DiscoverCulture and Leadership Connections Podcast
Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast
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Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Author: Marie Gervais

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Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast: where culture, communication, and context meet at work. Discover what cultural influences have formed the careers of noteworthy leaders in a variety of professions, by exploring the groups that shaped who they are today. Learn about the collective context and experiences that affect their worldview, leadership style, workplace communication and behaviour.
99 Episodes
Martha’s Bio:Martha Gleason has a singing and performance degree from UCLA and is a national scholarship winner with the American Music and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Currently, she works with women leaders to find their voice so that they can speak powerfully and confidently by teaching strategic performance strategies for video and in-person presentations.Episode Highlights:As a child, Martha dreamed of becoming a singer and performer. At 21, she chose to go on Semester at Sea. They went to 13 different countries, many in the Far East. This semester brought about a paradigm shift from being self-focused, achieving, winning, and competing to expanding her consciousness of including other people’s realities.Links:Instagram:“Your voice is your calling card. How you show up with your voice determines whether people can hear your message or whether they’re going to tune you out.”“When you find your voice, you are becoming an athlete. You need to be strong in your body and mind.”Take Aways:Childhood Incidents:Martha vividly recalls when her parents had a divorce. Without the tools available today, Martha watched her mother sink into depression and form an addiction to opioids. Her mother was supportive and loving, but would sometimes disappear. Music became Martha’s escape plan. She had a teacher who mentored and trained her in her studio. Life took a more positive turn for Martha after enrolling in UCLA. Awards started coming in and she started to see her potential, which is when her healing began.Influential Groups:Martha feels privileged to have been born into a family that has 32 ministers (her father among them) and had an expansive approach to spirituality. She recalls attending her grandmother’s memorial on the East Coast. At the altar was a Buddhist priest, a Sikh, as well as a Christian minister, which could only be explained by the fact that her grandmother had lived in China, learned Mandarin and experienced different religions.Currently, Martha belongs to a performing group called Portsmouth Pro Musica. She is also a part of the Ananda movement, a global movement focusing on Kriya Yoga and self-realization teachings.Temperament and Personality:Martha believes she was born a joyful person. Over the years, as an entrepreneur, she has added being practical and strategic for the sake of her business. Cultural Epiphanies:Martha recalls being in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens in Egypt, during her tenure with Semester at Sea. They slept in no-frills accommodations that lacked windows, bedding, or even any beds at all. With no other choices available, they slept on the floor. The following morning, Martha went to the village to get food. She met women who were covered in head-to-toe black clothing called burkas and Martha imagined that must’ve felt like living in a cage.Thriving Moments:Martha enjoys working with clients who bring their full selves to every session and are receptive to coaching. She believes finding your voice involves curiosity and openness.Soapbox Moment:If you’d like to have a session with Martha, she invites you to visit her website. Fill in the contact form and she will be in touch with you. Tagline: Your voice is your vibration. Find it!Support the show
Wema Hoover’s Bio:Wema Hoover is an internationally acclaimed speaker and the CEO of Wema Hoover Advisors. She has dedicated her career to being a culture change agent advancing in diversity, equity, and inclusion across global markets through a system thinking approach, driving organizational change and development in people, processes, and products. Wema has worked with different multinational businesses such as Google, Pfizer, Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and PwC. Episode Highlights:Our childhood experiences prepare us for our adult life. For Wema Hoover, her exposure to different cultures opened her up to working with multicultural spaces across the globe. Wema was born in New Jersey and has lived in different places worldwide. Today, Wema shares her journey to embracing limitlessness and harnessing her inner strength.Links:Website:“When you’re given the platform or influence to perform, you’ve got to see it as a time to deliver.”“Seize the moment, fulfil your potential whatever it may be, take action, and don’t leave anything to chance if you’re given the opportunity.”“When you don’t believe in yourself, but others do - how much win that gives you!”“We’re all on a learning journey every day of our life.”Take Aways:Childhood Incidents:Wema grew up in a society that was rich in diversity where she enjoyed many different experiences, traditions, ideas, and philosophies. They celebrated holidayssuch as the Chinese New Year, Yom Kippur, and many other cultural events. Wema recalls a time when she wasn’t allowed to attend her Jewish friend’s bat mitzvahbecause her friend’s parents didn’t want a black person at the event. This incident never affected the relationship between the two girls and they remained close.Influential Groups:Wema was raised in an African American community where everything revolved around hard work and living your potential. In their household, excellence was considered the norm, and seizing opportunities was the order of the day. At a young age, they were taught to understand that opportunities only come once.Temperament and Personality:Wema believes she was born with a love for people. As an extrovert, her energy stems from connecting with people and having meaningful connections.Cultural Epiphanies:Getting along with colleagues is one of the goals people strive to achieve in their workplaces. Some people do coffee dates; others go out for drinks or visit each other in their homes. When she took a job in France, Wema was initially taken aback by the separation of work and personal interaction. Wema tried to show kindness to her colleagues by taking dessert to their doorsteps, which landed her in trouble with the HR department. She couldn’t understand how her colleagues were uncomfortable with her visiting them in their homes. Unlike Americans or Indians, the French are more concerned with protecting their personal privacy. Thriving Environment:For Wema to thrive she needs strong collaboration, openness, and exchange. This climate creates room for her to be at her best at work.Soapbox Moment:Wema Hoover invites us to check out Be Limitless Consulting to see how she makes an impact in the world.Tagline: How to harness your inner strength and achieve anything you want.Support the show
