Choosing Leadership

with Sumit Gupta

A podcast for people who know deep inside that there is more.

Podcast Booking status: OPEN. Click here to apply!
on Spotifyon Apple

Why Choosing Leadership?

This podcast is called “choosing leadership” – because that is what leadership is – a choice.

The choice to step into the unknown. The choice to see fear as a friend. The choice to take courageous action rather than waiting for readiness. The choice to see how powerful you are.

I choose leadership every time I record this podcast, as I have procrastinated on it for more than a year.

My invitation to you is the same – to “choose” leadership and to step up 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 from time to time. All of them will focus on leadership – but they will look at it from multiple angles and perspectives.

This is what I do most naturally – to lovingly and gently provoke you to help you see your own light – to help you see what you are already capable of.

Show Format – Multiple Series

Leadership Journeys

In this series, I am celebrating leaders for the choices they have made, which are not always easy and comfortable, to get to where they are today. So that all of us can learn from their journey.

Can't Stay Silent

This series is about the courage to speak our truth and live authentically. For most of my life, I have kept my voice hidden beneath layers of fear and insecurity. In this series, I will express myself fully from the heart.

Humble Inquiries

In each episode of Humble Inquiries, we deliberately put ourselves in the uncomfortable space of not knowing the answer and humbly inquiring about these challenges – with the aim to provoke new thoughts, actions, and practices.

Recent Episodes

Leadership Journeys [83] – Gabriel Jarroson – “On Saturday & Sunday I’m gone. There is nothing you can do to reach me.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

We spoke about his interesting story of starting multiple companies in the last 15 years. He shares how he has learned the value of meditation, slowing down, and keeping your balance over the years, and how he maintains boundaries between work and his personal life now. He also shared a dream which keeps coming back to him, and we explored trusting our intuition and what it could mean.

You can find Gabriel at the below links

In the interview, Gabriel shares

  •  I’ve been  an entrepreneur my whole life when I was, 13 started. Learning html, css, creating websites and actually trying to sell them to friends of my parents.
  • No one in my family was an entrepreneur, but, My family had an entrepreneurial spirit. I would say a project spirit, like if you wanna go after something, go do it.
  • I was really passionate about building a business and I really to make it, whatever that means. And for me, when I was really young, 18, 20 was have a business that grows, that exists that, is a real business, not just a hobby. And so the first thing that I did was I was starting a new business every week, every month. That was obviously a mistake I’ve come to realize.
  • It’s actually my first exit that I mentioned, and I realized that wine is a terrible business because white is heavy and so it’s very expensive to ship. Shipping is by weight.  and it’s also very fragile so it breaks, you have to send it again.
  • when you’re investing in a startup, you want to reduce. , everything that can go wrong. There’s this thing that says anything that can go wrong will. And so you wanna reduce all of those potential problems, shipping, but even, production, there’s, raw materials that you gotta have. There’s production in itself, the assembly line. So many little things that can go wrong.
  • If you wanna succeed, you are going to have at some point to work super hard for some periods of time. Maybe when you’re when you’ve made it, you can relax
  • I’ve learned that the importance of self-care, if you wanna work hard and be able to keep doing this in a long time, you gotta, take care of yourself, not do it not burning out and meditate
  • the only way to be sure to fail is to, forfeit and abandon. But if you keep going, at some point, something is gonna happen.
  •  learned the value of your, reputation, your kindness, being nice to others. That’s something that I, completely didn’t care about at the beginning. 
  • On the side, helping coaching entrepreneurs, helping them grow, develop their business and also I’m, helping the companies that I invest in grow.

Leadership Journeys [82] – Philippe Birker – “The real skill of a leader is to acknowledge their own flaws and mistakes.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the conversation, Philippe shares his journey – which started in the German countryside, then led him to start a nightclub, and later became a social entrepreneur and co-founder of multiple organisations. We spoke about culture, what it means to genuinely take care of your people, and how to keep balance while doing all of that.

