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My Favorite Mistake: Careers & Business, Growth & Lessons Learned

My Favorite Mistake: Careers & Business, Growth & Lessons Learned

By Mark Graban
Do you make mistakes at work and in business? Of course. We all do. But do we learn from them?

Listen and you'll hear executives, entrepreneurs, and other interesting people discuss their “favorite mistakes” and what they learned, including how to prevent making the same mistakes again. Or, how to turn apparent mistakes into positives.

We discuss how to create a culture where it's safe to talk about mistakes – this leads to continuous improvement, instead of blaming and shaming others or beating ourselves up.

Hosted by Mark Graban (author of "Lean Hospitals" and "Measures of Success").
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Entrepreneur and CTO Mark Herschberg Believed a Promise That Wasn’t in Writing
Author of The Career Toolkit. Episode page: My guest for Episode #165 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Mark Herschberg, the author of the book The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. Learn more at his book's website. This is Mark's 300th appearance as a podcast guest! From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces and new authentication systems, Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and Fortune 500s and in academia. He helped to start the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, dubbed MIT’s “career success accelerator,” where he teaches annually. At MIT, he received a B.S. in physics, a B.S. in electrical engineering & computer science, and an M.Eng. in electrical engineering & computer science, focusing on cryptography. At Harvard Business School, Mark helped create a platform used to teach finance at prominent business schools. He also works with many non-profits, including Techie Youth and Plant A Million Corals. He was one of the top-ranked ballroom dancers in the country and now lives in New York City, where he is known for his social gatherings, including his annual Halloween party, as well as his diverse cufflink collection. In this episode, Mark shares his “favorite mistake” story about being promised something by board members that was not put in writing. What happened when a new CEO came in? Why was he fired from the product and engineering teams? What adjustments did he make to his approach with later companies? We also talk about questions and topics including: Was not spending on tech another short-sighted decision? Book — lots of examples of mistakes in the book and the class he teaches Tell us about the book?? The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. — not just about new graduates? Networking mistakes – he met Tim Berners-Lee and blew the opportunity to build a relationship What are some of those essential networking skills? Is it a mistake to sign confidentiality or non-compete clauses? Negotiating mistakes? Don’t name a number first? Ethical situations? Your top 3 Halloween costumes? Find Mark on social media: Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn
May 23, 2022
Founder & Author Melissa Drake Didn’t Pursue Things That Brought Her Joy
Author of The Orgasmic Entrepreneur and more Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #164 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Melissa Drake. As the founder of Uncorped Influence, Melissa helps like-minded businesses and individuals find creative solutions and go further than they thought possible. Melissa is the author of three books: The Orgasmic Entrepreneur: Discover the Sweet Spot of Love, Sex, and Business by Simply Being YOU, Sacred Medicine Integration: A Companion Journal Supporting Ceremonial Medicine Experiences TranscenDANCE: Lessons From Living, Loving, and Dancing She's also a TEDx Speaker with 25 years climbing the corporate ranks and a decade of entrepreneurial experience. Her TEDx Talk, “The Dance of Collaboration,” presents fresh insights on the benefits of collectively beneficial collaborations. In this episode, Melissa shares her “favorite mistake” story about the pattern of “not taking care of who I am as a person, not pursuing the things that bring me joy.” How did she come to see this pattern? Are mistakes like this just “part of the process” or are they to be avoided? How does she make sure she doesn't fall back into that trap? We also talk about questions and topics including: Were you sort of going through life in autopilot? Finding the fix — looking within or to others? How to make sure you don’t fall back into that trap? As easy as avoiding a corporate job? When things aren’t going well — double down? – Or rest, take time? Did you have any fear that your book title would be a mistake? Is it a book for women? No New path started in 2015, laid off from insurance industry, “kick in the pants” she needed Why was “the ability to truly be me” so important to you? Freedom of expression is one of your most significant values Correlation or causation? — finding “the link between achieving sexual satisfaction and attaining strong business results.” Find Melissa on social media: Facebook YouTube LinkedIn Instagram
May 16, 2022
CEO Jeff Zigman, “The Business Engineer,” Trusted Someone and Got a Lopsided Contract
Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #163 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jeff Zigman, known as “The Business Engineer,” and the founder and CEO of SkillBuilder. He’s been a tech entrepreneur 10 years, having led and built 25+ software projects from idea to Live, including multimillion-dollar enterprise software, with an engineering background, ten years as a Business Analyst, and eight years as a Chief Technology Officer. He’s married with two little kids and, during COVID, he created a software platform that incorporates the learning principles that he’s gained from 20 years of martial arts into a remote learning system that he’s been able to prove to be more effective for virtual training than most in-person training, with higher absorption and better retention. In this episode, Jeff shares his “favorite mistake” story about trusting somebody he was working to build a software company with — working for 1.5 years on a trust basis, how did Jeff end up saddled with a “lopsided contract”? What problems did that cause and why was it “a real nightmare”? We talk about that and the lessons that Jeff learned through this experience. We also talk about questions and topics including: Were there red flags? Should he have gotten a lawyer to review it? How has he focused on not preventing this mistake? Why is training thousands of employees so difficult? Lessons from martial arts? 4 things that are required? What is Process-Oriented Learning? Knowledge (information or theory) vs. Skills (ability)? How do we confirm that the learning has sunk in… that the skills can be applied effectively? Closing the loop? How can training be gamified?
