On the Schmooze

Welcome to On the Schmooze, a weekly podcast that features interviews with talented professionals who have achieved success in their field or industry. I ask probing questions to get them to share untold stories about their leadership journey and how they built and sustained their professional network. Put insights from me and my guests into action this week and you’ll benefit from for years to come. Podcast inspired by Dorie Clark, Guy Raz, Pat Flynn, Jonny Nastor, Dale Carnegie.
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Aug 8, 2022

Today’s guest believes sales is about helping people, not being pushy or icky.

For over 20 years, as the CEO of Changing the Sales Game, she has helped business owners, leaders, and sales teams build powerhouse organizations using her high-energy and heart-centered approach to creating a thriving sales team culture.

Her teaching, transformational tools, and content ensure business owners and salespeople grow their revenue streams through enhanced communication skills.

She shares her process in her book, “ESP (Easy Sales Process), as a speaker and the host of two podcasts, Changing the Sales Game and Enlightenment of Change.

Please join me in welcoming Connie Whitman.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is about taking someone from where they are and move them to where you need them to be while keeping their career path intact in a healthy way.”
  • the connection between being an effective salesperson, great leadership, valuing connections and how having love, care, and respect for potential clients can help you excel.
  • her natural ability to have welcoming energy since childhood, “it feels good to be around you.”
  • the start of her career and how she quickly grew and excelled.
  • what the tipping point was for her to run her own business, the business she had written a business plan for 5 years prior.
  • the importance of the follow-up, including a potential client Connie followed up with and built a relationship with for five years before she landed a sale with them.
  • her CPR method in sales - Consistent, Persistent, & Respectful sales.
  • her sales follow-up process and why respectful follow-ups are worthwhile for her business growth.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the year ahead.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Aug 2, 2022

Today’s guest saw a need and filled it.

He found no automation tool, CRM, or analytics software that was built with management and sales leadership in mind. He understood people needed the type of tool that provides an exponential return for the time invested and that makes managers powerful by driving individual performance and raising the level of the entire team. So he and his partner built it.

He is a managing director of ClozeLoop and has consulted with some of the world's leading companies including Salesforce, Box, and SurveyMonkey. He's an award-winning trainer and co-author of seven books. He thrives on sales frameworks that create fast-growth and measurable progress. He is also a co-founder of his new software company, CoachCRM.

Please join me in welcoming Hilmon Sorey.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “A leader influences and inspires others to action in every aspect of one’s life.”
  • why he considers himself a benevolent control freak and why that’s not a bad thing.
  • his first company, KidCo, and its connection to Jeff Bezos.
  • how he learned about extortion at a young age during a fateful Halloween.
  • his initial dream careers and how the call to entrepreneurship always existed inside him.
  • why he attended so many different universities and why that experience bored him.
  • his childhood plans to be the next Andrew Carnegie - having the foresight and the fortune to create the majority of libraries and learning opportunities for all.
  • why he believes that if you follow your passion, the money will follow.
  • the concept of “pure authenticity” and how that creates energy, fuel, and passion in all the aspects of his life.
  • why he marvels at the ingenuity of human kind and why that leads him to consider his legacy.
  • why inserting yourself into history is our duty.
  • how he nurtures and sustains his 2nd and 3rd level connections and his “little winks.”

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jul 21, 2022

Today’s guest urges leaders to stop using 2019 behavior to address 2022 workplace challenges.

She is an organizational psychologist, executive coach, speaker, and author of “Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel.” It is a groundbreaking guidebook for corporate leaders who want to build inclusive organizations from the top down.

She has spent decades advising and coaching business leaders, including some in the Fortune 500, building healthy organizational cultures and measuring employee opinions. As a noted voice on human-centered leadership, she has written for Harvard Business Review and has been quoted in Forbes, Fast Company, BBC Worklife, and other national media.

