HR Superstars

Stories from the frontlines of People Ops


Eventbrite's David Hanrahan Discusses What Your Team Looks Like At Its Best

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HR Superstars is a new podcast from 15Five honoring you, the brave, 21st century HR leader, by highlighting stories from the frontlines of People Ops.

We delve deeply into all of the many aspects of what it takes to help companies win by becoming a strategic business partner to the rest of the leadership team. Each episode showcases conversations with HR leaders from some of the world’s largest, successful, and innovative organizations.

Listen to topics like empowering managers to adopt a growth mindset and practice strengths-based leadership, how to have difficult conversations that balance the business performance needs with a high degree of care for people, and how to actually make diversity, equity, and inclusion a part of your cultural DNA instead of just lip service and a PR play.

When your culture gets toxic, management is failing, and performance suffers, it falls to you in HR to address these issues. We’re here to help you to do what matters most—develop your workforce, create a strong employer brand, and become the respected strategic business partner you already are. Let’s do this superstar!

Season 1: Guests

Mike Bokina

Mike Bokina

Mike Bokina is VP, Head of HR for Siemens USA, serving the company’s largest market in the world, with more than 50K employees and over $23B in revenues. Mike is responsible for developing and executing HR strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization, in areas that include succession planning, organizational and performance management, and training and development.

Amber Cabral

Amber Cabral is an Inclusion and Diversity Consultant and CEO at Cabral Co. Formerly a Diversity Strategist at Walmart Stores, Inc.; Amber founded Cabral Co to guide organizations of various size and scope seeking to create and execute strategies that achieve sustainable, inclusive behavior shifts in the workplace. She completed her first book, Allies and Advocates published on Wiley Press in November of 2020.

Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is a Global Industry Analyst and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy. Josh founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning, HR, talent management & acquisition, and leadership. He is frequently featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall Street Journal. Josh is a popular blogger and has over 800,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Jennifer Christie

Jennifer Christie

Jennifer Christie is VP, People and Chief Human Resources Officer at Twitter. She leads the global People team and works with the executive management team as well as the board of directors to support the strategic direction of the company. Jennifer also leads the HR Business Partner teams globally that support the engineering, product, sales and partnerships, and corporate function organizations.

Season 1: Episodes

Episode 8 | 03/30/2021

What Does Your Team Look Like At Its Best? The Answer Is Found In Convergence w/ David Hanrahan

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How do you inspire people to align fully with your company’s core values? We’re not talking about reciting them, we mean actually living them with their hearts, minds, and spirits.

For Eventbrite’s CHRO, David Hanrahan, it comes down to convergence. Listen to this first part of our interview to discover what he means and learn how you might create convergence at your organization.

Episode 7 | 03/23/2021

Celebrating Culture at Your All-Remote Org w/ Automattic's Lori McLeese

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We offer you advice from our beloved friend who heads up the HR function at Automattic (, where they have been fully remote since day one and have now grown to more than 1,300 employees!

Lori discusses how people leaders must play a role in caring for the mental and emotional wellbeing of their people, and offers advice to address the needs and wants of employees who still prefer a traditional office.

Episode 6 | 03/16/2021

Change Leaders: How HR Supports WFH Employees w/ Jennifer Christie

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In today’s episode, you’ll get exclusive advice from a people leader at one of the world’s most successful tech companies.

Jennifer Christie, the VP of People and Chief Human Resources Officer at Twitter, discusses what she has learned from making the shift to fully remote, Twitter’s progressive plans around benefits and supporting working parents, their “return to office” strategy, and their proactivity around creating a more diverse and inclusive company.

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Episode 5 | 03/09/2021

Becoming a Dragon Leader: How Fire, Vulnerability, and Curiosity Make You a Better Leader w/ Dov Baron

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What exactly is a Dragon Leader?

“The Dragonist”, Dov Baron, is a Leadership Strategist, Inc Magazine Top 100 leadership speaker, and No.1 Fortune500 Podcast Host. Dov believes that all of us are heroes on our own tumultuous inner and outer journeys and shares advice and anecdotes on how leaders push themselves to improve, commit to a purpose, and inspire our people do the same.

Episode 4 | 03/02/2021

Getting to the Root of Diversity & Equity: Are We Really Addressing the Issues? w/ Josh Bersin

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In part two, of our interview, Josh discusses how companies can embrace corporate citizenship,
how D&E conversations have evolved in the last year, and how companies can support minority communities now and in the future. Listen to the episode…

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Episode 3 | 02/23/2021

HR's Evolution from an Administrative to Strategic Function w/ Josh Bersin

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As companies continue their struggle to create a sense of stability and safety for people, industry analyst Josh Bersin sees the role of HR expanding more and more to fill this need.

Many businesses tend to move to one end of the empathy/results spectrum. But if equally focusing on results and caring for everyone’s wellbeing is critical to organizational health, what does a good balance look like?

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Episode 2 | 02/16/2021

From Awareness to Action: How to Develop Diversity and Inclusion Strategies at Your Company w/ Amber Cabral

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How can CEOs create an environment where everybody has equal opportunity to become their best selves if they don’t really understand the underlying dynamics that different types of people face?

To find the answer, we talked with Amber Cabral, Inclusion and Diversity Strategist, Executive Coach, and Author of “Allies and Advocates” about how to identify privilege in our own personal lives and how leaders can develop diversity and inclusion strategies at their companies.

