Alidor Gaspar – known by his stage name A Star – has overcome a lot in his life.
Growing up in the east end of London, in a community surrounded by gang violence, poverty, and crime, it may have seemed to some like Ali’s path was set for him. As he explains to us, gang violence is a cycle – an endless circle of young teens being pulled into gangs, seeing their friends get hurt and even die to protect what they feel is their identity, doing what they can to fight for the block they grew up on. A mindset passed from generation to generation. Some people make it out, many don’t – but what does it take for a person to re-write their path? To change the story people expect them to read from?
Through his passion for grime music, and the chance to express himself through music, Ali created a better life for himself and for others. Sharing his experiences with sickle cell anaemia is a big focus – recent statistics show that only 1% of black people in the UK donate blood. For someone like Ali who needs regular blood transfusions due to his illness, having blood available is life or death. Ethnicity plays a big role in precisely matching blood to patients – ‘Ro’ is a blood sub-type more common in people of African/Caribbean descent, and the need for it in transfusions has increased by 75% since 2014. However, only around 2 per cent of donors have this rare sub-type.
This is an eye opening and inspirational episode, which we know you will learn a lot from.
Today’s ground-breaking episode involves an extremely important, yet often overlooked aspect of intimate partner violence – economic abuse. Dr Nicola Sharp-Jeffs is the founder and CEO of charity Surviving Economic Abuse, and we are honoured to have her on the show to talk about her incredible – and vital – work.
Domestic abuse can take many forms. Some aspects of this are well-known and recognised, such as physical violence and verbal abuse. However, a very damaging form of domestic abuse is economic abuse, where an abuser restricts how their partner acquires, uses, and maintains money and economic resources. They may prevent their partner from being in education or employment, take their pay, control their bank accounts, control how and when money is spent, or build up debt in their partner’s name.
Economic abuse is almost always carried out by a male abuser against a female victim. Economic abuse can reinforce or create economic instability. In this way, it limits women’s choices and ability to access safety. Lack of access to economic resources can result in women staying with an abusive partner for longer than they would like and experiencing more harm as a result.
The impact of economic abuse makes rebuilding lives challenging. Many women leave with nothing – having no money even for essentials – and have to start again from scratch.
In this episode, Dr Nicola talks to us about why she started Surviving Economic Abuse, the work the charity does, and the impact they have on the lives of survivors.
The importance of this episode cannot be overstated.
If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this episode, please know that support is available to you. Resources, including organisations that can support you, can be found at https://survivingeconomicabuse.org/resources/.
For many people, the new year bring new ideas. New beginnings. A new chance to think of what you want for your future.
In this episode from October 2018, we sat down with serial entrepreneur Barry Beck. Barry, the co-founder Bluemercury Inc., started his first business at as a child, shovelling snow in his Philadelphia neighbourhood. His entrepreneurial spirit was encouraged by his father, who told him that he could be “anything, as long as he owns it”.
Before starting Bluemercury with his wife Marla, Barry already had three successful business ventures under his belt. 20 years on, Bluemercury is credited with putting a dent in the cosmetic universe and disrupting mainstream retail! Macy’s has since acquired the company, and lends its resources to the innovative retailer.
Barry credits his personal board of directors for challenging him to strive for ‘more’. He explains that he always had a drive to succeed and thinks his leadership and entrepreneurial qualities are a mix of both nature and nurture. During this episode of the Roots of Leadership, Barry discusses the most important characteristics of a leader, when the best business decisions are made, and also shares some advice he received from Bill Gates before starting Bluemercury.
As a professor of literature and film, Dr. Marni Gauthier took a facilitative approach to learning. She met her students where they were, understood what they brought to the table, and knew where they needed
As a professor of literature and film, Dr. Marni Gauthier took a facilitative approach to learning. She met her students where they were, understood what they brought to the table, and knew where they needed to go. Marni aligned her students’ needs with the goals of the curriculum and university in order to facilitate them on their journey. Her goal as a professor and now as a leadership coach are one in the same: to empower others and set them up for success.
Marni founded Four Site Leadership in 2012. Since then she has developed a set of programs that create a holistic approach to leadership development. Marni defines Holistic Leadership as inner growth for outer impact. She teaches a holistic approach to life and work by connecting individuals to their unique purpose. She works with her clients to help them find why they are here in the world and what they are here to do. Marni has found a systems approach to the self as well as those we are leading make good leaders great.
