Welcome to the Catalytic Leadership Weekly, where each week you’ll get an update on the newest episode of the Catalytic Leadership Podcast, see the 3 books I’m currently reading, read 2 quotes that grabbed my attention this week, and find 1 story that made me think or resource that I like and think you might find helpful. 

I’m always looking for ways to “make it better,” and I’d love to hear your feedback. Thank you for being a part of Catalytic Leadership!

This week’s episodes of the Catalytic Leadership Podcast:

(THAT’S RIGHT! We’re now releasing two episodes a week as we celebrate ListenNotes ranking us in the top 3% of podcasts worldwide and our 100th episode last month!)

Unyielding Grit: How Female Entrepreneur Denzil Eden Secured $2.5 Million for Her AI Startup

Embark on an enlightening journey with Denzil Eden, the creative force behind Smarty, as she shares her ascent from a child prodigy in coding to a leading light in the entrepreneurial realm. Our conversation peels back the layers on what it takes to carve out success in the world of AI productivity tools. Denzil, a former Microsoft maven with academic laurels from MIT and Harvard, opens up about the trials and triumphs of securing a significant $2.5 million funding round for her brainchild. Her narrative is a vibrant tapestry, illustrating the role of grit and the delicate art of welcoming feedback as cornerstones of her entrepreneurial philosophy.

As we navigate the ebbs and flows of leadership and innovation, Denzil and I dissect the growth mindset and its antidote to the imposter syndrome that plagues many a visionary. We discuss the magic behind the word ‘yet’ – a simple suffix that transforms doubt into a launchpad for learning. The practice of keeping a wins journal emerges as a beacon of self-encouragement, alongside an exploration of the shifting landscape for female tech founders. With venture capital’s warming interest in women-led startups and the indispensable scaffold of mentorship, Denzil casts light on the path forward for leaders and innovators in the tech arena.

Concluding our exchange, we confront the concept of Ikigai, seeking the sweet spot where passion and skill converge with what the world needs and is willing to pay for. Denzil’s odyssey with Smarty defies the myth of overnight success, underscoring the steadfast labor behind each milestone.

The Leadership Journey: Dave Pennington’s Strategies for Hiring, Onboarding, and Cultivating Success (Releasing Thursday)

Unlock a wealth of leadership knowledge as we chat with Dave Pennington, the mastermind behind Penn Coaching and Consulting, who brings a business-savvy perspective to non-profit management. His cross-sector journey, from pastoral ministry to the boardroom, has equipped him with the acumen to guide organizations with a firm hand and a warm heart. Dave’s stories and strategies reveal how to tailor your leadership approach to the tapestry of personalities in your team, emphasizing the value of tools like the DISC assessment in understanding and empowering those you lead.

The art of hiring goes beyond matching resumes with job descriptions, and Dave shares the secret sauce to finding the perfect cultural fit for your company. We dissect the critical elements of a job description that speaks to both skill and spirit, and why it’s vital to involve your team in the recruitment process. This episode will reshape your view on hiring, highlighting the importance of finding candidates who not only excel in their roles but also resonate with your organizational ethos.

Once you’ve brought the right people aboard, the journey has just begun. Dive into the pivotal role of onboarding in making new employees feel at home and the long-term strategies that keep them there. We discuss the delicate balance between nurturing talent and ensuring longevity, unearthing the overlooked factors that drive employees away and how to create an environment that inspires loyalty. As we wrap up, we also reflect on the legacy of leadership and how caring for your team is the cornerstone of lasting success. Join us for a session filled with actionable insights that will revolutionize your approach to leading and growing your team.

3 Books I’m Reading This Week

High Road Leadership: Bringing People Together in a World That Divides by John C. Maxwell

Supercommunicators: How to Unlock the Secret Language of Connection by Charles Duhigg

The Only Leaders Worth* Following: Why Some Leaders Succeed, Others Fail, and How the Quality of Our Lives Hangs in the Balance by Tim Spiker

2 Quotes That Grabbed My Attention

“It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago but will soon be out of date.” –Roger von Oech

“The riskiest thing we can do is just maintain the status quo.” –Bob Iger

1 Resource That You Might Find Helpful

I’ve mentioned before that I switched CRMs last year to HighLevel. It’s an amazing platform, and has saved me thousands of dollars from the other service providers that HighLevel replaced in my business. But optimizing HighLevel is a significant commitment of time – and the question I often ask clients is what I ask myself first: “is this the best use of my time right now?” Leveraging HighLevel at a high level (see what I did there?) takes someone who knows what they’re doing. And that’s why I chose Brand Lyft Marketing to help my business.

Shawn, Javi, and the team at Brand Lyft Marketing have been absolutely astounding to work with. They say they pride themselves in first-in-class HighLevel services and consulting, and my experience confirms that. They’ve been in the HighLevel ecosystem since 2019, and that experience is reflected in their expertise and commitment to excellence. They serve agencies, franchises, and businesses who want to use the HighLevel engine to grow their business and simplify their operations through A.I. and automations. I highly recommend them if you want to maximize HighLevel and grow your business. Book a call with them today at https://brandlyft.io/book-a-call-page/.


Has this year been different so far from last year? Or more of the same? Are you breaking old habits and sticking with new ones?

How can you get out of your own way and take steps to become the leader that your team and your company need you to be? It’s not just going to happen. It takes intentionality. And that’s where coaching comes in.

As an Executive Coach specializing in Mindset and Leadership, I work with entrepreneurs, founders, executives, and C-suite leaders who want to become catalytic in their leadership. Through 1:1 coaching, my clients move from where they are (stuck) to where they want to be.

For May, I currently have availability to take on 1 new client. I don’t accept every person who approaches me about coaching; in fact, I turn down those who I believe are not ready or a good fit for what I do. If you’d like to explore whether Executive Coaching is your next step toward the impact you want to make, let’s talk. No hard sales pitch. If it’s not right for both of us, I’ll tell you so. My goal is to help leaders get out of their own way, stop breaking their own businesses and teams, and move into being catalytic in their impact and their legacy. If you’re ready, book a time for us to talk.


If you want to learn more about developing a healthy mindset, leading your team with excellence and intentionality, and overcoming the chaos you’re facing and finding the calmness you need, here are some ways you can take your next step:

1) You can subscribe to The Catalytic Leadership Podcast, where I interview entrepreneurs, agency and business owners, and leaders who share their wisdom and insights about their journey, leading teams, achieving business goals, conquering overworking and overthinking, healthy and effective communication, the catalytic mindset, and more. Choose the platform you like and subscribe to the show!

2) You can subscribe to my YouTube channel to watch the podcast interviews instead of just listening to them.

3) You can purchase a copy of my newest book, Catalytic Leadership: 12 Keys to Becoming an Intentional Leader Who Makes a Difference. (available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook). I captured 12 key principles that I’ve seen consistently in the thousands of coaching conversations I’ve had with hundreds of leaders over the last 25+ years.

4) You can book a call if you’d like my help with either 1:1 coaching for you, or help coaching and developing your team into the high-performance team you know it can be. I provide 1:1 coaching for entrepreneurs, founders, agency owners, and leaders, and provide group coaching for teams.


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That’s it for this week’s newsletter. Let me know what you think!


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