Episode 1 | 02/09/2021

HR's Role In Catalyzing Transformational Change w/ Siemens USA's Mike Bokina

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“What are the systems or processes that need to be more agile and need to change to support evolution or revolution? I think that’s where we as HR professionals come in.”

That’s according to Mike Bokina, Head of HR at Siemens USA, who join David and Shane to discuss how HR professionals can act as catalysts for transformational change, drive strategy forward, and help teams flourish.

Trailer | 02/02/2021

An Introduction to 15Five's HR Superstars Podcast

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Welcome! In this teaser episode, 15Five cofounders and podcast cohosts, David and Shane, share about their personal and professional paths and why they decided to start a show that focuses on HR leaders.

Shane wants this podcast to be a resource for the stories, examples, practical ideas, and actions that people can take to build more human-centric, high performing, highly engaged organizations.

David shares that there are so many incredible people leaders out there who are breaking the mold and figuring out how to create cultures in this new world of work where connection and empathy and performance all need to co-exist in ways that they haven’t before.

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Season 6: Guests

Matt MacInnis

Matt MacInnis is Chief Operating Officer at Rippling where he oversees business operations. From 2009 to 2018, he was the co-founder and CEO of Inkling, a mobile learning platform that provides on-the-job training for companies including MacDonald’s and Whole Foods. Inkling was named one of Fast Company’s most innovative companies and raised over $100 million in funding before being acquired in 2018.

Heidi Collins

Heidi Collins is VP of People Operations at 15Five, where she leads an award-winning people team. Her mission is to create more human-centric workplaces that celebrate diverse perspectives and backgrounds, and provide high levels of vulnerability, empathy, trust and personal responsibility, clarity of expectations and purpose, holistic structure and tools, and self-reflective leaders who embrace accountability.

Jennie Yang

Jennie Yang is a strategic and operational consulting leader with over 11 years of experience designing business strategies and driving organizational transformations for Fortune 500 companies, startups, and scaleups. Jennie is certified as a Master Practitioner in Transformational Neuro-Linguistic Programming (tNLP) and is currently, Director of Talent Transformation at 15Five.

Scott Miller

Scott Miller serves as EVP of Thought Leadership at FranklinCovey, where he leads the strategy, development, and publication of their bestselling books and thought leadership and is the author of Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. He is the host of On Leadership With Scott Miller, featuring interviews with renowned business titans and thought leaders.

Lori McLeese

Lori McLeese is Automattic’s Global Head of Human Resources. She and her team focus on making Automattic the best place Automatticians have ever worked. One aspect of this is building community in a distributed environment. She joined Automattic in 2010, when there were about 50 Automatticians worldwide, and is grateful to have learned so much in the 10 years and 1,200 hires since. She lives in the mountains of Asheville, NC.

David Hanrahan

As Chief Human Resources Officer, David Hanrahan leads the global human resources team, and plays a key role in leading organizational culture initiatives at Eventbrite. David’s career has spanned 18+ years building strong HR teams and fostering a collaborative team culture across global organizations including Niantic, Zendesk, Twitter, Electronic Arts and Universal Pictures.

Marissa King

Marissa King is professor of Organizational Behavior at the Yale School of Management, where she developed and teaches a popular course entitled “Managing Strategic Networks”. Her forthcoming book, Social Chemistry: Decoding the Patterns of Human Connection, explores how individuals can build more meaningful and productive relationships, drawing on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and network analytics.

Season 6: Episodes

Episode 40 | 01/05/2021

Networking In A Virtual World w/ Marissa King, Professor, Yale School of Management

Developing social networks is vital for us as humans, and is one of the most important things we can due to grow our businesses and advance our professional careers. Professor King shares her fascinating research around networking and discusses how to maintain and build connections, even during a global pandemic.

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Episode 39 | 12/29/2020

Putting The Human Back Into Human Resources w/ Eventbrite's David Hanrahan

We’ve heard of heads of people and culture, but what about Chief Convergence Officer? Eventbrite’s David Hanrahan shares the concept of converginvg with leadership to establish the behavioral traits and values that lead to us being our best. David also shares how to uncover employees’ unmet needs to drive high performance.

Episode 38 | 12/14/2020

Creating a Leader’s Mindset to Allow for High-Engagement w/ Scott Miller, EVP Thought Leadership, Franklin Covey

In this episode, Scott Miller of FranklinCovey busts several big HR myths. Plus, you’ll learn why engagement can’t simply be created, the most important question leaders can ask themselves, changes to expect in 2021, your company’s greatest asset, and the importance of radical candor.

Episode 37 | 12/02/2020

Influencing Extraordinary Performance via Competencies and Role Clarity

Having ideals in your organization is one thing. However, putting these complex systems into practice is something else entirely. A modern, dynamic business should constantly be pushing the limits for how it creates and executes systems and structures that elicit high performance and engagement.

In this episode, we get into how 15Five is changing the way organizations approach performance management. This means putting people and performance management front and center.

Episode 36 | 11/17/2020

Developing Team Leads at Automattic: An HR Conversation with Lori McLeese

2020 has presented countless challenges for Human Resources and People Ops leaders, not the least of which is how to go remote.

In this show, we offer you advice from Automattic’s HR leader ( The company has been fully remote since day one, and has grown to over 1,300 employees!

Lori discusses how people leaders must now play a role in caring for the mental and emotional wellbeing of their people, and offers advice to address the needs and wants of employees who prefer a traditional office.

