DiscoverA Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world
A Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world
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A Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world

Author: John Rouda: technical leader, author, speaker, educator

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The ultimate podcast for aspiring leaders in the creative or technology fields. John Rouda discusses leadership topics, interviews some of the greatest minds today and teaches you practical leadership tips, techniques, tricks and hacks to improve motivation, negotiation, and other much needed skills for leaders today.
123 Episodes
Building Better TeamsToday I'm doing a solo show talking about building  better teams.  In this episode  I talk about the following:FoundationInteriorRefinementsExteriorFIRE is the acronym I use when describing building in this talk.  Under each heading I discuss things I feel are important.FoundationLeadership.  Pulling vs. PushingCultural Norms (IT Code)We Act Like an OwnerWe Have Each Other's BackWe Choose People over ProcessWe Question our AssumptionsWe Think Big and Start SmallWe Don't Create Waves, We Ride ThemWe Are Intentional About Our WorkWe Fail Fast and Recover FasterWe Are Not Experts, And Will Keep the Posture of a Student, Always LearningWe Make the Complex Seem SimpleWe Make Life Easier for Those Around UsWe Are Here to Serve, not Be ServedInteriorMotivationCarrots and SticksIf / ThenServing together as a TeamPlaying together as a TeamRefinementsPurposeField TripsBiology of LeadershipExteriorGive Credit to Individuals and TeamNever Blame IndividualsCreate Annual ReportsI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About VennardVennard Wright (PMP, ITIL v3 Practitioner) is currently the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Vice President (VP) of Operations for Iron Bow Technologies.  As CIO/VP of Operations, he provides leadership and oversight for the information technology (IT), order operations and manufacturing functions.  In this capacity, it is his responsibility to transform the management of business technology capabilities and client services to support Iron Bow’s operations by ensuring that service delivery is in full alignment with senior leadership’s strategic goals and objectives.Prior to joining Iron Bow, his professional IT experience was comprised of multiple senior leadership roles which included serving as CIO for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC), CIO for Prince George’s County Government (MD), Director of Technology for Hillary Clinton during her successful United States Senate re-election campaign and subsequent 2008 Presidential Campaign, as well as serving as Director of Technology of Technology during Rushern L. Baker III’s successful run for County Executive of Prince George’s County, MD in 2010.  He was also Chief Technology Officer and Technical Organization Delivery Manager for Electronic Data Systems (EDS), which was subsequently acquired by Hewlett Packard (HP).Mr. Wright has also served as a volunteer and participated in numerous fundraisers and philanthropic efforts for various worthy causes. In addition to more than two decades of IT management experience, Vennard brings an equal amount of hands-on experience in working with young people through myriad avenues.  His experience includes mentoring students in multiple settings. As a USA Track & Field (USATF) Level-One certified coach and USATF certified official, he has coached many young athletes into NCAA scholarships.Because of his work in the technology industry, he has received numerous awards, authored multiple articles and spoken publicly on many topics, ranging from the importance of experiential learning in our educational systems to the changing role that emerging technology plays in future career prospects.Mr. Wright also serves on a number of boards that help to widen his perspective on the latest methods for effectively applying the latest technologies and best practices to solve common enterprise level problems.  He is applying those same principles to solve some of the most vexing IT challenges in the Washington DC Metropolitan region.Vennard Wright resides in Clinton, MD with his wife, Janelle, and four children.Today we talked aboutVennard's backgroundPolitical TechnologyDiverse ExperienceEmpathetic LeadershipCreative MotivationChallenging Team MembersSelf-Awareness360 ReviewsMotivation and Moral CommitteeClear StrategyCadence of AccountabilityLead and Lag MeasuresManagement StandupsProgressive DisciplinePerformance Improvement PlanManaging Them OutCulture of RespectDiversity in TechCoachingFitnessBe FlexibleFocus on Soft SkillsConnect with VennardLinkedInIronBow WebsiteI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About ChristopherChristopher O’Donnell is a technologist, musician and public speaker who has built dozens of web and mobile products. His product portfolio ranges from language learning products for the U.S. military to the most popular free CRM product in the world. Today, Christopher serves as Senior Vice President of Hubspot Product, which he led from startup ($50M in revenue) to successful publicly-traded company ($600M in revenue). Christopher has become a staple in the product management community, and was recently named one of the Best Product Leaders of 2019 (via Comparably). As an experienced leader, he is passionate about leading and supporting teams to build anything, from developing tech products to creating rock & roll records. He is a highly-rated public speaker and a frequent guest lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management and major global corporations, speaking on topics like leadership & team-building to audiences of over ten thousand. Outside of his day job, Christopher spends his