Women and Negotiation: How Fear and Perception Hold us Back

On this episode, Master Negotiator Allan Tsang taps into over twenty years of negotiating expertise to help dig into the tricky subject of women and negotiating.

If you’ve ever felt like you’ve left money on the table, have been passed over for a big financial win because you’re waiting to be ‘seen’ or have failed to negotiate effectively for yourself, your business or your career, this is an episode you don’t want to miss.

Together, Allan and I tackle questions such as: 

  • Do women tend to miss out on opportunities to negotiate because they believe their hard work will naturally be rewarded? 

  • Are women weaker negotiators than men? If so, why?

  • What role does fear play in negotiation?

  • What are the biggest misperceptions when it comes to negotiating?

  • What are the top tips women need to know before entering into a negotiation? 

For more information on Allan Tsang you can find him at 88Owls.com or on LinkedIn

(UB026) Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers The World's Best Companies. Featuring Denise Yohn - Brand Leadership Expert, Speaker and Author.

Episode 026+Utter+Brilliance+Marisa+Keegan.png

Don’t miss Denise Yohn, the go-to expert on brand-building for national media outlets, an in-demand speaker and consultant, and an influential writer. In addition to FUSION, she is the author of the bestselling book What Great Brands Do: The Seven Brand-Building Principles that Separate the Best from the Rest and the e-book Extraordinary Experiences: What Great Retail and Restaurant Brands Do.

News media including FOX Business TV, CNBC, The Wall Street Journal , and NPR call on Denise when they want an expert point-of-view on hot business issues and I'm thrilled to have her sharing her tips and tricks with our listeners on this episode.

Today we sound off about:

  • How the war for talent has led to a more intentional focus on culture within the business world

  • Why it's important for companies to understand the impact that Culture has on Brand

  • What leaders at the top of an organization need to understand about their role in driving a single vision for their organization and why they can no longer delegate Culture and Brand to HR and Marketing exclusively

  • The power of combining vision, culture and brand together to ensure a company is living their brand inside and out

  • Why honest leaders are still questioning the strategic link between culture and business results

Tips, Tools and Resources:

  • Foundational steps leaders should take in order to integrate their brand and culture

  • 5 Strategies for achieving Brand culture fusion

  • Specific questions leaders can ask when trying to align vision, culture and brand

  • Free access to Denise's Brand Assessment can be found here

To buy the book Fusion: How Integrating Brand and Culture Powers The World's Best Companies head over here.

Photo by Clint Adair on Unsplash

(UB025) Psychology and Leadership: How a disadvantaged and troubled childhood became a Leadership Superpower when it comes to growing her people. Featuring Lisa Myers, CEO and Founder @ Verve Search


Follow along as Lisa Myers, CEO and Founder of the SEO Agency Verve Search, shares the story of how her childhood led to an intense focus on understanding what drives, motivates and inspires people. From a young age she knew she was going to be a leader but the path to becoming an award winning agency hasn’t always been easy.

Today we sound off about:


  • Being Female in a Male Dominated Industry: Including examples of being targeted negatively because of her gender, specific things that were said and done along the way, how she choose to pick her battles

  • Having a People Focused Vision: Why she started her own business as a way to prove to others that her vision had credibility and would lead to success

  • Leading Through Growth: The biggest challenges she’s faced ensuring her company was people focused through times of quick growth

  • Psychology in Business: Why she relies so heavily on cognitive and behavioral psychology as a leader and why you should too

  • Compelling Message: The message she’s compelled to share with other leaders and how she was able to achieve a Mic Drop Moment that would make most leaders envious

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Characteristics of a Good Manager: Including how she grooms leaders & why it’s important to focus on people who have the makings of a naturally good leaders

  • Fitting People Into Boxes: Why you’ll have more success as a leader if you stop trying to fit people into a box

  • Seeing Potential in Others: How to elevate people who can't see their own potential

  • Healthy Conflict in Companies: Why she forced her entire company to spend an hour arguing and why they were better off for doing it

  • Rubber Band Theory: The power of stretching people past their comfort zone and seeking out leaders who have had tough life experiences

  • Authenticity: Stop worrying about what others think, start being more ‘you’ and use human emotion to better connect and inspire others

Supporting Materials:

Check out all of the cool work that is going on with Lisa and her team over at Verve Search and don't miss out on their awesome video, which we talk about in her Mic Drop Moment.

