The success of the Built on Purpose podcast is a direct result of the amazing leaders, authors, entrepreneurs, artists, and conscious capitalists who generously give their time to share their wisdom, experience, and stories for the benefit of moving humanity forward. Oh, and Brian Mohr isn’t too shabby a host, either.
Founder of Modern Elder Academy
Rebel hospitality entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Chip Conley disrupted his favorite industry… twice. At age 26 he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming an inner-city motel into the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. He sold JdV after running it as CEO for 24 years, and soon the young founders of Airbnb asked him to help transform their promising start-up into the world’s leading hospitality brand.
Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years and today acts as the company’s Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership. His five books have made him a leading authority at the intersection of psychology and business. Chip was awarded “Most Innovative CEO” by the San Francisco Business Times, is the recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
CEO and co-founder of Upward Projects
Lauren Bailey, CEO and Co-Founder of Upward Projects, is a shining example of how hard work, passion and grit can help you accomplish your dreams. Upward Projects is a collection of restaurant brands including; Postino Wine Cafe, Churn, Federal Pizza, Windsor, and Joyride Taco House. In this episode, we explore Lauren’s passion for art and design and how she was able to find her calling in the restaurant business. We also take a look at the core operating philosophy of Upward Projects – putting employees first no matter what and why that leads to better results for both the guests they serve and the financial returns for the business.
CEO of Conscious Capitalism
Alexander McCobin’s life purpose is perfectly aligned to the purpose of Conscious Capitalism – to elevate humanity through business. In this episode, Alexander shares experiences and stories from his life including: his experience joining the wrestling team in 7th grade, his choice to pursue undergrad and graduate degrees in both economics and philosophy, how a simple idea led to a global student movement known as Students for Liberty, meeting his wife and the now hilarious story of the morning of their wedding day, joining Conscious Capitalism as the Co-CEO, the transition to the sole CEO and the elements that make the Conscious Capitalism movement so powerful.
CEO of Ongig
Rob Kelly, CEO of Ongig, developed a love of business very early in life and he believes that everyone can love business and entrepreneurship too. Why does this simple statement summarize Rob? He believes in creating value for others, and he sees business and entrepreneurship as a direct path to achieving it. His current passion is helping employers create and promote their career opportunities with job ads that don’t suck. Rob and the Ongig team are turning talent acquisition into the marketing focused activity it’s meant to be. Our longest episode yet is filled with a potpourri of wisdom, stories, and opinions on everything from going to college, starting a business, swimming with dolphins, and even a little music trivia.
CEO of the WD-40 Company
Garry Ridge joined WD-40 in July of 1987, and became the CEO in 1997. One look at their financial performance and even the most skeptical on the topic of purpose-driven and servant-based leadership will begin to take notice. In this discussion, Garry shares his wisdom on: why empathy should always trump ego, why the most important leadership lessons date back to kindergarten, the reason Garry and the WD-40 team refer to themselves as a Tribe, the WD-40 Maniac Pledge that all tribe members sign, Garry’s advice to all current and future leaders and, of course, this episode wouldn’t be complete without a few stories of the uncommon uses for WD-40.
The CEO Whisperer
Cameron Herold wasn’t the smartest kid in school. In fact, if he would have allowed his C-average in school determine his fate, he would not have achieved the level of success he has so far. From his earliest days, Cameron was destined to become an entrepreneur. He built and led several businesses — many you may have heard of, including College Pro Painters and 1-800-GOT-JUNK. He admittedly suffers from ADHD and believes this form of neuro-diversity has allowed him to see the whole picture when confronted with everyday business challenges. He’s the author of three high-impact business books, “Double Double,” “Meetings Suck,” and the “Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs.” Cameron has been called the “best speaker” by Forbes magazine publisher Rich Karlgaard.
President of Axon (formerly TASER International)
Luke Larson is the President of Axon, formerly TASER International. There’s no doubt the news media has been sharing what seems like a massive increase in the deteriorating relationship between law enforcement professionals and the communities they are paid to protect and serve. An element of the story that gets very little attention, if any, is how technology is helping our law enforcement professionals do their jobs better, especially given the fact that our world is being disrupted in every way imaginable. Enter Axon. In my conversation with Luke, he articulated the purpose behind Axon — to make the bullet obsolete. Think about that for a moment — think about a world where law enforcement professionals don’t have to rely on the bullet to keep order and peace. Imagine a world where technology can replace the almighty bullet with something less lethal, and more powerful.