Please join me in welcoming Gena Cox.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is about relationships and understanding how to help a group accomplish something.”
  • how a passing conversation with a former employee made Gena realize she was not a very good leader by not being accessible.
  • how anyone can see and value life experiences even if you have not personally experienced them.
  • the impact her maternal grandmother had on her and how she encouraged Gena to learn about new things.
  • the three careers she wanted growing up were psychology, journalist/reporter, meteorology, and the journey that led her to psychology.
  • her experience working for a newspaper in Barbados covering business stories and politics.
  • how growing up on a small island changed her perspective on the world.
  • why she decided to move to the US for college and her experience of taking a class taught by Arthur Ashe.
  • how she learned that she was Black only after coming to the US and a few experiences where she was called the n-word which was quite jarring. [CONTENT WARNING - racial language]
  • how she built her own practice in an effort to have more time with her daughter and only returned to work after her daughter went to college.
  • the big decision she made in 2020 after the murder of Breonna Taylor was to pivot and help organizations with DEI in organizations instead of only being focused on the human experience in the workplace.
  • why she believes that companies should stop asking for data and instead listen to the stories within their organizations.
  • how she nurtures the outer layers of her network.
  • what she is looking forward to in the year ahead.
  • why she says she “came out as Black” and the importance of those words for her.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jul 19, 2022

Today’s guest believes growth requires both vision and action.

Her goal is to change the trajectory of people's lives and careers for the better. She works with C-level executives and other senior leaders who want to expand their professional and personal capacity; tackle bigger, more complex challenges; grow as humans so they can grow as leaders; to cross new thresholds of performance.

As an expert in executive coaching and career development, she coaches C-suite executives and other senior leaders across the globe. In addition to several venture-backed startups, her clients have included Clorox, DocuSign, Dropbox, and Google. She is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and

Please join me in welcoming Rebecca Zucker.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is caring enough to step up.”
  • why she believes empathy is a huge part of leadership.
  • the restrictions she grew up with for being born female.
  • not being taken seriously as a woman in finance, including transferring to an international office within the company.
  • how she used her network of university and business school alumni all pre-internet.
  • how she navigated France as an ex-pat when she transferred to an investment banking career.
  • her year off, living in France, and becoming a gig worker, and how that led her to entrepreneurship.
  • how she began her coaching business in earnest after her current job was going under.
  • how she and her business partner, Heather, complement each other in business.
  • why she enjoys mentoring people and is always on the lookout for quality talent.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.
  • how she accomplished getting published consistently in Harvard Business Review.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the next year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jul 10, 2022

Today’s guest believes you can find inspiration through honest conversation.

Before becoming the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Inspired Purpose Coaching, he was a finance and strategy executive working with some of the worlds leading life sciences companies. Along his journey, he also managed small businesses and ran a financial consulting company.

He is a trusted advisor, coach, experience creator, author, podcast host, and speaker. He brings together over 25 years of business and management experience, formal training, and extreme curiosity to elevate leaders and equip them with the tools to navigate through change and unlock their true potential.

He is the host of The Virtual Campfire podcast and the author of “Climbing The Right Mountain: Navigating the Journey to An Inspired Life.”

Please join me in welcoming Tony Martignetti.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is serving others with compassion, courage, and curiosity.”
  • leading with your heart.
  • the world unlocks when you realize that the people you admire are not infallible.
  • how he grew up as an artistic kid and created worlds throughout his childhood.
  • how freeform play shaped his childhood and creativity.
  • switching gears in college from pre-med to business.
  • a quick deep dive into the three businesses he has started.
  • making the realization that he couldn’t do everything on his own.
  • how Tony built up his network and community.
  • his favorite quote is “amateurs compete and professionals create” and how that propelled him to build tribes.
  • his ideal client and his best referral.
  • the importance of not niching down at the beginning of the entrepreneurship journey.
  • how he feels supported by his network “success happens where opportunity meets preparation and connection.”
  • how he nurtures the outer layers of his network.
  • what he’s looking forward to in the next year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jul 4, 2022

Today’s guest is a serial entrepreneur and conscious explorer.

During the pandemic, she launched Quantum Surfing, a powerful mix of neuroscience, quantum mechanics, and applied enlightenment—spiritual principles grounded in science so they're repeatable. She helps visionary entrepreneurs predictably create lucky outcomes, get the clarity to execute swiftly, and have the mindset to step into next-level impact. It’s a revolutionary method for success in life and business.

She has also founded Tavola Villa in Fiji—her living dream of a global sanctuary for people to be recharged by the wild and soulful islands that have captured her own heart. There she hosts Stillness Retreats, combining the mysticism of Fiji, the rebel spirit of Silicon Valley, and the transformative inventiveness of the story.

