In each episode we take a behind the scenes look at how to build a high performing team from the leaders who built them.
As Raise The Bar celebrates its 5th anniversary, the tables are turned. Founder and CEO Aaron Levy is interviewed by RTB's Head of Marketing and talks about his WHY, the evolution of their science-backed training methodology, and his role in helping create the future of a better workplace.
Welcome to the Raise The Bar Coaches’ Corner, a new feature where our Head of Marketing interviews our coaches to gain tips, insights and strategies. In this episode, Natalie Guillen talks about the messiness of learning new skills and why leaders need a support system. Natalie is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach thru The Co-Active Training Institute, with over 15 years of experience working with some of the biggest brands including Google, PayPal, and Wells Fargo, helping companies define their strategic goals and aligning teams to achieve them.
Dorie Blesoff, the former Chief People Officer and Talent Advisor at Relativity, joined Relativity when they had 200 people and helped the company grow and evolve to where they are today at around 1,200 employees around the world. Dorie is also Adjunct Faculty at Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy, a role she’s been in for over 20 years. Dorie is deeply passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about the future of work, social and racial justice, and its role in our development as people and a society.
Elles Skony was recently brought on as the Head of People at XSELL Technologies, a fast growing company that uses Artificial Intelligence to transform the way businesses interact with their customers. In this episode, Elles discusses her process for building her people department and walks us through her three pronged action plan.
In our very first live podcast, Dr. Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and foremost expert on Psychological Safety, talks about why trust, candor and psychological safety are integral for a high performance team and culture, and why this concept is gaining such momentum as a key component in the future of work.
Cultivating a gifting strategy that builds bridges between organizations and their customers is hard, and is what inspired Jonathan Legge to start &Open. In today’s episode, Co-Founder and CEO Jonathan Legge talks about how they bootstrapped their company and grew it purposely and organically by hiring slowly, hyperfocusing on their numbers, and staying true to their values and mission.
Tim Schumm, the founder and president of Lucas James Talent Partners, started and grew the organization to a team of 32 people in just 20 months– then COVID hit. Tim shares the step by step process he took to lead his team through this crisis, what it takes to build a culture of feedback, and the daily practices he follows to make sure he shows up at his best for his team and his family.
In this episode, Jack Altman, CEO and Co-Founder of Lattice, a performance management and employee engagement platform, talks about why the employee experience is a company’s biggest asset and how management’s role evolves as an organization grows. Lattice, in just four years, has grown from startup to a growth stage business with over 150 employees and 15,000 plus customers. Jack shares how he’s evolved as a leader, how the role of HR has changed to a revenue and strategy center, and why the CEO and Chief People Officers’ roles are a lot alike.
Tom De Weerdt, EVP and CFO of Mauser Packaging Solutions, blends a bit of right and left brain into his leadership style. Using a philosophical and growth mindset along with plenty of spreadsheets, Tom has led several global teams at a variety of large corporations. It’s integral for leaders to keep an open mind for as long as they can, says Tom, and seek out a variety of trusted perspectives from a diversity of people before making key decisions; otherwise you just end up confirming your own hypotheses and biases.
In today’s episode, Desmond Clark, the former Tight End for the Chicago Bears, two-time author, motivational speaker, philanthropist and Co-Owner of The Insurance People talks about the similarities between leadership on the field and in the boardroom, on his transition from Dez Clark the football player to Dez Clark, the business leader, and what drives him to wake up each morning.
Some things never go out of style: collaboration, the importance of sales, and phone booths. Serial entrepreneur Ryan Leavitt, the Co-Founder of Pillar Booth, LearnCore and Catapult Chicago, says there’s one equation that is necessary for a business to succeed. Success = Collaboration + Accountability.
When the business Laura Coe created sold to a Fortune 500 company, Laura took the path less often taken, leaving corporate America to pursue her lifelong passions of philosophy, coaching and spirituality. She wrote her first book, Emotional Obesity and started the popular podcast, The Art of Authenticity. In today's episode, Laura takes us through her journey, sharing how she knew it was time to leave and what life was like for her on the other side.
With 4 successful companies under his belt and over 2,000 employees hired, Jeff Ellman, visionary and co-founder of Humatal, Homescout, Hireology, and UrbanBound, knows something about starting and building a successful business. It’s all about the first ten people you bring into your organization, advises Jeff. They are the foundation of your business. If they align with your company’s values, they’ll also bring in employees that have the same vision and values. But hire the wrong person? It causes the Bozo effect, says Jeff.
Can best buddies also be effective business partners? In the case of Monarch & Company - a creative merchandising agency based in Chicago and Denver - Founder and CEO Yvonne Lyngaas Zeman and her business partner, best friend, and COO Anna Nguyen have made it work. In today’s episode we talk about the realities of working with your best friend, the trials that come along with negotiating equity, a partnership agreement, and leading a company where half of your team works on the other side of the country.
Kim Scott, author, entrepreneur, and badass. Prior to writing her best-selling book, Radical Candor, Kim was a senior leader at Google, a faculty member at Apple University and served as a coach to the CEOs of several well-known tech firms. Scott discusses why radical candor with kindness is integral in the workplace, why it’s still hard for her to do, and how fear of retribution can stifle it.
