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Reflect Forward

English, Finance, 1 season, 177 episodes, 3 days, 20 hours, 37 minutes
About
Reflect Forward isn’t your everyday leadership podcast. This show is about exceptional leadership. Game-changing leadership. Learn from peers, experts, authors, and more on how to be an uber successful leader…one that stands out from the rest. One that inspires others to do great things. One that others want to follow. How does Reflecting Forward fit into exceptional leadership? You can only become great at what you do by deliberately creating your future by reflecting on the past and present…what you did well, mistakes you’ve made, and lessons you’ve learned. Kerry Siggins is the CEO of StoneAge, the global leader in the manufacturing and distribution of high pressure waterjetting tooling and automated equipment. Kerry is also a member of Young President's Organization (YPO) and sits on several boards. She is a sought-after speaker, thought leader, leadership blogger and podcast host.
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Moving Beyond Resilience w/ Dr. Douglas Scherer

Dr. Douglas Scherer is dedicated to helping leaders move beyond resilience and liberating individuals and organizations into thriving life and work. As a keynote speaker, facilitator, and author, he believes in fostering a culture of trust, transparency, and collaboration. He integrates his mindfulness, reflective learning, and leadership background into a holistic approach that addresses the needs of the whole person and organization. His bestseller, F.O.R.G.E.D.: Six Practices of Great Leaders in Volatile Times, illuminates his passion for empowering individuals through conscious leadership. Dr. Scherer is also a professor at Columbia University, where he teaches courses on strategic thinking, leadership, and fostering innovation. Episode Insight: You hire people because of their abilities and because you believe in them. Give your team responsibility and let them drive innovation. Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Dr. Douglas Scherer and I dive into all kinds of leadership topics. Douglas teaches leadership at Columbia University and shares all kinds of insights on taking action upon reflection and explaining why micromanaging is so prevalent yet ineffective. We discuss how leaders can be more resilient and transparent and why it inspires people to grow in their roles. Douglas and I also talk about overcoming imposter syndrome and what it’s like to get on stage and speak in front of an audience…hint…we both still get nervous. I know you’ll enjoy this interview, and I look forward to your feedback How to find Dr. Scherer: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-douglas-scherer/ Website: https://www.douglasscherer.com/ Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/11/202435 minutes, 22 seconds
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Leading with Less Ego for Team Success

Leading with less ego creates more success…not only for yourself but for team as well. When you have less ego, you and your team can achieve more. Humility is a key factor for effective teamwork, but it is often neglected. For business leaders, promoting humility within teams is not just about being humble; it's about creating a base for stronger, more resilient, and adaptive teams. During this week's episode of Reflect Forward, we explore the transformative power of humility in leadership. I dive into how humility can dramatically enhance team dynamics, improve performance, and foster innovation. I'll share why humility is an essential tool for any leader and offer practical tips to help you integrate this critical virtue into your leadership style. The Power of Humility in Leadership Effective leaders know that true confidence involves recognizing their strengths and weaknesses, and they balance this with humility to foster an inclusive environment where all team members feel valued. This balance drives collective success without compromising assertiveness. Understanding Humility in Leadership Humility in leadership means acknowledging the contributions of all team members, prioritizing shared goals, and maintaining openness to feedback and learning. Leaders who embrace their mistakes as growth opportunities propel both personal and team development. The Impact of Humility Teams led by humble leaders see a significant increase in performance, with a Harvard Business Review report noting a 55% performance boost over teams with less humble leadership. Humble leaders cultivate a learning culture and enhance team collaboration by valuing every team member's input, which reduces conflicts and fosters innovation. Moreover, a Forbes study highlights that companies with humble leaders experience higher employee satisfaction and a stronger willingness among employees to tackle performance challenges. This adaptability is essential in today’s fast-paced business world. Challenges to Practicing Humility Despite its benefits, humility is rare in leadership. Many leaders face cultural pressures to appear always in control, fear that humility may undermine their authority, or lack self-awareness about the benefits of a humble approach. Furthermore, organizational rewards often prioritize individual success over team achievements, which can deter humble leadership practices. Implementing Humility within Your Team Leaders can foster humility by promoting open communication, recognizing team efforts, leading by example in learning from mistakes, and investing in team development. These actions demonstrate a commitment to team success and personal growth. In conclusion, embracing humility doesn't diminish a leader's role but leverages the collective strength of the team, enhancing effectiveness and fostering a sustainable and ethical business environment. Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/4/202415 minutes, 25 seconds
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Overcome the Overwhelm w/ Sam Kabert

Sam Kabert knows how to overcome the overwhelm. Sam spent the early part of his career chasing success and, in the process, was named to Silicon Valley’s 40 under 40 list at just 31 years old. Despite building a million-dollar business as an entrepreneur, Sam realized he was unfulfilled and lacked a deeper purpose in his life. Beneath the veneer of success, Sam discovered a deep void within his being. In hindsight, it’s clear that his thirst for success and achievements was an escape to mask his sense of existential angst. This awakening catalyzed Sam’s exploration of his life’s authentic purpose and asking deeper questions, including the mystery of how he could grapple with his mental well-being despite living the life he had once deemed his dream. Episode Insight: While meditation, journaling, breathwork and similar mindful practices are great and highly effective, unfortunately, they don’t always leave you feeling the same clarity as you felt when partaking in the specific exercise. Background: I met Sam at an Impact Eleven keynote speaker conference a few years ago, and we connected through experience by sharing our spiritual journeys. Since then, Sam has written a new book, “Overcome the Overwhelm: The Six-Step B.R.E.A.T.H Process and is on a mission to help people reconnect with themselves. During the episode, Sam shares how he spent the years completely overhauling his life after hitting rock bottom and experiencing a “Dark Night of the Soul” that was a gift in disguise to realign him to his truth. Using plant medicine, he opened his mind to what’s possible in life and now helps people prioritize self-care, self-exploration, and finding happiness within. This is a fun and fascinating interview, taking a deep dive into using therapeutic psychedelics to know yourself better, reduce anxiety and create deeper connections. Please have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Sam: Website: https://www. samkabert.com LinkedIn: https:// linkedin.com/in/kabert/ Instagram: https://instagram.com/samkabert/ Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/28/202433 minutes, 31 seconds
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How to Accelerate Your Career

I am often asked, “How do you accelerate your career?” According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 72% of employees ranked opportunities for career advancement as one of the top factors influencing their job satisfaction. While job security and stability are important, the true measure of success lies in continuously expanding your skill set, seizing opportunities for advancement, and positioning yourself as a sought-after asset in the marketplace. By prioritizing personal development, strategic networking, and impactful contributions, you can pave the way for a fulfilling and rewarding career journey that transcends traditional notions of indispensability in the workplace. With this understanding in mind, here are five essential strategies to help you accelerate your career: 1. Get Stuff Done and Be Easy to Work With: The first step to becoming indispensable is mastering two key traits: being highly productive and fostering positive working relationships. Strive to consistently deliver high-quality work on time while maintaining a collaborative and supportive demeanor. By being known as someone who gets things done efficiently and collaborates effectively with others, you'll quickly become indispensable to your team and organization. 2. Avoid Gossip and Complaints: Gossip and complaints can poison the workplace environment, erode trust, and damage relationships. Focus on maintaining a positive and professional demeanor. Be someone who uplifts others, fosters a culture of respect, and addresses concerns directly and constructively. You demonstrate professionalism and integrity by steering clear of gossip and complaints, making yourself indispensable as a trusted and reliable colleague. 3. Focus on Continuous Growth and Learning: Indispensable employees seek growth and improvement opportunities. Invest in expanding the skills, knowledge, and expertise relevant to your role and industry. Stay abreast of industry trends and developments and be proactive in seeking new challenges and learning opportunities. Try new things, take on projects that stretch you, or put in for a role that allows you to learn something new or a different area of the business. By continuously growing and evolving, you position yourself as a valuable asset capable of adapting to the organization's changing needs 4. Excel in Your Role: whether you're a specialist with deep expertise in a particular area or a generalist with a broad range of skills, the key to indispensability lies in excelling in your role. 5. Build a Strong Professional Network: Cultivate relationships with colleagues, mentors, and industry professionals who can support and advocate for you throughout your career. Actively seek out opportunities to collaborate with others, share knowledge, and contribute to the success of your network. B Accelerating your career trajectory requires standing out and consistently adding unique value. By honing essential skills, maintaining a positive attitude, committing to continuous growth, cultivating specialized expertise, and fostering a robust professional network, you not only solidify your position within the organization but also propel your personal and professional advancement. Becoming indispensable isn't just about job security; it's about becoming a driving force of innovation and success, both for yourself and your organization. Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/21/202411 minutes, 11 seconds
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Live Your Company Values w/ Mike Doniger

Mike Doniger is clear: As a leader, you should always live your company values. As co-founder and Chief Operating Officer for Chaberton Energy, Mike leads the company's development, engineering and business operations teams. Headquartered in Maryland, Chaberton Energy is a public benefit corporation focused on developing sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy projects. Committed to Lean/Operations Excellence principles, Mike began his career in the U.S. Navy, culminating in service as Chief Engineer of a nuclear-powered submarine. In 2008, realizing the growing need for leadership in the clean energy industry, Mike joined a young biomass-to-energy start-up that became the world's leading supplier of utility-grade wood pellets. Mike held several senior engineering, operations and development positions as the company grew to a $1B market capitalization, deploying over $500M in growth capital and implementing the processes necessary to operate seven manufacturing facilities, four ports, and nearly 600 people. Subsequently, Mike led a 1,200+ person Amazon distribution center outside Richmond, Virginia, implementing same-day delivery service in 2019. Mike holds a B.S. in Systems Engineering with merit from the U.S. Naval Academy, a Master's in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University and a Master's in Business Administration from Georgetown University. He lives outside Richmond, Virginia, with his wife, Luan, and two sons, Benjamin and Aden. Episode Insight: Our mission is firmly rooted in creating a better world for us and future generations, and we embody the mindset of finding win-win-win outcomes whenever possible. Background: Mike Doniger and I share this thought: Leaders must live up to their company values. I met Mike through my new friend, John Saunders, who thought Mike would be a great Reflect Forward guest, and I couldn't agree more. During this week's episode, Mike tells us about his community solar company, Chaberton, which he and his co-founder started in 2020. Mike's approach focuses on achieving win-win-win outcomes in every aspect of his work. He is committed to benefiting the communities where his projects are located, from the thoughtful siting and design of each project to the Chaberton Cares giving program. His efforts also support those in greatest need, such as lower-income families and small, local businesses, while fostering a positive environment for his employees, given that his business is employee-owned. Additionally, Mike ensures that his customers and other stakeholders consistently receive value and consideration in all business dealings. Mike tells us how Chaberton's employees are part of "One Chaberton," which adheres to a structured, stage-gated approach to development. At the outset of a project, the risk of failure is notably high. Therefore, Mike implements guardrails, allowing incremental spending approvals as each project milestone is met, thereby reducing the overall project risk. This strategic approach ensures that creativity and excellence are maintained throughout development. How to find Mike: Website: https://www.chaberton.com/ LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/company/chaberton-energy/ email: https://linkedin.com/in/mjdoniger/ Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/14/202432 minutes, 17 seconds
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Mastering the Art of Bad News

Have you ever thought about mastering the art of bad news? One of the most challenging situations you can face as a leader is hearing and delivering bad news. Whether it's financial losses, project setbacks, or organizational changes that might not be well received, handling these moments can significantly impact your effectiveness and the trust you engender in your team. During this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I discuss how you can manage your reactions and confidently guide your team during difficult times. Handling Yourself with Poise The first step in dealing with bad news is managing your own emotional response. It's natural to feel stressed, disappointed, or even angry, but your reactions are closely observed as a leader and can set the tone for the entire team. During the episode, I discuss the importance of pausing before reacting, assessing the situation objectively, and seeking counsel. The Importance of Staying Cool, Calm, and Collected The demeanor you exhibit in times of crisis is a direct reflection of your leadership. Staying calm helps you think more clearly and reassures your team that challenges are manageable. Why does a composed attitude matter? It [promotes rational thinking, helps you stay calm and reduces anxiety among team members, leading to a more constructive approach to solving problems. Responding in a Way That Builds Trust and Respect How you communicate bad news can significantly affect how your team perceives the situation and your leadership. Here's how to approach it: Be Transparent: Share what you know and admit what you don't. Honesty fosters trust and invites the team to be part of the solution, which can lead to innovative approaches to challenges. Show Empathy: Acknowledge the impact of the bad news on your team. Expressing empathy can alleviate fears and foster a supportive culture. Empower Your Team: Involve your team in crafting solutions. Asking your team what they think not only enhances their commitment to the organizational goals but also boosts morale. Follow Through with Action: After discussing the bad news and potential solutions, outline clear steps forward and follow through. Accountability shows that you are proactive and dedicated to overcoming obstacles. Creating Psychological Safety and Earning Respect Responding effectively to bad news involves creating an environment where team members feel safe to express concerns and propose solutions without fear of negative repercussions. I recommend encouraging open communication, leading by example, and acknowledging your team's effort. Doing these things will boost morale and strengthen loyalty. Handling bad news well not only helps in managing the immediate challenges but also strengthens your reputation as a capable leader. By staying composed, being transparent, and creating an inclusive environment, you can guide your team through adversity and emerge stronger on the other side. Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/7/202417 minutes, 6 seconds
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Don't Think Different, Think Remarkable w/ Greg Voisen

Greg Voisen is a thought leader in the personal growth and human potential movement. Founder of Inside Personal Growth, Greg has interviewed over 1,100+ authors via podcasts and has developed over 1,200 hours of recorded podcasts over the last 17 years. Topics include personal growth, business, wellness, mastery, and spirituality. Greg's primary focus is advising small to medium-sized business owners on financial management, human capital development, process improvement, sales and marketing, and succession planning. His consulting group, eLuminate Consulting, Inc., has a team of six associates dedicated to fulfilling the needs of his clients. Greg is also co-author with John Selby of Wisdom, Wellness and Redefining Work, which is designed to bring awareness to businesses about the impacts of stress in the workplace and to effect a positive change in coping with stress, reducing medical costs, and improving employee's overall engagement and performance. He is also the author of "Hacking the Gap-From Intuition to Innovation and Beyond" and the co-author of "The Precipice of Life" with Bo Parfet and Kathy Sparrow. Greg has a bachelor's degree in Business Management from San Diego State University and a Master's in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. Episode in a Tweet: What does forward look like to you? Because you're not going reverse. You've already been there. That's a rear view mirror. Instead, look through the windshield. Background: I had the pleasure of joining Greg on his podcast Inside Personal Growth. I knew he had to join Reflect Forward to share his lifelong experience of learning from failure, investing in personal development, and integrating spirituality into your life and work. During this week's episode, Greg shares how failure propelled him forward and how curiosity helped him find his purpose. Greg and I get a bit philosophical – he does have a degree in spiritual psychology, after all – and we discuss the power of finding contenement rather than constantly searching for more or consuming more "stuff." This is a deep conversation that I know you'll enjoy. How to find Greg: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregvoisen/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/insidepersonalgrowth/ Webste: https://insidepersonalgrowth.com/ www.hackingthegap.com www.gregvoisen.com www.eluminate.net Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/30/202437 minutes, 50 seconds
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A Guide to Navigating Tough Choices

Navigating tough choices and the ability to make hard decisions swiftly and effectively separates the good leaders from the great ones. I’ve learned that decisiveness in leadership is not just about making decisions quickly; it's about making the right decisions under pressure, with limited information, and often, with significant consequences on the line. And that’s the topic of this week’s episode of Reflect Forward – how to simplify the process of navigating tough choices and making hard decisions. Why is being decisive so crucial for leaders? Decisiveness instills confidence in a team, drives forward momentum, and demonstrates a clear direction. It's about commitment to action despite uncertainties. According to a survey by McKinsey, 72% of senior executives believe bad strategic decisions either were about the same as, or even more frequent than, good ones, indicating a significant opportunity for improvement in leadership decision-making. Here are six practical tips to help leaders navigate the complex waters of tough decision-making: 1. Embrace a Structured Decision-Making Framework Implementing a structured framework can streamline the decision-making process. This might involve defining the problem clearly, identifying all possible solutions, weighing the pros and cons, and considering the impact of each option. The DECIDE Model, offered at the end of this write-up, provides a systematic approach, reducing the overwhelming nature of complex decisions. 2. Explore Different Viewpoints Diversity in thought and perspective can be a game-changer in decision-making. Encouraging input from a range of team members can uncover blind spots and introduce innovative solutions. This collaborative approach enriches the decision-making process and fosters a culture of inclusion and respect. 3. Prioritize Transparency and Communication Transparency in the decision-making process builds trust within the team. Explaining the 'why' behind decisions can mitigate resistance and garner support. Effective communication ensures that all team members are aligned and understand the rationale, which is crucial for smooth implementation. 4. Accept Imperfection and Be Prepared to Pivot No decision comes with a guarantee of perfection. Reevaluation and the willingness to pivot when new information becomes available or when circumstances change is a valuable trait in today's dynamic business environment. 5. Leverage Data and Insights In an era where data is queen, leveraging analytics and insights can provide a solid foundation for decision-making. Data-driven decisions tend to be more objective and can significantly reduce the ambiguity associated with tough choices. However, it's crucial to balance data with intuition and emotional intelligence. 6. Practice Self-Care When you are feeling stressed about making a tough decision, practice self-care. Get some sleep, eat well, exercise and meditate. All of these are proven to help you think more clearly and reduce stress. Incorporating these strategies can make the daunting task of navigating tough decisions more manageable. The goal is not to avoid difficult decisions but to become more adept at navigating them. As leaders hone these skills, they not only enhance their own effectiveness but also inspire confidence and resilience in their teams. The DECIDE Model stands for: D - Define the problem E - Establish the criteria C - Consider all the alternatives I - Identify the best alternative D - Develop and implement a plan of action E - Evaluate and monitor the solution Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/23/202415 minutes, 32 seconds
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How to Transform Your Leadership Style and Save Your Company w/ Scott Snider

Scott Snider had to transform his leadership style to be successful. Scott is the President of the Exit Planning Institute (EPI) and the Operating Partner of Snider Premier Growth, a small family investment company. At EPI, Scott is responsible for the organization's strategic direction and overseeing the company's operations and chapter development. Since joining EPI, Scott has expanded the organization regionally, nationally, and globally, providing a transformational educational experience to advisors from all specialties across the globe. Scott is a nationally recognized industry leader, growth specialist, and lifetime entrepreneur. As EPI's operational and strategic leader, Scott thrives on helping advisors learn how to educate clients, achieve market distinction, and deliver real results. Episode Insight: Command and control doesn't work. People don't want to work for a boss who barks orders at them. They want to work for someone who inspires them to be their best. Background: Scott Snider was a command-and-control kind of guy. His first company was a full-service landscaping firm where a chain of command worked. When he took over running The Exit Planning Institute, Scott quickly learned that his old way of leading didn't work. Swallowing his pride, he embraced feedback from his closest employees, transforming his leadership style and, in turn, his company. During this episode of Reflect Forward, Scott and I go deep and discuss what it's like to rip up company values that are no longer working and rebuild not only your culture but yourself in the process. Scott does not like to get vulnerable, which he talks about during the interview, but he shares how tough it was to hear the feedback and how grateful he is for his employees/friends who stood by his side. This episode is real and I know you'll appreciate Scott's journey to finding himself and being himself. How to find Scott: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-snider-epi/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scottsniderepi/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/episnider Websites: www.exit-planning-institute.org www.fishingforvalue.com www.BeyondCEPA.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/exit-planning-institute/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/exitplanninginstitute/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/beyondcepa Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for! Post idea: Join me for a revealing episode of Reflect Forward, where I sit down with Scott Snider, the dynamic leader behind The Exit Planning Institute. In this episode, Scott opens up about his transition from a command-and-control leadership style to one that embraces openness and employee feedback. We delve into his significant challenges when overhauling company values and his journey toward vulnerability. This powerful conversation sheds light on the transformative impact of embracing change on leadership and personal growth. Tune in to hear Scott's candid story of finding himself and redefining his leadership style.
4/16/202437 minutes, 57 seconds
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What to Do When Overwhelmed by Change

These past few weeks have been intense! We are going through so much change at StoneAge that I am feeling it – I typically handle significant change well, but I have never been so happy for Friday to come as I was this week! So, for this week’s episode, I want to share my thoughts on what to do when you are overwhelmed by change. It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed – you are of course human – but as a leader, you must work through it effectively, so you can lead your team well. It’s okay to acknowledge your feelings. It’s not a sign of weakness; it's a critical step towards effective leadership and organizational resilience. Here are five strategies for business leaders to navigate through the waves of change: 1. Embrace Vulnerability Admitting to oneself about feeling overwhelmed by change is pivotal. It's a form of vulnerability that can be a significant leadership strength. It fosters authenticity, which cultivates trust among team members. When leaders are honest about their challenges, it encourages a culture of openness and support, vital for navigating through turbulent times. 2. Prioritize Self-Care In the hustle of managing organizational change, leaders often neglect their well-being. Self-care is not a luxury; it's a necessity for sustained leadership. Regular physical activity, adequate rest, and mental health support are essential. A leader who is well-rested and mentally sharp is better equipped to tackle challenges and make strategic decisions. 3. Seek Diverse Perspectives Change can be complex and multifaceted, often requiring more than one viewpoint to understand fully. Leaders should actively seek diverse perspectives, both within and outside their organization-consulting with team members from different departments, seeking advice from mentors, or engaging with industry peers. Diverse insights can lead to innovative solutions and help leaders see the bigger picture. 4. Delegate and Empower No leader can, or should, handle everything on their own. Delegation is not just a means to manage workload; it's an opportunity to empower team members. Entrusting tasks and decision-making to others can foster a sense of ownership and accountability within teams. 5. Give it Time Adapting to change is not an overnight process; it requires patience and perseverance. Recognize that both you and your organization need time to absorb, understand, and implement changes effectively. Rushing through transformations can lead to half-baked strategies and burnout. Set realistic timelines and milestones, and celebrate small victories along the way. This gradual approach helps in building momentum and ensures that the change is sustainable in the long run. Enduring change is a marathon, not a sprint. The Importance of Leading Through Change The ability to lead through change is about navigating the current landscape and preparing the organization for future challenges. Leaders who manage their overwhelm effectively can maintain clarity and focus, essential for strategic planning and decision-making. A leader's skill in handling change well is crucial for their success. Forbes reports that 31% of CEOs lose their jobs for failing to manage organizational change well. And Gartner says that an astonishing 73% of employees impacted by change report that they experience moderate to high level of stress. The acknowledgment of overwhelm and the proactive steps to navigate through it are not merely about survival but about thriving in a world of perpetual change. Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/9/202414 minutes, 33 seconds
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What It’s Like to Work at StoneAge w/Mike Bollinger

Mike Bollinger has been with StoneAge for over a decade and is proud to work at StoneAge. Before joining the StoneAge team, he was a buyer planner for Honeywell, the operations manager for an automotive manufacturer, and owned two companies. Since joining StoneAge, he has held the roles of Order Fulfillment Manager, Sewer Sales Director, Director of Operations, and now the Director of Global Operations. He oversees procurement, global branch operations, manufacturing, continuous improvement, quality, facilities, and safety. Episode Insight: Not everybody will show up great to work every day. What you can do is try to help that person have a better day. That’s what leadership is about. Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I interview Mike Bollinger, StoneAge’s Director of Operations. We talk about what it was like for him to take a backward step in his career to join the StoneAge team and what he’s learned about leadership, life, and loving what you do since joining the StoneAge team. Mike is a remarkable leader who exemplifies The Ownership Mindset. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek into what it’s like working with StoneAge. How to find Mike: Website: www.stoneagetools.com LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikebollinger1/ Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/2/202429 minutes, 4 seconds
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: Why Leaders Need to Protect Their Time

Leaders need to protect their time. Why? In the fast-paced realm of leadership, the adage "time is money" transforms into an even more profound truth: time is opportunity. But in an era where the average person is bombarded with emails, meetings, and constant interruptions, how can leaders safeguard their most precious asset? We discuss why leaders need to protect their time during this week's episode of Reflect Forward. The Leader's Time Conundrum Leadership often shoves leaders into the paradox of availability: the more accessible you are, the less available you actually become for the things that truly matter. A study by McKinsey revealed that senior executives spend more than 28% of their working hours reading and answering emails. That's nearly a third of their workweek, not strategizing, innovating, or leading, but wading through an inbox! And then there's the myth of multitasking – the revered skill in the modern job description. Yet, neuroscience debunks this myth, particularly for leaders. Research indicates that task-switching can reduce productivity by up to 40%. For leaders, whose decisions carry weight, the cost of diminished focus is not just in hours lost but in opportunities missed and errors made. As it turns out, our brains like focusing on one thing at a time. And what leader doesn't need to do deep work? Cal Newport's "Deep Work" concept - the ability to focus without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks - is a clarion call for leaders. Strategy is born in deep work, where innovative solutions to complex problems are found. Yet, in a survey, 65% of senior managers confessed that meetings keep them from completing their own work. Leaders must become the architects of their time, carving out blocks for uninterrupted thought and creativity. The Ripple Effect of Leadership Focus Leaders set the tempo and tone of their organizations. A leader buried in administrative tasks and endless meetings signals that this is what valued work looks like. On the contrary, a leader who prioritizes strategic thinking, team development, and high-impact projects inspires their team to emulate these practices. It's not just about protecting your time; it's about modeling how to use time effectively for your entire organization. Strategies for Time Protection Audit Your Time: Keep a log for a week. You'll be surprised where the hours go. Identify time-drains and strategize how to eliminate or delegate them. Time-Blocking: Dedicate specific blocks of time for emails, meetings, and deep work. Guard these blocks fiercely, as you would a meeting with your most important client. Learn to Say No: Every "yes" to a new commitment is a "no" to something else, potentially more important. Evaluate opportunities through the lens of your strategic priorities. Leverage Technology: Use tools that help automate repetitive tasks and manage your schedule efficiently. But beware, technology is a servant, not a master. Cultivate a Culture of Respect for Time: Encourage your team to adopt similar practices. Make it known that you value deep work and strategic thinking over mere busyness. Protecting time isn't just about finding more hours in the day; it's about ensuring you spend your hours on the work that truly matters. It's about leading by example and setting a culture that values depth over breadth and quality over quantity. Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/26/202411 minutes, 51 seconds
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The Conscious Journey of Leadership w/ Melinda Wittstock

: Melinda is a 5-time serial entrepreneur in media-tech, and the founder and CEO of Podopolo, innovating AI and Blockchain to revolutionize the podcasting ecosystem. Episode in a Tweet: Fear limits us, dampens our dreams, and keeps us playing small. We can transform your life when we find our voice and step up to life’s challenges. Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Melinda Wittstock and I get real about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Melinda shares her enterprising youth, how she lost herself along the way, and why it took getting out of a toxic relationship to find her entrepreneurial passion once again. I love that her grandmother once told her, “You’re so disruptive!” And she proved her right, over and over again. Melinda shares her journey from being an award-winning content creator for some of the world’s most respected news programs to developing technology platforms that turn content into conversations. Most recently, she founded Podopolo, a podcasting ecosystem that allows content creators to access more in-depth listener data, use AI matching serves to connect with new listeners and market their podcasts more effectively so they can hone their message and grow their audiences. Melinda and I also go on a spiritual tangent, discussing the conscious journey of leadership and why being in tune with yourself makes you a better human and leader. I so enjoyed interviewing Melinda, and I hope you get as much out of this episode as I did. And if you liked this conversation, check out my episode on Melinda’s Wings of Inspired Business here: https://melindawittstock.com/wingspodcast/kerry-siggins/ How to find Melinda: Website: https://podopolo.com Wings podcast: https://melindawittstock.com/wingspodcast LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/melindawittstock Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/19/202445 minutes, 7 seconds
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How Storytelling Supercharges Leadership

Have you ever thought about how storytelling supercharges leadership? I never did until I started studying storytelling and practicing delivering stories, whether it be in meetings with my team or customers or on stage in front of an audience. And now I believe that storytelling is more than just a buzzword; it's a game-changer for leaders looking to make a real impact. It's not just telling a good story; it's about connecting, inspiring, and guiding your team in a way that numbers, memos, emails and dry, boring meetings simply can't. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I discuss the power of storytelling in leadership and why it’s so important. Here’s how storytelling can give your leadership a serious boost: Boosting Connection and Engagement: We're all drawn to a good story. Studies show that stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone. When leaders share the company's goals and values through engaging narratives, it doesn't just communicate; it resonates. Earning Trust and Credibility: People tend to trust those they can relate to. By weaving personal insights and experiences into their narratives, leaders can break down barriers, showing they're not just in the command tower but in the trenches with their team. Igniting Action and Embracing Change: Ever heard a story that made you want to do something? That's the magic of storytelling – painting a picture of what could be, making the leap from the present to the future less daunting. By framing change as an exciting chapter in the company's story, leaders can inspire everyone to jump on board. Making Lessons Stick: By turning lessons into narratives, leaders can make even the driest material come alive, ensuring the message isn't just heard but remembered and applied. Building Resilience and Adaptability: In the face of challenges, the right story can be a powerful motivator. Leaders can use stories to frame setbacks as stepping stones, encouraging a mindset that sees every challenge as a chance to grow and innovate. In a nutshell, storytelling is a skill that all leaders can benefit from. People want to connect with their leaders and the vision and the mission of the company. By weaving compelling narratives, leaders can foster a more connected, motivated, and resilient team ready to turn visions into reality. And the best part? Everyone loves a good story, so why not make your leadership strategy as engaging as your favorite book or movie? Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/12/202415 minutes, 31 seconds
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From Engineer to Entrepreneur w/ Ana Kraft

Ana Kraft is the Founder and CEO of Xena Workwear - a company that engineers stylish safety shoes and functional apparel for women in STEM and the Trades. This new workwear category helps professional women feel safe and confident in any work environment. Transitioning between the office and the manufacturing floor or construction site has never been so easy. Ana holds a degree in International Project Engineering from Reutlingen University in Germany and currently resides in Detroit, Michigan. The causes that drive her include sustainable development, education and maximizing opportunities for women. Episode in a Tweet: So many of us have amazing ideas – sometimes even million-dollar ideas – but because we're afraid to fail, we don't even give it a shot. Background: During this week's episode of Reflect Forward, Ana Kraft and I discuss what it's like to go from engineer to entrepreneur and chase your entrepreneurial dream. Ana's story is inspiring, and she shares how she came up with an idea and built a women's workwear company without fashion design expertise. Ana shares her philosophy on radical transparency and how she was inspired by Sara Blakely's philosophy on failure, "Instead of failure being the outcome, failure became not trying." We can all learn from Ana's story of believing in herself, taking risks, and learning how to be a leader while also learning how to be an entrepreneur. How to find Ana: Website: https://xenaworkwear.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ana-kraft-b10878aa/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/xenaworkwear/ Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/5/202431 minutes, 42 seconds
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How To Create a Culture of Care

How do you create a culture of care? That’s the question I was asked during a keynote I gave a few weeks ago. I love giving this keynote because it matters. People want their companies to care about them and when they feel cared about, they are willing to care more, too. I believe the significance of a nurturing and supportive organizational culture cannot be overstated. For almost two decades, I’ve worked to create a culture where people feel cared about – where they know we have our back – and the results have been tremendous. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share my suggestions on how to create a culture of care, too. Reinforce Vision and Mission The cornerstone of a caring culture is a clear and compelling vision and mission. When employees understand and connect with the company's goals, their engagement and productivity soar. According to a Gallup poll, companies with engaged employees see a 21% increase in profitability. Give Support in Times of Need Providing unwavering support during challenging times is a tangible demonstration of a culture of care. This includes not only flexible work policies but also comprehensive mental health and wellness programs. Commitment to Employee Development The 2020 Workplace Learning Report by LinkedIn revealed that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development. Show you care by investing in your employees. Build Trust Through Genuine Connections Trust is the bedrock of any thriving organizational culture, cultivated through authentic relationships and open communication. Research from the Harvard Business Review found that employees in high-trust organizations report 76% more engagement and 50% higher productivity. Cultivate a Feedback-Rich Environment Embracing a culture of feedback is crucial for fostering an environment of continuous improvement and growth. Nothing says, “I care about you,” like giving genuine, helpful feedback, both positive and constructive. Impact of a Culture of Care The benefits of a culture of care extend far beyond employee satisfaction – it impacts customer loyalty, talent attraction, and retention. When you care about your employees, they return the care and improve the overall customer experience. Want proof? A study by the Temkin Group found that companies leading in customer experience outperform laggards on the S&P 500 index by nearly 80%, underscoring the link between employee satisfaction and customer success. The creation of a culture of care is a multifaceted endeavor that requires deliberate action and commitment from leadership. By emphasizing a clear vision, providing support, investing in development, building trust, and valuing feedback, leaders can cultivate an environment where employees not only thrive but are also deeply invested in the company's success. The result is a resilient, innovative, and high-performing organization poised for long-term success. Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/27/202414 minutes, 11 seconds
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Living a Life of Transformation w/ Dao Jensen

Dao Jensen is all about living a life of transformation. She founded Oak Rocket, Inc. (formerly KTP) in 2013 as the first 100% female minority-owned company on the West Coast born in the Cloud. Oak Rocket helps clients strategize and optimize public cloud platforms and solutions. With the emergence of Gen AI, Oak Rocket has adapted to offer more personalized and intelligent solutions. Dao has grown Oak Rocket to become one of the fastest 50 women-owned companies recognized by Chase Bank (several years in a row) despite the challenges of being a refugee, a mother of four and losing her parents and 16-year-old daughter. Oak Rocket is on a mission to be a United States’ leading minority-owned enablement company by 2030. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s OPM Executive program. She has brought many OPMers into the program, such as Will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas. Her expertise in the tech industry has led her to speak at worldwide events, such as the closing speaker of INK Talk, Harvard Club, AWS, GEN AI Days, SiliconAngle, and WBENC, discussing leadership, cloud technology, challenges in business and the power of networks. She is a board member of the YPO (Young President’s Organization) Pacific West Integrated Chapter and IEEW. With Dao’s leadership and Oak Rocket’s commitment to staying ahead of the curve, they will continue to provide innovative cloud solutions to their clients for the years to come. Episode in a Tweet: Personal transformation is about being able to share all parts of yourself without fear of being judged by others. Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Dao Jensen, Founder and CEO of Oak Rocket and I talk about transformation. Dao shares her story of overcoming setbacks and turning challenges into opportunities. She shares how she left corporate America to found Oak Rocket when it was clear she wouldn’t make it to the C-suite while working for someone else. She shares what it was like to go through a painful divorce and lose her father and 16-year-old daughter last year. We talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid to find our voice, speak up and take up space and the importance of investing in future generations. Dao has a remarkable, unbreakable spirit and is an inspiration to all of us who want to learn, grow, and bounce back from life’s setbacks. How to find Dao: Dao’s Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN8EZyT-Iag LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daojensen/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DaoOakRocket Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daooakrocket/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/DaoOakRocket Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/21/202436 minutes, 51 seconds
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Why Leaders Need Effective Boundaries

Have you ever considered the secret sauce of effective leadership? It boils down to setting effective boundaries. These aren't just lines drawn in the sand but the framework that fosters a culture of respect, balance, and trust. Good boundaries empower teams, streamline processes, and support leaders' well-being, paving the way for everyone to reach their peak potential. I had to learn over time the importance of setting boundaries at work and have spent a good amount of time teaching my fellow employee owners how to create better boundaries and to role model what healthy boundaries look like. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share my tips on how to create, role model, and accept others’ boundaries. Clear Communication is Key Transparency is crucial. Explaining the 'why' behind boundaries helps team members buy in. For example, a "no emails after 6 PM" rule, when framed as a way to ensure work-life balance, becomes more than just a guideline—it becomes a shared value. Lead by Example Actions speak volumes. When leaders adhere to their own rules, it reinforces their importance and encourages the team to follow suit, creating a culture of accountability and respect. Consistency Matters Consistency in applying boundaries is essential for their effectiveness. It ensures fairness and predictability, reinforcing the importance of the rules set. Empower Through Delegation Boundaries enable leaders to delegate more effectively, encouraging team members to take ownership and innovate within defined limits, fostering a sense of autonomy and confidence. Adaptability is Crucial Boundaries should evolve with the team's needs. Being open to feedback and willing to adjust keeps the work environment dynamic and supportive. In essence, setting boundaries is about creating an environment where leadership and teams can thrive. It's about clear communication, leading by example, consistency, empowerment through delegation, and adaptability. This approach not only sets the stage for success but also nurtures a healthy, productive work culture. Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/13/202416 minutes, 10 seconds
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Well-Being is a Sustainable Competitive Advantage w/Theresa Larson

Dr. Theresa Larson, commonly referred to as "Dr. T," believes that well-being is a sustainable competitive advantage. Theresa is renowned for her enduring commitment to wellness and strength as both the founder of Movement Rx and a proud veteran of the Marine Corps. Having personally navigated the complexities of mental and physical injuries, her experiences have spurred a deep-rooted dedication to helping businesses owners and leaders face difficulties such as client attrition, employee retention, and scalability issues that can result from their own compromised mental or physical well-being. Movement Rx has been honored with the prestigious Force for Good award, reflecting their unwavering commitment to promoting healthy leadership and organizational well-being. Dr. T and her team are hard at work building a community of business owners and leaders who are resilient, healthy, and happier in all they do. Episode in a Tweet: Leaders must ensure employees are healthy and present enough to do their best work by introducing them to simple self-care secrets that improve physical AND emotional health. Background: Dr. Theresa Larson is dedicated to equipping individuals and organizations with the essential knowledge and tools required for sustained physical and emotional well-being. She believes that the foundation of an organization's health, progress, and overall well-being lies in its leadership. Consequently, she collaborates with companies that give precedence to their employees' health, happiness, and satisfaction. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, Theresa and I discuss why well-being at the leadership level is important for setting the tone and ensuring leaders have the energy and stamina to lead well. She tells us why leaders need to ensure employees are healthy and present enough to do their best work by introducing them to simple self-care secrets that simultaneously improve physical AND emotional health. Theresa talks about the five pillars of well-being and why her overarching goal is to help organizations create a culture of physical freedom, where movement and leadership are integrated into every aspect of work and life. How to find Theresa: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/drtheresalarson/ Website: www.movement-rx.com Calendly: https://calendly.com/drtheresalarson Free download: https://movementrx.typeform.com/lifestylerx Lifestyle Rx Theresa spoke about on the podcast: https://movement-rx.com/be-well-to-lead-well-retreat/ Please considering buying my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO!
2/6/202440 minutes, 26 seconds
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How to Cultivate an Exceptional Culture

Have you ever wondered how to cultivate an exceptional culture? Ultimately, a great company culture positively impacts employees' well-being, both at work and in their personal lives, and I've seen firsthand how it can drive success and growth within our organization. During this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I share a story about an employee survey we recently conducted at StoneAge and how the results were remarkable. It validated that our efforts to build a world-class culture of care are paying off. And then I share five ways to cultivate an exceptional culture. Here’s a summary of my five tips: Lead by Example: Company culture starts at the top. Leaders and managers should set the tone by embodying the values and behaviors they want to see in the organization. When employees see their leaders actively living the company's culture, they are more likely to follow suit. Define Core Values: Clearly define your company's core values. These should reflect the beliefs and principles that guide your organization. Ensure that these values are communicated to all employees and integrated into various aspects of the company, from hiring to performance evaluations. Foster Open Communication: Encourage open and honest communication throughout the organization. Create channels for employees to share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. Listen actively to their input and take appropriate action to address their needs and suggestions. Recognize and Reward: Acknowledge and reward employees who embody the company's culture and values. Recognition can take many forms, including praise, awards, or promotions. Recognizing and appreciating employees' contributions can motivate them to continue aligning with the desired culture. Invest in Employee Development: Support the growth and development of your employees. Provide training, mentorship programs, and opportunities for advancement. When employees feel that the company is invested in their personal and professional growth, they are more likely to be committed to the organization's culture. Remember that cultivating an exceptional culture is an ongoing process that requires commitment and consistency from leadership and all employees. It's also important to periodically assess the culture to ensure it remains aligned with the company's goals and values. Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/30/202414 minutes, 22 seconds
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The Power of Storytelling w/ LaQuita Cleare

LaQuita Cleare, CEO of Clear Communication Academy, is a highly sought-after public speaking and storytelling expert who transforms CEOs, companies, entrepreneurs, politicians, royal families and public figures into powerful, engaging communicators. LaQuita's degree in Psychology enables her work to be science/research-based. At the same time, her unique background in Hollywood allows her to help audiences use the magic of storytelling to motivate, inspire and persuade. Over the past decade, she has worked on stages and screens in more than 50 countries across five continents, speaking at numerous prestigious schools and events such as Harvard, Loyola University, Milan Polytechnico, and INSEAD Business School. She has worked with leading companies like Chase, Covergirl, Ikea, RR Donnelley, and Pepsi and is a top-rated resource for YPO, the leading business organization with over 30,000 members. She has also been featured on ABC, FX Network, Lifetime, and LA Talk Radio. With her experience and background, LaQuita has created The Engagement CodeTM, a signature and trademarked method that helps people to engage audiences of all sizes. LaQuita believes in the power of words to create meaningful change and impact, and she is on a mission to help audiences use stories to create tangible business impact. Episode in a Tweet: Leaders who invest in their storytelling skills inspire others, create movements, and connect with people at a deeper level. Background: I met LaQuita several years ago at a CEO conference where she taught leaders how to tell stories on stage – impromptu. After seeing my peers transform with a few pointers, I knew I had to work with her. LaQuita has been my communication and speech coach for the past two years, and the results have been remarkable. She’s helped me tell powerful stories that inspire action and refine my stage presence. She’s been so impactful that I knew you would want to learn from her, too. During this episode, LaQuita gives actionable tips on being more vulnerable – even when it makes you uncomfortable, crafting compelling stories that move people and being yourself on stage or in front of a camera. She also talks about her upcoming storytelling conference for women, Rock My Story, held in LA on February 22nd and 23rd. LaQuita is a total rockstar and I know you will love this interview. How to find LaQuita: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laquitacleare/ Clear Communications LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/clearcommunicationacademy/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/laquitacleare/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/laquitacleare/ Website: https://www.clearcommunicationacademy.com/ Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/23/202435 minutes, 19 seconds
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Make 2024 The Year of Feeling Good

