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Awesome Office: Lead. Create. Inspire.

Updated 3 days ago

Business
Education
Society & Culture
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Welcome to the Awesome Office Show, the podcast that’s all about leading people, creating culture, and inspiring Awesome for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Each week we talk to an inspiring leader leading and awesome company and learn what it takes to create a winning business and all-around Awesome Office. This is a behind the curtain look that you’re not going to find anywhere else. If you care about developing stellar cultures that provide lasting value for employees, customers, and shareholders, then this is the podcast for you. The Awesome Office Show is co-hosted by SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly and Hughes Marino's Sean Spear. Similar to Entreleadership, HBR Ideacast, Tim Ferriss, NPR's How I Built This, Smart Passive Income.

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Welcome to the Awesome Office Show, the podcast that’s all about leading people, creating culture, and inspiring Awesome for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Each week we talk to an inspiring leader leading and awesome company and learn what it takes to create a winning business and all-around Awesome Office. This is a behind the curtain look that you’re not going to find anywhere else. If you care about developing stellar cultures that provide lasting value for employees, customers, and shareholders, then this is the podcast for you. The Awesome Office Show is co-hosted by SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly and Hughes Marino's Sean Spear. Similar to Entreleadership, HBR Ideacast, Tim Ferriss, NPR's How I Built This, Smart Passive Income.

iTunes Ratings

229 Ratings
Average Ratings
200
22
5
0
2

VP of Business & Finance

By MyCCCB - Oct 24 2018
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Insightful! Lots of good information for leaders and HR Directors

Great podcast

By Nyc184 - Aug 12 2018
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I really enjoy listening to this podcast on my commute. I learn something from each episode!

iTunes Ratings

229 Ratings
Average Ratings
200
22
5
0
2

VP of Business & Finance

By MyCCCB - Oct 24 2018
Read more
Insightful! Lots of good information for leaders and HR Directors

Great podcast

By Nyc184 - Aug 12 2018
Read more
I really enjoy listening to this podcast on my commute. I learn something from each episode!
Cover image of Awesome Office: Lead. Create. Inspire.

Awesome Office: Lead. Create. Inspire.

Latest release on May 11, 2018

All 100 episodes from oldest to newest

How to Achieve 7x Growth While Giving Your Team More Ownership, with WorldBlu Founder and CEO Traci Fenton

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Reminder - we’re combining the Awesome Office and Brand Builder podcasts into one show. (Think of it as Awesome Office 2.0.)

What’s different? In a way, not a lot. We’ll still do culture-focused features and interviews every other Thursday, led by host Sean Kelly. But now they’ll be available in a different feed, so make sure to subscribe to Brand Builder in Apple Podcasts. 

In addition, every Monday we’ll have new content focused on building your brand and scaling your business. 

We just launched our first culture-focused Brand Builder, and here it is - a conversation with Traci Fenton, the CEO and founder of WorldBlu.

--

Have you ever worked in a fear-based environment? One where you spend every waking minute walking on eggshells? Where the wrath of a demanding boss is always top of mind, stifling creativity and innovation?

If you have, you know it's not fun.

In fact, it can be downright miserable for employees. And, ironically, it doesn't produce great results either. Instead of precise, high quality output, you're much more likely to see uninspired, unimaginative work - and an anemic bottom line to match.

So what’s the antidote to a fear-based workplace?

Today’s guest has something to say about that.

In our inaugural Culture Builder edition of Brand Builder, we speak to Traci Fenton, a globally recognized researcher, speaker, author, and the founder and CEO of WorldBlu.

Traci founded WorldBlu in 1997 and has helped spark and lead the global conversation around reinventing workplaces using freedom and organizational democracy rather than fear and control. She and the team envision one billion people living, leading, and working in freedom worldwide.

SnackNation CEO Sean Kelly spoke with Traci about what it takes to create a Freedom Centered Workplace, and the astounding results you can achieve within the WorldBlu framework.

Links

Have an idea for the show? Drop us a line! Brandbuilder@snacknation.com.

Brand Builder is a co-production of SnackNation and ForceBrands.