Founder & CEO of PILOT
Ben Brooks is the founder & CEO of PILOT, a career-management company designed to facilitate positive results for both business leaders and employees, with the end goal of making work more satisfying and fulfilling. Ben discusses his professional history, assuming great leadership and responsibility roles through top-tier companies like Lockheed, Enterprise, and Oliver Wyman. After years of high-profile consulting work, Ben transitioned from management to human resources. He then began to delve into his passion for working with people, developing a fascination with psychology, influences, and motivations. Ben then decided to focus his professional work exclusively in HR, deriving important lessons about human engagement & performance. He eventually founded PILOT, a project that has married his extensive HR and career-coaching experience.
Founding Partner of Upward Projects
Today we’re interviewing Craig DeMarco, one of the founding partners of Upward Projects, which is better known for its family of restaurants including Postino Wine Cafe, Joyride Taco House, Windsor, Churn, and Federal Pizza. If you live in the Phoenix area, you’ll love this episode. If you don’t live in the Phoenix area, you’ll want to listen in so you know where to eat the next time you visit the Valley of the Sun. And, if you have no plans to be in Phoenix any time soon, well, this episode is a great example of an inspired leader who wakes up every day with one purpose in mind – to raise vibrations.
President & CEO of The Halpin Co.
Katharine Halpin is the President & CEO of The Halpin Co. She grew up in the “mad men” era of Mississippi in the 1960s, assuming a great amount of leadership responsibility at a young age through the oversight of her four siblings & through her working hands-on with clients at her father’s small CPA firm. She carried the knowledge she gained when she “escaped” Mississippi to work with Touche Ross in Dallas, which is now part of Deloitte. Centered around the concept of organization-wide alignment, Katharine wrote & published “Alignment for Success: Bringing Out the Best in Yourself, Your Teams and Your Company.”
Chief Culture Officer at Stericycle
Paul Speigelman is the chief culture officer at Stericycle, a globally traded public company with over 25,000 employees. Prior to that, he was the founder & CEO of BerylHealth, a company that won nine awards as a best place to work. Paul is a New York Times bestselling author of three books about culture and employee engagement, and he speaks often on the topic to convince other businesses about the power of values-driven leadership and the ROI of culture. He also acts as CEO of the Small Giants Community, a membership organization of small-business leaders who believe that as a business you don’t have to be big to have a big impact.
Founder & CEO of the Center for Advancing Leadership and Human Potential
Danielle Harlan is the author of “The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers who are Redefining Leadership.” She’s also the Founder & CEO of the Center for Advancing Leadership & Human Potential. Before pursuing a masters and PhD, Danielle worked for Teach for America and taught special education in a fairly under-resourced area of San Jose. Danielle says leadership and human potential have been woven into everything she’s done, right down to her doctorate-level dissertation for a Stanford PhD in political science.
CEO of Imperative
Today we’re interviewing Aaron Hurst, the co-founder & CEO of Imperative, and author of The Purpose Economy. Aaron has been wired to challenge the status quo from a very early age. He sees opportunity and potential in every direction, and by his own admission is a bit of a troublemaker. During Aaron’s childhood, he moved around a lot and developed the important skill of pattern recognition, a trait that has served him well throughout his entrepreneurial efforts. Early in his career, he founded the Taproot Foundation, a pro-bono community of professionals who volunteered their time and expertise to helping mission-driven nonprofits with the marketing, PR and other important services they need to achieve maximum impact. This community blossomed into a $15 billion marketplace. Perhaps the most interesting takeaway was the power of purpose that emerged.In 2014, Aaron published his book, The Purpose Economy, which predicts the next economic wave will be known as the Purpose Era.
Co-Founder & CEO of data.world
Brett Hurt is the co-founder & CEO of data.world. To say Brett has accomplished a lot at a relatively young age would be an understatement. Brett has been a part of launching five start-ups, and, with the help of three co-founders, just launched his sixth. Brett grew up in a household of entrepreneurs. His dad invented the first-ever halogen fishing light. At age seven, Brett received his first computer and began programming. This marked the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of understanding how things work. Between ages 7-21, Brett spent close to 40 hours a week programming. He credits his parents, particularly his mom, with supporting him and helping him find his true passion. This led him to the co-founding of Bazaarvoice, where he served as the President & CEO for 7 ½ years and the eventual IPO in 2012 — rated one of the top five IPOs in 2012 by WSJ. Brett’s current project, data.world, squarely focuses on building the most meaningful, collaborative and abundant data resource in the world.