One-on-one coaching allows Marni to have a special connection with each client. The unique difference from group training is innate in that we as humans are wired for relationships. Witnessing and facilitating clients identify and break through patterns which had limited them previously gives Marni energy to keep doing what she loves. Her leadership retreats are also spectacular and focus on specific topics. The first job of a leader is to get a clear understanding of what the current state of the company is and then establish the desired future state. Exercises at the retreats are both individual and collaborative and include reflection time and visualizations. After tapping into the current reality and future vision, strategy and action can come into play. Every time Marni is able to observe a leader close the gap between current and future state she honored and filled with joy.
Marni is currently working on a new book which explores the crisis of leadership and inter-gender relationships in the workplace. Examples of topics included in this project include: changing your mind about what constitutes male and female qualities. and the idea that the loudest voice in the room no longer wins; instead it is the best listener and collaborator who wins.
To find out more about Marni, her thoughts on leadership, information about her retreats, and more visit: foursiteleadership.com.
At 9 years old, Lindsay Jurist-Rosner became a caregiver for her mother when she was diagnosed with primary progressive multiple sclerosis. While caring for her mother for over 25 years, Lindsay became obsessed with the topic. 66 million Americans take care of aging, chronically ill, or disabled loved ones, and Lindsay created a company to help take the pressure off of them. Lindsay is the CEO for Wellthy, a mission driven organization, which provides support and expertise for caregivers and their loved ones.
While building Wellthy from the ground up, Lindsay realized sales skills were vital to the company’s success. Her best advice for entrepreneurs is to make sure they know how to sell and pitch ideas, concepts, and products. Although sales can have a negative connotation, leaders are constantly selling. Whether Lindsay is selling the concept of Wellthy to potential investors, selling products to potential customers, or selling the mission of the company to potential team members, Lindsay incorporates her passion into sales. Lindsay also encourages listeners to empathize with their audiences and think about what they are looking for and how to meet their needs.
From one caregiver to another, Lindsay shares advice for those who tend to put the weight of the world on their shoulders. It is important to put your own needs first. Do not feel like you are being selfish. Even Lindsay had to have the hard conversation with her mom about moving out of the house. Lindsay explained how her decision to move out helped her to regain the mother/daughter relationship, instead of only serving as her mom’s aide. Women tend to take on the role of caregiver, and it is important for their families to also remember to step in and help take some pressure off of them. Lindsay hopes to instill the idea of delegating tasks in order to share responsibilities with others and not carry the burden of caregiver alone.
Using the mission of the company as their driving factor, Wellthy has a built in culture and their workforce is truly one big family. Many of Wellthy’s founding team members never worked in health care, including Lindsay, but they all have a personal connection to the mission. In forming the company, they used their passion for the topic to help them research and develop a way to create a better healthcare experience. Wellthy was founded on a completely different approach from the standard health care system and was launched direct to consumer, with the position of being a family first service. Now, Wellthy services are also offered as an employee benefit to help organizations address the caregiving crisis, which has previously been widely ignored. Being a tech powered company, Wellthy is able to deliver consistent service across the country. Every day, Wellthy team members are excited to set out to develop an experience for families to provide what the family may need.
To learn more about Wellthy’s mission, products, and services, visit their website: www.wellthy.com.
In his current role with Aetna, Dr. Daniel Knecht leads the team who creates and executes programs which impact the unmet health needs for their members. They work with internal stakeholders and external partners to implement strategies. Currently, the opioid epidemic is at the forefront of the issues Dr. Knecht and his team are trying to help their members tackle.
The opioid epidemic is the biggest health crisis to impact American society. Although it started in the late 1990’s when there was inappropriate marketing of opioids to patients dealing with chronic pain, our society and species has been struggling with opioids for much longer. Hypocrisy, the father of medicine, warned against the duel nature of opioids. In the US, veterans struggled with opioids after the civil war. Research and data have proven opioids are not effective for treating chronic pain. There are many other alternative treatments for chronic pain other than opioids, and Dr. Knecht and his colleagues are helping to bring awareness to these additional pain management options. Dr. Knecht explains how pain started to be looked at as a vital sign, but it is important to understand it is not realistic for human beings to be pain free. The opioid epidemic has been an issue for more than a century, but the unprecedented crisis is currently worse than it has ever been.
