100 episodes

Welcome to the Legendary Leaders Podcast!

This show aims to inspire you to start living your best life! My podcast guests will be sharing their own personal paths to success, the moments when they hit a wall that turned into their biggest breaking point, and we will be sharing some top tips on how to proactively create some exciting changes in your professional and personal life.

Our guests, who are all leaders in their own rights, will be talking about how they started their journey, what inspired and motivated them, along with the challenges they had to overcome in order to get to where they are now, having achieved a more content and liberated life. All episodes will cover an array of topics from the importance of self-care and mindset, through to bravery and authenticity, and the importance of building communities and support networks.

I have interviewed leaders who have all taken varied and interesting paths, from content creators, journalists through to designers, coaches, musicians as well as actors, business mentors, speakers and many, many more. They all faced tough challenges which served as motivation to live their best lives yet!

Please enjoy listening to this series of podcasts as much as I have done creating them, and I really hope you take away lots to inspire, encourage and motivate you on your journey to becoming a Legendary Leader.

The Legendary Leaders Podcast Cathleen O'Sullivan – Leadership Consultant, Thinking Partner and Podcast

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 22 Ratings

Welcome to the Legendary Leaders Podcast!

This show aims to inspire you to start living your best life! My podcast guests will be sharing their own personal paths to success, the moments when they hit a wall that turned into their biggest breaking point, and we will be sharing some top tips on how to proactively create some exciting changes in your professional and personal life.

Our guests, who are all leaders in their own rights, will be talking about how they started their journey, what inspired and motivated them, along with the challenges they had to overcome in order to get to where they are now, having achieved a more content and liberated life. All episodes will cover an array of topics from the importance of self-care and mindset, through to bravery and authenticity, and the importance of building communities and support networks.

I have interviewed leaders who have all taken varied and interesting paths, from content creators, journalists through to designers, coaches, musicians as well as actors, business mentors, speakers and many, many more. They all faced tough challenges which served as motivation to live their best lives yet!

Please enjoy listening to this series of podcasts as much as I have done creating them, and I really hope you take away lots to inspire, encourage and motivate you on your journey to becoming a Legendary Leader.

    Nick Shaw - From Grief to Growth

    Nick Shaw - From Grief to Growth

    Today, we are sharing a deeply moving and insightful conversation with Cathleen and her guest Nick Shaw. In this episode, you're going to explore the power of meditation, the importance of mindfulness, and the delicate balance of authenticity and vulnerability in leadership. Nick shares his personal journey of finding purpose and healing after the devastating loss of his son, William. Through his story, you're invited to reflect on the small actions and meaningful conversations that can shape your path towards becoming a more intentional and present leader.
     
    Nick shares his struggles and triumphs, his commitment to living intentionally, and the impactful work he's doing through initiatives like the Mirror Box Leadership Lab and the William’s Be Yourself Challenge. If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the constant busyness of life or questioned how to be a genuine and supportive leader, this episode offers valuable insights that can guide you on your journey.
     
    So, grab your headphones, settle in, and get ready to be inspired by Nick Shaw's incredible story. 
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    06:50 Nick’s son disappears in deep powder snow.
    10:30 Family of 4 becomes family of 3.
    19:04 Nick’s wife collapsed and told him, "it’s not your fault."
    26:30 Child overcomes struggles with therapist's help and gains acceptance.
    30:54 Skiing allowed self-expression and personal accomplishment.
    38:02 Distracted by technology and its impact.
    40:12 Utilised meditation for self-awareness and reflection.
    45:05 Being yourself at work challenges professional expectations.
    50:17 Focus on what you can control as a leader.
    59:02 Learning from tragedy, intentional living, sharing lessons.



    Key Takeaways: 
    Mindfulness & Meditation; Learn how Nick uses these practices to still his mind and build self-awareness.
    Authentic Leadership: Discover the power of showing vulnerability and being genuine in your leadership journey.
    Intentional Living: Understand the importance of pausing, reflecting, and making deliberate choices to find meaningful work and a balanced life.
     
    ABOUT Nick Shaw:
    Nick Shaw is an accomplished executive coach and author, known for his profound insights into personal transformation and self-discovery. His upcoming book, My Teacher, My Son, is a poignant reflection on his journey through grief and finding meaning in the face of unimaginable loss.



