Growing with Purpose

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July 19, 2020  

Jay Wilkinson: Leading with the Heart First

Note: This interview was recorded at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Jay Wilkinson, founder and CEO of Firespring, an inside-out marketing agency and Nebraska's first B Corp. Firespring is also a 2020 Forbes Small Giant.

With a team of more than 200 employees, Jay spends most of his time working on the culture at Firespring and helping leaders in other companies become purpose-driven. But in the early 2000s, Jay experienced a pivotal moment in his life and career when he was fired as CEO of his own company. In the wake of the September 11th attacks and the economic decline that followed, his board of directors wanted him to fire more than half of their staff. When Jay refused, they fired him from the very company that he built.

In this episode, hear how Jay recovered from that experience and managed to buy out the venture capitalists on his board and rebuild the company. Plus, hear Paul and Jay discuss how to care for introverts on your team, starting from the very first interview.


June 7, 2020  

Emily Tetto: Tap Into Your Inner Journey

Note: This interview was recorded prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Emily Tetto, Vice President of Talent and Culture at Acceleration Partners.

Emily is also a Small Giants Leadership Academy facilitator, lending her expertise on how to hire and onboard top talent to emerging purpose-driven leaders. Early in her career, Emily worked in event planning and management, but she's always had a passion for people. As she moved into talent development, Emily realized that company culture is an event in itself: it's a living, breathing thing that takes intention and expertise to get right.

In this episode, hear Paul and Emily discuss the expertise she's developed in her career and how she finds and develops top talent for Acceleration Partners.

May 29, 2020  

Jonathan Keyser: You Don’t Have to Be Ruthless to Win

Note: This episode was recorded in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. 
Jonathan Keyser is the founder and thought leader behind Keyser, the largest occupier services commercial real estate brokerage firm in Arizona. Through sheer determination and focus on selfless service, Jonathan is disrupting the commercial real estate (CRE) industry, and beyond.
A best-selling author, media contributor, and strong supporter of the Conscious Capitalism movement, Jonathan is here today to share his journey, mission, and selfless service approach to business. In his book and on this episode, You Don’t Have to be Ruthless to Win, Jonathan shares how you can activate selflessness in your life and see how and why this counterintuitive strategy can create long-term success in your own business. 
May 17, 2020  

Blair Kellison: Be Inspired to Be Like You

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Blair Kellison, CEO of Traditional Medicinals, a mission-driven, organic and fair trade wellness tea company based in Sonoma County, California.

Blair Kellison made the best decision in 1995 by taking a 70 percent pay cut to leave the corporate world and take a job at a mission-driven, vegetarian tea company. As a four-time non-founder CEO, Blair has a reputation for being able to go into companies and transition them from a traditional, command-and-control style of leadership to a collaborative, values-driven team approach.

At Traditional Medicinals, Blair has helped grow the company from 60 employees to 200, and they recently surpassed $100 million in revenue. More importantly, Blair has finally found his passion: both working in the mission-driven, health food space and in helping others find their own passions. A deeply purpose-driven person, Blair is committed to making every person at Traditional Medicinals feel cared for and seen as an individual, and he's teaching founders and other leaders how to do the same.

In this episode, hear Paul and Blair discuss the key differences between founders and CEOs, and how leadership is an ongoing commitment to doing better than the day before. Plus, hear Blair's inspiring advice for those still looking for their passion, and his personal promise to help you find it. 

March 29, 2020  

Crisis Response: Take the Fear Out of the Workplace with Jack Stack

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Jack Stack, Founder, President and CEO of SRC Holdings Corporation and a pioneer of the leadership model known as open-book management.

The coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a new wave of fear and uncertainty: about our own health and the health of our loved ones, our safety, and our economic security. For entrepreneurs and business owners, there's tremendous pressure to make the right decisions to navigate this crisis successfully. In this candid conversation, Jack and Paul draw on their personal wisdom as purpose-driven leaders to share an action plan for business owners who want to do right by their employees, customers, and communities. As entrepreneurs, we all share a certain amount of resiliency and creativity — it's those same skills that will help us pull through this crisis and come out stronger for it.

In this episode, hear Paul and Jack discuss what good communication looks like during a crisis. Plus, learn how to get started with a culture of transparency and empower your people to think like business owners.

