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A Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world

A Geek Leader, inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world

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AGL 004: Having the Difficult Conversation

Having Difficult conversations is really important.  I don't think anyone would argue that. Many times we feel awkward and don't want to have the conversation and things go from bad to worse... or they just never get resolved.  This podcast is to give you 3 tips on having difficult conversations that I got from Ash Beckham's Ted Talk from a few years ago.I hope you guys like this one and get something from it.  Please leave me a note in the comments below and better yet, subscribe and review the podcast in iTunes.


29 Sep 2015

Rank #1

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AGL 023: Learning as a Leader

Part of being a great leader is being a great learner.  If you decide to be leader, either in a leadership/managerial role, or just leading those to your left and to your right, you must also decide to never stop learning.  When you stop learning, you stop leading.Last week my wife and I rented "The Intern."  It's a movie with Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway.  De Niro plays the part of a 70+ year old widower who is board with life and wants to have something to get him out of the house.  He's a retired VP from a phone book printing company and he decides to apply for a senior internship program at a start-up tech company that was founded and is ran by Jules Osten, played by Anne Hathaway.  Ben started out as a huge underdog, as he didn't even know how to turn on his mac when he got started.  But his desire to learn and his work ethic in doing so helped propel him into a sort of leader of the interns. As an intern, he was reporting directly to the CEO when he inspired her and built a relationship of trust. His desire to learn, and ability to see situations from different perspectives helped him grow as a person and leader, but more importantly, it helped him grow those around him.That's what leadership is all about, growing those around you.  If you can learn something and share that to those around you it helps you learn it better, gain more respect from your peers. Its also a great for building relationships and trust with those you work with.  I feel very strongly that learning new skills and new ways of using your current skills is extremely important in both personal and professional development.  Every year, I create a professional development plan for the new skills that I want to learn or the things I want to improve on throughout the coming year. I encourage all those around me to do the same and I try to see how I can hold them accountable to help insure success. If you're not growing, you're dying. Remember that leadership is a process, not a project.  If you want to improve and be a great leader, you must change and grow.  Time stops for no man.  Be sure you stay on top of new research and the latest trends... So, how do I do that?For me, I consume a ton of information... probably way more than I should. I subscribe to several podcasts, I have an audible subscription that I use for just non-fiction books to help me learn.  I use youtube when I want to find out how to do something really quickly. I have a lynda.com subscription for deeper learning and course work.  These are just a few of the ways I learn new skills and information.  Of these methods, I may retain 10% of what I consume, and of that I may implement another 10%.  That means I probably only act upon 1% of that which I consume using these methods.  That makes them not seem that efficient.  But its still helpful.  If you improve 1% every day for a year, you'll be 365% better.  Stew on that for a little while....Some other ways to learn is to get a mentor. I've had a leadership mentor for about 2 years now and he's helped me learn more than I can from all of these books and podcasts which I consume.  Also teaching others helps you learn.  You may think you know a subject pretty well until you try to teach it.  That's when you learn all the things you thought you knew.  One paradox with learning is that the more we learn, the more we realize we have a lot more to learn.  Don't let that discourage you.  Stick with it and reflect back every quarter what you've learned and achieved.  Reflection is important to insure you stick with it and continue to grow as a person and a leader. Always remember that this journey is a process and the destination is a mirage.  We'll always be striving for greater knowledge, influence and leadership.I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


9 Feb 2016

Rank #2

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AGL 083: Growing as a Leader with Carl Kinghorn from EFC Systems

About CarlOver the past decade Carl Kinghorn has had the opportunity to grow as a leader within EFC Systems. He has championed changes to culture, processes, and development techniques that has enabled scaling the company's ability to deliver quality software to its clients in the agricultural space. During this time, he's seen the company triple in size; and in his role as VP of the software development group, he gets to be a leader and a teacher with a goal of enabling his teams to succeed.​​Carl is active in the Nashville development community as a technical speaker and is President of the non-profit Nashville .NET User Group (@NashDotNet). He brings an enthusiastic and welcoming presence to the group whose mission is to serve the community by organizing events that enable networking, education, and career guidance.​​​​Carl has a BBA in Information Systems from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).What we talked about Relationship changes in growth Transparency Work for the team Alignment / Autonomy Matrix Collaboration Culture Change Purpose Communication User Groups Speaking Providing Value without Coding Say "We" not "I"Connect with CarlTwitterLinkedInNashville .Net User GroupI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


10 Dec 2018

Rank #3

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AGL 055: Andrew May and Brad Miller – CodeTank Labs and CodeStock

