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Partnering Leadership

Author: Mahan Tavakoli

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Learn from the leadership journey of Greater Washington DC region changemakers and global thought leaders so you can align better with your purpose, grow professionally with meaning, and have a greater impact. Each week Mahan Tavakoli sits down for an intimate conversation with diverse leaders to learn from their leadership journeys so we can all improve, grow, and have a greater impact. PartneringLeadership.com
47 Episodes
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In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks with Dan Pontefract, CEO, and Founder of Pontefract Group and author of four books including his most recent book Lead, Care, Win: How to Become a Leader Who Matters. Dan Pontefract shares his thoughts on how to lead with greater humanity, care, and compassion.Some highlights:Dan Pontefract on the pandemic as a potential to resetDan Pontefract shares how crisis can impact leadership valuesHow to increase employee engagement even with remote workDan Pontefract on the need for greater authenticity and humility in leadershipAlso mentioned in this episode:Eric Yuan, Founder of ZoomConnect with Dan Pontefract:Dan Pontefract Official WebsiteDan Pontefract on LinkedInLead. Care. Win BookDan Pontefract on Twitter: @dpontefractConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Lidia Soto-Harmon, CEO of Girl Scouts of National Capital Region, and Chair and a trustee of the Migration Policy Institute. Lidia Soto-Harmon shares her inspiring story, the importance of being open to opportunities and how to lead a purpose driven organization through crisis. Some highlights:● Lidia Soto-Harmon on the need for generosity in relationships. ● Importance of patience and humility in leadership.● How leaders, especially women, can step up and take advantage of opportunities.● The importance of establishing and maintaining relationships.● How Lidia Soto-Harmon has led the Girl Scouts through the crisis and what she expects the future holds for the organization and leadership development. Also mentioned in the Episode: Madeline Albright - Former United States Secretary of State Lyles Carr – Senior Vice President at The McCormick GroupMichelle Obama – Former First Lady of the United States  Connect with Lidia Soto-Harmon:Lidia Soto-Harmon on LinkedInLidia Soto-Harmon on TwitterLidia Soto-Harmon on Facebook Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com    
In this episode of Partnering Leadership Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Kon Apostolopoulos, founder and CEO of Fresh Biz Solutions and the co-author of 7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis. Kon Apostolopoulos shares how leaders can lead their organizations through and post-crisis. Some highlights:● Kon Apostolopoulos shares his perspective on what it takes to lead post-crisis● How purpose-driven leaders create great organizational culture● Kon Apostolopoulos talks about the importance of flexibility in leadership● The Leadership Paradox and how it relates to successful leadership● The role of resilience in building a positive organizational culture● How to lead effectively with greater gratitude   Also mentioned in this episode: James Kerr, Founder of Indispensable Consulting and author of INDISPENSABLE: Build and Lead A Company Customers Can’t Live Without Andrea Simon, CEO of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) and Author of Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business Todd Cherches, Co-Founder & CEO of Big Blue GumballAuthor of Leveraging the Power of Visual Thinking in Leadership and in Life   Connect with Kon Apostolopoulos:Fresh Biz SolutionsKon Apostolopoulos LinkedIn7 Keys to Navigating a Crisis Book on Amazon  Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.com More information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Rynthia Rost, former GEICO  Vice-President for Public Affairs, and the current executive advisor to IBM International Foundation. Rynthia Rost talks about the importance of finding your voice and using it to impact positive change. Some Highlights:● How Adler’s management was changed because of young Rynthia Rost’s confidence to speak up.● The importance of finding your voice and speaking up to advance progress in communities and organizations.● Rynthia Rost on representing women and people of color in leadership.