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Let's Get Real

Author: Nina Simonds, PCC

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Welcome to Let’s Get Real where we explore the intersection between personal transformation and social change. Join executive coach and internationally-recognized facilitator Nina Simonds as she has conversations with activists, influencers and entrepreneurs living and leading from vision, values and purpose. We explore personal experiences of transformation as well as resources and ideas about how each of us can be a leader and advocate for a better world.
26 Episodes
Melanie Larkins is an ESG expert with 20 years  partnering with clients,  senior executives and governments to implement sustainable strategies.   She is also a wellness and peak performance coach integrating yoga, meditation, and various healing modalities into her work with high performers.  Nina and Melanie explored the connection between self care and care for the planet.  They also talked about how to address burnout at the individual level as well as systemically.  Melanie also shared what makes sustainability so compelling for business.  Melanie's Website All We Can Save Doughnut Economics 
David O'Leary is a wealth management expert, impact investment professional, public speaker, and writer.  David spends his time as Founder & Principal of Kind Wealth, a holistic wealth management practice helping early to mid-career Canadians manage their money in a way that matches their values.  Nina spoke with David O'Leary about how to put our money where are values are and make investing a form of activism.  David and Nina also shared stories about how our attitudes about money influence our choices.   David explained what Environment Social Governance (ESG) criteria are,  the bottleneck to more social impact investing, and the power of newer forms of financing such as microlending.  Dave’s Impact Investing Podcast  Kind Wealth Dave's Resources for Impact Investing James Baldwin QuoteSoul of Money  Muhammad Yunus  
For the Season 3 Opener, Nina interviews Lilly Tong, climate creative and activist and host of Make Peas Not Beef.  Lilly is passionate about building smart cities that leverage sustainable practices and technological innovation to combat climate change.  In this conversation Lilly and Nina talked about the importance of optimism to being a climate activist.  They also riffed on veganism, reducing use of plastic and the privilege of clean drinking water.  Finally, Lilly shared the three things that all of us can do to be climate activists.   Food for Thought Podcast Make Peas Not Beef Game Changers Documentary Betsy Rosenberg The Drawdown Project Blueland Dropps
Robin Lacambra is a social justice advocate and movement educator and the founder of GOODBODYFEEL, a studio that offers accessible, inclusive and decolonized movement classes that build self-awareness, strength and community.  Robin shared how inclusivity informs both her parenting and her leadership.  Nina and Robin talked about how essential embodiment is to our collective liberation.  Robin spoke eloquently about the difference between true joy and what she calls "toxic positivity."  They also riffed about the power in deconstructing binary thinking in our personal lives and in our activism.   GOODBODYFEEL
Nina and Andy chat about how to protect and improve voter rights here in the United States and why it matters now more than ever to get involved.  They also talked about how they choose guests for the pod and whether the format is more interview or conversation.   They also shared some BIG personal news before announcing the theme for Season Three. Contact your U.S. Senator
Rebecca Scott is a leadership coach and catalyst with Cultivating Leadership.  She also brings humor, vulnerability and grace to her daily struggles with Multiple Sclerosis through her blog Stumblr.  In this episode Rebecca shared the mindsets and habits she uses to deal with MS and how she applies what she is learning to her work with leaders.  Nina and Rebecca also geeked out about adult development theory and how it has helped both of them grow.  They also came up with a new definition for moderation.  
Richard Hurt was elected to Aliso Viejo City Council in 2020, the first black person to be elected to local office in South Orange County, California.  Nina and Richard talked about their hopes for racial equity in the United States and the importance of staying in the conversation.   Richard about his early experiences getting things done for Aliso Viejo and what gives him hope for the future. Kathryn FinneyLeadership and Self DeceptionClint Smith 
Seena Hodges is the founder of The Woke Coach, an organization that helps clients have a deeper understanding of how the legacy of racism and injustice affect us all.  Ms. Hodges and her team engage with clients to facilitate conversations that live at the intersection of equity, diversity, inclusion, antiracism, and empowerment.   She shared the specific distinctions between being an ally and an accomplice.  Nina and Seena also got real about what it will take for friendships between white women and black women to be more common.    The Woke CoachLeading through Complexity Peer Group The Autobiography of Malcolm XFinding your Roots 
In this episode Nina shares more about Season 2 and interviews a very special guest, her daughter Layne Bower.  Layne is a Senior at the University of Minnesota and is the president of the College of Liberal Arts Student Board.   Layne asked her mom the five questions that Nina has been asking each guest this season. Nina and Layne also talked about what makes their relationship unique and how Nina came up with the title for the show.  
Eric Kohner is an internationally recognized executive coach and keynote speaker. He founded EKCOsystem, a global corporate training company dedicated to bringing the human being into business. He issuccessful in bringing the heart skills to high-level executives in global organizations such as the US Navy, Capgemini, and ING and is a pioneer of the coaching profession.  Eric shared candidly about how he is learning to work with his own privilege in his work with emerging talent.   Nina and Eric explored some of the taboo topics in leadership development.  They also discussed why it's more important than ever for leaders to be BADASS.  Eric's WebsiteSeven SecondsBryan StevensonLeading through Complexity White Fragility
California activist Celeste Pewter is an upcoming journalist with bylines in Teen Vogue  and Thrillist.  Most recently she has been speaking out about the increased profiling of people of Asian American descent.    In this conversation, Celeste shared candidly about recent harassment she experienced near her home as a Taiwanese American.  Nina and Celeste also explored the power of witnessing for one another and how the term microaggression may minimize the toxicity of racist comments.  Finally, Celeste and Nina discussed three specific ways we can support the AAPI community.   Teen Vogue Article Vincent Chin NY Times article Asian American Journalists Association Nina's Next Peer Group Celeste's Twitter Let's Get Real IG Grace Meng's Website Bystander Training 
Toronto-based executive coaches Joanna Cotton and Grace Churchill are the founders of the Do Good Collective, a community for women who want to create meaningful connections and change the world.  Grace and Joanna shared their insights about what professional women need most right now.  Nina also found out what helps them thrive as a partnership, and they got real about their reactive patterns.  Grace and Joanna were also candid about what it's like to face another lockdown just as the United States seems to be emerging out of the pandemic.  Women Rising (Do Good Collective's May Session) About NinaLet's Get Real on InstagramDo Good Collective Facebook Page ORSCFor All Mankind (on Apple+)
Kvon Tucker heads up leadership development for Google’s Staffing organization.   He is also the founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven Executive and Leadership Coaching firm.  Kvon and Nina dove into the topic of leadership presence and what it means to balance the masculine and the feminine.  Kvon shared specific practices he uses with clients to help them develop presence.  The two of them also explored the connection between personal transformation and working for the greater good, and the healing that happens when men support women.  Kvon's IGConsciously Coaching for Everyone ACTO Conference Tim Ferriss interview of Elizabeth Lesser
Tina Meyers is a former environmental and social justice attorney turned coach and spiritual warrior.  She coaches high-performing women advocates and leaders, designs and leads feminine leadership programs for nonprofits, and is the founder of Women Advocates Rising and Warrior School. Tina and Nina explored what feminism means to each of them.  They also spoke candidly about what it would be like to live in a world where women were fully empowered to bring their full selves and where leadership was more balanced between the masculine and the feminine.  Nina even learned a new term, spiritual bypassing! Leading through Complexity Peer GroupWarrior School Tina's IGLet's Get Real on Instagram 
Season 2 Trailer

