Running Into The Fog
Judith Leavitt

Judith Leavitt

September 29, 2022

It’s tea time today on Running Into the Fog.  Join us in welcoming Judith Leavitt, who was a strategic intelligence/market research manager in corporate development and manager of a corporate library for 17 years, among other positions in the business sector. 

But since retirement from the corporate world, Judy has gone from a casual tea drinker to what she describes as being a “tea monster”.  Her passion for loose-leaf teas has driven her to educate people on the various types, aromas, benefits, production, and history of tea.

Join us today as we discuss Judy’s book ‘Talking Tea’  that she penned in 2020, and how that came about.  We’ll also hear about what skills she has taken from her corporate background into this project, see how tea can bring us together, and learn a few tea-drinking basics along the way!

 

Quotes

- “I’ve only tasted two cups of coffee in my entire life.  That was 1976, and I don’t plan to again.” (5:14 - 5:22) 

- “I’ve always been a learner, from kindergarten on.  I feel like every day I’m still learning something new about tea." (13:04 - 13:12)

- “My mission is, first of all, to connect people to tea, to really good quality tea.  And then to connect people to each other over the tea table or tea talk.” (15:09 - 15:18)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Arik & Derek Johnson

Arik & Derek Johnson

September 29, 2022

Kicking off part one of a twofold installment, today’s show features the Jo Bros discussing all things recession-related.  Specifically, Derek and Arik walk us through five of their top ten intelligence mission priorities during the great recession of 2022 and 2023.

 As the United States slowly sinks into recession territory, many business leaders who had believed this to be a transitory period are now rethinking that conclusion.  As the growth market economy evaporates, organizational strategies are now shifting to a more preservation-based approach.    

Today’s five points are about playing defense in a recessionary environment.   Topics include the effects on win/loss strategy, supply chain fragility, pricing versus profitability talent priorities, and vulnerable acquisition candidates.  Make sure to tune in next week as well, where the focus is shifted to going on the offensive during an economic downturn. 

 

Quotes

- “We can be a little more intentional about how we consolidate and protect the loyals, we take a share out of the wallet of the semis, we win back the formerly loyals, and we create awareness among the naives.  So it’s four very different missions that win/loss performs based on those four different customer segments.” (9:20 to 9:43)

- “Take advantage as a consumer of this disequilibria, because you’re going to see discounting and disinflation in all those areas of the supply chain that you don’t really need.” (16:25 to 16:33)

- "If you’re not looking at supply chain as an intelligence professional, you’re missing a great opportunity to have impact arguably with some of the stakeholders that you might not interact with the most.” (18:09 to 18:19)

- "You’re looking to get directionally accurate rather than get precise.” (21:22 to 21:27)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

 

Emily Pillar

Emily Pillar

September 29, 2022

Episode 40 welcomes Aurora’s own Emily Pillar onto the show.  As a senior intelligence analyst, she brings a resourceful and inquisitive perspective, developed at a young age.  At age 5 she was pondering the concepts of how minute actions could change reality, and by age 12 she was analyzing grocery coupons to determine an ideal shopping list.

Following a tragic accident involving her father, Emily and her sister took on the role of being a caregiver and healthcare advocates.  She details what exactly that looks like and why it is so vital to be present in our loved ones' lives. 

Listen in today for first-hand practical tips on how to navigate the medical system, why taking care of yourself is important, and what competitive intelligence and caregiving have in common!

 

Quotes

- “The problem solving, the strategic thinking, it was always there.  And my passion for supporting business, moving businesses forward, and making good decisions in business has always been there as well." (21:30 - 21:45) 

- “If you don’t understand something that a provider is explaining, ask a question.” (23:54 - 23:59)

- “Decide what’s important, and stand up for it.” (25:06 -25:09)

“Another thing I would say that's really really important is: learn how to set boundaries for yourself, for your own sanity, for your own health and wellness.” (25:13 - 25:25)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

 

John Olszowka

John Olszowka

September 29, 2022

Joining us on the show today is John Olszowka, Dean at Mercyhurst University.  This episode is for all you history geeks out there!

As a professor of history, John’s passion for the past started with simply interviewing his grandmother for a college project as a student himself years ago.  But that experience opened his eyes to his true calling in life, and now he hopes to do the same for his students, whatever education path that might be.  

Today’s show topics include students entering college versus the trades, how the war in Ukraine is shaping the arc of the global economy, and why it matters to love what you do.