● How leaders can find their voice and why they should take more risks. Also mentioned in this episode:Delano LewisAnthony (Tony) Williams, former Mayor of Washington DCElbert Hubbard’s A Message to GarciaRobert M. Pirsig’s Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Connect with Rynthia Rost:Rynthia Rost on LinkedInRynthia Rost on Twitter  Connect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks about how leaders can set an example for those they lead through their behaviors.  Mahan shares examples of leadership behaviors that aren’t aligned with values and why team members pay attention to the smallest details of leadership behavior to determine values and priorities.  Some highlights:What kind of an example do you choose to set?Why leadership example is best shown through actions rather than wordsLeadership choices and behaviors as the true gauge of values and priorities Why the smallest choices of leaders impact the example they set for their teamsAlso mentioned in this episode:Lou Gerstner, former CEO and chairman of IBMConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Michael Rogers, Former Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG). Prior to his appointment at COG, Mr. Rogers enjoyed a distinguished career as City Administrator and Deputy Mayor for Operations for the District of Columbia, was Director of the Mayor’s Office of Contracts/Chief Procurement Officer for the City of New York and Vice President/Municipal Services for Ogden Services Corporation.Some highlights:Michael Rogers on how growing up during the Civil Rights movement impacted his leadership.Why and how Michael Rogers went against unethical contracting practices in New York.How Michael Rogers helped increase the impact and relevance of Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG)Michael Roger’s advice on how leaders can leave an impactful legacy. Also mentioned in this episode:Marion Barry, former Mayor of Washington DCRon Brown, former US Secretary of CommerceConnect with Michale Rogers:Michael Rogers LinkedInConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with John Chappelear, president and founder of Changing the Focus and author of the Daily Six, Six Simple Steps to Find the Perfect Balance between Success and Significance. John Chappelear shares how a gift of devastation created the perfect opportunity for him to be a better mentor, a better leader and most of all a better person.Some highlights:John Chappelear shares the difference between success and significanceGetting a Gift of DevastationHow leaders can use The Daily Six to add more significance to their livesJohn Chappelear’s thoughts on the role of love and forgiveness in leadershipAlso mentioned in this episode:Leading With Love, Alexander StrauchThe Book of Joy, Desmond Tutu & Dalai LamaLeadership is an Art, Max DePreeConnect John Chappelear:The Daily Six: Simple Steps to Prosperity and PurposeJohn Chappelear LinkedInJohn Chappelear FacebookJohn Chappelear TwitterJohn Chappelear InstagramJohn Chappelear YouTubeConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Doug Wheeler, Former President of Washington Performing Arts. Doug shares leadership lessons learned as he engaged the community with the organization’s mission and service to the community.Highlights:Producing a radio program for WAMU and how it started Doug’s relationship with Patrick HayesDoug Wheeler’s efforts on engaging the broader community in the arts and the mission of Washington Performing ArtsWhat drove Doug to greater involvement with Leadership Greater Washington and the Washington DC ChamberWhy and how Doug Wheeler led a charge for greater equityJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asking Doug to chair friends of music at the US Supreme Court Also mentioned in this episode:Patrick Hayes, Founder of Washington Performing Arts SocietyJenny Bilfield, President of Washing Performing ArtsConnect with Doug Wheeler:Washington Performing artsConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Robert Rosenberg, CEO of Dunkin Donuts for 35 years and author of the book “Around the Corner to Around the World: A Dozen Lessons I Learned Running Dunkin' Donuts.” Robert Rosenberg shares his origin story, leadership successes and mistakes, and lessons learned in growing Dunkin Donuts to the household name it is today, and his advice on how to effectively lead an organization. Some highlights:Robert Rosenberg on the origin story of Dunkin Donuts Why and how Robert Rosenberg became the CEO of Dunkin Donuts at age 25How in his first 5 years as CEO, Robert Rosenberg led the impressive growth of Dunkin Donuts’ and took the company public with a market cap of $120 millionDunkin Donuts’ secret to