Episode 35 | 11/10/2020

A More Conscious Leadership Path w/ Rippling COO, Matt MacInnis

Often, in the game of business, results are the points by which everything is measured. Success relies on extraordinary results. But that doesn’t mean your personal values should ever be sacrificed to meet these goals.

Today’s guest is an expert at taking a nuanced and informed perspective and applying it so that both professional and personal values are honored in the workplace.

Matt shares what it means to build a conscious company. He discusses how to focus on existing strengths, build company rituals to support them, and help all your people develop their core competencies.

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Season 5: Guests

Jennifer Christie

Jennifer Christie

Jennifer Christie is VP, People and Chief Human Resources Officer at Twitter. She leads the global People team and works with the executive management team as well as the board of directors to support the strategic direction of the company. Specifically, Jennifer oversees talent acquisition and management, diversity and inclusion, people systems and analytics, organizational and performance management, training and development, and total rewards and mobility. Jennifer also leads the HR Business Partner teams globally that support the engineering, product, sales and partnerships, and corporate function organizations.

Darren Virassammy 500x438

Darren Virassammy

Darren Virassammy is a TEDx Speaker and Co-Founder and COO of 34 Strong, comprised of a team that believes everyone deserves a great place to work and that any workplace can be great.  A leading expert in the global employee engagement community, the 34 Strong team leverages the Strengths-Based approach to human development to create massive shifts within organizations, both culturally and to the bottom line. He and his team have created sustainable change in small microbusinesses, all the way up to large organizational teams at the FDA, Bank of America, and The California Department of Public Health.

Kristina Johnson

Kristina Johnson

Kristina Johnson is Okta’s Chief People Officer, leading the organization’s global People function. She is responsible for the company’s human capital management strategy, and oversees talent acquisition, talent development, total rewards, and engagement programs. Kristina brings more than 20 years of human resources experience to Okta and has worked across a variety of industries, including technology, software, consulting and engineering, ranging from start-ups to large multi-national established businesses. She is an experienced leader of global teams and adept at driving change management across diverse regions.

Joseph McClendon

Joseph McClendon III

Joseph McClendon lll is one of the most sought-after Ultimate Performance Specialists in the industry. His unique brand of “Tell, Show, Do” teaching and coaching creates rapid personal change that effectively moves people to take more consistent action and go “Further Faster” with their personal and business achievements. He holds a doctorate in neuropsychology and is frequently called upon to lecture at higher learning institutions like Harvard University and Fortune 500 companies. Joseph has performed hundreds of workshops, seminars, and one on one therapeutic interventions and has presented to well over 4.5 million people around the globe.

Ashanti Branch

Ashanti Branch

Ashanti Branch works to change how young men of color interact with their education and how their schools interact with them. Raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare, Ashanti left the inner city to study civil engineering at Cal Poly – San Luis Obispo. In 2004, during Ashanti’s first year teaching high school math, he started The Ever Forward Club to provide support for African American and Latino males who were not achieving their potential. Since then, Ever Forward has helped all of its more than 150 members graduate from high school, and 93% of them have gone on to attend two- or four-year colleges, military or trade school.

Dr. Jacinta Jiménez

Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez  is an award-winning Psychologist and Board-Certified Leadership Coach with a 15+ year career dedicated to the betterment of leaders. She is a sought-after expert who contributes to national news and TV outlets, including CNN/HLN, Fast Company, and Oprah. As the former Global Head of Coaching at BetterUp, she developed ground-breaking science-backed coaching approaches for helping today’s top organizations, while leading a global community of 1500+ Leadership Coaches. Her forthcoming book, The Burnout Fix, covers resilience, sustainable success, and peak performance at work and is set to be released by McGraw Hill in 2021.

Steve Zahm

Steve Zahm is President and Chief Culture Officer and responsible for human resources, learning and development, and facilities and real estate at Procore, the leading provider of construction software for facility owners, general contractors, and specialty contractors. Steve is focused on the creation and scaling of positive workplace culture as a sustainable competitive advantage for achieving superior business results.

Anna Lundström

Anna leads Human Resources for the Americas region as well as for the Content and Advertising Businesses at Spotify, and is responsible for more than 2000 employees across Latin and North America. She joined Spotify in 2016 and has since developed and executed organizational and personnel game plans that have helped transform and develop Spotify’s business through the company’s hyper growth strategy. Anna has a Masters of Social Science in HR Management with a Major in Business Law from Lund’s University in Sweden. She lives in New York with her husband and 18 month old son. Read her latest articles on the Spotify HR Blog.

Season 5: Episodes

Episode 34 | 10/20/2020

Creating Cultures Where People Feel Safe To Remove Their Masks w/ Ashanti Branch

Today’s guest began his journey by helping young men at schools escape the hold of toxic masculinity and feel safe enough to “take off their masks” to share vulnerably with their peers.

Ashanti Branch discusses how we all hide behind psychological masks, but when organizations foster a culture of openness, honesty, and vulnerability, we can remove these masks so that employees and organizations flourish.

The parallels between high school culture and business culture are shockingly similar in this context, which is why Ashanti has spoken at many organizations to help people embrace vulnerability as a strength.

Episode 33 | 10/06/2020

A Proven Process For Overcoming Your Limitations w/ Joseph McClendon III

What are you afraid of? What’s holding you back from achieving your potential?