Prerika Agarwal’s Bio:Prerika Agarwal is the Founder and CEO of Inspiration Careers. She is a certified Executive Coach with 18+ years of leadership experience at Fortune 500 companies.Episode Highlight:All her life, Prerika focused on high achievement but realized it was rooted in a desire to please other people and feel seen. Despite landing corporate jobs with impressive titles, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled. Her transformation came when she became a coach and saw how she could truly fulfil her purpose by helping others fulfil theirs. Links:Website: a Call:“Being driven is a thought. It’s how you see yourself and who you see yourself as.”“Rest, relaxation and giving yourself space to breathe is the most productive tool.”Takeaways:Childhood Incidents:When Prerika was 11, her family moved from Queens to Long Island. This was a huge turning point for Prerika because she was the only brown girl in a white school and she felt out of place. To find a way to belong Prerika joined all the academic clubs making friends, gaining influence and feeling that she belonged. She was a member of 13 clubs, leaving her over extended and burnt out with no downtime. Influential Groups:The group that Prerika identifies with the most is the coaching and self-development community. What has been most helpful to her is the concept of “control what you can” while focusing on changes you can control rather than obsessing over what you can’t change.Temperament and Personality:Growing up, Prerika always thought of herself as an introvert. Over the years, that has deepened her sense of identity, and her confidence has grown to comfortably converse with people.Cultural Epiphanies:The area on Long Island she grew up in was a place for the wealthy. Her subconscious immediately registered that the affluent people she knew were not inclusive nor nice. From her Indian culture, Prerika carried feelings of guilt when spending money on herself.Thriving Environment:Prerika thrives with clients who are hungry for change and willing to take the risk of bigger rewards by embracing the discomfort of the journey to truly become the CEOs of their own lives.Soapbox Moment:Prerika invites us to step into being the CEOs of our lives. A CEO holds a lot of power and has unshakable confidence. A CEO is ready to take risks for the well-being of the organization. Prerika asks us to do the same with our lives regardless of our titles.Tagline: You are the CEO of your life. Everyone benefits when you focus on what is within your control. Support the show
Sophie’s Bio:Sophie Wade is a work futurist, international keynote speaker, and author of Empathy Works: The Key to Competitive Advantage in the New Era of Work. As Founder and Workforce Innovation Specialist at Flexcel Network, a Future-of-Work consultancy, she helps corporations maximize the benefits and minimize the disruption in their transition to digitalized work environments.Episode Highlights:Sophie grew up in London, England. Her father worked for the BBC while her mother was a teacher in a remote area in London where she taught low income children. Sophie’s family would travel and camp in different countries during the summer holidays which allowed them to meet people and experience different cultures.The exposure to different cultures and people opened up Sophie’s mind to know more is out there. In her A-Level courses, Sophie opted to study Chinese over Math and Chemistry. Her increasing interest in culture led her to study China’s history and culture, learn Mandarin, and eventually live and work in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In this episode, she shares her journey to becoming the person she is today.Links:Website:’s Book:“Data has never really changed people’s hearts.”“You live outside of your country, and you see your country from the outside. Living in somebody else’s culture and environment changes how you see the world and yourself.”“If I’m living in another country, I have more freedom to be whoever I am. I resist defining anybody by how they look, their gender, what they know, their race, whatever it might be.”Take Aways:Childhood Experiences:Sophie’s father worked for the BBC for 25 years as an editor of a children’s show. Her mother was a teacher in a remote area in London. Students came from diverse backgrounds, and English wasn’t their first language. As a result of her parents’ careers, the family would engage in deep conversations at home. Camping in different countries opened Sophie’s mind to different people and cultures.Influential Groups:Sophie’s encounters with people from different groups made her more empathetic and taught her to avoid making assumptions.Temperament and Personality:Exposure to different cultures and people has played a significant role in Sophie’s life. She is empathetic and refrains from judging others to the best of her ability.Cultural Epiphanies:Recalling her first day using chopsticks in China, Sophie was mortified at the mess she made until she looked around at how the locals ate and realized that eating rice requires bending over your bowl and scooping the rice into your mouth. This was in stark contrast to the generally rigid meal etiquette taught in the UK and most western countries. Experiencing this first-hand showed her just how different various cultures can be from one another. Thriving Moments:Sophie is direct, and she appreciates when people are open and candid with her. She believes that a growth mindset is the most helpful way to move forward productively.Soap Box Moment:Sophie invites us to purchase her most recent book, Empathy Works: The Key to Competitive Advantage in the New Era of Work and listen to her podcast, Transforming Work.Tag Line: Empathy is the future. It will shape things in ways we cannot imagine.Support the show