successExploitation vs. Experimentation and why striking the right balance is critical for organizational growthHow learning to listen helped Robert Rosenberg recover from leadership mistakes How and why Dunkin Donuts focused on the success of its franchiseesRobert Rosenberg’s Top 4 essentials in leading an organization: Strategy, Organization, Communication, and Crisis ManagementRobert Rosenberg’s advice on how best to prepare for a crisisThe importance of trust in leadership and building impactful business relationshipsAlso mentioned in this episode:Charles Lubin, founder of Sara LeeNathan Cummings, founder of Consolidated FoodsDavid Halberstam, author of “The Best and the Brightest”Bob and Edna Demery, Dunkin Donuts franchise owners in Hartford, ConnecticutThomas Schwarz, former president of Dunkin DonutsLeo Prieto, Dunkin Donuts franchise owner in the PhilippinesRosabeth Moss Kanter, author of “Think Outside the Building: How Advanced Leaders Can Change the World One Smart Innovation at a Time”Howard Samuels, former director of the Small Business Administration (SBA)Connect with Robert Rosenberg:Around the Corner to Around the World websiteAround the Corner to Around the World on AmazonRobert Rosenberg on LinkedInConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Kathy Hollinger, President, and CEO of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), who has been recognized as one of the Most Influential Minorities in Cable and honored by Washington Business Journal as one of 20 Women Who Mean Business. Kathy shares how she has been able to create a positive culture within the community even during the pandemic.Highlights:How Kathy Hollinger’s Persian Heritage provided a solid foundation on family, respect, and leadership.What and why Kathy Hollinger and her husband chose Washington DC over other places.What Kathy Hollinger learned through her experiences in the DC government.How did Kathy Hollinger learn to separate politics from personal life and how it affected her decision-making.Kathy Hollinger’s transition from politics to the region’s restaurant association.What are Kathy Hollinger’s steps to ensure a win-win situation for the industry during the pandemic.Kathy Hollinger’s thoughts on the industry’s future.Also mentioned in this episode:Dr. Charlene Drew Jarvis, American educator, and former scientific researcher and politicianAdrian Fenty, Former Mayor of District of Columbia, DCVincent Gray, Former Mayor of District of Columbia, DCConnect with Kathy Hollinger:Kathy Hollinger on TwitterKathy Hollinger on LinkedInConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva, Founder & Chief Reinvention Officer at Reinvention Academy and author of the book, How to Thrive in Chaos. Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva shares how reinvention can help individuals and organizations thrive in constant change. Some highlights:How Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva’s origins influenced her to set up a company called We Exist Reinvention AgencyWhy reinvention is important for the survival of organizationsLearning how to live with uncertainty and volatilityDr. Nadya Zhexembayeva explains the Titanic Syndrome and its relevance to leadershipDr. Nadya Zhexembayeva’s advice on how to reinvent during a crisisUnderstanding the nature of chaos and turning chaos into the greatest business advantageAlso mentioned in this episode:Bruce Lipton, a developmental biologist and author of The Biology of BeliefJim Collins, author of Good to Great, Built to Last and How the Mighty FallHenry Mintzberg, author of Rebalancing Society and Bed Time Stories for Managers Book Resources:Elastic: The Power of Flexible Thinking by Leonard MlodinowNo Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Erin Meyer and Reed HastingsOther Resources:Reinvention Society Facebook GroupConnect with Nadya Zhexembayeva:Nadya Zhexembayeva on LinkedInNadya Zhexembayeva on Twitter: @NadyaZhexembayNadya Zhexembayeva on Instagram:  @chief_reinvention_officerNadya Zhexembayeva on FacebookReinvention Academy Official WebsiteConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Dr. Irma Beccera, the seventh president of Marymount University, talks about her journey becoming a higher education leader, her research in knowledge management, how to see setbacks as opportunities for growth and her vision for the future of Marymount University.Some Highlights:Dr. Irma Becerra shares how her upbringing as a Cuban-American has impacted the kind of leader she has becomeHow a setback allowed Dr. Becerra to form a partnership with her future research funderWhat