53 episodes

Our mission on this podcast is to help people like you to find and do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people and communities, and is fun to do. Here, you will meet and be inspired by amazing people who overcame great odds. You'll discover what sparked them, how they explored work opportunities, the strategies that they employed to ensure career success, and the actions that they boldly took to make it all happen. You'll also meet esteemed and nationally recognized thought-leaders who are helping people like you to develop work skill, experience, and leadership, and seize opportunity from a changing world, so that your beautiful work dreams turn into reality. Together, let's turn work meaningful, for meaningful work IS the future of work.

The Tightrope Podcast Dan Smolen

    • Careers
    • 5.0, 12 Ratings

Our mission on this podcast is to help people like you to find and do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people and communities, and is fun to do. Here, you will meet and be inspired by amazing people who overcame great odds. You'll discover what sparked them, how they explored work opportunities, the strategies that they employed to ensure career success, and the actions that they boldly took to make it all happen. You'll also meet esteemed and nationally recognized thought-leaders who are helping people like you to develop work skill, experience, and leadership, and seize opportunity from a changing world, so that your beautiful work dreams turn into reality. Together, let's turn work meaningful, for meaningful work IS the future of work.

    Summer Camp: Where Fun and Friendship Lead to Meaningful Lives and Careers

    Summer Camp: Where Fun and Friendship Lead to Meaningful Lives and Careers

    About this episode:

    "We see a lot of people do well in their [adult] careers who, coincidentally, did well in their careers at camp. I have no data, other than the anecdotal experiences of the time [we spent] there. But you see people who rose to leadership positions in camp and were viewed as successful staff members that have had successful careers in whatever they were doing after camp."



    -Stuart Katz, Founder and President of Elm City Communications

    The Memorial Day Weekend marked the official start of summer. Although this year, it felt like summertime started without the fun.

    Over 11 million kids and young adults attend summer camp programs. 

    But in 2020, some states—concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus—banned overnight summer camps from operating. For kids who worked hard in school ten months of the year for the reward of two months at summer camp, that loss is palpable.



    During August 2019, I recorded this podcast interview with my best friend Stuart Katz. Stu and I attended as campers, and later worked together, at Camp Laurelwood, a non-profit overnight summer camp located near the Southern Connecticut Shoreline. Last week, in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the State of Connecticut banned overnight camps, including Camp Laurelwood, from operating this summer.

    At camp, fun and friendship often lead campers and staff to meaningful adult careers.

    In this episode, Stu describes:



    His first summer at camp. Starts at 3:29

    Trying activities beyond his comfort zone. Starts at 5:25

    The camp radio station where he and Dan were deejays. Starts at 10:40

    The spark of imagination and creativity in him that started at camp. Starts at 15:45

    How adult professionals benefit from camp-like experiences. Starts at 19:27

    Why it is important to send kids to summer camp. Starts at 23:06



    We remain hopeful that, in 2021, summer camps like Camp Laurelwood open on schedule. The camper experience most definitely shaped our adult lives and meaningful careers, and fostered hundreds of lifelong friendships.



    About our guest:



    Stuart Katz first attended Camp Laurelwood in 1968 as a seven-year-old. He later served it as a staff member and board member. Since his first summer there Stu had never, until this year, missed Camp Laurelwood's Opening Day festivities.



    Stu earned a Bachelor of Science from the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, where currently he serves as an adjunct professor. He also received a Master of Arts in Corporate Communications from Seton Hall University. His company, Elm City Communications, provides corporate communications and video production services to the global healthcare community. Aside from his corporate work, Stu is deeply involved in many philanthropic efforts including his lifelong work for Camp Laurelwood. He lives and works in New Jersey.



    EPISODE DATE: May 29, 2020



    Social Media:



    Camp Laurelwood Website



    -Team Australia Cheer Audio Recording



    American Camp Association: Find a Camp



    Elm City Communications Website



    -Stu Katz LinkedIn Profile



    Media Credits: Happy campers, 2018, Camp Laurelwood; Stu Katz and Dan Smolen, July 4, 1976, Steve Lifshatz for Camp Laurelwood; Stuart Katz portrait, Elm City Communications; Team Australia Cheer audio recording, August 1972, Dan Garson for Camp Laurelwood.



    Please check out our most recent blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 33 min
    Onboarding: Helping New Hires Achieve Success in the “Work From Home” Age

    Onboarding: Helping New Hires Achieve Success in the “Work From Home” Age

    About this episode:

    “Forty percent of new leaders fail in their first 18 months, defined as getting fired, forced out, or quit. [Our work over the last 18 years] has reduced that failure rate from 40 percent to less than 10 percent.”



    -George Bradt, Founder & Chairman of PrimeGenesis

    A new hire failure can cost a company up to 20 times the person’s salary, benefits, and placement fee.

    Early in his career, George Bradt discovered that the way most companies integrated newly hired professionals didn’t work. He established onboarding to help new hires, companies, and organizations meet and exceed their goals.

    With millions of Americans now working from home, onboarding new talent to their jobs and companies is mission-critical.

    Onboarding is a critical part of the future of work.