You can find Philippe at the below links

In the interview, Philippe shares

  • How as a child they didn’t have much money and started earning at the age of 14 years then my exchange semester in 2010 at a university in South Africa.
  • I’m very extroverted, I have a lot of energy but I don’t fit very well into existing structures
  • Got very deep into impact entrepreneurship and nightlife in my twenties. 
  • I had a nightclub in Amsterdam for three years and I worked in different impact entrepreneurship. 
  • I always wanted to go back to the countryside and have a bit more nature around me this got me back into agriculture.  and then into the amazing potential of regenerative agriculture to essentially reverse climate change
  • He and some of his friends bought an older abandoned village in Portugal and the idea was to basically rebuild the village as a community.
  • I was introduced to social entrepreneurship, and since then, I basically kind of shifted my personal mindset and goal from basically earning money while having fun, to actually having a positive impact.
  • I started a foundation with two of my best friends called the Love Foundation where we basically organize parties to fundraise money for water projects. 
  •  Climate change is the biggest threat that we have at the moment to our planet and to our own human well-being as well.
  • one of the core issues that we are having in our society is the fact that we are very disconnected from nature. Human beings have the tendency nowadays to see themselves outside of nature. 
  • I look at what are the things that I’m good at and that I enjoy. What are the things that I’m not good at, but I really want to get better at, and I enjoy them, and what are the things that I’m not good at, and I don’t enjoy. and one of the things that I’m good at, but I don’t enjoy them and I try to do not much of the end of the parts, which I’m not enjoying.

Leadership Journeys [81] – Leslie Kivit – “We need to restore trust in companies”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Leslie shares how travelling to China opened up his perspective and helped him become an entrepreneur. He also shares his vision of trust and transparency that he sees in the world of HR in organisations. We also explore how every leadership journey is also a personal journey, he shares how he has grown and evolved over the years.

You can find Leslie at the below links

In the interview, Leslie shares

  • That he has been working in the HR space for about 15 years where he mostly worked within startups and also into scale up.
  • He describes himself as a leader who has strong hands-on experience.
  • I studied and worked at the same time which was very beneficial for my own development.
  • I started to work for booking.com and I think this was personally the first company where I truly experienced, professionalism in a way and hyper-growth and the use of data to make really good decisions.
  • I had the support also of my parents and that was great. But I also realized this kind of pushed me to go out of my comfort zone so I decided to do an internship in Shanghai China because I felt that I needed to do something that was not very obvious.
  • I think we can Restore trust to become more transparent, to become more clear and to overcommunicate on the expected impact, right before we actually start a work. 
  • It’s becoming more and more important that employees would also like to have a stronger say to have more access in the organizations that they work for so they would like to influence a certain process.

Leadership Journeys [80] – Caleb Avery – “When I’m getting anxious and overwhelmed, it is because I am spending too much time on things that I have no ability to change.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the conversation, Caleb shares how his entrepreneurial journey started at college going door to door when he was only 19 years of age. We spoke about how the role of a founder or leader changes as their company grows to more than 50 people. He shared the challenges that presents as you have to learn to let go and trust others, and how invests in his own learning in this process.

Caleb discusses the challenges he faced while going door to door and trying to sell their payment processing services to small business owners. He shares how this experience helped them to handle rejection and empathize with people. He also talks about the importance of leading by example and how a founder-led sales approach is crucial in the early stages of a business.

Caleb emphasizes the importance of pushing oneself out of the comfort zone and doing things that they may not be incredible at, to help the organization grow. Finally, we discuss the importance of feedback and being open to suggestions from investors, the board, and the team. Overall, the conversation is an inspiring and educational look into the journey of an entrepreneur and the challenges they face along the way.

