Niiamah Ashong is the Founder of the Outliers’ Edge Multiverse, a leadership expert, and a high-performance coach. His work focuses on what you can do when you realize you have a different perspective or don’t “fit in” — when you’re an outlier. Niiamah’s experiences working at organizations as varied as the leading global consulting firm Deloitte and cutting-edge tech companies have given him a unique perspective on what it takes for leaders to grow and ultimately achieve their goals. On this episode, we discuss why Niiamah believes it is essential that all leaders understand with deep clarity what makes them unique and the importance of differentiating between your Zone of Excellence and your Zone of Genius. Niiamah also shares a story about “the moment [he] became a Black man” and what that moment meant for his life, his leadership, and his career. Finally, Matt and Niiamah discuss how he works with growing leaders to shift from thinking about their productivity to how they can think about managing their energy.
Susan Kushnir, co-author of Decoding Executives: What They Say, What They Mean, and What You Should Do, has enjoyed a career in learning and development spanning the non-profit, public, and private sectors with a focus on leadership and people management. She has been the Head of Learning & Development at Sterling National Bank, Director of Lean Six Sigma & Director of Global Learning and Development at S&P Global, and Director of Organizational Development, Learning, Talent and Engagement for the Girl Scouts of the USA. On this episode, we discuss her advice for folks who are early in their learning & development careers, what she wishes people understood about how to get a lot done with few resources, and the lessons she’s learned about what it really takes to achieve a goal. Finally, she shares some key insights about interacting with executives and how leaders can better teach these lessons to younger generations entering the workforce.
Vaishali Jadhav is a Global Leadership Development Program Designer and Facilitator at the University of Texas at Austin, a Culterati Summit Fellow, an Instructor at the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute, and an all-around leadership development practitioner. Her career has followed the “red thread” of building conscious leaders in organizations like Gallup, Whole Foods Market, Indeed, and, most recently, Procore Technologies. Throughout all her roles and the time she’s spent advancing leadership programs at organizations, she has maintained a focus on growing purpose-driven leaders connected to their organizations’ greater missions. On this episode, we discuss how she developed her own ability to connect to heart-led leadership practices, what she means when she says that the best leaders understand their purpose, and what she’s learned making the move from professional services to technology. Finally, Vaishali shares how people leaders at all organizations can adjust their practices to uplift their direct reports and connect them to the bigger purpose — without spending any extra money or drastically upending their organizations.
Jeff Levin is a National Managing Director at a global consulting firm with over 20 years of experience leveraging passion, technology, and innovative solutions to lead and inspire teams. He was also one of Learn to Lead host Matt Confer’s early leaders. On this episode, we discuss the ways that Jeff’s leadership has grown and changed since his early years, how he’s adjusted to manage a group of over 1,000 individuals, and how he hopes to continue growing into the future. Matt and Jeff also discuss how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has informed each of their relationships with work and how Jeff is working to maintain a strong organizational culture even as more members of his team only know each other through Zoom.
Jaimie Krause is a Senior Manager of Learning & Development at Indeed, the world’s “#1 Job Site” where she oversees all learning and development initiatives for Indeed’s sales enablement professionals. With a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, Jaimie’s works at the intersection of I/O psychology, talent development, and corporate L&D strategy. She designs programs and coaches people to drive personal and commercial productivity helping people who help people get jobs. On this episode, we discussed the tactical challenges and opportunities when developing leaders in a global organization, the importance of encouraging your learners to think about how skills will be applied at work, and why she thinks the senior leadership at Indeed has been successful in modeling vulnerability during COVID-19.
Bryan Clayton is the Co-Founder and CEO of GreenPal, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals. GreenPal has been called the “Uber for lawn care” by Entrepreneur magazine and has over 100,000 active users completing thousands of transactions per day. Before starting GreenPal, Bryan Clayton founded Peachtree Inc., one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee, growing it to over $10 million a year in annual revenue before it was acquired by Lusa holdings in 2013. On this episode, we discussed Bryan’s journey into the tech world, what he’s learned about running a rapidly growing company, and being in it for the long haul. Bryan also shared some book recommendations and explained why as the CEO he still spends an hour or two doing direct customer support daily.