Hot Mess Hotline

Podcast conversations and straight-forward advice for
ambitious mid-level leaders who think like entrepreneurs

Get your hot-mess-fixing advice straight to your inbox.

What’s the Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding?

What’s the Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding?

What’s the Difference Between Orientation and Onboarding? And why does it matter? With turnover and retention being very painful and expensive problems (especially right now!), leaders need every tool at their disposal to help the right people stay. Onboarding is an incredibly powerful tool and we have the stats to back it up!!

Plus it’s not really about the expense, it’s about welcoming people into your culture, showing them a good time, giving them the tools and information to be successful, connecting them to their colleagues, and demonstrating that you want them to be successful in their role.

read more
Hot Messes Make You a Stronger Leader with Jerry Jones

Hot Messes Make You a Stronger Leader with Jerry Jones

Stronger leaders are made through multiple hot messes. Jerry Jones, former president of Cannon IV, shares his decisionmaking, sleepless nights, and strategy pivots during some tumultuous times. In this Hot Mess Hotline episode, he shares how 50% of their revenue evaporated in 90 days because of a supplier’s switch in sales strategy.

This episode is powerful for those leaders who feel fatigued by change or have teams who are complaining about too much change. “Why can’t things just go back to normal?” When change is forced upon your team because of external factors, there is no going back to normal. There’s a new reality which forces new ways of working and new needed results.

read more
When You Lose Your Job and It’s Your Whole Identity with Steve Spiro

When You Lose Your Job and It’s Your Whole Identity with Steve Spiro

What do you do when you lose your job and it’s your whole identity? Steve Spiro has been there and has some words of advice! Almost every successful leader I know has been fired from a job and/or had a crisis of conscious. They often go hand-in-hand because we over invest our happiness in the role we play at work, the title, the salary, the perks.

During this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, Steve shares with us the power of mentorship, foresight, and what to rely on instead of your job for your identity. I also share what I went through when I lost my identity.

read more
Case Study: Consulting Company CEO

Case Study: Consulting Company CEO

Tom Ambler is the president and CEO of a growing IT consulting and software company. After working with many executive coaching companies in the past, Tom and his team were excited to find an all-in-one coaching service that offered both team and individual coaching as well as workshops to get hands-on practice with the concepts they were learning.

read more
Case Study: IT Director

Case Study: IT Director

Mark Chyba, IT director and mid-level leader, was met with unexpected organic growth within his company and quickly realized that the way they were operating was inefficient. They were not utilizing teamwork and it was hindering their success as a team.

read more
Case Study: CEO Mastermind Facilitator

Case Study: CEO Mastermind Facilitator

Calvin Ellison Jr., mastermind facilitator, consultant, and executive coach, relies on Stefanie Krievins & Co. when he needs to refer clients who are looking for personalized and transformative executive coaching.

read more
Case Study: Accounting Director

Case Study: Accounting Director

Andre is a director at a large accounting firm. During our coaching, he was on track to becoming partner and knew that he needed to become a better leader to be successful with the responsibilities he had been given. Since coaching, and in part because of coaching, he is now a partner!

read more
Don’t Do What You’re Good At with Gary Hobbs

Don’t Do What You’re Good At with Gary Hobbs

You’ve probably spent your entire life believing that you should do what you’re good at. Surely, if you’re a natural at something, then it’s your life’s calling, right? But what if you’ve been wrong all along? Gary Hobbs, electrical engineer turned entrepreneur, believes it’s the challenges you face, doing what you love, and doing what you’re GREAT at will drive your success.

In this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, you will hear how important it is to weigh the risks of doing what you’re good at when you’re feeling unfulfilled. Can you find freedom by facing challenges and being fulfilled by chasing your passion? Gary took a leap that changed the course of his career.

read more
Powerful Leaders Define Success for Themselves First with Karen Mangia

Powerful Leaders Define Success for Themselves First with Karen Mangia

There’s a balance in leadership success between being nimble and controlling the right kind of controllables. Karen Mangia is that leader who has found personal and professional success because she decided to prioritize — and control — what that looks like on a daily basis for her.
You’ll hear in this interview how Karen was letting other people’s definitions of contribution, meaning, and boundaries drive her. And it wrecked her body, mind, and spirit. Lucky for us she found her way out and even used the pandemic as her reset time. She has changed her relationship with her career and invites you to do the same.

read more
How to Build a High Performing Team with Sean Murray and Doug Beal

How to Build a High Performing Team with Sean Murray and Doug Beal

High-performing teams are built when individuals go through challenges together. Sean Murray and Doug Beal bring us the real-life story of a gold metal Olympic team from the 80s who could barely work together in the beginning.

