The Pivotal Leader

The Pivotal Leader podcast, hosted by Gina Trimarco, Chief Results Officer of Pivot10 Results, features 30-minute interviews with modern and pivotal business leaders who share their experiences and anecdotal success stories to inspire rising leaders to shift their own organizational cultures to higher success.
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The Pivotal Leader




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Oct 28, 2018

 “Dreaming big takes the same amount of effort as dreaming small, so go big.

- Jose R. Costa

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Jose R. Costa, CEO of For Eyes, which is part of GrandVision, a global leader in optical retail with more than 7,000 stores worldwide. He has a background steeped in marketing, franchising, multi-unit retailing and enhancing customer experience at some of the most recognized brands in the world.

He is the author of “Leading With Edge: Activate Your Advantage Through Personal Insight,” which features the concept of leadership as a practice, inviting readers to acknowledge the determination and grit it takes to be a good leader.

Previous to his current role as CEO, he served as Group President of Driven Brands where he led MAACO®, CARSTAR® and Drive N Style®. Collectively, these brands operate more than 1,400 body shops across North America, generate more than $1.8 billion in annual system sales and further establish Driven Brands as a leader in the automotive aftermarket space. Previously, he was President of MAACO®, where he was responsible for managing and developing 500 automotive body shops across the U.S. and Canada.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The inspiration for writing a leadership book
  • Why there is high demand but low supply for strong leadership
  • How to lead with edge
  • The importance of the “Ask, Listen & Be Curious”
  • How to become more curious and a better listener and how improv skills can help
  • Theater and improv skills in business
  • Employee engagement strategies
  • Core (common sense) leadership fundamentals
  • Jose’s “no computer” policy during meetings
  • Jose’s four key meeting reasons: to explore, inform, decide or debate
  • Advice for becoming a CEO and successful in business
  • His experience on Undercover Boss
  • Performance reviews, “spontaneous feedback” and millennials
  • Training and development strategies for employees
  • The value of working with the worst managers
  • Creating a culture of education and continuous learning
  • Advice for franchisees and franchisors
  • Jose’s favorite books (and he reads a lot) – book list available on our website


Oct 21, 2018

"Get up early. Stay late. Do what your passion is. And don't be afraid of taking risks."

- Stephen J. Cloobeck

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Stephen J. Cloobeck, a self-made entrepreneur with more than thirty years’ experience across every aspect of hospitality design, development, and deployment … AND author of the new book CHECKING IN:  Hospitality-Driven Thinking, Business, And You.

As the original founder and former CEO and chairman of Diamond Resorts International – a business that grew to become the second-largest vacation-ownership company worldwide with more than four hundred properties across thirty-three countries in its portfolio – Cloobeck made a name for himself as the industry's most adamant advocate for radical customer service, what he calls embracing the Meaning of Yes.

To Cloobeck’s own amusement, he is perhaps most frequently recognized for his appearances on CBS’s hit TV show Undercover Boss. Featured on multiple episodes across multiple seasons, Cloobeck to this day ranks as the “most generous boss” who has ever participated in the unscripted program.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How the five biggest companies are hospitality companies
  • The meaning of “A culture of no is a culture of losing” and “Leadership is hollow without ownership”
  • Delivering “the meaning of yes”
  • Be an accessible and approachable leader to customers and employees by making your personal contact info available
  • Passion as the root of success
  • Complacency emanates from the top
  • Communication, Collaboration and no Stagnation
  • Stephen’s experience partnering with Bill Marriott
  • Overcoming dyslexia
  • Advice for how best to connect with others
  • Work ethic: the old-fashioned way of working hard and “no free lunch”
  • Advice for scaling a business


Oct 16, 2018

Everybody has a defining moment which changes their life for better or worse.”

- Ulrich Kellerer

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Ulrich Kellerer, business leader, international speaker, and mental health activist from Munich, Germany. For over twenty years Kellerer worked in the European fashion industry as the founder and CEO of the German clothing line, Faro Fashion, which took over distribution rights for the brand CLOSED (the leading European fashion company for women’s and men’s sportswear) in Bavaria - south Germany.  Kellerer is the co-author of The Soul of Success with Jack Canfield and the author of the recently released title: One Moment Can Change Your Life: Extraordinary Stories about Ordinary People. Today, Kellerer's life is dedicated to fighting the depression epidemic and promoting mental wellness in the workplace.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Becoming a “mood manager”
  • People make the difference - being a role model by showing you care to change people and lives
  • Communication – the biggest ability of humankind
  • Decreasing loneliness and depression, especially for entrepreneurs, to increase life expectancy and the reality of loneliness in the U.S.
  • How to support someone with suicidal thoughts and anxiety
  • Overcoming “Luxury Problems” eliminate the attitude of “You buy things with money you don’t have to impress people you don’t like.”
  • How to motivate yourself to greatness – structure, discipline, dreams, and self-respect
  • Having more than one "best hour of your week" life experiences


Fine tune your "mood manager" skills!