Please join me in welcoming Monica Laurence.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is not only leading yourself but having a vision where you’re inviting others to be on the journey with you in a way that brings them to life.”
  • how setting people free to make choices and how that creates an amazing leadership experience.
  • her first taste of leadership from being the oldest child and the oldest grandchild of 25.
  • the perspective of leadership as a young girl and being called “bossy”.
  • her desire to be a fashion designer and how she ultimately became a computer scientist.
  • her passion for connecting with people and how that led to her returning to business school focusing on strategy and entertainment.
  • how she seized an opportunity to work at Lucas Films.
    how working in a startup let her create a structure of working that worked for her and her family.
  • why she created Quantum Surfing, a mindset training for entrepreneurs.
  • the many different influences on how she has created her framework.
  • the connection between mindset work and surfing.
    how “unusual experiences” can begin to make sense.
  • how she bought a resort right before the pandemic and ended up staying in Fiji for almost two years.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the next year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jun 27, 2022

Today’s guest was forced to figure out how she fits in the world.

She started her second career as a means of survival. Fighting discrimination, harassment, and homelessness she found employment as a part-time associate and then rose to national VP of Diversity and Inclusion in less than 5 years at PNC Bank. She captured this process of career development in her new award-winning book and online course called “Empowering Differences.”

She has worked tirelessly to promote awareness and acceptance of gender identity and expression. She serves on the Corporate Advisory Council for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce and is the immediate past chair for NGLCC’s global TGX Initiative. In 2019, she was voted on the National Board of Directors for GLAAD.

She speaks locally and nationally about her transition, workplace equality, leadership, change management, and empowerment. She has also been interviewed in several publications and media outlets, including Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Business Journal, ABC, and CBS.

Please join me in welcoming Ashley T Brundage.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is someone who drives empowerment for people. They understand the APP of empowerment; authority, power, and how that connects to people.”
  • the importance of empowering others and yourself.
  • how she spent most of her youth hiding.
  • her start in the restaurant business to avoid going to college and being seen in the world.
  • her losing her job, and house, and how being homeless changed her outlook on life.
  • how she came out as trans to her children when they were 5 and 3.
  • the journey of trying to find a new job after coming out and how that led to her research in empowerment.
  • how she used her own story and connected it to her research while working at PNC Bank.
  • her goal to replace her PNC salary by creating a solid exit strategy.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network, including some fantastic LinkedIn tips on growing your network.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the next year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jun 20, 2022

Today’s guest loves solving the hardest puzzles, from crosswords to jigsaws to the meaning of life.

He is a four-time New York Times bestselling author, including "The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World" and "The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible."

His TED talks have been seen more than 10 million times. He writes for popular publications, including The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and New York magazine. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and CNN.

Please join me in welcoming A.J. Jacobs.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is a suitcase word - it can mean a whole bunch of things. My favorite kind of leadership is mentorship.”
  • tips on how to engage a mentor, including adding a bit of humor.
  • how curiosity and openness made him a better leader.
    the experience of being friends with and navigating very different social circles.
  • his origins of wanting to be a writer and his start as an author.
  • his journey of reading the encyclopedia Brittanica to try and learn everything.
  • the process of pitching his first book, including almost not pitching it.
  • how relationships and networking led to his first TED talk, and how he almost deleted the invitation.
  • finding his 12th cousin - another email where a “crazy email” led to something great.
  • how he pitched “sex advice from the bible” to Glamour and not only did it get accepted but received millions of views.
  • his cadence for creating projects in his life and business.
    the need for social interaction and why it’s so important.
  • how he nurtures and sustains the outer layers of his network.
  • what he is looking most forward to in the next year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Jun 13, 2022

Today’s guest considers herself an accidental advocate, motivating others to embrace the kind of social behaviors that trigger societal shifts.

Experienced in fostering open dialogue in professional settings, she helps build awareness and visibility of equity, diversity, inclusion, and cultural competencies that serve as a foundation for improved collaboration, cooperation, and communication.

She is an inclusion activist whose TEDx Talk “Coming Out of Your Closet” became a viral sensation. Her intrepid, relatable, and intrinsically comical style has made her an in-demand speaker, including events at Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, and keynoting an LGBTQ Conference at Harvard University.

She is a speaker, equality advocate, and author of “Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader.”

Please join me in welcoming Ash Beckham.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is both a willingness and an ability to be the example.”
  • how she learned to be an example of leadership while playing basketball in high school. “Heart doesn’t score baskets.”
  • understanding the world outside of our responsibility.
  • finding greatness in a supportive role.
  • her desire to work in corporate America because her parents were entrepreneurs.
  • how she learned that there wasn’t only one way to be.
  • her first business owning a vegan Indian food cart.
  • what she learned at her first Ignite event about being passionate while delivering a message.
  • how to support and be visible authentically as a member of the LGBTQ+ community and avoid paralysis of politeness.
  • how Ash nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.
  • how she incorporates networking into the micro moments of her day.
  • what she’s looking forward to in the next year.

