Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast

Marie Gervais

Discover what cultural influences have formed the careers of noteworthy leaders in a variety of professions, by exploring the groups that shaped who they are today. Learn about the collective context and experiences that affect their worldview, leadership style, workplace communication and behaviour. Culture and leadership connections: where culture, communication, and context meet at work.

All Episodes

Bio for Anthony Hayes Anthony Hayes is President and Founder of The Hayes Initiative (THI) and has spent more than 18 years in communications, crisis and issue management, and political and legislative campaigns. Episode highlightListen in on how Anthony Hayes developed a niche in extreme crisis management by applying his own personal discretion to sensitive national and international crises. LinksEmail: Website: https://hayesinitiative.comLinkedIn:“It was certainly a place of extreme torment because what was coming through from the pope was hellfire and brimstone and especially words like abomination if you are gay aren’t really the best things to… wrestle with.”“A lot of New Yorkers don’t understand that the rest of the world doesn’t live the way we live and have all the privileges and things we have.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsAnthony grew up in Enid, Oklahoma at a time when he couldn’t talk about having a crush on his male classmate. He claims that he became skilled at storytelling in order to distract the people in his life from his truth.Despite being funny and popular in school, Anthony turned to alcohol and cigarettes to numb his pain at age 13 and went to rehab at 16. He drank again between the ages of 18 and 30, but has been sober ever since. Influential Groups Anthony learned a strong work ethic from his parents, who were also part of the Church of Christ, where “being gay” was not allowed. Anthony developed insight, vulnerability, and camaraderie at Alcoholics Anonymous.Moving to New York City in his 20s helped him become an active part of advocacy groups like GMHC, an AIDS-service organization of which he is proud to be a part. Temperament and Personality InfluencesLooking back on his life, Anthony describes himself as optimistic. As an adult, he focuses on being aware of the present moment and living with wisdom. Cultural EpiphaniesBeing a New Yorker, Anthony understands that the city can be a bubble of lived experience and political opinion, making residents oblivious to differences outside of it. Advice to an Employer Anthony enjoys working with clients who respect his expertise and are willing to be vulnerable and transparent about the gaps that he needs to fill. More Great Insights! Reach out to Anthony on LinkedIn or through his website to connect! Support the show (

Nov 15

38 min 38 sec

Bio for Sabra Saleh Sabra Saleh is a Communications/Public Affairs Specialist with Syncrude Canada Ltd.Episode highlightAs a multilingual African-Arab, Sabra Saleh has always assimilated into the cultural groups, wherever she went. Listen in on how she establishes relationships using language and curiosity to support her.LinksEmail: LinkedIn: @sabrasalehQuotes“This is how I can be a part of any group - by connecting to certain people with language.”“What would we need to do as an organization so you can come as your whole self to work?”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsWhen Sabra was in Grade 4 in Abu Dhabi, she used her language skills to make friends with groups of students who spoke different languages. She was encouraged by her mother to accept her hair texture as representative of the ethnic mixes in her blood and wear it with pride. Influential Groups From her African and Arab cultures, Sabra has learnt a sense of community and hospitality, making people feel welcome, comfortable, and approachable, both personally and professionally.Her profession of communications has taught her patience towards changing circumstances and mistakes, and given her the flexibility to adapt when needed. Temperament and Personality InfluencesSabra claims that she has always shown patience and understanding in her personal and professional life, but that her politeness and courtesy often gets misunderstood as diplomacy. Cultural EpiphaniesWhen Sabra was at university in the USA, she was shocked that a student ordered a pizza in the common room, ate it by himself, and then tried selling the leftover slices for a dollar each. She also struggles to address older adults by their first names in North America, something considered disrespectful in her culture.Advice to an Employer Sabra places value on getting to know people and understanding where they come from and emphasizes the importance of casual conversations which help dispel stereotypes. More Great Insights! Sabra recommends asking newcomers questions about their backgrounds to help them bring their whole selves to work. As a Muslim woman, the first thing she does when she joins a new job is inquiring about spaces to pray. Her religion has also taught her that “you help whoever you can regardless of who they are - don’t discriminate groups.”Support the show (

Nov 3

43 min 18 sec

Bio for Tim DumasTim Dumas is the Founder of Servus Leadership, a Certified Coach with the John Maxwell Team, a Certified Facilitator with the Extreme Leadership Institute, and a Consultant with the Virtuous Leadership Institute. Episode highlightWhen Tim Dumas’ business needed a change in direction for expansion, he hired an executive coach. Listen in on how he was inspired to become an executive coach himself and discovered that the key to leadership is magnanimity.LinksEmail: tdumas@servusleadership.comWebsite: www.servusleadership.comLinkedIn: Quotes “If anyone promises perfection, that’s not possible, but promising love is something, I think, far greater.”  “My goal is to serve the people around me in the best way that I possibly can.” “How one does anything is how one does everything.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsTim’s grandfather taught him the value of faith, family, and football (in that order), and he hopes to be making as much of a difference to people as his grandfather did as a doctor. Influential Groups Tim was born into a church-going Catholic family, where praying together brought them closer. Playing football on his high school team taught him lessons in teamwork, trust, and work ethics.Entering his family business, Tim discovered a lot of support and love. At MacKay CEO Forums, he was inspired by founder Nancy MacKay’s love that guides even difficult conversations in the workplace.Temperament and Personality InfluencesAccording to the ancient classification of temperament into four categories (sanguine, choleric, melancholic, and phlegmatic), Tim claims that he is 50% choleric (energetic, enthusiastic, and quick to take action) and 50% sanguine (thinking about people in every situation). However, being sanguine also means he aspires to please people, and he works to overcome that during decision-making. He tries to take time to sit in silence to contemplate his actions and uncover creativity and meaning instead of jumping into them quickly. Cultural EpiphaniesWhile at JAK’s Beer Wine & Spirits, Tim was taken aback by one of his regional managers who challenged him with questions. However, he realized that the regional manager was different from him in a good way, asking questions that would never have occurred to Tim due to his temperament and personality, but that caused him to grow. Advice to an Employer Tim has a growth mindset and responds well to motivation. More Great Insights! Tim loves connecting with people through one-on-one coaching with Servus Leadership, peer group coaching with MacKay CEO Forums and public speaking engagements.Support the show (

Oct 18

33 min 6 sec

Bio for Gabrielle Dolan Gabrielle Dolan is considered a global expert in business storytelling and real communication. She is a highly sought-after international keynote speaker and best-selling author of seven books. Episode highlightListen in on how Gabrielle Dolan has been training business leaders on how to tell their stories for the last 17 years. LinksEmail: gabrielle@gabrielledolan.comLinkedIn: Instagram: Twitter: Facebook: Website:“It’ll be okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsGabrielle’s father was a storyteller, and she credits him for passing on this trait. As one of eight children, she “had to tell a good story to get anyone’s attention” and learned to be self-reliant to get by. Her parents encouraged her to never give up. At 18, when she found the job she interviewed for advertised in the paper, her mother told her to apply again and she got the job.Influential Groups Gabrielle is a 5th generation white Australian born in Melbourne. She grew up on a middle-class suburban street and felt close to her extended family. She went to a Catholic school. Gabrielle believes that being a part of the corporate world has shaped who she is today. Many of her clients become her buddies. She is also a part of Thought Leaders Australia, a group of solo entrepreneurs like her, who inspire and support her.Temperament and Personality InfluencesGabrielle is an extrovert and likes to be a part of groups. She also claims to be very laid back and “willing to give anything a go.” Her daughter called her out on her resistance to admit when she’s wrong. She works to be a better listener instead of offering actions as solutions.Cultural EpiphaniesWhen Gabrielle travelled to the Northern Territory in Australia, she learned about the stories of the indigenous populations and how they have kept their culture alive for ages through storytelling. Advice to an Employer As an entrepreneur, Gabrielle helps her employees and clients be their best through challenging each other. She also finds that she grows closer to them due to the personal nature of storytelling. More Great Insights! Gabrielle urges business leaders to consider incorporating storytelling in business to better connect with employees and customers. Visit her website to get started and to read her books! Support the show (

Oct 10

31 min 32 sec

Bio for Rachel Gour Rachel Gour is an entrepreneurial and visionary hairstylist, salon owner and hair educator. She advocates for women’s choice and growth and has worked to help high-risk female teens get off the streets. She is also a parent to two sons.Episode highlightAs a white person raised on an Indigenous reserve with a black-fathered child, Rachel Gour knows how it feels to be immersed in a melting pot of cultures. Listen in on how she has assimilated the lessons of acceptance and love into her work as a hairdresser today.LinksEmail: rachelgour@gmail.comInstagram: Facebook:“I want to stay young and the only way that I can stay young is stay current.”“We are all one and we are all deserving of beauty and light in this world.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsRachel was adopted into a hardworking, academic, and humble family in Edmonton with a French-Canadian father and a British mother. From her biological family, she has learned passion, humour, and acceptance.Rachel went to the same school on a Indigenous reserve outside Edmonton that her parents taught in. She grew up in an atmosphere of mutual support and sharing. Rachel was young when she got pregnant with her first son. Her father warned her, “Some people are not going to love your baby.” This was the first time Rachel became aware of racism.Influential Groups Rachel’s family hosted many refugees in their large home, where the whole family and their guests worked together during the summers on their farm. She embraced the different cultures she was exposed to and had many life-changing experiences there.Temperament and Personality InfluencesBeing talkative has proven advantageous in both sales and when marketing her personal brand as a hairdresser. Cultural EpiphaniesRachel has learnt a lot about women by noticing and discussing the events in their lives when they’ve come in for a haircut. She helps them embrace the process of greying and ageing with dignity and grace. Advice to an Employer When Rachel first meets a client, she asks about their grievances and what they don’t like about their hair. She then asks about what they love about their hair, learning about the look and style that made them feel the best. More Great Insights! Rachel feels strongly about loyalty in the hairstyling industry and sometimes feels personally affronted when a client leaves without saying anything to her.Support the show (

Sep 13

38 min 33 sec

Bio for Chris MarhefkaChris Marhefka is the CEO and Facilitator at Training Camp for the Soul and the Founder and Facilitator of the Embodied Man Community and Retreats. Episode highlightChris Marhefka was raised to be hardworking, and he followed that value until he was burned out. Listen in on how he rejected conventional notions of success to develop a more authentic relationship with himself and others around him. LinksEmail: Websites: http://chrismarhefka.com“It takes a village to raise a child.”“Just because I have one way doesn’t mean it is the way.”“Life isn’t always positive... things happen.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsChris was around five years old when his father arrived five minutes late to pick him up from soccer practice. He inferred that he is alone in what he does and he can’t trust others completely, which showed up in his personal and professional relationships later in life.Chris was in his early teens when he was cut from his first soccer team. He realized that he had let his father down. From that moment on, Chris committed to never failing at anything because of a lack of effort. Influential Groups Chris was raised in a conservative Catholic household with a strong commitment to values and community. He credits sports with teaching him about leadership, connection and communication. Being in the student government at university helped him begin trusting people and develop integrity.Temperament and Personality InfluencesChris claims to always have had a “chameleon-like personality,” adaptable to any group and liked by all. However, he has worked to find his true identity, express his authentic self, and allow people into his inner world with trust and vulnerability. Cultural EpiphaniesChris shares that as a leader, he believed he always had the right answer and told others what to do. By asking for opinions, he opened up to other options that exist, giving him a broader perspective. Advice to an Employer Chris finds that being mindful and authentic brings out his best self in any project, and he uses breathing to achieve that state of flow. More Great Insights! Chris leads retreats six times a year and conducts various programs. Check out his website for more information on his offerings.Support the show (

