their five children felt what they had sensed many times over the past year: a quiet victory. They had made it. One year and 2,500 miles after leaving home, the Orton’s had managed to sail their family from St. Martin’s in the Caribbean all the way back to New York City. Today on the podcast my guests have a particularly unusual story of disruption. I typically showcase individuals who jump to a new professional learning curve, but Erik and Emily didn’t just jump, they leapt, swam, and climbed up a curve completely removed from their original day to day life.  As documented in their book Seven at Sea, they chose to live on a boat with their five children for a year while sailing up the east coast of the United States at the breakneck speed of 5 miles an hour. While many would balk at the idea of taking a year off of work (and some would say life) to make such a trip, the Orton’s felt strongly that this opportunity would be transformative—in all the best ways. Through physical strain and emotional courage, Erik and Emily found their balance, strengthened their family, made lifelong friends along the journey and learned that they can, in fact, do hard things. Full show notes and links at
3/12/20191 hour, 4 minutes, 1 second
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#100: Take the Right Kinds of Risks

To celebrate the 100th episode of the Disrupt Yourself Podcast, we're disrupting our format a bit. In Episode 80 we gave you a preview of an online course we're developing. It's been our most downloaded to date. So, in celebration of our hundredth episode, and as a way to say thank you for listening, we're going to pick up where we left off. Back in Episode 80 I provided an overview of the Seven Point Framework of Personal Disruption. In this episode we'll do a deep-dive on Accelerant Number One, taking the right kinds of risks. Not just taking risks but taking the right kinds of risk. For links and show notes, including a worksheet that accompanies this episode, visit
3/5/201921 minutes, 53 seconds
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#99: Ilana Golan - Leveling the Playing Field

Ilana Golan is someone who goes first.  She was the first female commander in the Israeli Air Force, and that experience set her up for a career filled with blazing trails and then creating a wider path for others to follow. From her start at Intel in Israel to the work she is doing now with her firm Golan Ventures and her new endeavor, Homrun, she's taking her vast knowledge of startups and technology and easing the way for Israeli entrepreneurs to build a network and open doors so their startups can grow in the US. Hear the full conversation and download a transcript and links from the show at    
2/26/201943 minutes, 33 seconds
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#98: Melissa Smith - Modeling What Matters

While growing up in a small farm town in Maine, Melissa Smith had the opportunity to try lots of different things. She drove the flatbed to collect hay on the family farm, was captain of the math team, captain of the cheerleading squad and played on the soccer team. But when it came time to start talking about what she wanted to be when she grew up, Melissa had set her sights on something slightly different than the other girls in town. Melissa wanted to be the CEO of Gillette. It was one of the few big businesses near her home, and though she had the opportunity to try a lot of new things growing up, there wasn't a great deal of exposure to what life was like outside her small town. But because Melissa's mother worked in the business world, Melissa knew she wanted to work. She wanted to do something in business. Now as the CEO of WEX, and a wife and mother to three children - giving birth to twins while CEO - she continues to model the things that matter to her - especially in her commitment to team building and creating an environment where her team members can share their perspectives. Full show notes and links at
2/19/201939 minutes, 54 seconds
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#97: Dan Shapero - Stepping Back to Grow

Dan Shapero’s team was a rocket ship. When he stepped in as leader of LinkedIn’s recruiting business, annual revenue was around $40 million. By 2014, it was a billion and a half dollars. So it came somewhat as a surprise when the CEO of LinkedIn told him that he was probably in the wrong job. Join us as we discuss the importance of teams, transformations, and the time that Dan told his boss he was the wrong guy for a promotion.  Download a copy of the transcript, or see the full show notes and links at
2/12/201942 minutes, 53 seconds
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#96: Live Coaching Episode - Ryan Gottfredson

The launch point of a learning curve can feel like a slog. There is so much to learn, and just keeping your head above water requires tremendous effort. When progress seems nonexistent it is human nature to feel impatient and want to change direction, but it is important to remember that you are making progress—and, if you stay focused and committed, someday you will hit the steep part of the curve and find yourself in the sweet spot. My guest on the podcast today is Ryan Gottfredson, a leadership and management professor at Cal State Fullerton in California. I sent out the call a few months ago for another listener to be coached on the air, and Ryan was quick to volunteer as tribute. Full show notes and links available at
2/5/20191 hour, 13 minutes, 32 seconds
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#95: Encore - Donald Miller: The Importance of Creating Clarity

I have shared on here before that I am a recovering perfectionist when it comes to my podcasts, and I have yet another confession: sometimes I make mistakes. Or, rather, errors. I recently received feedback from a newsletter subscriber that helped me see that some of my newsletter content was not what she was expecting, or hoping to receive. I’ve told you many times that I value feedback, and I’m taking what this subscriber said and trying to learn from it. I won’t get into the details here (I’ll do that in the intro to the podcast), but suffice it to say that our interaction reminded me of what I learned from Donald Miller—but maybe I needed to learn it again. Repetition is a good teacher. So, please enjoy this encore episode of my conversation with Donald Miller - New York Times bestselling author and the CEO and founder of StoryBrand, a marketing company that helps you clarify your marketing message so people will listen. Links and Show Notes available at
1/29/201932 minutes, 50 seconds
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#94: Bethany Quam - Staying in Growth

When we’re feeling stagnate or trapped in our job, jumping ship altogether often seems like the best option for disruption. However—and this is a big one—what if you didn’t have to? What if you could identify what motivates you, and why your current job isn’t a good fit? What if you communicated your desires for growth to your boss, and were able to do so in a constructive way? What if you could find a way to disrupt yourself without quitting or losing your job? Bethany Quam’s “first career” at General Mills was not a good fit. Having graduated from college with an accounting degree, Bethany spent her first two years working in the finance department and making practical use of her practical degree. At her annual performance review Bethany was shocked to find out that while she was considered technically sound at her job, she was also “too chatty.” Bethany would go on to be in sales for 18 years before pivoting to a different “career” within General Mills (she says she’s had four careers in total). Her ability to communicate with her direct superiors about her motivation and drive allowed her to disrupt herself within the company, all while maintaining a steady paycheck. Join us as we explore Bethany’s career journey, how to push out of the comfort zone to stay in growth mode, and Bethany’s love for the gift of feedback. Links and show notes available on our website at
1/22/201947 minutes, 3 seconds
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#93: James Clear - Just One Percent Better

My guest today is James Clear, and he’s the go-to expert for those small changes, or Atomic Habits (as his New York Times best-selling book refers to them).  James advocates that the way to build habits is to try and get just one percent better each day—something that sounds almost too easy to do, and yet builds a firm foundation for continual improvement. James is great at giving practical tips for improvement, and I hope you enjoy our discussion as much as I did! Thank you to James for being a great guest. I am especially grateful today for Ralph Campbell, a Disrupt Yourself podcast listener who introduced me to the work of James, leading to this interview today. I really value the feedback of my listeners, and suggestions for future guests are appreciated! Please subscribe or leave a comment. Click here for the full show notes and to get episode links at our website.
1/15/201946 minutes, 12 seconds
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#92: Donna Hicks - Guardians of Dignity

