(UB026): Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers The World’s Best Companies. Featuring Denise Yohn - Brand Leadership Expert, Speaker and Author.

April 23, 2018

Don’t miss Denise Yohn, the go-to expert on brand-building for national media outlets, an in-demand speaker and consultant, and an influential writer. In addition to FUSION, she is the author of the bestselling book What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest and the e-book Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do.

News media including FOX Business TV, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal , and NPR call on Denise when they want an expert point-of-view on hot business issues and I'm thrilled to have her sharing her tips and tricks with our listeners on this episode.

Today we sound off about:

  • How the war for talent has led to a more intentional focus on culture within the business world
  • Why it's important for companies to understand the impact that Culture has on Brand
  • What leaders at the top of an organization need to understand about their role in driving a single vision for their organization and why they can no longer delegate Culture and Brand to HR and Marketing exclusively
  • The power of combining vision, culture and brand together to ensure a company is living their brand inside and out
  • Why honest leaders are still questioning the strategic link between culture and business results

Tips, Tools and Resources:

  • Foundational steps leaders should take in order to integrate their brand and culture
  • 5 Strategies for achieving Brand culture fusion
  • Specific questions leaders can ask when trying to align vision, culture and brand
  • Free access to Denise's Brand Assessment can be found here

(UB025): Psychology and Leadership: How a disadvantaged and troubled childhood became a Leadership Superpower when it comes to growing her people. Featuring Lisa Myers, CEO and Founder @ Verve Search

April 22, 2018

Follow along as Lisa Myers, CEO and Founder of the SEO Agency Verve Search, shares the story of how her childhood led to an intense focus on understanding what drives, motivates and inspires people. From a young age she knew she was going to be a leader but the path to becoming an award winning agency hasn’t always been easy.

Today we sound off about:


  • Being Female in a Male Dominated Industry: Including examples of being targeted negatively because of her gender, specific things that were said and done along the way, how she choose to pick her battles
  • Having a People Focused Vision: Why she started her own business as a way to prove to others that her vision had credibility and would lead to success
  • Leading Through Growth: The biggest challenges she’s faced ensuring her company was people focused through times of quick growth
  • Psychology in Business: Why she relies so heavily on cognitive and behavioral psychology as a leader and why you should too
  • Compelling Message: The message she’s compelled to share with other leaders and how she was able to achieve a Mic Drop Moment that would make most leaders envious

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Characteristics of a Good Manager: Including how she grooms leaders & why it’s important to focus on people who have the makings of a naturally good leaders
  • Fitting People Into Boxes: Why you’ll have more success as a leader if you stop trying to fit people into a box
  • Seeing Potential in Others: How to elevate people who can't see their own potential
  • Healthy Conflict in Companies: Why she forced her entire company to spend an hour arguing and why they were better off for doing it
  • Rubber Band Theory: The power of stretching people past their comfort zone and seeking out leaders who have had tough life experiences
  • Authenticity: Stop worrying about what others think, start being more ‘you’ and use human emotion to better connect and inspire others

(UB024) Using Customer Feedback to Fuel Success: Increasing the odds of a powerful product launch with help from customers. Featuring Belsasar Lepe, SVP of Product and Solutions @Ooyala

April 18, 2017

Join in as Belsasar talks about his journey starting and growing his own business in a competitive environment that required them to find and utilize their biggest advantage - their customers and the customers of their competitors.


  • How his family history shaped his aversion to ‘serial entrepreneurship” and led other leaders to dub him one of the “hardest working people I’ve ever met”
  • Why they try to learn from their competitors in the space ‘by proxy’ and how they get in front of customers who are using other platforms
  • Why listening to customers who had been brutally honest in the past led to a stronger product launch
  • A Mic Drop Moment that proved that sometimes it’s okay to push hard on customers



Customer Experience:

  • How they ensure they’re meeting the needs of their customers through experimentation
  • Why they don’t like to go more than a month without getting a product in front of their customers value getting products and updates in front of their customers early and often
  • How understanding your customers competitors sets you ahead
  • Using customer feedback to amplify your success
  • How Agile methodologies help improve customer experience

Tips, Tools & Resources:


  • Net Promoter Score: How to use it to gather customer feedback and what to do with the data collected
  • Top 3 Tips: For leaders who care about customer experience
  • Hiring Athletes: Why they make the best teammates in business



(UB023) Becoming a Best Place to Work: How one CEO took his company to the #1 slot in the country and what it would take for you to do the same thing. Featuring Shawn Boyer, Founder @ Snagajob

April 4, 2017

Listen in as Shawn Boyer talks about why it was important for his company to become a Best Place to Work and how it allowed them to beat their competitors and bring in high returns for their investors. We dive deep into the relationship between this CEO and his Chief People Officer to better understand how that partnership led to such high levels of success.

