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Tech Me Seriously!

Author: Sarah Tenisi

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I believe we all have stories to share with one another and some of our experience could be exactly what someone else needs to unlock their potential. That's why I host this podcast. My goal is that every listener leaves with a nugget of information that could lead to transformational change.
35 Episodes
Angela Amoroso: Championing Ballet and the Arts for Our Kids’ EducationIn this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Angela Amoroso, Founder of Scripps Performing Arts Academy, established in 1987.Her goal is to provide a creative nurturing environment that instills self-confidence, self-esteem, and teamwork without sacrificing the core values of dance as an art form.Listen in as Angela discusses why integrating art into the core curriculum, into K-12 education, is more important than ever. In a world of AI, she believes that it’s time to put the A back into STEM—that a STEAM education is the way of the future.She refers to a study by NASA which aimed to measure creative genius in school-aged children, demonstrated to decline drastically through the years, from 95% at the age of five all the way down to 2% by the age of 31. The performing arts, particularly ballet, can potentially curb these numbers if made a consistent part of a child’s core curriculum.To this end, she gives her thoughts on maintaining creative genius from childhood to adulthood, and how the skills learned through the performing arts easily carry over into leadership roles. She explains how parents and teachers alike can work together to change mainstream education, to effectively “sell” an arts-focused curriculum that puts students first.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:52] Why it’s so important to integrate art into the core curriculum●      [06:37] How the NASA study measured creative genius in children●      [11:34] Building a community of performing arts students●      [17:01] The importance of having compassion for your little performer●      [20:12] How Angela chose her career path●      [24:09] About the Scripps program, Experience the Good●      [26:36] Four ways Angela’s work has transformed the lives of students●      [30:25] Incorporating community-based performance into everyday life●      [31:53] Getting art programs back into education●      [37:58] How parents can get involvedKey quotes:●      “The best way to combat artificial intelligence is to become more human.”●      "Strong mind, strong body. Strong body, strong mind."Resources:●      Angela Amoroso on LinkedIn:●      Scripps Performing Arts Academy Website:●      Scripps Performing Arts YouTube Channel:
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Nicholas Muy, Head of Partnerships at Scrut Automation for North America and the EU.Nick has held a variety of high-impact roles at SaaS companies, many of which are familiar household names. Through his passion for cybersecurity and compliance, he helps companies manage risk and earn trust with their clients by helping them understand and implement great security and compliance practices.Listen in as Nick discusses the challenges of balancing security and compliance while managing risk and building trust with clients in the IT space. He shares his insights on the importance of storytelling to communicate the complexities of security and compliance to stakeholders, as well as making tough investment decisions.Nick talks about today’s career opportunities in cybersecurity, and how he solves governance, risk, compliance (GRC) for clients. He also discusses essential cybersecurity practices such as multifactor authentication and strong password management, while sharing horror stories of IT security and compliance to emphasize that solving this ongoing issue is ultimately a collective effort.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [02:31] Why IT security and compliance continues to be an issue●      [08:22] The difference between security and compliance●      [11:14] Defining “GRC”●      [17:09] Balancing security and compliance with risk management●      [20:31] Nick’s journey in the cybersecurity space●      [31:46] Must-do security requirements today●      [39:10] How to convince company owners to take these measures seriously●      [47:49] Security and compliance as a collective effortKey quotes:●      “Security is the set of things you do to manage risks to your company that come from being insecure. Compliance is what you do to manage the practices that you need to have in place to maintain your security posture.”●      "Governance versus compliance is something that's been around the financial industry, banks and huge companies the world over for a long, long time."