In a world that often seems shadowed by complexities, it's crucial to remember the power of doing things that bring good feelings. While the media may focus on the darker side of life, an undeniable truth often goes unsung: you can embrace countless positive moments every day. You can choose to focus on the good and embody a positive mindset. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I discuss why you should focus on well-being and doing things that make you and others feel good. We review personal and professional well-being actions such as practicing gratitude, eating healthy, minimizing complaining, and investing in relationships. From a professional perspective, I discuss leading with empathy, creating a positive workplace, balancing accountability with compassion, and embracing lifelong learning. By integrating practical steps into your daily routines, you can make 2024 a year of positive growth and well-being. I encourage you to take actionable steps to feel good and inspire those around you to do the same. And if you're not feeling good on a given day? That's okay. There will no doubt be difficult days. Maybe even weeks or months. I offer tips like practicing mindfulness, walking and keeping things in perspective during a rough period. This episode is here to inspire you to rise above negativity and focus on well-being. You can make 2024 a year of personal and professional evolution, prioritizing well-being in all aspects of your lives and those of your team. Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/16/202414 minutes, 36 seconds
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Role Modeling Humble Leadership w/ Rudy Alexander

With over 30 years of experience in the computer software industry, Rudy Alexander is a visionary with proven ability to bring technology to market and developing successful companies. In his current role as President of Breadware, his knowledge of IoT and what the future of tech looks like offers a unique perspective. Rudy has an extensive background in mergers ,acquisitions and capital structure in both domestic and international companies. Rudy was the co-founder of 11Giraffes, which developed and provided software to assist retailers in using their digital media more effectively. He has authored several white papers in the software industry and was featured on World Business Review. Rudy was honored with the Charlotte Chamber’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award and is a founding member of Charlotte’s Business Innovation and Growth Council. Episode in a Tweet: I'm overly optimistic and have to find the balance between being optimistic and keeping it real. Sometimes you have to come out and say it like it is, no matter how hard it is to hear. Background: In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I interview Rudy Alexander, President of Breadware. Breadware is a subsidiary of StoneAge, and I thought it would be fun to interview Rudy so you all could get an inside peak of what it's actually like to lead in a StoneAge company. Breadware is an IoT (Internet of Things) Solutions company that helps industrial OEMs build smart products and solutions, transforming indiusrty through data insights. Rudy shares his insight on how he has transformed as a leader as he has transformed Breadware. We discuss humitly, transparency, and how he continues to learn about himself everday. How to find Rudy: Website: https://breadware.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rudy-alexander-148ab66/ Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/9/202432 minutes, 19 seconds
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The Power of Owning Your Mindset

Title: The Power of Owning Your Mindset Episode in a Tweet: When you own your mindset, you can change the trajectory of your life and career. Your mindset is always a choice, so choose it wisely. Embracing a proactive and positive mindset at work goes beyond having a good attitude. It's a strategic approach that significantly influences career progression, productivity, and job satisfaction. A strong mindset fosters resilience, adaptability, and creativity, while a negative one can trap you in a cycle of victimhood, limiting growth. The Significance of a Positive Mindset A positive mindset is a formidable asset in the workplace. Gallup studies show that employees with a positive mindset are 37% more engaged and 21% more productive. The Harvard Business Review also notes that such individuals often achieve faster promotions and greater success. Five Strategies to Enhance Your Mindset at Work: You Are in Charge of Your Career: Take charge of your career by actively seeking growth opportunities. View challenges as stepping stones, not obstacles. Studies suggest that individuals who actively manage their career development are 47% more motivated. Developing Resilience: Build resilience by crafting strategies to manage stress and setbacks. This includes practicing mindfulness, setting realistic expectations, and maintaining a healthy work-life integration. Resilient individuals are 30% more productive. Manage Your Emotions: Effectively managing emotions in high-pressure situations is key. Balancing emotional awareness with control over your reactions enhances your effectiveness and contributes to a stable work environment. Goal Setting and Visualization: Set clear goals like a successful book launch and visualize the outcome. For instance, planning to sell 3000 copies of "The Ownership Mindset" involves strategic marketing and visualization of success, leading to a 33% increase in performance. Cultivating Positive Relationships: Building strong relationships with your team involves more than work discussions. Understand their perspectives and show genuine concern for their well-being, leading to a 50% increase in job satisfaction. The Risks of a Negative Mindset: The Victim Mentality Recognizing a victim mentality is crucial. This mentality manifests as blaming others and feeling powerless. Counter it by acknowledging your responsibility, focusing on gratitude, seeking balanced feedback, and setting achievable goals to foster empowerment and resilience. Taking charge of your mindset is pivotal for a successful career. Implement these strategies and work towards a positive mindset to unlock your potential and enjoy a rewarding career path. Remember, the choice of mindset is yours, and positivity leads to more success and satisfaction. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a follower on LinkedIn who asked, “How do you prevent your team from being overwhelmed by false urgency?” When everything feels important and like a fire drill, people lose motivation, burnout and experience job dissatisfaction. Listen in to hear my tips on how to prioritize effectively and reduce the chaos, Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward. And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/2/202420 minutes, 11 seconds
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How to be a Transparent Leader and Why it Matters

Transparent Leadership: How To Do It and Why It Matters Episode in a Tweet: Transparency is essential for leaders because it helps to build trust and create a positive work culture. Don't be a leader who keeps their employees in the dark. Transparent leadership matters. Why? Because it helps to build trust and create a positive work culture. When leaders are transparent, they are open and honest about their actions and decisions, which helps to foster transparency among team members and throughout the organization. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we talk about transparent leadership and I share tips on being more transparent and avoiding common pitfalls. When there is more transparency among team members, they tend to have better communication, collaboration, decision-making, and a greater sense of accountability and responsibility. Additionally, transparency can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts and create a more positive and inclusive work environment. So how can leaders be more transparent? There are several ways that leaders can be more transparent in the workplace: Communicate openly and honestly: Leaders should be open and honest about their actions and decisions and communicate clearly and transparently with team members. Practice transparency in decision-making: Leaders should be transparent about how decisions are made and involve team members in the decision-making process whenever possible. Share information: Leaders should be open and transparent about relevant information to the team or organization and ensure that team members have access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Be approachable: Leaders should be open to feedback and suggestions from team members and be willing to listen to and address any concerns or questions that team members may have. Set an example: Leaders should model transparent behavior and encourage transparency throughout the organization by being open and honest in their actions and communication. What are some pitfalls leaders make when being transparent? Over-sharing: Leaders need to be open and honest, but it's also important to be mindful of what information is appropriate to share. There may be some confidential or sensitive information, and leaders need to be careful not to over-share or disclose information that could harm the organization or individuals. Being too vague: Leaders should be transparent and open, but they must be clear and specific in their communication. If leaders are too vague or ambiguous in their messaging, it can lead to confusion and mistrust. Not following through: If leaders make promises to be transparent, they need to follow through on those promises. If they fail to do so, it can erode trust and undermine their credibility. Question of the Week "Have you ever changed your mind as a leader? How do you do it without losing face?" Absolutely! I think the willingness to change your mind is one of the most important attributes of a leader. We must continually challenge our thinking and seek the best information to develop accurate assessments and opinions. More accurate beliefs lead to good decisions. And making good decisions is what leadership is all about. If you want to read a great book on the power of changing your mind, check out Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World. And listen to the whole episode to learn more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
12/19/202321 minutes, 53 seconds
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How to Develop Highly Effective Leaders w/ Matt Tenney

Matt Tenney is an expert on developing highly effective leaders. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book Serve To Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom. Over the last nine years, Matt has delivered keynotes and training programs that help improve employee engagement and retention to hundreds of clients, including companies like Salesforce, T. Rowe Price, Roche, Marriott, Keller Williams, L’ Oreal, and many others. Matt is an active CEO working to build the best workplace culture in the world, hoping to inspire you to do the same. Episode in a Tweet: Leaders change the world when they consistently positively impact their team members’ well-being. Background: Matt Tenney helps leaders to achieve better business outcomes while simultaneously becoming happier, kinder, more generous, and more compassionate. He is passionate about inspiring people to become servant leaders. He focuses on applying mindfulness training to improve business acumen, increase emotional intelligence, enhance creativity and innovation, improve the ability to manage change, and develop extraordinary leadership presence. During this episode, Matt and I discuss building strong, resilient cultures by focusing on people first. He shares his 4-step process for being a leader who inspires high levels of engagement, including giving and receiving feedback – something near and dear to me. Matt provides statistics on why the most critical engagement enhancements come through teaching managers how to listen to and develop their teams. As we all know, people usually quit managers, not companies. My favorite quote from the episode is, “The primary job of a leader is to inspire greatness.” I couldn’t agree more. To be a great leader, you must build great teams. I know you’ll love this episode. I will ask all the managers at StoneAge to listen to it as it’s filled with actionable tips and solid advice. Let me know what you think! How to Find Matt: Website: https://www.matttenney.com/engagement-and-retention-help/ Article on the 14 Leadership Skills: https://businessleadershiptoday.com/what-are-leadership-skills-examples/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matttenney/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattTenneyServes Twitter: https://twitter.com/matttenney1 Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO!
12/18/202348 minutes, 40 seconds
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Find Purpose in Life Through Mindfulness and Innovation w/ Clément Decrop

Inventor and Belgian-born author Clément Decrop found purpose in life through mindfulness and innovation. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of six, where he learned English and how to navigate the world. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State, Decrop has worked across the globe, including France, Spain, the United Emirates, and then back home in the United States. Clément is also the author of “The Idea Space: The Science of Awakening Your Non-Self,” which delves into the depths of consciousness by introducing a revolutionary solution to Einstein’s field equation to describe the mind, accessible to the layperson. Clément guides readers to view their thoughts objectively and identify their impact, helping people discover a happier existence and a deeper understanding of their life’s purpose. As a Global Educator since 2018, Clément has shared his wisdom on meditation, sleep, exercise, and nutrition with thousands of eager participants across 40 countries. His innovative spirit led him to collaborate with numerous inventors from Wikipedia’s Most Prolific Inventors List, resulting in 130-plus patent disclosures within one year, 50-plus filed, and 20-plus issued as of late 2023. Episode in a Tweet: I think happiness is an emotion and emotions are hard to put into words – they are quite an ineffable experience. But when you are happy, you can feel it, bringing more joy to your work. Background: Clément Decrop is one brilliant human being. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Clément and I dive into all kinds of topics, including mindfulness, innovation, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and why bringing happiness and joy to others improves life. Clément shares his passion for helping people find purpose through mindfulness and innovation, which inspired him to write his book The Idea Space: The Science of Awakening Your Non-Self. Clément is so down to earth and his kindness and brilliance shine through. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Have a listen and let me know what you think. How to find Clément: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clementdecrop/ Website (1st chapter FREE): www.TheIdeaSpace.io 100 Mindful Prompts: www.amazon.com/dp/B0B2758S14 100 Daily Meditations: www.amazon.com/dp/B0B647FYFC The Idea Space Book: www.amazon.com/dp/B0CH1HL81M Please consider ordering my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
12/12/202336 minutes, 53 seconds
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Five Ways to Lead Transformation

In the rapidly changing business landscape, transformation is not just a buzzword; it's a necessity. As we've seen in our own organization, adapting to new market conditions, technological advancements, and evolving customer needs is crucial. Why is it important for leaders to lead well through transformation? And how can they do it better? Let's explore. The Importance of Effective Leadership in Transformation The ability to steer the organization towards its goals while navigating the complexities of change is paramount. Leaders set the tone, pace, and direction of change. They are responsible for aligning the organization's vision with the transformative steps and ensuring that the team is not just aboard but also committed to the journey. Why Leading Transformation Is Challenging Leading transformation is inherently difficult for several reasons. First, it involves changing established systems and processes, which can be met with resistance. People generally prefer the familiarity of the status quo and altering that can lead to discomfort and pushback. Second, transformation requires a clear vision and a strategic roadmap, which can be challenging to articulate and implement effectively. This process often includes navigating uncertainties and unforeseen challenges, requiring leaders to be adaptable and resilient. Additionally, transformation involves a cultural shift within the organization, a gradual and often complex process. It requires changing behaviors and practices and altering underlying beliefs and attitudes. Five Ways Leaders Can Lead Transformation Better • Communicate with Clarity and Purpose • Empower and Involve the Team • Lead by Example • Foster a Culture of Continuous Learning • Monitor Progress and Adjust Accordingly Common Pitfalls in Leading Transformation However, leaders can sometimes get transformation wrong. Common pitfalls include: Underestimating the Resistance to Change: As we have seen in some of our past initiatives, resistance to change is natural. Leaders should anticipate it and have strategies in place to address it. Lack of Alignment: Initiatives can fail without aligning the transformation with the organization's core values and goals. This misalignment can lead to confusion and a lack of buy-in. Neglecting the Human Element: Focusing solely on the technical aspects and neglecting the human element – the team's emotions, fears, and aspirations – can derail transformation efforts. Question of the Week This week's question comes from my LinkedIn network who said, "You talk about the importance of being curious in your book. How do you foster curiosity within your team?" Fostering a workplace culture of curiosity—where team members are motivated to pose challenging questions, disrupt the usual processes, and pursue their passions—leads to a workplace where individuals feel more recognized, valued, and inspired. Have a listen to hear the phrase I use and questions I ask to foster curiosity at StoneAge. Please consider ordering my book on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Reflect Forward.
12/5/202321 minutes, 22 seconds
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How Life Teaches You Leadership Lessons w/ Jeremy Osterberger

Jeremy Osterberger is all about learning the leadership lessons life teaches along the way. Jeremy is the President and Chief Operating Officer of BIC Alliance and its subsidiaries (BIC Magazine, BIC Recruiting and IVS Investment Banking). For more than 20 years, Jeremy has built relationships with leading minds in the heavy industrial market, business owners, trade show producers, industry publications, vendors, including private equity groups focused on acquiring industrial service companies within the refining and petrochemical, tanks and terminals, pipeline, construction, and oil and gas sectors. Jeremy also influences the energy and heavy manufacturing conversation from live interviews to videos and podcasts. Additionally, Jeremy has volunteered and served on the board of several downstream oil and gas and industrial association committees, including the Association of Builders and Contractors of Houston, East Harris County Manufactures Association, Texas Chemical Council, Louisiana Chemical Industry Association and the Petrochemworks.com workforce communications committee. Episode in a Tweet: In some areas of our business, I will never be the master. And that's okay. As long as I can retain and motivate the masters we have on staff, as long as I can empower those folks who are ninjas, we will be successful. Background: I’ve known Jeremy Osterberger for almost a decade now as he is the President and COO of BIC Alliance. In fact, BIC Magazine, one of the major brands of BIC Alliance, was the first magazine to pick up my leadership articles. In this episode, Jeremy and I discuss how he learned to be a leader, starting as a young kid and working his way up the ranks at BIC. We share so many things in common, such as an affinity to self-leadership, developing and empowering others, and staying humble as we find success. The theme throughout the show is how life teaches you leadership lessons when you pause long enough to learn from them. Please have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Jeremy: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/bic-magazine/ Website BIC Alliance: https://www.bicalliance.com Website BIC Magazine: https://www.bicmagazine.com Podcast: https://www.bicmagazine.com/topics/podcast/ X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/BICMagazine Please order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/28/202338 minutes, 19 seconds
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Why Leaders Shouldn't Take Things Personally

Last week, my 10-year-old son Jack, and I discussed an incident in school. After listening to his story, I asked, "Why do you take what he said personally? He paused and rather than answering, he asked, "Why don't you ever seem bothered by what people say or do?" This caught me off guard, but it made me reflect. He had unwittingly touched upon a crucial trait that every leader should cultivate: the ability not to take things personally. Why Leaders Need to Let Things Slide Off Their Backs: Foster Objectivity: A leader's role requires making decisions based on facts, and the best interests of the organization. Emotional reactions can cloud judgment, leading to choices based on ego rather than what's best for the team. Maintain Credibility: Leaders who react emotionally to every critique can appear insecure or unstable. Build a Positive Culture: Leaders who take everything to heart can create a tense environment where team members are afraid to voice concerns and feedback. Leaders who can handle feedback encourage open dialogue and foster trust. Preserve Energy for What Matters: Getting bogged down by every negative comment or action can drain a leader's energy reserves, detracting from the tasks and challenges that need attention. Model Resilience for the Team: Demonstrating resilience can inspire their teams to be more resilient in the face of challenges. Happiness: When you see feedback as a path to growth and are grateful for it, it's easy to not take it personally. Five Tips on How Not to Take Things Personally Practice Self-awareness: Understand your emotional triggers. Work on recognizing when they're activated. Seek Clarity: Before jumping to conclusions, ask questions to understand the context and intentions behind feedback or actions. Detach from the Outcome: Feedback is often about the task, role, or outcome, not a reflection of your worth as a person. Surround Yourself with supportive people who can offer perspective and help you navigate challenges. Practice Regular Reflection: Take time to assess and reflect on your reactions and behaviors. The Counterpoint: The Importance of Listening While it's essential for leaders to not take things personally, it's equally important not to swing the pendulum too far and become apathetic to feedback. Constructive criticism can be instrumental in personal and organizational growth. Remaining open to feedback, discerning the valuable insights from the noise can help leaders see blind spots, stagnation, and missed opportunities for improvement. The balance lies in being emotionally resilient while staying receptive to growth. I tried to explain this to Jack. I am not sure he fully understood what I was saying, or maybe he did because he replied with, "Well you do seem to be much happier than most grownups I know. I like being happy!" And then he asked to go play Fortnite. Lol. Question of the Week It's time again to answer, "What you are reading now? "Shoe Dog" by Phil Knight. I love this story. Shoe Dog is more than just a memoir chronicling the ascent of Nike; it's a vivid portrayal of the passion, grit, and ingenuity behind its founder. Knight's transformation from selling shoes from his car's trunk to spearheading one of the world's most iconic brands serves as a powerful testament to tenacity and vision, reminding us that even the grandest companies sprout from a singular idea fueled by fervor. His relentless spirit in overcoming myriad challenges, from financial hurdles to legal confrontations, offers invaluable insights for leaders navigating their obstacles. His journey wasn't solitary. He accentuates the importance of fostering a committed team, highlighting the integral role his early Nike team, affectionately termed the "Buttfaces," played in the brand's evolution. Perhaps most poignantly, Knight's candid admission of his fears, doubts, and blunders underscores the essence of vulnerability in leadership, making "Shoe Dog" an essential read for all of us.
11/21/202316 minutes, 44 seconds
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Why You Should Empower Yourself and Your Team w/ Chantell Preston

Chantell Preston tells it like it is: when you empower yourself and your team, you build your life and leadership for impact. Chantell is the CEO and founder of Facilities Management Group (FMG), a management and consulting group based in Houston, Texas. FMG specializes in Freestanding Emergency Room, Hospital, and Ambulatory Surgical healthcare. Before FMG, Chantell built and sold her own company, Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation, which provided cognitive and physical rehabilitation for traumatic brain injury patients across the United States. Chantell also coaches, advises and speaks to high-powered women to equip them in personal, professional, and corporate growth. She provides a combination of unique mental coaching and accountability to successfully expedite real results and exponential growth with her clients personally and professionally. Episode in a Tweet: When you empower your team and help them unlock their full potential, you not only drive corporate growth but also build a company people love to work for. Background: I met Chantell Preston through YPO and feel so lucky to know her. She is a total rock star. During this episode, Chantell tells us how she shifted from an authoritarian leadership style to one that was more inspirational, compassionate and collaborative. Her incredible career includes founding and selling her company specializing in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation, building 65 hospitals, and advising and coaching leaders nationwide. Chantell believes women are a company's most powerful tool and that strategic growth is expedited when men understand women and women are given the tools they need to thrive. She shares why she's so passionate about helping women advance their careers. We share experiences about saying no more often and why we shouldn't devalue our time. We also talk about why building empowering workplaces is critical for business success and the power of maturing as a leader and giving back to future leaders. I know you'll love this podcast! Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Chantell: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chantellpreston Website: www.chantellpreston.com Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/14/202336 minutes, 1 second
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Four Way to Reduce Anxiety Now

What do you do when you need to reduce your anxiety now? During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share a story about a recent bout with anxiety and how I dealt with it. We all feel anxiety and these days, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by it. The good news is that there are steps you can take to get immediate relief. Now for the story… A few weeks ago, I thought I had a panic attack. I was stuck in traffic, and I was pissed off. I was late to pick up my son from golf practice. He gets nervous when I am late. I was still reeling from the horrifying images of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, my to-do list was weighing on me. “I really should be working instead of fighting traffic,” my brain said. I had even Googled “how do you know when civilization is ending?” I sat at my desk, trying to work, and I felt disoriented and upset. When feeling anxious, you teach the body that living under constant stress is okay. We all know that constant stress isn’t okay; it wreaks havoc on our physical and mental health, damages relationships, and makes us less effective at our jobs. Here is what I did. I asked myself, “What’s one stressor I am in control of that I can remove right now?” Then I deleted all news apps from my phone and committed to quit reading the news for at least a month. It has been the biggest game-changer to date. It’s incredible how much better I feel when I am not cramming my brain with doom and gloom over which I have zero control. I went for a walk and listened to relaxing, fun music. I tried to stay in the present moment, watching the clouds pass by in the sky, seeing the birds and insects flittering about, and the sun and breeze on my skin. I took big, deep breaths imagining stress escaping with each exhalation. The combination of moving my body, listening to music I love, being in the fresh air, and taking deep breaths calmed me quickly. Third, I picked two items on my to-do list, committing to get them done and saving the rest for the next day. After my walk, I felt more focused and completed the tasks. I still accomplished two things while taking the pressure off completing everything on my list, which was impossible anyway. Fourth, I committed to getting a good night’s sleep. After eating a healthy dinner, I took a bath, drank herbal tea instead of a glass of wine, listened to a guided mediation, and turned the lights out by 9 pm. The next day, I felt better. You, too, can do these things when you are feeling anxious and stressed. If it seems simple which doesn’t mean easy, but if you are successful for one day, you can build upon it and try it again the next day. And the next. And the next. Question of the Week This week’s question came from one of my employees who asked, “How do I become a better listener?” During the episode, I give examples of how to be a better listener using the suggestions below. • Give Your Full Attention • Practice Empathy • Ask Open-Ended Questions • Avoid Interrupting • Use Nonverbal Cues • Reflect and Summarize • Manage Your Response • Seek Feedback Being a better listener is a valuable skill that can elevate your leadership in the business world. It fosters trust, enhances communication, and leads to better decision-making. By dedicating time and effort to improve your listening skills, you not only benefit your organization but also create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment. Remember, great leaders don't just speak; they listen actively and attentively. Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/7/202316 minutes, 31 seconds
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A Case for Working with Friends w/ Don Finley

Don Finley makes a compelling case for working with friends. Don is the transformative force behind FINdustries, a leading product development agency that's made a monumental impact on the tech and financial sectors, shaping the product development landscape with unparalleled innovation. With a remarkable career spanning two decades, Don's expertise in fusing science, art, and technology has propelled his agency to the forefront of the industry. However, Don's journey extends beyond the conventional realms of a CEO. He embraces a visionary perspective, firmly believing that the foundation of business success lies in genuine friendship and shared values. Rooted in transformative experiences like conquering Kilimanjaro and immersing himself in Peru's vibrant culture, Don's personal growth has redefined his approach to work and life. The seeds sown during these adventures gave rise to FINdustries ten years ago, a company with a mission that transcends mere profits. Bolstered by a global network of 60+ partners and 16,000 developers, FINdustries has left an indelible mark on the industry, enabling clients to generate over $1 billion in annual revenue. The company's focus on strategic product development addresses the common challenges businesses face, culminating in a harmonious blend of technology, camaraderie, and meaningful relationships. Episode in a Tweet: Working with friends creates new opportunities, creativity and creation flow through our relationships. It enables us to experience the totality of life and build from a foundation of togetherness. Background: Ten years ago, Don Finley founded FINdustries, a business dedicated to solution building, serving customized solutions to clients ranging from startups to Fortune 10 companies. He worked to develop business with clients and referrals that swiftly brought success. Putting in the necessary grind, he found the reward of material success—which helped his clients generate more than $1B in annual revenue--but realized something key was missing. In growing FINdustries, Don was shrinking himself, burning out, and missing out on the meaning of it all. When he joined a climb up Kilimanjaro in 2018 and a subsequent trip to Peru, he began to see that he had become numb to the highs and lows of life. He began to understand I could no longer separate work from his life. As he puts it, "It was a mutiny of the soul." He realized that he only wanted to work with friends and people he loved, with shared values and fulfilling relationships at the center. This was crucial to shifting how he treated himself in business and life. And this is what we talk about in this week's episode of Reflect Forward as Don makes a case for working with friends. It's an inspiring story and mighty philosophy. Have a listen and let me know what you think! You can find the Mind Valley Blog on the Three Most Important Questions here: https://blog.mindvalley.com/3miqs/ How to find Don: Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dfinley/ Instagram: @jawnfinley X/Twitter: @dfinley FINdustries website: https://fin.dustries.com/ Email: [email protected] Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/31/202342 minutes, 7 seconds
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The Secret Strength of Patience w/Kerry Siggins

In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, we dive into the secret strength of patience. I love this quote by Joyce Meyer: “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” If you are like me, you can relate. I recently found myself, fingers drumming on the table, glancing at my watch every few seconds, waiting for someone running late. Frustration bubbled. Thoughts raced. Yet, amid the impatience, an epiphany struck: I am late for many things. Shouldn’t I be more empathetic? I don’t even know why this person is running late. Maybe I shouldn’t make grumpy assumptions? As leaders, our ability to influence is shaped by our decisions AND patience. I understand; you might be wondering, “Why should I prioritize patience, especially if it doesn’t come naturally? Shouldn’t I drive for results and hold people accountable?” The answer to the above question is “yes and.” You can be patient while driving results and hold people accountable. In my early leadership years, I often jumped to conclusions or hastily embarked on projects without allowing them adequate time to mature. But patience, I’ve realized, is not about inactivity or resignation. It’s about calculated restraint, thoughtful reflection, and giving things room to breathe. How does being more patient make you a better leader? Builds Trust: Patience shows your team that you value their input and aren’t rushing judgment. Better Decisions: Hurried decisions often overlook vital details. Waiting provides a fuller picture. Stress Reduction: Patience can be your shield against unnecessary stress for you and your organization. Builds a Better Culture: When you have a team built on trust, make better decisions, and people don’t feel stressed to the max, you create a culture of caring and engagement. Let’s tackle the elephant in the room. If patience isn’t second nature, how can you cultivate it? Practice Mindfulness: I started with 5-minute daily meditations. Ground yourself, focus on your breath, and acknowledge your feelings without judgment. Set Clear Expectations: When I started setting realistic timelines and communicated them effectively, the need for instant results diminished. Seek Feedback: There was a time when a close colleague told me, “You're racing, but we're pacing." That feedback was a mirror. Let your team and peers hold up the mirror so you can improve. Delay Gratification: Whether it's waiting an extra day to decide or avoiding the temptation of a treat, training yourself in small ways can lead to monumental shifts in mindset. Find Gratitude: It's not easy to be grateful for difficult situations, delays, etc. By working to find gratitude in the hard things, you can shift your mindset and find the gift in any situation. "To lose patience is to lose the battle." – Mahatma Gandhi It's prudent to see patience as more than just a virtue. Consider it a tool, a skill, something to be honed. In the vast ocean of leadership, it's easy to get swept up in the current of immediacy. But remember, greatness often comes to those willing to wait. Embrace patience, not just as a leader, but as a learner. The horizon holds wonders for those patient enough to see the wonder unfold. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a fellow YPOer (Young President's Organization, a peer network group comprised of CEOs and Presidents). We discussed why leaders need to be as transparent as possible and he asked, "What if you can't be fully transparent? How do you communicate tough decisions?" Listen in to hear my answer. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/24/202322 minutes, 10 seconds
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Build a Better Culture Through Employee Ownership w/ Bob Tomaka

Robert (Bob) Tomaka has been a co-owner at Meier Supply for over 16 years and is engaged in all aspects of the ESOP. In addition to being the company’s CFO, he is a member of the Meier ESOP Advisory Council and Strategic Planning Committee. He has been a presenter at several ESOP conferences, including The National Center for Employee Ownership and is President of the NY/NJ chapter of The ESOP Association. Founded in 1957, Meier Supply is an employee-owned wholesale distributor of HVAC and refrigeration products with a rich history and family culture. With over 100 employees and 17 locations in New York and Pennsylvania, its core values (Excellence, Trust, People, and Respect) align strongly with its Mission Statement, “Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.” As an ESOP, Meier Supply values the contribution of every employee, providing an environment conducive to exceptional customer service, productivity and personal growth. The company is currently managed by the third generation of the Meier family and employs several members of the fourth generation. Episode in a Tweet: It’s amazing what happens when you ask your employees to develop new ideas to solve old problems. Doing so creates ownership and engagement in ways you never imagined. Background: I love interviewing people who are part of the employee ownership community and my interview with Bob Tomaka, CFO of Meirer Supply, didn’t disappoint. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Bob shares Meier Supply’s journey to employee ownership and how teaching people how to think and act like owners transformed the company. Bob also tells us how being an executive at an employee-owned company caused him to be more empathetic and a better listener. He gives excellent advice about management by walking around and why you should get up from your desk and sit next to people who come into your office to talk to show them that you are fully present. Bob is also highly involved in the ESOP community and inspires with his commitment to educating founders and owners on the power of employee ownership. Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Robert: Website: https://www.meiersupply.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-tomaka-cpa-5b433015/ Order my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/17/202335 minutes, 42 seconds
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The Power of the Ownership Mindset

With my book launch coming up next week, I’ve been asked about the power of the ownership mindset and why I wrote the book. So, in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice from a CEO, I share why it’s so powerful and how to help your employees embrace ownership thinking. Why I Wrote “The Ownership Mindset” I learned the power of the ownership mindset as I rebuilt my life after hitting rock bottom 17 years ago. Back then, I definitely wasn’t owning it. But to change my life, I had to take responsibility for how I got myself in such a bad situation. When I decided to take full responsibility for everything that happened in my life, I empowered myself to change my life. When I went to work for StoneAge, an employee-owned company, the founders taught me how to think and act like an owner. Soon, I found I was so engaged in my job that my personal and professional success skyrocketed. I wrote the book based on my almost two decades of cultivating the ownership mindset within myself and my team. What is the Ownership Mindset? It’s the mindset of taking full responsibility for everything that happens in your life. It’s showing up, doing the work, and caring deeply about your work and life. It’s holding yourself accountable to your teammates and company. It’s finding purpose and meaning in your work so that you job is more than a means to an end. It’s a vocation that brings you purpose and joy. Why it Matters in the Workplace? A survey by Gallup found that companies with high employee engagement, a key component of the ownership mindset, experience 17% higher productivity and 21% greater profitability. I've found this to be true in myself and others as we've embraced ownership thinking. Rather than regard their tasks as obligations, our employee owners perceive themselves as an integral part of the organization and take pride in solving challenging problems for our customers. Their sense of purpose fuels a deep passion for excellence and a desire to make meaningful and impactful contributions. The intrinsic link between the ownership mindset and employee engagement is compelling. I have learned firsthand how engaged employees exhibit a profound alignment with the company's vision and values, resulting in a heightened commitment and enthusiasm toward their work. The best compliment we receive is when our customers visit us and say, "I've never seen such happy people who love their jobs so much!" How to Cultivate the Ownership Mindset 1. Lead by Example 2. Set Clear Goals and Provide Autonomy 3. Recognize and Reward Initiative 4. Promote a Learning Culture 5. Encourage Open Communication and Transparency I've found the ownership mindset to be transformative. It not only helped me climb my way out of rock bottom, but it also propelled StoneAge toward success. It empowered my team to take responsibility, contribute creatively, and drive innovation. We wouldn't be where we are today without sharing the Own It Mindset. As more organizations recognize the potential of this approach, they pave the way for a future where passion and dedication are the driving forces behind workplace excellence. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from someone on LinkedIn who said, “last week, a coworker criticized me in a meeting, and I felt embarrassed and undermined. How should I handle it? During the episode I give my tips on how to handle this situation with grace and as a growth opportunity. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/10/202328 minutes, 6 seconds
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A Story of Total Transformation w/Melissa Glick

Melissa Glick’s total transformation is remarkable. She is a business coach, serial entrepreneur, former CEO, non-profit founder, writer, speaker, advisor, and real estate investor, now living a life by design. But that is not how it always was for Melissa. She draws on her 20+ years of experience building businesses and a successful multimillion-dollar tech exit to bring valuable insights that can help her audience unlock their full potential. After overcoming severe burnout, she shares tools that gave her the new skills to lead herself and others and creates an environment that fosters growth, learning, and innovation. She aims to help turn the audiences’ talents and ideas into their ultimate competitive advantage. Melissa’s achievements as a leader, business owner, and advocate for women have been widely recognized. She received the Morley Ballantine Leadership Award from the Durango Chamber of Commerce. She has received many industry awards, including the Top Women of the Channel, Colorado’s Company to Watch, Colorado’s Top Private Company, and CRN’s Tech Elite. A great believer in paying it forward, Melissa loves to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve success and is an investor and advisor in many startups. Episode in a Tweet: Your actions shape your reality; if you want something, you must align your actions with your goals. Background: I’ve known Melissa for years and watched her grow her business over the years, always appreciating what she did for her employees and the community. But I never knew how much she was suffering inside, dealing with the stress burnout that being a hyper-achiever brings – especially one dealing with trauma, insecurities, and an eating disorder. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Melissa shares how she overcame her loneliness and burnout, lost over 100 pounds, successfully exited her tech company, stayed retired for 33 days and now founded The Peak CEO, a coaching company focused on helping CEOs unlock their full potential without burning out. Her story is emotional, relatable, and courageous. I know you will love this interview – you can’t help but want to reach out to hug her and then go out and change your life. How to find Melissa: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissaglick/ Website: www.thepeakceo.com Email: [email protected] Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/3/202340 minutes, 23 seconds
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Making Tough Decisions- Use These Six Tips

Many times I've found myself at a crossroads, a situation where the future of my life, team, and company hinged on one tough choice. You've likely been there, too: a moment where your decision will ripple across the business, the team, and maybe even the industry. Every leader and CEO faces such moments that test your mettle, judgment, and foresight. Types of Tough Decisions Leaders Grapple With: Strategic Shifts: I remember pivoting my company's core business model. It was daunting. Do you stick with a known quantity or venture into the unknown for greater rewards? Leaders frequently find themselves evaluating the risk vs. reward of significant shifts. Personnel Changes: Have you ever had to let someone go? It's heart-wrenching, especially when it's a valued team member. But at times, such decisions are imperative for the organization's greater good. Financial Allocations: Think back to a time you had to cut costs or allocate funds between departments. It's like choosing between two good friends. Where do you place your bets? Dealing with Crisis: Think back to the decisions we had to make during the pandemic. When a crisis happens, we must be decisive. Why the Need to Make These Tough Calls? Why can't leaders sidestep or delegate these hard decisions? Vision: Leaders are the custodians of the organization's future. They have the bird's-eye view, making them best placed to guide its course. Accountability: With the title comes responsibility. When things go awry, the leader's name is on the line. Decisions, therefore, need to be owned fully. Empowerment: Often, these decisions empower others in the organization, setting the tone for a proactive, resilient culture. So, what do you do when you're faced with such a decision? Recall Steve Jobs' words: "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose." Actionable Tips for Navigating Decisions: 1. Seek Counsel: Engage mentors, peers, or experts in your field. While the final call is yours, their insights can be invaluable. 2. Trust Your Instincts: There's a reason you're in your role. Trust the instincts and experience that got you there. 3. Gather Data and Feedback: In today's digital age, data is plentiful. Use it. Conduct surveys, seek feedback, and gather as much relevant information as you can. Informed decisions are often better decisions. 4. Be Mindful and Stay Grounded: Clarity often comes from a calm mind. In the midst of chaos, take some deep breaths and clear your head. This can help see the bigger picture and make decisions from a place of serenity rather than stress. And then remember your organization's core values and mission. Let them be your North Star. 5. Reflect on Past Decisions: Sometimes, past experiences offer the best insights. Reflect on similar decisions you've made before. What worked? What didn't? Let history be a guide, but not a constraint. 6. Make the decision. Leaders have the responsibility to decide. You must be decisive and make the tough calls. Kicking the can down the road doesn't fix the issue. Making choices is the essence of being human and a leader. Question of the Week "What is something you are working on as a leader?" I am working on being more realistic about driving results. I tend to be too optimistic about what's achievable. So, I am making an effort to stay grounded. What does that mean? Pay attention to the data, details, and your employees' perspectives, and set sensible targets accordingly. Listen to the whole episode for more tips. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/26/202317 minutes, 3 seconds
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Build an Irresistible Personal Brand w/ Chellie Phillips

Chellie Phillips understands that building an irresistible brand is what you need whether you're looking to land the perfect job or attract the most talented employees. Chellie is a sweet tea-sipping, sassy Southern passionate about helping dynamic, career-minded professionals stand out for all the right reasons. She's a coach, corporate trainer, motivational speaker, and author of three books. Her recent book, "Culture Secrets," teaches leaders how to build a values-based culture. Chellie is also the host of the Culture Secrets podcast. Chellie's "Successfully Ever After" formula is designed to help leaders create an irresistible culture. She loves helping leaders and job seekers build their brands so they can build successful, thriving lives. Chellie is on a mission to help others tune into what makes them great, package it properly, and use their existing skillsets to find the path to their highest potential. Episode in a Tweet: Your brand is what people say about you when you aren't there to hear. You need to build your brand intentionally and authentically to attract the career, colleagues, and employees you want in your life. Background: During this week's episode of Reflect Forward, Chellie and I discuss why leaders need to intentionally build their brands to build their reputation, their teams, and their companies. She gives all kinds of actionable tips on how to start building your brand, such as putting time into your LinkedIn profile and creating a simple website with your name as the domain. She shares a study by Forbes that asked a group of professionals, "Do you have a personal brand, and have you been intentional about it?" Over half of them said they had a personal brand, but when they asked them to describe it or how they'd intentionally created it, only about 10% had put any work into it and could describe it. Chellie believes people want solid personal brands but don't know what steps to take. Chellie also talks about how your company culture is your brand. She believes that problems in the workplace begin when employees don't have clear direction from their leaders, and their values and purpose have become nothing more than fancy words written on paper. By embracing the idea of career branding, you will create a success-driven culture that people want to be a part of. As you know, I am big on building personal brands and I love Chellie's actionable advice and I know you will, too. Have a listen and let me know what you think. How to find Chellie: Website: https://chelliephillips.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chelliep/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chellie_phillips/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chellie-phillips/ Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/19/202335 minutes, 1 second
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Why Vulnerability is a Leadership Asset

Episode in a Tweet: True leadership isn’t about putting up a facade of perfection. It's about being genuine and relatable. Authentic leaders, those who aren’t afraid to showcase their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses, foster a culture of trust and collaboration. In today's rapidly changing business landscape, a fresh perspective on leadership has emerged—one where authenticity and vulnerability take center stage. Brené Brown, a renowned researcher, captured it best: "Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage." In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, we'll uncover why vulnerability is paramount for contemporary leaders and offer practical steps to integrate it into your leadership style. The Power of Authenticity in Leadership True leadership isn’t about putting up a facade of perfection. It's about being genuine and relatable. Authentic leaders, those who aren’t afraid to showcase their strengths and acknowledge their weaknesses, foster a culture of trust and collaboration. Think about it: People relate more to the human side of leaders—their aspirations, challenges, and setbacks. It's the shared human experience that says, "I understand, and I'm here with you." Why Hesitate? Navigating the Vulnerability Dilemma If the thought "This isn’t me, I can’t be vulnerable" crosses your mind, you're not alone. The journey to becoming a vulnerable leader can seem daunting, but it’s more achievable than you think. Here’s a roadmap to guide you: • Start Small: Begin with minor revelations. Discuss a challenge from early in your career or a lesson from a recent project. • Ask for Feedback and Act: Asking for feedback shows that you are willing to hear what other people have to say to and about you. It takes vulnerability to say, “I am struggling here, and I need your help. Can you please give me your feedback?” • Listen Better: When you understand where others are coming from, you can respond with more openness and transparency. • Embrace the Unease: It's natural for vulnerability to feel unfamiliar initially. However, over time, it becomes an invaluable leadership asset. • Remember, It's a Two-way Street." "The more you're open with your team, the more they'll be open with you." Showing your vulnerability is never a weakness but always a strength. Authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability are not just buzzwords; they are essential leadership traits that drive impact. The future beckons a shift from invulnerability to genuine authenticity. As you pave the way forward, remember that vulnerability could very well be the secret ingredient to transformative leadership. Question of the Week How do I communicate directly without being perceived as rude or aggressive?” This question came from a friend of mine, and I love it because let’s face it – communicating well is hard. Throughout my professional journey, I've come to realize that the art of communication is like walking a tightrope, especially when you're in a managerial role. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to convey something clearly, yet feared the undertone might sound too... sharp? Directness in communication is undoubtedly an asset, but where do we draw the line so that it doesn’t spill into insensitivity? Tune in to hear my tips! Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/12/202322 minutes, 57 seconds
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It's Never Just Business; It's About People w/ Jason Scott

J. Scott knows it's never just business; it's about people. J. considers himself a talentless, real-life anti-hero who doesn't just talk; he walks the walk. Growing up in the streets of Los Angeles with less-than-ideal parents, J. learned early on that actions speak louder than words. After dropping out of high school at 17, J. joined the Navy and learned firsthand that grit and courage could overcome any lack of talent. He embraced every opportunity to learn and eventually became a Naval Rescue Swimmer, jumping out of helicopters to save lives. Rewind: two decades ago, J. founded 120VC to help people, leaders, and teams get things done that really matter. He's uncovered some universal truths along the way: organizations are optimized for their results, and to get different results, humans need to perform their jobs differently. J. Scott is the epitome of the anti-thought leader, proving that leadership isn't about being the team's most talented or successful person. It's about helping your team members define and deliver success. If you surround yourself with talented people and inspire them to reach THEIR potential, the leader doesn't need to be talented. They just have to play for the team. J. Scott is a regular guy who's proven that actions speak louder than words. Be sure to check out J.'s Two-Time Amazon Bestseller Books "It's Never Just Business: It's About People" and "The Irreverent Guide to Project Management" Episode in a Tweet: It's important to demonstrate care by what we do, not by what we feel or say, and to exercise the power of a growth mindset and a happiness advantage. Background: J. Scott is all about helping people lead and respond to change—with efficiency, agility, and humanity. Because if you're not leading change, you're reacting to it or made obsolete by it. I love this conversation with J. as we explore the difference between accountability and responsibility. As he says, "Bosses ‘hold people accountable.’ The phrase itself sounds like they are physically accosting someone. When they don’t get the expected results, they get frustrated because of the negative impact this situation will have on their success. So they start “holding people accountable” and looking for someone to blame. It can be brutal.” J. also shares his expertise in inspiring people to change how they work. He tells us that humans crave success in all areas of their lives, and nobody knows how to be successful in doing their job differently. That's where leaders come in - to help people feel safe to experiment and slay new ways of working. J. is a great storyteller who walks the walk, no doubt. Have a listen and let me know your thoughts! How to find Jason Scott: Website: https://www.jasonscottleadership.com/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonscott120vc/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTqPCasdYzfsJ7nV61KWSqQ Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/5/202342 minutes, 48 seconds
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Strategies for Unleashing Your Team’s Full Potential