You can find Caleb at the below links

In the interview, Caleb shares

  • my entrepreneurial journey at 19 by co-founding , uh, credit card processing business when I was in college. And started my career going door to door, selling payment processing services to small business owners over time, scaled up that business.
  • a buddy of mine at the time, uh, we were talking about this idea of credit card processing and ni neither of us really knew anything about credit card processing at that particular time.
  • I learned, in that experience was really, the, this idea of rejection and how to handle, the rejection, not take it personally, how to overcome those objections and really. Taught me a lot about, how to sell, how to empathize, with the people you know that you’re working with.
  •  it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the things that, you’re good at you enjoy, and you could basically do on autopilot. Like that’s the kind of comfort zone, for an entrepreneur. And oftentimes like, that’s where you decide to go start a business.
  •  it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the things that, you’re good at you enjoy, and you could basically do on autopilot. Like that’s the kind of comfort zone, for an entrepreneur. And oftentimes like, that’s where you decide to go start a business.
  • for the organization to grow and for you to evolve, into that c e o role, you have to push yourself out of that comfort zone and say, Hey, here’s something that I need to go do.
  • I’m an entrepreneur, at heart that’s what my business needs and you have to have leaders in the right roles within the organization that have that desire and intense focus.
  • leader myself, empower them to have the ability to institute, follow and maintain those processes without me, getting in the way.

Leadership Journeys [79] – Shay David- “In our life as entrepreneurs, we are always high on life.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Shay reveals both the very practical data-driven as well as grounded spiritual part of himself, and how he balances both in his day-to-day. We spoke about his vision for the future, how he deals with often debated topics like AI and unemployment, and how entrepreneurship is different now than when he started his first company.

You can find Shay at the below links

In the interview, Shay shares

  • That he has been working in the HR space for about 15 years where he mostly worked within startups and also into scale up.
  • He describes himself as a leader who has strong hands-on experience.
  • I studied and worked at the same time which was very beneficial for my own development.
  • I started to work for booking.com and I think this was personally the first company where I truly experienced, professionalism in a way and hyper growth and the use of data to make really good decisions.
  • I had the support also of my parents and that was great. But I also realized this kind of pushed me to go out of my comfort zone so I decided to do an internship in Shanghai China because I felt that I needed to do something that was not very obvious.
  • I think we can Restore trust to become more transparent, to become more clear and to overcommunicate on the expected impact, right before we actually start a work. 
  • It’s becoming more and more important that employees would also like to have a stronger say to have more access in the organizations that they work for so they would like to influence a certain process.

Leadership Journeys [78] – Manish Godha – “There is no right or wrong way to be a leader/entrepreneur.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Manish shared the secrets behind his calm and balanced answers to my questions. We also talk about why there is no one right or wrong way to be a leader and an entrepreneur and unpack some of the unconventional choices he has made. He also shared his vision for the future as he looks to take his organization to the next level of growth.

He also shares his thoughts on entrepreneurship and how to deal with setbacks. He emphasizes the importance of having a growth mindset and building expertise to provide the best value to clients. Additionally, he talks about his interests outside of work, including reading about fundamental sciences and building audio equipment. Overall, the conversation provides insight into entrepreneurship, renewable energy, and personal interests.

You can find Manish at the below links

In the interview, Manish shares

  • My father has a background in engineering, power production, and power generation, so I became interested in those fields and got an opportunity to work on solar power.
  • As a chartered accountant, you definitely gain exposure to how enterprises use technology, especially in their business processes and overall enterprise resource planning.
  • You have to choose a few things that are fixed and non-negotiable, and other things will then fall into place around those choices.
  • Most entrepreneurs, especially traditional ones of my generation or the one before, tend to have this tendency.
  • One of the challenges is how to continue building, growing, and refreshing your expertise in your business.
  • We have to have the right set of people who share a growth mindset and are willing to build expertise in themselves and provide the benefit of that expertise to others.
  • Things have a way of taking care of themselves, and we just have to ensure that we learn the right things and continue to persist
  • I love reading a lot of things of a fundamental nature, like aspects of physics and the laws of basic sciences. They have quite a calming effect.

