The Glass Cliff w/ Tracey Wik

Tracey Wik is a business leader focused on helping women who’ve broken through the glass ceiling survive out on the glass cliff. A growing body of research shows that women who achieve leadership roles often do so in times of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. On top of that, they are often given shorter timelines and fewer resources than their male counterparts. In this conversation, Tracey explains the issue and discusses what women can do before and after taking on these leadership roles to put themselves in a better position to be successful.

Mentioned in this Episode:


(3:20)- Tracey’s background and how she decided to begin doing this work
(5:20) – Was there a moment where the light bulb went off for you in realizing these issues for women were going on?
(8:01) – Defining ’Systemic’ and the idea of Bias
(14:01) – Do you have any examples where you’ve been in the room where decisions were made that negatively affected women?
(18:26) – O’Brien’s experience solo-parenting during Covid
(20:21) – The counter-argument: Women aren’t as interested in these high-intensity jobs or the pool of candidates isn’t wide enough
(22:52) – Thought Experiment: Fortune 500 company hires their first female CEO. What’s your response to that?
(25:02) – Defining the Glass Cliff
(28:05) – Is there something women can do when she’s up for a leadership role to get ahead of the Glass Cliff?
(31:14) – Are men being given the benefit of the doubt when in similar situations?
(34:56) – Tracey’s thoughts on “Women will be other women’s worst critics”
(39:54) – Changing the way we think about “Good Female Leader” vs. “Good Leader”
(45:51) – Do you have any other examples of the Glass Cliff?
(48:39) – The Bumble CEO having to constantly talk about her failures
(52:27) – What are you sick of talking about?
(56:31) – Wrapping Up

Kill Them With Kindness w/ Azimuth Leadership

Chris Schmitt and Scott Morley are West Point Grads, Army Special Forces “Green Berets”, and corporate leadership coaches with Azimuth Leadership. Chris founded Azimuth after 30 years in the Army to continue his life of service and pass along the leadership lessons he’d spent a lifetime learning. Whether it’s through their one-on-one and group coaching or their outdoor leadership excursion called The Traverse, Chris, Scott, and the Azimuth team are guiding their clients to show more kindness, live epically, and be stoked.

Mentioned in this Episode:


(3:33) –  Can you pitch the story of Azimuth to the audience?
(6:29) – How do you blend leadership consulting with the outdoors?
(10:32) – Scott’s transition out of the military.
(11:04) – What was it about Azimuth that made you want to make this your next career step.
(13:19) – What are the leadership frameworks that you learn at West Point?
(21:04) – Becoming a leader within West Point.
(22:20) – How do you suggest the average person get leadership reps in their own lives?
(30:50) – Leadership by Example
(33:07) – Living your values and guiding others to set their own values.
(35:28) – Is it important to have written values that everyone knows or should leaders just be good leaders?
(39:14) – Do you have any examples of how value shifting showed up in your time in the field?
(50:08) – The importance of coaches.
(54:57) – How do you balance accepting failure and needing great performance?
(1:00:15) – What is the purpose of business?

Return on Culture w/ Gaye van den Hombergh

Gaye van den Hombergh is a Senior Partner with Partners in Leadership. She has more than 25 years of experience as a business leader, operating executive, and senior advisor in large, middle-market, start-up, and non-profit organizations. At Partners In Leadership, Gaye has led large culture transformation efforts with large and small companies. She has a deep understanding and appreciation for the inextricable link between leadership, culture, and results.

In this conversation, Gaye shares a framework for building and maintaining a purposeful culture and the impact that work can have on business profitability and performance.

Mentioned in this Episode:


(2:57) – Could you pitch Partners in Leadership and explain what you do?
(3:38) – How do you define culture? what would be an example of culture?
(9:42) – Shifting belief in order to shift culture.
(11:36) – Do you have a framework or exercise to use to define a culture?
(15:01) – What role does experience play in developing beliefs?
(19:20) – How do you go about finding out what people’s beliefs and experiences are in order to find actions to take to change them?
(26:12) – Recognizing when your own beliefs are holding you back
(29:27) – How do you suggest someone who’s been influencing a negative culture ask and receive genuine feedback?
(33:01) – The most important feedback is the one that brings about the most negative reaction
(37:16) – How have you trained yourself to be better at taking feedback?
(40:35) – How do you build trust?
(41:45) – How do you define vulnerability?
(43:32) – What is the difference between vulnerability and humility?
(47:54) – How are you helping your clients track or target specific results once they implement this work?
(49:57) – What are you sick of talking about?
(50:54) – What are you most excited to be talking about? 

