Anatomy of a Leader

#15 Ageism & Beauty in the Workplace w/ Grace Fodor
Focus on yourself. Compete against yourself.


In Episode 15 Maria speaks with Grace Fodor, an Age Warrior, Brand Strategist, and Founder of Studio 10. Grace is a leader in the pro-age revolution. In this time of ageism, she inspires, empowers and encourages women across the globe to appreciate their unique blend of beauty, experience and vibrance.

They have a heart-to-heart about struggles, perceptions and decisions of midlife women in the workplace.

#14 The Dark Side of Your Strengths w/ Nicolai Chen Nielsen

“Ambition is a desire and drive to reach a future state that's different from today, challenging to get to, and personally meaningful.”

In Episode #14 Maria speaks with Nicolai Chen Nielsen, co-author of Return on Ambition about what ambition is, how to see yourself as an investment, how to work out your return on ambition, the dark side of our strengths (in his book he calls them the 7 Frenemies) and how wellbeing and growth are inextricably linked to achievement.

#13 Leading with Your Heart w/ Miriam Lahage

“Never take a job you know you can do.“

In Episode #13 Maria speaks with Miriam Lahage, an entrepreneur, advisor to early stage companies and co-Founder of Aequip (previously at eBay, Figleaves, navabi, TJX and NET-A-PORTER).

They discuss what it's like to be a female CEO, how you should never take a job you know you can do and the power of power of leading with your heart.

#12 On Patriarchal Superiority w/ Millie Kendall MBE

“Surround yourself with experts. You'll never be an expert in everything.”


In Episode #12 Maria speaks with Millie Kendall MBE, CEO British Beauty Council, founder of a PR agency Brandstand Communications and Millie of the beauty Brand Ruby & Millie.

They talk about her frustrations with the beauty industry, her inspiring survivor grandmother and the fun stories about her life - including receiving an MBE from Her Majesty The Queen.

#11 On Recognising Your Accomplishments w/ Ceanne Fernandes-Wong

“The adoption of circular business models, widespread by the industry, has to happen.”

In this episode, Maria speaks with Ceanne Fernandes-Wong, the CEO & co-founder of Cocoon, a luxury handbag subscription service.


They talk about doing impossible things like leading the way in creating circularity in fashion, starting a business just before a pandemic and securing a powerful investor like Kering - a global luxury giant.


They discuss vulnerability in leadership, having great advisors that open your mind and the differences in hiring between established companies like Net-a-Porter and startups.

#10 On Having Audacity w/ Riccardo Sciutto

"Think heritage, play digital"

In this episode, Maria speaks with Riccardo Sciutto, the CEO of Sergio Rossi, which has recently been acquired by Fosun Fashion Group, about how to act in a crisis, how to surround yourself with intrapreneurs even in big organisations, and the secret sauce to making a heritage brand modern. 


They talked about having audacity, making big moves as well as big mistakes and the double job of securing investment whilst running a company.

#9 On Just Listening w/ Dr. Mark Goulston

"Here is what you need to know. Investors when they smile, it's not a 'yes'" 

In this episode, Maria speaks with Dr. Mark Goulston, psychiatrist for over 40 years, Marshall Goldsmith 100 top coaches and author of many books including "Just Listen" about becoming a first-class noticer, how to tune in to what other people are Listening FOR and how to turn tables when pitching to investors.

#8 On Failing Fast w/ Whitney Hawkings

"Fail fast is advice I would give my former self" 

Whitney Hawkings founded FLOWERBX with the mission to to deliver fresh, quality flowers with the same consistent service as a top luxury brand. Whitney is determined, head strong and laser focused.  

In this Episode Maria talks to her about lacking confidence but discovering that he is the best CEO of her company, what it’s like to be a woman in business, her role models and what she learnt from working with Tom Ford for 18 years.

#7 On Being Indistractable w/ Nir Eyal

"One of the biggest problems we have in management and leadership is leaders almost no have no idea what their staff is doing. And they're too afraid to ask because they don't want to micromanage them."

Nir Eyal the bestselling author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable” is a force, with incredible insights and practical tips on how to get into flow and break bad habits.

In this Episode Maria discusses email management, time-boxing, most toxic work environments, and the 3 things that make organisations productive.

#6 On Nurturing Creativity w/ Andrea Baldo

"Creativity and innovation doesn't come based on how much money you put in"


Andrea Baldo, the CEO of Ganni, is one of the most incredible CEOs I know in fashion. He truly understands the most important aspect of being a partner to a creative - Nurturing Creativity.

In this Episode, Maria talking to him about going against popular opinion, failure (as in don’t fail twice on the same thing) and the importance of family in your success.

They talk about building creative ecosystems, safeguarding creatives and what he learnt from Renzo Rosso - founder of Diesel.


#5 On Wearing Confidence w/Lucy Aylen

Maria chats with Lucy Aylen, Founder of Never Fully Dressed about her leadership journey from market trader to running a thriving, in-demand womenswear business. 

"We still keep our ethos that confidence is the best thing a woman can wear."

#4 On Personal Growth w/ Sarah Curran-Usher

In this episode, Maria interviews Sarah Curran-Usher, MBE - MD EMEA, True Fit.

"It's the negative experiences - if you take the lessons from them, that drive personal growth."

#3 On Outsmarting Obstacles w/ Sherrille Riley

In this episode, Maria interviews Sherrille Riley, Founder and CEO of Nails & Brows Mayfair

"When you're setting up a business, you have a million obstacles to overcome. So the last thing you need is somebody trying to hold you back.

#2 On Entrepreneurial Patience w/ Jessica Blackler

In this episode, Maria interviews Jessica Blackler, Founder of Jecca Blac cosmetics.

Maria asks Jessica about times when she has been overlooked because of her young age.   

They also discuss the inspiration behind her beauty brand and how to have structure and routine as a creative.    

#1 On Toughest Shareholders w/ Peter Williams


In this episode, Maria interviews Peter Williams, Chairman of Superdry and Sophia Webster and former CEO of Selfridges

"You have to be very clear as a chair that you're their to run the board not the business. The situations that can occur where it's not clear who's doing what is quite dangerous for the business and value creation within the business."

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Anatomy of a Leader

Are you looking for inspiration? Want to learn from your role models and peers? Want to feel like you are not alone in the mistakes and failures you've made in your business?


Join our Founder Maria Hvorostovsky in Anatomy of a Leader podcast talking with entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs, investors, authors, leaders from all walks of life.

Here you will discover what makes a great leader; the skills they have, what drives them and what it takes to get to the very top. 

Watch the episodes below. You can also listen on all major listening platforms including Apple and Spotify. 

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