Leadership Journeys [77] – Sooraj Jayaraman – “A leader is a normal person who has the ability to find Superman in his team.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Sooraj shared his creative side as he also has a popular youtube channel where he makes web series and short films in the Malayalam Language. We also spoke about his transition from technology to sales, and how creativity is very important in sales as well as leadership.

You can find Sooraj at the below links

In the interview, Sooraj shares

  • when an opportunity comes to you, if you are hesitant to, uh, even attempt that you never know that’s what you are missing. 
  • I always enjoy solving problems instead of just doing for one company or one organization.
  • So we are, our YouTube channel is called we are a Sambhavan which stands for Awesome. So the motto is like, we are awesome. It’s not only us, but everybody in this world is, awesome. , that’s the kind of message you want to put across.
  • I used to write blogs a lot, so when blogs were popular long back when I was in Toronto so we. Same thing. I take this experience, uh, of my life and put that in a very,  comical way.
  • everything I have done in that video production is self-taught. YouTube is my group till now. So I go and uh, view stuff, you know, how to edit a video and how to shoot a video about lenses to use.
  • creativity and playfulness play in your journey as a leader, obviously like that in the communication conversations this skill, uh, really gives an advantage over, anything else. It becomes an icebreaker. 
  • creative person, which certainly creates curiosity on the other person.  in the business aspect, it helps in conversations. A beautiful conversation sometimes, and suddenly you hit with another person who says, I always wanted to be an actor.
  • every leader should be creative. If not, you want, because every, the problems you face on a day-to-day basis, you need creative solutions.
  • if you want your people to listen to you, you must first listen to your people then. You get into their life, you understand what they’re feeling, you know, their difficulties, their happiness.

Leadership Journeys [76] – Manoj Dhanotiya – “I have nothing to loose and whatever I have is enough”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the conversation, Manoj shares how growing up in a small town and then living in the United States shaped him as a person. He shares that his next level of success is not about him but something much larger than himself, and how he runs away from negativity and only chooses to focus on opportunities and growth. He shares that his confidence comes from the fact that he started from nothing and he has nothing to lose.

You can find Manoj at the below links

In the interview, Manoj shares

  • Pressure is simple. If you create hurdles which are unachievable, basically, then you have pressure. You know, if you know your limits and you try to build around it. I don’t think there is any pressure. 
  • Change is not pressure. Change is okay. Change will happen. Change has to happen.
  • For a first generation entrepreneur, there are no choices, you are molded by direction You. It is always just the direction you want to grow towards and Are you content with what you are.
  • When you attain certain level of maturity, it’s not like we are like very successful, but our mindsets have changed. Now we are content in terms of what we are doing, not in terms of what we are, but content, what we’re doing. 
  • It’s not about me anymore, it’s more about making a contribution, helping people lead better lives or do better in their business.
  • I will not deny that I am not working for money. Money comes automatically with it, it is just part of the process. The more known you are, the more your product is doing, better automated that comes in.
  • I’ve realized that you cannot do everything alone. You need to have team and finding the best person across the world, challenge is global then is something you have to figure it out if you can build a great.
  • You have to make it easy for others to work with you. That is my landing. Otherwise, we used especially in India when I came back here, use the different culture. 
  • If you make it easier for people to work with you, and if you create a opportunities to grow, that is the only way you can avoid electrication is the only way you can avoid bonds and people will work with you.
  • Being positive is something I totally believe in, it’s simple. If somebody’s not positive, he may have his own reasons. I am always positive no matter what.

Leadership Journeys [75] – Ben Demiri – “When people are self-actualized, they are confident and contribute more to business”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the heart-felt, Ben shares his vision for a better world, and included a call for all leaders to embrace their humanity. We talk about learning and integrating the feminine side of humanity, and how he sees exchange and making changes in small increments as the way to create tectonic shifts in the way leaders and companies operate today.