Israel and Palestine. Northern Ireland. Colombia. Libya. These are more than just countries to Donna Hicks. Notorious for their political upheaval and turmoil, within their borders, Donna has sat between sworn enemies and dared to help them find common ground. Wherever there is an “intractable conflict” in the world, Donna and her team work diligently to facilitate dialogue between the disparate parties and find ways for them to work together. It’s far from easy, but over the past 25 years, Donna has noticed a pattern emerge, helping her achieve better results with each conversation. I can’t wait for you to hear one of Donna’s favorite stories from her time in Libya. It gives me hope that even when things look dark - when we choose to respect the dignity of others and connect with each other there will always be a light at the end of the tunnel. For links from this episode and full show notes, visit
1/8/201943 minutes, 7 seconds
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#191. Asheesh Advani: Removing Obstacles

On the podcast today I am pleased to introduce Asheesh Advani, the CEO of Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement (or JA) is an organization that provides children and teenagers around the world opportunities to learn about work, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential learning. Asheesh believes passionately in the mission of JA, not only because it is his job, but because at the age of 14 Asheesh was made “CEO” of a T-shirt company through Junior Achievement, giving him hands-on experience and insight into how a company (even on a small scale) must operate to survive. It was an enlightening experience for Asheesh, and cracked the door for him to be interested in entrepreneurship later in life. In 2019, JA is celebrating its 100th year as an organization, and Asheesh is excited to remove any obstacles standing in the way of his team so they can take the opportunities JA provides to a whole new generation of students. Join us as we discuss the mission of Junior Achievement, the early turning point in Asheesh’s life, and the not-so-successful business idea Asheesh embarked on as his first entrepreneurial venture (and what he learned from the experience). Complete show notes and links mentioned in the episode available at
1/1/201941 minutes, 52 seconds
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2018 in Review: Reveling in the Sweet Spot

I have a confession:  I am a recovering perfectionist. Up until very recently I have been completely unable to listen to a single “Disrupt Yourself” podcast. I convinced myself that I would be a terrible interviewer, and my imagination was doing just fine on its own without my hearing every flaw, every weakness, and every “should-have-done” possibility in each episode. But something brilliant has happened—I’m in the sweet spot! I have finally crested the low end of my learning curve, and have reached the point where this podcast is challenging to produce (but not too challenging). And in many ways it is getting easy (but not too easy).  Now that I feel I can breathe, I can also take a look back at my previous episodes with a more balanced eye. And I have actually listened to the episodes! I’m in a place where I am ready to learn and grow again, and I’m excited to see what lessons 2019 will bring. Just as we did last year, I have compiled some of the most-listened-to podcasts of the past twelve months as well as some of the favorites of our newsletter subscribers and production team. It was amazing to revisit these interviews! Maybe they’ll sound familiar to you, or maybe they’ll sound brand new. Either way, I hope you enjoy the “Disrupt Yourself” highlights of 2018, and revel with me in the delightful comfort of the sweet spot. (Of course, now I need to be on the lookout for the top of the S-curve. Stay tuned!) Links and show notes at
12/18/201857 minutes, 27 seconds
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Keith Krach: Transformational Leadership

Keith Krach collects people. It’s not that he’s a comic book villain, mind you—Keith simply has a knack for finding people, discovering what they’re interested in, and building a team from that connection. Over the past ten years at DocuSign he has asked over 300 people to be on the Advisory Board (an unsually large number), but his reasoning is sound: why not?  Creating genius is certainly familiar territory for Keith. In college, he earned an internship opportunity at GM, and went on to participate in their scholarship program at Harvard Business School. Finding leadership and team building to be his passions, Keith climbed the ladder at GM for a decade before moving on to Silicon Valley and opportunities to work in the C-suite. He is now the Chairman and former CEO of DocuSign, and co-founder and former CEO of Ariba. Along the way, he has always paid diligent attention to attracting and retaining the right talent. More information and links from the episode available at
12/11/201840 minutes, 24 seconds
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Mike McDerment: Be Your Best Competitor

Thinking about the competition often keeps business owners up at night. Will someone else find a way to copy your product? Will they lure customers away? Will they make your clientele happier? It’s the stuff of nightmares. Mike McDerment, the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, decided that he didn’t want to waste time being afraid of his competition. Why wait for someone to figure out how to do your business better? So he decided to do something about it now—and created a strong competitor. It was an unconventional move, but effective. Using everything they learned in their mini-startup, FreshBooks was able to make a smooth transition to their new platform and learned valuable information about their customers in the process.  Join me as we discuss customer proximity, being a partner with your clients, and how Mark went from being a marketing consultant to creating a valuable cloud-based accounting software (despite not being a programmer). Show notes and episode links available at
12/4/201834 minutes, 25 seconds
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Talia Milgrom-Elcott: Stepping Up

When President Kennedy announced in 1961 that he wanted to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, it was a longshot. Some believed it to be impossible. However, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the surface of the moon and that “longshot” became a reality. In January of 2011 President Obama put out his own “moon shot call”—in his State of the Union address, he announced the goal of 100k more science, technology, engineering, and math teachers in in the United States over the next 10 years. And not just any teachers: he wanted excellent teachers to help train the next generation of STEM students. Talia Milgrom-Elcott remembers this speech vividly. It was a rallying cry that she felt deep in her bones. She knew it wasn’t enough to just stand and clap for the announcement (which received wide bipartisan support). Someone needed to do something—why not her? Join us as we discuss how Talia built her team, when she realized how true success would be measured, and the difference between fixing symptoms and solving problems. Join us in the player below, or download the episode on iTunes. Links and show notes available at
11/27/201851 minutes, 21 seconds
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Dave Hollis: Abandoning Certainty

When his eight-year-old son asked Dave Hollis what his biggest fear was, no doubt he anticipated an answer along the lines of “tarantula” or “scorpions.” Instead, he received a brutally honest assessment: “Not living up to my potential.” At the time, Dave Hollis was the President of Worldwide Theatrical Distribution at The Walt Disney Company—you know, that little start-up out of California that has distributed such niche films as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Black Panther, and Toy Story. Dave had spent 17 years of his life working his way up the ladder at Disney, and to most of the world appeared to have achieved the apex of his career. But Dave didn’t feel that way. Despite working for one of the biggest (and in Dave’s opinion, greatest) companies in the world, he couldn’t escape the feeling that he was no longer challenging himself in the role that he occupied. He had an amazing team, amazing support, and given the track record of the company also had little resistance to do whatever he wanted to do for theatrical distribution. But he wasn’t challenged, and that was a problem. There’s more to this story, and I hope you’ll take the time to listen to it. You can learn more and get all the links in our show notes at  
11/20/201850 minutes, 1 second
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Q&A Episode: My Learning Curve