    In this interview, George:



    Defines onboarding and explains why it is important. Starts at 3:19

    Relates the only three true job interview questions. Starts at 6:56

    Discusses the “fit check.” Starts at 10:05

    Describes how onboarding has changed with so many people working from home. Starts at 14:55

    Explains why onboarding “C Suite” executives is so difficult during the pandemic. Starts at 25:14

    Reacts to the April 2020 CNBC Change Research survey of workforce participation. Starts at 34:12



    About our guest:



    George Bradt leads the revolution in how people start new jobs. Prior to founding PrimeGenesis, George served as chief executive of J.D. Power’s Power Information Network spin-off and in general management, marketing and sales at Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Unilever. He is principal of CEO Connection and contributes a weekly column to Forbes.com. George earned a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and an MBA from The Wharton School of Business.



    EPISODE DATE: May 22, 2020



    Social media:



    Forbes Magazine Articles by George Bradt



    -Acing The Only Three True Job Interview Questions



    -Onboarding into The New Normal



    LinkedIn



    Twitter



    Amazon Author’s Page



    PrimeGenesis Website



    Image credits: Zoom Meeting Engagement, Leo Patrizzi for iStock Photo; Portrait, George Bradt.

    • 40 min
    Why Water Matters: A Global Expert Explains its Importance in Life and the Future of Work

    Why Water Matters: A Global Expert Explains its Importance in Life and the Future of Work

    About this episode:

    “When I started my career, I worked for a gentleman, David Miller. The name of the company was Geraghty & Miller, and, he said ‘[If] you want a career in water, it will last forever, it will last a lifetime, because it is a public health issue.’”



    -Will Sarni, Founder and CEO Water Foundry, LLC

    Our planet is covered mostly in water. And yet scarcity of clean, potable water remains the planet's biggest problem. 

    Will Sarni has built an impressive career as a world-recognized expert on water. His mission is to help people, communities, companies, and organizations ensure access to clean water. In this episode, Will:



    Relives his early interest in water and the start of his career. Starts at 3:17

    Explains water scarcity. Starts at 6:26

    Describes the new technologies helping to mitigate global clean water shortages. Starts at 16:12

    Discusses the impact water careers will have on the future of work. Starts at 18:54

    Introduces his new podcast, The Stream. Starts at 20:23



    About our guest:



    Will Sarni is an internationally recognized thought leader on water strategy and innovation. He has authored numerous books and articles and presented on: the value of water; innovations in digital water technology; the circular economy, and; the energy-water-food nexus. In April 2020, with UK-based co-host Tom Freyberg, he launched The Stream Podcast. Will earned a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in Earth & Environmental Sciences from Queens College in New York. He lives and works in Denver, Colorado.



    EPISODE DATE: May 15, 2020



    Social media:



    LinkedIn Profile



    Water Foundry Website



    The Stream on Apple Podcast



    The Stream YouTube Channel



    World Economic Forum: Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution for Water (White Paper)



    Image credits: Clean water, Jacob Wackenhausen for iStock Photo; Will Sarni portrait, Water Foundry, LLC.

    • 24 min
    Facial Coding: Use it to Read People on Zoom

    Facial Coding: Use it to Read People on Zoom

    About this episode:

    "Even a person born blind emotes the same way as you or I. [It is hard-wired into the brain] and the face is the only place on the body where the muscles attach right to the skin."



    - Dan Hill, Ph.D.

    It is hard enough to be face-to-face with another person, to read their facial expressions and determine what they are truly thinking and feeling.

    And, you have likely discovered how much harder that process becomes when we are on Zoom.

    What do these facial expressions really mean? CLICK THE ABOVE IMAGE for Dr. Hill's decoded answers.



    Our guest this week, Dan Hill, Ph.D., is here to help us relate. He is a world-recognized expert on facial coding and the author of several books including Famous Faces Decoded.



    Dr. Hill explains how we can use facial coding to better understand what others are thinking and to use that insight to make our engagements with them more meaningful. What is more, he cites examples of "famous faces" he decoded, such as disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to understand what [they] were truly communicating through their facial expressions.



    We also discuss how he decided to make this study of people the meaningful work of his career.



    In this episode, Dr. Hill:



    Defines facial coding. Starts at 3:20

    Explains the non-verbal hinderances of the Zoom setting. Starts at 9:57

    Offers the benefits of leveraging facial coding. Starts at 13:43



    About our guest:







    Dan Hill, Ph.D. is founder and president of the consultancy Sensory Logic, Inc. He received a Masters in Creative Writing from Brown University and a Ph.D. in English from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Further, Dr. Hill earned Facial Action Coding Systems Certification from the Paul Ekman Group. He lives and works in St. Paul, Minnesota.



    EPISODE DATE: May 8, 2020



    Social media:



    Website



    - Faces of the Week Blog



    -Famous Faces Decoded (Book Page)



    LinkedIn Profile



    Image credits: Facial expression composite, 2014, D.A. Smolen; Zoom session, Fillipo Bacci for iStock Photo; portrait, Dan Hill, Ph.D.



