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Chief Influencer

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Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.
55 Episodes
Allan Golston is the President of the United States Program at The Gates Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to advancing educational opportunities and ensuring equitable academic and economic outcomes for all students, particularly those from low-income backgrounds and students of color. Allan's unique leadership approach hinges on the power of influence through reciprocity, authenticity, and storytelling. In today's episode, Allan delves into his career journey from public accounting to philanthropy, the importance of building trusted partnerships, the evolution of leadership styles, and leveraging digital platforms like LinkedIn for reciprocal influence. Stay tuned to gain valuable insights on balancing data-driven decision-making with personal storytelling to drive impactful change and the importance of creating authentic connections in both personal and professional spheres.Takeaways:Treat leadership as a continuous practice, not a destination, and continuously strive for self-improvement. Allan Golston emphasizes that leadership is an ongoing process. He makes it a point to learn and grow each day, preparing to be even better the next day. This practice of self-reflection and ongoing improvement can help leaders stay dynamic, relevant, and effective.Be authentic in your leadership and influence based on genuine interactions rather than projecting a persona. Early in his career, Golston found that employers expected employees to project a certain persona or dress a certain way as part of instilling confidence in clients. However, as his career evolved, he realized that authenticity became crucial for effective leadership as his responsibilities grew. Leaders should focus on genuine connections and interactions, which build trust and authenticity.Embrace a two-way influence model. Listen and be open to being influenced while also trying to influence others. This influence needs to be reciprocal. Authentic listening and a willingness to be influenced are as important as trying to guide or direct others. This approach builds mutual respect and understanding.To drive meaningful impact, deeply understand your audience. This is crucial for making informed and impactful decisions. Leaders must invest time learning about their internal and external teams and stakeholders and broader audiences to tailor their actions and communications effectively.Aim to ensure equitable outcomes in your leadership practice and organizational goals. Leaders should prioritize creating inclusive environments and opportunities that benefit all, especially the underrepresented or marginalized groups.Openly share your personal stories and learn from the stories of others. This practice fosters a deeper connection and understanding within the team, helping to build a cohesive and empathetic workplace culture.Start interactions with personal concerns and show genuine interest in your team’s well-being. Instead of diving straight into work-related discussions, begin with personal conversations. Asking about someone's well-being or family circumstances shows empathy and builds a culture of care and support.Quote of the Show:“I fundamentally believe that influence has two key dimensions. Number one is that it has to be reciprocal. You have to be open to being influenced as much as you are trying to influence. The second is that you have to know when it’s best to influence directly or empower others to influence and carry the critical messages.” - Allan GolstonLinks:LinkedIn: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Website): Outs:Stryker: Harley-Davidson: Aspen Institute - The Henry Crown Fellowship Program: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The William Jewell College: John Lewis: 
Max Friedman is the Co-Founder and CEO of Givebutter, an all-in-one nonprofit fundraising and CRM platform that has powered nearly $2 billion in donations. Having started the company in his college dorm room, Max's journey highlights the blend of self-taught technical skills and a mission-driven approach to make online giving fun, social, and transparent. In this episode, you’ll learn how Givebutter's unique branding and commitment to transparency have contributed to its success and how Max's leadership strategies, especially in a remote work environment, emphasize values and culture to drive impact and growth. Additionally, Max shares insightful advice on engaging the next generation of donors, adapting nonprofits to modern fundraising techniques, and the importance of building a strong team culture even when remote. Tune in to discover how Givebutter is revolutionizing the fundraising landscape and inspiring change across the nonprofit sector.Takeaways:Transparency should be a throughline in everything you do, from your mission to your operational policies. Ensure your team and customers have a clear view of your pricing, product roadmap, and internal guidelines. Implement transparent pricing models and make your company's mission and vision public. Consider making internal documents like handbooks and guides accessible to everyone, including potential new hires and the public.Even in a fully remote environment, creating a strong and cohesive culture is possible by establishing clear values, vision, and operational guidelines that everyone understands and adheres to. Develop a comprehensive handbook that includes your company’s mission, vision, values, and operational rules. Use this as a cornerstone to onboard new employees and to maintain cultural consistency.Personal connections can significantly enhance your fundraising efforts. Utilize peer-to-peer fundraising to tap into personal networks, making it easy for individuals to share your cause within their communities. Develop programs that encourage your supporters to become ambassadors for your nonprofit. Provide them with easy-to-use tools to share their experiences and solicit donations from their networks.Create a feedback loop where customer inputs are regularly collected, analyzed, and acted upon. Ensure they are communicated back to the customers once improvements are made. Implement a system to aggregate customer feedback and make it publicly accessible so that users can see the status of requested features or reported issues. Notify customers when their feedback has led to concrete changes or new features.Recognize that remote work requires flexibility and autonomy. Understand that employees value the ability to manage their schedules and workflows in a way that suits them best. Encourage flexible working hours and remote work options. Set clear expectations upfront about what remote work entails and provide support for employees to adapt to this mode of working.Utilize platforms like Slack to create interactive channels that mimic the social aspects of an in-person office. These channels can include common interests like pets, sports, and hobbies to foster connections. Create multiple Slack channels around different topics and encourage employees to join. Introduce standing social meetings where employees can connect informally.Building and maintaining personal relationships is critical in fundraising. A simple thank you call soon after a donation can significantly increase the likelihood of future donations. Implement a process where donors receive a personalized thank you call or message within 24 hours of their donation. Use this as an opportunity to build a genuine relationship rather than just an impersonal transaction.Quote of the Show:“Break through the noise and get the next generation of modern changemakers involved.”Links:LinkedIn: Givebutter Website: Shout Outs:Forbes: The George Washington University: Children's Miracle Network Hospitals: The Nonprofit Marketing Summit: Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP) Forge: Zilker Metropolitan Park: The New England Patriots: Tom BradyPatrick Mahomes
