Why We Started this Podcast
Learn To Lead is a podcast that explores the world of leadership development and shares stories about the journey we all take learning to lead. On our show, we talk about how people can lead teams more effectively and how organizations can enhance their approaches to developing the leaders of tomorrow. We dig deep and talk to our guests about their own journeys of professional and personal development.
We speak to authors, professors, artists, and business and community leaders about how they developed as a leader and how they are working to develop future leaders.
Wes Schroll is a serial entrepreneur who started his first company at 14-years old. After two small start up ventures, he wrote a business plan for what would one day become Fetch Rewards during his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In March of 2021, Fetch closed its Series D round of financing with $220 Million led by SoftBank. Fetch is a bonafide "Unicorn" with a valuation of over $1 Billion. On this episode, we discuss some of the lessons Wes has learned along the way, how it felt for him to realize the Fetch Rewards app has more daily users than there are residents of New York City, and his trouble with productivity advice. Finally, Wes shares his approach to hiring leaders in his organization and why the two most important things he looks for are how well they understand the product and whether or not they can give and receive feedback.
Happy holidays! As we prepare to enter the new year, we thought it would be a good time to pull together some of the best advice that we received from our podcast guests in the past year. This episode includes the advice that our guests from our most downloaded episodes shared with our audience. The guests include a New York Times best-selling author, a Broadway producer, a Fortune 500 C-suite member, and more!
As we approach the new year, we wanted to share a short reflection on the time we've spent with you as listeners since we first launched the Learn to Lead Podcast only twenty-one months ago. Host Matt Confer encourages you to think a little about time passing using a short anecdote about great movies, time travel, and the moon landing (trust us!). We are incredibly grateful to get to share the airwaves with you and look forward to sharing new and exciting lessons from our guests in 2022.
Rita Gunther McGrath is a best-selling author, a sought-after speaker, and a longtime professor at Columbia Business School. She is widely recognized as a premier expert on leading innovation and growth during times of uncertainty. Rita has received the #1 achievement award for strategy from the prestigious Thinkers50 and has been consistently named one of the world’s Top 10 management thinkers in its bi-annual ranking. Rita is the author of the best-selling The End of Competitive Advantage. On this episode, we discussed her new book, Seeing Around Corners: How to Spot Inflection Points in Business Before They Happen, and its implications for learning leaders. Rita also shared her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities of innovation and what people often get wrong when thinking about it. Finally, Rita shared what makes her optimistic and what she's most curious about heading into the new year.
Eric Pliner is the CEO of YSC Consulting, a global leadership strategy consultancy headquartered in London and focused on the styles, dynamics, and cultures that enable successful achievement of strategy. On this episode, we discussed Eric’s recommendations for effectively managing difficult conversations at work, the lessons Eric’s learned as a leader in the last year (hint: it involves constant learning!), and how he manages to keep two days each week completely empty of meetings.
Kim Kaupe is the founder of Bright Ideas Only where she has worked with Oprah, Paul McCartney, and Jimmy Buffett. Her first company, The Superfan Company, allowed her to work with everyone from Katie Perry to the Boston Red Sox. She was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30, and by Inc Magazine, 35 under 35. She also received one of the highest offers on Season 5 of Shark Tank . On this episode, we discussed how she went from being an accidental entrepreneur to running a thriving marketing business, her best productivity tips, and how she prepares for a meeting. Finally, she shares how she’s dealt with imposter syndrome and how you can too.
Kara Goldin is the Founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., best known for its award-winning Hint® water, the leading unsweetened flavored water. She has been named one of InStyle’s Badass 50, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Fortune's Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink and EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. Kara has successfully navigated the world of large companies and startups in many industries including media, tech and consumer products. On this episode, we discussed her motivations for founding Hint and the lessons she’s learned along the way. She shares how she comes up with ideas for new products and the benefits of not going in with all the answers figured out. Finally, she shares some tips for hiring well and leading a fast-growth company.
For over two decades, Moshe Cohen has been helping people unlock their potential to negotiate more effectively, communicate more skillfully, lead more purposefully, and manage conflict more artfully. His book, Collywobbles: How to Negotiate When Negotiating Makes You Nervous , combines negotiation with emotional intelligence to help you overcome emotional barriers, apply your skills, and become a more effective negotiator. In 1995, Moshe founded The Negotiating Table and has been teaching at Boston University's Questrom School of Business since 2000. On this episode, we discussed why negotiation freaks people out so much, how you can prepare for your negotiations better, and why it’s important that you do. Additionally, Matt talks about his favorite memory from when he was a student in Moshe’s class at Boston University.
Mallory Rowan is an entrepreneur passionate about fitness, digital marketing, and building community. She has built her life around following her passions and sharing lessons along the way. On this episode, we discussed her journey to and through burnout, her personal practices to ensure she can perform at a high level without pushing herself to the brink, and we dug into what her experiences as an entrepreneur have taught her about leadership. Finally, she shares what a tube of toothpaste taught her about growing (and sustaining) multiple six-figure businesses.
As founder of The Change Coaches, LaTonya Wilkins works with leaders and their teams where human connection and cultural change really happen: below the surface. LaTonya has built a career working in HR, talent management, and learning & development at GE, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, and other corporations. Her book Leading Below the Surface: How to Build Real (and Psychologically Safe) Relationships With People that are Different from You will be out in the Fall of 2021. On this episode, we discuss the link between empathy and curiosity, the difference between Episodic DEI and Cultural DEI, and what changes LaTonya has seen unfold in the DEI field. Finally, she shares what advice she’d give her younger self and what habits she includes in her own life to maximize her impact.
Elliott Masie is a provocative, engaging, and entertaining researcher, educator, analyst, and speaker - focused on the changing world of the workplace, learning, and technology. Elliott is acknowledged as the first analyst to use the term eLearning and has advocated for a sane deployment of learning and collaboration technology as a means of supporting the effectiveness and profitability of enterprises. He heads The MASIE Center in Saratoga Springs, NY focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce. He leads the Learning COLLABORATIVE, a coalition of 75 global organizations cooperating on the evolution of learning strategies. On this episode, we discuss Elliott's thoughts on Zoom fatigue (and what people get wrong about it), his take on the credentialing crazy, and his unique take on storytelling. We also discuss why Elliott thinks we're in a renaissance for learning and development and how we can all better serve our learners.
Sara Canaday's professional career spans 20 years including sales, leadership, and executive roles. She is the author of two books: You -- According To Them and Leadership Unchained. On this episode, we discuss why people relate best to storytelling, how a change of scenery supports her creativity, and what she’s curious about these days. Additionally, she shares the importance of pace-setting and why she strives to be a “pace-setting leader’.
Learn To Lead is Hosted by Matthew Confer, the Vice President of Strategy at Abilitie
Matt has spoken on the topic of decision making at the TEDx Conference, and on the topic of leadership development at The Learning & Development Executive Summit. His work has been featured by The Association For Talent Development and his recent articles have appeared in Training Industry Magazine.