May 11 2018

33mins

Play

How “Inside the Box” Innovation Helped Project 7 Disrupt the Gum Industry

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Exciting news - we’re combining the Awesome Office and Brand Builder podcasts. Think of it as Awesome Office 2.0.

What’s different? In a way, not a lot. We’ll still do culture-focused features and interviews every other Thursday, led by host Sean Kelly. But now they’ll be available in a different feed, so make sure to subscribe to Brand Builder in Apple Podcasts (or however you listen).

In addition to that, every Monday we’ll have new content focused on building your brand and scaling your business. Over time, we realized how interconnected these topics are, and consolidating these shows in one place just made sense.

To give you a feel for what you can expect, we’re bridging the gap between Awesome Office and Brand Builder with an episode with Tyler Merrick, the CEO and founder of Project 7.

Project 7 is a gourmet specialty candy brand dedicated to creating one of a kind customer experiences while giving back to 7 areas of need. Basically, Project 7 comes up with totally out there flavors – like birthday cake flavored gum or moscow mule flavored organic gummies – and then partner with non profits who are making an impact both in America and abroad.

We chose this episode because it gives you a good sense of the Brand Builder content that we think you’ll enjoy. It covers some familiar ground in terms of topics - and it’s just a great story.

We’ve combined a two part episode into one episode.

Takeaways

  • In social entrepreneurship, is your cause a lead actor or part of the supporting cast? Project 7 was founded on Tyler’s desire to bring more purpose to his life’s work. Finding the right way to position the causes he cared about involved a giant learning curve. Tyler shares how he found the balance that would allow the causes to shine and the business to flourish.
  • Stay lean. Think your business can’t reach the next level without hiring a bunch of CPG heavy hitters? Well, Tyler and Project 7 expanded to 12,000 stores with fewer than 10 full time employees. He shares a very specific tactic for figuring out whether or not you really need to make that next hire.
  • How to bounce back. One of the most interesting parts of Project 7’s success story… is that it could have easily ended. Tyler answers the question - how do you recover from the brink of failure?
  • If you really want to make a difference, lead with product and brand. It doesn’t matter how great your cause marketing is or how charitable your customer. At the end of the day, features and benefits drive consumer behavior. You need a thriving business before you can give back.
  • Hire smart. Not sure whether or not make that next hire? Only pull the trigger if you’re confident the revenue they bring in will be 2.5x their salary.
  • Let your sales numbers tell a story. Start with the buyers who are on board with your concept in order to provide proof of concept - show some momentum and you'll have a nice little velocity story to bring to the more skeptical buyers.
  • Practice Radical Responsibility. Tyler had to make some hard choices, and he maintained his credibility as a leader by shouldering some of the blame.
  • Innovate inside the box. You can diversify your product line without adding too much risk by innovating within limitations.

Links

Subscribe to Brand Builder in Apple Podcasts.

Apr 26 2018

1hr 4mins

Play

Top 5 Shortcuts To Scale Your Brand, an updated conversation with M13's Courtney Reum

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We’re currently experiencing a golden age for startup brands. It’s easier today to launch, build, and scale a consumer brand than perhaps any other time in history.

But that’s not to say it’s easy.

Startup brands still face obstacles, old and new, including how to stand out from the glut of new brands, how to adapt to the constantly shifting landscape of retail, and how to best leverage the wide array of data and tools now available at their fingertips.

Luckily for us, Courtney Reum is here to answer those questions.

Courtney and his brother Carter are the authors of the best selling new book Shortcut Your Startup, and he shares some of the top insights with us in this updated episode.

Courtney gives a glimpse into the book with a few of his shortcuts -

  1. Role of brand in frictionless scaling.
  2. How to make sure you don't miss out on a key insight.
  3. Why it's important to know whether your brand is a “speedboat” or a “sailboat.”
  4. The power of “heart-based” momentum.
  5. Why success doesn’t necessarily equate to an exit.

Links

 Like this episode? Then let us know! Subscribe, rate, and review the show in Apple Podcasts. This show grows by word of mouth, and the more we grow, the more Awesome we can all create together.

Apr 17 2018

57mins

Play

How Scott Painter is Turning Fairness Into a Global Brand, with Fair and True Car founder Scott Painter

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This week’s Awesome Office guest is a builder of disruptive brands.