Shawn Martin is the Executive Vice President and CEO of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), a medical specialty organization representing 130,000 family physicians and medical students nationwide. In his role, Shawn provides strategic leadership to the AAFP and directs the mission-driven work of the nation's largest primary care organization. In this episode, Shawn shares his journey from being the son of a rural family physician to heading the AAFP, discusses the evolving role of leaders in the digital age, and explains his strategies for managing stakeholder dynamics and combating misinformation. Shawn also explains his innovative communication approaches, including using media ambassadors, and how he balances personal and professional branding on social media. Listen to gain insights into consistent and disciplined communication and the importance of being present and relevant as a leader in a digital world.Takeaways:Cultivate and train members within your organization to become media ambassadors. This strengthens your message through authentic, expert voices, enhancing brand presence and credibility.Establish a predictable communication rhythm with your team, board, and external stakeholders. This will build trust and ensure that your message is clear and cohesive across all channels.Leaders should engage in social media to authentically represent their brand and connect with their audience on a personal level.Promote and amplify expert voices within your field to position your organization as a reliable source of truth. This will counter misinformation and build public trust.Regular media training for your spokespeople can vastly improve their effectiveness in representing your brand accurately and positively in public forums.Whether it's celebrating new members or industry achievements, taking time to recognize and honor these moments fosters a positive organizational culture and strengthens community ties.Stay true to yourself and your organizational values while remaining relevant and engaged in the current discourse. This will humanize your brand and strengthen connections with your audience.Quote of the Show:“Leaders have to be relatable in the modern social media era. People want to know that you're not always scripted, and you're out there, you have opinions, and you're willing to engage in this public discourse that's taking place.” - Shawn MartinLinks:LinkedIn: American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) - Website: Shout Outs:Modern Healthcare: The Hill: Family Doctor: JAMA Network: Adam Grant: Kobe BryantJP Morgan: 
The majority of us stream music as part of our daily routines, often without considering the intricate process that enables us to access our favorite tracks. Drawing upon his expertise in streaming policy from the UK and beyond, Graham Davies is the President and CEO of DiMA, the Digital Media Association, in the United States. He shares why we should care about streaming and highlights its diverse stakeholders, particularly focusing on the creators of the music itself.With a focus on promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the music industry, Graham leverages his influential position to advocate for policy changes that support a fair and balanced music streaming environment.In this episode, Graham joins host Anthony Shop to discuss the imperative for leaders to embrace ongoing change through strategic development, problem-solving, and a continuous pursuit of learning and listening. They also explore the importance of fostering open communication and integrating diverse perspectives to foster collaborative and innovative solutions.Takeaways:Leaders should view change as an opportunity for growth and seek new challenges to push their and their organization's boundaries.Fostering an open and collaborative environment is crucial for innovation. In order to achieve industry-wide progress leaders need to bring different stakeholders together and emphasize the importance of collective effort to reach shared goals.Building and maintaining relationships across an industry facilitates mutual understanding and cooperation. Collaborating with various entities leads to more holistic and beneficial outcomes for all involved.Clear and effective communication is foundational for influence and leadership. Sharing a vision and ensuring it's understood is essential for rallying support and driving change.Understanding differing perspectives and striving for compromise is vital in negotiations and leadership. Thus, recognizing the importance of compromise ensures that leaders achieve sustainable solutions.Leadership requires a clear strategic vision and direction. It is a necessity to have a strong, forward-thinking plan to guide organizational and industry evolution.Optimism and resilience in the face of challenges encourage progress and innovation. Leaders need to understand the value of perseverance in achieving long-term goals.Quote of the Show:“As a leader, you've got to be open at all times to hearing what people have to say.” - Graham DaviesLinks:LinkedIn: The Digital Media Association (DiMA): Shout Outs:The Ivors Academy: PRS for Music: The UK Council Of Music Makers: The British Copyright Council: ASCAP: Amazon Music: Apple Music: Feed FM: Pandora: Spotify: YouTube: The Black Music Action Coalition: The Music Artists Coalition: The GRAMMYs: The Graduate School of Political Management - College of Professional Studies at The George Washington University: Jacob Collier: Björn Ulvaeus from ABBA on LinkedIn: 
Jeffery J. Mondak is a renowned professor of political science at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He is known for his research on misinformation and his creative approach as a poet and songwriter for children.In today’s episode, Jeffery and host Anthony Shop explore the impact of misinformation and the value of diversity and creativity in leadership. Jeffery shares compelling findings from his recent research on misinformation, revealing how nearly half of Americans struggle to differentiate between fact and opinion, highlighting the implications for leaders in navigating today's complex information landscape.Jeffery highlights the impact of education, political bias, and misinformation on public opinion and societal divisions. Additionally, he reflects on his unique journey into children's poetry and songwriting, emphasizing the power of engagement and creativity in education. He underscores the value of inclusivity, critical and creative thinking, and the necessity of fostering a culture that appreciates diverse perspectives for richer, more effective outcomes.Takeaways:A true leader remains a lifelong student, openly admitting there's always more to learn from others, especially those they lead. Leaders need to understand the value of being open to new perspectives and ideas and effective leadership involves mutual influence and learning.Encourage teams to think both critically and creatively. Empowering individuals to analyze and innovate ensures that they're not just consuming information but are actively engaging with it and contributing valuable insights.Successfully navigating today's complex information environment requires distinguishing fact from opinion and recognizing one's own biases. Leaders need to train their teams in these skills, promoting a culture of critical discernment and open-mindedness towards different viewpoints.A vibrant, innovative team is built on diversity. This goes beyond demographic factors to include diversity in thought, perspective, and experience. Incorporating new viewpoints fosters growth and breakthroughs, preventing stagnation.Involving team members in problem-solving and decision-making processes boost creativity and ownership. A participatory approach to leadership cultivates a more dynamic and committed team.Challenges and obstacles are opportunities for growth and creative problem-solving. Drawing inspiration from unexpected sources or situations leads to breakthrough findings and solutions.Establishing a shared understanding of facts is crucial before delving into interpretations or strategic decisions. As leaders, ensuring that your team agrees on the factual basis of discussions can facilitate more productive and less polarized outcomes.Quote of the Show:“Leaders should keep in mind it's perfectly reasonable for people to have different points of view on things. There's this tendency in all realms when people interact, to think; if you disagree with me, I'm right and you're wrong.” - Jeffery J. MondakLinks:The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Jeffery J. Mondak: Nothing to Read, Newspapers and Elections in a Social Experiment (Book Link): The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Website: Matthew Mettler & Jeffery J. Mondak - Fact-opinion differentiation: Jeffery J. Mondak - Study: Americans struggle to distinguish factual claims from opinions amid partisan bias: Shout Outs:NPR: Society Of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators: American Association of Physics Teachers: Matt Mettler - The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: The Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review: Billboard Hot 100: University of Pittsburgh: 
Johnny C. Taylor serves as the President and CEO of SHRM, a global organization dedicated to advocating for the interests of workers and workplaces. With a membership of 325,000 individuals spanning 165 countries, SHRM is a leading authority and convener on contemporary workplace issues, impacting millions of workers and families worldwide.At the core of Johnny's leadership philosophy lies a belief in the transformative potential of personal branding and workplace civility. He underscores the importance of authenticity, urging leaders to remain true to themselves across professional and personal spheres. Johnny distinguishes himself as a leader committed to fostering positive influence and meaningful connections by prioritizing trust and civility.In today’s episode, Johnny shares his approach to embracing change and prioritizing his digital presence. He discusses the challenges of navigating difficult conversations and promoting inclusivity while highlighting the strategic significance of personal branding in cultivating trust and influence. Moreover, Johnny offers insights into modern leadership complexities, advocating for embracing change and exploring the integration of AI in the workforce.Takeaways:The world is evolving rapidly, and leaders must cultivate a mindset that welcomes change as an opportunity for growth and innovation. By practicing adaptability, leaders can navigate challenges and seize new opportunities more effectively.Authenticity is crucial in today’s workplace. Leaders need to be genuine, transparent, and true to their values. This builds trust and credibility, creating a stronger connection with their teams.The shift to remote and hybrid work models has shown the importance of trusting employees. Leaders should focus on outcomes rather than monitoring every step, fostering an environment of empowerment and respect.Disagreements are inevitable, but how we handle them makes all the difference. Leaders should promote healthy, respectful discourse and encourage teams to 'disagree better,' enhancing collaboration and understanding.Inclusion goes beyond diversity numbers. It’s about making every individual feel valued and heard. Leaders must strive to create workplaces where everyone feels they belong, contributing to a more cohesive and productive environment.With AI and automation reshaping job landscapes, leaders must guide their teams toward embracing new technologies. This includes identifying new skill requirements and preparing employees for future challenges and opportunities.Leaders should prioritize effective policy-making that benefits the workforce and the organization over political considerations. This approach ensures decisions are made based on data, fairness, and the company's and its people's long-term well-being.Quote of the Show:“We have to create an environment where we can disagree better. Where we can have a civil conversation, and that doesn't mean you compromise on your values and what you believe in.” - Johnny C. TaylorLinks:LinkedIn: SHRM Website: Reset: A Leader’s Guide to Work in an Age of Upheaval (Book link): Shout Outs:Roy Abdo on LinkedIn: Digital Revamp (Website): 
Steven Taylor is the President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, an organization dedicated to finding a cure and improving the lives of nearly 60 million Americans with arthritis. They align advocacy and science with patient priorities, drive progress through awareness, education, and research, and empower individuals with arthritis to live fuller lives.Steven delves into his unique approach, characterized by his unwavering commitment to cultivating a supportive community, both internally and externally, while discussing their utilization of social media as a valuable tool for amplifying their mission. At the core of Taylor's leadership is a profound empathy, drawn from his personal journey, which drives his pursuit of impactful transformation.Stay tuned to gain valuable insights into empathetic leadership, the significance of building inclusive communities, and the lasting effects of genuine care and recognition. Steven emphasizes the importance of enjoying life, saying yes to more, and saying no to less, highlighting the need for mutual inspiration and collaboration. This encapsulates the core of impactful leadership, illustrating how a supportive environment can lead to organizational success, whether enhancing quality of life or advocating for a cure.Takeaways:Leaders should prioritize genuine, open communication with their team and community. Personal stories and experiences inspire and connect people on a deeper level. Publicly recognizing the work of volunteers, staff, and colleagues fosters a culture of appreciation and motivates everyone to continue their efforts. Understanding and acknowledging the challenges others face, including chronic diseases or personal losses, make leaders more approachable and relatable. Creating opportunities for engagement, such as virtual events or water cooler conversations, helps build a supportive community, especially in remote work environments. Being active and visible on platforms like LinkedIn strengthens personal branding for leaders and shines a spotlight on their organization’s mission and achievements. Whether adopting new technologies or embracing virtual worlds for team engagement, leaders must remain flexible and open to change to keep their organizations forward-thinking. Leaders can achieve greater impact by seeking consensus and fostering collaboration across various stakeholders within and outside their organization.Quote of the Show:“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” - Steven TaylorLinks:LinkedIn:  Arthritis Foundation (Website): Shout Outs:The Sjögren’s Foundation: Brené Brown on LinkedIn: Sabrina Sexton on LinkedIn: Sarah Miller on LinkedIn: Shannon Marang Cox on LinkedIn: The California Coast Classic Bike Tour: Lauren Clanton on LinkedIn: The National Health Council: The National Institutes of Health: Cass Wheeler on LinkedIn: Nancy Brown on LinkedIn: The American Cancer Society: The American Diabetes Association: Brian Saber - Fundraising for Introverts: Harnessing Our Powers for What Matters: 
Bill Smith is the Founder and CEO of Inseparable, an organization dedicated to advancing mental health policy. Additionally, he holds the position of Chair at Civitas Public Affairs Group, a firm he co-founded. At Civitas, he guides philanthropists, foundations, and donor collaboratives on various policy objectives alongside national non-profit organizations striving for progressive policy advancements.In today’s conversation with host Anthony Shop, Bill shares insights into his impactful journey of shaping mental health policy and empowering the LGBTQ+ community politically. He delves into the founding motivations behind Inseparable, stressing the significance of research and genuine communication in driving policy transformations. Bill also discusses successful strategies for achieving significant policy victories across different states.Together, they explore leveraging research for influence, simplifying intricate messages effectively, and harnessing authenticity and encouragement to propel social change. Bill advocates for leaders to recruit individuals smarter than themselves, fostering a culture of brilliance and collaboration within organizations, thereby ensuring success through collective intelligence and expertise.Takeaways:Be yourself in your communications and leadership style. Authenticity resonates with people and builds trust. Establish a genuine connection with your team, stakeholders, and audience.Surround yourself with people who are more intelligent than you. This approach enhances your team's overall capabilities and fosters learning and innovation.Determine the core areas or issues that need addressing and concentrate your efforts there. A focused approach ensures impactful outcomes and better allocation of resources.Before embarking on any major project or initiative, invest in research. Understanding the opinions and needs of your audience is essential for crafting messages that resonate and to make informed decisions.Research and data are invaluable; let them guide your communications, decisions, and strategies. Even if the findings challenge your assumptions, being open to data-driven insights can lead to more effective outcomes.Develop messaging that is straightforward and resonates with your audience. Simplifying complex ideas into relatable, engaging narratives can amplify your influence and the impact of your messages.Personalize your communication to build deeper connections. Whether through emails, social media, or direct engagement, sharing your journey, challenges, and successes can inspire and engage people more effectively.Quote of the Show:“At the end of the day, you have to listen to research because if it's done well, it's telling you what people think and it's telling you what you need to hear.” - Bill SmithLinks:LinkedIn: Inseparable (Website): Civitas Public Affairs Group (Website): Shout Outs:The Gill Foundation: Jan Van Lohuizen: 
Dr. Joel Braunstein is the CEO and Co-Founder of C₂N Diagnostics, a company dedicated to the development and commercialization of diagnostics for Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative conditions.In today's episode, Dr. Braunstein offers insights from his extensive experience in the healthcare sector, detailing his academic journey and highlighting the pivotal role played by C₂N in advancing Alzheimer's diagnostics over the past two decades. Engaging in conversation with host Anthony Shop, Dr. Braunstein traces the evolution of Alzheimer's disease diagnosis, from conventional methods to the groundbreaking blood test pioneered by C₂N, which provides a more accessible and less invasive diagnostic alternative.Throughout the discussion, Dr. Braunstein underscores the importance of early and accurate diagnosis in Alzheimer's disease management, emphasizing its potential for treatment intervention and its profound impact on patients and their families. He also addresses the challenges inherent in navigating the healthcare industry and stresses the significance of stakeholder engagement. Furthermore, Dr. Braunstein reflects on the complexities of communicating scientific advancements to diverse audiences, including patients, clinicians, and policymakers, highlighting the delicate balance between ethical responsibility and the imperative of raising disease awareness effectively.Takeaways:Leaders should commit to relentless pursuit in their fields, especially when facing long-term challenges. For instance, Braunstein's dedication to Alzheimer's research underscores the importance of steadfast commitment to making a difference.Be transparent and evidence-driven in your communication, especially when introducing new technologies or innovations. Leveraging reliable data to support claims builds trust among stakeholders, from patients to practitioners.Develop a company culture rooted in a strong moral fiber. This moral basis helps navigate the complexities of balancing legal, marketing, and ethical considerations while ensuring the company's dealings enhance patient care and trust in the industry.Use professional networks like LinkedIn to share progress and highlights with a broader audience. This can enhance visibility among stakeholders and keep them informed about important milestones and innovations.Understanding and addressing the needs of patients and their families as primary stakeholders can significantly improve the effectiveness and reception of healthcare solutions. This places importance on simplifying the patient journey and making medical interventions more accessible and less invasive.Leaders should recognize the importance of stress relief and personal well-being in maintaining a productive and happy team. Enabling team members to pursue passions outside of work can foster a balanced and innovative workplace environment.Quote of the Show:"It all starts with a high moral integrity, and this moral fiber permeates throughout all elements of the organization." - Joel BraunsteinLinks:LinkedIn: C₂N Diagnostics (Website): Shout Outs:The Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program: Brigham and Women's Hospital: Johns Hopkins Carey Business School: Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine: Washington University School of Medicine: Randall J. Bateman, MD: David M. Holtzman, MD: Ilana Fogelman, MD, MPH, on LinkedIn: 
Congressman Andy Kim serves as a U.S. representative for the Third Congressional District of New Jersey. In today’s episode, Congressman Kim delves into his journey from serving in various government roles, including at the Pentagon and in Afghanistan, to campaigning for the United States Senate. As a career public servant and the first Democratic member of Congress of Korean descent, Congressman Kim emphasizes the importance of integrity, bipartisanship, and advocacy for democracy. He discusses his legal battle against New Jersey's 'county line' ballot system to promote fairness in elections. He also reflects on the personal and professional challenges faced when taking a stand against party norms. Highlighting the profound impact of his efforts to maintain the Capitol's dignity post-January 6th, Congressman Kim stresses the significance of authenticity and connecting with constituents through storytelling. He also delves into the critical need for leadership that embraces risk, engages with diverse perspectives, and is rooted in a commitment to public service and democratic values. Congressman Kim emphasizes the power of showing up, engaging earnestly in both digital and physical spaces, and maintaining a commitment to service above self.Takeaways:Leaders should always remember they are part of something larger than themselves. Engaging in public service or contributing to communal goals can guide decisions and actions, fostering a holistic approach to leadership.In today's digital age, leaders need to be physically present and authentically engage through digital platforms. Direct access to social media allows leaders to showcase their genuine selves, building trust and rapport with their audience.A key characteristic of influential leaders is their ability to take calculated risks after considering all available information. This willingness to step into the unknown while being informed can lead to monumental changes and growth.Through storytelling, leaders can connect deeper, sharing personal motivations and beliefs. This cultivates a stronger, more personal connection with the audience, allowing leaders to communicate and inspire action effectively.Creating an environment where honest and diverse opinions are valued is crucial for leaders. This ensures a well-rounded understanding of situations and fosters a culture of openness and trust.Leaders must learn to be comfortable with discomfort to cultivate resilience and adaptability. This ability allows them to navigate challenges more effectively and take bold steps when needed.By recognizing and valuing the contributions of others, leaders can foster teamwork and collective success. Leadership is not about individual accolades but about collaboratively working towards common goals.Quote of the Show:“If you're only having comfortable conversations in life, it means you're not talking to everyone you should be talking to.” - Congressman Andy KimLinks:LinkedIn:  Andy Kim for New Jersey (Website): US Congress - Andy Kim: Shout Outs:The Pentagon: The U.S. Department of State: The White House National Security Council: The U.S. Military: Behind the viral photo of Rep. Andy Kim: President Barack Obama on LinkedIn: Susan Rice on LinkedIn: General David H. Petraeus on LinkedIn: General John R. Allen: 
Candice C. Jones is the President and CEO of Public Welfare Foundation. The Foundation seeks to catalyze a transformative approach to justice in the United States that is community-led, restorative, and racially just by supporting the creation and implementation of an alternative vision of justice rooted in communities.This week's episode delves into the profound impact of Candice’s experiences, including her involvement in tackling gun violence in Chicago, advocating for juvenile justice reforms, and supporting educational programs for incarcerated youth. Her experiences have profoundly shaped her approach to philanthropy and social justice. Candice underscores the importance of collaborating with people rather than titles and stresses the indispensable role of sustained, long-term efforts in effecting meaningful change.You will gain insights into the vital role of strategic influence, both inside and outside organizations, in driving systemic change and the significance of maintaining balance, resilience, and focus over the long arc of justice work.Takeaways:Building genuine relationships goes beyond official roles. Leaders must value and engage with people across all levels of an organization, acknowledging their contributions, regardless of their title.Accept that entering any new role or undertaking comes with a learning period. Effective leaders recognize that they won't have all of the answers on day one and commit to a journey of continuous learning and adaptation.Assemble a trusted circle of advisors or mentors who can provide sage advice and diverse perspectives. This network of support is invaluable for troubleshooting, strategizing, and maintaining perspective.Understand that meaningful change does not happen overnight. Engaging in long-term campaigns that gradually win hearts and minds requires consistent effort, patience, and resilience.Success involves initiating action and the will to repeatedly revisit, remind, and reinforce your vision and goals, especially in the face of setbacks or resistance.Acknowledge that the path towards meaningful progress is long, with the ultimate reward of achieving justice. Stay focused on the broader horizon, even when immediate gains seem elusive.Welcome the experiences you encounter as opportunities for personal and professional growth. A leader's openness to learn from every situation translates into wisdom that enriches their ability to lead effectively.Quote of the Show:“You have to engage with people, educate them, keep moving them along… progress is not a clean line.” - Candice C. JonesLinks:LinkedIn: Public Welfare Foundation (Website): Shout Outs:Chicago CRED: Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice: White House Fellows: Bryan Stevenson: Black Women Leading by Candice Jones: 
Bob Witeck serves as the President of Witeck Communications, Inc., the oldest LGBTQ-owned business enterprise certified by the NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce). The organization is known for pioneering communication strategies and is dedicated to advancing LGBTQ communities globally. Witeck Communications focuses on leveraging data and personalized narratives to encourage corporations to recognize the LGBTQ market as an opportunity and to promote inclusive, fair, and equitable corporate policies.In this episode, Bob stresses the significance of authenticity and engagement, cautioning leaders against silence as a strategy amidst risks. He underscores that success lies in communicating values and engaging with diverse communities.Bob advises leaders to utilize data and personal narratives, noting that while data provides credibility and insight, authentic storytelling fosters deeper connections, leading to meaningful influence and change. He urges leaders to recognize the importance of visibility and representation, emphasizing that embracing differences can empower communities and enhance brand relationships.Takeaways:Leaders need to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion not just as concepts but as strategic business imperatives that foster an environment of fairness and opportunity, thereby enhancing brand loyalty and corporate reputation.Silence is not a strategy for addressing risks. Open communication and value articulation are vital. Use both data and storytelling to make a compelling case for change. Data provides credibility, while stories connect on an emotional level. Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion as crucial to business success, not just social responsibility. Understand the importance of visibility and representation in empowering communities and strengthening brand relationships. Recognize that navigating controversies requires reaffirming brand values rather than retreating into silence. Approach DEI initiatives boldly and clearly, being mindful of language to avoid triggering unnecessary backlash. Foster an environment where differences are celebrated, and inclusivity is seen as a strength, seeking to connect with all aspects of the consumer base.Quote of the Show:“Embrace differences, celebrate values. Silence is not an option for authentic brands.”“Silence is not a strategy.”Links:LinkedIn: Witeck Communications Website: Business Inside Out (Book Link): Shout Outs:NGLCC, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce: https://nglcc.orgAmerican Demographics MagazineThe U.S. Census: https://www.census.govAmerican Airlines: The Harris Poll: GLAAD: GLSEN: The Matthew Shepard Foundation: The HRC Business Advisory Council: Dylan Mulvaney: Everything You Need to Know About the Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney Fiasco: Marriott International: Arne M. Sorenson: PFLAG: 
