Improve Your Headspace w/ Dr. Clare Purvis

Dr. Clare Purvis is the Senior Director of Behavioral Science at Headspace. Bridging science and innovation, Clare is committed to developing and scaling health products that support people in living full and vital lives. Clare leads the company’s Behavioral Science team, which focuses on integrating behavioral science into company operations at scale, ensuring that Headspace inspires, guides, and supports our members in living healthier and happier lives.


Time Codes:

(2:59) – What is Headspace?
(4:25) – What is meditation vs. mindfulness?
(6:28) –  Why is being present with a curious mind and a kind heart important?
(9:37) – How did you get to Headspace and what’s your role?
(14:01) – What’s surprised you the most from the data?
(21:00) – How does meditation affect mental health and the way one views oneself?
(25:15) – Does mindfulness help develop the prefrontal cortex in youth?
(28:27) – What insights have you gained through the pandemic?
(34:09) – How does Headspace balance keeping people on the platform without developing a social media-like addiction?
(39:02) – Is there anything about behavioral science that people can use to ‘trick’ or nudge themselves into better habits?
(48:48) – What are you most excited about in the intersection of technology and mental health?
(53:20) – BONUS: a short Headspace Meditation

Preventing Burnout w/ Kaitlyn Lyons

Kaitlyn Lyons is the founder and CEO of Delightful Movement Coaching. She helps stressed, overworked, burned-out professionals restore energy, enthusiasm, and joy. After 10 years in Fortune 300 organizations as a strategic advisor, internal consultant, and project manager, Kaitlyn excelled at challenging, high-visibility, high-pressure projects. She also burned out. Now she helps hard-charging individuals, leaders, and teams learn professional self-care and redesign the way they work so they can sustain healthy high-performance.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Time Codes:

(3:30) – What’s a burnout coach? How does someone become a burnout coach?
(4:20) – Can you define ‘burnout’?
(5:34) – Is burnout the end-point of stress?
(6:38) – What are the symptoms of burnout?
(8:36) – Languishing.
(11:11) –  What does the final stage of burnout look like?
(13:52) – The stigma of mental health issues and how people can work through them.
(19:24) – You’re totally burned out. What do you do?
(21:40) – Real, practical ways to cut back and lessen your burnout.
(30:36) – Disconnection & Recharging vs. Disconnection & Numbing.
(35:22) – The impact of being in nature.
(36:22) – How do you help guide people to disconnect?
(40:28) – How did you reframe the story you told yourself to get out of the burnout?
(42:50) – How do leaders build an environment that catches burnout before it happens and lead in a way that prevents it?
(48:03) – What’s an opinion you have about people or business that would be contrarian to the rest of the world?
(56:50) – What are you sick of talking about?
(58:58) – What is the purpose of business?
(59:40) – How can people get in touch with you?
(1:02:00) – Play and Flow

Becoming A Professional w/ Elise Gelwicks

Elise Gelwicks founded her first company in college to help students secure internships through networking. After working at Kimberly-Clark and in management consulting, she founded Eleview Consulting. Eleview works with companies to give their teams the skills, tools, and resources to successfully navigate the delicate dynamics of the working world. Elise has been featured in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and ABC News for her work. She teaches several courses for LinkedIn Learning on networking and career acceleration.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Time Codes:

(2:59) – What is Eleview Consulting and what do you do?
(3:33) – When did you notice that these skills were lacking and that you were the one to teach people effectively?
(5:57) – How Elise’s parents built her communication skills.
(9:16) – Getting in your “reps”.
(12:45) –  Why is networking so important?
(15:10) – How do you define Networking & Value?
(19:22) – Enthusiasm and Passion outside of work.
(23:00) – The value of taking communication skills beyond the office and maintaining relationships.
(27:14) – Is tracking your conversations manipulative?
(30:04) – How do you advise people on their personal brand?
(32:13) – Do you have to guide people and help them be authentic?
(34:17) –  Where do you suggest people get started on improving their ability to network?
(36:17) – What are the major skills that you see as ‘underdeveloped’ in the workplace?
(39:31) – How do people eliminate filler words in their speech?
(43:04) – What are the elements of a professional presence?
(45:14) – Tone, pitch, and energy of voice.
(50:27) – How to successfully take feedback.
(58:13) – What do you believe about people or businesses that might be contrary to the mainstream?
(1:00:38) – What is the purpose of business?
(1:02:02) – Where can people find you if they want to bring your work into their lives?