We’re talking about Scott Painter, probably best known as the founder and CEO of both True Car and Cars Direct. He’s made a name for himself by launching and leading companies that anticipate consumer behavior and then capture huge markets.

This time out, Scott has his eyes on something no one has really done before - building a global brand around the concept of fairness.

Mar 17 2018

48mins

Play

The 12 Dos and Don’ts of Employee Appreciation

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Today is Employee Appreciation Day, but this week’s Awesome Office episode is not about that. (Well, not really....)

Our focus this week isn’t how to appreciate your employees once a year - or even once in a while. It’s about creating a year-round culture of appreciation that permeates your organization - one that not only drives results, but that improves everyone’s quality of life in the office.  

You see, while we think Employee Appreciation Day is a great thing, it’s also sort of like Valentine’s Day. If you only show your significant other that you care that one day of the year, you probably don’t have the strongest relationship.

And while Employee Appreciation is simple, it’s not easy. There are definitely some best practices and a few pitfalls to avoid. AO host (and SnackNation CEO) Sean Kelly has made appreciation a priority for a while, and shares his top dos and don’ts.

Here’s a recap of Sean’s tips:

Do

  • Understand how those you lead want to be recognized - not everyone is the same.
  • Force moments of recognition (both personally and as an organization)
  • Always specifically call out why you’re recognizing someone AND be very careful about what you’re recognizing people for (I think you should always recognize people around company core values)
  • Write thank you cards - perhaps more powerful than any other form of recognition
  • Ensure you're recognizing people at all levels of the organization (especially if you’re a leader)
  • And of course show people you care by giving them the most phenomenal snacks that’ll actually improve their lives and make them happier and healthier

Don’t

  • Equate recognition to coddling
  • Only recognize people for results
  • Don’t recognize people inauthentically because you think you should - it’ll always backfire whether it’s your boss or anyone else
  • Push away recognition when it comes your way - accept it gracefully (at the same time understand you may not receive it when you deserve it)
  • Don’t recognize people only when they agree with you (in fact you should recognize people for dissension and going against you if you truly want to build a strong culture of innovation)
  • Don’t forget to recognize that you are good enough - without self love you simply won’t be a good appreciator or other people

Links

Mar 02 2018

32mins

Play

How to Maximize Joy in the Workplace, Richard Sheridan Redux

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This week we dig into the Awesome Office archives to bring you one of our absolute favorite conversations.

From kid programmer in 1971 to Forbes cover story in 2003, Joy, Inc. author and Menlo Innovations CEO Richard Sheridan has never shied from challenges, opportunities, nor the limelight. His focus has always been around technology, but his passion is actually process, teamwork and organizational design, with one overarching goal: unlock the business value of Joy.

Strangely enough, it all began in 1967, when a ten year old Richard decided to surprise his parents by building a piece of furniture while they were away for the evening.

Hear his incredible journey to Menlo, and how culture became such a focus for Richard in this uncut interview.

Key Takeaways

  • Richard takes us back to one of the most formative experiences of his life, and explains why he credits this lesson as the inspiration behind Joy Inc.
  • Richard explains that, while he’s a technologist, his greatest innovation came in the way he thinks about people, organization design, and process.
  • Richard describes why we typically lose our sense of joy as we transition from childhood to adulthood, and why that’s detrimental to our businesses and our lives.
  • Richard opines why most managers fall into the trap of mimicking their predecessors, and how that has perpetuated harmful organizational cultures and management practices.
  • Richard explains how playfulness and productivity aren’t mutually exclusive, and how the TV show M.A.S.H. actually demonstrated that levity can exist in the midst of stressful or important work.
  • Richard tells us the utterly unique way that Menlonians schedule all-staff meetings, and how the company is able to conduct these meetings in under 13 minutes.
  • Richard explains why ear buds are forbidden at Menlo, and why he believes chatter helps fuel creativity.
  • Richard describes the Menlo hiring process, which actually involves no resumes and no interview questions whatsoever.
  • Richard tells us why he had to first rethink his own role in the organization before he could start to think about organizational change.
  • Richard shares the insight that his eight year old daughter gave him regarding his own leadership style.
  • Richard explains why low attrition isn’t necessarily the sign of a good company culture, and how some of the worst cultures he’s seen are ones in which no one ever leaves.
  • Richard explains how boomerang employees can be a source of fresh ideas and innovation, and why so many companies miss out on them.
  • Richard describes the tours he gives at Menlo, and how this daily story telling benefits himself and his team.
  • Richard tells us why he believes the most important breakthroughs won’t be technological, but will be based on the expanding concept of what it means to be human.
  • Richard shares why the biggest people-oriented crisis facing businesses today is a crisis of human energy - and why this represents a huge opportunity for organizations.
  • Finally, Richard enters the ring and takes on…the Minute of Magic.

Links

Recommended Reading

Like this episode? Then let us know! Subscribe, rate, and review the show in iTunes. This show grows by word of mouth, and the more we grow, the more Awesome we can all create together.

Feb 23 2018

47mins

Play

How to Build an Authentic Culture from the Bottom-Up, with SnackNation's Joey Joyce

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Building an authentic, employee-led company culture is what most of aspire to. It can be the key to making your org a magnet for talent. Retention and engagement suddenly become a breeze.

The problem - it’s a lot easier said than done.

As always, we’re here to help. This week we’ve got Joey Joyce on the podcast to share the secret to creating a culture inspired by your values, but built by your employees.

Joey is a senior team member at SnackNation, and the president of SnackNation’s Culture Committee. His insights provide a framework for launching a Culture Committee at your organization.

That’s what we dig into in this interview - tactics for launching, scaling, and maintaining an employee-led culture committee at your company.

Here are Joey’s tips for launching a successful culture committee at your organization:

  1. Select a Representative from each department. Every department has its own needs, challenges, and subculture. Your committee should give everyone a seat at the table, and work towards a culture that works for all.
  2. Write a Mission Statement. Your committee should have a specific, culture-related purpose in sight. It might be to improve communication, make the office healthier, or to just make the day more enjoyable. Our Mission Statement was to live the company’s values, spread joy and optimism with events that the team would enjoy, and break down departmental silos and increase collaboration.
  3. Chart a Roadmap. Once you nail your mission, work backwards to create measurable goals and a path to achieve them.
  4. Capture and Incorporate Feedback. Some initiatives you’ll knock out of the park, others will require some adjustment before you get them right. You won’t know what works unless you ask your team. Field surveys… or better yet, just talk to people!
  5. When times are tough, AMF (Always Move Forward). One of the biggest challenges with a Culture Committee is that it’s basically extra work for everyone involved. Each member has her primary job responsibilities, which always come first. In any given week you might have an engineer struggling to ship a product on time or a salesperson feeling the pressure to hit her goal. The key, according to Joey, is to find the right balance and always move cultural initiatives forward. If only two people can meet for ten minutes, meet for ten minutes. Just AMF.
  6. Break out into subcommittees. Scale your committee as your company grows by creating specialized subcommittees.
  7. Practice Radical Responsibility. Ultimately, your Culture Committee will only work if members hold themselves accountable.

Feb 14 2018

31mins

Play

13 Tips for Throwing a Kick-Ass Company Summit

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Is your company locked in departmental silos? Has communication stalled out? Is energy down, or morale dipped a little low?

A Company Summit might just be what the doctor ordered. Company Summits are a great way to unleash your creativity and tap into your team's collective brain power.

But let’s not beat around the bush - company summits can be expensive. On top of out-of-pocket cost for things like venue, catering, coffee, and snacks, there’s the opportunity cost of having your entire company away from the office for half a day or more. You have to be strategic in order to make your summit worth the investment. 

So how do you make sure that your Summit is a hit and not a flop? AO host Sean Kelly has thrown a ton of these over his 12+ year entrepreneurial career. He's here to tell you how to design your next summit for maximum ROI.