Annise Parker is the President and CEO of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund & Institute; they endorse and financially support LGBTQ+ candidates through the Victory Fund and provide training and support to run for office and serve effectively through the Victory Institute. They also foster a network among LGBTQ+ elected officials, offering leadership programs and facilitating regular exchanges to ensure effective representation and advocacy for constituents.Annise Parker was the first former elected official to lead the Victory Fund, serving as mayor of Houston and making history as the first openly LGBTQ+ mayor of a major American city. She gained global recognition, including being named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2010. Parker has also been praised for her leadership in addressing climate change and has received accolades from various organizations, solidifying her reputation as a visionary leader.In today's episode, Annise Parker shares her journey from electoral setbacks to emphasizing the significance of listening, understanding, and direct engagement in leadership while discussing strategies for promoting LGBTQ+ representation in politics and fostering diversity and inclusion.Takeaways:A leader's ability to influence and effect change stems from being an attentive listener. Understanding your audience or community's experiences and perspectives is foundational to effective leadership.Success often requires resilience. If you're passionate about making an impact, be prepared to face setbacks and learn from them. Your determination to get up and fight for what you want, as many times as you need, is crucial.Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must be more than performative. It should reflect your organization's core values, translated into tangible support for your team and community.The willingness to admit mistakes and learn from them is a strength. Saying "You were right and I was wrong" fosters personal growth and builds trust within your team and with your constituents.Anticipate potential criticisms and challenges to your initiatives. A prepared response or strategy allows you to remain steadfast in your mission and values, even under pressure.Whether in public office or leading a company, having a genuine, unwavering commitment to your goals and principles will guide you through times of uncertainty and change.Successful leaders are not only resilient but also adaptable. If a strategy or approach fails, be willing to analyze the reasons, learn from the experience, and adapt your tactics to meet your objectives better.Quote of the Show:“You have to be a good listener to be a good influencer. You have to understand what your audience experiences.” - Annise ParkerLinks:LinkedIn: LGBTQ+ Victory Institute Website: LGBTQ+ Victory Fund Website: Shout Outs:Kathy Hubbard - Annise Parker’s wifeThe City of Houston: Time Magazine: The City Mayor's Foundation: President Obama's Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience: C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group: The Climate Disclosure Project: Scenic Houston: Holocaust Museum Houston: Rice University: The Out for America Map: The CDC: Shevrin Jones: Danica Roem: Joel Osteen: Fast Company Magazine: Chamber of Commerce: The New York Times: Annise Parker on Wait, Wait… Don't Tell Me on NPR: Annise Parker on The Colbert Report: Tom DeLay: Dancing with the Stars: Dylan Mulvaney: Everything You Need to Know About the Bud Light and Dylan Mulvaney Fiasco: 
Coach Kathy Kemper is the CEO and Founder of the Institute for Education and a Co-founder of Computer Science at the University of Southern California’s coding camp. In today’s episode, join host Anthony Shop and Coach Kemper as they delve into diplomacy, innovation, and global engagement. She shares her extraordinary journey from a professional tennis player to a prominent figure in Washington's political and tech leadership circles. Learn about Coach Kemper's innovative strategies to foster global engagement through the lenses of soft diplomacy, data, and innovation. Discover how she creates meaningful relationships across diverse backgrounds, emphasizing trust, transparency, and human connection as the cornerstone of her methods. Coach Kemper's journey illustrates the power of unconventional paths in shaping global leaders. Through her tireless efforts, Coach Kemper has earned accolades such as being recognized as one of Washington Life Magazine's "Tech 25", highlighting her profound impact on the technology landscape. Takeaways:Integrating humor into interactions can create a relaxed environment, fostering comfortable communication and relationship-building. Authentic interactions and lightheartedness can significantly boost rapport among team members and stakeholders. Integrate a mix of expertise and perspectives in any team or event. By combining different professional backgrounds, more innovative and comprehensive solutions can be generated.As a coach, Kemper's main goal was to help others get better. Focusing on team members' continuous personal and professional growth. The satisfaction derived from improvement boosts morale and productivity.Rather than static interactions, Kemper advocates for dynamic activities for team-building. Active engagement can foster better connections and team unity, whether it's a casual walk or a hands-on task.Acknowledging and rewarding achievements can allow individuals to excel further in their fields.Promoting continuous learning and upskilling can empower employees to grow and adapt to new challenges and technologies.Rejection is a part of every journey. Coach Kemper emphasizes the importance of understanding that a 'no' provides more information and should not deter one from pursuing their goals. Resilience and tenacity are vital characteristics for leaders and their teams.Quote of the Show:“A coach has to learn how to get the best out of their students. Everybody loves getting better at something.” - Coach KemperLinks:LinkedIn: Institute for Education (Website): Twitter: Shout Outs:The Secretary of State: Supreme Court Justice: Ketanji Onyika Brown Jackson: Patrick Graves Jackson, MD: Jennifer Griffin: Greg Myre: Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Martin D. Ginsburg: Stephen G. Breyer: Joanna Breyer: Katherine Tai: Todd Park: Stavros Lambrinidis: David Edelman: David Adler - Harnessing Serendipity: Megan J Smith: Lawrence H. Summers: Donna E. Shalala: John DeGioia: James George Ellis: USC Viterbi School of Engineering: Computer Science at USC: 