May 08, 2022
Meetings and Speaking Experts Karin Reed and Joe Allen's Favorite Workplace Mistakes
Episode page: My guests for Episode #162 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast are Dr. Joseph A. Allen and Karin M. Reed. They are the authors of the book SUDDENLY HYBRID: Managing the Modern Meeting. Their previous book was SUDDENLY VIRTUAL: Making Remote Meetings Work. KARIN M. REED is CEO of Speaker Dynamics. She is an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and now focuses on helping business professionals to be confident communicators on any platform? in person, on camera, or through virtual communication tools. JOSEPH A. ALLEN, PHD, is a Professor of Industrial and Organizational Psychology at the University of Utah. His research focus is on the study of workplace meetings, organizational community engagement, and occupational safety and health. Sharing their “favorite mistake” stories, Karin talks about a time early in her television news career, where a technical mishap taught her to always have a “Plan B.” Why was Joe surprised that he wasn't getting honest feedback about his writing, and what did that teach him about not taking expertise for granted? We also talk about questions and topics including: Mistakes with virtual meetings? Is it a mistake to keep your camera off? What is a hybrid meeting or the hybrid workplace? Mistakes that people or organizations make with hybrid? Tips and tricks to be inclusive to all participants in the room, on video, on the phone etc.? Technology to solve the room webcam camera problem? When the video is imperative in a virtual or hybrid meeting and when it’s not? Non-verbals in a hybrid meeting? Strategies to combat video fatigue and multitasking?
May 02, 2022
Career Coach Jason Levin Got Yelled at For Not Following Up with the College Benefactor
Author of Relationships to Infinity Episode page: My guest for Episode #161 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jason Levin. He's a speaker and trainer. He's an executive career, business development and outplacement coach. He's the co-host of the Parents at Work Podcast. His website is He’s also the author of the book, Relationships to Infinity: The Art and Science of Keeping in Touch. Scroll down to learn how to enter to win one of five free signed copies of the book! In serving his enterprise and individual clients, Jason draws on experiences as a District Manager with At Vault, he held roles both on the operations team and led a remote business development team. Prior to, he worked in brand management for Unilever on the Dove Global team where he developed global innovations in the anti-aging skincare category and he also worked for the consulting firms KPMG and Accenture. He has an MBA from the Georgetown McDonough School of Business. He’s an assistant coach on his son’s little league baseball team and is a “raving fan” of DC sports. In today's episode, Jason shares his “favorite mistake” story about failing to follow up with the wealthy benefactor of Rowan College. Why did he get yelled at by the head fundraiser at the college — and for how long? How have those lessons from that episode impact him as a coach? We also talk about questions and topics including: What attracted you to working with retired pro athletes in their career transitions? How is it different? Previous episodes with retired athletes Lenny Walls and Dave Scatchard With limited (non-infinite) time – how do we make time to focus on relationships? “Show me your calendar and I’ll show you your priorities” What is your “social fortress”? Your external network vs. your network inside the company
April 28, 2022
Founder / Brand Queen Rosie Kosinski Waited Too Long to Get a Coach
Founder of Shattered Pencil Studios Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #160 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Rosie Kosinski. She is what she calls the Brand Queen and Founder of Shattered Pencil Studios, a brand design & development boutique. She straddles the line between creative and strategic, artistic and scientific. Raised by entrepreneurs and artists in a nomadic environment that took her through Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, Rosie is a global citizen through and through. She taps into this mosaic of perspectives to deeply understand the people she serves and to help them connect with the people they serve. In today's episode, Rosie shares her “favorite mistake” story about “waiting too long to get a coach.” How did she go from being skeptical about the idea to working with a coach for years? We also talk about questions and topics including: Learning to value her work — the Sandler Selling System Why she learned to quote a price and “shut the hell up” More about what you learned about being a branding design coach? Do people confuse a logo with a brand? Mistakes that people make when it comes to branding?? Other than being cheap? Micromanaging the process? Blog post about Brand Clarity in Seven Questions 5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Became A Founder
April 25, 2022
Sales Expert Glenn Poulos Was the Last to Know That He Was Impossible to Reach
Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #159 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Glenn Poulos, the cofounder, vice president, and general manager of Gap Wireless Inc., a leading distributor for the mobile broadband wireless and test and measurement equipment markets. Gap Wireless Inc. was recently acquired by Network Wireless Solutions. With over three decades of experience in sales, Glenn has spent thousands of hours in the field or on the phone with customers and working with salespeople to help create several very successful companies. After entering the sales field in 1985 as a technical sales rep, Glenn founded his first company, mmWave Technologies Inc., in 1991 and simultaneously served as president of Anritsu Electronics Ltd. for nine years. Using his extensive knowledge and experience in the industry, he lectures groups on sales strategy, consumerism, and what motivates people at a raw emotional level. His new book is titled NEVER SIT IN THE LOBBY… 57 Winning Sales Factors to Grow a Business and Build a Career Selling. In today's episode, Glenn shares his “favorite mistake” story about being the last to know that it was difficult (if not impossible) for employees to reach. Why did that unsolicited feedback “sting” and what did Glenn do to adjust going forward? We also talk about questions and topics including: Learned to ask people for feedback?? Mistakes in the selling of the first company? Never forget a face What is “greed-based learning” when it comes to sales? When to Stop Compromising with Your Customer – and What to Do Instead?? – can you give us an example?