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

(UB024) Using Customer Feedback to Fuel Success: Increasing the odds of a powerful product launch with help from customers. Featuring Belsasar Lepe, SVP of Product and Solutions @Ooyala


Join in as Belsasar Lepe, SVP of Product and Solutions at Ooyala talks about his journey starting and growing his own business in a competitive environment that required them to find and utilize their biggest competitive advantage - their customers and the customers of their competitors.


  • How his family history shaped his aversion to ‘serial entrepreneurship” and led other leaders to dub him one of the “hardest working people I’ve ever met”

  • Why they try to learn from their competitors in the space ‘by proxy’ and how they get in front of customers who are using other platforms

  • Why listening to customers who had been brutally honest in the past led to a stronger product launch

  • A Mic Drop Moment that proved that sometimes it’s okay to push hard on customers

Customer Experience:

  • How they ensure they’re meeting the needs of their customers through experimentation

  • Why they don’t like to go more than a month without getting a product in front of their customers value getting products and updates in front of their customers early and often

  • How understanding your customers competitors sets you ahead

  • Using customer feedback to amplify your success

  • How Agile methodologies help improve customer experience

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Net Promoter Score: How to use it to gather customer feedback and what to do with the data collected

  • Top 3 Tips: For leaders who care about customer experience

  • Hiring Athletes: Why they make the best teammates in business

*If you're curious about any of these topics send me a quick note and I'm happy to send over some additional free resources.

Photo by Timon Studler

(UB023) Becoming a Best Place to Work: How one CEO took his company to the #1 slot in the country and what it would take for you to do the same thing. Featuring Shawn Boyer, Founder @ Snagajob

Listen in as Shawn Boyer, Founder of Snagajob, talks about why it was important for his company to become a Best Place to Work and how it allowed them to beat their competitors and bring in high returns for their investors. We dive deep into the relationship between this CEO and his Chief People Officer to better understand how that partnership led to such high levels of success.

Join us as we sound off about:


  • Why Shawn made culture such a high priority and how it led to them having over 65 million profiles on their site and over 200,000 companies using their services

  • The story of the day Snagajob found out they were the #1 Best Place to Work in the country in the small and medium category.

  • Why being on the Best Place to Work list mattered to Shawn and when he set that goal for the company

  • What being on the list does to employees and how it’s a double edged sword for leaders

  • What he does when employees want something he can’t give them

  • The role storytelling and testimonials played in keeping employees and leaders connected to the mission of the company

  • How he took his vision for creating a great culture and turned it into a reality

  • The impact his Chief of People had on their ability to become a Best Place to Work and why he’s glad he hired a CPO as early as he did

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Advice to the CEO: Tips and guidance for the CEO of a small company who wants to be known for having a great culture

  • 4 Characteristics of a good Chief People Officer: Seriously, don’t miss out on this part of the podcast

  • Engagement Surveys and Pulse Checks: How they gathered employee feedback at Snagajob, their strategy and process for capturing data and doing something with it including the role of the Culture Team on collecting cross departmental feedback

  • Organizational Alignment: How they cascaded their Mission Statement with values, vision, a 3 year plan, a 1 year plan and goals to make sure there was a strong correlation between the heart of the business and the quantitative data and measures. Why this allowed their employees to connect with the mission of the company in an emotional way

  • Keeping HR From Being Marginalized: How he made sure the CPO was seen and treated as an important asset to by his senior leadership team and the rest of his company

*If you're trying to create an awesome company culture I have a ton of tools and resources that I'm happy to share with you for free. Send me a note and we can go from there.

 Photo by Rafael Garcin

(UB022) Resiliency and Perseverance: How a kid from foster care became a Navy SEAL, CEO & motivational speaker to leaders. Featuring John McGuire, CEO @ Seal Team Physical Training

Don’t miss the amazing story of John McGuire, CEO of Seal Team Physical Training, leader who has overcome a lot on his journey to success - the foster system, being the underdog at boot camp, becoming a Navy SEAL, 29 broken bones including his neck and being told he’d never walk again. His story is truly inspirational and is packed with solid leadership advice that is bound to any leader.