Today on the show have Andrew May with a cameo from the one and only Brad Miller.  Andrew May, originally from Phoenix, AZ, started in computing when he was twelve years old, writing windows applications to assist in quick email responses. Throughout his scholastic endeavors, he continued to focus on computing; moving from desktop applications to web applications. Andrew attended Arizona State University where he studied Computer Science and Engineering.In 2007, Andrew's entrepreneurship grew and he patented his first major idea. He grew the project and sold it to the airline industry in 2008. Not stoping he partnered with other local developers in Tennessee and created a mobile social media aggregator.Late in 2008 Andrew founded ADM Software Consulting, LLC to focus on mobile applications on contract basis. Andrew's success has lead him to establish a downtown Knoxville, Tennessee office and work with fortune 500 companies, as well as local emerging start-ups. In 2015, Andrew merged ADM Software with Double-Apps, another successful local development company, to form CodeTank Labs. Their focus being native mobile application development, as well as AR and VR technologies.From 2012 to 2017, he accepted the lead role on the board for CodeStock, helping bring on new members, and establishing it as a 501c3 non-profit, while nearly doubling it's size.Follow:Andrew May on TwitterBrad Miller on Twitteram@codetanklabs.comToday on the show: We talk about the Andrew's beginnings in technology What it takes to build and keep a good team The importance of good community and culture How to hire affectively... i.e. dating the new hire How to build trust with your team What's new in AR and VR development The importance of trusting your gut and trusting your partners / team Codestock dates - April 12th and 13th, 2019Important tips from Andrew:Don't get discouraged.  Make smart hires.I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


24 Aug 2018

Rank #4

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AGL 051: Daniel Argandona, Managing Director for Fortalice Solutions, LLC.

Today on the show I have Daniel Argandona, Managing Director for Fortalice Solutions, LLC.  Fortalice is a boutique, white glove, cyber security services firm. In this episode we talk about Dan's journey through his career and how he got started into the cyber security and eventually found himself as the managing director for a cyber security firm in Washington D.C. While talking today, we discussed his takes on leadership, ego and management.  Dan mentions that one of his favorite quotes is from General Colin Powell:“Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.”― Colin PowellDaniel Argandona is a motivated, energetic, and results-focused senior leader with exceptional expertise in planning and managing the execution of strategic, cross-organizational, transformational initiatives. Argandona has 17 years of demonstrated success leading multi-disciplinary teams to execute complex initiatives; and managing C-level, senior engagement/stakeholder relationships. He also has significant experience managing initiatives which launch new business models, and/or replace legacy operations.Recently, Argandona led the stand-up of a digital organization responsible for incubating and executing strategic initiatives for a multinational client recognized as an industry leader creating innovative dining locations at airports worldwide.  As Program Director, he was responsible for planning the execution of newly established Digital Innovation initiatives across 120 airports, and 300+ unique brands.  The focus on these initiatives was to keep the client always at the forefront of the latest airport dining technology.At Fannie Mae, Argandona served as the Director of Program Management for Strategic Initiatives where he led the development and execution of five strategic initiatives across the organization, and achieved the merger of two strategic initiatives operations which transformed the existing business model.  He also led operations for an initiative which had a multi-year scope, an impact across multiple front line divisions, and a budget exceeding $140M. This initiative spanned 600+ resources, 67 cost centers and 30 workstreams.During his extensive career, Mr. Argandona has operated in multiple countries throughout Europe, South America, and North America. He co-led the program execution of a $20M multi-year, multi-phase project in Brazil and Spain with 110 practitioners representing seven countries.Mr. Argandona is a first-generation American whose family hails from both South America and Spain.  He belongs to a multinational family, with origins in Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia, and is the proud father of four boys.To learn more about Dan and Fortalice Solutions, you can visit their website at https://fortalicesolutions.com/ or follow them on twitter @fortalicellcI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


9 Aug 2018

Rank #5

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AGL 077: The Motivation Trap with John Hittler

About John“How were you able to pull that off?”John has made a habit of creating seemingly impossible outcomes, whether transforming a struggling team to become the top performer, or engaging an audience with his playful, interactive, life-changing style. His belief is simple: we are each endowed with one unique genius, different than any other person on the planet. John uses his genius to create seemingly impossible outcomes and in doing so, helps people win big!His professional career spans 9 owner funded companies, some of which thrived, others not as much. Regardless, each company (and one non-profit foundation) taught valuable lessons and honed the skills and passions John holds today. In short: Do what you love! Love the people you do it with!In Evoking Genius, John partners with clients to create outcomes that they simply could not imagine possible, through an encouraging coaching style. “The clients always set the agenda,” says John, “and my job is to make the process of necessary change or transformation safer and more attractive than standing still.” That result comes about often in a playful manner, transforming work into play, and unleashing individual, team, and organizational “genius” in the process.“We take struggling teams and help them to transform into top performers. We take already great teams and partner with them to transform to their next highest level of growth. That almost always centers upon releasing the pent up talent in each individual and team. That sounds simple, and it’s not always easy. Our job is to make that process accessible, attractive, and mostly…safe. It never hurts to make it fun too,” claims John, who spent more than his fair share of time in the principal’s office for his playful approach to life…and grade school. That same approach makes transformation much more appealing for clients.Vital Stats BS in Economics and German from Georgetown University. 7 years of formal study in ontology, neural science and linguistics. 7 children. 3 grandchildren. CrossFitter and extreme athlete. Charitable board member, mostly for charities associated with eliminating child poverty and human trafficking. Giving back is simply part of his personal ethic.Today We Talked AboutThe Motivation Trap: Leadership Strategies to Achieve Sustained Success Genius Talent Founder of Evoking Genius Purpose vs. Motivation Dan Pink - Drive Passion - Doing You Best Work Leaders Don't Provide Motivation Edit instead of Create Uncovering Genius Talent Hostage Negotiation Growing up with a the last name of Hittler Be Authentic“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what?  After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.” - John MaxwellConnect with John LinkedIn Book WebsiteI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