April 21, 2022
Innovation Expert Karen Hold’s Telcom Bubble Burst — How Did She Diversify?
Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #158 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Karen Hold. She is the Founder of Experience Labs and her work is grounded in a core belief that design thinking provides an enabling social technology that facilitates adaptation and effective problem-solving in complex social systems. Karen began her career in business and strategy on the Folgers Coffee brand team in the early 90s (part of Proctor & Gamble) — influenced by the work of Tom Peters, who was my guest in Episode 58. She is one of the authors of the Book: Experiencing Design: The Innovator's Journey from Columbia Business School Publishing. In today's episode, Karen shares her “favorite mistake” story about having all of her professional eggs in the telecom industry basket. What did she learn about the need to diversify when all of her customers went bankrupt? What actions did she take to move forward in a better way? We also talk about questions and topics including: Being more intentional about diversifying in what to do next? Folgers experience? Lessons from learning brand management? The influence of Tom Peters? In Search of Excellence A family of designers Who were some of your key mentors? Grandfather Leroy Grumman… Leroy Grumman: “A rough answer to the right question is better than a detailed answer to the wrong question.” How does that idea connect to entrepreneurship, innovation? “Effective problem solving in complex social systems?” What is a complex social system? How does Design thinking help with customer understanding and problem solving? “From ego centricity to empathy” Why is “the discovery process” so important, something to dive deeply into, before we start testing products or services? Can you apply the lessons from the book to the writing of the book? “Test your way to success” — peer review for an academic book
April 17, 2022
Historian Denis Crawford on Sports Ownership Mistakes; Will the New USFL Avoid Repeating Mistakes?
My guest for Episode #157 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Denis Crawford, a historian who is the author of books including his latest, The Life and Teams of Johnny F. Bassett: Maverick Entrepreneur of North American Sports. Episode page, video, transcript and more: Denis M. Crawford holds a PhD in American Studies, teaches at Youngstown State University, and is managing editor for “The Coffin Corner,” the official magazine of the Professional Football Researchers Association. He is an honorary member of the Bucs UK, the largest American football fan club in the United Kingdom, and a 2010 inductee to the Bucs UK Hall of Fame. Denis is also my uncle — even though he's just a few years older than me. In today's episode, Denis shares his “favorite mistake” story about not taking advantage of sports journalism internships in college. Why did his young “arrogance” get in the way of his dream of becoming a play-by-play announcer? We talk about what Denis learned and we talk about some of the mistakes made by Johnny Bassett as a professional sports owner. Part of the conversation looks back at the original USFL — and some of the battles between Bassett and Donald Trump (then-owner of the New Jersey Generals). With the new USFL launching this week, will the league manage to prevent its past mistakes? We also talk about questions and topics including: Bassett’s biggest mistakes? And I ask this realizing that he was generally the most successful owner in failed leagues… When he owned the Toronto Toros, what was the worst mistake that he could have made? Mistakes in overpaying players behind budgets or salary caps… Bassett seemed determine to avoid repeating mistakes from the WFL (and WHA) — how did the USFL end up undermining that? Trump the businessman… decided to move the league to the fall to compete directly with the NFL Did you get to read the letter Bassett sent to Trump? You got to interview Wayne Gretzky and some other Hall of Fame athletes  — did you have jitters? A new version of the USFL (or at least a rebranded Spring League) will launch April 16 2022… If the original USFL didn’t learn from Johnny Bassett’s WFL mistakes, will they avoid repeating the same mistakes this time? How have leagues like MLS and the WNBA avoided the fate of Bassett’s leagues and others?