Stop Selling w/ Pam Evanson

Pam Evanson is a Sales & Business Coach with Lappin180, a high-performance sales consulting firm working to disrupt conventional sales norms and affect change.  Pam works with business-to-business sales professionals, helping them get out of their own way so they can truly connect and serve their prospects and customers (and, of course, generate more sales). She has an uncanny ability to connect with all personalities, is exceptionally intuitive with her observations, and is unflappable in her commitment to delivering the hard, kind truth. In this episode, Pam explains why we all hate salespeople and how sales can be done differently.


(2:55) – Can you pitch Lapin180 and the work that you do?
(3:46) – Who is the best salesperson you’ve ever bought from? 
(7:39) – Making a memorable experience for the customer in a sale
(9:09) – What’s the worst sales experience you’ve ever had?
(12:36) – Why do salespeople get such a bad wrap?
(14:00) – How do you define ‘Selling’?
(16:04) – How do you overcome the bias you face in a sales engagement?
(17:32) – What are the things a salesperson can do to demonstrate they’ll be okay if they don’t make the sale? 
(19:30) – How do you coach salespeople to get into the right mindset and stay there?
(21:49) – Selling by Taking vs. Selling by Giving
(25:30) – Do you see a correlation between people who approach sales the right way and people who look to improve themselves in other ways, outside of work?
(27:45) – Self Awareness
(30:55) – Debriefing yourself after a sales meeting
(34:43) – What are the questions someone should ask themselves to determine if it was a good meeting? 
(42:35) – The importance of process & activity on the quality of a conversation
(45:40) – How do you define and help build a process?
(48:13) – how do you reconcile the need to tell the client about you and the need to close the sale while maintaining everything we’ve discussed?
(58:16) – What is the purpose of Business? 

Branding as a Filter w/ Nate Guggia

Nate Guggia is the Co-Founder of Before You Apply, a  creative studio and content platform that helps companies and their recruiting teams give candidates an insider’s look at their work and culture. They work with growth-focused organizations in highly competitive markets to help companies and talent teams hire fast.

In this episode, we talk about the importance of employer branding to both attract and repel talent so that you are only getting the best people for your unique needs. Nate also helps define and make actionable the elusive “Employee Value Proposition” (EVP).

Mentioned in this Episode:


(2:27) – Can you pitch your organization and how you approach your work?
(4:53) – How much of your work is around making a company attractive to people vs. helping them ‘opt out’?
(6:41) – Getting the right people in the right door instead of pure volume of moving candidates
(10:28) – How do you define Employee Value Proposition  & Employer Branding? How are they the same or different?
(15:27) – What’s the final product a client is getting from the EVP?
(18:30) – Do you have an example of what a good EVP for one of your clients is and how they used it?
(19:56) – What did the initial conversations with Mozilla look like and how did you help them define things?
(25:00) – What did Mozilla get from you and how did they use it?
(26:40) – How do you tell stories?
(28:19) – What makes a good question?
(30:42) – Authenticity at the company level
(34:40) – Content as a filter at the top of the funnel
(37:34) – Candidate FAQs
(40:16) – Where are people getting things wrong when telling their story? (content, medium, storytelling ability, etc.)
(45:48) – What are you sick of talking about?
(49:09) – What is the purpose of Business?

Coaching as Corporate Culture w/ Julie Billingsley

Julie Billingsley is the Vice President of Human Resources at ZS Associates, a global professional services and consulting firm with 10,000 employees and contractors spanning 13 countries. Julie has been with ZS for 26+ years, helping them grow double digits year-over-year while purposely building and expanding their workforce and corporate culture. She has been integral to establishing their coaching practices, which now touch every employee around the world, as well as their workforce modeling tools that keep them appropriately staffed through periods of uncertainty and growth.