As I say at the beginning of every episode, I think, write, speak, and live all things disruption. I take this responsibility very seriously, so while each week I encourage you to disrupt yourself I am also looking for ways to disrupt myself. Since I spend each podcast interviewing guests, my personal journey is revealed to you in drips and drabs, and periodically I like to turn on the water hose and let you know how I’m really doing, what I’m learning, and where I am on my own learning curve. Today’s episode revolves around the question that you, as my audience, have asked me in person, tweeted online, or messaged me on LinkedIn. With me is Macy Robison, my fearless podcast manager and producer, who will be asking the questions and contributing some of her own insights along the way. For links from today's episode and the full show notes, visit
11/13/201838 minutes, 44 seconds
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Diane Dietz: Making Everyone Better

Diane Dietz would have happily spent her career working in marketing at Proctor & Gamble, but as we all know, life can be unpredictable. When she found herself seated next to a tall, dark, and handsome stranger at a wedding, she could not have predicted that she would someday move from Cincinnati to San Francisco to start a family with him. That unpredictable relocation led to a significant career disruption, taking her from oral care and cosmetic marketing to a C-suite position at Safeway, where she led the marketing, merchandising, and supply chain of the second largest grocery retailer in the US. Even after being a chief marketing officer, executive vice president, and responsible for over 12,000 employees, Diane still felt some hesitation when she was approached by a recruiter about the CEO position at Rodan + Fields. Up to that point she had been looking at the number two position at really large companies, but as she met with the team at Rodan + Fields she fell in love—only this time with a company. Diane accepted the position and has grown Rodan + Fields from 600 million to 1.5 billion in sales (which I find super impressive). Furthermore, she has built an impressive team, wherever she has gone in her career and has developed a reputation as someone who makes those she works with better. Join us as we discuss how she spots talent for her “A Team,” what she loved most about her favorite bosses, and how Rodan + Fields manages their exponential growth without spending for digital advertising. Show notes and links:
11/6/201842 minutes, 42 seconds
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Saul Kaplan: Innovation Junkie

When Saul Kaplan produced his carefully compiled spreadsheet of how he planned to host a two day summit on innovation, the last thing he expected his friend to do was tear the spreadsheet to pieces—literally.  His friend was none other than Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, so his feedback was not something Saul could take lightly. This summit was his dream. After years of being a consultant and looking at innovation from the top-down, he knew that he wanted to put on an event that focused on innovation from the bottom-up—what Saul referred to as a “human-centered design.” He had planned everything, from how they would scale from the nano to the cosmic, but the feedback from Richard was blunt and to the point: “You have an awful lot to learn, Kaplan, about what organic engagement and connection is…Design something that you’re interested in, that you can learn from, and then allow other people to participate in that by doing it openly and transparently.” In many ways, that has become the touchpoint of the annual Business Innovation Factory (BIF) summit. Organic engagement and connection permeate each session, and the best talks are those that solve problems in the real world and discuss the human experience. Join us as we discuss his advice for anyone planning a conference or summit, what it means to “Cause a RCUS,” and how he continually finds ways to reinvent himself. Show notes and links -
10/30/201841 minutes, 20 seconds
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Lisa Kay Solomon: Designing Conversation

Being the host of a podcast, I’ve had my share of great conversations, but I’ve also had some that were…not. Whether the blame should be placed on myself, my guest, or both of us, can be left up to interpretation, but I find it interesting that something we do every day—converse with others—is also something that we receive very little, if any, formal training in how to do well. Lisa Kay Solomon wants to change all that. Lisa is the author of Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations That Accelerate Change, and she is passionate about great conversation. In the business world, this passion translates into a careful examination of team meetings and huddles, and Lisa is not afraid to shy away from the awful truth: most meetings are terrible. Americans spend (or waste) 1.2 billion hours every year in meetings, an average of four hours per week per person, and yet most employees feel that the most important discussions occur after a meeting is over, when discovery oriented conversations take place. Show notes and links from the podcast available at
10/23/201847 minutes, 42 seconds
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Dr. Bob Nelson: Sincere, Specific Praise

As children, we are taught to say “please” and “thank you,” but oftentimes, as adults, these habits are not reinforced in the workplace. We are not asked to perform tasks, we are told, and we are paid for our efforts; in other words, we do something because it is our job. What more do we need?   According to Bob Nelson, we need a sincere “thank you.” Bob is the president of Nelson Motivation Inc, and is considered to be one of the world’s leading experts on employee motivation. He has written 30 books ranging from The Management Bible to 1,001 Ways to Engage Employees, and has dedicated his life to the idea that thanking employees makes for a better work environment.   Whether you’re praising performance on the latest project or celebrating an accomplished goal, saying a sincere, specific “thank you” can strengthen trust and relationships, and make your team more engaged in their work. Join us on the podcast today as we discuss what employee recognition is, how it can benefit your team, and what managers can do today to get started.  Show Notes:
10/16/201837 minutes, 4 seconds
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Solo Episode: Disrupt Your Self Today

Before you can be an agent of disruption, you first become its subject by disrupting yourself. Keeping this in mind, today’s podcast is a bit different. If you’ve been a long-time listener, this will probably come as no surprise (disruption is what we do, after all)! In the past I have shared episodes where I take part in some one-on-one coaching, but today I am taking it a step further: I will be coaching you. All of you. I’m going to start at the top with giving you five reasons why you might want to disrupt yourself, and then we’ll talk about what disruption is—what the term truly means. Once we’ve established that common language, we’ll get to what you really want to hear: How do I get started? I know this may be a bit scary to some of you. You may not feel ready to “get started”, or take that next step, and you’re afraid that I’m going to dare you to take it anyway. But I suspect that one of the reasons you listen to this podcast is because you want to take things to the next level, and if so, then I am committed to helping you. We have a worksheet and the complete transcript of this episode to help you get started on this path. Click here -
10/9/201822 minutes, 55 seconds
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Shawn Askinosie: It's Not About the Chocolate

My guest today is Shawn Askinosie, the founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate and author of the number one Amazon best selling book, Meaningful Work: The Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul. For Shawn Askinosie, picking a favorite kind of chocolate is like asking someone to pick a favorite child. His company, Askinosie Chocolate, sells 17 different chocolate bars, but when asked to pick just one he is at a complete loss. “[I]t seems like the last place that I have been is my favorite…the people mean so much to me it’s hard to separate the people from the chocolate. And the hard work that they provide to make these beans what they are. So it’s hard. It’s hard for me.” Shawn most recently returned from Tanzania, where he personally met with the chocolate farmers that produce the cocoa beans used in his factory. This is unusual in the chocolate world—larger companies (or “Big Cocoa” as Shawn refers to them) buy almost exclusively through a broker, resulting in local farmers receiving as little as $1 a day for their crops. Shawn knew that he needed a completely different business model: not to make a bigger profit, but a bigger impact. This is an honest and beautiful conversation. If you enjoy it, please share it with someone who could learn from listening to Shawn. Takeaways and links from the show at
10/2/201852 minutes, 21 seconds
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Margaret Busse: Step Up and Do Something

