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“EVOLVE: A New Era Of Leadership” is a podcast evolving the concept of leadership. Of the human spirit. And showcasing people worth talking to. Hosted by Carolyn Swora

Episodes 11 to 20

What’s a trauma informed system with Snjezana Pruginic

You can approach trauma in different ways. The somatic approach through body based therapies, through training, wellness or through the mind. If we want to create change, we need to heal together, we can’t heal alone. We are all interconnected but are also impacted by our environment. Wellness examines the relationship between one’s own journey and inner work and the external space that one is in. Most of us create our identities around the work that we do so it is paramount that we feel safe and empowered at work. A lack of engagement in the workplace is often a lack of empowerment. People feel empowered when there’s an element of choice, which provides a sense of autonomy. Introduce a habit of collaborative processes because it feels different to feel safe or cared for for everyone. If a workplace is trauma informed, your job becomes easier so you can make the money you need and go home and focus on supporting your family. We discuss a range of topics from trauma informed systems, breathing spaces and different ways to tackle performance management.

We discuss:

  • What it means to have a trauma informed system

  • Safety has different meanings for all of us and being trauma informed isn’t a checklist.

  • What it’s like to work with “difficult” people and why they’re considered difficult

  • You don’t need to know the source of someone’s trauma to be trauma informed

  • Creating breathing spaces in your organization that allows people to reconnect and co-create

Connect with: Snjezana Pruginic

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

How NLP helped me create Evolve with Leisse Wilcox

NLP is the user’s manual to your mind. It is a shortcut to help you to truly know yourself – how your mind works, processes information and experiences. Our thoughts and internal dialogue are an extension of the core beliefs that we hold in an unconscious capacity. We cannot access 90% of the iceberg that’s hidden below the surface. Perceived blocks or obstacles become ingrained in the fabric or the fiber of our being from unconscious experiences we’ve had in our very earliest childhood days. Nervous system healing happens at an unconscious level and refers to somebody else’s version of reality that they pass on to us until we decide to do things differently. We discussed a range of topics from what NLP stands for, my upcoming book and how we can create our own narrative from a healed and informed place. 

We discuss:

  • What NLP means and why it is important.

  • When you tap into feelings and emotions during an NLP session, you can end up with a vulnerability hangover.

  • If you stay stuck in the story of overcoming you stay stuck in the trauma of the past.

  • The gift of using NLP informed work is that we start to understand how our past has informed or shaped our present without letting it dictate our future.

  • What imprint your story left behind and how can we create a new story that moves you in the direction you want to go.

Connect with: Leisse Wilcox

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Evolving your leadership through a writing practice with Alyssa Burkus

Writing about trauma isn’t easy. It’s a big, heavy word. But I wanted it to feel more accessible so people can relate it to their own work. Writing a book can feel like your thoughts are a jumble of puzzle pieces and sometimes, you need someone to help you to fit them all together. This is what Alyssa helped me with and I jokingly call her my book doula. We went through alternating levels of confidence when working on the book and experienced deep feeling, thinking and learning together. It helped me realise that writing is not only therapeutic but a way to self-regulate and raise your self-awareness. I invite any leader to introduce writing habits into their work. We discussed topics such as the process of writing my book, how our partnership evolved, the benefits of writing and what habits you can incorporate to self-regulate.  

We discuss:

  • Going from editor to reader mode when working on the book and using it as a learning experience.

  • Our writing partnership turned into a thinking partnership.

  • The metacognitive benefits of writing about your thoughts and opinions to help manage stress and understand ourselves.

  • Writing habits leaders can incorporate into their routine to self-regulate and connect more deeply with their team.

  • Integrating our head, our body and our heart and how they are part of the Evolve leadership model.

