“Perspectives from the Top” podcast – leadership insights from successful leaders to help you grow

“Perspectives from the Top” is a 1 year “leadership insights” podcast interview programme to help any leader or potential leader gain deeper insights into successful leadership to enable them develop their skills and be more successful.

Perspectives has listeners in over 60 countries and is highly ranked, being in the top 20 podcasts for career development in countries as diverse as UK, Oman, Italy, Switzerland and India. It is also being used by 2 global MBA programmes to help students via “background listening” and classroom discussion. Some in C suite have not only used it as a personal resource but also a means for all leaders in their organisation to listen and develop common ideas for action. The Perspectives website is “Perspectives from the Top”

These are the guests who have already joined the Perspectives team to date, more are joining all the time. Some are live already and some will be in due course. The series will last at least until November 2022, with a new guest every 2 weeks and my short summary “Reflections” on the previous guests insights the week after.

Latest guest published

Ruth Gotian – Chief Learning Officer and Assistant Professor of Education in Anaesthesiology, Weill Cornell, Peak Performance expert and author

Ruth started her career in University Residency management at NY State and Cornell and, after a brief period in international banking, moved into academic medical administration leading the transformation of learning and development for thousands of student doctors over 26 years at Weill Cornell. During this period Ruth gained her PhD in Education from Columbia and focused on finding out what made people high performing and successful to help others achieve the same.

Ruth researched the most successful people, including Nobel laureates, astronauts, CEOs and Olympic champions, in order to learn about their habits and practices so that we may optimize our own success. She reveals what she found out in our interview and in her book The Success Factor – Developing the Mindset and Skillset for Peak Performance. In 2021, Ruth was one of 30 people worldwide to be named to the Thinkers50 Radar List, dubbed the Oscars of management thinking and is a semi-finalist for the Forbes 50 Over 50 list. She regularly publishes in such journals as Nature, Scientific American, Academic Medicine, Psychology Today, Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Listen to Ruth

Future guests

In approximate order of future publication

Spriha Srivastava – London Bureau Chief and the International Executive Editor for Insider, overseeing over 100 journalists across the UK and Singapore newsrooms delivering leading news service covering business, politics and life. 

Prior to joining Insider, Spriha was the Deputy Digital News Editor for CNBC International in London. She helped manage a team of reporters for CNBC.com and regularly wrote and edited market-moving, fast-paced business news stories. Previously Spriha worked at the Financial Times’ Money Management magazine covering personal finance, where she won an award for her work and at Thomson Reuters where she was one of the moderators for Global Markets Forum, a 24×7 live forum for traders and market professionals. 

Spriha has won a number of awards for her work. In 2015 she was  a runner up in newcomer of the year category in Santander Media Awards. In July 2020, Spriha won Women Economic Forum’s “Iconic Women Creating A Better Tomorrow” award, September 2020 was also shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Award in media category. She was recently also included as one of the Top 50 leaders in the UK recognized for kindness in leadership.

Spriha has a BA & MA in politics, an MA in journalism and studied business journalism at Wharton.  

Asesh Sarkar – Global CEO and Co-founder of Salary Finance, a fast growing FinTech which enables employees of more than a fifth of companies in the FTSE-100 to receive wage advances to help them pay off their debts faster and save towards their financial goals. Asesh leads both the UK and US businesses. It has been featured twice by Forbes, as one of the leading socially responsible startups, and as one of five fast growing businesses to watch. Its has also become a Harvard Case Study.

Salary Finance’s offering is especially important at a time when the pandemic has blighted the finances and mental health of many families. Here in the UK, its clients also include a quarter of NHS Trusts and police forces and eight of the UK’s ten largest supermarket chains and non-food retailers. Across the UK and the US, its platform is used by 500 employers and available to four million people.

Prior to Co-Founding Salary Finance, Asesh was a Partner at PA Consulting, where he advised a range of financial institutions on their strategic programmes. He holds a BSc degree in Computer and Business Studies from the University of Warwick Business School and also studied at London Business School.

