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E31 - Latest Episode

Critical Friend for C-Suite Leaders & Boards in Social Causes

Toni McLelland, Critical Friend for C-Suite Leaders & Boards in Social Causes shares how the social aspect of leadership is the most important one. “Compassion and Care win every time,” says Toni. When she led large teams, she’d spent 80% on supporting people and 20% on doing other things. When you extend compassion to someone you create a relationship. She learned from her early career in criminal justice working with young gang members that extending care and understanding creates safety and healing. Leading with compassion is not always easy. It requires courage. Toni shares how a leader needs to stay in the challenge and not give up, giving people a role model and also helping them through the challenge, even when no one yet knows how it will resolve. Compassion and care fit in every situation. Compassion is about helping others to relieve their suffering.



Vice President of Sales, Salesforce

Unlock the power of authentic leadership and connected teamwork as we delve into the keys of vulnerability, individual understanding, and strategic AI integration for thriving in today's dynamic business landscape.

On the latest episode of Connected TeamworkSalesforce VP Caren W. joins Microsoft's Carson V. Heady, author of Salesman on Fire to explore connectedness within teams and leadership.

From understanding individual purposes to the intersection of business and social impact, we dove into the essentials for thriving together, especially in challenging times.


Radio show host, professional speaker and trusted advisor to business leaders.

To be a leader we need to take responsibility for ourselves, unconditionally. Challenges will be there. How do we respond with resourcefulness rather than giving into the fog of reactivity and resistance? Key Note Speaker & Coach Christopher Salem shares his journey and how to prepare oneself mentally, physically and spiritually, every day for what is in store of us. How do we lead from intention rather than expectation?



Chief Information Officer at Mercy

What would Sister Rock have me do? What do we want to hand off to future generations? Scott Richert is the Chief Information Officer of Mercy, the leading Midwest hospital system of which Sister Rock was a leader for many years. Together with this dad, Scott’s family has served Mercy for over 50 years. How do we find our purpose? “God can’t steer a car that is parked,” says Scott. We need to listen for internal guidance on what is meaningful to us, what lights us up and then do what is in front of us. As we pursue the path, our mission and meaning becomes more clear over time. Scott reflects on the bigger why often, also with the people he leads. It helps them make decisions and be clear about: What is it that has to stay always? What is it that we need to change to be of service, given the circumstances in front of us?


In the spirit of Martin Luther King Day, let's contemplate the choices we make in interactions. Opening our circles of care and compassion to include everything and everyone is a path toward true freedom.

Imagine a world where judgment gives way to compassion—a world where our connections are marked by a profound sense of unity and love. Judgment, while a convenient shield, blocks us from experiencing this deep connection.

Embracing our differences without judgment leads to a sense of compassion and a willingness to accept imperfections and find beauty in the uniqueness of each other.



Endings are inevitable. Amidst the sense of finality and the emotional phases of transition, embracing change can lead to new opportunities and personal growth. Every destination is but a doorway to another.

🔄 Embrace Change: Endings are not final but gateways to new beginnings, prompting personal and professional growth. Carson and Hylke share insights into navigating transitions with resilience and real examples of endings that beget ultimately greater fulfillment.

🌐 Cultivate Connectedness: Intentional leadership is pivotal during team endings. Focusing on relationships, values, and shared purpose creates a supportive environment, fostering a sense of unity amidst change. It isn't goodbye; mentorships and friendships can sustain team endings.

🤔 Tough Calls and Decision-Making: Recognize when to let go, weighing factors like fulfillment, learning opportunities, growth, and relationships. View endings as opportunities for transformation and continuous evolution.

How have you navigated endings in your career and within your team?


Ouch! From Pain Point to Pinpoint

OUCH! How do we work with the ouch that invariably happens in teams?

How do we work with pain, that of ourselves and of each other, and still deepen connectedness in our teams?



GUEST: Johan Supuwood

Vice President - Healthcare, Bank of America

It’s about courageous connectedness. It’s about having team members be deeply connected to themselves, each other and their purpose together.

In the Connected Teamwork podcast, we explore with leaders from all kinds of teams how to build deep connectedness by growing through the most challenging team moments.


GUEST: Christine Hopkins

President & CEO of Advanced Supply Chain International LLC

How to lead and keep the team engaged during the worst days?

How to connect a group of people with their own passions to the higher purpose when organization is experiencing its most challenging moments?

Watch this episode for a conversation with Christine Hopkins

Christine is the President & CEO of Advanced Supply Chain International LLC (ASCI) and ASCI Federal Services. ASCI specializes in outsourced warehousing and inventory management. Prior to joining ASCI in 2013, she spent more than a decade specializing in Human Resources, Safety & Risk Management. Her entire career has been focused on helping people become the best professional versions of themselves.



What connectedness means in the context of cybersecurity and privacy?
How do you practice connecting to self, to others and to higher purpose in a field which requires focus on people, process and technology?

