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Courageous Conversations

Courageous Conversations

2022-06-2201:09:49

As employers and leaders, it’s part of our responsibilities to have difficult conversations in the workplace. When we approach these dialogues with openness, honesty, and empathy, it makes it easier for everyone to move forward. Join us this week as we discuss our experiences with hard talks and how to best reach productive resolutions.
Grief in the Workplace

Grief in the Workplace

2022-06-0817:14

At some point in time, everyone experiences grief. That feeling of sorrow comes in all shapes and sizes, and it extends beyond losing a loved one. We grieve hopes, dreams, relationships, and more. As something so intrinsically linked to the human experience, it inevitably finds its way into the workplace. And that’s ok. This week we discuss why we tend to avoid pain and how employers can better accommodate grieving employees.
Food security and access is the very basis for strong, thriving communities — something Dru Montri understands intimately. Dru is a passionate food access expert and works as the Vice President of Agri Food Engagement for Feeding America. She also owns a family farm where they grow a variety of vegetables on three acres. Join us as we discuss Dru’s interesting career path, farm-to-table systems, and how to increase food security in Michigan.
We both are in long marriages and career placements — two things that require nurturing and growth to succeed. Last week we discussed work boundaries, but home boundaries are just as important. This week we discuss what keeps us committed to our respective long-term businesses and what it takes to keep our work and home lives healthy.
As it turns out, Zoom calls might be the window to the soul. When we hop on a virtual meeting, we see kids waddling through the background and what books are on people’s shelves. It’s humanizing and makes us more compassionate, but not all broken boundaries are as charming. Many people report working more hours with fewer breaks when working from home, and it can even be hard to get out of your house. It’s time to reevaluate our personal boundaries. This week, we discuss why communication, saying no, and taking time off is important to maintain boundaries in a virtual workforce.
Monique Stanton, President and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), is committed to social justice, advancing equity in Michigan, and promoting the well-being of our communities. She has dedicated much of her career to public advocacy and improving the lives and circumstances of those facing tremendous barriers. With inequities increasing due to COVID-19, Monique’s work is more important than ever.
When you get to a certain point in your career, as a business owner, you should start thinking about a succession plan. Even if you feel like you’re nowhere near your entrepreneurial sunset, planning for what’s next provides a little peace of mind. The way we see it, there are three paths to consider when planning for retirement. You can shut it down and cash in your chips, work until you drop, or devise a plan for someone else to take over the reins. Join us this week as we discuss our own business’ futures and the best way to transition into the next chapter of your life.
Assembling the right team takes a lot of thought. Not only is skill important, but the way a person interacts with others needs to be considered. This week we talk about how to know you have the right people on your team and the qualities that make a work environment successful.
We’re well-acquainted with running businesses, but our guest this week shares with us her unique perspective as a second-generation entrepreneur. Lily Werbin is the president, co-owner, and heir apparent of Elderly Instruments — a nationally recognized hub of music based in Old Town, Lansing. She talks through the distinct experience of managing staff who knew her since she was in diapers, as well as the great honor of succeeding her father. Tune in this week for an insightful, candid conversation with the wonderful Lily Werbin.
We both have over 20 years of experience in leading businesses, and we’ve come to learn that entrepreneurship is just in our blood. We love the decision making, excitement, and growth that comes with running a small business, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. That doesn’t mean it’s all roses, though. This week we talk about all things small business: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This week’s a bit of a treat, folks. Jen interviews Karen about Buyer’s Remorse, an award-winning short film developed by Karen and her team at Render Studios. Buyer’s Remorse explores the notion of whether or not money buys happiness and the culture of consumerism. This film was a passion project for Render — no client meant they were able to create in a sandbox. Karen discusses the excitement of creating fiction, her process behind inventing characters, and the team that brought Buyer’s Remorse to life. Watch Buyer’s Remorse here: https://renderstudios.com/portfolio/buyersremorse.
Michelle Reynaert, Vice President of the Sparrow Foundation, started her career in marketing, but soon realized she needed a deeper personal connection to her work. As it turns out, philanthropy was more her speed. In her current role at Sparrow, she oversees the vital philanthropic operations that keep the non-profit health system healthy. Join us as Michelle discusses Sparrow’s upcoming fundraising campaign and her work which supports patients, caregivers, and staff.