All walks of life are effected by opioid use disorder. Dr. Knecht believes as a society we need to start treating this problem as a medical condition, and less as a mental health issue or moral shortcoming. Those who know someone struggling with opioid use disorder may not fully understand the condition or treatment. Education for families, friends and even medical professionals will be key in helping to turn this epidemic around. Over the past two years, Dr. Knecht and his team were able to travel to the areas hardest hit by the epidemic. He will continue to work with local medical professionals to train and educate them on opioid use disorder. Aetna has also implemented the Guardian Angel Program. The program utilized trained medical professionals to call Aetna members who had overdosed to discuss what had happened and how they could help. They were able to connect with, educate, and even book appointments for many members who had suffered from an overdose and were able to aid them in their recovery. Dr. Knecht is excited and hopeful these programs and others will help to increase awareness of opioids and the treatments available.
Listen for more on this epidemic including Aetna’s comprehensive approach to addressing the opioid crisis, how Dr. Knecht believes leaders in organizations can aide colleagues who may be struggling with opioid use disorder, informative understanding of opioid use disorder treatments, and more on the different treatments available to help with chronic pain.
Two industry leaders go one on one to discuss leadership, company culture and the changes in healthcare. Anthony and Paul Marden, the CEO of UnitedHealthcare, New Jersey, give insight for young leaders and entrepreneurs that are imperative for success.
In his first question to Paul, Anthony inquiries about Paul’s earliest leadership memories. Paul recalls his early years in sports and how it took the group to come together to lock in on one goal. He remembers how being named captain meant that his teammates were always watching him and he knew he had to work hard and to do the right thing by being in the right place in the right time. In sports, he found that practice was paramount and understood what it meant to be relied upon as a leader.
From his first experiences of leadership, to now being a leader in a large corporation, Paul uses the same principles to guide his colleagues. Through one of the worst work life experiences, he was relied upon to help turn his organization around. Because he had been working hard and doing the right thing, management knew they could put their faith in him to be a part of the team to rebuild the fallen company.
Now that he spearheads the company’s efforts, he also takes a very active approach on helping to shape the culture. UnitedHealthcare’s tagline is “helping people live healthier lives” and that is what Paul strives to do every day in his work. It is engrained in the company’s culture and his goal is to continue to help improve healthcare by making it more affordable and less complicated. During “unfreezing sessions” managers are called upon to immerse themselves in the company’s culture, which includes learning and living by their values of integrity, compassion, relationships, innovations, and performance. Anthony asks Paul how values shape a team and he explains that whether they realize it or not, leaders have huge shadows. A leader will dictate how the rest of the work force will perform by both direct and indirect cultural development.
Paul encourages young leaders to ask for opinions. He explains that soliciting input from a diverse group of people empowers managers to make a better decision. He also advises to never forget the consumer. Paul emphasizes why it is so important to remember why they buy your product. A good leader is one that has integrity and can be trusted upon to deliver on what they say they will do.
Paul’s leadership is not just for his colleagues. Check out his blog, where he continues to help simplify the understanding of the healthcare system for all: http://paulmarden.blogspot.com/
We are joined with HaKika Dubose-Wise, the nation’s youngest female franchisor, HaKika, aka Kika, is the founder and CEO of Kika Stretch Studio’s. Her business began with a $500 tax return and a never before seen stretching routine creating flexibility while simultaneously reducing tension and increasing circulation. Today, Kika Stretch Studio’s has expanded to 4 locations between New Jersey and New York. She has been recognized in NJBIZ, The New York Times, US News, and more!
Conditions were not easy and sacrifices were made, but Kika, a former professional dancer and actress, learned from her mother, a serial entrepreneur, the value of a strong work ethic. The lessons she learned and shared are proof that fear has now met its match.
Kika will be the first podcast guest returning for a follow-up spotlight with Anthony. If you have questions or comments for either Kika or Anthony, please send them in the comments box.
Until then, check out and connect with Kika and her stretch studios:
The Greek word ethos means the character that best describes a person(s) values. When listening to today’s episode, we understand the ethos/values that made AETHOS leaders, Keith Kefgen and David Mansbach, hospitality titans. Combined, they have more than 50 years’ experience in the hospitality space, published a book, and have lectured aspiring professionals.
Keith, Dave, and Anthony discuss the essence of great leaders, learning from obstacles, and along the way we pick up three pieces of advice for setting our own personal and strategic goals.
Find out more about AETHOS through http://www.aethoscg.com/.