“Don’t get caught chasing what you think you have to chase. Figure out what you want to go do - and you’ll ultimately be happier and more successful”
George Felix is Tinder’s Chief Marketing Officer - where he leads the global brand vision, strategy, and operations for the highest grossing non-gaming app in the world. Previously, George spent 6 years at Yum! Brands in roles of rising seniority - most recently as CMO of Pizza Hut U.S. - where he led a new brand positioning and advertising campaign that delivered three consecutive quarters of sales growth including. George was also KFC’s marketing director for global and brand communications. During his time at Yum, George was named AdAge’s Marketer of the Year, KFC’s “ Return of Colonel Sanders'' campaign was named AdAge’s Campaign of the Year, and KFC was listed as a “Top 10 Brand.” George spent 6 years at P&G, rising through the ranks of brand management working on Old Spice and Mobile Marketing - leading campaigns that won 10 Cannes Lions, 2 Effies, and even an Emmy (for Best Commercial). George studied at the University of Notre Dame and received his MBA from UNC Chapel Hill. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and 2 children. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about listening to your gut instinct vs what society (or even your parents) want you to do - pivoting when you realize something isn’t working, and always adapting and learning.
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Mike Shangkuan, Lingoda CEO
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46:54“It's through language that you understand another culture - how their world works. It's about that human connection with people.” Mike Shangkuan is an EdTech entrepreneur, fitness fanatic, and pioneer in language learning. As the CEO of Lingdoda, Europe’s leading online language school. And he’s a polyglot - speaking six languages - English, German, Spanish, French, Chinese and Japanese — having lived in 8 countries across 4 continents, and traveling to over 100 countries. Prior to leading Lingoda, Michael was CEO of Terra Education, a B-corp offering life-changing service learning summer programs to teens in Africa, South America, and Asia. Mike has worked in brand management at both Clorox & P&G, and held roles at Goldman Sachs and Borden Capital Management. He is a graduate of Yale University and received his MBA from Harvard Business School. On top of all that, Michael was also once a former natural bodybuilder having competed at several international competitions. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about life, language, and the culture quotient.
Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard Psychologist & ‘Blindspot’ Author (from P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast)
55:41“The study of Implicit bias asks are we doing our job as well as we can be? To be consistent with values, goals and intentions — we want to do something about it.“ Dr. Mahzarin Banaji is an award-winning experimental psychologist and professor at Harvard University and the author of “Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People.” Her research explores the human mind, why and how we think and feel, especially in social context. Dr. Banaji helped create world-renowned frameworks to better identify and address implicit human biases, and she’s the co-creator of the Implicit Association Test, which has been used +40 million times worldwide. You’ll learn how human beings think, the nature of subconscious human biases, and how individuals and organizations can combat implicit bias - and why it will make an outsized impact. But Dr. Banaji is not exactly a P&G Alumni, so what’s the deal? Alongside our partners at P&G, we’re thrilled to share another episode of P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast - available exclusively each week to P&G Employees at GetMoreThanSoap.com. On “More Than Soap,” P&G shares weekly conversations with Inspiring guests, unique perspectives, and unconventional ideas. “More Than Soap” is P&G’s official internal podcast - available to all 100,000 P&G employees worldwide, and hosted by Dorion Positano, P&G’s Director of New Business and Content Innovation. Interested in learning more about P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast, or P&G Studios, can reach out directly to Dorion on LinkedIn. GetMoreThanSoap.com
P&G Alumni Comedians: Greg Warren, Josh Sneed, Rajiv Satyal, & Andrew Tarvin
1:15:15"Humor is a way to deal with failure, because you'll be onto something much bigger. Nothing is the defining moment of your life — if you don't let it be.” Did you know that several P&G Alumni have become (inter)nationally known stand up comedians? In honor of World Laughter Day (May 1st), we decided to go deeper and chat with not one, not two, but THREE P&G alumni who are now full-time in the world of comedy — Greg Warren, Josh Sneed, and Rajiv Satyal. And if you count P&G Alumni Podcast co-host Drew Tarvin as a “Humor Engineer” - consider it 3.5 P&G Alumni Comedians. We want to learn about life as a creative entrepreneur, how humor applies to work, and how a business mindset can help anyone in their passion project - because when comedy is your day job, it’s no joke. Our guests for this very special (and funny) episode... Greg Warren is a nationally touring headliner and has been featured on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central Presents, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, BET and CMT. He is a fan favorite on the nationally syndicated Bob and Tom Radio Show and can be heard daily on Sirius/XM. Prior to becoming a full-time comedian, Greg spent 10 years at P&G as an account executive for brands like Pringles and Folgers, and as a project manager at the GO in Cincinnati. He’s currently based in St