10,000 Swamp Leaders

10,000 Swamp Leaders

10,000 Swamp Leaders is a podcast that wades into muddy lowlands in search of people who have built social impact movements.The world needs 10,000 more people in the next five years who are willing to lead on issues like climate change, income inequality, peace building, and gender equality. If you are one of these people, you have found a home. Rick Torseth and his guests will unpack lessons learned, why small wins matter more than breakthroughs and how failure is our wisest teacher. We continue to confuse leading with authority. Leading is not a role or a position. It usually begins with a raised hand and an intervention into a heated environment. Our conversations will dig into what is at stake for leaders when the heat is high and the only way forward is into swampy conditions. These are human stories that don’t always have hero endings. We want to understand how these leaders’ lives are turning out differently because they chose to lead. What are the rewards for all this exposure and risk? Each episode will be a little different, as each guest will be different. Hit subscribe so you can prepare to lead.


February 20, 2023 42 min

Eka Gigauri comes to the swamp to share her twenty year trek to establish transparency, accountability and social integrity in her country of Georgia. Her story begins with the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003 when the country separated from the Soviet Union. Today Eka is the Executive Director of Transparency International’s county office in Georgia. She leads a team committed to rooting out systems and networks of corruption in...

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Julia Fabris McBride is the Interim President and CEO as well as the Chief Leadership Development Officer of Kansas Leadership Center. 

She is co-author with Ed O’Malley of the recently published book “When Everyone Leads”

The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a one of a kind, non-profit organization committed to fostering leadership for stronger, healthier and more prosperous Kansas communities and around the world. 

Julia shares wha...

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Rachel Musson comes to the Swamp to discuss how her organization, ThoughtBox Education, is reimagining education for kids around the world. Their work is helping students develop the relevant skills to create and sustain a thriving world. She shares the Triple Wellbeing Culture model that focuses on care for self, others and the world. We discuss the value of being a Tempered Radical and how to act like one. The work of reimagining...

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Kit Lykketoft is the Director of Conventions at Wonderful Copenhagen. The official tourism organization of the Capital Region of Copenhagen. Her work is attracting and convening international association conferences to the city while designing a sustainable agenda for attendees. Finding this balance is the challenge of leading. Kit brings a strategist and change maker mindset to proactively use research and future trends to design ...

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034 Kush Doshi jumps into the Swamp to share his views on leading inside a community health system. He brings his passion for advancing health efforts for communities of color and mobilizing health equity by addressing the social determinants of health within communities. But he doesn’t stop here. He is also an advocate for equity, inclusion, and diversity within the workforce so that reflects the population it serves. 

I ...

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033_Larisa Halilovic jumps into the Swamp to share her deep wisdom on leading and building teams. Her leadership journey began when she escaped her war torn country, became a refugee and learned how to adapt and thrive in a new country. Larisa has over twenty years of experience leading teams in the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. She has made it her personal mission to introduce and support mentorship programmes...

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032_Kurt O’Brien, friend, thought partner and leadership teacher comes to the Swamp to share his insights on how to teach leadership. Kurt brings 22+ years of experience helping emerging leaders in healthcare build their craft of leading. He shares what gives him hope for the future and reflects on the importance of balancing classroom learning with real world experiments.

Kurt Links:

Kurt’s website

Kurt’s Book

I want to thank my ...

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031_ Leen Gorissen: Biologist and founder of Center4NI takes us on a journey to reconnect us with our own Natural Intelligence. She asserts that the difficult conditions of our planet call for us to focus more on developing our Natural Intelligence than seeking artificial solutions. Leen shares the Story of Wolves. A remarkable regenerative example that demonstrates how nature provides all of us with the ways and means to restore h...

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030 _  Judy Rees shares how simple questions, sharp listening and exploring metaphors can access fresh ideas, improved strategies and sharper actions for addressing challenges and accessing more human potential.



Books by Judy

Judy Rees’ Ebook

Clean Language: Revealing Metaphors and Opening Minds

The Five Minute Coach 

Buzzing Online Workshops 

I want to thank my great team that helps me sound better...

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029_ Guillaume Wiatr joins us in the swamp to explore the power of strategic narratives and why building one is an act of leadership. We will explore the difference between stories and narrative and how to use them both inside your team or organization to mobilize change. Guillaume will also talk about External Discipline and External Freedom and how to cultivate both through a reflective practice.

Guillaume's websit...

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October 24, 2022 43 min

Terry Rogers has been a practicing physician for over 56 years. He was the director of respiratory and  critical care at Seattle Swedish Hospital,  served  a Senior Medical Officer and  CEO for King County Blue Shield.  He was also CEO of the Foundation for Healthcare Quality in Seattle.  He retired as Medical Director of Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers and still sees patients on a weekly basis. Terry has given his life to the good...

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027_ Lea Ranalder is a committed advocate for building more sustainable cities. Her work with UN-Habitat is focused on developing more renewable energy resources that mitigate climate change in our greatest urban hubs. Cities are both the heartbeat of countries and vulnerable collectives that impact millions of lives everyday. Lea brings her years of experience and passion to facilitate the hard work helping cities, local governmen...

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August 31, 2022 45 min

026_John Scherer: Facing The Tiger 

John Scherer brings a lifetime of developing leaders around the world to the swamp. He shares what is possible when we face our tigers and the five deep questions we must answer to understand our purpose and power. As John says: “You don’t need to CHANGE yourself. You need to COME HOME to yourself. This changes EVERYTHING.”  John also shares how he mobilized a leadership movement in Poland. Enjoy ...

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025_Jole Berlage-Buccellati discusses the potential Highly Sensitive People bring to the world and the workplace. Jole’s coaching mission is to support the empowerment of highly-sensitive and highly-gifted people to self-actualize, embrace their sensuality, their talents, their power and their unique gifts. The four capacity building themes that guide her work are resilience, adaptability, joy and authenticity. All of us can benefi...

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024_Annika Torseth: Community Impact Through Second Chances. Jails are often the end of the road for many people. For a few, a jail is a place where a second chance might emerge. Annika Torseth, a forensic case manager joins the podcast and shares what she has learned about how to hold difficult conversations, building a trusting relationship and how to design a re-entry system that will support a better life on the outside. 


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In 2012, Elizabeth Filippouli raised her hand to lead. In so doing, she has fostered a movement to promote values-based thinking and accountability in leadership among women around the world. She has launched two organizations that support women building their capacity to lead inside a supportive community of peers and mentors. Global Thinkers Forum and Athena40 Forum are the containers for leadership capacity building that is spil...

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Families are complex human systems. Running a business is always a complex system. Put the two complexities together and there are bound to be swamp issues at work. Bart Parrott talks about the challenges family businesses face when transitions are happening. Given that each of us has a family and we all need to navigate life and career transitions, Bart offers some useful ideas and approaches to how we can “wise up” our transition...

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021_Benjamin Taylor: This week I am talking with Benjamin Taylor about Systems Leadership, Barry Oshry and his deep commitment to transform public services. His core purpose is improving the lives of those most in need of support. Benjamin has built his consultancy, RedQuadrant, into a dynamic resource for helping UK governments agencies, charities and NGOs. The depth and breadth of his knowledge and experience in providing the mos...

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June 29, 2022 43 min

020_Knights: Knights Jump into the Swamp. We travel a different journey of leading in this episode. I am joined by four life-long friends. Bryan Garinger, Kevin Olson, Mark Eathorne and Rick Walker. These four men have been part of my life almost since birth. We shared a unique early life experience that has shaped and informed how we live our lives, how we show up in our work and how we choose to lead. This is a conversation about...

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Max Martina brings his deep experience with Adaptive Leadership and his classroom time with Ron Heifetz down to the swamp to share. This is a natural fit for both Max and we swamp dwellers. After all there is no difference between an adaptive challenge and a swamp issue. Max offers tight, specific points on how we can use ourselves to lead how we might do this work using adaptive leadership approaches. You will come away with a few...

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