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The Open Honest and Direct Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Stories from powerful leaders on what it takes to unlock team potential

Stories from powerful leaders on what it takes to unlock team potential


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Stories from powerful leaders on what it takes to unlock team potential






Building support for Black wellness: Ryan Mundy | Founder and CEO, Alkeme Health

In this episode, Ryan Mundy, former Super Bowl winning NFL player and tech investor, discusses his many past lives that have led him to where he is today as the the founder and CEO of Alkeme Health, a digital health startup rooted in black wellness, Before starting Alkeme, Ryan co-founded SWZLE, which was acquired back in October of 2020 and was also the managing director of Techlete. Ryan talks about his career as an athlete, his exploration of finding his identity when sports ends and his...


RTB Coaches‘ Corner: Shiri Bade

In this episode, Raise The Bar Coach Shiri Bade talks about how to best give and receive negative feedback and prepare for difficult conversations. Feedback is a gift, even the negative type, and it’s important to set your mind properly to receive it.


On creating a better workplace: Aaron Levy | Founder & CEO, Raise The Bar

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.


RTB Coaches‘ Corner | Kimberly Flood

Raise The Bar Coach Kimberly Flood, a transformational coach and organizational development consultant with nearly two decades of Fortune 500 work experience, talks about how to build resilience in yourself and in your team.


RTB Coaches' Corner | Natalie Guillen

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...


On disrupting and being disrupted: Dr. Ari Levy | Founder & CEO, SHIFT (Life)

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...


Re-imagining our institutions: Dorie Blesoff | Former Chief People Officer & Talent Advisor, Relativity

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...


Building a diverse and inclusive workplace: Shaniqua Davis | Founder & CEO, Noirefy

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.


Designing the employee experience: Elles Skony | Head of People, XSELL Technologies

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.


Hiring for will: Monica Royer | Founder & CEO, Monica + Andy

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...


Why psychological safety matters: Dr. Amy Edmondson | Novartis Professor of Leadership, Harvard Business School

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.


Build trust with your team: Peter Lynch | Head of People & Culture, Cardinal Group Companies

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.


Growing and gifting with intention: Jonathan Legge | Co-Founder and CEO of &Open

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.


Change is the only constant: PJ Bouten | Co-Founder & CEO, Showpad

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...


A plan for crisis: Tim Schumm | Founder & President, Lucas James Talent Partners

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.


Building a roster of mentors: Matt Kunkel | Co-Founder & CEO, LogicGate

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...


A new model for a new world: Jack Altman | CEO & Co-Founder, Lattice

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 power of the two person team: Bracken Darrell | President & CEO, Logitech

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.


Keep an open mind: Tom De Weerdt | EVP & CFO, Mauser Packaging Solutions

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...


From salesman to CEO: Devin Gross | CEO, SonarMD; Former CEO, Emmi Solutions

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...