Breno’s BioBreno Araujo is the founder and CEO of Boto, a no code platform that gives people an opportunity to share and build automation. Episode Highlights:Breno was born and raised in Brazil until the age of 24. His parents were entrepreneurs. At the age of 12, Breno discovered his interest in coding after using dad’s computer that was stationed in their bedroom. In this episode, Breno shares his career journey and the diverse cultures that have moulded him into the person he is today.Links:Website: “If you want to have a voice, get responsibilities in a smaller company. You’re more likely to get those rights.”“Being able to be embarrassed about something and regretting something is a point that you’re going to move, change and improve.”“When people have equity in a start up company they align their goals because in sense they own it.”Take Aways:Childhood Experiences:Breno’s lineage is filled with entrepreneurs. He saw his grandmother, mother, and father run their own businesses. They all tried different things and Breno was fortunate enough to get involved.Influential Groups:In Brazil, people are highly social. Breno believes being Brazilian made him a social being. He thinks he would be reclusive if born and raised in Nordic countries.At a young age, Breno was exposed to poverty. He grew up seeing children needing things that they couldn’t have. It made him vow to always be fair.Temperament and Personality:Efficiency is a big part of Breno’s life. Since childhood, Breno has always been focused and loves getting things done.Cultural Epiphanies:If you come from a country where people are friendly, going to Europe will give you culture shock because people are reclusive. When Breno moved to Switzerland, he couldn’t understand why he had to notify them in advance and instead of dropping in on his friends whenever he wanted to. Thriving Moments:To bring out the best of Breno, be efficient and take ownership.Soapbox Moment:If you are into blockchain technology and web3, Breno invites you to check out and try creating different things. Tagline: Every young person wants to make a difference. All they need is a chance.Support the show
Chris’s Bio Meet Chris Clews, the 80s pop culture guy who is an author and keynote speaker. He has over 20 years of leadership experience in corporate marketing and knows three things very well: 80s pop culture, business, and this crazy thing we call life. When it comes to facts and trivia about the 1980s, Chris is a human database, easily retrieving information about the decade that can explain trends, and why specific songs and movies became hits.Episode HighlightsIn this episode, Chris walks us through his life and career journey. He shares how different experiences shaped him into who he is today and how post-trauma transformation can boost your life. He also shares lessons that we can borrow from the work culture and incorporate into our workforce and leadership.LinksWebsite: Instagram:   Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter: Quotes“I try to look at the positives, I’m a pretty optimistic person. Sometimes the positives are learning from the negatives.” “What’s important to me as a speaker is that when I leave, that everyone looks around and says, we made a great investment, whether it was time, money, or the stress of putting an event in a conference together.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsTeachers play a huge role in children’s lives. Chris remembers his gym teacher as one of the most influential people he had growing up. He grew up in a neighborhood with children from different walks of life. Their teacher, Mr. Dwayne, always had a closet full of shoes to help children who needed them and displayed the children’s performances on his bulletin board. Influential GroupsThe lessons Chris learned from individual and team-based sports influenced him a great deal. In sports there is healthy competition and everyone strives to win.Temperament and PersonalityWhen Chris’s parents divorced, he became very impatient. Learning to be more patient has become a life-long goal and it’s something he continues to work on. Cultural EpiphaniesChris is forever grateful for his opportunities to travel to different places and experience different cultures. He found it challenging at times when he was in Portugal and Spain because he neither spoke nor understood Portuguese or Spanish. He found it exciting to figure out ways to communicate with others despite the language barrier. Thriving momentsWhen you hire Chris, rest assured he will deliver 150%. His goal is always to leave a mark wherever he goes. He wants people to look back and say he was a worthy investment.Soap Box MomentChris suggests we purchase and read the books he’s authored and also follow him on his social media accounts.Tag lineYour trauma can bring out the best in you.Support the show
Margaret’s BioMargaret is a highly accomplished architect. She is the founder and managing director of Aomega Group Inc., operating as Aomega Lodges, a local personal care home. Margaret has always been extremely community-minded and has served as the President of the Ghanaian Canadian Association of Calgary and the Personal Care Homes Council of Calgary. In 2010 she received the Ghanaian Canadian Achievement Award for Community Service, and in 2013 she was nominated for the Black and Gold Award for her community and business efforts.Episode HighlightsMargaret is a force to be reckoned with. She is changing how care facilities run by giving more dignity to the residents. Through her architecture education and background, Margaret has built care facilities that accommodate a maximum of six residents and has staff available 24/7. LinksAomega Lodges: LinkedIn: Quotes“I've always advised embrace your ‘you.’ And it's only when you embrace your you when you achieve, that the sky's the limit. You're part of who you are so you can break barriers.”“When a human being is neglected, the cost to society is huge.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidenceMargaret was born in Ghana. She lost her mother at the age of four and was raised by her aunt. Being the oldest and only daughter, Margaret had many chores and responsibilities. In grade seven, she joined a Catholic boarding school which offered her freedoms to develop her abilities that weren’t available at home. Among other things, she served as a sports prefect. Looking back, she believes her childhood incidents shaped the woman she is today.Influential GroupsMargaret mentioned two influential groups. The first is the architectural school she attended in Ghana. The other, the academic group she met in Canada upon joining her husband.Temperament and PersonalityWhen Margaret moved to Edmonton, she made the decision to take pride in her gender and ethnicity, showing herself as a proud African woman.Cultural EpiphaniesIn Africa, you do not have to call in advance when you want to visit someone, you can just show up and be welcomed. This is in stark contrast to Canada, where you’re expected to set up a meeting time in advance. Thriving momentsMargaret is a generous person who doesn’t easily take “no” for an answer. She brings out the best in people because she doesn’t allow them to quit on their potential. Soap Box MomentMargaret urges financial institutions to look at the outcome of making facilities feel like home and to focus on meeting client needs, while proving cost effectiveness. She would be happy to offer her architectural and operational experience doing exactly that for 17 homes in Calgary, Alberta. TaglineIt is only when you embrace who you truly are that you begin to achieve.Support the show