In today’s Hot Mess Hotline episode you’ll learn that you actually don’t need the smartest, most talented, highly skilled players for your business team to be high performing.

read more
Rules to Live By for Good Leaders and Bad Leaders with Chris Clews

Rules to Live By for Good Leaders and Bad Leaders with Chris Clews

Chris Clews, speaker and author, bring us rules to live by for good and bad leaders straight from the 80s! Again! He has such a valuable perspective to share (and we have laugh so much when we’re together), I just had to have him back. 

This time we’re talking about Road House and other 80s favorites. Plus if you’re thinking about pivoting your career or there’s a creative idea you keep thinking and dreaming about, Chris has some great advice on how to take action on it.

read more
Your Team’s Long Term Growth Plan Needs You in the Details with Tony Newcome

Your Team’s Long Term Growth Plan Needs You in the Details with Tony Newcome

Tony Newcome, CTO at ActiveCampaign, creates long-term growth plans with his team and has everyone working in the details, including himself. It’s been instrumental to ActiveCampaign’s success and certainly his track record as an award-winning technology leader. In this episode listen for Tony’s leadership perspective and how he keeps cultures going in hyper growth mode while also staying focused. He believes the best in people and it shows through in everything he does and every conversation he has.

read more
Project Management Problems Always Have People Solutions with Charlie Garcia

Project Management Problems Always Have People Solutions with Charlie Garcia

Charlie Garcia, president of C. Garcia and Associates, has learned that every project management problem really needs a people-focused solution. He grew up in the construction industry and learned early on to take responsibility for what’s broken AND what’s going right. In this episode, you’ll hear Charlie describe a problem completely caused by other people but making him look bad. Like losing millions of dollars bad.

read more
Leaders Don’t Judge with Joe Topinka

Leaders Don’t Judge with Joe Topinka

Joe Topinka, founder of CIO Mentor, shares his experiences learning that leaders don’t judge and how to really lead by example through a tough moment in his career. A new CEO came in and he was removed from the executive leadership team. An average leader will let their ego take over. An exceptional leader will take another route. Another great episode of the Hot Mess Hotline right here.

read more
How to Lead Through a Crisis with Whynde Kuehn

How to Lead Through a Crisis with Whynde Kuehn

Whynde Kuehne, founder and managing director of S2E Transformation Inc., teaches us how to lead through a crisis from her firsthand experience. She was having a normal, fabulous day when she receives a call from the big boss saying her boss was out immediately and she’s now in charge of a 100-person team. In a matter of days she came up with a way forward for the entire team. Listen in for her advice on leading through a hot mess.

read more
Leadership Lessons from the 80s with Chris Clews

Leadership Lessons from the 80s with Chris Clews

Chris Clews, speaker and author, brings us the top leadership lessons from the 80s in this Hot Mess Hotline episode. Combining his marketing leadership experience and love of Gen X culture, he’s written a books series, “What 80s Pop Culture Teaches Us About Today’s Workplace.” He travels the country sharing what we can all learn from our childhood favorites: movies that play on Saturday afternoon reruns and music originally released on vinyl.

read more
The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style: When Your Leader Eats Last You’ll Never Know About It with David Fischer

The Ultimate Humble Leadership Style: When Your Leader Eats Last You’ll Never Know About It with David Fischer

David Fischer, chief revenue officer at Gregory & Appel Insurance, has always sought out challenges. As a marine, he learned the ultimate humble leadership style: leaders eat last. Throughout his career and he has worked hard to earn trust and deliver results. Hard work is rewarded with increasingly complex challenges, however. He learned that through a hot mess he encountered 2 weeks in to a new gig that required him to ask for help in a completely new way.

read more
What to Do When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off with Blair Milo

What to Do When Hard Work Doesn’t Pay Off with Blair Milo

Blair Milo, founding director at the Center for Talent and Opportunity, knows how to step up to a challenge. But she also knows that you can’t accomplish the impossible by yourself. In this episode, listen to Blair’s experience as a mayor and how she led a long-tenured team through transformative change. Innovation has a downside and she learned that here.

