Success and leadership

Expert Interview Roundup: Success and Leadership

Expert Interview Roundup: Success and Leadership

Success and leadership

There is a saying that “change isn’t the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.” I love this because it demonstrates that true success in life requires change. It requires us to adapt to changing environments. Success requires us to know, feel and believe in our ability to figure things out. The same is true with leadership. I had the honor of interviewing these AHmazing women around their views about these topics.

Meet Laurie Battaglia

lauriebattagliaheadshot2-4mBio: Laurie D. Battaglia, MSOD, ACC

A born connector, people magnet, gifted presenter, and calm, methodical coach, Laurie is CEO and Workplace Strategist of Aligned at Work™ in Scottsdale, AZ. Laurie is the creator of the Aligned at Work™ Model, which combines the Success Factors of Vocation, Relationships, Finances, Wellbeing, and Spirit into an integrated work/life model. She identified these factors working with thousands of leaders and team members as a leadership and organization development expert in the field of banking and finance.

Laurie’s 35+ year corporate career spanned the smallest to the largest of investment and banking companies. She works with leaders to build engagement into their cultures and practices, and helps them build high performing teams. A Certified Leadership ambassador with Take the Lead Women, Laurie specializes in Women at Work.

Laurie has an MS in Organizational Development and Leadership from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, and a BS in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University in PA.

Connect with Laurie:

Welcome to the leadership interview with Laurie Battaglia where we discuss:
1. The definition of leadership
2. The 5 top issues with communication and leadership and best practices!
3. Some leadership stories from both Laurie and Tandy along the way.
4. Specific strategies Laurie used to go from Corporate leader to Entrepreneur.

Meet Kris Plachy

Kris PlachyBio:  After 20 years of leading teams, I know what it’s like to deal with what’s difficult.

Difficult people. Difficult conversations. Difficult situations. I know the exhaustion and frustration and worry and fret that so many leaders experience as they work through difficulty. I know what it’s like to wonder why the hell do I have to deal with this??? Why can’t people just do their job? Why can’t my boss just be more agreeable? Why won’t people just listen to me? Why does my organization go about implementing change like they do?

Dealing with difficult circumstances can lead to paralysis, confusion and indecision. As a coach, I teach my clients how to move through what’s difficult and find ease on the other side. I promise it is achievable. Really!

I’ve done and seen it over and over and over again with my clients and students. That doesn’t mean there isn’t work to do. But it does mean there is a path to follow and a way out. I’ve spent my career doing this work and I am committed to helping as many leaders as I can find peace and an approach that allows them to face their current challenges and those that they don’t even know about yet. Connect with Kris at:

Welcome to our interview where we discuss:
1. How Kris defines leadership.
2. How you lead your life is how you lead in other areas.
3. The top things leaders find challenging and how to shift perspective.
4. The fundamentals that ALL managers and anyone leading teams needs to do.
5. The importance of boundaries.
6. Great discussion about employee engagement.
7. Keys to leading ourselves.
8. Tips for developing your leadership muscle and getting ready for leadership roles.

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Meet Sara Bobkoff

Sara BobkoffBio: Sara Bobkoff is a little lady on a big mission. She wants women transforming the economy and the world – through the power of their own success stories. So she calls on Story Alchemy & Success Journey Coaching to make that happen. As a writer, storyteller, brand and marketing expert & transformational coach, she weaves together voice, message, narrative and intellect to inspire, shift, transform and manifest your mind into matter. Vision into reality. And success story into life.

Welcome to our interview where we discuss:

1. How Sara got to where she is now
2. What is Story Alignment and how this relates to success and leadership
3. Why aligning your story is so important for success
4. How this process helps Sara’s clients
5. What advice Sara would give about aligning their stories
and much more!

Connect with Sara at:

Meet Meilin Ehlke

meilinheadshot-300x400Bio: Meilin Ehlke follows the wisdom keeper’s way to connect with the source of universal wisdom so others can feel whole, rejuvenated, and empowered to seek their chosen path. For the past ten years, Meilin has guided visionaries and thought leaders from around the world to bloom into their beauty. As a world-renowned artist and healer, Meilin’s ability to connect with the source wisdom is what helps others feel and flourish into their true-selves. Contact Meilin Ehlke to begin your transformation today!


Welcome to our interview where we discuss:

  1. Meaning of leadership.
  2. Biggest challenge facing leaders today.
  3. Much more…

 Meet Adrienne Barker

Adrienne Barker Bio: Successful business woman with over 35 years of experience in leadership positions in both business and nonprofit organizations.  Adrienne  Incorporates humor in her talks and makes sure that all participants have an enjoyable learning experience.   She owns a full library of business soft skills topics, workbooks, digital books, videos and presentations customized for your speaking needs.  A Proud graduate of the Protocol School of Washington and Adrienne offers three licensed programs; Outclass the Competition, Dine Like a  Diplomat, How to Succeed in the International Arena.  Adrienne has been speaking for over 25 years to a variety of audiences including Universities, Rotary clubs, and industry organizations.   Adrienne is the host of her radio show “Adrienne’s Ps & Q’s.   Adrienne is a member of Toastmaster and has served on a variety of boards and committees.   Adrienne also represents and is excited to bring their courses to your company.