Bio for Claudia MillerClaudia Miller is a sought-after career coach for women in technology-oriented fields. She's also the creator & host of the Roadmap To The Executive Suite podcast. Episode highlightAs a Guatemalan-American, Claudia Miller struggled to find her voice in corporate America. Listen in on how she relied on education to rise above her humble beginnings and achieve success.LinksEmail:claudia@claudiatmiller.comhello@claudiatmiller.comLinkedIn: Instagram: YouTube: Spotify: Website: Quotes“You can never do the bare minimum and expect success.”“I knew I wanted more out of life than just my husband and kids.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsClaudia was born in Guatemala and has three other sisters. Her family moved to the USA when she was diagnosed with a chronic blood illness which could be better managed there. After her parents separated, Claudia found herself living at a homeless shelter for women. She worked hard on her studies because she knew education would help her out of these hard times. Influential Groups Claudia’s Latino background taught her that women should not speak up for themselves, such as attempting to negotiating salary or marketing one’s personal brand. The diverse student body at the college she attended allowed her to discover new cultures and expand her way of thinking.Temperament and Personality InfluencesClaudia claims she has always had an ambitious Type A personality.Cultural EpiphaniesClaudia grew up in a culture that strongly emphasized humility and domesticity among women, forcing her to reframe her mindset in a way that would enable her success in business. She had only watched Spanish-language media growing up, so Claudia felt left out when her peers at college discussed some aspect of the popular culture she had never experienced.Moving out of her home to go to college was a big cultural change for her family since it is uncommon to leave Latino households before for marriage. Advice to an Employer Claudia is very solution-focused so she only works with clients she knows she can help. Her clients being open, communicative, and willing to work to get results brings out the best in her. More Great Insights! Claudia coaches women in tech to land fulfilling roles in an average of 90 days with an average of 56% in salary increases. Support the show
Bio for Nicholas Wahl Nicholas D. Wahl, Ed.D. is Director of Client Relations for ECRA Group, Founder/Chief Strategist of 1440 Consultants Inc., and a K-12 education leader. Episode highlightNicholas Wahl is a leader in education with a depth of experience in his arsenal. Listen in on how he believes education should be designed to ensure that there are no invisible children. LinksEmail: nick@1440consultants.comLinkedIn:“Like all of us, kids really want to have a connected, meaningful relationship with at least one person, preferably two, in the school building.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsNicholas was the youngest of six children growing up in Ferdinand, Indiana. His role model was his father, a high school principal. Nicholas was ostracized by his peer group in middle school and that understanding carried forward into his work in education. Nicholas’ high school counsellor told him that he was not as intelligent as his siblings and that he should stick to his summer construction job instead of going to college. That motivated him to finish graduate school and get his doctorate. Influential Groups Nicholas grew up in Ferdinand, Indiana, a town of 2500 people that was predominantly German Catholic. He learned a strong work ethic and is proud of his roots. He wanted to model and follow his siblings in their footsteps, playing sports, and going to the same high school. In his career as a superintendent, he worked with his peers to create evidence-based practice and metrics, focusing on the growth and wellness of students.Temperament and Personality InfluencesNicholas laments that his temperament was so competitive that it was unhealthy. He is learning to be a better listener in his position of influence at work. Cultural EpiphaniesEvery Wednesday, Nicholas and his classmates would go to the nun’s house for an hour, and he only learned there are people who are not Catholics when he asked some students who chose not to go. Advice to an Employer Nicholas works with groups on team building and coaching to emerge out of the pandemic getting to know their peers better, interacting well, and making sure everyone is heard. More Great Insights! ECRA has analytical tools which can provide clarity on how students are performing by ethnicity and gender, and Nicholas can help provide a strategic plan for the next steps. Support the show
Bio for Monica Pierre Monica Pierre is an Emmy Award-winning news reporter, public speaking and storytelling coach and mentor, and the executive producer and host of The Powerhouse Woman Show. She is a Professor of Practice with the Department of Mass Communication at Xavier University where she teaches podcasting, broadcast announcing, and storytelling to the next generation of aspiring media talent.Episode highlightMonica Pierre has seen the power of generosity change the lives of the members of her family and community. Listen in to learn how she channels this power through her work as a broadcast journalist, talk show host, and storytelling coach.LinksEmail: LinkedIn: www.MonicaPierrePresents.comQuotes“Pour into other people, no matter who you are.”“I believe the creator doesn’t make mistakes.