Join us as we sound off about:


  • Why Shawn made culture such a high priority and how it led to them having over 65 million profiles on their site and over 200,000 companies using their services
  • The story of the day Snagajob found out they were the #1 Best Place to Work in the country in the small and medium category.
  • Why being on the Best Place to Work list mattered to Shawn and when he set that goal for the company
  • What being on the list does to employees and how it’s a double edged sword for leaders
  • What he does when employees want something he can’t give them
  • The role storytelling and testimonials played in keeping employees and leaders connected to the mission of the company
  • How he took his vision for creating a great culture and turned it into a reality
  • The impact his Chief of People had on their ability to become a Best Place to Work and why he’s glad he hired a CPO as early as he did

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Advice to the CEO: Tips and guidance for the CEO of a small company who wants to be known for having a great culture
  • 4 Characteristics of a good Chief People Officer: Seriously, don’t miss out on this part of the podcast
  • Engagement Surveys and Pulse Checks: How they gathered employee feedback at Snagajob, their strategy and process for capturing data and doing something with it including the role of the Culture Team on collecting cross departmental feedback
  • Organizational Alignment: How they cascaded their Mission Statement with values, vision, a 3 year plan, a 1 year plan and goals to make sure there was a strong correlation between the heart of the business and the quantitative data and measures. Why this allowed their employees to connect with the mission of the company in an emotional way
  • Keeping HR From Being Marginalized: How he made sure the CPO was seen and treated as an important asset to by his senior leadership team and the rest of his company



(UB022) Resiliency and Perseverance: How a kid from foster care became a Navy SEAL, CEO & motivational speaker to leaders all over the world. Featuring John McGuire, CEO @ Seal Team Physical Training

March 21, 2017

Don’t miss the amazing story of a leader who has overcome a lot on his journey to success - the foster system, being the underdog at boot camp, becoming a Navy SEAL, 29 broken bones including a neck and being told he’d never walk again. His story is truly inspirational and is packed with solid leadership advice that helped one team increase sales 40%.

Today John sounds off about the following stories:

  • Why his desire for family drove him to become a Navy SEAL
  • Three crazy boot camp stories including why he and his bunkmates had to be “Quiet Ninjas”
  • How he made sure he had enough mental and physical strength to achieve his goal of being a SEAL
  • How and why he hustled to start his physical training company which has expanded to six cities and has had up to 210 people in a single class
  • Why the Discovery Channel is creating a documentary about his work
  • How he made it through a neck injury that caused the doctors to say he’d never live through the night or walk again

(UB021) Transforming a Struggling Company: How one leader proved that the right focus on people and process can turn any company around. Featuring Ryan Hagan, COO @Qualtrax

March 7, 2017

Don’t miss Ryan Hagan talk about what he learned leading teams at an ‘idyllic’ company that was growing quickly, had some of the top customer engagement, employee engagement and manager effectiveness scores in the country and was a nationally recognized Best Place to Work. More importantly, hear about how he applied those philosophies to a struggling software company to completely transform the way they do business.

Today we sound off about:


  • Why Ryan took on the challenge of turning around a struggling software company as a way to prove that his methodologies are sound
  • When and why he became focused on being a great leader
  • How the book “Drive” by Daniel Pink changed the way he leads

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Lack of discipline: How it gets companies into trouble
  • Agile Philosophies & Daily Standups: How they helped strengthen the company
  • Performance Review Process: Why they blew theirs up
  • Employee Engagement Surveys: Why they matter and how he uses them
  • Intentional Process Design: How he transformed the product development process, the sales process and the culture
  • Net Promoter Scores: What it is, why and how they use it
  • Strengths Profile and DISC: Two tools that help him build strong relationships with the members of his team
  • One on One’s: Why you need to do them weekly even though you don’t agree
  • Culture Change: The number one thing he’s done


(UB020) Leading with Empathy and Vulnerability: Increasing productivity and connectivity by tapping into the human side of people. Featuring Bart Lorang, CEO @FullContact

February 21, 2017

Listen in as Bart and I sound off about the business power that can be unleashed by tapping into the human side of people.