    Connect with Nick:
    Website: meetnickshaw.com
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-shaw-author/



    Connect: 
 
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan 
    Business: cathleenmerkel.com  
    Email: cmc@cathleenmerkelcoaching.com 
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cathleen-merkel-2b0991151 
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/cathleenmerkel 
    Twitter: twitter.com/CathleenMerkel7 
     
     
    FOLLOW LEGENDARY LEADERS ON APPLE, SPOTIFY OR WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO YOUR PODCASTS.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Tony Martignetti - Leadership and Embracing Your True Self

    Tony Martignetti - Leadership and Embracing Your True Self

    Welcome to another inspiring episode of Legendary Leaders. In today's episode, Cathy interviews Tony Martignetti, a transformative leader who left a high-flying career in the biotech industry to rediscover his true passion as an artist and be a champion for authentic leadership. Host Cathleen O'Sullivan shares her insights on the power of genuine connection and growth in leadership. Together, they explore Tony's pivotal moment of self-realisation amid corporate burnout, his adventurous spirit—from scaling Kilimanjaro to planning his next challenge on the Camino de Santiago—and how these experiences fuel his mission to foster more meaningful interactions in and out of the workplace. Prepare to be moved by Tony's story of finding balance through emotional awareness and his innovative approach to leadership that prioritises deep, reflective conversations and creating environments where every individual feels valued. Join us as we uncover the profound impact of embracing one's true self and the courage it takes to lead by example. 
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    00:00 Leadership expert with 30 years of experience.
    09:07 Understanding emotions, their logic, and reflection.
    16:12 TED talk: Embrace your true self at work.
    17:08 Encouraging leaders to embrace vulnerability and authenticity.
    27:09 Struggling to find purpose, found inner strength.
    31:15 Embracing change and new challenges shapes identity.
    37:53 Presence and authenticity impact others profoundly.
    40:05 If someone is an extrovert or introvert, you should adjust your communication style.
    46:01 Consider speaking up before walking out.
    52:23 Connecting with your story helps connect with others.
    55:36 Deep impact of campfire storytelling on human connection.
    01:02:29 Leadership requires open, engaging, and entertaining communication.
    01:13:28 Expand vision, narrow focus to overcome stagnation.





    Key Takeaways: 
    Embrace Your True Self: Tony’s journey underlines the importance of embracing your authentic self to find fulfilment in both personal and professional life. His transition from the boardroom to the art studio exemplifies the courage it takes to pursue what truly aligns with one's passion and purpose.
    The Power of Vulnerability in Leadership. Vulnerability is not just a personal trait but a leadership strategy. Admitting vulnerabilities and engaging in genuine conversations can dramatically strengthen team resilience and cohesion.
    Innovation Through Introspection. A leader’s ability to innovate correlates strongly with their capacity for introspection. Tony’s experiences, from mountaineering to glassblowing, illustrate how varied external challenges can foster profound internal reflection and lead to breakthroughs in personal and professional growth.
     
    ABOUT  Tony Martignetti
    Tony Martignetti Tony Martignetti is a leadership advisor, best-selling author, podcast host, and speaker. He brings together over 30 years of business and leadership experience and extreme curiosity to elevate leaders and equip them with the tools to
    navigate through change and unlock their true potential.Before becoming the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of Inspired Purpose Partners, Tony was a finance and strategy executive with experience working with some of the world's leading life sciences companies. Along his journey, he also managed small businesses and ran a financial consulting company. Tony hosts The Virtual Campfire podcast and is the author of Climbing the Right Mountain:Navigating the Journey to An Inspired Life and Campfire Lessons for Leaders: How Uncovering Our Past Can Propel Us Forward. He has been featured in many publications, including Fast Company, Forbes, Life Science Leader,
    CEOWORLD, and CEO Today.
     
    Connect with Tony:
    Website: https://www.ipurposepartners.com/ 
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonymartignett1/ 
    Instagram URL: https://www.instagram.com/inspiredpurposecoach/ 

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Stephanie Brown - Shifting Careers and Growing Leaders

    Stephanie Brown - Shifting Careers and Growing Leaders

    In today’s episode I interview the remarkable Stephanie Brown, a trailblazer in the creative marketing and tech industries, and the brains behind Creative Career Level Up. With roles that include a tenure at Nike and Apple, Stephanie brings a wealth of experience to the table.
    We explore the power of self-reflection, the art of strategic planning, and the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to catapult your career to the next level. Stephanie shares her personal story of her own transitions in her career, both the highs and the lows. Culminating in her development of an innovative career coaching programme designed to elevate professionals in the marketing, branding, creative, and tech sectors.
    We'll uncover how Stephanie turned the challenge of being let go from a job into a remarkable opportunity for growth and self-discovery, resulting in not only a successful coaching business but also a property portfolio and a book.
    We also discuss why it's important not to settle for less in our professional lives, finding joy in our work, and break free from the constraints that hold us back. 
    Whether you're feeling stuck in a rut or on the brink of your next big leap, this episode is full of actionable advice to help you find your path.
     