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Jun 6, 2022

Today’s guest is a maven, passionate about learning and sharing what she’s learned.

She is an accumulator of knowledge with an emphasis on technology, communication, and organization. She wants her team and her community to have access to the tools, resources, and information that will make their lives and jobs easier. She believes there is nothing better than helping someone else feel empowered with a new skill and newfound confidence.

Relationships are important to her, and working in a collaborative team environment excites her every day.

On a personal note, today’s guest is also my wife. My business success is possible because I have her ongoing support and encouragement.

Please join me in welcoming Jess M. Samuels.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is knowing what kind of leader to be. It’s being organized to see other people’s visions come to fruition. I lead from the middle.”
  • her experience in school learning academics through the creative process.
  • her college experience and going in undecided while following a science path just in case that’s what she wanted to do.
  • how she became involved in Residence Life in her second year in college.
  • her learning how to speak out in more creative ways.
    discovering how to make a plan to dive into Residence Life.
  • the confidence Jess built in the position.
    the experience of nurturing her network in a big city (Boston, MA).
  • what she learned during her 12-year position at Simmons College.
  • how she transitioned into EdTech.
  • her strategy of using her network to connect with people in the EdTech field.
  • how she grows and nurtures her network.

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May 24, 2022

Today’s guest is a Certified Virtual Event Professional who clears the tech headache from virtual events so his clients can deliver an engaging message.

As the founder of Calm Clear Communications, he produces virtual events for professional organizations. He has over 25 years of experience supporting business communication and technology strategy and has worked with corporate executives, compliance officers, and small businesses. He excels at engagingly conveying complex concepts.

He is involved in TEDxDetroit and Toastmasters, and hosts “Calm Clear Conversations” a LinkedIn Live interview show. To round out his modern Renaissance man talents, he is also a professional voice actor.

Please join me in welcoming Christopher G. Johnson.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to teach, engage, nurture, and help others to grow.”
  • how being engaged changes the way he shows up.
  • why he selected Architecture as his focus of study in high school and how that led to finding his passion in technology.
  • his throughline of helping people with technology issues and how that is the cornerstone of his leadership style.
  • his start in a local radio station and how that sparked a journey into learning about sports.
  • when the pandemic shuttered his IT auditing business.
  • how having a deep understanding of technology helped to build his confidence when starting his own business.
  • realizing that supporting his clients is not the only part of running a business - he had to be the CEO.
  • why he chose to sign up for Robbie’s Wake Up Your Network Mastermind.
  • the difference between yes, no, and nuance when asking questions.
  • why continued learning is his favorite part of being an entrepreneur.
  • how he nurtures and sustains the outer layers of his network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

May 18, 2022

Today’s guest is on a big mission to change the academic culture from negativity and chronic stress to one where people express their unique brilliance and live a joyful, happy life.

She grew up in Berlin, Germany, and completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in Munich before relocating to the US to pursue her passion for brain research. She is an Associate Professor at an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center in the US. She is also the founder and head coach at Team Leadership In Research, a business that delivers leadership and management training programs for academic research teams.

She became a personal development and leadership nerd during her postdoctoral training, initially to increase her competitiveness for faculty appointments. She discovered she could use these strategies to create a happier, balanced life, AND increase her chances of success. That led her to train as a life coach to help other academics to achieve similar results.

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Stefanie Robel.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership means having a vision and taking responsibility to get there. Leadership starts with leading yourself.”
  • when she discovered her leadership capabilities during riding lessons in her teens.
  • the importance of communication in entrepreneurial relationships.
  • how her parents influenced her studies in the sciences.
  • how she found her people - entrepreneurs and business owners - after moving to the US.
  • her finding out that the overwhelm she felt was completely within her control to change once she learned to change her mindset.
  • the joy she gets from empowering others.
  • how she learned to sell, which helped her build her confidence and her business.
  • the mastermind that helped her build relationships outside of academia and in entrepreneurship.
  • how she turned contacts into thriving relationships and connections.
  • why she loves having and is always on the lookout for new mentors.
  • her personal policy of helping someone before she needs to ask for help.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

May 12, 2022

Today’s guest specializes in small business and entrepreneurship.