Ciaran Martin – Former founder and CEO of UK National Cyber Security Centre, Professor at Oxford Blavatnik School of Government

Ciaran founded the UK’s world-leading National Cyber Security Centre and headed it for the first four years of its existence. policy. The International Telecommunications Union now ranks the UK as the #1 country for cybersecurity because of the NCSC’s work. Ciaran is also a 23-year veteran of the UK Government, working directly with five Prime Ministers having held senior positions at HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office as well as GCHQ.

In 2020 he was appointed CB, a senior recognition award, by Her Majesty The Queen and has received a range of awards domestically and internationally in recognition of his cybersecurity work. Ciaran is Professor of Practice in the Management of Public Organisations at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government, advises several private sector organisations on cybersecurity strategies and is one of the leading global authorities in the field of cyber security

Jack Jarvis – Royal Engineer Commando, Atlantic Solo Rower – Jack is a commando trained member of the British Army Royal Engineers. Over 111 days he rowed 4,500 nautical miles (8,334km) from Portugal to South Florida. During the day he rowed for about 15 hours, breaking to eat freeze-dried meals and snacks. He kept motivated with audio books and music. At night a parachute anchor held the boat in position, allowing him approximately four hours to sleep. He is believed to be the only person to ever attempt this particular route across the Atlantic Ocean, and is a Guinness World Record holder. His motto is simply “Winners Never Quit”.

Elizabeth Burstein CEO and Co-Founder of Neura Health. She founded Neura Health based on her personal journey with chronic pain, which exposed her to the key challenges of specialist access and care quality that patients face when navigating chronic neurological conditions. Elizabeth has previously led product development teams at digital health companies such as Maven Clinic and Zocdoc, and holds dual degrees in Computer Science and Philosophy from Stanford University.

Marwan Al Sarkal : Entrepreneur and corporate investor, former Executive Chairman of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority, Shuooq, Shurooq is the body responsible for the development of the Emirate of Sharjah, UAE, through inwards investment of $bn to deliver infrastructure, retail and tourist destinations to transform the economy and take Sharjah into the future. He also Founder of Al Mur Investments and Chairman of Qatra Water. Marwan is frequently quoted as one of UAEs inspiring young leaders with his focus on developing talent, in particular women, and giving opportunity. He is ranked in the top 50 most powerful people in the Arab World and also used to regularly play football for the Shurooq team.  

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Entrepreneur, Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer is also President of the CBI the UK Industry representative body. Cobra beer is now a Joint Venture with Molson Coors, and Chairman of Molson Coors Cobra India. He started his developing a market in UK not for beer but for a very niche product as you will hear. Why Cobra Beer is special and why it took so long to develop is also revealed.

Outside business he is the Founding Chairman of the UK India Business Council, the youngest University Chancellor in the UK when appointed at West London, one of the first two visiting entrepreneurs at the University of Cambridge; and a founding member of the Prime Minister of India’s Global Advisory Council. In 2006, Karan was appointed the Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, making him the first ever Zoroastrian Parsi to sit in the House of Lords. In 2008 he was awarded the Pravasi Bharti Samman by the President of India.

He is an honorary fellow of Sidney Sussex College Cambridge and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Judge Business School, Cambridge University. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young and graduated in law from the University of Cambridge. He is also an alumnus through executive education of the Cranfield School of Management, London Business School and Harvard Business School.

Anita McBride : Champion of global first ladies and women of Ahganistan, former COO to First Lady Laura Bush. Anita served in the Whitehouse over 20 years for 3 presidents serving as director of White House Personnel under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush then as assistant to President George W. Bush and chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush from 2005 to 2009.  She co-founded the RAND African First Ladies Initiative and Fellowship program and continues to serve as an advisor to the Laura W Bush Women’s Initiative. She is also a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council.

Muquadessa Yourish : former Deputy Commerce and Industry Minister for trade for Afghanistan. Muquadessa was educated in USA and India. She was human resources director of the Municipality of Kabul before serving as a commissioner in the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission of Afghanistan and then being appointed as Deputy Commerce and Industry Minister for trade for Afghanistan. She has also served as deputy head of the Association of Fulbrighters of Afghanistan.

Published guests

In order of publication with most recent first

Hon David Burt, Premier and Prime Minister of Bermuda – Great thoughts on how to get the best from people and much more from Hon David Burt, Premier of Bermuda,. David is the youngest Prime Minister in Bermudas history, his role in leading Bermuda and as a digital entrepreneur prior to this gives him a unique perspective on leadership, business, and government.