5 Nov 2018

Rank #6

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AGL 086: Leading Amazing Teams with Tricia Broderick

Tricia has more than twenty years of experience in software development and is passionately focused on facilitating high-performance software development environments. Her leadership at all levels of an organization helped lay the groundwork to shift teams from one-year product cycles to feasible, daily delivery of quality software and services. Tricia openly shares stories from her firsthand experience to inspire people to reach new heights through continuous reflection and growth. As a principle in the Agile For All team, she is dedicated to making a difference in the workplace. She is an exceptional leader, coach, mentor, facilitator, trainer, and popular speaker at national conferences.We Talked About main frame programming extreme programming project management How to lead others How to teach others Be kind to yourself Mental Health in leaders Missing Work-life Balance (burnout) Take care of your self - leadership can be hard 6-1 positive to criticism. speaking and teaching helps positive feedback Agile project management coaching for leaders Leading Amazing Teams CourseConnect with Tricia Twitter Linkedin WebsiteI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


7 Jan 2019

Rank #7

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AGL 092: A.J. Jacobs – Thanks a Thousand

Today on the show we've got one of my favorite authors, A.J. Jacobs.  I first learned about A.J. when reading an article he wrote that was reprinted in Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Work Week about outsourcing.  The humor and information contained in that article made me want to find and read more by A.J. We talked mostly about gratitude in this episode, and I'm grateful to have had A.J. on the show.  I hope you guys enjoy the conversation as much as I did, and be sure to tell A.J. thank you!About A.J.:A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine.A.J. Jacobs is author of The Know-It-All, which documents the year he spent reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, uncovering both funny and surprising factoids but also poignant insight into history and human nature. In 2007 he released The Year of Living Biblically, in which he attempted to follow every single rule in the Bible as literally as possible for an entire year. His book The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment is a collection of numerous personal experiments, including living according to George Washington's rules of conduct, outsourcing every single task to India and posing as a woman on an online dating site. Jacobs recently released a new book, Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, which relates his life-altering journey to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee.We Talked About: Gratitude Handwritten notes Face to Face Thank Yous Take aways from the gratitude project Family Tree A-Z gratitude hack Gratitude of Leaders Manager need to appreciate their employeesConnect with A.J. Jacobs: LinkedIn Article by A.J. Jacobs Books Website Twitter Facebook LinkedInI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


1 Mar 2019

Rank #8

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AGL 128: Conflict at Work with Liz Kislik

About Liz For 30 years as a management consultant, executive coach, and facilitator, Liz Kislik has helped clients such as American Express, Orvis, The Girl Scouts, Comcast, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Highlights for Children solve their thorniest problems while strengthening their top and bottom lines. Her specialty is developing high performing leaders and workforces. She is a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and Entrepreneur, and a TEDx speaker on "Why There's So Much Conflict at Work and What You Can Do to Fix It". She has also written for the European Financial Review and the Forward. Liz's articles have been included in Harvard Business Press books Guide to Motivating People and Dealing with Difficult People, the Wall Street Journal's Morning Download, and the Washington Post's Work Advice column, and she has been interviewed for The Muse, European CEO magazine, Thrive Global, and The Financial Times Ignites. Today We Talked About Employee OnBoarding Noticing Negative Patterns Giving Negative Feedback Ask the employees how they think its going It has come to my attention______ and here is what I want to see_____ Explain cultural norms and give guidance Explain the "Why" Ditch the "feedback sandwich" because its fake Its not attitude / its behavioral If no agreement, then discuss consequences Empathy Perspective Taking Why would a smart person do a stupid thing? You could be wrong...Be sure to validate it Employment and Family aren't the same thing even if they overlap. Conflict Resolution 5 Steps for fixing Conflict: Rule out that a single individual is the source of conflict Incompetent employee Bully Ask the right people the right questions Can you tell me what goes right? What makes you nuts? What makes your job better? Why do you stay if there are so many problems here? Make sure everyone is aligned Goals Needs Responsibilities You have to agree to it, but you don't have to love it Find Allies at all levels in the organization You can't do it alone (not even the CEO) - https://techleaders.group/ Teach new Habits Lizard Listening Why would a smart person do a stupid thing? Ask what's not being said... Elephant Cards What were they like at 9 years old? Connect with Liz Twitter LinkedIn Website TEDx Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l-AOBz69KU I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcast and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