April 14, 2022
Engineer/Coach Rachell Kitchen Thought She Could Be a Superwoman Early in Her Career
My guest for Episode #156 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Rachell Kitchen. She is an Author, Certified Professional Life & Transition Coach; ICF Associate Certified Coach, and Professional Speaker. Episode page and links (with video and transcript): She graduated college with a B.S. degree in Industry & Technology and enjoyed a career as an Industrial Engineer. Rachell is the author of a Book: Doubt Your Doubts: How to Transform Negative Self-Talk, Take Action and Confidently Create Your Dream Life. And she has a FREE eCourse called Grow, Expand, Thrive (GET), In today's episode, Rachell shares her “favorite mistake” story about being a young engineer (the only minority woman in the group) and how she “ended up on the bathroom floor at work” crying as the result of the stress of trying to have a daughter and a career. How did getting a coach help her? Why is it a mistake to not ask for help? We talk about what she's learned along the way and more. We also talk about questions and topics including: What were your adjustments career wise? Letting life create her instead of creating her life? Tell us about the book — why did you write it? What is “negative self talk” and why is it so common in our heads? What’s your “gremlin”? Do we all have one? How can we recognize doubts and negative self talk? At what point are doubts helpful (in terms of being cautious about something – maybe avoiding mistakes) and when do doubts get in the way? What is your “dream life” and are you making progress on that, Rachell? Find Rachell on social media: Facebook Linkedin Twitter Instagram
April 11, 2022
CEO Rebecca Contreras Talks About Her Mistakes as a Young Woman, Working as a White House Staffer
Episode page: My guest for Episode #155 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Rebecca Contreras. She is President & CEO of AvantGarde LLC, an SBA certified 8a and Women Owned Small Business firm she co-founded as Majority Partner in May 2011. Her firm offers a “one stop shop” approach to addressing complex organizational, people and technology needs. Rebecca Contreras is the author of the book Lost Girl – From the Hood to the White House to Millionaire Entrepreneur, which recounts her journey from becoming a welfare-dependent teenage mother to advising a sitting president, to driving a successful 100-person company. Rebecca is a social and business entrepreneur who started her fifteen-year service in government in a welfare-to-work program for Texas icon Ann Richards. Rebecca then spent nearly twelve years working with George W. Bush, first in Texas as his Director of HR then in the White House as a Commissioned Officer supporting the Presidential transition, followed by other roles in D.C. In today's episode, Rebecca shares her “favorite mistake” story about trying to move past some mistakes she made as a young woman. When she was becoming part of the White House staff, she was open and transparent about her past mistakes — was it a “crapshoot” that might not have turned out well? How did Rebecca move past her early mistakes, including dropping out of high school and becoming a teen mom? We also talk about questions and topics including: Mentoring and coaching girls today When President Bush called you to serve, why did you have imposter syndrome? How did you recognize that and get past it? West Wing protocol mistakes? Tell us more about the book Tell us about your firm… who you serve and how What is it like being the CEO of a minority- and woman-owned consulting firm working in a male-dominated industry?
April 07, 2022
CTO Scott Hirsch Learned That Free Wasn't the Best Price for His Software
CTO of Episode page: My guest for Episode #154 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Scott Hirsch, the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at the HR platform Talent Marketplace. With work experience combining business administration and computer science, Scott's passions lie in enabling business processes through the innovative use of technology. In today's episode, Scott shares his “favorite mistake” story about setting the beta version of their platform as free. They launched the platform for free and “got almost no response.” Once they put a fee to it, clients started coming in, as Scott tells us. How did they decide their initial pricing was a mistake? We also talk about questions and topics including: “Freemium model”?? Which way would we rather be wrong? Hiring challenges right now? The search for talent in a tight market? Does the data bring particular insights? Increase in remote work? Find Scott or his company on social media: LinkedIn Twitter YouTube Facebook Instagram
April 04, 2022
Psychologist Dr. Nicole Lipkin Had a Bad Feeling But Hired Hope Anyway
CEO, clinical and organizational psychologist My guest for Episode #153 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Dr. Nicole Lipkin, an internationally recognized clinical and organizational psychologist, executive coach, and keynote speaker. Episode page: Nicole is the author of two popular leadership books: Y In the Workplace: Managing the “Me First” Generation and What Keeps Leaders Up At Night: Recognizing and Resolving Your Most Troubling Management Issues. She is the CEO of Equilibria Leadership Consulting, a leadership and organizational development firm. In terms of education, she earned a doctoral in clinical psychology (Psy.D.), Master of Business Administration (MBA), and Master of Criminal Justice (MACJ). Nicole is also the founder and CEO of HeyKiddo, a company dedicated to helping adults gain better control over their children’s mental, social and emotional health through technology. She recently exited her first company, Equilibria Psychological and Consultation Services. Nicole is a regular contributor to and has shared her expertise on NPR, NBC,, NY Times Magazine, CBS and other media outlets. She lives in Philly with her husband, Matt, her toddler, Charlie, and her chunky cat, El Guapo Meatball (who makes an appearance in the episode!). In today's episode, Nicole shares her “favorite mistake” story about having a “bad feeling” but hiring “Hope” (not her real name) anyway. Why was it a “punch in the gut” when Hope quit three months later? Did Nicole feel like she failed as a coach and as a leader? What lessons did she learn from these experiences? We also talk about questions and topics including: Is it a mistake to not follow your gut during interviewing or during the first month?? What keeps you up at night? How can we AVOID sleep trouble? How do we build psychological safety? How much is the leader’s responsibility? Psychological safety – talking about it vs doing the behaviors?? How different is Gen Y?? Different influences and experiences? Tell us about Equilibria Leadership Consulting — who is your ideal client and why do they hire you? Tell us about HeyKiddo — building emotional wellness using technology Find Nicole on social media: LinkedIn Twitter Facebook
March 31, 2022
Coach John Gallagher Had the Ego to Think He Could Change His Mother-in-Law Real Estate Partner
Episode page: My guest for Episode #152 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is John Gallagher. He is an executive coach, mentor, and consultant. He is the Founder and CEO of Growing Champions, LLC. He's also the host of the podcast “The Uncommon Leader” — and I was his guest there! He was also previously my guest on my Lean Blog Interviews podcast series. Before starting his company, John worked as a consultant for a decade, after being an operations manager and a division president for two different companies. In today's episode, John shares his “favorite mistake” story about the time he got into the real estate business and thought he could change how a key business partner operated. And that partner was his mother-in-law. Why did he make this mistake? How did he adjust and how did he survive? We also talk about questions and topics including: What is “Lean”? Why were you excited about bringing this to real estate? Focusing on strengths instead of problems? Having a process when “every home sale is unique”? Tell us about the podcast… Common leadership mistakes that you wish were uncommon? Are they uncommon because they avoid leadership problems or because they have certain strengths? Being able to admit when they’re wrong… that’s uncommon — humility is required Creating an environment where it’s safe to talk about mistakes?
