32 episodes

The Leadership Lyceum: A CEO’s Virtual Mentor podcast series provides situational advice to a wide audience of leaders and boards of directors through conversations with those that have been there. The podcast brings unprecedented, one-on-one access to top, current and retired, CEOs and Directors of Boards and provides beneficial information and valuable insight on situational and topical issues that confront CEOs and Boards from those that have faced them before - often in dramatic circumstances. Consider it a “Virtual Mentor” for CEOs and other leaders, because let’s face it – it’s lonely at the top.

There are basic leadership challenges common to all CEOs as well as specific situational circumstances that warrant attention in our series. The interview format delivers memoir, profile, perspective, and in a unique fashion - not only draws answers - but also brings fundamental insight. We hope that you will find merit in all the episodes and comment and contribute your own situations of interest. We’ll do our best to cover them with those CEOs that have faced them.

Leadership Lyceum: A CEO's Virtual Mentor Thomas B. Linquist

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 12 Ratings

The Leadership Lyceum: A CEO’s Virtual Mentor podcast series provides situational advice to a wide audience of leaders and boards of directors through conversations with those that have been there. The podcast brings unprecedented, one-on-one access to top, current and retired, CEOs and Directors of Boards and provides beneficial information and valuable insight on situational and topical issues that confront CEOs and Boards from those that have faced them before - often in dramatic circumstances. Consider it a “Virtual Mentor” for CEOs and other leaders, because let’s face it – it’s lonely at the top.

There are basic leadership challenges common to all CEOs as well as specific situational circumstances that warrant attention in our series. The interview format delivers memoir, profile, perspective, and in a unique fashion - not only draws answers - but also brings fundamental insight. We hope that you will find merit in all the episodes and comment and contribute your own situations of interest. We’ll do our best to cover them with those CEOs that have faced them.

    Why is Achieving Diversity So Hard? Overcoming Homophily and Our Own Human Nature with Sociologist James Cook

    Why is Achieving Diversity So Hard? Overcoming Homophily and Our Own Human Nature with Sociologist James Cook

    Welcome to Episode 25, Season 6, of the Leadership Lyceum: A CEO's Virtual Mentor®. This is part one of two episodes aimed as a celebration of Black History Month.
    In August 2020, USA Today reported that 11% of the directors across the 50 largest companies in the S&P 100 are black. On the other hand, gender diversity on boards has shown better improvement over the last seven years. BoardEx just released data that revealed gender diversity on corporate boards in the US increased about 10% over the seven-year period from 2014 to 2020, that is from 19% to 28.8%, a year on year average growth rate of about 1.4%. France and Norway are at 44% and 39% respectively, but their growth rate is slower than the US. You see, they started from a higher percentage level in the first place. We agree with all the benefits of having diverse boards, but we think that a 1.4% growth rate is not even close to good enough.
    Since the 2017 founding of our sister company, Lyceum Leadership Consulting, we’ve placed diverse candidates in 24 out of 43 of our board and executive searches, or 56%. It's a track record we're proud of, but we can do better. If we assume the good intentions of everyone involved in board selection decisions to improve upon those numbers, then what is holding us all back? What is causing the stubborn persistence of diversity levels across the world? Lyceum Leadership Consulting thesis is that we are battling our own human nature.
    In my search work over the last decade and a half, I often observed that a missing link in creating boardroom diversity is often a lack of diversity in the professional networks of the board of directors or the nominating committee themselves. As often, candidates are identified and selected from these networks. In order to understand what causes a lack of network diversity to exist, it's instructive to understand sociology applied to these social networks.
    In this program, we examine ways of counteracting our own human nature to ultimately make significant improvements in boardroom and executive diversity.
    Joining me on the program is Associate Professor of Sociology, James M. Cook, from the University of Maine. One of Dr. Cook's areas of expertise is in the area of social network analysis. I discovered Professor Cook's work in my own research on this perplexing issue. I was especially intrigued and informed by an academic paper that he co-authored in 2001 called Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks.
     
