The Roots of Leadership podcast is designed to motivate and empower listeners to increase their performance. Host Anthony C. Gruppo; author, executive coach, and CEO, connects with innovators from various disciplines and gains first-hand experience on what drives innovation and how we can continue evolving both personally and professionally. Listen in and join the conversation.
Precious Mshengu – First Class Goal
Today we’re joined by Precious Mshengu, a woman with a story that everyone should hear.
Aged just 35, Precious has already achieved so much to be proud of, including being a part of the Enterprise Innovation Academy in Portugal, gaining a Master’s degree in Corporate Governance and Law, and she’s only getting started.
Growing up in South Africa, Precious moved to the UK aged 15, during what would be her final year of high school. The transition into a new academic structure and confronting a new culture was one of vast change, but Precious faced this adversity head on and continued to thrive. She recalls the steps she had to take to ensure that the difficulties of this time didn’t define her or the path she would take.
Throughout, Precious touches on sense of purpose and the importance of this when navigating through life. She talks about always wanting to be the best version of herself, and how she juggled the desire to perform at the highest level, while being a single parent.
This episode is proof that with discipline, determination and grit, we can overcome the challenges that we face and become the best possible version of ourselves. While it may not be easy, it is possible, and Precious is proof of this sentiment.
Andrea Kind – Creating a New Reality
Today we’re joined by Andrea Kind, heralded communicator, strategist, advisor and yoga teacher who is passionate about helping others, using her personable leadership and coaching skills.
Opening the show with some comments made by those Andrea has mentored, her natural ability to listen, understand and help others shines through. Described as ‘compassionate and tough’ – she believes this is an accurate description of her, but also encompasses what she hopes to teach those around her.
When discussing what it means to be empathetic, Andrea talks about the importance of this to all aspects of leadership, whether with employees, family, or those that you mentor. Balancing empathy with learning to ‘get on with it’ is something that Andrea has mastered through personal encounters with hardship, meaning she speaks from a place of genuine experience.
Yoga means a lot to Andrea, and as well as being a student, she is also a teacher. She attributes the techniques she’s learned to move forward and be resilient, to yoga. Yoga has enabled her to learn, master and practice looking through a different lens and having different perspectives.
In the face of both personal and professional adversity, Andrea has continued to power through, crediting her optimistic ‘set point’ as something she can always find her way back to when needed. This episode is empowering, refreshing and uplifting, giving us all a different outlook and a revitalising take on how to view our own lives.
Richard Medcalf – Think Like a CEO
Today we’re joined by Richard Medcalf, leader, coach and Founder of Xquadrant; helping elite CEOs and their teams multiply their impact and take their influence to a new level.
When touching on his experiences as a coach to CEOs and high level leaders, Richard shares his belief that we can all think like a CEO and take ownership and control of our destiny, regardless of our job title. He uncovers that one of the most common themes he addresses among those he coaches, is the need to perfect the art of letting go of the nitty gritty, and expresses the strategic benefits that can be achieved by doing this.
One key message he shares with those he works with is the importance of fully formed requests. A simple yet important element of leadership, encouraging clear boundaries and freeing headspace for the things we should be focussing on – something everyone can take away and begin implementing immediately.
This episode provides invaluable insight into the skills and traits you need to be a successful leader, regardless of job title or position. Discussing the importance of culture (and what it actually means), accountability, forming agreements and so much more, this is a leadership masterclass that everyone should hear.
Zak O’Sullivan – Man vs Machine
On today’s episode we’re joined by 16 year old Zak O’Sullivan, racing driver and British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) superstar, who was recently crowned the youngest ever GB3/British F3 champion.
By the age of eight, Zak was already karting. His dad’s interest in cars sparked his own passion which quickly grew; it wasn’t long before Zak himself was in the driving seat. Aged just 14, Zak raced some of the UK’s most renowned racetracks as part of the Ginetta Junior Championship. This year he has celebrated winning the most races, having the most podiums, the most pole positions, and leading the most laps – it’s incredible to see what Zac has achieved in such a short space of time.
When discussing ‘Man vs Machine’, Zak explains that he believes adaptability is what separates the good from the great. In a sport where no two laps are the same, he emphasises the need to adapt quickly and seamlessly, as well as using his senses to make decisions. Weather is something that Zak is more than used to adapting to. He was once dubbed ‘Rain Man’ due to the speed he managed to reach when racing in wet weather - he attributes this to living in the UK, believing the UK weather has helped him perfect this talent!
This episode is a leadership seminar covering trust, adaptability, reactions, relationships and more. With an already accomplished career at such a young age (all while juggling school, exams and day-to-day life) and a promising future, Zak serves as an example to us all that hard work and dedication really does pay off.
Jackie Wendleken – Small Girl, Big Dream
On today’s episode we’re joined by Jackie Wendleken, a leader and networker, unafraid of breaking down barriers.
Jackie begins by taking us back to when she moved to London as she recalls being a ‘green behind the ears’ 18 year old. She credits her time working in customer service and retail as the core foundation for enabling her to excel within future positons, including the all-important people skills she mastered at this time and continues to utilise today.
Now working as a Senior Vice President within the UK Risk Management team at Marsh, Jackie’s passion for working with clients shines through as she continues to speak to us. Working as a team leader and supporting new colleagues joining the business, Jackie’s past experiences have enabled her to now meaningfully mentor those around her.
Jackie tells us that she was once incredibly shy and found networking challenging. A far cry from now as she highlights her passion to embrace opportunities to be put out of her comfort zone. She explains that it was through experiences like these, that she was able to find inner confidence and become a true people person.
Jackie describes herself as someone who always wants a ‘bigger table’. Speaking about the importance of proving to her daughter that she can break down barriers, Jackie explains the importance of hard work, ‘showing up’, and the belief that you really can achieve anything you put your mind to. This episode is inspiring, powerful and motivational – pushing us all to find and fulfil our true potential.
Paula Lopes – Out of the Comfort Zone
On today’s episode we’re joined by Paula Lopes, insurance expert, lifelong leader and professional, built for challenge and adventure.
Starting from the beginning, Paula takes us back to growing up in Brazil and the inspiring work ethic she saw in her father. Working multiple jobs was a way of life where she lived, and it wasn’t out of the ordinary for Paula to watch her dad work five jobs at a time.
This work ethic more than rubbed off on Paula, and her impressive career is testament to this. Her passion for making people happier is something that sits at the core of all she does, and during 22 years in the insurance industry, this unwavering passion has remained solid throughout.
Paula sees change as opportunity, and when touching on this, she explains the importance of observation and learning from others, and how invaluable this can be during these times. Her willingness to learn, and take on feedback and critique, has enabled her to build a successful career, as well as an open and honest family environment.
Discussing reflection, Paula shares the exercises she uses to practise this. Whether it be turning off the radio while driving home, or other ways of factoring in the time, she explains how important it is to her to reflect on the day’s conversations and think of what she may have done differently in hindsight.
Covering topics including fixed mindset, diversity of thought and so much more, this episode explores avenues familiar to all of us. Listen today.
I LOVE IT!
Really awesome podcast and it has become one of my go to podcasts for sure! Anthony is awesome and I love learning more and how to improve myself as a leader.
One of my go to PODCASTS
Really thought provoking podcast that helps you understand what drives the leaders of today and tomorrow. This has become one of my weekly podcast visits and I would highly recommend a listen as it has provided me with newfound perspectives.
Motivational speaker for anyone looking for professional growth!
Anthony C. Gruppo speaks to you in a personal way which inspires you to make changes in your own life to achieve personal and professional goals. Thank you Anthony for providing me with a new way of thinking! Love your podcast!