read more
5 Steps to Take After Being Fired with Emil Ekiyor

5 Steps to Take After Being Fired with Emil Ekiyor

Emil Ekiyor, CEO of Innopower, learned some tough lessons after being fired and before finding his purpose. In this episode, Emil describes his journey from doing the work he had trained and worked so hard for, being exposed to The Trap, and finding ways to creatively use all the strengths he had.

read more
Why Mental Clarity is More Important Than a Business Plan with Jason Weddle

Why Mental Clarity is More Important Than a Business Plan with Jason Weddle

Jason Weddle, CEO of Hamilton, has been successful precisely because he’s willing to answer the hard questions and have the tough conversations. Even with himself. In this episode, he shares the confusion that existed in the 6 inches between his ears and describes why mental clarity is more important than the business plan at certain times.

read more
How to Overcome Mistakes at Work with Jeff Ton

How to Overcome Mistakes at Work with Jeff Ton

Jeff Ton has turned his successful CIO career into coaching and consulting for contemporary IT leaders. His credibility is built on the many fires he’s put out and the teams he’s led through many transformations: Y2K, cloud computing, digital transformation. In this episode, he shares how he got the opportunity to practice empathy and not just a CYA move.

read more
Resilience Examples from IT and Consulting Leaders

Resilience Examples from IT and Consulting Leaders

IT was the must-have resource for 2020. Workplace tech advanced 10 years in 10 months. But coming out of the pandemic and re-rising of the voices for social injustice, IT leaders will need to adapt in new ways in order to serve their businesses in relevant ways. This includes being able to attract, retain, and develop future leaders who have minority identities and are looking for workplaces where they see others like them too. Listen in to this Hot Mess Hotline episode.

read more
What Successful Leaders Do in Challenging Times with Mike Sipple Jr.

What Successful Leaders Do in Challenging Times with Mike Sipple Jr.

CEO Mike Sipple shares how every mid-level leader is an inspiration, including you! It might not feel that way sometimes.

Good leaders have visions that they guide their teams toward. Great leaders create plans to make that vision a reality. Inspirational leaders know that great learning still happens when the plan doesn’t go according to plan.

read more
Great Adversity is a Great Business Opportunity

Great Adversity is a Great Business Opportunity

In this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, CEO Kevin Berkopes talks about identifying when adversity is a business opportunity. Kevin’s company uses an innovative teaching model to make tutoring available for all children. He shares what it takes to challenge the status quo and take the heat that comes with it.

read more
A CEO Answers the Question: How Do You Build Staff Resilience?

A CEO Answers the Question: How Do You Build Staff Resilience?

In this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, Angela White tells us the story of how she led herself and her team through navigating work after the sudden death of a key team member on her team. At that moment, Angela had lost her friend and coworker, Kris, and was faced with a sudden change in her business. 

read more
Take Control of Your Career by Taking Control of What You’re Learning

Take Control of Your Career by Taking Control of What You’re Learning

In this episode, you’ll hear about Darren’s fast-tracked journey to becoming the President and CEO of the SESCO Group where he transformed a humble company and into a nationwide presence with high integrity.

He has learned that passion only goes so far and at times it can be detrimental. He has learned the pitfalls of leadership and share them here so you can avoid them too.

read more
Your Team’s Business Resilience Will Make or Break Their Success

Your Team’s Business Resilience Will Make or Break Their Success

Only a year like 2020 could bring this kind of stress and decision fatigue for your team. It’s been a year of hard decision making. And it’s been a time of focus, re-calibration, and immense opportunity.

Too many teams and team members have tried to power through, vs. power up with resilience. ​Get ready for future years to require a new kind of business resilience.

read more
Grow Your Business Resilience as a Mid-Level Leader

Grow Your Business Resilience as a Mid-Level Leader

There is no “new normal” or “next normal” coming. If you’re waiting for this, you’ll be waiting at least 2 years. You, your team, and your business won’t last that long.

Instead we need to be doing “what works right now.” You need a mindset, tools, and actions that allow you to stretch, adapt, be creative and open minded, and continue to thrive despite the difficulties around you.

read more
Resilience in Business Needs to be Your Superpower

Resilience in Business Needs to be Your Superpower

The near future remains more uncertain than ever and chances are you and your team will be tried in new ways. Remember that last time you drove through dense fog where you barely see past your headlights? You slowed down, you get kept moving, you stayed alert, but gripped the wheel pretty tight.

