Direct download: Episode_156_-_The_STARTERS_Experience.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dr. Gerry Roston brings an impressive resume to TechTown Detroit. He was on the Mars rover team and helped develop technologies which are making self-driving cars possible. He now brings his wealth of knowledge and connections to help TechTown Detroit excel in connecting ideas to the marketplace. Listen this week as we explore the value of connecting ideas to those we serve.



“Go to the marketplace first, try to find what pain your potential customers are having to make sure what you want to develop meets their needs." (7:06) 

“Getting people connected to the right resources is critically important." (11:42) 

“Tell me about a day in your life. Where do you struggle?" (13:15) 



  • (5:35, 12:29) Customer discovery.
  • (13:06) Learning to pivot.
  • (18:23) Provide actionable information.


Tip of the Week

Connecting to your customers to find their pain points is critical to your success.


Direct download: Episode_155_-_Gerry_Roston_-_connecting_mutual_value.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

 Lauren Kase is a San Francisco native that stayed in Detroit after receiving her degree from the University of Michigan. She is the Head of Marketing and Partnerships at Floyd Detroit. Listen this week as we discover what attracts the millennials to Detroit, Floyd's unique positioning in the furniture industry and the importance of mutual mentorship.




“The most sustainable thing is not throwing anything away.” (9:50) 

“It’s really exciting to have people resonate with the product.” (10:56)



  • (8:40) Floyd Detroit’s definition of sustainability.
  • (9:55) The challenge of being too successful.
  • (12:03) Tap into tacit knowledge.


Tip of the Week

Mentorship is a two-way street.


Direct download: Episode_154_-_Lauren_Kase_-_mutual_mentorship.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We kick off the month of December with this month's co-host Lauren Snyder, Marketing and Communications Specialist, American Hort and recent STARTERS graduate. This episode discusses the exciting line up we have in December as well as engaging discussion on how the connect fundamental works in the PureReinvention process.


“The idea of connection transcends so many aspects of success." (2:26)

“They (TechTown) connect the right conversations, with the right people at the right time." (5:16)


  • (2:14) The importance of connect.
  • (2:41) The epitome of the young person's ability to connect.
  • (5:00) Connecting to influence technology and innovation.

Tip of the Week

Build a network of mentors to connect your ideas and passion to the right people.


Direct download: Episode_153_December_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The holiday season is a time for reflection. Now is the time to think about how we are going to approach the next year. Make some space to think about how you want to continue to move yourself forward. How are you going to approach 2018? We are encouraging you to install some kind of sabbatical in your plans. It doesn't have to be months or weeks. It simply needs to be some kind of installed time to assess where you are and to think about what's next. Install time and think and experience something new. 


“Make space.” (2:01) 

“We need to be refreshed.” (6:02)



  • (1:24) The importance of a sabbatical.
  • (3:00) Introduce the sabbatical concept into your life.
  • (4:22) Connect with inspiration.

Tip of the Week

Take some time this holiday season to plan out 2018. Install some opportunities for a personal sabbatical in which you experience something different.


Direct download: Episode_152_Making_Space_for_the_Sabbatical_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Marlin Williams has found her calling in helping to diversify industries. Marlin's path to where she is now is amazing. She started as a mortician, implemented diversity programs for a couple Fortune 500 industries and now lends her talents to TechTown Detroit. She is also the founder of Sisters Code, which is dedicated to exposing women from the ages of 25-85 to the world of coding and technology. Her story is inspiring and we're glad she took the time to share it with us!




“Come talk to us.” (4:33)

“It’s all about empowerment.” (11:26) 

“Be prepared to reinvent yourself.” (15:54)



  • (3:20) The open door policy.
  • (10:05) Getting others engaged.
  • (12:32, 14:04) Understanding your core.
  • (14:33) Hone in on the why with a life sabbatical.

Tip of the Week

Feeling lost and confused? Taking a personal sabbatical may be what you need to assess what you need to do moving forward.





Direct download: Episode_151_Marlin_Williams_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We had so many gems from our talk with Melissa Butler, that we had to make two episodes! The first episode can be heard here. In this episode, Melissa discusses how she started The Lip Bar and her advice to would be entrepreneurs out there.