Ultimate Performance Specialist, Joseph McClendon III, shares the message of personal empowerment and an employer’s role in supporting it. It takes recognizing the history of marginalization that many people experience. It also means helping your people by supporting their goals and building trust.

Episode 32 | 09/29/2020

Okta's Kristina Johnson On Dynamic Work & Moving Beyond Remote

What is “Dynamic Work”? How does it differ from remote work?

Okta’s Chief People Officer joins the show to discuss how they support their employees during the pandemic and their plan for creating “employee experience” centers when it’s safe to return to the office.

If you’re curious about how to teach empathy, increase managers’ EQ, and learning and development strategies that incorporate in-depth business simulations, you won’t want to miss this one!

Episode 31 | 09/15/2020

Responding To Burnout At Work With A Science-Backed Resilience Toolkit w/ Dr. Jacinta Jiménez

No one is immune to burnout. It affects even the most passionate and resilient people. The mental and emotional exhaustion of burnout can slowly chip away at anyone’s fortitude. That’s why, especially in times like these, organizations need to support their people and bolster their resiliency however they can.

Leadership Development expert, Dr. Jacinta Jiménez, walks us through how organizations can foster a sense of resiliency during volatile times. When resiliency is set aside, burnout becomes a major threat. As leaders, we can support our people to become more resilient by allowing them to take the rest they need.

Episode 30 | 09/01/2020

How Procore Constructed A Positive Culture That Was Built To Last w/ Steve Zahm

What does company culture have to do with business results? At 15Five, we see a phenomenally strong link between the two. So does our guest in this episode, Steve Zahm, Procore’s Chief Culture Officer.
Steve has leveraged a positive culture and core values to build a pool of over two-thousand enthusiastic employees who are motivated to do their best work everyday.

With a positive company culture, it’s easier to attract talent, maintain high levels of engagement, and create a competitive advantage.

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Episode 29 | 08/26/2020

Understanding Your Strengths To Build Stronger Teams w/ Darren Virassammy

Meaningful organizational change comes when we focus on what’s right with people. This means understanding that not everyone thinks and operates the way that you do. When we appreciate these differences, we see them as assets that create stronger leaders, teams, and organizations.

In this episode, we interview Darren Virassammy, TEDx speaker and cofounder of 34 Strong. Darren and his team leverage a strength-based approach to human development to create massive shifts within organizations.

Darren is fond of quoting an African proverb, “If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” So come join us on this episode and let’s see how far we can go together to create meaningful change.

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Episode 28 | 08/19/2020

How Twitter Thrives As A Fully Remote Org w/ CHRO Jennifer Christie

In March of 2020 when COVID-19 hit the US, many organizations updated their remote work policies at least temporarily to allow people to work from home. Twitter made headlines in May by announcing that a remote work option would be available to their 5,000+ full time workforce, forever!

In this episode, David Hassell sits down with Jennifer Christie, the VP of People and Chief Human Resources Officer at Twitter, to discuss what she has learned from making the shift to fully remote, Twitter’s progressive plans around benefits and supporting working parents, their “return to office” strategy, and their proactivity around creating a more diverse and inclusive company.

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Season 4: Guests

Keith Ferrazzi Podcast

Keith Ferrazzi

Keith is the founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a management consulting and team coaching company that works with many of the world’s biggest corporations. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Keith rose to become the youngest CMO of a Fortune 500 company during his career at Deloitte. He is a frequent contributor to HBR, Forbes, and Fortune, is the New York Times bestselling author of Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone, and his latest book, Leading Without Authority , is available May 26, 2020. Keith’s mission is to transform teams to help them transform the world.

Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari is an epigenetic coach and executive consultant focused on the intersection of neurobiology, culture and empathy in today’s business world. Neogy believes that passionate self-reflection coupled with dedicated curiosity define true leadership. Specializing in the tech sector, Neogy has trained leaders at high-powered organizations, including Google, Facebook, and Salesforce. She holds a master’s degree in Transformative Leadership Development from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is the author of “The WIT Factor: Shifting the Workplace Paradigm by Becoming Your Optimal Self.”

Josh Bersin

Josh Bersin is a Global Industry Analyst and Dean of the Josh Bersin Academy. Josh founded Bersin & Associates in 2001 to provide research and advisory services focused on corporate learning, HR, talent management & acquisition, and leadership. In 2019, he founded the Josh Bersin Academy, a professional development academy which has become the “home for HR” in past months. He is frequently featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall Street Journal. Josh is a popular blogger and has over 800,000 followers on LinkedIn.

Willie Jackson

Willie is a keynote speaker, consultant, and facilitator at ReadySet who helps leaders and organizations advance vital conversations that unlock connections across differences. His belief in the transformative power of media to change narratives led him to found Abernathy, a magazine for black men backed by companies like Mailchimp, Atlassian, and WeWork. Willie served as Founding Technical Lead of Seth Godin’s altMBA program and CTO of The Domino Project, an award-winning publishing company. Willie is an avid houseplant aficionado and loves to spread the gospel of self-watering planters whenever possible.