knowledge management is and why it is so impactful to organizationsHow Marymount University adapted and pivoted throughout the pandemic to meet the needs of the studentsDr. Irma Becerra’s vision for the future for Marymount university, innovations for new programmatic offerings, and the university’s role in the Greater Washington DC DMV regionDr. Becerra’s advice for leadersConnect with Dr. Irma Beccera:Dr. Irma Beccera on LinkedInDr. Irma Beccera on TwitterMarymount University on InstagramMarymount University on FacebookConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks about Persian New Year, Nowruz, and its relevance to renewal, rethinking, reimagining, and reinventing which is needed by all, most especially now.  The episode ends with a fun surprise, set to powerful music magnifying a message of hope and renewal.Some highlights:Mahan Tavakoli shares why the spirit of renewal matters,  most especially nowHow the Persian New Year celebration of Nowruz embodies traditions of renewal.Mahan Tavakoli on why and how we can use this moment to rethink, reimagine and reinvent.A powerful message of hope and renewal, set to music.Also mentioned in this episode:Amanda Gorman, National Poet LaureateJim Collins, Business AuthorConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with David Rutstein, former general counsel at Giant Food. David shares inspiring stories in his journey, what an ‘Ethical Will’ is, his 10 principles for leadership, and most important of all—how to lead with integrity and have an impact in the community.Some highlights:David Rutstein shares how his grandparents’ community leadership inspires how he leads and mentors younger peopleHow getting rejected at Penn Law School led him to the Greater Washington DC DMV Region David’s 5 impactful objectives in his retirementWhat an ‘Ethical Will’ is and why it’s so importantHow persistence helped David in battling health issuesDavid Rutstein’s 10 principles for leadershipAlso mentioned in this episode:Raymond R. Dickey, former senior partner at Danzansky, Dickey, Tydings, Quint and GordonGeorge Bloom, head of the public utilities commission in PennsylvaniaEdward Friedman, Solicitor GeneralIsrael “Izzy” Cohen, former chairman of Giant Food and Supermarketing PioneerDavid Rubenstein, co-Founder of the Carlyle Group and author of  How to LeadConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Jim Kerr, Founder of Indispensable Consulting and Author of the book INDISPENSABLE: Build and Lead A Company Customers Can’t Live Without, and shares his thoughts and insights on how being indispensable is a very important aspect of leading and creating a great culture.Some highlights:Why Jim Kerr wrote his book INDISPENSABLEJim Kerr shares his thoughts on how to create a new culture of leadershipHow leadership by example changes the culture of the teamJim Kerr’s thoughts on why encouraging dissent is critical in nurturing a great organizational cultureHow to lead so your organization becomes indispensableAlso mentioned in this episode:Marshall Goldsmith, author and executive coachBOOK:INDISPENSABLE: Build and Lead A Company Customers Can’t Live Without Author James M. KerrConnect with Jim Kerr:Jim Kerr on LinkedinJim Kerr on Twitter Indispensable consultingConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks with Cary Hatch, CEO of MDB Communications. Cary Hatch discusses what it took for her to succeed as a female business owner and how difficulties can build up resilience, and the joy of having an impact on people and the entire Greater Washington DC DMV region.Some highlights:Cary Hatch shares how to use fear of failure as a driving force to move forward and achieve goals.The power of advertising and its influence on organizations and brands.How to build resilience through repeated setbacks.Cary Hatch on the importance to help others through volunteering.  Also mentioned in this episode:Shelly Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy & Mather Rosie Allen Herring, President & CEO United Way National Capital AreaLyles Carr, Executive Vice President The McCormick GroupBob Buchanan, Principal Buchanan PartnersConnect with Cary Hatch:Carry Hatch LinkedInCarry Hatch TwitterMDB CommunicationsConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli talks with Jonathan Littman, co-author of The Entrepreneurs Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders Succeed, and several other best-selling books. Jonathan Littman talks about the importance of innovation in business and how business leaders can learn to create an entrepreneurial spirit in their teams and