In the vast, intricate landscape of modern business, it's no longer enough to simply manage employees or direct them towards predefined tasks. Today’s leaders face a more complex challenge. Every person in your company embodies a wealth of untapped capability, a blend of innate skills, unique perspectives, and raw ambition. Harnessing this potential is neither a luxury nor a secondary objective; it's a prerequisite for sustained success. Visionary leadership goes beyond immediate results—it seeks to identify, nurture, and elevate these capacities, positioning both the individual and the organization for long-term growth and innovation. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss strategies for unleashing your team’s full potential. The Power of Mindset One of the foundational elements in people development is nurturing the right mindset. A growth mindset, to be specific. Leaders who instill in their teams the belief that their abilities can be honed and developed ignite a drive to push boundaries. Remember, fostering this mindset isn't just about equipping teams with skills; it’s about imbuing them with the confidence to evolve and adapt. Crafting a Safe Environment A productive workspace is one where employees feel secure on all fronts—emotionally, mentally, and physically. Emphasizing an environment where mistakes aren't just tolerated but are seen as opportunities for growth can be a game-changer. This safety allows for openness, receptive feedback, and ensures that each voice is validated. Committing to Continuous Learning While workshops and training sessions are valuable, embedding a culture of continuous learning has longer-lasting effects. This could manifest in various forms such as reading circles, peer-to-peer coaching, or mentorship programs. Each of these plays a critical role in harnessing employee potential. Delegating with Purpose Delegation is not just about distributing tasks; it's about entrusting authority and responsibility. Leaders should empower employees to take ownership, make decisions, and occasionally, learn from their missteps. This not only engenders trust but fosters individual growth. The Role of Recognition and Feedback Acknowledgment acts as a catalyst for motivation. Providing employees with regular feedback—both commendation for their successes and constructive guidance for improvement—steers them toward their best selves. Harmonizing Personal and Professional Goals One often overlooked strategy is understanding and aligning an employee's personal ambitions with the company's objectives. When individuals perceive a transparent trajectory to their growth that concurrently contributes to the organization's mission, it amplifies their engagement and output. Remember, leadership is not about being in charge. It's about taking care of those in your charge. This mindset speaks volumes. Our employees aren't just assets; they're our greatest allies in achieving our vision. Question of the Week “What’s the difference between feedback and criticism?” Both feedback and criticism are forms of information provided about someone's actions, performance, behavior, or work, intended to help them understand and improve. However, there are some key differences between the two terms, and I share in detail the differences so you can ensure that your feedback is constructive and taken well. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble
8/29/202315 minutes, 9 seconds
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The Power of Employee Ownership w/ Corey Rosen

Corey Rosen is the founder and an active staff member of the National Center for Employee Ownership, a private, nonprofit membership, information, and research organization. The NCEO is widely considered to be the authoritative source on broad-based employee ownership plans. He cofounded the NCEO in 1981 after working five years as a professional staff member in the U.S. Senate, where he helped draft legislation on employee ownership plans. Prior to that, he taught political science at Ripon College. He is the author or co-author of over 100 articles and numerous books on employee ownership, and co-author (with John Case and Martin Staubus) of Equity: Why Employee Ownership is Good for Business (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) and (with Hohn Case), Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What (Berrett-Kohler, 2022). He has lectured on employee ownership on six continents. He has a Ph.D. in Political Science from Cornell University. He previously served on the Board of Directors of the Great Place to Work Institute (creators of the “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in America” list). He currently is on seven ESOP company boards, with fees going to support the work of the NCEO. In 2009, he was awarded the Txemi Cantera Social Economy Award, given annually in Spain. Episode in a Tweet: Employee ownership is about giving your employees the opportunity to participate in the company's wealth creation. Through ownership, your employees can generate enough wealth to live more secure lives. And your company will do better, too, because everybody has a stake in the future. Background: I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Corey for almost a decade now. I met him at my first NCEO summit for ESOP companies where I learned all the mistakes you can make when setting up an ESOP, way back in 2013. It was an eye-opening and exciting seminar; I left motived to make StoneAge an ESOP company. Now, almost a decade later, I relish the opportunity to interview Corey, who along with his team at the NCEO, has reshaped the way we look at employee-owned companies. During the episode, Corey articulately explains why employee-ownership is a powerful succession model and how ESOPs work. He shares stories of how remarkable leaders have reshaped the way companies are run by being transparent, generous, and creative. This is a powerful episode that everyone can benefit from, even if you are not an employee-owned company. How to find Corey: Company website: www.nceo.org Ownership: Reinventing Companies, Capitalism, and Who Owns What, https://www.nceo.org/publication/ownership-reinventing-companies-capitalism-and-who-owns-what www.esopinfo.org LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/corey-rosen-3a8a8a4/ Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/23/202341 minutes, 49 seconds
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Live the Life You Want and Go After Your Dreams

A few weeks ago, I saw Taylor Swift perform, and I was blown away. I am not a huge fan; I like her music on the radio, but I’ve never bought or downloaded and album. I only know the songs on the radio, but it was the most inspiring performance I’ve ever seen. Not just because she’s a great entertainer. Her storytelling and unapologetically authentic love for what she does made me want to be better at what I do. And I wanted to go for it! She makes people believe in themselves, and that’s what I want to do, too. So, in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I share the Taylor Swift experience and why we should all feel empowered to go after our dreams and create the life we want for ourselves. Many people are afraid to go after their dreams. Why? Simple. Fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of judgment. We live in a society where the norm is often mistaken as the ‘right way.’ Deviating from it, chasing something unconventional can invite criticism, uncertainty, and perceived risk. And that, my friends, can be daunting. Overcoming this fear and gaining the self-confidence to chase our dreams begins with understanding our worth and potential. Your dreams are valid, your ambitions are worthy, and you can achieve greatness. To nurture self-confidence, take small steps towards your goals and celebrate each small victory. Embrace the journey, as every step you take matters. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Failure is scary, right? Let’s reframe how we see it. It isn’t the end of the road; it’s a steppingstone, a learning opportunity. The most successful people you know didn’t get there without failing numerous times. Failure is not a stop sign. It’s a detour or a scenic route on your journey toward your dream. How do we stop caring about what other people think as we chase our dreams? Let’s begin by accepting that we cannot please everyone, and remember, you’re not chasing your dream for them. You’re doing it for you. You are the author of your life’s story, so why let someone else hold the pen? When it comes to criticism, learn to filter. Constructive criticism can be a valuable tool for growth, but those voices who only criticize without adding value need to be turned down, if not completely muted. Going after your dreams requires courage, resilience, and a certain level of stubbornness. Embrace your fears, build self-confidence, learn from your failures, and don’t let others dictate your path. The road to your dreams might be long and winding, but oh, is it worth it! Question of the Week “What are you reading right now?” I am reading Sober Curious by Ruth Warrington. Why? Because I have been on a mission to drink less, I like reading what they call “quit lit.” Ruth’s story is inspiring, and the book is filled with all kinds of ways to help you curb your drinking habits. I’m starting a 100-day challenge using her workbook. Since I’ve consciously decided to curb my alcohol consumption, I’ve started to reap remarkable benefits. I feel more energetic and clear-headed, like I’ve finally kicked away a fog that I didn’t even know was clouding my day-to-day life. My sleep quality has improved dramatically, and I love my mornings even more! I now have this overall sense of health – my skin looks better, my workouts are more efficient, and even my mood seems to have taken a positive turn. It’s like getting a fresh lease on life. So, if you’ve been contemplating taking this step, take it from me - it’s worth it and quit lit like Sober Curious can help motivate you. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/16/202321 minutes, 41 seconds
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What is Pay Transparency Anyway w/ Sally Loftis

Sally Loftis is Managing Director at Loftis Partners, a 100% woman-owned human resources consulting firm located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Loftis Partners specializes in strategy, people, facilitation, and pay justice. Since launching in August 2020, Sally and her firm have worked with 54 clients across three continents. Sally serves as a faculty member for the Center of Trauma-Resilient Communities and lead consultant for two justice-driven consulting firms, Wayfinding Partners (Washington, DC) and Brook Graham (London, England). She is also a certified Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator. Episode in a Tweet: Leaders must listen to their employees and hear what they say. They must implement the things their teams are looking for. This is how you build a culture where people want to stay. Background: Sally started her firm in August 2020 after years of dreaming. She always thought being an external HR consultant would be amazing but lacked the confidence to move from working inside a business to running her own business. Additionally, Sally was opening a new company about six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people thought she was brave; she just thought it was a great idea worth exploring. During this interview, Sally and I talk about what it was like to start a company amid Covid and how she found her passion for helping leaders navigate the complex issues of compensation. She works with her clients to implement pay transparency – the legal requirement to disclose pay ranges to job candidates and current employees – as mandated by different states and countries. Sally explains how her assessments are designed to support transparency at all levels of the organization and takes the intimidation out of getting started. She also performs pay equity and salary studies to help leaders identify the areas of needed compensation work within their organizations. I love her passion for this topic; she does an excellent job breaking it down. Check it out and let me know what you think! How to find Sally: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallyloftisloftis/ https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/from-past-future-hr-sally-loftis-msod-she-her-hers- /?trackingId=y7SQOxJClqOas0jLgKuV4Q%3D%3D Monthly e-Newsletter: https://loftispartners.us7.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=eed1b49812987444af643a2b7&id=1b02268a9d Company Website: https://www.loftispartners.com/ Company Blog: https://www.loftispartners.com/blog What is Pay Transparency Anyways? https://www.loftispartners.com/blog/what-is-pay-transparency-anyways How to Conduct a Pay Equity Assessment: https://www.loftispartners.com/blog/hr-hacks-for-leaders-how-to-conduct-a-pay-equity-assessment Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/8/202336 minutes, 53 seconds
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Battling Workplace Boredom

Battling workplace boredom takes effort and commitment from both employees and their leaders. In a survey by Udemy in 2018, 43% of respondents reported experiencing boredom at work. This startling statistic prompts us to explore effective strategies for employees trapped in the mires of monotony and leaders yearning to create more stimulating environments. And this is what we talk about in this week’s episode on Reflect Forward. For the Undaunted but Bored Employee: Are you battling workplace boredom? Before anything else, self-reflection is paramount. Unearth the cause behind your lack of engagement. Continuous Learning: Diversify your skills and broaden your knowledge beyond the boundaries of your current job description. You can bring fresh perspectives to your role and find avenues to quell the boredom monster. Seek Mentorship: Establish strong and meaningful relationships with seasoned industry veterans or like-minded peers who provide valuable guidance, constructive feedback and open doors to new opportunities that can challenge and inspire you. Innovate Your Role: Never settle for the status quo. There’s always room for improvement. Talk to Your Boss: You must advocate for yourself. Talk to your boss about growing and developing. Bring a few ideas on ways you can take on new challenges. For the Empathetic (not Apathetic 😊) Leader: You are responsible for shaping a dynamic and engaging work environment as a leader. Foster a Culture of Learning: Encourage your team to take the reins of their personal and professional development. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found that companies with comprehensive training programs enjoy 218% higher income per employee than companies without formalized training. Promote Open Communication: Establish an environment where employees feel safe to voice their ideas and concerns. A culture of openness can foster a sense of belonging, leading to improved engagement. Empower Employees: Provide them the authority to make decisions and the flexibility to shape their roles. A report from Gallup pointed out that businesses that empower their employees witness a 21% increase in profitability. The solution to workplace boredom hinges on the dual efforts of employees advocating for themselves and leaders embracing a more empathetic and engaging leadership style. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a friend experiencing conflict with a coworker. She asked, “KP, how do you recommend I resolve a conflict with my colleague?” Navigating conflicts at work is inevitable. You’re working in a space filled with diverse thoughts and viewpoints, and shared responsibilities which can stir up discord. Instead of letting disputes compromise team spirit and productivity, turn them into opportunities for strengthening alliances, cultivating understanding, and sparking creative problem-solving. Seek to understand, ask questions, and employ active listening, and show the person you are trying to understand their point of view. Look for ways to collaborate, compromise and build consensus; it doesn’t have to be either/or. Work together to find a solution that respects each viewpoint. This approach might involve compromises or the discovery of a new approach that you can agree to. If direct dialogue doesn’t extinguish the flames of conflict, consider bringing in an impartial third party- a manager, supervisor, or HR professional. Their balanced perspective can help steer the conversation toward a fair resolution. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/1/202324 minutes, 47 seconds
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Master the Art of Persuasion to Unleash Your Leadership Potential

How do you become a more persuasive leader? Persuasion is an essential skill for any leader, and you must be able to share a compelling vision and inspire people to change – all without them feeling coerced or manipulated. So, persuasion is what we talk about in this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. Here are the highlights: 1. Use positive language 2. Know what you are talking about 3. Listen carefully 4. Ask questions 5. Be willing to compromise: 6. Give people space 7. Follow up To be an effective, high-impact leader, you must hone your powers of persuasion and use them for good – to move your team and company forward. When done well, persuasion can be a leader's most powerful tool. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a friend who said, "I made a huge mistake at work and feel terrible. It's causing me deep anxiety. How should I manage this situation?" It's undeniable that everyone encounters moments of stumbling or blundering at some point in their professional journey. Your heart races, your hands get clammy, and that unforgiving dread known as anxiety sets in. Don't fret - mistakes are not your downfall but an opportunity for growth. I share the following suggestions in detail in the episode: • Acknowledge Your Feelings: When anxiety sets in, it's important to acknowledge it. Do not dismiss your feelings. • Pause and Reflect: Rather than diving into damage control mode immediately, take a moment to understand the error. • Confess and Rectify: Honesty and transparency are essential. Inform the relevant parties about the mistake as soon as you can. • Develop a Plan: Analyze the mistake, understand its roots, and then create a clear and concise plan to solve the problem. • Practice Self-Compassion: Mistakes can hurt, but don't let them destroy your confidence. It's easy to spiral into negative self-talk, but being gentle with yourself is essential. • Learn and Adapt: Each mistake is an opportunity for growth. Take time to identify the lessons you can learn from your mistake and use these as stepping stones for your professional development. • Consult a Mentor or Therapist: If anxiety is getting the best of you, seeking help from a mentor or a professional therapist might be beneficial. Ultimately, it's crucial to understand that mistakes are a part of the journey. They're not an indication of your worth or capability. So, breathe, believe, and bounce back. Remember, you are more resilient than you think. Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/1/202319 minutes, 37 seconds
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Elevate Your Team, Elevate Your Culture w/ Robert Glazer

Robert Glazer is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Acceleration Partners, a global partner marketing agency. He is the recipient of numerous industry and company culture awards, including Glassdoor’s Employees’ Choice Awards two years in a row. He is the author of the inspirational newsletter Friday Forward, the #1 Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the internationally bestselling author of five books: Elevate, Friday Forward, How to Thrive in The Virtual Workplace, Moving To Outcomes and Performance Partnerships. He is a sought-after speaker by companies and organizations worldwide and hosts The Elevate Podcast. Episode in a Tweet: People want their companies to provide a consistent vision and clear values and goals that align with their personal values and goals. Not every company is suitable for every employee, and that’s okay. The goal is to find the people who value your culture and do everything you can to keep them. Background: I first became familiar with Bob Glazer when I read an article he wrote on Mindful Transitions, a method to help unhappy or underperforming employees exit the company in a less disruptive way. So, when he was introduced to me by my good friend Chris Schembra, I was thrilled! Bob is a thought leader on building culture and a prolific writer, and I knew he’d be an inspiring guest. During the episode, Bob and I talk about all kinds of things, including mindful transitions, building a winning culture, and handling the WFH vs. in-office work. He shares his thoughts on creating ownership thinking within teams and why leaders must be thoughtful in building compensation plans. He shares why he wrote his latest book, Elevate: Push Beyond Your Limits and Unlock Success in Yourself and Others. How to find Robert: Website: https://robertglazer.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RobertSGlazer Instagram: Robert Glazer (@robertglazer_) LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glazer Twitter: https://twitter.com/robert_glazer Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
7/25/202342 minutes, 10 seconds
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Building a Business in Non-traditional Ways w/ Gina Schaefer

Gina Schaefer knows a thing or two about building a business in non-traditional ways. Gina is the founder and Co-CEO of a chain of Ace Hardware stores located in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, Montgomery County and Northern VA. She is a passionate entrepreneur who grew her company from one to 13 stores in only 14 years and now leads a multimillion-dollar business that employs more than 300 people. She is dedicated to maintaining a strong corporate culture and is selling her company to her teammates through an ESOP. Gina’s big passion is developing urban markets, supporting small businesses, and helping women succeed in all aspects of the hardware industry. She has tirelessly focused on the “Return to Main Street” movement in her city of Washington, D.C., to promote Shop Local campaigns and community revitalization in urban areas. Gina has received numerous accolades for her many accomplishments, including being the recipient of the Women Who Mean Business award from the Washington Business Journal of 2009, being recognized as an industry Top Gun in 2011 by the National Retail Hardware Association, being honored by Profiles in Diversity Journal as one of its Women Worth Watching in 2013 and recognized by Hardware and Building Supply Dealer as one of 14 of the 2016 “People of the Year.” Her book, Recovery Hardware, was published in 2022 and chronicles her business growth and the lessons she learned from hiring folks in recovery – proving that leaders can build a business in non-traditional ways. Episode in a Tweet: I am a far better leader because I am open to learning from non-traditional teachers. Second chances transform communities and change lives—and they often start with one business at a time. Background: I absolutely love this interview. Gina Schafer is one of the most inspiring leaders I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We can all learn from her vision, gumption, grit, and compassion. Not only did she open an Ace Hardware store in a rundown but regentrifying community in Washington DC with no prior experience with hardware, she and her husband built their business by giving those in addiction recovery a chance to change their lives and find meaning and purpose in their work. Her compassion touches my heart – I, too, know what it’s like to have a second chance at getting things right. During the episode, Gina shares how she grew her Ace Hardware store empire to 13 stores, even though she had never touched a power tool in her life. She tells us how she hired a person in recovery without knowing it before he joined the company and how he taught her many things about life, hardware, and second chances. Gina and her husband also decided to sell their stores to their employees through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) and why she hopes that someday Ace Hardware DC will employ millionaire cashiers. Gina is no doubt proof that one can build a business in a non-traditional way. This heartful interview will surely inspire you. Please have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Gina: Book Website: www.recoveryhardware.com Website: https://acehardwaredc.com/ Instagram: recoveryhardware LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gina-schaefer-56380a8/ Preorder my book, The Ownership Mindset, on Amazon or Barnes and Noble Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
7/11/202341 minutes, 16 seconds
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How to Help Struggling Employees Excel

In any workplace, it’s not uncommon for employees to face performance issues at some point. Whether it’s difficulty meeting targets, struggling with new responsibilities, or feeling overwhelmed by the workload, as a colleague or manager, you have the power to support and empower them. By listening, seeking to understand, and offering practical solutions, you can help struggling employees overcome their performance challenges and thrive. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, we explore some practical strategies to assist an employee in need and why leaders must prioritize compassion and understanding. Why Leaders Need to Listen, Seek to Understand, and Be Compassionate Leadership isn’t just about delegating tasks and expecting results. It involves fostering a culture of empathy and support. By actively listening to struggling employees, seeking to understand their perspectives, and showing compassion, leaders can build trust, improve communication, and create an environment where employees feel valued and motivated. This approach cultivates loyalty, boosts morale, and enhances overall team performance. How to Help a Struggling Employee Open the Lines of Communication: Start by initiating an open and honest conversation with the struggling employee. Encourage them to share their concerns, difficulties, and any obstacles they’re facing. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable discussing their performance challenges without fear of judgment or reprimand. Identify Underlying Issues: Dig deeper and identify any underlying factors contributing to the problem. Is it a lack of training, unclear expectations, or personal obstacles? By understanding the root cause, you can tailor your support accordingly. Provide Targeted Support and Guidance: Once you understand the challenges, offer practical solutions and guidance to help the struggling employee improve their performance, such as mentoring, skill-building workshops, or revisiting their job responsibilities to ensure a better fit. Set Realistic Goals and Milestones: Collaborate with the struggling employee to set realistic goals and break them into achievable milestones. This approach allows for progress tracking and instills a sense of accomplishment, boosting motivation. Offer Constructive Feedback and Recognition: Regularly provide constructive feedback to help the person understand areas of improvement and offer guidance for growth. Recognize their efforts and accomplishments, reinforcing positive behavior and fostering a supportive work environment. Supporting struggling employees in improving their performance is an essential responsibility for leaders and colleagues alike. By actively listening, seeking to understand the root causes of their challenges, and approaching them with compassion, we can create an environment conducive to growth and success. Through targeted support, clear goal setting, constructive feedback, and recognition of their efforts, we can empower struggling employees to overcome obstacles, develop their skills, and excel in their roles. Remember, a workplace that prioritizes understanding and support benefits individuals, strengthens the overall team dynamics, and fosters a culture of growth and achievement. Question of the Week This week’s question came from someone on LinkedIn who asked, “How do I get better at giving constructive feedback? I am always nervous and want to avoid giving it.” Great question! Overcoming the fear of giving feedback can be challenging, but you can gradually build your confidence with the right approach. Here are some strategies to help you get over your fear of giving feedback: • Understand the importance of feedback • Prepare and gather information • Start with small steps • Focus on the positive intent • Choose the right timing and environment • Use “I” statements
7/5/202324 minutes
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Leadership Lessons from Extreme Rock Climbing w/ Jessica Billingsley

Guest: Jessica Billingsley has learned many leadership lessons from extreme rock climbing. Currently, as Chairman of the Board and CEO of Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN), a Software as a Service ag-tech company serving the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industry, Jessica has successfully taken the company public, completed multiple accretive acquisitions, and maintained market leadership for over a decade. Before Akerna, she founded and led Zoco, a technology services firm with a diverse nationwide client base. She has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Titan 100 CEO, Outstanding Women in Business, Inc. Top 100 Female Founder, and Fortune's Most Promising Woman Entrepreneur. Her thought leadership has been featured in prominent media outlets, including Business Insider, Bloomberg, CNN, Cheddar, Fortune, and Forbes, in addition to her contributions to Entrepreneur and Rolling Stone publications. Episode in a Tweet: At the end of the day, climbing, like business, is a mental game. It's all about creating mental resilience and being able to think about climbing, not falling. In other words, playing to win, not to lose. Background: Jessica Billingsley is one of the most inspiring CEOs I’ve met. Not only did she take the company she founded public, but she also pioneered the cannabis software industry. I met Jessica through Young President’s Organization (YPO) and have grown to admire, respect and love her as a dear friend. During the episode, Jessica and I discuss how to get and keep more women in tech and what was like to start a bleeding-edge company and then take it public. Jessica, an avid climber, shares the most difficult climb she’s adventured upon and what she learned about leadership and growing a business from climbing. I love her description of the “sharp end of the rope.” In rock climbing, the rope attached to the lead climber is called the “sharp end.” It is the risky end of the rope, where falls are possible. This is a fun and insightful interview and I know you’ll enjoy it! How to find Jessica: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicabillingsley/ Instagram: jessicabillingsley Twitter: jessbillingsley Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/27/202333 minutes, 35 seconds
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Understanding and Overcoming Burnout

You know that feeling when you’ve hit the wall, and the thought of going to work drains you of every ounce of energy? Burnout is a real struggle that can sneak up on even the most dedicated employees. In this episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we’ll explore the causes of burnout, practical steps you can take to address it, and how leaders can lend a helping hand. Here are a few common causes: Excessive workload: When you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, it’s no surprise burnout might be lurking around the corner. Unrealistic deadlines, constant overtime, and a never-ending to-do list can all contribute to burnout. Lack of control: Feeling you have no say in decision-making can be incredibly demoralizing. Burnout can creep in when you cannot influence your work environment or have a sense of autonomy. Lack of recognition and reward: When employees consistently go above and beyond without receiving acknowledgment or appropriate rewards, it can lead to burnout. Feeling undervalued and underappreciated can chip away at motivation and ultimately result in exhaustion. Poor work-life balance: Burnout can take hold when work takes precedence over personal life, and there are neglecting self-care can leave individuals feeling drained and overwhelmed. Poor internal communication: When communication within an organization is ineffective or lacking, it can lead to misunderstandings, confusion, and unnecessary stress. Unclear expectations, misaligned priorities, and a lack of information flow can contribute to burnout among employees. Lack of job satisfaction: Burnout can loom large when employees feel disconnected from their work or lack a sense of purpose. Performing monotonous tasks, feeling unchallenged, or experiencing a mismatch between skills and job responsibilities can drain motivation and lead to burnout. Leaders play a pivotal role in cultivating a positive work environment and preventing burnout among their team members. Some ways they can lend a helping hand are by encouraging open communication, promoting work-life balance, providing growth opportunities, and talking openly about burnout. Burnout may seem unavoidable in our fast-paced work culture, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the causes of burnout, taking proactive steps as individuals, and creating supportive environments as leaders, we can tackle this issue head-on. Question of the Week This question comes from one of my employees, and she asked, “How can I productively disagree with my colleagues?” Disagreements don’t have to result in conflict. Instead, use them to build a stronger relationship. My suggestions: • Assume good intentions. Trust that the person has the best interest of the team and company in mind, even when you don’t agree with their ideas or comments. Give them the benefit of the doubt and hear them out. • Use this as a way to learn. Are you missing a critical piece of information? Are you sure you’ve considered all the possibilities? What can you learn from their perspective? What if your way isn’t the best? • Look for solutions. Instead of looking at the situation as black or white, look for ways to compromise to find a solution. Incorporate their ideas and suggestions into the outcome. • Pick your battles. You don’t always have to win or be right. Look for opportunities to let people try their way and support their efforts rather than silently sabotaging them because you didn’t get your way. • Never let it get personal. Ask questions, debate ideas, and disagree on policy, but never make it personal. Doing so shuts people down and damages relationships. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/20/202335 minutes, 28 seconds
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Leadership is a Journey w/ Velveth Schmitz

Velveth Schmitz knows better than anyone that leadership is a journey. Recently named CEO of Hire Better, an award-winning strategic talent partner for entrepreneurial, growth-minded, middle-market companies, Velveth is on a mission to grow herself and others. Velveth builds partnerships with leaders of high-growth, entrepreneurial organizations by delivering end-to-end solutions that put the right people and strategies in place to build strong corporate cultures and ensure positive financial results. This includes helping founders and CEOs find the right team members to grow their businesses. Velveth also served as Mayor for Rolling Hills Estates in 2020 and continues to serve as Councilmember. She is involved in various 501(c)3 and county boards where she serves as chair or vice-chair. Velveth is a proud alum of the University of California, Berkeley, where she remains involved in various roles. Episode in a Tweet: Lead with love. At the end of the day, we are all doing the best we can with what we have. When leaders show compassion and grace, they help their employees become the best versions of themselves. Background: Velveth Schmitz is a connector by nature and has successfully managed individuals and teams, developed and grown businesses, developed strategic initiatives and effectively managed change. She is a collaborator working to bring out the best in people. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Velveth and I discuss why a leader’s number one job is to bring the best out in their people. She shares how she transitioned from executive team member to CEO and why feedback is so important. She also tells a bit about her experience as Mayor of her community during COVID and what she learned about giving the people she worked with agency to make decisions in the face of the unknown. And finally, she brings me to tears are she shares her experience with mental health, suicide and finding love in the face of tragedy. You’ll love this episode and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! How to find Velveth: www.linkedin.com/in/velvethschmitz https://hirebetter.com/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/12/202351 minutes, 54 seconds
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Common Employee Complaints and How to Address Them

In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, we discuss the most common employee complaints and what managers can address to improve employee morale and productivity. By improving communication, treating employees fairly, addressing workload concerns, providing recognition, offering adequate resources, improving management practices, and creating a positive workplace culture, managers can help ensure their employees feel valued and supported. One of the most common employee complaints is poor communication. Employees often feel left in the dark about important decisions, changes, or updates within the company. To address this, managers can implement regular check-ins with their employees to keep them updated and informed. One-on-one meetings, team meetings, or even email updates can all be effective ways to improve communication and keep employees in the loop. Another common complaint is unfair treatment. Employees want to feel like they are being treated equally and fairly compared to their peers. To address this, managers can be transparent and consistent in their decision-making processes. This means ensuring that everyone is treated fairly regarding pay, promotions, and work assignments. Excessive workload is another common complaint that can lead to burnout and dissatisfaction among employees. To address this, managers can work with their team members to prioritize tasks and set realistic deadlines. They can also consider hiring additional staff or outsourcing certain tasks to help alleviate the workload. Lack of recognition is also a common complaint that can impact employee morale and productivity. Managers can recognize and celebrate their employees' achievements and contributions to address this. This can be done through verbal recognition, rewards and incentives, or even promotions. Inadequate resources can also be a source of frustration for employees. To address this, managers can work with their team members to identify the resources they need to do their job effectively and then work to provide those resources. Poor management is a complaint that can significantly impact employee morale and productivity. To address this, managers can work on developing their leadership skills, such as communication, delegation, and conflict resolution. They can also seek feedback from their employees and work on improving their management practices based on that feedback. Workplace culture and job insecurity can also impact employee morale and engagement. To address these issues, managers can work to create a positive and supportive workplace culture by promoting open communication, collaboration, and teamwork. They can also provide clear expectations and feedback to their employees to help alleviate concerns about job insecurity. Question of the Week My boss is incredibly insecure and is so worried about looking bad that she doesn't trust her team. What can I do to earn her trust? Dealing with an insecure boss can be challenging. Still, there are some steps you can take to earn their trust, such as communicating effectively, being dependable, building a relationship, and offering solutions to problems. Remember, it's not your responsibility to fix your boss's insecurities. However, being a reliable and trustworthy team member can help create a more positive work environment for everyone. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
6/7/202325 minutes, 55 seconds
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Help Your Employees Achieve Their Goals w/ Dr. Benjamin Ritter

Dr. Benjamin Ritter, founder of Live for Yourself Consulting, is passionate about helping people achieve their goals. Ben is a leadership and career coach, Talent Development Executive, values geek, international speaker, and podcaster passionate about guiding leaders to be the leader of their own career and create a career they love. With over ten years of experience working with clients from companies such as Amazon, Coursera, Doordash, Google, Fiserv, Northwestern, Pinterest, and Yelp, Ben understands how to navigate any career path you decide you want to travel. Since launching his coaching practice, he has guided hundreds of professionals toward creating the career they love and has impacted thousands through his events and media content. Ben received his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, focusing on value congruence and job satisfaction, and earned an MBA in entrepreneurial management and an MPH in health policy administration. Episode in a Tweet: People don’t start disengaged; they become disengaged. As a leader, you must recognize your employees and help them grow in their careers and lives. Background: From empowering young professionals to get unstuck to guiding senior leadership on how to stand out from the competition, develop executive presence, and feel confident in being a leader, Ben Ritter is an expert in his field and will guide you toward truly living for yourself at work and in life. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Ben and I discuss why employees become disengaged and what leaders can do about it. We discuss the importance of leaning into tough conversations and having weekly tag-ups that help your employees achieve their career development goals. I love what Ben says, “Let your employees know you are rooting for them!” Who doesn’t want that? Ben’s expertise is incredibly helpful and he gives actional advice and tips on how to help your employees perform better, achieve their goals, and get the promotions they are hoping for and working for. How to find Ben: https://www.liveforyourselfconsulting.com/ www.linkedin.com/in/ritterbenj instagram.com/in/ritterbenj https://benjamin-ritter.com/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO!
5/30/202347 minutes
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Don’t Let Other People’s Opinions Dictate Your Life

Throughout my teens and twenties, I let other people’s opinions dictate much of my life. I was constantly worried that people wouldn’t like me, and I compared my success to others. Caring deeply about what others thought of me led me to a dark, destructive place. As I matured, I realized that I spent far too much energy caring about opinions that really didn’t matter. Over time, with practice and much self-reflection, I learned to relinquish the need for so much external validation. Doing so opened my eyes to what’s possible. I finally started going after my dreams and creating the life I wanted. I became a more confident leader who wasn’t afraid to admit mistakes, pivot away from poor decisions, and ultimately make bold moves that transformed our company and industry. And that’s what this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO is about. How to let go of the need for external validation. How to stop letting other people’s opinions dictate your life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for feedback or understand your impact on others. Self-awareness is a critical leadership trait; you should value the opinions of the people you work for and with. But far too often, we don’t go after our dreams and live our best lives because we worry, we will be disliked, judged or shunned for our life decisions. And this is a path to an unfulfilling life. It’s essential to understand that people’s opinions of you do not reflect your worth. Just because someone doesn’t like you or disagrees with your choices doesn’t mean you are less valuable or deserving of love and respect. It’s important to remember that everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs, but that doesn’t mean they are valid. If you’re constantly worrying about what others think of you, it can be a significant source of stress and anxiety and can make it challenging to be yourself so you can pursue your passions and goals. You may find yourself changing your behavior or beliefs to please others, which can ultimately lead to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Caring too much about what others think of you can hold you back from taking risks and trying new things. If you’re constantly worried about how others will perceive you, you may be hesitant to step outside of your comfort zone and pursue important things. This can ultimately limit your personal growth and prevent you from reaching your full potential. The most important thing is to focus on your happiness and well-being. Don’t let the opinions of others dictate your life and your choices. You are the only one who knows what is truly best for you, and you should never compromise your values and beliefs to please others. Of course, this is easier said than done. It can be difficult to let go of the need for external validation, especially if you’ve been conditioned to seek it out for most of your life. But with practice and self-reflection, you can learn to prioritize your feelings and needs above the opinions of others. Question of the Week This week’s question came from one of my employees who came to talk t me about feeling like she had lost some of her motivation at work. As we talked through how she was feeling, she asked, “Do you ever lose motivation at work, and if so, what do you do?” My answer: Absolutely. We all go through motivation ebbs and flows, and a leader who tells you they never lose motivation is lying to you. But it’s our responsibility to figure out why we have lost motivation and recommit to making an impact. Listen in to learn how I recommit and some hacks I use to find inspiration when it’s waned. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/23/202325 minutes, 20 seconds
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How to Be An Effective CEO w\ Joel Trammell

Joel Trammell is the founder and CEO of American CEO and Khorus Systems, a business management system that empowers CEOs to lead high performance organizations, and the owner of Texas CEO Magazine, which reaches more than 10,000 CEOs across the state. A successful entrepreneur and CEO with 30 years of experience, Joel is a pioneer in CEO education. After decades as a CEO – a field in which the average shelf life is only five years – Joel identified a pervasive problem: many of his fellow business leaders seriously lacked the fundamental tools and education to make their companies genuinely great. He launched The American CEO to provide the support and guidance his peers lacked. He also wrote a book titled The CEO Tightrope, a comprehensive guide featuring proven techniques and approaches for overcoming the unique challenges of being a CEO. Episode in a Tweet: Being a CEO is demanding and there’s no one way to do it well, but the best CEOs embody the three Cs: credibility, competence, and caring. If you have the three Cs, you’re far more likely to succeed in the CEO role. Background: Joel Trammell is on a mission to teach new and current CEOs what almost no one else is teaching: how to successfully perform the CEO job. Most people enter the CEO job with lots of knowledge and experience in certain aspects of business but no specific training for the CEO role. I understand this well. As a new and young CEO, I made many mistakes, like deciding by trial and error, changing direction too often, and letting underperformers stay too long. I had to learn how to be a CEO by being a CEO. American CEO’s mission is to prevent the issues I experienced all those years ago through a professional, systematic approach to the CEO role. And that’s what Joel and I talk about during this week’s episode of Reflect Forward. Joel shares how the CEO role is different from other leadership roles. He says (and I agree) that people think of the CEO as just one step up from other executive jobs. However, the CEO job is a difference of kind, not of degree. It comes with a very different set of responsibilities and challenges. If you want to be a CEO or simply understand the CEO role better, you’ll gain so much insight from this interview with Joel. Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Joel: Website: www.AmericanCEO.com Twitter account: @TheAmericanCEO Book: https://americanceo.com/ceotightrope/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/16/202342 minutes, 59 seconds
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Help Your Employees Embrace Change

In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share why people are change resistant and what you can do to help your employees embrace change. Change is a natural part of life, and it’s no different in the workplace. But let’s face it; not everyone is excited about the idea of change, and many people are hesitant or even resistant to change in the workplace. To help their employees embrace change, leaders must understand why their team members resist change and know how to address it. Why are people afraid of change? • Fear of the unknown: When people don’t know what’s going to happen or how a change will affect their job, it can be scary. They may worry that they won’t be able to perform their duties or that their job will become obsolete. • Comfort with status quo: People may have gotten used to the current system and may not see the need for change. Why change if the present method is working well enough? • Loss of control: People get frustrated and resentful when they feel that they have little control over the changes and that their input doesn’t matter. • Fear of failure: People may worry that the change will not work out as planned and that they will be held responsible for any adverse consequences. • Lack of communication: No one likes being in the dark or the last to know; if leaders aren’t communicating frequently, their employees will be more resistant to change. Despite these challenges, change can be positive and necessary for growth and progress. In fact, if a company isn’t changing and evolving, it will be left behind in this rapidly changing world. So if you want to be an impactful leader, you need to help your employees embrace change. Here are a few tips: Communicate openly and effectively: Be transparent about the reasons for the change and how it will affect the company and its employees. Listen to employees’ concerns and address them proactively. Provide training and resources: Employees may need new skills or tools to adapt to the change. Provide training and resources to help employees develop the necessary skills and adapt to the new way of working. Involve employees in the process: When employees feel like they have a say in the change process, they are more likely to be invested in the outcome. Involve employees in decision-making, gather feedback and ideas, and encourage participation in the change process. Lead by example: Model the behavior you want to see in your employees. Your employees are more likely to follow suit if you are positive and enthusiastic about the change. Celebrate progress and success: Celebrate the milestones and successes achieved along the way. Frequent acknowledgment of wins helps to reinforce the benefits of the change and creates a sense of momentum and excitement. Change can be difficult, but it’s a necessary part of growth and progress in the workplace. By taking the right approach, leaders can help employees embrace change and create a positive work environment. Question of the week This week’s question comes from a student I am mentoring considering multiple job opportunities upon graduation this spring. He asked me, “Kerry, how should I evaluate these opportunities? How do I know which is best, and what are the most critical criteria for choosing? My answer is to choose the one with the best manager who cares about your growth, well-being and career development, especially for your first job. Listen in to hear more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/13/202318 minutes, 55 seconds
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Navigate Complexity and Uncertainty to Succeed and Thrive

As a leader, navigating complexity and uncertainty can feel like trying to sail a ship through a stormy sea without a map or compass. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we discuss navigating complexity and uncertainty. In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, complexity and uncertainty are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Leaders must be able to navigate these challenges if they want to succeed and thrive. So, how do you navigate complexity and uncertainty as a leader? Embrace the chaos: Instead of fighting or controlling the complexity and uncertainty around you, try embracing it. Recognize that it’s a natural part of the business world and that you can learn and grow from it. Develop a growth mindset: Approach complexity and uncertainty as opportunities to learn and grow rather than obstacles to overcome. Be open to new ideas, feedback, and perspectives and be willing to adapt and change as needed. Build a strong network: Surround yourself with people who can help you navigate complexity and uncertainty, including mentors, colleagues, and experts in your field. This network can provide you with valuable advice, support, and insights. Stay focused on your goals: Amid complexity and uncertainty, it can be easy to lose sight of your goals. Stay focused on what you’re trying to achieve, and be willing to adjust your approach as needed. Communicate clearly and frequently: Communication is more important than ever in times of complexity and uncertainty. Ensure you’re communicating clearly and frequently with your team, stakeholders, and customers and that you’re listening to their concerns and feedback. During the episode, I share real-life examples demonstrating how to navigate the chaos and make good decisions. I also discuss why some leaders fail at leading well through complexity and uncertainty. And finally, I share the most leadership trait you must possess to lead well through uncertainty: adaptability. Ultimately, adaptable leaders can lead their teams through uncertainty with confidence and clarity, keeping everyone focused on the end goal while navigating the twists and turns of the journey. Listen in to learn more. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a Reflect Forward listener who asked, “After listening to your podcast on staying calm under pressure, I was left wondering about your relationship with stress and how that impacts your ability to remain calm under pressure. Can you share your thoughts on this?” I love this question, and during that podcast, I failed to address the fact that each of us has a unique relationship with stress which determines how we handle it. And each of us has different triggers, so what stresses one person out may not phase the next. There is no one (or right) way to deal with stress, so developing self-awareness is critical. Listen in to find out why. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/9/202335 minutes, 31 seconds
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Lead Forward and Chase Greatness w\ Rajeev Kapur

Rajeev Kapur believes that now is the time to lead forward and chase greatness. Rajeev is a seasoned high-tech and media executive with broad global experience leading and driving innovation. Rajeev is the CEO of 1105 Media, a leading provider of business-to-business marketing, events, and media services. In 2021 and 2022, he was a finalist for Entrepreneur and Innovator of The Year from the Orange County Business Journal and was named one of the Top 500 Leaders in Orange County. Rajeev has been a YPO (Young President’s Organization) member for over 15 years and has been a guest contributor to CNBC. In November 2021, he became a bestselling author when he launched his new leadership book – Chase Greatness: Enlightened Leadership for The Next Generation of Disruption. The book was the most downloaded leadership book on Amazon. He is an accomplished keynote speaker and executive coach for companies like ATT, Google, Amazon and Hugo Boss about the future of leadership. He is also an accomplished screenplay writer, represented by The Rêve Agency. Episode in a Tweet: Enlightened leadership goes beyond servant leadership. Enlightened leaders help their teams live their best lives and make their dreams come true. Background: I met Rajeev at a YPO event in Rio di Janeiro, and we hit it off immediately. I loved his leadership philosophy and his “Kapur Rules” on Instagram, where he serves up bite-sized leadership tips you can act on immediately. During this episode, Rajeev and I discuss the future of leadership, which he describes in his book Chase Greatness: Enlightened Leadership for The Next Generation of Disruption. He shares his vision of the future of work and how leaders must prepare for the next phase of disruption. Rajeev also tells us about TWGNs, which stands for This Week’s Good News, a practice he put in place to get his team to focus on the current week’s positives rather than what didn’t get done. He shares how he came up with the title of his book and why he believes enlightened leadership is the new servant leadership. Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Rajeev: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rajeevkapur1 Instagram: @therajeevkapur Website: www.rajeevkapur.com Here is a link to his book, Chase Greatness Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
5/2/202341 minutes, 50 seconds
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Focus on Mental Health and Wellbeing to Create a High-Performing Workplace w/ Paula Allen