Time Stamps:

(2:39) – Can you pitch ZS Associates?
(5:26) – What do your US and Global footprints look like? 
(6:41) – Are your people location-based or do they move around all the time?
(9:35) – Was it a conscious decision to make sure associates were based in the same area as their clients instead of relying on heavy travel? 
(10:19) – What are the biggest challenges in leading people with a model of a lot of small offices spread out? 
(11:57) – What is your role as a human resources leader? 
(12:50) – What does surveying the landscape of the employees look like to you? 
(13:53) – The  coaching side of the business 
(17:47) – The line between coaching young people to act professional and expecting them to be professional 
20:18) – What were you looking for as far as an ROI in bringing on these coaches?
(21:33) – What happens after they’ve had a coach for 4-5 years?
(22:51) – Where did that belief in the value of coaching come from?
(25:02) – What are the challenges to building out coaching in other countries?
(27:00) – Are all of the coaches coordinating their work globally? 
(28:06) – How do you maintain a consistent culture with a global workforce?
(29:20) – How do you give credence to the cultural differences in global offices while keeping the performance standard the same? 
(35:22) – Teaching people how to interact with other people & facilitating meetings 
(37:22) – How the English language differentiates globally
(38:26) – Is everyone expected at a seniority level to be able to coach someone below them or are coaches selected based on abilities?
(41:11) – How have you evolved your practices to manage growth? 
(45:41) – Does your agile framework allow you to expand during “hot” months?
(46:56) – How are you aggregating all of your data? 
(50:27) – What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned from leading the people function of business throughout your career? 
(51:09) – Is there anything you believe about business or leadership that you think is contrary to what most people are doing in the market? 
(52:26) – Did you know that human resources would be something you would love to do?
(54:58) – What is the purpose of Business? 

Be. Yourself w/ Jessica Zwieg

Jessica Zweig is the Founder & CEO of SimplyBe., a premier personal branding company based in Chicago. 

She is an internationally award-winning entrepreneur who was named a “Personal Branding Expert” (Forbes) and a “Top Digital Marketer To Watch” (INC.) as well as a dynamic and highly sought-after speaker and presenter. Jessica has spoken on national and international stages, including those of Google, Mindvalley, and Virgin, and has facilitated sold-out workshops and masterminds around the world.

In 2018 and 2019, Jessica was honored with the Gold and Silver Stevie® Award for “Female Entrepreneur of the Year.”  Her work has been featured in Business Insider, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, and Thrive Global.

In February 2021, Jessica released her book, Be. – A No B.S. Guide to Increasing Your Self Worth and Net Worth by Simply Being Yourself.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Time Codes:

(3:51) – Can you pitch Simply Be and the work you do?
(6:16) –   How do you define Personal Brand?
(7:16) – what’s the difference between Personal Brand and Self Promotion?
(9:09) – Finding the purpose behind your self-promotion
(11:52) – Reframing self-promotion to add value to the world
(15:48) – How to make money 
(18:54) – How do you help somebody figure out who they are and the value that they offer? 
(25:46) – What’s the framework of The Hologram?
(30:25) – How do you help people draw the line between being vulnerable and what they want to keep private?
(32:33) – Being “too” authentic
(36:21) –  Being an introvert in an extroverted field 
(38:55) – How do you set boundaries to take the time to think?
(41:41) – What are you sick of talking about? 
(42:44) – What are you most excited to be talking about?
(42:53) – What is the purpose of Business? 

Writing a Bestseller w/ Amelia Forczak

Amelia Forczak is the Founder of Pithy Wordsmithery, a firm that specializes in helping people write and market their books.  She and her team members work with executives and entrepreneurs across a range of industries to help them build and monetize their thought leadership and grow their businesses.

