Tesse Akpeki

TesseTalks inspires hope. A unique and powerful podcast where we share with you top leadership and management strategies that encourages leaders, board members and management to take action in today's world through compelling stories and conversations.

All Episodes

“Find the rooms and the conversations and the friendships and the love affairs, where that intuition can blossom into inquiry. You can deliberately choose the risks you want to face and that you're resourced when life blind sides. Dr. Kate Hamer touches on the importance of dialogue and reflects on questions the world is asking of us. How can we respond? Each of us wakes up and rises from our beds. “We take ourselves; we throw ourselves; we trip and stumble into the wider world”. Existential analysis is a process supporting that dialogue. “ Through Care Sleeves, Kate explored the possibility of others to explore how to create something that could be worn, washed safely and reworn. Through her LinkedIn network, she connected with three innovators who between them have over a century and a half industrial experience – the result - a polyester garment milled in England that can be washed up to 50 times. This will be comfortable and reassuring for healthcare workers to wear which can withstand the demands that contaminated environments pose.

Oct 13

30 min 53 sec

Compassionate accountability means that feelings matter, thoughts matter and behaviour matters. The associated tools are helping physicians and surgeons deliver bad news to patients in a compassionate way, helping boards of directors lead their CEO's more effectively, supporting negotiators do a better job, turning regrets into commitments for the future. The applications are really infinite. Compassion is my passion admits Dr Nate Regier. Compassion isn't about what we do to other people, it's what we do with them. And that life is struggle, but struggling together makes it meaningful, it makes it productive, it makes it purposeful. We don't ever get time off when it comes to compassion, we are feeling, thinking and acting. “You can't nicey nice your way towards serious change, and big problems. Accountability without compassion gets you alienated. Compassion without accountability gets you nowhere” cautions Dr Nate. How can they co-exist in full measure without compromising either one of them?

Oct 5

29 min 18 sec

Self-care is not weakness. It is being human says our guest Nancy White, an entrepreneur of 35 years. It is being accountable to ourselves first and foremost. Not yo-yo diets, but more of the sustainable, healthy lifestyle with choices will keep you well as you age, mature and weather each season. Everybody needs to be lifted and acknowledged for the good things they're doing. The power of negativity should not ever go unnoticed or taken for granted. This matters because it takes seven positives for every one negative that we either speak to ourselves or somebody speaks to us. We are impacted by what see on the news, or we hear.

Sep 15

18 min

Esua Goldsmith has always been a writer. Her memoir "The Space between Black and White" Illustrates the painful, lonely existence of a mixed race child growing up in Britain as an “only “. That child was Esua. Life can seem like a whole series of random events that don't make any sense, but it's only when you write them down that you can see that they form a pattern. It was almost to tell her story to herself that Esua wrote her memoirs. As a child she was lonely and felt a need to to explain her “onlyness” In a book full of voices she sowed in the threads at different stages of her life. As an advocate, Esua campaigned for a special category in the census of 2001 for a mixed race category. 20 years of data shows how mixed race is different from other racial experiences. For example , in the UK, there are more mixed race kids in care of social services which may be an indication that people do not know where to place children with mixed heritage. At the same time, bi-racial people are reconnecting with their roots, discovering their communities and finding out who they are and what it means to experience a sense of belonging. Esua explains that this journey of discovery “ means absolutely everything to me. I looked in the little picture books that you get when you're a kid and all the early readers and so on, there was just nobody who looked like me. I felt very much like an only. So not only are you dealing with racism, but you're dealing with onliness which is different from loneliness. It's a sort of feeling that you have no kin and no place in the world. And that's a very hard thing for a very small child to learn”.

Sep 1

38 min

Design thinking helps you to understand people’s needs to look holistically at interactions and constantly iterate the way forward. Focusing your efforts on the most impactful design moments  creates new and sticky experiences.   Imagine meeting and exceeding your customers' needs and expectations.  Imagine what  you can achieve by understanding  the interactions people have,  surfacing problem areas,  exploring opportunities through designing a more  accurate, updated and relevant customer journey map.         You can make happy people even happier.  Their joy can lead them to become  advocates.   Design thinking can  remove  frustrating barriers.  By visualising and isolating negative moments,  brainstorming  and ideating ways to improve the experience, there can be increased positivity experience.

