In The Modern People Leader Podcast, we go behind the scenes with HR executives to hear about their daily routines, what it means to be a Modern People Leader and we will discuss the latest topics in the HR world. Our goal is to keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, and to help spark conversations and change within your organization. You can access our episodes below. Or you can subscribe to The Modern People Leader directly on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

68 – Stephanie Cramer on Applying Solution Selling to Recruiting

Stephanie Cramer, Vice President of Human Resources at MGAC, joined us on The Modern People Leader. We talked about how she’s incorporated solution selling into the way she recruits and what MGAC is doing to support their employees’ mental health.


  • Why we should be jealous that Stephanie gets to work at MGAC (11:20),
  • How recruiting has changed in the last 10 years (14:08), how she’s incorporated solution selling into recruiting (16:10),
  • Stacking the deck in your favor to land the dream candidate (17:58),
  • What discovery looks like at each stage in the recruiting lifecycle (22:00),
  • Applying her empathic approach to recruiting to herself and her mental health journey (25:35),
  • Her purpose analogy for life (30:10),
  • What MGAC is doing to support their employees’ mental health (34:57),
  • Empowering employees to get more active on social media (40:40),
  • And the career advice she’d give her 22-year-old self (46:35).

67 – Beth Steinberg on Investing in Leaders Early On

Beth Steinberg, Senior Vice President of People and Talent at Chime, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about why it’s so hard to find good HR leaders, what happens when you don’t invest in leaders early enough, and long-term talent planning.


  • What Beth feels was some of her best work as a people leader (7:00),
  • Why we should be jealous that Beth gets to work at Chime (12:40),
  • The importance of #behuman in business (14:22),
  • Why it’s so hard to find a good HR leader (17:40),
  • What happens when you don’t invest in leaders early on (23:35),
  • How Beth builds business cases for HR investments (27:10),
  • What the people team at Chime is up to right now (31:30),
  • Headcount has become an ego metric (35:08),
  • Putting together a recession proofing playbook (39:20),
  • Creating a framework for what your company will speak out about (41:35),
  • The career advice she’d give to her 22-year-old self (44:00),
  • And the HR problem she’d fix with a magic wand (47:45).

66 – Jackson Lynch On what a good HR Leader Looks Like

Jackson Lynch, 3-time CHRO and Founder of 90Consulting, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about why there needs to be consistency in what’s expected from a CHRO, why talent strategy should be bifurcated from talent operations, and why the job of the CHRO is so difficult.


  • How working at PepsiCo in the early 2000s shaped his career (9:57),
  • The best and worst career advice he ever received (12:22),
  • Why Jackson thinks there isn’t consistency in what is expected of a CHRO (17:12),
  • We haven’t defined what a CHRO needs to have to be a CHRO (20:22),
  • Why we need to bifurcate operations from talent management (27:40),
  • Getting board members to set clear expectations of what good looks like for an HR leader (31:53),
  • The 3 biggest changes for HR leaders the past couple of years (33:25),
  • Finding the least wrong answer as an HR leader (40:40),
  • How HR teams can think differently about investment decisions being made (46:50),
  • And the four agreements (57:24).

65 – Mai Ton On Being More Than Your Work

Mai Ton, Chief People Officer at Fabric and Author of Come into My Office, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about why your identity shouldn’t be centered around what you do at work, how she prepped her former company for the 4-day workweek, and her book that she published last year.


  • Why we should be jealous that Mai gets to work at Fabric (10:20),
  • Why your entire identity shouldn’t be centered around your job title (13:35),
  • How companies can help their people rediscover themselves (22:58),
  • Sharing your story of the need to be more than your work (28:30),
  • How Mai prepped her company for the four-day workweek (33:00),
  • A couple of tools for taking control of your time (40:48),
  • Why she wrote a book full of her crazy stories as an HR leader (43:50),
  • The advice she’d give her 22-year-old self (53:24),
  • What she sees coming next for the future of work (55:18), and more.

64- Mindy Honcoop on Learning How to ”Ride The New Bicycle”

Mindy Honcoop, an HR exec with 20+ years of experience, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about employee feedback, the new world of work, and what companies can do to help their people connect.


  • the best and worst advice Mindy has ever received in her career (11:20),
  • the companies that are getting things right (15:50),
  • what companies can do to better listen to their employees (19:00),
  • learning how to ride the new bicycle of work (28:46),
  • how companies can give their people opportunities to connect (42:55),
  • the definition of connection (45:40),
  • the career advice she’d give her 22-year-old self (50:00),
  • and why she would fix meetings if she had magic powers (51:10).

63- Interconnectedness of the HR buzzwords in 2022

Today we talked about the interconnectedness of all of the HR buzzwords, diversity being the key to everything, and the best career advice we’ve heard from our guests.


  • The interconnectedness of the all of the buzz-words we’ve heard over the last year (4:23),
  • The 3 P’s of Rituals in the workplace (6:22),
  • The importance of intentionality (8:07),
  • The common denominator to success is diversity (10:50),
  • How Twitter has re-opened offices and zoned them (13:53),
  • Flexibility and connection are key right now (18:30),
  • Best career advice from our guests (20:34),
  • And the magic wand question responses (28:09).