He is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a double major in Finance and Information Systems. He was awarded The George Washington University Presidential Administrative Fellowship and received his Master of Science degree in Information Systems Development in 2003.

An entrepreneur, Premier Burt started GMD Consulting Limited, an IT consulting company focusing on project management. He served as President since its inception until 2016 when he stepped down upon being appointed Leader of the Opposition. Premier Burt co-founded HITCH Limited and was the lead developer for the award winning HITCH Mobile App enabling Bermuda Residents to hail taxis.  Listen to David

Justin Welby, The Most Rev. and the Rt Hon. the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury – gives his perspectives on leadership gained in his career which includes working in the oil industry for 11 years, 5 in Elf and becoming Group Treasurer to Enterprise Oils Exploration business focused on development of West African and North Sea fields. Justin then changed career to become a curate in the Church of England and his progression to Archbishop of Canterbury and leading the Anglican Church of 80m+ globally. His insights into business and its approach to ethics and society are frequently sought by Governments, professional bodies and major organisations. His deep personal experience of the tougher end of the world of business in the oil industry gives him a perspective few others in such theological roles have. Listen to Justin

Garry Ridge – CEO WD40, author, coach, and Adjunct Professor of Leadership : One of  Garry’s first challenges in business while saving his local radio station in Australia from failure, in doing so he ended up having his own Sunday radio show. Garry joined WD-40 Company  in Australia and in 1987 he became head of WD-40 Company for Asia and Australia, in 1994 he took over International Development and in 1997 became CEO. He’s been with WD-40 Company for an amazing 34 years, 25 of them as CEO. That’s an achievement but not only that – he’s expanded the company globally not just in terms of WD-40 Company itself but also in broadening the product range and in building an organisation that is still true to the founding values from 69 years ago. His success has been proven not only by the business results but by the fact that WD-40 Company has an employee engagement rate of 93%, compared to most organisations who languish in the mid 20%. In addition, he’s written several books on leadership, one with the global leadership guru Ken Blanchard. Garry is also Adjunct Professor of Leadership at University of San Diego. He’s also an executive coach and through his advice over the years has helped literally thousands of organisations and their leaders be more successful. Listen to Garry

Admiral Sandy StoszFirst woman to lead US Coast Guard Academy : Sandy started out in the US Coast Guard as an ensign serving on polar icebreakers, conducting national security missions from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Her forty-year career is filled with leadership lessons gleaned while breaking ice and breaking glass as the first woman to command an icebreaker on the Great Lakes and to lead a US armed forces service academy, the Coast Guard Academy she graduated from. Along the way, Sandy served for 12 years at sea, commanding two ships, and led large Coast Guard organizations during times of crisis and complexity. She finished her career as the first woman assigned as Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, directing one of the Coast Guard’s largest enterprises. She has lectured widely on leadership, and has been featured on CSPAN and other media outlets. In 2012, Newsweek’s “The Daily Beast” named Sandy to their list of 150 Women who Shake the World. Listen to Sandy

Mathias ImbachCEO Sygnum bank, first digital global bank, former corporate investor, entrepreneur, author : Mathias started his journey with his degree at St Gallen University in Switzerland, where his involvement with the International Symposium let to growing contacts in India that started his career developing there. He spent time in India with Tata, completed his MSc at London School of Economics and Duke, and then with Bain & Company where he led advisory projects for Private Equity Funds, Family Offices and Technology companies. Mathias then returned to Tata as General Manager at RNT Associates, Mr. Ratan N. Tata’s personal investment platform, where he led multiple venture capital and private equity investments and participated in Blockchain related equity deals globally. In May 2018 he became CEO of Sygnum Bank, the first digital bank in the world. He also holds a PhD from the University of St. Gallen. Listen to Mathias

Amanda Russell : Global Expert on Influence, athlete, entrepreneur, influencer and Professor – Amandas career started in sport as a runner where she achieved Olympic level performance, developing her own brand then founding one of the first You Tube fitness subscription channels, subsequently helping other businesses build their brands via a digital production company. The expertise she developed here, becoming an expert in “influence” as well as having been an “influencer” enabled her to help others seeking insight into this critical area. She is now Professor of Marketing at both Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and The University of Texas at Austin , a Harvard Case Study author, an advisor to Lamborghini and many other leading brands, womens leadership activist, and author of the best selling book “The Influencer Code” https://bit.ly/39orvAy Listen to Amanda