Today John sounds off about the following stories:

  • Why his desire for family drove him to become a Navy

  • Three crazy boot camp stories including why he and his bunk-mates had to be “Quiet Ninjas”

  • How he made sure he had enough mental and physical strength to achieve his goal of being a SEAL

  • How and why he hustled to start his physical training company which has expanded to six cities and has had up to 210 people in a single class

  • Why the Discovery Channel is creating a documentary about his work

  • How he made it through a neck injury that caused the doctors to say he’d never live through the night or walk again

Photo by Robert Baker

(UB021) Transforming a Struggling Company: How one leader proved that the right focus on people and process can turn any company around. Featuring Ryan Hagan, COO @Qualtrax

Don’t miss Ryan Hagan, COO at Qualtrax, talk about what he learned leading teams at an ‘idyllic’ company that was growing quickly, had some of the top customer engagement, employee engagement and manager effectiveness scores in the country and was a nationally recognized Best Place to Work. More importantly, hear about how he applied those philosophies to a struggling software company to completely transform the way they do business.

Today we sound off about:


  • Why Ryan took on the challenge of turning around a struggling software company as a way to prove that his methodologies are sound

  • When and why he became focused on being a great leader

  • How the book “Drive” by Daniel Pink changed the way he leads

Tips, Tools & Resources:

  • Lack of discipline: How it gets companies into trouble

    1. Agile Philosophies & Daily Standups: How they helped strengthen the company

    2. Performance Review Process: Why they blew theirs up

    3. Employee Engagement Surveys: Why they matter and how he uses them

    4. Intentional Process Design: How he transformed the product development process, the sales process and the culture

    5. Net Promoter Scores: What it is, why and how they use it

    6. Strengths Profile and DISC: Two tools that help him build strong relationships with the members of his team

    7. One on One’s: Why you need to do them weekly even though you don’t agree

    8. Culture Change: The number one thing he’s done

*Curious about any of the topics we covered today? Send me a note with some details and I’d be happy to send you additional information.

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams

(UB020) Leading with Empathy and Vulnerability: Increasing productivity and connectivity by tapping into the human side of people. Featuring Bart Lorang, CEO @FullContact

Listen in as Bart Lorang, CEO at FullContact, and I sound off about the business power that can be unleashed by tapping into the human side of people.

You’ll hear us talk about:


  • The powerful story about why he has a conference room named after his grandmother

  • The story of how people reacted the first time he showed vulnerability as a leader and why it changed his perspective

  • The ‘why’ for his business

  • The radical self inquiry he has gone through to get to where he is today

  • Why he’s compelled to share a message of empathy

All Things Culture:

  • Including their mission “To Be Awesome with People”

  • The 'No Asshole Rule'

  • The role of vulnerability

  • Getting employees and customers to feel like they’re part of something bigger

Emotion at Work:

  • What it takes as a leader to get employees to open up at work and how Bart leads the charge

  • A specific ‘red’, ‘yellow’, ‘green’ technique Bart and his team use to make sure people are being transparent

  • Why Bart feels comfortable talking about emotion at work and why he thinks you should too

  • How he makes sure he’s connecting with each of his employees

Tips, Tools and Resources:

  • Strengthening your EQ - Tips

  • Utilizing a Chief People Officer to decrease the amount of ‘couch time’ he is spending with people

  • The obituary exercise: Outlining the kind of leader you’d like to be

  • Best advice he ever received from a mentor

  • Advice he’d give his 20 year old self if they were having coffee

  • Be Awesome with People

  • A few articles you might like to read include this one on the 12 Elements of EQ and this one on the 1 Element of EQ you should work on today.

*If you're curious about any of these topics and would like additional resources send me a note. I'm happy to share.

Photo by Annie Spratt

(UB019) The Link Between Employee Engagement and 12 Million Dollars in Growth: CEO & NYT Bestselling Author Kevin Kruse sounds off about why leaders should care about creating powerful engagement.

Don’t miss out on hearing Kevin talk about how his shift from working ‘in’ his business to working ‘on’ his business allowed him to grow his company to 12 million in revenue in 5 years.

