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.

    Laura Crandall - Mastering Workplace Communication

    Laura Crandall - Mastering Workplace Communication

    Join Cathleen as she delves into the art of communication and connection with the remarkable Laura Crandall. Renowned for her expertise in fostering communication and human connection within the corporate framework. Laura is a communications expert and the author of Working with Humans.
    In this riveting conversation, they unpack the art of active listening, the magic of managing with lightheartedness, and the significance of honing those all-too-often undervalued fundamental social skills in the workplace.
    They explore the transformative power of simply being present and how mastering the basics, such as direct communication, can alleviate misunderstandings and bolster trust. So, whether you’re a seasoned leader or just starting, get ready to dive deep into what it means to navigate the complexities of the workplace with empathy, clarity, and a touch of humour.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    11:21 Book discusses essential skills for human interaction.
    19:56 Leadership requires empathy, influence, mentoring, and manners.
    25:47 Value time, courtesy, and foundational behaviors.
    30:32 Reexamining priorities and reclaiming social interactions.
    35:59 Acknowledge issues, find humour, and encourage open communication.
    38:44 Leveraging energy and playfulness for work success.
    47:05 Key questions to consider for effective communication.
    49:59 Prioritise relationships, not just shiny new tools.
    58:11 Focus on the process, not just output.
    01:01 Living in alignment with your values is important.
    01:06 Balancing academic rigour with self-confidence and authenticity.
    01:14 Helping leaders understand and change problematic behaviour.
    01:16 Expertly navigating difficult conversations by building foundations.

     
    Key Takeaways: 
    The Power of Presence. Both Laura and Cathleen advocate for the importance of being wholly present in conversations, affirming that active listening is integral to saving time, uncovering essential details, and deepening relationships.
    Back to Basics. Good workplace communication is paralleled with an excellent Italian meal; it's about high-quality fundamental ingredients like manners, acknowledgment, and showing genuine interest in others that build trust and create a positive environment.
    Humanity in Leadership. Embracing your true self, incorporating playfulness, and acknowledging personal and others’ successes can lead to a more fulfilling and productive work culture, countering the stress of performance pressures.
     
    ABOUT LAURA CRANDALL:
    Laura Crandall founded her management consulting firm, Slate Communication, in 2009. For over thirty years, she has worked in and consulted with industries that include manufacturing, journalism, hospitality, and academia; fifteen of those years were spent managing teams. Her work is dedicated to helping people within organizations discover and develop foundational management and communication skills—the background skills we assume everyone has, but rarely discuss. In her new book, Working With Humans, Laura shares the essential but generally ignored tools needed to communicate, manage, and lead with the quality that most workplaces are lacking: humanity. Laura earned her master’s degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied cognitive neuroscience and organizational behavior.
     
    Website: https://lauracrandall.com/ 
    Book: https://workingwithhumans.com/ 
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lauracrandalledm/ 
     
    Connect: 
 
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan 
    Business: www.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 24 min
    Beth Knight - Shaping a Sustainable Tomorrow

    Beth Knight - Shaping a Sustainable Tomorrow

    In this episode, Cathleen O’Sullivan chats with the remarkable Beth Knight, a leader in the sustainability sector and recent recipient of the Great British Business Woman of the Year Award. We delve deep into the seismic shifts across the global economy and the significant role consumers and leaders play in catalysing change. We also discuss the dilemmas of overconsumption exacerbated during pivotal life moments. Beth presents her unique insights into how psychology and advertising coerce buyer behaviour and what can be done to change it. She also recounts her conscious departure from Amazon to pursue a portfolio career that aligns with her core values, influencing sectors like sustainable tourism and spreading her wings into roles that support children's welfare and refugee aid, a testament to her undying commitment to social impact. Let's explore the world of Beth Knight, where leadership isn't just about business acumen, but about integrity, empathy, and the pursuit of positive lasting change.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    10:14 Amazon's pandemic relief and education support program.
    14:06 Colleague’s trust led to successful mobilisation efforts.
    19:32 Took bold leap, relocated to Kenya.
    32:32 Misunderstood my romanticised idea of smuggling.
    36:02 Embracing community and navigating uncomfortable situations.
    42:36 Navigating raising a boy in today's world.
    46:53 Parenting is hard, support network is crucial.
    53:18 Family, role models, kindness, hustle, upbringing, heritage.
    54:59 Parents juggle full-time work and family responsibilities.
    01:05 Consumer power can drive economic change.
    01:08 Reflecting on consumerism and the power of branding.
    01:12 Multiple job titles, same focus: responsible leadership.
     
