Dear reader,

Launching the Choosing Leadership Podcast

For the last few months, I have been interviewing leaders and sharing their leadership journeys in a mini-newsletter in the gap week between two regular newsletters. You can also read this mini-issue online.

As of last week, I have also launched a podcast titled “Choosing Leadership with Sumit Gupta” and released 3 interviews. This is a podcast for people who know deep inside that there is more. My invitation to you is to “choose” leadership and to step up as a leader in an area of life that matters to you – be it work, passion, health, impact in society, or something else.

I will be starting (and stopping) multiple series of episodes from time to time. All of them will focus on leadership – but they will look at it from multiple angles and perspectives. I will lovingly and gently provoke you to help you see your own light – to help you see what you are already capable of.

To not miss future episodes, subscribe to the Choosing Leadership podcast on Spotify, Google, or Amazon Music. (coming soon on Apple podcasts as well)

Leadership Journeys

We all have a lot to learn from the stories of our leaders – of how they came to be where they are today. These are stories peers and friends don’t usually know, and my attempt is to give you an opportunity to learn from those who have already tasted success and made an impact.

Find out about the events from their lives that shaped them to be the person and leader they are. In the interview, they also share about the people who have influenced them the most in their leadership.

The First Episodes

Vicky Kennedy – “I learned to be my own advocate and take risks”

Vicky is the Chief Strategy Officer for Intellum, and, in her own words, has been nerdy about education for many years. She started in higher education but later pivoted to working in companies like Facebook and Amazon. She began to see how education can dramatically improve a company’s performance – from internal productivity to customer retention. In 2021 she developed a proprietary tool to unite all educational initiatives in one central map that demonstrates the education’s expected business impact.

Vicky shares how it was rattling for her to be laid off from a job where she had worked for 10 years. What surprised me was that, on top of that, she decided to switch her industry and city when that happened. She packed her bags and move from Florida to New York City to find work in a totally new industry. In the episode, she shares what gave her the courage to make such a massive shift.

Listen to the full interview with Vicky here

Kate Daniels – “I want to live in a world where all companies are B corporations”

Kate Daniels works to merge the worlds of economic growth and human development. She works directly with entities like the World Bank, the European Development Financing Institutions (DFIs), and startups. She leads projects for African and Latin American companies, International Development Organizations and the American Government through USAID. She has studied in 4 continents and brings a global perspective when leading teams and aligning businesses in emerging economies with international investment standards.

Kate opens up about growing up in a very isolated town with a population of only 432, and how that created a hunger to go out and experience the world. She talks about studying in Italy and later Ireland and then working in South Africa and Dubai on international aid programs. She talks about how leaving her country taught her the value of empathy and seeing the different ways people do things in different places.

Listen to the full interview with Kate here

Ramon Llamas – “It is not a zero-sum game”

Ramon Llamas focuses on building ecosystems to address health disparities, which are designed with equity and health as a fundamental starting point. His mission is to change how society views health. He thinks we cannot continue to depend on the providers of health care to fix our problems. He envisions a future where health care is a collaboration to maintain, rather than repair, an individual’s health and wellness.

Ramon shares his journey of coming from an immigrant family, and how losing his grandfather to cancer allowed him to experience and later shape the role of healthcare in society. Today he empowers individuals to take ownership and be more proactive when it comes to health. Treating everybody with dignity is one of his core values, and he is giving dignity back by focusing on public health in underserved populations.

Listen to the full interview with Ramon here

The most-popular Deploy Yourself articles of 2021

7 Empathetic Questions To Ask At Work to Understand And Support Your Colleagues

5 Valuable Life Lessons Struggle and Hardship Teaches You

The Culture Map by Erin Meyer – The Eight Scales Of Culture

Know What Great Managers Do? A List of 8 Expectations From Managers That Employees Have

How our Listening Filters Create our Reality and Limit Us

Creativity, Inc. By Ed Catmull – 8 Leadership Lessons From Pixar

Make decisions thinking 20 years into the future (the 26th Oct newsletter)

How can you contribute?

Each one of us is on a leadership journey. Our journeys might not look alike. They might resemble more of a roller-coaster ride than a race track, and that is what makes each one of us special and unique in our own ways. I am deeply touched when someone takes the time to share their story with me. The leaders I work with are also left inspired when we listen to each other’s leadership journeys.

If you think that your leadership journey is worth sharing and would be valuable to others, reach out and allow me the privilege to interview you. If you would like to recommend someone else who I should interview, feel free to write to me. You can send me a message on LinkedIn or send me an email at

That’s all for this week! I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2022. Until then, keep Choosing Leadership.

See you next week with the regular newsletter.

With gratitude,