This year on the Disrupt Yourself Podcast we have had musicians, writers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and even a mountain climber as guests on the show, but I must admit that today’s guest feels more disruptive than usual—Margaret Busse is a politician. Spoiler alert, we don’t talk national politics at all. Margaret is an MBA graduate from Harvard as well as a devoted mother of 5 young children, and back in 2012 I included an essay that Margaret wrote in my book Dare, Dream, Do. In the essay, Margaret talked about her early love of democracy and her desire to someday run for public office, as well as the fear that held her back from fulfilling that dream. “When the time is right,” she said, “I will dare to do it.” The time is right. And she really is daring to do it. Conquering her fear, Margaret is running for a seat in the Massachusetts state senate. Surprisingly, a lot of our discussion focuses on the “how-to’s” of setting up a political campaign, a process that at times surprises and challenges Margaret. Thankfully, she still finds the challenge worth the reward. Full show notes and takeaways at
9/25/201830 minutes, 59 seconds
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Beth Comstock: The Call of the Unknown

My guest today is Beth Comstock, former vice-chair of GE, a member of the Board at Nike, and author of the new book Imagine It Forward, a candid and encouraging narrative in which she shares both business and life lessons. Despite having been a biology major in college, Beth realized early on that her passion led her to storytelling. Instead of becoming a doctor, as she originally planned, she turned instead to the world of television journalism. The call of the unknown led her to make many surprising leaps in her career, often with co-workers questioning her sanity, but Beth’s willingness to take a risk and play where no one else was playing allowed her to have a fascinating and varied path. Join us as we discuss taking risks, the importance of communication, the difference between mentors and champions, and how Beth Comstock intends to start new again in 2018. Listen on iTunes or using the player below, and be sure to check out Imagine It Forward, available for purchase today on Amazon or at your local bookseller. For show notes and links from the podcast, visit
9/18/201847 minutes, 29 seconds
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David Blake: Championing Lifelong Learning

David is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Degreed, and coauthor of the new book The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed. His company focuses on “Jailbreaking the Degree” by giving employees credit for their lifelong learning, including formal certification as well as a “transcript” for skills learned on the job. Additionally, Degreed gives them a platform to find the best resources for learning new concepts and skills across a variety of platforms. Becoming an entrepreneur was not an easy step for David, who admits that going from the perfect collegiate applicant to a member of a start-up is in many ways antithetical. The path was difficult, almost cinematic at parts, but David still feels the same passion for education—true, lifelong learning—that he did as a 17 year old boy.   Show notes and links from this episode:
9/11/201848 minutes, 30 seconds
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Karla Ballard: It's What We Do That Matters

My guest is Karla Ballard, the CEO and co-founder of YING, a peer-to-peer skill sharing platform that allows you to trade time rather than money for services (also known as a time bank). Karla’s first experience in “banking” was of a much more traditional variety—after graduating from the University of Virginia she was hired by MBNA America and soon after was selected to participate in their management development program. This gave her the opportunity to rotate positions throughout the entire company, and while working in the marketing department in Wilmington, Delaware, Karla became involved in a community program to teach youth financial literacy as a way of combating juvenile delinquency. Karla was able to take the bank’s interest in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and combine it with her commitment to the community to produce real-life results beyond a simple donation. Feeling the entrepreneurial itch, Karla created a consulting practice to work with local non-profit organizations on their strategy around sustainability. In 2015 Karla took the next step and co-created YING, a skill and time-sharing platform that gives people access to services in exchange for their own time and talents, creating a community around connection and engagement. Join our discussion as Karla explains the intricacies of time banking, how “mucking and gutting” entered her lexicon, and what each of us as human beings have that creates value on a level playing field (hint: it’s about time). More takeaways and links from this episode at:
9/4/201834 minutes, 33 seconds
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Shachar Orren: Leaping at a Chance

For most graduates, a steady job is a dream come true (bonus points if it comes with good pay). When Shachar Orren completed her two-year mandatory service in the Israeli army, her parents thought she had achieved that dream: she was offered a full-time job working in military intelligence, with steady work, excellent compensation, and a healthy dose of prestige.                                                 She would be crazy to leave…right? But when a job popped up at her favorite magazine, Shachar leapt at the chance to become what she had wanted to be since she was a little girl—a writer. Despite conventional wisdom saying that she would be better off staying in military intelligence, Shachar knew that the best road to happiness was the one right in front of her. For complete show notes and links from this episode, visit
8/28/201836 minutes, 2 seconds
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Harold O'Neal: Music as a Mirror

My guest today is Harold O’Neal, a Tanzanian-born American pianist, film score composer, and record producer who has worked with the likes of U2, Jay-Z and Disney. I met Harold at a Silicon Guild/Black Sheep event a couple of months ago, and I was shocked by the amount of talent that effortlessly emanated from him. Whether performing an improvised jazz piece or Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, Harold merges with the instrument, almost maddening in his ability to use the music as a mirror for his soul. After struggle in his early hears came personal success, including playing with U2 in Ireland for Amnesty International and composing music for Disney’s “Tomorrowland” movie, Harold is now working with John Sviokla, author of The Self-Made Billionaire Effect, to show corporations and companies how to find the voice of their customer. It’s a workshop that involves music (of course), and Harold generously demonstrates a piece of that workshop on the show today.  For full show notes and links from this episode, visit
8/21/201843 minutes, 55 seconds
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Tiffani Bova: Experience is the Product

My guest today is Tiffani Bova, speaker, author, thought-leader, and Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. Her book, “Growth IQ: Get Smarter About the Choices That Will Make or Break Your Business” comes out this week, and after reading an advance copy I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down and go over some of the highlights with her. Tiffani likes to say that she is a recovering seller, because while she no longer carries a sales quota she still “bleeds sales blood.” Growing up on the islands of Hawaii, Tiffani early on had a mentor who showed her the ropes of business beyond learning about supply chains and P&L. One lesson became deeply embedded in her mind—experience is king. For links from this episode and further takeaways, visit
8/14/201840 minutes
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Orson Scott Card: Embracing Constraints