Max Yoder

Max is CEO and co-founder of Lessonly, the training software company that helps teams learn, practice, and do better work. He is also the author of Do Better Work, a book about being a better teammate. Max lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife, Jess. He was cut from the basketball team two years in a row. Listen to Max’s interview below…

Jon Greenawalt

Jon is the Chief Performance Officer at 15Five and brings over 20 years of global, cross-industry consulting experience to help develop leaders and teams through progressive leadership and management development programs. Jon is also the former Chief People & Culture Officer at SharkNinja, where he built the Talent Development function, trained over 500 leaders and managers during his tenure, and implemented 15Five across the entire 1,600 global FTE population. Jon received his MBA from the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, and his BA from the University of Pennsylvania.

Emily Diaz

Emily is the Director of 15Five’s Transformational Services, a division she created after identifying the need for organizations to teach ‘vital skills’ to their people. Since joining the company’s founding team 7 years ago, she has served as advisor, trainer, and coach for companies across all industries — including Visa, Tesla, Citrix, and ThermoFisher. Her experience across domains informs the creation of unique and powerful programs that train core professional competencies. Emily especially loves to support high-growth organizations in making the shift from ‘command and control’ to ‘collaborate and coach’. Emily received her BA in Sociology from Bard College.

Season 4: Episodes

Episode 27 | 08/04/2020

How Do We Operationalize Leaning In To Empathy? w/ Rajkumari Neogy

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are receiving more attention these days, with many more companies asking, “How can we create more equity and a sense of belonging?” But have you ever considered the negative—exclusion? By shutting people out, consciously or not, we create shame and trauma. This is a powerful force that affects all aspects of society, not just work. 

Today, we welcome Rajkumari Neogy back to the show—an epigenetic coach and executive consultant focused on the intersection of neurobiology, culture, and empathy in today’s business world.

In this episode, Rajkumari helps us examine the role of business leaders in creating meaningful inclusivity.

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Episode 26 | 07/22/2020

Facilitating Transformation For Every Manager At Your Company w/ Emily Diaz & Jon Greenawalt

In recent years, we’ve seen the employee engagement/performance management software market explode. Along the way, we’ve come to realize that success takes more than just providing people with the software tools they need. It’s education and training that makes the difference, and a deep commitment to organizational transformation.

What’s next in the world of organizational performance incorporates intuitive software, with Transformational Services and ongoing manager education.

With this trifecta, employees and managers form new habits and skills that leads to high-performing and healthy organizations. Beyond managing performance, leaders can transform their teams in a way that result in lasting positive change.

Today, we’re talking with two of our employees who are helping other organizations train their managers as a path to organizational transformation.


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Episode 25 | 07/14/2020

Why 2020 Is The 'Year of HR': A Conversation with Josh Bersin

Right now, in addition to staying in business during an economic downturn, companies are struggling to meet the demands of a workforce coping with a rapidly evolving world. Dealing with a global pandemic and escalating conversations about race and inclusion, every company must ask itself what type of citizenship they want to practice.

Top HR industry analyst, Josh Bersin, joins the show to discuss how corporate citizenship begins with how leaders and managers treat their people, and that echoes out into the marketplace and beyond.

Listen to the show for HR career advice, what’s next for performance management, and why 2020 is ‘The Year of HR’.

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Episode 24 | 06/30/2020

Business Leaders Having Uncomfortable Conversations About Race w/ Willie Jackson


With this latest round of high-profile deadly police encounters with Black Americans and the massive response to it, many of us are at a loss about how to best respond. Business leaders especially may be avoiding the conversation because they are afraid to risk their futures because they said the wrong thing.

In this episode, Willie Jackson returns to discuss how to broach this topic with other leaders, your company, and the world. He offers advice for being courageous in the face of risk and becoming an accomplice of those who are struggling for equity and equality in the workplace and society.

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Episode 23 | 06/23/2020

Getting Serious About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion w/ Willie Jackson

How does your organization promote diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Are you aware of your unconscious biases?

We invited today’s guest on the show to share his wisdom about what we can’t see in terms of our own biology and conditioning. He goes on to provide actionable advice about what we as business leaders can do to ensure DEI in our workplaces.

Willie Jackson is a keynote speaker, consultant, and facilitator at ReadySet who helps leaders and organizations advance vital conversations that unlock connections across differences. He led the 15Five team in a vulnerable, insightful, and paradigm shifting conversation around DEI on our January all-hands retreat. Listen to what he shared with us in this interview.

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Episode 22 | 05/26/2020

Co-Elevation: The New Workplace Operating System w/ Keith Ferrazzi

How much value do you derive from collaborating with your team?

How much permission do you have to challenge others on your (leadership) team?

According to extensive research conducted by today’s guest, most people on teams say that they don’t have permission to challenge their peers.

Thats unfortunate, since teammates have enormous potential to support each other to succeed in the face of challenges and to transform the company during pivotal times. According to Keith Ferrazzi, founder and CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a managing, consulting, and team coaching company, very few teams “co-elevate” each other to new heights. That includes members of executive teams feeling safe enough to constructively challenge their peers.

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Episode 21 | 04/28/2020

Modeling Personal Growth to Support Your Employees w/ Max Yoder

In business, as in other facets of life, great leaders create environments where their people can bring the best versions of themselves to work. But it can be easy to forget that this applies to the leader first. After all, the role of CEO is just as much about being Chief Emotional Officer as it is being Chief Executive Officer.

In this episode, we interview Max Yoder, CEO of Lessonly, someone who understands how company culture and performance are a reflection of the leader’s state of mind, especially during times of crisis. Max discusses how emotions are key to high performance, an idea once foreign to the working world. As attitudes change, businesses that are integrating emotional safety into the workplace are seeing improved relationships, productivity, and accountability.