Sep 1

46 min 3 sec

Bio for Monique Allen Monique Allen is a Business Coach, Life-Scape & Regenerative Landscape Professional and CEO & Creative Director of The Garden Continuum, a landscape design/build and fine gardening company in Massachusetts. Episode highlightAs a bilingual Armenian-American, Monique Allen had a plethora of cultural influences in her childhood. Listen in on how she combined the many identities she holds to establish her own workplace culture in the landscaping industry.LinksEmail: Website: www.TheGardenContinuum.comSocial media: @monique.allen, @thegardencontinuumLinkedIn:“When I felt the safest, it was when I was connected to the ground.”“It’s hard to believe in nature and not believe in a force that's a little bit greater than your gas pedal.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsAs a child, Monique visited her maternal grandparents in the Allegheny Mountains in Maryland, where she felt a “cellular connection” to nature. She grew up with a “3rd culture mindset”, living in Paris and then in an Armenian community in the United States, speaking Armenian, French and English.Influential Groups Even though Armenian cuisine is her comfort food, Monique has always felt like an “outsider Armenian”, because she isn’t as fluent in the language. Her Christian friend and her family took Monique under their wing, and she immersed herself in the religion. Temperament and Personality InfluencesMonique has a naturally positive mood and outlook but can also be serious and demanding of herself and other people, which she attributes to her “abrasive upbringing”. She has had to unlearn any destructive behaviours from the past and reconnect to her easy temperament. Cultural EpiphaniesMonique once had an employee who had the vision, skills and abilities for the job, but she couldn’t find a cultural common ground with her. When another employee said she may not be a cultural fit, Monique began learning about culture in the workplace and how that fits in with her company.Advice to an Employer Monique is a stickler for organization, clear communication and data - “Vagaries make me crazy”, she quips. However, she does not believe in micromanaging and even works in a separate space from her employees, so they can be autonomous in a “trust culture”. More Great Insights! Visit Monique’s website to buy her book, Stop Landscaping, Start Lifescaping, read her blog and access many resources to get started in this field. If you are a green industry professional, reach out to her for business coaching to scale your company to the next level.Support the show (

Aug 17

45 min 3 sec

Bio for Raphael Adegboye Raphael Adegboye is Senior Manager, Global Risk Management with Scotiabank. He currently lives in Brampton, Ontario with his wife and three daughters. Episode HighlightBorn in Nigeria, Raphael Adegboye learned to value academic accomplishments and was taught to be silent in the presence of others. Listen in on how moving to different countries has changed his personality, taught him the importance of experience, and helped him find his voice. LinksEmail: Website:“Life is not about what you do not have, life is about what you make out of what you have.” “If you want people to respect you, you have to show respect.” “There are aspects of ourselves that we can never take away.”“There is no one size fits all approach in communication and working with others.”“Learning empowers us to be true leaders, both for ourselves and the people around us.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsRaphael claims he was a brilliant child who was always at the top his class. In 2nd grade, he stood 5th in his class and was disappointed in himself. From that moment on, any time something doesn't go according to his expectations, he reflects on what went wrong and what he could have done better.Influential Groups Alongside two brothers and three sisters, Raphael grew up in a modest household in Lagos, Nigeria. From sharing joy and sorrows with his family, he learned the power of hope, respect, collaboration, resilience, hard work, and education.Raised a Christian, he was taught to establish good relationships with others. Growing up in Nigeria, with communities that speak over 500 different languages also shaped his worldview. Temperament and Personality InfluencesEven though Raphael is an introvert, he presents himself as an extrovert in his professional life.Cultural EpiphaniesRaphael has realized that going out for group lunches in the corporate world in other countries helps strengthen work relationships, participate in important discussions, and open doors in his career. Advice to an Employer Raphael stands by the philosophy of “if perspective is wrong, objective will be wrong” and works to keep an open-minded approach so that the desired outcomes are achieved. More Great Insights! Raphael emphasizes that living in Canada affords people the opportunity to learn about themselves, different cultures and personalities, and jointly contribute to the success and prosperity of the country.Support the show (

Aug 4

52 min 11 sec

Bio for Dr. Cornelia (Nel) WiemanDr. Nel Wieman, Anishinaabe (Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Manitoba), is the Acting Deputy Chief Medical Officer for the First Nations Health Authority and has served as the President of the Indigenous Physicians Association of Canada (IPAC) since 2016. Episode highlightAs a First Nations child “scooped” into a Dutch family, Dr. Nel Wieman grew up struggling with her identity and culture. Listen in on how she grew into her authentic self to become Canada’s first female Indigenous Psychiatrist, now working to uplift indigenous communities. LinksEmail: nel.wieman@gmail.comTwitter: @cwiemanLinkedIn: First Nations Health Authority: Nations Health Authority in BC (Facebook):“You can’t start tackling something if you don’t acknowledge that it’s a problem, to begin with.”“It’s been a lifelong journey thinking about working on… my identity as an indigenous person.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsIn grade 1, Dr. Wieman was asked to write her birth announcement with details of her birth, which, being adopted, she had no knowledge of. She became “quite fiercely independent” in response to how different she was and carried that self-reliance into her work.She was a competitive track and field athlete in high school, which made her very self-focused. When a truck hit-and-run accident landed her in the hospital, she became aware of her mortality and it made her think about contributing to other people’s lives. Influential Groups Dr. Wieman felt torn that her father had indigenous friends but would not acknowledge her identity as an indigenous person. Those who grew up on the reserves with their families and speaking their languages look down upon people like her who don’t. Temperament and Personality InfluencesDr. Wieman claims that she has always been stubborn and determined. She has learnt to work and trust others in a team. She has also developed a sense of humour to lighten the dense work she does.Cultural EpiphaniesDr. Wieman has never bought into the hierarchical nature of medicine, where physicians believe that they deserve to be appreciated “just because of their title.” Advice to an Employer The best way to work with Dr. Wieman is to identify “a challenge or a goal that has to be achieved” and provide support. More Great Insights! Dr. Wieman uses the 7 Generation principle to guide her in life, which teaches that “what we accomplish in our lifetimes, the effects of that will be felt forward like waves until 7 generations into the future.” Support the show (

Jul 21

42 min 37 sec

Bio for Eric KarpinskiEric Karpinski is a positive psychology author and speaker and has been on the cutting edge of bringing positive psychology tools to workplaces for over 10 years, with clients that include Intel, Facebook, IBM, T-Mobile, Genentech and many others. Episode highlightAs a child, Eric Karpinski moved around a lot. He hated saying goodbye to old friends but loved making new ones. Listen in on how he takes his love for friendships, harmony and positivity into his work as a positive psychology speaker and author.LinksWebsite:, LinkedIn: @erickarpinskiQuotes“I’m a white male and so I got to live in a world that was made for me.”“There’s just no possibility of being happy all the time. Happiness is a fleeting emotion and all we can do is plant seeds for it and hope that it grows but if we expect it to, now we’re just destroying it.” “Look for something good that you can share.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsGrowing up in a military family, Eric moved often across the USA, which taught him about different cultures and the importance of inclusion. Eric discovered that for four years, his father had been volunteering at a group home for people with mental health disorders. He was inspired by his father’s quiet generosity. Influential Groups As a white male, Eric recognizes the privileges and biases he grew up with as a member of the dominant culture. He consciously works towards inclusion and equity.Eric felt a sense of belonging with Burning Man Festival’s culture of gifting, love, acceptance and creativity, which helped him heal from “the disease of materialism,” leading him to his career path today.Temperament and Personality InfluencesEric has always been an extrovert and this was reinforced by moving often, finding commonality, connection and community wherever he went. Cultural EpiphaniesEric observes that the ambitious work ethic is part of the white culture, which drove him to success but away from happiness. Advice to an Employer Eric desires space to create social connection and a positive, supportive, appreciative, and communicative culture with the autonomy to reach goals on his own. More Great Insights! Eric’s book, Put Happiness To Work, lays out an ‘action buffet’ with activities to drive happiness and engagement at work. Also check out Sticky Situations, a blog he writes with his wife about using positive psychology at work. You can also reach out to him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Jul 7

42 min 32 sec

Bio for Joseph Fung Joseph is the CEO of Uvaro, a tech sales career accelerator, and of Kiite, a sales enablement platform purpose-built to provide sales teams with the information they need when they need it. Episode highlightJoseph Fung was raised with encouraging faith in his abilities, a strict culture of excellence and no concept of procrastination. Listen in on how he has created a workplace culture reflective of these values as a CEO. LinksEmail: joseph@uvaro.comWebsite: https://uvaro.comFacebook:“That sense of not quite fitting in helped push me to choose groups that were a little bit less typical.”“Your path is your choice, and that’s okay.” “You could be mocked for not belonging; that’s a problem.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsJoseph’s father is from Hong Kong and always challenged him to do his best, holding him accountable to quality, drive and purpose. His mother is of mixed European heritage. She balanced his father’s perspective as a supportive enabler, encouraging him to chase after his dreams without delay.Influential Groups Joseph grew up in Toronto but travelled for work and student exchange programs. His childhood was characterized by a “lack of belonging”, but this helped Joseph feel at home with an atypical group - the circus community. Temperament and Personality InfluencesJoseph describes himself as “a youthful 40-year-old”. He is an INTP on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. The “I”  for introversion is his default mode to recharge himself after being in the public eye as an entrepreneur. He also confesses to having an absurd sense of humour. Even though he considers himself impatient, he acknowledges that patience is a choice.Cultural EpiphaniesGrowing up, Joseph’s family’s way of doing things was different from that of his friends. He was used to eating with chopsticks and struggled with a knife and fork when he was invited for dinner at his friend’s house. When he was nine, his parents let him and his siblings use power tools to help construct their house, which shocked their friends. Advice to an Employer Joseph has a “voracious appetite for information”. He also uses feedback extensively, sharing it and requesting it at every step. More Great Insights! For anyone looking to transition to a new career, irrespective of their background, Uvaro runs a training course to help begin a career in technology sales. Support the show (

Jun 15

35 min 44 sec

Bio for Karin Reed Karin M. Reed is the CEO and Chief Confidence Creator of Speaker Dynamics, a corporate communications training firm featured in Forbes. Episode highlightListen in on how Karin Reed, a successful broadcast journalist went from shining on camera to training others on how to let their brilliance show on the screen.LinksEmail: Website: Twitter: @karin_reedQuotes“Allowing yourself to be yourself - that’s what’s going to resonate with your audience.”“I have no problem just putting something out there and if they say no, then I try something different.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsKarin grew up in “a household with two parents who loved each other deeply” and attributes much of who she is to the stability in her upbringing.Karin got her first on-camera TV job with a CBS affiliate as a senior in college. She worked hard to learn the ropes and become a good reporter and was hired full-time when she graduated. Influential Groups Growing up in a middle-class suburban household, Karin learned the value of hard work and education by observing her parents. Being a female reporter provided her with a unique set of opportunities. Karin married into a large Irish Catholic family, quite different from her quiet household of four. Temperament and Personality InfluencesKarin defines her temperament as that of “boundless optimism and also a lack of fear of being told no''. She says that she tenses up when planning for the future, but becoming pregnant after several failed attempts has taught her to appreciate the sublime gifts of the present. Cultural EpiphaniesKarin is very self-aware about the fact that she does not experience different cultures in her daily life, and works to keep her knowledge updated. Advice to an Employer Karin likes working with people she enjoys who can enjoy her and have an “openness to try new things, a positive attitude, being nice, being encouraging”. More Great Insights! If you are struggling with virtual presentations and meetings, check out Karin’s course on virtual video engagement training on her website. Be sure to read her books, the newest of which is a workbook and reference guide to strategically communicating through the rich medium of video conferences. 