In this episode - Sarah chats with Matt Homann.Matt is the Founder of Filament, and inventor of Thinksgiving and is passionate about helping people think, meet and learn together better. Are your meetings feeling lackluster and unproductive? It's time to shake things up and transform your gatherings into dynamic, engaging experiences that leave participants inspired and motivated. In this fast-paced world, effective meetings are essential for driving progress and fostering collaboration. From incorporating interactive activities and setting clear objectives to leveraging technology and creating a positive atmosphere, Matt, our guest for today will equip you with a toolkit of strategies to revolutionize your meetings and unleash the full potential of your team.  Today, Matt shares the meaning of helping smart people think together better, why many meetings are terrible and the things he hates the most in meetings. He also talks about why people waste a lot of time in meetings, some of the great meeting behaviors, and ways to balance power and engagements in zoom meetings. Lastly, he discusses his upcoming book: Think Together Better. Tune in to learn more about this and other exciting topics! Timestamps[00:32] Matt Homann’s background information[01:01] The meaning of helping people think together better[01:55] Why a lot of meetings are terrible[03:58] The things that Matt hates about meetings[11:18] Why people waste a lot of time in meetings[13:33] Some of the great meeting behaviors[19:38] Tips to balance power and engagements in Zoom meetings[25:56] The great things that we get from remote meetings[31:15] How is Matt the meeting guy and how did he decide to help people think together better after being an attorney?[37:38] 5 common challenges with people in organizations and meetings[41:51] Idea Surplus Disorder[48:44] About Matt’s upcoming book: Think Together Better[51:35] What is Thinksgiving?Notable quotes:●      “An eight person meeting is an eight hour meeting.”●      “Being really intentional about what engagements looks like in meetings is really important.”●      “Don’t have a meeting if it’s just intentional. Record a video and then have a conversation about other people’s thoughts and perceptions of that.”●      “Nothing is obvious to everyone but everything is obvious to someone.”Connect with us:Matthew HomannWebsite: TenisiLinkedIn:  
The Emergence and Take Off of AI in Business and How it Relates to Digital Transformation JourneyArtificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the business landscape, revolutionizing the way organizations operate, and making their operations more efficient, effective, and profitable. AI-driven applications and solutions are becoming increasingly commonplace, and their ability to process vast amounts of data and deliver insights in real time is helping businesses make better-informed decisions. This, in turn, is accelerating the digital transformation journey of organizations across various industries. The emergence and take-off of AI in business have opened up a new world of possibilities, with companies now leveraging AI to automate routine tasks, streamline complex processes, and optimize their operations. In this episode, Sarah is joined by Sridhar Sunkara, the CEO and Digital Transformation Leader of eBiz Solutions, to talk about how AI relates to digital transformation and the benefits it has in businesses. Sridhar shares how companies can take advantage of ChatGPT, the most surprising things with companies on digital transformation, and the role of leaders and workforces in digital transformation. He also talks about what companies should be preparing for in AI, how AI is affecting employment, and what will happen when companies don’t think about AI now. Tune in to learn more about this and other exciting topics! Timestamps[00:34] Sridhar Sunkara’s background information[01:43] Why we are talking about the emergence and take of AI in business now[02:52] How companies can take advantage of ChatGPT[05:07] The role of AI in collective intelligence[10:31] What led Sunkara to become the CEO of a technology and solutions company that is helping other companies[12:48] The most surprising thing that Sridhar has learned working with companies in digital transformation projects[17:00] The role of leaders in digital transformation[18:23] What companies should be preparing for in AI[23:00] Setting the foundation of digital transformation [26:39] The responsibility of the old workforces in digital transformation[29:28] The responsibility of learning new tools[31:34] How AI is affecting employment[36:15] The acceptable use policy of AI in business[38:02] The generative training we are doing for the AI[40:20] How companies have taken advantage of AI[47:19] The human element involved in AI[47:53] What will happen when companies don’t think about AI now[49:55] How companies can start their digital transformation journeyNotable quotes:●      “Once you harness the power of AI, you can harness the power in your business operations, customer experiences, talent management, and also drive innovation which are the four forces of the growth of a company.”●      “Motivation is the one that changes the behavior and behavior becomes a habit. So, leaders should keep their teams motivated.”●      “Using data for intelligence is still below 2 on your digital maturity matrix.”Connect with us:Sridhar SunkaraLinkedIn: TenisiLinkedIn:  