Being a Sales Sidekick w/ Dan Rogers

Dan Rogers never expected to go from rolling burritos to becoming the CEO of his own company. He always looks to challenge the status quo, and in doing so he helped to grow a quick-serve restaurant chain, tripled annual sales for a transportation business, and then bought and pivoted that same company to navigate tremendous growth. Point to Point has been listed for seven consecutive years on the Inc 5000.

Dan is also committed to advising companies on how to be a Sales Sidekick, cultivating value for both their clients and employees. Dan’s passion is coaching individuals so that they can clarify their vision, construct a plan, overcome obstacles, and reach their goals! In the Sales Sidekick Bootcamp, he shares the strategies and tools individuals can use to achieve those goals.

Time Codes:

(2:28) – Dan’s origin story of becoming CEO for Point to Point Transportation.
(4:30) – Dan’s transition into a sales role after starting as a driver with no experience.
(9:03) – The line between confidence & arrogance.
(11:11) – Do you have any examples where people might have felt uncomfortable being authentic but it ultimately was the right decision?
(15:50) – The importance of face-to-face interaction during communication & conflict.
(17:37) – If you do service and sales the right way, it will develop you.
(22:31) – How does your team balance activity with meeting review and development?
(27:07) – Dan’s unique definition of “sales”.
(28:53) – Building for a customer vs. building for a client.
(32:05) – How do you define your core cause?
(38:46) – What is Sales Sidekick?
(44:12) – How does the individual salesperson develop this “sidekick” mentality while still in a traditional comp-based role?
(52:01) – How do you define “value”?
(54:33) – What are the “8 tenants” you live by?
(59:22) – What is the purpose of business?

Building a Better Business w/ Sam Yagan & Lindsay Verstegen

Sam Yagan and Lindsay Verstegan worked together as the CEO and CHRO of ShopRunner from 2016 until it sold to Fedex in early 2021. These two leaders worked closely from day one, setting a purposeful people strategy that led to 300% growth during their four years together.

This conversation was recorded as part of Chicago SHRM‘s “HR Strategy Series”. Chicago SHRM is a regional chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management, a global organization dedicated to furthering the HR function and building better businesses.

Time Codes:

(2:28) – What is Shoprunner?
(4:33) – How much did you help scale the business in your 5 years as CEO?
(5:16) – What is it like to take over as the CEO? How do you set the vision and what is your mindset toward evaluating the needs of the business?
(7:40) – How did you come into the picture?
(11:13) – What were the conversations with Sam like when being honest about what you needed and did not want from your position within ShopRunner?
(15:28) – What was going through Sam’s mind as Lindsay set these boundaries?
(17:09) – Defining “People Strategy”.
(23:42) – What was the process like of making DEI a key part of decision making?
(33:04) – How Lindsay was able to add value helping Sam deliver messages to the company that struck a chord.
(34:50) -Hard conversations Lindsay and Sam had as they were building Shoprunner
(39:56) – What was the transparency like with the employees in terms of communication during the pandemic?
(43:09) – Communicating with Values.
(46:38) – Lindsay’s balance of tactical elements while also creating strategy within the HR functions.
(50:34) – How are you pushing peers to help evolve the people strategy in other areas of the business?
(55:42) – What Sam is looking for in an HR partner and what HR listeners can take away to add more value to the leadership team.
(58:29) – Are there any decisions you made that you look back on that were maybe the wrong ones but helped you make better ones going forward?
(1:00:22) – Team dysfunction.
(1:03:48) – Rules for conflict within a team.
(1:08:06) – Questions Sam starts every executive meeting with.
(1:09:44) – How do you help people make the change when they’re committed to DEI in theory but not in practice?
(1:13:13) –  What happens if trust on the executive team is compromised?
(1:16:08) – Wrap Up

How Experiences Change Lives w/ Imran Khan

Imran Khan is the Founder & CEO of Embarc, a leading organization in the movement for experiential learning. He has spent the last 12 years of his career connecting students, teachers, and schools to learning beyond the classroom, first as a teacher on the south side of Chicago, then with Embarc. Embarc has been recognized by the UChicago Consortium as one of the best at designing developmental experiences in the country.