Joseph is a Chief Security Advisor at Microsoft.  He mainly advises customers in the Health and Life Sciences field.  Before Microsoft, Joseph spent several years as a consultant and a full time CISO.  His background is in management, technology, and life sciences.  Joseph has been involved with cybersecurity professionally and personally for over 30 years.


How do we enjoy more and more what we are doing, perfecting our craft?

How do we find real fulfilment?



How do we unleash energy in ourselves and our teams by really getting clear about our mission and following through on it?

How do we take mission driven decisions rather than being reactively opportunistic?


How do we build connectedness when there is conflict on a team?


How do we bring up the elephants in the room in way that bring us closer together?


How can we use the energy of conflict to help evolve our team to its next level?



What does connectedness mean for the sales teams? Where do we start the connectedness journey?
What does good look like and how do we build resilience to keep striving to “good”?
We discuss these questions with Dionne Mejer, Change Agent, Author, and Sales Advisor, who is passionate about sales, learning and relationships. A 25-year veteran in sales and technology, Dionne brings her Midwest roots with her California sunshine experience, lessons learned, and more to each discussion and engagement. Her teams and clients have always seen success and many have gone on to experience promotions and both personal and professional growth. She believes in positive transformation, living with purpose, and bringing the best out in everyone and in every situation. And finally published her book, The Stepped Approach, earlier this year.


Leading remote or hybrid teams across different geographies or cultures presents unique challenges.
Lilia Christofi, at this episode of the Connected Teamwork podcast, will share what she learned throughout her career about teamwork and making progress together by deepening connection to each other.

Lilia has 20+ of cross industry experience particularly in FSI across 4 continents. She lived in 7 countries and cultures, while navigating career progression and is now leading EMEA Banking for Microsoft. Her focus has been large transformation and changes at private and public sector, navigating complexities specifically to do with human barriers. 



How do we build connectedness as a team by sharing who we truly are?

How does all of life prepare us to connect more deeply to ourselves and each other?

How can we apply our connectedness to build a high performing team?

Listen to this podcast with special guest Robert Washington M.B.A MS, Microsoft sales leader, mixed martial arts pro-athlete and award-winning inspirational speaker and Hylke Faber.


How do you foster inspiration for your team in increasingly complex environment?

Join our next Episode of Connected Teamwork podcast on September 25 at noon PST for a conversation with Stephen Oommen.

Stephen is a Managing Director at Microsoft, and a sought after professional speaker. What sets Stephen apart is how he uses his personal philosophy of inspiring people to create life & love and translate revenue into actionable value. Stephen is a process-oriented leader with a commitment to authentic leadership and critical thinking.



How do you foster authentic connection and why connectedness matters during team’s most critical moments?

Join our next Episode of Connected Teamwork podcast on September 11 at noon PST for a conversation with Bob Fabien

Bob is the former Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Santa Clara University and a Senior Information Warfare Officer (CEO/GM level) in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Bob is recognized for his knowledge, vision, leadership, and collaborative style of effectively approaching a constantly evolving and complex area of information security and risk management. He demonstrates ability to establish positive internal and external C-level and boardroom relationships to effect significant change, drive a cybersecurity risk management strategy forward while enabling organizational growth.


How do we build deeper connectedness as a team when things are not going well?
How do we trust to lean more into each other when we feel stretched?

Setbacks are heat moments. Teams at their best use upsets as setups for learning and greater connectedness and impact. Disconnected teams can further disintegrate when things are not going well.
We can learn to approach challenges as core team defining moments. We can learn to be intentional about how we show up at our best and support others to do the same. As a team we can learn to use challenge to gain more perspective, strength and connection, and become even more purposeful.
In this episode we explore how we can maximize our team’s growth in times of challenge by being intentional about the energy we bring to these heat moments.



Giving feedback may be difficult. It may trigger fears that the conversation will damage the relationship or disrupt workflow. As a result, the feedback may come too late, be vague, or shared in the way that makes it very heavy.
Truly seeking and taking in feedback is also challenging. Our ego resists what it perceives as criticism, or threat to our security and feeling accepted by others. So, it is tempting to downplay the feedback, withdraw from the relationship, or, on the contrary, vehemently defend yourself. And yet regular feedback exchange is the basic element of a team’s effective functioning.
In this episode we explore how to cultivate feedback as intentional, day-to-day connecting practice.


Have you ever failed to meet your commitment while working on a team? How did you feel?

What if someone else does not deliver upon their word?

Team work assumes interdependency. It’s hard to reach a team outcome if one of us does not play their part. At the same time we have multiple challenges, team priorities change, coordination takes time while things beyond our control keep happening.

In this episode we talk about managing commitments and how to make sure that our word counts to each other in our next episode of the Connected Teamwork Podcast.