Yasmine Arrington Brooks is the Founder of ScholarCHIPS, a D.C. nonprofit aiding youth with incarcerated parents. She is also a speaker, model, author, poet, and host of Millennial Minds. Yasmine has been honored as a 2023 CNN Hero, and 2021 Washington Business Journal Top 40 Under 40, among others in recognition of her community service and engagement.In today’s episode, she delves into her journey that began in high school at the age of 16, when she initiated ScholarCHIPS as a social venture within the LearnServe Fellows Program. Since then, she has overseen ScholarCHIPS' distribution of over $450,000 in scholarships to 88 scholars. Furthermore, Yasmine reflects on the remarkable milestones she has achieved in establishing and leading ScholarCHIPS and shares insights on leadership, the importance of authenticity, and maintaining personal and professional balance.Takeaways:Maintain authenticity in all aspects of leadership. Authenticity allows you to connect with your audience, team, or stakeholders at a deeper, more personal level, leading to greater trust and stronger relationships.Don’t limit yourself by your current resources or capabilities. Dream big and take bold action to reach your goals. This attitude can also inspire and motivate your team to do the same.Steward influence with care, as it is a delicate thing. As a leader with influence, you should be cautious about how your words and actions may impact others, especially those who look up to you.Do not shy away from using your personal brand to further your professional objectives. Sharing your stories and experiences can help you connect on a deeper level with your audience and stakeholders.Nurture a growth mindset, keen for learning and experimenting. A growth mindset encourages continuous learning, fuels creativity, and leads to innovation.Remember that as a leader, your actions and words have the power to impact many people. Thus, always strive to be a source of positivity and motivation.Seek out inspiration from diverse sources outside your immediate field. This can provide a refreshing perspective on your own work and keep creativity flowing.Quote of the Show:“You never know who's watching. So try your best to be who you really are, your authentic self. - Yasmine Arrington BrooksLinks:LinkedIn:  ScholarCHIPS (For Children of Incarcerated Parents): ScholarCHIPS Twitter/X: ScholarCHIPS Instagram: ScholarCHIPS TikTok: ScholarCHIPS Facebook: Yasmine Arrington's Blog: CNN Heroes Tribute - Yasmine Arrington Brooks: Millennial Minds with YazzieSpeaks (Podcast): YazzieSpeaks Vol II YouTube: YazzieSPEAKS YouTube: YazzieSPEAKS Twitter: YazzieSPEAKS Instagram: YazzieSPEAKS TikTok: Shout Outs:LearnServe International: LearnServe International Programs: Brené Brown on LinkedIn: JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA): 
Molly Lenore is the Co-founder and President of Moey Inc., a pioneering company dedicated to crafting technology-infused experiences, installations, products, and exhibits at the convergence of art, science, technology, design, and education. With a focus on conceptualization, design, and realization, Molly specializes in curating technology-driven installations within interactive public spaces. Molly has graced prestigious institutions as a guest lecturer, including NYU, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Columbia University, Parsons School of Design, and the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Beyond her professional endeavors, Molly channels her passion into LGBTQ+ sports, viewing them as a catalyst for community and inclusivity. Her involvement extends to serving on multiple boards, such as the National Gay Flag Football League, the New York Gay Football League, and the Big Apple Softball League.In today's episode, Molly discusses the company's approach to creating exhibits that effectively communicate distinct messages. They walk the client through the ideation, design, and creation stages, focusing on building a narrative and understanding the audience. Molly also discusses how they have adapted to societal changes, specifically the pervasive use of smartphones. Furthermore, she discusses the importance of cross-generational and audience-centric design, developing trust with clients through honesty and openness.Takeaways:Understanding the audience and tailoring the experiences to their needs, whether a museum exhibit or a leadership presentation, is crucial to understanding your audience's perspective, expectations, and interests. A compelling message isn't just about influencing the audience but also about being open to the audience's influence. Leaders must balance imparting their vision while accommodating audience insights and feedback. This two-way interaction ensures messages resonate more deeply.Creating experiences that cater to and bridge different generations is crucial, thus fostering cross-generational communication and enhancing shared understanding.   Leaders must pilot initiatives or seek feedback before implementing ideas by creating prototypes and conducting user tests to adjust and perfect their projects.The impact of technology on audience behaviors, like the self-portrait culture sparked by smartphones, requires leaders to adapt their communication and engagement strategies accordingly. Incorporating joy into any experience, be it an exhibition or a workplace meeting, can enhance engagement and success.Quote of the Show:"When you put a design out into the world, it's no longer yours" - Molly LenoreLinks:LinkedIn: Moey Inc. (Website): Shout Outs:Joey Stein on LinkedIn: American Museum of Natural History: NYU: Harvard Graduate School of Design: Columbia University: Parsons School of Design: The Academy of Art University: The National Gay Flag Football League: The New York Gay Football League: The Big Apple Softball League: Science Museum of Virginia:  The Intrepid Museum: 
Ghida Dagher, President and CEO of New American Leaders, leads the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering immigrants, refugees, and their allies. Their mission is to provide the necessary tools for these individuals to realize their full potential and contribute to a more inclusive democracy. Whether through running for and holding elected office or engaging in civic action, Ghida and her team amplify immigrant voices, bringing them to the forefront of American politics.Ghida's journey and career reflect a deep understanding of both struggle and opportunity, shaped by her multicultural background. Ghida firmly believes that her immigrant roots ground her, while her American experience propels her forward. Passionate about empowering underrepresented communities, Ghida has spearheaded numerous political campaigns, launched impactful policy initiatives, and served in Michigan, notably in Governor Whitmer's Executive Office as the Director of Appointments. Throughout her career, she has tirelessly worked to create opportunities and foster leadership within BIPOC and new American communities.Ghida's dedication and achievements have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized by publications such as Crain's Detroit Business and Arab American News. Most recently, the Carnegie Corporation of New York honored her as a "Great Immigrant, Great American," cementing her legacy as a trailblazer in the field of immigrant empowerment and civic engagement.Takeaways:Leaders must genuinely incorporate voices from diverse backgrounds and lived experiences into their spheres of influence, considering these perspectives in decision-making. The idea is to have these voices at the table and ensure they are heard and impact outcomes.Authentic storytelling is a crucial element. Personal narratives and lived experiences could engage audiences more effectively than traditional, often impersonal, communication methods. By sharing authentic stories, leaders stand a better chance of forging meaningful connections and motivating and inspiring their audiences.Leaders must embrace change, even when it brings unforeseen challenges. This involves altering the status quo, and leaders must prepare for the consequences of upsetting established norms.Effectively using social media platforms is crucial and essential in making elected officials more accessible and relatable. Sharing experiences, engaging in authentic communication, and promoting representation.Quote of the Show:“Immigration is part of the origin story of America. It was yesterday, it is today and it will be tomorrow.” - Ghida Dagher.Links:LinkedIn: New American Leaders (Website): Shout Outs:Kids of Immigrants: Daniel Buezo: Gretchen Whitmer - Governor of the State of Michigan: Bo SchembechlerAnalise Ortiz: Anna V. Eskamani: Shahana Hanif: Nadia Mohamed: Carnegie Corporation of New York: 
