Live and Lead for Impact with Kirsten E. Ross

241 Tina Wells - Engaging Young Readers!

Tina Wells is an award-winning and best-selling author. She's the founder of RLVNT Media, a company she founded to focus on increasing representation in media. 

Tina is very passionate about writing and reading! Her writing brings diverse characters to life for young readers who might not always see characters that look like them. 

IG: @tinawells_

Direct download: Ep_241_Tina_Wells.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Barbara Dalle Pezze, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized leadership coach, life strategist, facilitator, and author distinguished by her capacity to inspire and empower, and by her unique ability to connect and tune in with people from highly diverse cultures, ages and backgrounds. With over 18 years of global experience living and working in China, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, Europe and The U.S., Barbara has partnered with global leaders, entrepreneurs, C-Suite Executives, and members of family-owned businesses, to help them make key paradigm shifts and breakthroughs so that they can effectively create large scale changes in society and the world.

Direct download: 239_Dr._Barbara_Dalle_Pezze.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

EP 238 How are Your Personal Stories Shaping Your Future?

Poker Face – You might think you have one.  But, do you?

A few years ago we did a super fun family photo shoot! We laughed, created memories and captured wonderful pictures that still hang on our walls.  

A portion of the photos were done in an area of a park where you can feed wild birds.

While my husband and boys looked like Disney Princes as they calmly gazed upon the birds eating from their hands, we discovered quickly that I was not capable of this response.  The wonder and awe I felt as these birds landed on my hand showed on my face EVERY time.  It was spontaneous, authentic and unavoidable for me. And it led to LOTS of laughter!

It gets me thinking about non-verbal communication. I CLEARLY am not capable of a good Poker Face.  Some are much better at times but…the reality is, even with practice, our facial expressions, body positioning, voice tone and tempo give away more than we realize.  

The reality is that our non-verbal communication constitutes more than 90% of our message!  That’s why, contrary to how some coach or train, my communication coaching begins with a shift in story and mindset rather than just words.  

The happenings in our mind transmit whether we want them to or not.  I can tell someone what to say but that just isn’t enough.  Practicing strategies to help you master 

  • your thoughts 
  • and the stories you tell yourself about your experiences and your relationships, 
  • the words you use in your mind

These all play a powerful part of our communication and ultimately your relationships.  

So, notice first the message you are giving yourself within your mind.  Think about how these words and thoughts will shape your emotions and actions.  This shapes your response to life and those around you and how you craft the words you’ll use.

Are the words and stories that happen in your mind serving you, helping you feel empowered or are you constantly a victim, angry, defensive and feeling powerless to impact life circumstances?

I’ve helped many reshape thoughts about their lives and this has been the powerful beginning of reshaping their futures.  Need additional help with this?  Reach out! I’m here to help.

You can grab a spot on my calendar by going to

OR, hop into The Impact Academy

Direct download: 238.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

237 Margy Feldhuhn 

Interview Connections

instagram: @interviewconnections

Margy Feldhuhn is a podcast host and the co-owner and CEO of Interview Connections, the first and leading podcast booking agency. She and her business partner lead an in-house staff of over 25 full time employees in their (now virtual) Rhode Island office, and have successfully scaled the agency to multiple 7 figures.

In addition to being an entrepreneur, Margy is also an animal rescue advocate and personal development enthusiast. With her podcast, “We Get It, Your Dad Died,” Margy uses her own experience of losing her dad to suicide to transform the conversation around grief and show the joy that is possible on the other side of loss. Her show won First Prize in the Best Podcast Category of the 2021 Rhode Island International Film Festival.

Direct download: 237_margy.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

EP 236 Key Why’s & How’s of Celebrating Your Team 

Summary:  To create a great culture you must pair accountability with celebration, praise and recognition. 

As leaders we and, as an extension, our teams, can become extremely task oriented, which is good.  However, with a full focus on outcomes leaders can unintentionally miss opportunities to acknowledge progress or celebrate success.  In this circumstance, the team just moves immediately from one task and project to the next and there’s lost opportunity to unite as a community, acknowledge accomplishments and celebrate. 

Years ago, someone asked me what my definition of success was.  At first it seemed like a really simple question.  Once I started thinking about it, however, I realized it was more complex.  In the end, after much contemplation, I arrived at a definition that has served me since.  Success is best defined with a perfect blend of celebration for what you’ve achieved and some discontent that ignites excitement about what will come next.  

Focusing on only what comes next leaves you constantly yearning for a future that hasn’t happened yet, always driving towards achievement to relieve your discontent.  


Living with only celebration for what has already occurred, however, can leave you feeling unmotivated. I did that big thing. Now what? And it’s also a full focus on the past. 

A healthy team needs a blend of both. Most often it is the celebration side of the equation that gets less attention. As we work to do more with smaller teams our busyness, understandably, has us hyper-focusing on task completion.  And, when challenges, hiccups or emergencies arise we must shift our attention there for an immediate reaction and response.

So, be intentional about building in praise.

Celebration, recognition and praise can be simple and don’t have to require a lot of time or planning.  

As you integrate celebration, make sure it is spread throughout the organization. Most teams engage in activities that require participation from individuals across departments. Some work behind the scenes while others are more front and center. No team functions well without the whole and every task is important. 

There is a tendency to focus on the people or departments at the front of the effort and a missed opportunity to show gratitude for those working behind the scenes.  This can create division within the organization.

Humans will work to win accolades, sometimes even subconsciously. Recognition that focuses too much on those at the front may motivate teams to prioritize their own work over where they can support from behind.  The thought, “If I can focus on our team’s agenda perhaps we will be acknowledged.” This can delay important organization work. Instead make appreciation and acknowledgement abundant. Get teams working together towards common goals rather than working to meet their own departmental agendas first.

I believe that there is an innate human desire to be known, acknowledged and appreciated.  When gratitude is a scarce resource you end up fostering a “what about me” syndrome.  Any little crumb of acknowledgement or appreciation to one person leaves others thinking, “yes, but what about me?”  Humans yearn for appreciation when it is lacking.  For the good of the team, the goal is to spread gratitude abundantly but authentically.   

Focus on looking for reasons to celebrate.  From a perception perspective, our brains are miraculous!  They are able to take in millions of pieces of data in every second.  As humans, we are only able to focus on about 6 to 7 pieces of data at once, however.  We train our brains to keep certain data available for ready access.  We get to choose which data to notice, retain and act on.  There are opportunities for you to thank your team.  You just may not be in the habit of looking.  If this is the case, re-train your brain by practicing.  Seek out a set number of opportunities to appreciate someone weekly or daily.  

Maybe you are unwilling to thank people for some reason.  Some clients I’ve worked with are uncomfortable giving praise.  If this is you, work on it or seek out a coach who can help you.  Either way, choosing to look for things to celebrate will help you re-align your focus to the positive things happening.  There are plenty.  

Celebration is an important element to bringing a team together.  Look how excited football players get during a game! Grown men high five and pat each other.  Celebration motivates everyone towards a common goal.  Set achievable goals and then celebrate when you achieve them.  Celebration doesn’t have to mean party hats and champagne.  It can be ringing a bell, playing a victory song, high fiving, sending out a congratulations email to the team, writing out a card, having a pizza lunch.

Individual acknowledgement can come in many forms.  Employees who are asked to weigh in on an idea or participate in designing the roll out of a new program feel trusted and valued.  You can also provide opportunities for team members to present at organization events or to your Board.  New and special opportunities are a great way to help someone feel special.


  • Show plenty of appreciation to all. Make recognition abundant but authentic.

  • Catch employees doing something good and let them know.

  • Make sure that acknowledgments after events or program rollouts include both the front and center teams and the employees who worked in the background.

  • Leaders, change your mindset.  Be on the lookout for the good every day. Create specific goals daily or weekly to show authentic appreciation.

  • Take a moment to acknowledge the cool things happening. Even if it’s in a small way. Hit a gong or bell or send out a group email when something goes well. 

  • Utilize “Wow” Boards, a place to showcase letters of appreciation from customers and thank you’s from employees to their team mates.

  • Seek out ways to reward employees with special opportunities to represent the organization, speak at an event or attend or share at a Board Meeting. Time with you or other leaders in your team is also likely a coveted reward.

Direct download: 236.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Sherman is the CEO of The George Washington Institute, host of the Friends & Fellow Citizens Podcast, and a Communications Director. A graduate of King’s College London and Texas A&M University, he is an aspiring statesman and George Washington enthusiast who plans to run for office in the future.

Sherman is very passionate about politics and making a positive impact in the world. He loves sharing history and stories. Despite being in D.C. during the January 6th insurrection Sherman has high hopes for the future of the United States.


Direct download: Ep_235_Sherman_Tylawsky.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

EP 234 Key Tactics for a Smooth Transition from Manager to Leader

A few quick distinctions for context – 

Manager – I see as direct overseer of tasks and specific outcomes

Task Master – more micro-managy, Sherrif of the organization – 

eyes and ears on actions and outputs

Leader – vision – high level scope

High impact team each cascading the leader’s vision beyond

Increasing circle of influence by casting vision and providing autonomy to a skilled team

Surrounded by people with complementary knowledge, skills and abilities and allowing them to shine

Unifying the vision and focus and creating freedom to decide and act towards the common goal

Transition will always involve casting eyes higher – elevation of focus – wider influence.

Passion - your fuel and be ready to inspire by sharing - Get clear about why you do what you do - 

Autonomy - Create bigger sandboxes - Release Control - Trust - Surround yourself with those you can rely on – great skill and trust them to do their great work

shift Your Focus Up - Eye on the Prize – Hands off the specifics, the processes, the day to day

Avoid these Common Tripups- 

  1. Working with a team you don't trust -  is it you or them?  An important question to answer


Either way - figure it out - You can't increase your circle of influence by just adding team members - If you continue to be involved in every action or decision you will slow progress and action - 

Is your lack of trust your issue?  Work on that - is it them?  Change your team

  1. Sharing information without being clear about your objectives -

  - manager is more high control - team will be used to you making the decisions, solving the problems - you need to teach them to be creative, take initiative, etc.....

Have seen trip ups – My team thinks the conversation/debate is never done – Consequence of a collaborative leadership style w/o communicating who is making final decision and when that is done - 

 - Implement a quick definition structure that clarifies immediately  - Sharing for FYI - Sharing for Collaborative Discussion - Sharing to Decide together

  1. Lacking clarity in Delegation - model it, teach it - 

Using phrases like - When you Get around to it - when you get a chance – 


Also, I’m trying out a new audio app, Wisdom. I invite you to join me there.  You’ll be able to ask questions and interact with me live. 

I’ll be sharing leadership strategies and answering your questions – How awesome!  Bring your specific questions or challenges to gain customized strategies.  

December 10th, 2021, 10:30 AM EST 

The link:

The link will be on today’s show notes as well.

Catching this episode after the fact? No worries! Wisdom records and keeps replays readily accessible.  Follow the same link to find this and other recordings at the bottom of my page.  


Direct download: 234.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

233 Michael Ashford - The Power of Stories 

Michael Ashford is the Director of Marketing at The Receptionist, and he has transformed their business beyond 2020 expectations accruing $6.1M+ in revenue. Michael faced The Receptionist away from commercial spaces and toward logistics and supply chain. He believes good marketing is good storytelling.

Michael strives to connect and open up the world of leaders. He encourages selfless service and problem solving. He wants to create a reachable world rather than egoic leaders. 

Direct download: 233_Mike_Ashford.mp3
Category:leadership -- posted at: 1:00am EDT