March 28, 2022
Author & CEO Lauren Eckhardt Chose Business Partners That Didn’t Share her Values
My guest for Episode #151 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Lauren Eckhardt, the CEO and Founder of Burning Soul Press. Episode page: An award-winning, and best-selling author and ghostwriter, she is passionate about helping impact-driven souls capture their life story in a book-led movement that changes lives. Lauren founded Burning Soul Press in 2020, after 12 years in the human resources field, to work with aspiring and career authors in pursuit of sharing a powerful and deeply impactful story or message. In today's episode, Lauren shares her “favorite mistake” story working with a business partner that didn't share her values. How did she discover the mistake? How did she repeat the mistake with another company before being able to put this behind her? We also talk about questions and topics including: Trying too hard to learn from other entrepreneurs, vs. figuring it out yourself? “Best seller” — a very loose definition??? Yes Helping somebody self-publish… doesn’t literally mean “self” “Empowerment Publishing” Being a book coach vs full ghostwriter What’s the origin of the Burning Soul Press name? Being a good storyteller? A better storyteller?? What is the SoulWriter Society? Helping somebody write the book and helping them sell the book? Equally important?
March 24, 2022
“Confrontationalist” Danielle Gibson Hired a Coach Instead of a Branding Expert
Confrontation expert and coach My guest for Episode #150 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Danielle Gibson, a Confrontation Expert and a Certified Performance Coach. Her firm is Danielle Gibson Coaching & Consulting. Episode page: Danielle was previously owner and designer at a jewelry company, Danielle Gibson Designs. She earned a degree in Fine Arts and also studied Italian language and literature in Italy. In today's episode, Danielle shares her "favorite mistake" story about hiring a general coach when she needed a branding expert. How did she discover that to be a mistake? How and why did she end up repeating the mistake? How did she finally put that mistake behind her, never to be repeated again? We also talk about questions and topics including: How do you define “confrontation”?? — compared to assertiveness? “I’m an expert in confrontation.” Why were you comfortable with confrontation? Family environment? Lessons learned from your story when hiring a partner?? “What to do when you don’t know what to do” People are scared about speaking up… A mistake to tell people to speak up without working to create the environment that invites it? Like in your family… How to be more direct, especially when there’s a power dynamic? Mistakes people make when being “confronted” — coaching people to be a better receiver of confrontation? One of the best ways to give feedback that’s non threatening? How do you start a conversation if you don’t know what to say?
March 21, 2022
Sales Executive Clint Corley Got “Sloppy or Complacent” When Working in Oil & Gas
From KaiNexus Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #149 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Clint Corley, who spent more than five years as a Senior Account Executive at the software company, KaiNexus. I want to disclose that I've been involved with KaiNexus for more than ten years as a contractor, advisor, and investor. Clint has BBA Degree in professional sales from Baylor University. In today's episode, Clint shares his “favorite mistake” story about a time when he was working in oil and gas, in West Texas, early in his career. Did he get “sloppy or complacent” that one time that led to an oil/gas line being hit during a dig. Why was he “grateful” about the response and what did he learn and take forward with him? We also talk about questions and topics including: Sales as a process? Lessons learned from your story? Overselling? Persistence vs. being a pest? Bad sales email of the day — things that make it bad Advice for somebody who stumbles into sales? Elevator speech about KaiNexus? The culture at KaiNexus about learning from mistakes? Find Clint on social media: Twitter LinkedIn
March 17, 2022
Montessori School Founder Brigitta Hoeferle Was "Cocky in Telling People How to Do Things"
Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #148 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Brigitta Hoeferle, a speaker, master trainer, and certified coach. She’s the Owner of two educational institutions, founder of one for children and one for adults that she purchased, the Center of NLP. As she says, she’s “German by birth, American by choice, educator by trade, a speaker & trainer by design, CEO by passion. And Brigitta’s an executive board member of The International Coaching Federation. Check out her free PDF download on the “laws of success.” In today's episode, Brigitta shares her “favorite mistake” story about “being cocky in telling people how to do things.” Why was she trying to do things “the German way” in the United States? What did she learn from these mistakes? Why does she view mistakes as learning opportunities? We also talk about questions and topics including: What is Montessori education and why is that so important to you? Teaching vs. running a school? Was a success in Germany… Difficult to get students in TN? What were some of the specific mistakes? What feedback did you get? Was it constructive feedback? Doer (US) vs. planner (German) mindsets “There is no failure only feedback” – example of a “re-frame” Viewing mistakes as learning opportunities What is NLP – Neuro-Linguistic Programming? What is “programming”? What does that word really mean? Is programming the result of our reaction to other people’s actions? Re-framing from victim (as a picked-on overweight teen) Why do we need to “Listen to Relate, not to Respond”? Re-framing — too many employees quitting, “people don’t want to work anymore” — or a different framing of “you’re not paying well enough, etc.”??