Season 2 Trailer


Join internationally recognized facilitator and leadership coach Nina Simonds for the second season of Let's Get Real, an exploration of what it means to be a leader and activist in a world of increasing complexity and ambiguity.   This season Nina continues to have REAL (relevant, engaging, authentic, leadership) conversations that illuminate how our experiences shape who we are and what matters to us.   She also speaks with colleagues about the practice and evolution of leadership and personal development.  
Season One Recap

Season One Recap


Nina and Andy chat about surprising moments and highlights of Season One. Nina also gives a sneak preview of Season Two.  They had a surprise guest in the studio.  Season Two launches on April 12, 2021. Zoey's InstagramNina's InstagramAndy's Instagram 
José Trinidad Castaneda  (he/they) is a rising star in fighting for climate change and clean energy in Orange County.  He is the Orange County Policy Manager with Climate Action Campaign and currently serves on the City of Fullerton Planning Commission. He is also the  Communications Director for the Lavender Democrats of Orange County.  José opened up about early experiences that shaped his passion for climate action and social justice.  Nina and José also talked about the intersection between public policy issues such as housing and climate and the importance of approaching social change holistically.  He also shared where he feels the greatest sense of belonging and what inspires him to keep in the fight for a sustainable planet and a more equitable world. Nina Simonds Coaching Peer Groups Climate Action Campaign José Trinidad CastanedaJosé on Twitter Lavender Democrats 
Veronica King is a master facilitator, executive coach and social justice advocate based in Johannesburg. She is the founder and CEO of Emuthini Consulting which she established in 2002.   She draws on her extensive organizational experience at the senior executive level to work primarily with issues of inclusion and diversity with both private and public sector clients.  She shared what it was like to begin her career under Apartheid and how she found her authentic self by letting go of needing to make whites comfortable.  Nina and Veronica got real about how rank showed up in their conversation and where Nina's white lens limits her understanding of Veronica's experience.  It was obvious in this conversation that her work is driven by a deeply held commitment to social justice and transformation.Resources Emuthini Consulting White Fragility by Robin Diangelo How to be Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi Octavia Butler Caste by Isabel Wilkerson Nina Simonds Coaching Peer Groups My Grandmother's Hands by Resmaa Menakem 
Eldra Jackson III is the co-director of Inside Circle, an organization that empowers people who have been affected by the criminal justice system to lead change from within.  They provide opportunities for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people to heal and serve both themselves and others.  Eldra shared how his choices as a teen led to the gangster life and eventually a life sentence in New Folsom state prison.  He talked about what it took to survive in these subcultures and his transformation from toxic masculinity and criminal behavior to personal responsibility and spirit.   Nina and Eldra talked about the need for both individual choice and community support to truly create lasting social change.  Eldra's passion for helping young people with both the practical and inner work of having a good life was apparent in this conversation.  Inside Circle Eldra's Ted TalkHow I unlearned dangerous lessons about masculinityThe New Jim CrowNina Simonds Coaching  
Melanie Ramil is Executive Director of Emerge California,  a non-profit organization that identifies and helps women and minorities in California be elected to public office. Emerge America was praised by Hillary Clinton as a group that has impressed her since the 2016 election at helping get Democrats elected to officeRamil is a superstar in her field and has dedicated her career to ensuring that institutions embrace and reflect the diversity of the constituencies they serve.  Melanie has led and won multiple statewide campaigns, including the one for United States Senator Kamala Harris.In this conversation Melanie opened up about her journey to embrace her Filipina identity.  Nina and Melanie also riffed on what kind of VP Harris will be and how her leadership will transform the role.  We also made some distinctions between identity politics and discussed why it really matters to have more women in office.  ResourcesAnd She Could Be Next: A Documentary Emerge California Nina Simonds CoachingMelanie's Story on NPR's Race Card Project  
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