35 episodes

As a leader, letting go doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Letting go to lead means encouraging your people toward mastery, infusing the workplace with a sense of purpose, allowing room for self-direction and giving others more autonomy in their jobs. In the Let Go & Lead podcast, Maril MacDonald, Founder and CEO of award winning strategy firm Gagen MacDonald, unpacks these topics and more in conversations with today’s business leaders, academics and creative thinkers.

Let Go & Lead with Maril MacDonald Gagen MacDonald

    • Business
    • 4.8 • 18 Ratings

As a leader, letting go doesn’t mean abdicating responsibility. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Letting go to lead means encouraging your people toward mastery, infusing the workplace with a sense of purpose, allowing room for self-direction and giving others more autonomy in their jobs. In the Let Go & Lead podcast, Maril MacDonald, Founder and CEO of award winning strategy firm Gagen MacDonald, unpacks these topics and more in conversations with today’s business leaders, academics and creative thinkers.

    Seth Godin | Embracing Tension, Impostor Syndrome and Bad Ideas

    Seth Godin | Embracing Tension, Impostor Syndrome and Bad Ideas

    In this episode of Let Go & Lead, entrepreneur, best-selling author and speaker Seth Godin talks with Maril about reinvention, and we can better lead our teams through change. They discuss the challenge — and benefit — of letting go of sunk costs, the difference between managing and leading change, how impostor syndrome can be a good thing for leaders and why tension is necessary to drive change. Listen to the full episode below.
    Learn about:
    4:42 The illusion that companies need to let go of
    8:17 The mindset that fuels the imagination
    9:57 Advice for leaders leading large transformations
    12:01 Why impostor syndrome can be productive for leaders
    19:22 How Seth navigates the overcrowded media landscape
    26:25 Why tension is necessary to lead change
    Seth Godin is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, teacher, speaker, podcaster and world-renowned expert on creativity and creative entrepreneurship. He has launched one of the most popular blogs in the world, seths.blog, and written 20 best-selling books.
    His 2018 book, This is Marketing, was an instant bestseller in many countries. His most recent book, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work, is a handbook for creative professionals and creatives looking to make and share creative work.
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A 
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M 
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    — 
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com.

    • 39 min
    Dani Brown | The Human Side of Digital Transformation

    Dani Brown | The Human Side of Digital Transformation

    In this episode of Let Go & Lead, Dani Brown, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Whirlpool Corporation, speaks with Maril about the ins and outs of digital transformation. They discuss the vital role that the human side of business plays in all change management, the power of leading with “Why” and the new developments in technology and systems thinking that are helping the most innovative corporations adapt and stay ahead. Listen to the full episode below.
    Learn about:
    7:08 How to build trust and credibility when leading a transformation
    10:21 The importance of listening as a leadership skill
    20:10 Untapped opportunities within digital transformations
    22:03 How Whirlpool enables cross-functional collaboration
    24:37 New technology opportunities leaders should have on their radars
    Dani leads the Global Information Systems division of Whirlpool, spearheading the household brand’s technology portfolio. Previously, she was vice president and CIO at Brunswick Corporation. Prior to that, she served in various leadership roles at DuPont.
    Dani is a member of the board for the PRA Group, a global leader in acquiring and collecting nonperforming loans. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Science in Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Drexel University. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, Dani is internationally recognized as a professional advanced in process improvement tools and techniques.
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A 
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M 
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    — 
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com.

    • 38 min
    Juan Carlos Cruz | The Transformative Power of Truth

    Juan Carlos Cruz | The Transformative Power of Truth

    In this episode of Let Go & Lead, Juan Carlos Cruz, accomplished corporate communications executive and prominent advocate against sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, speaks with Maril about the transformative power of truth. They cover how shedding light on the truth of his childhood abuse has helped him grow and thrive; the origins of his advocacy and close friendship with Pope Francis; how purpose and passion beyond work have made him better at his job; and advice for corporate leaders looking to cultivate trust in their cultures and brands. Listen to the full episode below.
    Learn about:
    8:50 The power of speaking your truth
    16:01 How passion and purpose outside of work can fuel career success
    17:15 The authenticity of Pope Francis’s leadership
    22:46 The vital importance of sincerity in modern corporate communication
    27:01 Advice for leaders to increase trust in their businesses
    29:35 What Juan Carlos believes leaders most need to let go of
    Juan Carlos Cruz is the author of the 2014 book, El Fin de la Inocencia, in which he shares his story of childhood abuse by a priest in his native Chile. He’s the co-founder of Fundación Para la Confianza, a global survivor support organization that helps survivors and their families. In addition, Cruz serves as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a role to which Pope Francis appointed him. Cruz received of the 2015 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for humanitarian work around the world.
    Apart from his advocacy work, Juan Carlos is a communications executive. Currently, he is the Vice President of Global Communications and Public Affairs at Livent, a global lithium technology company. He previously served as Head of Global Communications and Brand – Agriculture for DuPont, and Head of Communications for Manpower Group.
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A 
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M 
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    — 
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com.