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Season 3: Guests

Jenny Sauer-Klein

Jenny Sauer-Klein

Jenny Sauer-Klein is passionate about creating transformational human-to-human experiences that prioritize connection over content. She offers in-depth Scaling Intimacy trainings in her experience design methodology, and has created programs for companies such as Airbnb, Google, Dropbox, and Genentech. She is the founder and director of The Culture Conference, and the co-founder of AcroYoga, a global movement with millions of practitioners around the world. A collection of her best team building games and exercises can be found in the Play On Purpose video library. Her work has been featured in Inc., Fast Company, Forbes, and Tim Ferriss’s book Tools of Titans.

John Foster

John Foster

John is a business designer who helps people and organizations perform at their best. He has broad experience designing, building, and managing internal operations for talent driven companies; including all aspects of HR, learning & development, and innovation. In 2013, John founded Gamut HCD (Human Centered Design) as a platform to advise start-ups and build tools that help people learn and grow. He has served as CHRO at IDEO and Hulu, and interim CHRO at TrueCar, Minted, Thrive Market and West, LLC. He is very active in the start-up community as a mentor and coach, and has deep expertise in psychology, organization behavior, leadership, and communications. Follow John on Twitter @jfconnex.

Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari is an epigenetic coach and executive consultant focused on the intersection of neurobiology, culture and empathy in today’s business world. Neogy believes that passionate self-reflection coupled with dedicated curiosity define true leadership. Specializing in the tech sector, Neogy has trained leaders at high-powered organizations, including Google, Facebook, and Salesforce. She holds a master’s degree in Transformative Leadership Development from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is the author of “The WIT Factor: Shifting the Workplace Paradigm by Becoming Your Optimal Self.”

Wayne Baker

Dr. Wayne Baker

Dr. Baker is the Robert P. Thome Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Management & Organizations at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, and Faculty Director of the Center for Positive Organizations. Dr. Baker is author of the forthcoming book All You Have to Do Is Ask (Jan. 14, 2020) as well as five other books and many scholarly articles. A frequent guest speaker and management consultant, Baker is a cofounder and board member of Give and Take Inc., developers of the collaboration technologies based on principles in All You Have to Do Is Ask.

Season 3: Episodes

Episode 20 | 04/07/2020

An Inflection Point For People Management w/ John Foster

Employee development is one of the most strategic decision-making areas for any company. Developing and nurturing your people’s experience and skills requires thoughtful, deliberate action. Today’s guest has built his career around helping businesses do just that.

TrueCar’s John Foster is a business designer who helps people and organizations reach their highest potential. He’s worked for and consulted many of the world’s most innovative companies, which have given him broad experience designing, building, and managing internal operations for talent-driven employers.

John discusses topics like the power of humble leadership and why it’s important to be genuinely curious around what employees have to offer.

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Episode 19 | 03/24/2020

How To Transition To A Fully Remote Team In The Time Of Coronavirus

In this special episode, we talk about what it takes to (re)build a successful remote workforce, since the spread of COVID-19 has forced many businesses into distributed work models…maybe permanently.

We have been a distributed company since day one and after eight years we have over 200 employees and an award-wining culture. We’ve learned that while a remote workforce has its challenges, it also presents many opportunities to build a culture with strengths that wouldn’t exist otherwise.

Listen to the audio to learn about our minimalist communication tech-stack, effective management practices, and our science-backed cultural rituals for building trust, staying connected, and keeping morale high.

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Episiode 18 | 03/10/2020

The Neurobiology of Belonging in Highly Effective Teams w/ Rajkumari Neogy

Rajkumari explains how, as leaders, we need to look at and consider why our people behave in certain ways. Research indicates that trauma can show up in our systems even if we haven’t personally experienced it, because it can be passed along through our genes! Business leaders and culture architects can benefit from incorporating an awareness of past traumas along with an understanding of neuroscience as it impacts our sense of belonging at work.

We can intentionally create a culture where people experience transformation by choosing the language that we use. Since words are integrally tied to feelings, and feelings create our environment, business leaders have the power and responsibility to create work environments where people can feel safe enough to thrive.

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Episode 17 | 03/03/2020

Intentionally Building A Culture Of Generosity w/ Dr. Wayne Baker

Ever wonder how you will achieve the monumental tasks required of you at work? Few people realize that they’re already surrounded by all the resources they need to reach their goals. There are people around you who would be happy to help. All you have to do is ask, but most people simply don’t make the request.

In this fascinating episode, we bring in an expert who has helped people and organizations successfully build cultures where anyone can tap into the giving power of what is actually a massive network of resources. He’s discovered that most people are willing and even eager, to help others. The disconnect often occurs because people are reluctant to ask for help when they most need it.

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Episode 16 | 02/19/2020

Wise Leaders Cultivate Relational Mastery

It’s not enough to have people become their individual best selves. In order to do the extraordinary, we have to work with other people. No matter how great a single person’s efforts, it’s not going to be enough on its own. That’s why cultivating relational mastery, is essential in any business.

Often, cultivating relational skill is overlooked, which is why so many orgs get bogged down by relational friction (drama, politics, resentment, blame, etc.) This means having difficult conversations. While they may be uncomfortable at the time, direct and honest communication is key to keeping negative emotions from festering.