What do you love about team decision-making and what do you don´t like about it?  
Decisions made collectively may incorporate diverse perspectives, ensure shared responsibility, have better follow up and execution.
At the same time team decision-making is often be time-consuming, requires a lot of communication and coordination, and may lead to suboptimal outcomes in cases of groupthink, dividing conflict or unequal participation because of dominance.

In our next episode of Connected Teamwork Podcast we will discuss our experience and tips related to effective decision-making by the teams.


Think about the situation when your team has collectively experienced an insight, which lead to greater results or better process.

What kind of practices are critical for truly learning and changing as a team?

When and why should team members de-brief together and how to go about it?

In this episode of Connected Teamwork Podcast we will discuss the role of team reflection in supporting a culture of high performance and continuous improvement.



How do we grow as leaders?
Self-reflection and self-awareness are paramount to effective team leadership.
You don’t develop true wisdom and integrity without a regular practice of reflecting upon your decisions and actions and their impact on your life and the lives of others.
How are you growing as a leader and as a human being through being part of the team? 
What valuable lessons have you learned from observing, listening and working with others?


How do you set up a foundation for growth and human connection on a new or start-up team?

Learn from our guests Flora Muglia and Lauren Marturano, of Zinnia,  who shared with us about how to:

🔗 foster connection internally as they build their team from the ground up, and

🔗 cultivate connection externally to create a successful brand that in turn helps their customers drive deeper relationship with their clients and prospects.



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Serving together: What is your experience with giving?

Chances are you felt a sense of flow, humility and gentleness. Shifting from getting mindset to a giving one is letting go of our small-self ego. We focus instead on putting ourselves in service to a greater whole together. How can you help your team tap into this energy of service where you enter the marketplace with helping hands together?

Join Microsoft Sales Leader and best-selling author Carson V. HeadyGrowth Leaders Network (GLN) Coach and Founder, and award-winning author Hylke Faber and GLN Partner and former CEO of Mary Kay Ukraine, Olena Sergeeva, as they explore together with their guests what helps people truly thrive together.
And a bow of gratitude to Fred Kofman who coined the phrase ‘entering the marketplace with helping hands.’


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Think about a situation when you felt really appreciated. What happened? How did you feel and how it affected your relationship with the person, your energy and motivation to contribute?

Often in our teamwork we tend to focus on outcomes and what needs to be done to bring them about. We address challenges and may become stressed out and super serious in the process.

Meanwhile, it is the genuine smiles and the lightness, it is the sense of being appreciated and feeling deep gratitude that truly helps us thrive together.

We will explore these topics in our next episode of Connected Teamwork with Hylke FaberCarson V. HeadyOlena Sergeeva



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How do you identify team’s higher purpose and stay true to it? How do you align what is meaningful and inspirational to you with the objectives and the creative energy of others? How do you make sure that goals are empowering and allowing for growth?

In our next episode of the Connected Teamwork podcast we will focus on how to practice connectedness while tackling the challenges of team goal-setting and goal alignment.

Join Microsoft Sales Leader and best-selling author Carson V. Heady, Growth Leaders Network (GLN) Coach and Founder, and award-winning author Hylke Faber and GLN Coach and former CEO of Mary Kay Ukraine, Olena Sergeeva, as they explore together with their guests what helps people truly thrive together.


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Truth is about recognising what is true for you and what is true for others, about creating work environment that allows everyone to connect more deeply to their true potential. This also means undoing what is not true – fear, confusion, doubt, guilt, hurt, withdrawal. The distortion of truth becomes obsession – overthinking, distrust, self-absorption, trying to prove some self-image.
Love is about kindness and empathy, and recognising where you are and where everyone is. Accepting the imperfections, the ambiguities, the differences. The distortion of love is judgement, skepticism, disregard, making others feel small.
Service is about purposefulness, about aligning intentions and keeping focus on progress and on the bigger goal. It shows up in how we handle meetings, set metrics, resolve disagreements, prioritize, address challenges. The distortion of this is overcontrolling – micro-management, perfectionism, pressure, blame, “I better do it myself”, overworking, disconnect in individual agendas and goals.



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Truly connecting while collaborating on a team needs everyone’s engagement, everyone being present. This is not automatically happening simply because you have a meeting scheduled and team members made it there. 
During our last week’s podcast Trudi Mixon made an excellent recommendation of using a question “What is distracting you right now?” during team check-in at the beginning of the meeting.
In this week’s Connected Teamwork podcast (see link in the comments) Carson V. Heady and Olena Sergeeva further focused on the challenge of aligning team’s intentions and creating a flow of productive energy while recognising various distractors within the team.

Such distractors may relate to personal issues; communication overload; challenges with technology; multitasking; anxiety over performance or relationships, etc. Distractors mean that each of us is only partially present, thus, limiting access to team’s resourcefulness and interconnectedness.