113 episodes

Becoming a good leader requires a decision, a plan for honing your skills, and a relentless focus on getting better and better. Listen as my guests share their wisdom and lessons about leading and creating a high-performance inclusive culture. Connect with me on Twitter @Coachhr

Closing the Gap with Denise Cooper Denise Cooper

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Becoming a good leader requires a decision, a plan for honing your skills, and a relentless focus on getting better and better. Listen as my guests share their wisdom and lessons about leading and creating a high-performance inclusive culture. Connect with me on Twitter @Coachhr

    CEO of MGR360, Alicia Thrasher, shares 3 must-have tools for bosses (Ep 111)

    CEO of MGR360, Alicia Thrasher, shares 3 must-have tools for bosses (Ep 111)

    How do you assess your self-awareness as a leader? In this episode we cover, the five fundamental skills all great managers and leaders master, from motivating people to developing self-awareness. We cover three distinct tools at your disposal as a boss—and when to use each. Thrasher also covers proven approaches to the key manager responsibilities, from setting clear goals with employees to keeping people accountable (without becoming the dreading micromanager) to attracting superstars to the team.
    If you're wondering how to positively influence employee engagement in your organization, this is the episode for you.
    THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOWWhat should we be training individual contributors for vs. a manager? (12:30)
    How do you succession plan for an individual contributor moving into a managerial role? (13:46)
    How can leaders better understand their team's motivations? (21:00)

    KEEP UP WITH GUESTCheck out Alicia Thrasher's Book, https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Playbook-Exceptional-Management-Competitive/dp/B09MYTMMNQ/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+managers+playbookandqid=1663952583andsr=8-1 (The Manager's Playbook).
    EPISODE RESOURCEShttps://remarkable-leadership-lessons.mn.co/plans/221111?bundle_token=4b95ffe2499218bea24341d2cab48999andutm_source=manual (Join the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Community Now)
    https://rllessons.com/ (Visit the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Site)
    Got questions? Send them here
    Interested in being a guest? https://calendly.com/denisecooperspeaks/podcast-overview-referral (Schedule an introduction call)!
    Subscribe on https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1453921255?ign-itscg=30200andign-itsct=lt_p (Apple Podcasts), https://open.spotify.com/show/52hAJHuGUXlyhKuOyuon3U (Spotify), or https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5jYXB0aXZhdGUuZm0vY2xvc2luZy10aGUtZ2FwLw (Google Podcasts), and leave us a rating or review

    GUEST BIOAlicia Thrasher is the co-founder and CEO of MGR360, a leadership development and software company based in Austin, Texas. She is the coauthor, with Joel Trammell, of The Manager’s Playbook: Make Exceptional People Management Your Competitive Advantage.
    With more than 20 years of management experience in the information technology and consulting space, Alicia understands what it takes to manage people effectively, even through the most complex situations. Before becoming CEO of MGR360, she brought her leadership, vision, and strategic oversight to many executive positions, including leading programs for eBay/PayPal, Google, and Anheuser-Busch.
    Alicia graduated with a BBA from the University of Texas at Austin with a concentration in Management Information Systems. She also holds Project Management Professional (PMP) and Certified Scrum Master (CSM) certifications.
    “The past year has presented an unprecedented shift in the U.S. economy. The demand for workers came soaring back after it dipped low during the pandemic, and millions of workers have retired early, quit their jobs or otherwise stayed on the sidelines. Now more than ever, strong leadership is necessary to help organizations stay ahead of these continuing challenges.
    In her new book, The Manager’s Playbook: Make Exceptional People Management Your Competitive Advantage (January 2022), management expert Alicia Thrasher draws on her decades of experience to provide new and powerful strategies for better people management.”

    • 35 min
    Pamela Brooks-Richards on how judgment informs strategic decision-making (Ep. 110)

    Pamela Brooks-Richards on how judgment informs strategic decision-making (Ep. 110)

    Do you know your own process for decision-making? ? Do you know how judgment shows up in your thought process? Judgment is human, we don't (yet) live in an AI world, where all decisions are powered by data and statistics. Instead, we're synthesizing information ourselves, often through the lenses of emotion, bias, and past experiences.
    When you're coming up with solutions to a challenge - do you go with the first solution you come up with? Or do you tend to brainstorm and weigh multiple options? This is an example of practical decision-making strategies.
    If you're wondering how to positively understand and leverage the judgments you make in strategic decision-making, this is the episode for you.
    THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOWWhat role does judgment play in our decision-making at work? [3:30]
    System bias, people bias, and processing bias all play a role in our decision-making. What does that mean? [9:50]
    When you're a leader, every suggestion you make is going to be picked up by someone in the room as an action item. How do you set clear expectations with your team to avoid unintended workflows?[14:22]
    If I'm a leader and I want to understand anything from succession planning, hiring, risk assessments, etc - how do I get better at this? [22:00]

