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 • 12 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.

    Mosongo Moukwa - How to be a Leader of Significance

    Mosongo Moukwa - How to be a Leader of Significance

    Cathleen has a fascinating conversation with Mosongo Moukwa, an expert in leadership and organisational change. With over 30 years of experience, Mosongo shares insights from his early days of management to his current prowess as a business coach and president of Hathaway Advanced Materials. This episode unpacks innovation beyond the traditional realms, advocating for a cohesive approach across all organisational sectors. Mosongo and Cathleen discuss the vitality of curiosity and the psychological safety necessary for fostering a culture of innovation. Mosongo's leadership journey marked by self-discovery, continuous learning, and building significant human connections shows what is needed to be an effective leader. He also emphasises the importance of nurturing potential within teams and leaving a lasting impact on individuals' lives.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    00:01 Mosongo’s book 'Be a Leader of Significance' emphasises daily impactful leadership moments.
    09:41 Weekly challenges promoted people-focused management development.
    13:25 Striving for positive impact through coaching and mentoring.
    17:19 Discuss memories, values, competencies, and influential books.
    25:28 Questioning sense of authenticity and conformity.
    28:28 Discussion on safety and risk in material production.
    32:49 Growth mindset fuels resilience through new challenges.
    38:13 Reflection on work experience leads to writing his book.
    45:02 Employees want to be valued with gestures.
    51:25 Significant leadership focuses on heart and mind.
    54:02 Recommendation for past employees, maintaining human connections.
    01:02:51 Children have specific needs, learn through open-ended questions.
    01:05:32 Innovation in plastic coating moves from the lab.
    01:11:53 Encouraging feedback, share your desired life legacy.




    Key Takeaways: 
    Innovation Is a Behaviour: Expand the boundaries of innovation beyond R&D and marketing. It is a collaborative effort driven by curiosity and a culture of psychological safety across the organisation.
    Growth Through Support: The alignment of support and challenge is crucial in leadership. An effective leader creates lasting emotional connections, impacting both the hearts and minds of team members.
    Leading with Authenticity: Leadership is not just a position, it's a journey. Embrace your unique experiences and lead with whole-person integrity. Authenticity builds trust and encourages others to follow in their truth.



    ABOUT  Mosongo Moukwa
    Mosongo Moukwa is a seasoned executive and consultant who has dedicated his career to helping companies thrive by commercializing new technologies, diversifying their product offerings, and entering new markets.
    Across thirty-plus years in leadership, Mosongo has applied his unique talent for identifying leadership gaps and developing the talent and culture necessary for success. He helps solve important innovation challenges that hold organizations back by unleashing the collective creativity of their people. This results in increased profitability and growth expansion.
    Mosongo has held leadership positions in R & D and operations at some of the world’s most respected brands, including vice president, global technology at SC Johnson; vice president, global technology at Reichhold; vice president, technology at Asian Paints; director of technology at Avient (formerly Poly- One); and chief, global R & D at PCBL (formerly Phillips Carbon Black Ltd.). He is currently President at Hathaway Advanced Materials.
    Mosongo holds a PhD from Université de Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada; a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, Illinois; and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, US. He has been a keynote speaker at numerous international technical conferences and holds several patents. Be a Leader of Significance is his new book.
     
    Connect with Mosongo:
    Book: https://a.co/d/c3HZFE3
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moson

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Markus van Alphen - Leadership Skills for Deeper Emotional Connections

    Markus van Alphen - Leadership Skills for Deeper Emotional Connections

    Your host Cathleen engages in an impactful dialogue with the renowned leadership psychologist and author, Markus van Alphen. They discuss the nuances of saying "no," the strength found in "and" over "but," and the art of observational listening. If you've ever felt the pressure of cultural communication barriers or the ripples of emotional intelligence in the workplace, this episode will resonate with you. Here, authenticity and psychological safety are not just concepts, but practised philosophies that shape successful, innovative teams. So, take a moment to listen to the transformative ideas that Markus and Cathleen bring to the table. Get ready to be equipped with strategies that could redefine your approach to leadership. Tune in to discover how embracing empathy can unfold into your most authentic self and foster genuine connection in your personal and professional life.
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    11:46 Challenging emotions tied to Western societal upbringing.
    20:43 Empathy training uses role-playing for understanding.
    26:23 Focus on one task at a time.
    27:45 Focus on what to do, get curious.
    35:37 Happy employees lead to better performance and retention.
    39:54 Emotional regulation is crucial in tough situations.
    45:04 Noticing body signals to prevent stress explosion.
    52:06 Justify saying no can be counterproductive.
    56:31 Saying yes to everything leads to burnout.
    1:00 Speaking up is crucial for tech success.
    1:07 Embracing diversity in high-tech for innovation.
    1:18 Improve empathy through active listening.