     

    • 30 min
    New Realities: A Financial Consultant Offers Insight on Money and the Future of Work

    New Realities: A Financial Consultant Offers Insight on Money and the Future of Work

    About this episode:

    "Your question about how do you deal with all this stuff? The answer is just like anything else: with a good counselor, the most important thing that they can do is shut up and listen."



    -Steven M. Oriol, Chartered Financial Consultant

    It is Week 7 of sheltering in place. It’s also the last week of April 2020. Those of us who got a paycheck this week are doing the best we can to use our time well. Others of us, who were furloughed from our jobs, may be struggling, wondering what new shockwaves will hit us next.

    Working or not, the anxieties we feel about money and work are deep enough to keep us up at night.  

    The process of managing personal financial resources is a lifelong endeavor. But the current COVID-19 crisis makes that endeavor mission critical. And if we are suddenly out of work, we need to think carefully about our financial security and future work opportunities.



    This week, we speak with Steven M. Oriol of Evergreen Life Wealth Partners, to probe our new realities. He is a chartered financial consultant who works with a wide variety of clients seeking lifetime financial security. Steve is also an adjunct professor of business at the University of the District of Columbia, where he challenges his students to map their career and life plans with value clarity.



    In this episode, Steve:



    Describes the process people can use to relate to, and mitigate, their financial situations. Starts at 2:57

    Illustrates how moments of grief and anxiety can turn into something positive. Starts at 10:52

    Addresses career opportunities and pivots, such as additive manufacturing and 3D printing, that could result from the COVID-19 crisis. Starts at 23:34

    Discusses what his undergraduate students are expressing about their futures. Starts at 27:46



    About our guest:



    Steven M. Oriol earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Finance from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He also received Chartered Financial Consultant accreditation from The American College. Steve lives and works in the Washington, D.C. area.



    NOTE: In the intro for this podcast episode, we incorrectly described Steven Oriol's job title and certification. He is, as stated in these show notes, a Chartered Financial Consultant accredited by The American College. We regret the error.



    EPISODE DATE: May 1, 2020



    Social media:



    -LinkedIn Profile



    Image credits: Ben Franklin on $100 bill wearing mask, Diy13 for iStock Photo; Portrait, Steven M. Oriol.

    • 33 min
    A Tourism-Dependent Island Nation Seeks Aid and a Meaningful Work Future

    A Tourism-Dependent Island Nation Seeks Aid and a Meaningful Work Future

    About the episode:

    "You cannot create a diverse economy and just put it on every island. What you need to make sure is that you understand the USPs—the Unique Selling Points—of an island, not only for tourism, but also for what is going on in nature, the availability of technology, and the self sustaining options on the island."



    - Bianca Peters, Island Impact

    People who work in American tourism and hospitality jobs are truly suffering, because their industries shut down in the wake of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. They are bound to wonder not only when, but if, they will return to work.



    Such fear is magnified on islands like Aruba, where most members of the workforce rely on tourism and hospitality.

    Some Arubans are running out of money; they are hungry, and need shelter

    Among the bold civic leaders on the island are Daniel Tecklenborg of CEDE Aruba and Bianca Peters of Island Impact. Daniel is working hard to feed and provide shelter to thousands of in-need Arubans; Bianca is helping to shape the post-COVID vision for a diversified economy and sustainable workforce.



    In this episode, we discuss:



    The current mood, and state of well-being, of Arubans. Starts at 3:05

    CEDE Aruba's role in feeding and supporting people in need. Starts at 5:03

    The Happy to Give Back crowd funding program. Starts at 8:41

    The future of work on Aruba. Starts at 20:21



    About our guests:



    Daniel Tecklenborg is the Director of CEDE Aruba.







    Bianca Peters is the Founding Partner of Island Impact. She earned a Master's Degree in Strategic Management & Facilities Management from Saxion University of Applied Sciences.



    EPISODE DATE: April 24, 2020



    Social media:



    CEDE Aruba Website



    -Happy to Give Back Program



    Bianca Peter's LinkedIn Page



    Image credits: Boats near Rodgers Beach, Aruba, Flavio Vallenari for iStock Photo; DiviDivi Tree, Aruba, Nisangha for iStock Photo; Happy to Give Back on YouTube, CEDE Aruba; Portrait, Bianca Peters.

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

JCReview17 ,

Exceptional Podcast

The Tightrope Podcast takes listeners on relevant journeys to meet thought leaders who share their methods for achieving ‘meaningful work’. In each episode, Dan poses thought provoking questions for the guest and the conversation flows from there. He’s an empathetic listener who guides the conversation to help us see the world through other’s eyes and how they navigated their own successful business ventures or supported others on their own career paths. I recommend that you tune into the Tightrope Podcast while driving to work!

USNA67 ,

Experience Shaper

Dan Smolen continues to find insightful guests and his interviews get to the core of issues critical to leadership, motivation and the continually changing workplace.
Thanks Dan and keep up the good work. You’re making me a better leader and manager...two completely separate topics!

Jewel-jd ,

Entertaining, thought-provoking and well produced

The featured guests are well chosen for their point of views and insights on career pathways. Thank you!

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