Kimberly Driggins is the Executive Director at Washington Housing Conservancy (WHC), which is pioneering the transformation of urban landscapes in the D.C. region. With a keen focus on creating thriving, inclusive, mixed-income communities, Kimberly's leadership at WHC since its inception in 2019 has been nothing short of revolutionary. With a stellar background in urban planning and real estate development, including pivotal roles as Director of Strategic Planning for the City of Detroit and Associate Director for Citywide Planning for the District of Columbia, Kimberly brings unparalleled expertise to the table. What truly sets Kimberly apart is her tireless commitment to uplifting community and residents' voices and her innovative approach to placemaking. As a board member of the National Landing Business Improvement District and former Chairperson of the Gehl Institute, Kimberly's influence transcends conventional boundaries, shaping cities for the people, by the people. In this episode, you'll gain invaluable insights from Kimberly as she joins Host Anthony Shop to share her groundbreaking tactics for redefining urban spaces. From her strategic vision to her hands-on experience and how she helps create inclusive communities that thrive and inspire.Takeaways:Engage the community and be consistent. A consistent presence and genuine commitment are crucial when rebuilding trust in communities. Showing up in-person and making meaningful connections over time builds trust.Trust your gut and take risks. Stepping out of one's comfort zone, coloring outside the lines, and going against the grain can have an incredibly transformative effect.Leaders must be humble and empathetic, understanding that sometimes they must take responsibility for past injustices or mishaps, even if they were not directly involved. Celebrating small wins while working towards the long game is crucial for building trust and motivating stakeholders, thereby creating lasting change.One of the keys to influence in the urban redevelopment and placemaking sphere is the effort to expand the definition of affordable housing. By making it more inclusive, it can be able to change perceptions and invite innovative solutions.Translate bold visions into tangible goals that various stakeholders can understand and rally behind. Kimberly emphasizes the critical role this translation plays in enabling her to implement innovative solutions in her work, hence showing the need to communicate effectively and convincingly.Quote of the Show:“You can only move at the speed of trust.” - Kimberly Driggins“I really believe in being true to my word and living my values.” - Kimberly DrigginsLinks:LinkedIn: Washington Housing Conservancy (Website): Shout Outs:City of Detroit - Planning & Development Department: DC Office of Planning - Anacostia Arts Center: Busboys & Poets: Scott Kratz on LinkedIn: BridgingDC - 11th Street Bridge: 
Greg Kihlstrom is a best-selling author, speaker, and entrepreneur, who serves as an advisor and consultant to top companies on marketing, technology, marketing operations, customer experience, and digital transformation initiatives. Greg is the Host of an award-winning podcast, The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström Podcast, and has written numerous books, the latest of which is Priority is Action. Greg joins Host Anthony Shop for an insightful look into the way leaders should respond to advances in technology like generative AI, why it’s so important to try new things that push your limits, and how to influence lasting change within an organization.Takeaways:Business leaders need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. In an era characterized by digital transformation and constant change, leaders should be open to trying new things, even if they feel unfamiliar or uncomfortable. This is a part of learning and growth.Leaders should comprehensively understand current technologies, even if they are not technologists. The utilization of AI and automation tools is becoming increasingly important across various sectors, so leaders need to know how these technologies can be used within their organizations and how they will impact their work.View failure as an opportunity for learning and growth rather than a setback. Leaders should not be ashamed of the projects they have stopped or the initiatives that didn't work out. These can serve as valuable learning experiences for future endeavors.Influential leaders prioritize tasks based on their value-added and potential return on investment. There needs to be a discerning understanding of what they can do personally, delegate, and automate.Business leaders should adopt the mentality of lifelong learners. The ability to continuously learn new skills and stay adaptable in the face of change is crucial in today's rapidly evolving business landscape.Quote of the Show:“Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” - Greg KihlstromLinks:LinkedIn: Greg’s Website: Greg’s Books: GK5A Website: Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström Podcast: 
 Jennifer Sirangelo is the President & CEO of Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, which mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. She is the recipient of the Gold Stevie® Female Executive of the Year Award for women in business and was named to Fast Company’s annual list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. She is a member of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and the Forbes Nonprofit Council. Additionally, Jennifer serves as a Council Chair for the America 250 Foundation and is a Farm Foundation Round Table Fellow. Jennifer joins host Anthony Shop to discuss the power of personalized stakeholder engagement, cultivating a listening culture, and adapting strategies for cultural and civic engagement.Takeaways:Personalize experiences for your stakeholders, from board members to employees. Understand their preferences, respond according to their unique needs, and involve them in the activities that suit them best. This will enable better engagement and align their efforts with your organization's mission.Promote a culture of listening within your organization. Allow space and time for staff members to voice their thoughts, ideas, and concerns openly.  This can foster a more inclusive, appreciated, and engaged team.Embrace opportunities to learn from external trends, technologies, and demographic changes. It is critical to understand the specific needs of Millennials and Gen Z and how they shape the future of culture and civic engagement.Personal touches, such as handwritten notes, phone calls, and dedicated one-on-one time, can significantly impact personal and professional relationships. These small personal touches often carry more weight, even in an increasingly digital world.As a leader, develop and trust your instincts. Don't dismiss your gut feelings, especially when they warn you about potential issues or guide you in making decisions.Links:LinkedIn: Points of Light (Website):