    Key Takeaways: 
    Sustainability in Leadership:  Beth underscores the importance of leaders who not only drive strategy but also foster regenerative practices. Her journey from working at Amazon exemplifies a conscious shift towards impactful work that aligns with one's values.
    Individual Impact on Economy: Our conversation highlighted how personal choices, especially during pivotal times of life such as early motherhood or global crises like the COVID pandemic, shape market demands. The role of consumers is potent and pivotal in advocating for a shift towards sustainability.
    Adapting to Change: Beth’s candid story of moving her family to Kenya provides insight into embracing cultural changes and redefining identity. Such experiences can deeply influence leadership style and personal growth, reinforcing the value of adaptability and community.
     
    ABOUT BETH KNIGHT
    Beth Knight is a leading figure in social impact and sustainability with over fifteen years' experience in purpose-led business transformation. Named 'Great British Businesswoman of the Year' in 2022, her expertise spans tech-for-good, sustainable development and impact investing. Beth is a frequent speaker, advisor and coach on mobilising the private sector around climate change, social justice and upskilling on sustainability. She is a Senior Associate and Head Tutor at the University of CambridgeInstitute of Sustainability Leadership ('CISL') and holds non-executive positions - ranging from Department for Culture Media & Sports ('DCMS') British Tourism Authority, to Chair of Save the Children’s corporate advisory board, to Tech Domain Expert for Carbon13’s venture builder. Beth's held roles at Amazon, EY and Accenture. She was also a trailblazer of the UK's Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Apprenticeship standard.
     
    Connect:
    Website: www.sustainableleaders.ltd
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/beth-knight/
    Twitter: twitter.com/bethzknight
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/bethzknight/
    Pinterest: www.pinterest.co.uk/bethzknight/
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/bethzknight/
     
    Connect: 
 
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan 
    Business: cathleenmerkel.com  
    Email: cmc

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Cortney McDermott - Awakening to Infinite Potential

    Cortney McDermott - Awakening to Infinite Potential

    In this episode, your host Cathleen O'Sullivan is joined by the inspiring Cortney McDermott. Together, they embark on a profound discussion about awakening to possibilities, letting go of rigidity and ego, and the freedom that comes from recognising the ego as part of play. They delve into the importance of playfulness, ease, and simplicity. Cortney also shares her personal journey of making tough life decisions and emphasises the significance of living life fully and making decisions out of love and intelligence rather than fear. Join us as we explore the valuable wisdom of Cortney McDermott and discover what it truly means to be a legendary leader. 

    Episode Timeline: 

    [00:001 Reflect on "miserably successful," making life changes. 
    [07:39] Designing life is about playing different characters. 


    [13:31] Embracing truth, liberation, and wearing masks. 
    [21:18] Performance affects focus, playfulness, and liberation. 
    [24:14] Transitioned from management to pursue writing passion. 
    [31:53] Challenging journey toward flexibility and embracing change. 
    [38:52] Deep truth leading to miraculous occurrences 


    [44:49] Years of fear, then happiness and freedom. 
    [52:29] Cortney recognises the importance of being a positive example to her daughter. 
    [55:46] Excited for the unknown, embracing lack of control. 
    [01:02] Evaluate self-help advice, trust your instincts. 
    [01:06] Avoided pressure, and focused on being genuine. 


    [01:14] Nobody needs saving, being is truth. 
    [01:19] Giving ourselves permission to have fun. 
    [01:23] Embracing ease leads to peak performance. 


     

    Key Takeaways:  

    Awakening to Infinite Possibilities: Cortney highlights the importance of recognising oneself as the embodiment of endless possibilities, challenging the conventional mindset of teaching and pushing for specific results. 


    Embracing Change with Fearless Love: Cortney shares her personal journey, including her experience of making tough decisions, such as transitioning during a divorce. The discussion emphasises the fear of societal judgment and the primordial survival instinct, underscoring the importance of making decisions out of love and intelligence rather than fear. 
    Letting Go of Control and Embracing Curiosity: Cortney's emphasis on relinquishing the illusion of control and staying attuned to a frequency that aligns with intelligence is truly inspiring. The conversation encourages embracing openness and curiosity, unleashing the potential for personal growth and transformation. 

     

     

    ABOUT CORTNEY MCDERMOTT  


    Cortney McDermott is an award-winning author, TEDx speaker, and mind-body expert who helps the world’s leading organizations and creatives to disrupt old patterns of behavior, grow healthy businesses, and apply the physiology and psychology needed for success. 

     

    Her work in the field of self-development and business strategy has been featured in Inc., Women’s Health, SUCCESS, The Huffington Post, FOX News, and many other mainstream business and lifestyle media. 