Aug 16

28 min 20 sec

According to Sade Marriott host  of the Banana Island Podcast, standing out is about standing in! Sade's personal take on life and wellbeing is thus " I'm happy about being comfortable in my own skin now and being a bit more self-aware and a bit more conscious of other people's emotions and less careless of other people's emotions. Yeah not tangible material stuff, I mean those are transient. But I want to be able to look in the mirror and not be embarrassed at what I've become. I don't want to be that person who's self-congratulatory and look at me and yeah, I think that's about it.   I'm actually more sympathetic because you can only really appreciate it. I understand compassion. I've volunteered in a prison where we take food, I can make people happy. "

Aug 4

28 min 7 sec

Capsule environments are environments that are isolated and confined – a challenge to leadership. The external conditions of capsule environments are harsh and dangerous. Our guest Binna Kandola talks about this. The typical features of a capsule environment are social isolation with the same group of people with sensory restrictions. Star Trek, Voyager, Dr Who, the Big Brother House and Space Travel demonstrate the features of capsule environments. This becomes relevant to leadership who need to consider the impact this way of working has had on us. Due to lack of sensory stimulation people can start to narrow down the people they're communicating with; restricting the amount of information that they are sharing and begin to develop stronger relationships with a smaller group of people. With remote working and people returning back to offices, leaders need to start looking at inclusion and making sure that diversity and inclusion is at the top of our priorities. Leaders need to start consciously looking at the way groups of teams can be working together, encouraging their teams, their individual team members to network with other teams in the organisation. Connection is key.

Jul 21

27 min 27 sec

“My mum was all about love and loving” says Nadine Robson. We learn from an early age that what helps is being open and comfortable with energising conversations. Energising is about not getting stuck in that place of feeling in despair or feeling overwhelmed, having a glimmer of hope. Nadine learnt the importance of mental health and getting alongside people, understanding those experiences and deepening the empathy for ourselves and others. Supporting people with their mental health encourages people to know that whatever it is they are going through. They build the confidence that they can get through whatever challenges they face. Suffering and hard times are not pleasant when they happen, but there can be relief in knowing that these things too will pass, and they get the support they need to go through those challenging times. MOE Foundation was founded by Darren and Nadine founded as a legacy to their mum who just loved everybody. Moe stands for Me, Others, Everyone. “It’s all about people feeling as if they've got a community, a place where they belong. And more than that, a place where they're loved. So really providing a platform for the community and what do you need?

Jul 13

24 min 17 sec

In this episode of “TesseTalks Meets TesseLeads”, Tesse and Paula want to say “A big thanks to our social media community that gathered family gathered around TesseTalks and Tesse Leads showing their support . I was touched by the thousands... and there were thousands of people who showed their care and empathy through their messages, their prayers. Tony’s death is a very sad moment for the Akpeki family and friends. The love shown proves that diversity and inclusion are alive. People care for the suffering of others giving generously of their time and saying a compassionate farewell to beloved brother Tony.” says host Tesse Akpeki. "TesseTalks" was launched when pioneer Maggie Johnson died from cancer. Maggie was interested in sharing messages of leadership and support. The LinkedIn community has been incredibly supportive in getting behind "TesseTalks. "TesseLeads" was born with Grief Recovery specialist Lisa Richards bringing the reality of pain and loss as platforms for growth , recovery and places of healing. A big thanks to our guests and audience in creating something special in a nurturing place.

Jun 18

26 min 48 sec

Awesome You, Stepping out of the shadows is Sarah Giles’ nudge for us to stop standing on the sidelines and step out of the shadows, confidently, owning who we truly are and taking our place in the world. This starts with understanding ourselves a bit better enabling us to better support others. Pace matters. We may need to stop, take the moment to pause and be still. How about the fear we face? Fear starts to disappear when we are so focused on our purpose, and our journey. We naturally start to feel more comfortable and confident to take our first steps towards something different. Baby steps stop us feeling overwhelmed as we set realistic goals and take action. The challenge is that as we become more self aware, things change. “Embracing being me is key to growth and autonomy. We are work in progress - always learning and growing.” Sarah quotes Robert Toth "genius is there in all of us, just waiting for us to tap into it."

Jun 4

20 min 12 sec

Future Focus is all about remembering that life is not always negative even though it may seem like that. It is worth remembering that when we are in a hard place. The dark tunnel is like being in a valley, it's tough, it's dark, it's painful. But it will not always be like that. It is not a permanent state.