 

Quotes

- “There’s this tendency at times, and I fell prey to that, where you start to look and say, ‘Okay, what’s this going to translate into a job for me’ and not thinking about ‘I’m going to be doing this for 40 years, am I going to truly enjoy it?’.” (13:24-13:35)

- “I think with this generation what we’re starting to see is students coming out of high school that are evaluating, ‘Is college for me, what paths do I have?’.  I think that those opportunities are there for people who want to see them, but they’re certainly growing I would say.” (7:36-7:50)    

- “I took the next class on the Byzantine empire thinking that’ll eradicate any interest I have in history at that point.  But I was just drawn to it.” (17:03-17:12)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Dr. Craig Fleisher

Dr. Craig Fleisher

September 29, 2022

“This book project needs to get done” is how Derek Johnson put it.  That’s right, the Jo Bros are writing a book together.  Who better than to have on the podcast today than close colleague and friend, Dr. Craig Fleisher?  With over 16 authored books to his name, Craig is a treasure trove of wisdom for anyone interested in writing a book.

It’s not easy, even for an experienced author.  But with his years of practice, Craig has keyed in on six specific points to hit if you want anyone to actually read your work.  Even with many difficult obstacles and impediments, Craig says “They’re all surmountable.”  

Tune in as we take a closer look into what is driving Arik and Derek on this journey to put pen to paper.  Filled with personal backstories, authentic authorship advice, and the vision of the upcoming book, you can’t miss this episode!

 

Quotes 

- “The hardest thing about writing a book is getting the first chapter done” (25:37 -25:42

- “You gotta do something that you’re compelled to do, and that will compel your readers to do something.” (20:03 - 20:08)

- “Knowing who you want to read your books and what you want those people to do both during, and then after they consume your book is a critical piece for the author to plan around upfront.” (13:19 - 13:33)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Skip Halbern

Skip Halbern

September 29, 2022

Have you ever wondered what truly drives you to get out of bed and go to work every Monday?  Or why some people genuinely enjoy that process, while others dread it?  Author Samuel “Skip” Halbern has pondered these questions on a personal and collective level, leading him to write the book ‘Wellsprings of Work’.

Skip describes the book as having a glass-half-full perspective, pushing back on the notion that certain sectors of jobs are always soul-sucking.  He also takes a deep dive into the so-called “great resignation” during the Covid pandemic, explaining some of the common reasons why people who quit their jobs did so. 

Join us on the pod today for a great discussion about the average worker in the 21st-century marketplace.  Topics today include the link between competition and play at work, finding fulfillment, and what a voicemail from Warren Buffett can teach us. 

 

Quotes

- “If meaning is just electrochemical brain function, it doesn’t feel very meaningful” (21:30 - 21:35) 

- “There’s gotta be an appreciation of what it’s like for the working person, regardless of profession.  Does that person feel he or she gets respect on the job?  That he or she has some degree of autonomy, some degree of dignity.” (28:15 - 28:34)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Mike Litman

Mike Litman

September 29, 2022

Don’t let the title of professor fool you into thinking that Mike Litman is simply an educator.  In addition, he’s also a software entrepreneur, former D1 tennis player, crypto and VR consultant, and competitive eater just to name a few of his other pursuits. 

During today’s episode, Mike explains his unique method for teaching computer programming languages.  “How do human beings solve problems?  We remember stuff, we ask a lot of questions, and we do repetition.” Using this formula, he says it’s often achievable to learn additional languages in just one weekend since all languages operate on similar principles of communication.

Join the Jo Bros as they chat with Dr. Litman about how technology affects us now and will do so even more in the future.  Topics include the world of competitive eating, how to problem solve across the board, what VR could mean for education, and how to identify new talent.   

 

Quotes

- “I teach computer programming from the perspective that the language does not matter” (13:04 - 13:08)

- “How do human beings solve problems?  We remember stuff, we ask a lot of questions, and we do repetition.” (13:25 - 13:32)

- “I think that technology is something that we’re going to be leveraging more and more moving forward.  Not just in education, but also in industry”

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Mark Lay

Mark Lay

September 29, 2022

Living by the scriptural motto “to whom much is given, much is required”, Mark Lay knows the meaning of having much, as well as little.  Born into a blue-collar family, Mark utilized his prowess in basketball to open a door at Columbia University.  From there, Mark worked his way into the world of wall street, where he successfully handled a slew of large-scale clients.  

