On the Schmooze

Welcome to On the Schmooze, a weekly podcast that features a mix of interviews and solo shows. My hope is that insights from me and my guests will help you achieve the leadership position you’re seeking, build and sustain your professional network, and find the work/life balance that works best for you. Interviews are with talented people from different fields. We explore how they built strong networks and overcame challenges on their way to becoming successful leaders. I identify a key take-away from each interview, something you can put into action that week that you’ll benefit from for years to come. In the show notes I provide resources to help you get started. Solo shows are shorter episodes where I share practical networking tips and techniques you can put into practice right away. Podcast inspired by Dorie Clark, Pat Flynn, Jonny Nastor, Dale Carnegie.
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On the Schmooze




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Aug 19, 2019

Today’s guest has been called the best-connected Silicon Valley figure you’ve never heard of.

She is a veteran editor, curator, content strategist, and connector of people and ideas. Her passion for all forms of communication has carried her for over thirty years in the technology business as a writer, editor, and communications pro, with long stints at Google and Twitter.

Her avocation is connecting people, which led her to write, “Taking the Work Out of Networking: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Connections Count.”  True to her introvert nature, she’s more likely to be connecting from the comfort of her laptop than working a room at conferences.

Please join me in welcoming Karen Wickre.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is someone of good counsel. Someone who knows how to counsel in a good way.”
  • how she was the informer in her friend group.
  • her willingness to take big leaps and how that got her started in the technology industry.
  • some of her experiences in Silicon Valley, especially through career changes.
  • her thoughts about networking, and her natural ability to connect with others.
  • what it looks like for her to be a convener.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 159

Aug 13, 2019

Today’s guest is a sought-after speaker who has shared the platform with everyone from today’s business leaders and broadcast personalities to even a former U.S. President.

A prolific author of books on sales, marketing, and influence, for years he was best known for his book “Endless Referrals” - that is until he released “The Go-Giver” a business parable he co-authored. It joined The Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek Bestseller lists, sold over 850,000 copies, has been translated into 28 languages, and inspired a book series. The most recent parable in the Go-Giver Series is The Go-Giver Influencer.

The American Management Association named him one of the Top 30 Leaders in Business and he was named one of the Top 200 Most Influential Authors in the World by Richtopia.

Please join me in welcoming Bob Burg.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is indeed moving people to the desired action but doing so in a way that you tie your goal into theirs.”
  • how he handled learning his first role in sales, and then his first role in leadership.
  • the emphasis he and many other leaders place on pull instead of push.
  • his view on how we are responsible to people but not responsible for people.
  • the difference between manipulation and persuasion.
  • three different surprises he has experienced with reciprocity.
  • his tips for what does work for networking at events.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 158

Aug 6, 2019

Today’s guest helps people shift the way they perceive and respond to change and adversity, helping them to see opportunities instead of obstacles.

After a devastating accident that left her a quadriplegic and dependent on a wheelchair at 12 years old, she learned the true meaning of resilience. Instead of slowing down, she has used her life experience and personal philosophies to become Australia’s leading keynote speaker and facilitator on resilience. She helps corporate leaders be their best in challenging times.

She is the author of “How To Be Resilient” and is frequently featured in national media for her insights on resilience in the workplace.

Her “say yes and figure out how later” approach to life has helped her achieve remarkable feats like starring in a feature film with no acting experience, competing at a national level in para-athletics after 22 years on the sidelines, and running for parliament.

Please join me in welcoming Stacey Copas.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is being energy rather than a title. It is creating a space to strike a balance between meeting big picture objectives while also helping to facilitate the growth and aspirations of a team.”
  • how she worked through significant adversity and “little old me” syndrome to become who she is today.
  • her proverbial “fork in the road” moment.
  • how she has naturally networked, doing things like hosting a monthly barbeque and how LinkedIn has been central to her business growth.
  • her thoughts about diversity and its importance.
  • how gratitude has been a central part of her business and what she is doing to help others find it.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 157

Jul 30, 2019

Today’s guest has comedy, storytelling, and strategy in her DNA.