Louis, MO. You can see Greg’s recent special, Where the Field Corn Grows on Amazon Prime Video - https://amzn.to/39pXxfT Josh Sneed is a nationally touring comedian with appearances on Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, and Dry Bar Comedy with clips from his special having been viewed more than 50 million times. He has performed at the prestigious “Just For Laughs” Comedy Festival in Montreal, the Aspen Comedy Festival, and was chosen by Comedy Central to perform in their inaugural South Beach Comedy Festival. Prior to becoming a comedian, Josh spent five years at working in corporate IT, including time as a systems analyst for P&G in Cincinnati, where he still resides. Check out Josh’s special “Life’s Better When You’re Fat” on YouTube, by Dry Bar Comedy https://youtu.be/Q-C9mPu7r_4 Rajiv Satyal is the first and only comedian to perform standup on all seven continents Rajiv co-created the world-touring Make Chai Not War, a Hindu/Muslim stand-up show sponsored by The U.S. State Dept and he’s opened for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rajiv hosts the talk show “What Do You Bring to the Table,” (now in it’s 2nd season), and his massively viral I AM INDIAN video has been seen over 50 million times. Prior to becoming a full-time comedian, Rajiv worked as an ABM and account director at P&G, including driving award-winning word of mouth campaigns for P&G and external brands such as Coca Cola and Microsoft. He’s currently based in LA. https://rajivsatyal.com/ Drew Tarvin is an accomplished author and speaker - having done over 1000 shows as an improv and stand-up comedian, have performed in all 50 states, 30 countries, and 1 planet (Earth). Drew’s TEDx talk on the skill of humor has been viewed more than 10 MILLION times. Drew’s also the co-founding co-host of Learnings from Leaders (this podcast) and CEO / Founder Humor That Works, a training firm that helps businesses get better results while having more fun - humorthatworks.com
Qaisar Shareef, P&G’s former head of Pakistan & Ukraine
1:09:06"There is no bending your principles and values, you either stick by them or you don't.” Qaisar Shareef spent a 30 year career at Procter & Gamble - where he led the company’s operations in Pakistan & Ukraine. As April marks the Holy Month of Ramadan in the Islamic world this year, we decided to revisit some past conversations with past Muslim guests that you may have missed — and even if you’ve already heard, are worth a fresh listen. Qaisar is the author of “When Tribesmen Came Calling: Building an Enduring American Business in Pakistan.” For Qaisar, Pakistan was actually an organization he helped build for the company many years prior when P&G was first starting business in the region. Qaisar is based in the Washington DC area where he is an advisory partner to Ward Howell International. He also teaches at George Washington University’s Department of International Business. Qaisar serves on the board of HOPE USA, OPEN DC, and Transparent Hands, a crowdfunding platform helping cover the underprivileged’s health care costs. He’s also on the Executive Committee of US Pakistan Foundation, and is president of Montgomery County Muslim Council. Qaisar has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and an MBA from the University of Cincinnati. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation from a Muslim American leader, about living and working out of your comfort zone. Qaisar shares not just his perspective of establishing a viable business in an emerging market, but also about returning home - multiple times - to make an impact on both sides of the world.
Ikdeep Singh, Mars Petcare President, North America
50:43“Nothing can teach you more than your failures. Your struggles are where you're growing the most.” Ikdeep Singh is Mars Petcare’s President of North America, responsible for iconic brands such as Pedigree, Iams, Cesar, and Sheba — and driving the company’s purpose of “A better world for pets.” Prior to Mars, Ikdeep served as the President at the L’Oréal Group, and he started his career at P&G P&G, where he worked across Canada, the US, UK, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China for 14 years in Beauty Care, Baby Care and Grooming. Recognized on Forbes’ inaugural “CEO Next” list, Ikdeep had humble beginnings in rural India. He studied Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University, and received an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania where Ikdeep serves on the advisory board for Wharton’s Baker Retail Center. Ikdeep and his family of 4 are avid travelers and “gastro-tourists” who go in search of some of the world’s most delicious places to eat. You’ll enjoy this thoughtful conversation about slowing down to reflect and learn — because with hard work, and some lucky breaks, we can find a path we love, collaborating with others to win, together.
Kevin Hochman, Kentucky Fried Chicken, President, Yum! Brands
51:38“The higher you go, it's harder to understand the front lines. Be in touch to accelerate your growth.” Kevin Hochman, is Kentucky Fried Chicken’s US President at Yum! Brands, and the former President of Pizza Hut US. As KFC’s President Hockman oversees more than $10 billion in retail sales across 10,000 restaurants. For more than eight years, Kevin’s held numerous senior positions at Yum! Brands. Previously Kevin led P&G’s North America Cosmetics business, the culmination of an 18-year career at P&G as business leader across brands like Olay, Gillette, Secret, Old Spice and CoverGirl. Kevin has earned multiple recognitions from Forbes - naming him the world’s 2nd most influential CMO - to AdAge’s A-List. You’ll enjoy this conversation about the learnings on Kevin’s journey from CPG to the fast food industry, and how he became a more inclusive, servant leader along the way.