You’ll hear us sound off about:

  • The personal and professional shift that led to Kevin spending more time on leadership, engagement and talent for his company and less time on operations

  • The role that engagement surveys played in the success of his company and why doing them every 6 months made all the difference

  • “The Secret” to designing a strong engagement survey strategy and why you should pick one area to work on for every 3 to 6 month cycle

  • Why so few companies don’t execute on their employee engagement surveys correctly and what it takes to create a strong employee engagement survey strategy

  • What you can learn from Campbell Soup’s rebound and dedicated focus on engagement

  • How to tell if a CEO truly cares about engagement and examples of engagement focused CEO behaviors

  • Kevin’s advice to CEOs who want to take their engagement to the next level

  • Find out why he believes that if you want to change engagement it has to be from the bottom up - and why I disagree with him

  • How he keeps engagement top of mind as CEO of his own company with an ICE Triangle (Investors, Customers, Employees)

  • The mistake he made in his last company by measuring the wrong outcome which led to internal problems around engagement and taught him a big lesson

  • The advice Kevin has for me on the direction of my career

  • His number one piece of advice for you around increasing engagement

Photo by Michael Prewett

(UB018) Customer Loyalty and Employee Engagement: The Correlation between the two and the role great HR Pros play in making it happen. Featuring Aimee Lucas, VP & CX Transformist @ Temkin Group

Don’t miss out on hearing Aimee Lucas, Vice President and Customer Experience Transformist at Temkin Group, talk about the importance of focusing on employee engagement as part of a greater strategy to increase customer loyalty.

You’ll hear us sound off about:

  • Powerful statistics proving that customer experience is stronger when employee engagement is high

  • Why it’s more important than ever to have an HR Pro who partners with the Customer Experience experts in your organization

  • How the HR profession is changing and what that means for organizations who care about customer loyalty

  • How great HR influences engagement

  • The shifting needs within the HR profession

  • The similarities between Customer Experience and Employee Engagement

  • Why it’s important to spend time getting to know your people (customers and employees) Specific questions you can ask people to get a better understanding of their pain points.

  • Three actionable tips for the HR Pro who cares about Engagement

  • Pathways to becoming an Engagement Expert and how people end up being thought leaders and experts in this space

  • Ways to collect data on employee engagement that go beyond the traditional survey

Supporting Materials:

Article mentioned in the podcast: Customer Experience and HR: It’s Time to Get Together

You should definitely check out the resource available at the Temkin Group website and their blog

Photo by Pavan Trikutam

(UB017) Can You Fake EQ By Slowing Down IQ? Is Engagement Art or Science? Has the transition to Holacracy been awesome for Zappos? A must listen mashup featuring Jamie Naughton, Chief of Staff @Zappos

Don’t miss Jamie and I sounding off about:

  • Our reactions to something Sean Knapp, CEO @Ascend.io said in episode #6

  • The debate about whether engagement is art or science

  • Why her initial reaction is that engagement is an art but now that she thinks about it...

  • Whether EQ can be faked if someone slows down their IQ

  • How one leader systematically gets his people to stop and think about how their decisions will impact their employees emotionally

  • Why Zappos hired a social scientist and the value that person added

  • How science helped Zappos create their culture

  • How Tony Hsieh blows her mind and has worked really hard to turn his IQ into EQ

  • The role that listening has played at Zappos

  • Zappos move to self-organization (Holacracy) and the patience and commitment it has taken

  • The reason Zappos made the decision to self-organize and what it is about self organization that allows employees to make decisions quickly

Photo by Steven Wright

(UB 016) What I Didn't know A Year Ago That I'm Glad I Now Know

Join me as I recap my year in podcasting and share the drama and excitement (mostly the drama though) that I've experienced taking this project from 0 - 16 episodes. You'll hear about:

  • Why I started a podcast

  • Why I suggest you ignore everyone out there trying to convince you to start a podcast (especially if they make money off this advice in any way)

  • What I've loved about the past year

  • The biggest mistakes I've made

  • The biggest misconceptions surrounding podcasting

  • What I'd do differently

  • The real cost of setting up a podcast

  • Why technology sucks

  • What I'm looking forward to in 2017

  • The moments I'm the most proud of

Photo by Paul Schafer

(UB015) Taking a closer look at the scrutiny Amazon is under when it comes to employee engagement and why you should think twice before believing what The New York Times has to say.