1 Nov 2019

Rank #9

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AGL 032: The Engagement Epidemic

I recently gave a talk on Employee Engagement for millennials.  Here are my thoughts on the subject:Engagement Statshttps://www.themuse.com/advice/10-shocking-stats-about-employee-engagement 70% of employees not engaged at work 89% of companies think employees leave for more $$$ but only 12% actually do 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least 1 time per week but only 13% of disengaged employees receive weekly feedback 75% of people voluntarily leaving their job, don't quit their job, they quit their bosses.Why people quit their job They hate their boss Their work doesn't matterAdding PurposeAdd purpose doesn't always have to be the big "P" Purpose, like saving the rainforest. It could just be the little "p" purpose, like why we do what we do.  This is another example of how Simon Sinek's "Start with Why" is so important in leadership.Ignoring BossIf a boss ignores an employee… they are 40% more likely to “actively disengage” from work and their company.  To "actively disengage" you aren't just not engaged... you are actively  looking for non-work related things to do.  Like gossip, blogging, searching for other jobs, etc.  These activities are not only be bad for the employee performance, but also the performance and attitudes of those around this employee.Critical BossA Critical boss causes 22% increase in actively disengagement… that means, being critical is better than ignoring. At least critical bosses are paying attention, right?A Praising Boss A Boss that praises 1 out of 10 successes usually has less than 1% of employees will actively disengage. So this means you only have to recognize and compliment 1 out of 10 great things your team members do... its not that hard.Motivation and ManagementManagement is old school.  Management was creating in the 1850's as a way of gaining compliance in the workforce.  It works great for compliance, not so great for engagement.  If we want engagement, we need Leadership, not Management. If/Then doesn't work4 reason if then don’t work Engagement is intrinsic and IF/THEN is 100% extrinsic It puts individuals against one another in a competition, instead of working as a team It causes some folks to rationalize their ethics, leading to cheating and cutting corners It lacks emotional growthFACT - Money is a motivatorPay people fairly and enough to take Money off the table. Happiness is far more important than small raises.Dan Pink described motivation the best I've heard it in his book Drive.AutonomyFreedom in your job.  Maybe its where you work, how you work, what you work on, or who you work with.MasteryGetting better at things that matter. This could be training, personal growth, business growth, learning something important.  Getting a certification, or going or speaking at a conference. Also empowering (i hate that term) employees to do more, to stretch their role.PurposeWorking on something that matters.  Making sure their job matters in the big picture. To hear more about purpose, check out my TedX Talk.(must listen to get the real value out of this episode)I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


18 May 2018

Rank #10

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AGL 069: Leading Through Failures

No matter how good you are, at some point in time, you will fail.  It's inevitable. Failure is not a problem, its promise.  How we respond to failure is crucial to how we is the most important part of failing.  It's not the failure that stops us, it's the inability to learn and move forward that stops us. I've failed at many projects, on tests in school, at sports and about in every area of my life.  We all fail and we should not fear failure.  I once had a boss that made my team fear failure.  He threatened to fire us if we made mistakes or missed bugs.  This fear prevented us from working at the pace we should have been.  Instead we were super slow, extra cautious, and rarely innovated.  Instead of inspiring a fear of failure, good leaders need to inspire a desire for success. Making us understand that we should desire succeed more than we fear failure.  But also teaching us to be practical, not reckless, and plan and prepare for the failures that may occur. A good leader allows their team to fail, but helps them plan and prepare so that they don't get hurt.I think of my kids.  In order for them to learn, they need to make mistakes and fail from time to time.  I want to allow them to fail on the little things, and learn from them, so that they don't fail on the big things. I don't want them to be afraid to fail, so I don't scold them when they try hard and fail, but rather encourage them to try again and learn from that failure.Coach Mike Krzyzewski, (basketball coach for Duke University for you non-sports fans), once said “My defining moments have usually been something where I’ve lost or where I’ve been knocked back.” In the 1983 ACC tournament Duke lost by 43 points. At dinner that night, someone raised their glass and said, “Here’s to forgetting about tonight.” Coach K interjected and raised his glass and said, “Here’s to never forgetting about tonight.”In tech, we hear the phrase "fail early, fail often, fail forward" regularly and it usually looses its meaning overtime.  Many people think that it is a phrase that gives software developers the excuse to recklessly push out untested code, but that's not what it means or how to apply it.  I tell my team "fail fast, recover faster."  It's a similar phrase, but has a subtle message reminding folks that they need to be prepared if they fail.  We need to have backup plans and rollback plans for everything. It means, don't be afraid to fail, but be prepared if you do.We we fail, we need to stay calm, respond and not react, and learn from our mistakes.Questions to ask when you fail Why did we fail or fall short of our goals? What did we learn from this failure? What early indicators of this project failure did we miss? How can we better prepare to prevent this in the future?Do you want to be someone who fears failure?  Or do you want to be someone who learns from it and moves on?Normally this is where I ask for a rating/review/subscribe, but instead, this month I’m asking that you make a donation for Breast Cancer Research in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month