When she was eight years old, her first oral presentation was about Harold Lloyd, Hollywood’s premier comic stuntman and director of the silent film era. Even better, she admits that she mimed and her comedy and storytelling nerd superpowers were visible from space.

She is a keynote speaker, strategist, comedian, and author of several books including, “Stop Boring Me! How to Create Kick-Ass Marketing Content, Products and Ideas Through the Power of Improv.” She is the founder of Keeping it Human, Inc.

Believing we are all wired for creativity, she is passionate about helping teams, leaders, and brands tell human stories, banishes boring marketing, develops great culture, and unleash their creativity for big ideas and results.

Please join me in welcoming Kathy Klotz-Guest.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to evolve your own thinking, whether you have a team or not. I think there is a self-management aspect of it.”
  • how business storytelling and comedy are alike.
  • her experience with being selected for the debate team in high school and having a mom to advocate for her leadership capabilities.
  • when she decided to leave for the corporate world to pursue comedy.
  • how she gained referrals to help get rid of any blind spots she had in her business.
  • her love of networking and how she leans into serendipitous meetings at networking events.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 156

Jul 23, 2019

Today’s guest understands the importance of referrals and networking.

His company, Referral Coach International, helps people and businesses who want to acquire more clients and customers through word of mouth, referrals, and personal introduction. His goal is to help people increase their revenue without having to increase their marketing expenses.

After building and selling two successful businesses, he has turned his attention to relationship marketing strategies and is a founding member of the Million Dollar Speakers Group. He is the author of three books, “Get More Referrals Now,” “Don’t Keep Me a Secret,” and “Beyond Referrals,” and he is working on his fourth book, called “Radical Relevance.”

When he’s not busy at work he enjoys adventure and has trekked through the Himalayas, reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and has camped in the Arctic Circle.

Please join me in welcoming Bill Cates.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “True leadership comes from confidence, being controlling comes from a place of insecurity.”
  • how he views leadership as a balance between giving and supporting, a term he calls leadership and followership.
  • his natural leading abilities and the realizations around ego and personal growth that has shaped his leadership capabilities.
  • limiting beliefs he overcame to find success.
  • his habits for staying connected and networking with others.
  • how he builds a culture of referrals, introductions, and connections.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 155

Jul 16, 2019

Today’s guest says if you had asked her former lawyer self if she imagined herself in the career she has today, the likely response would have been: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”

Speaker and author of the “Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World,” she has been lauded from Forbes to Fast Company for her networking skills and Twitter acumen.

Her entire career story is a networked one, from her first career as a lawyer to being invited to join non-profit and startup boards, to dine with Malala, and then to writing her book and so much more.

She believes success is not simply a question of what you know, how hard you work, or even who you have the good fortune of bumping into. Instead, she believes success in a hyper-connected world comes down to who knows what you know.

Please join me in welcoming J. Kelly Hoey.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is not being afraid of other people’s success and helping others reach their potential.”
  • her first mentor when she began practicing law, and how he lead in a way that ingrained in her a desire to excel, to be better, and created fierce loyalty.
  • how she has always been career focused but is finally in the career she loves now.
  • the benefit of handing out name tags at an event.
  • her emphasis on showing up and being engaged while also maintaining diverse networks.
  • how she shows people what she does instead of just telling them.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 154

Jul 8, 2019

Today’s guest is an Emergency Crisis & International Trauma Recovery Coach.

She has over three decades of experience in trauma-informed care working with families, institutions, and organizations in the aftermath of crisis situations and traumatic life events. She provides emergency crisis, international trauma recovery, behavioral management, and executive coaching.

She is the Founder and CEO of Eyes of Power, a certified minority and woman-owned company dedicated to creating visions that help others take leaps in their personal and professional lives.

Her personal history with trauma inspired her to create culturally-competent tools that meet her clients where they are. In addition to being a contributing author to several books, she is writing a book to share her story and make these tools available to more people.