    KEEP UP WITH PAMELA BROOKS-RICHARDSLinkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccsuccess/
    EPISODE RESOURCEShttps://remarkable-leadership-lessons.mn.co/plans/221111?bundle_token=4b95ffe2499218bea24341d2cab48999andutm_source=manual (Join the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Community Now)
    https://rllessons.com/ (Visit the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Site)
    Got questions? Send them here
    Interested in being a guest? https://calendly.com/denisecooperspeaks/podcast-overview-referral (Schedule an introduction call)!
    Subscribe on https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1453921255?ign-itscg=30200andign-itsct=lt_p (Apple Podcasts), https://open.spotify.com/show/52hAJHuGUXlyhKuOyuon3U (Spotify), or https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5jYXB0aXZhdGUuZm0vY2xvc2luZy10aGUtZ2FwLw (Google Podcasts), and leave us a rating or review

    GUEST BIOPam is known for her passion for people and facilitating positive change for anyone in need with an open mind. She enjoys being an executive coach and helping people discover their strengths to make life transformations. Pam has helped design and run several leadership programs at ASU and continues to help organizations with executive staffing and team building. She appreciates her many opportunities to work with others and being a part of their discovery process, including running Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead™ program as a Certified Facilitator and running Conversational Intelligence™ by Judith Glaser.
    Pam's passion for performance grew throughout her athletic career and playing volleyball for the University of Washington. She studied organizational and interpersonal development in her first masters and counseling in her second. She uses her assessment tools and understanding of people to create workshops and experiences that can create transformational performance breakthroughs for both individuals and teams. She loves all the work coming out of neuroscience today and what actually leads to better performers and what helps us enjoy life to the fullest.
    She has presented to large groups, such as the Philip 66 – International Conference and Baxter Asia Pacific's International Strategic Thinking Workshop in Shanghai. She has facilitated large groups in Dare to Lead ™ and been a part of the smaller conferences such as BADD, 101 Black Women's Coalition, and ASU's Commission on the Status of Women and is a Master SPARK facilitator for ASU.
    In her spare time, she loves to riding her bike, hiking, sailing and even playing a bit of golf now with her husband.

    • 31 min
    Deborah Snow-Walsh on building a strong talent strategy for 2023 (Ep 109)

    Deborah Snow-Walsh on building a strong talent strategy for 2023 (Ep 109)

    What does a strong talent strategy look like in 2022 and 2023? It's easy to check skills boxes - it's harder to tell how well someone will adapt, collaborate, and evolve. Will they be able to play well with others in the sandbox of your organization? Some people are great with complex matrix organizations, while others thrive in small businesses. How do you know what your organization needs in terms of game-changing talent?
    When looking to source new talent, we can start by looking at senior leaders and what they anticipate will be upcoming in terms of people leaving the organization, aging out of the organization, or wanting to grow in the organization. In any business, there are areas of "evergreen" talent. These refer to any areas of the business where we are always looking for talent to drive business and move the needle in a meaningful way. We are always hiring for the next impact player, aka someone who will bring change to the organization. This can mean Heads of Sales, Marketing Leaders, Production Managers, etc.
    If you're wondering how to positively drive talent strategy in your organization, this is the episode for you. This week, we interview Deborah Snow-Walsh for her expert take on the future of talent development.
    This week's episode is part of a 12-month long series, where Deborah Snow-Walsh will be a repeat guest on the show. Have a question you want her to answer? Drop us a line at denise.cooper@rllessons.com and we'll be sure to answer it later this year.
    THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOWWhat does a good talent strategy look like? (4:14)
    How does a business hire talent for 2-3 years out, when we can only see about. one year out? (7:20)
    What is the risk of hiring for “culture match”? How is this affecting organization’s productivity and ability to adapt to changing world? (11:49)
    We're finding some managers are still resistant to remote work, what would you say to them? (14:00)
    How do we measure people's proficiency after being onboarded? (18:49)