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Episode 15 | 02/11/2020

The Real Key to Talent Development is Authentic Caring

One of the most impactful ways to influence performance involves how you see your people. This is why we describe one of the three key pillars of Best-Self Management, as “being and becoming your best self”. Leaders must simultaneously celebrate the greatness of their people (being), and also inspire continuous improvement (becoming).

Authentic caring allows you to support employees through their crises and challenges and help them grow towards becoming their best selves throughout that journey. And while sometimes the right move is to transition an underperformer out of the company, most often holding a high intention for their growth will influence a major improvement and even a transformation.

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Episode 14 | 02/04/2020

Breaking the Rules of the Corporate Offsite

This special episode is an update to our second ever podcast where we discuss how to create transformational business retreats. We’ve just returned from our 2020 retreat, which was nearly three times the size and even more powerful than last year’s. As a follow-up to last year’s episode, we interview some of our new employees, so you can hear from the attendees themselves. Chris Hloros, our business analytics manager and Jeff Smith, director of the Best-Self Academy share the profound impact that they experienced.

These include breaking down barriers and create authentic connection, so that we can deeply see the humans that comprise the company, and then all align around the greater company mission and lofty objectives.

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Episode 13 | 01/28/2020

Creating A Powerful Shared Context For Your Team

Why does your company exist? Do you feel connected to the purpose? Close your eyes and see if the answer elicits an emotional response. If the answer is to make money, that’s patently insufficient. Money is certainly critical in business but it must be the byproduct of being in service to something greater. Many leaders have developed a company mission to guide people, and we’ve found that the mission is only part of the equation.

In this episode, Shane and David discuss how to create a powerful shared context, so that your team can succeed on any horizon of time—this quarter, this year, and even a decade from now…

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Episode 12 | 01/14/2020

The Formula For Scaling An Award-Winning Culture

In less than a year, 15Five has rapidly scaled the company up from about 70 employees to over 200. It’s not entirely uncommon for many company cultures to suffer during a surge of high growth—fortunately for our company, the opposite is true. Our company culture is now stronger than ever and was recently recognized and ranked #3 on Glassdoor’s Best Workplaces list. We even received our highest scores to date from our most recent quarterly engagement survey.

So, how did we do it?

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Best-Self Management Episodes

Season 2: Guests

Laura Garnett 15Five Podcast

Laura Garnett

Laura is a performance strategist, Mother, TEDx speaker, and author of The Genius Habit. She works with CEOs and executives to identify their Zone of Genius, and craft an actionable plan to leverage it in their day-to-day work. She has consulted with organizations including Capital One, Pandora, LinkedIn, and Instructure. Prior to launching her own company, New York City-based Garnett Consulting, she honed her marketing, strategy, and career-refining skills at companies like Capital One, American Express, IAC, and Google.

Joe Mechlinski

Joe is a New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and social entrepreneur who believes that an engaged workforce is the key to unlocking human potential. Always embarking on new adventures, Joe launched his podcast, Shift Happens, which features inspiring icons and influencers such as New York Times bestselling author Dan Pink, and three-time New York Times bestselling author Tucker Max.

Anese Cavanaugh

Anese helps people show up, bring their best selves to the table, and create significant positive impact in their lives. The creator of the IEP Method (Intentional Energetic Presence), she is a speaker, advisor and thinking partner to leaders around the world. Anese is currently working on her 3rd book, CONTAGIOUS YOU: Unlock Your Power to Influence, Lead, and Create the Impact You Want.

Vanessa Shaw

Vannessa is the founder of The Workplace Lab, a design thinking incubator for HR & Talent leaders. She supports leaders to bring empathy and creativity into the workplace. Whether working with United Nations, Military cadets at West Point, or at home in Silicon Valley with tech companies, she helps people answer the question, “Can my job be an expression of my creativity?”

Season 2: Episodes

Episode 11 | 12/10/2019

Courageously Embracing Your Genius w/ Laura Garnett

In this interview, we sit down with performance strategist, Laura Garnett, to discuss the unique “genius” we all possess. We’ve been conditioned to think that the hyper-intelligent are the only ones exclusive to this title, but truly, we all have natural strengths that bring immense value at work. When we are working in roles that flex our one-of-a-kind expertise while simultaneously fueling our passions, this state is known as the Zone of Genius.

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Episode 10 | 11/05/2019

Leadership Practices For A More Positive Workplace

In our 10th episode, we discuss the benefits of creating a more positive workplace for you and your employees. We also share what we’ve learned from the field of positive psychology and how we’re able to shift our default mindsets from one that is threatened, to one that is positive and fruitful.

Positivity can manifest in many ways, including gratitude, appreciation, and of course, healthier more productive relationships.

A focus on positivity is one of the easiest ways to help the relationships in your organization thrive. When that happens, not only does the bottom line improve, but the people that make up your organization will be more connected and committed to each other and your company’s mission.

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Episode 9 | 10/22/2019

Intrinsic Motivation Pt. 2: Operating From Your Deeper Why

This is part two of our discussion on how to help inspire your people by connecting them to their internal and intrinsic motivators. In this episode, we’re going deeper into self-actualization and mastery. By helping the people around you develop and nourish a growth-mindset, meaningful and effective progress is inevitable.

At 15Five we routinely help our people set self-development objectives in addition to business goals. We’ve found that although this can be challenging, it ultimately leads to more introspection on the part of participants and creates opportunities for overall growth.