Jun 2

48 min 22 sec

Bio for Perry Marshall Perry Marshall is a marketing consultant and entrepreneur and founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates. He has guided clients like FanDuel and InfusionSoft from startup to hundreds of millions of dollars and is endorsed in FORBES and INC Magazine. He’s consulted in over 300 industries and has a degree in Electrical Engineering.Episode highlightPerry Marshall began his own business at the age of 13 and went on to become one of the most expensive business strategists in the world. Listen in on the lessons of culture and leadership that paved the way from his childhood achievements to success as an Website: www.perrymarshall.comQuotes“You should read something written before Gutenberg every day.”“We can all agree that social media has become a toxic pandemic of its own in the last few years.”“Just let nature do what nature’s going to do.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsWhen Perry was 13 years old, he built and sold stereos. Perry was a high school senior when his father passed away of cancer. This forced him to become independent and made him work hard to earn the college tuition his dad had intended to pay. Influential Groups Perry was born into a conservative Christian family that valued scholarly rigorous learning. Raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, his upbringing was conservative, modest, egalitarian, and frugal. Temperament and Personality InfluencesPerry claims he was a cantankerous child who always tried to break rules, but also an alchemist who was always trying to create something. As an adult, Perry continues to shake things up and reinvent them. Cultural EpiphaniesWhen Perry visited Kenya, he was introduced to a successful cobbler, Paul, who used crutches and fixed shoes sitting on the floor. Paul’s spark and pride in his work made Perry, a consultant to entrepreneurs, realize that entrepreneurs like Paul who serve the community by providing a useful service, make Perry’s work meaningful.Advice to an Employer Perry recommends every business create a discovery contract, which is a quote provided for a charge. More Great Insights! He also recommends you read Detox, Declutter, Dominate: How to Excel by Elimination, a book he co-wrote with Robert Skrob which is an enjoyable and timeless business philosophy book for people from all backgrounds. Support the show (

May 22

46 min 10 sec

Bio for Sherina Mayani Sherina Mayani is a Business Master Coach, Founder of Master Dinero Con Flow and creator of two complementary business methods, Clearing Method to remove emotional blockages to prosperity and ClaCov focused on strategic planning and marketing.She helps Spanish-speaking women around the world clear their blocks, upgrade their mindset, attract ideal clients, and earn consistent money so they can grow a business that sets them free and create a positive impact.She is also a Divine Living Certified Master Coach and an Energy Editing® Professional who helps clear energetic money blocks from your energy system. Panamanian of Hindu origin, she lives in Panama with her husband and their puppy Coco.Episode highlightAs an Indian-Panamanian, Sherina Mayani was raised with little promise of the future. Listen in on how she overthrew the cultural expectations to shine as a female entrepreneur.LinksEmail: Website: www.sherinamayani.comInstagram: @shermayaniLinkedIn:“I don't want to be the princess in the movie with the prince… [I] actually want to make my own movie.” “What you reap is what you sow.” “There’s so many things in our life that we do just because someone else did it without seeing the logic.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsSherina’s father was strict and didn’t support her dreams. This made Sherina want to become independent. Influential Groups Sherina identifies as a spiritual person and associates with the spirituality ingrained in Hinduism. Falling in love with a non-Indian Catholic who was 12 years older than her made her “arranged married” parents uncomfortable. Temperament and Personality InfluencesSherina claims that she is very strategic in her approach to every conversation. She has now traded her impulsivity for wisdom. Cultural EpiphaniesAt university, Sherina noticed that Panamanian culture was a lot more laid back than American culture. Advice to an Employer Sherina finds that she is more comfortable working with women since she is a dominant personality and has faced energy clashes with men. She prefers working on long-term programs since energy clearing and emotional work take time. More Great Insights! Sherina recalls a story about passing down traditions without question and urges us to think about why we do what we do. For more great insights, reach out to her on LinkedIn. She runs many Spanish language programs and some for English speakers too!Support the show (

May 4

34 min

Bio for Alan Headbloom Alan Headbloom is an Intercultural Consultant/Coach, Applied Linguist and Talkshow Producer & Host. He presents workshops to immigrant professionals and to their American counterparts who need to function across cultures and geographies and provides one-on-one coaching to expats who need to perform at high levels in their global companies. Episode highlightAs a Swedish-American, Alan Headbloom is very aware of his white privilege and has spent his life enriching himself with lessons from other cultures. Listen in on how he has created a unique tasting platter from the smorgasbord of life. LinksEmail: alan@headbloom.comLinkedIn: Twitter: Website: www.feellikeyoubelong.comQuotes“Working across borders and time zones is something we’re all doing these days increasingly.”“You don't know the blinders you grow up with because that’s just part of the water you swim in.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsAt 12 years-old, Alan’s Swedish grandfather who had immigrated to the USA took him and his sister to Sweden. Alan was awed by the cultural differences and felt inspired to fearlessly learn many different languages.Once, when he accompanied his parents to the country club they belonged to, he found it odd that all the members were white and the servers, black. This informs his community advocacy to this day. Influential Groups Alan was born to an upwardly mobile, white, Christian family in a white suburb of the industrial American city of Detroit. He claims he checks all the boxes for privilege - white, male, able, and hetero with a Christian upbringing. Temperament and Personality InfluencesAlan claims that he has been bossy and righteous in the past but his experiences with different cultures have helped him grow. He tries to imbibe mindfulness from the people he interacts with because it does not come naturally to him.Cultural EpiphaniesWhen Alan was in Germany for a year, he grew close to a friend’s family he lived with for five months. He then told the mother to use the informal pronoun for him. However, she told him that they didn’t know each other well enough. He was hurt but understood that they defined closeness differently.More Great Insights! Alan advises white people and native speakers of English to give outsiders a chance. He recommends learning about other cultures to unlearn privilege and entitlement and become tolerant, loving and accepting.Support the show (

Apr 21

32 min 30 sec

Bio for Rohan NigamRohan Nigam is a Mergers & Acquisition Advisory (M&A) Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He has supported clients at various stages of the M&A lifecycle including due diligence, integration, carve-outs, post-close support, and transformation. Episode highlightAs an Indian who moved to the United States to pursue studies and a career, Rohan Nigam had the opportunity to combine the strengths of both cultures for success. Listen in on how he achieved great professional heights at an early age by being sensitive to cultural and personality variations in people.LinksEmail: LinkedIn:“It doesn’t matter where you come from, but it matters what you are doing in that moment.”“Celebrate - when you finish it, when you win, when you do it together.” TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsWhen Rohan was around 10, his nuclear family separated from the joint family they were in due to some issues in the family business, and faced financial struggles. His approach to education changed, and he recognized it as a means of getting into a good university, getting a good job, making money and being happy. Influential Groups Rohan went to a middle school in Mumbai which had students from different backgrounds and religions who spoke different first languages, which was a great learning experience. Temperament and Personality InfluencesRohan says that he has always been an organized person, whether that be with his study schedule or work, creating to-do lists to stay on top of all his tasks. He also claims to have been an introvert but has worked on becoming more accepting of cultures and blending in with the larger group. Cultural EpiphaniesThe first time Rohan was presenting at a client pitch with his team leader, he elaborated on the points in the few slides he was given. However, he was later given feedback from his partner that in the American context, presentations are much more concise. Advice to an Employer When Rohan begins working on a new project with a new team, he has a conversation about the best way for everyone to work together within the team and with the other stakeholders. He also emphasizes celebrating the completion of projects.More Great Insights! Rohan advises young professionals who are just venturing into stock trading and investments, to “start small and start early.” Reach out to Rohan to discuss the economy and market trends and to build an information-exchange community that everyone can benefit from.Support the show (

Apr 6

55 min 22 sec

Bio for Denise Shamlian Denise Shamlian, Health Education Advocate and owner of Get Up Get Out Get Well Health Coaching, has successfully worked with clients around the world helping them achieve their health and happiness goals. Episode highlightAs an Armenian-American, Denise Shamlian was raised to be straightforward and direct in her communication and pursuit of goals. Listen in on how she uses her talents and abilities to create a productive solutions-based existence in the health and wellness industry.LinksEmail: Website: www.getupgetoutgetwell.comQuotes“Health and wellness is something that sets you up for success in so many places in your life.” “Anything is possible, anything is achievable.”“Feedback is just feedback… it’s neither good nor bad; it just is.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsDenise is a first-generation Armenian-American on her father’s side and second generation on her mother’s. Her family taught her to be tenacious, direct, straightforward, open and free-spirited in her communication. Being an older sister in a single-parent household, Denise also learned to stand up for her mother, and become a solution-seeker who took charge. Influential Groups Denise grew up in Queens, New York in a middle-class community composed of people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions. Even though she is not a religious person, being born into a Christian Armenian family taught her to be tolerant of all practices. She also gets her love for food from the Armenian culture, which she has extended into her practice as a wellness coach, teaching people how to use food to heal. Denise belongs to the Central Park Dance Skaters Association and has skated all over the world. Temperament and Personality InfluencesDenise has always been a “persister”, throwing tantrums if she didn’t get what she wanted as a child. She is working to go with the flow of the universe and pick her battles now. Cultural EpiphaniesIn her travels, Denise found that her direct style of communication was not always a good fit, especially in the more “proper” areas of Europe. Even in her professional life, she has found that there can be a big gap between what is being communicated and what is understood. Advice to an Employer Denise wants her clients to know that she is committed to their happiness and using the therapeutic relationship for all-around growth. More Great Insights! Visit Denise’s website to avail of her offerings in health coaching, business advisory and beauty and aesthetics tips. Support the show (

Mar 16

43 min 51 sec

Bio for Nselaa WardMadam Nselaa Ward, Juris Doctor, is a Business Architect and Black Lives Matter and Women's Rights Activist. Currently, she is the Chair of the International Black Business Agenda and CEO of Ni’ Nava & Associates, a business architect firm she started in 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.Episode highlightAs a black female, Nselaa Ward was always told she was not valuable. Listen in on how she broke away from the negative messaging and assimilated the positive parts of her life to shine as a successful attorney, activist and business architect.LinksEmail: Website:“We can't erase the trauma that we’ve experienced but we can transform it.” “People that are afraid of hearing no are often afraid of saying no as well.” “We all know that, right now, in this country, calling the police can mean a death sentence for a lot of people of colour.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsSince Nselaa was seven, her mother was addicted to crack cocaine and got paralyzed after being shot over a drug deal gone wrong when Nselaa was 11. Nselaa grew up surrounded by people who were in the drug and sex work industry, and she became a sex worker at the age of 12 going by the name Caramel.Influential Groups Nselaa grew up in a primarily black community, being constantly reminded that as a chubby black woman, she was not valuable. As a sex worker, she tried to make sure she was being valued by her clients.Nselaa spent a lot of time around people addicted to crack cocaine. From them, she learned not to be afraid of rejection and to persevere against all odds, which helped her in becoming an attorney. Temperament and Personality InfluencesNselaa says that she was a talker as a child, and could go on for hours on end. Cultural EpiphaniesGrowing up in a black community where her sentiments and opinions were echoed, Nselaa found, through her travels, that the rest of the world held different views. More Great Insights! Nselaa’s business architect firm helps SMEs to take their businesses to the enterprise level. Reach out to Nselaa on her website, social media or by texting +1 404-410-0200. Support the show (