In today's episode, we will be discussing just one of the seven points of personal disruption: embracing constraints. All too often we find ourselves saying, "If only I had more time, more money, more health, expertise. If only Oprah were my fairy godmother, I could get something done!" And yet, when we take a moment to examine the role constraints play in the creative process and in our lives, we frequently find that they aren't a check on absolute freedom, but a tool of creation. With me to discuss this topic today is Orson Scott Card, an American novelist who has authored 70 books (and counting), best known for his work in science fiction. One might think that such a prolific author has very little to worry about in the way of constraints, but Orson Scott Card disagrees. “My favorite genre is romantic comedy or satiric comedy. But I never get to write that because, I have to make a certain income level, and the market for my work is generally within the science fiction and fantasy genre. When I step out of that genre, the sales are much lower. So, publishers are eager for books from me in-genre, and not so eager for books out of genre.” Rather than revolt against this constraint, Scott embraces it, finding new ways to enjoy the genre that has earned him success by delving deep into characters he finds fascinating. He’s also found that understanding and adhering to rules within his books—whether it be magic or science—helps him identify what can’t or shouldn’t happen, and it is there that the most interesting stories are developed.  Links and Show Notes at
8/7/201848 minutes, 5 seconds
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Benjamin Spall: The Power of Routine

Benjamin Spall keeps his phone in the kitchen at night.  As co-author of the book “My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired,” and, Benjamin has heard many highly successful people highlight the importance of keeping their phone away from them while they sleep. However, it still took over four years for Benjamin to finally adopt the practice. “It’s interesting that you can be given the same piece of information from many different people over and over and over again, but it’ll take you a while for that information to actually sink in and for you to do it.”  While the concept of morning routines is discussed widely today, back in 2012 it was mostly unrecognized in the field of personal development. After interviewing over three hundred individuals about their daily habits, Benjamin has a firm grasp on what routine actions can positively impact a person’s day. Separating yourself from your cell phone is only one element out of many: what time you wake up, what you do immediately after opening your eyes, how many steps you take before you settle into your work—all of it creates your “morning wind,” and if you plan things out properly that wind can carry you throughout your day.  The biggest mistake that people make when trying to create a morning routine is adding too many elements at once. Benjamin recommends starting small: if you want to run every morning, start by only running for 5-10 minutes. That’s easy for you to accomplish, allowing you to start your day with a “win” and less likely to feel like a failure if you can’t squeeze a half hour exercise into your morning every day. Each activity should build to the next, helping you gain momentum. Show Notes:
7/31/201832 minutes, 44 seconds
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Peter Bregman: Willing to Feel Everything

My guest today is Peter Bregman, CEO and founder of Bregman Partners and author of the new book, Leading with Emotional Courage. In his book, Peter expands on the idea that if leaders are willing to feel everything they will build better teams and accomplish more difficult tasks. It’s a labor of love for Peter, who hopes that the book will help others become more willing to examine their feelings and be present in each moment.  “I've spent a lot of time trying to close the gaps between what we want to have happen in the world and what happens in the world, and how we want to be in the world and how we are. What we want to do in the world and what we end up doing. And there's a huge gap…there's constantly a gap and I'm trying to close it for myself; I'm trying to live up to my own expectations, and, and I'm trying to help other people close it.” I found many inspiring and fascinating nuggets in Peter’s book, as well as this interview, and I hope after you listen to this podcast you take the time to track down a copy of Leading With Emotional Courage for yourself. Full show notes at
7/26/201838 minutes, 4 seconds
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Caroline Webb: Creating Opportunity

If Caroline Webb looks a little tired or stressed, there is a good chance that someone will eventually turn to her and ask (with their tongue in their cheek), “Are you having a bad day, Caroline?” Caroline laughs when she recounts this, because as the author of the book “How to Have a Good Day,” she knows that people are watching her. All joking aside, Caroline Webb has made a name for herself in helping others reframe their day and find ways to look on the bright side. As the CEO and founder of the consulting firm Sevenshift, Caroline spends her days coaching companies, teams and individuals on how small behavioral changes can lead to lasting professional satisfaction and success. Originally a public policy analyst, Caroline recognized in her twenties that she was drawn to the “people side” of economics, and began maneuvering her way into responsibilities more in line with that interest than what she had worked on previously. Shifting to the private sector, she joined the team at the management consulting firm McKinsey, taking a job that was technically an entry-level position despite her years of experience. Caroline knew that she wanted to really learn the consulting business, and she wasn’t afraid to take a professional step back in order to spring forward. Join me as we discuss how she used voicemails to advance her career, her best tips for starting and ending your day in the right frame of mind, and how she used her years at McKinsey to hone her craft before bravely stepping out as an entrepreneur, author, and thought leader in how the behavioral sciences can influence the workplace.   Show Notes & Links:
7/24/201842 minutes, 52 seconds
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Carine Clark: Tougher Than We Know

My guest is Carine Clark, CEO of Banyan, a company that helps medical practices engage with their patients. A three-time CEO, she's been awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Technology in the Utah region, as well as Utah CEO of the Year. On top of all her many career accomplishments, Carine is also a mother and cancer survivor. Truthfully, Carine moved quickly through problems even before her cancer diagnosis. Looking at her career path is akin to looking at a game of Chutes and Ladders—she would seemingly slip down a few steps, choosing to take a job below her existing pay grade, only to rise far above everyone else in a short time frame. From large companies to small startups and back up again, Carine was not afraid to step back to slingshot forward, even if she appeared crazy to everyone else. Nestled into her career success is also Carine’s amazing battle with cancer, which we discuss in the podcast and I hope inspires you as much as it has inspired me. Show notes and links:
7/19/201831 minutes, 58 seconds
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Philip Sheppard: The Pressure of Glorious Failure

My guest today is Philip Sheppard, composer, cellist, inventor, and a professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. How do I unpack everything from this episode? Philip is an engaging conversationalist, and coupled with his British accent (let’s face it, in America that carries a lot of weight) I feel like we could have easily expanded this episode to twice the length of the final cut. Philip has led what I consider a dynamic and interesting life, peppered with stories of dinner parties with royalty and recording music in the famous Abbey Road Studio One with microphones used by the Beatles. Phillip says he doesn’t have a “real job,” but he nevertheless is able to make the best of situations and do what needs to be done to be successful. Like many of us, he suffers from imposter syndrome, but instead of allowing that to prevent him from moving forward he leans in and learns whatever he needs to in order to accomplish the impossible. Full show notes at
7/17/201857 minutes, 56 seconds
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Live Coaching Episode: Michelle Seymour Smith

Last year I held a special live coaching session with Stacy Olsen Distefano, and at the end of the episode I put out a call to my listeners to see if anyone else felt brave enough to take the leap. Michelle Seymour Smith answered the call, and today you will hear another live coaching session that digs down deep into what motivates Michelle, what holds her back, and what she can do to disrupt herself. Sometimes when we hear about people disrupting themselves we imagine huge, sweeping changes. In Michelle’s case, she’s not looking to change companies or move, or even change jobs. She simply wants to take deliberate steps to make her feel like she’s empowering herself at work. She loves the company she works for. Having joined the team in its early days as a startup, Michelle feels an immense sense of achievement to see how much it has grown, and looking back she can see what an important role she played in that growth. It quickly became apparent that Michelle is not looking for a completely new path—she already has a phenomenal environment in which to work—but she feels rudderless and unsure of which direction she should go moving forward. What do you do when you don’t know “what’s next?” Join us as I help Michelle find that clarity, embrace her constraints, and leverage the skills she already has in her toolbox to find ways to disrupt herself. Show Notes:
7/12/20181 hour, 4 minutes, 2 seconds
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Zach Obront: Solve a Problem