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Shawn Flynn, a Principal at a mid-market investment bank among several specialties, focusing on Mergers & Acquisitions of middle-market companies, with revenue between $10-$250 million.Shawn kicked off his career by founding, scaling, and successfully scaling a company in Beijing, China. He is also host of The Silicon Valley Podcast where he speaks to founders on a variety of topics such as building a unicorn company, raising funding, and technology trends.Listen in as Shawn gives his thoughts on IT due diligence for M&A activities. He breaks down how different parties consider IT and compliance, from investment bankers to C-suite executives.Reminding us that “time kills all deals”, Shawn speaks on preventing or at least minimizing the risks that can stop a purchase from pushing through, such as ransom attacks, unexpected economic downturns, and even deal fatigue amid the due diligence process.Finally, Shawn and Sarah discuss what it will take to accomplish the monumental task of standardizing IT due diligence.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:53] Defining “IT due diligence”●      [05:37] Whether investment bankers care about IT and compliance●      [10:48] How Shawn got into the M&A space●      [15:29] How CEOs consider IT due diligence●      [21:45] Key inflection points in M&A activities●      [26:03] What to do if the company was affected by phishing●      [33:18] Optimizing the integration plan●      [36:30] What it takes to standardize IT due diligenceKey quotes:●      “It can be tied into the milestones of the company for key inflection points.”●      “Time kills all deals.”●      “You should be running your company as if you’re going to sell it any day.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Dr. Shahrzad Nooravi, author of A Powerful Culture Starts With You. She is an organizational psychologist and Master Certified Coach (MCC) who helps organizations cultivate thriving workplaces from the inside-out.Dr. Nooravi is the Founder and CEO of Strategy Meets Performance, a business consulting firm that partners with leaders of mid-sized to Fortune 500 organizations to help them create engaging, innovative, and productive cultures.Listen in as Dr. Nooravi discusses the mindset required to be an engaging leader that employees can’t help but be loyal to and never want to leave!She explains why, in the new normal, it’s so important for leaders to determine the right balance between in-person and virtual meetings in the workplace, because the truth we all have to contend with is that workplace culture has totally transformed over the past two years.Dr. Nooravi breaks down her three-part model on cultivating a great company culture, as detailed in her book. Those three parts, each an acronym, are:WATCH IT: How do you look at your culture to determine what’s going on? DRIVE IT: How do you create a coaching culture? WALK IT: How do you create a culture where the senior team is aligned?Finally, Dr. Nooravi gives an inspiring example of the three-part model in action and how your leadership team can begin to implement these principles into your organization today!What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:36] How to be an engaging leader, and why it’s vital today●      [04:30] Why employers need to find the right balance of in-person/virtual●      [06:08] Switching focus from recruitment to retention●      [08:14] Winning loyalty from your team●      [11:54] Defining “organizational psychology”●      [15:22] Signs that your company culture is not working●      [19:45] The three part-model on cultivating a great culture●      [23:41] What DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) should really mean for creating a culture●      [28:00] How not to be a work-addicted organization●      [33:17] How to create an aligned, coaching culture●      [39:01] The limitations of the desire to constantly innovate●      [41:16] An example of what can happen to an organization when the three-part model is put into practice●      [45:49] How to start implementing the three-part model todayKey quotes:●      “When workers have a skillset that is in-demand, they will want, at minimum, a hybrid setup; but a lot of them are looking for these virtual jobs. Unless employers get to the point where they figure out, for the right jobs, how to make that possible, it will be more difficult to bring on talented employees and to keep them.”●      “It’s so important to create a culture where people share their voice. That is their agency. We cannot change a behavior, a culture, or a system without speaking up.”●      “A culture is a living organism. You are tending to it like you do with any relationship that you have.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Ted White, CEO at Vertical Talent Solutions, a recruiting firm focused on finding great technical talent for MSPs (Managed Service Providers).Listen in as Ted dives deep into technical recruiting and what makes finding great IT talent for MSPs different from finding individual IT talent for companies. He discusses the value of hiring a generalist as compared to specialists due to the multifaceted nature of the MSP space.He talks about the traits of the best MSP professionals and how those in the IT space can have an edge when making the transition into MSPs.Ted gives his thoughts on the current hiring landscape in a post-Covid world, why he exclusively selects candidates with prior MSP experience currently, and why mass layoffs do not automatically translate into a bigger pool of qualified candidates.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:46] Why does finding a candidate with MSP experience matter?●      [05:31] Hiring innate troubleshooters●      [08:10] Why IT professionals would want to work in an MSP●      [14:38] How a candidate can have an edge in the MSP space●      [18:43] Why Ted decided on exclusively recruiting MSP talent for MSPs●      [24:19] Vetting MSPs and candidates●      [28:59] Making phone interviews more efficient and effective●      [32:45] The current state of the post-Covid hiring landscape●      [35:43] Why mass layoffs do not equal more available talentKey quotes:●      “For people that like technology, an MSP is the way to go.”●      “We don’t need to be in such a rush to be the first to make an offer to a candidate. Never make an offer to somebody who’s not ready to accept.