Mar 1

49 min 34 sec

Bio for Luis Gonzáles Luis Gonzáles is a Global Business Communications Consultant, Master Facilitator, Coach, and Trainer with more than 25 years of experience in helping improve business outcomes for organizations. Episode highlightAs a Mexican-American, Luis Gonzáles had varied cultural experiences in his personal and professional life. Listen in on how he assimilated his cultural know-how into his work as a cross-cultural communications consultant. LinksEmail: Website:,“The goal I want - I have to recognize that, and what's the best way in my communication to reach that goal.” “The majority of people... are working remotely and now we have more opportunity to connect across borders.”“Speak up when you see something because the risks might be too great if you don’t.”TakeawaysInfluential Groups Luis is a 2nd generation Mexican-American, whose grandparents crossed the US-Mexico border on foot. He was raised with their working-class hard-working ethic.His parents divorced when he was young, and each remarried an African-American. He also went to a Roman Catholic school. Temperament and Personality InfluencesLuis says he has always been passionate, energetic and loud, and struggled in school because of his hyperactivity. He now works on his communication style in the business world to make sure his energy doesn’t come off as impatience, and his passion isn’t mistaken as pushy. Cultural EpiphaniesLuis grew up in a household where the children would serve themselves and have relatively unsupervised meals. When he was invited to eat at his friend’s house in an English community in Long Beach, he found himself constantly being reprimanded for his table manners. Luis admits to being guilty of “code-switching”, speaking with different body language and intonation with Spanish speakers compared to American English speakers. Working for close to seven years in India, Luis realized that the top-down hierarchical leadership style did not sit well with him. When Indian expatriates would come to the United States to work, he had to train them on the American style of open and direct communication. Advice to an Employer Luis cautions people who are serious and business-focused that he prefers to have a little fun when working.More Great Insights! Reach out to Luis on LinkedIn for more such insights. Also, visit Fierce, Inc.’s website for free resources on improving your communication for better results. Support the show (

Feb 12

41 min 35 sec

Bio for Amy Lynn Durham Amy Lynn Durham is the author of “Create Magic At Work” and the Founder of the “Create Magic At Work” Membership Group. She is a UC Berkeley Certified Executive Coach and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner.Episode highlightAs a corporate executive, Amy Lynn Durham did not feel she was being herself. Listen in on how she discovered the path to authentic self-expression by combining the magic of spiritual and emotional intelligence.LinksEmail: Website: Quotes“Everybody comes from a place where they’re trying to do the best they can as a parent.” “If you don’t hear the universe when it whispers, it’s going to scream.”“We’re afraid to be big sometimes.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsAmy’s childhood was defined by her not having an opportunity to make herself heard. She defines the atmosphere at home as conflict-avoidant where her issues were swept under the carpet.Influential Groups Amy was born into a middle-class, hardworking family and she credits them with her strong work ethic. Raised in a large farming community in central California in the mid-1970s, Amy says that her worldview was limited. She also claims that being raised Christian sowed the seeds of a divided self because she considered herself more spiritual than religious.Travelling for work later in life helped her experience different cultures, expanded her world view and helped her express her spiritual beliefs. Being a woman in the corporate world shaped her leadership skills.Temperament and Personality InfluencesAmy says she was born an introvert. She has been able to express herself more as she has grown older, aided by the leadership opportunities she was given in the corporate world.Cultural EpiphaniesAmy realized that what her Christian upbringing taught her about right and wrong and good and bad people was different from her spiritual self-expression that all humans are one. Advice to an Employer Amy asks anyone working with her to trust her and the process to help them uncover their true selves. More Great Insights! Visit Amy’s website to get coaching, join her membership group and access enjoyable tools to use at the workplace. Be sure to read her book to fill your work life with magic and spark your creativity!Support the show (

Feb 2

40 min 39 sec

Bio for Benedict Beaumont Benedict Beaumont is a Breathwork Facilitator, Yoga Teacher and founder of the Breathing Space School of Breathwork. Episode highlightBenedict Beaumont grew up in a backwater town in England, but caught the travel bug at an early age. Follow him as he recounts his travels across the world and the lessons he learned about finding his way home to his true Website: Facebook: YouTube:“If we just concentrated on ourselves and didn’t worry about what everyone else was doing, the world would probably take care of itself.” “Kids can go from... completely calm to screaming banshees within a second and then they can calm completely down in a breath or two later and it really is linked to their breath.”“It’s never about the money, it's about the experience.”“It’s not just what we're born with, it’s what we learn from our parents and those who are close to us.”TakeawaysChildhood IncidentsBenedict grew up in the 1970s in Brighton on the south coast of England. He would take road trips with his parents and sister through France, which developed into a lifelong love for travel.At university, Benedict met a senior with whom he went busking around Europe and had many adventures that enriched Benedict’s university experience. Influential Groups Benedict was raised as a Quaker by his mother, and he would accompany her to silent gatherings. He now recognizes that it taught him stillness, respect and understanding.He finds the breathwork community very supportive and open. Living in France made him a foodie, and a self-proclaimed “cheesehead.” Travelling through Nepal developed in him a love for hiking through the mountains and awe for the natural environment. Temperament and Personality InfluencesBenedict has always loved being around people and in communities. Even though he was afraid to take risks when he was younger, he grew to renounce the fear and reclaim his strength. Cultural EpiphaniesBenedict learned his father’s way of showing affection, which was teasing. As Benedict grew up, however, he realized that others perceive such teasing as being hurtful. Advice to an Employer To work with Benedict, you must be honest, and willing to change and be vulnerable! More Great Insights! Benedict says that breathwork can be an easy and accessible way for exponential spiritual development using just your breath.Sign up for his courses and workshops to experience this transformation firsthand!Support the show (

Jan 19

44 min 40 sec

Bio for Chris Thomson Chris Thomson is the Head Coach at Student Works Management Program in Eastern Canada. Episode highlightAs an award-winning swimmer, Chris Thomson had no free time to take up a part-time job. Listen in on how he maximized his time, streamlined his efforts, and worked smart to become a successful entrepreneur.LinksEmail: cthomson@studentworks.comWebsite: www.studentworks.comLinkedIn:“One of the big things we say you need in our program is someone with a big engine, someone who just… has lots of energy.”“I’ve worked with many many swimmers… and almost universally they’ve been successful because they work really hard and they are coachable.”“Men overestimate their capabilities… and women underestimate theirs… they are capable, and they have more concerns about their capabilities.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Chris’ father was successful in his career, inspiring Chris to aspire for success early on. Chris had a successful lawn care business even before the age of 16. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Chris was raised in the Roman Catholic Faith. Being a swimmer taught him the value of working hard and being coachable. He also identifies strongly with the entrepreneurial community. Temperament and personality influencesChris claims that he has always been people-focused, considerate, amicable, and supportive. He likes to be liked. He also likes to learn and improve, fuelled by his persistence and growth mindset. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Chris was in his second year at university, he found that not everyone viewed right and wrong as clearly as he did. Advice to an employer to work with meChris believes in open communication, directness, honesty, and “looking for the best possible outcomes”. He has based his business around four values he imbibed from Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach: Be on timeDo what you sayFinish what you startSay please and thank youChris also believes in taking 100% responsibility and working towards being accountable.More great insights from our guest! As a white English-speaking male born in a wealthy household who went to university, Chris is not unaware of his privilege. “I certainly can recognize that and… I feel blessed because of that and certainly aware of all that we need to do as Canadians to make it… as fair a playing field as we can for everybody and making a contribution for everybody wherever possible”, he remarks.Support the show (

Jan 5

39 min 14 sec

Bio for Christina Stathopoulos Christina Stathopoulos is an International Coaching Speaker, Professional Certified Coach (International Coach Federation-credentialed) and an Accomplishment Coaching Certified Coach. In her business, Hear Her Roar, Christina specializes in working with millennial women who have taken on a new leadership role. Episode highlightAs the daughter of Greek immigrants, Christina Stathopoulos grew up with strong ideals of family, and brings that sense of oneness into her work today. Listen in on how she sprinkles her work with love, consideration, and a little touch of fairy dust.LinksEmail: christina@hearherroar.netWebsite: www.hearherroar.netInstagram: “What we see is what we internalize as children.” “To me, you cannot be Greek without having a core value of creating family.” “I think the first job of a coach is to not assume that you know what your clients need.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Christina credits having learned a “disciplined, strong, tenacious, work ethic” from her hardworking family members. Christina’s piano teacher helped her overcome her negative self-talk by celebrating the small wins.Groups you were born into and belonged to: Christina is heavily influenced by the Greek culture. She is now part of a women’s group which helps her hone her compassionate non-hierarchical leadership style. After a negative work experience, she decided to be a nurturing mentor to others and began producing events which led her to coaching.Temperament and personality influencesAs a child, Christina was full of pure whimsy, joy, playfulness and a curious imagination. She moulded herself to become a disciplined, hardworking, focused, diligent and tenacious adult. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceChristina observed that North American culture is heavily individualistic. In contrast, Greek Culture opts for a more collectivist approach and emphasizes putting others ahead of yourself. Advice to an employer to work with meChristina offers group and individual coaching programs. She likes to understand why a client is approaching her for coaching first before she can recommend the right program to them. More great insights from our guest! Reach out to Christina for group or individual coaching, or to find out more about leadership and her work.Support the show (

Dec 2020

37 min 2 sec

Bio for Victoria Pelletier Victoria Pelletier is the Vice President of IBM’s North American Talent & Transformation practice. She is a senior corporate executive with over two decades of progressive experience in strategy, operations, growth initiatives, and business and talent development. Episode highlightVictoria Pelletier was made the general manager of an organization at 24. Listen in on how she became the successful executive she is today.LinksEmail: victoria@victoria-pelletier.comWebsite: www.victoria-pelletier.comLinkedIn:“People do business with people they like, and they trust.”“You don’t ask, you don’t get.”“Surround yourself with people that come from extremely different cultures and different lived experience because it is incredibly enriching.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Victoria was born to a drug-addicted and abusive teenage mother and grew up to be quite different from her peers. These life experiences made her resilient. Victoria credits her adoptive mother with helping her break out of her shell. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Victoria’s adoptive family always put her needs first, but they came from a humble background. She credits this upbringing with her drive to achieve and succeed today.Victoria came out as bisexual at age 14 and became comfortable with it in her 20s. This defined her “not only as a leader but just as an individual and a member of the community.”She lives the corporate life now, heavily involved in board work and also supporting female entrepreneurs through SheEO. Temperament and personality influencesVictoria defines herself as stubborn, loyal, driven and organized. Even though she was a very shy child, she grew into her extroversion. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Victoria was in India, she found that the contractors would only speak to the men on her team, that she was noticed and photographed, and that people said yes only to avoid disappointment but did not always deliver.Advice to an employer to work with meVictoria is at her best when she feels connected with the diverse range of people she works with. “My advice to those… who live a little bit in the fear around the hierarchy and having those conversations is... be really comfortable with being… uncomfortable”, she states. More great insights from our guest! Victoria has co-authored the book Unstoppable. She also works with Children’s Aid Foundation to help improve the lives of children and youth in the child welfare system. 