Founder & CEO of Round Table Companies
Today, we’re interviewing Corey Michael Blake. It’s difficult to put a label on Corey — he’s many things: an entrepreneur, an actor, a director, a storyteller, a CEO, and an all-around great guy. Corey is a soulful human being, full of deep insights and someone who is constantly pushing himself to learn and grow. He covers the power of vulnerability and the power of storytelling, and we dive into a tour of his life and the many experiences and lessons that have led him to where he is today. This episode is loaded with authenticity and realness.
Founder & CEO of Lucky Iron Fish
Gavin Armstrong is the Founder & CEO of Lucky Iron Fish. During his university experience, he volunteered in refugee camps in north Kenya and saw firsthand the level of abject poverty, malnutrition and hidden hunger that existed in the world. Determined to make a difference, Gavin decided to channel his drive and energy into addressing this problem. And from that, the Lucky Iron Fish was born—an iron ingot that is making a massive difference in helping cure iron deficiency (which roughly half the world’s population suffers from).
CEO of Herman Miller
Brian Walker, CEO of Herman Miller, runs one of the most well-known office furniture companies. He shares impactful leadership lessons from youth sports, the power of workplace design, his emphasis on spending time with people, and the need for open business communication, since great ideas can stem from surprising places. (One employee’s beekeeping skills solved several problems at the Herman Miller GreenHouse office in Michigan.)
Author, Entrepreneur & Public Speaker
Today we’re interviewing Tucker Max, writer, entrepreneur, father, husband, and an ever-evolving human being. But even Tucker would be the first to say he doesn’t want to label himself; that’s one of the topics of conversation we get into in this podcast. He has written four books, and three of them have gone on to become New York Times bestsellers. He has also produced a movie, and has started five companies.
CEO & President of Relan
Della Simpson & Kari Brizius share a common passion for sustainability. The company they purchased in 2011, called Relan, takes old billboards and other vinyl banners and repurposes them into bags, backpacks, wallets and other consumer products. They work with some of the most well-known brands and sports teams on the planet, helping them climb aboard the sustainability train. In addition to Della and Kari serving as the CEO and President, respectively, they happen to also be mother and daughter.
Chief Operating Officer at the Authentic Leadership Institute
Amelia Newbury is the Chief Operating Officer at the Authentic Leadership Institute, an organization focused on helping leaders discover and tap into what makes them unique. It’s a program designed to harness the power of purpose and deploy it into the business world, so that we can tackle the biggest, hairiest problems we are all facing. In this episode, Amelia shares why authentic leadership & purpose matter now more than ever, and stories and examples proving that purpose drives profitability, positively impacts health and well-being, and creates stronger organizations.
Violinist for Dave Matthews Band
Boyd Tinsley is the violinist and a founding member of one of the most well-known bands in the world: the Dave Matthews Band. In this conversation, we talk about the 25-year journey of DMB, and the “very open process” Boyd takes when it comes to creating music, making a movie, or recruiting members from around the world to form a new rock band. This episode is full of entertainment for any fan of Dave Matthews Band or music in general.
Vice President of Culture & Experience at HubSpot
Katie Burke is the VP of Culture & Experience at HubSpot, an all-in-one inbound marketing software company. In addition to their growing financial success, the HubSpot culture is what they’re most known for. Their culture code deck (viewed almost 3 million times on SlideShare) has the secret sauce behind HubSpot’s success. Katie is the driving force behind the constant housekeeping of its culture (though she credits the employees).
Founder & CEO of driversselect
Today we’re interviewing Steve Hall, Founder & CEO of driversselect. Let’s cut to the chase: driversselect is in the business of buying and selling used cars. So why is the founder & CEO of a used car business joining us to talk about purpose? Well, the success of driversselect is a direct result of 4 things: Having a crystal clear purpose, having a set of core values they will not compromise, driving toward simplicity in the business strategy, and Steve Hall recognizing that, as the CEO, the company will only develop as little or as much as he invests in his own personal and professional development.
Former Co-CHRO & Senior Vice President at Gap Inc.
We’re interviewing Eric Severson for a second time on this podcast. Our first conversation with Eric was one of our most downloaded episodes to date, where we discussed groundbreaking HR & People initiatives Eric implemented during his time at the apparel giant, Gap Inc. In this follow-up conversation, we dive deeper into transparency in the workplace, the candidate experience, and the realities of working with executive search firms. This episode is filled to the brim with great insight for any business owner or HR leader.
