To receive the Innovative Leadership Institute weekly blogs via email, please sign-up here.

Five years…what can happen in five years?  In a human, we go from our first breath and utterly dependent on our parents to walking, talking, feeding, and dressing ourselves and ready to begin our educational journey.  In later years, most people complete an academic degree in less than five years.  In cell phone terms, in five years Apple released five new generations of iPhones.  A lot can happen in five years.

To look back on the last five years and remember all the interviews conducted on our Voice America show takes us on a journey of much reflection and gratitude.  The show has been blessed by so many wonderful guests, those who are inspired speakers, brilliant academics, talented authors, and passionate leaders.  We are grateful that every one of them took the time to share their message for our listeners!  And to our listeners, thank you for supporting the show!  We understand your lives are busy, and you expect the highest quality conversation and insight from our host, Maureen, and our guests. We have now reached over half a million listens!  What a milestone! Only made possible by you trusting us with your time and interest.  Thank you! Together we hope to work with leaders to co-create a thriving future and elevate the quality of leadership across the world.

In honor of that five-year anniversary, this week’s blog is a recap of the top 10 all-time shows.

All-Time Top Ten Shows List:

  1. THE MIND OF THE LEADER: Driving Extraordinary Results with Jacqueline Carter, an International Partner and North American Director for Potential Project aired on 05/28/2018.

$46 billion a year is spent on leadership training, but a recent Gallup survey showed that 82 percent of employees find their leaders “uninspiring.” Why the gap? Because most leadership development focuses on outward skills like strategy, people management, and finance. Instead, new research shows that leadership should start inward with the mind. THE MIND OF THE LEADER: How to Lead Yourself, Your People, and Your Organization for Extraordinary Results by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter reveals how leaders can lead themselves, their people, and their organizations by training their minds. The authors found that three mental qualities are essential to becoming effective leaders. Leaders must be mindful (being present and attentive to their people’s needs), selfless (to model cultures based on growth and learning instead of ego), and compassionate (show their people they have their back).

  1. Is There Such a Thing as a ‘Level 5″/Teal Organization? with Terri O’Fallon, co-founder of STAGES International, aired on 5/2/2017.

In complex adaptive systems, those required to meet many of the challenges we currently face, leaders and organizations need to co-evolve to ensure their ability to respond to the opportunities and challenges. During this conversation, Terri and Maureen explore how individuals and organizations evolve. It starts with the question of how individuals “grow up” as leaders. They then map this same framework to exploring how organizations evolve. Terri presents a brief overview of the STAGES model, using it to frame to conversation about how a developmental model can be used to better understand the idea of organizational evolution. This is particularly useful when individuals use the developmental tools they employ for their development to help the organization mature. While this sounds like even more work for busy leaders, this is the focus that enables them to create truly adaptive systems.

  1. Why Digital Transformations Fail? with Tony Saldanha, former Procter & Gamble VP of Global Business Services, aired on 8/20/2019.

Digital transformations can be made routinely successful and are more important than ever now that we’re in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The lines between the physical, digital, and biological worlds are becoming more blurred. This however, does not eliminate the fact that 70% of digital transformations fail. That failure is not due to technology or innovation itself but comes down to the details. The lack of clear goals and having a disciplined process for achieving them is what leads to the failure of digital transformations. Tony Saldanha joined Maureen to discuss his new book, “Why Digital Transformations Fail.”

  1. A Case Study of Doing Well by Doing Good: The Internet Backpack with Dr. Dale Meyerrose, President and Board Chairman of Imcon International and a retired Major General in the United States Air Force, aired on 10/2/2018.

We have been hearing about the topic of doing well by doing good for a few years. Should tech leaders adopt this concept to reevaluate how they do business? If so, why would they? How would they? To take the question further, what accountability (if any) do leaders have for the uses of their products and services? During this conversation, Dale and Maureen will discuss the questions posed above and a project Dale has been involved with where Imcon International Inc., the developer of the Internet Backpack, a remote connectivity solution that allows users to communicate from almost every location on the planet, the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at Syracuse University and the Republic of Liberia will collaborate on a far reaching project that will digitally transform Liberia by increasing the nation’s current internet penetration of about 7% to 40% by 2021. This project is a strong example to illustrate how technology leaders can solve global challenges.

  1. Leveraging Technology to Deepen Human Performance with Brian Ferguson, founder and CEO at Arena Labs, aired 6/12/2018.