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsMonica is the daughter of sharecroppers from Louisiana and the oldest of five children. Family, hard work, faith, and moving forward were the values of her upbringing. Her mother and other women helped her see the importance of reinventing her stories to have the life she wanted. Monica’s father wanted to own his own home and worked for 30 years to build a house from scratch, teaching Monica determination and persistence. He also exemplified kindness, doing his best to help those in need. She now tries to pass those lessons on to the next generation.Influential Groups Monica wouldn’t choose to be anything else but African-American, even though the story she was born into makes her angry. Growing up in a family where her parents would always work to help others in need, she “saw what generosity looks like even when you don’t have a lot yourself.” She has found a community in the radio industry in New Orleans. Temperament and Personality InfluencesMonica claims she has always been quietly “attentive to what was said and what wasn’t said” while remembering what people said and what their preferences were.Advice to an Employer Monica loves the freedom to try a new way and to set it in motion. She finds it beautiful to do something differently and looks at mistakes as information to be noted! More Great Insights! If you would like to discover, uncover, and develop your story for your business, Monica would love to help you do it in a dignified way so you can share your personal story with your world. She encourages listeners to breathe and know that someone needs what you have to offer! Support the show
Bio for Errol Vas Errol Vas is a Marketing Director/Consultant with companies in Australia, Canada, China, India, Malaysia, and the USA, developing marketing strategies that boost customer acquisition and maximize revenue.Episode highlightErrol Vas reflects on his life influences and how his move to China shaped and continues to impact him as he manages a team and a business in the province of Zhèjiāng.LinksEmail: errol@errolvas.comWebsite: https://errolvas.comCalendly:“Having consistency is really important in life, no matter what you’re doing.” “The income you make, it doesn't always reflect how hard you’re working.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsWhen Errol was four, his parents enrolled him in a Taekwondo class, and he considers that a pivotal moment in his life because it taught him discipline and consistency. He currently has a 2nd-degree black belt.He played the guitar in high school, which he believes gave him the creative kickstart into marketing. He finds the same freedom in marketing as he did in music. Influential Groups Errol’s family was very academic, which encouraged him to explore his thoughts. His parents were always supportive of his interests and choices and never stopped him from exploring.Being part of the musical community in high school encouraged his creativity, which he uses daily in his work. Lethbridge (in Alberta, Canada) is a middle-class city, so moving to a big city in China was a stark change, particularly when it came to the huge gaps between the rich and poor. Temperament and Personality InfluencesErrol describes himself as easygoing person who has learned to be less openly emotional while becoming a more strategic and level-headed manager. Cultural EpiphaniesErrol found that China has “its own ecosystem, its own culture, own way of doing things,” which was very different from back home. In Canada, people are concerned about themselves first, and others second; however, in China, it’s the reverse where the collective often takes precedence over the individual. Advice to an Employer Errol loves to work with people who are passionate about what they are doing and oriented toward their goals. He finds that when he is aligned in striving along with someone else, it brings out the best in him. More Great Insights! You can connect with Errol at for a 15-minute conversation for tips on how you can improve and expand your personal brand or company! Support the show
Bio for Omar Hamdi Omar Hamdi is a media entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Pathos Communications. He has contributed to four books, two of which were shortlisted for Time Magazine’s Book of the Year.Episode highlightOmar Hamdi’s insatiable curiosity about people, and how and why they do things the way they do, led him to a lifetime of continuous learning from, with, and about people and their experiences.  LinksEmail:  Website: Quotes“A lot of the time, it’s culture messing up the religion rather than religion affecting the culture.”“When different things come together, you can end up with something stronger.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsFor many years, Omar was the only non-white pupil at his school. However, being different from others made him a free thinker, which helped paved his way to entrepreneurship. His parents always had high expectations of him, which he has taken upon himself into adulthood as well. His brother passed away when Omar was eight, after which he spent a lot of time by himself in “his own world,” which he hopes he is channelling into a good vision to share with the humanity today. Influential Groups Being British has imparted Omar with “a slight sense of directness and maybe just a touch of cynicism.” His Egyptian heritage has influenced his sense of humour, which he uses as a communication tool. Growing up in the Welsh capital of Cardiff, a mid-sized city in the UK, Omar learned to chat with strangers easily; however, spending 10 years in London gave him an edge he previously lacked. Intention is an important concept in the Muslim tradition and he strives to incorporate meaning and purpose into his work as an entrepreneur. Working with others from different backgrounds encourages him to be consultative and learn from their experiences.Temperament and Personality InfluencesOmar is naturally very passionate and intense, always means what he says, and deeply cares about things. He also loves a good challenge. However, he has learned to balance that out with stoicism and coolness when needed. Cultural EpiphaniesGrowing up in a household without alcohol, Omar can’t imagine how others watch their parents become drunk! The UK has a strong drinking culture, but he does not feel pressured to participate in it.Advice to an Employer Others sharing his vision is what brings out the best in Omar, and he finds it hard to connect with people who don’t have a vision — whether or not he agrees with it — of the future. He also only works with people he truly believes in. More Great Insights! “Having media on your side makes everything easier,” Omar says and encourages business owners to develop their relationship with the media.Support the show