February 10, 2020  

Tom Walter: “Change, Or We’re Leaving”

On this re-broadcast of the inaugural episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Tom Walter, serial entrepreneur and founder of Tasty Catering

Tom is a founding member of the Small Giants Community and has served as a Small Giants Leadership Academy facilitator to share his expertise with emerging leaders in the Small Giants Community. Throughout his life, Tom was a painfully shy, introverted person. He never wanted to be a leader, but he found himself thrust into the role time and time again. Despite his best efforts to remain #2, Tom became an entrepreneur when he opened his first restaurant business. Today, Tom is founder and Chief Culture Officer at Tasty Catering, and he has participated in the startup of 32 companies and acquired three others.

In this episode, hear longtime friends Paul and Tom discuss the most pivotal moments of Tom's career, including the moment when a group of employees confronted him about his leadership style and said that if he didn't change, they were leaving.

January 13, 2020  

Raman Chadha: Smarter, Healthier Leaders

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Raman Chadha, founder of the Junto Institute. Raman is a Small Giants Leadership Academy facilitator who shares his expertise on emotional intelligence training with emerging leaders in the Small Giants Community.

Most of us know that emotional intelligence is an important skill in leadership — but is it a skill that can be learned? Raman Chadha's life work is dedicated to answering that very question. Raman was the founding director of DePaul University’s entrepreneurship center where he was also on faculty. Today, Raman is the founder and Managing Partner of the Junto Institute, where he spends his time developing programs for growth-stage Founders and CEOs. Raman's teaching philosophies are rooted in purpose, love, and the belief that human beings have an unlimited capacity to flourish. 

In this episode, hear Paul and Raman discuss how much more fulfilling work is when you let emotions and purpose lead the way. Plus, hear Raman's practical advice for identifying emotional intelligence in others and how people can learn to be more effective leaders. 

January 2, 2020  

Adam Witty: Why Should Entrepreneurs Write Books?

Adam Witty is the founder and chief executive officer of Advantage|ForbesBooks. Adam has built Advantage Media Group, The Business Growth Company™, into one of the largest business book publishers in America, serving over 1,000 Members in 40 U.S. states and 13 countries. Most recently, Advantage has partnered with Forbes to create ForbesBooks, the first book-publishing imprint for the global media company. 

In this episode, hear Adam talk with host Paul Spiegelman about how he fell into the world of publishing and why he believes that all entrepreneurs should write books. Plus, hear Adam's perspective on how companies can grow fast without compromising on culture. 

December 19, 2019  

Bryan Papé: A Legacy of Generosity

A life or death ski accident dramatically changed Bryan Papé's perspective on life at the young age of 20. That moment created a ripple in his life that encouraged him to create his first business, the lifestyle products brand MiiR. It’s taken Bryan near and far: from Boise, Idaho to Buchanan, Liberia, where he’s been inspired by the joy and resiliency of those he has met.

In this episode, hear the compelling story of Bryan's accident and what it taught him, and the mission-driven lifestyle brand it inspired. Plus, learn Bryan's approach to corporate philanthropy and his advice for like-hearted entrepreneurs who want to do well and do good.

December 9, 2019  

Dan Sachs: If Company Culture Pays, Why Doesn’t Everybody Do It?

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Dan Sachs, a professor at DePaul University Kellstadt School of Business, where he teaches classes on Restaurant Entrepreneurship and Service Leadership. Dan is also the founder and owner of the BIN36 restaurant and wine brand. Recently, Dan published his first book, The Million Dollar Greeting: Today’s Best Practices for Profit, Customer Retention, and a Happy Workplace.

Dan Sachs started out with a push broom on the factory floor of his dad's manufacturing business. Not long after, he started working at Union Square Cafe, one of the restaurants owned by the famed, purpose-driven restaurateur Danny Meyer. Dan's time at the restaurant made a huge impact on him: the owners genuinely cared about each and every employee, and Dan felt inspired to treat every customer that walked in the same way. When Dan went on to open his own restaurant in Chicago years later, he took the same principles he learned there and used it to build a high-end, informal restaurant experience that people would love. Today, Dan is taking his lessons learned on building a service-oriented, purpose-driven hospitality business and teaching it to students, emerging entrepreneurs and peers in his field.

In this episode, learn Dan's principles for building a great culture and why he believes it to be universal across industries. Plus, hear Paul and Dan discuss Paul's own recent venture into the restaurant business and Dan's practical advice for building a sustainable business in the tough restaurant industry.

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