Oct 6, 2018

Creativity is a skill that can be honed by everybody and should be.”

- Alexandra Levit

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Alexandra Levit, managing partner at PeopleResults and workplace consultant, author and speaker.

A former nationally syndicated columnist for the Wall Street Journal and writer for the New York Times, Fast Company, and Forbes, Alexandra has authored several books, including the international bestseller They Don't Teach Corporate in College and her newest book HUMANITY WORKS: Merging Technologies And People For The Workforce Of The Future, in which she provides a vision of a future where people are free to work wherever and for whomever they choose, machines perform multiple tasks, and virtual teams come together and disband at lightning speed.

She consults and writes on leadership development, human resources, entrepreneurship, career and workplace trends on behalf of numerous Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Canon, Deloitte, DeVry University, Intuit, SilkRoad, and Staples, and has spoken on these topics at hundreds of organizations around the world including Abbott, Aetna, Bank of America, Cardinal Health, Campbell Soup, the Federal Reserve Bank, the Human Capital Institute, McDonalds, Microsoft, PepsiCo, the Society of Human Resource Management, and Whirlpool.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Managing and motivating the rising generations; Gen Y as the new leaders, Gen Z as the new Gen X
  • Unconscious bias – things women can do to be part of the solution; negotiation and assertive communications
  • Being called the B word; the difference between assertive and aggressive communication
  • Transformational leadership: showing people you care
  • The 3 Cs of Future Work: Collaboration, Customization & Creativity
  • What roles machines and technology should play
  • Being able to work cross-functionally and the ability of leaders to structure employee career paths
  • Using creativity to have empathy, judgement and proble- solving skills in ways that machines cannot
  • Practicing and promoting intrapreneurship
  • Seeing the “writing on the wall” with automation threats to stay competitive and marketable, especially for tech employees lacking creativity
  • The importance of human skills in all industries
  • The importance of sales training for everyone (not just sales people)
  • Having the mindset of being able to reinvent yourself
  • Her biggest worry – people who won’t be able to adapt having to sell themselves all the time; by 2030 half of all workers will be part of the gig economy (contract workers)
  • Using gamification and virtual reality simulations for our future avatars to connect interpersonally
  • Strategies for businesses BEFORE things become dire


Sep 19, 2018

“If you’re curious, you’re a good sales person.”

- Brandon Bruce

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Brandon Bruce, COO & Co-Founder of Cirrus Insight, a plugin for Gmail and Outlook salespeople. Bruce grew up in a tiny California town of 800 people where he only had one classmate at a school using outhouses as their bathroom. He went from those humble beginnings to co-founding and growing Cirrus Insight to $12 million in revenue and #41 on the Inc. 500 (after a six-year rollercoaster of success and setbacks).

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Brandon’s humble beginnings, his “hero story”, and how he went from small town kid to entrepreneur and pivotal leader
  • The story behind Cirrus Insight startup and taking it from idea to implementation, including Brandon’s six-year roller coaster of success and setbacks
  • Today’s selling environment and using the right communication medium to connect with customers
  • Goal setting strategies for attending conferences and maximizing opportunities
  • Angel investors: how Cirrus Insight got funded
  • On becoming an Inc 5000 Ranked Business
  • Why Brandon thinks curiosity is an important trait of a good salesperson
  • Using improv to move forward with innovation in technology
  • Why competitors can make good mentors and can be great to turn to for support
  • Brandon's favorite books


Sep 7, 2018

Prospects have their walls up. We need to bring those walls down before we can have the human to human conversation.”