Paula Allen is the Global Leader, Research and Total Wellbeing and a Senior Vice-President at Telus Health. In this role, she manages the research agenda for Telus, which includes primary research conducted by LifeWorks, exploratory data science, research collaborations and meta-analyses. Given her focus on industry-leading research, Paula also leads LifeWorks thought leadership and co-chairs the organization’s product and innovation strategy. Paula is also a well-recognized expert in all areas of workplace mental health, learning strategies, disability management and drug plan management. She designed and led the most comprehensive employer response to the H1N1 pandemic and is LifeWorks’s business response and resource lead for the COVID-19 pandemic. She also works directly with many of Canada’s leading organizations. Paula is a sought-after speaker by organizations, national media and conferences for her knowledge and expertise in current issues and the future direction of health, well-being, productivity and related risk management. Episode in a Tweet: A big misconception is that if you focus on employee mental health and well-being, you will somehow have a soft and unproductive workplace. This is categorically false. When you promote health and well-being, you give people the energy and fuel to step up to the plate and do an exceptional job. Background: During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Paula Allen and I discuss the importance of mental health and well-being in the workplace. Paula is passionate about the current and emerging issues impacting health, productivity, and related costs, and her scope includes all areas of well-being — social, physical, financial and mental. Paula shares insights gleaned from the 2022 Mental Health Index (spoiler alert: mental health is on the decline, significantly impacting your employees and overall workplace). Paula shares how to tell if one of your team members is struggling and what to do about it, including how to listen, ask questions, and helpfully offer support. She argues that the worst thing a leader can do is ignore mental health issues in the workplace. Paula also boldly states that one of the top ways to address a lack of productivity and engagement in the workplace is to focus on mental health and well-being. There are so many great tips and insights in this episode. Check it out and let me know what you think! How to find Paula: Website: https://lifeworks.com/en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialLifeWorks Twitter: https://twitter.com/LifeWorks Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/officiallifeworks/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/18/202339 minutes
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How to Stay Calm Under Pressure

In the volatile world we live in; it’s hard to remain calm under pressure. But it’s a required trait of great leaders. And that’s what we discuss in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward – how to stay calm under pressure. Staying calm under pressure is key to surviving these turbulent times. Responding thoughtfully rather than emotionally will help you create a more intentional outcome. Intentional outcomes can lead to lower stress, better relationships, and higher productivity. In short, staying cool, calm, and collected when you want to freak out will improve the overall quality of your life. Wikipedia defines calmness as “the mental state of peace of mind is free from agitation, excitement, or disturbance. It also refers to being in a state of serenity, tranquility, or peace.” Doesn’t this sound wonderful? Even better, when you make high stake decisions or respond to a high-stress situation from a state of calmness, the quality of the outcome tends to be better. Who doesn’t want that? Remaining calm under pressure as a leader means maintaining composure and staying level-headed during stressful or high-pressure situations. It involves staying focused on the task at hand, making clear and rational decisions, and communicating effectively with team members. Leaders who remain calm under pressure can inspire confidence in their team members and maintain a sense of stability even in the face of uncertainty. They can think critically and objectively and are less likely to make impulsive or emotional decisions that could have negative consequences. To remain calm under pressure, leaders must cultivate emotional intelligence, practice mindfulness and self-reflection, and develop effective coping strategies for managing stress. They may also need to develop contingency plans and anticipate potential challenges to be better prepared to handle unexpected situations. During the episode, I share the five things I do to stay cool, calm, and collected in the face of pressure, inducing staying present, asking questions, avoiding spiraling, changing negative language to positive language, and giving myself time to cool down. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from another Colorado CEO who asked me, “What’s the best icebreaker you use in team meetings? I am tired of using the same ones!” I love this question. I use icebreakers all the time and recently asked this one, “What’s the worst job you’ve had?” The responses are priceless and insightful. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for! 867917
4/11/202316 minutes, 21 seconds
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Know Yourself, Love Yourself w/Naketa Ren Thigpen

Naketa Ren Thigpen is on a to help leaders thrive. She says you’ve got to know yourself, love yourself to be able to lead yourself and others well. Naketa’s the #1 Balance (and) Relationship Advisor in the World, activating power couples and potent humans ready to recalibrate and own their right to be intentionally selfish to amplify relationship intimacy as they grow to live in the space of (and) fully. Utilizing her distinct experiential, intuitive and highly energetic style, Naketa hosts the Balance Boldly Podcast and International Best Selling Author of the book Selfish: Permission to Pause, Live, Love, and Laugh Your Way to Joy. A highly sought-after Transformative Empowerment Speaker and CEO of ThigPro Balance (and) Relationship Management Institute, Naketa is revolutionizing work/life balance and how to love yourself fully. Episode in a Tweet: Perfectionism is a form of bondage that anchors you down and stops you from producing anything until it’s perfect. You’ve got to release your perfectionism to be a great leader and live a fulfilling life. Background: Naketa’s philosophy is simple. Your balance and relationships improve once you own your right to recalibrate, admit your truth and create boundaries that allow you to achieve that truth as your new reality. Being intentionally selfish gives you the space to grow, learn and thrive. You’ve got to know yourself, love yourself to thrive. During this episode, Naketa and I discuss what it means to be intentionally selfish, and she shares a deeply personal story about how she had to choose her health and well-being at a very young age. We discuss the importance of creating boundaries and why having intimate (not the sexual kind) relationships at work makes for a more vital workplace. Naketa shares how leaders can improve communication to increase connection with their teammates, which is what most of us look for deep down inside. Naketa is passionate and energetic, and I know you’ll love this interview. Check it out and let me know what you think! How to find Naketa: Website: http://www.thigpro.com Suite: http://beintentionallyselfish.com/ Podcasts: https://balanceboldly.buzzsprout.com/ LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/naketathigpen Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/asknaketa Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
4/4/202345 minutes, 59 seconds
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The Difference Between Responsibility and Accountability

In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, we talk about the difference between responsibility and accountability. Responsibility and accountability are terms often used interchangeably, but they're not quite the same. While they're both important for success in life and work, understanding their differences can help you navigate situations more clearly and confidently. Let's start with responsibility. When we talk about responsibility, we're talking about what we're expected to do or our obligations to ourselves and others. It's about fulfilling our duties and being reliable. When we take on responsibility, we promise ourselves or others that we'll follow through. Sometimes people feel burdened by responsibility. But being responsible can be empowering. It's about choosing to choose. And when you take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life, you can change your situation, rectify a mistake, grow and learn, and live a more fulfilling life. For example, I am responsible for stewarding my company and its employees. Rather than feeling obligated or burdened, I choose to embrace this responsibility wholeheartedly. No matter what happens, good or bad, I am responsible, and being responsible drives my decision-making and attitude. And this gives me the power to create my future, impact my company, and fix mistakes. Now let's talk about accountability. Accountability is about ownership and consequences and how your decisions impact others. When we're accountable, we take responsibility for our actions' outcomes and acknowledge that we have a role in the results, whether positive or negative. Here is an example of responsibility and accountability: let's say you're working on a team project at your job. You have a specific task to complete, and you're accountable for ensuring it gets done on time and to the best of your ability. If you don't fulfill this accountability, the project might suffer, and your team members might have to pick up the slack. So, responsibility is embracing your obligations, commitments, choices, and attitude, while accountability is about owning the outcomes of our actions and their impact on others. During the episode, I share a few more examples to explain the difference and why responsibility is SO important in life and leadership. Why? Because taking ownership of your actions and being accountable for your mistakes can help you grow and improve as an employee, ultimately leading to greater success in your career. Here is a link to the book I discuss in the episode, The Power of Owning Up. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a fellow YPOer who asked me, "how do you do with your anxiety?" While everyone is different, I share my tips, including introspection, exercise, deep breathing and time. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/28/202330 minutes, 37 seconds
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Leading with Kindness w/ Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs believes leading with kindness is the only way to lead. He is the Founder & CEO of Pavilion, a community-powered learning platform for go-to-market leaders and teams. Sam launched Pavilion as Revenue Collective in 2016 and bootstrapped the company to $10M in ARR before taking on a $25M growth financing round in early 2021, led by Elephant Ventures and GTM Fund. Pavilion is powered by an international community of more than 10,000 sales, marketing, RevOps, and successful leaders from the world’s fastest-growing companies. Everyone at Pavillion teaches new skills, forges meaningful connections, and helps companies grow. Pavilion University leverages a proprietary Immersive Learning Framework™ to fuse structured training with ongoing social learning and just-in-time resources that drive results. Prior to Pavilion, Sam spent 15 years as a senior revenue leader at VC-backed companies in the New York area, including Gerson Lehrman Group, Axial, Livestream/Vimeo, The Muse, and Behavox. Episode in a Tweet: You will find success when you understand your values and what brings you joy. I found joy in helping people I care about and respect achieve their personal goals; nothing is more rewarding. Background: “There’s a better way to do business.” This belief is what inspired Sam Jacobs to start his company, Pavillion. Sam says, “We’ve been taught that business is cutthroat — but it doesn’t have to be. Pavilion is proof that building a business on foundational values, centering reciprocity, and coming from kindness works.” During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Sam and I discuss the power of values, networking, and finding what brings you joy and doing it. Same talks about his book, Kind Folks Finish First, the story of how Pavillion came to be after being fired from his 5th job. After seeing his tenure as a revenue leader shrink, he was inspired to look at the long game and stop being transactional. Sam shares the process he went through to find his mission and how joy, kindness and respect drives everything he does. This is an introspective and fun conversion that I know you’ll enjoy. Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Sam: Website: www.joinpavilion.com Website: https://www.joinpavilion.com/kind-folks-finish-first LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/samfjacobs/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/21/202350 minutes, 8 seconds
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Incorporating Mindfulness at Work: How and Why

Mindfulness is important in the workplace. It helps leaders and employees to be more present, aware and focused. I’ve experienced benefits such as: • Improved decision-making: Mindfulness can help leaders better manage their emotions and reactions, leading to more thoughtful and considerate decision-making. • Increased creativity: It can help to open up new perspectives and ideas, leading to more creativity and innovation. • Better communication: It can help improve listening and empathy, leading to better communication and stronger relationships with colleagues and clients. • Reduced stress: It can help to reduce stress and anxiety, which can lead to better health, well-being, and improved job performance. • Improved time management: It can help increase focus, leading to better time management and productivity. • Increased job satisfaction: It can help increase job satisfaction and engagement as employees better manage their emotions and are more focused on their work. It can help improve the overall performance and well-being of your company’s employees and is becoming an increasingly important topic in the workplace. How can you incorporate mindfulness in the workplace? • Encourage regular breaks: Employees should take regular breaks during the day to practice mindfulness techniques like deep breathing, meditation or stretching. • Lead by example: Practice mindfulness. Model the behavior you want to see in your team. • Offer mindfulness training: Training or workshops could help employees learn and practice mindfulness techniques. • Incorporate mindfulness into meetings: Start with a guided meditation or deep breathing exercise. • Encourage digital detox: Encourage employees to unplug from technology during breaks to help them be more present and focused. • Encourage work-life balance: Help employees to prioritize their well-being by promoting a healthy work-life balance and encouraging them to take time off when they need it. Remember that mindfulness is a personal practice. What works for one person may not work for another. Offering various options and encouraging employees to find what works best for them is important. What should I do if I hate meditating? There are many other ways to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine such as: • Walking: Take a mindful walk and focus on your breath, your surroundings, and the sensation of your feet on the ground. • Yoga: It can be a form of moving meditation, focus on your breath and movement. • Journaling: Reflect on your thoughts and emotions by writing them down. • Coloring: It can be a meditative activity that helps to focus the mind and reduce stress. • Listening to music: Listen to music mindfully, focusing on the lyrics and the feelings the songs evoke. • Cooking or Baking: Pay attention to the textures, colors, smells and the process. • Mindful Eating: Pay attention to your food, the flavors and eating experience without distractions. • Mindful Breathing: Take a few minutes to focus on your breath; you can do it anywhere, no need to sit in silence. Finding a mindfulness practice that works for you is important. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques to find one you enjoy. Remember, the goal is to be present and aware, not to force yourself to do something you don’t like. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a LinkedIn connection who asked, “What are you reading now?” I’m listening to Berne Brown’s Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection and Courage, and it’s fascinating. I love the way she differentiates between shame and guilt. Have a listen to find out more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/14/202320 minutes, 44 seconds
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Always Serve Others Because It’s the Right Thing to Do w/ Chaz Wolfe

Guest: Chaz Wolfe is truly a servant leader. His motto is “always serve others because it’s the right thing to do.” He is a high-performing, serial entrepreneur who has built, purchased and sold multiple seven-figure franchising, real estate and consulting ventures. Chaz is a studied and accomplished professional who values discipline and integrity. He’s an operations and process maximizer and an award-winning sales and business mind. Chaz is known to push the limits of work ethic, mindset and results. As a dynamic leader, consultant and speaker, he has helped domestic and international organizations achieve massive growth and success. Chaz is also the founder of The Gathering of Kings, a peer-to-peer learning organization whose mission is to ignite successful entrepreneurs with genuine connection points that intentionally develop a lifestyle of leveraging time, resources, and key relationships. His podcast, also called The Gathering of Kings, brings together entrepreneurs who can learn from each other as they build their lives and businesses. Episode in a Tweet: You can’t lead the world without authority, and you don’t have authority without serving others. Always be of service. Not for what you get out of it but because it’s the right thing to do. Background: I met Chaz on his show, The Gathering of Kings. I loved his passion and energy and invited him to join me on Reflect Forward. During our conversation, Chaz tells us what it was like being raised by a single mom (we share similar experiences) and what it was like when he met his real dad for the first time in his late 20s – and it was a complete surprise. We discuss authenticity and grit and why leaders go through the Warrior stage. Listen in to find out what that means. Chaz and I also discuss the power of choosing yourself and working hard to achieve what you want. He sheds insight on how not to view life as a zero-sum game but one that can produce many outcomes if you focus on the right things. And I love Chaz’s take on servant leadership. He says leaders must always serve, serve, serve – not because of personal gain but because it’s the right thing to do. I know you’ll enjoy this interview. Check it out and let me know what you think! How to Find Chaz: Gathering the Kings: www.gatheringthekings.com Website: www.chazwolfe.com Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chaz-wolfe-86767054/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chazwolfe Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gatheringthekings/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
3/7/202346 minutes, 41 seconds
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Prioritize Purpose to be a High-Performing Leader

We discuss purpose in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. Not just personal purpose by your company’s purpose. A company’s higher purpose is a crucial component of its success, as it provides a clear direction and meaning for all stakeholders, including employees, customers, shareholders, and the wider community. A higher purpose can help a company attract and retain top talent, build a loyal customer base, make strategic decisions, and create positive social and environmental impact. Leaders need to prioritize purpose and help their employees embrace it. Leaders can help employees embrace purpose by communicating it clearly, making it part of the company culture, providing opportunities for employee input and development, leading by example, measuring and rewarding progress, and encouraging volunteerism and community service. These steps will help employees understand and align with the company’s purpose and be more motivated and engaged in their work. When a company has a clear purpose, it is easier for leaders to make decisions that align with its values and goals, leading to long-term success. Additionally, having a higher purpose can help a company create a positive social and environmental impact, which benefits society. By prioritizing purpose, leaders can help their employees be proud of their work and feel a sense of meaning and fulfillment in their careers. A higher purpose is essential for a company’s success and should be a priority for leaders. By helping their employees embrace purpose, leaders can create a more engaged, motivated, and purposeful workforce aligned with the company’s mission and values. This, in turn, can lead to long-term success for the company and a positive impact on society. Question of the Week “How do you know if you are hard to work for?” I was once told I was hard to work for, and truth be told, it was true. I am hard driving and change my mind often. During the episode, I talk about different ways you could be hard to work for and how to let go of some of the behaviors that hold you back from being your best leadership self. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/28/202329 minutes, 37 seconds
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Use Conscious Leadership to Maximize Your Impact w/ Jeffrey Deckman

Guest: Jeffrey is passionate about using conscious leadership to maximize impact. He is a nationally recognized thought leader and award-winning author on the next evolution of leadership: Conscious Leadership. His recently published book: “Developing the Conscious Leadership Mindset for the 21st Century” won a total of four national and international Stevie Awards® and is an Amazon best seller in the Occupational and Organizational Psychology category. Jeffrey’s background is one of a serial entrepreneur who bootstrapped two multi-million dollar companies, several non-profits and multiple political organizations. Since 2005 he has been a leadership and organizational performance consultant and leadership coach. He’s helped scores of clients grow by strengthening their leadership teams and helping them uncover and mobilize the hidden human capital that drives performance and profits in the 21st century. Jeffrey is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and regularly publishes on the Forbes.com blog. Jeffrey is also a stage 4 cancer “thriver” and a dedicated student of spiritual teachings and a Reiki Master. He blends his life experiences with decades of front-line management experience to help his clients build powerful and resilient 21st-century-ready organizations. Episode in a Tweet: Those who educate themselves in the ways of Conscious Leadership will maximize their impact in the new world that is unfolding in front of our very eyes. Background: Jeffrey Deckman’s mission is to help other small businesspeople to grow their businesses without going through the headache he went through as a serial entrepreneur. He does this by sharing his keys to success: • Understanding that human capital is more valuable than financial capital • moving away from authoritarian operating to conscious leadership • Empowering individuals to maximize the collective genius of the “tribe” and, consequently, increase their profits in a way they can implement in the real world During the episode, Jeffery and I discuss how the days of command-and-control leadership are over and how the be effective; leaders must learn how to connect with their team members, tapping into what motivates them. We discuss why the journey inward to understanding oneself is the beginning of conscious leadership. We discuss the power of feedback, being coachable, and the freedom of knowing yourself, being okay with who you are, and always being authentic. This is a fun and spiritual conversation that I know you’ll enjoy. Please have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Jeffrey: https://jeffreydeckman.com/blog/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/jeffreydeckmanconsciousleadershipinaction/ https://twitter.com/_deckman_ https://www.facebook.com/JDeckman56 https://www.youtube.com/c/JeffreyDeckman Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/21/202349 minutes, 20 seconds
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What to Do When You're Embarrassed at Work

In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss what to do when you embarrass yourself at work. We’ve all experienced embarrassment at work, and I share two very visceral experiences during the episode. In both instances, I was so upset with myself and mortified beyond belief. If you find yourself in a situation where you have embarrassed yourself at work, there are a few things you can do to try and mitigate the situation: • Breathe and practice self-compassion • Take responsibility and apologize • Learn from the experience • Let go and move on Pro tip: Communicate with your supervisor or HR if the situation is problematic to the organization. Don’t allow your manager to be blindsided by learning about the situation from someone else. I also discuss what to do as a leader when an employee is upset and embarrassed over a mistake such as showing empathy and compassion. It’s never easy to talk about screw-ups, and you must create an environment where it is safe to talk about mistakes and find a path forward. Do not blame or shame. If the employee’s embarrassment was due to a mistake or performance issue, provide constructive feedback and coaching to help them improve. And finally, show appreciation and recognition for the person’s hard work, effort, and the strengths they bring to the table to help them see that the mistake doesn’t define them. Remember, your embarrassing mistakes don’t define you but can shape your identity if you embrace the lessons learned. We all embrass ourselves from time to time, it’s part of being human. Lead yourself through it and come out the other side stronger and more resilient. Question of the Week “What do you do when one of your colleagues isn’t doing their job?” It can be incredibly frustrating working with someone who doesn’t pull their weight. I’ve experienced this myself and eventually left the organization because the person never stepped up. I recognize this isn’t an option for everyone so I share the process you should use to address it and some tips to stay positive and not enable the behavior. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/14/202332 minutes, 37 seconds
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Live Your Life By Design, Not Default w/ Ron Carson

Guest: Ron Carson is living his life by design, but he wasn’t always this way. Ron is the Founder and CEO of Carson Group, which serves financial advisors and investors through its businesses, including Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching, and Carson Partners. Founded in 1983, Carson Wealth has grown to become one of the largest wealth management firms in the country, offering portfolio management and wealth planning services to high-net-worth clients. Established in 1993, Carson Coaching has grown to become one of the leading advisor coaching programs in the country, empowering advisors to overcome key business challenges through personalized coaching, proven strategies, marketing services and a passionate community of thousands of advisors. Carson Partners empowers advisors to improve client service, efficiently run their practice, grow their business and build a legacy through a turnkey integrated partnership. All three organizations are headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska but serve a broad base of advisors and investors across the U.S. and Canada. Expanding his impact beyond the chair of CEO, Ron is actively involved in charitable giving. His mission is to “do the greatest amount of good for the greatest number of people.” He and his wife, Jeanie, co-founded the Dreamweaver Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling end-of-life dreams for seniors with terminal illness. He also founded the American Charitable Foundation – a foundation for the more efficient disposition of charitable assets. He has led the charge at Carson Group for providing more than 600,000 meals to children in Kenya through work with No Hungry Children. Episode in a Tweet: Most of society, unfortunately, is on an unconscious journey to arrive at death safely, meaning that we get in a rut. Don’t do this. Live your life by design. Background: I met Ron at a CEO Coaching International CEO Summit last year, and he inspired me with his story of changing his mindset to break free of limiting beliefs and living life from a place of fear. He is a remarkable human committed to helping others and making an impact. During this episode, Ron and I talk about how his life changed when he changed his thinking, quit drinking and expanded his mind through the use of medicinal psychedelic therapy. He shares how his life changed when he quit drinking and started trusting others to help him grow his business. We talk about how labels can define us negatively and why you should blueprint your life so that you can live your life by design, not default. We talk about how we have more capacity to give and be compassionate when we work on improving and understanding ourselves. My favorite part of the interviews is when he talks about why people live life trying to die safely. Powerful stuff. This episode is not your average leadership talk; it’s spiritual, engaging and life-changing. Enjoy and let me know what you think! How to find Ron: www.carsongroup.com www.carsonwealth.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/roncarson1 https://twitter.com/rchusker?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Links from the show The Second Mountain by David Brooks How to Change your Mind by Michale Pollan What Alcohol Does to Your Body, Brain and Health Podcast with Andrew Huberman PhD Blueprint Guide Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
2/7/202341 minutes, 54 seconds
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How to Ask for Help at Work

During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we talk about why it’s important to ask for help at work, including how it helps you save time, increases productivity, and provides learning and skill development opportunities. It’s rarely easy to ask for help at work. Some see asking for help as a sign of weakness. “I should be able to handle everything independently,” they think. Or maybe they are worried about being judged or viewed negatively by their colleagues or manager. Some people may feel uncomfortable revealing they don’t know what to do next or are over their heads. And let’s face it, some workplace cultures may not promote or support asking for help, and it can be hard to find someone willing to offer help – which is unfortunate. I also share ideas on overcoming your fear of asking for help at work, such as identifying the root cause of your fear, reframing your thinking, and practicing asking for help by starting small. Most importantly, I share why you must clearly communicate your needs when you find the right person to ask for help. Communicating clearly isn’t always easy, especially if you are resistant to asking for help. If you struggle with this, write what you need and why. Be specific and honest. I also address asking for too much help. Don’t be that person! And finally, I share my thoughts on the statement, “don’t bring me problems; bring me solutions.” This statement shuts people down and discourages them from coming to you when they are stuck. Your job as a manager is to help your employees solve problems and work through issues. So stop saying this! Question of the Week What do you do if you have an employee who isn’t being open about personal issues impacting their performance? Listen in to hear how I would handle this situation which includes having open, honest and direct conversations while making it safe for the person to open up to you. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/31/202329 minutes, 17 seconds
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How to Develop Highly Effective Leaders with Matt Tenney

Matt Tenney is an expert on developing highly effective leaders. He is the author of the highly acclaimed book Serve To Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom. Over the last nine years, Matt has delivered keynotes and training programs that help improve employee engagement and retention to hundreds of clients, including companies like Salesforce, T. Rowe Price, Roche, Marriott, Keller Williams, L’ Oreal, and many others. Matt is an active CEO working to build the best workplace culture in the world, hoping to inspire you to do the same. Background: Matt Tenney helps leaders to achieve better business outcomes while simultaneously becoming happier, kinder, more generous, and more compassionate. He is passionate about inspiring people to become servant leaders. He focuses on applying mindfulness training to improve business acumen, increase emotional intelligence, enhance creativity and innovation, improve the ability to manage change, and develop extraordinary leadership presence. During this episode, Matt and I discuss building strong, resilient cultures by focusing on people first. He shares his 4-step process for being a leader who inspires high levels of engagement, including giving and receiving feedback – something near and dear to me. Matt provides statistics on why the most critical engagement enhancements come through teaching managers how to listen to and develop their teams. As we all know, people usually quit managers, not companies. My favorite quote from the episode is, “The primary job of a leader is to inspire greatness.” I couldn’t agree more. To be a great leader, you must build great teams. I know you’ll love this episode. I will ask all the managers at StoneAge to listen to it as it’s filled with actionable tips and solid advice. Let me know what you think! How to Find Matt: Website: https://www.matttenney.com/engagement-and-retention-help/ Article on the 14 Leadership Skills: https://businessleadershiptoday.com/what-are-leadership-skills-examples/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matttenney/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MattTenneyServes Twitter: https://twitter.com/matttenney1 Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/24/202348 minutes, 52 seconds
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Transparent Leadership: How To Do It and Why It Matters

Transparent leadership matters. Why? Because it helps to build trust and create a positive work culture. When leaders are transparent, they are open and honest about their actions and decisions, which helps to foster transparency among team members and throughout the organization. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we talk about transparent leadership and I share tips on being more transparent and avoiding common pitfalls. When there is more transparency among team members, they tend to have better communication, collaboration, decision-making, and a greater sense of accountability and responsibility. Additionally, transparency can help prevent misunderstandings and conflicts and create a more positive and inclusive work environment. So how can leaders be more transparent? There are several ways that leaders can be more transparent in the workplace: Communicate openly and honestly: Leaders should be open and honest about their actions and decisions and communicate clearly and transparently with team members. Practice transparency in decision-making: Leaders should be transparent about how decisions are made and involve team members in the decision-making process whenever possible. Share information: Leaders should be open and transparent about relevant information to the team or organization and ensure that team members have access to the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Be approachable: Leaders should be open to feedback and suggestions from team members and be willing to listen to and address any concerns or questions that team members may have. Set an example: Leaders should model transparent behavior and encourage transparency throughout the organization by being open and honest in their actions and communication. What are some pitfalls leaders make when being transparent? Over-sharing: Leaders need to be open and honest, but it's also important to be mindful of what information is appropriate to share. There may be some confidential or sensitive information, and leaders need to be careful not to over-share or disclose information that could harm the organization or individuals. Being too vague: Leaders should be transparent and open, but they must be clear and specific in their communication. If leaders are too vague or ambiguous in their messaging, it can lead to confusion and mistrust. Not following through: If leaders make promises to be transparent, they need to follow through on those promises. If they fail to do so, it can erode trust and undermine their credibility. Question of the Week "Have you ever changed your mind as a leader? How do you do it without losing face?" Absolutely! I think the willingness to change your mind is one of the most important attributes of a leader. We must continually challenge our thinking and seek the best information to develop accurate assessments and opinions. More accurate beliefs lead to good decisions. And making good decisions is what leadership is all about. If you want to read a great book on the power of changing your mind, check out Persuadable: How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World. And listen to the whole episode to learn more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/17/202321 minutes, 20 seconds
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Mastering Leadership & Marketing with Wanda Toro Turini

Guest: Wanda Toro Turini, also known as Dr. Wanda or THE Nerdy Girl Entrepreneur, is a dynamic entrepreneur, inventor and the host of the Rock-It Fuel Podcast. As Founder of Bull's Eye Innovations (BEI), Wanda's mission is to incubate innovative ideas and transform them into profitable and sustainable businesses. Wanda's most recent focus is launching Ketchwords.com, powered by her proprietary texting platform, ecoFiles. Ketchwords enable experts to finally connect with "Anonymous Fans" that are sitting in their audiences and nurture them into happy Clients. Background: During this episode, Wanda shares how she has evolved as an entrepreneur, learning to let go of the need to do everything. You can't scale if the business revolves around you! She gives great advice on planning your year with your significant other, both personally and professionally. We talk about the need for boundaries and why it's important to say no more often. Wanda also shares the story of how she came up with the idea of Ketchwords. She first used Ketchwords to connect with all of those Anonymous Fans in her audiences. She used her marketing skills to master the tool and massively boost the ROI of every appearance. Wanda sings in a rock and soul band in her spare time and is an acclaimed actress in NY/NJ children's and musical theater productions. She is a powerhouse and mother of two who took a unique and tumultuous journey to get to where she is today. She loves to share the solutions she creates and the stories of her challenges with the desire to inspire people NEVER to say never. How to Find Wanda: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wanda.turini Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wandatoroturini/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wandaturini/ Rock-It Fuel Podcast Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockitfuelpodcast Rock-It Fuel Podcast Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rockitfuelpodcast/ Website: www.ketchwords.com Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/10/202351 minutes, 1 second
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What To Do When an Employee Opens Up About Mental Health

During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss what to do when an employee opens up about mental health. As a people leader, you will occasionally have to help people work through emotional trauma, personal situations and past baggage. And let’s face it, with mental health being such a significant issue in today’s society, we can’t expect our employees, teammates, and colleagues to leave their personal lives at home. How we behave at work is influenced by happenings at home and our mental health, and we want to show up as our whole selves. And while engaging in these talks might be difficult and uncomfortable, I have found that you can help your employees by leaning into these conversations. During the episode, I share how I mentally prepare for emotional conversations on mental health and personal issues. You should also familiarize yourself with options the employee might have, such as paid time off, the use of an Employee Assistance Program, etc. I also talk about the power of asking questions and why I think it’s important to understand their situation so you know how to help. Most people want to be understood, even if it’s embarrassing to admit what’s happening. I also discuss the importance of boundaries and how to ensure you don’t play the role of a therapist. Mental health crises are going to be part of the ongoing norm. It’s a major issue in our society right now, and we as leaders cannot stick our heads on the ground and say, “It’s not my problem; they just need to deal with it outside of the workplace.” People spend most of their time at work and need support from their leadership and companies to endure tough times. Everybody can use a little bit of help from time to time, and sometimes that little bit of help is all they need to move through it and come out the other side stronger. Question of the Week This week’s question came from Justin Skinner, who hosts The Professional Failure podcast. He asked me, “What do you do when you find yourself really angry, upset, or annoyed about a situation? He appreciated my answer, so I thought I should share it with you! The number one thing I do when I am getting annoyed at a situation or somebody or angry or upset is to stop and tell myself three different possible stories about what’s actually happening rather than assume that my judgment or assessment is true. We humans are so good at thinking that we know why people are doing the things they do, and we are so sure that we understand a situation, and often, we are wrong. Have a listen to find out more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
1/3/202317 minutes, 6 seconds
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Self-Aware, Empathetic Leadership w/ Emma Giles

Guest: Emma Giles emulates self-aware, authentic leadership. Emma is one of the founders of SoWork, a product that helps digital-first teams do great work, no matter when they work or where they work from. Emma leads product development and works directly with SoWork customers who are leaders of organizations trying to navigate the digital-first work shift. Prior to founding SoWork, she dropped out of a PhD from Harvard/MIT in computational neuroscience to build a business, spent a year at Khan Academy creating free medical content for medical students, and scaled data initiatives for the WHO. Emma has a unique perspective on how the landscape of work is evolving, what leaders and their teams are struggling with, and how to solve the most pressing challenges with technology. She lives on Vancouver Island with her husband (also a SoWork co-founder), where she spends time hiking and running ultramarathon. Episode in a Tweet: Leadership is such a privilege because you get to sit in all these interesting seats and then use your perspective to help your team run with the ball and succeed. Background: I love this 100th episode of Reflect Forward: Conversations on Leadership, where Emma Giles and I talk about empathic leadership. Emma is incredibly thoughtful and has developed self-awareness as few leaders have. During the interview, Emma shares how her time as a crisis counselor and a scientist shaped her views on leadership and helped her navigate the curve balls of founding a start-up throws at you. Emma talks about how she has developed deep self-awareness and how she models empathetic leadership within SoWork. Emma calls herself a raging generalist, which resonates deeply with me. We talk about generalists' impact on a team and company and how we've both learned to embrace our generalist natures. Emma cares deeply about working with humans, bringing them together to solve complex problems innovatively, and navigating an early-stage start-up's immense strains and pains without killing themselves or each other. I know you'll love this interview as must as I do! Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Emma: Company https://www.sowork.com/ Link to Emma's virtual office; stop by and say hi: https://invite.sowork.com/join/LORXIqKyza04v9Gp64u9? user=slKoXZJsG6UGpK3uEU48d6hVwHy2&room=soworkofficewinter Social Media https://twitter.com/Emma_K_Giles https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmakgiles/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
12/27/202244 minutes, 1 second
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The Importance of Reflection and Introspection

We should never underestimate the importance of reflection and introspection. Self-reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth and development. When done often, you create a much more intentional and powerful life. But many of us only do it annually, as we approach the new year and think about what went well and what didn’t…in essence, Reflecting Forward. 😊 In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I discuss how I came up with the name of my podcast, Reflect Forward, and why frequent self-reflection can help you to better understand yourself and your thoughts and feelings, which can lead to improved self-awareness and self-esteem. Frequent reflection and introspection can also help you to identify areas in your life where you may want to make changes or improvements. This can be especially helpful if you are feeling stuck or unfulfilled in some aspect of your life. Additionally, self-reflection can help you to better understand other people and improve your relationships with them. I share my plan to journal during the new year, capturing my journey on the path to grow StoneAge to a billion-dollar company and why you, too, should develop a practice of frequent reflection and introspection. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a new manager who said, “I just hired someone and it’s not working. What do you do when it’s obvious that the person you just hired is not the right person for the job?” Great question. I know the feeling and it’s not a good one. During the episode I share the steps you need to take to handle the situation such as evaluating your onboarding process, letting your manager know, and having a direct conversation with the struggling employee. Have a listen and let me know what you think! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes
12/20/202214 minutes, 39 seconds
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How to Involve Your Employees in Strategic Planning

Do you involve employees in strategic planning? Most people think that strategy is a leader's responsibility and not everyone else’s. An employee once told me, “CEOs do strategy; we do the everyday work.” This mindset couldn’t be further from the truth, but it’s prevalent. When you involve employees in strategic planning, good things happen. First, people begin to understand that strategy is something they do every day and execute it in their daily tasks and project work. Second, they become more engaged in the process because they can ask questions and have a voice. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I share how we involved our employees in strategic planning this year and the results. Hint: outstanding. We tried something new so every employee could weigh in before we finalized the strategic plan and the feedback was fantastic. We received some excellent ideas to integrate, and everyone appreciated being part of the process. I also offer tips on thinking and going about strategic planning and ways to involve your employees throughout the process. Vision, buy-in, feedback, discipline, and focus are critical when developing a strategy. You can follow these tips, even if you aren’t a CEO and your executive leadership doesn’t involve employees in the strategic planning process. Nothing stops you from reviewing company strategy with your team members, getting their opinions and feedback, and engaging them in the process from a team perspective. Great leaders know how to get the best out of their teams and how you lead your team matters. Even if it’s different than how executive management leads, don’t be afraid to try this process. Your employees will appreciate the effort. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a friend who asked, “What are you reading now?” I wanted to share this question because I am reading a different type of book. The Premonition: A Pandemic Story by Michael Lewis is a fascinating look at why the world, especially the United States, was so ill-prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic. I’ve learned much about how public health departments and the CDC work. The stories are well told and it’s very insightful. I highly recommend it. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
12/6/202217 minutes, 45 seconds
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How to Improve Your Workplace Culture w/ Gustavo Razzetti

Gustavo Razzetti is the CEO and founder of Fearless Culture, a culture design consultancy that helps teams do the best work of their lives. For more than 20 years, Razzetti has helped leaders from Fortune 500s, startups, nonprofits, and everything in between on every continent but Antarctica. Gustavo is also the creator of the Culture Design Canvas, a framework that thousands of teams and organizations worldwide use to map, assess, and design their culture. In addition to his consulting work with clients, Gustavo regularly speaks with leaders and teams about culture change, teamwork, and hybrid workplaces. His coaching and tools have helped countless executives and teams develop work environments where people collaborate to accelerate individual and collective performance. A prolific writer and author of four books on culture change, Gustavo’s insights have been featured in The New York Times, Psychology Today, Forbes, BBC, and Fortune, among others. Background: Most organizations don’t lack ideas, talent or resources; instead, they lack a conducive culture where employees are encouraged to collaborate, take the initiative and experiment beyond perceived limitations. Imagine what your company could achieve with your teams optimized to bring their best effort and ideas to the table. Helping build these kinds of cultures is what Gustavo Razzetti is all about. During our conversation, Gustavo and I discuss how to improve your workplace culture by creating safe spaces for people to speak up. We talk about why leaders need to develop self-awareness and seek honest feedback from their teams. Gustavo shares his thoughts on fairness in the workplace, especially in hybrid and remote work situations. And finally, he shares why he wrote his latest book, Remote, Not Distant, as a roadmap for leaders to build a culture that thrives in a hybrid workplace. You will take away all kinds of insights in his fun and dynamic interview. Please listen and let me know what you think! How to find Gustavo: https://www.fearlessculture.design/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/gustavorazzetti/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/29/202236 minutes, 13 seconds
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How to Run an Effective Meeting

Who doesn’t hate pointless meetings with awful agendas and no clear purpose? I know I do. And if you’re like us at StoneAge, you have too many meetings. We work hard to ensure our meetings are an effective and good use of everyone’s time – even if we still are in too many meetings. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I talk about how I think about my meetings and set up agendas that drive the outcome I am looking for from the meeting. Here are some things to consider when setting the agenda. What is the purpose of the meeting? What do you want to accomplish? Specifically state this on the agenda What topics do you need to cover? What information or context do you need to provide before the meeting so everyone is prepared? What questions can you ask that will help people prepare for the meeting? Put these questions on this agenda. Pro tip: don’t have too many questions; doing so bogs people down and prolongs the meeting. Who should be at the meeting? My rule is no more than ten people. If you have more than ten attended, it’s almost impossible for everyone to contribute. If people attend only to get information, you don’t have an effective communication process. Finally, think about how long the meeting needs to be. Don’t schedule it for an hour if 45 minutes is enough to get through the agenda. Discussions tend to take the allotted time, whether they need to or not. And avoid the temptation to assign time allotments to each agenda item; this rigidity can stifle ideation and dialog. Instead, make sure you don’t have too many agenda items. Question of the Week: This week’s question comes from someone who heard me share my story on stage, and he asked, “How do you find the courage to share your story in front of so many people?” Simple answer. I’ve learned that when you share your story with vulnerability, you inspire people to share their stories and potentially change their lives. And when you talk about your flaws, it makes it safe for people to admit theirs. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/22/202210 minutes, 53 seconds
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The Power of a Values-Based Business w/ Lisa Morton

Guest: Lisa Morton understands the power of a values-based company. Lisa is the CEO and founder of Roland Dransfield, one of Manchester, England's most established communications agencies. For the last 24 years, Lisa has worked to forge meaningful, lasting business relationships that create both business growth and social impact alongside her team of award-winning strategists, journalists, creatives, digital, and social media specialists. Now with a London office and a partnership with an LA-based agency, of which the founder is a former Roland Dransfield team member, Lisa is continuing to expand Roland Dransfield and explore new paths for growth. Lisa's commitment to purpose-driven work is exemplified by Roland Dransfield's "We Built This City" podcast. This podcast series hears from Mancunians, born, bred and adopted, who put their heart into Greater Manchester. The podcast has been nominated for Best Business Podcast by the prestigious British Podcast Awards. It celebrates stories of determination, loyalty, and diversity across culture, arts, politics, sport, music and business. Episode in a Tweet: When you focus your team and company on values, you can get through almost anything. Values give you and your team a clear sense of purpose and something to rally around. Background: Twenty-five years ago, it became apparent to Lisa that the only way to work somewhere with suitable goals and values as an enterprise was to start it herself. Almost immediately, her talent for creating relationships became apparent when Manchester suffered a devastating bombing. Lisa got involved heavily in rebuilding the city center and, over the years, has played a large part in helping to regenerate neglected parts of the city center to create the new key "pillar" neighborhoods that make up the city. As a result, Lisa has been at the forefront of the response to crises in her community. Her commitment to social impact in the business community has driven her to help others do the same. During this inspiring episode, Lisa shares how rebuilding Manchester helped her understand the power of values and how shared values bring people together. Lisa shares how her company transformed when they got really clear on their values. Called the Roland Dransfield Way, fifteen principles help Lisa and her team holds themselves accountable for building an exceptional company built on purposeful relationships. My favorite is "plant trees you'll never see," which describes the goal of leaving things in a better place out of respect for those how to follow you. There is no doubt Lisa is building a values-based company that is loved by everyone who works for her. I know you'll enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Have a listen and let me know what you think! How to find Lisa https://www.linkedin.com/in/lisamortonrdpr/ https://www.rdpr.co.uk/ https://www.rdpr.co.uk/we-built-this-city-podcast/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/15/202243 minutes, 49 seconds
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Why it is Important to Understand Your Values