62- The Star Conspiraty On Testing The Metaverse at Work

The Starr Conspiracy’s Bret Star (Founder & CEO) and Steve Smith (Partner & CMO) joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked with the Work Tech gurus about the metaverse’s place in the workplace, the difference between employee engagement and employee experience, and why they recently raised money to send body armor to Ukraine.


  • How Starr Conspiracy is testing the applications of the metaverse at work (20:55),
  • Products out there that allow employees to connect in the metaverse (26:20),
  • Why companies need to keep trying new things (32:39),
  • Employee engagement vs employee experience (38:10),
  • And why Starr Conspiracy sent over $500,000 worth of body armor to Ukraine (44:20).

61- Erica Keswin – on the power of rituals in the workplace

Erica Keswin, the author of two Wall Street Journal best-sellers (Bring Your Human to Work & Rituals Roadmap), workplace strategist, and podcast host, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about how rituals are the human way to transform everyday routines into workplace magic.


  • Her career journey (5:15),
  • Bring Your Human to Work and Rituals Roadmap (8:10),
  • Why connecting with peers, managers, and colleagues is so important (15:12),
  • Matching the message to the medium (18:25),
  • The definition of a ritual (21:17),
  • The 3 Ps of rituals (23:10),
  • The magic question that Erica asks every leader to better understand their company’s rituals (24:30),
  • Some of Erica’s favorite rituals that she’s seen (32:38),
  • Erica’s go to Chipotle order (42:04),
  • Career advice she’d give her 22-year-old self (48:37),
  • The people problem she would fix with a magic wand (49:46),
  • And why on-sites are the new off-sites (51:40).

60- Mita Malick – Co-Host of Brown Table Talk Podcast

Mita Mallick, co-host of the Brown Table Talk podcast and Head of Equity, Inclusion, & Impact at Carta, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about the importance of belonging, the big disconnect between the billions of dollars being invested in DEI and a true understanding of the work that’s being done, and what to do if you’re working in a toxic environment.


  • Her career journey (3:10),
  • How Brown Table Talk started (7:56),
  • Why Mita refers to it as the great awakening and not the great resignation (11:47),
  • How to increase the sense of belonging (13:45),
  • The barrier in truly understanding the work that’s being done in the DEI space (17:40),
  • Is the shift to hybrid creating a new dimension to bias in the workplace? (22:37),
  • How companies can better support managers and better protect employees (27:45),
  • Advice for the people experiencing toxic interactions at work (37:23),
  • How to prevent toxic people from slipping through the cracks of your hiring process (39:47),
  • The career advice Mita would give her 22-year-old self (43:58),
  • And how we are back to 1980s levels of women in the workforce (45:16).

59 – Tracy Hawkins on reopening Twitter’s offices & giving employees choice

Tracy Hawkins, VP, Work Transformation at Twitter, joined us on The Modern People Leader.

We talked about giving employees the choice on how they want to work and how Twitter has zoned their offices.


  • Tracy’s journey from flight attendant to Twitter (7:07),
  • Her role as VP, Work Transformation (13:45),
  • Why we should be jealous that she gets to work there (20:33),
  • How their real estate strategy has changed and what it might look like in the future (27:10),
  • Employee choice is huge at Twitter (32:00), how they personalize their different offices (37:45),
  • Remote work got a bad rep (46:20),
  • The zoning of Twitter offices – focus areas, collaboration areas, and social areas (49:43),
  • How they address world issues at work (54:43),
  • And the career advice she’d give 22-year-old Tracy (1:01:13).

58 – Cara Brennan Allamano on Udemy’s new normal

Udemy’s Cara Brennan Allamano (SVP, People) and Rachel Ernst (Sr. Director, People Programs) joined us on The Modern People Leader. We talked about Udemy’s new normal and what they’re doing to provide connection and flexibility for all employees.


  • the most pivotal moments in Cara and Rachel’s careers (4:53),
  • the “New Normal” at Udemy (17:35),
  • what flexibility means to Udemy (23:09),
  • their offices are like a co-working space now (27:54),
  • bringing Udemates on the journey to create the New Normal (29:20),
  • learning paths related to navigating the changes at work (30:46),
  • team working agreements at Udemy (33:44),
  • adopting agile methodologies on your people team (37:00),
  • the feedback processes they’ve built (39:00),
  • they went from having 5 global offices to 900 in one day (41:20),
  • what Cara’s hearing from the People Tech Partners community (50:20),
  • and the career advice they would give their 22-year-old selves (57:40).

57 – The four-day work week & working in the metaverse

Today we talked about Belgium approving the four-day workweek, the possibility of working in the metaverse, and then we talked about culture and the themes we’re seeing across different guests.


  • Belgium approves the four-day workweek (3:58),
  • Will we work in the metaverse one day (5:58),
  • And common threads from recent guests about culture, talent attraction, and career advice (13:14).