 Connect with: Alyssa Burkus

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Alyssa Burkus

Why it’s time to talk about trauma-informed leadership with Glain Roberts-McCabe

Trauma-informed leadership is a heavy topic. And while it’s something I know incredibly well and have built a career around, I felt edgy and vulnerable at the thought of writing a book about it. But, I saw a gap on the trauma-informed leadership bookshelf. And I knew I had something that would serve people well. So I made that space mine. And that’s where my good friend and mentor, Glain, comes in. Glain understood my mission to demystify trauma and was the perfect choice to help me and write the book’s foreword. I wanted to remove the stigma and bring it into the context of what we all deal with on a regular basis. Trauma is something every one of us experiences – to varying degrees. And when we declare people to be our most important resource it is important for leaders to be trauma-informed. Leadership has evolved a lot since the military model that was based on hierarchy and command and control. Now we are more invested in self development, we go deeper than the shallow surface level development of the past. This is something we dive into in today’s podcast episode about why it’s time to start talking about trauma-informed leadership. 

We discuss:

  • How leadership styles have evolved since the 70s and 80s.

  • Becoming self aware without becoming self indulgent.

  • Shifting the pendulum away from individualism towards the collective.

  • Internalised narratives can make it feel like we’re on autopilot

  • In the past few years, people have been reassessing their relationship with work.

Connect with: Glain Roberts-McCabe


I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

The Paradox of humility and control with Martin Aldergard

When an organization goes through complexity of change, it puts a lot of demand on leaders to lead change in a different way than in the past. To show seemingly opposite styles. But humility and confidence are a powerful combination that shift the dynamics of a team. An effective way of incorporating more humility into your leadership style is by listening more than you speak and by being empathetic to someone else’s point of view. Try to take feedback on board without becoming defensive. Reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses and invest in the support of a coach or mentor. Clarify your own personal values and identify what behaviours are aligned with them. Practice appreciation and gratitude by acknowledging individual contributions so everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging. After all, everyone’s a piece of the puzzle and when it fits together, we can do amazing things as a team.

 Join me on the podcast with my new guest Martin Aldergard where we discuss a range of topics such as different types of leaders, how to deal with complexity of change, humility in leadership and why it matters. 

Connect with: Martin Aldergard

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Tune into the wisdom of your body with Anakha Coman

Our nervous systems are always talking to each other. Did you know that? Leadership is under a lot more pressure compared to 10 or 20 years ago. Issues like the cultural trauma of COVID, racial violence and the rise of AI technology affect the workplace in different ways. It has made it increasingly important to become attuned to your emotions. But before you can do this, you need to slow down, pause and become aware of what you’re feeling. It is important for everyone to find their own pathway to themselves. I invite you to start to notice the inner landscape of your experience. Pausing and feeling helps you to embrace inaction. Because inaction is growth, space and a catalyst. Incorporating moments of pause throughout your day is like a bank deposit. You don’t get that instant gratification but it has long-term rewards. Do not freeze yourself in some sort of fixed identity and let yourself continue to grow and evolve. We discuss topics such as the leadership gym, how to attune your emotions and what it means to rehumanize yourself.

We discuss:

  • Leaders having to go to the leadership gym to learn to self and co-regulate the ability to include not just the mind, but the heart and the body.

  • Attune to your emotions and bodies to achieve next era leadership.

  • A pausing exercise that you can implement at home to check in with yourself.

  • We don’t have to be constantly busy, producing or achieving so we’re not left behind.

  • What it means to rehumanize yourself.  

Connect with: Anakha Coman

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Choosing heart-centred leadership with Sesil Pir

I don’t believe in the concept of bad leadership. No one comes to work to have a bad day. But people still struggle and it made me wonder why. It made me delve into authentic leadership. Authenticity is not a process of discovery but a process of acceptance. Human beings as a primate have three core motivations: self-interest, our need for connection and having a purpose that is greater than ourselves. Human-centred leadership means we create individuals or a state of being that honors not only the whole of an individual but also the core of an individual, which is unique for everyone. When studying organizations with sustainable growth and longer tenure, we identified eight core attributes or behaviours. Without these core attributes, your performance suffers and people might not feel heard and leave. It is not the great exit but the great awakening. We discussed the four dimensions, eight core attributes or behaviors and how living your purpose as a leader allows you to create a shared story.