organizations.Some highlights:The importance of creating an intrapreneurial culture to reinvent an organization.Jonathan Littman talks about a human-centric approach to entrepreneurship.The importance of understanding entrepreneurial archetypes.How to bring more entrepreneurship and an intrapreneurial spirit into the organizations.Jonathan Littman on the importance of embracing change and transformation. Also mentioned in this episode:Susanna Camp: Co-author The Entrepreneurs Faces: How Makers, Visionaries and Outsiders SucceedConnect with Jonathan Littman:Jonathan Littman on LinkedInJonathan Littman on InstagramEntrepreneur's Faces BookConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Howard Stone, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Prince George's Community College.  Howard shares the source of his passion for education, love for Leadership Greater Washington and commitment over the years to Prince George’s County, MD.Some highlights:Howard Stone’s focus on public serviceHow Howard Stone supported Wayne Curry and helped transform Prince George’s County, MDHoward’s love for and commitment to Leadership Greater WashingtonHow being rejected for an elected seat made Howard Stone more humble and focus more on serving his communityAlso mentioned in this episode:Ken Duncan, former council administrator Prince George’s County MDWayne Curry, former County executive for Prince George's County MDArtis Hampshire-Cowan, Senior Fellow at Association of Governing Boards of Universities and CollegesLionel Lockhart, former County Attorney for Prince George's County MDBookAll I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten Book by Robert FulghumConnect with Howard Stone:Howard Stone on LinkedinConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Dr. Michelle McQuaid, a best-selling author, workplace wellbeing teacher, and playful change activator. Michelle McQuaid talks about how positive psychology has influenced her perspective on leadership and shares lessons for effectively leading teams and organizations.Some highlights:How Dr. Michelle McQuaid came to positive psychology and the science of behavior changeWhy and how positive psychology is critical to leadershipHow to be an authentic leader by embracing imperfectionsLessons learned from Carol Dweck’s research on Growth MindsetThe power of psychological safety in unleashing team performanceHow Dr. Michelle McQuaid uses a learning loop with her team for more effective team communicationsThe critical role wellness and wellbeing play in organizational cultureDr. Michelle McQuaid’s thoughts on how to navigate through struggle as a leaderAlso mentioned in this episode:Tal Ben Shahar,  author and founder of Happiness Studies AcademyMartin Seligman, Psychologist and father of Positive PsychologyCarol Dweck,  Psychologist and author of mindsetAmy Edmondson, HBS professor and author of The Fearless OrganizationConnect with Michelle McQuiad:Michelle McQuaid’s websiteMaking Positive Psychology Work Michelle McQuaid on LinkedIn Michelle McQuaid on TwitterConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
In this episode of Partnering Leadership, Mahan Tavakoli speaks with Linda Rabbitt, the founder and chairman of Rand Construction, who is recognized as Washingtonian of the Year, and is in Washington's Business Hall of Fame. Linda shares her experiences overcoming breakage and setbacks, and how she used adversity as a motivator to achieve success.Highlights:Why and how  Linda Rabbitt started all over again at age 32 Linda Rabbitt’s career at KPMG and how she rose in the organizationLinda’s bold step into the business world as a partner in the first female owned construction company in the Washington DC regionHow building a support group of women in the real estate industry helped her grow her company and give back to othersLinda Rabbitt’s battle with cancer as she became chair elect of the Greater Washington Board of TradeLinda’s passion for women in leadership and her advice to young female leaders on resilienceAlso mentioned in this episode:Steve Harlan, former Vice-Chairman-International at KPMGSherri Turner, Linda’s former business partnerMark Anderson, partner at Rand ConstructionJon Couch, former president at Rand ConstructionZig Ziglar, author and motivational speakerConnect with Linda Rabbitt:Linda Rabbitt on LinkedInRand Construction’s WebsiteRand Construction on InstagramConnect with Mahan Tavakoli:MahanTavakoli.comMore information and resources available at the Partnering Leadership Podcast website: PartneringLeadership.com
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