Lead with a Question

Lead with a Question

The Lead with a Question podcast offers a space for leaders to become more creative, and creatives to become better leaders. We live in a time when people are seeing that the old way of doing business is broken, and that leading into the future requires new skills. A deeper focus on humanity. The courage to let go of power and ego. A desire to nurture the conditions for co-creation. On this show, hosts Rob Callan, Chris Deaver, and Ian Clawson connect with guests who embody these principles, and whether household names or not, have shattered the status quo, often as misfits, to shape the future with others and achieve miraculous things in work and life. These discussions will inspire and invite each of us to become brave at our core.


June 24, 2022 1 min

In this trailer, hosts Rob Callan, Chris Deaver, and Ian Clawson describe the mission and movement behind the show, and why leading with a question is much more powerful than leading with answers.

The Lead with a Question podcast offers a space for leaders to become more creative, and creatives to become better leaders. We live in a time when people are seeing that the old way of doing business is broken, and that leading into the ...

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Have you ever felt like a misfit in the business landscape? Have you ever wondered whether there's a better way to participate in meaningful work? Have you ever felt confused at why, despite their heavy reliance on humans, companies seem to be so bad at treating people well?

If so, you're not alone. Many others have also realized that the old, top-down business model is broken. And fortunately for all of us, there are alrea...

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Kenny Funk, Executive Leader, former VP Disney Merchandising

Today, we talk with a senior executive whose search for meaning took him up into the mountains. He didn’t return from that secluded experience carrying stone tablets, but he did come back having learned the power of this question: 

How can people shape opportunities to help others burn their brightest?

A conversation with Kenny Funk, on this episode of Lead with a Questio...

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Ronell Hugh, Husband and Father, SVP at Qualtrics

Today, we talk with a leader whose sometimes impermanent childhood circumstances set him up to ask lots of questions. Whether living in three different countries as a kid, or encountering a toxic boss at his first job, or figuring out the best way to parent, questions have been both the fuel for and the mission of his journey. So it might not surprise you that today, we’ll consider ...

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Louise Murray, Entertainment Executive, former Head of Production at Disney and Cirque du Soleil

Today, we catch up with a leader whose life includes so many interesting experiences that it’s hard to list them all. Her professional travels have included joining the circus, moving thousands of miles away from her French-speaking hometown in Montreal Canada, and generally being a positive force for change–just about everywhere she go...

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Dave Arcade, Illustrator for Pixar, Disney, Nickelodeon, and more

Today, we sample some of the friction involved in creativity. If you lead a creative team, or are even a member of that team, you’ve likely experienced the pain of trying to shepherd something from ideation all the way to delivery. The process is full of tension–meetings, group decisions, deadlines, and sometimes, damaged relationships. Our guest today helps us consi...

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James Matthews, Coach of NBA Coaches

Today, we connect with a man whose life is a collage of influences, from his roots in India, to his love of sport, to his exclusion as a kid, to the traditional path others had seemingly mapped out for him. But rather than simply accept or reject those forces, he’s folded them into a sense of self that has allowed him to lift and serve others through co-creation–whether NBA coaches, business lea...

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Jessica Cox, Aviator and World Record Holder

This week, we’ll start off with a quote, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci: “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” For this installment, we want to take you to a higher place. We’ll meet a woman who faced huge physical challenges, right from her birth. But through her f...

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Ryan Woodward, Storyboard Artist for Marvel, Warner Bros, and more

Have you ever wondered why some movies connect with us, while others don’t? Flashy special effects can help, but at their heart, good films include meaningful stories, and characters we care about. Our guest today knows a few things about the creative process, having logged dozens of credits working on movies like The Iron Giant, the original Spider Man trilogy, Whe...

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Pualei Lynn, Startup Founder, Humanitarian, and Style Consultant

Let’s get real for a second–it’s really easy to get caught up in comparisons: who’s taking the most amazing vacations? Who’s the fittest? Whose business is prospering the most? Who has the most admirable family? The list never ends. Now, if things are going well, these external comparisons leave you feeling pretty good about yourself. But what happens when your world ...

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Randy Nelson, founder of Pixar University

Some guests are harder to describe than others. Take today’s invitee, for example. How should we summarize his CV? 

A teacher. A trainer. A recruiter? A coach? How about a juggler, or an actor? An artist. A calligrapher. What about a filmmaker, programmer, or systems analyst? The fact is that all these labels, and more, apply. With such diversity of interest, it might not surprise you that ...

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Randy Nelson, founder of Pixar University

It's time to wrap up a conversation where we were learning so much from our guest that we couldn’t fit it all into one episode. So if you haven’t heard our last episode, “How can you create a culture of curiosity? - Part 1,” we really recommend going back to that one first. 

But just in case, here’s a review–we recently caught up with Randy Nelson, founder of Pixar University. He walked...

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Jaydeep Ranade, Director of Wireless Engineering at Facebook

Let’s dig into the “misfit” principle for a minute. What is a misfit, really? Is a misfit defined by language, culture, appearance, or personality? We’ve tapped into that topic before, but today, our guest has a different take, one that has to do a lot with seeking out opportunities to learn and be stretched as a leader. And for him, it all starts with a set of core value...

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Archie McEachern, Global Enterprise Leader & former VP at Nike

When I was a kid, I learned about fire safety. One of the visual frameworks adults presented to me was the “fire triangle”: the idea that for fire to exist, you had to have three ingredients: heat, oxygen, and fuel. Take one of these three things away, and you had NO fire. Well, just like fire needs certain conditions to thrive, business outcomes require specific in...

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September 10, 2022 50 min

Lizzi Perkins, Senior Brand Strategist

When you read a really moving story or watch a powerful film, you can often experience a taste of what the characters are feeling. You grieve with them as they suffer loss. You cheer them on to victory and share in their celebrations. Our capacity to see ourselves vicariously in others’ lives is one of the most human things about us. So today, let’s spend a few minutes with a woman whose upbri...

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Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways and Professor at Stanford

Have you ever been part of a low-trust organization, where people seem to devote more energy to protecting themselves than to collaborating, or building good products? Or one where leaders hoard power and seem reluctant to give the reins over to anyone else? You might ask yourself how things got to that point, but an even more pressing concern is, how do you fix t...

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Chris Jones - 2022 Arkansas Gubernatorial Candidate

What do you get when you combine a scientist, an ordained minister, a business leader, a husband, and a father? Well, you get today’s guest. His family roots in the state of Arkansas, dating all the way back to the 1700s, have given him a sense of groundedness, residency, and a love for his state, challenges and all. In fact, he loves his state so much that he’d like to be its nex...

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