Bio for Leslie Bosch Leslie Bosch, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist, the founder of Bosch Integrative Wellness, and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Episode HighlightAs a psychologist and coach, Dr. Leslie Bosch is accomplished, articulate, and keenly interested in others and their experiences. LinksEmail: leslie@boschintegrativewellness.comWebsite: a Free 20-minute Consultation: Offering: Facebook: LinkedIn: Instagram:  Quotes“The world is essentially a mixed bag, and you can do something to protect yourself, move towards the things that are more helpful, and avoid the things that are more dangerous.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsLeslie was born in 1960 in Denver, Colorado to parents of very low socioeconomic status. Her mother’s family immigrated from Italy and started a bakery. Her father’s family immigrated from England to “tame the wild west,” but he abandoned her family when she was six. Her mother remarried after being a single mother for a while. All these experiences impacted Leslie. Influential Groups Being born into a poor, blue-collar, conservative, Mormon, American family in a homogeneous, misogynistic society was influential for Leslie, and she worked her entire life to shed the negative patterns she grew up with. Her Ph.D. and coaching practice is about transformation and helping others to identify and transgress old patterns. Temperament and Personality InfluencesLeslie claims her temperament is cautious, with a combination of perfectionism and idealism. It has been a challenge for her to become more of a pragmatist/realist, but works to contribute toward the improvement of things instead of chasing perfection. Cultural EpiphaniesLeslie moved to New York City in her mid-30s to pursue a singing career and experienced a culture shock, because it was so different from the homogeneous suburban experience she had had. It was challenging to adapt to the ever-changing city with its over-stimulation and stress. Advice to an Employer Leslie is always intrigued by what they bring to the session and looks to understand where they are coming from. More Great Insights! Leslie shares that coaching can be a powerful tool to help people open up without fear of judgment in a world that is not conducive to vulnerability. Your coach can help you strategize and be the accountability partner that pushes you out of your comfort zone.Support the show
Bio for Dane EspegardDane Espegard is the Founder of The Dreams Systems LLC and Division Manager at Vector Marketing/CUTCO. Dane is also a culture consultant who teaches, assists, and executes the implementation of a Culture centered around Dream Achieving. Dane brings a successful people-oriented method to market in his latest book, "The Dream Machine: A Leader's Guide to Creating Teams of High Performers Who Achieve Extraordinary Outcomes." He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Brookelynn, and their two daughters, Elin and Izzi.Episode highlightDane Espegard’s ability to take an idea to a successful outcome led him to create a system and eventually write a book called “The Dream Machine'' which promotes company and team growth through a culture of conversation around how each person expresses and achieves personal dreams. LinksEmail: dane@daneespegard.comWebsite: http://www.daneespegard.comLinkedIn: Facebook: Instagram: YouTube:“We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”“When there's hope in the future, there’s power in the present.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsDane grew up in a family of entrepreneurs surrounded by talk of business and witnessed his stay-at-home mom open up and grow a daycare business from the ground up. At the age of 18, Dane got a job at CUTCO, which ultimately left a lasting impact on him. Influential Groups Dane was born into a middle-class family in a middle-class neighbourhood. He is now a member of a group called Front Row Dads which influences how he measures himself as both a father and a husband. Temperament and Personality Influences“I lean towards positivity,” Dane said of his temperament. He has a high level of energy and gets excited to interact with people. Instead of relying solely on his “gut instinct,” Dane has also attempted to tap into the experiences of those around him.Cultural EpiphaniesBorn into a conservative middle-class family while attending equally middle-class schools that held a predominantly “white student body” gave Dane a unique perspective as he grew up in the United States. To this day, Dane still finds that US-centric perspective constantly challenged when he travels, making him return to the US with a broader world view. Advice to an Employer Though he works well independently, Dane thrives with people around him. As a leader, Dane works hard because he knows people are counting on him. He also infuses his work with hope, which gives him power in his decisions.More Great Insights! Dane’s book, written to enable change in workplace cultures, is available for free on his website to anyone who would like to upgrade their team’s culture. Support the show
Doctor Dele Ola is the Director of Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing at Red River College Polytechnic. He is also the award-winning author of Be a Change Agent: Leadership in a Time of Exponential Change, publisher of the Prowezz Leadership Newsletter, a change leader, and an accomplished professional engineer. Episode highlightFacing childhood survival challenges during a time of turmoil in Nigeria and later in college helped Dele Ola deepen his focus on the end goal while maintaining an attitude of hope and remaining patient until he achieved his desire. LinksEmail: dele.ola@deleola.comLinkedIn: Website: deleola.comQuotes“It doesn’t matter if I fail… 500 times, I will still get up and try again.” “People can always learn when they are open.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsDele grew up in a conservative Christian household to educated middle-class parents who taught him the values that helped him survive in difficult situations and shaped who he is today. He was a teenager during the time of political turmoil in Nigeria, which taught him discipline, hope, resilience, and courage. Influential Groups Dele grew up in a city in Nigeria which is part of Yorubaland, and he is proud of his native Yoruba ancestry from Southwest Nigeria. His religious background has influenced his leadership style, with the servant leader exemplified in Jesus Christ. As a professional, he belongs to many intellectual groups, from whom he has learnt to conduct research. Temperament and Personality InfluencesDele was told as a child that he was introverted, but he thinks of himself as living on the edge of introversion and extroversion. He can be outspoken and network when he needs to but isn’t always out there connecting. He also thinks of himself as a realistic optimist. The personality he has developed is that he approaches his work in a reasonable and systematic way. He also values merit-based work and relationships based on respect. Additionally, the core concepts of justice and fairness are equally important to him as well. Cultural EpiphaniesAn eye-opening moment for Dele was when he moved to Canada from Nigeria, and realized that Canadians are rarely as direct and confrontational as Nigerians. Advice to an Employer Dele likes to work in a place where merit, contribution, knowledge, and effort are appreciated. He also welcomes disagreement and openness.More Great Insights! Dele’s company, Prowezz Leadership, is offering Quality 101 training in Canada. Visit his website to learn more and read his two books! Support the show