March 13, 2022
CEO Ken Segel Talked Frankly to a Reporter When He Was a Congressional Aide
CEO of Value Capture Show notes: My guest for Episode #147 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Ken Segel, the CEO and Managing Director of the firm Value Capture. Value Capture is a trusted advisory firm that supports chief executives who seek to transform the performance of their healthcare organization in safety, quality, and profitability. In terms of disclosures, I have been a subcontractor to Value Capture for four years, serving as a senior advisor to healthcare clients and, during pandemic times, working as the Director of Strategic Marketing for the firm. Prior to forming Value Capture, he served as the founding director of the Pittsburgh Regional Healthcare Initiative (PRHI) and he served for five years as Senior Program Officer at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation of Pittsburgh. Earlier in his career, worked in government and politics, with various roles including directing the overnight operations in the 1992 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign “War Room.” Ken has a B.A., Harvard University in American History and Literature and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh In today's episode, Ken shares his “favorite mistake” story about a time when he was a young legislative aide to Rep. Howard Berman. What went wrong when he went “on background” with a USA Today reporter? Why did he get a copy of the clipping with a “SEE ME” note from the Congressman? We also talk about questions and topics including: What happened when Ken met with the Congressman? Immediate lesson learned about speaking to reporters? Another lesson – wasn’t proud of the quote, wasn’t constructive Leadership lessons? Learning from mistakes Berman was “a people developer” Psychological safety Not carte blanche for making more mistakes How does psychological safety lead to better performance? You mentioned learning from Toyota… What did you learn from the late Paul O’Neill about improvement and preventing and learning from mistakes? Aspirational goals… theoretical limits Tell us more about Value Capture – free eBooks The podcast “Habitual Excellence“
March 10, 2022
Wall Street Sales Team Leader John Saunders Tried Turning Employees Into Him
Episode page: My guest for Episode #146 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is John Saunders, the founder of Forward Advisory Solutions. He is the author of the book The Optimizer: Building and Leading a Team of Serial Innovators, which is now also available as an audiobook.  Click here to enter to win a copy of each. John spent more than two decades as a Wall Street Senior Vice President, sales team leader, and award-winning sales executive. Followed his passion for helping others grow and founded a coaching and consulting company, Forward Advisory Solutions. As a lifelong learner, Saunders asserts that change is necessary in today’s business world and believes in empowering those with whom he works. Holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from Georgetown University. He is also the host of a podcast called “New Degree Press – The Creator Community.” In today's episode, John shares his “favorite mistake” story about becoming a new leader and trying to “turn everybody into me.” Why did he do that and what did John learn about what you need to give up as a leader, compared to being an individual contributor? We also talk about questions and topics including:
March 07, 2022
Dr. Mira Brancu's Long Email About an Ethics Situation Was Not Well Received
CEO of Brancu Associates Episode page and links: My guest for Episode #145 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Dr. Mira Brancu. She is the Founder & CEO of Brancu Associates and is a Consulting Psychologist, Speaker, and Author. Dr. Brancu helps leaders expertly navigate complexity in the workplace and help organizations make it easier for leaders to navigate. Dr. Brancu has 20+ years of experience in large, complex organizations, including federal government, academia, and healthcare. She has a Psychology Today blog focused on women's leadership and is the author of Millennials Guide to Workplace Politics: What No One Ever Told You About Power and Influence. She received the 2020 Early Career Woman Psychologist in Management award and the 2021 Triangle Business Journal's Corporate Philanthropist Award. Her background includes: PhD in clinical psychology M.Ed. and advanced certificate in counseling and supervision Certificates in: Business; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace; Lean Six Sigma Green Belt; Coaching In today's episode, Mira shares her “favorite mistake” story about an early job as a school counselor and how she felt compelled to send a lengthy email about an ethics situation “straight to the top” and how that was “not well received.” What did she learn from that situation? We also talk about questions and topics including: Saying things like “I have a concern”? “Help me understand”… (or tell me more) Approach took focus off of the core issue? They made it about you as a deflection? Helping leaders make space for reflection? Applications of clinical psychology to organizational settings? How do you define Emotional Intelligence? Systems thinking and understanding yourself in a system of people? Complex workplace systems – no simple root causes of conflict? “Organizational trauma”?? — betrayal, lack of trust Tell us about the book — Not just for millennials? What can one person do? When to better navigate the environment and when to move on? Don’t want to deal with politics?