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    06:50 Finding income streams to work in London.
    13:11 Admiration for flexibility in work-life balance.
    26:36 Appreciating job opportunities and the decision-making process.
    31:43 Podcasts connect entrepreneurs, expand networks, and foster relationships.
    37:43 Seeking advice, networking, and planning a new path.
    45:45 Overcoming job boredom and boosting confidence at work.
    48:20 Embrace growth, use evidence to reframe narratives.
    54:00 Finding purpose in work beyond grand gestures.
    1:01:53 Programme framework emphasises self-awareness and exploration.
    1:08:11 Reflect on time, prioritise, challenge your narrative.




    Key Takeaways: 
    Stephanie Brown's experience showcases the importance of self-reflection and having a strategic plan when advancing one's career. The three-stage program (reflect, refine, result) she discusses serves as a guideline for individuals to discover their true career desires, understand the industry landscape, and implement strategies for securing positions that align with their personal and professional goals.
    The notion of changing one’s mindset from passive job seeker to proactive career architect is a focal point in the conversation, as exemplified by Steph Brown's entrepreneurial approach to job hunting and career development. Her success in securing a role at Apple and eventually starting her own coaching business underscores the value of networking, self-belief, and taking an entrepreneurial approach to crafting one's career path.
    Both Stephanie and Cathleen emphasise the significance of adaptability and learning from personal experiences, whether it is transitioning from corporate life to entrepreneurship, dealing with job loss, or reshaping career objectives. Stephanie’s journey, from working at renowned companies like Nike and Apple to leveraging her experiences to write a book and create a coaching program, highlights how personal and professional growth intertwines with the ability to adapt and the pursuit of a fulfilling and flexible lifestyle.
     
    ABOUT Stephanie Brown
     
    Steph Brown is a seasoned professional with a rich 15-year career in Marketing, Creative, and Tech industries. With an impressive 13-year tenure in senior positions at renowned companies like Nike and Apple. In 2019 she established Creative Career Level Up, a pioneering coaching and training initiative. This flagship programme is meticulously designed to empower individuals within the Marketing, Creative, and Tech sectors, equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to elevate their careers to new heights. Steph is also an Angel Investor for early-stage startups and property investor across the UK.



    Connect with St

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Mosongo Moukwa - How to be a Leader of Significance

    Mosongo Moukwa - How to be a Leader of Significance

    Cathleen has a fascinating conversation with Mosongo Moukwa, an expert in leadership and organisational change. With over 30 years of experience, Mosongo shares insights from his early days of management to his current prowess as a business coach and president of Hathaway Advanced Materials. This episode unpacks innovation beyond the traditional realms, advocating for a cohesive approach across all organisational sectors. Mosongo and Cathleen discuss the vitality of curiosity and the psychological safety necessary for fostering a culture of innovation. Mosongo's leadership journey marked by self-discovery, continuous learning, and building significant human connections shows what is needed to be an effective leader. He also emphasises the importance of nurturing potential within teams and leaving a lasting impact on individuals' lives.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    00:01 Mosongo’s book 'Be a Leader of Significance' emphasises daily impactful leadership moments.
    09:41 Weekly challenges promoted people-focused management development.
    13:25 Striving for positive impact through coaching and mentoring.
    17:19 Discuss memories, values, competencies, and influential books.
    25:28 Questioning sense of authenticity and conformity.
    28:28 Discussion on safety and risk in material production.
    32:49 Growth mindset fuels resilience through new challenges.
    38:13 Reflection on work experience leads to writing his book.
    45:02 Employees want to be valued with gestures.
    51:25 Significant leadership focuses on heart and mind.
    54:02 Recommendation for past employees, maintaining human connections.
    01:02:51 Children have specific needs, learn through open-ended questions.
    01:05:32 Innovation in plastic coating moves from the lab.
    01:11:53 Encouraging feedback, share your desired life legacy.




