10 episodes

As experts in leadership development, executive coaching, strategic human capital, and much more – David Hughen and Dr. Kris Potrafka are keenly aware that every manager has blind spots. The best workplaces foster high trust and commitment. Leaders who learn from the traps they fall into throughout their careers are better equipped to manage with humility and an intuitive sense of ‘the right thing’ in creating great organizational cultures. The Leadership Trap podcast’s purpose is to introduce its listeners to accomplished, successful leaders who learned along the way – converting hazardous traps to seizing big opportunities on the other side.

The Leadership Trap The Leadership Trap

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

As experts in leadership development, executive coaching, strategic human capital, and much more – David Hughen and Dr. Kris Potrafka are keenly aware that every manager has blind spots. The best workplaces foster high trust and commitment. Leaders who learn from the traps they fall into throughout their careers are better equipped to manage with humility and an intuitive sense of ‘the right thing’ in creating great organizational cultures. The Leadership Trap podcast’s purpose is to introduce its listeners to accomplished, successful leaders who learned along the way – converting hazardous traps to seizing big opportunities on the other side.

    Ray Areta on The Leadership Trap

    Ray Areta on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 19. Ray Arata joined the Trap to discuss his passion to heighten expectations for what we should expect of male leaders in the workplace. He’s a writer, speaker, and business leader – pressing a new message at a time when minds are being opened by social powerhouse moments: ‘me-too’, ‘black lives matter’, ‘a global pandemic’, and more. His message is raising consciousness for fathers, husbands, and gay-straight men who are ready to take on the preferred path of inclusive masculinity in roles of influence. If you’re ready to break out of the boys club of leadership styles, take a listen to Ray’s interview on the Trap.



    Ray Arata is the author of two books, Wake Up Man Up, Step Up: Transforming Your Wake Up Call to Emotional Health and Happiness, and Showing Up: How Men Can Become Effective Allies in the Workplace. As an expert in leadership, inclusion, allyship, and emotional literacy, professionals connect with Ray because he leads from his heart and practices what he teaches in his own businesses and personal life. He brings an extensive business background and more than 15,000 hours in leading men to develop emotional literacy. Through his keynote presentations, workshops, executive coaching, and management training, he applies the same heart-based principles that have helped him to lead a thriving business and fulfilling personal life. Ray’s personal mission involves going into the corporate world and getting male executives to stand up when it comes to including and advancing women and minorities in the workplace. In writing, Showing Up for men, DEI professionals seeking to engage men, as well as historically marginalized people who seek to support and be supported. Ray provides content that places a fundamental baseline for the emerging male leader.



    Ray seeks to engage men as allies and advocates for diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. He is committed to the transformation of the gender perspective from which organizations engage with all stakeholder groups, customers, employees, investors, partners, and the global community.

    Ray has delivered engaging talks to audiences featuring corporate leadership from organizations such as Oxy Petroleum, Manulife, Kaiser Permanente, Visa, Intel, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, PWC, PG&E, Genentech, and Chevron. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 49 min
    Laura Kilcrease on The Leadership Trap

    Laura Kilcrease on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 18. Laura Kilcrease joined the Trap having made her mark in shifting Austin from an economy with a history of oil dependency to high-tech prosperity – ultimately putting it on the map as one of the top cities for  entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S. With that legacy solidified, she move up north…way north…to Alberta, Canada. She’s currently running Alberta Innovates, launching, among other programs, Inventures, the flagship gathering of innovators, investors, industry leaders and global researchers, which PwC estimated catalyzed some $200M in potential deal flow in 2019. And, it’s poised to repeat that success in 2022 when Inventures launches sessions this summer. Laura has a keen eye for culture along with a leadership team’s impact on driving healthy cultures to positive outcomes. Join us for a very enlightening chat with Laura.



    Laura Kilcrease is the Chief Executive Officer for Alberta Innovates, including its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies. She brings a track record and laser-focus to innovation ecosystem performance and design. Since her appointment in 2017, she has steered Alberta Innovates restructuring, spearheaded assessment of programs with an eye to the future, and launched Inventures, the flagship gathering of innovators, investors, industry leaders, and global researchers, which PwC estimated catalyzed some $200M in potential deal flow in 2019.

    Born in London, England, and recruited from Austin, Texas, Laura served as a member of the Alberta Research and Innovation Advisory Committee for seven years prior to joining Alberta Innovates. She is widely recognized as a key figure in changing Austin’s economy from oil dependency to high-tech prosperity to become the #1 city for entrepreneurs to live and work in the U.S..