Dian Alyan: GiveLight Foundation Founder & CEO
50:37“People tend to be afraid of the unknown. The most dangerous thing is the illusion of knowledge. We need to have an open mind and embrace the world.” Dian Alyan is the Founder & CEO of the GiveLight Foundation (GiveLight.org) — a non-profit inspired by Islamic values to help orphans across the globe regardless of nationality, race or religion. As April marks the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the Islamic world this year, we decided to revisit some past conversations with past Muslim guests that you may have missed — and even if you’ve already heard, are worth a fresh listen. Dian founded GiveLight.org after the 2004 South Asian tsunami, where she lost many loved ones in her home country of Indonesia . Dian was inspired to provide for children going through similar devastation around the world — natural disasters and extreme conditions, like poverty and war. GiveLight is a non-profit creating high quality homes and education for global orphans. What began as one home for 50 children has now expanded to support over 1,000 orphans in 11 countries globally — with a goal of housing 10,000 children in response to natural disasters, poverty, and war. GiveLight has responded to crises in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Morocco. Prior to founding GiveLight - Dian spent a decade as the Outreach Director for the Muslim Community Association in the San Francisco bay area. And Dian got her start at P&G in brand management in beauty and healthcare brands across Asia. Dian’s work with GiveLight has garnered awards and engagements from Fortune 500s + prominent universities, and has been featured in Newsweek, the Huffington Post, and many other media outlets. She lives in the San Francisco bay area, a mother of two - but she considers all children GiveLight reaches as a part of her family. Learn more about how you can help at GiveLight.org
Malcolm Gladwell, Author & Journalist (from P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast)
1:00:26“The ability to persist in the face of overwhelming odds is a kind of necessary feature of the innovator.“ Malcolm Gladwell is a Canadian journalist and writer best known for treading the boundary between popularizer and intellectual. Malcolm’s the author of bestsellers like “The Tipping Point”, “Blink”, “Outliers”, “Talking to Strangers” and most recently — “The Bomber Mafia.” Malcolm is also the co-founder of Pushkin Industries, an audio content company that produces the podcasts “Revisionist History,” which reconsiders things both overlooked and misunderstood, and “Broken Record,” interviewing musicians across genres. Gladwell has been listed as one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People and Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers. But Malcolm is not exactly a P&G Alumni, so what’s the deal? Alongside our partners at P&G, we’re thrilled to share another episode of P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast - available exclusively each week to P&G Employees at GetMoreThanSoap.com. On “More Than Soap,” P&G shares weekly conversations with Inspiring guests, unique perspectives, and unconventional ideas. “More Than Soap” is P&G’s official internal podcast - available to all 100,000 P&G employees worldwide, and hosted by Dorion Positano, P&G’s Director of New Business and Content Innovation. Interested in learning more about P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast, or P&G Studios, can reach out directly to Dorion on LinkedIn. GetMoreThanSoap.com
Raj Rao, IBM’s GM for Blockchain Ventures
53:16“The first job of any leader is to coach people that can do a better job than them, and lead better than them — to unlock people's fullest potential.“ Raj Rao is IBM’s General Manager of Blockchain Ventures where he oversees programs in blockchain, AI and cloud architecture. Raj was previously the CEO of Ford Mobility, leading the automotive company’s Palo Alto based mobility business investments, as well as Chief Digital Officer of 3M. Raj got his career start at P&G marketing - working across Europe, the Middle East, and Canada. A native of India, Raj earned an honors degree in economics from the University of Delhi, and a Master’s Degree in Management from Boston University’s Business School. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about the factors that influence our careers — and why it’s important to bend the culture as a leader.
Arianna Huffington, Thrive Global Founder & CEO
34:52“When you take care of yourself, you are much more able to lead, to be more creative, more empathetic.” Arianna Huffington is Founder & CEO of Thrive Global, a firm centered on health and wellness information. Arianna was also the Co-founder of The Huffington Post, the author of fifteen books, one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People,” and Forbes “Most Powerful Women,” among numerous other honors. In 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for $315 million, where Arianna became President & Editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which included The Huffington Post, AOL Music, Engadget, Patch Media, and StyleList — where she served until 2016. Arianna currently serves on numerous boards, including Uber, Onex, and Global Citizen. Arianna’s last two books, Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder and The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time were both instant international bestsellers. At the 2021 P&G Alumni Network Global Conference, Arianna sat down with Debbie Majoras, P&G’s Chief Legal Officer & Secretary, for a candid conversation on “How To Thrive.” The two discussed our once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine the way we work and live — the necessary mindshift that employee well-being drives peak performance - which builds sustainable standards of excellence.