    Key Takeaways: 
    Innovation Is a Behaviour: Expand the boundaries of innovation beyond R&D and marketing. It is a collaborative effort driven by curiosity and a culture of psychological safety across the organisation.
    Growth Through Support: The alignment of support and challenge is crucial in leadership. An effective leader creates lasting emotional connections, impacting both the hearts and minds of team members.
    Leading with Authenticity: Leadership is not just a position, it's a journey. Embrace your unique experiences and lead with whole-person integrity. Authenticity builds trust and encourages others to follow in their truth.



    ABOUT  Mosongo Moukwa
    Mosongo Moukwa is a seasoned executive and consultant who has dedicated his career to helping companies thrive by commercializing new technologies, diversifying their product offerings, and entering new markets.
    Across thirty-plus years in leadership, Mosongo has applied his unique talent for identifying leadership gaps and developing the talent and culture necessary for success. He helps solve important innovation challenges that hold organizations back by unleashing the collective creativity of their people. This results in increased profitability and growth expansion.
    Mosongo has held leadership positions in R & D and operations at some of the world’s most respected brands, including vice president, global technology at SC Johnson; vice president, global technology at Reichhold; vice president, technology at Asian Paints; director of technology at Avient (formerly Poly- One); and chief, global R & D at PCBL (formerly Phillips Carbon Black Ltd.). He is currently President at Hathaway Advanced Materials.
    Mosongo holds a PhD from Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada; a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Illinois; and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, US. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous international technical conferences and holds several patents. Be a Leader of Significance is his new book.
     
    Connect with Mosongo:
    Book: https://a.co/d/c3HZFE3
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moson

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Markus van Alphen - Leadership Skills for Deeper Emotional Connections

    Markus van Alphen - Leadership Skills for Deeper Emotional Connections

    Your host Cathleen engages in an impactful dialogue with the renowned leadership psychologist and author, Markus van Alphen. They discuss the nuances of saying "no," the strength found in "and" over "but," and the art of observational listening. If you've ever felt the pressure of cultural communication barriers or the ripples of emotional intelligence in the workplace, this episode will resonate with you. Here, authenticity and psychological safety are not just concepts, but practised philosophies that shape successful, innovative teams. So, take a moment to listen to the transformative ideas that Markus and Cathleen bring to the table. Get ready to be equipped with strategies that could redefine your approach to leadership. Tune in to discover how embracing empathy can unfold into your most authentic self and foster genuine connection in your personal and professional life.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    11:46 Challenging emotions tied to Western societal upbringing.
    20:43 Empathy training uses role-playing for understanding.
    26:23 Focus on one task at a time.
    27:45 Focus on what to do, get curious.
    35:37 Happy employees lead to better performance and retention.
    39:54 Emotional regulation is crucial in tough situations.
    45:04 Noticing body signals to prevent stress explosion.
    52:06 Justify saying no can be counterproductive.
    56:31 Saying yes to everything leads to burnout.
    1:00 Speaking up is crucial for tech success.
    1:07 Embracing diversity in high-tech for innovation.
    1:18 Improve empathy through active listening.



    Key Takeaways: 
    Saying "No" with Power: Discover why lengthy explanations can hinder professional relationships and learn the art of concise refusal that respects both parties.
    Cultivating 'AND' Culture: We explore the subtle yet impactful shift from "but" to "and" in conversations to foster inclusivity and encourage diverse perspectives in leadership.
    The Empathetic Leader: Embrace the role of empathy in creating a safe space for innovation and understand the significance of leaders' authenticity in promoting team well-being for positive business outcomes.
     
    ABOUT MARKUS VAN ALPHEN
    Renowned leadership psychologist and author of more than 15 books in Dutch and English, Markus van Alphen developed the Observational Listening concept in 2014.  Observational Listening goes a step further than active listening in understanding what an individual has to say. By observing what emotions they are experiencing, you really get the other’s story and their underlying emotions, whereby the other feels heard, seen, acknowledged and psychologically safe, resulting in increased happiness, motivation, and overall success. Observational listening augments empathic leadership in a powerful way into excellent leadership. 
     