Over the past 10 years, Amelia has ghostwritten 10 business books, including five bestsellers. She also spearheads clients’ marketing strategies, including website design, email marketing, social media, and graphic design.  Amelia manages a Forbes column on leadership strategy where she provides ghostwriting and editing support for women business executives.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Ernest Hemingway on Writer’s Block
Write the Perfect Book Proposal: 10 That Sold and Why
The Forest for the Trees: An Editor’s Advice to Writers
On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
Joe Rogan on Happiness

Not Mentioned But Great Books on Writing

Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark 
On Writing by Stephen King
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Draft No. 4 by John McPhee

Successful From The Start w/ Dr. Jeff Spencer

Dr. Jeff Spencer is a former Olympic cyclist turned personal and professional coach who makes winning big the normal. He has helped clients like Hitachi, U2, and Tiger Woods master their mindset and achieve their most aspirational goals. He’s been featured in Fortune magazine, Huffington Post, and the LA Times. With all his outward success, his greatest achievement is raising his adopted daughter.

Dr. Spencer explains how to get out of the ruts that are holding us back, how to build a champion’s mindset, and how to set yourself up for success from the very beginning.

Mentioned in the Episode:


(2:39) – How do you define the work that you do?
(4:37) – What are the components of ‘The Whole’ that you look at when working with a new client?
(6:17) – What are the different components to get someone from their starting point to their end-goal?
(11:09) – What are we all screwing up when it comes to clarity?
(13:36) – What is the way to overcome the voice of imminent failure within ourselves?
(16:20) – Where is the starting point for changing the story we tell ourselves, about ourselves?
(18:23) – Is there a lot of writing and journaling required in the work you do?
(21:28) – How do you know if you have the right goal?
(25:55) – Over Preparing for the practice of achieving your goal
(28:47) – Should everybody have an aspiration that is comparable to those of professional athletes, Olympians, and CEOs?
(34:20) – Making goal achievement predictable and consistent
(37:40) – Is there a point where you recommend people work with a therapist when bogged down with trauma or anxiety that would’ve led to self-sabotage?
(39:36) –  For someone in a leadership position, how do they start to inspire others to do some of this work?
(42:59) – Goal setting exercise promoted by CPO of Lulu Lemon
(44:55) – Does an individual have to be obsessed and singularly focused to be elite?
(49:35) – Having the courage to act on your own goals
(51:06) – Where do you get the most pushback in your approach?
(52:51) – What is the purpose of business?
(54:00) – Where can people learn more about you and your work?

Assessing Personalities w/ Erich Kurschat

Erich Kurschat is the owner of Harmony Insights LLC, a company that helps organizations and consultants leverage the DISC personality assessment.  A self-proclaimed “DISC Nerd”, Erich shares in this conversation the history of assessments, the major ones currently used by employers, and how to make the most of whichever tool you choose (especially DISC).

Erich is also the founder of HRHotSeat, an inclusive mastermind community of HR professionals solving real HR problems.  Erich draws from a broad range of experiences as a corporate HR professional, a public speaker, a career coach, a classical musician, and a proud introvert to inspire others toward meaningful work and productive workplace relationships.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Time Stamps

(2:27) – The Pitch for Harmony Insights
(3:13) – What does an engagement with you look like? 
(5:01) – What’s the basic history of assessments?
(6:52) – How do you create an assessment? 
(9:17) – What are the most common assessments you see and what are they trying to accomplish?
(11:08) – What are the different versions of DISC and why would you use one over the other?
(12:44) – Assessments that evolve from DISC.
(14:31) – Are different assessments being used to get different results?
(20:06) –  Misconceptions in DISC in regards to recruiting and using DISC to determine likability.
(28:08) – Do you have an example of a client that’s used DISC effectively and made it their common language? What do those conversations look like? 
(31:58) – Explaining the ROI for these engagements.
(34:01) – What the DISC tool is and the elements of the assessment.
(36:16) – Each Letter within DISC explained.
(39:54) – How do folks who fall on different areas of the DISC spectrum effectively communicate?
(44:58) – Leveraging your teammates to serve the greater good.
(48:50) – What are you sick of talking about? 
(52:17) – What is the purpose of business? 
(53:11) – What is the difference between value and the perception of value?