     

    Cortney's career highlights include her time as an executive at Vanity Fair Corporation, Vice President at Sustainability Partners Inc., and then running her own businesses, with clients and audiences at Universal Music Group, Google, Nike, and Virgin Unite. 

     

    Cortney believes in exploring and challenging the confines of human potential and is passionate about neuroscience, epigenetics, and the practical applications of quantum theory. 

     

     

     

    Connect with: 

    Website: https://www.cortneymcdermott.com/ 

    Social Media Links: 

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cortneymcdermott/ 

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cortneymcdermott/ 

     

    Find out more:  

    Connect: 
  

    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan   

    Business: cathleenmerkel.com

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Sally Henderson - Straight Talk and Self - Trust: Leadership Learnings

    Sally Henderson - Straight Talk and Self - Trust: Leadership Learnings

     
     
    In this insightful episode, host Cathleen O'Sullivan is joined by the straight-talking Yorkshire powerhouse, Sally Henderson. Known for her innovative leadership mentoring practice and her unwavering belief that teams and leaders can thrive both professionally and personally, Sally shares her real method for leadership development and the power of direct communication. Together, they explore the complexities of balancing personal and professional identities, the importance of self-care for leaders, and the art of straight talk in building meaningful client relationships. Join us as we unravel the wisdom and insights of Sally Henderson on overcoming challenges, embracing authenticity, and becoming legendary leaders in today's fast-paced world. 

    Episode Timeline:  

    [00:00] Sally founded a mentoring practice to achieve leadership goals. 


    [05:47] Navigating between vulnerability and resilience in leadership. 
    [11:20] Servant leadership struggles to apply for oneself. 
    [16:04] A mentor provides critical leadership support. 
    [27:18] Balancing personal and professional identity for connection. 
    [33:38] Finding time for meaningful self-connection is vital. 


    [38:25] Recognise and express your true feelings at work. 
    [47:53] C-suite often unaware of their job's purpose. 
    [52:36] Overcoming mental hurdles to embrace future leadership. 
    [56:42] Practical experience in talent and leadership. 
    [01:02] Self-trust and kindness lead to success. 


    [01:10] Born Northerner, reads situations, serves and helps. 
    [01:13] Always seek consent before giving direct feedback. 
    [01:17] Honest feedback is essential for growth and support. 

      


    Key Takeaways:  

    The importance of personal and professional identity balance: Sally Henderson's PiPi system and emphasis on embracing both aspects of one's identity in different contexts, along with maintaining boundaries and communication, can help leaders navigate the challenges of work-life balance in a hybrid work environment. 
    Straight talk and seeking permission for feedback: Sally Henderson's approach to straight talk, along with the significance of seeking permission before giving feedback, can aid in building strong client relationships and nurturing a culture of open and receptive communication. 


    Self-trust, self-care, and leadership vision: Sally Henderson's focus on self-trust, self-care based on her four-question assessment framework, and the concept of leadership vision boarding as a tool for personal growth and development can guide leaders in achieving rest, balance, and making graceful, strategic decisions in both business and personal relationships. 

     

    Sally is a straight-talking Yorkshire woman who creates high-performance senior teams & leaders that excel within the world’s biggest brands and world-class creative agencies 

    As a serial entrepreneur, she’s faced challenging leadership decisions, felt the fear, and done it anyway. 

    Sally founded her global leadership mentoring practice in 2011 on the fundamental belief that teams and leaders shouldn’t have to choose between being effective, or being happy, at work. 


    In addition to her proprietary leadership development programme The Real Method, Sally offers brave bespoke leadership mentoring so her clients achieve their leadership and career ambition; especially when the stakes are high. 

     

    Connect with Sally: 

    Website: https://www.sallyhenderson.co.uk/ 

     

    Social Media Links: 

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sallykhenderson/ 

    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@sallyhenderson-high-stakes  

     

    Find out more:  

    Connect: 
  

    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan   

    Business: cathleenmerkel.com    

    Email: cmc@cathleenmerkelcoaching.com   

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathleen-merkel/  

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Daphna Horowitz - Navigating Crisis and Evolving Leadership

    Daphna Horowitz - Navigating Crisis and Evolving Leadership

    In today's thought-provoking discussion, our host, Cathleen O'Sullivan, and guest Daphna Horowitz delve into the profound impact of chaos and conflict on personal growth and leadership. Dialling in from Israel amidst the crisis and war, Daphna shares her insights on the evolving meaning of leadership in these unsettling times. 
     
    The conversation navigates through the significance of self-awareness, authentic connections, and the power of unity during times of adversity. Together, they unravel the complexities of identity, the need for mutual understanding, and the pursuit of meaningful connections. 
     