Our actions have unseen consequences. Sure, we can witness our effect on the people in our own bubble, but our actions reach those we do not see and have not met. The way we interact with our coworkers can impact the way they interact with their friends and families. There’s a bigger picture to this, too. The ripple effect guides culture, community, and future generations; like it or not, our actions endure. Simply recognizing that you matter and being cognizant of how you move through the world can make all the difference, big or small. Join us as we talk all about it.
It’s true, we had imposter syndrome early in our careers. At the time it felt like we needed to guard our lack of knowledge and self-doubting thoughts, but in truth everyone feels that way, especially when starting a new job. But, it gets better. One day, we realized that imposter feeling went away. Though there are days when up feels like down, it’s become easier to accept what we don’t know. Join us as we discuss how to weather imposter syndrome and emerge on the other side with confidence.
School districts aren’t always the easiest things to manage, pandemics aside, but when you need to keep kids safe while ensuring their education the job gets even trickier. Fortunately for Waverly Community Schools, their superintendent is a seasoned educator and administrator. This week we sat down with Superintendent Kelly Blake who’s in her 34th year of educating. (33 of those years being spent in Waverly.) She talks about making game time decisions, getting students at-home internet access, and the impact COVID-19 has had on education at large.
Tis the season for gratitude, but, in fact, it’s healthier to practice grateful thinking all year long. When we think about what’s missing, rather than what’s present, we invite anxiety, frustration, and bundles of other negative emotions to flood our minds. Brains are like kindergarten classes: without some discipline, chaos will ensue and somebody is gonna end up in tears. A daily gratitude practice, however simple, can significantly improve your outlook. Everyone’s practice looks different, whether it’s journaling or letter-writing or making mental notes on a morning walk. Join us as we share what we’re thankful for, our own gratitude practices, and all the benefits that come from some good ol fashioned grateful thinking.
If you read it on the internet it must be true, right? Um, no — we all know that's not the case by now. There is so much misinformation on the internet, it's gotten to the point that users must be savvy consumers of information. And as content creators and marketers, we have a responsibility to tell the truth in the creative we develop. Often, it can be so easy to nip and tuck the truth: taking words out of context, omitting facts to hide the full story, or generally bending the truth in your or your client's favor. But not only are these practices unethical, but they can lead to a number of consequences across industries. This episode, we dive into all angles of telling the truth through out work. Join us as we discuss the role values and ethics play when it comes to socially responsible marketing and transparent videography. Because, at the end of the day, we need to use our powers for good.
Yeesh. 2021 is coming to a close. Another year down, but 2022 is gonna be a great one. How do we know this? Because we’re going to be prepared. Planning is the key to success, and it starts with articulating what is important to you — laying out your goals and setting markers for success. This goes for both business and personal growth. Join us this week as we discuss the key elements of planning, from risk-taking to spreadsheet-making to plain out failing. It’s all part of the process, folks.
One of the principal tasks of starting a business is buying and developing a commercial space. Recently, Jen bought a new building for her marketing shop, Redhead, and an exciting new endeavor — Nelson Gallery. Redhead took the upstairs and Nelson lives below. Starting a new commercial project is never a cake walk, but when you factor in a global pandemic, well, it gets a tad more challenging. This episode we talk through the challenges faced and lessons learned from inventing, branding, and launching a successful new retail venture in downtown Lansing.
Our guest this week couldn’t be more relevant. As COVID-19 cases continue to fill hospital beds around the country, Linda Vail, director of the Ingham County Health Department, joins us to discuss leading through the COVID-19 pandemic. As Ingham county residents, we’re quite thankful to have someone like Linda leading the fight against COVID-19 in our community. She’s been a public health officer for 15 years, worked in public health for four more, and previously worked as a biomedical researcher. In fact, she has a background in bioterrorism preparedness. So it’s no surprise to anyone that she saw this thing coming back in January 2020 before it hit the United States. Tune in as Linda shares expert insights, reveals the makings of a health crisis, and discusses the current state of the pandemic.
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