    She has more than 25 years of experience in commercializing technology, including:





    * founding the venture capital fund Triton Ventures, LP;

    * founding the Austin Technology Incubator, among the earliest in the United States;

    * co-founding the Austin Technology Council, a premier economic networking organization; and

    * launching the Capital Network, one of the largest angel investor networks in the U.S. with over $150M in completed transactions.



    A dedicated community builder, Laura served on various for-profit and non-profit boards, including the Women’s Leadership Advisory Board of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, the Beyster Institute, World Congress for Information Technology 2006, the IC² Institute at The University of Texas, and is currently on the board of the University Federal Credit Union, one of the top 100 credit unions in the U.S.

    She has been often recognized for outstanding achievements, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the Austin Business Journal’s Profiles in Power Award, and the University of Texas McCombs School of Business Trailblazer Award. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 54 min
    Gordon Daugherty on The Leadership Trap

    Gordon Daugherty on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 17. Gordon Daugherty joined the Trap with deep expertise in guiding early-stage entrepreneurs and their companies through the challenges of building companies of worth. As co-founder and chairman of Austin’s Capital Factory, Gordon is well-known in the business community for his sage wisdom, level-headed and positive approach to mentoring leaders through the numerous challenges they face on the company building journey. This episode is essential listening for new CEOs and leaders at all levels. Some of the themes are universal to the challenges of discerning feedback coming from all sorts of directions and making the critical decisions to move the interests of the enterprise forward. Gordon is calm, cool, collected, and really on his game! In fact, be sure to listen to how he “yells” at his mentees by saying, in his calm manner – “honestly, this is when I’m yelling at you…though it may not sound like it, I’m really yelling.” Gordon wields influence with great respect for people’s dignity.



    Gordon Daugherty is a best-selling author, seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, startup advisor and investor. A proud native Texan, Gordon grew up in a small town and graduated from Baylor University with a computer science degree. He spent the first ten years of his career in brand-name companies such as IBM and Compaq and then progressively gravitated towards early-stage and high-growth companies. Gordon spent eight years in the videoconferencing industry, including four years as president of an Israeli-based company that grew from $5 million to $36 million in a short few years and went public on the Euronext Stock Market.



    Gordon oversaw most company functions while serving in executive capacities, but his primary focus was on strategy, marketing, sales, business development, and M&A. He was a senior executive for Austin-based NetQoS, which grew rapidly to more than $55 million in revenue before being acquired by CA Technologies for $200 million, and he was a founding advisor for digital advertising pioneer MediaMind, which reached $65 million in revenue and a NASDAQ IPO in 2010.



    Gordon has vast experience with early-stage fundraising from both sides of the table. As a venture fund manager and angel investor, he has made more than 200 investments. He has also helped raise more than $80 million in growth and venture capital as a company executive, fund manager, board director, and active advisor. Fundraising is the focus of the first book he authored, titled “Startup Success: Funding the Early Stages of Your Venture”.



    Through his content creation practice, Shockwave Innovations, and as co-founder and president of Austin’s Capital Factory, Gordon now spends 100 percent of his time educating, advising, and investing in tech startups. He serves on the board of directors for several Austin-based technology companies and is a managing director at SoftMatch, a corporate innovation advisory firm.



    Over the years, Gordon has given personal advice to several hundred entrepreneurs, and more than 1,000 startup founders have completed his Founders Academy boot camp. He has published more than 150 startup advice articles and is the producer of a video library with 50 streaming titles of educational content for startup founders. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 52 min
    Heather McKissick on The Leadership Trap

    Heather McKissick on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 16. Heather McKissick joined the Trap for a focus on the work of organizations for social good and how leaders can be agents for the ‘good’. Her thoughtful views on how organizations (non-profits, for-profits, government entities, and more) make a difference in their communities make for rich listening. Among her passions, reflected in this episode, is the commitment Credit Unions make to underserved populations – listen to her thoughtful response to the “Moral Dilemma” question.





    Deeply involved in community affairs in the Central Texas area, Heather McKissick serves as Executive Vice President of Community Impact, Marketing and Communication for University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), which itself is one of the most committed community organizations in Austin and Central Texas.



    When Heather joined UFCU in 2013 as Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development, she was already an experienced advocate and community leader after serving for seven years as a volunteer and then five years as Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Austin. For decades, Leadership Austin has trained thousands of local residents in community issues and leadership through its programs, and Heather came to know just about everyone who went through the development programs during her years of service. Part of Heather’s current role at UFCU is to lead the organization’s community engagement within Central Texas and the Coastal Region.