Please join me in welcoming Desheen L. Evans.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “I look at leadership like it’s a banana, you have to peel it back to eat it. There are actual steps you have to take to get to leadership.”
  • her belief that there is no such thing as a one-person leader.
  • all of her work with trauma-informed care and meeting people exactly where they are.
  • her new training program, The Lens of Trauma, and how she is working to help people view trauma differently.
  • how she has a habit of purposely making one person smile every day.
  • her insights on connecting with others and the go-getter part of her personality that has helped her make significant professional advancements.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 153

Jul 2, 2019

Today’s guest is on a mission to fix the way we work at work. He specializes in helping organizations apply behavioral science to strengthen the way leaders train, support, and empower their teams for success.

An award-winning educational leader and researcher, he has earned accolades from Fortune 500 executives to NFL coaches for his forward-thinking approach to improving organizational culture and effectiveness.

The author of “The Feedback Fix,” he offers a radical alternative to traditional feedback techniques and performance management practices. He distills vast bodies of research-based practice into actionable insights that make an immediate difference in how people work, learn, and lead. His work has caught the attention of Marshall Goldsmith and Adam Grant, the latter called him a “breath of fresh air.”

Please join me in welcoming Joe Hirsch.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to listen and learn. Those two qualities define the way leaders interact with everyone around them and they also define relationships and the tone of the organization as a whole.”
  • how he learned the value of listening and learning when you are a leader.
  • the importance of leaders holding up mirrors and creating a space for people to learn who they are.
  • why he values being a learn-it-all over being a know-it-all.
  • his favorite role in his work, where he gets to see the light bulb click for people.
  • his method of networking and how he has incorporated a spreadsheet to help him keep in touch.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 152

Jun 25, 2019

Today’s guest builds the leadership capacity of small business owners.

She started her career working as a consultant with large corporations such as Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab, and Cisco Systems. In 2009, she published “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” which spearheaded the movement of people leaving corporate jobs to start their own business.

Building on that book’s award-winning success, she published her second book “Body of Work” and founded Main Street Learning Lab, a community-based leadership development lab that supports and strengthens the work of diverse entrepreneurs – especially entrepreneurs of color and their allies.

She has been a business coach for over 20 years, helping entrepreneurs solve core business challenges and generate stories, research, and insight.

Please join me in welcoming Pamela Slim.  

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “It has always resonated with me to be the type of leader who is really recognizing the leadership capabilities in community and doing what I can to support that.”
  • the leadership lessons she learned while training capoeira for 11 years.
  • how she and her husband landed in Mesa, Arizona, and how the foundation of their business was grown by listening first before deciding what to offer their community.
  • her experience being the only extrovert in a family of supportive introverts, and what she learned while working with Susan Cain.
  • her thoughts on planning events to accommodate both extroverts and introverts.
  • the importance of diversity and inclusion and what that looks like in her life, and how she views networking through the lens of ecosystems.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 151


Jun 18, 2019

Today’s guest understands you can’t do it all yourself. Her clients are at a tipping point, launching the next phase of their life and business while creating multiple business income streams - which is why she’s their expert resource for finding the best virtual assistant for their needs.

Based on the positive response to her two books “Become a Successful Virtual Assistant” and “Hire the Right Virtual Assistant” she decided there was a need for an association to promote a high standard of excellence among VAs. Thus, she founded the Association of Virtual Assistants.

In 2017, she became location independent and traveled to 16 countries in 12 months while growing her business at a rapid rate. Since then, she has become a sought after Remote Work Consultant, helping individuals looking for remote work, as well as those in need of better hiring and managing their remote teams.

Please join me in welcoming Melissa Smith.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is knowing your strengths and weaknesses and making sure you have the ability to have people pull them out of you while you also do that for them.”
  • how anonymous, random of acts of kindness with her dad and watching her mom as a soft-spoken but powerful “quiet” leader influenced who she is and how she operates today.
  • how she finds joy in seeing others get over the humps in their lives to achieve the greatness they are capable of.
  • the Association of Virtual Assistants she recently launched and what she loves about it.
  • how she knows when she needs to hire another Virtual Assistant.
  • her methods for networking and investing in relationships over the long haul.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 150

Jun 11, 2019

Today’s guest helps people get back to the basics of relationships that lead to better opportunities and sales.

Having worked as a keynote speaker and professional master of ceremonies for the last ten years, he is an advocate for creating strong experiences for conference attendees. He has authored twelve books on the power of business relationships, sales, networking, presentation skills, and entrepreneurship and has earned the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation conferred by the National Speakers Association.