You’ll hear us talk about:

  • Stories:
    • The powerful story about why he has a conference room named after his grandmother
    • The story of how people reacted the first time he showed vulnerability as a leader and why it changed his perspective
    • The ‘why’ for his business
    • The radical self inquiry he has gone through to get to where he is today
    • Why he’s compelled to share a message of empathy


  • All Things Culture:

    • Including their mission “To Be Awesome with People”
    • The No Asshole RuleThe role of vulnerability
    • Getting employees and customers to feel like they’re part of something bigger



  • Emotion at Work:

    • What it takes as a leader to get employees to open up at work and how Bart leads the charge
    • A specific ‘red’, ‘yellow’, ‘green’ technique Bart and his team use to make sure people are being transparent
    • Why Bart feels comfortable talking about emotion at work and why he thinks you should too
    • How he makes sure he’s connecting with each of his employees


  • Tips, Tools and Resources:

    • Strengthening your EQ - Tips
    • Utilizing a Chief People Officer to decrease the amount of ‘couch time’ he is spending with people
    • The obituary exercise: Outlining the kind of leader you’d like to be
    • Best advice he ever received from a mentor
    • Advice he’d give his 20 year old self if they were having coffee
    • Be Awesome with People

(UB019) The Link Between Employee Engagement and 12 Million Dollars in Growth: CEO & NYT Bestselling Author Kevin Kruse sounds off about why leaders should care about creating powerful engagement

February 7, 2017

Don’t miss out on hearing Kevin talk about how his shift from working ‘in’ his business to working ‘on’ his business allowed him to grow his company to 12 million in revenue in 5 years.

You’ll hear us sound off about:

  • The personal and professional shift that led to Kevin spending more time on leadership, engagement and talent for his company and less time on operations
  • The role that engagement surveys played in the success of his company and why doing them every 6 months made all the difference
  • “The Secret” to designing a strong engagement survey strategy and why you should pick one area to work on for every 3 to 6 month cycle
  • Why so few companies don’t execute on their employee engagement surveys correctly and what it takes to create a strong employee engagement survey strategy
  • What you can learn from Campbell Soup’s rebound and dedicated focus on engagement
  • How to tell if a CEO truly cares about engagement and examples of engagement focused CEO behaviors
  • Kevin’s advice to CEOs who want to take their engagement to the next level
  • Find out why he believes that if you want to change engagement it has to be from the bottom up - and why I disagree with him
  • How he keeps engagement top of mind as CEO of his own company with an ICE Triangle (Investors, Customers, Employees)
  • The mistake he made in his last company by measuring the wrong outcome which led to internal problems around engagement and taught him a big lesson
  • The advice Kevin has for me on the direction of my career
  • His number one piece of advice for you around increasing engagement

(UB018) Customer Loyalty and Employee Engagement: The Correlation between the two and the role great HR Pros play in making it happen. Featuring Aimee Lucas, VP & CX Transformist @ Temkin Group

January 25, 2017

(UB018) Customer Loyalty and Employee Engagement: The Correlation between the two and the role great HR Pros play in making it happen. Featuring Aimee Lucas, VP & CX Transformist @ Temkin Group

Don’t miss out on hearing Aimee talk about the importance of focusing on employee engagement as part of a greater strategy to increase customer loyalty.

You’ll hear us sound off about:

  • Powerful statistics proving that customer experience is stronger when employee engagement is high
  • Why it’s more important than ever to have an HR Pro who partners with the Customer Experience experts in your organization
  • How the HR profession is changing and what that means for organizations who care about customer loyalty
  • How great HR influences engagement
  • The shifting needs within the HR profession
  • The similarities between Customer Experience and Employee Engagement
  • Why it’s important to spend time getting to know your people (customers and employees) Specific questions you can ask people to get a better understanding of their pain points.
  • Three actionable tips for the HR Pro who cares about Engagement
  • Pathways to becoming an Engagement Expert and how people end up being thought leaders and experts in this space
  • Ways to collect data on employee engagement that go beyond the traditional survey

(UB017) Can You Fake EQ By Slowing Down IQ? Is Engagement Art or Science? Has the transition to Holacracy been awesome for Zappos? A must listen mashup featuring Jamie Naughton, Chief of Staff @Zappos

January 11, 2017

(UB017) Can You Fake EQ By Slowing Down IQ? Is Engagement Art or Science? Has the transition to Holacracy been smooth for Zappos? This episode is a must listen mashup. Featuring Jamie Naughton, Chief of Staff @ Zappos

Don’t miss Jamie and I sounding off about:

  • Our reactions to something Sean Knapp, CEO @Ascend.io said in episode #6
  • The debate about whether engagement is art or science
  • Why her initial reaction is that engagement is an art but now that she thinks about it...
  • Whether EQ can be faked if someone slows down their IQ
  • How one leader systematically gets his people to stop and think about how their decisions will impact their employees emotionally
  • Why Zappos hired a social scientist and the value that person added
  • How science helped Zappos create their culture
  • How Tony Hsieh blows her mind and has worked really hard to turn his IQ into EQ
  • The role that listening has played at Zappos
  • Zappos move to self-organization (Holacracy) and the patience and commitment it has taken
  • The reason Zappos made the decision to self-organize and what it is about self organization that allows employees to make decisions quickly
  • Some of the common misunderstandings about Holacracy
  • Biggest challenges they’ve faced switching to self organization and getting employees comfortable with the changes