time as songwriter and guitarist for his band The Providers, with whom he has recorded dozens of albums across a variety of musical genres.Today We Talked AboutHubspot CultureMusicLeadershipProduct DevelopmentAutonomyCulture of OwnershipThink Like an OwnerUsing the values in speechBuilding Great TeamsAll about the peopleA Diverse Team is more likely to be a high performing teamEveryone is a recruiterAlways raise the barBe Patient when HiringRecruit People Above YouHire People Better that youBe TransparentStretch Your teamGet Feedback - being active about getting the feedbackThe ProvidersConnect with ChristopherLinkedInTwitterBand WebsiteBand InstagramBand TwitterBand FacebookHubSpot JobsI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About Dr. SaundersMartha Dunagin Saunders is the sixth President of the University of West Florida.In her 30-plus years in higher education, she has served as in academic and leadership roles at universities in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and Mississippi. Her area of academic expertise is in public relations and crisis communication for which she has won numerous awards, including two Public Relations Society of America’s coveted Silver Anvils.Saunders led the University of West Florida to its status as a top-performing public universities with the third-highest score in the Florida Board of Governors performance metrics. She established the UWF Innovation Institute, Center for Cybersecurity and the Office of Equity and Diversity. She oversaw the reorganization of the institution’s colleges, and under her guidance, UWF established two new named colleges–the Usha Kundu M.D. College of Health and the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.  Saunders’ vision for UWF is for it to grow beyond its beginnings as a regional comprehensive university and be seen as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge academic programs. She plans to build on the University’s strengths and its undergraduate traditions while creating programs that will attract the faculty and research funding needed to make the leap to the next level.As an entrepreneurial leader, Saunders is passionate about creating innovative solutions to deal with the dynamic challenges facing higher education. As a change maker, she drives action behind these solutions to propel higher education into the future.Today We Talked About:How she got where she is todayWomen in leadershipTechnology degreesAdjunct ProfessorsCenter for Cyber SecurityTrustAgile UniversitySunset ClauseSea3D LabWatch and Learn from both Good and Bad LeadersLearn your industry... not just your jobAdapt, adapt, adapt Connect with Dr. Saunders and University of West FloridaTwitterLinkedInWebsiteI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About SeanSean Walls is currently Vice President of the Cyber Security division for a multi-billion-dollar international standards, QA, digital testing and cybersecurity corporation. He has 19 years of experience in cybersecurity and information technology and is a frequent keynote speaker and advocate for cyber security.Today We Talked About:The importance of influence and relationship building as a CISOQualities to develop if you want to be a CISOAligning security with business prioritiesRisk Management fundamentalsFinding and retaining good talentGive a Career PathGive PraiseHave HumilityHave EmpathyThe expanding attack surface and changing threat landscapeHow to present to the board of directorsWhat is governance in Cyber SecurityConnect with SeanLinkedInTwitterI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About Mike BurrowsAgendashift founder Mike Burrows is known to the Agile and Lean-Agile communities as the author of Kanban from the Inside (2014) and Agendashift (2018), the creator of the Featureban and Changeban simulation games, a keynote speaker at conferences around the world, and as a consultant, coach, and trainer. His new book Right to Left: The digital leader's guide to Lean and Agile is published August 15th, 2019.Today We Talked AboutOur Last EpisodeThe new book!How it relates to previous booksDefinition of DoneExpress in outcome oriented termsWhat it means for Agile ("My kind of Agile": people collaborating over the rapid evolution of working software that is already beginning to meet needs)What I think about the framework wars (or however you would like to describe "framework vs framework")Following on from that, scalingLeadershipServant LeadershipClarity around outcomes and goalsExperience before ExplanationConnect with MikeTwitterBookAgendaShift WebsiteLinkedInI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About CoreyCorey Blake began his storytelling career as an actor, starring in one of the 50 greatest Superbowl commercials of all time (Mountain Dew, Bohemian Rhapsody) and in campaigns for American Express, Miller Beer, Mitsubishi, Wrigley's Gum, Hasbro, and other name brands. Today, Corey is the founder and CEO of Round Table Companies (RTC), the publisher of Conscious Capitalism Press, and a speaker, film director, artist, and storyteller. He has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and his work in storytelling has been quoted/featured in the New York Times, USA Today, and Inc., Forbes, and Wired Magazines. Corey pioneered the business comic book, packaging and publishing dozens of titles—including best sellers by Tony Hsieh, Marshall Goldsmith, and Robert Cialdini, and has spent over a decade helping CEOs, founders, and thought leaders to electrify their brand using the storytelling mediums of books, films, podcasts, and art installations. His work has yielded 15 Independent Publisher Awards, a Belding, a Bronze Lion, and a London International Advertising Award. His articles have been published in Writer Magazine, and on FastCompany, and The Huffington Post. He is the creator of the Vulnerability Wall—whose clients include Microsoft, ADP, Marketo, and Workday—and the Vulnerability is SexyTM card game. His documentary of the same name won 2017 ADDY and HERMES awards for branded content, and his TEDx talk,  has over 20,000 views.  