Dec 2020

39 min 59 sec

Bio for Wanda Costen Doctor Wanda Costen is a professor and the Dean of the School of Business at McEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. Leading with integrity, she eliminates barriers to sustainable change by re-imagining how to prepare students for the 21st-century life of work and purpose.Episode highlightWanda Costen was raised in the military, across different continents, and went through 3 careers before finding her sweet spot. Listen in on how she uses her understanding of culture and academia to make a difference.LinksEmail: costenw@macewan.caQuotes“Even as little children, we have experiences that, later on in life, we realize, shape who we are.”“Racism is taught, it’s a learned behaviour.”“Racism doesn’t abide by some imaginary line we drew calling [it] a border.” TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Wanda’s father served in the United States military, and the family moved every three-to-five years. This taught her and her brothers how to develop friendships quickly, adapt to one’s environment and view different cultures with openness. When she moved to Germany at age 11, she was befuddled when a young boy came up to her group of friends saying he would not play with her. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Wanda identifies first as an African American then as a woman. She was raised Catholic, but left the church because of the lack of inclusivity. She credits living in Germany for her directness, straightforwardness, and fortitude. She also imbibed punctuality, cleanliness, and the value of self-presentation from the Germans. Temperament and personality influencesWanda’s elementary teachers had identified early on that she was gregarious, outgoing and an extrovert. She believes she is empathetic, transparent, and accountable.Wanda struggled with having a “split personality” between her personal and professional life. She has worked hard to present her authentic self at work. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Wanda went to her friend’s house for Thanksgiving, she was taken aback by their grandiose, upper middle-class lifestyle, different from her humble upbringing. Advice to an employer to work with meWanda needs people working with her to follow four tenets:Set the pathDescribe the desired outcomeDefine the scope of responsibilityGive meaningful and timely feedbackMore great insights from our guest! “Courage is one of those values that I hold really dear”, says Wanda. She believes that it takes a lot of courage to be a high-quality, effective leader. Support the show (

Nov 2020

48 min 15 sec

Bio for Lisa Earle McLeodLisa Earle McLeod is a Strategy Consultant, Founder of McLeod & More, Inc., and author of Selling with Noble Purpose.Episode highlightListen in on how Lisa Earle McLeod refocuses businesses on innovating to make customers’ lives better. LinksEmail: lisa@mcleodandmore.comContact: www.mcleodandmore.comTwitter:“[Nobility] is in the service of someone besides yourself or in the service of a cause bigger than yourself.”“Money matters, and when you make it for other people, that is a big day!” “If you have disdain for wealthy people, the likelihood of you becoming one of them is pretty small.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Lisa was 14 when she got her first job at Doughnut King and was entrusted with running the store alone. On one Saturday, a group of firefighters purchased all the doughnuts in the store. When the owner returned, Lisa loved the look on his face as he excitedly counted the money in the cash register. This inspired her to begin on her journey of “helping people make money.”In the middle of third grade, Lisa and her brother enrolled in a Hawaiian school for a month, where they were the only white kids. However, she was “welcomed graciously” and does so to any minority in her life.Groups you were born into and belonged to: Lisa was born into a middle-class family and there was a palpable disdain of wealthy people in her neighbourhood. While Lisa’s mother was an atheist, Lisa joined a faith called Unitarian Universalism. Temperament and personality influencesLisa claims she is an extrovert, a storyteller, and a seeker of solutions. With time, she has learnt to become a better listener and be more concise and open-hearted in her communication. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceLisa comes from a family of “over-talkers” and is used to people speaking over each other at dinner and is intrigued by households different from hers. Advice to an employer to work with meLisa claims that her best clients are those who have valuable offerings for their clients and want to:Differentiate and stand out in the marketHelp their team be laser-like focused on customersBuild a tribe of people who are so emotionally engaged and excited about their job that they think and talk about it with prideMore great insights from our guest! Lisa recommends downloading and using the whitepapers from her website to incorporate noble purpose into your business! Support the show (

Oct 2020

44 min 41 sec

Bio for Lyndelle Palmer-ClarkeLyndelle Palmer-Clarke is the founder of Dailygreatness, a global publishing company which creates mindset, personal growth and productivity tools for individuals and companies based on positive psychology and tried-and-tested mindset strategies. Episode highlightListen in on how Lyndelle Palmer-Clarke’s travels, careers and life experiences have shaped her into the wildly successful entrepreneur she is today.LinksEmail: lyndelle@dailygreatness.coWebsite:,,,“There’s a lot of amazing information out there, no doubt, but unless we’re applying that into our life in a very practical way… nothing will change in our lives.”“Ambition is not enough – we need to develop the skills and most importantly, we need a foundation.” TakeawaysChildhood incidents:One of the most defining moments in Lyndelle’s life was when she went to boarding school from the age of 12. Leaving home for an alien environment was jarring, but it taught her resilience and resourcefulness, gave her lifelong relationships, and introduced her to different cultures. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Lyndelle’s ancestors on her father’s side of the family were the pioneers of the fishing industry in her hometown in Australia, and she was raised with pride in her family’s entrepreneurial spirit. She claims that her career as a businesswoman was a “natural evolution” from that history. Her curiosity about the bigger questions in life was piqued by the religiosity on her mother’s side of the family. It inspired her to think freely and find her own path and answers instead of settling for others’ beliefs or having them imposed on her. Temperament and personality influencesLyndelle is a true-blue Aries, and is therefore a natural leader, but can also be impatient and stubborn. However, she has evolved her traits to make them workable in her life and works on her communication skills to complement her leadership skills. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Lyndelle moved to London from Australia, she dove deep into self-development to help her move out of the entertainment industry. When she reconnected with her old friends, former groups, or even her family members, she was shocked by the difference of opinion. Advice to an employer to work with meLyndelle believes that “how people should be communicating to me is exactly how I communicate to them”. More great insights from our guest! Lyndelle coaches entrepreneurs and business owners to create passion and ‘daily greatness’ in building and scaling their businesses. 

Oct 2020

45 min 3 sec

Bio for Bruce Ross Bruce Ross is a Leadership Development Consultant who operates in the realm of the “inner game of leadership.” His proprietary approach to leadership development, FlowPreneur, is research-based and has been honed over 37 years of working directly with the full spectrum of leaders.Episode highlightBruce Ross went through deep emotional loss and grief, which catapulted his search for meaning and helped him discover that raising people’s energy states inspires him.LinksEmail: bruce@flowpreneur.coWebsite: www.flowpreneur.coTwitter:“What happens at a personal level, you can also transfer it to team and organizational leadership.”“There are multiple worlds and multiple opinions and approaches.” “The core of… life is energy and therefore, it needs to be aware of what takes and what saps it.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Bruce experienced an ease and a love of life when he began running at the age of three. Running made him feel like he was flying, and all other experiences paled in comparison. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Bruce’s parents divorced when he was one, which caused his mother and him to have less social interaction. He found that an organization which offered him esoteric education was where his “thirst got quenched.”Temperament and personality influencesBruce says that he is a Virgo, a perfectionist, an analyst, and an introvert. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Bruce was 18, he visited the Philippines and was taken aback by the heat, the humidity, and the opulence. He lived in a gated community with security guards carrying guns, and had servants at his beck and call, while others lived in dire poverty.Advice to an employer to work with meBruce works with business owners and business leaders who are on the “hunt for their higher selves.” He works one on one with people through coaching as well as the FlowPreneur program, in person and online.More great insights from our guest! Bruce says that the passing of his daughter, Danni, brought many gifts in the form of opportunities to grow and evolve. When she was battling cancer, Bruce’s counsellor told him, “I need you to understand something… there is nothing wrong with Danni… parts of her have cancer.” He then changed his perspective from viewing her as a sick, broken person to acknowledging the whole person that she was.Support the show (

Oct 2020

35 min 1 sec

Bio for Shayna Rattler Shayna Rattler is a minister, life/business mentor, coach, consultant, and speaker who helps people from all walks of life achieve personal growth and organizational excellence. As CEO of Corporate Attraction, a global consultancy based in Dallas, Texas, she has received multiple awards, published three books, and been featured in over 250 media outlets. She is also the host of the Faith First Leadership Podcast. Episode highlightShayna Rattler is passionate about helping others develop a deeper understanding of God and the identity they have in Him. Listen in on how she discovered and welcomed her mission to help leaders shift from burned out to where God needs them next to succeed in business and life. LinksEmail: hello@shaynaspeaks.comWebsite:,, Social Media: @shaynaspeaks Quotes“When you put your faith first, everything else falls into place.” “We can only do to the capacity of who we are.”“Keep going even when you don’t feel like it.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Shayna has had an entrepreneurial spirit since the age of five. As the only child of a single father, she grew up with a strong work ethic and credits him with her success as an entrepreneur.Groups you were born into and belonged to: Shayna was born to a white mother and black father and grew up in a mostly white agricultural town in central Illinois. The black culture influenced her most as a leader. Shayna has been a part of many coaching groups and mastermind circles. Temperament and personality influencesShayna claims she can get along with anyone and adds a dash of humour to everything she does. She is a D on the DiSC assessment and prefers to be direct. She has learned to communicate her opinions after taking other people’s feelings into consideration.A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceShayna found that she and most black people were in favour of washing meat before cooking it while other races were content with cooking it at a high temperature. Advice to an employer to work with meShayna prefers to just be given the gist instead of the details. She is happy to communicate with you in the style of your choosing, but the best way to get through to her is to “get straight to it.”More great insights from our guest! Shayna advises leaders to “be willing to recognize that you don’t have to have all the answers.” Access Shayna’s free 40-minute training module ‘Conquer Burnout & Get Unstuck NOW!’ Support the show (

Oct 2020

32 min 56 sec

Culture and Leadership Connections is having a podcast party! The Culture and Leadership Connections Podcast has been alive and well for three years and we want to celebrate with you. On October 15th, both past and future guests will offer an entertaining one-minute pitch to state why you should listen to their episode. Each guest will have a surprise for participants so you could benefit from a windfall of expertise, great gifts, and amazing prizes. Just to give you a taste of how great this is going to be, everyone who registers will receive our leadership Words of Wisdom SlideShare that features a few of the amazing guests we have lined up.Sharing is caring – so why not tell a friend about it so that we can celebrate together? Not only will you have a great experience and win a ton of great prizes, but you will help us reach our goal of 10,000 downloads! I know this is going to be a spectacularly popular event, so make sure you go to and register ASAP to reserve your seat for the October 15th podcast party!Support the show (

Sep 2020

8 min 43 sec

Bio for Dave and Dara Feldman Dave and Dara Feldman are a passionate husband-and-wife team of social entrepreneurs who seek to positively uplift as many lives as possible. They lead Virtues Matter and have developed the Virtues Cards App, an easy-to-use tool designed to help people strengthen virtues and lead lives of joy, meaning, and purpose. Episode highlightDave and Dara Feldman, having achieved the heights of success in their individual careers, launched a project which would help align the world to universal virtues. Listen in on the journey which led them to unearth the hidden gems in every human being.LinksEmail:,dave@virtuesmatter.comWebsite: www.virtuesmatter.comQuotes“The practice of virtues is really… a guide to bring people together and help us look at what this new world will look like. It’s about who we are as people and who we can become going forward.”“Virtues are just universal positive qualities of character and the way they are expressed may be different from culture to culture; however, the essence of the virtues… [is] the same.”“Virtues are going to spread virally around the world, uplifting humanity and helping people remember who they are.”TakeawaysVirtues Pick – Daily Reflection on Universal Positive QualitiesDara explains a virtues pick as an important practice to remember our inherent nobility and to be able to understand ourselves and one another. Making a habit of picking a daily virtue also helps lay the foundation “to see through the lens and speak through the lens of the virtues.”The Journey to Virtues and Making Them MatterA contemporary of Dara introduced her to the Virtues Cards, which led her to order the pack and educator guide to use in her class. Dave joined her to create a mobile app, which laid the seed for Virtues Matter.Using Virtues in Dave and Dara’s Daily LifeDave says he does a daily virtual pick, using the reminder in the app to help him take time out of his day to ground himself. Dara and he do it together before they begin a meeting or a date! Using the Virtues for BusinessDave recommends employing a virtues pick before beginning a business meeting. Dara suggests giving five positive affirmations before any feedback to tap the potential for virtues which exist within each person. More great insights from our guests! Dave and Dara’s program ‘Share the Love’ is aimed at bringing forth positivity and peace and asks each person to begin a chain of acts of love. They are also offering a course on learning the language of virtues and bettering your relationship with yourself and others. Support the show (