Bio for Rayne Martin Rayne Martin is both the founder of and a leadership coach at "It's The Impact." Episode highlightTune in to learn about Rayne Martin’s journey to make the world a better place as a leadership coach. LinksEmail: rayne@itstheimpact.comWebsite: https://www.itstheimpact.comLinkedIn:“You aren’t leading if you are not using your leadership to make a more just and equitable world.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsGrowing up impoverished in a small rural town of 200 people in northern Louisiana, Rayne felt as if she was “radically under-educated.” Even though she had been among the top of her class in high school, she found it necessary to take remedial English classes at college. She recalls going grocery shopping with her family once a month at a store in town, where each child was allowed to get one item of their choice. She began working at a very early age, which contributed to her feeling that she had to put in extra effort for anything she wanted. Influential Groups Compared to Rayne’s current home, the liberal city of New Orleans, the town she grew up in feels very conservative. Rayne’s mother asked her to invite her African-American friend and her mom to their house, which was the first time any white person had done so in their town. Rayne’s father held several sexist opinions, some of which hindered Rayne in considering herself a woman leader. However, she has now come into her own leadership style. Temperament and Personality InfluencesRayne has always been described as authentic. She is grateful to have recently met her biological father and discovered her Ukrainian heritage, but also grateful for her stepfather, who provided her with a framework on how to parent non-biological kids. Modeling her parental style after her stepfather continues to serve Rayne in her role as a stepmother to two children herself. Cultural EpiphaniesRayne’s husband recently wanted to join a yacht club, and she is uncomfortable being around people of that social class. However, she is working through her own bias against that group. Advice to an Employer Rayne thrives when she’s working with leaders who want to make a difference by being brave and authentic in the fight for creating a positive impact. More Great Insights! Rayne’s program, The Changemaker, is a comprehensive support system which includes personal coaching, the “4 Cs of changemaking,” and group work designed to help people be vulnerable and push through their blind spots as they work to change the world! Support the show
Bio for Nitin Govila Nitin Govila, a global business executive, has an extensive background in building and growing regions and organizations across multiple industries, channels, and cultures. Episode highlightA North Indian raised in West India who went to France to study without knowing French, Nitin Govila can share a thing or two about absorbing cultures and spring-boarding from them to success. LinksEmail: LinkedIn:“Not only the mind, but the heart will play a very key role in any profession.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsNitin was born in Pune and lived there until the age of eight. His family originally came from North India and was close to another family from South India, who had a son similar in age to Nitin. The father of that family was a disciplinarian, but Nitin cherishes being treated equitably when the father would tutor both the boys, and looks back fondly over his memories with his childhood friend. Influential Groups Nitin describes Pune as a “very young city.” The people he was surrounded with brought different cultures, food, values, and languages, all of which nurtured his young spirit. He is still inspired to keep that youthful energy alive when he leads at work. He has also grown to be tolerant and appreciative of the many differences in others. The sport of cricket is so endemic to Indian culture that it’s practically considered a religion, and like many of his peers, Nitin was passionate about sports. He now supports his children when they show an interest in sports. He was introduced to meditation by one of his colleagues in India, and found peace, freedom, and community, helping him through major decisions in his life. He is now also a meditation trainer.Nitin’s parents were independent and encouraged education among their children. His parents are religious, and he admires the sincerity and effort they put into their practice. Temperament and Personality InfluencesNitin has always been a curious observer who emphatically believes in a “never give up” attitude, and invests deeply into situations while still maintaining an overall “helicopter view” of the situation. Cultural EpiphaniesNitin was impressed by the French culture, particularly when they showed him an alternative to firing an employee by instead providing opportunities to coach them and share their unique skillsets.More Great Insights! Nitin believes that the professionals of the future will learn to balance their hearts and minds, to listen to the voice of their hearts, and use their thinking to execute those commands. Support the show
Bio for Christine GibsonDr. Christine Gibson is a family physician, trauma consultant, author, and facilitator in Calgary, Canada. Episode highlightChristine Gibson took her own intense personal experiences and laced them to her deep curiosity about healing trauma together with her background as a medical doctor. LinksEmail: contact@christinegibson.netLinkedIn: Websites:www.christinegibson.netwww.moderntrauma.comwww.saferspacestraining.comQuotes“The trauma isn't the event, the trauma is your response to the event.”“When a caterpillar has to form the cocoon, it dissolves its own skin in acid before it emerges as a butterfly, and I really like building a safe cocoon for that dissolution.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsGrowing up in Edmonton, Canada, Christine’s work in health equity was inspired by seeing her parents overcome obstacles, and the encouragement she received to pursue her interests.Christine’s curiosity and desire to learn more about people was primarily fueled by her mother’s innately intuitive disposition. In school, Christine’s circle of friends included people from all different social and activity groups. That was her beginning of becoming a “trans-disciplinarian.” Influential Groups Christine’s father came from a small coal mining town in Fife, Scotland. At the age of 16, her father dropped out of school and left the UK for a musical life in Canada. This decision later influenced Christine to chart her own course in life. Christine was taught a lot about Ukrainian culture and a strong work ethic from her maternal grandparents. She also learned the “there’s just nothing I can’t do” attitude.After Christine survived an earthquake in Nepal in 2004, her work and reach expanded to explore trauma. This helped her realize and understand the collective trauma in the world.Temperament and Personality InfluencesChristine has always been a curious person and has explored bringing that “curiosity, creativity and fun” into her work. She also considers herself an early adopter of ideas and trends. Cultural EpiphaniesChristine realized that she hadn’t understood decolonization, and was still operating from a colonial culture’s mindset until an Indigenous woman from Brazil navigated her through those difficult conversations. Advice to an Employer Christine enjoys working with people who expand beyond check boxes to see what’s possible and are willing to be playful around tough concepts.She also loves when she can provide space for deconstructing and regeneration, and thrives when she can work with the sensibility of exploring what can come from the ashes. More Great Insights! Christine’s book, The Modern Trauma Toolkit, is a solution and strength-based piece written to help manage trauma by using metaphors to enable catalyzed growing. Her training module is designed to help professionals and organizations create safer work spaces.Support the show
Bio for Mark MinukasMark is the Managing Partner at Co-Creation, helping organizations transform their business performance. He is also the co-author of the book Unfear.Episode highlightMark Minukas grew up believing that he needed to win to be accepted in the world. Listen in on how he grew from wanting to defeat everyone else to wanting to take them along on the ride to success.LinksEmail: LinkedIn: Website:“I think it is important that people discover for themselves what choices they are willing to make.” “It can be such an empowering thing to say: ‘I don’t know’.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsIn his Connecticut junior high school, Mark did not make it into the baseball team and became hyper-competitive to counter his fear of rejection. Influential Groups From his father, Mark learned that the world is full of possibilities if you work hard. He also learned that a man should not share emotions. His mother’s family also taught him to take a more light-hearted approach to life. In the United States Navy he was taught to care about those he worked with, and what enables teams to thrive and achieve their goals. After leaving the USN, his work at McKinsey & Company led him to believe any problem can be solved.Temperament and Personality InfluencesOver time Mark realized his win-lose paradigm had inadvertently strained relationships with people. In contrast, he now works to integrate his point of view with other people by having healthier, more creative exchanges. Cultural EpiphaniesMark experienced culture shock when he began his military career, particularly when he was posted to the Middle East and was introduced to new customs and languages. Advice to an Employer Marks is at his best when his point of view is heard with interest, even if it is not agreed with. He values open communication and candor so others can share their ideas.More Great Insights! Mark wrote Unfear with his business partner, which describes the performance of organizations from the inside out, beginning with individual mindsets which influence how they show up and work in teams, which further influences how organizations perform. Mark believes that the key to seeing fear as a cue for learning, growth, and transformation rests in the concept that “fear is neither a good thing nor a bad thing.”Support the show
Bio for Tarin Calmeyer Tarin Calmeyer is a Corporate Virtual Event Specialist and the CEO of Remote Team Wellness, the leading virtual wellness provider for several Fortune 500 companies, including Facebook, L'Oreal, and Episode highlightTarin Calmeyer was born to a Malawian mother, adopted by white South African parents, raised in the USA, went to university in Australia, lived in Morocco, Thailand, and Mexico, speaks English, Spanish, and Afrikaans, and has a working knowledge of Zulu, French, and Arabic. Tune in to join her on the fascinating journey that is her life story.LinksEmail: hello@remoteteamwellness.comWebsite: Facebook:“Any change starts with the individual.”“There is ‘otherism’ no matter where you look.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsAt the age of three, Tarin was abducted by her mother’s acquaintance and found eight days later. Tarin was later adopted by a white South African couple at age 11. Influential Groups Tarin was born and raised in the midst of “this very hateful bubble” of apartheid in South Africa, and she often felt ‘othered,’ even though she had people in her life who loved her. Dancing as a young girl taught her to work with her physical, mental, and emotional health, shaping her into the wellness-focused individual she is today. Tarin was raised in Christianity, but has found yoga to be an all-encompassing practice which has helped her explore other spiritual practices. Temperament and Personality InfluencesTarin believes she was born with a calm and patient temperament, and was an introvert. As an adult, she has worked to be more extroverted. As an only child, Tarin claims she always wanted to prove her point, but eventually learned through life experience and marriage that “you can’t be right all the time.”Cultural EpiphaniesTarin has realized that she won’t necessarily fit in with those who look like her. She also learned through teaching yoga that not everyone is focused on self-care and wellness. Advice to an Employer Openness to change, to another person’s perspective, and to growth are values that excite Tarin in working with others, which help everyone move forward towards their goals.More Great Insights! If you are looking to “keep learning and keep growing,” visit Tarin’s website and discover ways to help your team care for themselves in a real life, virtual, or hybrid setting. Support the show
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