At the peak of his success, however, Mark faced unjust imprisonment during a state-wide financial scandal.  Rather than being bitter about the 10 years of life taken from him, Mark has used his own story as a launchpad to help others.  Whether tackling food deserts or workforce development, Mark strives to make a positive and lasting impression on everyone he meets.

Be sure to listen in for this can’t-miss episode.  In addition to sharing his incredible life story, Mark talks about the importance of forgiveness, why networking is so impactful, and how his personal faith has guided him.

 

Quotes

- "I really didn’t know I was poor until I got to Colombia.  I thought the fact that I was the first kid on my block to have a Schwinn bike made me rich until my first college roommate said ‘Yeah my dad owns Korean Airlines and I have a Porsche’” (8:45 - 8:59)

- “Life is about taking advantage of opportunities as we’re given them” (9:10 - 9:14)

- “When I meet someone, I want them to either say, ‘I don’t want to talk to him again ever because he’s a total idiot, or I want them to say he’s the brightest guy I’ve ever met in my life.  I really want to do business with him, I really want him in my life, I really want to know him.’  Those people in the middle we forget.” (12:46 - 13:04) 

- “That’s the mission I’m on, to really be able to make a difference across the country in the lives of men and women in these distressed communities and let them know that there is hope” (26:52 - 27:01)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Jonathan Dunnett

Jonathan Dunnett

September 29, 2022

While completing a degree in business, Jonathan Dunnett had the opportunity to take on a research side gig, thus beginning his journey into the world of competitive intelligence.  He has since founded Enable Leaders, a platform designed to grow and encourage leadership in the professional world.  This is done through a focus on four key components: behavioral economics, decision-making, leadership, and psychology.

“I think we have a marketing issue in competitive intelligence,” Jonathan says.  Often seemingly shrouded in mystery, the intelligence field simply boils down to decision-making.   He discusses how breaking down competitive intelligence into language that people understand opens up the door for use across any sector or business. 

Tune in to hear about the vision for Enable Leaders, what intelligence consultants need to improve upon, and the peaks and pitfalls of technology in the modern world.

 

Quotes

- “To me, a leader is anyone that wants to be a leader.  It doesn’t mean you need to be a CEO.  It’s down to if you lead yourself, you are leading.” (11:18 - 11:29)

- “More than ever, I think it’s important that we have a discriminating eye towards what’s really worth your time.” (17:17 -17:22) 

- “What I’ve found through some of the work that I’ve been doing over the last number of years is when you talk about decision making, that suddenly becomes much more accessible to most people than if you say competitive intelligence.” (10:25-10:39) 

 

ttps://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

Lindy Smart

Lindy Smart

September 29, 2022

Intuition is a key part of Lindy Smart’s career journey.  As a first-generation college graduate in her family, she didn’t have the luxury of a career roadmap to get her to where she is today.  Lindy completed her master's degree in Applied Intelligence from Mercyhurst and hasn’t looked back since.  With over a decade of combined experience at Target, including time as their Director of Competitive Intelligence, Lindy was also an impactful member of the Aurora team from 2017 to 2018.  She now begins the exciting journey as the Executive Director of Intelligence studies at her Alma mater.

Lindy shares some of the development that she’ll bring to the program, explaining how competitive intelligence can be the launchpad for building a diverse knowledge base in areas such as health, law, and supply chain structure.  As she says, “The scope of what intelligence can do has broadened…It shouldn’t always be just to make recommendations for the decision maker.” 

Jump in to hear insights from Lindy and the Jo bros regarding the future of competitive intelligence, the importance of speed and flexibility in today’s business climate, and what it can look like to forge a career path in the intelligence field.

 

Quotes

- “When we think about intelligence or corporate intelligence, it’s how do you build a profession for those students to span across the entire corporation?” (16:20 -   16:32)

- “The ability to ask better questions.  I think that’s what intelligence brings to the table, not the right answers, but if you can get your leaders….to verbalize what it is that their concerns are, or what they really want to go after so that then they can act on it.” (22:49 - 23:26)

- “The more that we can coach our leaders and decision-makers to ask better questions, I think that just serves the entire organization to know what is really a concern or top of mind for where the organization needs to head to.” (23:36 - 23:53)

 

https://aurorawdc.com/ 

Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/

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