She’s an independent journalist and author who has contributed to publications such as Fortune (where she has written the David vs. Goliath column), Money, CNBC, Inc., Forbes, AARP Life Reimagined, Crain’s New York Business, Dr. Oz, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, and a variety of other outlets on the topics of entrepreneurship and careers. She is also a ghostwriter and collaborative editor.

She was twice nominated for the National Magazine Award for her features and edited the magazine’s website, building its traffic from 2 million to 5 million page views per month. She is co-founder of the $200KFreelancer blog, a site to help independent professionals earn a good living, and of the editing service EmergencyEditor. She is the author of “Tiny Business, Big Money,” and “The Million-Dollar, One-Person Business.”

Please join me in welcoming Elaine Pofeldt.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is being able to put the good of the group above all else. It’s also being open to what others’ gifts are.”
  • the importance of trust in the growth process.
  • being a freelancer and having to build our own communities through networking.
  • mastering the business side of creative entrepreneurship.
  • how her career has evolved over the years and the big break of working with Fortune Small Business.
  • her thoughts on the idea of being an “overnight success”.
    the difference between freelancing and entrepreneurship.
  • how she “accidentally,” wrote her first book by writing profiles on small business owners.
  • publishing her first book with Random House after being denied by 19 other publishers.
  • the pain points of freelancing and growing to the point of having to take on a team.
  • the importance of finding the best way to communicate with your teams. There is a lot of wiggle room to curate your own life.
  • tips on how to nurture and sustain the outer levels of her network.

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May 6, 2022

Today’s guest is inspired by seeing others harness what makes them extraordinary as human beings.

He teaches people how to navigate the challenge of leadership. He draws on his 25-year career in the Royal Air Force and over 14 years of partnering with businesses around the world. He has worked in a wide range of sectors including aviation, oil & gas, construction, mining, banking, television, film, and media.

Today he is a keynote speaker and facilitator presenting around the world and virtually. He co-authored his first book “Find Your Why” with Simon Sinek and David Mead. Published in September 2017, it has been translated into more than 25 languages and has sold over 420,000 copies. He was a founding Igniter at Simon Sinek Inc. working with Simon for over seven years.

His latest book, “Leading From The Jumpseat: How to Create Extraordinary Opportunities by Handing Over Control,” delivers the message that leadership is about lifting people up and giving them the space they need so that, when the time is right, they can take the lead.

Please join me in welcoming Peter Docker.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to lift up others so when the time is right, they can take the lead.”
  • being selected as an officer in the Royal Air Force.
  • specific examples of times leaders need to give up control.
  • the difference between leading from a place of love rather than a place of fear.
  • the people in his early life that helped to shape him to be the man he is today.
  • his initial plans to go to university prior to joining the Royal Air Force.
  • the values he holds deeply important in his life.
  • how he began working with Simon Sinek.
  • the importance of having trust in others.
  • how he supports and nurtures the outer levels of his networks.
  • the relationship between feeling a sense of belonging and innovation.

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May 2, 2022

Today’s guest helps people be better humans.

She is an accidental marketer, ex-corporate executive, and multi-potentialite with a smart mouth and a willingness to shout what most will only quietly think. She spent much of the last two decades working in marketing for startups and large organizations, and left that world in a blaze of glory, on a mission to get the business world to focus on the humanity of their teams and put people over profits.

She works with new leaders and visionary experienced execs who want to transform their workplaces into humancentric powerhouses by implementing lucid leadership and people-first practices and policies.

She is loud, proud, heavily caffeinated, and usually not safe for work, although she will try to be for this interview.

Please join me in welcoming Anne Bono.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is creating simplicity while managing complexity.”
  • how being thrust into a leadership role helped her develop her leadership skills.
  • her desperate desire to be kind to others.
  • how she’s always been pulled into situations to lead and support others.
  • her experience attending Yale and feeling like an underachiever.
  • how she accidentally set herself up into being a CMO.
  • how her first agency helped authors market their book launches
  • the pressure of perfection when one is a marketer.
  • her transition from corporate to coaching and consulting.
  • how getting fired set her on a path to open her current company.
  • who her dream clients are.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.
  • her passionate answer of where she sees herself in one year.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Apr 24, 2022

Today’s guest believes relationships are at the heart of everything she does.