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Robert Cardillo, Chairman of the Board at Planet Federal. He was also the sixth Director of United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF), and was a Distinguished Fellow at Saint Louis University.Listen in as Robert discusses how location science and location confidence is ultimately in service of helping people have more productive and fulfilling days.He offers his thoughts on how much is too much when it comes to exposing your kids to the digital world, and how “the wisdom of crowds” contributes to navigation apps such as Google Maps and Waze.Robert breaks down the latest resurgence of the AI phenomenon and the ethical considerations that latest advancements in the technology bring to the table. He speaks in particular of those intangible skills that are uniquely human and can never be replaced by robots.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:08] Defining “geospatial intelligence”●      [06:20] How navigation apps are created through “the wisdom of crowds”●      [12:14] Creating a “digital safe zone” for you and the next generation●      [17:04] Technological advancements in the geospatial intelligence space●      [24:06] Ethical concerns with regards to AI●      [30:07] How the integration of coding and AI changes the job market●      [32:58] The importance of the humanities●      [44:38] Where we’re headedKey quotes:●      “[Geospatial location] is all about confident movement leading to better decisions that create better outcomes—a better life.”●      “Let the computer do what the computer is good at, which is identifying three questions: what, when, and where. Let’s save our humans for ‘why’ and ‘what’s next?’.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Kaitlyn Allen, an expert in helping companies make strategic business-appropriate decisions regarding sustainability and energy transition.She sold her company, Global Affairs Associates, to ClimeCo last year. In addition to working in the ESG consulting space, Kaitlyn is also the Founder of MendIt, a digital marketplace for clothing repair and recycling, connecting existing businesses and consumers.Listen in as Kaitlyn discusses the idea that businesses prosper by innovating business models that help solve global challenges all while building prosperity. In other words, to create wealth without consuming more.Kaitlyn shares how businesses of every size and type can create new financial instruments to incentivize the behaviors which help solve global challenges. A lot of the time, this comes down to repacking the old in new, innovative ways, with a focus on “making sustainable consumption convenient and fun.”On the side of the consumer, raising awareness of sustainable business model innovations starts (and ends) with tiny, collective steps that eventually add up to mass acceptance of these environmentally friendly practices.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:38] Solving global challenges via innovative business models●      [06:58] Creating a marketplace to highlight small businesses across America●      [13:12] Maintaining convenience while switching to environmentally-friendly business models●      [17:19] Changing attitudes to sustainability through the generations●      [24:48] Finding ways to bring together old things in a new way●      [29:40] Taking baby steps to make an impact●      [38:21] How the future will look once more people embrace these business model innovationsKey quotes:●      “There is a recognition today in the business and financial markets that there are very significant externalities which are not priced into the markets.”●      “We don’t have to make more stuff to prosper.”●      “How can we make sustainable consumption convenient and fun?”
Joanie Connell: The Evolution of Remote WorkIn this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Dr. Joanie B. Connell, President of Flexible Work Solutions and development expert focused on career and leadership consulting. Her mission is to help technical experts transform into leaders comfortable with managing people and through emotionally-charged situations.She is the author of the two books Consulting to Technical Leaders, Teams, and Organizations: Building Leadership in STEM Environments and Flying without a Helicopter: Preparing Young People for Work and Life.Listen in as Joanie does a deep dive into leading remote teams in a post-lockdown world. She talks in particular on how to speak with introverts versus extroverts, and how leaders can create a culture of thorough communication and accountability without individual team members losing the ability to stay creative and flexible in their workJoanie also offers tips on onboarding employees for remote teams, as well as providing feedback to employees who have fallen short of the mark.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:[01:54] Establishing Flexible Work Solutions during a time when remote work was uncommon[05:16] How COVID transformed work[07:55] Different employee types and their different needs[11:05] Introverts and remote work[14:56] Onboarding employees for remote teams[17:36] Joanie’s journey from engineer to leadership coach[22:28] About Joanie’s books and podcast, Reinventing Nerds[26:50] The importance of empathy in technical leadership[29:02] Getting “big picture” leaders to appreciate the details[30:26] Managing introverted and extroverted employees remotely[34:15] The importance of accountability and setting expectations with employees[38:56] How being hyper-focused on numbers negatively impacts culture[44:03] How to check in and give feedback to employees that need improvementKey quotes:“Flexibility isn’t just about managing family responsibilities. People in San Diego want flexibility so they can surf in the morning! You have different generations of people with different challenges and interests.”