He has interviewed over 400 CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business leaders as host of the Cool Things Entrepreneurs Do podcast, which named one of eight business podcasts to listen to in 2018.

Please join me in welcoming Thom Singer, CSP.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership really means being present, having a vision, and helping the team get across whatever the gap is.”
  • how he didn’t necessarily feel like he had the confidence to be a leader as a kid but still found himself stepping up when it was needed.
  • his experience with game shows, starting in second grade.
  • how he has placed himself in the path of luck and been on many adventures because of it.
  • his hobby of speaking at open mic night at comedy clubs and how that has helped him in his professional speaking career.
  • his proactive method for connecting with people.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 149


Jun 4, 2019

Today’s guest believes everyone has the seeds of a great network within reach and that to establish genuine relationships we must proactively meet people in person.

She is an investor, advisor, speaker, author, and the founder of an advisory firm working with growth companies. She has invested in several innovative private companies which solve old problems in new ways.

Inspired by the experiences of thousands of people she has interacted with over her thirty-year career, she wrote “Meet 100 People: A How-to Guide to the Career and Life Edge Everyone's Missing.” I know you’re going to appreciate how she reframes networking to make it accessible, joyful, and life-affirming. Her work is especially relevant for young professionals looking to build valuable life-long relationships.

Please join me in welcoming Pat Hedley.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership means inspiring others to pursue a common and worthy objective.”
  • how she was shy growing up but learned to push herself through helping her entrepreneur mom.
  • how she joined speech club in high school and how it was her first glimpse of her leadership potential.
  • her “meet 100 people” campaign, the impact it has had, and the opportunities it has presented.
  • the professor analogy.
  • how she networks by sending information to people when it reminds her of them, and by scheduling get-togethers with people.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 148

May 28, 2019

Today’s guest believes we are all connected and can achieve more significant results when we learn how to build relationships with all people, regardless of their packaging.

She is a diversity and inclusion strategist who specializes in helping organizations make diversity and inclusion a competitive advantage. She is the author of two books and was included among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders on Diversity and Inclusion by The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)

She is a past president of the Global Speakers Federation and was recently inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame.

She has presented to audiences on six continents and in thirty-seven countries, plus in the middle of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

Please join me in welcoming Lenora Billings-Harris.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “True leaders have a vision with clarity of outcomes. They inspire others by the way they carry themselves and have the ability to direct, guide, and listen.”
  • how her leadership skills first showed up in elementary school when other students would go to her when something needed to be taken to a teacher or the principal.
  • how her grandparents and her dad helped develop her leadership skills.
  • the most rewarding part of her work today, when she sees people globally realizing that peace is the way.
  • her methods for helping businesses create a culture of inclusion and diversity.
  • the significance of her trips to Africa, and how that love started when she was in third grade.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 147

May 20, 2019

Today’s guest was called “a cult legend in the online community-building world” by Mashable.

He has been at the forefront of building highly curated, technology-enabled communities for ambitious professionals. He is focused on creating a strong membership experience and positive business outcomes for thousands of successful executives, thought leaders, business owners, and entrepreneurs across the country.

He first co-founded Brazen Technologies, a career-management site for high-achieving young professionals and ambitious college students. After that, he went on to co-found Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization for leading entrepreneurs. In 2018, along with his business partner Scott Gerber, he authored Superconnector: Stop Networking & Start Building Business Relationships That Matter.

Today, he and his team are building the future of professional organizations with The Community Company, an organization which creates community programs for global brands and media companies.

Please join me in welcoming Ryan Paugh.


In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is being a person who puts other people’s needs in front of their own to focus on how they can help other people do their best work, sometimes at the sacrifice of what they are working on.”
  • how his focus for business growth is on helping the people on his team break through barriers to be their best.
  • how his empathy and desire for everyone to feel connected has existed his whole life, and how connecting people began when he was young.
  • what being a superconnector looks like for him as an introverted and analytical person.
  • his thoughts on networking events and how he creates an oasis for people who want to connect with others away from the noise.
  • how he connects with people in his extended network, using a combination of strategy, intention, and serendipity.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 146

May 14, 2019

Today’s guest helps her clients grow profitable businesses to create lives that they love.