She knows that you can't be successful in business, or in life unless you are successful in cultivating winning relationships.

She is a sought-out executive coach and leadership expert who helps leaders achieve outstanding results through the power of their professional relationships. At last count, she and her company, SkyeTeam, have supported the development of more than 10,000 leaders from 20 countries and on 6 continents.

She’s the award-winning author of three books: “Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships,” “The Future-Proof Workplace,” and her latest book “You, Me, We: Why we all need friends at work (and how to show up as one!).” She's recognized by Thinkers360 and PeopleHum as an HR Thought Leader to Watch.

Please join me in welcoming Morag Barrett.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership means being the best I can be in this moment in order to help you be the best you can be so that we can succeed together.”
  • the moment she decided to hold her head up high physically and metaphorically.
  • the awe she still feels when being called a thought leader.
    recognizing imposter syndrome in her personal life and business life.
  • how she seized the opportunity and moved her family to the US.
  • how seizing the moment helped to skyrocket her finance and banking career.
  • her bridge from being a numbers person to being a people and relationships person.
  • how being fired from her job propelled her to start her own business.
  • how and why she named her company SkyeTeam
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer layers of her network.
  • her three-step process for life and business - look up, show up, and step up.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Apr 19, 2022

Today’s guest has made a career of making the very complex awesomely simple.

He has spent the last three decades helping companies and people be more successful. He serves his clients as an executive coach, training facilitator, keynote speaker, and strategy advisor. Recognized as one of the top business thought leaders and leadership development experts in the world, he was named by the American Management Association as one of America's Top 50 Leaders to Watch along with Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google and Jeff Bezos of Amazon.

He has been a guest lecturer at more than 90 colleges and universities, including MIT,

Stanford, Cornell, and the Wharton School of Business. He has been the owner or CEO of five companies and currently serves as a board member or adviser to several organizations.

Please join me in welcoming John Spence.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is when you become a living example of what you hope your followers will one day become.”
  • how being selected captain of his football team helped him establish himself as a leader.
  • how he went from extreme success in high school to failing out of college.
  • the three key points that changed the trajectory of his college career.
  • his first job and becoming CEO of that organization shortly thereafter.
  • the impact of his parents on his life and entrepreneurship goals.
  • the three things he believes are the essence of excellence - focus, discipline, and action.
  • the actions he takes to grow his network and stay connected with them.
  • why doing things you enjoy is such an important trait in business.
  • how he finds and chooses mentees and the assignment he gives each potential mentee.
  • his thoughts surrounding adaptability and how important it is.
  • an incredible statistic he learned about reading.

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Apr 11, 2022

Today’s guest has reinvented herself many times.

She is a best-selling author, executive communications coach, motivational speaker, podcast host, and Emmy award-winning journalist. Her television career spanned 28 years and featured many memorable highlights including one-on-one interviews with prominent figures ranging from professional athletes to global political leaders including President Barack Obama as well as cultural icons such as Oprah Winfrey. She also co-anchored the #1 rated 6 pm newscast at WCVB-TV, NewsCenter 5, and the ABC affiliate in Boston.

She is the author of “Dare to Own You: Taking Your Authenticity and Dreams into Your Next Chapter.” In this book, she shares that every experience—good or bad, every career step we’ve taken all adds up to experience and skills. All of it is valuable knowledge and can be used to re-create one’s next chapter...if one is willing to think differently about their experiences and can connect the dots, discover the themes and patterns that exist.

Please join me in welcoming Liz Brunner.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “There’s a leader living within all of us. We are not born knowing how to lead, we learn it. Leadership is a journey.”
  • her one-time political adversary, Charlie Brown.
  • how her ancestry has influenced her life.
  • her humble beginnings of being a high school music teacher.
  • the bravery it took for Liz to quit her safe job and apply for her first television job.
  • how she connects the themes and patterns of all the different jobs in her life.
  • an interesting exercise she does as personal development and waking up her network.
  • her many mentors, how she finds them, and the lessons she has learned about herself in the process.
  • her love of networking events and the importance of networking.
  • a LinkedIn tip to clarify the job you’re looking for.
    how she stays in touch with her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Apr 4, 2022

Today’s guest teaches women how to be badass entrepreneurs!  She believes women have the power to change their financial picture by building profit in their business.

She specializes in supporting successful six-figure service-based business owners to make profit a priority using her proprietary CRUSH Formula. She is a profit coach and money-making strategist with over 14 years in PR & marketing, finance strategy, and business development.