Today’s guest is Zach Obront, co-founder of Scribe (formerly Book in a Box), a company that helps entrepreneurs and innovators turn their ideas into a book. When Zach Obront was in college, he started a high school. A bit silly? Possibly, in retrospect. But Zach has never had an issue with out-of-the-box thinking. The next company he created, Handy Monkey, was a mold removal company he started when he realized that mold removal companies in Toronto did not understand the ins-and-outs of SEO and internet advertising. He and his partner wanted to prove to the skeptical owners of these companies that internet marketing would solve many of their problems, and the only way they could think to prove that was to create a company themselves and make it profitable. “[E]ventually what we decided was the only way we were gonna be able to kind of make that change in that industry, is just to do it end to end, and show them that the Internet works, and therefore, we can generate leads, and therefore, we can build a team, and therefore, we can solve the actual problem.” This tactic worked better than Zach anticipated, and within eight months his partner began to talk about expanding to other cities. “I tend to get caught up in problems that… when there's no solution, I'm just focused on finding a solution as opposed to stepping back and…questioning…I kinda put my head down and ran through a wall for eight months until finally we got there. And then I said, "Ooh, this is horrible." Having a thriving mold-removal company was not Zach’s dream scenario, but he did learn that there is significant value in understanding a process from start to finish. He is now utilizing his out-of-the-box thinking at Scribe (formerly Book in a Box), which he co-founded to help authors navigate the early stages of book development all the way through the first week of their title being on the market. He and his team have helped numerous authors solve real-world problems for thousands of readers, and his advice to authors is simple: solve a problem. Join us as we discuss the problems authors commonly face in publishing a book, as well as how Zach and his team have created a uniquely supportive environment in their company that allows employees to feel empowered while identifying their greatest weaknesses. Takeaways and links from this episode at  
7/10/201842 minutes, 25 seconds
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Nate & Vanessa Quigley: Something to Hold Onto

We are pleased to welcome Nate and Vanessa Quigley, the husband and wife team behind Chatbooks, a revolutionary method of printing photo books that focuses on helping families quickly (and economically) tell their story. In the past four years, Chatbooks has grown from a small start-up to a company that employs over 140 people and has sold over 5,000,000 books worldwide. Chatbooks is not the Quigley’s first entrepreneurial venture; in fact, it’s not even the first photo-centric business that Nate has developed. Twenty years ago Nate pitched the idea to Vanessa that they should produce a scrapbooking supply catalog. Vanessa, an avid scrap booker, was enthusiastic about the idea, but the reality of starting a business was too cost prohibitive at the time. As with most business stories, timing is everything, and both Nate and Vanessa admit that this idea for Chatbooks came at the right place and time, but in order for it to work their entire lives had to be disrupted. Vanessa had never participated in any of Nate’s startups before, and initially she had very little interest in being involved with the day-to-day operations. Nate gradually convinced her that her input was valuable to the five-person team of programmers working on the project, and Vanessa soon realized that she was the best person to tackle PR and help craft the story around their company. For more takeaways and links from this episode - including a link to download the transcript - visit
7/3/201848 minutes, 9 seconds
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Sloane Davidson: Start Small, Start Anywhere

When Sloane Davidson graduated from college, there was a plan. Having just completed a post-college trek around Europe, Sloane was excited to leave Pittsburgh and start her new adventure working at a resort, the next stepping stone on her path to conquer the dining services industry.  She was due to start work in Florida on September 15… 2001. When the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred in New York City, Sloane’s plans came to a grinding halt. Beyond flights being cancelled and the tourism industry in general tanking, Sloane found that she didn’t want to leave her family. “I sheltered in. Like, I wanted to be home. I wanted to pick up my sisters from school. I wanted to eat dinner with my family…and I just really felt thrown off from whatever it was that I thought I was doing, even if it wasn’t very serious or…a big job. And I contemplated a whole lot of different career paths.“ When we talk about disruption, it is typically in a very personal context. What Sloane, and many others of her generation, experienced was disruption on a national scale. It made her re-examine what she wanted from a career, from her life, and how she could best impact the world around her. Sloane likes to think of herself as water flowing downstream, with lots of little tributaries feeding into it as it makes its way. She has been passionate about many issues, held copious job titles, and worked in varied circumstances, but everything she has done before has fed into where she is now: CEO and Founder of Hello Neighbor, a mentoring program that supports resettled refugees by matching them with dedicated neighbors. “I’m trying to help people find the goodness within them amidst and amongst so much noise and negativity in the world, and the media, and the political system, and everything we’re facing right now…I don’t pay attention to all of that negative noise. I think about the day to day and the impact that you can make just going through your life and helping people.” Whether you want to work with nonprofits or are looking to take your “side-hustle” front and center, I think you’ll find Sloane’s advice practical and incredibly helpful. And if you have a few minutes, please check out and see what Sloane has been working on. I was so touched by her stories of people helping other people, whether neighbors or strangers, and I have a feeling you’ll be touched as well. More takeaways and links to content from the episode at
6/26/201848 minutes, 43 seconds
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Chester Elton: Cheering For Others

My guest today is Chester Elton, the New York Times bestselling co-author of The Carrot Principle, which has sold over 1.5 million copies to date. He has been described by the Toronto Globe and Mail as “an apostle of appreciation,” a moniker which he has whole-heartedly embraced. Coming from an athletic and competitively-minded family, Chester has always seen value in recognizing individual accomplishments. While selling televisions in New York City Chester was given the opportunity to work as a recognition program salesman to pharmaceutical companies, a service he felt was not only necessary in the corporate world, but noble. Chester soon approached his boss about a potential way to increase sales: write a book. If their company could be seen as a “thought-leader,” clients would come to them, hopefully in droves. His boss was very excited about the idea, but there was a catch: he wanted Chester to write the book. “He goes, ‘I love that idea.’ He says, ‘Write the book.’ And I said, ‘Kent, you give me these crushing quotas every year. I’m a sales guy, I’m not a writer.’ And then he said something that really changed my life forever. He said, ‘You know what, Chester, you’re a smart guy. Figure it out.’” Chester has certainly “figured it out.” He and his co-author, Adrian Gostick, have written over ten books on the importance of recognition (or “carrots”) in the workforce, and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down. Their latest book, The Best Team Wins, examines the new disciplines of high performance teams and the differentiators in the workforce that have sprung up in the past twenty years. “You know, we’re doing all this stuff…to create a customer experience that has them…not just loyal customers. They’re raving fans of your products and services, and those are our five disciplines.” Join us as we discuss the power of recognition, the five disciplines of high performance teams, and how the prodigal son ended up in Chester’s family coat of arms. Listen on iTunes or in the player below, and if you enjoy the show, please make sure you subscribe so you don't miss an episode. Takeaways and links from the episode at
6/19/201838 minutes, 7 seconds
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Laura Vanderkam: Time is Elastic

