Anatomy of a Leader
#30 Success is not a TechCrunch Title: Hannah Russell, Founder of Mags Creative - a podcast production agency
In Episode 30, Maria speaks with Hannah Russell - founder of Mags Creative - a podcast production company. They discuss fear, failure and the concept of success. How VC funding isn’t always the right path for a startup and podcasting tips.
#29 How To Deal With Being Surrounded By Idiots At Work And In Life - Thomas Erikson, Author of Surrounded by Idiots
In Episode 29 Maria speaks with Thomas Erikson - a communications expert and bestselling author of “Surrounded by Idiots”. They discuss how to spot each personality at a party, why there are still bad bosses, and how if there was a perfect leader, it would probably be a woman.
#28 Hybrid Working is the Worst of Both Worlds - Bruce Daisley, Author of The Joy of Work & Workplace Culture Expert
In Episode 28, Maria speaks with Bruce Daisley - workplace culture expert and Sunday Times bestselling author of the Joy of Work. They discuss the 4 hour work week, toxic environments, what makes workplaces thrive, resilience and how hybrid working is the worst of both worlds.
#27 Saying 'No' To Investors Even When You Have No Money Isn’t Always A Mistake: Hasna Kourda, Founder Save Your Wardrobe
In Episode 27, which launches Season 3 - Maria speaks with Hasna Kourda the founder of Save My Wardrobe. They talk about how walking away from funds even when you are short of cash isn’t always a mistake and what female founders have to do to circumvent the gender bias.
#26 How to be CEO to a Creative Founder - Sarah Crook, ex-CEO Christopher Kane, Dundas & Stella McCartney
In Episode 26, which concludes Season 2 - Maria speaks with Sarah Crook - a brand builder who has worked with Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Peter Dundas. They discuss what first time CEOs should be thinking about when working with creatives especially if they are the founders, building trust and honing that gut instinct.
#25 Improve Your Memory with Mnemonic Techniques from 8x Memory Champion - Boris Nikolai Konrad
In Episode 25 - Maria speaks with Boris Nikolai Konrad, memory expert, neuroscientist, author, award winning international keynote speakers and 8x world memory champion who is listed 4 times in the Guinness Book of Records, about memory, mnemonic techniques, and how you too can improve your memory.
#24 Your Customer Service Sucks: The Lost Art of Selling in Retail w/ Martin Newman
In Episode 24 - Maria speaks with Martin Newman, The Customer Champion about what companies do wrong when it comes to customer service, what consumer centricity is and how using tech isn’t always the best strategy.
#23 How to Hire the Best, Top 10 Tips by a Headhunter
In this solo episode - Maria outlines 10 steps to hiring the best people. She talks about envisioning your company culture, getting candidates to say ‘yes’, interview techniques, how to future proof your talent pool and much more. The top mistakes companies make are discussed in steps 6, 8 and 9.
#22 The Great Resignation, Rage Quitting & Secrets to Happiness at Work w/ Dr. Tracy Brower
Are you about to RAGE QUIT your job? STOP! Listen to this first. In Episode #22 Maria talks with Dr. Tracy Brower author of “Secrets to Happiness at Work”. They talk about why we work, why we should expect to be happy at work, what are the conditions for happiness at work, and how to decide whether to leave a job or not.
#21 What you Should Know about Leadership:
Advice from Female Founders
In Episode #21 Maria highlights the lessons learnt from speaking with female founders: Eva Alexandridis, Vanessa Jacobs, Grace Fodor, Miriam Lahage, Millie Kendall MBE, Ceanne Fernandes-Wong, and Whitney Hawkings.
#20 How to Think Your Best at Work: Trust, Curiosity & Philosophy at Work w/ Dr Brennan Jacoby
“Be the philosopher in the room.”
In Episode #20 Maria speaks with Dr Brennan Jacoby Founder of Philosophy at Work about curiosity, trust and how we can apply thousands of years of philosophy to "think our best" in business.
#19 Don't assume big brands on a CV will equal business success w/Eva Alexandridis Founder 111SKIN
“Once the person earns your trust, let them shine. No brands are built by one person.”
In Episode #19 Maria speaks with Eva Alexandridis, Founder of 111SKIN about her upbringing in Bulgaria, creating 111SKIN with her plastic surgeon husband Yannis, the two sides of trust, being burnt and so much more.
#18 Leading with Your Conscience, Crying at Work, Who is Most Valuable in a Team w/ Simon Whitehouse - CEO, Eco-Age
“The chain is as strong as its weakest link”
In Episode #18 Maria speaks with Simon Whitehouse, the CEO of Eco-Age, who was also the first CEO of JW Anderson (we may have had something to do with that).
They talked about being and acting yourself, parents as role models, empathy, taking a moral path, fairness, men crying at home and at work, leading with your conscience, the most valuable function in a team, being a first time CEO, the dynamic of being a CEO to a Creative Founder and the different paths to being a CEO.
#17 Turning a Side “Mummy Hustle” into a Full On Startup w/ Vanessa Jacobs
Once I commit myself, I'm really all in. And I'm, as I said, a bit of a masochist about it.
Vanessa Jacobs is all about action, grabbing the tiger by the tail and taking that first step. After a career in investment banking and consulting, she started what she calls her side ‘mummy hustle’. Little did she know that this would turn into a full on successful startup The Restory - a leading luxury aftercare company providing services for the likes of Harrods, Harvey Nichols and most recently Manolo Blahnik.
In Episode 17 Maria dives into the story behind The Restory, lessons learnt about starting a side hustle, taking the leap from consulting to startup, burnout and everything in between.
#16 What Retailers Got Wrong About E-Commerce w/ Steve Dennis
The main reason I wrote the book was for that retailer who is slowly sinking into oblivion, and thinking that a slightly better version of mediocre is enough to win.
Steve Dennis is a retail industry veteran, keynote speaker on retail innovation, podcast host, and has recently revised his bestselling book “Remarkable Retail - How to Win & Keep Customers in The Age of Disruption”.
In Episode 16 Maria talks to Steve about the current retail environment, fostering a culture of experimentation, mapping out the customer journey and, of course, how to be remarkable.
#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."
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.