Why We Started the Learn To Lead 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.
Síle Walsh is a coach specializing in leadership and organizational development with a focus on inclusion, performance, and psychological safety. With a background in coaching psychology and organizational development, and over a decade of working with clients in Ireland and internationally, Síle strives to support effective leadership so organizations can be high-performing, inclusive workplaces where people thrive, and great work gets done. Síle is a PhD researcher with Canterbury Christ Church University in Salomons Institute for Applied Psychology exploring inclusive leadership in organizations through a psychological lens. On this episode, we discuss the way Síle approaches curiosity, what initially got her interested in leadership development, and what trends she'd like to see grow and which she's less excited about. She also shares a story about the time she received feedback that inspired her to change how she presents herself online so she is more authentic and accurate to her unique approach to her work.
On this episode, our host Matt Confer shares some gratitude and reflections about what he has learned since the beginning of the Learn to Lead podcast, 100 episodes ago. Since then, we have been fortunate to share key leadership lessons with more than 39,000 listeners. Those lessons have come from world-class coaches, trailblazers of industry, entrepreneurs, and even a memory champion and an improv artist. Matt identifies a core thread that has been woven through all his conversations and gives insight into what you can expect from the Learn to Lead podcast and the team at Abilitie going into 2023. From all of us here at Abilitie, thank you for inviting us into your ears for the past 100 episodes!
Steve Hoffman is the Chairman & CEO of Founders Space, a global innovation hub for entrepreneurs, corporations, and investors, with over 50 partners in 22 countries. Hoffman is also a venture investor, founder of three venture-backed and two bootstrapped startups, and author of several award-winning books, including Make Elephants Fly , Surviving a Startup , and The Five Forces . In this episode, we discussed the difference between innovation and truly radical change as well as how Steve's experiences in a variety of roles in the startup system have influenced his understanding of leadership. We also discussed why his absolute requirement for success in business is to hire not good but great leaders and what that means. Steve shared an exercise that you can do today that will immediately test your leadership skills and show you how to grow them, and, finally, he discussed his findings about the five forces that will influence business innovation moving forward.
Laura Gates is a sought-after executive coach, team facilitator and advisor to executives at Silicon Valley’s top tech companies, including Google and LinkedIn, as well as advisor and mentor to VC-backed start-up Founders in tech, bio-tech and blockchain. With over 25 years of coaching and facilitation experience primarily in tech, engineering, AI and machine learning, Laura’s prestigious client roster bridges industries and domains including space and aeronautics, academia, energy, finance, and communications, homeless organizations, and global women’s initiatives. Laura’s proprietary frameworks for building innovative teams and cultures to increase trust and collaboration and breakthroughs in navigating conflict have been featured in First Round’s Review and Culture Amp has featured her as a top executive coach. In this episode, we discussed her approach to building trust and strong relationships with her coaching clients as well as how she helps her clients understand their goals. She explains a bit about the lifecycle of the coaching relationship and how she supports clients when it's time for them to move on to their next goal. Finally, Laura shares how her personal leadership experiences at Wall Street firms and as an entrepreneur have informed her practice and how you can make better decisions about your development.
Dan Schawbel is a New York Times bestselling author, Managing Partner of Workplace Intelligence, workplace researcher, global keynote speaker, podcast host, and career expert. He has led over 60 research studies in partnership with brands like Oracle, WeWork, and American Express in his career, surveying over 3 million people in 26 different countries. Dan has also interviewed over 2,800 leaders including Condoleezza Rice, Reed Hastings, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet, and Meg Whitman. He is the bestselling author of three books: Back to Human , Promote Yourself , and Me 2.0. On this episode, we discussed how leaders have adjusted to management since 2020, what has continued to develop in workplace culture over the past two years, and his thoughts on the prevailing belief that "no one wants to work anymore." Dan shares his thoughts on how leaders can strike the best balance between bringing their teams together and giving employees the freedom to work remotely before telling a story about the best advice he's ever heard.
Jason Feifer is the editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur magazine, host of popular podcasts including Build for Tomorrow , author of the book by the same name, keynote speaker, startup advisor, and nonstop optimism machine. His goal is to help you become more resilient and adaptable in a world of constant change — so you can seize new opportunities before anyone else does! On this episode, we discuss Jason's career and how he prioritized taking risks and trying new things to grow, how his work has led him to deeply understand the Four Phases of Change, and what he's learned from top performers about moving through those phases more efficiently. Finally, he shared his best advice for learning from the people in your network and how you can use the questions that people ask you to better understand your own value.