Sep 2020

36 min 50 sec

Bio for Linda Kavelin-Popov Linda Kavelin-Popov is the co-founder of The Virtues Project which is in over 120 countries, and the bestselling author of seven books. She is also a columnist for Lana’i Today. Episode highlightLinda Kavelin-Popov has crafted her life based on her beliefs and always followed divine guidance. Listen in on how she has received a lifetime of returns from a lifetime of service.LinksEmail: virtuesdiva@gmail.comWebsite: www.lindakavelinpopov.comLinkedIn:,“As you act, you become a magnet attracting divine assistance.”“Every adversity we go through can turn into a strength.” TakeawaysChildhood incidents:When Linda was five, she prayed, “God, when I grow up, please let me help people.” She followed that calling into social work. At the age of 12, she gave a talk to her friends about oneness of humanity and the equality of men and women. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Linda was raised as a world citizen in the Baháʼí community, called to be of service to humanity. She also made the African American community her own, serving on the boards of their companies. She has always had a strong sense of sisterhood — with the Lana’i women’s circle she started, the women’s retreats she held and the British Columbia Sisters of St. Ann group she was welcomed into. Temperament and personality influencesLearning how to listen to her mother in her severe depression since the age of four inculcated empathy in Linda. Ten years ago, when her brother/best friend/colleague, John, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, she found his pain unbearable because of empathy. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceLinda realized that her family was unique in that they would discuss the big questions of life even with children. When she visited her friends’ houses, their parents would be surprised by her answers to questions about God and world unity. Advice to an employer to work with meLinda thrives on mutuality. She wants both people in a conversation to be listening and contributing. She appreciates questions because it shows interest in her beliefs and feelings. She dislikes feeling misunderstood, misquoted, or made assumptions about. More great insights from our guest! You can purchase Linda’s books and the virtues cards from and Look forward to her new book, The Freedom Season: Dreaming at the Crossroads, coming soon!Support the show (

Sep 2020

54 min 36 sec

Bio for Martin Kerr British-Canadian singer-songwriter Martin Kerr finds himself traveling all over North America performing for different communities and has racked up passport stamps from 35 countries on his musical travels.Episode highlightBritish-Canadian singer-songwriter Martin Kerr always loved to sing. Listen in on how he went from being a troubadour to booking two-to-three shows a week. LinksWebsite: www.martinkerrmusic.comFacebook:“There’s no higher achievement than being of service to somebody.”“Every place has good people and every person has good places.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Martin was five years old when he first performed as the lead in his school Christmas play singing six solos. At 13, he performed an original song about falling in love at the school talent show. He did not win, but that incident taught him to be brave and not to care about the results.Groups you were born into and belonged to: Martin grew up in England, with long-term friendships, time in nature, and a slow pace of life. The most influential people in his life and his strongest role models have been women – mother, sisters, and teachers. Martin’s strongest sense of identity comes from the Baháʼí Faith, taking every opportunity to be of service to society and seeing himself as a world citizen before all else. He also credits his faith with his musical and lyrical abilities. Temperament and personality influencesMartin believes in being in the moment and experiencing life with spiritual mindfulness. His stable and positive upbringing has made him believe that the world is a safe place and has led him to form his motto, that “everything will work out and that I’m going to be alright.” He has a taste for novelty, diversity, and adventure, which draws him to meet new people. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceMartin experiences differences of opinion palpably on social media, even within so-called cultural groups. His manager, too, comes from a different culture, and even though they grew up in the same way, they disagree on some matters. Advice to an employer to work with meMartin’s advice to an employer is to be direct with him – “say what you mean the first time.” More great insights from our guest! Martin has released his new album, 'Everything Is Under Control', with producer Ryan Stewart (Carly Rae Jepsen, Owl City). Support the show (

Aug 2020

43 min 33 sec

Bio for Janine Brisebois Janine Brisebois, BSC, RMT, M-NLP, is an MC, speaker, facilitator, author, successful entrepreneur, business professional in sales and training, and a personal consultant with decades of success. Episode highlightJanine Brisebois’ life is defined by her curious nature. Join in to learn how she has unravelled life’s lessons by asking the right questions.LinksEmail: Janine@7DCEO.comWebsite: www.7dceo.comLinkedIn:“When I look at you because you’re different, it’s not because I’m discriminating against you, I’m simply curious about you.”“God is love and we have that within every single one of us and that’s our job as people… to find that love in each other and make it shine.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Janine grew up on a farm with animals, which piqued her curiosity about the workings of the body and made her thirsty for knowledge. While people were trying to pull out a car her sisters had driven into a dugout, Janine noticed the otherwise noisy geese on the other side of the dugout quietly observing the entire time, further fuelling her curiosity. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Janine was born into a French-Canadian family living in a rural farming community which was English, and they faced discrimination. She grew up in the Catholic Church, and faith played an important role in their lives, with prayers getting them through the difficult times they faced as farmers. Temperament and personality influencesJanine has always been a curious person, but people called her nosy. She is also a kind person and believes in giving to the best of her ability, to any situation or person. She admits to occasionally having a bad temper. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceJanine would stay at jobs till she had learned what she wished to, then would move to a similar job in a different location to have new experiences. She found that the people in all the places she lived in – Yukon Territory, Saskatchewan and Alberta – had different cultures and lifestyles from her and from each other. Advice to an employer to work with meJanine advises that the best way to work with her “is to be open, first and foremost”. More great insights from our guest! Janine conducts one-on-one and group workshops for people to make the most of their personal and/or professional lives. Support the show (

Aug 2020

47 min 53 sec

Bio for Alex MoldenAlex Molden is a former NFL player, and a leadership and personal development coach and speaker. Episode highlightAs an NFL player, Alex Molden had failures and successes, coaches and friends, and most of all, life experiences and stories to treasure. Join him as he talks about life before, during and after football. LinksEmail: info@alexmoldenspeaks.comWebsite: www.alexmolden.comSocial Media: @alexmoldenQuotes“We can cover up so much of who we are with what we do… with our abilities, how we look.”“Leadership is nothing more than influence when you really boil it down.”On practice: “It builds toughness, it builds team because you’re around each other when you’re struggling.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Alex received a Fulbright Scholarship to attend the University of Oregon towards the end of his last year in high school and began slacking off. His biology teacher spoke to him about working hard and not using football as a free pass in life, which changed how he approached his duties. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Alex grew up in a family where he witnessed abuse, alcoholism and little expression of love. In high school and as a freshman, Alex spent time with people who influenced him to smoke weed and skip school. He made a change after a month and began spending time with other athletes who worked hard to be in college. Temperament and personality influencesBeing a twin, Alex has always been competitive with his brother. Once, he bullied his brother, which instigated him to stab Alex. Seeing that he had used his strength negatively with someone he loved changed Alex and made him think about other people’s feelings before acting. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceThe locker room culture in the NFL made Alex feel uncomfortable. There was also a palpable difference between the culture created by each of the coaches he had versus the culture of the players. Advice to an employer to work with meAlex uses his life stories to inspire dialogue, impart tools to drive cultural change and teach leadership to impact lives. If you are just looking for a cool story about a football star, Alex says he may not be the right person for you. More great insights from our guest! Alex conducts a 6-week online leadership course. Contact him for coaching or speaking engagements! Support the show (

Jul 2020

46 min 32 sec

Bio for Devon RielDevon Riel is the General Business Manager at Avonlea Group of Companies, where he also does sports photography alongside event photography. Episode highlightDevon Riel comes from an illustrious lineage yet has carved his own way. Listen in on how his job training Santas has helped him illuminate his own and others’ paths with joy. LinksEmail: devon@avonleastudio.comWebsite: www.avonleastudio.comFacebook:“Ignore the negative BS out there, go with the path of most positivity.” “If I can let someone smile in a day, then I’ve done my part.”“Improving efficiencies wherever possible, that tickles me for sure.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Devon found his parents’ separation when he was very young to be beneficial to him, since he witnessed almost no conflict. He attributes his technological success to his mother, who bought him a computer when he was young. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Louis Riel, a Métis political leader, is Devon’s great-great-great uncle. His mother comes from the Powell family and they may be descendants of the Baden-Powells, the founders of the Boy Scouts/Girl Guides Movement. Devon attended 8 different schools from kindergarten to Grade 12 because his family moved often. He also moved to Australia with his mother in Grade 4. He couldn’t form long term friendships because of these changes. He worked in banking and took finance at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology). Around the same time, he discovered Business Network International (BNI), a networking group his mother attended, and was introduced to Dean Skoubis, one of the owners of Avonlea. Temperament and personality influencesDevon had always been a happy child and the class clown. However, he has worked to temper down his hyperactivity to make sure it’s not overbearing to other people. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceDevon says that he has always felt he was different from everyone else. He feels immune to the cultural and societal norms which dictate a certain kind of life. Advice to an employer to work with meDevon says that even though he doesn’t like micromanagement, he works well with direction. When he follows up with someone, he expects them to be there, though he admits he is not the best at following up with people. More great insights from our guest! If you or someone you know needs headshots in Edmonton or around, contact Devon! 

Jun 2020

28 min 56 sec

Bio for Colin Christopher Colin Christopher is a keynote speaker, stage hypnotist, clinical hypnotherapist, hypnosis instructor and author. Episode highlightListen in on how Colin Christopher found himself in odd places – in the middle of the ocean, all alone on the road, and as a hypnotist on stage. LinksEmail: info@colinchristopher.comWebsite: www.colinchristopher.comTV Appearances: Facebook: Quotes“The only real way to grasp if things are different elsewhere is to really experience it elsewhere.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:When Colin was in Grade 2, he accidentally knocked his friend’s tooth off while playing during a school recess. His teacher screamed at him in public, which badly scarred him. Colin credits his high school drama teacher, Mrs. Kwan, for his career as a hypnotist today. She encouraged him to try relaxation using hypnosis in class one day, which made him want to be a hypnotist.Groups you were born into and belonged to: Colin’s parents immigrated to Canada from Germany, and he faced prejudice for being a German. He disliked German culture due to a few unruly German men he met as a child. Colin became a part of a group of people from many different countries while working on cruise ships. Professionally, Colin is a member of hypnotherapists’ and entertainers’ associations. Temperament and personality influencesColin claims he has always been quiet. He has invested considerable time and effort into developing a stage persona who is an outspoken performer. Since the Grade 2 incident, Colin had been antisocial. It wasn’t until he began working on cruise ships that he began developing his social skills. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceIn Grade 6, Colin learned about the culture of the Aztecs wherein they beheaded a losing team’s captain in games. He couldn’t see the reason why this would be an acceptable practice. Colin dated a Caribbean woman from Trinidad and Tobago, whose fibbing culture was in stark contrast to his upbringing as an honest person. Advice to an employer to work with meColin advises anyone looking to work with him for an event or for therapy, to call him on the phone. He likes to set a clear purpose and establish the outcome from the beginning. More great insights from our guest! Colin sees clients as part of his clinical hypnotherapy practice for losing weight, quitting smoking, etc. He also conducts a sales training program. Support the show (

Jun 2020

51 min 46 sec

Denise Liebetrau is the Founder and CEO of Prosper Consulting, a Career & Salary Negotiation Coach, an HR Consultant, a Compensation Expert, and a Speaker. Episode highlightDenise Liebetrau was raised with strong values of sincerity and dedication, which she brings into her role as an HR consultant, as well as in her daily life. Listen in to learn how to make a big impact – at work, and at home! LinksEmail: Denise.Liebetrau@ProsperConsultingLLC.comWebsite: www.ProsperConsultingLLC.comQuotes“You got to get comfortable with being uncomfortable if you’re going to grow and learn.”“You sometimes have to… recognize that you are making assumptions because of cultural understandings and norms that you grew up with.”“You’ve got to get used to working with people that you don’t like.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Denise grew up on her family’s farm in Kansas. She says she grew into a strong work ethic through the resilience and grit developed from doing her chores. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Denise was born into a Catholic family, developing a strong spiritual foundation. Many get togethers with the extended family reinforced the importance of giving in relationships. Temperament and personality influencesDenise claims that she is an introvert. While working for a large financial corporation in her early 20s, she felt underconfident and wouldn’t speak much in meetings. However, she learned to overcome her discomfort by acting the part. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Denise was 18, she moved away from home to go to Kansas State University, and then to Seattle for work, which opened her eyes to new ways of being. Advice to an employer to work with me “I’m a firm believer in setting the vision”, Denise states. She helps her clients do so with these questions:What does success look like?Where am I at today?What is the gap?What do I need to do to get there?What are the stories I’m telling myself? More great insights from our guest! Find Denise’s book recommendations and Know Your Worth t-shirts on her website! Email her at for a free list of sources to find your job worth. Also, reach out to her for a free 15-minute strategy call to set your career on the right path! Support the show (