Leadership comes with great responsibility. And if you want to be a transformational leader, you must embody your values, walking the walk, not just talking the talk. That’s why it’s important for you to understand your values. Research backs the idea that great leaders set a powerful example. As written the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, researchers wanted to determine how much a leader’s opinions, beliefs, and behaviors could influence their followers. According to the study, “Leaders, whose behavior is visible to followers, are in a particularly powerful position to influence their followers’ beliefs.” In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I share how I once modified my values because I felt shame that “Family” wasn’t at the top. “How can I be a good mother if it’s not my top value?” I questioned myself. But as I matured, I realized that the only way to live an authentic life is to understand your values and make sure that they are indeed yours. I encourage you to perform the values exercise I outline in the podcast and force yourself to narrow your top values down to three and then one. And then develop a plan for living those values as deeply and fully as possible. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a new employee in a management role who asked me, “KP, do you ever feel guilty delegating?” The short answer is no because I delegate the right types of activities. We all have a role to play and if I am performing jobs that my team can do, then I am not focused on the big picture, which is the role of the CEO. Delegating is also how I develop my team; I ask them to take on more significant roles or to run a project to learn new skills and stretch themselves. Delegating also shows your employees that you trust and believe in them. When you don’t set proper expectations or follow up, delegation can go wrong. The person you are delegating to should understand the desired outcome and the expected deliverables. You need to check in regularly so they can ask clarifying questions or so you can course correct along away. Check out the full episode for details. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/8/202212 minutes, 17 seconds
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Before You Lead Others, You Must First Lead Yourself w/ Paul Epstein

Guest: Paul Epstein has spent nearly 15 years as a professional sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office, where he has broken every premium revenue metric in Super Bowl history, opened a billion-dollar stadium and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy, where he became known as the “Why Coach.” Paul has since continued his leadership journey, coaching and consulting Fortune 500 executives, founders, CEOs, MBAs and professional athletes - earning accolades as a top leader that gets results from Success Magazine. When he’s not on stage as a global keynote speaker, Paul puts his insights into daily practice, serving as chief impact officer for PurposePoint and senior advisor for the Why Institute. He is also the best-selling author of The Power of Playing Offense and host of the podcast Playmakers: ON PURPOSE. Episode in a Tweet: Strong self-leadership is the key to a successful life. Find your why, live your purpose, and lead yourself Background: Paul Epstein believes a personal transformation is needed before you can achieve a professional transformation, and he believes this because he lived it. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Conversations on Leadership, Paul tells us why he left the boardrooms of major sports leagues to begin sharing his message of purpose, activating your WHY, and Playing Offense in life and work around the globe. According to Paul, one must be ready to understand their “Why,” and a powerful transformation can happen when they are. We talk about overcoming adversity, reducing stress, and the power of living your purpose. Paul and I geek out on self-leadership, one of my favorite topics and swap stories on how we both found our way when we dramatically changed courses in life. You can’t help but be inspired by Paul’s energy, enthusiasm and methodology. How to Find Paul https://www.paulepsteinspeaks.com/ https://whyinstitute.com/purpose/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulepsteinspeaks/ https://www.instagram.com/paulepsteinspeaks/ Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
11/1/202243 minutes, 53 seconds
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Ask For What You Want

How many times have you forgone what you really wanted because you were too afraid to ask? In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice Form a CEO, I encourage you to just go for it. Ask for what you want. So what if you get a “no” in response? If you don’t ask, you’ve already told yourself “no” anyway. Look, I get that there are many convincing reasons why you shouldn’t ask for what you want. You don’t want to seem pushy, needy, or high maintenance. You fear rejection; you’ll be embarrassed if you get a no. You don’t want to make your boss/spouse/coworker uncomfortable or, even worse, mad. You feel like what you want is obvious and that you shouldn’t HAVE to ask. Or maybe you don’t think you deserve to get what you really desire. There are a million excuses not to ask for what you want, but they are just that: EXCUSES. So stop making them and start asking. Easier said than done, right? Here’s how to ask for what you want. 1. Get Clear on What You Want The more clarity you can have about what you want and why you want it, the easier it is to ask. 2. Know Who to Ask If you ask the wrong person (or people), you’re bound to get a no. Or get a yes that can’t be delivered upon. 3. Think about Your Body Language Don’t slouch, mumble, cross your arms, or look at the ground. 4. Be Direct and Specific about What You Want Don’t beat around the bush, hem and haw, or expect people to read your mind. 5. Always Be Gracious Acknowledge with gratitude what the other person will have to do to give you a yes. So what do you do if you get a no? Getting told “no” can be hard to take. You may feel a wide range of emotions and want to lash out, shut down, or give up. Don’t. Everyone gets told no, and it may take some time to work through your disappointment, and that’s okay. And yes, there is such a thing as asking for too much too often. Don’t be the person who always asks for favors. Life is too short not to ask for what you want. It may sound macabre to put in a blog like this, but the reality is that it all could be over at any minute. So why not put it out there and ask? You might just surprise yourself and get what you ask for! Question of the Week? What are you reading right now? Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. It’s a great book on staying present and grounded and how to lessen your attachment to things and outcomes. Tune in to find out more about why I love this book! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/25/202216 minutes, 25 seconds
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The Power of Purpose w/ Alicia Long

Guest: Alicia Long is the Co-Founder & CEO of Nutr, a plant-based milk machine. The Nutr Machine makes plant-based milks at the push of a button. Alicia is a Chinese immigrant who graduated from Ohio State University with a Marketing Degree. Before founding Nutr with her husband, she worked at Google, Amazon and several tech start-ups. After moving to the U.S. in 2009 following her father's passing, she made it her life's mission to fulfill his last wish and become a college graduate. Now, as an entrepreneur, she strives to provide families across the globe with a healthy way to make plant-based milks and make the world a better place with each and every pour. Episode in a Tweet: Don't hold on to resentment when you go through a tough time. Instead, be grateful for what you learned and use the challenge as building blocks for who you want to become. Background: Alicia Long is resilient. In her 20s, she was a door-to-door salesperson who learned how to overcome "doors slammed in your face" rejection. She always knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur but was as lost as to how to get started. One day, after being disgusted by the ingredients in her nut milk, she had an idea. Why not make a nut milk machine? Inspired by her mother and the Keurig coffee maker, she and her husband set out to make the first nut-milking machine. During this fun and inspiring episode, Alicia shared how she overcame rejection after rejection while looking for funding by calling up the reliance she learned in door-to-door sales to keep going. A mother, wife and entrepreneur, Alicia understands the power of purpose, which keeps her going when the going gets tough. Her goal is to create a $1BN company that changes how we look at food. How to Find Alicia https://www.linkedin.com/in/alicia-long-755b45232/ https://www.instagram.com/nutrmachine/ https://www.youtube.com/hashtag/nutr
10/18/202238 minutes, 42 seconds
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Own Who You Are To Live a Fulfilling Life

The only way to live a fulfilling life is to own who you are. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice from a CEO, I tell a story about my son feeling like he needed to be more competitive than he really is and how peer pressure drove him to care about things he didn't care about. During this powerful conversation, we explore why it's important to own who you are rather than try to live your life for someone else. I encourage you to live your life and let go of your attachment to what other people think of you. Life is so much more fulfilling when you own who you are. Listen to the episode to be inspired by a 9-year-old. Lol. Question of the Week This week's question comes from an audience member at a keynote speech I gave, and she asked me, "How do you manage stress?" As you already know, I am a huge believer in self-care; through disciplined self-care, I manage stress and show up consistently as my best self. Weekly massages, daily exercise, box breathing, and mindset are some tips I share. Listen in to find out more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/11/202218 minutes, 18 seconds
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Create High Performers Who Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes w/ Dane Espegard

Guest: Dane Espegard is a culture consultant who teaches, assists and executes the implementation of a Culture centered around Dream Achieving. The system is bottom-up and emphasizes the development and personal lives of the team member. Dane works with companies very simply to get the culture started and leaves them with some very easy-to-implement steps. Dane brings a successful people-oriented method to market in his latest book, The Dream Machine. Episode in a Tweet: Dreaming isn't just a fun hobby. Workplaces, and the world at large, need dreamers. They need people who think big and chase their wild, inspired ideas. Why? Because positive movement happens when people work with purpose. Background: During this fun conversation, Dane and I talk about the power of chasing your dreams and why companies should not only encourage their employees to go after their dream but set up a system that helps to make their dreams happen. We discuss his new book, "The Dream Machine," which is an A-Z guide on how to set up a Culture of Achieving your Dreams for the workplace. Dane breaks down the "Dreams Culture" into implementable steps that leaders can do. Dane teaches us how to empower our team members to live their best life and reap the benefits that fully engaged employees bring to the workplace. Connect with Dane at Website: https://daneespegard.com/freegift/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daneespegard/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dane.espegard Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daneespegard/ YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4drV1R60GQw8O_6EfYm3MA Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
10/4/202238 minutes, 48 seconds
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Find Common Ground with an Annoying Coworker

We all work with challenging people; sometimes, you have to find common ground with someone you don’t like. And it’s easy to focus on why we don’t like them or how we are different from them. But work will always be better when you can find common ground. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice from a CEO, I share some ways you can find common ground with challenging colleagues and find ways to appreciate those coworkers you don’t like all that much. My last tip is the best tip: change your mindset. You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself. I have found that the best way to move past dealing with people I don’t like is to accept who they are. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from a person on LinkedIn who said, “I get defensive every time I get feedback. What can I do to receive it better?” I love this question! Feedback indeed can be a gift if you can wrap your mind around how to accept it gracefully. During the episode, I share my tips on staying calm at the moment and why it’s essential to follow up after receiving feedback. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/27/202230 minutes, 19 seconds
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Use the Gift of Failure to Better Yourself w/ Justin Skinner

Guest: Justin Skinner is a farm-raised entrepreneur, author, speaker and performance coach. He is the author of the book “Professional Failure” and the host of the Professional Failure Podcast, where he and his guests share lessons learned from past mistakes. Justin played collegiate baseball, and when Major League Baseball didn’t draft him, he had to reinvent himself. Justin is passionate about sharing why failure helped him become a better person, leader and entrepreneur. Episode in a Tweet: What if we normalized failure and even learned to embrace it? Could it be possible that our failures might be the very things that connect us with others and leads us to success? Background: Through personal and professional experience, Justin has discovered that failures are good and can be used to improve your life and benefit those around you. After having success in college and university baseball, even being inducted into the Missouri Hall of Fame, Justin was fired from his job. This propelled him and his wife to start their own business and begin investing in real estate. During the interview, Justin and I talk about what it’s like almost to be drafted into a professional sports career and then have the rug pulled out from under you. We share stories of how failure helped us both become more successful, and Justin shares how he stays grounded in service to others as he builds his company and brand. How to Find Justin http://www.professional-failure.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/justin-skinner-8876754a/ https://www.facebook.com/theprofessionalfailure https://twitter.com/JustinCSkinner
9/20/202234 minutes, 32 seconds
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What the Heck is Quiet Quitting Anyway?

What is quiet quitting and what can you do about it? Quieting quitting is a broadly used and mostly misunderstood term for “not quitting your job but quitting the idea of going above and beyond.” Quiet quitting is a term that might scare the bejesus out of you if you are a business owner or leader looking to grow your company, beat the competition, and increase your efficiency and productivity. But frankly, it’s just a trendy term for something that’s been happening for a long time: low engagement at work. People are burned out right now, working long hours at jobs that don’t give them meaning, and they are quitting what some call “the hustle culture.” In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss quiet quitting and advise on how you can address it by creating a culture where people find purpose and meaning in their work and head off burnout before it sets in. I also share my thoughts on why you shouldn’t quiet quit your job and instead use it to fuel your growth, find out what you don’t want to do with your career, muster the courage to talk to your boss, or move on to find a job and company that fills your bucket rather than depletes it. Question of the Week This week’s question came from an audience member during a recent keynote speech I gave. She asked, “Kerry, how did you overcome your self-confidence issues?” Whew, that’s a loaded question but a good one. And the answer comes down to pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to prove to myself that I could in fact, do hard things and bounce back when life punched me in the face. Have a listen to find out more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
9/13/202220 minutes, 48 seconds
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Build Your Reputation to Create Success w/ Moshe Popack

Guest: Moshe Popack is a third-generation entrepreneur and the owner and president of YMP Real Estate Management LLC. The company has a market presence in seven states, owns several multifamily properties, office buildings, and assisted living facilities, and has numerous industrial and hotel assets. Moshe is also proud to host the Common Denominator podcast, which is a forum for optimism, positivity, and human development. Each week Moshe chats with thought leaders, innovators, and pioneers across various fields and – through critical thinking and spirited debate - encourages his audience to find common ground on everyday issues that are current and top of mind. Additionally, Moshe is a board member of the Florida Development Finance Corporation, the Florida Assisted Living Association, an official member of the South Florida Business Journal Leadership Trust, and a member of the Young Presidents' Association (YPO). Above all, Moshe is a dedicated family man deeply anchored in his strong values and faith. His wife, Yaffa, and their ten children are the guiding forces behind his quest to promote a more civil, prosperous, and caring world. Episode in a Tweet: My goal is simply this: I'm going to take on all the headaches, but I'm going to make money last. I'll do the hard work, take out all the risks, and make it easy on my partners. And the hard work paid off. Never be afraid of hard work, and never be afraid of putting others first. Background: I met Moshe through YPO, and we instantly hit it off because we share similar philosophies of putting people first, building people-centric cultures, and developing deep self-awareness. During the episode, Moshe and I talk about how Moshe built his real estate business in 2008 when the economy was crashing and the real estate market was in shambles. He shares how he used his empathetic nature to build a strong reputation for putting his investors first and build a people-centric organization built on autonomy, self-awareness, and hard work. Moshe and I talk about why finding meaning and purpose in your work are so important, and he shares how he ensures that each of his ten children feels special and gets one-on-one time with him and his wife, even as they build their real estate empire. How to find Moshe: https://moshepopack.com/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCL15Ww4re5AEqN_mW5HgvFA https://www.linkedin.com/in/mpopack/
9/6/202238 minutes, 48 seconds
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How to Disagree with Employees in Meetings

Have you ever disagreed with an employee in a meeting? How did it go? Did it shut things down, or did it spark debate and dialog? The best leaders know how to engage in debate in meetings and know how to push back in meetings skillfully. To get the most out of your team, you must build a culture where it's safe to disagree and debate in meetings. If you don't, important things will go unsaid, and you'll miss opportunities for insightful dialog and shared decision-making. How you disagree with your employees in meetings will set the tone. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I share a process I use to debate ideas in meetings. It includes the importance of building connections and trust within your team, having awareness about how you are showing up, what your tone sounds like and what messages your body language is sending. I discuss the importance of engaging all team members in the dialog, especially when you disagree with an individual, and then follow up with the employee and team afterward. Leaders need to debate and disagree with their teammates skillfully. Remember, disagreeing isn't about getting into a fight, being mean, or wanting to win. And disagreements don't have to lead to damaged relationships. Teach your team how to debate and disagree skillfully by role modeling how it's done. Question of the Week This week's question came from an audience member at one of my recent keynotes, and he said, "I work for a big company. How can you scale the ability to build a people-centric organization in a large organization?" Great question, as building a people-centric organization isn't easy. My answer was to focus on teaching middle management what a people-centric organization is and how to construct people-centric teams, and middle management is the key. Listen to find out more! Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/30/202218 minutes, 8 seconds
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Overcome Rejection to Launch a Successful Business w/ Julie Broad

Guest: Julie Broad is the founder of the self-publishing service firm Book Launchers and Amazon's Overall #1 Best Selling Author. Julie knows what it takes to be a successful self-published author. Through Book Launchers and her popular YouTube channel, BookLaunchers.TV, she helps subject matter experts write, publish, and promote nonfiction books that will boost their business. Julie's titles include More than Cashflow, which topped Amazon, and The New Brand You, winner of the Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Sales book. Her latest book, Self-Publish & Succeed, captures her leading tactics to write, publish and market a nonfiction book. Her advice for authors and investors has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, Yahoo! Business, CTV, the Toronto Sun, Medium.com and many local and national TV shows. Episode in a Tweet: If you feel compelled to make an impact with your unique and special message, you have the potential for a book inside you! Background: Julie Broad is on a mission to help you get your story on paper. She believes that a book is the best way to share your experience, become a thought leader and make an impact. During this episode, Julie and I talk about the effort it takes to author and publish a book and how she helps people become published authors through her company, Book Launchers. We talk about the writing process and the different ways you can go about publishing the book that's inside you. We also discuss how she started Book Launchers, which stemmed from her failure to get a book deal that she was expecting. After experiencing severe disappointment, she picked herself up, started a company and self-published a bestselling book – all on her own via the self-publishing process. I appreciate Julie's willingness to share her successes and failures and how she approaches running her company. At the end of the episode, she gives this great advice: "When you go through challenging times, just remember that the challenge will give you a gift that you'll be very grateful for. It will create momentum or innovation or something else great in the future. Don't be afraid of the challenge." How to find Julie: www.booklaunchers.com/7steps www.booklaunchers.tv [email protected] www.linkedin.com/in/juliebroad/
8/23/202237 minutes, 45 seconds
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How to Be a More Persuasive Leader

Persuasion is an essential skill for any leader. You must be able to share a compelling vision and inspire people to change. All without them feeling coerced or manipulated. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss how to become a more persuasive leader with these five tips, plus some bonus advice! 1. Use positive language: positive language is more inclusive and inspiring than negative language. 2. Know what you are talking about: credibility matters, and if you want to persuade people to see something your way or make a change, you better know what you are asking them to do. 3. Listen carefully: the power of persuasion isn’t only about convincing. It’s about listening, too. People are more likely to be persuaded when they feel seen and heard. 4. Ask questions: when you ask questions, you gain a deeper understanding of peoples’ perceptions, concerns and resistance, which you can then address. 5. Be willing to compromise: give and always take matters when getting people on board with a new idea or change. Bonus tip: always follow up with people when persuading them to make changes or get on board with your idea. People often need time to process and might have questions or new feelings of resistance after sleeping on it. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from LinkedIn. “Kerry, what is one thing you are doing to ensure StoneAge’s success in facing all the global uncertainty?” My answer: being agile and responsive. Listen in the find out why.
8/16/202210 minutes, 51 seconds
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Helping Women Founders Scale Their Companies w/ Eleanor Beaton

Guest: Eleanor Beaton is the founder of SafiMedia, an education & coaching company for women entrepreneurs. Everyone at SafiMedia is committed to advancing global gender equity through women's entrepreneurship. They are on a mission to double the number of women entrepreneurs who scale past $1M in revenue by 2030. As the host of the Power + Presence + Position podcast, Eleanor has reached millions of women worldwide, helping them unlock their leadership and entrepreneurial potential. Her work has been published or quoted in publications including The Globe & Mail, The Atlantic, CBC, Chatelaine and more. She has spoken on women's leadership, entrepreneurship and gender equity at conferences throughout North America, Latin America and Europe. Episode in a Tweet: Economically empowered women entrepreneurs are vital in driving gender equity globally and boosting the economy for everyone. Background: Many women entrepreneurs struggle to scale their service businesses because they are stuck trading dollars for hours. That's where Eleanor Beaton comes in. She works with over-worked consultants, coaches and service providers and helps them develop into confident CEOs who generate massive revenue, reach and impact. She helps female founders build lucrative businesses that grow through their ASSETS rather than their HUSTLE so they can scale past $1M in annual revenues, reach millions of people with their message, and cut their working hours by 20% or more. During the show, Eleanor and I discuss her mission to double the number of women founders who SUSTAINABLE scale past $1M in annual revenue by 2030. She explains her Jewel Business Model -- a growth model I espouse and support my clients to create. It's a 30-30-30 model of growth: 30% top-line revenue growth, 30% profit and 30% open, unscheduled time for the founder. Eleanor and I discuss how to fix the broken parts of capitalism and why the health of the global economy depends on developing more female entrepreneurs who are building sustainable businesses. We also chat about overidentification with parts of ourselves and how doing so has held us back from living a holistic life. We discuss how we've worked through our overidentification issues to embrace all of ourselves fully. This is an engaging interview that everyone, no matter their gender, will walk away from feeling inspired and joyful. Enjoy! How to Find Eleanor: www.eleanorbeaton.com https://safi-media.com/10khourchecklist https://www.linkedin.com/in/eleanorbeaton/ https://www.instagram.com/eleanorbeaton/
8/9/202254 minutes, 14 seconds
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How to Stop the Endless Worry Cycle

We all experience the worry cycle. According to a Psychology Today article, “at least one in four Americans – about 65 million of us—will meet the criteria for an anxiety disorder at some point in our lifetime. Even those individuals whose lives are going well may occasionally worry excessively.” In our best moments, worry can take us down a spiral of fear where our minds play out dramas that leave us feeling powerless, vulnerable, and afraid. In our worst moments, worry can be paralyzing and health-diminishing. Excessive worrying can lead to poor decision-making and deter us from taking life-improving risks. The crazy-making part of the worry cycle is that 99.9% of the time, the things we fret about never happen. Worry is a timewaster, an energy suck, a diminisher of life quality. Engaging in it rarely changes anything. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stop worrying. Good news, though; there are ways to get out of your brain-spinning story of fear and worry. During this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, I share tips on breaking the endless worry cycle. 1. Get some exercise Moving your body is guaranteed to make you feel better. It not only provides a distraction, but exercise also causes your body to release endorphins which are “feel good” hormones that increase happiness, focus, and energy. 2. Challenge the Worry Cycle with Tough Questions Put your worry into perspective by journaling about it. Write down what you are worried about and why. 3. Power Pose Amy Cuddy’s powerful TED Talk on Power Posing outlines the benefits of using dominant body postures to gain confidence and reduce anxiety. While there are Power Posing naysayers, I have found doing them to be incredibly helpful when I am anxious, especially when speaking in front of people. 4. Talk it Out Talking about your worry allows you to process it while gaining perspective and insight. Ask a confidant to listen and offer advice (if appropriate). If that doesn’t work, a therapist can be a good listener and provide you with worry-management tools. 5. Get Some Sleep Sleep deprivation has been proven to increase anxiety and depression, compounding the “what if” problem. To better handle what life so throws at you, get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Of course, excessive worrying can cause insomnia, creating a cycle that’s hard to break. A small amount of worry is healthy but letting it take over your life can lead to major health issues. The good news is that most of what you worry about will never come to be. For those things that do…trust yourself and your capacity to handle whatever life throws at you. You can cope with, survive, and move beyond whatever happens. Believe in yourself and you will be pleasantly surprised. Question of the Week My question of the week comes from one of my employees. “Kerry, I know you love to ask questions. What is your favorite question to ask?” Hands down: what do you think? That’s my favorite question. Tune in to find out why. Thanks for listening, and please like, share, rate, write a review, or subscribe to my podcast. It always helps with the algorithms. Follow me on Instagram or LinkedIn. Subscribe to my podcast Reflect Forward on iTunes Or check out my new YouTube Channel, where you can watch full-length episodes of Advice From a CEO! And if you are looking for a keynote speaker or a podcast guest, click here to book a meeting with me to discuss what you are looking for!
8/2/202213 minutes, 38 seconds
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How Leaders Inspire and Motivate Gen Zers w/ Dr. Santor Nishizaki

Guest: Dr. Santor Nishizaki is the founder and CEO of Mulholland Consulting Group, whose mission is to help organizations increase generational awareness and create a happier workplace. His work on Millennials and Gen Z in the workplace has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, the Boston Globe, Yahoo Finance, MSN.com, CNN.com, SHRM Blog, College Recruiter, and elsewhere. He also serves as a Ph.D. professor of Global Leadership and Change at Pepperdine University and several universities in Southern California, where he has instructed hundreds of Gen Zers in leadership, diversity in the workplace, marketing, management, and entrepreneurship. His experience in the corporate world includes project management for Walt Disney Imagineering and supply chain management at a NASA center. Episode in a Tweet: Working with Gen Z will allow you to keep the competitive advantage in shaping the future of “work” for the newest set of top talent in the twenty-first century. Background: Generation Z has arrived in the working world and is here with their own workplace expectations. If employers intend to recruit top talent, they must be ready to meet the unique challenges this vibrant generation will bring to the workforce. And this is what Santor Nishizake and I talk about during this week’s episode of Refeclt Forward. I met Santor through our publisher, Amplify Publishing, and we immediately hit it off. I appreciate his thoughtful research on what Gen Zers want from the workplace. During our conversation, Santor tells us how leaders can motivate and inspire this altruistic and socially motivated generation. Santor believes that remarkable and innovative results will occur by leading each person based on their strengths and empowering your team to use them. As more Millennials move into leadership roles and Gen Z’ers enter the workplace, the emphasis on altruism and doing good in the world will continue to make it a better place than when we got here. I am confident you’ll learn much from this interview, and I hope you enjoy it! How to find Santor: https://workingwithgenzbook.com/ https://drsantor.com/podcast/ https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/zillennial-leader-podcast/id1626338104
7/26/202238 minutes, 48 seconds
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How To Cultivate an Ownership Mindset within Your Team

As I've developed the StoneAge employee-owned culture and grown our company, I've learned that the best kind of culture is one where employees share an ownership mindset. And that's what we will talk about during this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO When you build a culture of ownership, you will drive results. Why? Because when people know that they have a say in their daily work and the company's direction, they feel more empowered to do great work and be more invested in your organization's success. Here are five ways to cultivate an ownership mindset 1. Exhibit the Ownership Mindset Yourself Leaders can't expect their employees to show up with an ownership mindset if they themselves aren't. You must own all your actions, decisions, mistakes, attitude, and behaviors. 2. Teach People How to Give and Receive Feedback Cultures that exhibit ownership thinking are also cultures of feedback. Teach people how to give direct, helpful feedback. Model feedback skills by asking for it from people on your team, and when you get tough feedback, handle it with grace and gratitude. 3. Share Financial Performance If you want employees to act like owners, you must treat them like owners. And as a business owner, you need to possess financial acumen. So share your company or departmental performance. 4. Give Autonomy If you create a culture where people are paid what they are worth and help them direct their lives and work, you'll inspire ownership thinking. 5. Teach People How to Resolve Conflict Model what conflict resolution looks like by leaning into uncomfortable conversations and helping your team members navigate issues and look for positive outcomes. If you teach your employees the ownership mindset, you'll see great engagement and improved performance. You can make progress today by implementing a few of these practices.
7/19/202219 minutes, 26 seconds
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How Hiring a Life Coach Can Skyrocket Growth w/ Barbara Gormally

Guest: Barbara Gormally is a professional life coach based in Durango, CO. After a long career in HR and Training and Development, Barbara attended several coaching schools to retool her line of work. She created Studio Me Unlimited x9, LLC and has worked in the field of life coaching for 18 years to support self-mastery exploration by individuals or workplace organizations. Several personal experiences led Barbara to understand that an authentic and vibrant relationship with yourself first will allow for more grounded experiences during the ease and chaos of life and work. The profound yet practical self-development architecture that guided Barbara is The Enneagram, which she uses as the foundational tool in her coaching practice. For individuals or businesses, the long career Barbara had in related fields under the large umbrella of Training and Development allows her to bring depth and breadth to her coaching clients, thus their opportunity to receive sustainable coaching results. Barbara values human capacity and enjoys her role as a catalyst for self-development so that people can employ their exquisite human capacity. Wise and vibrant humanness is her vocation and passion. Episode in a Tweet: Combine the use of the Enneagram with executive coaching in your business to maximize results and help employees gain self-awareness, self-confidence, and tools to handle stress. Background: I’ve known Barbara for well over a decade now. She was the first coach I hired to help me understand myself better, including diving into my addiction and learning how to overcome my triggers and how to show up as the best version of myself. She has been pivotal in my leadership journey, both early on as a CEO and today, helping many of my employees develop self—awareness and practical communication skills. In this episode of Reflect Forward, Barbara and I talk about the power of life coaching in business and why the Enneagram is such an impactful tool. She shares how her coaching method can help people unlock their potential through deep self-exploration. We talk about StoneAge has implemented her style of coaching into our strategy and the results we’ve seen from it. At the end of the interview, Barbara shares this gem: “Leaders should never forget that their employees are dealing with some sort of grief and trauma on a daily basis. When they can acknowledge this and work with it, they have a better chance of moving forward.” I love this, and it’s so true. Leading from a place of compassion and understanding that life is messy and people need support will help you build a strong team and strong culture. And individuals will be seen and heard – something we all want and need. Enjoy! How to find or contact Barbara [email protected] https://www.linkedin.com/in/barbara-gormally-ma-cdcp-7994b011/
7/12/202242 minutes, 44 seconds
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How To Master Doing Hard Things

How do you get good at doing hard things? How do you master doing hard things? We as leaders always have to do hard things. We have tough decisions to make. We have difficult conversations. To have, we have to set a vision, a bold vision of where our teams or companies are going, and that isn’t easy. And as I like to say, the only way to get good at doing hard things is to do hard things, and you can do it even if it means taking a little bit of a risk, getting a little bit vulnerable, failing, even that is how we get good at doing hard things. And the better we get at doing hard things, the more resilient we’ll be and the more successful we’ll find because most people don’t take risks. They don’t put themselves out there to do big things, make a big impact, or see what’s possible. And so they’ll never live up to their full potential as leaders because they’re too busy playing it safe. They want to make sure that everything is just smooth sailing. If you want to be an impactful leader who changes the lives of your employees, customer, industry, and world, then you have to make bold moves. You must learn how to do hard things. You’ve got to be resilient, not just bounce back, but bounce forward. Life punches all of us in the face. And the way that we respond to it is what sets us apart, and it’s what allows us to either learn precious lessons or help us make the changes we need in our lives, our teams, and our companies. Or we can say, “Ooh, I will never do that again.” And become risk-averse. But, we only have one life to live, and in this day in age when everything is so crazy, let’s just go for it. Let’s make a significant impact, a positive impact. Let’s bring people together and do bold things. Let’s be great leaders, which means taking some risks. 1. Have a vision and a bold vision. You have to know where you want to go. 2. Be willing to expand your competency zone. 3. Get comfortable with being transparent and being a little bit vulnerable. 4. Step into the discomfort of having challenging conversations or making tough decisions. 5. Own your mistakes and be willing to admit when you are wrong. The world needs you to show up as your whole self, your bold self, your authentic self, your leadership self, and you must get good at doing hard things. You’ve got to get more comfortable with doing hard things. And the only way to do it is just to jump in there and do it. Question of the Week My question of the week came from somebody on LinkedIn saying, “Kerry, how do you delegate? I’ve tried delegating, failed at it, and feel like I try to control things too much. How do you delegate properly? Great question. Listen in to find out.
7/5/202217 minutes, 33 seconds
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How to Achieve Fully Authentic Success featuring Frankie Russo

Guest: Frankie Russo is all about fully achieving not just success but authentic success. According to Frankie, sometimes, we have to shatter something in order to rebuild it. And he knows a thing or two about shattering – his business and himself. Frankie has developed a portfolio of companies across multiple industries through his Russo Capital firm, including technology, advertising, marketing, automotive, music, agriculture, publishing, and finance. The beneficiaries of his investments have offices in the United States and India and serve 128 US markets. Frankie and his team have led two of his companies to become some of America’s fastest-growing, privately-owned organizations for eight years. The Art of WHY (2016), Frankie’s first book, was on Amazon’s best-seller list in the self-help category and has been readapted and expanded into the rules-defying Breaking WHY. Frankie’s highest calling is his family, and he happily lives with his wife and six children in Louisiana. Episode in A Tweet: Pursuing our true WHY and purpose never ends. Unless we continue to break it down and rebuild what leads us to a meaningful life, we will miss the beautiful journey of finding our WHY. Background: I met Frankie at a 3 Ring Circus event (now called Impact Eleven) in Bonita Springs, FL, and we immediately connected. Sharing substance abuse issues, we share similar stories of self-destruction – all in the name of chasing success. In this episode, we discuss the importance of asking yourself hard questions such as “why am I here?” and performing deep exploration to figure out your purpose in life. Frankie shares how finding your why is not a ladder, and there is no pinnacle. Instead, it’s circular and ongoing – it’s about the journey, right? In his new book "Breaking Why," Frankie breaks down the steps needed to achieve a more substantive version of ourselves in both our personal lives and in the realm of business and entrepreneurship. By exploring the role emotions can play in hindering AND empowering us, Frankie ultimately argues that pursuing a singular, self-driven “I” is the ultimate misinterpretation of success. A champion of authenticity and a proponent of harnessing “strategic emotions,” Frankie aims to debunk the common conception that emotions are an aversion to having a successful life. Using the tools and hacks in Breaking WHY people from all walks of life will realize that it can be just as essential to break the rules as it is to make and follow them. This is a real, raw and funny interview. I know you’ll love Frankie as much as I do. How to find Frankie: https://www.linkedin.com/in/frankie-russo-30ab531a/ www.frankie-russo.com https://www.instagram.com/frankierusso/ https://www.instagram.com/theschoolofwhy/
6/28/202234 minutes, 31 seconds
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Five Ways To Motivate Employees In Uncertainty

How do you inspire your team in the face of uncertainty and at risk of burnout? We will talk about that in today’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. People are feeling overwhelmed. There’s so much noise and conflict in the world. Managing inflation, workloads, childcare, and other life’s demands – on top of the conflict of political polarization and war – sometimes it’s just too much to take. Your employees are at risk of burnout. But as a leader, not only do you have to manage these tense times yourself, but you also must keep your team motivated and moving forward. You have to support them tough these touch times to encourage their well-being. That’s why I share my five tips on leading through uncertainty to keep your team motivated and reduce the chance that they will experience frequent burnout. Manage yourself: No matter how turbulent you feel on the inside, you must remind cool, calm and collected. Remember, you set the tone, and your team will be stressed out if you are stressed out. Why? Because they model and mimic you. To be this, you must prioritize self-care. You can’t take care of others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Make courageous decisions: Your team needs you to make brave decisions. That means you must step into the discomfort of making difficult decisions. Your team and company require you to be decisive, especially when making tough and unpopular decisions. I get it, it’s not easy, but it must be done. My best advice is to show the vulnerability that making tough decisions requires. You may not be sure of the outcome or if you are making the right decision, but you must make them. Don’t be afraid of failure; instead, embrace the learning that failure might bring. Listen, listen, listen: Everybody wants to be seen and heard. It’s part of why people leave their jobs; they don’t feel seen, heard, and valued. Many leaders would rather hunker down and get things done, but when times are stressful, the best thing you can do is sit down and listen. Dialogue matters. Be transparent: All your employees want to work for a transparent leader. Why? No one likes to be left in the dark or to have partial or no information shared with them. Lack of transparency creates more fear and uncertainty because people tell themselves stories in the absence of information. So be transparent, tell the truth, and share as much information as possible. And okay with saying, I don’t know. No one has all the answers. Build connections: Help your employees feel connected and like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to feel part of a team and that they belong. Ask them questions and create opportunities for them to connect with their peers. Question of the Week How do you have difficult conversations where people walk away feeling positive? You can have difficult conversations, and you can have people feel motivated and inspired and walk away feeling positive. How do you do it? Here’s a straightforward trick: In addition to listening and engaging in the conversations and being open-minded, I turn negative language into positive language. You can say the same thing using positive language. For example “Your communication style is hindering your performance. You need to stop interrupting and listen more carefully to what’s being said.” This statement is relatively negative. Try this instead “I’d like to talk about improving your communication style so you can be more successful. I’ve witnessed you interrupting, leaving people feeling like they aren’t being heard. I’d like to see you develop some tools that will help you be a better listener.” Listen in for more tips on how to turn negative language into positive.
6/21/202210 minutes, 21 seconds
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How to Build a People-Centric Company w/ Jocelyne Morin-Nurse

Guest: Jocelyne has been called an "architect of success," possessing an "impressive understanding of business." In a career that took her from public service to entrepreneur to CEO of a software company, Jocelyne has found a passion for impactful leadership, sustainable growth and business agility. Jocelyne has led teams of 40+ members, managed operations through crises and transformation, redesigned recruiting processes and overhauled business financials, leading to profitability and measured growth. Through her company, Loxentus Inc., Jocelyne teaches entrepreneurs and leaders targeted recruiting, impactful leadership and operational optimization leading to growth. Jocelyne is also the Chair of the Forbes Business Council's Employee Empowerment group and a member of the Women Executives and Public Speaking groups. Episode in a Tweet: When you deepen your self-knowledge and understanding of others, you'll become a better leader and more able to build people-centric companies. Background: I had the pleasure of meeting Jocelyne through the Forbes Business Council, and we hit it off as I share her philosophy on building people-centric organizations. During the interview, Jocelyne tells the story of how she became a CEO, which wasn't until she left a stable, well-paying public service position – and sold her home and almost all of her possessions – to go cruising on our sailboat with her husband even though she had been "warned" this would ruin her career. She created income by freelance writing, and then one day, she joined a software company as an executive assistant and, a few years later, was running the company. Sound familiar? Her passion for leadership and hard work paid off. Jocelyne believes that the more we lead and work at deepening our knowledge of ourselves and understanding of others, the more effective we become as leaders. During this episode, Jocelyne and I discuss why it's important to develop self-awareness and share stories about how we've tripped ourselves up over the years. Jocelyn also gives her tips on how to recruit and keep talent by meeting each persona where they are at. I know you'll enjoy this fun and engaging interview. Be sure to check out Jocelyne here: https://www.loxentus.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/jocelynemorinnurse/ https://www.instagram.com/jocelynemorinnurse/
6/14/202243 minutes, 58 seconds
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Four Ways to Be a High Impact Leader

If you're listening to this podcast, I must assume that you are interested in leadership development and becoming a high-impact leader. But the path to high impact can be confusing, and no journey is the same. And with all the advice and leadership books out there, it can be overwhelming. This week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO highlights the top four areas you should focus on to be a high-impact leader. Develop Other Leaders The most important thing a leader can do is develop other leaders. You must be good at building a team, giving feedback, and helping people do their best work. Great companies and great teams are filled with great people, and no leader is successful on their own. Embody Company Values To be a high-impact leader, you must embody your company's values and principles, even if they don't serve your self-interest at the moment. Your people are watching you, and if you don't walk the walk, all the company values are is a list of words on a wall poster. Know When to Lead vs. Do As you develop as a leader, you must learn to let go of doing and instead lead. Letting go isn't always easy, especially when you base your value on the work you produce. But high impact leaders know that they must delegate effectively by setting clear expectations, giving smart goals, following up appropriately, and then getting out of the way. Understand Emotional Impact High impact leaders understand the emotional impact they have on their employees and company. Leaders should be emotionally impactful but in a positive way. Every word you say, every facial expression you make, has an emotional impact on somebody and with this comes great responsibility. Develop self-awareness and understand that you set the tone. Question of the Week This week's question came from a podcast guest who asked me, "how are you so good at so many things?" I giggled at this question because I think I am terrible at many things. But I am committed to excellence, and that's why I work hard to develop my skills and talents. My best advice is this: if you want to be good at something, practice. Work at it. Practice makes progress, and when you make progress, you improve. It takes consistency, discipline and feedback to get good at something, and that's why you've got to work at it. So pick a skill in which you want to excel and practice it. You will get better over time.
6/7/202211 minutes, 31 seconds
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Boost Your Peace, Potential, and Paycheck w/ Kelli Thompson

Guest: Kelli Thompson is a women’s leadership coach and speaker who helps women advance to the rooms where decisions are made. She has coached and trained hundreds of women to trust themselves, lead with more confidence, and create a career they love. She is the founder of the Clarity & Confidence Women's Leadership Program, and a Stevie Award winner for Women in Business—Coach of the Year. She is the author of “Closing The Confidence Gap: Boost Your Peace, Your Potential & Your Paycheck,” releasing the fall of 2022. Episode in a Tweet: We all have self-doubt and sometimes even imposter syndrome. But we all deserve a seat at the table. That’s why it’s important to push through these feelings and claim your power. Background: Kelli Thompson is on a mission to help women advance to, and make an impact in, the rooms where decisions are made. During our fun and enlightening conversation, Kelli shares that oftentimes, we label self-doubt as imposter syndrome and how that label can feel overwhelming. We all have self-doubt, and it can be used to propel you forward. Kelli believes that it’s important to have organizational conversations about the systemic issues are at play that perpetuate imposter feelings and address them, even if they aren’t easy conversations. Kelli and I share stories about being told we are too aggressive (me) or too direct (Kelli) and how we moved through these labels to create success. We talk about how to turn your flaws into superpowers and why it’s so important to use your unique talents every single day. Kelli says, “Not only will you benefit in terms of your own personal happiness and energy, but others will, too, because they are counting on your unique calling.” I know you’ll love this interview with Kelli. I can’t wait to have her back on the show, once her book has launched. How to find Kelli: Website: www.kelliraethompson.com Book: www.closingtheconfidencegap.com/book Social media: Instagram: @kelliraethompson LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kelliraethompson/
5/31/202244 minutes, 35 seconds
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Seven Tips for Effective Internal Communication

When we think of corporate communication, we consider how we talk to our customers or handle PR. But what matters most, especially if you are building a people-centric organization, is internal communication. How you communicate to your employees and teams will make or break you as a leader. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I give seven tips you can use today to create effective internal communication. 1. Vision and Values: everyone needs to understand where you are going as a team or company. Communicating vision and values increases the chance your employees all pull in the same direction and understand what's important to the company. 2. Set Expectations: If people don't know what's expected of them, they probably are going to fall short. 3. Listen: most people think that internal communication is just about sharing information, but equally important is listening. Communication is a two-way street, and you need to pause and hear what your employees are telling you. 4. Meet Regularly: Most people want to interact with management, so I recommend more personal communication. Take the time to talk with every person on your team at least once per week. Another option is to hold monthly company meetings where you share information, showcase progress on company initiatives, and celebrate wins. 5. Streamline communication channels: there are so many ways to communicate within a company that it can be confusing to know when to use what channel. Clarify how you want your employees to use the various communication methods within your company. 6. Own and Celebrate Mistakes: communication is stifled when people are afraid of failing or making mistakes. Talk about mistakes and failures openly, even celebrating them. No organization or person is perfect so make it safe to fail. 7. Ask More Questions: the best way to learn what's going on with your employees and teams is to ask questions. Be curious and encourage people to talk to you by asking open-ended questions. Question of the Week This question ties into this week's topic of creating better internal communication. A fellow YPO'er asked about my town halls. He asked, "how do you structure your town halls to make them feel safe and effective?" I share my tips on how to hold small town halls where employees feel heard and can ask you anything.
5/24/202215 minutes, 43 seconds
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Why Being a CEO is Not About You w/ Dermot O'Shea