She is the host of “She Needs Grit” a podcast for entrepreneurs to explore, learn about, and implement actionable takeaways in each of the four pillars of business success -  grit, confidence, strategy, and simplicity. Each client she works with has a different story, but her heart lights up when she sees her clients truly understand they are able to create the reality of their dreams.

Please join me in welcoming Samantha Varner.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is leading by example. It’s demonstrating skill and inviting them to follow your example.”
  • the first time Samantha found herself in a position to lead and motivate others at a mere 20 years old.
  • how her birth order prepared her for future leadership roles.
  • her initial desire to work in law but finding communications in the process.
  • her experience moving from Canada to Australia to Texas.
    growing up with an example of entrepreneurship from her father.
  • the value of community and how to use it to your advantage.
  • how she started in the finance world and why she empowers women to look at their finances.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer layers of her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Mar 29, 2022

Today’s guest has been called "The da Vinci of visionary leadership".

Named among the top eight global experts in leadership and shortlisted for the Distinguished Award in Leadership by Thinkers50, he is a global thought leader, author, business educator, consultant, and C-suite coach.

He is helping companies to create and execute their vision, and achieve superior business performance. You can find him on Global Gurus Top 30 in Leadership and is the #1 Global Leading Coach (Marshall Goldsmith Thinkers50).

His research identifies entrepreneurs’ and managers’ strategic needs in the areas of leadership and helps leaders to become the masters of the future and achieve new levels of success. He is the author of five books including “The Vision Code,” “LEADEROLOGY,” and “Corporate Superpower.”

Please join me in welcoming Oleg Konovalov.

In this episode we discuss:

his thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is not about solving for today. Leadership is defining what the future will be and how to lead people into that future.”
Oleg’s focus on thinking forward and how to unlock your mindset to be a better leader.
why it’s OK to be a troublemaker.
his focus on being of service to those around him.
why his favorite saying is “if you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” and why that’s important to him.
Oleg’s interesting take on accolades and awards vs. always working hard.
his collaboration with his colleague, John Spence, who I will be interviewing in a future episode.
Oleg’s definition of coaching and why he only coaches people in specific topics.
how he uses time zones to his advantage for connecting and engaging with others.
how he nurtures and sustains the outer layers of his network.

Mar 22, 2022

Today’s guest helps leaders and teams become the best of who they are and what they do.

She is the founder and owner of Cognitas, an executive and team coaching firm. Her clients include premier brands such as Adobe, Netflix, PwC, Gap, Dropbox, Stripe, and numerous high-growth start-ups. She specializes in helping her clients lead and thrive in fast-paced, constantly changing, and uncertain environments.

Earlier in her career, she was a management consultant with PwC and led numerous teams and projects to help companies scale and implement large-scale strategic change. Following that, she held executive-level positions at both a digital marketing agency and a private equity firm.

In her coaching practice, she helps leaders and teams create adaptive solutions that address their most pressing challenges, enhance their effectiveness, and capitalize on opportunities.

She is a regular contributor to HBR, Fast Company, and Forbes, writing about leadership and strategies for high performance.

Please join me in welcoming Dina Denham Smith.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is a choice or a stance, not a title. Leaders inspire others to follow through free-will, not authority.”
  • her mentors throwing her to the “deep end” in her job and how that affected her leadership skills.
  • the lessons her dad has shared with her, including the power of purpose.
  • growing up at an all-boys boarding school where her parents taught.
  • how she chose her field in college and all the things she had considered being entrepreneurially-minded.
  • how an internship and experience at PwC led to a full-time offer.
  • her dedication for wanting to improve people’s experience at their jobs because they spend the majority of their time working.
  • her tips on equipping oneself with a toolbox to be the very best at anything.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer layers of her network.
  • why she feels networking is a loaded word and should be rebranded.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Mar 14, 2022

Today’s guest is passionate about helping thought leaders, business leaders, and podcast hosts design and elevate their podcast presence.

She is a podcasting coach & consultant with deep experience in podcasting and content creation. She built Spartan's podcast from zero to over 35 million views and downloads and has worked on a range of projects from social media advisor on a gubernatorial campaign, to creating the documentary film "Flood Bound", to directing TV ads for Vermont Lottery.

On her podcast "Grounded Content" she explores what works, what drives customer actions, and where the lines are between persuasion and manipulation.