    Find out more: https://excellent-leader.com/
     
    Social Meida Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-excellent-leader/; https://www.linkedin.com/in/markusvanalphen/
    X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkusvanAlphen
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/markusvanalphen/
    YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCKb14iJQMlhuMcHpSulgcBA



    Connect: 
 
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan 
    Business: cathleenmerkel.com  
    Email: cmc@cathleenmerkelcoaching.com 
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cathleen-merkel-2b0991151 
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/cathleenmerkel 
    Twitter: twitter.com/CathleenMerkel7 
     
     
    FOLLOW LEGENDARY LEADERS ON APPLE, SPOTIFY OR WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO YOUR PODCASTS.

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Claire Chandler - Intentional Growth and Cultivating Talent

    Claire Chandler - Intentional Growth and Cultivating Talent

    Cathleen and Claire Chandler explore the vital role of aligning personal talents with professional roles, the necessity of setting boundaries for energy management, and the profound impact of mindset on leadership capacity. Together, they unpack Claire's journey from overcoming the skepticism that greeted her career transition to the liberation she felt as she embraced her true path. For those who have ever felt confined by corporate norms or struggled with the transition into a management role, Claire's insights into authenticity and vulnerability are a must-listen.
     
    They also discuss the challenges HR departments face as they shift from traditional roles to become the architects of company culture, and how they can support leaders in this transformative time. Prepare to be moved by Claire's touching experiences and the wisdom she's gathered on her journey from the corporate world to advising executives on how to retain their best talent during expansions through her "growth on purpose" methodology. This isn't just a conversation - it's a masterclass in becoming the leader you were meant to be.
     
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    00:00 Introduction
    08:25 Organisations improving inclusion, but need broader acceptance.
    11:33 Recognise blind spots, create capacity for growth.
    17:49 First boss shaped career boundaries early on.
    21:50 Authenticity and vulnerability are key to effective leadership.
    30:47 Engaged audience through unexpected interaction, transformed career.
    36:23 Overcoming fear to be authentic and passionate.
    39:39 Cancer was a gift, motivated change.
    44:10 Transitioning into a leadership position, faced resistance, but persisted.
    52:41 Understanding the "why" of business success.
    55:56 Reevaluate roles, schedules, and capacity for productivity.
    01:02:06 HR must create capacity, find future talent.
    01:05:27 True inclusion in problem-solving creates workforce fulfilment.





    Key Takeaways: 
    Navigating organisational expansion with purpose.
    Harnessing "limitless talent" to drive success.
    Redefining leadership with vulnerability and authenticity.
     
    ABOUT CLARE CHANDLER
     
    President and Founder of Talent Boost, Claire Chandler specializes in aligning HR and
    business leaders so they can deliver strategic outcomes... both today and in the future. She taps into over 25 years of experience in people leadership, human resources, and business ownership to help leadership teams work together more effectively in less time, with less cultural resistance, so they can accelerate their business growth. She has broad-based expertise in
    management team due diligence, organizational design, acquisition integration and onboarding,
    strategic planning, executive coaching, and performance acceleration.Claire holds a certificate in strategic HR leadership from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, a master’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University. She has appeared as a guest on over 100 podcasts and is the author of several books on leadership and business strategy.
     
    Connect with Claire:
    Website: https://www.clairechandler.net/
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairechandlersphr/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Claire_Talent
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talentboostllc
     
    Connect: 
 
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan 
    Business: cathleenmerkel.com  
    Email: cmc@cathleenmerkelcoaching.com 
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cathleen-merkel-2b0991151 
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/cathleenmerkel 
    Twitter: twitter.com/CathleenMerkel7 
     
     
    FOLLOW LEGENDARY LEADERS ON APPLE, SPOTIFY OR WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO YOUR PODCASTS.

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
22 Ratings

22 Ratings

Angus Ford-Robertson ,

Fantastic podcast!

Great podcast; interesting guests and wonderfully insightful interviews. Top questions from Cathleen. Highly recommended listening.

Evolution of Dave ,

A host of the highest quality

as a listener and a guest I can safely say there are few out there as warm and sincere as Cathleen. She poses questions that go right to the heart of the subject, encouraging you to feed her and her audience with useful, valuable information whilct staying on point (something i need a little help with at times). She does a beautiful job of editing the conversations afterwards, making it easy for the listener to enjoy the variety of subjects covered in the conversation...I know Im bias, but every single episode is worth a listen if you want to 'upgrade' your life.

TinaLeh ,

Uplifting and inspiring

What a great podcast! Cathleen speaks to a range of truly interesting guests with incredible stories. It will inspire and motivate you and leave a big smile on your face.

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