She is a speaker, international business growth strategist, author of “The Heart of Entrepreneurship: It’s Your Time to Shine”, and the host of the Thought Leaders Business Lab podcast.

She has 25 years of personal experience in building and growing businesses and has spent the last 8 years helping people turn their expertise into a thriving business so they have more income, freedom, and impact. She uses 3 key principles of positioning, profile, and leverage to help people become the go-to authority in their industry.

Please join me in welcoming Samantha Riley.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts about leadership: “Leadership can be described by words but it’s more than that, it’s also a feeling. It’s important for leaders to have great vision, a lot of courage to make the right decisions.”
  • how her entrepreneur life began when she was around eight years old and started selling baked goods at school.
  • how she started in a government job, doing what was expected, and how that led to her starting her first two businesses within six months of each other when she was 20 years old.
  • her personal transition journey that also led to a career transition as well.
  • how she started learning to not just see what people were coming to her with but also what they were asking her for, and how that moved her into her role as a business coach.
  • the value she places on being a connector and what that looks like for her.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 145

May 7, 2019

I have a special treat for you this week. This will be the first time I’ve had someone back on the show and it’s for a very good reason. My guest is a people expert who inspires organizations and individuals to build real relationships and get real results.

Named one of Forbes Top 25 Networking Experts, she is the author of several books including “The Connectors Advantage: 7 Mindsets to Grow Your Influence and Impact,” which was just released a couple of months ago.

For this book, she interviewed over two dozen networking experts, including Marshall Goldsmith, Dorie Clark, Ivan Misner, Susan RoAnn, and yours truly. I feel quite fortunate to be mentioned with this esteemed group – many of whom I’ve interviewed.

Connectors think and act a certain way that makes things happen faster, easier, and often with a better result. If you feel like your networking is not translating into results or everyone else seems to be getting ahead even though you are just as smart – then you’ll appreciate the great advice from these connectors.

Please join me in welcoming back Michelle Tillis Lederman.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her new book about connectors, called “The Connector’s Advantage.”
  • how being a connector is on a spectrum that spans from emerging connectors to global super connectors.
  • abundance and scarcity mindsets and why it is important to come from a place of abundance, but also why it is important to not beat yourself up when you experience a moment of scarcity thinking.
  • her method for adding extra opportunity to connect with people by identifying “underutilized time” and using that to call or spend time with other people.
  • the right way to ask for favors.
  • how to be an inclusive connector.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 144

Apr 29, 2019

Today’s guest has a mission for helping solopreneur experts do what they love and get paid what they’re worth.

He is a recognized authority on entrepreneurship and leadership development, having served as a CEO, COO, and CFO in the not-for-profit sector as well as a project manager in the private sector.

As the host of the business podcast Smashing the Plateau, he’s released over 400 episodes that offer a wealth of personal experiences and practical advice about achieving business breakthroughs.

He is the Co-Founder of the BestNetwork, which guides expertise-driven solopreneur business owners to save time and make more money.

Please join me in welcoming David Shriner-Cahn.


In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership means communicating ideas that spur other people to take action. It’s about inspiring others and it’s not about authority or command.”
  • how he has taken on leadership roles, especially as a volunteer, for a lot of his life.
  • how he launched his business in 2006 and then started business networking in 2007 and what he has learned from that.
  • some of his strengths and how he learned to decipher his strengths.
  • his networking habits including conferences, in-person get-togethers, and collaborating with other entrepreneurs to connect people.
  • his BestNetwork membership network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 143

Apr 22, 2019

Today’s guest unleashes human potential through mindfulness techniques. Known as the C-Suite Network Advisor on Mindfulness in the Workplace, she helps stressed-out leaders find and sustain greater focus, clarity, and inner peace, resulting in a more grounded and powerful presence and enhanced profits.

She began her career in the world of nonprofits and volunteer leadership, teaching thousands of association staff and volunteers how to reboot for success. Today, she takes the best of her strategic vision expertise, blends it with mindful leadership practices and her event background to curate experiential events that change hearts, minds, and companies.