- Hamish Knox

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimaco interviewed Hamish Knox, who plays an important role in Sandler’s worldwide organization and is a recognized business development expert specializing in executive sales consulting and sales productivity training. A dynamic, enthusiastic speaker certified in the proprietary selling system developed by David Sandler, Knox informs, entertains, and motivates leadership and rank-and-file sales teams to achieve their full potential. He heads a Sandler training center in Calgary.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How to overcome the word “decision” in the selling process
  • How to go right to the top of the selection making chain
  • Sales and cold calls advice from Hamish: Why it’s so important to stay present and to always remember that it’s never about you
  • Hamish’s point of view on accountability, especially as it relates to your sales team
  • Strategies for implementing an effective and sustainable accountability program
  • On accountability:“The leader has to go first.”
  • How to create a leadership mentality in 20 minutes
  • Why Hamish is known as the ‘behavior guy’
  • The sales role: “need to have” versus “nice to have” behaviors
  • How to change behaviors and why “mom always wins”
  • Tips for leaders to understand the feelings, personal goals and motivation of their team members
  • Hamish explains Sandler’s “cookbook” philosophy
  • Hamish’s perspective on our rising workforce and their interpersonal skills


Sep 1, 2018

“You don’t become confident and then act confident. You act your way into confidence.”

Sally Helgesen

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimarco interviewed Sally Helgesen, International Speaker, Leadership Consultant & Author.

In her newest book, How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job, Sally and her co-author Marshall Goldsmith, help women identify specific behaviors that keep them from realizing their full potential, no matter what stage they are in their career. They help identify why what worked for them in the past will not necessarily get them where they want to go in the future -- and how to finally shed those behaviors so they can advance to the next level, whatever that may be.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Habits and behaviors that hold women back from getting to the next level
  • Expecting people to spontaneously notice the great things you’ve done; the differences between how men and women notice things
  • Advice to women struggling to get noticed for their achievements without appearing to be showboating
  • How women can work on leveraging relationships rather than just building them
  • How to leverage relationships to achieve real influence and authority
  • Understanding your worth and how it relates to confidence
  • Sally’s book, The Female Advantage, and women leadership skills and styles


Aug 23, 2018

It’s better to invest in what you can track.”

- Jake Baadsgaard

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader Gina Trimarco interviewed Jake Baadsgaard, CEO of Disruptive Advertising. After growing one of his first PPC clients from 25 to 250 employees, Jake realized he had a gift for using pay-per-click marketing to drive dramatic business results. To help more companies succeed online, Jake founded Disruptive Advertising, a PPC, and CRO management agency that has helped hundreds of companies realize unprecedented growth and profitability from the online advertising.

In the four years since its founding, Disruptive Advertising has grown from two employees working in Jake’s basement to a flourishing agency with more than 90 employees and a run rate of over $12 million - putting it at #145 on the 2017 Inc 500 list!

Podcast Topics Include:

  • How Jake got started in PPC advertising
  • Jake walks us through the moment he decided to create Disruptive Advertising in his basement and the transition out of the basement
  • How to scale a business quickly
  • Getting past founder-based selling
  • What Disruptive Advertising focuses on, who they serve and how they maximize the results for their clients
  • The biggest challenge in the PPC and advertising industry, plus Jake’s biggest business challenge
  • Finding and developing talent: some of the ways Jake is finding, developing and keeping talent, including his approach to top performers - “We don’t penalize top performers.”
  • How Jake deals with perception of industry problems by using case studies and quantifiable data
  • Some of the ways to measure marketing results, blended customer acquisition costs and analytics
  • Customer acquisition advice straight from Jake
  • Why Jake dislikes the phrase, “Let me know what I can do to help,” and what you can do to put a different spin on it
  • Jake’s advice to rising CEOs and entrepreneur who are growing or starting their businesses


Aug 14, 2018

We as leaders and entrepreneurs have a responsibility to make sure that if the ‘what-if’ does happen, the prudent planning and prudent steps are in place.”

Patrick Ungashick

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Patrick Ungashick, CEO of NAVIX Consultants. For more than twenty-five years Patrick has provided exit advice and solutions to business owners with companies as small as several million in revenues to more than half a billion. Patrick is the author of two books helping business owners prepare for exit: Dance in the End Zone: The Business Owner’s Exit Planning Playbook, and the award-winning A Tale of Two Owners: Achieving Exit Success Between Business Co-Owners. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Week and other media. He speaks to several dozen business groups per year on how to achieve successful exits. As CEO of NAVIX Consultants, Patrick leads a national team of exit planning consultants located in nearly two-dozen US cities.