Marshall Goldsmith : Top global business thinker and coach, multiple author, Professor, student of Buddhism : Marshall has so many accolades I don’t have space to cover them all, for business, leadership and executive coaching amongst them, top ranked global business thinker for 10+ years, No 1 global executive coach, Harvard Institute of Coaching Life Time award plus the author of numerous best selling books, each helping people get the best out of themselves, their work and their lives. Marshalls first degree was in Mathematical Economics but he moved into studying people via his PhD and onto being Professor of Management Practice at Dartmouth Tuck. He then moved into the world of executive education starting his own brand. He works with numerous top global corporate and government leaders and has helped literally millions of people be better in someway. His new book “The Earned Life” really pulls all this together, based on his Buddhist philosophy, showing readers how to be better fulfilled and have fewer regrets. Listen to Marshall

Mr. Jaime Blaustein – CEO & Co Founder Sylvia Brafman Mental Heath Centre, former investment banker and rehabilitated drug addict: After battling addiction for several years in his late teens and early 20s — and going in and out of seven addiction treatment facilities before finally getting clean — Jaime Blaustein is now leading a team of health professionals helping others through their tough times. After recovering Jaime gained his MBA and, after time in Wells Fargo and Lord Abbot, a mutual fund manager, he became an investment banker at Credit Suisse in its Global Industrials coverage group in New York City. Here he was responsible for advising clients in the basic materials sector on strategic matters, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, restructurings and various debt and equity financings. In September 2021 he decided to give up his investment banking career to found the center for those with mental health challenges seeking support. Listen to Jaime

Lt General Reynold Hoover: Corporate investor, former Commander Northern Air Command, Presidential Special Assistant : has unique  experience in military, business and government, he practised as a lawyer before joining the military, primarily working in bomb disposal. After a number of roles he commanded the Alabama Army National Guard, and served in Iraq and Afghanistan but he also served in Government as Chief of Staff at FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, served in the CIA as Deputy Director of Public Affairs; was Special Assistant to President George Bush for Homeland Security and then commanded Northern Strategic Air Command. He is now a Partner at Donovan Capital which invests in aerospace, defence and government service organisations. He however still finds time to teach future Generals at Westpoint and serve on boards of service charities. Listen to Reynold

Emily Chang : CEO of McCann Worldwide China, former CMO Starbucks China, COO IHG China, CMO Apple China : Emily began her career in Procter & Gamble, then in Apple, where she led Retail Marketing across APAC, as the brand entered China before becoming Chief Commercial Officer InterContinental Hotels Group, Greater China, where she was responsible for all commercial functions across 320+ hotels, six hotel brands, three loyalty programs, and a Sales & Marketing team of 5,200. Emily then became Chief Marketing Officer for Starbucks China, where she led customer engagement and the digital ecosystem. She is now CEO of McCann Worldwide, the Marketing Agency, for China leading a team of 400 launching McCanns new China presence. But Emily also found time to write an great book – “The Spare Room” – which looks at how we optimise our social legacy by identifying what we offer in resources, experience and capability and what inspires us. Its woven around Emilys own legacy of caring for 17 disadvantaged children in her spare room over 22 years, as well as stories of others in different stories of others in different walks of life. Listen to Emily

Lord Stephen Green : Chairman of UKs National Natural History Museum, former UK Trade Minister, Chairman and CEO of HSBC and ordained minister of Anglican Church : started his career in UK Governments Overseas Trade Dept, moving to McKinsey before joining HSBC. Here Stephen worked across the world for the bank in different roles becoming CEO of the Investment Bank, then Group CEO in 2003 finally Chairman of HSBC Group in 2006, by then one of the biggest banks in the world with over 240,000 employees in over 100 countries. In 2010 he then joined UK Government as a Trade Minister serving until 2013 and is now Chairman of UKs national Natural History Museum and sits in the Upper House of the UK Parliament, the House of Lords. Stephen is also an ordained minister in the Anglican Church and an author.  Listen to Stephen

