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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. 54: What's the Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding?

What's the Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding? And why does it matter? With turnover and retention being very painful and expensive problems (especially right now!), leaders need every tool at their disposal to help the right people stay. Onboarding is an incredibly powerful tool and we have the stats to back it up!! Plus it's not really about the expense, it's about welcoming people into your culture, showing them a good time, giving them the tools and information to be...


Ep. 53: Hot Messes Make You a Stronger Leader with Jerry Jones

Stronger leaders are made through multiple hot messes. Jerry Jones, former president of Cannon IV, shares his decisionmaking, sleepless nights, and strategy pivots during some tumultuous times. In this Hot Mess Hotline episode, he shares how 50% of their revenue evaporated in 90 days because of a supplier's switch in sales strategy. This episode is powerful for those leaders who feel fatigued by change or have teams who are complaining about too much change. "Why can't things just go back...


Ep. 52 When You Lose Your Job and It's Your Whole Identity with Steve Spiro

What do you do when you lose your job and it's your whole identity? Steve Spiro has been there and has some words of advice! Almost every successful leader I know has been fired from a job and/or had a crisis of conscious. They often go hand-in-hand because we over invest our happiness in the role we play at work, the title, the salary, the perks. It's great to find purpose in our jobs. Our work can be the place where we make a difference and impact on the world. And at the end of the day,...


Ep. 51: Don't Do What You're Good At with Gary Hobbs

You've probably spent your entire life believing that you should do what you're good at. Surely, if you're a natural at something, then it's your life's calling, right? But what if you've been wrong all along? Gary Hobbs, electrical engineer turned entrepreneur, believes it's the challenges you face, doing what you love, and doing what you're GREAT at will drive your success. In this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, you will hear how important it is to weigh the risks of doing what you're...


Ep. 50: Powerful Leaders Define Success for Themselves First with Karen Mangia

There's a balance in leadership success between being nimble and controlling the right kind of controllables. Karen Mangia is that leader who has found personal and professional success because she decided to prioritize — and control — what that looks like on a daily basis for her. You'll hear in this interview how Karen was letting other people's definitions of contribution, meaning, and boundaries drive her. And it wrecked her body, mind, and spirit. Lucky for us she found her way out and...


Ep. 49: How to Build a High Performing Team with Sean Murray and Doug Beal

High-performing teams are built when individuals go through challenges together. Sean Murray and Doug Beal bring us the real-life story of a gold metal Olympic team from the 80s who could barely work together in the beginning. In today's episode you'll learn that you actually don't need the smartest, most talented, highly skilled players for your business team to be high performing. During much of the 2010s (and still today), there was a fixation on hiring "the best talent." We think if we...


Ep. 48: Rules to Live By for Good Leaders and Bad Leaders with Chris Clews

Chris Clews, speaker and author, bring us rules to live by for good and bad leaders straight from the 80s! Again! He has such a valuable perspective to share (and we have laugh so much when we're together), I just had to have him back. This time we're talking about Road House and other 80s favorites. Plus if you're thinking about pivoting your career or there's a creative idea you keep thinking and dreaming about, Chris has some great advice on how to take action on it. Here's just a...


Ep. 47: Your Team's Long Term Growth Plan with Tony Newcome

Tony Newcome, CTO at ActiveCampaign, creates long-term growth plans with his team and has everyone working in the details, including himself. It's been instrumental to ActiveCampaign's success and certainly his track record as an award-winning technology leader. In this episode listen for Tony's leadership perspective and how he keeps cultures going in hyper growth mode while also staying focused. He believes the best in people and it shows through in everything he does and every...


Ep. 46: Project Management Problems Always Have People Solutions with Charlie Garcia

Charlie Garcia, president of C Garcia and Associates, has learned that every project management problem really needs a people-focused solution. He grew up in the construction industry and learned early on to take responsibility for what's broken AND what's going right. In this episode, you'll hear Charlie describe a problem completely caused by other people but making him look bad. Like losing millions of dollars bad. He lost a lot of sleep fixing this hot mess, but didn't waste a second...


Ep. 45: Leaders Don't Judge with Joe Topinka

Joe Topinka, founder of CIO Mentor, shares his experiences learning that leaders don't judge and how to really lead by example through a tough moment in his career. A new CEO came in and he was removed from the executive leadership team. An average leader will let their ego take over. An exceptional leader will take another route. Listen in this episode for Joe's top lessons, his source of inspiration, and our top insights you can put into practice immediately. About Joe Topinka Joe...


Ep. 44: How to Lead Through a Crisis with Whynde Kuehn

Whynde Kuehne, founder and managing director of S2E Transformation Inc., teaches us how to lead through a crisis from her firsthand experience. She was having a normal, fabulous day when she receives a call from the big boss saying her boss was out immediately and she's now in charge of a 100-person team. Gulp. In a matter of days she came up with a way forward for the entire team. Listen in for these key insights and so much more from our powerful conversation. About Whynde Kuehn Whynde...


Ep. 43: Leadership Lessons from the 80s with Chris Clews

​Chris Clews, speaker and author, brings us the top leadership lessons from the 80s in this Hot Mess Hotline episode. Combining his marketing leadership experience and love of Gen X culture, he's written a books series, "What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace." He travels the country sharing what we can all learn from our childhood favorites: movies that play on Saturday afternoon reruns and music originally released on vinyl. Chris originally got inspiration for this work...


Ep. 42: The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style with David Fischer

​David Fischer, chief revenue officer at Gregory & Appel Insurance, has always sought out challenges. As a marine, he learned the ultimate humble leadership style: leaders eat last. He continuously strives to grow himself, the companies he works for, and the people he leads. That hard work is rewarded with increasingly complex challenges to face, however. He's a wizard when it comes to creating sales systems and structures to catapult a company's success. This problem he shares with us on...


Ep. 41: What to Do When Hard Work Doesn't Pay Off with Blair Milo

Blair Milo, founding director of the Center for Talent and Opportunity, took on a huge career opportunity, drove innovation, and then confronted a problem she couldn't outwork. One minute into this episode and you'll know how hard Blair works. She went from distinguished naval officer to city mayor before the age of 30. Like you, she's an ambitious, go-get 'em tiger, high achiever who does. not. shy. away. from hard work. But hard work doesn't solve all your...


Ep. 40: 5 Steps To Take After Being Fired with Emil Ekiyor

Emil Ekiyor, CEO of Innopower, learned some tough lessons before finding his purpose. He came to America from Nigeria in high school, never having played football. He learned the game and earned his way into the NFL. He put his head down and got to work. Every. Single. Day. Working on his mind and body to always be competing against himself and the league's best with his speed, strength, and endurance. One day it was just over. After injury and an unexpected termination, his name was at...


Ep. 39: Why Mental Clarity is More Important Than a Business Plan with Jason Weddle

Jason Weddle, CEO of Hamilton, has been successful precisely because he's willing to answer the hard questions and have the tough conversations. Even with himself. For this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, he shares the confusion that existed in the 6 inches between his ears and describes why mental clarity is more important than the business plan at certain times. His willingness to answer these tough questions and wrestle with himself has led to his success so far. (I mean, "wrestle,"...


Ep. 38: How to Overcome Mistakes at Work with Jeff Ton

Jeff Ton has risen through the ranks of IT from manager to director to CIO. He's now bringing the wisdom he's learned to current IT leaders through a CIO networking group in Central Indiana. On this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, he shares how to overcome mistakes at work through a gut-wrenching management and leadership experience. He faced his 150-person team to explain himself and explain why they saw their names on the chopping block in a slide deck before the time was right. It was...


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...