March 03, 2022
Steve Gamlin Walked Away From His Radio DJ Job Without a New One Lined Up
Episode page: My guest for Episode #144 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Steve Gamlin. He is a Speaker, Author, VisionBoarder and Humor Punch-Up Specialist. His company is Motivational Firewood. What does Steve do? He teaches individuals and organizations…to SEE THEIR GOALS, understand WHY they want them… and build an Action Plan for achievement. How? With a blend of back-to-basics positivity, engagement, humor… and Visualization. He is the author of four books including, Table 7, Your Centerpiece Is on Fire! In today's episode, Steve shares his “favorite mistake” story about walking away from his radio DJ job without having another one lined up. Why did he get so frustrated? What did he learn from the experience? We also talk about questions and topics including: What was the cause of the frustration?? What’s the story behind the name of your company, Motivational Firewood? What are vision boards?? Life tool not just a work tool Business mistakes Humor mistakes – punch up work Less obvious mistakes with trying to use humor What happens when you bomb? Speaking mistakes Vision Board Learning Program Free master class is a lead in to that
February 28, 2022
Law Firm Founder Leslie Tayne Thought She Needed a Male Partner to Get Started
Founder and managing director of the Tayne Law Group, P.C. Episode Page: My guest for Episode #143 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Leslie Tayne, an award-winning financial attorney and author of the book, Life & Debt. She has over 20 years of experience in consumer and business financial debt solutions. Leslie’s extensive background spans in negotiations with large international banks and credit agencies for loans, lines of credit, credit cards, and student loans. She is the founder and managing director of the Tayne Law Group, P.C., a law firm headquartered in New York dedicated to debt solutions and alternatives to bankruptcy for individuals and businesses. Leslie frequently provides her expertise on financial, credit, and debt topics both as a public speaker and in the media. She is also a board member for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s Vet Dogs. In today's episode, Leslie shares her “favorite mistake” story about thinking she needed a male business partner when she started her first law firm. Why was this a mistake and why was it a mistake to partner with that particular man? What did she learn, including the need to hire for a fit with the vision and values? We also talk about questions and topics including: % of firms headed by women? Business owner financial mistakes? Mistakes with Merchant Cash Advance loans? Personal financial mistakes? Mistakes with debt relief, tax debt relief, or debt consolidation programs / services? Red flags to look for? When should somebody reach out to an attorney? Bankruptcy is not always the answer
February 24, 2022
CEO & CPA Charles Read's Hubris Led Him to Think He Could Do Everything
Episode page: My guest for Episode #142 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Charles Read, the president and CEO of the company GetPayroll. He is an MBA, CPA, U.S. Tax Court Practitioner (USTCP), Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC), Employment Tax Expert, IRS Watchdog, and Small Business Advocate. Charles is an accomplished senior executive and entrepreneur with more than 50-years of financial leadership experience in a broad range of industries, as well as a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Charles is a decorated United States Marine Corps sergeant, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War.  While in tye service, he was trained by IBM as a computer programmer and, later, a systems engineer. He received his BBA cum laude and MBA from the University of North Texas. Charles is the author of books including The Payroll Book: A guide for small businesses & startups. In today's episode, Charles shares his "favorite mistake" story about his admitted "hubris" that led him to think that he could "do it all" effectively in his company, including marketing. How did he learn this was a mistake? We talk about that and more. We also talk about questions and topics including: Many say the IRS is underfunded? Is that a mistake? Where do you think hubris comes from? The IRS makes mistakes?? What kinds of mistakes? Other taxpayer mistakes? Mistakes entrepreneurs and small businesses make related to payroll?