You can find Ben at the below links

In the interview, Ben shares

  • The most defining moment I would say is when I was asked to step into a C E O role, which was through a mentor of mine.
  • It starts with a gradual degree of holding responsibility and really, taking it closely when it comes to both the execution, and also the nurturing element, making sure that things really fall under your care.
  • Gradual ascend in leadership positions has really created a much necessary awareness that things are complex.
  • It is very easy to say I care about this or I care about people, but it’s very difficult to take care, especially when in the heat of everything. So you’re have to have balance. 
  • we need to recognize the reality that sometimes there’s simply very little choices depending on where you are and the environments, the microeconomics. So you’ve got to sometimes do what you’ve got to do, but I always think there is a degree in that decision making. 

Leadership Journeys [74] – Sunny Ray – “Money reminds me of asthma, when you don’t have it, it’s like the world is ending”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In this open and honest conversation, he shares how living in Canada but having Indian roots has shaped his personality. We also discussed the role money play in our economic and psychological worlds, and how he sees Bitcoin as the future. Sunny also shared the difficult challenge they faced in 2018 and how they challenged and won against the Indian government in the Supreme Court of India.

You can find Sunny at the below links

In the interview, Sunny shares

  • Combination of curiosity and money coupled with my engineering degree gave me the ability to  read the white paper, not be and start tinkering and playing and learning and this led to my obsession with Bitcoin. 
  • India everyone loves cricket and in Canada everybody’s loves football. I didn’t want to around people who only talk about sports, so I started India’s first Bitcoin meetups which eventually grew to even larger ones.  
  • When growing up in Canada, I realized that kids took a lot of this for granted where else in Kolkata life was tough. It was a struggle to even have one meal a day. It really helps shape your view because you start to realize that the world is not like.
  • Our goal is really to let people know that, once they get into Bitcoin they can have flexibility and they have options  if they need to buy something from Amazon or acquire a gift card.
  • I highly believe in connecting with people and talking to them and not just sitting behind a computer and programming and hoping that, you’ll hit the mark.

Leadership Journeys [73] – Barnaby Dorfman – “It is really important to connect with people as people”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Barnaby shared his early fascination with technology, the challenges of leading a distributed and remote team, and what he has learned by leading across cultures and geographies. We also talk about the importance of quarterly planning, agile, and his plans to travel as he enjoys his sabbatical with his family.

You can find Barnaby at the below links

In the interview, Barnaby shares

  • How his father’s filmmaking helped him in early adoption of technology which led him to writing codes as a kid. 
  • That the role of a CTO, is really about working with people and helping them in innovation and development.
  • Great leaders are able to really observe and have empathy and understand what other people are going through, what motivates people to do and achieve things. 
  • That helping people with curiosity and also helping them get past their fears and all the reasons why you can’t. 
  • How it is important to connect with people as people so that you are able to communicate you goals to them.
  • It is important that you have structure, humans are creatures of habit and if you don’t create structure, people will create their own structure and those structures won’t be aligned. 
  • I left my last role and just decided that it was time for something new and take some time off. 

Leadership Journeys [72] – Gaurav Sabharwal – “You can’t do business in isolation, no matter how intelligent you think you are.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Gaurav shared how entrepreneurship is in his roots, and that has always meant he is comfortable taking risks. We also spoke about the importance of OKRs, the role of intuition in his decision making, and the importance of being present and keeping the balance between work and family.

You can find Gaurav at the below links

In the interview, Gaurav shares

  • I decided to help my father expand his business in the US rather than spending ours doing jobs during school break. 
  • Growing up I always saw my family talking about business on dinner table and that had a huge impact on me, how I looked at life and at business. 
  • Our biggest challenge as a company would be trying to emerge as a mature player in this space that we are creating.
  • As an entrepreneur, sometimes you get so absorbed with the passion of your business that you tend to ignore or miss on things which are beautiful and which will not come back in your life again.