    An honored community leader herself, Heather is well-qualified to head these efforts for UFCU. She is a member of the board of the American Heart and Stroke Association of Central Texas; the Young Women’s Alliance community advisory board (and their 2013 “Inspiring Leader of the Year”); and chair of the advisory council for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce. She served as chair of the Heart Association’s 2017 “Go Red for Women” campaign; as honorary co-chair with Austin Mayor Steve Adler of the 2016 “Austin Under 40” awards; was the inaugural “Austin Under 40 Mentor of the Year” honoree; a “Women of Distinction” honoree in 2014 by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas, and a recipient of a 2010 “Profiles in Power” award. She is also a proud Credit Union Development Educator. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 50 min
    Kay Mellish on The Leadership Trap

    Kay Mellish on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 15. Kay Mellish joined the Trap recently for a well-timed reflection on how other cultures view their relationship to work. Kay’s expertise in Danish social and business cultures is smartly reflected in this episode. As the pandemic has led many people to reflect on what the notion of work truly means in their lives, Kay offers a glimpse into the Danes’ take on the very American question to a new acquaintance, “So…what do you do?”. And, listeners will especially want to hear about Dane employees’ take on business leadership, the choice to work for a company, and more.





    Kay Xander Mellish is a keynote speaker on Scandinavian culture based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the author of five books on Denmark, including "How to Live in Denmark" (2014 and 2017) "How to Work in Denmark" (2018), "Working with Americans: Tips for Danes" (2019), and "Working with Danes: Tips for Americans" (2020).



    Kay grew up in Wisconsin and graduated magna cum laude from New York University, where she studied journalism and art history. In addition to her non-fiction work, which has appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Sports Illustrated, Mother Jones, and the Danish tabloid BT, Kay spent many years writing fiction. Unable to find a publisher, she began flyposting (a guerilla marketing tactic—look it up!) the first page of her short stories on lampposts and construction sidings in New York City, with a voicemail number to call if readers wanted to hear the rest of the story. After a law-and-order mayor cracked down on flyposters, Kay took to the internet, creating in 1995 one of the first fiction sites on the web.



    Kay moved to Denmark in 2000, and now runs the KXMGroup, a Copenhagen-based consultancy that helps Danish companies communicate in English. She is the voice behind the "How to Live in Denmark" podcast and a frequent public speaker at intercultural events in Copenhagen. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 49 min
    Amii Barnard-Bahn on The Leadership Trap

    Amii Barnard-Bahn on The Leadership Trap

    Episode 14. This is one of those episodes that should be bookmarked as required, repeated listening for emerging and current leaders at all levels. Amii Barnard-Bahm covers a wide range of leadership topics, essential to those who want to constantly up their leadership game. Amii’s insights are profound yet familiar, smart, and accessible. Plus, she offers a free self-assessment tool for promotion readiness. Listen up to learn more!



    Amii Barnard-Bahn describes herself as a “passionate culture builder” with over 20 years of experience helping executives and teams achieve transformational leadership and sustainable business results. Amii partners with organizations to develop high-performing leaders and teams, and coaches executives who are dedicated to improving their organizational impact. 



    Amii’s expertise is built upon her corporate background as a Senior Executive and Board Advisor with more than 20 years of success across the healthcare, financial services, and entertainment industries. Amii recently served as SVP HR for River City Bank, California's premier business bank with assets of $2 billion. Prior to River City Bank, as Chief Administrative Officer for the California Dental Association, she created the infrastructure to drive operational agility and led a reorganization resulting in an upgrade of IT and HR functions for the $100 million non-profit association. She previously spent five years as Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer with McKesson, where she designed and executed compliance strategy for the $137 billion Fortune 5 company’s most profitable business unit with $90 billion in revenues and 6,500 employees in 40 international locations. Here she led the implementation of a five-year strategic plan that reduced risk, improved operational efficiency, and increased employee engagement. Prior to this, she worked for eleven years with Fireman’s Fund (a subsidiary of Allianz) where she managed a $2 million budget and directed HR and employment law strategy. She brings this wealth of “in the trenches” experience in service to organizations, understanding the challenges today’s leaders face on a daily basis.



    Amii holds a BA in English from Tufts University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She has served on multiple non-profit boards, including currently as a Leadership Committee Member with 2020 Women on Boards. She has taught Corporate Compliance & Ethics at Golden Gate University School of Law and is a frequent speaker on topics including leadership development, employee engagement, and ethical culture. 

    Podcast







    Hosts: Dr. Kris Potrafka and David Hughen

    • 53 min

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