4 Oct 2018

Rank #11

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AGL 137: People Over Process with Michael K. Levine

About MichaelMichael K. Levine is an expert on lean and agile software development and information technology He conducted international trade negotiation at the US Commerce Department, was a corporate banker for First Bank System, and became divisional CIO at Norwest Bank. After a stint at Wells Fargo he joined US Bank to deploy a new branch banking system (bringing lean and agile to a highly structured waterfall environment), then became technology lead for US Bank Home Mortgage. He now leads all consumer lending and business banking technology. His previous books are Tale of Two Systems: Lean and Agile Software Development for Business Leaders, and Tale of Two Transformations: Bringing Lean and Agile Software Development to Life. His third book is People Over Process: Leadership for Agility (Productivity Press, September 30, 2019). He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife, Holly Lindsay. Learn more at TheTalesofAgility.comToday We Talked About How Michael got to where is now Lean vs. Agile Leadership Tips Meetings Agile vs. Scrum How important People are to leadership Develop people to do the right kind of work Chief Engineer - not in scrum but in Lean product development Rigor, Efficiency, Alignment Frameworks A3 framework Amazon ApproachBehaviors Provide Options Helps teams to learnHow to do a good meeting Meetings to Plan for meetings Make them valuable Respect people's timeInformal meetings Coffee or Beer meeting Listening and building relationshipManagement by walking around Why write this book? - People over Process Leadership Models Facilitative Leadership Creative Software DevelopmentValuing People and their autonomy Balancing Autonomy and Responsibility Agile is not an excuse not to plan Biggest Mistakes in Technology Management Misunderstanding of the nature of the work Is it creative?Career Advice Think about what is valuable to the market Develop your leadership skills Make good decisions Be Efficiency Align with the businessConnect with Michael Tales of AgilitySpecial Thanks to Splashtop for sponsoring today’s show.Splashtop is a premier remote desktop, and remote support solution. I’ve been using.Splashtop personal for more than 7 years now and Splashtop Enterprise at my company for 3 years.  Their products are fantastic and their support is second to none.  I love and highly recommend their products and I’m super stoked that they are giving A Geek Leader listeners 20% off their first year when you go to https://ageekleader.com/splashtopI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcast and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


3 Jan 2020

Rank #12

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AGL 019: 2016 Goals – SMART Goals

SMART Goals..Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time Bound. Specific – The Goal must be specific in nature.  Which of these is better?  Improve on customer service.  Or Increase our customer service survey rating by 10% over the 2015 numbers by July 2016. Measurable – The goal must be clearly measurable. In the example above, you can see that the first goal was not measurable.  Improve… is not measurable unless you put some numbers and a way you will be measuring the improvement.  I used survey rating as our measurement and an improvement of 10% as the goal. Achievable – It has to be realistic.  If I had never run or exercised before, I should have a goal to run a marathon next week.  That’s just not achievable.  It takes months of training to build up a base and expect to finish a marathon without serious injury. Realistic – Goals must be realistic.  If I had a goal to become to create the largest social network by the end of the year… well its possible, technically, but not realistic. Goals must be realistic and for large goals, you should be able to break them down into smaller goals. Time Bound – Goals should be bound by a date. If you want to achieve something, be sure to put a date on it so you can track to it.  If you say, I want to run a marathon, but don’t put, By 12/31/2016, then you’ll likely never run that marathon. You’ll tell yourself that, you’ll do it next year, etc.I’m a firm believer in documenting your goals. If they are down on paper, in a place where you have to look at them daily or weekly, you’re more likely to achieve them, and if you share them with people, then you have people there to hold you accountable for your goals.I challenged my team to run a half marathon together last year.  I told them if you really wanted motivation to achieve the goal, post it on Facebook that you were doing it and when you were doing it.  By putting it out there, you have your followers holding you accountable, and now, you won’t only be letting yourself down, but them to. That’s usually enough motivation to keep going and finish the goal.My 2016 GoalsPersonal Goals Attend 100% of my kids sports games and practices in 2016. Have game night with the wife once per month after the kids go to bed in 2016. Have a movie night with the wife once per month after the kids go to bed in 2016. Have a date night (with baby sitter) at least once per quarter in 2016. Take my family on a vacation to the beach in 2016. Take my family on a vacation to the mountains in 2016.Fitness Goals Run at least twice per week for 46 of the 52 weeks in 2016. Work out at least twice per week for 46 of the 52 weeks in 2016 (runs don’t count). Eat fast food no more than one time per week for 46 of the 52 weeks in 2016. Average 10,000 steps per day in 2016. Complete a 5 day fast.Business Goals Increase my podcast listeners by 10x. Increase my email subscriber list by 10x. Write one book in 2016. Create and launch 3 iOS Apps in 2016. Give at least 3 talks in 2016.Sponsor:Surviving a 5K RaceI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


