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Hot Mess Hotline

Business & Economics Podcasts

Remember the start of The Real World? "Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL." That's the inspiration behind this podcast. Leaders will learn from CEOs and others who've landed in a hot mess, and how they got themselves out.

Remember the start of The Real World? "Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL." That's the inspiration behind this podcast. Leaders will learn from CEOs and others who've landed in a hot mess, and how they got themselves out.


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Remember the start of The Real World? "Find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting REAL." That's the inspiration behind this podcast. Leaders will learn from CEOs and others who've landed in a hot mess, and how they got themselves out.






Ep. 37: Resilience Examples from IT and Consulting Leaders

This episode is a replay of an IT panel that Stefanie Krievins moderated in April 2021 with successful IT leaders who also have remarkably diverse perspectives of this world and in their companies. Diversity is strength. Strength is resilience. IT leaders and consultants will be responsible for ever-increasing results because of the rate of change during the pandemic: our adoption of technology advanced 10 years in just 10 months. Also those companies who can't attract, retain, and...


Ep. 36: A Real World Emotional Intelligence Test You Only Gain Through Experience with Leslie Murphy

Leslie Murphy is the owner of an association management firm with tenured experience in managing people, teams, volunteers, and herself. She shares her stories about learning more about herself and how to navigate and negotiate change with others. Leslie shares how her lack of emotional intelligence earlier in her career didn't taken into account others' perspectives or needs. And a few interactions where others were willing to teach her some painful lessons. Now she knows herself well...


Ep. 35: Transparency is the Only Option for Leadership If You Want Trust with Wayne Patrick

Wayne Patrick is a serial tech entrepreneur whose Hot Mess Hotline conversation is about his lessons learned during the Great Recession in 2008. His "world fell apart," when he got a Monday morning call losing 10% of his sales. The firm was in hot water. At the time, Wayne's company, PDD, was firmly entrenched in the automobile industry. Wayne's world was falling apart and he knew he had no choice but to trim his budget fast. The automobile industry was imploding and another 15% of his...


Ep. 34: What Successful Leaders Do in Challenging Times with Mike Sipple Jr.

In today’s episode, Mike Sipple Jr. wants you to know that as a mid-level leader you are an inspiration! It might not feel that way sometimes. You may be asking, "How can I be an inspiration as a mid-level leader?" Here's how: It's through learning experiences and having to make decisions that we grow. As a leader, you have a vision and you make decisions based on those long-rang planes. Sometimes these decisions create the outcome that is planned and sometimes they don't. Either way,...


Ep. 33: Critical Decision Making Skills Every Manager Needs with Aimee Kandrac

Do you ever wish that you could see that your CEO is a human being? That they are vulnerable? That they can mess up? In today’s episode, Aimee Kandrac, CEO and Founder of WhatFriendsDo, tells us about a time where her close friend’s son was diagnosed with a cancer. As her friend’s family waited in isolation in the hospital for 100 days, many stories were shared and stored on Aimee's database. About 6-months into this journey the WhatFriendsDo website crashed and none of the backups worked,...


Ep. 32: Great adversity is a Great Business Opportunity with Kevin Berkopes

Kevin Berkopes talks about the Hot Mess that happened due to COVID which jarred schools: the largest healthcare, childcare, and food programs in the world. Kevin and his company, Crossroads Education, work to support schools in parenting alongside parents to help create healthy kids by using relationship-based education. Kevin knows that "Everyone has a solidified opinion on what needs to be done in education." But no one has real solutions to improve equitable access and services,...


Ep. 31: A CEO Answers The Question - How Do You Build Staff Resilience with Angela White

This episode reveals how a CEO learned powerful lessons during a staff tragedy and how it built resilience for 2020. While we'll never wish this trauma on your team, there are real lessons you and your staff can always take from challenges. After listening, be sure to subscribe and also take the Hot Mess Quiz to better understand what's holding your team back:


Ep. 30: Take Control of Your Career by Taking Control of What You're Learning with Darren Reese

This episode discusses the limitations to passion, why being less intolerant can be a great thing, and tools to know people are doing their jobs. Darren Reese is the CEO of the SESCO Group and he is sharing his secrets to success as an unlikely executive, including taking control of your own learning and several key tools to trust your people are doing the right thing.


Ep. 29: The Business Strategy Questions the Pandemic is Forcing Leaders to Answer with Calvin Ellison

Stefanie Krievins and Executive Coach and Mastermind Host Cal Ellison discuss the deep questions that the pandemic forced business leaders to answer. The pandemic and economic shutdown forced CEOs and mid-level leaders to really evaluate why and how they were successful. This episode offers new tools to think about planning for and re-thinking growth in the future.