February 21, 2022
Ellen Patnaude Assumed Her Past Experiences Would Buy Her a Seat at the Table
Owner of the firm LeadQuine Episode page: My guest for Episode #141 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Ellen Patnaude. She’s a Communication Coach. She’s owner of the firm LeadQuine. And her LinkedIn headline describes her as: “Truth teller. People-ing Guru. Tough Cookie.” Ellen is also a friend of mine from high school, as we played together in a regional youth orchestra for a few years. In today's episode, Ellen shares her “favorite mistake” story about her time as a community organizer. She attended a meeting and assumed that her experiences growing up in Detroit would be relative to this group near Chicago. She was trying to prove her credentials, but learned that listening was more important than arguing about her bonafides. How did Ellen learn from this experience? Why is she now grateful that this happened? We also talk about questions and topics including: The importance of showing up, listening and asking questions (and not having your own agenda) Apologized… it was accepted… tough love You help people get better at communicating and interacting with others… common assumptions?? How can leaders check for understanding without being parental? Asking better questions… Fired from a job for asking the wrong questions… Assumptions are #1 source of conflict Test your assumptions? Your firm’s tagline is “taking blinders off your team” — what’s the meaning behind that? What are some common mistakes people make in the realm of communication? Coaching people through those? Mistakes coaches make? Becoming less censored and less filtered? You’re currently writing a business book… Tell us about that
February 17, 2022
Ebonie Allard Invited 3 Friends to Join Her Business, Went Insolvent in 3 Months
Award-Winning International Coach Episode page: My guest for Episode #140 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Ebonie Allard. She describes herself as a “Priestess of Alchemy”® —  she’s an award-winning International Coach. She’s a (her words) “Misfit turned Maven,” an author, an artist, and an advocate. She’s been host of the podcast “Adulting with Ebonie”… and her new podcast “Ebonie Unfiltered.” She is the author of books including Misfit to Maven: The Story of Argh to Ahhh  (Build a Life as Extraordinary as You Are). In today's episode, Ebonie shares her "favorite mistake" story about inviting her closest three friends to be directors in her company, and how they were insolvent three months later. Why was this a favorite mistake? Because it opened up opportunities for things she really wanted to do. We also talk about questions and topics including: Why had you “suffered from burnout at the end of every job” earlier in your career? Why do you describe yourself as a “Misfit turned Maven”? What's the difference between a Misfit and a Rebel? Why do you also describe yourself as a “Priestess of Alchemy”?? Are you a spiritual misfit? Selling art / your first NFT? Mistakes people make in trying to get you (and others) to speak? Her groundrules for working with her
February 14, 2022
Technology & Business Leader Jinny Uppal on the Mistake of Going Too Fast — "In/Action"
Author of IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results. Episode page: My guest for Episode #139 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jinny Uppal, the author of the new book IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results. Jinny is no stranger to driving contrary and innovative thinking. Uppal’s 20+ years of experience driving transformational growth by challenging existing norms in business is key to her success working with Fortune 500 telecom, eCommerce, and retail companies. She is a technology and business leader with over 20 years’ experience driving transformative growth at Fortune 500 North American companies. Most recently, she was Vice President of Strategy at a $12B North American retailer, driving transformative growth through new category launches and innovative store experiences Jinny grew up in Mumbai and is a graduate of Florida International University and Harvard Business School. She has been a practitioner of Vedic and Buddhist meditation and breathwork since 2008. In her new book, IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results, published by New Degree Press, Jinny Uppal explores the downside of the prevalent cultural bias for action even when it’s unnecessary or counter-productive. Capturing insights into the benefits of reflective thinking and strategic inaction, author Jinny Uppal presents a less stressful and more efficient way of achieving more by “doing” less. You can enter to win a signed copy of Jinny's book! In today's episode, Jinny shares her "favorite mistake" story about taking action too quickly, when she decided to re-use some technology from another part of her company... but she had to give up after it didn't work out. That inspired her study of what happens when we rush to action. We also talk about questions and topics including: What is “breathwork”? What are some mistakes that are made when we’re driven to action? Example - Ron Johnson as CEO of JC Penney (read my blog post about this) Advice: “let it simmer for a few days…” Understanding cause and effect is very important… what types of errors do humans make in understanding (or misunderstanding) cause and effect relationships… does that drive the wrong actions? Causes of bias to action problems?? Overconfidence Overconfident — so convinced that you dismiss input Is “bias for action” mainly a Western phenomenon? Toyota expression — “go slow to go fast” — your reaction to that? Did you do a prototype for your book? Tell us the story behind the book… what inspired you?
February 10, 2022
J.A. Adande (ESPN & Northwestern University) on Career & Journalism Mistakes
Episode page: My guest for Episode #138 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is J.A. Adande. He is the director of sports journalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. He is also the graduate journalism Sports Media Specialization leader. J.A. earned his undergraduate degree in journalism from Medill in 1992. During his time in school at Northwestern, he was sports editor of The Daily Northwestern, the student newspaper. J.A. has worked in sports media for over two and a half decades, including multiple roles at ESPN. He continues to appear on ESPN’s “Around The Horn,” where he has been a panelist since the show’s beginning in 2002. He also previously worked for 10 years as a sports columnist at the Los Angeles Times, in addition to jobs at The Washington Post and Chicago Sun-Times. In today's episode, J.A. shares his “favorite mistake” story about applying for a job, to be a sports columnist in Philadelphia, which probably would have been a failure. Why was it a mistake to want that job, then? How would the newspaper have determined if he was a success or a failure? How would that be determined today in the internet age? We also talk about questions and topics including: Angry letters to the editor might not be a bad thing if that means people are reading? Coaching students about handling or bracing for hate mail or flat out hate? Tell us about getting into TV – did that ever feel like a mistake? When that was new to you? Learning to give “hot takes”? Mistakes in reporting — pressure to be first vs. being correct? The “Medill F”?  A punishment for mistakes like spelling a name wrong… is this a very real practice? A mistake you only make once? Greg Cote’s story in a bonus episode about being lied to by an interview subject Another mistake story from J.A. — getting a soccer coach's first name wrong in a profile
February 07, 2022