    • 35 min
    Shaunta Vaughn | Leading with your unique gifts to fill a gap

    Shaunta Vaughn | Leading with your unique gifts to fill a gap

    In this episode of Let Go & Lead, Shaunta Vaughn, founder of the women’s leadership forum STRIDE, speaks with Maril about learning to lead using your unique talents. They dive into how the process of honing leadership skills differs for women and men, how Shaunta has launched and continued to nurture STRIDE and the importance of having a “personal board of directors” invested in your success to guide you. Listen to the full episode below.
    Learn about:
    12:25 Principles of the “Old Boys” network that women can borrow
    14:41 Taking a group from a lunch-and-learn to a formal network
    17:15 Why every woman’s leadership journey is sacred
    20:57 Choosing the right people for your personal board of directors
    23:50 Transactional networking versus building a network 
    29:34 Letting go of leading from the basis of someone else’s story

    Let Go & Lead is a leadership community created by Maril MacDonald, CEO and founder of Gagen MacDonald, more than a decade ago. It explores how leaders inspire change and transformation in an environment in which they possess diminishing control.
    The Let Go & Lead conversation series has existed in several iterations, from video interviews to its current form as a podcast, now in season 4. Over the years, Maril has conducted more than 70 interviews with business leaders, academics and creative thinkers, including former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, best-selling authors Mitch Albom and Dan Pink, Hyatt CHRO Malaika Myers and American Medical Association CEO James Madara. At its core, Let Go & Lead remains a place where people can access a diversity of perspectives on interdisciplinary approaches to leadership.
    Full episodes also available on: 
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A 
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M 
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    —   
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com. 

    • 37 min
    Scott Halford | Pt. 2: Storytelling Techniques for Leaders to Inspire

    Scott Halford | Pt. 2: Storytelling Techniques for Leaders to Inspire

    In the second part of his conversation on Let Go & Lead, world-renowned speaker and author Scott Halfordspeaks with Maril about good storytelling put to practice. They dive into strategies for crafting better stories, common pitfalls to avoid when telling them, the importance of mining your life for personal stories and a lot more — all grounded in neuroscience and the goal of better inspiring those we lead. Find the episode below.
    2:07 Ways to make strategy presentations more engaging  
    9:57 The hallmark of a good leader in today’s world
    13:21 The mechanics of good stories and what to focus on when crafting them
    24:31 Why leaders should share personal stories
    25:19 “Mining” your life for stories that resonate with employees
    28:37 Common pitfalls to avoid when telling stories
    Listen to the first part of Scott’s conversation with Maril here.

    Let Go & Lead is a leadership community created by Maril MacDonald, CEO and founder of Gagen MacDonald, more than a decade ago. It explores how leaders inspire change and transformation in an environment in which they possess diminishing control.
    The Let Go & Lead conversation series has existed in several iterations, from video interviews to its current form as a podcast, now in season 4. Over the years, Maril has conducted more than 70 interviews with business leaders, academics and creative thinkers, including former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, best-selling authors Mitch Albom and Dan Pink, Hyatt CHRO Malaika Myers and American Medical Association CEO James Madara. At its core, Let Go & Lead remains a place where people can access a diversity of perspectives on interdisciplinary approaches to leadership.
    Full episodes also available on: 
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A 
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M 
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    — 
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com. 

    • 36 min
    Scott Halford | Pt. 1: The Neuroscience of Storytelling and Leadership

    Scott Halford | Pt. 1: The Neuroscience of Storytelling and Leadership

    The human brain is wired to focus far more on dangers than on positive information. This is a reality business leaders navigate every day, as they work to be intentional, clear and engaging in their communications. It’s also where Scott Halford can help. Scott sees effective storytelling as a key part of leadership, and he believes that with deeper knowledge of neuroscience, we can get a lot better at both.    
    Scott is an internationally renowned keynote speaker, educator and advisor. He works worldwide to educate audiences about emotional intelligence, the neuroscience of achievement, effective performance and the success we create when we understand the intricacies of human interaction. He’s the author of the bestselling books Be a Shortcut and Activate Your Brain.
    Scott has been telling stories throughout his career — first as an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer and then as a professional speaker. He’s recognized as a Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association, and in 2014, the group inducted him into the NSA Speaker Hall of Fame.
    Scott holds an executive master’s degree from the NeuroLeadership Institute and is the president of SG Halford, Inc.
    Learn about:  
    4:19 - How storytelling triggers positive brain chemicals to induce certain feelings
    6:10 - The neurochemicals to focus on when delivering a story or speech
    8:55 - Applying a storytelling lens to business contexts
    11:56 - How inspiration moves us better than motivation alone
    20:29 - Leading and communicating with teams through downturns and uncertainty
    22:50 - Dealing with lack of control through a neuroscience lens                            
    30:53 - The personal goal Scott believes should be every leader’s holy grail

    Let Go & Lead is a leadership community created by Maril MacDonald, CEO and founder of Gagen MacDonald, more than a decade ago. It explores how leaders inspire change and transformation in an environment in which they possess diminishing control.
    The Let Go & Lead conversation series has existed in several iterations, from video interviews to its current form as a podcast, now in season 4. Over the years, Maril has conducted more than 70 interviews with business leaders, academics and creative thinkers, including former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, best-selling authors Mitch Albom and Dan Pink, Hyatt CHRO Malaika Myers and American Medical Association CEO James Madara. At its core, Let Go & Lead remains a place where people can access a diversity of perspectives on interdisciplinary approaches to leadership
    Full episodes also available on: 
    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/let-go-lead-with-maril-macdonald/id1454869525 
    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5Gaf7JXOckZMtkpsMtnjAj?si=WZjZkvfLTX2T4eaeB1PO2A   
    Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9sZXRnb2xlYWQubGlic3luLmNvbS9yc3M
    Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/show/let-go-lead 
    — 
    Gagen MacDonald is a strategy execution consulting firm that specializes in employee engagement, culture change and leadership development. Learn more at http://www.gagenmacdonald.com.

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Alexstrath1 ,

Such a unique host

Maril bring on new names and famous names but regardless - proposes new questions that always ensures for a thoughtful and insightful listen. Excited for future episodes!

JDaniel19 ,

Relevant Conversations, Actionable Insights

Let Go and Lead delivers candid conversations that are loaded with real world, relatable, and actionable insights. Maril’s recaps at the end of the episodes are useful blueprints for making the pivot from student to leader. (But be sure to come back and be a student again for the next episode!)

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