May 2020

46 min 19 sec

Finding PurposeIn many countries, human activities are organized around the seasons, or where seasons are more continuous, around periods of wet and dry or light and dark. Work which incorporates the rhythm of nature and an understanding of life is healthy and soul-enhancing. Shift Work Needs to ShiftWorking on 12-hour shifts and varying often between day and night shifts with no adjustment time neglects the body’s natural rhythms. Shift workers live an average of six years less than non-shift workers and have more health problems. Those who are not shift workers but manage or own businesses also work very long workdays or weeks together. Wages have not increased to keep pace with inflation, and everyone works longer hours for less pay. The Cult of OverworkIn the increased anxiety around keeping businesses profitable, making enough wages to earn to support your life and avoid cashflow issues, work addiction has become the norm. We must ask ourselves if we are engaging in soul-promoting or soul-destroying activity through this unhealthy focus on continuous work with no attention to cycles or development. We must ask ourselves what void this social reality of work addiction is attempting to fill. Learning from NatureIn the natural world too, there are periods of intense toil and sacrifice to mate, give birth and raise the young. However, this sacrifice has a cycle, a rhythm and a purpose. Sacrifice and toil towards a positive end and a life-enhancing purpose allows us to live in harmony with the natural changes of seasons and the processes of birth to death. If the sacrifices inherent in work have purpose, and a positive result, then periods of overwork help to develop stamina rather than to promote addiction. Rest and ReflectWhat do you think about this idea? How would your work be different if it respected natural cycles and seasons of people and the planet? What are the indicators of work addiction or sacrifice in your life?What could nature teach us about rewiring ourselves for healthy work instead of addictive work? At work, what is the role of sacrifice and purpose within a context of naturally unfolding cycles and seasons? This is the second part of a trilogy of podcasts taken from the beginning of a book I’m writing called The Spirit of Work. You can comment on this or any of my podcast episodes in our Work and Culture twitter account or by sending an email to You can also leave a voice message in my Skype account AMGEDUC. Or, if these musings inspire you to work with me, I would be most interested in hearing from you. We can chat and see what might be beneficial to both of us! 

Apr 2020

7 min 16 sec

Finding PurposeHuman beings are essentially spiritual, and our lives are animated by Divine love. We need to work as an expression of our souls and to establish a sense of purpose. If we don’t learn, grow, develop or contribute to building something bigger and better than ourselves, our souls are at first dissatisfied, then distressed. All Work and All PlayIt is the nature of children to learn as they grow, even if they have been in difficult situations. One of the secrets to the spirit of work is to play, which children do naturally. Children playing have serious intent, yet they delight in their discoveries. They observe, experience and postulate theories, then create scenarios with their friends to test possibilities. They invest all their energy into the task at hand and will not stand to be pulled away from it. They relentlessly seek their answers in creative ways and are not frustrated by the long pursuit. Learning from The StudentsChildren can teach us much about the nature of the soul and how to work more effectively. Work that does not encourage the natural expression and development of the soul is not sustainable because it is against our nature. However, unlike children developing through their ‘work’, adults don’t work from within the realities of the soul. Unlike young children who cannot be discouraged from soul-inspired learning and action in their work, adults become trapped in a cycle of purposelessness that ultimately erodes our potential. Staying Soul-FocusedEvaluating all our attitudes and behaviours as either diminishing or enhancing the nature of our souls can help us align with the spirit of work. The essential probing question is: How do we know if work is soul-sustaining or soul-diminishing? Soul-sustaining activity brings joy, love, creativity and growth, making us self and others-aware. Soul diminishing activity fosters anger, hatred, destruction and isolation, making us self-absorbed. Your Homework!Make an inventory of your thoughts, actions and behaviours at the end of each day, and note if they were soul-sustaining or soul-diminishing. Celebrate the former and understand how to infuse the latter with spirit.I look forward to your responses and feedback – I’d like to know if this material helped you, or if you would like to suggest some changes. You can comment on this or any of my podcast episodes in our Work and Culture twitter account or by sending an email to You can also leave a voice message in my Skype account AMGEDUC. Or, if these musings inspire you to work with me, I would be most interested in hearing from you. We can chat and see what might be beneficial to both of us! Support the show (

Apr 2020

12 min 3 sec

Bio for Cara BedfordCara Bedford is the Director of Strategic Marketing for CompuVision, a Canadian core IT service provider which focuses on how disruptive technologies can change traditional businesses. She is also the Managing Editor of Disruption Magazine Canada. Episode highlightAs a woman in technology, Cara Bedford brings a unique perspective to the profession. Listen in to learn how disruptive technologies are changing the future of work and how you can keep up. LinksEmail: cbedford@compuvision.bizLinkedIn:“The world is moving faster than it ever has before but as slow as it ever really can.”“I really honestly believe the questions we ask are more important sometimes than the answers that we’re seeking.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Cara and her brother were raised by a single mother in Edmonton, Alberta. Her mother showed her by example how to multitask and be resourceful and is still her best friend and wing woman. Cara became drawn to male-dominated careers, inspired by the strong female figures in her life. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Growing up, Cara’s mother and brother joked that she lived two lives – that of a jock and a drama nerd. She was both sporty and creative, and loved being a part of group activities. She was interested in musical theatre, soccer and volleyball. Cara finds that the community in singing groups fills a bucket hole in her life. She sings in a barbershop quartet called Whoa and competes internationally with a barbershop chorus called Gateway Chorus. Temperament and personality influencesIn the DISC personality assessment, Cara is a D - Dominant, and defaults into that style. She’s quick to make decisions and is very risk averse. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceOnce, Cara was discussing a blog with one of her freelancers when she heard sirens and screaming at his end. She realized that if people in difficult conditions could still deliver work on time and within the budget, there should be nothing stopping people in relatively privileged situations from doing so. More great insights from our guest! Disruption is a free magazine created for Canadians by Canadians. CompuVision is an innovative, cost-saving, productive and low-risk resource to manage your technology. Support the show (

Apr 2020

36 min 54 sec

Re-evaluating Our LivesWith this pandemic forcing us all into isolation, I have spoken to many people who are re-evaluating their activities in the light of what really matters. Some people want to change their careers and need coaching to reimagine their lives, while others want to spend more time with family or help those in need. Neighbourhood initiatives have sprouted, industries have transformed, artistic creations have been initiated and completed in record time frames, and even the formalizing of vague ideas into non-profit societies have all blossomed in one week. Reconnecting through MusicOne of my daughter’s neighbours, who is a musician, hosts a sing-along from his porch at 4 pm twice weekly. Everyone comes out of their front doors and sings along to everything from the Beatles to Raffi for 30 minutes, even in the Winnipeg Winter. While this would have been reported to the cops or been ignored before this pandemic, it has brought her street to life during this time. This goes to show how love and concern can bring people together during difficult times. Realigning to Our True NatureAlthough this experience is painful and ridden with anxiety and suffering, COVID-19 is an opportunity to realign to our true nature. Governments are paying attention to what really matters and executing important decisions with lightning speed. In response, we are patient and courteous. We recognize our interdependence and are grateful for everyone working to keep our society healthy and functioning. This virus has been teaching us to focus on what matters and to feel that we are ‘with’ people even as we are isolated and physically distant. Restoring The Spirit of WorkFor my part, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some takeaways from a book I have been working on called ‘The Spirit of Work’’. Until COVID-19, I did not have a sense of urgency to put my thoughts down or share them, but I do now. The next three solo episodes of the Culture and Leadership Connections podcast will be from the book. You can comment on them in our WorkandCulture twitter account or by sending an email to . Or, if these musings inspire you to work with me, I would be most interested in hearing from you. We can chat and see what might be beneficial to both of us! 

Apr 2020

4 min 11 sec

Bio for Karlyn BorysenkoDr. Karlyn Borysenko is the founder of Zen Workplace and is Chief Science Officer of RallyBright. An organizational psychologist and executive/performance coach, she integrates mindfulness strategies at work to increase productivity and creativity, reduce stress, and create better work experiences. Episode highlightAs a small-town girl from Vermont, Dr Karlyn Borysenko learned how to be the biggest version of herself as she went through life. Join her as she shares her journey of integrating mindfulness practices with honesty to create a career in improving people’s work lives. LinksEmail: karlyn@zenworkplace.comWebsite: www.zenworkplace.comPodcast: “At the end of the day, I think my desire to be who I am and… embrace the things that I like and that make me happy is… stronger than my desire to fit in with any particular group.” “You can do whatever you want to do. No one is going to stop you. You just have to be willing to take the steps and go after it.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Karlyn grew up learning to fight for her place in the world, learning along the way how much control she had over her life. She carries this spirit into her work today. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Karlyn was born to a happy couple in a nuclear family in a small town. She married into an immigrant family. She also associates with the community of knitters. However, the spiritual groups she is involved in have had the most profound impact on her work today. Temperament and personality influencesKarlyn has always been a truth teller, though she has not always received positive feedback for it. She has now learnt to articulate her message in a way that people are better able to receive it. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceKarlyn’s college friend taught her that she could do whatever she set her heart on, which was a revelation to her because she thought she needed to follow the traditional path of life. Advice to an employer to work with meKarlyn had a conversation with RallyBright’s CEO about not giving up her business and that was received with an open mind and willingness to accommodate, which she greatly appreciates. More great insights from our guest! Visit her website,, listen to her podcast, No BS At Work, and read her book, Zen Your Work for more great insights. Support the show (

Mar 2020

42 min 17 sec

Bio for Andy Knight W. Andy Knight is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Alberta. He serves as Advisory Board Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Welfare of Children. Episode highlightAndy Knight comes from a family of religious preachers, politicians and musicians. He brings his multi-dimensional personality into his work as a political science researcher and humanitarian. Listen in on how he is unravelling all the world’s problems, one heart at a time. LinksEmail: andy.knight@ualberta.caSkype: andyknight54Twitter: WAndyKnight1About:“We are all one people, we are all from the same source, we all need to be concerned about each other’s well-being regardless of what culture, what background we’re from.”“We ought to be able to find ways to build sustainable peace and one way to do that is to be able to accept differences of culture, differences of religion and realizing that we are all really from the same source.”“There’s still some good in all of us, I think, and we need to be able to find that good.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Andy grew up in Barbados in a family with religious and political influences. His childhood exposure to music instilled discipline in him while he turned to fine arts as an adult. Wanting to do good for others, he became a member then President of his university’s student union, the Secretary of the Canadian Federation Of Students and the Vice President of its Ontario wing. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Being a part of a large family taught Andy about conflict resolutions, morals, and gender and racial equality. Marrying a Persian reinforced his father’s lessons of acceptance of different people and their cultures, religions and personal choices. Temperament and personality influencesAndy claims that he has always been pensive and inquisitive, but has learned to be gregarious.A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceAndy learned to drop judgement for atrocities committed by child soldiers in Ghana when he learned they were forcibly trained to do so. Advice to an employer to work with meAndy says that an employer must accept that he brings many multicultural dimensions to his work.More great insights from our guest! Read the articles from African Security Journal co-edited by Andy and look out for his upcoming book on female suicide bombers who did not detonate their bombs. Support the show (