My guest today is Laura Vanderkam, an expert on time management who's 2016 TED Talk "How to Gain Control of Your Free Time" has been viewed over 5 million times. She is the author of several books on time management, including Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done, which was released in May of this year. Laura did not go to college to become a time management guru. She admits to a mild interest in productivity, having read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People at a young age, but it wasn't until she had to balance having a child and building a journalism career that she began to look at how people spent their time. What Laura found was that much of the narrative surrounding how people spend their time isn't very accurate. While many people believe that they are busy and never have time for anything, the truth is that if something unexpected happened--such as a water heater breaking or a basement flooding--we are all able to "magically" create more time in our schedule to handle the emergency while still accomplishing other tasks that were already on our plate. While many people view being "busy" as a sign of importance, Laura challenges the idea that we need to fill every second of every day, and instead recommends finding "open space" in our schedule to allow us to think and grow in ways we can't anticipate when setting our schedule for the week. For more takeaways and links from this episode, visit
6/12/201838 minutes, 43 seconds
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Pat Flynn: Always Serve First

Today’s guest is Pat Flynn, a highly successful blogger and podcaster who teaches people how to make a “Smart Passive Income.” Some people choose disruption, but many times disruption comes when we least expect it. In 2008, Pat Flynn was happy with his life. Working as the youngest Job Captain in the history of his architectural firm, he was on track for his dream occupation—world famous architect. When the national economic crisis hit Irvine, Pat found himself suddenly without a job and without any realistic prospects for employment. He wasn’t sure where to go or what to do when a timely podcast changed his life forever. “I discovered a show called “Internet Business Mastery,” and one of the first episodes I listened to was…a guy being interviewed on that show, who was making six figures a year helping people pass the PM Exam, or the Project Management Exam. And that was my first kind of “Aha!” moment in all this…I took a number of exams to get to where I’m at now, and one of them in particular, which was the last one I had taken, was really difficult, and I know a lot about it. [I thought] maybe I could do what this person’s doing.” What started as a simple blog to get a little money on the side soon turned into an eBook study guide that made almost $8,000 in the first month of its release. Pat was blown away by the response to his blog and his book, but what meant even more to him than the money was the impact his work was having on others. “I was getting emails back from my customers saying, “Thank you so much, this is exactly what I needed, I’ve been looking for this information for days. I wish that there was a some way I could repay you even more than this ebook…[t]hat’s why the way I run my business now and the way that I teach others to run their businesses is to always serve first. Because when you serve others and you help them, they’re gonna look for ways to repay you back.” While he would have been happy being an architect, Pat recognizes that his journey has stretched him in ways he never imagined and given him the unique opportunity to help others. Playing where no one is playing can be scary, but Pat learned to press on, even when the fear was almost crippling, and finds satisfaction in helping others do the same. Join us as we discuss how Pat learned to connect with his audience, expand his opportunities, and push outside of his comfort zone.  Show notes and links available at
6/5/201851 minutes, 12 seconds
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June Cohen: Decide, Decide, Decide

Our guest today is June Cohen, a pioneer in the web industry for her work at HotWired (the web division of Wired magazine), author of “The Unusually Useful Web Book,” and the force behind bringing the informational and often inspirational “TED Talks” online and out to the world. She confounded WaitWhat?, a content incubator to develop original media properties over time, and the podcast “Masters of Scale,” which explores the theories behind how companies grow and scale their business. June Cohen has always been “hopelessly interested in everything.” Travel, graphic design, theater, writing, web technology, journalism—June wants it all. In college, she changed her major several times before landing on political science, meanwhile completing full minors in human biology, African American studies, and anthropology. She has a seemingly natural ability to succeed at everything, and while it makes me jealous, it also raises the question: without the constraint of only being good at a few things, how does she get anything done? “The wisest thing I found to do is to make a decision and lean into it. And to see how you feel...And if it feels like...something that feeds you and is working and speaking to you, lean into it. And if it isn’t, change course.” This emphasis on making a decision applies not only to her career and personal pursuits, but to her role as a leader. During her time as one of the earliest employees of TED Talks, she believed that if the company was brave enough to take the talks from a private, remote conference and broadcast them to the world, they would be able to find a niche audience that would embrace the messages being presented. “I think it is fair to say that I did not talk to a single person that genuinely thought it was good idea...that the idea of putting taped lectures online was just not something that could ever succeed. But for me, I really believed in it. I believed in the talks, I how I felt when I was sitting in a room listening to these talks...and I believed that the feeling could be transferred to video.” We know how this story plays out. June stuck with her decision, despite all the naysayers, and TED Talks have since become wildly successful, with some of the most popular videos garnering billions of views. After ten years at TED, June felt that her work was done. Decision time: what did she want to do with her life? Join us as we discuss how June made that pivotal decision, the importance of gender balance in teams, and fighting for what you believe. Show notes and links at
5/29/201859 minutes, 40 seconds
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Jonathan Bush: The Joy of the Fight

In 1988, college student Jonathan Bush climbed on top of a pile of wooden slats in the middle of an unfinished housing development and looked out over a gathering of political volunteers, “Okay,” he announced. “Here’s how it’s gonna go. My name is Jonathan Bush, and we in the next four days are gonna win this election.” “This election” was for his uncle, George H.W. Bush, in his first campaign for president. Jonathan didn’t think much of the speech at the time; he’d given thousands of such stump speeches to volunteers before, and would go on to give many more before the campaign was over. However, months later, after the White House had been won and his uncle sworn in as President, Jonathan had more than one person tell him that his speech was a seminal event for the campaign. “I mean I did everything wrong. But I had been allowed a little bit like Gladwell to have my ten thousand hours of speech giving, and then it mattered all of a sudden and I was on top of this pile of sticks that I had created…I had gone through a lot and it was all visible on my face. And, uh, it worked.” While it may not have been the Saint Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V, Jonathan nevertheless learned that he has the ability to galvanize people about things that he really cares about. Takeaways from this episode: • Early in his life, Jonathan equated worthiness to receive love with “good works.”. To him, his uncle (President of the United States George H.W. Bush) was at the top of this worthiness scale, and it was Jonathan’s duty to find a way to serve and contribute as much as possible to the worldwide community. While he now recognizes that may not have been the message his family was trying to send, it nevertheless impacted his worldview.  • Being “in the fight” and gaining knowledge is almost more important than the achievement at the end. “No matter how hard you are in your thinking, if you believe that the fight you’re in is the gateway to a much bigger fight, that you’re always at the tip of a much bigger…mountain range or the entrance of a bigger mountain range…that’s to me what gives me great joy, and satisfaction is that we keep finding whole new frontiers.” • “An entrepreneur is someone who doesn’t want to compete with everybody else.”  Links and show notes at
5/22/201837 minutes, 55 seconds
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Becky Douglas: Someone Able To Do Something