    KEEP UP WITH DEBORAH SNOW WALSHhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/deborah-walsh-875b932 (Follow her on Linkedin)
    EPISODE RESOURCEShttps://remarkable-leadership-lessons.mn.co/plans/221111?bundle_token=4b95ffe2499218bea24341d2cab48999andutm_source=manual (Join the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Community Now)
    https://rllessons.com/ (Visit the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Site)
    Got questions? Send them here
    Interested in being a guest? https://calendly.com/denisecooperspeaks/podcast-overview-referral (Schedule an introduction call)!
    Subscribe on https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1453921255?ign-itscg=30200andign-itsct=lt_p (Apple Podcasts), https://open.spotify.com/show/52hAJHuGUXlyhKuOyuon3U (Spotify), or https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5jYXB0aXZhdGUuZm0vY2xvc2luZy10aGUtZ2FwLw (Google Podcasts), and leave us a rating or review

    GUEST BIODebbie is a builder of organizations and a talent executive, focused on DEI in thought and view. Those are her passions. She has a unique background in sales, having successfully started her career selling large benefits packages to the Fortune 200, working for AXA Equitable. She knew nothing about benefits, or the Fortune 200. She was recruited to Lee Hecht Harrison, where she excelled in selling outplacement and coaching services to large, multi national organizations. When she was recruited again into the search business, she was already focused on female and minority talent and made the decision to become an entrepreneur and open her own firm.
    Ultimately, her organization included ten professionals and served companies including IBM, JPMorgan Chase, the GAP, Pfizer, AXA Equitable, and Prudential among others. In 2011 she was recruited to Zurich Insurance to run Talent Acquisition, University Relations and Diversity. She enjoyed the opportunity to see talent in action and build an organization. She returned to outside search and ultimately...

    • 26 min
    Denise Cooper on toxic vs. growth oriented peer-to-peer feedback (Ep. 108)

    Denise Cooper on toxic vs. growth oriented peer-to-peer feedback (Ep. 108)

    How do you know if your organization is ready to give peer-to-peer feedback? How does feedback delivery need to be adjusted for remote vs. in person environments? Often times, organizations will launch a new peer-to-peer feedback initiative, without first training employees on what good feedback looks like and feels like. Toxic feedback is much more damaging to workplace morale than a culture where no feedback is given at all. However, we know that once we nail giving and receiving healthy feedback - organizations thrive.
    If you're wondering how to assess where your organization is at in terms of maturity around peer-to-peer feedback, this is the episode for you. Our host, Denise Cooper is interviewed by Alexa Greer on the ins and outs of feedback best practices to bring feedback conversations from "Ouch" to "Oh my".
    THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOWHow do you assess if your organization is ready for peer-to-peer feedback? What is your maturity around feedback? [3:55]
    Skilled feedback vs unskilled feedback. I’ve had situations where I’ve gotten feedback from someone that wasn’t very helpful or kind. [13:55]
    How does an organization prepare their teams to give skilled feedback? Does it differ remote vs. hybrid [22:19]

    EPISODE RESOURCEShttps://remarkable-leadership-lessons.mn.co/plans/221111?bundle_token=4b95ffe2499218bea24341d2cab48999andutm_source=manual (Join the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Community Now)
    https://rllessons.com/ (Visit the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Site)
    Got questions? Send them here
    Interested in being a guest? https://calendly.com/denisecooperspeaks/podcast-overview-referral (Schedule an introduction call)!
    Subscribe on https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1453921255?ign-itscg=30200andign-itsct=lt_p (Apple Podcasts), https://open.spotify.com/show/52hAJHuGUXlyhKuOyuon3U (Spotify), or https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5jYXB0aXZhdGUuZm0vY2xvc2luZy10aGUtZ2FwLw (Google Podcasts), and leave us a rating or review

    GUEST BIODenise Cooper is the Head of People Operations at Pack4U.Her expertise and wisdom are grounded in neuro-leadership, behavioral and psychological principles along with 25 years of experience. Denise has worked across a wide range of industries and organizations from Fortune 500 corporations, small to mid-market and nonprofit businesses. Change is impacting every aspect of business and executives need leadership skills that inspire trust, enable quick response times, clarify purpose and create work cultures where belonging and contribution are foundational principles.