May 20

19 min 35 sec

The value of aging is a topic Bonnie Marcus touches on frequently. Paula. and I talk with her about “Not done yet - the value of aging". Bonnie reminds us that we need to be mindful of our own bias and our beliefs that may sabotage the life that we want to have. “Age-ism happens, it’s not just about getting older. A lot of young people face age-ism”. Entrepreneurs need to understand how they may be holding themselves back thinking they don’t bring as much value as somebody younger and that needs to stop. “ We need to truly own the value we bring and not apologise for it. How are you putting yourself out there?” Bonnie poses a few questions. “Are am I advocating for yourself? How do I sabotage myself?

May 5

23 min 31 sec

Fellow podcaster Presence Plumb whose podcast , “It starts with Action”, draws on The acronym for ACTION - Awareness, Confidence, Tenacity, Intention, Openness and Now (Presence) . Being Perfectly Imperfect, Presence admits that fear of failure and fear of success has held her back. Her proudest moments have been showing vulnerability and being open . “This just whom I am”.

Apr 21

28 min 44 sec

Tesse and Paula talk with serial entrepreneur David Taylor-Klaus about Creative Leadership and the Thinking that Transforms. We can see creative thinking that transforms in this statement - “I celebrate even the harshest critiques and I hold and support people with amazing strength as they walk through their darkest night. My strength and my power come from fully embracing my humanity – my messiness – in all of its glory”.

Apr 2

33 min 35 sec

Jason J Briggs tells #TesseTalks the value of knowledge and the importance of robust debate, having alternative ways of listening to views you don’t agree with and keeping an open mind that can strengthen decision making. “Vulnerability and authenticity make for a successful and authentic organization.  Board members excel when they are transparent about the process they followed in how they arrived at the course of action.  The  organisation I served on as a board member raised £1.2m for a capital project. We succeeded because we believed we could and so did the people we served. 

Mar 18

27 min 21 sec

Andy Martin builds on his thoughts on Achieving Results in Unpredictable Times. Andy encourages us to show up as our best self every day to set up a winnable and compellable game. A habit of renewal is crucial combined with a positive mindset and intent. The three buckets or the real issues leaders confront, the evidence that is presented and the impact of actions and companion behaviours for success.

Mar 3

27 min 49 sec

Our Tony is dead! His inspiration, energy and leadership lives on. Tony, my beloved brother was a visionary, easily the face of love, gentleness and care. . He believed that if there was a vision, a will, connection, empathy and commitment everything is possible. He gave people a sense of power with kindness, encouragement, lifting them up, being authentic and making people who felt invisible feel valued, visible and heard.

Feb 10

25 min 31 sec

Achieving results in unpredictable times means having an effective leader like Andy Martin, enterprise client partner for Franklin Covey Europe. Andy sees potential in someone so clearly that the person sees the potential in themselves.

Feb 3

40 min 7 sec

“I take my work on governance seriously but not myself” says Carol Weisman, president of Board Builders. Given that Carol has served on 40 Boards and has been president of 9, she knows a thing or two about strategies, techniques and tools that enable boards to be effective, efficient and better able to meet their mission. In this podcast Carol heralds the importance of Onboarding practices to raise awareness of individual and collective board roles.

Jan 13

38 min 48 sec

Debra Allcock Tyler talks about her new book " It's a Battle On the Board: The No Fibbing Guide for Trustees ". Tesse and Paula ask Debra about understanding the trustee role, working with fellow trustees, working with the CEO, dealing with information and finance, the psychology of decision-making, managing risk and handling crisis.

Dec 2020

42 min 25 sec

Tesse Akpeki pays tribute to Maggie Johnson- a gentle, kind, compassionate leader who passed recently after a brave battle with cancer.

Dec 2020

16 min 57 sec

Tesse Akpeki and co host Paula Okonneh talk with Laura Gates about Leading with Purpose, Collective Genius in teams, finding our zone of genius, and leading through chaos and crisis.

Dec 2020

28 min 49 sec

Tesse Akpeki and co host Paula Okonneh talk about what inspired them to create a podcast that encourages leaders, board members and management to take action in today's world. Leave a rating and review for TesseTalks

Nov 2020

20 min 40 sec