    Tune in as they explore navigating challenging times,  the essential role of self-coaching in times of crisis, self-care, and the impact of social media on mental well-being. 
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    [00:01] Embracing mutual understanding, open-mindedness, and peaceful action.
    [05:09] Learn and gain different leadership insights globally.
    [10:33] Challenges to humanity, polarisation, leadership, and violence.
    [16:53] The Israeli community unites and demonstrates extraordinary leadership.
    [23:48] Jumping to conclusions, being curious, personal perspective.
    [31:16] Overwhelming support from old colleagues and clients.
    [34:44] Embracing support, connecting, and finding purpose.
    [41:51] Reflect on identities, and connect on a deeper level.
    [43:52] Self-awareness and balance are key to leadership.
    [49:51] Surprising benefits of the intuitive group writing process.
    [57:20] Reducing social media, prioritising mental well-being.
    [01:00] Try new things to find your passion.
    [01:11] Leaders make decisions daily for alignment and contribution.




    Key Takeaways: 
    Embracing Chaos: The importance of embracing chaos as an opportunity for personal growth and asking oneself, "Who am I?" and "What do I need?" to navigate challenging situations.
    Personal Clarity and Contribution: Understanding oneself and making decisions that align with personal identity and contribution to the world, while also seeking support and building a strong support network.
    Balance and Mindful Decision-Making: Striving for balance in saying "yes" to new experiences and adventures, while also being mindful of not taking on too much.
     
    Daphna Horowitz is a sought-after CEO Coach, MCC, and trusted advisor, working with clients around the globe, to create the extraordinary and build future leaders in their business. Working as an actuary at Director level in a large consulting firm, she learned the importance of developing a leadership mindset that takes you from being an expert top performer to extraordinary leader. She has a keen understanding of what it takes to lead a business and teams in a complex, ever-changing environment and provides a practical approach to leadership. When she’s not helping leaders master their mindset and elevate their business, you’ll find her in her favorite places - hosting her podcast, Leadership Live with Daphna Horowitz, writing articles for Forbes Coaches Council, and raising three kids with her loving husband.



    Connect with Daphna:
    Website: https://daphnahorowitz.com/
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daphnahorowitz/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daphnahorowitzleaders
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daphna.horowitz.9 
    Buy Daphna’s book: Weekly Habits for Extraordinary Leaders
     
    Connect:
     
    Find | Cathleen O’Sullivan  
    Business: cathleenmerkel.com   
    Email: cmc@cathleenmerkelcoaching.com  
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathleen-merkel/ 
    Instagram: www.instagram.com/legendary_leaders_cathleenos 
     
    FOLLOW LEGENDARY LEADERS ON APPLE, SPOTIFY OR WHEREVER YOU LISTEN TO YOUR PODCASTS.
     

    • 1 hr 15 min
    Cathleen O’Sullivan - Empathetic Leadership: Effective Communication & Conflict Resolution

    Cathleen O’Sullivan - Empathetic Leadership: Effective Communication & Conflict Resolution

    In today's episode, Cathleen discusses the critical role of direct communication and empathy in leadership. Drawing from her own experiences and interactions, she emphasises the need for open and honest communication that avoids causing harm. Empathy, she argues, is essential for understanding others' emotions and perspectives, leading to increased engagement and innovation in the workplace. She shares techniques for effective communication, conflict management, and fostering trust in the workplace. Listen to the episode to learn more about practical strategies for balancing directness and empathy in your communication.
    Listen here to learn more.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
    [00:01] Reflecting on communication and authenticity in conversations.
    [04:55] Empathy is key in human connections..
    [11:43]  Practice silence, and find common ground in communication.
    [17:09]  Authenticity, honesty, openness, respect, connection, mindfulness
    [18:45]  Connect virtually, understand and support your team.
    [23:32]  Managing emotions, empathy and resolving conflicts effectively.
    [24:43]  Conflict is disagreement and tension, which must be resolved.
    [31:08]  Listen actively, interrupt thoughtfully, enhance communication.
    [32:43]  Empower through active listening, honesty, and empathy.
    [36:24]  Manage emotions, communicate directly, and foster empathy.




    Key Takeaways: 
    Understanding and anticipating others' reactions is essential for effective communication, particularly in moments of conflict. Taking a moment to consider our words and actions can lead to more positive outcomes.
    Emotions often play a significant role in workplace conflict. Learning to manage and detach from these emotions can help create boundaries and help us work towards resolution in a constructive manner.
    Building trust, fostering openness, and engaging in meaningful dialogue are crucial elements in resolving conflicts. Active listening and empathy go a long way in creating a safe and inclusive environment where disagreements can be addressed constructively.



    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.
     

    • 39 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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