     
     
     
    Program Guide
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 25 
    Why is Achieving Diversity So Hard?
    Overcoming Homophily and Our Own Human Nature with Sociologist James Cook 
    0:00     Introduction to the program and Dr. James M. Cook, Associate Professor of Sociology, from the University of Maine.
    4:26     Definition of Homophily
    7:25     Homophily in the boardroom setting and the limitations of the board
    11:20   Break 1
    11:19   Social Capital: Bonding and Bridging
    14:34   Break 2
    14:47   Part 1 of the Framework for Overcoming Homophily: Finding people who are different
    25:35   Break 3
    26:19   Part 1 (continued): Finding, or being found, at the individual level
    33:46   Break 4
    34:29   Part 2 of the Framework for Overcoming Homophily: Uniting through the instability that bringing people who are different causes
    40:24   Break 4
    40:51   Part 3 of the Framework for Overcoming Homophily: Managing conflicts that are bound to arise.
    44:15   Break 5
    44:38   Conclusion: Intergroup relations and advice toward improvement in diversity outcomes
    55:06   End of Program and Preview of Episode 26, part 2 of 2, in celebration of Black History Month
     
    We would like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast.
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to y

    • 58 min
    Inspiring award-winning performances from your talent: Crossover applications to business leadership from the theatrical development process with Charles Newell, Artistic Director of Court Theatre in Chicago

    Inspiring award-winning performances from your talent: Crossover applications to business leadership from the theatrical development process with Charles Newell, Artistic Director of Court Theatre in Chicago

    Inspiring award-winning performances from your talent:
    Crossover applications to business leadership from the theatrical development process
    with Charles Newell, Artistic Director of Court Theatre in Chicago
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 24
     
    Welcome to Episode 24, Season 5, of the Leadership Lyceum: A CEO's Virtual Mentor®.
    I'm joined in the program today by Charles Newell, the Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director of the renowned and critically acclaimed Court Theatre in Chicago.
    This interview was recorded in the summer of 2019 as the Court Theatre's production of the play, The Adventures of Augie March, had completed its record-breaking performance run. We had intended to publish this episode early this year in 2020, but COVID hit and it seemed a little bold to put this out at the early stage of the pandemic. The world had other pressing items that deserved attention. But now, in the middle of the holiday season, we've been without live theater and entertainment for nine months, we thought this interview might be not only informative, but also soothing at this stage of the pandemic.
     
    This interview is timeless and gets deep into a theatrical production's creative process as seen through the mind's eye of the director. In general, we, as an audience of entertainment, be it sports or the performing arts, are often spoiled with the perfection and professionalism of the finished product. But what is involved or required from a leadership perspective to develop and burnish the performance into the form to which we are also accustomed? What goes on in the business of theater has crossover applications to all business leaders.
    We'll cover a wide range of topics in today's program. We'll outline the organizational form of the Court Theatre, including its governance, funding and management structure. But the majority of our time will be spent stepping through the phases of the creation of a production from script selection to closing night.
     
    Program Guide
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 24
    Inspiring award-winning performances from your talent
    with Charles Newell, Artistic Director of Court Theatre in Chicago
    0:00     Introduction to the program and Charles Newell, Artistic Director of the Court Theatre in Chicago
    3:20     Court Theatre’s history, governance structure, funding sources and unique structure with the University of Chicago.
    5:09     Achieving high caliber of performances on a smaller budget than peers theater companies in Chicago
    7:25     Unique mission and social-societal outcomes of Court Theatre in the realm of national theater.
    10:39   Break 1
    11:19   Phase 1 of the Theatrical Development Process: Finding and developing a script.
    17:11   Break 2
    17:27   Phase 2 of the Theatrical Development Process: Developing the look and feel of the production. Revealing the collaborative creative process.
    25:01   Break 3
    25:35   Phase 3 of the Theatrical Development Process: The Casting Process. Dealing with barriers and constraints.
    32:45   Break 4
    34:51   Phase 4 of the Theatrical Development Process: Production development, rehearsal, and refinement. Inspiring and motivating actors to perform at their best.
    39:20   Break 5
    39:46   Phase 5 of the Theatrical Development Process: The arc of production and performance evolution from opening night to closing night. Keeping a production evolving and improving in the absence of continuous rehearsals.
    49:33   Break 6
    50:03   Retrospective self-reflection on the evolution of a theater director.
    55:06   Conclusion and coming attractions.
     
    We would like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast.
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
    See you next time.
     