We discuss:

  • The four dimensions and how they affect us all in life and in the workplace

  • The concept of social contagion that shows we pick up on each other’s energies

  • Eight core leader attributes or behaviors to achieve sustainable growth.

  • The importance of living your purpose as a leader to create a shared story.

  • Our inability to be present in the moment can be a barrier to achieve our core attributes.

Connect with: Sesil Pir

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Getting Unstuck through Energetic Alignment with Sheevaun Moran

Your presence is felt five milliseconds before you walk in the door. That’s all energy. We live, breathe and exist from different circles. People think that everything happens in one big ball, but every ball has many layers that we can peel back to see what’s underneath to get to the core. Energetics is at the root of it all. When we send a text, it can come across as rude. But there’s no context around it in the energy field, like the piercing arrow. Most leaders tend to use that piercing arrow, even though that’s not what they really meant to do. Anything can wonderfully shift in your world if you learn to deal with the energy before you deal with the communication. This prevents negative energy bleeding into your next interaction. When we are in energetic alignment, we can achieve amazing results. At the core of it, we are the most amazing science experiment ever. We discuss how energy lingers, soul knowing and how every individual receives a unique toolkit to get sustainable results.

We discuss:

  • You can pollute the energy you bring to a call if you have an argument beforehand.

  • We now have a wireless environment where everything is connected.

  • How using energetics can feel like a soul knowing

  • When you are in energetic alignment you get results hyperfast

  • The unique toolkit every individual receives to make sure they get sustainable results


Connect with: Sheevaun Moran
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I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

The Power of a Morning Ritual with Tiffany Lanier

The morning is your starting place. It is a time to check in with yourself about how you feel and what you need in that moment. If you don’t look after yourself, you feel depleted before you even get to your to-do list of the day. Every day is different so ask yourself what you need today. Some days you need more sleep, to get more hydrated or feel more connected. When you have a busy job, it can be more difficult to incorporate a morning ritual. This often leads to burn-out and feeling drained because you don’t have space for yourself. Finding a morning ritual that works for your company is your collective responsibility. There is no one-size-fits all ritual that works for everyone. We discussed topics such as the importance of morning rituals, what to ask yourself first thing in the morning and how to incorporate it into a workplace environment.  

We discuss:

  • Why asking yourself what you need today first thing in the morning is very potent.

  • Creating a strict morning routine will eventually have the opposite effect that you intended.

  • The difference between a routine and a ritual.

  • How do you incorporate a morning ritual into a busy lifestyle and what is the return of impact.

  • Using a collective approach in the workplace instead of a one-size-fits-all ritual that isn’t effective for everyone.

Connect with: Tiffany Lanier

I hope you enjoyed this episode of Evolve: A New Era of Leadership.

Revelation then Revolution with Belinda Clemmensen

“Are you influencing the system or is the system influencing you?”

This quote gave me chills.

As women, we often have to squeeze into someone else’s system. Because of this, we end up questioning why we aren’t succeeding: Is it because I’m not trying hard enough? Am I underperforming? Am I not smart enough?

Is there a fix?

Join me and my guest, Belinda Clemmensen, as we talk about being a more conscious leader through self-awareness.

Belinda Clemmensen is an inspiring founder of The Women’s Leadership Intensive and author of “Women, Leadership & Saving the World: Why Everything Gets Better When Women Lead.”

What we discuss:

  • The power of self-aware leaders

  • How to discover the real, hidden barriers women face in the workplace

  • Our personal experiences with balancing family responsibilities and work

  • Strategies Belinda used to identify and challenge workplace systems that don’t work for you

  • Her personal leadership journey and how she embraced vulnerability, learning, and growth as a conscious leader


Connect with: Belinda Clemmensen

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