Talent Empowerment

Tom Finn

The Talent Empowerment podcast is all about helping people leaders help their organizations! Each week, host Tom Finn, co-founder and CEO of LeggUP, sits down with people leaders, talent development savants, founders, and executives from every industry to learn how they’re driving people innovation, transforming HR into People Ops, and securing organizational buy-in to disrupt the status quo. Why? Good HR leaders work for the company. Great HR leaders work for the people. If you’ve made it this far, we think you’re pretty great! So, what do you say? Let’s get back to people and culture, together. Subscribe to our podcast wherever you like to listen so you never miss an opportunity to empower your people.


How to be a "Great Place To Work"
Aug 24 2022
How to be a "Great Place To Work"
Our guest today is Michael Bush, the CEO of Great Place to Work, the global research and analytics firm that produces the annual Fortune100 Best Companies to Work For list, the World’s Best Workplaces list, and dozens of other distinguished workplace rankings around the world. Driven by a love of business and an unwavering commitment to fair and equitable treatment, Michael joined Great Place to Work as CEO in 2015, bringing 30 years of experience leading and growing organizations. This includes serving as CEO of Tetra Tech Communications, which he grew from $40 million to $300 million in revenue. Michael is also a former member of President Obama’s White House Business Council and a founding board member of the private equity seed fund, Fund Good Jobs, which invests in small, inner-city businesses.Talking Points: What does Great Place To Work do?The importance of measuring "trust" / what is "trust"What do most employees look for in managers and leadersWhat's the most important hiring factor when building teams? Consequences of low trust work environmentsGreat Place To Work and Google's partnership on studying high-performance teamsEmployees don't have the power to change company cultureWhat matters most to employees? Yes, pay does matter.What actually matters if you want to be a great leaderThe majority of leaders are snapping back to 2019 behaviorAnalyzing what's best for my customer and my employeesWhat would Michael change about his own leadership style? Resources/Links: Great Place To Work: with Michael on LinkedIn:  the Podcast Website:  with Tom on LinkedIn:  the Podcast on LinkedIn:  our Sponsor:
It's Time to Start "Loving Up" HR with Accenture's Jeremy Ames
Aug 11 2022
It's Time to Start "Loving Up" HR with Accenture's Jeremy Ames
My guest today is Jeremy Ames who is currently the Business & Technology Delivery Senior Manager for Accenture, a Fortune 500 company -$50.53 billion in 2021, delivering human capital management technology services to their many clients. Previously, Jeremy was the VP of HCM Services at Workforce Insight and the founder and CEO of Hive Tech HR, a company servicing the the lifecycle of human resources technology. Here Jeremy became known as the “the HCM Guy,” but has since abandoned that nickname, wanting to be part of the shift away from the “human capital” terminology to “people management.” Today, Jeremy is a go-to resource for many companies and loves to share his knowledge on how people management does, in fact, impact an organizations’ bottom line.‍Talking Points: How do people impact the bottom line? Jeremy's background as a consultant and becoming an HR thought leaderCombining people and technologyWhat are the current trends in employee transformationSupporting for people who are surviving versus thrivingHow to increase utilization on wellness appsBiggest challenges holding HR backHR and burnoutWhat should HR focus on to retain employeesHow does the function of HR pivot for the future/5 years from nowResources/Links: Connect with Jeremy on LinkedIn:  Jermey: jeremy.a.ames@accenture.comVisit the Talent Empowerment website:  Talent Empowerment on LinkedIn:  Tom on LinkedIn:  Tom on Twitter:  our sponsors:
Building Blocks to Psychological Safety with Linda Valente, MFT
Jul 14 2022
Building Blocks to Psychological Safety with Linda Valente, MFT
Linda Valente is the Director of Training and Employee Development at the non-profit, CDD, or Center for Developmentally Disabled. Here Linda and her organization provide much-needed residential care services and day habilitation to adults with developmental disabilities across the greater Kansas City, MO area. Linda is the first person in her position, laying the foundation for supporting not just their residents, but their caregivers.Linda has worked in the Learning & Development field for 14 years now and holds two master's degrees in Adult Education and Family Therapy. Outside of academics, Linda is a lover of music. She is a part-time vocal instructor and currently studying to become a voice-over artist. But most important to Linda is her female-dominated family with two daughters and two granddaughters, with her first grandson on the way! ‍Talking Points: How Linda got into training and developmentCenter for Developmentally Disabled informationImportance of "listening tours"How can L&D positions help employees reach their full potentialDealing with failureTips to decompress the mindHow can talent leaders best position themselves for their own growth within a company?The power and importance of vulnerability and creating psychological safetyServant leadership modelDefining successHow to make "others-focused" a leadership/business practiceTips for building relationshipsWatch outs for psychological safety‍Resources/Links:Connect with Linda:  about CDD: with Tom on Linkedin:  with Tom on Twitter:  website:  Our Sponsors:LeggUP:
How a Chef Became a Sought-After People Leader
Jun 29 2022
How a Chef Became a Sought-After People Leader
Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast where we lift up people leaders so you can lift up your organizations!Our guest today is Shana Robinson, a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with a large Fintech organization with numerous years of people operations experience under her having worked for the likes of Blue Apron, Twitter, Google, eBay, and Compass Real Estate, just to name a few! She is also an expert in bringing wellness initiatives into the corporate experience, focusing heavily on helping employees cultivate all facets of emotional and physical intelligence. Her personal mission is to empower individuals and corporations to navigate challenges and transitions through work, life, health, and wellness in an ever-changing world.‍Talking Points: How food and mood are connected, moving Shana from the role of chef to people leaderWhat do you learn in a restaurant that you can bring into the corporate world? Shana's morning ritual to avoid "FLC"What should you do as an HR leader when starting with a new company?How to best get to know your new colleagues to build trust early onHow does data come into play for HR leaders?How to speak the different "languages" or motivating factors of leadersWhy the push for "physical wellbeing" in the workplace didn't workWork/life Integration over balanceIt's time to explore new ways of workingLive from a place of "calm and ease" even in stressful situationsResources/Links: Connect with Shana on LinkedIn:  with Tom on LinkedIn: with Tom on Twitter:  the podcast on YouTube: the podcast on LinkedIn:  the podcast's website:
Moving from the "Kiddy Table" to C-Suite Conversations with Anthem's Aysha Alawadhi
Jun 16 2022
Moving from the "Kiddy Table" to C-Suite Conversations with Anthem's Aysha Alawadhi
Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast where we lift up people leaders so you can lift up your organizations!My guest today is Aysha Alawadhi, an HR and Organizational Effectiveness specialist, with a decade of international experience that cuts across various HR and operational functions, with a focus on diversity, culture, development, and people analytics. She prides herself on being industry agnostic and is a huge believer that HR can be done right in any industry if people are the true focus of the strategy. She currently works for a large healthcare organization, Anthem. Talking Points:Aysha's experience growing up in DubaiHow wanting to make a difference led Aysha to HRTakeaways as hire No.2 at a startup - helping it grow from 2 to 2,000+ employeesHow HR can move from the "kiddy table" to a C-Suite and stakeholder conversationsRecognizing and overcoming misaligned incentives for employee engagementThe importance of understanding the core business over specializing in HRIdentifying key barriers preventing employees from performing their bestDon't do culture for the sake of cultureAysha's two major lessons from her mistakesThe importance of understanding your stakeholdersEffective tactics for change managementEffectively communicating with the CFO and stakeholdersHarnessing your power as an individual to make real changeResources/Links:Connect with Aysha on LinkedIn:  with Aysha on Twitter:  with Tom on LinkedIn:  with Tom on Twitter:  Talent Empowerment on LinkedIn:  Talent Empowerment's Website:
Leveraging Radical Authenticity with Brian Bogert
Jun 2 2022
Leveraging Radical Authenticity with Brian Bogert
My guest today is Brian Bogert, a human behavior and performance coach, speaker, and business strategist, Brian teaches disruptive strategies on how to create sustainable growth and lasting change personally and professionally. His life philosophies on “how to embrace pain to avoid suffering,” “people before profits,” and “who before what” has helped individuals and companies discover and activate their limitless potential. In a world that is disconnected, Brian is revolutionizing how individuals, leaders, and entrepreneurs deeply connect with their authentic selves to achieve the best version of themselves.Brian’s passion for positive leadership extends beyond his business career and into the nonprofit sector. He is a founding member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s professional advisory board, the Vinnies, and serves on various other advisory boards and committees like the American Cancer Society, Adelante a lonte —Healthcare, TGEN, United Blood Services, the YMCA and many more! Talking Points: Brian's unique origin storyThe difference between pain and sufferingEmbracing pain to avoid suffering; but pain is not always what we need to embraceHow embracing pain relates to leadership teams and building culturesIdentifying pains you tend to avoid; how leaders relate this to strategies that don't seem to workHow emotional triggers hold you back personally and professionallyScarcity vs. abundance mindsetsHow do companies take these insights to establish an effective culture? Dropping your body armor to allow everyone to be seen and heardWork/life balance versus work/life integration Brian's Exclusive Offer for Listeners:  Website:  with Brian on Instagram:  with Brian on YouTube:  with Brian on Twitter:  with Brian on LinkedIn:  Empowerment Website:  Sponsors:LeggUP:
Working Moms, Personal Branding & Leading with Humanity with Intel's Stephanie Crook, VP of Org and Talent Capability
May 19 2022
Working Moms, Personal Branding & Leading with Humanity with Intel's Stephanie Crook, VP of Org and Talent Capability
Our guest today is the energetic, innovative, working mom, Stephanie Crook, Vice President of Organizational & Talent Capability at Intel. She is responsible for building talent strategies and solutions in support of Intel’s business execution.An accomplished Organizational Development professional, Stephanie has fifteen years of experience leading cross-organizational transformation projects both in and outside Intel. Throughout her career, she has maintained close ties to thought leaders in the organizational development, talent and strategy fields and is known for bringing industry best practices to the teams she leads.Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Russian from Utah State University and a master's degree in organizational behavior and business administration from the Marriott School of Management at BYU.‍Talking Points: Stephanie's professional historyHer early experiences as a working mom of 4 childrenThe importance of a personal brand or reputation in the workplaceBringing humanity into the workplaceThe shift in understanding how culture impacts the value of the firmChallenges of aligning the right talent with the right projectsStephanie's proudest accomplishmentsStephanie's advice for younger employeesBuilding and investing in networks3 things you can do to stay engaged with your networkResources/Links: Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn:  with Tom on LinkedIn:  with Tom on Twitter: the Talent Empowerment Website:  Empowerment podcast LinkedIn:  Thank you to our sponsors: LeggUP:
How to Start Leading from the Front with Craig Thomas
May 5 2022
How to Start Leading from the Front with Craig Thomas
Our guest today is Craig Thomas! Craig grew up in Jamaica and is now an HR Specialist in Nova Scotia, Canada. An amazing connector of people with a very diverse educational background and professional career, Craig’s true industry expertise lies in change management, Training and Development, DEI, and employee retention strategies. Prior to working in HR, Craig spent 19 years in the Banking and Finance industry specializing in risk management, Credit adjudication, and Banking Operations. He is also a certified trainer and educator, teaching at the University level for over 15 years. And to round out his impressive and one-of-a-kind experience, Craig served as a program manager for a key International Donor Agency, USAID, where he provided guidance to regional, national, and community-based organizations in Jamaica and the Bahamas on matters related to Grant Funding policy, operations, and capacity building initiatives.Talking Points:  How Craig found many role models growing up in JamaicaCraig's history from finance to HRWhat does it feel like to be in-between leadership and employees?Overcoming stigmas of a finance background working in HRTips to lead from the frontWhat is the role of culture in HR?Company values versus individual valuesEquality vs. EquityCraig's work in the education sphereThe importance of financial literacy for HR and employeesWhat disciplines should all HR practitioners be well-versed in?Craig's experience with LeggUPHow to be strategic with networkingBe alive while living!  ‍Resources/Links:  Connect with Craig on LinkedIn: with our host, Tom, on LinkedIn: Talent Empowerment's Website:  Talent Empowerment on LinkedIn:  our sponsor, LeggUP:  ‍Thank you for joining the Talent Empowerment podcast and we hope this conversation lifted you up so you can lift up your teams and organizations. Let’s get back to people and culture together. We’ll see you on the next episode!‍
Do You Think About Work in the Shower? With Partha Noeg, CEO of Vantage Circle
Apr 14 2022
Do You Think About Work in the Shower? With Partha Noeg, CEO of Vantage Circle
Our guest today is someone obsessed with all things employee engagement and HR tech, Partha Neog, the CEO and Co-founder of Vantage Circle. He has over two decades of expertise in product and executive management. He has demonstrated a proven track record of scaling great businesses and was instrumental in the conception and launch of 99acres.com. Partha gained valuable experience in a variety of industrial verticals while working for organizations like Airy Cent Aricent, Hughes Software Systems, and Bharat Electronics. Through his frequent association with several companies and HR departments over the years, he has gained deep insights into the employee engagement space. Partha's vision for Vantage Circle has helped it become one of Asia's leading HR technology companies, as well as one of North America's and Australia's fastest-growing employee engagement platforms. A global savant, if you will! Talking Points: What does employee engagement mean in today's workforce?Perks vs. rewards and recognitionThe product expansion journey of Vantage CircleThe Serendipity of starting your own businessMoving outside of the Asian marketplace and scaling a business internationallyHas Partha experienced equal treatment/equal air time while trying to expand internationally? What's the next thing coming in the recognition and rewards space?Is employee pulse work critical for HR leaders? Where is the value in rewarding employees? Partha's take on employee adoption of the company missionPartha's challenges along the wayResources/Links: Connect with Partha on LinkedIn: Circle Website:  Circle Blog:  Empowerment Website:  with host, Tom Finn on LinkedIn: with host, Tom Finn on Twitter:  with Talent Empowerment on LinkedIn:  Sponsors:LeggUP:
How to Overcome Bumper Car Moments with Author & CHRO, Susan Schmitt Winchester
Mar 24 2022
How to Overcome Bumper Car Moments with Author & CHRO, Susan Schmitt Winchester
Susan Schmitt Winchester is SVP, CHRO for Applied Materials with 30 + years of HR experience, previously serving as CHRO for Rockwell Automation and multiple leadership roles for the Kellogg Company. She is a National Academy of HR Fellow, the highest professional honor for HR leaders, and a Board member for the HR Policy Association, member of the Executive Committee, Peer Roundtable for CHROs, Vice Chair Leadership Advisory Board for the Dean of Engineering, U of Michigan, and a Forbes HR Council member.She is also the co-author of the book, Healing at Work: A Guide to Using Career Conflicts to Overcome Your Past and Build the Future You Deserve, with Martha I. Finney.  Talking Points: Susan's role at Applied Materials as CHROHow Applied Materials worked through the pandemic and return to the office for different positionsManaging hundreds of global people leaders within the organizationHow to maintain a calm presence during difficult timesHow your childhood can affect your work lifeThe stressful reality of perfectionism and people-pleasingAdult Survivor of a Damaged Past (ASDP)Unconscious responses to co-workers' behaviors' and understanding emotional triggers"Bumper car moments" conceptCompetency models vs. suitability modelWhat's one thing most people don't know about Susan‍Resources/Links:Healing at Work: A Guide to Using Career Conflicts to Overcome Your Past and Build the Future You Deserve:  up for Susan's newsletter:  LinkedIn:  Personal Website:  Empowerment Website:  Empowerment LinkedIn:  Sponsors: LeggUP:
Start "Unboxing" Company Culture with Gabrielle of Caroo
Feb 24 2022
Start "Unboxing" Company Culture with Gabrielle of Caroo
We chatted with Gabrielle Turner of Caroo today, a modern corporate gift-giving company based in Los Angeles, CA. Gabrielle is a natural-born people leader and someone who is instantly committed to the people she works with, coming in ready to take action with a list of new initiatives! Interestingly, Gabrielle never meant to take an HR role when applying for her first executive position. But by interviewing with a company that focuses on placing people in departments based on her soft skills, her career trajectory was set in motion.Rooted in creating inclusive, rewarding employee experiences, Gabrielle discusses how she keeps her 100% remote team engaged through innovative new programs like Caroo Unboxed. Her work is focused on building community and connection, so whether you have a non-existent or large empowerment budget, this is the episode for you!‍Talking PointsHow Gabrielle got started in Human Resources at TargetHer biggest takeaway from her time at TargetWhy it's ok, from her perspective, to make jumps from companies and HR functionsWhat is Caroo?How Gabrielle quickly adopted new open enrollment strategies during lockdownWhere do HR leaders find the budget for employee gifts? Gabrielle's new initiatives at CarooHow HR works in Start-upsGabrielle's "Year One" plan in her new roleMost difficult about being in HR todayAdvice for employees looking for better work culturesWhat's next for Gabrielle?‍‍Resources and LinksGabrielle's LinkedIn:  Email: gabrielle.turner@caroo.comCaroo:  Empowerment Website: Empowerment LinkedIn:  LinkedIn:
How to Connect Disabled Workers with Inclusive Employers with Charlotte of Inclusively
Feb 17 2022
How to Connect Disabled Workers with Inclusive Employers with Charlotte of Inclusively
Are you a business owner looking to hire as inclusively and diversely as possible? Are you wondering what tools are available to help you find the perfect candidate for your job openings?Today we’re talking with Charlotte Dales from Inclusively. Charlotte is passionate about a lot of things and two of those things are highlighted in this episode: her entrepreneurial spirit, and helping those with disabilities find careers with businesses who are looking to hire inclusively. She shares her unique perspective on what’s wrong with the system and the steps we can take in order to fix it. Everyone deserves the chance to be financially independent.Charlotte Dales is the co-founder and CEO of Inclusively. Inspiration struck Charlotte when she was getting her first facial from her cousin, who was first licensed facial specialist in the state of Florida with Down syndrome. Charlotte came up with the initial idea for Inclusively right then and there. Inclusively goes beyond a candidate’s background, matching their experience, skills, and accommodations needed to succeed in the role. Prior to Inclusively, Charlotte co-founded a company called Bottleshot and also worked as VP of Benefit Innovation at American Express.Talking Points:How Inclusively startedThe story of Cake and American ExpressHow Inclusively helps businessesSetting people up for successSetting up a good process for inclusivity and diversityHow Inclusively helps candidates and people with disabilitiesThe current status of the workforce and The Great ResignationUpgrading and untangling the processesIndustries that lend themselves to inclusivity, more than othersHow to avoid marginalizing people with disabilitiesCharlotte Dales’ day-to-day; being a female entrepreneurGiving up the ‘gram’Resources/Links:Charlotte Dales, LinkedIn:  Inclusively:  Talent Empowerment Podcast Website: