Kim Shepherd, CEO, Decision Toolbox and Jerri Rosen, CEO/Founder, Working Wardrobes

Date: August 6th

The Inaugural Show

To hear the entire show, click here

Arriving 1 hour early for the first ever installment of the Talent Talk Radio Show, was my foolproof plan to avoid any stress or problems.  Months of planning, hard work and finally it was here.  But, life always seems to have its own agenda.  First, the engineer had 2 different computers crash (the ones needed to broadcast this show).   That crisis was avoided and 10 minutes before show time, I took a deep breath and told myself….everything is going to be fine, the computers are fixed…..just relax and have……..ring, ring, hello?  Kim?  What’s that, you are stuck in traffic?  My first guest and mentor Kim Shepherd was miles away and worried she would miss the 1pm start time.  The realities of live radio were thrust upon me.   Our second guest had not arrived yet, so we had to think quickly.  There had to be some solution or way out of this.  But all I could do was channel some invisible energy toward Kim.  Hoping it would push her accelerator down, or make all of her traffic lights green. 

It is now 12:58; I am in the studio, heart pumping, nervous and without a guest.  My producer Mike Bankhead had run out to meet Kim at the elevator.  I imagined he would throw her over his shoulder and dive across the studio threshold at any moment.  In just the nick of time, both Kim and Mike casually walk into the studio.  We hugged, joked, threw her headphones on, and the engineer said “you’re on in 5-4-3-2.”


My first guest was none other than the recent recipient of the NAWBO Remarkable Woman award, and the CEO of Decision Toolbox.  She is also an author, with a book I have used many times, The Bite Me School of Management.  Over the next 20 minutes or so, Kim was a joy to interview.  At one point, she was interviewing me.  With over 20 years of experience in recruitment and a colorful work history (TV Reporter, Entertainment Director for Club Med to name a few), she has amassed some great bits of wisdom. 

On Leadership:  Make sure your people always have what they need to succeed.  Always be changing or evolving as a leader….this requires focus, hard work and attention.  In growing companies, leaders that are stagnant get passed by their teams.  When that happens, the team is leading the leader.

She learned all of these great lessons through her life, but most profoundly from her mom.  As a single mother, Kim’s mom and mentor raised 4 kids and ran a successful coffee shop (that Steve Job’s was known to frequent).  Kim’s lessons started early at the age of 13, where she learned customer service, tenacity, strong work ethic, caring for employees and a great work environment. 

Practical Tips: Kim also gave us some practical tips that she uses each and every day.

 Boo Boo Awards– she rewards the person with the best mistake each month.  This ensures honesty and transparency in the organization.  It also helps others learn from mistakes, so they don’t repeat them. 

Coachroach Committee– 3-4 people meeting via phone to discuss problems and brainstorm solutions.

Tribal Speak– special terms and wording used only in your organization, it can add glue to your company culture. 

Green Flag– Celebrating an accomplishment via mass email, internally.

Egg Timers– set the timer, work hard for 45 minutes…then take a break, walk, stretch, walk the dog and figure out what you are going to do for the next 45 minutes, and run hard again.

In a virtual environment, there are only 3 things that matter…..the three P’s: Performance, Productivity, and Profit.  This is all you see in a virtual company, and you are not fooled by personality types (people who are good at looking good and acting busy, without actually working.

Kim was a wonderful guest with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  But, we also had another fabulous guest, Jerri Rosen, CEO of Working Wardrobes



Jerri had an extensive background in Marketing and Advertising before she started the incredible organization, Working Wardrobes.  She was formerly with Wendy’s International, Del Taco, and Carl’s Jr. in marketing and advertising.  But she ended up providing this rare non-profit to help those in need, in Orange County.  The organization provides the tools people need to move forward.  Initially these services were for woman battling domestic violence.  Later, they expanded to serve men and women who have been incarcerated, recovering substance abusers, teens and just recently veterans transferring from service to the private sector. 

On Leadership:  Jerri felt that women make good leaders, as they bring a sense of compassion.  She always looks to do things better, and has changed as a leader over time.  She now puts forth special time to be creative with her staff, and to celebrate their accomplishments.  An effective leader is one who sets the tone, vision and creative spirit.  She has pointed out that talent within an organization involves every “seat on the bus” and that each position must have the right person.

Over time, she has taken the lessons learned early in her career, like those taught by Bill Baker and Kendall Simpson of Del Taco and her Vistage Groups in how to think strategically.  But that also helped her figure out how to get the best out of each person.  To do that, each leader should 1) take the opportunity to challenge people, 2) Allow people to emerge as quiet leaders, and 3) treat people with dignity.

Practical Tips:  Jerri gave us some wonderful tips you can use at your company today. 

Lunch and Learn- Gather once a week and talk about things that impacted the prior week and talk about goals for the coming week

Snaps- recognizing colleagues for going above and beyond (Jerri uses these snaps, sort of like claps, at meetings to congratulate staff). 

Jerri was an informative guest, whose passion to help those in the local community is unmatched. 

Tune into the show next week, and remember, do what you love….and show the world how talented you can be, today.