    • 29 min
    Episode 107: Why Collaboration and Leadership are Tied at the Hip

    Episode 107: Why Collaboration and Leadership are Tied at the Hip

    How would you rate your collaboration skills? Do you have what it takes to "have a vision" and grow into a leader in your line of work? The good news is - we can teach you how to be a leader. In a lot of ways, it's harder to teach someone to be an individual contributor. As an individual contributor, you're hired for the technical skills you bring to the table. Hiring managers look at your resume, and can typically see whether or not you have the skills needed to succeed in the job or not. However, just because someone is an amazing individual contributor does not mean they'll succeed in a leadership role. Great sales people don't always make great managers.
    In 90% of organizations, the only way you can move up within an organization is by becoming a manager. While you can make a lot of money as an individual contributor, you won't be able to move up without the leadership skills.
    This week, we interview Deborah Snow-Walsh for her expert take on the future of work. Snow-Walsh's expertise includes consulting for corporations regarding their internal policies, executive search processes, and coaching for leaders. She has been involved with HRPS, and was co-chair of its annual conference and various planning committees.
    This week's episode is part of a 12-month long series, where Deborah Snow-Walsh will be a repeat guest on the show. Have a question you want her to answer? Drop us a line at denise.cooper@rllessons.com and we'll be sure to answer it later this year.
    KEEP UP WITH DEBORAH SNOW-WALSHhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/deborah-walsh-875b932/
    EPISODE RESOURCESJoin Denise's Mighty Network Community: https://bit.ly/3aeHWk5
    Got questions? Send it to denise.cooper@rllessons.com
    Subscribe on iTunes, and leave us a rating or review: https://apple.co/3usChxk

    • 41 min
    Episode 106: Why hyper-vigilance is the enemy of high performance

    Episode 106: Why hyper-vigilance is the enemy of high performance

    What role does anxiety, hypervigilance, and chronic stress play in the healthcare industry? We are two years away from the beginning of the pandemic, and still no closer to treating healthcare workers in a dignified way. What does work-life balance look like for nurses who are supporting more patients than ever before? How can nurses set boundaries to be able to show up for patients in critical-care scenarios, without burning themselves out?
    If you're interested in learning how to balance boundaries, find work-life integration, and find sustainability within the healthcare industry, this is the episode for you. In this week's episode Sabrina Runbeck, MPH, MHS, PA-C, Cardiothoracic Surgery Physician Associate discusses what healthy boundaries can look like within the healthcare field. After overcoming burnout working in surgery, she became an International Peak Performance Keynote Speaker and Advisor. Now she empowers ambitious and overwhelmed health practice owners and their team gain back a day per week.
    Her clients stopped having endless to-do lists or constantly putting out fires, and they are able to move steadily forward without experiencing upper limits. She is still practicing in surgery and empowering other healthcare leaders to have a double win in both work and life. That's why people call her the Queen of Performance and Productivity. She hosts "The Provider's Edge" podcast and is an International Bestselling Author of the books: "Asian Women Who BossUp" and "Sacred Redesign."
    THE FINER DETAILS OF THIS SHOWWhat is the current state of healthcare workers in the United States.
    What would fair and equitable treatment of healthcare workers look like moving forward?
    You talk a lot about the idea of mental immunity, what does this mean to you?
    What will be the impact on patient outcomes when we treat healthcare workers better?

    KEEP UP WITH SABRINA RUNBECKGet $250 off Sabrina's Unlimited Laser Focus 1-on-1 Year-Long Advisory: SabrinaRunbeck.com/Focus
    LinkedIn.com/In/SabrinaRunbeck
    Instagram.com/SabrinaRunbeck
    Twitter.com/SabrinaRunbeck
    EPISODE RESOURCESJoin Denise's Mighty Network Community: https://bit.ly/3aeHWk5
    Got questions? Send it to denise.cooper@rllessons.com
    Subscribe on iTunes, and leave us a rating or review: https://apple.co/3usChxk

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

BuffaloHMFIC ,

Authenticity!

I love the authenticity Denise and her guests show. Definitely worth a listen.

Well-focused Interview ,

I’m hooked!

Great guests! Authentic voices! In-depth experience! I’m hooked! I appreciate the wide variety of topics that are highlighted on this podcast — and the attention Denise gives to exploring them in detail. Episodes are appropriate for academic purposes, for corporate professional development, and for entrepreneurs. Each episode offers some gemstones to take away and ponder.

Coachingleaders ,

Excellent questions and insightful guests

I’m impressed by the guest selection for Closing the Gap and what they bring to the table. Denise’s questions elicit not only their expertise but their passion for their fields, the work they do, and their belief in a better world and workplace. I come away from each podcast inspired!