President & Founder of SquarePlanet
Brian Burkhart is the Founder & President at SquarePlanet. Brian’s other official title is Chief Word Guy. Wondering what that means? Well, he’s a master storyteller. In this episode, Brian shares his expertise on the most important elements to include in any message you share, whether it’s a sales presentation, keynote speech, company vision or a fundraising pitch. Brian also shares his belief in standing out from the crowd, making waves and planting a flag for what you believe in. (His flag of choice is a pirate flag—you’ll find out why.)
President & CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures
Adam Goodman is the President & CEO of Goodmans Interior Structures. If the name of Adam’s company means very little to you, we’ll simplify: Adam and his team sell office furniture. Why are we interviewing a leader of an office furniture company for a podcast all about Purpose? Adam’s story is the perfect example of how a 3rd generation, commodity-driven company can evolve from a “sell more stuff to more people to make more money” to one driven by a higher purpose.
Co-Founder & CEO of SEED SPOT
Courtney Klein is the co-founder & CEO of SEED SPOT, a social impact incubator that helps ignite the dreams of entrepreneurs who want to use business as a force for good. Courtney shares valuable lessons, like it’s better to take the business card, not the credit card, and how you should never doubt yourself because plenty of people will do that for you. She dives into our country’s education system, emphasizing how SEED SPOT is addressing the solution to give high school grads the life skills necessary to make meaningful contributions. Courtney is also a new mom and Ironman finisher.
Co-Founder of Sportiqe Apparel
After 12 years working for a variety of pro sports teams in merchandising, Matt Altman and his fellow co-founder decided to launch a lifestyle apparel company, Sportiqe. What began as a business focused on creating a more comfortable brand of clothing has evolved into much more: a business focused on celebrating the unique fan inside of everyone. Matt shares his philosophy on aligning the right people to a company and its culture. Matt sees his role as a leader as helping people become their best selves by creating the best working environment.
Former President & CEO at Ulthera, Inc.
Matt Likens grew up in a lower middle class family and became familiar with the concept of scarcity. Thus, he learned quickly he had to work hard for what he wanted. After college, he worked for Johnson & Johnson representing the industrial tape division. Realizing his drive to do more meaningful work, Matt joined Baxter Healthcare, where he spent the next 23 years in roles worldwide. After working for various leaders, Matt learned to emulate good leadership traits and learned the cruel effects of ego and narcissism in leadership.
Founder of COLEAP, Angel Investor & Advisor
Kathy Sacks was one of the early employees and investors at Infusionsoft, which is widely considered one of the darling tech companies in the Phoenix area. After a very successful tenure helping grow the company from a few million to more than 60 million, she decided to leave. Kathy is the real deal: raw, passion-driven and on a path to create a wave of positive change in the world. Check out these takeaways of wisdom, success and women empowering the workforce from Kathy Sacks.
Former Co-CHRO & Senior Vice President, Gap Inc.
Eric Severson spent over a decade as a member of the People team at apparel giant GAP, Inc. During his time there, Eric was part of some groundbreaking HR and People initiatives including implementing a Results Only Workplace Environment (ROWE), becoming the first major apparel retailer to raise the minimum hourly wage, becoming the first big retailer in the world to release stats on paying men and women equally in all geographies and more.
MD, JD, MBA
John Shufeldt is a practicing emergency room doctor, a practicing attorney, the Phoenix PD SWAT team medical director, the author of multiple books on the Ingredients of Outliers, an adjunct professor at ASU’s law school, the founder and CEO of MeMD, a pilot, guitar player, and a recent TEDx speaker – and this is just a partial list. In this mesmerizing interview, we discuss his drive for constant knowledge acquisition, the power of humility and the right questions we must ask ourselves to live meaningful lives.
CEO of GasPedal
Andy Sernovitz is the CEO of GasPedal, a company dedicated to building communities. When you visit GasPedal, you’ll see the website is oriented around the employment brand of the company, a topic we dive into. We also cover Gaspedal’s imaginary recruiter, Preston Firestone, and how Preston helps Andy and his team avoid big hiring mistakes. If you care deeply about your company’s employment brand and the importance of hiring the right people, listen to this.
Founder, Refresh Glass
Ray DelMuro is the founder of Refresh Glass, a company on a mission to rescue 10M wine bottles and turn them into everyday glassware. Ray’s journey from aerospace engineer, to world traveler, to the founding of Refresh Glass is a story everyone can relate to. This interview explores the power of complementary pairs, a theme that has guided Ray throughout his life. We also discuss the power of using business as a force for good and why following your passion may not be the best advice.