Resilience is the mindset that will keep you progressing through the fog: to trust your headlights and the road, to keep moving, and to find the path as you travel it.

read more
How this President and Founder used her strategic plan to change everything

How this President and Founder used her strategic plan to change everything

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “so why is strategic planning important to a small company?” Sam Julka has your answer.

As the President and Founder of DORIS Research, Sam’s own strategic plan called for specific service areas with a focus on 1-on-1, in-person, in-depth interviews and research to work with clients on their employee  culture within the context of their physical space.

read more
How 1 Powerful Question Changed an Entire IT Team

How 1 Powerful Question Changed an Entire IT Team

In the process of solving your hot mess, sometimes you create 10 new hot messes. But sometimes, you solve them all by employing great team communication strategies, incremental change, and a can-do attitude. Along the way asking: “What CAN we do to make this work?”

read more
How a Nonprofit CEO Learned to Overcome Change Management Challenges and Experience Opportunity during the Pandemic

How a Nonprofit CEO Learned to Overcome Change Management Challenges and Experience Opportunity during the Pandemic

Coming into 2020, when you thought of how to overcome change management challenges, you didn’t have the fallout of a global pandemic on your radar. If you’re Jim Morris, CEO of the Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, you’re also facing the recent merger with another nonprofit. And this is after a nearly 8-year competitive struggle with the board and staff of an organization that you lead.

read more
Complex Conflict This CEO Found Himself In for 8 Years

Complex Conflict This CEO Found Himself In for 8 Years

Typically when I talk with a client about how to manage conflict, it’s within an organization. On this episode of the Hot Mess Hotline, Jim Morris, the CEO of Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, describes a complex conflict with a similar organization. Jim’s experience isn’t unique to those in the nonprofit sector, as he found himself navigating multiple internal and external groups who had a say in the problem. He spent 8 years in this hot mess of being consistently in conflict with another local organization, where the only differentiator was the counties they served. .

read more
What is Change Management Training?

What is Change Management Training?

Change, and change management training, can be challenging. It can be rewarding. And it can be FUN! If you think change is hard, you’re doing it wrong. And you’re probably doing change management training wrong, too.

This post explains what is change management training, and what’s the number one secret that every mid-level leader knows about change. If you think that sounds much better than what’s currently happening with your team when you try to introduce change, this article is for you.

read more
Don’t Cut Your Professional Development Budget

Don’t Cut Your Professional Development Budget

I know it can be tempting, or even seem reasonable, to make cuts in professional development following a tough year. You’ll be tasked with cutting costs, and you may not even be sure how much to budget for professional development! But this line item is not the place to cut in the short term if you want to be successful in the long run.

read more
How to Build Trust in a Virtual Team

How to Build Trust in a Virtual Team

As a leader, it’s not up to you to keep everyone happy and motivated all the time. But it IS up to you to lead the way on creating a culture where employees motivate each other, where healthy conflict is encouraged, and where social and emotional connections are built even without physical proximity. Recently I joined Steve Johnson, Culture Disruptor and Account Executive with Motivosity, to discuss how to build trust in a virtual team.

read more
How To Improve Communication

How To Improve Communication

You already know how important team communication (and your team communication strategies) are to success. In this article, you’ll learn how to improve communication with some specific and easy tools to use.

Stefanie thinks communication is the BIGGEST factor for success! When you talk about how to improve change management, making sure that you know how to improve communication for team collaboration is absolutely critical.

read more

How to Build Trust

When I start working with a team, the issues that I hear most often are centered around how to build trust and problems rooted in communication issues. That’s why these two topics are so important...

read more

How To Make Sense When The World’s A Hot Mess

Executive coach and founder of the Pro Troublemaker Nation Stefanie Krievins shares her thoughts on change, the change curve, how to overcome change management challenges and shares a new resource for leaders in this video.

read more

How To Take Back The Meeting

Executive Coach Stefanie Krievins shares insights into what types of conflict derail meetings, and how to improve communication within a team with good leadership and easy strategies.

read more

There IS An “I” In “Team!”

You know it. You’ve seen it. (And if you’re a Gen-Xer, you’ve probably seen it posted above the image of a soaring eagle in some classic ‘90s office décor). Many of you have probably also seen the...

read more

What Is Coaching?

Ever asked “What is executive coaching,” or “How do I find a coach?” Stefanie Krievins tackles the topic and shares her how-I-started story!

read more