Finally, we discuss the importance of giving each other true autonomy. This means granting people the trust they need to do the work that’s required. As managers, we can choose to let our people take the lead and make the right decisions. 

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Episode 8 | 10/08/2019

Connecting People To Deeper Intrinsic Motivation Pt. 1

Motivation sparks everything we do and helps us choose where to focus in our busy lives. We have motivations for why we’re in relationships, listen to certain podcasts, and even how we work.

Intrinsic motivation is the sustainable way to drive employee performance. It’s all about incentive and deriving pleasure from the activity itself (e.g., a genuine interest in a project or strategic initiative) rather than because of any external benefits that might be obtained.

External motivators can only go so far to drive someone’s performance in life and in business. Personal fulfillment doesn’t come from a paycheck or the end-goal five years down the road; true motivation comes from waking up day-to-day excited to use our unique strengths and capabilities.

In this episode, David and Shane examine what lies behind intrinsic motivation in the workplace and why it’s a far more powerful way to encourage performance.

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Episode 7 | 09/24/2019

How Leaders Can Create Psychological Safety In The Workplace

Psychological safety hinges on making sure your people feel both respected and accepted. Remove the fear of making mistakes to support risk-taking as part of your company ethos.

There are several practical ways to build psychological safety inside your organization. We share what has worked for us at 15Five and how you can do it too. It involves building a supportive culture at work, having open and honest communication between managers and employees, and having high degrees of vulnerable trust at the leadership level.

Learn about the negative consequences that arise when your people do not feel supported and heard, and the role a manager has in creating a high level of psychological safety with their team.

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Episode 6 | 09/10/2019

What Exactly Is Best-Self Management?

Tune in for an overview of the methodology that we developed at 15Five, that we call “Best-Self Management.” We’re explaining the principles and notions that we believe point the way to a better way of working, leading, and developing our people so that we can thrive as companies, individuals, and ultimately as a society.

We explain how our experience with promoting Best-Self Management in the workplace has been a true win-win for everyone in our company and how it contrasts with the historical norm. Really, our goal is to show how we bring out the innate greatness in our people so that they can thrive, and in doing so, the business will too.

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Season 1: Episodes

Episode 5 | 08/06/2019

Reimagining The Employee Experience With Design Thinking w/ Vanessa Shaw

Your job is not simply a means to an end, a way of putting bread on the table. What if we looked at our jobs more as a way of expressing our creativity? This may sound like a radical idea, but as today’s guest explains, it’s not only possible but essential that we design an extraordinary employee experience that unlocks the potential of our people.

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Episode 4 | 07/23/2019

Present And Impactful Leadership w/ Anese Cavanaugh

In this interview, Anese discusses how we can all show up at work with intentionality behind what we hope to accomplish, and how we interact with one other. She also dives into ways we can be present with the energy we bring so that the people around us feel better supported, inspired, and motivated.

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Episode 3 | 07/09/2019

A Shared Experience Of Trust At Work w/ Joe Mechlinski

We unpack the topic of workplace trust as an essential part of any highly functioning organization. We also explore the research around the intelligence of our hearts and guts, and what scientists are saying when it comes to listening to these vital parts of ourselves.

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Episode 2 | 06/24/2019

Facilitate Transformational Company Retreats

Today, we’re exploring the importance of retreats. We’ve been putting these together since the start, even when there were only a handful of us here launching the company. We still hold them every year and the benefits have been substantial! We explain the many benefits we have seen as the result of our company retreats and how to get your employees enthusiastically involved.

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Episode 1 | 06/21/2019

Healthy Leadership Teams

In our first episode, our guests will be… ourselves! We interview each other about where we went right over the years and where we went wrong. We started with a belief that there’s a different way to do business and that the key to creating a thriving, sustainable company in the long term was supporting our people. Coming off our latest all-company retreat, many employees shared how unique an experience they had of connection with others and of a shift in mindset around what’s possible for their growth in a business setting.

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Your Hosts

david hassell ceo 15Five
David Hassell

David is a columnist, speaker, and entrepreneur who believes that when leaders institute practices that support each person in being and becoming their best self, high performance and uncommon loyalty naturally result. As co-founder and CEO of 15Five, David and his team have developed industry-leading people management software that drives high performance via a suite of features including weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, 1-on-1s, and peer appreciation. David also created the Best-Self Management methodology that helps leaders address hidden factors that stimulate sustainable growth, such as fostering psychological safety. David and the team practice Best-Self Management and use 15Five internally, which they credit with their near zero attrition, rapid growth, and awards like Inc.’s Best Places to Work. David has been featured in Inc., Wired, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company.

Follow David on Twitter @dhassell.

Shane Metcalf

Shane is a keynote speaker who advises on how to build a world class workplace and is one of the world’s leading pioneers in the space of cultural engineering and positive psychology. His insights have been featured in Inc.Fast CompanyBusiness Insider, Tech Crunch, and Bloomberg. As the Co-founder of 15Five, Shane and his team support HR Executives with data-driven people management. 15Five has won numerous awards for their company culture, including being ranked #3 in the U.S. on GlassDoor. 15Five has worked with thousands of corporations from around the globe like HubSpot, Spotify, and Citrix to systematically scale authenticity and create extraordinary cultures. As a keynote speaker, Shane can help any HR Executive with employee disengagement to maximize organizational health and create more cohesive leadership teams.

Follow Shane on Twitter and LinkedIn.