5 Jan 2016

Rank #13

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AGL 030: How to Quit Your Job… The Right Way

So you got a new job and now you have to deliver the bad news that you're putting in your 2 week notice.  How do you do it without burning bridges, saving face, and leave the position better for you having been there. Below are some tips that might help you out: Have a plan. I don't recommend quitting a job until you've already accepted an offer somewhere else, or have a side income stable enough to cover your basic needs (food, rent, etc.) Write a formal resignation letter.  Before you tell anyone, be sure to have written a formal letter of resignation.  Proof it and make sure its good, it could be the last written work your current employer has of yours. Tell your boss first.  Always give your boss the news in person before telling anyone else.  This is a respect thing.  You need to leave in a respectful way and nothing screams disrespect than having your boss find our your quitting from someone else.  This also means don't update your linkedin until after your last day of employment with your current employer. Keep the conversation short, polite, positive and respectful.  Be appreciative of the opportunity, even if you know you'll never come back to work here, you still want to leave on a good note, as potential future employers may call this company for a reference. Be ready for questions. Make sure you've created a transition plan if you think the company will back-fill your job. Have some sort of written "manual" on things that depend on you and only you to do.  If you have accounts that need to be transitioned to someone else, be sure they are documented.  Be prepared for the counter offer.  In today's economy its common to receive a counter offer to stay, but don't count on it.  Some bosses, like me, don't like giving counter offers.  If you get one, be sure you know what you'll say before hand.  See my episode on negotiation skills for more details. Don't hide where you're going, that's just creepy.  Be honest and open, but never talk about salaries. Remain professional and work your butt off for your remaining days.  Don't succumb to the temptation to slack off. This is the time to work your hardest so that you can ensure you leave the best possible impression on your co-workers and your boss.  You want them to remember you at your best incase you need them for references... plus, it's just the right thing to do. Once you're time is up, leave respectfully.  Be sure to go out of your way to spend a few extra minutes telling folks bye and thanking them for the knowledge and experience you gained from them.  Feel free to send out a group email to folks with your personal contact numbers, etc. if you want to stay in contact with anyone. Avoid saying anything negative about your current boss, job or employer. Follow up.  Try to reach out to folks on your old team, your old boss or others that you've built strong relationships with.  Offer to take them to lunch and keep in touch.  Tell them about your new job and ask questions about how things are going.  It's important to maintain those relationships the best you can.  Its good for you and them.I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even 1 sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


6 Apr 2018

Rank #14

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AGL 118: The role of CISO with Sean Walls

About SeanSean Walls is currently Vice President of the Cyber Security division for a multi-billion-dollar international standards, QA, digital testing and cybersecurity corporation. He has 19 years of experience in cybersecurity and information technology and is a frequent keynote speaker and advocate for cyber security.Today We Talked About: The importance of influence and relationship building as a CISO Qualities to develop if you want to be a CISO Aligning security with business priorities Risk Management fundamentals Finding and retaining good talent Give a Career Path Give Praise Have Humility Have EmpathyThe expanding attack surface and changing threat landscape How to present to the board of directors What is governance in Cyber SecurityConnect with Sean LinkedIn TwitterI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


23 Aug 2019

Rank #15

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AGL 097: Jeff Ton on How to Amplify Your Value

About JeffJeff Ton is a sought-after Information Technology speaker, author and thought leader, having led powerful teams and built successful IT departments for thepast 30+ years. For over a decade, Jeff has served as Chief Information Officer with Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Lauth Property Group, as well as 14 years in various technology roles with Thomson Multimedia (RCA). In his current role as Senior Vice President of Product and Strategic Alliances at InterVision, Jeff thrives on developing people while driving the company’s product strategy, service vision and strategic approach. Speaking to audiences from 5 to 1,000, Jeff has mastered the art of simplifying complex IT issues and is always looking for opportunities to drive value in organizations now and in the future. Jeff is the author of Amplify Your Value (2018) and is a frequent keynote speaker on topics related to the evolving IT landscape and the changing role of the CIO. See his frequent keynotes below. Meet Jeff and learn more at www.JeffreySTon.com.We Talked About How he got into Tech Being a Rock Star Commodore 64 The Path to CIO - get a Commodore 64 Loving writing code Tranis Challenges of a CIO/CTO Stop talking about Technology and start talking about the Business Get involved in the business Ride Alongs (field trips)Must have a well ran department Guiding Principals Grading your projects Minimize technology issues Lewis and Clark Mentorship and Executive CoachingConnect with Jeff Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Website BookI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


5 Apr 2019

Rank #16

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AGL 106: Lifter Leadership with Paresh Shah