Writer & Storyteller
Todd Nordstrom is a Ghost Writer of 12 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Amazon.com bestselling books as well as many that never made the list (reaching nearly 10 million book buyers). He has helped plan, execute, and strategize the marketing and launch of nearly 60 national and international bestsellers. He currently is a weekly contributor to Forbes, Director of Content for the O.C. Tanner Institute, and is the host of O.C. Tanner’s Great Work Insights podcast.
Founder & CEO of Year Up
Gerald Chertavian is the CEO & Founder of Year Up, a national program that empowers urban young adults to enter the economic mainstream. With an annual budget of about $100M, Year Up is one of the U.S.’s fastest growing non-profits and was recognized by Fast Company and The Monitor Group as one of the top 25 organizations using business excellence to engineer social change. Gerald talks about the Opportunity Divide & hiring in ways that tap into talent not being utilized.
Co-Founder of Conscious Company Magazine
Meghan has nearly a decade of experience in strategy development and project management. She served as Managing Editor of two nationally distributed publications, overseeing operations & productions for both magazines. Before publishing, she was Director of Development for Slow Money, a non-profit that facilitates the flow of capital to local, sustainable agricultural producers.
CEO, Conscious Capitalism, Inc.
Doug spent 31 years with Trader Joe’s Company, the last 14 years as President, helping grow the business from a small, nine-store chain in Southern California, to a nationally acclaimed retail success story with more than 340 stores in 30 states. In this episode Doug talks about why he founded Daily Table, the misconceptions about our food, and why it’s critical to do cultural checks in an organization.
President & Founder of People Ink
An experienced HR expert, Ann creates corporate cultures based on values, customer service and employee engagement. Before founding People Ink, Ann was Chief People Officer of Southwest Airlines, Promus Hotel Company (Doubletree Hotel, Homewood Suites, Embassy Suites, and Hampton Inn brands), & JetBlue Airways.
Co-Founder & CEO, THINX
Miki Agrawal is a serial social entrepreneur. Miki is the author of the book, DO COOL SH*T and is the founder of the farm-to-table, gluten-free pizza concept called WILD in NYC. She is also a partner in Super Sprowtz, a children’s media company to get kids to eat more vegetables, and the Co-founder & CEO of THINX.
Founder of Student Maid
What began as a way to make enough money to pay her way through school quickly became something bigger. Kristen had no idea her side project would turn into a career. At 21, she turned down a six-figure job in finance to keep growing her company, which has two locations and over 500 employees.
Co-founder & Co-Chairman, Conscious Capitalism, Inc.
Dr. Raj Sisodia is one of the thought leaders of the Conscious Capitalism movement. Raj’s books are considered a foundational work in explaining the precepts and performance implications of pursuing a conscious approach to business.
Author of How to Find a Job, Career, and Life you Love
Louis’ career has spanned industries from theatre to medical devices, and from software to electric cars. Throughout his journey, one thing has become abundantly clear, a life of purpose matters more than anything else.
Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank
Kat’s purpose in work is restoring social justice and environmental well being. What’s fascinating is that Kat is working to restore that social justice and environmental well being in banking – an industry she describes as “just above oil, gas and government in popularity.”
Author of Why We Work
Barry Schwartz gave one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time, “Paradox Of Choice”—viewed over 8 million times. Barry focuses on discussing why work is broken. He wrote the book on purpose with his book, “Why We Work.”
Patty McCord Consulting
Patty McCord truly helps push boundaries of how we think about work. During her time as the Chief Talent Officer of Netflix, she created the famous Netflix Culture Deck, which has been viewed more than 13 million times on SlideShare. Patty has focused on advising innovative companies like Warby Parker, HubSpot and GitHub to name a few – about developing culture and leadership.
Founder of the Institute for Applied Positive Research
Michelle had one of the most desired jobs every broadcaster dreams of, a news anchor gig at CBS News. So, why did she decide to leave that job to go back to school? We’ll explore that story in this episode. We’ll also dive into the science of positive psychology and the impact it is having with the businesses she and her team are working with.
CAVU Venture Partners
Clayton Christopher is an entrepreneur who has founded or has co-founded food and beverage brands like Sweet Leaf Tea (sold for $183M), Deep Eddy Vodka (sold for close to $400M) and Rhythm Super Foods to name a few. Clayton is one of 3 principals of CAVU, a venture fund that invests in consumer products. The fund has raised $156 million for it’s debut.