“When onboarding people, one of the things that is really challenging in any context, but especially remotely, is giving people tacit knowledge: unwritten rules about your company culture and norms.”“As a leader, the best thing you can have is a good reputation to attract other people to your team.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Angela Masching. Her expertise lies in building scalable, successful, sellable businesses, with a particular passion for high-growth organizations and transformative global impact.Angela has held various corporate governance roles and has a wealth of experience on what it takes to make a company successful.Listen in as Angela unpacks the idea that everyone has a boss, no matter one’s role in an organization. She discusses the four major stakeholder groups that make up the governance chain in your typical small-to-midsize company.Angela explains how to decide whether to hire a COO, or to put together a Board of Directors. She gives her thoughts on how executive leadership can best work alongside the Board, how CEOs and COOs of differing personalities and strengths can create a productive relationship, and her crisis management tips should major disagreements flare up among the leadership team.She also speaks on the drastic cultural changes taking place across many organizations to this day as a result of the pandemic, and how leaders can cultivate a powerful company culture in spite of the turbulence in today’s economy.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:52] The various players in the governance chain●      [04:04] Deciding when to hire a COO●      [06:32] The role of the Board of Directors and how to construct one●      [11:50] How the Board of Directors work with executive leadership●      [15:25] Respecting the scope of your work depending on your role●      [19:34] Core leadership principles to avoid or minimize conflict●      [23:43] The importance of having a system to fall back on●      [25:41] Leading by example and building a great company culture●      [28:49] The rise of the collaborative company culture●      [32:49] How technology has changed corporate culture●      [37:14] What’s next for Angela●      [39:18] The different types of CEOs and COOs and how they work togetherKey quotes:●      “You want to be careful and thoughtful about whether you need a Board of Directors or whether you just want an advisory board. You can get that compliance expertise through an advisory board or through your professional network without giving away control of your company.”●      “Comfort with failure and comfort with agility are two key skills. You have to have them on the Board of a startup just as you have to have them on the engineering team.”●      “One of the ways we can build that culture of psychological safety is by checking our own ego as a leader. Failure happens. Accepting failure gracefully has to be a part of your culture when you’re growing a company, no matter its size.”●      “It’s really hard for leadership to set the culture. Culture comes from the team; it comes from the ground-up; it is a grassroots thing; it is organic. But leadership can mess up a culture if they don’t respect it nor embody its values.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Craig Weber, author of Conversational Capacity and Influence in Action. He is on a mission to create more healthy, engaged, and adaptive organizations.Craig’s books provide concrete actions you can take to transform your company, and even your personal relationships.Listen in as Craig shares the keys to building up your conversational capacity and ability to produce psychological safety in the workplace. He discusses the evolution of managerial styles from a widespread acceptance of a command-and-control approach to one that embraces more creativity, autonomy, and flexibility.Craig dives deep into the mindset and skillset required to optimize your conversational capacity as a leader, as well as how to complement the power of high conversational capacity with high diversity in your organization to maximize productivity and engagement.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:33] Defining “conversational capacity”●      [04:00] Operationalizing emotional intelligence●      [05:29] How Craig found himself on his current path●      [07:23] How philosophies and practices toward building effective organizations have shifted in the past decade●      [12:22] Promoting autonomy appropriately●      [17:34] Finding the conversational “sweet spot”●      [21:02] The benefit of having a “trigger journal”●      [28:36] Why good intentions do not necessarily lead to good actions●      [30:50] How to start building conversational capacity in your organization●      [31:56] The role of mindset in building conversational capacity●      [35:11] Achieving high conversational capacity and high diversity●      [36:23] Building your conversational capacity skillset●      [41:55] The future of work as conversational capacity enters the mainstreamKey quotes:●      “Conversational capacity is a discipline, and just like any discipline, practice is key.”●      “Conversational capacity is, in essence, operationalized emotional intelligence.”●      “It doesn’t do any good to spend a ton of trouble getting the smartest people you can find into your business if you can’t access their smarts when it matters.”●      “Nothing lowers conversational capacity more predictably than the presence of authority.”Links:
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Anne Bisagno, CEO at Xantrion, a managed cybersecurity and IT support firm tailored to mid-sized businesses based in the Bay Area.Xantrion has been consistently named as one of the top managed cybersecurity service providers, and as one of the best places to work in the Bay Area.Listen in as Anne speaks on her motivation behind developing a diversity, equity, and inclusion practice at Xantrion as she reflects on America’s long and ongoing path to greater representation in information technology and the workforce as a whole.Anne shares how the aftermath of George Floyd’s death served as a major point of inspiration for Xantrion’s DEI strategy and push for a healthier culture, igniting a flurry of transparent conversations between everyone at the company that painted a clear picture of the right way forward.Finally, Anne talks about the benefits of having a DEI program and the most important factors to consider when structuring one for your company.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [03:18] Anne’s journey and the backstory behind the founding of Xantrion●      [06:26] The path to greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce●      [14:07] Creating a DEI strategy at Xantrion●      [19:17] How the Black Lives Matter movement changed Xantrion’s company culture●      [23:31] Putting a pause on hiring for two years and dealing with the fallout of the pandemic●      [26:59] Being deliberate about your DEI strategy as your company scales●      [29:41] Using data to manage your DEI program●      [32:23] Attracting more minorities to the IT industry●      [36:42] Optimizing your KPIs for performance and business management●      [41:05] Training your recruiters to look for customer service experience●      [43:54] The benefits of having a DEI programKey quotes:●      “Culture is an important thing for an organization like ours. It’s at the top of the list of who we are and how we operate. It’s our secret sauce.”●      “One of the things we’re working hard on recognizing and managing is: Conversations around DEI can be difficult. They can make some people really uncomfortable.”●      “As you get larger and larger, you have to get super deliberate with anything you do—whether it’s business goals, team priorities, performance management, or something like culture and DEI.”●      “We’re not so worried about when and how and where you do your work, but where it gets done. KPIs really enable that kind of culture and management and performance process.”●      “I can teach people technical skills. But what’s harder to teach is the desire to be helpful.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Maria Dion, who has a long career in project management of the built environment.Ten years ago, in an effort to develop a better relationship with money, she read The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist, and then participated in a workshop digging more into those concepts.Those experiences led her to coach on transforming mindsets from scarcity to sufficiency. To learn more about this work, go to Maria’s website, in as Maria explains why we never feel like we have “enough”, and why having more seldom equates to greater peace and satisfaction. She speaks of money as a representation of your values—as energy flowing through your life.Maria discusses why you shouldn’t be afraid to talk about money and that you should, in fact, actively seek to have productive and inspiring conversations with others in an effort to improve your relationship with money.Finally, Maria talks about switching from a mindset of “scarcity” to that of “sufficiency”, and how such a transition positively influences every aspect of your life, and even the lives of those around you.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:59] How one figures out how much is “enough”●      [05:09] Being a “consumer” versus being a “citizen"●      [10:44] Transitioning from the mindset of “scarcity” to that of “sufficiency”●      [15:12] Practicing gratitude●      [18:43] Why it’s important to talk about money●      [21:23] How to be a good steward of your money●      [27:17] Looking beyond your current circumstances to find solutions●      [34:52] How your life changes once you switch from a mindset of scarcity to that of sufficiencyKey quotes:●      “You can’t get to peace and satisfaction through the doorway of more.”●      “Sufficiency is love. Scarcity is fear.”●      “The way you do money is the way you do life.”●      “Sufficiency touches every part of our lives. It’s not just about money.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Maritza Diaz, founder of ITJuana, which enables companies in California to create technology centers of excellence in Tijuana. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and sits on the Forbes Technology Council.Listen in as Maritza unpacks her initiative to build the Biomed tech valley in Tijuana and why more discussions need to be had on the cross-border economy. She contends that the area covering San Diego and Tijuana makes for a “something way better Silicon Valley” due to its being a prominent hub for the life sciences.Maritza also explains how she aims to generate the next wave of engineers and thereby solve the problem of access to talent in software engineering, not to mention pave the way for greater diversity in the industry.Finally, she discusses how developing this market ultimately results in a huge win-win situation for both the U.S. and Mexico, giving both nations an even greater competitive advantage on the world stage.Maritza concludes that: “We do have the talent. We just need to leverage it.”What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:45] Why Tijuana is the ideal tech center●      [03:56] San Diego and Tijuana as a “way better Silicon Valley”●      [08:22] Telling the Federal Reserve that Silicon Valley shouldn’t be in San Francisco●      [11:07] The difference between perception and reality●      [14:37] Solving the problem of access to talent in software engineering●      [22:19] Developing the “next wave of engineers” via bootcamps●      [30:16] Unintentionally weaving diversity into the software industry●      [32:54] How companies can tap into this market●      [37:20] Breaking perceptions through this initiativeKey quotes:●      “Tijuana is only 25 minutes south of Downtown San Diego; hence, it’s located in the same time zone. We can find amazing quality software engineers. It’s sort of a no-brainer: Why wouldn’t more companies go there to enable their digital capabilities?”●      “For every two jobs that Tijuana generates, it represents one job created in San Diego.”●      “Hire the person, not the skill.”●      “My passion—the reason why I do this—is because I do want to generate these jobs of the future for people like me who probably otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity. And the way to do it is by bringing the companies to establish them here in Mexico.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Emily Perry, PhD. She is the Senior Education Program Manager at QuillBot, a company focused on developing state-of-the-art AI-based writing and research tools to make writing painless. Emily goes in-depth into how AI is transforming educational writing.She and Sarah kick off the episode defining what AI is (and isn’t) and addressing AI skepticism before dedicating the latter part of the conversation on how QuillBot is making writing “painless” and, in particular, helping students focus their energies on what really matters in their writing assignments.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:26] What is “artificial intelligence” and what is not AI?●      [09:25] How AI is transforming the world today●      [18:10] Addressing AI skeptics●      [24:56] How AI is being applied in education●      [37:28] All about QuillBot●      [46:07] How QuillBot lightens students’ loadKey quotes:●      “An AI system can pretty much understand its environment, and it’s completely tasks and actions to achieve a certain goal that it’s trained to do.”●      “If you don’t understand [AI], that’s one thing. But don’t not try to understand it and still reject some of these really, really important advances in the educational community, like taking mundane tasks such as grammar checking and automating that with AI.”●      “QuillBot was designed as an AI writing and research platform. The goal is to help make writing painless.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Susan Schwartz, Founder and Leadership & Management Coach at The River Birch Group. She spent her early career working as a project manager on large technical projects. Today she focuses on transforming professional experts into excellent leaders. Her book, Creating a Greater Whole, discusses this process in detail.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:58] Why aspiring leaders should never overlook the “soft and squishy” skills●      [04:43] How a technical expert transforms into a professional who leads with excellence●      [07:43] Why Susan wrote Creating a Greater Whole●      [10:27] What’s emotional intelligence got to do with it?●      [16:04] Why those in IT are very much responsible for user experience●      [18:00] The power of storytelling and other soft skills for technical experts●      [25:45] The importance of having a team of people who are unlike you●      [29:05] The evolution of teams over the last 30 years●      [33:16] Creating psychological safety in your work environment●      [40:29] Foundational knowledge versus expert knowledge●      [43:28] How to delegate and set expectations as a leader with “TAG”●      [49:00] How leadership will look in the next ten years●      [53:23] Why Susan prefers the term “professional skills” over “soft skills”Key quotes:●      “A leader’s function is to motivate and to help people see the overall picture—to know why what they’re doing is so important, who they need to connect with, and why they need to connect with them. Leaders are coaches and mentors and they help you learn how to make those connections, and very often, it’s done by modeling.”●      “Emotional intelligence is a tool that enables you to observe the situation around you and choose how you’re going to react and behave to that situation, because you can’t change anyone’s behavior except your own.”●      “When you’re in IT inside a company, all of the users are your clients, and internal clients are so much harder than external clients, because they expect that much more and they’re less patient—so much less patient.”●      “It’s all about continuous learning. Real leaders are constantly learning by asking questions and learning about what’s going on within their teams.”
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Christina Dyer, CEO of Christina Dyer International, an executive leadership and coaching company. She is also the Founder of Noble Adventures, a leadership retreat and adventure company.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [01:26] What is “unconditional positive regard”?●      [09:30] Why “participation trophies” aren’t necessarily a bad thing●      [10:58] How does unconditional positive regard help businesses heal the world?●      [18:45] The power of one person’s attitude in your organization●      [22:04] Christina’s globe-trotting adventures and how got to where she is now●      [27:55] About the Rwandan genocide●      [30:27] How far a dollar can go in helping families outside the U.S.●      [35:52] The CALM method●      [42:38] How Noble Adventures helps people develop unconditional positive regard●      [52:54] The benefits of coming from a place of positive intent when interacting with your team●      [56:16] The killer of trust within organizationsKey quotes:●      “Unconditional positive regard allows people the environment in which they can best flourish.”●      “I think one thing that COVID has done is take the focus off of performance and results and put it on people.”●      “When you have one person in your organization that is positive, they can impact and influence attitudes.”●      “Poverty really breeds a lot of creativity.”●      “Self-awareness is the first step to being a leader.”●      “Fun and adventure is the glue that holds teams together.”
Alex Goldfayn: Pick Up the Phone and Sell!In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Alex Goldfayn, a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and CEO of The Revenue Growth Consultancy. His specialty is motivating sales teams, executives, and owners to take action and quickly increase revenue. On September 22, 2021, he released his newest book Pick Up The Phone and Sell: How Proactive Calls to Customers and Prospects Can Double Your Sales.What You’ll Learn in This Episode:●      [02:12] Two nuggets of wisdom from Alex that has helped Sarah in working on instead of in her business●      [03:57] Why Alex wrote his latest book●      [08:51] The problem with email●      [11:12] What Pick Up the Phone and Sell teaches about phone calls●      [14:50] Where Alex got his start as a sales coach●      [20:05] Alex on being “born an entrepreneur”●      [25:59] Why nobody fails more than salespeople●      [31:21] Developing the mindset to crush selling●      [41:57] Having your prospects remember you●      [48:27] Is cold calling dead?Key quotes:●      “If you’re in B2B sales, the phone is so effective that it’s the most effective sales growth tool that we have. Also, it’s the most avoided and least-used sales tool that we have. Meanwhile, the least effective sales pathway, which is email, is used the most.”●      “I think that, when you send an email, you hurt your sale more than you help it. [...] You make yourself more distant from the sale.”●      “We have to walk through those nos in order to get to the yeses, because if we don’t attain the rejections, we won’t get to the yeses. Each no gets you closer to the next yes.”●      “I think the greatest superpower in selling is perseverance.”●      “We have so much in common with people now that I don’t think there really are any cold calls. Cold calling assumes you have nothing in common.”Alex’s Other Books●      Evangelist Marketing: What Apple, Amazon, and Netflix Understand About Their Customers (That Your Company Probably Doesn't)●      The Revenue Growth Habit: The Simple Art of Growing Your Business by 15% in 15 Minutes Per Day●      Selling Boldly: Applying the New Science of Positive Psychology to Dramatically Increase Your Confidence, Happiness, and Sales●      5-Minute Selling: The Proven, Simple System That Can Double Your Sales ... Even When You Don't Have Time
In this episode, Sarah Tenisi speaks with Michelle Wagner, the CEO of MindStrong, a telehealth company focused on providing mental health services using traditional methodologies combined with newer technologies like predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence. Sarah and Michelle chat about the history of mental health and how it has evolved to people now speaking openly about it, and how technology has helped reach out to several patients seeking help with their mental illnesses, with the latest one being the telehealth services. Tune in to listen to Michelle’s history in the industry, and how she’s using Mindstrong to reach out to patients.   TimeStamps[01:27] Differences between mental health and mental illness[05:30] History of mental health and mental illness[10:34] Focussing on mind, body, and soul[11:40] Michelle Wagner’s story[17:40] Technological advancement in telehealth services[20:33] Shortage of therapists and psychiatrists and mental health professionals[21:29] Is technology one of the causes of mental health issues?[23:37] Mental health and social media[26:04] Solving the problem of mental health services shortage[27:35] EAP plans[30:45] The speeding technology[32:50] What good mental health looks like[38:00] Having a conversation on mental health[45:03] Helping people with their mental health[47:33] Setting work-life boundaries[51:06] Michelle’s challenge to everyoneNotable Quotes●      Everyone experiences sadness, depression, or anxiety momentarily. That doesn’t necessarily equate to clinically diagnosed illness. ●      Technology is doing good things when it comes to healthcare and that’s pretty exciting to see tech truly used for good just in terms of accessibility alone.●      Good mental health is raising your own self-awareness of what you are or what you need at that moment, understanding your own feelings and how they influence your actions, and how you communicate and interact with other people.●      You’re not good to everyone else if you’re not good to yourself.●      70% of human thought is negative. Those are our brains. That’s how they work. But you can train your brain to be more aware and think more about how you are showing up.Connect with MichelleLinkedIn Website 
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