Guest: Dermot O'Shea is an entrepreneur that has jointly founded and run Taoglas for over 18 years and grown it to more than 425 workers with ten global locations and over $100M revenue in sales per year. Dermot is a recognized thought leader in the IoT industry and is also accredited with creating "The best IoT party" and networking event every year at MWC Americas. When not selling Taoglas, Dermot enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with his wife and three sons. Dermot also serves on the board of Alpha Antennas and the Board of Trustees of La Jolla Country Day School. Dermot and his wife Ciara set up unityforukraine.net, a nonprofit to help protect Ukraine civilians in the war. So far, Unityforukraine.net have sent over $100,000 worth of essential equipment to help their friends and colleagues - civilians - in Ukraine. Episode in a Tweet: Being a CEO is not about you; sometimes, it's about taking the backseat and letting others lead. Quick Background: Dermot O'Shea learned the hard way that leading isn't about being the most intelligent person in the room or always being in the spotlight. After years of dealing with the stress a hard-charging leader brings, Dermot realized that he would be happier and a better leader when he let other people shine. So, he stepped back and made room for others. In this very candid interview, Dermot and I talk about how imposter syndrome forces you to overcompensate and how to get over insecurities as a CEO. He also talks about his journey as an entrepreneur and how betting on himself paid off even though it seems risky. Dermot shares his passion for the Internet of Things (IoT) space and how he and his partner built a $100M company. I'm confident you'll love this vulnerable and honest conversation with Dermot O'Shea. How to Find Dermot: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dermotoshea/ https://www.taoglas.com/
5/17/202236 minutes, 14 seconds
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Four Reasons Why People Are Quitting Their Jobs

News stories of people quitting their jobs are everywhere, reporting that people are leaving for better opportunities or working for themselves. In fact, 44 percent of employees are looking for new jobs, according to Willis Towers Watson's 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. On the flip side, the news reports stories of unfilled positions and the impact of the labor shortage as companies scramble to find employees. But workers across the globe are putting their collective foot down, telling leaders loud and clear that they want better working conditions, pay and work-life balance. And with 11 million unfilled jobs in the United States alone, it's evident that companies aren't creating careers that people want. So what's going on? Why are people leaving jobs? Why are they putting their collective foot down? We talk about why people re quitting in this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. The situation is complex, and it's difficult to pinpoint a single issue, but I've narrowed 'The Great Resignation' down to these reasons. Family Comes First During the pandemic, many people began to reevaluate their work and life, especially when it came to spending time with family. Many people are saying, "I am putting my family first, and the health of my relationships is more important than grinding it out every day." People left if their jobs didn't fit with their newfound family-first purpose. Looking for Purpose in Work Finding purpose in our work is essential to thriving in life and the workplace. People want to know that their work matters in the bigger picture and aligns with their talents and skills. One gentleman I spoke to said, "If I am working 8-10 hours a day, I want to feel good about what I accomplished at the end of the day. But not just for the benefit of my company. I want to feel purposeful in my life – like I am doing something I am meant to be doing." Bad Jobs Are Bad Jobs There's no getting around it; some jobs suck. Low pay, long hours, unsafe work conditions, rude customers – all these things have always made people want to quit. Entrepreneurial Aspirations Many who are leaving jobs are going to work for themselves. The WFH movement showed people could do much of their work from anywhere and inspired people to go out independently. What are businesses to do? Notice that most of these reasons have nothing to do with pay. While compensation is important, pay is not the primary reason people leave. Employees want healthy workplaces that offer flexibility and autonomy – they want to choose where and when they work. They want to work for companies that value and respect them. People want to work in businesses where customers aren't abusive and rude. Business leaders must start addressing the root causes of these issues and commit to authentically recreating their culture and relationships with their employees. Those who don't will be left behind. Question of the Week This week's question comes from someone on Facebook who asked, "My cpmany is undergoing changes, and I have resistant people on my team. What should I do? I share my tips on bringing people along, how to bite off change in small chunks, and what to do when you just have to rip the Band-Aid off.
5/10/202218 minutes, 51 seconds
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High Impact Leaders Creating High Impact Boards w/ Bob Arciniaga

Guest: Bob Arciniaga is the Founder and Chief Board Architect of Advisory Board Architects, LLC. Founded in 2005, ABA builds, maintains, and manages “High Impact” advisory boards and boards of directors. ABA provides a proprietary methodology and process so organizations can maximize the impact of their boards. ABA works with private and publicly traded companies from $20mm in revenues to $22bil in fourteen different countries. Bob also founded Boardology in 2019. Boardology provides a proprietary technology platform that allows organizations to quantitatively analyze and benchmark the level of impact, effectiveness, and engagement of their boards. Boardology’s technology provides organizations with the science and data of their High Impact Boards. Bob is a recognized thought leader in maximizing Board Engagement and Impact. He has conducted High Impact Board Training for 100s of Board Leaders around the globe. He has been a featured speaker at many global conferences, including events for Young Presidents Organization (YPO), Women in the Boardroom, Singapore and Hong Kong Institutes of Directors, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchanges, and numerous organization boards. Bob has been interviewed and highlighted in numerous publications including the NY Times and ABA was highlighted in the successful business book about innovative companies written by Salim Ismael (2014) called Exponential Organizations. Episode in a Tweet: Great board leaders not only have great ideas, but they also help CEOs learn, grow and become better executives. Quick Background: I met Bob Arciniaga through the YPO Colorado chapter several years ago and have always appreciated his perspective on executive leadership and how CEOS should develop its board of directors. During this episode, Bob and I discuss why CEOs should look at their boards as a strategic advantage and build a board with the right expertise to accelerate growth. Bob also shares how his new company Boardology helps CEOs create high-impact boards by measuring engagement and alignment. Bob tells us about the three ways CEOs and boards miss the mark when building out their board and explains why all boards should have a thorough evaluation process to measure impact. I hope you enjoy this fun and enlightening conversation with Bob; I am sure you’ll walk away with insights on how boards are run. How to find Bob Arciniaga www.advisoryboardarchitects.com www.boardology.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/bob-arciniaga-8842811/
5/3/202240 minutes, 15 seconds
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Digital Employee Experience: What it is and Why it Matters

What exactly is a digital employee experience? It's how your employees engage with or use online software and apps. Examples of digital employee experiences include: • HR systems that include self-service access to policies, compensation, PTO, performance management information, etc. • Communication and collaboration such as email, instant messaging, video conferencing, and easy to use phone systems • Productivity and Workflow such as project management, document storage, and collaboration tools • Education and training such for professional and personal development The best teams and companies will have high levels of engagement and use the tools to be more productive. It's 2022, and I get that most companies now use software like Asana for project management and Zoom for communication. Still, the issue is integration and where creating a digital employee experience comes into play. No one wants to use 15 programs to get their jobs done. I'll give you an example of what we did at StoneAge. There was a lot of confusion on what collaboration platform to use for different types of communication. We use Teams, OneDrive and Asana, and several employees didn't know when to use each. We created a simple flow chart that people refer to, and we've experienced a high adoption of the tools since clearing up the confusion. People use seamless technology in their personal lives –think how Apple has made everything interconnected. Think about how easy it is to pay with your phone. Your employees expect the same seamless interaction at work, too. If it's too hard for your employees to access information or use the tech tools you provide, they will get frustrated, negatively impacting their overall work experience. But when technology is well-integrated with a company's culture, there is a five times higher likelihood of employee engagement and a 47% lower chance of attrition, according to O.C. Tanner's 2021 Global Culture Report. The role of technology can't be overstated when it comes to creating a connected workforce, especially with employees more dispersed than ever before. Applications must be personalized, integrated and easy to use. And the good news is that most employees feel good about the future of technology in the workplace. Based on the O.C. Tanner study, 77% of employees believe advanced technology will improve their work experience. They know that it will establish a greater connection with the organization and one another. How do you go about creating a seamless digital customer experience? According to an article published by the Academy to Innovate HR, they suggest the following steps. 1. Start with the endgame in mind 2. Define what you want to achieve 3. Communicate your vision 4. Assemble a cross-functional team 5. Research and choose the technology 6. Don't expect to transform everything at once 7. Provide sufficient training 8. Measure digital employee experience 9. Work on improvements I agree with these steps, and it's exactly the process we use at StoneAge. While it takes time and is a lot of work, we are making progress. We are utilizing tools more efficiently and getting ready to roll out a digital customer experience platform that will make it even easier for our employees to interact with our customers. The hardest thing to wrap your head around, at least in my opinion, is how much work it takes to roll out a successful digital platform. It always requires more resources than you expect, and if you don't properly resource the project, and let's face it, what the company does will take longer and probably cost more. My advice is to set your expectations appropriately. There will be delays and added scope. Question of the Week This week's question comes from an old friend who reached out to me on Facebook and said, "Kerry, I am in a rut at work. What can I do to get out of it?" Listen to find out what I told her!
4/26/202220 minutes, 50 seconds
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How To Learn From Leadership Detours w/ Jimmy Peck

Guest: In 2003, Jimmy Peck joined MPW Industrial Services in the role of Management Trainee, learning the business of industrial cleaning through hands-on, in-the-field experience for two years. Jimmy has held many different positions from Branch Manager, District Manager, General Counsel, and President of Environmental Services. In 2006, Jimmy originated MPW's legal department before being promoted in 2008 to his current role — General Manager for the Industrial Cleaning Group. Before joining MPW, Jimmy worked for the Ohio Attorney General's office in the Charitable Law Section. Jimmy graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor's degree in Business and from the Michael E. Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University with a J.D. Jimmy received his license to practice law in 2004. Jimmy is an active member of numerous legal and industrial groups, including the WJTA-IMCA Board of Directors, Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and the Columbus Bar Association (CBA). Jimmy enjoys spending time with his family—his wife, Molly, and six children- in his free time—and he strongly supports local youth initiatives. He is a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Episode in a Tweet: All leaders need a good mentor or support system — someone who tells you, "You shouldn't have done that; it wasn't good." Background: I've known Jimmy for almost a decade now as we are in the industrial cleaning industry. I am always impressed by Jimmy's humility and willingness to make the room laugh. His story of climbing the ladder at MWP Services is remarkable and one that many leaders can appreciate. I sit on the Waterjet Technology Association (WJTA) board with Jimmy and have the pleasure of working with him on industry initiatives. I know his honesty, humility and down-to-earth style will inspire you. During our conversation, Jimmy and I talk about what it's like to work in a high-stress industry. Jimmy shares his philosophy on owning mistakes and leading by example. He shares some tough feedback he received from a mentor and how it changed his leadership style. Finally, Jimmy shares heartfelt advice about why you can't look in the rear-view mirror and move forward effectively and safely. I know you'll love this fun and frank interview with Jimmy Peck. How to find Jimmy Peck www.mpwservices.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/jimmy-peck-0166b8158/
4/19/202231 minutes, 57 seconds
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Why You Need Team Operating Principles

What makes a robust and effective team? How do you rally everyone around the same vision and goals? How do you ensure that everyone exhibits the company's values and meets expectations around how to communicate and behave on the team? To answer these questions and more, you need to draft "Team Operating Principles." Developing team operating principles is the topic of this week's episode on Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. I was inspired to draft them after I read the CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break Leaders by Adam Bryant and Kevin Sharer. The CEO Test is part manual, part experiencing sharing. The authors line out seven tests that examine what makes CEOs excel and what traps they can fall into that cause failure. The tests involve developing a simple strategic plan, creating culture, building teams, leading transformation, developing listening skills, handling a crisis, and managing the conflicting demands placed on and within leaders. My favorite section of the book was Test #3: Can You Build True Teams. I spend a lot of time developing my executive team, and Kevin's story of creating leadership operating principles at his company, Amgen, was inspiring. And I read it right when a key employee left the senior management team, and I was focused on hiring the right person for our company culture. So, I worked with my team to create our operating principles, and it was incredibly eye-opening and motivating. Having this clarity is helpful for current team cohesiveness, but just as importantly, it clearly defines expectations for future executive team members. During the episode, I discuss how we created our operating principles and the benefit we've received from having a clearly defined team vision, purpose, mission and articulated behaviors outlining how we work together as a team. Question of the Week Someone on LinkedIn asked this week's question after reading something I posted about meeting my publisher. She asked, "Why did you decide to go with a hybrid publisher? And what does that mean?" During the episode, I share the difference between self, hybrid and traditional publishing and explain why I chose to go with a hybrid publisher for my upcoming book. Thanks for listening, and please like, share, rate, write a review and/or subscribe to my podcast. It always helps with the algorithms.
4/12/202212 minutes, 39 seconds
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Address Leadership Challenges by Being Nimble w/ Roger Zalneraitis

Guest: Roger Zalneraitis has learned how to be a CEO through "trial by fire." And what's gotten him through tough challenges is being nimble. Roger is the CEO of MODSTREET, a manufacturing company that build outdoor parklets for restaurants and city municipalities. Before joining MODSTREET, he spent over 15 years in community and economic development. Roger utilizes his economic development experience to help MODSTREET's clients shape their communities, making them more outdoor-friendly. Roger holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Master's degree in Urban Planning from Virginia Tech. Episode in a Tweet: One of the biggest challenges of being a first-time CEO is scaling your expectations and skills as the company grows and matures. Quick Background: Roger Zalneraitis is a first-time CEO determined to build his company and become a leader worth following. After joining MODSTREET in early 2021, he's learned just how hard yet rewarding it is to scale a startup. During our conversation, Roger shares how being nimble has helped him overcome the challenges that startups often face. He candidly tells us how he's grown in his role and how learning by making mistakes has made him resilient. I've known Roger for many years and hired him as the Executive Director for the La Plata Economic Development Alliance back in 2011 when I was the board president. I've watched Roger grow as a person and leader and was thrilled when he and the co-founders of MODSTREET asked me to join their Board of Directors. My favorite line from Roger's interview is this – "Some of the things that I thought were a challenge when I first started are things I look at now and say, "whatever!" I look forward to new challenges because it means I'm growing as a leader." I can relate. I rarely get worked up about much these days, and it comes from dealing with difficult situations repeatedly. The more adversity you overcome, the less adverse things feel over time. Roger leaves us with excellent advice at the show's end, reminding us that we don't have to have all the answers as leaders. We don't have to be the smartest person in the room. Instead, we should lead with humility because that's what makes us leaders worth following. You can find out more about MODSTREET here: https://modstreet.co/ You can find Roger on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roger-zalneraitis-1899045/
4/6/202223 minutes, 54 seconds
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4 Ways to Use Intuition to Make Better Decisions

How does your intuition play into decision making and how do you leverage it to make better decisions? We talk about this and more in this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO. Psychologists define intuition as "immediate understanding, knowledge, or awareness, derived neither from perception nor reasoning." It's an automatic, effortless feeling that quickly motivates you to act. We all know there are two parts to the mind, conscious and subconscious. The conscious mind is where we make rational decisions, and intuition is all about your subconscious. When you make intuitive decisions, you are relying on your subconscious experiences. Our brains are powerful information processing machines. As we go through life, we store information in our subconscious, just in case we need it for future decision-making. To access this information when needed the most, the brain files is as pattern schemes that make it easier to make sense of our thoughts. Then the brain compares what's happening in the moment to past experiences, knowledge and memories. So, when you're making a "gut decision," it's not based just on feeling or emotion but on the logic created from past experience. You just don't realize it in the moment, which is why it feels like you are making a gut decision. If you are like me, your gut shares just as much info with you as your rational mind does. These feelings show up as "I know this is the right decision in my heart." Or "I have a pit in my stomach over this decision." During the show, I explain four ways to use intuition to make better decisions: 1. Be Curious about what you are feeling. Heart vs. head. Where is this feeling come from? 2. Draw on past experiences: intuition is pattern recognition 3. Anticipate different outcomes 4. Try the snap judgment test. On a piece of paper, write a question you're struggling with, such as, "Will accepting the promotion make me happy?" Then write "yes or no" below the question and walk away. After a few hours, or the following day, come back to the paper and immediately circle the answer that feels right to you. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a friend who asked me, “I have to have a hard conversation with one of my employees. What’s one thing I can do to ensure that I deliver it well?” My advice was to be really clear on the outcome she wanted. I encouraged her to picture a positive result, then plan her communication accordingly. For example, if she wanted the person to turn things around and remain on the team, she should approach the conversation so that the person knows she believes in them and is going to help them get back on track. She should be prepared to brainstorm solutions and offer to coach them. She should be honest, direct, and kind when delivering the feedback, and the employee should feel like they have a plan of action to turn things around. Listen to the full episode for more!
3/29/202214 minutes, 8 seconds
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Leading with Empathy and Humility w/ Jessica Matlock

Guest: Jessica Matlock is LaPlata Electric Association’s (LPEA) first female CEO in the co-op’s 80-year history. Before this role, Matlock served as a member of the executive leadership team for 13 years at the nation’s 11th largest public utility (Snohomish Public Utility District). In her last role – Assistant General Manager of Customer, Energy Services, and External Relations – she directed customer engagement, legislative and policy strategy, and the development and implementation of the utility’s solar, electric vehicle, and demand response programs. Prior to this, Jessica worked as an energy expert for the U.S. Senate and held numerous positions with the Bonneville Power Administration. She has served in various board and leadership positions with the Large Public Power Council, National Hydropower Association, American Public Power Association, the Alliance to Save Energy, Washington State Clean Technology Alliance, and GridForward. Episode in a Tweet: Leadership is about being empathetic and knowing that you’re not always right, and you must have the courage to admit you are wrong and then course correct. Quick Background: Jessica is a dear friend of mine and one of the most respected leaders in the power generation industry. Jessica recently founded and is the co-Chair of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s Women in Power professional network. This group convenes women working in public power throughout the country to share ideas, develop professional connections, and support female advancement in a predominantly male industry. Let’s just put it this way; she’s a total rockstar. During our conversation, Jessica keeps it real. She shares how she gets herself back on track when she loses her way. Jessica talks about juggling what’s fair with the reality of constraints and tradeoffs in both the industry and the workplace. She is candid about how her team gives her feedback and how she’s learning how to respond to it with gratitude and action. Jessica also gives us an inside look at the innovative ways she looks at bringing traditional and renewable power to rural Colorado. She’s truly a remarkable leader, and I’m confident you’ll enjoy this interview.
3/22/202226 minutes, 43 seconds
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Five Ways to Stop Being Complacent

In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we talk about the pitfalls of complacency and how to jumpstart yourself so you don't allow for mediocrity. If you allow yourself to be complacent or mediocre you won't drive success. Being mediocre won't build trust and respect. If you are complacent, you'll be left behind. You have to want and expect more from yourself and your team. Try new things, hold yourself accountable, ask for feedback, and don't drink your own Kool-Aid. Question of the week comes from a follower on LinkedIn who said, "I've been told that I come across as aggressive in meetings and that people are afraid to speak up. I don't think I am being aggressive. People are just too sensitive. What should I do" I love this question! Be sure to tune in to find out what I told him!
3/15/202219 minutes, 8 seconds
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Transform Your Company Through Mindfulness w/ Brenda Jacobsen

Guest: Brenda Jacobsen, President of Mindful Communications, is an accomplished business leader in the health, wellness, and healthcare spaces, with deep expertise in scaling, multi-state business operations, and M&A. The former CEO of Lakeside Medical Centers and Life Cross Training, Brenda’s career has focused on improving the health and wellness of workforces globally, focusing first on physical wellness and now on wellbeing. Brenda is a sought-after keynote speaker and thought leader on leadership, mindfulness, and building resilience. Brenda serves on the board of directors for LifeXT and Mindful Communications. She has previously served on the board of the Homeless Empowerment Project, the National Association of Occupational Health Professionals, and the Friends of the Art Museum of the Americas. She currently serves as the Network Chair for the Young President’s Organization’s (YPO) Women’s Business Network, an organization dedicated to elevating the global profile of female leaders to be more impactful, more extraordinary, and more connected. Episode in a Tweet: As employers and leaders, we must be willing to lean into, support and think creatively and innovatively about how to help people be their whole selves at work. Quick Background: Brenda Jacobsen sees mindfulness as a unique and profound approach to social change and our work as a social innovation initiative. As the President of Mindful Communications, her mission is to bring mindfulness into the mainstream, and it presents a historic opportunity to transform society. Brenda and I discuss how Mindful Communications brings mindfulness coaching into the workplace through their LifeXT program during our conversation. Brenda shares how LifeXT combines digital tools with customizable and scalable professional coaching for a unique program that increases employee engagement and optimizes wellbeing and performance. Brenda and I also discuss the need for companies to invest in benefits such as mindfulness coaching and other mental health programs to remain competitive. Brenda makes a case for leaning into our roles as leaders and finding innovative and creative ways to support employees who are struggling mentally and emotionally. Finally, Brenda wraps up the conversation by explaining social innovation and why leaders should create a company and culture that makes the world a better place. To find Brenda, visit her LinkedIn page here. To find Mindful Communications, visit their website here.
3/8/202239 minutes, 52 seconds
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How to Build An Inclusive Team

"Inclusivity means not 'just we're allowed to be there,' but we are valued. I've always said: smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things." ~ Claudia Brind-Woody – Executive at IBM I love this quote from Claudia Brind-Woody. If you want to build an exceptional team and company, you must create an environment where everyone feels included, valued, and as they belong. Because diverse and inclusive teams go on to do impossible things. But what does belonging actually mean? And how do you create a team that is inclusive and encourages belonging? Nobody wants to feel like an outsider on a team, but unfortunately, many do. I can promise that you have people on your team who don't feel like they belong — who absolutely feel like outsiders. Leaders need to address belonging to create a much more inclusive, safe space for everyone on their team. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I discuss why it's important to create a sense of belonging on your team and how to go about doing it. The first step is to define what belonging means to you, your team and your company. Belonging means different things to different people. Survey your team to find out what belonging looks and feels like to everyone on your team so that you can find common language and meaning. For some contact, the Cambridge Dictionary defines belonging as "a feeling of being happy or comfortable as part of a particular group and having a good relationship with the other members of the group because they welcome you and accept you." The next thing you need to do is get to know people on your team and help them get to know each other. When you take the time to understand people and their life stories, you build deeper connections and create opportunities for understanding. As Berne Brown so articulately says, "Never underestimate the power of being seen." Another important aspect of belonging comes in the form of giving feedback. It takes trust and respect to deliver meaningful and helpful feedback. And there is nothing kinder than saying, "I care enough to share this feedback with you." Giving and receiving feedback creates opportunities for meaningful dialog, deeper understanding and a sense of belonging. Always lead with gratitude. As often as you can, say, "Thank you. I really appreciate you. I liked your idea and the different point of view you brought to the conversation." Finally, create team operating principles that define the team's purpose and articulate the behaviors and attributes required to succeed. Operating principles create clarity, alignment, and healthy teams – but only when team members hold themselves and each other accountable to living the principles. Question of the Week This week's question comes from a fellow YPOer who asked, "Kerry, how do you always stay so focused?" Listen to my tips on staying focused and getting things done. I talk about my friend Chris Schembra and his Gratitude Experience in the episode. You can find out more here.
3/1/202215 minutes, 4 seconds
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Your Brand Is the Stories People Share About You When You’re Not in the Room w/ Gabrielle Dolan

Guest: Gabrielle Dolan is a master storyteller and teaches executives how to use stories to connect with customers, partners, and employees. She is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, educator and author, Gabrielle’s extensive client list includes Telstra, EY, Accenture, VISA, Australia Post, National Australia Bank, Amazon, Vodafone and the Obama Foundation. She holds a master’s degree in management and leadership from Swinburne University, an associate diploma in education and training from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Executive Education. Gabrielle is also the bestselling author of Real Communication: How to Be You and Lead True, a finalist in the Australian Business Leadership Book Awards for 2019. Her most recent book is called Magnetic Stories: Connect with Customers and Engage with Employees with Brand Storytelling. Episode in a Tweet: The ability to share your ideas or instructions in an impactful way is vital for leaders and executives alike. To be an effective leader, you must become an effective storyteller. Quick Background: Gabrielle Dolan knows how to tell stories. In fact, it was while working in a senior leadership role at National Australia Bank that she realized the power of storytelling in effective business communication. Since that epiphany, Gabrielle has found her calling as a global thought leader on strategic storytelling and real communication. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Gabrielle and I discuss the importance of storytelling in business. She shares the five types of business stories and how to use them effectively. We discuss why leaders are intimidated to tell personal stories and the importance of getting a bit vulnerable. We talk about how stories motivate people and why you should always make your employees and customers the hero of your story. This is a great episode, and you’ll love learning how to be a better storyteller with Gabrielle. How to find Gabrielle: https://gabrielledolan.com/
2/22/202245 minutes, 56 seconds
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How to Be An Emotionally Strong Leader

Have you ever wondered how some leaders breeze through tough situations, never appearing stressed? It all comes down to being emotionally strong. All leaders must deal with stress, but the very best leaders handle the ups and downs with ease, letting things slide off their backs with resiliency, grace, and grit. How do these leaders get to the place where stress doesn’t consume them day in and day out? That’s the topic of this week’s Advice from a CEO on Reflect Forward. Because if you want to be an executive leader, especially in the C-Suite, you’ve got to be able to manage stress well. During the episode, I share my top tips, which include: Prioritize Yourself I know this is a foreign concept to so many people, and it may sound selfish, but it is not. If you are not taking care of yourself, you cannot care for other people. If you want to be an exceptional leader, you can’t just push and push yourself. Constant pushing leads to burnout and stress and increases the chance of reacting poorly to a stressful situation. Be Clear About What You Want So often, people can’t make changes in their lives because they don’t know what they want. If you don’t know what you want, it’s hard to say no to things. And when too much piles up on your plate, it’s hard to manage stress. Because I know what I want out of my life, I can prioritize the things that are important to me and say no to everything else, which builds up my emotional strength. Focus, Focus, Focus The only way to manage stress and increase your emotional strength is to focus, and I recommend using a tool that helps you remain focused on your most important tasks. To handle stress well, you need to ensure that the quality of your working hours is high. When you feel like you are working on the right things, you can better handle curveballs when they come your way because you can deal with them and then get back on track quickly. Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself This piece of advice may sound harsh, but it’s true. If you want to be a leader worth following, you can’t feel sorry for yourself. Your job is hard and thankless, and it comes with great responsibility. You have to let things slide off your back. Your job is to lead, so lead with confidence. Remain even-keeled. Use my mantra always to be cool, calm and collected. Stop Ruminating The number one cause of stress for leaders is rumination – where we just can’t stop thinking about a negative situation. We lose sleep replaying conversations or imagining all the terrible things that will happen tomorrow. To be an emotionally strong leader, you must break this habit. Go for a walk. Write down what you want to say or how you want to handle the situation to get it out of your head and on paper. Read a book to distract yourself. Mediate or do breathing exercises. Talk it through with your spouse or a trusted friend. But don’t let yourself spin – not if you want to manage your stress well and move through tough situations easier. What Are Your Triggers Finally, learn about what triggers you. I began working with a coach who helped me understand what triggered me and why it changed my life and leadership style. Why? Because I could stop myself from getting upset because I understood my emotional response. The best way to stop reacting and start responding appropriately – cool, calm and collected – is to know why you are getting aggravated and then have the tools to control yourself in the moment, breaking your patterns and increasing your emotional strength. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help Great leaders delegate and ask for help. But many think that doing these things is a sign of weakness, and the truth is, it’s just the opposite. Emotionally strong leaders are not afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks off their plates. Question of the Week This week's question comes from one of my employees who asks, “How do I get better at giving presentations?” I share my tips, so be sure to listen to the end!
2/15/202220 minutes, 8 seconds
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Work Hard for An Idea You Believe In w/ Kara Goldin

Guest: Kara Goldin is the Founder of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint water, the leading unsweetened flavored water. She has received numerous accolades, including being named EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 Northern California and one of InStyle’s 2019 Badass 50. Previously, Kara was VP of Shopping Partnerships at America Online. She hosts the podcast The Kara Goldin Show. Her first book, Undaunted: Overcoming Doubts and Doubters, was released October 2020 and is now a WSJ and Amazon Best Seller. Kara lives in the Bay Area with her family. Episode in a Tweet: Work for an idea that you believe in. Overcome your doubts and doubters. Build a company that changes lives. Quick Background: In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Kara Goldin, Founder of Hint, talks about what it was like to build Hint, taking it from an idea in her kitchen to the superstar, mission driven brand that it is today. Kara shares how she overcame adversity and figured out how to compete in the gigantic beverage industry. We talk about the divisive marketing branding companies use to lure consumers into to drinking sugary beverages and how she built Hint about the motto “Drink Water, Not Sugar.” Kara and I also talk about employee-ownership. All of Hint’s employees are owners – a near and dear topic to me as StoneAge is an employee-owned company, too. Kara discusses how powerful it is when people believe in the mission of the company and how it translates to success when they have equity in the company. Finally, Kara shares what she has learned during her 16-year leadership journey at Hint: what it takes to bounce back from rejection and setbacks, the impact you can make on peoples’ lives, and how to grow a company from nothing to a 250-person mission-based brand that people love. You can find Kara here: https://karagoldin.com/ https://www.instagram.com/karagoldin/ https://www.facebook.com/KaraGoldin/ https://twitter.com/karagoldin https://www.linkedin.com/in/karagoldin/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/karagoldin/ https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-kara-goldin-show/id1327208777 https://www.drinkhint.com/
2/8/202239 minutes, 31 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Staying Calm When Receiving Hard to Hear Information

Write Up Form Staying Calm In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, we’re talking about how to stay calm when you receive challenging information — perhaps something you didn’t want to hear or deal with — or feedback that is uncomfortable. It’s not easy to absorb hard to hear news at the moment. But how we handle ourselves in these situations will either make it safe for the person to speak up or shut down. During a recent speaking event on having candid, courageous conversations, a woman brought up a situation where having conversations about compensation with your employees triggered her. She had always been on the side of self-advocation, but now that she’s in a leadership role, her team members are asking her for raises, and she’s not always comfortable with what to do or say in the moment. I gave her this advice: 1. Say thank you. It’s hard for people to have candid conversations, and you should always commend bravery, even if it triggers you. 2. Don’t feel like you have to respond right at that moment. It’s okay to say, “I need some time to think about what you’ve said. I’ll follow up with you tomorrow.” Just make sure you follow up. 3. Remember that we are all humans first and foremost. It’s not your employee sitting in front of you delivering hard to hear information. A fellow human being is most likely feeling anxious and intimated, and how you react will make them feel seen and heard or dismissed and regretful. The question of the week asks, “I gave a peer some tough feedback, and as I was delivering it, I could tell she was unhappy by the look on her face. What should I do?” First, don’t assume that you know what she’s thinking. You are projecting your interpretation of a facial expression onto her, but you genuinely don’t know what’s she’s feeling. Rather than project, address it objectively and say, “I noticed a look cross your face, and I don’t want to misinterpret it. Did my feedback land wrong? Second, don’t backpedal or soften the message if the message isn’t landing well. Often, people assume that it’s their content that needs to change. Instead, understand that receiving tough feedback always stings, no matter how tough the person may seem. They are allowed to let it sting – they are entitled to having feelings about what you are saying. But that doesn’t mean you should change your message. Speak your truth with kindness and compassion but be direct. Clarity is kindness. Give them space to process, but don’t backpedal. Finally, follow up. If you are worried about how the person took your feedback, the only way to know for sure is to ask her. Following up shows you value the relationship, and it allows the two of you to talk about the situation once she’s had a chance to process it, and it allows for follow-up questions and closure. To hear more of Kerry's Advice From a CEO, visit her website or YouTube channel. https://kerrysiggins.com/podcast/ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUkUm5NWErHdI2o-v9jqB0A/videos
2/1/202215 minutes, 36 seconds
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Unlock Your Potential with Trust-Based Selling w/ Ari Galper

Guest: Ari Galper is the World’s #1 Authority on Trust-Based Selling and the Creator of Unlock the Game®, a new sales mindset and approach that overturns the notion of selling as we know it today. With a master’s degree in Instructional Design and over a decade of experience creating breakthrough sales strategies for global companies such as UPS and QUALCOMM, Ari discovered the missing link that people who sell have been seeking for years. His profound discovery of shifting one’s mindset to a place of complete integrity, based on new words and phrases grounded in sincerity, has earned him distinction as the world’s leading authority on how to build trust in the world of selling. Ari’s deep understanding of human communication and how it can be maximized in the sales process has led him to discover the solution to the most dreaded selling experience of all: personal rejection. He has completely redefined how to connect with people over the phone. In his corporate training sessions, Ari demonstrates his mindset by calling new prospects in front of live audiences. Episode in a Tweet: Trust is the most important currency in the new economy. Listen to learn how to reinvent and anchor your sales approach in the timeless values of integrity and trust through trust-based selling. Quick Background: If you are tired of chasing the sale, playing the “numbers game” and stressing out about why sales aren’t flowing into your business, this episode is for you! In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Ari Galper and I talk about how he developed his trust-based selling model (hint: it has to do with rejection and a customer ghosting him). Ari shares the three myths of selling: that sales is a numbers game, that the sale is lost at the end of the process, and that rejection is part of the sales process. I share a recent story of being pitched to and we break down why it failed. Ari offers up his selling principles that turn these myths upside down which include using trust language such as asking for feedback, defusing pressure out of the conversation, and creating dialogue where a client feels safe enough to tell you the truth. Ari shares why you need to drop your elevator pitch and instead ask questions about your customers’ problems. In his book Unlock the Sales Game, you’ll learn: • No More Selling Scripts? Five Ways to Be Yourself Again • How to Use E-Mail “Sales Calls” Without Falling into the SPAM Trap! • Sales Therapy 101: Breaking Your Fear of Selling • Seven Ways to Sell and Retain Your Integrity • Seven Pitfalls of Using Email to Sell • Seven Ways to Get to the Truth: When the Sale “Disappears” • And more How to find Ari: https://unlockthegame.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/arigalper/ https://twitter.com/arigalper https://www.amazon.com/Ari-Galper/e/B00W4J1Z86 https://www.facebook.com/arigalperfans
1/22/202245 minutes, 4 seconds
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5 Reasons Why Leaders Fail

Why do leaders fail? Leading is hard. In today's volatile world, the pressure to perform and execute has never been greater. Some days, things go right, and on other days, it feels like the organization is crumbling. Imposter syndrome sets in, causing leaders to question, "Do even I have what it takes to lead?" For me, leadership is a little bit of science, but mostly art. The list of attributes leaders need to possess is long yet uniquely individual. Vision, communication style, empathy, self-awareness, and listening ability blend with experiences, personality style, and ego. These combinations make each leader's journey an individual one. And for every successful leader, dozens have failed. Being in an executive position for fifteen years now, I have avoided catastrophic failure, but I have witnessed quite a bit of it. I hired executives I believed would succeed, helping me take the company to the next level, only to watch them struggle, deny, blame, and then flame out. Over the years, I have come to my own conclusions on why leaders fail and what we can do about it. In this week’s episode, I share five reasons why I believe leaders fail. They Lack Self-Leadership Qualities A primary reason why leaders fail is that they are poor self-leaders. They lack the self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and accountability to succeed at the executive level. Or they overwork themselves, not taking time to care for themselves properly, so they show up grumpy, lackluster, and uninspired. Confidence Turns to Arrogance When leaders are promoted or hired, they often want to prove themselves. And the pressure is real; leaders must produce results. Unfortunately, many respond to this pressure by making unilateral decisions, failing to ask questions, and underestimating their impact on the organization. They forget that they are there to serve others. "I was hired for a reason, and I am going to show everyone they made the right decision," they think. They Can't Build a Team One of the essential tasks a leader must do is to build a strong team. Without a high-performing team, a leader will struggle, and the company will struggle. I often say that if you can't build a team, you can't be a successful leader. Many leaders say they don't have time for these activities, but in my opinion, these efforts are the most important part of their jobs. They Disregard the Details Leaders are supposed to work on the business, not in the business, right? While this is somewhat true, executing strategy is key to running a successful business, and if a leader stops caring about the details, things can fall apart. They Fail to Communicate Well Leaders cannot over-communicate. Why? People want to hear from their leaders, even if the truth is hard to hear. Leaders fail when they aren't transparent and when they don't share the why. Leaders who fail to articulate the vision, set direction, and repeatedly share the message will lose followership. There is no doubt that leadership is a journey and a unique one at that. Leaders must develop their skills through experience, coaching, and mentoring. They get better by being self-aware, honing their communication styles, balancing working on the business, paying attention to details, and showing humility. Question of the Week This week’s question comes from an aspiring leader who asked me, “what can I do to become a better leader?” My answer: hire a coach! Listen to the full episode to hear more. To read more on why leaders fail, check out my article on Entrepreneur.
1/18/202210 minutes, 27 seconds
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Surround Yourself with Successful Leaders to Become One w/ Sean Magennis

Guest: Sean is a seasoned international business executive specializing in scaling professional services firms. He contributes 30 years of experience to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders to create realizable enterprise value. He is widely known for leading YPO as Global President and COO for more than seven years. In his new role as President of CEO Coaching International, Sean will build the company’s global footprint, enhance the community platform among clients, coaches, and strategic partners, and help lead the firm’s growth. Episode in a Tweet: Surround yourself with successful people to become more successful yourself. And one of those people should be a coach who is dedicated to helping you grow as a leader and person. Quick Background: During our conversation, CEO Coaching International’s President Sean Magennis shares what it was like to be an insider at YPO, leading the world’s most prestigious peer-to-peer learning and networking space. While at YPO, Sean Magennis led a globally distributed, diverse team serving 30,000 CEOs in 138 countries with combined annual revenues of $9 trillion. Sean also tells us about CEO Coaching International’s model, a world-class coaching firm focused on working with the world’s leading executives. They coach their clients in leadership, strategy, innovation, team building and cultural design to help them dramatically grow their business. The firm’s goal is to help its clients elevate their performance. Sean shares his experience receiving coaching and the value it brought to him as a leader. Sean shares his belief that “creating great leaders and leadership teams is not a one-dimensional practice. Rather it requires skill sets, competencies and a knowledge base that extends across a variety of relationships, platforms, mediums, and other key strategic constituencies.” Sean shares his four leadership pillars: know yourself, pick and stay true to your values, be clear on who you lead, and get clear on your role as a leader. Sean also talks about CEO Coaching International’s new book “Making Big Happen: Applying the Make Big Happen System to Grow Bigger. He shares how using the firm’s proven set of best practices can help leaders scale their businesses and reach new heights. This is an excellent episode to kick off the new year and is one you don’t want to miss. You can find Sean here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmagennis/ https://ceocoachinginternational.com/
1/11/202242 minutes, 27 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Make Fear Your Friend in 2022

Happy New Year! I am thrilled to be entering year two of producing Reflect Forward. I am excited for what the new year will bring, even though I understand there are still many challenges ahead. I am confident that life will throw us some curveballs. But we humans are afraid of curveballs, and we don’t like change or surprises. We fear the unknown, and that’s what this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice Form a CEO is all about: fear. And I am encouraging you to make fear your friend in 2022. Even though many great things will happen in 2022, there will be challenges that may cause fear. I would argue that fear isn’t a bad thing – we all have it. There’s no doubt that fear can be a pretty nasty companion, and it can make us feel anxious and self-doubt. What we do with that fear either propels us forward or holds us back. This new year, I would like to encourage you to make fear your friend. Stop saying, “I’m trying to get rid of my fears or overcome my fears.” Instead, embrace your fears and make fear your friend. Why? Because there’s always something that will scare you. Always! Being scared means that you’re about to do something significant and meaningful in your life. Stepping into the discomfort and making fear your friend will help you act and move towards what you want in life. Making fear your friend is how you change your life forever. I know because I’ve done it a million times. Most notably, I embraced my biggest fears when I left Austin. I was a complete mess, and I was scared. Would I find a job in Durango? How would I start my life over? How would I survive? But I knew that I needed to leave Austin, and that’s what I did. I followed my heart, and my life changed. I took that step into the unknown. I embraced my fear and created a whole new life for myself. Today, I would like to share my tips for embracing fear and your insecurities in the hopes that it will inspire you to step into that discomfort and move towards what you’ve been wanting. Ask yourself: “Where are my fears coming from?” “What’s the worse thing that could happen? “What’s the best thing that could happen? “What can I do to get more comfortable with my fear?” “What’s one action I can take today to help me move forward? The only way to get good at doing hard things is to do hard things. You can do hard things, too. As you push yourself, you’ll expand your competency zone, gain more confidence, lose that baggage and make fear your friend. Question of the Episode The question of the week comes from a LinkedIn follower who asked, “how do you define leadership?? To me, leadership means many things, but most importantly, it means investing in people. I believe deeply in helping people understand how their talents fit into the organization and giving them opportunities to try new things, develop new skills, and grow personally and professionally. Once you have the right people on your team, you must make sure they are in the right roles, aligning their talents with their job. There is nothing more important than building an exceptional team made up of extraordinary people. You won’t get far without great people and great teams. I spend a lot of my time developing and investing in my team. In fact, my team calls me the “Human Engineer” because of the emphasis we put on developing people and making sure they are in the right roles.
1/4/202213 minutes, 45 seconds
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How to Become Unstoppable in Life and Business w/ Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco

Guest: Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco is the Co-Founder of Blooprinted, best-selling Author of ROCKET FUEL Convert Setbacks. Become Unstoppable and the powerhouse behind the “What Are You Made Of?” podcast. He is a performance coach, author, dynamic public speaker, visionary and thought leader. He has been featured by Yahoo! Finance as one of the Top Business Leaders to Follow in 2020 and is on a mission to build people. He is driven to inspire others, and he measures his success based on his ability to help others achieve greatness. C-Roc had a fire lit in him at an early age, and that fire has ignited him with a fierce desire to compel people to see the greatness inside themselves using past life events to fuel their fire. Episode in a Tweet: We all face setbacks in life, and what separates those how bounce forward and those who may only bounce back is how they use adversity as rocket fuel to propel them forward into greatness. Quick Background: Mike “C-Roc” Ciorrocco had a rough childhood. But he didn’t let it hold him back. After facing a myriad of challenges and setbacks, he learned the power of mindset and went on a mission to change his life and become a force of positivity and change. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Mike dives deep into his past and shares how he used “rocket fuel” to overcome a negative environment and propel himself to a better future. Mike discusses his three “Cs” for realizing that you aren’t actually stuck: Clairy, Commitment and Consistency and shares personal stories about how he uses the three Cs. We talk about the importance of being prepared and expressing gratitude – two critical attributes to overcoming adversity and taking your life to the next level. Then we dive into his new company, blooprinted. According to Mike, “blooprinted is a platform that tailors templates for success in any market. Featuring step-by-step approaches that are custom-built for any vertical industry, blooprinters can utilize the platform to sell their formula for success. No matter the market, blooprinted allows users to create a template that others can purchase for their own goals—whether business or lifestyle, personal or professional.” Mike’s passion and drive are contagious, and I know you’ll love this interview. How to find Mike “C-roc”: https://www.mikecroc.com/ https://www.blooprinted.com/vip https://www.facebook.com/mikeciorrocco https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGWHuKojqZfcXmvGCAi_t1Q https://www.linkedin.com/in/michael-ciorrocco/ https://www.instagram.com/mikeycroc/ https://twitter.com/mikeycroc You can find his book here: https://www.amazon.com/Rocket-Fuel-Mike-C-Roc-Ciorrocco/dp/1087911699/ref=sr_1_4?gclid=Cj0KCQiAweaNBhDEARIsAJ5hwbcYk02dgLavsqs8SNmwYWCYTYi9Avd_WK65HTjtRAdpkHjRolbjNH4aAjiIEALw_wcB&hvadid=174235071497&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9029145&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=13391647313109063684&hvtargid=kwd-138223693707&hydadcr=22535_9636730&keywords=rocket+fuel+book&qid=1639605845&sr=8-4
12/28/202139 minutes, 34 seconds
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Be An Ambidextrous Leader To Find Success