    Informative and Helpful Links
     

    • 56 min
    The Anatomy of a Private Equity Investment: from M&A roll-up, to IPO, and beyond with Advanced Disposal Services’ Chairman and CEO Richard Burke

    The Anatomy of a Private Equity Investment: from M&A roll-up, to IPO, and beyond with Advanced Disposal Services’ Chairman and CEO Richard Burke

    “Service First, Safety Always”
    The Anatomy of a Private Equity Investment: from M&A roll-up, to IPO, and beyond
    with Advanced Disposal Services’ Chairman and CEO Richard Burke
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 23 
    Welcome to episode 23 and the beginning of Season 4 of A CEO's Virtual Mentor.
    I'd like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that have enabled us to bring you this podcast, and to you, ladies and gentlemen, our devoted listenership, for your continued encouragement and programming suggestions.
    And let me mention that we cannot improve without your feedback and suggestions. Please take a moment and subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast platform, and rate us with your feedback.
    There are two main features on our program today.
    I. We occasionally feature a spot on the program called Famous Last Words. We will intersperse excerpts of a dramatic scene from the 1956 movie, “Patterns…of Power!”, through the breaks in our program. Patterns’ brilliant screenplay was written by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame. The Patterns script predated Twilight Zone and is considered by many as the finest piece of writing Rod Serling has ever done and brought him instant acclaim. We'll feature the dramatic scene between ruthless, cold, and calculating owner of the corporation Walter Ramsey, played by Everett Sloane, and youthful, charismatic and considerate industrial engineer, Fred Staples, played by Van Heflin. Ramsey is impressed with the performance of Fred Staples at a company Ramsey has recently acquired. Ramsey's grooming Staples to replace the struggling, but highly principled Bill Briggs, played by Ed Begley, as the second in command at the company.
    II. For our main event in the program, I'm joined by Richard Burke, Chairman and CEO of publicly-traded solid waste services company, Advanced Disposal Services. 
    We'll be discussing Richard's leadership in a company that delivers a service punch well above its $1.6 billion weight class. We'll cover its evolution from private equity backed roll-up of solid waste businesses through its IPO in October of 2016 and right up to just prior to the announcement on April 15, 2019, that Waste Management would purchase Advanced Disposal.
    Our interview covers a lot of ground and addresses an array of situation-specific business leadership topics, including:
    The economics of the solid waste business. A company’s evolution from private equity ownership to IPO M&A and the "Four D’s" behind a seller’s motivation Corporate Reputation and Integrity Reputation Derived from Investors on the Path to an IPO Safety and Corporate Culture Post-IPO Board Composition Considerations  We would like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast.
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
    Informative and Helpful Links
    “Patterns…of Power!” (Full Movie)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMnU4faUMUY
     
    Program Guide Episode 23
    “Service First, Safety Always”
    The Anatomy of a Private Equity Investment: from M&A roll-up, to IPO, and beyond
    with Advanced Disposal Services’ Chairman and CEO Richard Burke
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 23 
    0:06     Introduction to Program
    1:05     Introduction to Famous Last Words feature “Patterns…of Power!”
    2:51     Interview with Richard Burke
    11:02   Music Break 1
    11:19   Patterns Scene 1 of 4   
    15:24   Music Break 2
    15:43   Richard Burke on Landfill Economics
    16:48   The Secondary Vertically Integrated Market
    19:09   Geographic Adjacencies
    21:28   The Seller’s Consideration and “the Four D’s”
    23:03   Reputation Requirements for M&A
    23:20   Music Break 3
    23:26   Private Equity Interest and Approach in the Solid Wa

    • 55 min
    A Remarkable Corporate Turnaround: The “Take-Private” of Talen Energy with CEO Ralph Alexander and CFO Alex Hernandez

    A Remarkable Corporate Turnaround: The “Take-Private” of Talen Energy with CEO Ralph Alexander and CFO Alex Hernandez