Sean's Top Tips for Throwing an ROI-Positive Company Summit

  1. Prepare. The old adage that failing to prepare is prepare to fail definitely holds true here. You need clear cut goals, a dialed itinerary, and quality presenters.
  2. Determine the top problems you want your team to tackle. Figure out the biggest challenges your company faces, and unleash your team on them.
  3. Choose a moderator or facilitator. You'll need someone MCing to keep the group focused and schedule on track.  If you don’t have someone on your team who fits the bill, consider hiring someone.
  4.  Maximize cross department collaboration. Break up those cliques! Don't allow people to pick where they sit or who they team-up with. Instead, purposefully seat people from opposite sides of the house together for lunch and for break out sessions.
  5. Solicit high quality, vetted presentations by your best speakers. Keep these in the morning, have lots of back and forth and audience participation, ad reserve afternoons for breakout sessions.
  6. Put your teams of employees to work. Allow for teams to present their findings and compete with other teams to keep them accountable for putting in real work and presenting in a fun way
  7. Slot in lots of breaks and movement. Jumping jacks and hi-fives help keep the mood and energy up.
  8. Do NOT allow for a heavy lunch or energy-zapping snacks/food/drinks. (SnackNation can help you with all your snacking needs.)
  9. Book an inspiring space that allows for breakouts. A good rule of thumb - the venue should be cooler than your office space! No hotel ballrooms or lame event spaces.
  10. Provide alcohol at the end of the day. (But not too much.)
  11. Don't make your summit too long! This should feel like intense work, but should not be massively draining
  12. Take notes. Designate someone to capture the best ideas. Remember, you want to walk away with more than just good vibes!
  13. Follow up. Make sure you connected with your leadership team afterwards and are aligned around expectations.

Feb 06 2018

29mins

Play

How to Manage the Whole Person, w/ SnackNation President and COO Ryan Schneider

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By now you’re probably familiar with the concept of "work-life integration," which is rapidly replacing the outdated notion of "work-life balance."

Work-life integration simply acknowledges the reality that work is a major part of our lives. Most of us spend 8, 9, 10 or more hours at the office every day, so to pretend that there’s a distinction between “work” and “life” just isn’t on the level.

But acknowledging this reality is just the first step. For people-focused leaders, the next question becomes, how does this change the way we manage people? How do we manage in a way that acknowledges that work and life are one? In other words, how do we manage the whole person?

That’s one of several topics we explore in this week’s episode, featuring SnackNation President and COO Ryan Schneider.

As the President and COO of SnackNation, Ryan's job requires him to know how every single team member impacts the business. This not only requires a holistic understanding of the state of the business at any given moment, but a deep understanding of  the complex factors that motivate employees both inside and outside the office. That's exactly what we mean by "managing the whole person," and Ryan's experience leading teams both in the startup world and at Fortune 500 companies has given him a unique perspective on this practice.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why Ryan personally interviews 98% of the people who interview at the company - no matter what the position.
  • The planning process Ryan uses to maintain a holistic understanding of the business at all times.
  • The risks involved with not managing the “whole person.”
  • How to transition from a “top-down” culture to one that’s led from the bottom up, and why that’s so important.

Links

Jan 24 2018

46mins

Play

How a Ketogenic Diet Can Help You Achieve Your 2018 Health Goals, with author Mark Sisson

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In our last episode we focused on 2018 goal setting. Considering that health- and fitness-related goals account for nearly half of all New Year's resolutions, there's a good chance that a many of you are currently engaged in the noble struggle of eating healthier, getting active, or just dropping a few lbs.

Of course,  New Year's resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. In fact, 92% of New Year's resolutions end in failure.

What differentiates the successful 8% from the rest? Knowledge and a game plan, for starters.

In that spirit, this week we have a presentation from Mark Sisson that’s all about helping you achieve your health, fitness, and nutrition goals. 

Mark is basically THE guy when it comes to understanding Ketogenic diets. He’s a former endurance athlete turned health and fitness expert and a New York Times bestselling author of the books The Keto Reset Diet and Primal Blueprint.

Mark has a unique ability to make Keto accessible, and in this talk provides ideas and strategies to up your health and wellness game in 2018.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The concept of metabolic flexibility, and why it's the lynchpin of health, performance and longevity.
  • The definition of ketonic, and the benefits of training your body to metabolize ketones.
  • The evolutionary science that explains our metabolic processes - and why they're not as useful for us as they were for our ancestors.
  • Some specific tips for living a more Keto-friendly lifestyle (without going full Keto).

Links

Jan 19 2018

29mins

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