Episode # 13
Speaking of Leadership
Guest: Julie Smolyansky – CEO of Lifeway Foods
On this episode we are speaking leadership with CEO of Lifeway Foods Julie Smolyansky who at age 27, became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held company. Named to Fortune Business 40 under 40 and Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter – Julie is a natural born leader. She drops so much wisdom here you will want to take notes.
Julie is also a fierce advocate for victims of sexual assault and as a survivor herself, Julie uses her voice as a platform for support and change We recorded this episode in early February, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the call volume currently rising with domestic violence and sexual assault cases, Julie’s leadership is needed now more than ever.
Julie serves as a producer on the new documentary On The Record which premiers on HBO Max Wednesday, May 27th. Julie is a true leader and I am honored to call her my friend. I hope you will listen and share with anyone who needs to hear her message.
00:48 We are speaking leadership with Julie Smolyansky
1:28 How is love speaking to you today?
2:58 You have to be a leader to have these conversations.
4:31 Executive Producer “On the Record” and “The Hunting Ground”
5:58 “On the Record shines a light on the #MeToo movement specifically for women of color”
7:02 “I actually have an issue with words ‘Me Too’”
9:00 “We should be linked arm and arm.”
10:18 Being in your purpose and using your gut
12:35 Doing what you love to benefit others
12:50 Test 400K – untested rape kids
15:45 “Speak your story to help others so they can move on and not feel shame”
17:56 Standing on the stage with 50 survivors
18:33 Learning a new vocabulary
19:14 Did you have to talk to your family, your employees and do you use these words with the press now?
20:17 As the mother of two girls
21:10 The word “victim”
21:49 YPO forum
23:55 What do you hope to do with your story?
25:08 How fitting – following your gut and being the CEO of a company that makes the product
26:15 “My story is heavy. It comes with trigger warnings.”
28:15 “Oprah was the first survivor I knew in a public life.”
29:28 1 in 3 suffer from sexual abuse
30:55 “I thought I was putting on a good show.”
31:56 The importance of self-care
32:45 “Make something out of your pain.”
33:13 “I am so hopeful and optimistic for a better future.”
34:14 Where do you get your grit from?
35:50 Every Mother Counts
36:19 What’s your biggest challenge?
37:30 Lessons from her sisters in Bangladesh
39:50 What can people do to be better leaders?
42:39 What was your talent as a young girl?
44:23 How many hours do you sleep now?
45:49 At 27 you became a CEO of Lifeway Foods – what did that feel like?
47:40 Advice to the President of Columbia
48:12 “I have a lens … it’s never going to get solved if we don’t talk about it.”
49:00 “It’s so exciting to see how the needle has changed.”
49:29 What would your employees say about you as a leader?
50:17 “Today when I walk into a room people come up to me to share their story.”
52:47 What are your grandmother’s names?
53:36 Do you have a daily prayer?
54:33 What should we demand of our leaders?
56:52 “We have to be there for each other. Community saves us.”
57:20 “When you’re an immigrant child the conversations didn’t happen.”
58:12 Kobe Bryant’s death
59:20 We need to sit with our kids.
59:50 “Learning to hold space for others.”
1:00:04 We need community
1:02:15 The greatest leadership quality is love
Every Mother Counts
The Kefir Cookbook now available on Amazon
The Hunting Ground
On the Record
Till It Happens to You