Leadership Journeys [71] – Shakun Sethi – “You need to be you because if you’re not being you, how will you make things work?”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In this open and honest conversation, Shakun her personal story of living in the Netherlands and how that led her to start a company in an otherwise taboo industry. We also spoke about what gives her the confidence and grounding to lead her team, as well as the importance of slowing down and establishing clear boundaries.

You can find Shakun at the below links

In the interview, Shakun shares

  • One of the problem I had when I was starting my company was that it was difficult for me to go into an sex store and look around while asking questions.
  • I lost a lot of friends when I started my company because I come from a culture where talking about sex openly is a taboo
  • Demand is completely, nullified. Everybody has a demand, everybody wants it.
  • Due to the nature of my company, we started facing problems like banks would not allow us to have a bank account, PayPal and Stripe flagged us too.
  • Starting a company in an otherwise taboo industry led to the realization that this is not something bad or wrong, and then internally you feel okay, you feel more confident, you feel more open while otherwise.
  • After my 12 or 13 hours shift when I lie down in the bed, I have a smile on my face. I know that, we are onto something big and what we are building is like we are in a position to make it.

Leadership Journeys [70] – Jay Goldman – “The annual performance review is really a terrible practice that came out of a very different era.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, we talk about the importance of continuously learning and growing over time, and the challenges as you move from an IC to being a manager, and then a manager of managers. He shares the importance of EQ as well as IQ, the importance of self-awareness, and how he has learned to do performance management and feedback conversations very differently from most companies.

You can find Jay at the below links

In the interview, Jay shares

  • Different people have different motivations that drive them forward. For me, learning is one of those. So I always look for opportunities to be learning and growing,
  • Sometimes those challenges feel insurmountable in the moment, but when you look back, you can see. The amount of growth and development that’s happened in them
  • those inflexion points teach you a lot about how to think about your own time, how to think about the leverage effect of your time
  • The most humbling moments are the moments where I’ve. Let go of something and my team has done a much better job than I would’ve done with it.
  • The feedback that is gonna drive real performance is given as close to the incident where the feedback was generated as possible. So you can course correct as early as possible.
  • We are always smaller than we will be in the future, and so as a leader, that means that I will always have a larger and larger team to lead

Leadership Journeys [69] – Jose Graca – “With a very good team, you can make the impossible happen”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Jose shared how coming from a family of immigrants meant that he had to be better than anybody else to be able to reach anywhere. We spoke about his views on computers, entrepreneurship, always being secure about himself, and how with a very good team, you can make the impossible happen. He shares the importance of a good night’s sleep and taking care of our bodies.

You can find Jose at the below links

In the interview, Jose shares

  • It’s never easy to be an immigrant, depending on the country where you are. But I always felt that I had to be better than anybody else because if I would not be, right? As an immigrant, you would not be able to reach anything. So there was a very big push for you to overperform always. And this definitely influenced my life later on.
  • I think entrepreneurs in general are also very creative people. they are solution providers, right? They are always thinking about something new, an idea, or solving a problem, right? So it’s a combination of an X amount of things. Uh, and definitely that was my case as well.
  • when you work for money, right, money is the most important thing. But when you work with a mission and with pleasure, money is something that comes in second place. 
  • when you were younger, you. Are a little bit more stressed, I think this is the right word. You are a little bit more anxious to get things done right. When you get older, you become a calmer, uh, it’s, I think it’s a maturity process and you become because you are, you have more experience, you become more wiser in the decision that you make and how you handle it.
  • All my staff members are also stakeholders in the company, so I don’t have people in the company that HA are not a shareholder today. And this makes a huge difference because they know that whatever they’re building okay.
  • I would say that in every business, the most important thing in a business is your team. Without a proper team, you can not make miracles. But with a good, very good team, you can make the impossible. Okay. Even if your business is not so good.
  • every leader can make mistakes that make, that’s what makes us human
  • So your co-founders, I like to talk, say, talk about co-founders. Your co-founders are a very important piece of the whole puzzle. Even if a few things, uh, don’t go as planned, your co-founder is, right there to support you and help you to get out faster. 
  • you cannot do it alone.  You need to have people around you. So start building that team around you, as fast as possible. But you are also not the only knowledgeable person in the world, and I can tell you upfront that you definitely are not they’re always smart at people than ourselves.