Outside of work, even though he cannot juggle nor play a musical instrument, Patrick is a proud member of the Atlanta Distinguished Clown Corps, a group of full-time CEOs and part-time clowns that have raised about $1.5 million for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the largest pediatric hospital in the U.S.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • What inspired Patrick to help businesses plan for successful exits
  • Some challenges Patrick faced early on in his business
  • The effects of exiting on home life and relationships
  • Immediate steps and strategies for creating an exit plan
  • 15-year plan for exiting a business, plus determining which of the four possible exit strategies to choose
  • Differences between the four exit strategies, plus some advantages and disadvantages
  • Steps to take if a business is being “given” to you
  • Co-owners and exit plans: what you need to know
  • Risk management: what to consider if the business owner dies or becomes incapacitated 
  • Patrick offers a free Emergency Guidance Letter template every owner should have


Aug 4, 2018

“If you’re going to start a business,

you have to be willing to grind.”

- Nate Lawrie

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Nate Lawrie, CEO, Brazyn Life. Nate played 8-years of professional football in both the National Football League (Buccaneers, Saints, Bengals) and United Football League (Sacramento Mountain Lions), before retiring after the 2011 season. 

A self-described “NFL Grinder,” Lawrie fought through numerous injuries throughout his pro-career which led him to rethink many of the products he was using to take care of his body - wanting tools that were more convenient to use without compromising functionality. 

In 2015 Nate launched a new business called Brazyn Life. Brazyn Life is dedicated to helping people achieve their fitness and health goals through innovative, high-quality, and travel-ready recovery and fitness tools. Brazyn’s launch product is The Morph Collapsible Foam Roller, a premium foam roller that folds flat making it easy to use at home, the office, the gym, or on the road.  

  • Service providers or professional athletes are their own product
  • How Nate developed, created and released his first product
  • The benefits of using of using a foam roller
  • Nate takes up through the process of how he went from just having an idea to creating a collapsible foam roller for mass production
  • The nuances of launching a successful Kickstarter campaign
  • Nate’s shares his experience on Shark Tank and the aftermath following the episode airing
  • The challenges of launching a new project; raising capital, taking risks and manufacturing of a physical product
  • Finding the right people for your team and also relying on a little bit of luck
  • How startup life can be extremely overwhelming, but yet so rewarding
  • Pulling from peer groups for support, valuable knowledge and guidance
  • Being an “NFL grinder” and how it’s applicable to starting a business

Full Show Notes

Jul 31, 2018

“Surround yourself with amazing people and a wonderful team.”

- Roger Morgan

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Roger Morgan, founder and CEO of pawTree, a direct selling pet nutrition company he created in 2014 to provide a better way to care for and love pets. Just days before this interview, Roger received the Rising Star Award from the Direct Selling Association out of all the direct selling companies less than five years old.

Roger has built a way to change a pet and pet parent’s life one meal at a time and to enable pet lovers to thrive as small business owners who share and sell its products. A pet-industry veteran, Roger served as CEO for a major pet products manufacturer for almost a decade as well as served on boards for the American Pet Products Association, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, and PetSmart Charities. He is dad to dogs, Bella & JoJo.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • What is pawTree? (not just a pet food company)
  • What inspired Roger to start pawTree
  • Some of the biggest challenges Roger faced in the early days of business startup
  • How to put together a great team for your startup venture
  • Why Roger chose the direct selling model for his business
  • The growth of pawTree customers, sales and Pet Pros 
  • The ideal profile of a remote sales associate (aka Pet Pro)
  • Keeping sales associates and team members informed, trained and connected
  • Where Roger goes to get support, advice, leadership and coaching


Jul 30, 2018

“Everyone’s got an idea but not everyone has balls to bring it to market.”

– Paul Szyarto

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Paul Szyarto, a globally recognized expert in entrepreneurship, business leadership and self-defense. He is highly sought-after for his executive coaching and business leadership training. Known for applying the principles of Krav Maga – the Israeli self-defense system – into everyday business and life scenarios, Szyarto has trained hundreds of law enforcement professionals and groups of NFL players, in addition to business executives and entrepreneurs. He’s also co-founder of the VMMA Fitness franchise.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Paul’s VMAA strategy on martial arts and when VMMA started
  • Turning your hobby into a scalable business
  • Paul explains true entrepreneurship and “survivor-preneurship”
  • Never Broke(n) Paul’s new book on lessons of entrepreneurship and survival
  • Stress Management - Paul talks about one of the greatest lessons on how being adaptable can get you through any situation
  • Paul shares advice to shift a stagnant or toxic organizational culture
  • What to do when there is no one to change poor leadership
  • Motivating and engaging your talent and understanding your talent needs
  • Best practices to ensure being the best possible leader you can be
  • Being a leader and CEO - Paul discusses support and mentorship he needs


Jul 29, 2018

“It’s important to take risks, as a business leader, as an entrepreneur. This business was a huge risk from day one.”

- Alex Danza

Imagine a better way to interstate business travel on a luxury motor coach that offers only 22 comfortable leather seats and amenities such as, steward service, noise-canceling headphones, WiFi, satellite television and an onboard conference room!

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Alex Danza, founder and CEO of Vonlane luxury motor coach service that he founded in 2014 to give Texas travelers an alternative to the delays and interruptions that accompany short-haul flights and the hassles of driving one’s own vehicle. Starting with routes between Dallas and Austin, Alex has expanded the company’s reach, and now the five biggest cities in the Texas Triangle are completely accessible on Vonlane with plans for expanding out of Texas.

Alex also is the 2017 recipient of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® Award in the Southwest region in the category of Emerging Retail and Consumer Products.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Alex describes Vonlane – “it’s like a private jet on the ground”
  • How personalized and proceduralized training is the key to creating an amazing customer experience
  • Recruiting employees and referrals and how to get top talent in the door
  • Making gut decisions, taking risks to progress and innovate
  • Spending advertising dollars as a startup
  • Scaling and growing: identifying prospects and keeping the model pristine
  • Raising capital to get a business venture off the ground
  • Suggested strategies for CEOs seek help and guidance for leadership and as an entrepreneur
  • Favorite books: Good to Great

Full Show Notes

Jul 22, 2018


“Your people deserve great managers.”

- Mark C. Winters

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Mark C. Winters, co-author of the Rocket Fuel. Mark's passion is helping entrepreneurs get unstuck so they can pursue their freedom. Depending on the unique situation, Mark’s talent for introducing just the right combination of perspective and process sparks teams to start moving, move faster, or begin moving in the proper direction - with clarity. As a teacher, coach, and facilitator, Mark spends most of his time directly engaged with entrepreneurial leadership teams as a Certified EOS Implementer—helping them implement EOS in their own companies.  He's delivered over 500 full-day EOS workshops with companies from around the U.S.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • A general overview of EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System)
  • The visionary and integrator defined
  • The phases of the visionary and integrator relationship
  • Connecting visionaries with the right integrators
  • How a small business can grow following a plateau
  • The benefits of EOS and how does is impact a business
  • How patience is so important when implementing EOS
  • How to determine if you are a visionary or integrator using Mark’s book: Rock Fuel.
  • Company culture and who becomes responsible - visionary, integrator or both?
  • Productivity vs. creativity, attention residue and intensity formula 
  • Time blocking to help with attention residue

Full Show Notes:

Jul 20, 2018

“We’ve gotten away from developing people … we take the risk of becoming order takers.”

– Dave Mattson

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Dave Mattson, a best-selling author, sales and management visionary, and leader of the world’s largest sales effectiveness organization. As CEO and President of Sandler Training, he oversees the corporate direction and strategy for the company’s worldwide network of operations serving clients through


Podcast Topics Include:

  • Dave and Gina's thoughts on Vistage’s Confidence Index for 2018 and what he thinks we are missing
  • What to do with the rising workforce of millennials as it relates to interpersonal skills
  • Where most companies miss the boat on motivating team members
  • Good and bad practices for salespeople and sales managers
  • Being a doctor of sales
  • What sales managers need to do for their salespeople
  • What are the common trends that sales people contact Sandler for help and training
  • How Sandler helps sales teams turn things around and how they help companies by creating a common sales language and sales approach
  • Dave’s dirty secret relating to sales teams and training
  • The importance of turning down clients when you know management is not buying into what is being sold
  • What makes one franchise stronger than another and what has made Sandler so strong
  • Sandler’s growth strategy, including why they limit the number of franchises they add each year and going international
  • What the future of training looks like

Full show notes at:

Jun 6, 2018

“We’re going to have less sales people than ever before … 60% or more of the sale is already done by the time a sales person is contacted.”

- Tom Niesen, CEO, Acuity Systems

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Tom Niesen, CEO of Acuity Systems, who spent 14 years in upper sales management and marketing positions with companies like Polaroid and Fuji Film before starting Acuity Systems, Inc. in 1990. At those companies he built sales teams and began to understand how and why sales teams failed, the difference between effective sales processes and what just sounded good, and what it really took to create a superstar sales force.

Today, he blends his own experiences with nationally proven training and evaluation tools from The Sandler Sales Institute, Objective Management Group, and Extended DISC, to teach a unique brand of sales training and personal development. It's so unique - and so engaging - that Niesen closes his own prospects at a rate that would make most salespeople green with envy.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Tom shares how he closes his own prospects in a way that would make most sales people green with envy
  • Sales should be looked at as a science and is better referred to as lean selling (similar to lean manufacturing)
  • Building solid foundation for sales and having the right processes and behaviors in place to support your sales team
  • What “going into the cooler” means
  • Goodhart’s Law: When one measurement becomes a goal, it’s a bad goal
  • Culture issues that affect sales and how to change those processes
  • Creating a “sales map” without the sale person
  • Effective vs non-effective sales training
  • Tom’s view on the 2017 Q4 Vistage CEO confidence report
  • How to get better at interpersonal communication and rapport building with the rising workforce of a younger generation
  • Using a pattern interrupt strategy in communications and sales
  • Using improv in the sales approach
  • Having an upfront contract about how you work
  • How to have a superstar sales force
  • Emerson’s Law of Compensation

Full Show Notes

Jun 5, 2018

“I’ve gotta reward people for taking chances.”

- Mark Donnolo, Founder, SalesGlobe

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Mark Donnolo, founder and managing partner of SalesGlobe and Michelle Seger, Global Sales Strategy and Change Management Leader with SalesGlobe.

Mark is the author of the books The Innovative Sale, What Your CEO Needs to Know About Sales Compensation, and Essential Account Planning. He has worked with Global 1000 companies around the world for the past twenty five years, focusing on sales innovation, sales strategy, sales coverage, account planning, sales compensation, and quota setting.

Michelle Seger with leadership teams to transform their sales organizations, improve sales productivity, and increase return on the organization’s investment in sales from sales strategy to sales organization, to sales compensation. She has a concentration on global harmonization for multinational organizations and implementing change within diverse organizations.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The importance of company culture and handling big challenges facing companies
  • What to do in a situation when a CEO is the problem with the company culture
  • How to retain and attract top sales talent
  • The differences between priorities in the flow of sales strategy and how to align talent to different roles in the company
  • The use of talent assessment piece to prevent failure
  • The Innovative Sales Book​, a left brainers approach to right brain thinking
  • The importance of building creative muscle memory

Full Show Notes:

Jun 4, 2018

No one can achieve any kind of greatness by themselves.”

– Julia Landauer

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Julia Landauer, a two-time championship winning NASCAR racer from New York City. With dozens of wins across different series, Julia has set records since she was 10 years old. Away from the track, Julia is a graduate of Stanford University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Science, Technology 3and Society.

During college Julia was a contestant on season 26 of CBS’ reality TV show SURVIVOR. It was also in college that Julia started her motivational speaking career, with a TEDx talk. Julia is now making her name synonymous with more than speed and grit; as she climbs the NASCAR ladder Julia uses her racing platform to continue advocating for STEM education and women’s empowerment.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Early childhood development and its effects on women’s mindset for success
  • Becoming a female racer at the age of 10
  • The challenges of a woman racer in a male-dominated industry
  • Taking a communal approach to self-awareness
  • Finding support and mentoring for self-improvement
  • Why do women undervalue themselves?
  • Some habits needed to succeed
  • Understanding and being empathetic to those within your environment
  • Nascar race teams and earning respect
  • Advocating for women using STEM

Full Show Notes:

Mar 25, 2018

“The more comfortable people are with themselves and the more clear they are about who they are, the more everyone respects them.”

– Mark Fisher

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Mark Fisher, co-founder of Mark Fisher Fitness and Business For Unicorns, in addition to being an in-demand international speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. His core expertise is helping business owners achieve financial success and personal freedom through community building, leadership development, and creating healthy organizational cultures. He's also excellent at playing with puppies.

Mark and his “non-sexual life partner” Michael created Business for Unicorns in 2016 and have since worked with clients like Sony Music, Sylvan Learning, and the ACLU, as well as many of the leading fitness studios across the US and UK. They are also proud alumni speakers of TEDx Broadway.

In addition to their consulting and teaching through Business for Unicorns, Mark and Michael also co-founded Mark Fisher Fitness, one of the most successful gyms in the history of the fitness industry. MFF has two physical locations in Manhattan and was recognized as #312 on the 2015 Inc. 500 fastest growing companies in America, as well as one of Men's Health's "Top 20 Gyms in America."

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Creating a talent pipeline
  • Giving the team veto power in the hiring process
  • When clients become team members
  • “Interning” new employees to test fit
  • Irreverent and escalation marketing strategies
  • How to be successful by being authentically kind and crass at the same time
  • Combining artistry and fitness to create a business that becomes a marketing vehicle for other revenue streams
  • Whether or not to franchise your business
  • Becoming a “conscious business” as a force for social change
  • Advice for speakers and why business owners need to be speakers
  • The power of unicorns, rainbows, profanity and naked men with wings
  • Lots of book recommendations!

Full Show Notes including book list:

Mar 8, 2018

The biggest leading indicator to any success are the people.”

– Jason Williford

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Jason Williford, a professional business speaker and executive consultant focused on all human decisions, where he works with domestic and international organizations of all shapes and sizes. He also is a licensee and consultant for Culture Index.

Culture Index is a strategic advisory firm that works exclusively with visionary entrepreneurs, CEOs, business leaders, and management to scale and transform organizations using applied analytical traits. And if you’ve never taken the Culture Index profile assessment, it is like no other personality assessment you’ve ever taken.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The history, process and benefits of the Culture Index
  • Studying, interpreting and mobilizing the 7 personality traits (Autonomy, Social Ability, Pace or Patience, Conformity, Energy Units or Mental Stamina, Logic, Ingenuity)
  • Getting people on the right bus in the right seats, mathematically
  • Keeping A players (harder to do than finding them)
  • Psychometrics = Psychology + Math to acquire valid assessments
  • Overcoming disengaged (70%) employees
  • Analysis of Gina Trimarco’s personality

Full Show Notes:

Feb 28, 2018


“I can teach you everything, but I can’t teach you ambition”– Nezha Alaoui

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Nezha Alaoui, Founder and President of Mayshad Foundation. Nezha is a global advocate for change. She is an international entrepreneur working in sustainability, philanthropy, wellness, business, media and fashion. She backs her “Be Who You Want To Be” philosophy with action and tireless advocacy.

Nezha is also the Creative Director of her luxury handbag brand Maison Mayshad, where she designs limited collections of handbags using recognized processes of the art world, including serial numbers, limited production, and auction sales.

At age 29 she created an import/export business simultaneously with a foundation, when many discouraged her goals to create a company with a positive message that also has a philanthropic mission. She is an only child from aristocratic family in Morocco who, despite many opposing factors, proves you can “be who you want to be”. Starting her career in the hotel industry, she traveled the world where she experienced different cultures and learned that we all have common values.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • The challenge of making innovative choices
  • Building a company with soul
  • Attracting talent through purpose; starting employees at 20% less for first three months
  • Hiring for ambition
  • Creating customer experiences, using all five senses
  • Story of the deaf frog and not letting people “should on you”
  • Sexual harassment and the media

Full Show Notes:

Feb 24, 2018

“I’ve tasted my own ignorance. It’s horrible. It’s bitter. And it’s so expensive.” [on the importance of learning]

– Carlos Vaz

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Carlos Vaz, CEO and co-founder of Texas-based Conti Organization, a thriving commercial and multifamily real estate investment company whose portfolio is valued at more than $400 million. Carlos’ passion, discipline and creativity coupled with his extensive real estate experience have yielded a portfolio of over 1,400 units his first year in the multifamily business. He is passionate about building a solid vertically integrated company with strong core values, proven systems and an adept team. Carlos directs strategy, team building, investment sourcing and capital origination.

The second-youngest of nine children and one of six boys, Carlos came to the United States in 2000 from his home country of Brazil with just $300 in his pocket. He began working at the age of seven at the family farm and his father’s butcher shop. He eventually entered a federally-funded law school in Brazil but became frustrated with professors routinely going on strike. This motivated him to secure an apprenticeship at a Boston law firm.  As the internship was unpaid, Carlos worked multiple jobs while interning and taking classes through Harvard’s extension program. After his internship ended, he started working in construction and ultimately built a construction company. He then started working in the mortgage industry, while maintaining his construction company and buying and flipping houses. By 2007 he purchased his first apartment complex and then formed Conti, named in honor of his mother Neusa Conti. Since its inception, Conti has closed deals involving more than 5,000 units and $400 million in value.

At the time of this interview Carlos had just completed Harvard Business School OPM Program.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Building a business based on core values
  • The pursuit of knowledge and constant learning
  • The importance of integrity, trust, commitment, family and respect
  • Employee Retention – hiring people that fit the culture
  • Strategies for scaling a business: Combining EOS with Culture Index (Combining an operating system with personality assessments) – Listen to future episode when Gina has her Culture Index report reviewed by Jason Williford
  • Why it’s okay to be as “boring” as “vanilla yogurt” in business
  • Best conferences for CEOs to attend
  • Advice for rising CEOs & COOs
  • Recommended Books: Get A Grip, Profit From The Core, The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

Full Show Notes:

Feb 19, 2018


“In order to manage your growth, you have to manage people.”

– Chris Power

In this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed Chris Power, founder and CEO of Power Consulting Group, Inc., a New York IT Managed Services firm with a focus on technology for financial, legal, non-profit and education sectors. 

Chris is passionate about fostering customer trust through direct one-on-one communication. As CEO, he is responsible for driving Power Consulting’s “Technology is for People” vision. He believes in hiring team members with strong personal values and great communications skills. He has created a company in which engineering talent and outstanding interpersonal abilities go hand-in-hand. 

His training in philosophy has informed his distinctive leadership style. Twenty-five years after founding Power Consulting, his core conviction about IT services remain the same: the purpose of technology is to help people and organizations achieve their goals. 

Chris starts by sharing his 9/11 story, as a business owner and resident of Manhattan. He was there when it happened and recalls going to the hospital to see how he could help, waiting for ambulances that never arrived. It was a pivotal time in the country and in his business. It was the tipping point for what was a “lifestyle” business for him.

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Moving out of a “lifestyle” business
  • Attracting talent that are excellent customer service focused engineer show like people; asking customer service related questions in interviews
  • Having the will power to not compromise in hiring
  • Applying the Kaizen Method of “continuous improvement”
  • Customer Service Commandments
  • Email Policies – tips on when and how to use email effectively
  • The Three Pillars: People, Process & Purpose
  • EO vs BNI – going beyond sales and referrals to run a business with the best support

Full Show Notes:

Feb 8, 2018


The things that set us back propel us forward.”

– David Blu, Retired Professional Athlete

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed David Blu, a retired, world class athlete, who played internationally at the highest level of professional basketball and now works in the insurance industry. David has continued to stay active in basketball by working with young athletes on the mentality and skills needed to reach a higher level of player development. He speaks around the country and in Israel about his life, goals, challenges and successes. David is also the brand ambassador for a new, Israeli, startup tech company and continues to stay involved with Maccabi in Israel. 

Subscribe to the podcast on: iTunes | Stitcher

Podcast Topics Include:

  • Ego Management
  • Business as it relates to sports and having an athlete mentality
  • Practicing patience and compassion
  • Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation
  • Doing charitable work
  • Learning from children about taking risks and being playful
  • The impact of birthday cakes at the office
  • Strengthening resilience through tragedy
  • The power of Passive/Active Listening & Empathy Skills

Full Show Notes: 

Jan 29, 2018

You can’t differentiate yourself in the marketplace on smarts. You need to differentiate yourself on team health.”

– John Fulwider

On this episode of The Pivotal Leader, Gina Trimarco interviewed John Fulwider, CEO, gear80. John helps entrepreneurial leadership teams get everything they want from their businesses. He implements a complete, proven system with a set of simple, practical tools that helps businesses get vision, traction, and healthy.

John founded his fourth company, gear80, when two clients of his third business—an executive coaching firm with clients nationwide—said the same thing to him in the same week: “John, I need tools.” For both clients’ companies, the vision was clear, and their teams were healthy and cohesive. But accountability, discipline, and execution to link the two were absent. John went looking for tools and found the Entrepreneurial Operating System in the book Traction, and he’s never looked back.

While he charges a lot for his other services, his advice on eating out is always free and he gives some great foodie recommendations!

Podcast Topics Include:

  • What is EOS (Entrepreneur Operating System)
  • Ensuring your company has vision, traction and health
  • Where to find 90% of the answers to your problems
  • The new ROI: Return On Intelligence
  • Top pain points and how to overcome them: People, Profitability, Control & Solutions
  • Defining Culture by having 3 to 7 expected core behaviors
  • Why being smart isn’t good enough for success; hint: smart already exists
  • Knowing how to Hire, Fire, Review, Reward & Recognize People

Full Show Notes:

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