It's easy for people who don't get engagement to criticize behaviors that happen within companies as weird when those very behaviors are actually indicators that leadership is doing something very right.

In today’s episode you’ll hear me rant about:

  • Why writers who don’t have a clue should stop trying to pretend they understand employee engagement

  • Why the original New York Times article bashing Amazon actually proves that Amazon is doing more than a few things right

  • The biggest mistake CEOs make when trying to institutionalize a set of values and how Amazon has shown they’re actually ahead of the game

  • The program Amazon is going to roll out in 2017 as a first step towards improving employee engagement

  • My thoughts on what else Amazon needs to do in 2017

This will not be the last podcast on Amazon and their employee engagement strategies moving forward so be sure to keep an eye out for our 2017 lineup!

Articles referenced in Podcast:

(UB014) How transparency, strategic alignment & a CEO’s focus on engagement allowed his company to Make Work Better for over 5 million employees. Featuring Daniel Kraft, CEO @ Sitrion

How transparency, strategic alignment & a CEO’s focus on engagement allowed his company to Make Work Better for over 5 million employees around the world. Featuring Daniel Kraft, CEO @ Sitrion

In today’s episode you don’t want to miss our discussion on:

  • Whether or not people actually love work

  • The role Transparency plays at Sitrion

  • The three most important things you can do to increase transparency at your company

  • When and why Daniel became passionate about engagement

  • Why Daniel says he’s still has a lot to learn about engagement

  • The new team at Sitrion in charge of customer experience, why it was created and where they are today

(UB013) Designing Company Culture: Three ways to ensure the culture developing within your organization is taking your business to the next level.

Don’t let culture happen to your business, design it to work for you. Three things you can do today to ensure the culture developing within your organization is going to take your business to the next level. On this episode you’ll hear:

  • How this Inc article influenced this culturally focused rant

  • Why you should never let your culture ‘happen organically’

  • The difference between ‘fun events’ and ‘engagement’

  • Some of the biggest misperceptions about what it takes to create a great company culture

  • That fun isn’t engagement and unless you want to waste a lot of money on fun that doesn’t help you achieve your goals you have to understand the difference

Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi

(UB012) Leading during growth: Don’t miss out on learning how this leader grew his company over 1,000% in 3 years and now advises others on how to do the same. Featuring Pat Matthews, CEO @ Filestack.

Leading During Growth: Don’t miss out on learning how this leader grew his company over 1,000% in 3 years and now advises others on how to do the same. Featuring Pat Matthews, CEO @ Filestack. Today you’ll hear:

  • The biggest changes he’s experienced running companies in the past ten years

  • How Technology is changing the way small businesses are run

  • About his first big success story where he grew his email hosting company, Webmail.us, to 10 million in revenue with some speed

  • Why he loves the growth stage of a company and how you can better gauge if you’ve achieved Product Market Fit and are gearing up for growth

  • Product Market Fit, what it is and why it matters

  • How he found his prime leadership spot (growth) and how that discovery influenced the types of startups he advises

  • Pat’s thoughts on interviewing, candidates, recruiting, and winning the talent war

  • What he looks for in his interview process and in candidates he’s interviewing

  • Why he’s know as a leader who speaks his mind, is direct and ‘leaves the happy talk at the door’ and why that’s often exactly what entrepreneurs, senior executives and front line employees need the most

  • Traits of an entrepreneur that, if they go unchecked can be detrimental

  • How he increases innovation by breaking people out of their title boxes

Photo by Ev

(UB011) Winning the war on talent: How one company beat out Google for top talent, turned recruiting into a passion and designed a foolproof interview process

Winning the war on talent: How one company beat out Google for top talent, turned recruiting into a passion and designed a foolproof interview process that allowed them to achieve 1,000% growth in 3 years. Today you’ll hear:

  • About a little company called Webmail.us that turned out to be an international success

  • How the leaders helped ensure they became a great place to work, used employee and customer engagement to their advantage and established an engagement focused organization

  • How I stalked the CEO so I could be part of the amazingness

  • Why the CEO saw HR as a partnership, not as a department that belonged in a box in the back corner

  • How Webmail.us set itself up to compete with Google for talent

  • Examples of the type of out of the box thinking around recruiting that led to amazing talent hires