A silly little thing that takes over the world—to me, this is the simplest definition of a disruptor. My guest today is Becky Douglas, and her “silly little thing,” which began at her kitchen table with a handful of friends, has gone on to change the lives of thousands of individuals in India and beyond.   After a family tragedy disrupted her life, Becky, a mother of nine children, found herself in India on the path to adopting a beloved tenth child. While there she was appalled to see the prevalence of beggars on the street, due in large part to those with leprosy being shunned and having no other avenue for survival. Becky had assumed, as many Americans do, that leprosy was no longer a problem in the world, but after only ten days in India, Becky knew that somebody needed to do something to help.  “When I got home I couldn’t sleep. Those images just haunted me at night. And I remember, I just kept thinking, gosh, why doesn’t somebody do something? Are there really millions of people that live this way? So finally when…a night after no sleep, I thought, we were somebody. Do something.”  And “do something” she did. Becky started Rising Star Outreach to serve the leprosy-affected of India, and, despite not even knowing how to use email at the time, Becky and her friends managed to start something that has gone on to help 30,000 people in 62 leper colonies in less than twenty years.  That’s disruption. A silly little thing that changed many, many, worlds. Join me as I listen to Becky explain the amazing path her organization blazed, from a seat at her kitchen table clear to the halls of the UN. Becky’s belief that “change Is possible” shines throughout her story, and as she was willing to expand and grow her talents to meet the demands of the situation she truly became someone able to do something.   Show notes and links -
5/15/201845 minutes, 54 seconds
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Carter Cast: The Five Archetypes of Derailment

Carter Cast is brilliant, blending intense insight with the heart of a teacher (although it took him years to uncover this truth). Having been a marketing manager early in his career at PepsiCo Food Service International, he appeared to be on the fast track for promotion—until he was transferred to the Frito Lay division, an abrupt change from his previous work.  In Carter’s words, he did not react well. “I did not respond well to the different…culture. I was always itchy and I was trying to move quickly and I didn’t understand how to grease the skids with the other departments and…align with other functions.” This self-reflection did not come voluntarily: Carter was called into the office of his boss, who told him he was insubordinate, difficult to work with, recalcitrant, and while he was not technically fired, his boss had no interest in having him on his team. It took a long time for Carter to “resuscitate” his career, and the experience made him realize that weaknesses, even more than strengths, can determine if someone succeeds.   Takeaways from this episode: Your strengths can take you far, but a weakness can sweep you in the knees. Think critically: what about you could hurt you? What about you could impede your own career progress? Where are your vulnerabilities? This may make you uncomfortable but can prevent you from derailing your own career. There are five archetypes for why individuals derail their careers: Captain Fantastic, Solo Flier, Version 1.0, One Trick Pony, and Whirling Dervish (listen for details!) Business is “we”, not “I”—it is complex and requires interdependence. A leader who uses “I” will have weak working relationships and is not actively engaged in listening. Listening is important. Consider Clayton Christensen’s 6 to 1 ratio: ask six questions to every one statement if you want to be an innovator and leader with discovery skills.  Individuals who are too skeptical of change can’t adapt to rapidly changing business environments. Senior managers should be roaming the halls to find out what they don’t know, not sitting around assuming they know it all. Keep an open mind, and follow up with your team to make sure they are staying abreast of change through thought leaders, podcasts, white papers, articles, competitive audits, etc.   Make sure your external network is strong. We may not be able to control the support of our internal network, but if we have a strong external network we can avoid becoming one-dimensional. Don’t overcommit yourself; learn to say no (and it is possible to say no in a positive way!) If you feel you are derailing but none of the archetypes seem to fit, consider that you may be in the wrong context—you’re on the wrong curve, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Examine if what you are doing lines up with what you are truly interested in pursuing.  Show notes and transcript available at
5/8/201852 minutes, 17 seconds
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Build an A-Team

Disrupting yourself is a way of life around here, so it’s only natural that it is my turn to be disrupted. Today is Launch Day for my new book, Build an A-Team: Play To Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve, and I couldn’t be more excited! To celebrate, we’re doing things a bit differently on the podcast. Macy Robison, my fabulous project manager, is interviewing me to help break down what my listeners can expect from my new book, and how the information I’ve gathered can help them in not only their career but in life. Since releasing Disrupt Yourself in 2015 I have had the opportunity to interact with many managers, leaders, executives, and employees who have embraced the idea of disruption, but who have asked me, “How can I get my people to disrupt themselves?” or “How can I get my boss to let me disrupt myself?” Employers and employees want to experience the growth that can come from disruption, but it’s not happening in many organizations out of fear of “losing” valued leaders or team members.  The irony is that many great employees are lost anyway. Some managers are great at maximizing efficiency but are so caught up in day-to-day minutia that the personal and professional growth of employees takes a back seat to survival. The result is stellar employees feeling bored or stuck in their jobs, with no clear career path before them. Employees who were once superstars either move on to greener pastures or become dead-weight and organizational innovation stalls.       Build an A-Team unpacks this problem and illustrates how understanding the S-curve can lead to innovation within organizations, and how investing in your employees (and sometimes letting them go) can return phenomenal dividends.  Join Macy and I as we discuss Build an A-Team, the framework of disruption, recognizing where employees are on their personal S-curve, real sponsorship, and how allowing employees to jump to new curves can lead to innovation.    We also take a minute to acknowledge the amazing A-Team behind the book—it truly would not have been possible without them!     Links and show notes at
5/1/201849 minutes, 37 seconds
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Tom Peters: Excellence Found

Today’s guest is Tom Peters, best-selling author of the groundbreaking book In Search of Excellence, which changed the way the world viewed the connection between corporate culture and the success of a business. His newest book, The Excellence Dividend, is likewise original, commanding, and cutting-edge.  Forty years ago, Tom was tasked with creating a last-minute presentation for a client after a computer failure wreaked havoc on his company’s original plans. Not wanting to disappoint his wife, who had tickets to the San Francisco ballet that night, Tom delayed working on the presentation until after watching what he describes as a “mesmerizing” performance. After returning home, Tom couldn’t get what he considered the “excellence” of the performance out of his head and began wondering why that word—which is so often associated with artists, dancers, and even sports teams—was never associated with business.  “[I]t’s not that I was off to the races. Nobody took it seriously. The skies did not part. But…it just kind of got stuck in my head because we all love excellence. Despite naysayers (of which there were many), Tom’s idea resonated with his audience and continued to evolve, leading a few years later to the publication of In Search of Excellence, which has been regarded by some as one of the most influential business books of all time.   Join us as we discuss his professional journey, the importance of studying, and, naturally, what it means to be excellent. Links and show notes available at and if you enjoy the show, please consider leaving us a review.