The greatest story of the 21st century is not technology, but how technology will be used as a tool for deepening the levels of human potential. Brian talks about his work leveraging the most proven performers, time-honored principles, and cutting-edge technology to develop unique performance solutions for a wide range of “arenas”  – from medicine to agriculture. He discusses the following questions? 1. Why has “innovation” become such a buzzword in recent years? 2. What trends are you focusing on, and how do they impact organizations and leaders? 3. What is the archetype of a leader who is effective in a world of dramatic change and dynamism? 4. Why is “human potential” such a powerful concept in today’s global environment? 5. What challenges do all modern leaders face? 6. What is the most important trait of today’s leaders? 7. What are “The First Principles of High Performance” 8. How does technology serve leaders and make for more high performing teams? What is singularity?

  1. Nationwide’s Journey to Build a Culture of Innovation and Continuous Learning with Guru Vasudeva, CIO of Nationwide Insurance, aired on 4/18/2017.

As a CIO with Nationwide Insurance, Guru shares his experience changing the culture of IT to accomplish its mission. He discusses what they are doing to build a culture of continuous learning and innovation as they continue to expand the scale of their agile and lean roll-out. Guru shares how the implementation has evolved since it was initiated in 2009. He compares how they began their journey and what they are doing now to continue to expand the scale as well as continue to evolve the leadership behaviors, mindset, and organizational culture. He will discuss specific examples of how they have shifted how leaders behave and think about their work as leaders. Additionally, he explores several specific steps they have taken to expand their culture of learning, including what is taught, who teaches, and how the team self manages their own learning choices.

  1. CIO Perspective – Building Toward the “C” Suite with Angelo Mazzocco, President, and CEO at 3SG Plus, aired on 11/24/2015.

Angelo Mazzocco joins Maureen to talk about his keys to success. He has the rare distinction of being both CEO and CIO, so he has a perspective on leadership from both roles. He is also a true thought leader in our community. He has been a university adjunct faculty and facilitates a large CIO forum and CIO Tomorrow conference. He is the go to guy for many leaders in our community and beyond. He shares his insights and growth path very candidly. He talks about his fears and motivations for growth in a manner executives rarely share.

3. A CIO Story of Leadership: Maria Urani – NetJets with Maria Urani, former CIO of NetJets, aired on 8/14/2018.

Leaders follow many paths to success – in a time of varying role models for exceptional leadership, Maria talks about how she developed over her career. She shares her values, her path to CIO, role models and the art of leadership. Many people develop visions but living them is the art. Maria talks about how she puts her values into action to create a positive workplace, excellent results, and strong successors.

  1. Should IT Executive Share Their “Soft Side?” with David White, CIO at Battelle, aired on 7/17/2018.

As an IT Leader and someone who works in technology, David White talks about why the soft side of what we do is a significant contributor to success. As technology leaders, we need a diverse set of skills, including a heavy dose of soft skills to be highly successful business leaders beyond our technical skills. These skills range from awareness and management or our mood, an ability to be present and focused, and skilled in establishing and managing a positive culture where a broad range of perspectives can be explored and synthesized. This is a new type of management and requires new skills. Battelle is working to ensure their culture and their leaders are prepared with the soft skills and culture to thrive and maintain agility as they lead in integrating new technology into companies and the US government. David also shares his perspective on his career path and the importance of seeking mentoring and being a mentor.

  1. Ron Heifetz on Adaptive Leadership and His Journey with Ron Heifetz, founder of the Center for Public Leadership and is the King Hussein bin Talal Senior Lecturer in Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School, aired on 12/6/2016.

In times of change, people often try to hold onto the values of their culture that have had personal meaning and significance to them. When dominant cultures are confronted with stresses such as immigrants, they are called to examine their values and often required to take on very difficult integrative work. The leadership required must point out values such as we stand for freedom and respect for all people, and our policy does not align with what we say we stand for. How do we make space for this evolution? What are the “gives” and “gets” required to evolve cultures? How can we hold steady to our cultural DNA and still evolve? In nature, when an organism adapts, it builds on its old capacity and generates radically new functionality. Ron suggested that “God didn’t do zero-based budgeting in evolution.” We honor our past and, at the same time, determine what can we release.

Thank you again, to our guests and our listeners!  We hope as we journey together, we can make this world a better place by equipping leaders and co-creating our future.


To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

Susan Harper is the Business Manager at Innovative Leadership Institute and sometimes a travel blogger.

Photo by StockSnap–894430