    Key Takeaways: 
    Saying "No" with Power: Discover why lengthy explanations can hinder professional relationships and learn the art of concise refusal that respects both parties.
    Cultivating 'AND' Culture: We explore the subtle yet impactful shift from "but" to "and" in conversations to foster inclusivity and encourage diverse perspectives in leadership.
    The Empathetic Leader: Embrace the role of empathy in creating a safe space for innovation and understand the significance of leaders' authenticity in promoting team well-being for positive business outcomes.
     
    ABOUT MARKUS VAN ALPHEN
    Renowned leadership psychologist and author of more than 15 books in Dutch and English, Markus van Alphen developed the Observational Listening concept in 2014.  Observational Listening goes a step further than active listening in understanding what an individual has to say. By observing what emotions they are experiencing, you really get the other’s story and their underlying emotions, whereby the other feels heard, seen, acknowledged and psychologically safe, resulting in increased happiness, motivation, and overall success. Observational listening augments empathic leadership in a powerful way into excellent leadership. 
     
    Find out more: https://excellent-leader.com/
     
    Social Meida Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-excellent-leader/; https://www.linkedin.com/in/markusvanalphen/
    X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarkusvanAlphen
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/markusvanalphen/
    YouTube: https://youtube.com/channel/UCKb14iJQMlhuMcHpSulgcBA



    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 
     
     
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    • 1 hr 23 min
    Claire Chandler - Intentional Growth and Cultivating Talent

    Claire Chandler - Intentional Growth and Cultivating Talent

    Cathleen and Claire Chandler explore the vital role of aligning personal talents with professional roles, the necessity of setting boundaries for energy management, and the profound impact of mindset on leadership capacity. Together, they unpack Claire's journey from overcoming the skepticism that greeted her career transition to the liberation she felt as she embraced her true path. For those who have ever felt confined by corporate norms or struggled with the transition into a management role, Claire's insights into authenticity and vulnerability are a must-listen.
     
    They also discuss the challenges HR departments face as they shift from traditional roles to become the architects of company culture, and how they can support leaders in this transformative time. Prepare to be moved by Claire's touching experiences and the wisdom she's gathered on her journey from the corporate world to advising executives on how to retain their best talent during expansions through her "growth on purpose" methodology. This isn't just a conversation - it's a masterclass in becoming the leader you were meant to be.
     
     
    Episode Timeline: 
     
    00:00 Introduction
    08:25 Organisations improving inclusion, but need broader acceptance.
    11:33 Recognise blind spots, create capacity for growth.
    17:49 First boss shaped career boundaries early on.
    21:50 Authenticity and vulnerability are key to effective leadership.
    30:47 Engaged audience through unexpected interaction, transformed career.
    36:23 Overcoming fear to be authentic and passionate.
    39:39 Cancer was a gift, motivated change.
    44:10 Transitioning into a leadership position, faced resistance, but persisted.
    52:41 Understanding the "why" of business success.
    55:56 Reevaluate roles, schedules, and capacity for productivity.
    01:02:06 HR must create capacity, find future talent.
    01:05:27 True inclusion in problem-solving creates workforce fulfilment.





    Key Takeaways: 
    Navigating organisational expansion with purpose.
    Harnessing "limitless talent" to drive success.
    Redefining leadership with vulnerability and authenticity.
     
    ABOUT CLARE CHANDLER
     
    President and Founder of Talent Boost, Claire Chandler specializes in aligning HR and
    business leaders so they can deliver strategic outcomes... both today and in the future. She taps into over 25 years of experience in people leadership, human resources, and business ownership to help leadership teams work together more effectively in less time, with less cultural resistance, so they can accelerate their business growth. She has broad-based expertise in
    management team due diligence, organizational design, acquisition integration and onboarding,
    strategic planning, executive coaching, and performance acceleration.Claire holds a certificate in strategic HR leadership from Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, a master’s degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield University. She has appeared as a guest on over 100 podcasts and is the author of several books on leadership and business strategy.
     
    Connect with Claire:
    Website: https://www.clairechandler.net/
     
    Social Media Links:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clairechandlersphr/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Claire_Talent
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talentboostllc
     
    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 
     
     
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    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   
     
     
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    • 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

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

kaylaellenxo ,

So encouraging and inspiring!!

We’re all a leader in some way.. and this podcast is one of my favorites for learning realistic, actionable leadership tips. These guests have so many unique insights and gems to share, I highly recommend listening on your way to work or whenever you need a boost of inspiration and empowerment. Thanks Cathy!

Alexstrath1 ,

Top tips throughout

Cathleen provides such incredible insights throughout her interviews with some of the best in their field.

Literally minute one of any episode is usually enough to walk away with something actionable.

Excited for future shows

Jakub[SOP] ,

Motivational, Inspiring, Must-Listen!

The episode with Alexis Haselberger is really a fun one. I loved the part where she mentioned that we need to externalize what we're doing so we can effectively prioritize our to-do list. Listen and learn!

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