What kind of leader will be the most successful in the years to come? The ambidextrous leader. But what does that mean? According to Wiki, “Ambidextrous leadership is a recently introduced term by scholars to characterize a special approach to leadership that is mostly used in organizations. It refers to the simultaneous use of explorative and exploitative activities by leaders. Exploration refers to search, risk-taking, experimentation, and innovation in organizations, whereas exploitation has to do with refinement, efficiency, implementation, and execution. Successful ambidextrous leaders must be able to achieve the appropriate mix of explorative and exploitative activities, unique for each organization, that will lead them to high firm performance outcomes.” I love this leadership framework because, let’s face it -- everything, everywhere, is constantly changing. But the statement, “you’ve got to embrace change,” is overused and challenging for many people to do. Instead, what if we embraced the inherent tension between the way things are now and how things will change in the future? Embracing this tension is a recipe for success. You don’t have to throw out the old to pursue the new – at least not most of the time. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I talk about the power of being ambidextrous. I want to encourage you to think about being an ambidextrous leader. How will you handle all of the challenges that will come your way? How will you handle the diversity of the situations you will face? How do you exploit and explore simultaneously? How do you let go of what isn’t working to embrace new ways of thinking? To grow your team and company, you might have to take different approaches to your growth strategy, team-building efforts, culture curation, etc. You might have to ask yourself, “Why have we always done it this way? How can I build upon what’s worked and let go of what hasn’t? How can I look at new ways of growing, even if those ways are at odds with what we do currently?” If there are two things that humans do, they change and evolve. We can see our evolution throughout history. And unfortunately, many of us are averse to change because we’re afraid of the outcome. Some are afraid of failing or losing something, so they dig in and try to keep the status quo because that feels safe. But it isn’t safe. The fact is that things will change, and you’re going to change, even if you’re unwilling because we all do; we all modify and adapt. You can go down kicking and screaming, or you can change with grace, flow, and ambidexterity, asking yourself, “What is my environment bringing to me? What situation am I in right now? And how can I flex to maximize my impact and maximize the outcome?” If you want to be a creative, innovative and effective leader, you’ve got to develop your ambidexterity.
12/21/202110 minutes, 52 seconds
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Be Passionate to Be Exceptional w/ Sarah Gargano

Guest: Sarah has worked for twenty years in the luxury sector with many of the top European luxury houses, including Lalique, Cartier, DeBeers, Valmont, McLaren Automotive, The Italian Government, Hotel Santa Caterina, Villa René Lalique, Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey, Nobu Hotels, Puiforcat, Jean-Louis Coquet, Philippe Deshoulières, Robert Haviland & C. Parlon, Rossano Ferretti, Nathalie Jean fine jewelry, John Hardy, Vertu, Armand de Brignac champagnes, Agent Provacateur, RISD Museum, One Drop Foundation and Luxury Education Foundation, among others. Sarah has received first-hand experience in the factories and headquarters for each brand, observing the craftsmanship and know-how of the artisans and workers, passed on from generation to generation. She has developed a passion for handcrafted, service-oriented luxury brands through this invaluable training. This love and appreciation of the sector have driven Sarah to specialize and focus her efforts on promoting and educating luxury brands worldwide. Episode in a Tweet: What makes luxury brands unique? They know who they are, and they don’t pretend. They are true to their own DNA. Listen for a behind-the-scenes look at how the luxury industry is becoming more diverse, inclusive and sustainability-focused. Quick Background: Sarah Gargano believes excellent communication is a 360-degree approach, including editorial coverage, social media & digital strategy, influencer marketing, events, video, advertising, television and film. Her contacts in each medium are A-list. She has helped her clients achieve outstanding results, successfully delivering their message and furthering their presence and power as authoritative luxury brands. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Sarah shares her journey from leaving Wall Street to entering the mysterious world of luxury. She explains what all brands could learn about PR and branding from luxury: know who you are and stay true to who you are – great advice for anyone. She talks about helping her clients create highly personalized experiences so their customers can truly understand the brand. Sarah and I talk about how the luxury industry is becoming more diverse, inclusive, and sustainability-focused. She shares her passion for educating future generations about the luxury industry through her involvement with the Luxury Education Foundation. The Luxury Education Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on nurturing future leaders in the luxury industry and fostering meaningful exchanges between like-minded CEOs, leading executives and high-potential, emerging talent. Established in 2004, LEF partners with Columbia Business School, Parsons School of Design, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to create global, qualitative interdisciplinary programs to ensure future success for members, students, and alumni. This episode is fascinating, and I am sure you will enjoy learning from Sarah as she shares her passion for her clients and their brands and her journey to excellence. To find out more about Sarah, check out her website here: https://www.sarahgargano.com/ To learn more about the Luxury Education Foundations, visit their website here: https://www.luxuryeducationfoundation.org/
12/14/202144 minutes, 27 seconds
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Create Success Using Self-Discipline

One of the most important attributes to becoming successful is self-discipline. It’s almost impossible to achieve excellence without it. Self-discipline helps you stay focused; it gives you the grit to stick with something even when it’s difficult. It helps you choose to win the long game over short-term gratification. Self-discipline allows you to overcome obstacles and deal with the discomfort of pushing yourself to new heights. With enough self-discipline, you can form life-long, positive habits; once you create a habit, it no longer requires discipline, and you propel yourself towards success because it’s what you do day in and day out. What is self-discipline? Essentially, it’s the ability to control your impulses, emotions, reactions, and behaviors. It’s the ability to forego short-term gratification in favor of long-term satisfaction and gain. It’s basically saying no when you really want to say yes. The word self-discipline makes most people shudder just uttering it but being self-disciplined isn’t about leading a restrictive and boring life void of enjoyment, relaxation, and fun. In fact, it’s next to impossible to be self-disciplined in all areas of your life and I don’t recommend it. Instead, you should use self-discipline to focus your energies on what’s most important to you. Let it help you make the tradeoff between the short and long term to make better choices. You’ll be happier when you have formed habits that make your life better in the long run. So how do you become more self-disciplined? Here are my tricks: 1. Make a self-discipline list. You can’t achieve your goals without discipline, so supplement your list with what you need to do to be disciplined enough to achieve them. 2. Use a daily “success” list to keep track of the three most important things you need to get done each day to achieve your goals. These three things should coincide with your discipline list. 3. Figure out what your barriers to success are. Are you trying to lose weight? Get the junk food out of your house. Do you want to be more productive at work? Close your email application and only check your emails twice per day. 4. Share your goals with others. It’s easier to stick with something when you’ve made a public commitment; the desire not to fail in front of others can be highly motivating. 5. Do it for someone else. I know the saying goes, “don’t do it for others, do it for yourself,” but I have found I am much more disciplined when considering how my actions, behaviors, emotions, and impulses affect others. 6. Stop making excuses. Don’t wait for tomorrow; do it now. Tune in for more details. Question of the Episode This week’s question came from a young woman who reached out after heading my give a keynote and she asked, “Should I give feedback in an email so it’s documented?” My answer: no! Listen to find out why and how to handle this situation like a pro. Like this? Check out more at my website: www.kerrysiggins.com
12/7/202112 minutes, 27 seconds
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How to Build a Great Culture w/ Adam Mendler

Guest: Adam Mendler is the Chief Executive Officer of The Veloz Group, where he co-founded and oversees ventures across a wide variety of industries such as Beverly Hills Chairs, a leading office furniture e-tailer; Custom Tobacco, a one-of-a-kind cigar customization e-commerce platform; and Veloz Solutions, a technology consulting and software development practice. Adam is also the creator and host of the business and leadership podcast Thirty Minute Mentors, where he regularly elicits insights from America’s top CEOs, founders, athletes, celebrities, and political and military leaders. Adam has written extensively on leadership, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, authoring over 70 articles published in major media outlets including Forbes, Inc. and HuffPost. Adam’s Lessons in Leadership series in Thrive Global and other media projects total more than 500 one-on-one interviews with America’s top leaders. Adam draws upon his insights building and leading businesses and interviewing hundreds of America’s top leaders as a keynote speaker to companies, universities and non-profit organizations on leadership and related topics. Episode in a Tweet: Values are more than a list of attributes posted on a company’s website. The best way to get a feel for company culture is to walk through the organization and ask people what it’s like to work there. Quick Background: In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward, Adam Mendler, CEO of The Veloz Group, and I what it takes to build a corporate culture and the value of building a strong team. He shares his philosophy on company values and why focus is key to success. He talks about what it’s like to be in business with his brother and the difficulty of separating family and work. Adam also tells us how he started writing and keynote speaking. You can find Adam on his website: www.adammendler.com
11/30/202137 minutes, 36 seconds
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The Power of Finding Gratitude in the Hard Stuff

It’s Thanksgiving week here in the U.S., and that time of year when we pause to give thanks. But gratitude is much more powerful when practiced regularly. I am not the kind of person who writes in a gratitude journal. I don’t wake up every morning and run through the list of things I am grateful for. As my good friend Chris Schembra, the “Gratitude Guru” says, gratitude journals are bullshit.” Instead, I practice gratitude in the moment. Like when I am climbing mountains and racing down them on my mountain bike, feeling overwhelmed by the scenery, my awesome bike, and my body can do such things. I feel gratitude in the moment when my son, Jack, cuddles with me, and we laugh and tease each other. I feel gratitude when my dog Johnnie puts his head on my shoulder in Shavasana after my yoga practice. But what I am most grateful for are the hard things in life. I know that may sound odd, but truly, I am. There are so many gifts in difficult situations; you gain insight, solve problems and grow. I wouldn’t be where I am today without hitting rock bottom, and I am grateful for what I learned about myself and my others through the journey back from rock bottom. In this week’s episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I share stories of how being grateful for hard things can change your perspective. Hopefully, it will inspire you to dig deep and find gratitude for the adversity you’ve overcome and how it shaped who you are today. Question of the Episode This week’s question comes from a woman who heard me speak at an event a few weeks back. “Kerry, I want to learn how to be an exceptional manager. What are your favorite management books, and should I read them?” I love this question because I love to read. My answer was First Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Radical Candor by Kim Scott. Tune in to find out why!
11/23/202110 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Future of Work and How to Flourish in the Era of AI w/ Maulik Parekh

Guest: Based in Singapore, Maulik Parekh is an avid entrepreneur, highly sought-after keynote speaker, and bestselling author of Futureproof Your Career and Company. Over the years, with his popular leadership seminars and workshops, he has inspired over 10,000 leaders and prepared them for the increasingly disruptive future. Prior to his entrepreneurial and literary ventures, Maulik was an award-winning CEO of global companies such as Inspiro and SPi Global. Under his leadership, these companies won over 100 awards, including Best Company of the Year, Best Employer of the Year, and Best Leadership Team of the Year. He was recognized as the ICT CEO of the Year. Maulik holds an International MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. When he is not busy futureproofing leaders, he is busy childproofing his home for his two young daughters. Episode in a Tweet: AI is going to change the way we work. Learn how to futureproof your career and company. Quick Background: Maulik Parekh is a businessman, angel investor, and highly sought-after keynote speaker. In this episode of Reflect Forward, he shares his thoughts on how three powerful trends: artificial intelligence, digital natives, and the gig economy, are going to transform the way we work. Maulik and I talk about how to upskill employees, how to avoid failure during your digital transformation, how to embrace seemingly different skills to avoid being obsolete. He advises on how to futureproof your career and company regardless of your industry. My favorite part of the episode is when he shares why he’s teaching his daughter to be like Leonardo da Vinci. Maulik also describes why the next decade will be the most disruptive and give actionable and easy-to-understand examples. Maulik is insightful and energizing, and I am sure you will enjoy this interview as much as I did! Find Maulik here: https://www.maulikparekh.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/iammaulikparekh/ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L7HBTJW?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420
11/16/202158 minutes, 56 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Tune Into Your Positive Intelligence

In this week's episode, I talk about the power of positive intelligence and a new program I am going through aimed at helping you understand your inner critic, your inner saboteurs, and how to know when those judgmental voices in your head are highjacking you. The Positive Intelligence (PQ) program was developed by Shirzad Chamine, the author of the New York Times bestselling "Positive Intelligence." He has been the CEO of the largest coach training organization globally, having trained faculty at Stanford and Yale business schools. The premise of PQ is mental fitness: how do you handle the curveballs life throws at you. Activating your inner Sage, the voice that is calm, rational, and full of discernment, is so important today because who isn't getting curve balls thrown at them. All leaders have faced so many challenges over the past few years, and if you're like me, you've certainly second-guessed yourself. You've had self-doubt. You've tried to control things. You've gotten upset. You've been attempting to over rationalize. All of these are the voices of our saboteurs, and they make us show up in a way that we don't want to show up. When we show up in negative ways that hurt not only ourselves, but we also hurt our relationships with others, and it can create unnecessary negative situations, The PQ program teaches you how to tap into positive intelligence and use your Sage - the calm, empathetic, innovative voice that drowns out the saboteurs - to help you live a more positive, healthy, and less judgmental life. The program is remarkable, and it's helped me gain a deeper understanding of myself and others. I recognize when my controller saboteur kicks in and pushes me to control the outcome. I can see when my hyper achiever saboteur dries me to do more, even though I don't want to. You can check out the program here: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/ I highly recommend trying the program; it only takes 6 weeks, and you'll feel better and have a lot more knowledge about your inner workings. Question of the Episode This week's question comes from a LinkedIn member who asked, "What's the biggest myth you'd like to dispel about being a CEO?" My answer: that CEOs have all the answers! Tune in to find why.
11/9/202113 minutes, 6 seconds
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When Playing It Safe Becomes Riskier Than Change w/ Amy Parsons

Guest: Amy Parsons is the CEO and co-founder of Mozzafiato, an e-commerce DTC business that imports Italian luxury brands in beauty and men’s grooming and sells at retail in the US. Amy launched Mozzafiato during the middle of the pandemic in 2020, leaving a 20-year career as an attorney and university executive to focus exclusively on starting up the company. Today, one year into running Mozzafiato, the company represents 20 different heritage brands, selling approximately 1,000 products on its site and has been featured in Vogue, Travel & Leisure, the Robb Report, among others, and is working to quickly scale to be an industry leader in the beauty and grooming industry. Amy is also a member of YPO (Young President’s Organization). Episode in a Tweet: Starting a new career is never easy. How this CEO left the safety a job as a university exec to launch a fiercely authentic luxury Italian beauty brand. Quick Background: Amy Parsons has never been a risk-taker. She built her career on doing what was expected. Go to law school. Work for a great law firm. Become in-house corporate conical for a well-respected company. Take an executive position with a State University. And then the pandemic hit and made her rethink everything. She had a stable job as the Executive Chancellor at Colorado State University (CSU), but it left her questioning, “Am I really making the impact I would like? Am I living my passion?” It became clear that it was risker to stay than it was to leave, and she made the leap to co-found the Italian luxury beauty and men’s grooming brand, Mozzafiato. And what a leap it was! During our interview, Amy shares how she overcame her fear, taking a risk on herself. She details how important a team is in a start-up and how she handles the stress of running a startup. We talk about how what you tolerate becomes what’s expected and how to manage your energy to show up as the best version of yourself. It’s a magical interview and I know you will love Amy as much as I do! How to find Amy: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amybuildingmozzafiato/ https://www.instagram.com/amybuildingmozzafiato/ https://mozzafiato.com/ https://www.instagram.com/iammozzafiato/
11/2/202150 minutes, 18 seconds
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How to Create Boundaries For Your Work and Team

In this week’s episode, I talk about setting boundaries around your work, not just for you but your team as well. Two weeks ago, I held a planning and team-building session with my executive management team. We all read Berne Brown’s book “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts” and had an enlightening conversation about Armored Leadership vs. Daring Leadership. Berne covers two models of leadership. The first she labels “Armored Leadership,” a style of leadership defined by characteristics such as driving perfectionism and fostering fear, working from scarcity and squandering opportunities for joy and recognition, and being a knower and being right. These have a profoundly negative effect in the workplace, creating fear, uncertainly, and disengagement. Alternatively, leaders can embrace daring leadership, which is essentially the opposite of armored leadership. Examples include Modeling and encouraging healthy striving, empathy, and self-compassion, practicing gratitude and celebrating milestones and victories, and being a learner and getting it right. As my team began talking about daring vs. armored leadership, something interesting came up: comparing numbing (armored leadership) and setting boundaries and finding REAL comfort (daring leadership). We explored how perhaps we were numbing by taking on too much and not setting real boundaries about what we say yes to and what we say no to. I loved this conversation – it was real and deep. We explored tradeoffs: slowing down to speed up and building internal infrastructure vs. driving new revenue streams. We talked about how it’s sometimes easier to just say “yes” to taking on extra work without exploring what we will stop doing. And how numbing can mean so much more than what we typically think: using substance, food, and screens to distract ourselves from what’s making us miserable. This was such a great exercise and an excellent way to explore Dare to Lead. Tune in to find out more! Question of the Episode This week’s question came from a friend of mine. She asked, “you always seem so joyful. Can you tell me what you do? How do you find so much joy and happiness in life? What can I do? During this episode, I share five things to do to find joy in these crazy times: move my body and eat a salad every day, meditate on feelings of gratitude, focus on my purpose, be kind to everyone I interact with, and focus on building stronger relationships. Tune in for the details!
10/26/202117 minutes, 13 seconds
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Master the Challenges That Make or Break Leaders w/ Adam Bryant

Guest: Adam Bryant is a respected and noted expert on executive leadership, whose work includes 525 Corner Office columns for the New York Times. He joined The ExCo Group as Managing Director and Partner after a distinguished career as an editor and journalist. Adam has a proven ability to distill real-world lessons and insights from his hundreds of interviews and turn them into practical tools, presentations and exercises to help The ExCo Group clients deepen their leadership benches and strengthen their teams. He works with executive leadership teams and organizations to foster a culture of innovation, based on a best-practices framework he developed for his widely praised book, "The CEO Test: Master the Challenges That Make or Break All Leaders." Before joining The ExCo Group, Adam worked for 30 years as a journalist, including 18 years as a reporter, editor and columnist at The New York Times. He interviewed more than 500 CEOs for "Corner Office," a weekly series on leadership and management in The Times that he created in 2009. Episode in a Tweet: Take the CEO Test! Learn what tests you need to pass to be an exceptional leader and change the world. Quick Background: They had me at the title. A CEO Test??? I hadn't heard of any such thing, and I knew I had to find out if I would pass the test. The average CEO only lasts five years in the job, and I wanted to find out why. What was I doing differently, being that I've been in the CEO role at StoneAge for over 12 years and still have a long runway ahead of me? Would I pass or fail? Have I just been lucky, or am I doing a few things right? I waited with anticipation for the book to arrive. Once I read it, I was a fan. "The CEO Test" is one of the best books I've read in 2021. I appreciate the "tests" Adam and his co-author line out and once I finished the book, I reached out to Adam to get to know him and his firm. During this episode, Adam and I talk about the challenges leaders face today and how they can overcome the obstacles and crises that will undoubtedly continue to come their way. Adam shares his views on a leader's superpower. News flash, it's not what you might think! We also talk about the importance of a clear and simple strategy and a business's reason for existing. Adam also shares what it was like to be a reporter and editor at one of the country's largest newspapers, The New York Times. This is an insightful and motivating episode and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! How to find Adam: https://adambryantbooks.com/ https://www.excoleadership.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/adambryantleadership/ Subscribe to his newsletters: https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/the-new-director-s-chair-6495698283434901505/ https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/leading-in-the-b-suite-6516489087090782208/ https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/art-of-leading-6509860728994881536/ https://www.linkedin.com/newsletters/strategic-chro-6495697551163957248/
10/19/202146 minutes, 4 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Understand Trust to Build Trust

In this week’s episode of Advice From a CEO on Reflect Forward, I talk about trust. We each look at trust uniquely. Trust is a complex word with many meanings. For me, the fastest way to break trust is to lie to me. I have been burned many times by people I’ve given second chances only to find out that they’ve lied to me. For others, it might look like not following through on commitments. Or relentless teasing. Or publicly criticizing. I share a story about recently asking a question about trust on our quarterly performance conversations: “when has your manager broken your trust?” This question caused quite a stir and got the intended result: deeper conversations about what trust means to each of us at StoneAge. Listen in to hear how it turned out and listen to some tips on creating trust as given by Nan Russell on Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/trust-the-new-workplace-currency/201206/10-behaviors-demonstrate-trust Question of the Episode This week’s question comes from a follower on LinkedIn. He asked, “Kerry, we all know you love asking questions. What’s your favorite question to ask?” There are many but the most powerful question I ask is, “What do you think?” Tune in to find out why I ask this all the time and what kind of conversations it can create!
10/12/202119 minutes, 17 seconds
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How to Rise, Fall and Rise Again w/ David Meltzer

Guest: David Meltzer is the Co-Founder of Sports 1 Marketing and formerly served as CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, the inspiration for the movie Jerry Maguire. Considered one of the top sports entrepreneurs and investors, David is also a three-time international best-selling author, a Top 100 Business Coach, and host of the top entrepreneur podcast, The Playbook. David is the Executive Producer of the Bloomberg and Amazon television series 2 Minute Drill and Office Hours. He is also the executive producer of Entrepreneur’s #1 digital business show, Elevator Pitch. David is featured in many books, movies, and TV shows such as World’s Greatest Motivators, Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and Beyond the Secret, airing on Netflix. Additionally, Variety Magazine has recognized him as their Sports Humanitarian of the Year and awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Episode in a Tweet: What do you do when your wife says she’s leaving you and you lose all your money? Take stock in who you are, change your life, and be of service. Quick Background: I met David when he interviewed me on his show Office Hours and we instantly connected. Much like me, David isn’t afraid to talk about his flaws or show his emotions. During this enriching and fun interview, David shares how his wife and mother inspired him to turn his less-than-authentic life around. He talks about how he bounced back after losing $100M and went on a mission to add value to every person he met. From his success, he decided to try to empower OVER 1 BILLION people to be happy! This simple yet powerful mission has led him on an incredible journey to provide one thing…VALUE. And this is what you get in this episode. David gives us his whole self, showing up with humor, honesty and integrity. You can’t help but love him and I hope you enjoy it! Link to Register: https://free.dmeltzer.com/training Watch David’s mission to empower over 1 Billion people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UOJH4zkdwE Social Handles: Twitter, Instagram, YouTube: @davidmeltzer Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/davidmeltzer11/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidmeltzer2/ Text Community: (949) 298-2905 Email David directly to register for training or to get his book: [email protected]
10/5/202147 minutes, 8 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Addressing Burnout

Burnout is real and we are experiencing it like never before. It's the main factor in why people are leaving jobs at record-setting paces. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward, I share my feelings of burnout and how by modeling self-care, listening to employees, helping them offload work, and showing that you care, you can help them avoid burnout, too. Some interesting tidbits on burnout: According to Gallup's recent report, Employee Burnout: Causes and Cures, "76% of employees experience burnout on the job at least sometimes, and 28% say they are burned out "very often" or "always" at work." Here is an interesting fact from Gallup's extensive polling: People are disengaging faster than ever and therefore quitting their jobs more quickly than ever. But it's not pay, for the most part, that's making them leave. It's engagement. In fact, people who feel engaged at work are no more likely to leave their jobs now than they were pre-pandemic. Data shows that engagement is key – it's what makes the difference - as to whether people stay or go. According to Gallup, if a new company offers an engaged person a 20% pay increase, they will consider the job but not necessarily take it. But these are not the people who are leaving in droves. On the other hand, 75% of those who are actively disengaged in their jobs are looking for a new one. Even a decrease in pay might entice them. Question of the Week This week's question came from a person who attended a conference with me last week and he asked, "How to you use storytelling to improve your leadership?" I love this question. People love stories – they inspire, move and motivate us. And leaders who know how to tell a story masterfully will do these things and more. There are many courses and articles you can read on this topic, but I share a few of my tips: Create drama and solve a problem in your story. Everyone wants the emotional hook. Leave your audience with actionable takeaways. Make it easy for them to know what to do after listening to your story. Consider your voice inflection. All good storytellers know when to slow down and speed up and when to speak softly and then loudly. Thanks for listening and if you enjoy my podcast, please subscribe, share, rate and write a review.
9/28/202119 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Power of Breaking Rules and Being a Chief Troublemaker w/ Shelley Zalis

Guest: Shelley Zalis is an internationally renowned thought leader, movement maker, and champion of equality. She is a pioneer for online research, becoming the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25. She has devoted her career to elevating women, connecting leaders for change, and advancing equality across industries. Today, as CEO of The Female Quotient, Zalis works with Fortune 500 companies and impact organizations to advance equality in the workplace. She has fostered a multi-generational, international community of women rising to catalyze change. Through The Female Quotient’s signature pop-up experience, the Equality Lounge®, Shelley creates a “home of equality” at conferences worldwide, such as the World Economic Forum, Cannes Lions, and SXSW. She also leads initiatives within corporations, creating tools for equality and activating solutions for change. Shelley is an admired speaker and member of the Washington Speakers Bureau and a skilled moderator who has interviewed influencers such as Katie Couric, Halle Berry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sheryl Sandberg, and Arianna Huffington and more on topics related to equality and leadership. Shelley authors a Forbes column that provides inspiration and advice for women in the “messy middle,” middle management, looking to grow into leadership positions. She is co-founder of #SeeHer, a movement led by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to increase the percentage of accurate portrayals of women and girls in advertising and media. In 2020, she was named on the Worth Groundbreakers list of 50 Women Changing the World. She is on the board of directors for MAKERS. Episode in a Tweet: Be your own Chief Troublemaker; don’t be afraid to break some rules, create boundaries, push boundaries, and create more inclusive and equitable companies. Quick Background: I met Shelly through her son, Jake Fleshner, the executive producer for all of David Meltzer’s programming. He prepped me for going on Meltzer’s show “Office Hours” and introduced me to Shelley. Shelley and I hit it off instantly, and I was intrigued by her work at The Female Quotient (FQ). During the interview, Shelley shares the story of how the Female Quotient came to be, and we discuss why we need to break certain rules and shake things up—describing why she calls herself the Chief Troublemaker. I love that she unapologetically herself and pushes boundaries to create a life she loves and a company helping other women do the same. I appreciate Shelley’s insight on the need to use new language to shape the way we think about the workplace, and others agree. FQ is becoming the expert on what women want in the workplace, being sought out by Fortune 500 companies looking to attract and retain talent, especially female talent. Shelley has so much fun sharing her insight into what women want and what leaders need to do to rethink how we work. You can find Shelley here: https://www.thefemalequotient.com/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/shelleyzalis/ https://www.linkedin.com/company/femalequotient/ https://www.forbes.com/sites/shelleyzalis/?sh=57be7d511719
9/21/202147 minutes, 54 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: How to Find Your Purpose

What is your purpose? How do you find meaning in what you do so that you can make a lasting impact? In this episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I talk about how to go about finding your person. In my opinion, you can combine a few things to develop purpose: being of service to others, trying new things, stretching myself around my strengths and weaknesses, and being good at what I do. Doing these things is how you bring value to the world. Aligning your work with personal purpose is an integral part of being fulfilled at work. I’m sure you’ve heard, “do what you love; turn your passion into your work!” Despite its feel-good intent, it’s not great counsel. “Passion is not something you follow,” says Cal Newport, author of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Search for Work You Love." “Passion is something that will follow you as you put in the hard work to become valuable to the world.” Most highly skilled people are that way because they worked hard at becoming their very best. In the episode, I talk about Michael Jordan, believed to be the best basketball player of all time. Remarkably, he was uninterested in sports as an adolescent. Considered too short by his coaches, he didn’t make the 9th-grade basketball team. But as he put in the work, it became his passion, and he overcame all obstacles. And once he realized that it took a team, he became a legend when he started serving the team rather than himself. While most of us will never be the Michael Jordan of our professions, we can learn from his dedication to hard work, practicing, building upon his strengths, even making weaknesses strengths, and ultimately serving his team and fans. It’s rewarding to be great at something, and since you spend 8+ hours a day at work, you must find purpose in your work. If you do, it might just turn into your passion. Listen in to hear my tips on how to find your purpose. Question of the Episode The question of the episode comes from my mother, who, after reading my recent article in Forbes about overcoming addiction, asked me, “Aren’t you worried about what people think, especially your employees?” I gave her a resounding, “NO!” There is so much stigma around addiction, mental health issues, insecurity issues that people hide what’s going on inside. The only way to break this taboo is to speak openly about who we are. Radical transparency is incredibly powerful, and impactful leaders aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and share their stories. Listen in to hear more. You can read the Forbes article here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/melodywilding/2021/08/31/what-a-drug-overdose-taught-this-ceo-about-leadership/?sh=536a1fe1db62 I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Viktor Frankel quotes “It did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us. We needed to stop asking about the meaning of life and think of ourselves as those who were being questioned by life—daily and hourly. Our answer must consist, not in talk and meditation, but right action and right conduct. Life ultimately means taking the responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks which it constantly sets for each individual.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
9/14/202113 minutes, 51 seconds
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What I Learned from Selling Golf Balls Back to Golfers w/ Dr. Kizzy Parks

Guest: Kizzy Parks is the Founder of GovCon Winners and KPC, Inc. As a kid, she would clean golf balls located in an alley behind a friend's house and resell them through a fence to golfers, and then used the money to buy candy bars. Kizzy always knew she’d become an entrepreneur. She also knew she wanted to earn an advanced degree in psychology. Her entrepreneurial spirit meshed well with her inquisitive nature and after earning a Ph. D, she founded KCP, Inc. a consulting firm focused on serving the needs of Federal agencies that now manages over $50M in government contracts. KCP was so successful at navigating the complex world of government contract that Kizzy started GovCon Winners, a firm that helps service-based small business owners learn how to win profitable federal government contracts and grow their bottom line. Episode in a Tweet: How hustling as a kid led this entrepreneur to create her own business navigating the world of government contracting and creating a machine that helps others. Quick Background: Kizzy is and always has been a hustler, which I greatly appreciate. From selling golf balls back to golfers as a kid, to taking on government contracts that track pigs, she has a unique way of showing up and adding value. She is passionate about the world of government contracting and has proven to be very successful at navigating its complexity and bureaucracy. After being burned by a former employee, she hired a coach who helped her look deep inside, make changes in her leadership style, and grow her company to new heights. Lizzy explains the world of government contracting, tells great stories about selling golf balls back to gophers, and shares how she got out of her own way. You can find Kizzy here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kizzy/ https://www.kpcinc.com/ https://www.govconwinners.com/
9/7/202146 minutes, 46 seconds
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Advice From A CEO: A Story About Truth, Manipulation, and Questioning Your Thoughts

In this week's episode of Advice From a CEO on Reflect Forward, I share a story about an email exchange between two BMX moms that made me reflect on my own advice about speaking up, keeping it real, and being invested in relationships and outcomes with people I don't know. And I helped my son learn a profound lesson on why it's important to own your actions, and not manipulate people. Then I dive into not believing everything you think, Have you ever stopped to question your thoughts? Where did this thought come from? Why do I think this way? Is this thought even true? It’s a powerful moment when you wake up and realize that the way you think might not be the truth. In fact, it’s probably not THE truth. Questioning your thoughts is extremely powerful and brings more accurate self-awareness. Yes, it can create discomfort, especially when challenging your belief systems, but eye-opening and life-changing. Not believing that your thoughts are true, that your way is the only way, can lead you to new perspectives, new ways of thinking, to stretch yourself, and most importantly as a leader, to making better decisions. Not believing everything you think allows you to make room for other people’s ideas and solutions. It cultivates tolerance, acceptance, and compromise. It helps you be a better person, parent, and leader. The question of the episode comes from someone on LinkedIn, and he says, “Kerry, it seems like you are living your purpose. You are so fortunate, and I want to be living my purpose through my work, too. How did you figure this out? Great question. For me, purpose comes from a combination of things: being of service to others, trying new things, stretching myself around my strengths and weaknesses, and being good at what I do. In my opinion, this is how you bring value to the world. Purpose isn’t something that suddenly appears -at least not for most; it’s something that evolves. It’s deeply personal and can’t be handed to you. I found mine through learning what I didn’t want to do, almost killing myself due to addiction, taking risks, joining a company where the culture was a good fit, and working my ass off—and continuously iterating. Looking back through years of journaling, one thread has always been there: my desire - my purpose, is to be an impactful leader who helps people create more meaningful lives themselves. If you want to find purpose in what you do, I suggest doing these things: Try new things so you can learn what you like and don’t like. Take some risks so you can expand your boundaries, build a tribe of people who support and believe in you, never stop learning and expanding your thinking and worldview, don’t be afraid to change, and finally, work hard. Mastery leads to purpose. Listen to the entire episode for insights and actionable takeaways.
8/31/202120 minutes, 34 seconds
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How To Be An Extraordinary Leader w/Daphna Horowitz

Guest: Daphna Horowitz is a sought-after CEO Coach and trusted business advisor who works with clients around the globe to create the extraordinary and build future leaders in their business. Working as an actuary in a large consulting firm, she learned the importance of developing a leadership mindset that takes you from an expert top-performer to an extraordinary leader. She has a deep understanding of what it takes to lead a business and teams in a complex, ever-changing environment and provides a practical approach to leadership. She is the author of "Courage to Lead" and "Weekly Habits for Extraordinary Leaders," both essential reading for leaders and aspiring leaders. When she's not helping leaders master their mindset and elevate their business, she's doing what she loves most - hosting her podcast, Leadership Live, writing articles for various publications, and raising three kids with her loving husband. Episode in a Tweet: Create powerful habits to shrink your leadership gaps, overcome imposter syndrome, and become an extraordinary leader. Quick Background: Daphna Horowitz is passionate about helping leaders perform at their very best. She believes there is a leader inside each of us, and to find that inner leader, we must believe in ourselves and get over the things that hold us back. She believes that by developing consistent habits such as creating your "why," ending procrastination, and shifting your mindset to focus on positivity. In her book, "Weekly Habits for Extraordinary Leaders," Daphna offers 52 lessons, one for each week of the year, that will help launch you on a path to become extraordinary. In the podcast, Daphna shares her story of switching careers, climbing mountains, and following her passion for leadership development. She also describes an exercise of creating a personal user manual to give to your employees, so they better understand how you tick. I loved this so much that I plan to have my team write their user manuals to develop deeper relationships and have more compassion for each other. Where you can find Daphna: Website: https://daphnahorowitz.com/ Podcast: https://daphnahorowitz.com/podcastlive/ Weekly Habits for Extraordinary Leaders: https://daphnahorowitz.com/weekly-habits-sample Courage to Lead: https://daphnahorowitz.com/resources/#courage-to-lead
8/24/202147 minutes, 7 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: How to Amplify Your Message

I began speaking and writing about employee ownership and being the kind of leader who inspires ownership thinking. I am passionate about creating a company that gives back to its employees and the world. I believe that leaders need to take a stand and amplify their message of good. My ‘message of good’ is simple: create meaningful, dignified jobs that allow people to work with purpose. Compensate them well, offer flexibility, and share in the success of the company. Be a leader who is worth following. I started my blog in 2015 after a long trail run on a cool fall day. I was pondering my purpose and thinking about how to become a better speaker. I remembered a line out of a random book I had read about going back to what you loved to do as an adolescent. I loved to write but stopped when I went to engineering school. It was crystal clear to me at that moment - start writing again. To amplify my message, I have to have a message. To speak on my message, I have to be known for being a thought leader. I needed to get busy. As soon as I got home from the run, I say in front of my computer and researched blogging websites. By the end of the weekend, I had built my own website using a simple drop and drag website builder and I was up and writing. The more I wrote, the more people noticed. I was asked to write for industry publications and then speak at various events. Now you are listening to this podcast. This is how you amplify your message. Millions may not know me of people, but I am impacting those I reach, and that's what matters. I believe in my heart that as I keep practicing, putting my words of equity, dignity, and strong leadership out into the world, my message will continue to be amplified. Listen in to see how to put it into practice. Question of the Episode This question comes from a Reflect Forward listener. “Kerry, I often find myself getting frustrated and annoyed over call things. What can I do to stop myself from always getting upset? I love this question! I love riding my Peloton spin bike. I’m addicted to it. Not only are the classes challenging, but I am also inspired by the instructors’ moving stories and thought-provoking comments. A recent ride on the Peloton taught me a new acronym that I can’t stop telling others about…and applying to my daily life with diligence. W.A.I.T: Why Am I Trippin’? I like to think of myself as a positive, optimistic person, but I often find myself getting frustrated, or annoyed…and sometimes even angry. I am good at letting things go quickly, but I probably let unimportant things get to me too much if I'm honest with myself. Listen to find out more about W.A.I.T
8/17/202113 minutes, 52 seconds
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How to Solve Your People Problem w/ Brett Cooper

Guest: Brett is the visionary President of Integris Performance Advisors, a professional development firm he co-founded to help leaders create healthier organizations and dynamic, inclusive cultures. Brett is a frequent speaker on topics related to Team Dynamics, Leadership, and Operational Excellence. He is also the co-author of “Solving the People Problem: Essential Skills You Need to Lead and Succeed in Today’s Workplace.” Outside of his role at Integris, Brett dedicates time to serving others in need. He is a volunteer coordinator for the East Bay Stand Down and Stand Down on the Delta, two non-profit organizations serving the needs of San Francisco’s homeless Veteran population. He is also a board member for Partners in Sustainable Learning, whose mission is to bring early childhood education to marginalized communities in the developing world (current projects are underway in Nepal). Episode in a Tweet: The key to optimizing relationships is understanding yourself and others better. Build healthy teams and organizations through the unique combination of emotional intelligence (EQ) and the DISC Profile. Quick Background: In this episode, Brett and I talk about improving engagement throughout your organization by focusing on relationship development. The best way to build a relationship is through connection and a deeper understanding of one another. In Solving the People Problem, Brett and his business partner Evans Kerrigan walk you through every aspect of DISC-EQ, the language you need to understand and capitalize on the personality differences of the people around you, with practical advice in six critical areas: • Decision making • Communicating with others • Handling conflict • Working with your team • Selling and serving customers • Being a leader During this episode, Brett does an excellent job describing what the DISC Profile means and how to use it when hiring people and building teams. We discuss the importance of being authentic in the way you show up while developing your ability to flex and modify your style based on who you are working with. We also talk about how to stop talking when you are the loudest person in the room and how introverts can speak up when they feel uncomfortable. Brett also offered Reflect Forward listeners the opportunity to get a personalized DISC-EQ report. Visit his website here: https://solvingthepeopleproblem.com/disc-eq/ Enter the Access Code: Reflect Forward. The assessment takes a few minutes, and they will email you a copy. I enjoyed the report; it was spot on and gave me actionable ways to improve. You can find Brett here: https://integrispa.com/speaker/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/brettmcooper/ https://solvingthepeopleproblem.com/
8/10/202152 minutes, 39 seconds
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Advice From A CEO: Motivating Your Employees

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people," said Lee Iacocca, who served as CEO of Chrysler Corp. in the 1980s. Sounds easy, right? Hardly. There is nothing easy about managing others. Lee is correct, though; great managers have an uncanny ability to tap into the motivations of others and use persuasive communication techniques to influence winning outcomes and high performance. Unfortunately, too many managers have no idea how to motivate their teams effectively. So, where do well-intentioned but ineffective managers go wrong? Mistake 1: Telling employees how to do their work. Mistake 2: Talking too much, listening too little. Mistake 3: Not holding regular tag-ups. Mistake 4: Failing to share the “why.” Mistake 5: Not recognizing contributions. Mistake 6: Failing to deal with issues in the workplace. Mistake 7: Not creating growth opportunities. By avoiding these mistakes, you will increase motivation within your team, and everyone will reap the benefits. With motivated and engaged employees who contribute real value to the organization, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals and be successful. Question of the episode This question comes from a Reflect Forward listener who asked, “Kerry, what do you think are the biggest problems with leadership today?” Great question. There are so many it’s hard to choose from. But if I had to pick one, I would say it’s a lack of clear and honest communication. Many of the problems we face in life, leadership, and politics all come down to how we are communicating as leaders.
8/3/202112 minutes, 4 seconds
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How to Disrupt Yourself to Master Change and Grow Faster w/ Whitney Johnson

Guest: Whitney Johnson is the CEO of WLJ Advisors and one of the 50 leading business thinkers in the world, as named by Thinkers50. She is an expert in helping high-growth organizations develop high-growth individuals. Whitney is an award-winning author, world-class keynote speaker, frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School's Corporate Learning, and an executive coach and advisor to CEOs. She is a popular contributor to the Harvard Business Review, has 1.7 million followers on LinkedIn, and was selected as a Top Voice in 2018. Her course on Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship has been viewed more than 1 million times. In 2019, she was ranked #3 on the Global Gurus' Top 30 Organizational Culture Professionals. In 2017, she was selected from more than 16,000 candidates as a "Top 15 Coach" by Dr. Marshall Goldsmith. Episode in a Tweet: Dare to disrupt yourself by mastering change, speeding up your learning curve, and creating a better life. Quick Background: I met Whitney at a YPO Colorado event, where she led us through her Personal Disruption Framework. I enjoyed the course so much that I asked if she would come on Reflect Forward. Whitney is an inspiring speaker and an incredible human being. She and I talk about how to disrupt yourself in significant ways, like changing careers or moving to a new city, and in small ways like practicing a new hobby just a few minutes a day. We discuss the power of making lists and how focusing on your top priorities can shift your life and be more successful. We also talk about how individuals can make changes in their thinking, actions, and commitments to fix some of the world's biggest problems. At the end of the show, she shares her top piece of advice for leaders looking to be exceptional at what they do. She says, "Own your strengths. When you lean into what you do well, you can make a significant contribution within your sphere of influence. When you own your superpowers, you start to create powerful change." If you like this interview, make sure to check out her Disrupt Yourself podcast and her popular weekly newsletter, which you can find on her website. I get a lot out of her newsletter and think it's one of the best out there. https://whitneyjohnson.com/newsletter/
7/27/202141 minutes, 12 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: How to Handle an Emotional Employee