She is the author of several books, her latest “Everyday Mindfulness: From Chaos to Calm in a Crazy Work” was an Amazon top new release in 2018. She has received numerous awards and is the producer and host of the Everyday Mindfulness Show.

Please join me in welcoming Holly Duckworth.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the combination of skills, characteristics, and abilities that fit into the idea of the position. It’s important to understand that everyone is a leader because everything we do begins with leading ourselves first.”
  • how leadership came naturally to her but how she didn’t consider herself a leader until other people pointed it out to her.
  • her journey from being a meteorology major to mindfulness coaching.
  • how she works for organizations to help them develop a practice around being present in the moment and mindful.
  • the seven components to being a mindful leader and how to implement them.
  • the specific mantra that she says every day to help manifest her desires into her life.

 Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 142

Apr 16, 2019

Today’s guest is made up of one part creativity, one part context, one part connections, and a sprinkle of playfulness. She is the founder and idea culturist behind sajory, an innovation consultancy that nurtures organization behavior and helps businesses transition its culture into a fertile space for innovation.

Some of her past accomplishments include designing a city-wide leadership program for Toronto’s youth and creating a multi-faceted storytelling project in Montreal called My Arabic Story. After her master’s degree in creativity, innovation, and change leadership from SUNY Buffalo in New York, she experimented with different methods to run innovation facilitation programs in government agencies in the United Arab Emirates.

She is a TEDx and keynote speaker, and a curator of the subscription box IMAGINESS by sajory – monthly inspiration to imagine happiness at work.

Please join me in welcoming Randah Taher.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is not a static thing. Sometimes people are following you, sometimes they are following a concept, and sometimes you are leading yourself.”
  • the transformation she experienced going from a curious and rebellious-against-norms child into an adventurous and courageous adult.
  • the four different methods she uses in business: creative problem solving, cognitive, strategic planning, and biomimicry.
  • how networking, including connections and follow up created an amazing leadership opportunity for her.
  • how design thinking and creativity got her a position teaching architecture without having architect experience. She read books by day and taught by night.
  • her theme of being willing to take risks and reach out to people, and the amazing journey it has taken her on.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 141


Apr 9, 2019

Today’s guest is passionate about helping employees, managers, and business owners move their business and personal life to the next level through word of mouth referrals.

He has experienced the same challenges that most employees and business owners face. He used his failures to craft a message as a speaker that resonates with his audiences and leaves them with actionable steps to improve their business.

He is the author of “MORE…Word of Mouth Referrals, Lifelong Customers & Raving Fans” and host of the small business podcast Square Peg Round Hole.

Please join me in welcoming Matt Ward.


In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “You need to develop your skills enough for other people to see you as a leader. My analogy is that you can’t push a rope, you can only pull it.”
  • how owning his own company taught him he was a leader.
  • his combination of networking and bootstrapping that has brought him significant success.
  • how he believes results come from building true, meaningful, and deep relationships with others.
  • his tools for networking, including using LinkedIn to set up “catch-up calls” and his old school handwritten notes “20-20-20” method.
  • his high-five effect idea and his goal for giving 1,000 high-five’s in 2019.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 140


Apr 2, 2019

Today’s guest is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.”

In her more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader, she has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies.

She has been profiled in Inc.ForbesVenture BeatHuffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.

She is the author of “Crack the Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup” and “How to Be a Power Connector: the 5-50-150 Rule,” which was #1 of The Top Ten Business Books of 2014 by

Please join me in welcoming Judy Robinett.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leaders are the visionary people who are empathetic. They build a team by caring about their people and getting that group to execute a vision together.”
  • how leadership experiences in graduate school taught her how to be an empathetic leader.
  • her journey from being a shy and bullied kid to being a powerful connector and strong leader.
  • how she learned the importance of talking to strangers and where purposeful conversations have taken her.
  • her 5+50+100 rule for networking and making connections.
  • the three golden questions she follows to help crowdsurf through other people’s networks to find help when needed.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 139


Mar 26, 2019

Today’s guest helps innovators, idealists, and iconoclasts get “unstuck.” She helps them push past the doubt and indecision that consign great ideas to limbo.