Leadership Journeys [68] -Timothy Golden – “Learn the job of the human above me and teach my job to the human below me”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Tim shares how programming came very naturally to him but the transition from programming to leadership and management meant he needed to learn to compromise and not always being right and what it means to effectively communicate.  He also shares the importance of discipline and camaraderie which he learned from the military. He also shares the lesson of learning the job of the human above me and teaching my job to the human below me.

You can find Tim at the below links

In the interview, Tim shares

  • When dealing with humans cuz you can’t program them like you can program computers. Um, I really needed to learn some effective communication techniques.
  •  I needed to learn compromise not always being right . In fact, one of the hardest lessons I had to learn was that, you know, there are way, there are people way smarter than me in some of these disciplines and I used that as a way for me to grow.
  • I have a core group of people that speak the truth and love to me and tell me where, you know, where I’m doing wrong, where I could improve, and I take their advice to heart and I try to make those changes along the way
  • learn from others, but give back twice as much as you can. 
  • Being able to get that discipline, being able to get that sense of camaraderie, that sense. of Family, uh, which is kinda lacking nowadays in our world, We’re so disjointed
  • one of the probably single most important thing that I learned was learn the job of the human above me and teach my job to the human below me.
  • one of the things I picked up on was initiative, right? Taking the initiative on oneself to not only better yourself, but better the person next to you,

Leadership Journeys [67] – Deepali Singh – “If a woman can give birth to a baby, then what else could be more challenging?”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, Deepali shares about being a risk taker and putting her heart and soul into everything she has done. We also spoke about the challenges of being a female leader, and how to deal with stereotypes and gender biases at work. We also reflected on the time when we worked together, the positive influence she has had on me, and how leadership is about continuously evolving and growth.

You can find Deepali at the below links

In the interview, Deepali shares

  • being a woman, you have to always stand up for yourself.
  • whenever I have had given interviews in the past, uh, I was always asked, what will you do? Will you continue to work after marriage? What will you do when you have kids? Will you continue to work? What’s going to happen to your career? Right or wrong, these kind of questions are never, ever going to be ever asked from a guy.
  •  key is awareness. Standing up, asking for it, and if you, uh, you don’t know what to do, find a mentor, find a champion for your cause, but then you have to Be vocal about what you feel should be done with you and how exactly do you want your career or whatever it is.
  •  you are categorized as somebody who always is a troublemaker because you’ll always stand up and always ask for something which is rightfully should be rightfully done to you
  • God has given this privilege to women to be able to bear kids right now. Organizations, I’ll not say organizations, but I’ve seen situations where, roles are withdrawn from women, but just because, you know, they, they’ve taken a break or they’re expecting, I mean, for God’s sake, they’re just delivering a baby. They haven’t becoming a, they haven’t become brain dead, right.  
  • And the reasons they will give you that. Oh no. We want you to, uh, be relaxed, calm. We don’t want to give a stressful job. And you know that when once you are coming, when you come back after that break, you are never ever going to be given those prestigious projects or the job or the assignment that was yours earlier.
  • So you have to flag it, you have to take it to the concerned authorities and say that, see this. 
  • you have to spend a lot of time with yourself and try and ask questions from yourself that what exactly do you want?
  • why I am doing this is also is a very difficult question to answer, and, um, because it’s difficult, you don’t want to answer it, you kind of always keep on running about it.

