Growing with Purpose

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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.

November 11, 2019  

Chris Stakich: Walk in the Direction of Your Passion

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Chris Stakich, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Rustic Pathways. Chris is also Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board for Thinking Beyond Borders, the global leader in gap year programs.

After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in economics, Chris felt compelled to get out into the real world and make an impact. In 2002, he abandoned his previous plans to start a career on Wall Street and instead took a job at Rustic Pathways, a global leader in community service travel for students. Charged with opening the company’s first program in Costa Rica, Chris transformed the new site into its most popular program, and worked his way up from there. After serving the company in nearly every capacity, Chris became CEO of Rustic Pathways in 2014.

In this episode, hear about Chris’s model for building a high-performance, impactful culture that all team members rally around. Plus, hear Paul and Chris discuss the benefits of taking a gap year before college, and the importance of following your passion, one step at a time.


October 7, 2019  

Steve Palmer: Our Growth Is the Story of Our People

On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Steve Palmer, Managing Partner of Indigo Road Hospitality Group.

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group operates more than 20 restaurants across the Southeast region of the United States, and in 2019 it was named one of Forbes' 25 best small companies in America. Palmer's career in hospitality began at the age of 13, when he washed dishes at a local Chinese restaurant. From there, he climbed the ranks and worked in several other restaurants and positions — which led to a problem all too common in hospitality: substance abuse. After battling an alcohol and cocaine addiction for ten years, Palmer went to rehab and found the road to recovery. Now 18 years sober, he's made it his life's mission to change the conversation in the restaurant industry and create space for others to find sobriety. 

In this episode, hear the deeply personal story of Steve's substance abuse support group, Ben's Friends, and the sobriety movement it has inspired in ten cities. Plus, host Paul Spiegelman talks to Steve about his own recent venture into the restaurant industry and the challenges and opportunities of building positive cultures in hospitality.

September 16, 2019  

Camille Nicita: Overnight Owner

When Gongos' beloved founder, John Gongos, passed away suddenly in 2012, Camille became the new owner literally overnight. Having joined in the launch of Gongos Research in 1991, Camille's s forward-leaning posture is establishing a new north for the company. Staying true to the company’s core competencies while nurturing new talent, Camille operates under the belief that people realize their full potential when put in the right seats. Her grounding vision is to foster a culture where innovation, transparency, and vibrancy shape a company fit for the future.

Nobody can be prepared for loss, but Camille's leadership and compassion helped employees, customers, and the community cope and find a new path forward. In this episode, hear how Camille used values to navigate those challenges, and the customer-centric strategy that is driving Gongos' success today.


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