     A Remarkable Corporate Turnaround:
    The “Take-Private” of Talen Energy with CEO Ralph Alexander and CFO Alex Hernandez
    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor® Episode 22 
    Welcome to Episode 22 and May 2019, which marks Lyceum’s three-year anniversary of publishing A CEO's Virtual Mentor®.
    Today I'm joined by Talen Energy’s CEO, Ralph Alexander, and CFO, Alex Hernandez. We'll be discussing the remarkable turnaround of Talen Energy that Ralph and Alex have been leading.
    Talen Energy in its privately-held form today is unique and its evolution to its current state illustrates the range of leadership approaches available for a company in a “take-private” setting. There's a definite before, middle, and beyond to the take private transformation. Talen is still in the early stage of the “beyond” era. The red-letter date of the take-private was December 6th, 2016.  And to set context, we have to back up a little bit.  About a year and a half before the take-private, Talen Energy was formed when Pennsylvania Power & Light, or PPL, spun off their power generation assets and combined them with those belonging to private equity group Riverstone. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange on June 1st, 2015, with initial ownership being 65% PPL and 35% Riverstone.
    That company, which Ralph and Alex refer to as “Talen 1.0,” had about 15,000 megawatts of capacity split across fuel sources, with about 43% from natural gas, 40% from coal, and 15% from nuclear (from the company’s one nuclear facility, Susquehanna). Those assets sold into two major wholesale markets in ERCOT and PJM, plus a small amount in New England. Talen generated a proforma of $4.3 billion in 2014 revenues.
    On December 6th, 2016, Riverstone purchased the remaining 65% of Talen, making Talen a privately-held company, and appointed Ralph and Alex to lead the company. They faced the massive task of sorting out what the company had and planning what they would do with it. 
    Our interview covers a lot of ground and addresses an array of business leadership questions, including:
    What are the expectations and requirements that a private equity owner has for a company and a management team? What historical decisions prior to new ownership of a company led to lackluster performance? What were the strategic views embedded in the private equity investor’s thesis about a company? Why invest more deeply in a company that is suffering from lackluster performance? Can new management and their decisions have a marked impact? How does a new leader ferry the costs out of and efficiencies into a business after acquisition? Does private ownership provide benefits for a company? What does a productive, strategic partnership between a CEO and a CFO look like? What is the role of a “strategic” CFO? Is good leadership universal? Is a management team and its profitable approach transportable to other sectors?  We would like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast. 
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
     
    Informative and Helpful Links
    Talen Energy's Website - https://www.talenenergy.com/
    Riverstone's Website - https://www.riverstonellc.com/
    Economic dispatch of power generation resources explained by the EIA - https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=7590
     
    Program Guide Episode 22
    A Remarkable Corporate Turnaround:
    The “Take-Private” of Talen Energy with CEO Ralph Alexander and CFO Alex Hernandez 
    0:00     Introduction to Talen Energy and CEO Ralph Alexander and CFO Alex Hernandez
    4:00     Expectations and requirements that Riverstone had for the company and the management team.
    7:11     Historical decisions prior to new ownership of the company that led to lackluster performance.
    9:17     Break

    • 46 min
    Climate Change as the Foremost Challenge of Our Generation with Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG

    Climate Change as the Foremost Challenge of Our Generation with Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG

    The Earth Day Episode - A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 21
    Climate Change as the Foremost Challenge of Our Generation with Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG
    Happy Earth Day Weekend.  Monday, April 22nd is Earth Day.  In celebration and recognition, we welcome you to our special Earth Day 2019 episode. 
    I am joined by Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) in Newark, New Jersey.  This Episode 21 covers a number of topics relevant to our Mother Earth including the subject of climate change which Dr. Izzo considers to be the foremost challenge of our generation.  Our sweeping climate-oriented discussion ranges from the utility industry’s role in combatting climate change, PSEG’s actions and service orientation, cognitive biases in political decisioning, the insurance industry’s role, and nuclear energy’s opportunities in the war on climate change, among other items.   
    Newark, New Jersey-based PSEG has a $30 billion market capitalization as a public utility holding company that provides regulated electric and gas service through its subsidiaries, as well as investing in solar generation projects and energy efficiency programs. 
    Dr. Ralph Izzo has served as President and CEO since 2007.  His educational foundation is in mechanical engineering and physics. He holds a PhD in Applied Physics from Columbia University.
     
    We express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast. 
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
    Informative and Helpful Links:
    ​Illustration of the omission bias through the trolley problem - 1 min 37 sec
    Program Guide Earth Day Episode
    Climate Change as the Foremost Challenge of Our Generation with Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG 
    0:00      Introduction to Episode 21 and Dr. Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO of PSEG
    2:33     Introduction of Climate Change as the foremost challenge of our generation
    7:08     A board of directors’ role and interaction with society beyond the boundaries of the corporation
    10:44    Break 1
    11:06    A utility company’s natural position of responsibility and influence in society. 
    13:16    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 1 - Energy efficiency and reference to Lyceum’s Earth Day 2018 Episode 15 on Energy Efficiency
    15:17    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 2 – Clean energy production and supply
    15:52    PSEG’s actionable steps for society: Step 3 – Reliability of energy supply
    16:39    Break 2
    16:54    What’s in a name?  “Public Service” Enterprise Group
    21:10    The human affinity to socialize and associate with reference to Lyceum’s Episode 18 on Associations and Alexis de Tocqueville  
    22:55    Break 3
    23:14    Cognitive Bias in group decisions on climate change and the role of policy
    29:24    Break 4
    29:42    The role of nuclear energy in combatting climate change
    29:54    What is working against the expansion of nuclear energy in the US?
    34:04    The insurance industry’s role in combatting climate change. Reference to Lyceum’s article: Risk & Reward: The Insurance Sector on the Climate Frontlines
    35:54    Concluding statements - optimism in the face of climate change. 
    Biographies of Guests
     