Welcome to our interview where we discuss:
1. What leadership means to Adrienne.
2. The biggest challenge leaders face.
3. Adrienne’s biggest leadership challenge.
4. How people can develop their leadership skills.
5. Adrienne’s sweet story about her biggest mentors.
6. The #1 characteristic every leader needs to have!
7. How to determine who to hire when you have equally qualified people.
8. How to develop friendships as a leader.
9. The thing Adrienne learned the hard way.
10. The biggest challenge entrepreneurs/leaders face.
11. The biggest piece of advice Adrienne has for people looking to grow into a leadership role.

Meet Nicole Bevilacqua

Bio: Nicole Bevilacqua is an empowerment and breakthrough coach for successful women and imagePresident of Empowered Instruction, LLC. Nicole began working in PK-12 education in 2002 and has spent a decade leading, coaching, and training school leaders. She noticed through her experience that women have unique challenges on the path to leadership and benefit from specialized skill development and coaching. Through coaching and powerful instruction, Nicole is expanding the conversation, understanding, and available resources for women to be stronger than their fears and lead with authenticity and courage.


Welcome to our interview where we discuss:
1. Nicole’s journey to becoming a women’s empowerment coach and her path through leadership.
2. The top three limiting beliefs related to keeping women small as leaders.
3. The top limiting beliefs most women experience.
4. The top three things we have control over and Nicole’s best leadership advice and tips to overcoming fears.
and much more…
Join Nicole’s facebook group:

Meet Karen Locke-Leto

fullsizerenderBio: Karen LockeLeto is the Creator/ Founder of High Heels Speaking, a company founded to help women achieve their highest professional goals. She is a results-oriented leader, an award winning facilitator, speaker, mediator, life-coach and author and is currently the Chief Operating Officer of a 43 year old award winning non-profit agency. She is responsible for providing oversight to all of the agency’s child welfare and juvenile justice programming. She has a proven track record in performance outcomes, employee development & retention, external relations, and growth & development of services. Karen has over 20 years experience serving in management and leadership positions. Connect with Karen at

Welcome to our interview with Karen where we discuss:
1. Her journey through leadership in corporate America, non-profit and as a business owner.
2. What leadership means to her.
3. Advice for entrepreneurs about leadership.
4. Who Karen considers a top leader. Hint… there are two people on her list. Think technology!
5. The biggest mistake people make around leadership.
6. Three biggest fears people have… and much more!

Meet Brenda Ster

Bio:  Brenda broke the party plan direct sales model, when she became the #1 sponsor in brendasterher brand within 6 months of joining. She maintained that position for two years, earned multiple incentive trips and rewards, grew a team of over 800, and hardly got off her couch.  Then a few years later, she did it again – building a party plan direct sales team of nearly 200 in only one week, becoming the #1 sponsor in the company in her first month.  Whaaaaat?!!  She did it entirely on social media, and completely based on the strategies of attraction marketing.

She’s a recovering corporate technology executive, a former college professor, a social media fangirl, and fundamentally a homebody. She’s Mommy to Leigha and Jack, wife to Tom, and friend to all. She’s a mad pinner, and Faith Hill follows her online. (For realz.). Connect with Brenda at:

Welcome to our interview with Brenda where we discuss:

  1. Why she left corporate America and started her own business.
  2. Her leadership style and how this serves her team and clients.
  3. Leadership challenges unique to the Direct Sales industry.
  4. Leadership tips and much more!

Meet Thilan Legierse

Bio: My name is unique and it suits me: Thilan is Korean; Legierse is French; I am thilan-pic-1Dutch, married to a Scotsman; and I live in Australia.

Having worked for the United Nations in countries like Switzerland, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Netherlands, I feel like a fish in global waters (as long as I have access to Dutch liquorice from time to time).

My passion for all things communication is a direct result of my career in which I worked as a barrister, a UN lawyer (working in (post) war zones in Cambodia and Bosnis-Herzegovina and on an international tribunal in The Hague) , a human resources manager, a mediator and a communication coach.My professional experience has given me the opportunity to practise and master my communication skills to the max.

I presented cases before the Supreme Court, negotiated with war criminals, monitored human rights violations and mediated workplace conflict. So I have plenty of experience in persuasion, negotiation, public speaking and conflict resolution.

Throughout my career I had to step out of my comfort zone, learn from my mistakes, overcome feeling truly shitty and never give up.

I am also the founder of Win-Win Matters ( a consultancy firm) and the author of Dealing with Conflict at Work: Eight Keys to Communicate with Colleagues Who Drive You Nuts”

I now want to share my knowledge with women in the real world, not just in the corporate world.

Welcome to our interview where we discuss:

The key ingredients to true leadership.
2. How to quickly build trust.
3. Her best leadership advice.
4. Tips for having courageous conversations.
5. Her biggest leadership mistake (you’ll be able to relate to this!)
6. Her biggest piece of advice for hiring and promoting people.
7. Advice for aspiring leaders.


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Tandy Elisala

Family Caregiver Coach, Cancer Empowerment Advocate and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness | Empowered Family Caregiver
Tandy Elisala is passionate about helping family caregivers go from being overwhelmed and stressed to empowered and calm. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. Tandy left her corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously while raising three kids as a single mom. She took care of both parents for 2 1/2 years until their respective deaths. Tandy now teaches what she learned on her journey. Tandy is a family caregiver coach, a multiple best-selling author, inspirational speaker and mom to three adult kids, one angel dog and one diva cat.

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