Please join me in welcoming Marion Abrams.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is keeping everyone focused on the ultimate goal.”
  • how growing up in a small town instilled some very important values in her life.
  • the best library story you might ever hear in your life.
  • her college experience, including transferring to three different schools in 3 years.
  • her love of film, and eventually, podcast.
  • the circumstances around why and how she started a podcast.
  • the importance of knowing and understanding goals along with the resources available to you.
  • her passion for directing the podcast experience.
  • how to create a truly engaging experience for both your podcast guest and your audience.
  • how she nurtures and sustains her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Mar 7, 2022

Today’s guest knows the power of mentorship and self-development.

He started his first company right out of college in advertising.  He eventually pivoted from advertising into technology and now is a business automation consultant. He is big on self-development and loves to inspire people to get out of their comfort zone, through speaking engagements or coaching and mentoring.

He is a master connector with over 17,000 contacts on his phone and over 13,000 connections on LinkedIn. He contributes much of his successes to a strong work ethic, a can-do, never-quit attitude, discipline, integrity, and fearlessness that he cultivated in the martial arts. He does a LinkedIn Live broadcast every week called the Master Connections Series.

Please join me in welcoming Steve Spiro.

In this episode we discuss:

  • his thoughts on leadership: “My leadership is a work in progress. Leaders empower and develop people instead of managing them.”
  • the two biggest sources of his experience; working at his dad’s store and karate.
  • his experience not being the guy that was picked for things and how that contributed to his growth and his empathy.
  • how he reinvented himself at camp because he had the freedom of being around people that didn’t know him.
  • his education experience and his shift from childhood anonymity to being a master connector.
  • a life-changing trip to Ireland during his advertising career and how he met his mentor (his GPS).
  • understanding the impact of relationships and connections.
    his deep mission for wanting to impact others.
  • solid advice for how to get started with any mentor.
  • the difference between coach & mentor.
  • how he nurtures and sustains his vast network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Mar 1, 2022

Today’s guest’s mission is to open event leaders' minds and hearts to the possibility within them.

She is a 2x TEDx speaker and host of the popular podcast From Fear to Fire. She stimulates vibrant energy, focus, and action for those who want to collaborate effectively, lead change, and achieve massive results. She is an international speaker, behavioral expert, author of several books, including “Where's the Office?: Moving Today's Leaders from What IS to What CAN BE.”

With expertise in virtual, hybrid, and live events, as well as her focus on helping individuals and companies break through fears, judgments, and blocks to reach sales and leadership success, her innovative keynotes are in high demand during these changing times.

Please join me in welcoming Heather Hansen O'Neill.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is the ability to lead oneself in a way that comes from character and showing up so that it inspires and energizes others to be better leaders.”
  • why she asks her teams how would they solve a problem.
    the importance of embracing who you are in order to move forward.
  • how she had to calm herself down growing up and learned to express herself through dance and using her body as her voice.
  • the importance of being grounded and going deeper inside oneself.
  • her college experience and making a huge decision honoring herself and what she wanted and needed.
  • the end of her dance career and deciding on entrepreneurship as the next step.
  • the journey of finding a mentor and following through on his advice and building her business.
  • her strategies in networking.
  • how she nurtures and sustains her network along with some great suggestions to nurture your own network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

Feb 21, 2022

Today’s guest believes in the importance of building strategic partnerships.

She is a virtual and in-person networking trainer and an international speaker. As an expert in business networking and relationship marketing for 15+ years, she has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs at TEAM Referral Network in Southern California teaching them how to network in the most lucrative way.

She is the author or co-author of five books including “High Level Networking: Strategies to Build Referral Relationships and Joint Venture Partnerships, and Grow Your Email List.” Today, she works with professionals with borderless boundary businesses from all of North America, the UK, Australia, South Africa, and beyond.

Please join me in welcoming Terilee Harrison.

In this episode we discuss:

  • her thoughts on leadership: “Leadership is when you show up in a group/team context and show up with your giftings (tech, facilitator, consistency).”
  • her experience in 6th grade that set her on her leadership trajectory.
  • what her initial plans for her career were when she was in college.
  • her initial career in collections.
  • how she unlocked her audience after discovering her passion for networking.
  • why she feels referral networking is hardcore networking.
  • the importance of growing your email list.
  • how we met and although we serve different niches, our ideas work in tandem.
  • how she nurtures and sustains the outer levels of her network.

Listen, subscribe and read show notes at

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