About PareshParesh Shah is a positive force around everyone he meets. He is a rare combination of a personal advisor to CEOs, Business Professor, Harvard MBA, Technology Entrepreneur, Innovation and Leadership trainer and popular mindfulness/yoga instructor.Mr. Shah is truly an international business expert that brings a unique and powerful perspective to business.  His abilities to connect with audiences and clients across the globe and bring unique perspectives to client problems have made him a sought-after speaker, master business strategist, Non-Obvious innovation trainer, workshop leader and coach to CEO’s, executives and celebrities around the world.Paresh is Chief Strategist and Value Architect at global innovation consultancy, The Non-Obvious Company.  His company helps clients think in Non-Obvious ways in order to solve their most pressing problems.  The Non-Obvious Company provides clients deep, actionable expertise in innovation, strategy, trends, engagement, leadership, mindfulness and transformative leadership.  With a passport spilling over with stamps, Paresh brings a diverse and global perspective from multiple industries and perspectives to everything he does.   Over the past 25 years, he and his team have developed a breakthrough paradigm for modern purposeful leadership, called Lifter Leadership, highly in demand by companies seeking to be more innovative internally, engaging with customers, motivating to workers and purposeful in responsibility.Paresh brings an actionable approach to his clients from his deep experience as an operating executive and successful entrepreneur.   Mr. Shah founded several operating companies including a multimedia company, secure commerce company and audio accessory company.Paresh has spoken at leading conferences such as AIA, TedX, SXSW (South by Southwest), Wisdom 2.0, the International Yoga Expo, GAMA Financial Leadership, Junior Achievement Global, CES and other international conferences and corporate events.  Mr. Shah’s thinking and insights have been featured in publications such as Forbes, CEO.com, Inc., Entrepreneur, Smart CEO, Killer Startups, CEO.com and Harvard Business School Press.Mr. Shah was featured as a Global Innovator for the United Nations International Peace Day and he has been a distinguished guest in global dialog around fostering World Compassion and Peace.Today We Talked About Paresh's geeky background 7 Deadly Blind Spots of Technical Talent 7 Gear head Strengths Lifter Leadership Mindfulness Poor Communications Lack of Customer Centricity Micromanagement Making Business/Human Tradeoffs Conflict Management Uninspiring Leadership Limited CreativitySpecial Lifter Offer for A Geek Leader ListenersConnect with Paresh Twitter Lifter Leadership Non-Obvious Company Glimpulse Gear Head to Group Head AcademyI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


7 Jun 2019

Rank #17

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AGL 096 : Jay Karen on Leading a National Association

About JayJay Karen has been the CEO of National Golf Course Owners Association since 2015, where he leads the golf industry's trade association and initiatives to support the success of the golf course business, a critical element of an $84B industry in the United States. Prior to his appointment at NGCOA, Jay was CEO of Select Registry, a portfolio of over 300 premier boutique hotels, inns and B&Bs. For seven years before that, Jay was President and CEO of the trade association representing owners of small, independent lodging businesses.Jay was also with the NGCOA for ten years early in his career, having served the association in several roles. Jay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Winthrop University, a Master of Arts degree in American History from the College of Charleston and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives. Jay serves as Chairman of the industry-wide advocacy coalition, We Are Golf, and as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame advisory board and the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition, a joint initiative with the PGA of America.  He has also served on the boards of directors of the United States Travel Association and the College of Charleston's Hospitality and Tourism Management degree program. The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CBS Radio, NBC News, the Golf Channel, Golf Digest and many others call upon Jay for his insights on the golf industry.Within the association community, Jay has become well known as a thought leader and progressive practitioner.  He has been asked by ASAE to author articles and make presentations on effective leadership and membership growth at many ASAE Annual Meetings.  Recently, he contributed to the books Membership Essentials and the ASAE Handbook of Professional Practices in Association Management.  Jay serves on ASAE's Executive Management section council, Public Policy Committee and board of directors for ASAE Business Solutions Inc (for-profit subsidiary of ASAE).  In addition, Jay serves on the Advisory Board to McKinley Advisors, one of the association industry's most respected consulting companies, and is an advisor to the board of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.On a personal note, Jay has been married for 18 years to an amazing woman, who is an independent college counselor, and they have two children: a 13-year old daughter and 10-year old son. His primary interests include spending as much time with his family as possible (priorities), playing golf (since the age of 10), amateur photography (who isn't these days?), social media (he keeps Facebook in business), contemplating the meaning of life (doesn't everyone?), swinging a kettlebell or running trails as often as he can (you should too), and eating foods that are really bad for him (one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake).Today we Talked About Getting Started with Associations Leadership Best skill a CEO can have is Communication Curiosity of understanding the layers Binary decisions in a scale of gray world The answer is always maybe Managing Time Don't listen to the squeaky wheel, get to know your members Supply and Demand Building your team Moving for Good to Great Hire Slow and Fire Fast Find ways to say yesHow to Connect with Jay NGCOA LinkedIn Twitter PodcastI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