Ep. 28: Why Fast Business Growth Didn't Stop in 2020 but was Redefined Instead with Armando Lanuti

Last year, 2020, was the ultimate hot mess. And 2021 is also starting out with a bang. But there's always good that emerges during difficult times. This episode features Armando Lanuti, the president of Creative Works. This company designs the backdrop and experience in family entertainment centers. Their primary customers' businesses closed up shop when COVID hit. They were on track for a blockbuster year and then everything came to a screeching halt. But Armando's team demonstrated...


27: A Mini Mess on Why There IS an "I" in Team!

We've all seen the inspirational placard "There's No I in Team!" If you want to know how to improve communication within a team, the first thing that you need to know is there IS an "I" in "Team" - and no, asserting your "I"-ness does NOT necessarily make you an A-Hole. I’m talking about how to build trust at work by bringing the personalities, individualism, and egos of your team away from the extremes and to a successful, productive place in the middle. Whether you've got the ultimate...


25: A Mini Mess on Why Time Management is a Myth

Time management is a myth, and today, I’m going to talk about why – and what you should be doing instead to maximize the time you have, manage expectations at work and at home with the emergencies that inevitably arise, and get your best work done without the constant stress. Get more tips at See the full blog post and transcript at Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and share with a...


23: A Mini Mess on Why Gen X is Awesome in the Workplace!

Friends, growing up Gen X meant growing up in a really interesting time. We were independent, sometimes latchkey kids, bridging genres, friend cliques, interests, and more. This independence didn’t go away when we entered the workforce, either! It made us confident and awesome. Get more tips at See the full blog post and transcript at Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts and share with a friend...


21: How this President and Founder used her strategic plan to change everything

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “So why is strategic planning important to a small company?” Sam Julka has your answer. As Sam discusses in this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, she and her team had to figure out how to use tools in new ways, provide clients with a needed service, and keep their doors open despite everything changing. Listen to this episode now. See the full blog post at ...


20: How a network of trusted advisors helped this CEO pivot to a new strategic plan

For Sam Julka, the President and Founder of DORIS Research, 2020 proved that strategic planning can sometimes have unintended or unexpected benefits, such as finding yourself with a team of great advisors during a global pandemic. As a business that revolves around researching the physical office space of other companies, Sam faced immediate client loss and hard decisions. It was clear that their 2020 strategic plan wasn’t going to happen, and instead, Sam needed a new plan. See the full...


19: How 1 Powerful Question Changed an Entire IT Team

In Part 2 of Mike Loggins’ interview, we’re going behind the scenes to learn how Mike, a global vice president of IT, and his team changed their communication style by completely changing their workspace, and how “What can we do to make this work?” became the innovative question they needed to succeed. See the full blog post and transcript at Take the Hot Mess Quiz at...


18: How This IT Team Couldn’t Change Their Culture and Communication Until They Changed Where They Sat

Mike Loggins, a global vice president of IT, and I discuss how to improve communication within a team on this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline. When it came to team communication strategies, Mike had some ridiculous ambiguity on his hands. Mike used to believe that if he just designed the best processes and bought the newest technology then, voila, there will be transformation and cultural change. Here’s what it really takes: thinking from a new perspective. Mike and his team figured out...


17: How a Nonprofit CEO Learned to Overcome Change Management Challenges and Experience Opportunity in the Pandemic

Coming into 2020, when you thought of how to overcome change management challenges, you didn’t have the fallout of a global pandemic on your radar. If you’re Jim Morris, CEO of the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, you’re also facing the recent merger with another nonprofit. And this is after a nearly 8-year competitive struggle with the board and staff of an organization that you lead. My interview with Jim Morris has so many relevant lessons learned on how to overcome change management...


16: Complex Conflict This CEO Found Himself in for 8 Years

Typically when I talk with a client about how to manage conflict, it’s within an organization. On this’s episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, Jim Morris, the CEO of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, and I discuss conflict with an outside, competing nonprofit. Jim found himself navigating both internal and external conflict as he spent 8 years in this hot mess with an organization that was supposed to be a collaborator, not a distraction. Learn how he handled it and more in this episode! See...


15: A Mini Mess on What is Change Management Training

If you think change is hard, you’re doing it wrong. And you’re probably doing change management training wrong, too. So what is change management training, and what’s the number one secret that every Pro Troublemaker knows about change? Friends, that’s what I’m talking about in today’s video! I’m hitting three key points today in helping you to identify what change management training is best for your situation. Pro Troublemakers know that successfully answering “What is Change...