Human beings are messy, emotional creatures. We all feel anxiety, anger, fear, and defensiveness at points in our lives and often, we give in to these strong emotions. It gets even messier when we have emotional outbursts in the workplace, which can happen quite often. At some point in your management career, you will have to handle a situation where an employee is angry or upset. How you deal with this emotional outburst is crucial to maintaining a positive working environment and, if done right, can positively change the trajectory of the employee's experience. But let's face it, it can be overwhelming to work through an emotionally charged situation with an employee and it's easy to make things worse. The stakes are high, and a negative interaction could cause the employee to feel unheard or uncared about, decreasing overall satisfaction and could result in the person leaving the company. Appropriately connecting and communicating with an upset employee is essential to turn the situation around effectively. Listen to hear my tips on what to do, and more importantly, what not to do. The question of the episode comes via LinkedIn. "Kerry, I have an employee whom I need to give tough feedback to, but he is a single thread. If he takes it the wrong way and leaves, I am screwed, and the company is screwed. What should I do?" Great question, and I have been there – more times than I want to admit. Everyone needs feedback to improve, and withholding feedback from this person keeps them from performing better and making improvements. So they deserve to hear the feedback. Check out the episode for more tips!
7/20/20218 minutes, 47 seconds
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Who Says Lawyers Aren’t Great Leaders w/ Phil Weiser

Guest: Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser was sworn in as the State’s 39th Attorney General on January 8, 2019. As the State’s chief legal officer, Phil is committed to protecting the people of Colorado and building an innovative and collaborative organization that will address a range of statewide challenges. Phil has dedicated his life to the law, justice, and public service. Before running for office, Weiser served as the Hatfield Professor of Law and Dean of the University of Colorado Law School. He founded the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Phil also served in both the Obama and Clinton administrations and as a law clerk to Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court. Episode in a Tweet: When we build alignment around values and people have an opportunity to be heard, we can impact positive change in politics, business, and life. Quick Background: I met Phil through my good friend and attorney, Todd Seelman. Todd is an avid Reflect Forward listener and told me I had to have Phil on the show. I never thought much about attorneys as leaders, but once I met Phil, I began to understand just how powerful leaders they can be. Phil is a big believer that empathy is the most important competency for lawyers to possess. The best attorneys can connect with their clients and the opposition to find a mutually agreeable resolution in conflict. Phil’s grandmother and mother are also survivors of the Holocaust, and their stories of hope and belief shaped Phil’s life views. His mother was born in a Nazi concentration camp and is believed to be one of its youngest survivors. Phil thinks that he is where he is today because of the compassion of the U.S. and its welcoming of refugees as Europe was liberated. He is a product of the American Dream and holds firm in his commitment to making this dream possible for many others. Phil is also is dedicated to creating fair competition in business through sound antitrust policy (he breaks down the Google and Facebook anti-competition issues in simple terms in the show), improving our criminal justice system, and protecting our air and water. I love Phil’s thoughts on leadership and life, and I hope you enjoy this podcast.
7/13/202142 minutes, 28 seconds
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Advice From A CEO: Don't Be Afraid To Speak Up

I have been giving talks to corporate leadership teams, including my own, on how to make it safe for people on their teams to speak up. Leaders are often in a position of power, and it's hard for employees to speak their minds in fear of the fallout. In one of my recent leadership talks, a person asked me, "How do you go about speaking up if you truly are scared of the outcome." This is a tricky question to answer. But it's such a good question. The reason it's hard to answer is that it depends on the situation. I wanted to answer the question carefully; I didn't know this woman's situation, and I didn't want to give her bad advice. Listen to find out my tips. Ok, the question of the episode comes from a listener of Reflect Forward and he asks, "Kerry, I know you use an executive coach. Do you also get coaches for your employees?" YES! YES! YES! Many of my employees have coaches and it's the best investment I have made in terms of people development. I hire coaches to help high performers gain new insights about themselves and others and help them build new skills. I hire coaches to help high-potential employees who are struggling. I hire coaches for employees at all levels of the organization, not just the executive level. I also use my executive coach for team coaching, which has been tremendous in helping us create a disciplined management system and has dramatically improved our ability to execute our strategy. Overall, the investment I've made in coaching has paid dividends. I think all leaders who are looking to be exceptional should hire a coach. And all leaders looking to develop exceptionally high-performing teams should use coaches to help develop their teams.
7/6/202110 minutes, 27 seconds
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Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work w/ Melody Wilding

Guest: Melody Wilding, LMSW is an executive coach, human behavior expert, and author of “Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work.” She has coached hundreds of private clients, from CEOs and Fortune 500 executives to leaders from the US Department of Education, the Federal Reserve, and the United Nations. She teaches graduate-level human behavior and psychology at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in New York. Her writing is regularly featured on Medium and in Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, Business Insider, and Quartz. Her advice has been featured in the New York Times, The Cut, Oprah Magazine, NBC News, US News and World Report, and more Episode in a Tweet: Melody Wilding turns the conventional approach to finding personal and professional fulfillment on its head, arguing that sensitivity is not a hindrance but a superpower—if managed correctly. Quick Background: Melody Wilding is the author of “Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work.” She draws on decades of research and client work to examine the intersection of sensitivity and achievement in the workplace. Melody offers neuroscience-based strategies to break free from stress and self-doubt to find the confidence to work and lead effectively. “Sensitive Strivers” is what Melody calls individuals who are both highly sensitive and high performing. These folks are often so influenced and worried by how they appear to others. They struggle with overthinking, emotional reactivity, perfectionism, and an inability to set clear boundaries—which can hold them back from reaching their full potential as leaders and professionals. In this interview, Melody provides concrete steps to channel these qualities in constructive ways, overcome inadequacy, and thrive in the workplace, combining cognitive behavior, mindfulness, and neuroscience with communications, leadership, and career development skills.
6/29/202137 minutes, 52 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Take Charge of Your Life and Be an Exceptional Self-Leader

Want to be an exceptional leader? Be an exceptional SELF-leader. Self-leadership is the way you lead yourself. It's taking full ownership of your attitude, effort, communication, and wellbeing. In this week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice From a CEO, I share a few stories to demonstrate self-leadership in action and some painful experiences I went through to learn how to be a strong self-leader. As I have matured aka gotten older, I've realized how profound these experiences were. Throughout my life, I have learned the power of facing conflict head-on, advocating for myself, and taking feedback even when it was really hard to hear. I’ve learned how being accountable for my actions and engaging in hard conversations empowers me to make different choices in my life. I’ve learned not to be a victim of my circumstance; instead, I know how to change my circumstances to make my life better. I share these stories during the episode in hopes that you can see yourself in them. We all lose sight of the big picture. We all are guilty of having an inward mindset. We are all guilty of telling ourselves false stories that allow us to be victims of our circumstances. But we also have to power to change it. You, too, can be an accountable, self-leading kind of leader. And being one will bring you success. So how can you practice being a strong, successful self-leader? Listen to find out more! Question from the episode comes from someone who follows me on social media, "Kerry, how do you calm your nerves when you go on stage or in front of the camera. I hate public speaking, but I want to get better at it." I have been doing a lot of speaking for organizations and companies these days, and it never fails every time I am nervous. So here are a few things I do to calm my nerves. 1. Write out what I will say, whether it's a paid speech or an important message in a company meeting. Being prepared will make you feel more confident. 2. I always take a few deep breaths before I start. Breathing is the best way to ground yourself. If am really nervous, I go out for a quick walk. Fresh air and movement always make me feel better. 3. I talk about things I know, and I share personal stories. It's amazing what happens when you recall a story. It puts you at ease and allows people to connect with you. 4. Talk slower than you think you need to. It allows you to breathe and collect yourself as you talk. 5. Don't be afraid to use notecards and look at them if needed. Everyone understands you want to stay on point. 6. Smile. Smiling when you talk makes everyone feel more at ease, including you. 7. It's okay if you mess up, miss a word, or have to repeat yourself because you fumbled a sentence. People connect with humanity, not polish. You don't have to be perfect.
6/22/202116 minutes, 14 seconds
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Master Your Fear to Overcome Setbacks w/ Brandon Webb

Guest: Brandon Webb is a combat–decorated Navy SEAL sniper turned entrepreneur who has built two brands into an eight-figure business. As a US Navy Chief, he was head instructor at the Navy SEAL sniper school, which produced some of America's most legendary snipers. As an entrepreneur, Brandon crashed and burned his first start-up in 2009 and lost everything. After this experience, he created SOFREP Media, which he continues to run as CEO. He is also an author of several books, including his latest thriller, Steel Fear, and several nonfiction books such as "Total Focus: Make Better Decisions Under Pressure" and "Masting Fear: A Navy SEAL's Guide." Over his navy career, he completed four deployments to the Middle East and one to Afghanistan. He redeployed to Iraq in 2006 as a contractor in support of the US intelligence community. An accomplished and proven leader, Brandon was meritoriously promoted to First Class Petty Officer, ranked #1 in the Command, while an instructor at sniper cell. He has received numerous distinguished service awards, including Top Frog at Team 3 (best combat diver), the Presidential Unit Citation (awarded by President George W. Bush), and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with "V" device for valor in combat. Brandon ended his Navy career early to spend more time with his children and focus on entrepreneurship. Episode in a Tweet: Don't fight fear or try to beat it back; instead, embrace and harness it so you can triumph in even the most adverse situations. Quick Background: I reached out to Brandon after reading "Mastering Fear: A Nacy SEAL's Guide." While reading this fantastic book, I learned that Brandon was a fellow YPOer and knew he had to come on the show. I appreciated Brandon's views on mastering fear. My favorite line from the book is, "Fear can be a set of manacles, holding you prisoner, or it can be a slingshot, catapulting you on to greatness." While I haven't had people shooting at me as Brandon has, I could relate to his stories and appreciated how he overcame loss and tragedy to create a better life for himself. In this episode, Brandon shares his story of leaving home at 16, becoming a Navy SEAL, and losing his first business and marriage at the same time. He has overcome controversy, rebuilt his relationship with his father, and has followed his passion - writing. His media company, SOFREP, is a military-themed digital media company. SOFREP aims to be the "MARVEL" of military content and has already produced several hit online shows, books, and podcasts. It's a blend of video, digital print, podcast, and indie book publisher.
6/15/202157 minutes, 19 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Great Leaders Make it Safe to Speak Up

This week's episode of Reflect Forward: Advice from a CEO is about the importance of making it safe for your employees and teammates to speak up. Being an employee-owned company, we at StoneAge encourage people to speak up…keeping it real is what we call it, and it's part of our Own It Mindset, which is our set of values and leadership principles. I believe we do a pretty good job of creating a safe space for people to voice their opinions and concerns, but no matter what we do, not everybody feels comfortable. Most of this fear is unwarranted, but we certainly have made mistakes, intentionally or unintentionally shutting people down or minimizing their comments. Another mistake we have made is overemphasizing the delivery of the message. I'll be the first to admit that I have been guilty of putting too much emphasis on the delivery. Now, the delivery of a message is important; the world is about influence, and everybody wants to be seen, heard, and valued, wishing to see their ideas and thoughts put into action. Doing this requires influence. And so often, a good message gets lost in poor delivery. Getting hung up on the harshness of someone's words and tone, there have been many times it took me a while to hear what was in the feedback because I was so bristled by the way it came out. If the pandemic taught me anything, we need to be more understanding and open to other people's ideas and opinions, so I went on a mission to care less about the delivery and more about the message. When I am triggered, I examine why to move through my emotional response quickly and get to the heart of what matters…the message. In this episode, I give my tips on making it safe for people to speak up while controlling your emotional responses. Then I address an adjacent topic in the question of the episode. One of my employees asked, "Kerry, I see that you are talking a lot about being cool, calm, and collected, and it's noticeable at work. And I wanted to understand what you do to keep yourself from getting amped up." Great question, and I am so pleased that my effort is paying off. Being cool, calm, and collected is my 2021 mantra. While I certainly misstep from time to time, I am finding that be intentional about my emotional responses is helping me stay grounded. Tips that I share include: thinking about how I want the person interacting with me to feel when they walk away, being intentional about the way I show up, getting exercise to reduce stress, and reframing the issue in the big picture rather than focusing on the minutia to keep things in perspective. Don't miss this episode for more insight and ideas on how to be a leader who creates safety and reminds level-headed.
6/8/202116 minutes, 53 seconds
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Use Gratitude to Become a Better Version of Yourself w/ Chris Schembra

Guest: Chris Schembra is the bestselling author of "Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection." Forbes ranks his book as the #2 book of 2020 to create Human Connection; USA Today calls him their "Gratitude Guru," and he's a Founding Member of Rolling Stone's Culture Council. He is the founder of the 7:47 Gratitude Experience — an evidence-based framework used to strengthen client and team relationships in profound ways. He's used the principles of gratitude to spark over 500,000 relationships around the dinner table, serving Fortune 50 CEOs, Olympians, Academy Award Winners, Grammy Award Winning #1 Recording Artists, Super Bowl Champions, and more. He's been selected #5 on the "10 Motivational Speakers that will Rock your next event" by Marketing Insider Group. He was named "Entrepreneur of the Year" by Smart Hustle Magazine and "People of 2017" by Clientele Luxury Magazine. Recently, he was honored alongside Michael Phelps, Chris Evans, Kid Cudi, and several others as "6 Successful Men Smashing the Mental Health Stigma" by Good Men Project. Episode in a Tweet: Resilient people are people that have a purpose. They are chasing a North star such as be less shitty tomorrow and solve other people's problems. If this is your purpose in life, then you will weather that next storm. Quick Background: I met Chris from my fellow YPOer Ben Wright, founder, and CEO of Velocity Global. Chris and I hit it off immediately, and I asked him to do a gratitude experience for my employees at StoneAge and it was a hit! I've joined him on his show: 7:47 Conversations (you can listen here), and now the tables are turned. Chris shares a raw and deeply personal story of growing up in a bubble that caused him to be entitled and a troublemaker. His doctors put him on meds at a young age which numbed him and dumbed him. Not remembering much of his childhood, anger and resentment ripped through him like a hurricane, destroying relationships and driving him to addiction. Rehab and jail set him on a new path, but there was still something missing. After coming back from working on a Broadway play in Italy, he found himself miserable and alone. Deciding he was not going back down the path of destruction, he started cooking, creating a signature pasta sauce. Then he began hosting dinners. And before he knew it, people from all over were joining his Gratitude Experiences, talking about who and what they are most grateful for. At every experience, Chris asks his signature questions – "If you could give credit or thanks to one person in your life that you DON'T give enough credit or thanks to, who would it be and what would you say?" People connect deeply on this question and the ensuing conversations, which forever changed Chris's life. He is now called the gratitude guru and is making headlines wherever he goes.
6/1/202156 minutes, 3 seconds
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Advice From A CEO: Don't Take Things Personally

I once was told that taking things personally is one of the most selfish things a person could do. This statement stuck with me, and I found myself sharing it often. Not wanting to be a hypocrite (or selfish), I decided I had better start paying more attention to whether or not I regularly took things personally. To my dismay, I realized that I did…far more often than I wanted to admit. I also found that when I did, I felt bad about myself. I felt bad about other people. I felt bad about the situation. I felt bad about everything. Yuck. After suffering a bit longer, I decided it was time to stop taking things so damn personally. I want to encourage you, too, to stop taking things so personally. You will not only improve your life, but you will also improve the lives of everyone around you. You will be happier. And you being happier makes the world happier. And we all know that the world could use more happiness. Here are five things you can do to stop taking everything personally: 1. Don't make other people's rudeness, irritability, curtness, etc., about you. It's about whatever is going on with them. Smile, silently wish them well, and move on. 2. Consider all feedback constructive. The more you get, the better you will be, even if the input doens't feel valid. Make modifications and apologize when necessary. But don't take any of it personally; instead, be grateful for it. 3. Don't expect people to read your mind. If you do, you'll regularly find yourself disappointed. Face it, most of us aren't psychic so there is no point in expecting others to know what is happening inside you. Always be honest about how you feel and what you are thinking—candidness matters. 4. Don't make assumptions. You don't know what other people are thinking or feeling, so don't assume. Plus, incorrect assumptions cause undue suffering. If you don't know, ask. Even if you think you do, ask. Seek to understand. 5. Tell yourself a different story. Each of us views the world through our individual lens. We all have deeply rooted biases and personality types that influence the color, texture, and feel of that lens. Our lenses are shaped by our parents, family, friends, and communities and by our experiences. How each of us sees the world is very personal and very different. And that's what makes the human species so unique. But it's also our biggest downfall. We fall into the trap of thinking that our thoughts and feelings are THE TRUTH. "I am right and they are wrong." Even highly self-aware people find it difficult to break outside of their way of thinking. None of us know THE TRUTH. We only feel and see our own truths (which may be flat out wrong). So if you are taking something personally, recognize that the story you are telling yourself is just that: a story, and there's a good chance it's wrong. Why not tell a different story? One that doesn't involve turning angels into demons. Not taking things personally takes effort and persistence, but it's worth it. You'll be much happier and feel better about yourself when you can let things easily slide off your back. You'll be more open-minded and better able to take feedback when you let other people have their own opinions without becoming defensive or protective. Life is better when you turn your story from a negative one to a positive one. Question of the episode: This question comes from a person on LinkedIn who says, "I'm a new manager, and I am really struggling with delegating. How do I go about doing this effectively in a way that doesn't make me feel so awkward?" Listen to hear my tips!
5/25/202111 minutes, 47 seconds
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You are Already an Entrepreneur; Now Learn How to Be a Great One w/ Sid Mohasseb

Guest: Sid Mohasseb is known as The Entrepreneur Philosopher. He is a published author, serial entrepreneur, venture investor, university professor, innovation leader, business thought provoker, and public speaker. At 16, he migrated from Iran to the US without his family. At 21, he started and later sold his first company, and at 25, he taught comparative Eastern and Western philosophy. Before the age of 30, he became the youngest partner of a national management consulting. Over the following two decades, he supported large-scale acquisitions and acted as a principal investor in middle-market companies leading company turnarounds. He also founded and led several early-stage and hyper-growth companies from inception to acquisition. His latest book is “You Are Not Them: An Authentic Entrepreneur’s Way,” where he shares how he approaches entrepreneurship as a master craftsman: an iterative lifestyle rather than a final destination. Episode in a Tweet: You are already an entrepreneur; now learn how to be a great one by leading authentically, creatively, and by navigating risk. Quick Background: I was introduced to Sid through a fellow YPOer and was immediately drawn into his story. His rise to success as an Iranian immigrant is inspiring and insightful. As an author, adjunct professor, a venture capitalist, a few times over corporate CEO, Strategic Innovation lead in Strategy for a conglomerate, a Harvard trained negotiator, a veteran board member, and a featured TED Speaker, Sid’s real expertise is in connecting theory and reality and helping people see the bend in the road ahead and make visions a reality. Sid and I talk about how to bring out the best version of yourself and navigating risk. Leadership is situational, personal, and unique for every leader, but Sid shares his belief that there are five universal elements that all leaders are impacted by. I love these because they are in alignment with reflecting forward. They are: 1. Three-Way Trust 2. Variable Communication 3. Overarching Courage 4. Situational Awareness 5. Constant Competency Sid and I also talk about his love of poetry and how he uses it to express his leadership philosophy. He also shares his thoughts on being an immigrant in America and how immigrants have shaped America and are critical to American entrepreneurialism, job creation, and overall society.
5/18/202144 minutes, 43 seconds
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Likeable, Authentic, and Respected: Why Great Leaders Are All Three

In this episode, I tell a story about a conversation with a direct report and he said something interesting. He believed that a person's desire to be liked would lead him or her down the path to inauthenticity. He questioned, "If you have such a strong desire to be liked, how can you make the tough decisions, have the hard conversations, and be authentic in the face of a storm? How do you overcome the need to be liked and make hard decisions that might make some people NOT like you?" After thinking long and hard about this, I believe that being liked, authentic, and respected plays a significant part in exceptional leadership. Let's first establish that to be a good leader, you do not have to be liked. To be a good leader, you must be well respected and credible, which you gain by making good decisions, admitting mistakes, being honest, genuine and self-aware, communicating regularly and clearly, and living and breathing your purpose. These traits describe authenticity, and being an authentic leader is not only the best way to lead; it's the only way to lead. But in my experience, being liked by those you lead is helpful, and it brings a sense of fulfillment. When people like you, they want to be around you. They are more likely to ask your opinion and give their opinions. They feel more comfortable being vulnerable, making it easier and more fun to partner with you to get things done. When you are liked, it's easier to influence your desired outcomes because people are genuinely engaged with you and want to help. Being an authentic leader must always come first. Likeably should be lower on the list but not dismissed. Great leaders know how to blend them to maximize effectiveness. Learn to be okay with making decisions that everyone will not like; doing the right thing is always more important than making everyone happy. Question of the episode: "I'm struggling with some insecurity, some baggage, and I feel like it's holding me back from doing an outstanding job. What should I do?" Baggage does what baggage does…weighs you down and holds you back. My advice to her was this: Examine where your insecurities are coming from. Why are you letting your insecurities determine your future? If you want to let them go, dig in and understand where they come from. Did something happen where you were called a failure? Did someone not believe in you when you were younger? If so, forgive them for these insensitive comments. Why? Forgiveness is the fastest way to be able to say, "Thank you for your feedback. I'm going to take what serves me, and I'm letting the rest go because it's holding me back." The second thing I told her is this: "If you believe that you are not good at something but want to be, do more of it." Read books, hire a coach, ask questions of a mentor, and practice. It's okay if you make mistakes. You'll learn more by taking a few risks and learning what works and what doesn't work. The only way to do hard things is to do hard things. The only way to get better at doing hard things is to do more hard things. And as you do hard things and you find successes, even if they're small ones at first. As you push yourself, you'll expand your competency zone, gain more confidence and lose that baggage.
5/11/202114 minutes, 42 seconds
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Lean into Your Passions and Be a Brand That Gives Back w/ Mike Arzt

Guest: Mike Arzt is the founder of The Public Works and has been a force of the winter sports industry for over nineteen years, helping shape an industry close to his heart. Mike grew up snowboarding the mountains of Vermont, where he decided to take his passion for the mountains, the snow and the sport and turn it into a career. Today, thanks to many years at some of the top names in the industry, Mike has an in-depth business knowledge of branding, development, athletes, and imagery that helped form The Public Works. Not to mention several passport stamps in search of the world's best snow. The Public Works is a full-service project management firm with expertise from industrial design, engineering, and fabrication, through creative and marketing deliverables. The power of strong relationships built on integrity and soul and shared passion for brand stimulation makes The Public Works one of a kind. Their Colorado facility, which is solar-powered, heated from downed beetle-kill wood, and utilizes biodiesel made from used fryer oil to power their fleet, is a fully equipped fabrication/manufacturing shop and photography studio. Mike is a big supporter of the First Descents, an inspiring and highly recognized leader in outdoor experiential programming. Through outdoor adventures, skills development, and local adventure communities, FD improves the long-term survivorship of young adults impacted by cancer and other severe health conditions. Their participants experience free outdoor adventure programs that empower them to climb, paddle, and surf beyond their diagnosis, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same. Episode in a Tweet: Be a leader who lives audaciously, gives back and builds a brand that makes an impact. And never stop searching for deep snow on steep mountains. Quick Background: I met Mike at a First Descents fundraiser ski trip in Silverton, Colorado. We flew in a helicopter, searching for fresh powder, steep lines, and a bit of adrenaline. Inspired by Mike's love of snow, perspective on the outdoor industry, and his laid-back leadership style, I invited him to join me on Reflect Forward to talk about his passions: photography, snow, the First Descents, and being a leader worth following. Mike shares what he's learned working from some of the world's biggest outdoor brands such as Burton, Airwalk, and Helly Hanson and why there is nothing more freeing than ripping on a snowboard in some of the world's most remote mountains. Mike tells about his inspiring involvement with First Descents and how it changed his life forever. We talk about why brands need to take a stand, support a cause, and make an impact. Mike is a very cool cat, and I can't wait for our next ski trip…British Columbia 2022! You can find Mike on Linkedin and at The Public Works.
5/4/202148 minutes, 53 seconds
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Advice From a CEO: Six Ways to Be a Better Manager

Welcome to my first solo episode in my new Reflect Forward Series: Advice From a CEO. Beginning this week, I am going to a new format where one week, I will be posting my interviews with exceptional leaders. Then in the other weeks, I will be answering questions and talking about leadership…solo! This week, I discuss soliciting feedback from your direct reports and six ways to be a better manager. I recently had a conversation with an amazing woman trying to figure out how to be a better CEO. We talked about all kinds of interesting things, the most relevant being feedback and the importance of soliciting feedback from your direct reports and creating a safe place for them to do so. I shared our process at StoneAge, which includes managers get formal, direct feedback from each of their direct reports as part of our quarterly performance conversations. I share a story about feedback that I recently received from one of my direct reports via this formal process that was insightful, helpful, and valid. It's easy to be in your own head and assume that what's in your head is in everybody else's, and that's just not true. This feedback was a great reminder. Listen in to hear the story! Management Many attributes and qualities can be assigned to good managers, such as being a decent listener, accountable, organized, motivating, honest, and having a positive outlook on life. While these are all important, they are the minimum requirements of good management. So what makes a manager GREAT? 1. Connect Through Regular One-on-One Meetings The best way to build strong relationships is to have regular one-on-one meetings with each team member. Most people want to share certain aspects of their lives and appreciate when their boss takes the time to get to know them better, especially when it comes to personal and career aspirations. 2. Right Seat on the Bus It's not enough to have talent on your team; your employees must be in the right seat on the bus to do fantastic work. Great managers recognize their employees will be at their best when their talents and strengths align with their roles. It will result in happier, more productive, and engaged team members who enjoy their work. 3. Continuous Improvement There are many ways to make an organization better, and great managers are committed to continually improving. They understand that the intentional pursuit of honing processes, teamwork, goal-setting, cultural issues, communication, collaboration, and quality and content of work product will reduce obstacles that frustrate employees and make the organization stronger. 4. Good Decision-Making Leaders who make good decisions and empower their teams to do the same are highly regarded in most organizations. Good decision-making builds trust and credibility and creates success. Improve your decision-making skills by slowing down, listening more, and considering all possibilities. 5. Rally Teams Around the Bigger Picture by Tying it to the Daily Picture A job is just a job (aka a paycheck) when you can't see how it's tied to the bigger picture. Great managers understand that most of us want to be part of something greater than ourselves and tap into that motivation by ensuring every employee understands and cares about the company strategy and vision for the future. 6. Radically Candid I saved the most important for last; if you must pick just one of these points to work on, improving how you give feedback should be at the top of the list. Great managers are always candid and address performance issues directly and timely. Mastering these six points will not only help you become a better manager but, more importantly, will help you develop good employees into great ones. And that's the legacy all rock star managers should want to leave behind.
4/27/202114 minutes, 50 seconds
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How Business Leaders Can Help Fix Our Broken Political and Economic Systems w/ Prof. Rawi Abdelal

Rawi Abdelal is a Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at the Harvard School of Business. He's also the director of HBS's Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, faculty co-chair of the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and the faculty chair of the HBS/YPO President's program, which is where I met him. During his 20 years on the HBS faculty, Professor Abdelal has served in many leadership roles and has twice earned the Greenhill award for service to the Harvard Business School. Professor Abdelal is an expert on globalization, geopolitics, and political economy. Widely published, he has written about the global financial system, international politics, the influence of multinational firms on world politics, and the transformation of energy markets. He is currently at work on two projects. One project, The Fragile State of the World, explores the interrelated challenges that undermined the first era of globalization and that threaten to destroy the current age of global capitalism. The second project, The Profits of Power, explores the geopolitics of energy in Europe and Eurasia. Episode in a Tweet: As global political and economic systems break down, business leaders can step up and help fix the problems that plague us by focusing on income inequality, creating dignity at work, and looking at education differently. Quick Background: I met Rawi when I attended the HBS/YPO president's program a few years ago, and I was struck by his speaking style, intellect, and knowledge of geopolitical systems. I love politics, some might say I am a bit of a politics junkie, so his lectures resonated with me. In December 2020, I invited Rawi to join me for a YPO fireside chat about the outcome and ramifications of the Joe Biden presidency. It was a fascinating conversation, and afterward, I asked him if he would come on Reflect Forward and he agreed. In this episode, Rawi and I talk about the state of global politics, why we have seen populist movements, and why politicians are unable to stimulate change. We also talk about how business leaders can make an impact by doing something about income equality, creating inclusive workplaces where people keep their dignity, and revamping our views on education by promoting trade school and alternatives to college degrees. Rawi also gives us insight into himself, sharing stories of deep shyness and how he has overcome his fear of public speaking. This is an in-depth and insightful interview and I feel fortunate to have spent this hour picking Rawi's brain and getting to know him better. You can find Rawi on LinkedIn or on the HBS website. Question of the Episode: Are you on Clubhouse yet? My Answer: I am signed up, but I haven't used it much; I plan to put on a Clubhouse event sometime this summer. Curious about Clubhouse? It is a social networking app that allows people to gather in chat rooms to discuss various topics. You can't see each other; it's just an audio platform where a moderator oversees the discussions and interviews.
4/21/202150 minutes, 56 seconds
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How to Build Meaningful Relationships in Business and Life w/ Susan McPherson

Guest: Susan McPherson is a serial connector, seasoned communicator, and founder and CEO of McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy firm focused on the intersection of brands and social impact. She is the author of The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Relationships. Susan has almost three decades of experience in marketing, public relations, and sustainability communications, speaking regularly at industry conferences and contributing to the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Forbes. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, USA Today, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times. Susan is a Vital Voices global corporate ambassador and has received numerous accolades for her voice on social media platforms from Fortune Magazine, Fast Company, and Elle Magazine. She resides in Brooklyn. Quick Background: Even before the pandemic gripped the world, we had become a society engulfed in loneliness. People have hundreds of “friends and connections” on social media platforms, yet meaningful connection remains elusive. At a time when we are more physically distant than ever before—how can we reverse the growing trends of disconnection to forge meaningful relationships in business and in life? In this episode, I interview Susan McPherson about her “Ask, Gather, Do” method of connecting with others and her newly released book: “The Lost Art of Connecting: The Gather, Ask, Do Method for Building Meaningful Business Relationships.” Susan shares her philosophy on why building meaningful connections can be as simple as going back to basics such as being kind, reaching out to others, and smiling. My favorite part of the interview is when she explains how relationships are like constellations and have a ripple effect on people you don’t even know. We also talk about why being helpful is such a powerful way to connect with others and why it’s essential to understand yourself and your “Chief Differentiating Factor when building connections and why you should reach out to your connections during the pandemic. Susan is a beautiful person, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet her. Her book is timely and simply fabulous. Visit Susan’s website here. Get her book on Amazon here. Connect with Susan on LinkedIn here. Question of the Episode: “I am questioning where I am professionally and personally and struggling to figure out where exactly I where I want to be and what I want to be. I know that I can be a strong leader, but I don’t feel like I can do it in my current organization. I am not sure if it’s appropriate for me to be reaching out to you on LinkedIn, but I could use some advice on taking the next step in my career.” My Answer: First, absolutely yes! Reach out and ask these types of questions to people on LinkedIn. The purpose of LinkedIn is to build professional connections and to engage with people who inspire you. You never know what door will open and what advice you will get when you reach out, so don’t be afraid to do it. Second, career wellbeing is so important, and if you feel that you are in a dead-end job, I encourage you to look for one that is a good fit.
3/30/202148 minutes, 50 seconds
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How the Rise and Fall of a Career Led to Service and Impact w/ Paul Rees

Paul Rees is now the Director of Professional Services at Financial Force, the leading provider of ERP and Services Automation solutions on the Salesforce platform, based in San Francisco. Before this role, he was the co-founder of VFP Consulting, a fast-growing Salesforce and FinancialForce professional services firm based in Sacramento, California. Putting his business's growth in front of his family and personal health, Paul was forced to look at his excessive drinking and absentee life when he had a debilitating breakdown due to burnout. In the end, he made the difficult choice to leave his company and focus on his health and rebuilding his family. Paul has a fascinating story. Being deeply introverted and shy, he learned how to cope with chronic childhood illnesses and always being the new kid by creating personas through acting and music. When Paul started his career, he was miserable, always feeling exhausted at the end of the day because his job played to his weaknesses rather than his strengths. After learning more about himself through the Myer-Briggs and the StrengthsFinder assessments, his career took off, and he eventually started his own company, VFP Consulting. Quickly growing in the first few years, the desire to make the firm more successful consumed Paul. And he completely crashed and burned. Excessive drinking and complete burnout caused him to reevaluate his life, and he chose his marriage and his life over his business. I believe Paul's story will resonate with most of us. Why? Because so many of us focus on growing our careers and businesses at the expense of personal health and wellbeing. We don't fully appreciate our families and the health of our relationships. We sacrifice what matters most but don't always see it that way. When Paul broke down, he had to choose between his family and health, and his business. He walked away from the company he built to find balance and happiness again. Now, he isn't looking to advance his career. In fact, it's his mission not to. He doesn't want to be a CEO; instead, his mission is to stay healthy, balanced, and positively impact every person he interacts with. He finds daily satisfaction asking himself, "how can I make this person's experience better in some way?" and then acting in service of others. Paul is a profoundly brilliant and articulate person, and during this interview, you will gain so many insights and be inspired. I adore him, and I'm pleased to have gotten to reconnect with him during this interview. You can find Paul on LinkedIn:https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulrees/ Question of the Episode: "I am a CEO and am looking at building my brand, and I'm not sure how to get started. Is it worth doing myself, or should I hire someone?" My Answer: YES! I think every CEO, leader, and professional should be using social media, particularly LinkedIn, to build a personal brand. People want to connect with you and get to know you. Social media is an excellent way to share your unique ideas and thoughts. I have not hired someone to do my social media, as I am the best person to convey my thoughts, ideas, and messages in my voice. Maybe someday I will hire it out, but creating my own content is rewarding and allows me to show up as my authentic self. If you have started putting out content that you craft (don't just share other people's content), today is the day to get started.
3/23/202155 minutes, 20 seconds
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Why the Best Leaders are Catalysts for Change w/ Steve Burrows

Steve Burrows CBE is an experienced executive and a professional engineer. He has worked on some of the world’s most high-profile buildings and structures, such as Allianz Arena in Munich, the City of Manchester Stadium, the Beijing Olympics’ Birds Nest stadium (now called the National Stadium), and the Apple Campus. But he is not your typical engineer. His curiosity about the ancient past and how we should approach the future make him one of the most interesting people I’ve interviewed. He is a host on the show Time Scanners and produced the critically acclaimed and award-winning iMax movie Dream Big: Engineering Our World. He now owns a firm actively developing and advising developers of technology to disrupt the construction industry. And finally, I would be remiss if I left out that Steve was made a Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty the Queen in 2009. Steve and I discuss how to build deep and meaningful connections with others, why developing a team is critical to success, and why leaders need to be catalysts for change. After listening to this podcast, you’ll love Steve as much as I do! And finally, my “listener asked” question is about the essential attributes a leader needs to be successful. I share my thoughts on why curiosity is fundamental to success. Why? Curious people desire to understand how the world works beyond what they experience, so they naturally ask more questions. This opens doors, giving them an advantage over those who are less curious. Asking good questions positions them to learn how to do a job better, faster, and creatively, leading to new assignments, promotions, and raises. Listen to learn more about my tips on how to expand your world and be more curious. Here’s how you can find Steve: https://dreambigfilm.com/ https://www.natgeotv.com/int/time-scanners https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-burrows-cbe-pe-ceng-fice-fasce-mistructe-leed-ap-7b49954/
3/8/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 20 seconds
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Disrupt Your Negative Thoughts and Overcome Your Destructive Core Beliefs w/ Jamie Gorrono

Jamie Gorrono is a Women’s Empowerment Coach and a bluntly put, an awesome human being. Through her coaching, she supports women going through life transitions who may feel unworthy, fearful, or lacking connection with themselves and others. Overcoming debilitating anxiety and depression herself, she has developed a unique ability to help others address their pain through the identification of Destructive Core Beliefs and change negative thought patterns. During her “Empowerment Experience”, her clients reinvent the direction of their lives and take charge of their happiness and self-fulfillment. Jamie and host Kerry Siggins talk about how to look at Destructive Core Beliefs, overcome fear, and change negative thoughts into positive ones to set your life in a new direction. This is a fun and engaging interview that all listeners will learn from, not just women!
2/22/202148 minutes, 31 seconds
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The Potency of Blending Mindfulness Traditions and Startup Grit w/ Yosh Eisbart

Yosh Eisbart is a serial entrepreneur and a mindfulness practitioner. His most recent startup, Fulfilld, is and end-to-end intelligent warehouse management platform. In his 20+ years of leading, mentoring, and serving startup ventures, Yosh has come to learn the potency of blending Mindfulness Traditions and Startup Grit. He regularly authors and posts “The Startup Sutras” to capture and share the key lessons he’s learned over the years in an effort to help others avoid making the same mistakes he did, while hopefully being entertained. Yosh and host Kerry Siggins discuss the allure of startups, the value of being more mindful, and how to be a better leader.
2/8/202152 minutes, 54 seconds
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Use Creativity to Re-imagine Your Business and Slingshot to Greater Growth w/ Gabor George Burt

Gabor George Burt is a leading expert of Blue Ocean Strategy, one of the most influential business strategy approaches taken by businesses around the world. He contributed case study material to this worldwide bestselling book and originated the most popular blog on Blue Ocean Strategy. He continues to be the global authority on re-imagining boundaries and author of the book “Slingshot: Re-imagine Your Business, Re-imagine Your Life.” He is a mastermind of innovation, creativity, and strategy. Gabor also writes for Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Harvard Business Review and his clients range from Fortune 100 companies to startups. Gabor and host Kerry Siggins discuss how to use creativity and curiosity to propel your business to the next level and how to create a brand your customers love and can’t live without.
1/25/20211 hour, 16 seconds
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Advice From a Turnaround Artist – Connecting Through Shared Experiences w/ Ahad Ghadimi

Ahad Ghadimi is Managing Director of Core Work Capital, an international advisory firm that helps companies transition to employee-ownership. Ahad is also the founder of Forums@Work whose mission is to democratize the Forum experience, a peer-to-peer intimate ‘experience sharing and support’ platform used by organizations such as YPO and EO. He has built his career around leading turnarounds of bankrupt businesses and family-owned enterprises transitioning to employee-ownership. Most recently, Ahad authored and published the book “Turnaround Artists,” a business fable based on his family’s business that guides readers on how to transform company culture through creating connections and sharing experiences. Kerry and Ahad talk about building a culture based on an ownership mindset, the value of employee ownership, and why Forums are a powerful way to improve work relationships and take your team to the next level.
1/6/202155 minutes, 5 seconds
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How to Build a Valuable Business and Be a Leader Worth Following w/ Howard M. Shore

Howard Shore has established himself as one of the most sought-out business speakers in the country with more than 30 years of experience helping organizations across all industries achieve record breaking results. From his personal experience owning multiple companies and working with some of the most successful organizations in the world, he has discovered how to truly manage and grow businesses. Howard has also authored two bestselling books, “Your Business is a Leaky Bucket” and “the Leader Launchpad.” In this episode of Reflect Forward, Howard and I discuss the importance of creating a balanced team with a broad range of talent and working styles, why leaders need to play to win instead of play not to lose, and the importance of developing a true strategy (rather than an operational plan) that leads to faster growth and higher profitability. Howard gives so much great advice in this podcast; you don’t want to miss it!
12/14/202055 minutes, 33 seconds
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How Embracing Change and Accepting Failure Led to My Success with Andy Petranek

Andy Petranek is a life and leadership coach. He works with successful executives, leaders, and entrepreneurs who are stuck - in a life situation, body, relationship, marriage, family, job, or career that's no longer bringing them the satisfaction, joy, energy, confidence, or passion it once did. As a leader, Andy has embraced change regularly throughout his life as a musician, U.S. Marine, sales rep, professional athlete, personal trainer, gym owner, global movement leader (CrossFit), entrepreneur, and social health game/platform founder (Whole Life Challenge). In this episode, Andy shares how diverse experiences, a difficult relationship with his father (an accomplished viola player in the National Gallery Orchestra), and the support of his family shaped him as a coach and leader in his journey to create a life he loves…which we can all relate to.
12/8/20201 hour, 3 minutes, 6 seconds
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How I Built of One of America's Fastest Growing Companies w/ Ben Wright

Ben Wright is the founder of Velocity Global, a global employment solutions firm based in Denver, Colorado. Velocity Global is a full-service international business expansion firm, specializing in global talent acquisition and international PEO (Professional Employer Organization), global payroll, and immigration services. It’s one of Colorado’s fastest-growing companies, winning dozens of awards for its leadership, culture, and growth. Ben founded Velocity Global as a first-time entrepreneur in 2014 and shares the lessons and insights he’s gained along the way. He is one of the most humble and authentic leaders I know. We share lots of laughs in this podcast and I know you will love it as much as I do. And you don’t want to miss my introduction of Ben as I share a story of the Master’s golf tournament, Billy Horschel, and a Velocity Global hat. And stick around till the end where I discuss my top three tips on how to build an exceptional team.
11/18/202049 minutes, 40 seconds
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How to Create Confidence and Take Your Career to the Next Level with Heather Monahan

Heather Monahan is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and a highly sought after keynote speaker. She is the Founder of Boss in Heels and her new book, Confidence Creator, shot to #1 on Amazon’s Business Biographies and Business Motivation lists in the first week it debuted. Heather shares her inspiring story with host Kerry Siggins where they discuss standing ovations at Ted Talks, how to write and publish a book in 8 months, and creating the confidence to ask for what you want. You don’t want to miss this episode of Reflect Forward…it’s fun and filled with all kinds of great advice. And be sure to stick around to the end where Kerry gives her tips on how to create even more success.
10/22/202045 minutes, 54 seconds
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Lessons on How to Be a Great Leader from One of the Country's Top Executive Coaches.

Chris and host Kerry Siggins explore how the best of the best build teams, smash through self-imposed roadblocks and develop themselves to be at the top of their game.
9/30/20201 hour, 7 minutes, 15 seconds
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Welcome to Reflect Forward!

Host Kerry Siggins introduces her new leadership podcast, Reflect Forward. This is not your everyday leadership podcast; you don’t want to miss and episode.
9/29/20203 minutes, 36 seconds