Corey travels around the country delivering keynotes and facilitating storytelling workshops for organizations of all sizes.Today we talked aboutVulnerabilityLeading with LoveLeaning into LearningOwnershipVulnerabilityElevate to BrillianceEnergy of the RoomPresenceSelf RelationshipSafetyTruth - Trust comes from transparencyHumanity in the workplaceGuided Experience - pupConnect with CoreyTwitterWebsiteLinkedIn hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About  WilliamWilliam Ammerman is the author of The Invisible Brand (McGraw-Hill, June 2019), about marketing in the age of artificial intelligence.  He is currently the Executive Vice President of Digital Media for Engaged Media where he manages digital publishing for a dozen consumer magazines. Formerly, as Global Head of Advertising for Frankly Inc., he managed digital advertising for hundreds of television stations, including their websites, mobile apps, and connected television (OTT) platforms. Prior to that, he was Tribune Media’s Vice President of Programmatic and Data-Driven Revenue and held senior advertising positions with Hearst Television and Capitol Broadcasting.  He has a master’s degree from the UNC School of Media & Journalism and has completed post-graduate work in artificial intelligence at MIT. Learn more at we Talked AboutAIMachine LearningData PrivacyThe Impact of AI on all businessesTrends with AI AdvertisingPersonalized InformationPersuasion (A/B Testing)Machine Learning is tying these things togetherTalking to devices with natural language processingMass Communication is now Mass CustomizationSocial Media's impact on elections.PsychoTechnologyGeolocation dataCCPA - California Consumer Privacy ActGDPR - General Data Protection RegulationRegulation of DataConnect with WilliamBook - The Invisible BrandWebsiteTwitterLinkedInYouTubeI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About JeffJeff Dalton is Chief Evangelist at AgileCxO, a research and development organization that studies organizational agile performance. He is an author, conference speaker, blogger, coach, and technology leader with more than thirty years in the software development industry as a CIO, CTO, and Director of Product Development.  Jeff is author of Great Big Agile: an OS for Agile Leaders (Apress (c) 2018) and A Guide to Scrum and CMMI: Improving Agile Performance with CMMI (CI Press (c) 2016).In his spare time, Jeff plays bass in a jazz band and builds experimental aircraft.  He can be reached at We Talked AboutDigital TransformationAgile TransformationDisciplineAgile LeadershipScrumCulture and ProcessTrustOversharing and TransparencyWaterfall vs. ScrumWaterfall can be agileValues TraceabilityThe Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice SuccessfullyHolacracy: The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing WorldGreat Big Agile: An OS for Agile LeadersPersonal Agile - TrelloConnect With JeffWebsiteLinkedInBookTwitterI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
About Tony SaldanhaTony Saldanha is president of Transformant, a consulting firm specializing in assisting organizations through digital transformations. During his twenty-seven-year career at Procter & Gamble, he ran both operations and digital transformation for P&G’s famed global business services and IT organization in every region of the world, ending up as Vice President of Global Business services, next Generation services. He is an advisor to boards and CEOs on digital transformation, a sought-after speaker, and a globally awarded industry thought leader. His new book is Why Digital Transformations Fail: The Surprising Disciplines of How to Take Off and Stay Ahead (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, July, 2019). Learn more at is a globally recognized information technology and shared services executive; a progressive business leader with a breadth of experiences ranging from Disruptive IT/ Shared Services Strategy, Shared Services Outsourcing, Consulting, CIO roles, Technology-enabled business building and IT Systems integration during company acquisitions, among others.  He is geographical experience from having lived in Asia, Europe and the US - including both developed and developing markets.Tony is known for delivering concrete business outcomes and organization results, a champion of creating new, relevant business and technology models to stay ahead of disruptive technology capabilities. He enjoys working on tough problems using creativity and disciplined execution.He has a track record of leading change and was a Program Manager for the ~$8Bn outsourcing deal with HP, IBM and Jones Lang LaSalle – the largest Shared Services deal ever in 2003. As interim-CIO at the Gillette Company, was responsible to assimilate systems and the IT organization, for one of the most successful integration projects.Tony was named among Premier 100 IT Professionals on the 2014 Computerworld list and Loves learning, travel, history, home improvement, parodies and funny commercials."Fortune favors the prepared"Today We Talked AboutDigital TransformationWhy most Digital Transformations fail?What leaders are doing wrongbringing the business with you for digital transformationThe fourth industrial revolutionAI and block chain in the enterpriseReverse MentoringField TripsApplying ideas in a different contextSolve problems with the outcome in mindDigital LiteracyFortune favors the preparedBe disciplineChecklistsConnect With TonyLinkedInTwitterWebsiteBookI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
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