Nozomi Morgan leads a team of experts in developing global leaders. Her team helps organizations develop Co-created Culture which she believes is the foundation for individuals and organizations to fulfill their purpose in this world. Her diverse international background — having lived in Asia, Europe and North America — gives her a wealth of experience and knowledge as a strategic partner to leaders. She enjoys giving back to the community by serving on boards such as Japan-America Society of Georgia, National Association of Asian American Professionals. She is also passionate in empowering women to find their own voice and help them become leaders in their life, work and society. On this episode, we discussed Nozomi's journey from a corporate background and "living someone else's live" to the launching and running her thriving business dedicated to helping leaders from around the world succeed. She shares how she helps leaders become more curious (spoiler: it's probably not what you think) and why it's important to get out of your head from time to time and find intentional quiet. Finally, Nozomi gives some insight into how leaders can leverage technology as a tool to build connection rather than a hindrance.
Brandi Nicole Johnson is "on a mission to help the world reimagine work so that work is integrated into our lives, instead of becoming our whole identity." Prior to becoming a coach and a tech learning executive, she climbed the ultimate career ladder in the nonprofit sector, growing from intern to Executive Director all before the age of 30. As the first company hire in the Learning and Development Organization at DoorDash, Brandi built and leads a world-class, global, learning and development team in accelerating performance so that talent can do the very best work of their careers. On this episode of the podcast, we discuss the path that led Brandi from her origins in the nonprofit world to tech leadership, how she has handled pivot points in her work, and what the rapid growth of DoorDash in recent years has taught her. Finally, she shares how she handles burnout, why she has become a radically transparent leader, and what she's curious about as a leader looking to the future. Learn more about Abilitie: www.abilitie.com Learn more about the Invited MBA: www.invitedmba.com
Dr. Ruth Gotian is the Chief Learning Officer, Assistant Professor of Education in Anesthesiology, and former Assistant Dean of Mentoring and Executive Director of the Mentoring Academy at Weill Cornell Medicine. A leadership development and mentorship expert, she researches the most successful people of our generation, including Nobel laureates, astronauts, CEOs, and Olympic champions, to learn about their habits and practices to optimize our own success. On this episode, we discussed the process of curiosity and exploration that led Ruth to study such a broad array of successful individuals, the lessons she learned early on about exploring the mundane as deeply as the impressive, and how her studies have influenced her own style of work. Finally, Ruth explains a few key factors that all the successful people she interviews have in common and shares the advice that has the most potential to improve everyone's ability to achieve their goals.
Dr. Ken Blanchard is the co-founder and Chief Spiritual Officer of The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of the iconic 1982 classic, The One Minute Manager. In the past three decades, Ken has authored or coauthored 60 books whose combined sales total more than 23 million copies. His groundbreaking works have been translated into more than 42 languages. In 2005 Ken was inducted into Amazon’s Hall of Fame as one of the top 25 bestselling authors of all time. Randy Conley is the Vice President of Client Services and Trust Practice Leader at The Ken Blanchard Companies and co-author of the new book, Simple Truths of Leadership . On this episode, we discussed how Ken and Randy developed the lessons of their new book, how they see leadership show up in their own lives, and what they hope rising leaders might learn from their work. Ken shares some key lessons from his many years as a leading thinker and teacher on leadership. Additionally, Ken and Randy give insight into how they approach the book writing process and share their advice for organizations that want to better serve their people.
Jennifer Brenneman is a Senior Director of Leadership Development at MongoDB. Prior to her work at MongoDB, Jennifer worked in Leadership Development and Instructional Leadership at Teach For All. Thus far, her career has focused on supporting adults to achieve their potential through facilitated experiences, coaching, and leadership development programs. On this episode, we discussed the difference between a career built on a foundation of values rather than goals, why Jennifer isn't interested in "building a career," and why knowing yourself is arguably one of the most important skills to develop. Finally, Jennifer shares a bit about how becoming a parent changed her work and some of the misconceptions folks often carry about work-life balance.
Morag Barrett is a highly accomplished keynote speaker, leadership development expert, and bestselling author of Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships and The Future-Proof Workplace. Morag is the founder and CEO of SkyeTeam, a boutique leadership development firm, and has supported more than 15,000 leaders from 20 countries and on 4 continents achieve outstanding results by improving the effectiveness of their leadership and teams. On this episode, we discuss how she found her way (accidentally) into leadership development, what advice she'd give her younger self, and why it's so important to cultivate a sense of reflection for leaders. Finally, she shares her simple technique for staying focused on the right goals and getting the right work done.
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.