Jamie Price : CEO Advisor Group, former founder 1-800 Doctors, entrepreneur : Jamie gives listeners some great insights and ideas for action based on his varied career in large corporates such as Prudential, UBS but also leading a start up 1-800-Doctors before becoming CEO of Advisor Group, US largest group of independent financial advisors supporting over 11,000 businesses across USA. A combination of insights he gained from Prudential, his work on the Group Managing Board during the creation of UBS, now a Harvard Case Study, and those from leading a start up have enabled him to take Advisor Group to new levels of success such that he was voted CEO of the Year for 2021 in the Wealth Managements industry large organisation category. Listen to Jamie

Lak Ananth : CEO Next47, corporate investor : Lak is a corporate entrepreneur leveraging industry change & disruption opportunities, at Cisco Systems he enabled acquisitions in excess of $4.5bn then moving to Hewlett Packard to lead their Pathfinder organisation, bringing together innovation strategy, venture investments, acquisitions and partnerships. Lak now heads Siemens Next47 corporate venturing unit, funding intrapreneurs across Siemens and is recognised as being one of the top 30 Global Corporate Venturing leaders globally. He is also an author with a book on corporate failures which should never have happened – Anticipate Failure. Listen to Lak

Claire Mann : CEO of South West Trains, former Head of London Buses : Claire planned to go into Customer Service Heathrow Express but ended up as a train driver ! Now CEO of one of UKs biggest train companies with both high density commuter and long distance lines delivering 200m + journeys a year, previously CEO for Londons 11,000+ bus operation with 2.3m passengers a day. Listen to Claire

Peter Wuffli : Founder of ELEA Foundation, former CEO of UBS, on board of global corporate investor, first digital global bank and former Chairman of IMD Business School : Peter became CEO of UBS by age of 44, where the transformation he led to create a new global bank is now a Harvard Case Study. He also worked for McKinsey, and is now supporting developing nations entrepreneurs through his Elea Foundation, was on the Board of Partners Holding Group, one of the largest global Private Equity investors, is on the board of Sygnum Bank the first digital asset bank, Honorary Chairman of IMD Business School having been Chairman for many years, Vice Chairman Zurich Opera. He is also author of “Inclusive Leadership” and “Elea – A learning journey towards sustainable impact.” Beating poverty via entrepreneurial impact. Listen to Peter

Lisa Gable : Former CEO for Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), Whitehouse advisor, Ambassador, Intel CEO troubleshooter – Lisa turned FARE round from impending financial crisis. Worked in Regan Whitehouse, then as a troubleshooter for Intel CEO, advised Bush Administration, Defense Department, US Ambassador to World Expo, US Delegate to UN on Status of Women, head of public policy for PepsiCo. Listen to Lisa

Andy Byford : Transport Commissioner for London, former head of New Yorks Metropolitan Transport Authority, Toronto and Sydney mass transit systems : Andy started work on London Underground and after helping revitalise mass transit systems around the world is now leading the service which 5m Londoners a day use. Listen to Andy

Sylvia Acevedo : Former CEO US Girl Scouts, entrepreneur, scientist, tech leader : Sylvia worked on Voyager 2 as a rocket scientist, worked in IBM, Dell, ran Apples Asia – Pacific operations, set up 2 tech businesses, on Forbes list of “Top 50 women in Tech”, Fast Companys “Top 100 most creative people in business” and an author writing her autobiography “Path to the Stars”.  Listen to Sylvia  

Peter Maurer : President of the International Committee of the Red Cross former Head of Swiss Diplomatic Service : Peter leads 20,000 professionals around the world supporting people in areas of conflict and violence and trying to bring an end to those conflicts. He also annually reminds global leaders of their duty to observe humanitarian law at the UN General assembly; former head of Swiss Diplomatic Service. Listen to Peter

Paul Epstein : C suite sports executive for multiple NFL and NBA teams, global agencies, and the NFL league office. Transformed NBA teams from bottom in league revenue to top-two in financial performance. Broken records on revenue in Super Bowl as NFL’s sales leader, opened a billion-dollar stadium, helped save the New Orleans NBA and founded the San Francisco 49ers Talent Academy. Listen to Paul

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