    Dr. Ralph Izzo
    Ralph Izzo was elected chairman and chief executive officer of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) in April 2007. He was named the company’s president and chief operating officer and a member of the board of directors of PSEG in October 2006. Previously, Dr. Izzo was president and chief operating officer of Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G).
    Since joining PSE&G in 1992, Dr. Iz

    • 37 min
    The ESG Canvas for Corporate Reporting with Pat Kampling, Chairman & CEO of Alliant Energy

    The ESG Canvas for Corporate Reporting with Pat Kampling, Chairman & CEO of Alliant Energy

    A CEO’s Virtual Mentor Episode 20
    The ESG Canvas for Corporate Reporting with Pat Kampling, Chairman and CEO of Alliant Energy
    Welcome to Episode 20. I am joined by Pat Kampling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alliant Energy in Madison Wisconsin.  This Episode 20 covers several areas of topical interest including a discussion on ‘sustainability’ and the quickly emerging and rapidly evolving area of ESG or “Environmental, Social, and Governance” criteria.  Institutional investors are demanding action and attention to ESG and CEO’s are responding by charting their companies’ course. This is not without tension for corporate management teams. We’ll discuss with Pat how she and Alliant have been addressing ESG and hopefully put you at ease.
    Madison-based Alliant Energy has a $10.8 billion market cap as a public utility holding company that provides regulated electric and gas service through its subsidiaries, Interstate Power and Light and Wisconsin Power and Light to 410,000 gas customers and just shy of one million electric customers. Pat has served as chairman and CEO since 2012 and prior to that, she was COO for about a year and prior to that, she was CFO and Treasurer and has an extensive finance background. Foundationally, Pat is an engineer and a registered professional engineer at that --- a true renaissance woman.
    I’d like to express our special thanks to the clients of Lyceum Leadership Consulting that enable us to bring you this podcast.
    The UN “Principles for Responsible Investment” or PRI are a set of six principles that provide a global standard for responsible investing as it relates to environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) factors. Organizations follow these principles to meet commitments to beneficiaries while aligning investment activities with the broader interests of society.
    The PRI movement began in early 2005, when the then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan invited a group of the world’s largest institutional investors to join a process to develop the Principles for Responsible Investment. The Principles were launched in April 2006 at the New York Stock Exchange. Since then the number of signatories has grown from 100 to over 1,800.
    I’ll briefly summarize the six principles that investor-signatories publicly demonstrate:
    They incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes. They are active owners and incorporate ESG issues into their ownership policies and practices. They seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which they invest. They promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry. They work together to enhance their effectiveness in implementing the Principles. They each report on their activities and progress towards implementing the Principles. Sweeping in its reach, isn’t it? But what triggered a Madison-based company to consider these UN Principles as a guide?
    Thanks for listening.  We can’t improve without your feedback – write us through our website www.LeadershipLyceum.com and subscribe wherever you listen to your podcasts. 
     
    Informative and Helpful Links
    The UN “Principles for Responsible Investment” or PRI.
    Alliant Energy’s 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report
    Goldman Sachs’ ESG Report from 2017.  See the impressive list of “Key Metrics and Indicators” on page 30 – 32.
     
    Program Guide Episode 20
    The ESG Canvas for Corporate Reporting with Pat Kampling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alliant Energy 
    0:32      Introduction to Episode 20 and Pat Kampling, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alliant Energy
    2:40     ESG discussion and the Sustainability Report of Alliant Energy
    7:46     Break 1
    8:12     Investor demands around ESG cuts through politics
    9:05     Safety at Alliant Energy
    13:38    Break 2
    13:52    Culture shaping at Alliant Energy
    21:04    Bre

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

JamesInMaine ,

Tom Lindquist is a mighty whisperer

After listening to many Leadership Lyceum podcast episodes, one common point is clear: Thomas Lindquist is a generous interviewer, curious, and someone who makes connections that others might not see. What a joy to see ideas blossom here.

Bill B., PMP ,

Good Mind Candy

Interesting thoughts on mentoring and on professional development; on being flexible and adaptable so as to grow beyond your current role

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