  • Why it’s important to set the bar high when it comes to interviewing...and how to get started raising the bar in your company

  • How we used our existing culture to bring the best talent into the company

  • How we beat the trendy companies to the top talent in the software development space

  • Creating an interview process that allows you to create a best place to work

  • Why your interview process is the number one thing you need to re-design if you want to build a best place to work

  • The three things you need to know before you start the hiring process for a position

  • Why hiring someone for the next step in their career makes all the difference for your culture

  • Why you should study webmail.us if you care about building engagement

Photo by Andrew Rice

(UB010) Experiencing “The Startup Death Wobble” and feeling like “The Failing Entrepreneur” were just tiny setbacks on this leader's journey towards success. Featuring Adam Tratt, CEO @ Haiku Deck.

Adam Tratt shares how Haiku Deck was conceptualized from his struggle to design a presentation deck that accurately showcased the story he had in his head surrounding his former business. He wanted to create a beautiful presentation for his Board and investors but without a professional designer he was lost. And Haiku Deck was born. Today you’ll hear:

  • That if you’re not a designer, no matter how much of a command of the technology you might have it’s too damn hard to create a beautiful presentation.

  • How Haiku Deck was created to help solve the fundamental problem with presentations

  • That the thing that makes people, people is that we tell stories to each other.

  • The best part of being an entrepreneur is sharing the dream.

  • About the mission and purpose of Haiku Deck and how Adam ensures that all of his employees are focused on the right things.

  • The exhausting march of failure in business that Adam experienced before he landed in his current role

  • About their launch back in November 2013 and how they got 150 thousand downloads in the first 3 weeks

  • About the three voices in Adam’s head and how they keep him focused and on track

  • Why he values transparency with his team

  • About “The Startup Death Wobble” and “The Failing Entrepreneur”

  • The character traits (or flaws) of entrepreneurs which include resilience and grit

  • How to ensure that as a leader you aren’t obsessing over the failures but focusing on the opportunities

  • What working at Cranium taught him about having a strong vision

  • Why he believes in having a clear vision and the courage to stay true to that vision

  • Why he says that there are very few entrepreneurs who feel like they’ve ‘made it’

  • His advice about getting comfortable with discomfort

(UB009) The CEO from the ‘little company that hit the Star Wars jackpot’ shares his story of partnering with Disney to create the newest Star Wars droid, BB-8. Featuring Paul Berberian, CEO at Sphero.

Listen in as Paul Berberian walks us through the life changing events in his personal life that forced him to step down as CEO of his highly successful company, stumble through a slew of business failures and eventually become the CEO of Sphero, the company that worked with Disney to create the BB-8 droid used in the most recent Star Wars movie. In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How a life changing event forced him to step down as CEO of his own, hugely successful company and how he processes the professional decisions years later

  • How this decision led to a slew of business failures from 2003 - 2010

  • How he became the CEO at Sphero

  • About the biggest strategic move their company could possibly make

  • Their experience with the Disney Accelerator Program

  • Story of the day they met Bob Iger, Chief Executive of Disney and how they went from their initial meeting to partners in the creation of the BB-8 droid for the most recent Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens

  • The current relationship his company has with Disney

  • Example of a meeting his team had with Disney where they were given some Disney Love, Attention and Scrutiny

  • Feature of BB8 that ended up being dropped for safety reasons

  • Why Sphero cares so much about their customers getting value

(UB008) How one company established a culture focused on the customer experience including an innovative way to track and measure the health of the customer. Featuring Bismarck Lepe, CEO at Wizeline

Bismarck Lepe shares insight into how his company has established a framework for improving customer engagement that includes both the Net Promoter Score and a proprietary tracking system that gives each customer an engagement score that is then reviewed by the executive team during regular interviews so a plan can be created to increase the customer engagement rates. Today you’ll hear Bismarck’s perspective on:

  • Why Wizeline was created and how they are able to help their customers

  • How and why they established a culture focused on the customer experience

  • Health of Our Customer meetings and why they’re a major focus at Wizeline

  • Why it’s important to keep the leadership team focused on customers

  • How the leadership team stays focused on customers

  • The difference between customer success teams and technical support

  • How the role of Customer Success Managers has impacted their bottom line

Photo by Wynand van Poortvliet