Dr. Ari Levy, Founder & CEO of an organization that is disrupting the traditional healthcare system, is a Doctor and MBA, a Crain’s 40 under 40 honoree, a personal mentor, friend and my brother. Ari has been laser focused on working to fix a broken healthcare system and now in his second business, SHIFT (Life), he has made strides in developing a model for just that. In today’s episode, Ari talks to us about the SHIFT model and how he’s been able to grow his business and team despite the pandemic.
In this episode, Shaniqua Davis, the Founder & CEO of Noirefy, a diversity advancement platform that connects diverse professionals with high growth companies, discusses how Noirefy was born out of her own encounters with bias during a job search. Shaniqua talks about how they consult with companies to build out structures to help tear down the barriers to a more diverse and inclusive workplace.
In this episode, Monica Royer, the founder and CEO of Monica + Andy – a company that provides organic essentials for kids and babies, along with kids’ classes and events for new and expecting parents in their Guideshops around the country and virtually, talks about how she and her team pivoted their business successfully during the COVID pandemic. Monica believes it’s key to hire the right people and embrace a humans-first culture in order to meet the challenges. Monica also talks about her personal mission to empower other female entrepreneurs and young girls to reach their potential through The Monica + Andy Girls Foundation.
Peter Lynch, a noted Fortune 500 executive, TEDx Speaker, and performance coach, joined Cardinal Group Companies as the Head of People & Culture to help them build a culture that embodies the future of work. Peter talks about the first two steps to take when leading a new team and highlights the importance of owning your own weaknesses as a way to be a more powerful leader.
In this episode, PJ Bouten, Co-Founder and CEO of Showpad, recognized a need to empower sales and marketing teams to deliver a better buyer experience. Since 2011, PJ has helped build a global company with more than 1,000 customers in 50 countries and grew the organization to 350 team members. But when the pandemic hit, he was faced with difficult decisions in order to save the company as a whole. PJ talks about the importance of finding a great co-founder, investing in your managers, and treating your people with compassion and empathy.
In this episode, Matt Kunkel, the co-founder, and CEO of LogicGate, discusses the importance of mentors and relationships. Matt co-founded LogicGate, a Chicago based SaaS platform which operationalizes regulatory, risk, and compliance programs for organizations, just over 4 years ago and has quickly grown it to 120+ employees and raised $35 million.
Matt discusses the critical role mentors played in his growth, his focus as a leader in this time of crisis and what he’s doing to help his team feel more in control and more informed in this time of uncertainty.
In the 8 years under President & CEO Bracken Darrell’s leadership, he has transformed Logitech and their stock price has octupled - that’s 8x growth! But in our conversation, Bracken doesn’t talk about stock price, profits, or revenue – instead, he shares the importance of the two-person team, of giving power and autonomy to make data-driven decisions to the people on the ground level, closest to that decision, and about what’s possible when we all align our brains to one singular problem.
In 2003, Devin Gross started as the first salesperson at a pre-revenue healthcare engagement company called Emmi Solutions. In 2010 Devin was named by the board as the CEO, where he went on to grow them from 35 team members to nearly 200 at the time of the company’s acquisition in 2017.
In this episode, Devin talks about the challenges and fear he faced going from salesman to CEO overnight and the strategies he implemented to retain and engage his staff as more layers grew between him and his staff.
In today’s episode, Kris Rudeegraap, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Sendoso, a leading sending platform for innovative ways to engage with customers, shares why his number one priority as the CEO is hiring and retaining top talent and then enabling that talent to reach its full potential. Kris shares some unique strategies for finding the right fit when hiring and two steps to take when building a team from the ground up.
In this episode, Corbett Drummey, the Co-Founder and CEO of Popular Pays, shares his journey in starting a content sharing platform that helps brands generate high-quality content to tell their unique stories through influencer marketing. Drummey started and scaled his business by constantly consuming information and believes that one should always be learning and evolving.
Frank Riordan, Founder and CEO of DMC, Inc., has built a company that has consistently been a staple on the “Best Places to Work” lists, with over 170 employees in 8 cities across the US. This happened by building a process to hire the very best people, which takes time. In this episode, Frank takes a dive into their process and criteria for hiring top talent and shares how it has helped fuel DMC’s success and growth over the years.
Doesn’t it seem that some people are just born with an entrepreneurial gene? Dan Novaes, the co-founder and CEO of Current Media, is one of those born entrepreneurs. He started his first company at the age of 15 with only $1000, bootstrapped it up to over $2M/year and now is on his 10th company, a blockchain enabled multimedia platform that empowers a new generation of media streamers where users are rewarded by streaming music. Novaes talks about his evolution as an entrepreneur and a leader. He describes how focus, empathy and emotional intelligence have helped him take his business to the next level.
Alex O’Brien, COO of The Cardinal Group, talks about how his 5 years as a Marine were instrumental in helping him grow his company from one single family home development to over 1,000 employees today and how the Marine playbook turned into their company’s core values which guide his team on a daily basis.
At the age of 16, Dana Gordon sold out her first jewelry collection within 48 hours. Now, nearly 15 years later, her jewelry is worn by countless celebrities and women of all ages and lifestyles. Gordon discusses the difficulty of finding balance as a female founder, mother, wife, and human being!