29 Mar 2019

Rank #18

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AGL: 036 – Respond, Don’t React

When we react to situations, we're on defense.  You rarely score on defense.  Its much easier to score when you're on offense.  On offense, you're responding to the situation, not reacting.  There is a difference.  Responses are thought-out, planned and not usually emotionally driven.  Reactions are usually hap-hazardous, emotionally driven, and not thought through.  Mistakes often happen when we react instead of respond.  In this episode I talk about the need to respond instead of react, what happens when we overreact to situations, and some ways to avoid stress so that we learn to respond and not react.What Happens When We OverreactA couple of weeks ago I talked about building trust with your team. Overreacting to situations is one sure-fire way to make them trust you less.  If you can't keep your cool, people want follow you when times get tough.  When you overreact to situations you allow the situation to overtake you.  You stop looking through a practical, logical lens and begin looking at the world through a panicked lens. Your cortisol levels increase in your body, and you being to hyper focus on situations, probably the wrong situations.  Remember when I spoke about the biology of leadership, cortisol is the stress chemical.  It does good things when we're in danger, but it comes at a cost.  It slows down our metabolism, and weakens our immune system.  Its only supposed to be in us for a brief period of time, when it persist, and we overreact, it causes serious health issues.We tend to make bad decisions when we overreact. The first thing that comes to our mind we move forward with it.  Its hard to think things through when we're trying to stay on top of a tense situation.  Overreaction makes tense situations more tense.Why Do We Get Stressed Out at Work? The Unexpected Happens.  Sometimes we're confronted with events that we didn't see coming and we're not sure what to do.  When that happens, we might panic and get stressed. Fear. We're all afraid of something.  I've done 2 episodes on fear and anxiety and being brave in the past.  Take a listen to them to learn how to battle against your fears. Overwhelmed. If you've been in Technology for any amount of time, you've felt overwhelmed.  We all get overwhelmed from time to time.  When I get overwhelmed, I get stressed.  honestly, I don't know anyone that doesn't get stressed when they are overwhelmed. Competition. At the workplace, we are sometimes compared and contrasted against our peers.  This creates competition.  Sometimes competition is a good thing. It can inspire and encourage innovation.  But it also leads to stress. Non-Work Situations. Things that happen outside of work, can creep into our office life. People say you should separate work and home, and I agree, but its super hard to do... no, its impossible to completely do.  You are You.  Whether you are at work or at home, you are still you.  You carry your life with you everywhere you go.  Now, that doesn't mean you should bring your drama into work, but understand that things that happen outside of work, can influence your stress levels at work and vice versa. Remember somethings are more important than work.Ten Ways to Stay Calm at Work Understand the big picture. Many times things that are big to us, are small outside of our perspective.  Think about the big picture.  Unless your an emergency response person, in the military, or in the medical arena, no one is going to die due to the thing you are currently working on. I regularly tell my team "relax, no one's going to die."  I think about my kids.  My son will panic and pitch a fit over not being able to get his straw into his juice box sometimes.  To him, that is the biggest problem in the world right now.  To me, that's silly, just ask for help.  Work can be the same way sometimes.  We're just like my son, trying to get that straw into a juice box.  Getting stressed out over something that is small i...


26 Jun 2018

Rank #19

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AGL 119: President Martha D. Saunders

About Dr. SaundersMartha Dunagin Saunders is the sixth President of the University of West Florida.In her 30-plus years in higher education, she has served as in academic and leadership roles at universities in Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and Mississippi. Her area of academic expertise is in public relations and crisis communication for which she has won numerous awards, including two Public Relations Society of America’s coveted Silver Anvils.Saunders led the University of West Florida to its status as a top-performing public universities with the third-highest score in the Florida Board of Governors performance metrics. She established the UWF Innovation Institute, Center for Cybersecurity and the Office of Equity and Diversity. She oversaw the reorganization of the institution’s colleges, and under her guidance, UWF established two new named colleges–the Usha Kundu M.D. College of Health and the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering.  Saunders’ vision for UWF is for it to grow beyond its beginnings as a regional comprehensive university and be seen as a leader in innovation and cutting-edge academic programs. She plans to build on the University’s strengths and its undergraduate traditions while creating programs that will attract the faculty and research funding needed to make the leap to the next level.As an entrepreneurial leader, Saunders is passionate about creating innovative solutions to deal with the dynamic challenges facing higher education. As a change maker, she drives action behind these solutions to propel higher education into the future.Today We Talked About: How she got where she is today Women in leadership Technology degrees Adjunct Professors Center for Cyber Security Trust Agile University Sunset Clause Sea3D Lab Watch and Learn from both Good and Bad Leaders Learn your industry... not just your job Adapt, adapt, adaptConnect with Dr. Saunders and University of West Florida Twitter LinkedIn WebsiteI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to Apple Podcasts and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!


30 Aug 2019

Rank #20