She is a serial entrepreneur who has started and sold a successful international executive search firm, built philanthropic and political action committees from scratch, and was a White House appointee on the team which created the national service project, AmeriCorps.

She is the author of multiple books including her latest, “Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life.” Not a surprising topic for someone who describes herself as the lightweight champion of the get-the-hell-out-of-your-own-way world, a competitive rower, and professional badass.

Please join me in welcoming Laura Gassner Otting.


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is looking at other people, seeing their greatness, and reflecting that back on them in a way they can see it, believe it, and do something with it.”
  • how her time in politics taught her the difference between the person on stage and the people who are leaders.
  • her belief that success doesn’t create happiness and that success and leadership look different to each person.
  • the four elements that remove limits and empower people to live their best lives.
  • her knowledge of networking and how she learned to respect other people’s agendas.
  • how she maintains relationships with people by being conscious of where she’s traveling and connecting friends from different walks in life.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 138

Mar 18, 2019

Today’s guest’s last bad day was July 11th, 2001, a day that changed his life in a significant way.

Experiencing a harrowing cycling accident was the catalyst to the seminal shift that changed his perspective, mindset, and actions. Since then, he has been helping leaders make change stick at work and in their lives.

In addition to executive coaching and speaking, he is the best-selling author of “Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows,” and the founder of a leadership academy that helps people become the wealthiest person they know, from the inside out.

Please join me in welcoming Michael O’Brien. 



In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is really about knowing your purpose, trying to paint a compelling vision of the future, connecting with others, and then making it about their success.”
  • how baseball coaches shaped his views on leadership from a young age.
  • how his cycling accident changed his life and the significant mindset shifts he went through to start living his life on purpose.
  • the intention he puts into his leadership academy, and how he connects with each and every student.
  • his experience with being a minority at a conference and how that led to him becoming President of a chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 137

Mar 12, 2019

Today’s guest is uniquely gifted at drawing out what’s best in others and helping them take their brilliance to the bank.

She is a nationally recognized transformational speaker, best-selling author, Purpose to Paycheck Expert, and the Founder & CEO of Fierce Factor Lab. She has over 20 years of experience working with entrepreneurs, corporate executives, heads of states, celebrities, and nonprofit directors in talent and program development.

She is the creator of the FIERCE Formula and works with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of income from what they already know in order to build an empire from their expertise. Additionally, she works with corporations to assure their executives and middle managers align their purpose with their paycheck, push their internal edge, and step into the true power of their gifts and talents at work.

Please join me in welcoming Nicole Roberts Jones. 


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “A leader is someone who is unapologetically themselves, is transparent, and has more than one way they make money.”
  • the creative way her husband chose to nurture the light he saw in the people he worked with.
  • her defining moment when she found her fierce.
  • how starting a program for teen girls in her church turned into a non-profit and directly relates to what she does not.
  • the fierce formula she lives by and how she uses that to help people find create multiple streams of income from the skills they already have.
  • her tricks for battling nervousness and being shy before speaking.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 136

Mar 5, 2019

Today’s guest helps global leaders enhance their ability to adapt, contribute, collaborate, and grow.

A former Financial Times executive, she started out her career working on strategy as a management consultant and as an assistant to Dr. Henry Kissinger at Kissinger Associates in New York.

She is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School Executive MBA Global Asia and the author of “Future Proof: Reinventing Work in an Age of Acceleration.”

After a diverse global business career spanning over two decades and four continents, her priority now is to help others re-imagine a productive, profitable and exciting future of work for themselves and their companies via teaching, writing and consulting.

Please join me in welcoming Diana Wu David. 


In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is  about stepping up and helping people unlock their potential and accelerate their dreams.”
  • how her leadership journey started when she became a hall director in college.
  • her desire for identifying people’s special talents and helping unleash them for the good of the company.
  • how most of her amazing positions have been the result of a productive accident.
  • how storytelling and active listening have helped her grow in each business endeavor.
  • her method for networking that involves connecting with others who share similar values and interests.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at - episode 135

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