Leadership Journeys [66] – Nick McQuire – “Learn it all as opposed to know it all”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the heartfelt conversation, Nick shares about his unusual background and how that gives him an advantage. We talk about how he maintains a harmony between work, family, and health – while living in London and leading his team based on the west coast of the US. Listen to this one for some practical tactics on how to structure your day and when and where to draw boundaries.

You can find Nick at the below links

In the interview, Nick shares

  • my route through to where I’m at, uh, at the moment,  has certainly been a kind of a meandering path through a number of different opportunities and challenges
  • mindfulness works for me is as long as I’ve got that structure and it’s communicated well with the team that and everyone understands and we’ve got a mutual respect for that, it works.
  • if you can have those transparent discussions and there’s flex on either side. I think it ultimately, that’s the place you want to get to and that transparency and respectful approach to your colleagues, I think is so important.
  • the big changes that happened in my life and career as a result of setbacks ultimately turned to be really good things.
  • The temptation and the visceral reaction is quite natural, is to be downbeat and to be a little bit oh my goodness, you know, what’s happening, type of, uh, reactions. 
  • But I think in the long run, kind of hold onto the point that actually these tend to be really positive events, cuz you’ll be able to, it’ll take you onto, you’ll either trampoline into another area.

Leadership Journeys [65] – Gerbert Vandenberghe – “The bigger the company grows, the less I am involved.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

Gerbert is the COO & co-founder of Venly.io based in Belgium. In the interview, we spoke about the importance of culture when working remotely. Gerbert shares the lessons they learnt when they went fully remote and the practical things they do to listen, share, and strengthen human relationships, even when they have employees from 15 different countries. We also talk the most difficult time for them when they had almost ran out of money, and how they persevered and come out on the other side of the struggle.

You can find Gerbert at the below links

In the interview, Gerbert shares

  • So we ran out of money while still building a company. We worked like nine months without any salary.
  • it was quite painful because after working two years together with these people, we were very close to them. We were fond of them. We went together on skiing trips. Um, so yeah, that was quite painful 
  • if you believe in your vision and you have some proof of the market that, that your product fits the market, I think you just have to keep going and pushing and not give up because of some setback
  •  I used to be involved in every aspect of the business. Um, I used to be much closer to technology and to product while I’m not really involved on that anymore. So the bigger the company grows, they’re less involved in every, um, department in nitty gritty detail.
  • my goal is to make me myself obsolete in the company,
  • I make sure I have enough sleep, so I’m well rested and I love to go to the golf club and hit some balls.

Leadership Journeys [64] – Eva Poppe – “When you get out of your comfort zone, you learn so much about yourself.”

This is the Leadership Journey series on the Choosing Leadership Podcast.

I believe we all have a lot to learn from each other’s stories – of where we started, where we are now, and our successes and struggles on the way. With this series of interviews, my attempt is to give leaders an opportunity to share their stories and for all of us to learn from their generous sharing. If you know a leader whom you would like to see celebrated on the show, please send me a message on LinkedIn with their name.

In the interview, we talk about learning from different cultures, how people’s expectations from leaders have changed in the last few years, and how you can be both loving and empathetic towards your people while at the same time holding each other accountable for our responsibilities as a team/company.

You can find Eva at the below links

In the interview, Eva shares

  • experiences in a different country make you humble. 
  • You learn so much about yourself as much as you learn about other cultures.
  • people are expecting different things from leaders
  • it’s crucially important that you can have a joke from time to time. 
  • the good thing is that I’m a very positive person
  •  I’ve been working in the tech industry for more than a decade now, and I’ve figured already that in the tech industry, there are not as many females.
  • Getting out of your comfort zone, you learn so much about yourself, about others, about empathy. It makes you humble. Um, which I think is very important because You’re no better than others.
  • I think it is very important if you talk to people from, like other views who give you like an outside view on where you’re at because you’re in your own zone a lot of times you can, um, then not see left or right.
  • So if someone is coming in and kind of puts a little bit into the right in into the right context. It helps tremendously.