Mar 2020

54 min 10 sec

Bio for Kamal SinclairKamal Sinclair is Executive Director of the Guild of Future Architects and supports independent artists as a Senior Consultant for Sundance Institute. Kamal makes art through a family creative practice called Sinclair Futures.Episode highlightBorn into the arts, Kamal Sinclair has a goal to create a more equitable and enriched future. Listen in to discover her illustrious journey.LinksEmail: Hello@FutureArchitects.comTwitter: Website: Quotes“Justice is… broccoli... If we design for well-being... it’s not just ‘eat your broccoli’, it’s… a sense of thriving as we design for shared prosperity.” “When you consider the person with the least access to what you’re creating as your primary customer, then everybody benefits.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:At the age of 12, Kamal had the opportunity to travel with theatre groups. She says she was changed by the “real sense of what it means to engage with a global community of artists.” She had a transformational moment on a rice field in China, thinking back to the violence on her campus back in Los Angeles. She found it futile that there were wars taking place on small matters when “there’s a whole world out here.” Groups you were born into and belonged to:Kamal comes from an arts family. As she puts it, “We had already a great investment in the arts in my family.” Kamal had her first brush with arts leadership at the age of 9 in a youth theatre arts group. She went to a high school for the arts in LA, which gave her her first opportunity to create a play from scratch. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceWhen Kamal was working at the Woodruff Arts Center, she found it challenging to convince people of the need for the arts.Kamal once heard a story of gender equality told through the voice of a western feminist woman. That’s when Kamal understood the legacy of inequity in relationships that colonialism left behind, and the blindness of privilege.Advice to an employer to work with meKamal believes that artist residencies should be more inclusive, with intellectual and creative collaboration and consultation. More great insights from our guest!Kamal says that creating a process to mitigate one’s own blind spots in organizational leadership is not easy. She recommends adopting a design for the margins first.Support the show (

Feb 2020

53 min 26 sec

Unearthing the Truth Your core beliefs are unconscious – you grew up with them and developed them in response to your environment. So, how can you discover what you believe about yourself? Mindfulness Muse recommends a technique called laddering down. This involves a series of questions to uncover the core belief that affects your leadership and colours how you see the world. It can also help you reclaim power in a situation where you feel powerless.Begin with a strong statement about any important area of your life – money, health, relationships, work, managers or jobs. Then make referring statements to unearth its meaning. Once you find your belief, you can examine if it is serving you and if that is the story you want to tell yourself. If you change that story, you will change your belief, and hence, your behavior. Laddering DownStrong Statement: I have no control over my workday. Questions to ladder down:What if I have no control over my workday? What does it mean? It means I am in firefighting mode all day. What if I am in firefighting mode all day? What does it mean?It means I will jump whenever my boss, my crew or my customers want something.What if I jump whenever my boss, my crew or my customers want something? What does it mean?Scenario AIt means I will lose my job if I don’t please them. What if I lose my job? What will it mean? At this point, you may say – I’ll be relieved – in which case you should re-examine why you are there. Or you may say - It means I am incompetent. It means no one will respect me. I means I must please others to be worthy - I am unworthy unless I please other people all the time.Ask yourself if that is true, and if that is the story you want to tell yourself.Scenario BIt means it isn’t my fault if things don’t get prioritized, finished or done correctly.What if it isn’t my fault if things don’t get prioritized, finished or done correctly? What does it mean?It means I avoid blaming myself or getting blamed because I didn’t do anything wrong and don’t have to change anything.If you believe your job is to avoid getting blamed and keep everything the way it is because you are comfortable that way, that will be a big revelation for you to work on.This is the final installment in the Leading Without Power Trilogy. If you missed the first two, check out Solo Podcast 1 and Solo Podcast 2 on the website.If you have faced incidents at the workplace or have some ideas that you would like me to discuss on the podcast, please write to Support the show (

Feb 2020

15 min 25 sec

Bio for Steven K. Young Steven K. Young, B.Ed., MBA PMP, is an educator, consultant, executive, and coach who is passionate about leadership and building high-performance teams. He is currently the CEO of Garnet Instruments, a lecturer at the Alberta School of Business and instructor at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.Episode highlightSteven K. Young has always worked from a team mind-set, be it in hockey, the police service, politics or the corporate world. Listen in on his advice on how to best be a part of and manage effective teams.LinksEmail: stevekyoung@gmail.comLinkedIn:"In every committee, there's always one jerk and if you don't know who that is, it's probably you.""Your door can be open all day but if nobody walks through it, you're missing the point."TakeawaysChildhood incidents:Steven’s parents taught him, "Whether people are watching or not, you do the right thing". He credits his University of Alberta Golden Bears coach, Billy Moores, for teaching him the value of systems and processes and the principles of leadership and success. Groups you were born into and belonged to:Teams have been an important theme in Steven’s life – from his family to hockey to policing. He has also been a part of many different groups – hockey teams, policemen’s hockey tournaments and political groups, and has friends in the Turkish community. Temperament and personality influencesSteven has transformed from an angry young man who was quick to judge into an inquisitive, tolerant person with a suite of tools and appropriate responses. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceSteven finds that the polarization of strong opinions in the political realm makes him unwilling to discuss his take on issues. However, he is working towards finding a healthy way to express himself. Advice to an employer to work with meFor Steven to be successful, he needs to have clear processes, mandates and KPIs. He also works best with flexible schedules, long-term reviews and many projects on the go. More great insights from our guest!Steven believes that the ‘Are we there yet?’ approach is limiting and instead, the question which should be asked is, ‘We're doing great, what can we do next?’

Jan 2020

50 min 8 sec

The IncidentPicture this: you have a manager who is incompetent and wants to be seen as bigger and better than everyone beneath her. She undermines others and strategically points out what she perceives to be mistakes at meetings so that individuals are all afraid of her. The Initial ReactionThis was an incident a colleague of mine experienced as a teacher in a school with a domineering and suspicious principal. The staff reaction to her was one of fear and everyone became isolated and suspicious. Nobody spoke out. The workplace became tense and toxic. The GoalAfter discussing the situation, my colleague came up with a plan to do what she called a “virtuous coup d’etat”. She and another teacher decided to be kind and helpful in a very intentional way to the staff, doing small favours for them, providing little gifts and kind words and actively complimenting them in front of students and each other. The goal was to turn the toxic culture around and to “own” the culture so that it could not be manipulated by leadership that did not share the same values. The Obstacles Not everyone got on board…those who did were contacted privately by the two colleagues and asked if they wanted to join the coup. Soon the project spread and gained momentum to the point where when the principal tried to target and undermine a colleague publicly during a staff meeting, the others would not stop singing their fellow teacher’s praises, undermining the negativity with positive and sincere appreciation.InferenceWhen people without power in a workplace choose to take the high road and act with principle, they may be targeted and crushed. But when they do it in a way that brings others along with them, they create a movement. ConclusionIt is certainly harder to build unity of thought and action than to complain and say “that’s just how things are”. But if we want to enjoy a great workplace culture, we must be willing to put some skin into the game. Lessons LearnedThis example shows that if you don’t have power through formal management, you can still have behind the scenes leadership influence and build unity of thought. We don’t always choose who we work with or who our bosses are, but we can choose to act with integrity and to look to the power of groups to build an ethical and healthy workplaceSupport the show (

Dec 2019

9 min 10 sec

Bio for Myke Macapinlac Myke Macapinlac went from being a shy immigrant structural designer to a podcast host, a social skills coach, a lifestyle entrepreneur and author of 4 books. He now teaches shy guys who are technically skilled to improve their social confidence so they can create meaningful connections in their personal, romantic, and professional lives. Episode highlightMyke Macapinlac knows what it is like to be a shy immigrant, and uses his life experience to help everyone like him live a social life. Listen to this podcast to learn about his journey from a shy structural designer to becoming a social butterfly. LinksEmail: info@socialconfidencemastery.comWebsite:“We live in a different generation now where technical competence isn’t enough… not just to live a successful life but also a fulfilling life.”“Being social is a learnable skill and with the right knowledge and guidance… anyone can become socially confident.”TakeawaysChildhood incidents:At 17, Myke moved with his family from the Philippines to Canada. He struggled to speak English, suffered from social anxiety, and had never been taught soft skills. Groups you were born into and belonged to: Myke was born into a respectful, loving, friendly and hospitable culture. However, he has also learnt to establish boundaries. As he travelled and lived around North America, he realized that he could approach his life differently than what his community assumed. He’s also a part of many entrepreneurial groups. Temperament and personality influencesMyke’s friends identify him as the voice of reason. He has also learned to tap into his emotions to articulate his thoughts for healthy, peaceful, and non-confrontational relationships. A time I became aware that my way of doing things was cultural and specific to my cultural experienceMyke struggled for the first few years as a new immigrant in North America because of the cultural differences. However, he believes his culture has given him a unique point of view and an edge over others to attract a specific demographic. Advice to an employer to work with meMyke has a 4-point structure which he shares with his near and dear ones to establish good communication:Ask for permission to talk about a topic.Be clear. Give specific examples.Create a call to action. More great insights from our guest! Myke’s 5-part program, the Social Confidence Blueprint, has been created specifically for STEM professionals to become socially confident. Sign up for his course at! Support the show (

Dec 2019

34 min 5 sec

Recognizing emotional triggersRacist comment from inside the team from one visible minority to another and from one manager to another (white manager making joke insults to other white manager; white manager making joke insults to visible minority manager) Relationship: I had no power and was under scrutiny and micromanagement from the white boss. I was the only woman on the team. Everyone else was a tech person, I was the curriculum person.Goal: to increase workplace sense of psychological safetyProblem: coming into a team climate of conflicting relationships and power dynamics, without power. People with power were vicious and cutting, atmosphere of one man upmanship and scarcity What I actually did: First I tried to divert attention from the racism by complimenting the person who had been targeted. This just made it worse. Eventually I shut down and made myself as small as possible. Felt intimidated and undermined. Didn’t talk to anyone about it. Left the contract. Why I felt so powerless in the situation: it was a short term contract, I was working on a project I did not have previous knowledge of, I didn’t know the team who had worked together in various projects in different countries, the politics were always hot and I didn’t understand them or know who to talk to about themWhat I would have done differently: thought more carefully about why I had such a strong emotional reaction that I couldn’t get past – in fact it related back to me being beat up as a child by a taunting bully who was similar to the white boss in this incident. If I had understood that this was a childhood trigger, I could have swallowed my fear and spoken directly but privately to the people doing the racist comments, taking care not to make them lose face or feel humiliated and showing my belief in their capacity to be encouraging and supportive.Principle: This is an injustice disguised as a “joke” and is one of the indicators of social dominance. Racist comments cannot be allowed to grow, they create a toxic atmosphere. Social dominance and narcissism are dangerous – if you are seen as not bowing to their will, they will crush you. It has to be handled delicately so that the people causing the problem don’t make it worse for their victims or for anyone else. Think about various ways to deal with the issue/ from the side/ individually/ group setting/confrontation/. Be systematic and strategicStrategies: Consider your emotional reaction to each one, then choose the one you can do with confidenceCombat racism by building a climate of safety quietly with others, ask others to say one thing they admire or like about X. Suggest that at team meetings people think of something they appreciated from an individual or the entire team as part of the team routine. Confront the issue at a team meeting without accusing or blamingSpeak confidentially to each of the “actors” to say how those comments affect you and the team and the work atmosphereDocument incidents and file a complaintWatch, listen and later write a complaint to the company with your documentationTalk to a higher authority explaining how having to always “watch your back” is keeping you away from doing your work. Be informed of the new legislation about psychological safety in the workplace – employers can now be brought to task for allowing a toxic workplace climate to continue. Ask your self if it is worth it – maybe you should just look for another job.Remember that people who actively confront a bad behavior either privately or in public, are typically targeted further BUT they feel more confident and stronSupport the show (

Nov 2019

14 min 16 sec