Imran is an Ashoka Fellow and advisor to the MacArthur Foundation, the Workforce Funders Alliance, the Equitable Learning & Development Project, and most recently the education transition committee of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Today, Embarc has expanded to serve more than 2,000 students across 20 Chicago Public Schools and has increased successful postsecondary outcomes for students by 30%. It leads 12,000 experiences a year to bring people together across economic, geographic, racial, and political differences.


Time Codes:

(4:02) – Could you pitch Embarc and explain the program?
(6:04) – What is Embarc’s origin story?
(11:33) – How did you approach building experiences that students really needed?
(17:05) – What goes into making a lasting educational experience?
(21:56) – What tips do you have for people to facilitate conversation without dominating the conversation?
(24:08) – Do you have an example of how you’ve used this approach with your own team?
(27:30) – Individual vs. Collaborative work
(30:56) – What do you look for in the people you surround yourself with?
(32:43) – Where did you get the confidence to implement your extensive interviewing process?
(34:36) – How O’Brien became involved w/ Embarc.
(40:06) – Embarc’s Audacity and their ultimate goal.
(45:03) – How can regular people gain experiences and open up portions of the world they haven’t experienced?
(48:39) – How can people support Embarc’s work?

Helping Entrepreneurs Tell Their Story w/ Justin Breen

Justin Breen is CEO of the PR firm BrEpic Communications and author of the best-selling book, Epic Business. Justin is hard-wired to seek out and create viral, thought-provoking stories that the media craves. And he finds the best stories when he networks with visionary entrepreneurs and executives who understand the value of investing in themselves and their businesses. Justin is an active member of Strategic CoachAbundance 360, and Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Mentioned in this Episode:

Time Codes 

(2:49) – What makes a good story?
(5:28) – What is BrEpic?
(8:11) – How do you define PR, Branding, and Marketing?
(8:57) – What should people be looking to get from PR?
(10:31) – Is there still value going through mainstream media or is all the power moving to alternative media like podcasts?
(12:43) – 1,000 True Fans
(13:34) – Niching down to find your true audience.
(15:56) – Should everyone aspire to be an entrepreneur?
(17:48) – How did you come to the realization that you are an entrepreneur?
(20:14) – What would you say to someone who is working a traditional job but feels like entrepreneurship may be the path?
(23:01) – Should those torn between risk and stability take the leap or reset their expectations?
(25:35) – Money doesn’t buy happiness.
(29:41) – Did you find yourself sacrificing family for money?
(30:45) – What are the benefits you’ve seen from having you and your business profiled?
(34:33) – Are you reiterating the same message over and over across the different media appearances or spreading new information each time?
(38:20) – What is an abundant mindset?
(42:19 ) – What work has been most effective to build and maintain your mindset?
(44:48) – What are you most excited to be talking about these days?
(46:19) – What is the purpose of business?

Upgrade Your Health w/ Ari Levy

Dr. Ari Levy is in the business of helping people live better. As the founder of Shift, he is focused on the intersections of neuroscience, immune-physiology, and allostatic load (wear-and-tear on the body). His work and research are redefining the way we think about managing and building health and personal well-being. He joins the podcast to talk about what it means to be, and how we can all be, healthy

Mentioned in this Episode:


(2:44) – What does it mean to be healthy?
(3:32) – What is ‘Deliberate Effort’?
(5:05) – How healthy is healthy enough?
(8:37) – What is Shift and what do you do?
(9:42) – Where did the idea for the business come from?
(12:08) – What’s the initial assessment like for a patient?
(14:00) – What types of people come to see you and why?
(15:16) – What are the most common issues you’re seeing come in?
(16:55) – How does your practice help people with habit formation?
(18:21) – Do you see that folks coming in have intrinsic motivation or do they suffer from the same fear and hesitancy from the general population?
(19:27) – What role does motivation play in these types of goals?
(21:02) – What’s an example of a broken system and how do you replace that with a healthy system?
(24:03) – What is Functional Movement?
(25:35) – Pliability & Tissue Work
(27:38) – How much sleep should people aim to get?
(29:56) – Why should people care about any of this?
(31:25) – How long should people be setting aside to address all of these things?
(33:30) – The importance of mindset
(34:47) – How does Shift address the mental side of health?
(36:21) – Social Determinants of Health
(38:35) – How do you plan for yourself what you want your life to look like?
(40:14) – How have you gotten clear on what’s important to you and how you take care of your body?
(41:25) – Being ‘your’ best vs. ‘the’ best
(45:06) – What are you sick of talking about?
(46:01) – What are you most excited to be talking about?
(47:23) – What is the purpose of business?
(48:04) – How do we find meaning in life?
(50:29) – Wrap Up

Post Pandemic Hiring w/ James Hornick

James Hornick is a Partner at Hirewell, where he has specialized in the recruitment of marketing and technology professionals since 2005. He created Hirewell’s Digital Experience & Marketing recruiting practice while also leading the firm’s internal strategy, marketing, and business development initiatives. James is a proponent of value-driven content and regularly shares his perspective on the Talent Acquisition and Recruiting industry.

Mentioned in this Episode: 

Time Codes:

(3:04) – What is Hirewell and what do you do?
(6:24) – What was the process like to pivot your marketing approach?
(8:39) – How do you advise clients on their content strategy related to recruiting?
(11:04) – What is the state of the hiring market in the summer of 2021?
(14:17) – Have you seen any changes in recruiting compared with 18 months ago?
(19:16) – Do you see most recruiting departments training on the full spectrum of skills (i.e. project management, sales, marketing, human behavior, psychology, and interviewing)?
(21:44) – What are the most valuable skills worth investing in early on in recruiting?
(26:00) – Where are you seeing employees engaging with content today?
(27:27) – Thoughts on the explosion of the podcast industry.
(32:24) – James’ Hot Takes on the state of remote work.
(43:55) – What are the biggest mistakes job seekers are making right now?
(45:18) – How did you develop a contrarian and individualistic worldview?
(50:46) – Imposter Syndrome
(51:56) – What are you sick of talking about right now?
(53:03) – What aren’t people talking enough about?
(55:58) – What is the purpose of business?

Decision Hygiene w/ Linnea Gandhi

Linnea Gandhi is a researcher, teacher, and practitioner of behavioral science in business settings. And she’s obsessed with error; studying it, fixing it, and even embracing it to enable better decisions by individuals and organizations.

Her work on error intentionally straddles academia and the real world: She teaches decision science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, studies it as part of her PhD at the Wharton School of Business, and consults on it through her company, BehavioralSight. 

Linnea’s team is launching an online course called “Beyond Bias: How Noise May Be Drowning Out Your Decision Accuracy“. This course is designed to complement the recently released book on the topic, called NOISE, by Daniel Kahneman and two coauthors. Linnea spent the last three supporting with research and editing behind the scenes.

If you are interested in the course, enter MCMAHON75 to receive $75 off the price tag.

Mentioned In This Episode:

Time Codes:

(3:21) – Linnea’s origin story
(5:35) – How did you come to work with Daniel Kahneman? 
(8:26) – Who is Daniel Kahneman?
(9:49) – What have you learned from working with top-tier experts?
(12:48) –  The importance of Mentorship in helping you step out on your own
(17:56) –  Working on the book Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgement
(20:26) – What is ‘Noise’?
(22:03) – What is the difference between Noise and Bias? 
(29:30) – Bias’ effect on Risk Management
(35:47) – BUD/S training
(40:28) – Linnea’s consulting firm… Behavioral Sight
(41:25) – Building the machine vs. Running the machine
(43:16) – Where do people go to figure out how to put this in place for their own life?
(44:28) – Linnea’s course on Noise
(48:21) – What do you believe about people or business that might be contrarian?
(51:48) – What are you sick of talking about?
(53:31) – The need to explain our world gets in the way of our ability to predict it
 (55:57) – What is the purpose of business?