“If you don’t like your situation, change it.” (6:21)

“Don’t rush it … Launch with something that is electric.” (11:58)

“Reinvention leaders have to tie whatever they're doing to the bigger story.” (18:49)


  • (3:54) From Detroit to Wall Street and back.
  • (9:21) Knowing when to quit.
  • (11:43, 16:30) The infliction of arbitrary deadlines.
  • (13:35) Shift in American dream.

Tip of the Week

Don't rush a project to market to meet self-imposed deadlines.


Direct download: Episode_150_-_Melissa_Butler_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

PureReinvention team member Jodi Schafer joins us in November to discuss your podcast line up and our thoughts going forward for STARTERS and the WE.INVENT program. We'll also give you a hint of our new professional development offering that we'll offer in the Spring of 2018. We have learned so much in 2017 and will continue to build offerings that serve your needs.




“Why you do what you do?” (4:22)

“The story comes to life in the connect phase.” (5:15)





  • (1:19) An upsize to the trade imbalance.
  • (3:35) Redefining an industry standard.
  • (6:08) Connect with curious minds.
  • (6:08) STARTERS discussion.
  • (7:36) Awesome women only -- WE.INVENT.
  • (10:21) Executives and high performers.


Tip of the Week

Always keep in mind why you're doing what you're doing when formulating the plan.



Direct download: Episode_149_-_the_story_comes_to_life_in_the_connect_phase.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Let's face it: even the the most shy of us require some degrees of human interaction. They're necessary on both a personal and professional level. In this week's episode, team members Sonya Robinson and Mike Bills discuss with our October co-host, Erin Patten of Ponyride, how we can build sustainable and enriching connections.


“If you don’t connect authentically, then it’s not going to be a sustainable relationship.” (4:13)

“We are walking magnets just waiting for the opportunity to connect.” (6:46)


(0:43) Organize the chaos.
(2:28) Creating sustainable connections.
(9:33) The power of differences.

Tip of the Week

Are you being authentic in your communications? Sustainable connections require authenticity.

Direct download: Episode_148_October_Wrap_Up_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week we interview Noah Elliott Morrison, director of Ponyride. Ponyride is a nonprofit organization which runs out of a 30,000 square foot building in Detroit. It is committed to facilitating the growth of social missions within artists, entrepreneurs, makers, and serves as an incubator and a safe space to help its clientele grow into viable businesses.



“What things do you need to move your business to the next place?” (11:21)


“It’s a magic that is really hard to point to.” (12:27)



  • (7:38) A work through space.
  • (10:43) Discovering growth resources.
  • (11:46) The role of listening and observing.


Observing one's behavior is just as important as listening when determining how best to serve a community.


Direct download: Episode_147_Noah_Elliott_Morrison.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Steve Widder built the Susan G. Komen Mid-Michigan Race for the Cure in Lansing into a major event with over 6000 runners in his heyday. Steve shares his thoughts with us on how to understand an audience. He also shares with us his passion for biking and his recent travels to France to take on challenging legs of the Tour de France.


“Understand your audience.” (5:22)

“Make a grand spectacle at the beginning.” (9:27)

“I’ve been wanting to do this. This is my best chance. I’ve never gotten this far before and I’ve gotta go.” (20:29)

“Three times I didn’t make it. The fourth one I’m gonna do it.” (20:44)


(4:50) Growth stride and creating a community.
(11:29) Leader philosophy of being all in.
(20:58) Overcome self-doubt.

Successful products or programs address immediate pain points people face. Connect with your target audience and know what motivates and hinders them.

Direct download: Episode_146_Steve_Whitter_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Building a culture is one of the primary responsibilities of all leaders. A major ingredient for successful cultures is authenticity and this week's guest excels in this trait. Listen this week as we interview Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of Detroit Science Center and discuss what it takes to build a successful business culture and how nurturing authenticity plays a vital role.


“Wanting to save the world.” (3:07)

“We look at things that look nothing like us.” (4:55)

“A culture eats budget for breakfast.” (11:19)

“Understanding our part of the larger whole.” (17:08)


(4:55) Connect to gain the competitive advantage.
(9:09) Embrace and nurture authenticity.
(15:51) Paying forward reinvention.

Tip of the Week

There's only one you - Be authentic and find your passion. It's your distinct competitive advantage.

Direct download: Episode_145_-_Dr._Tonya_Matthews_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

October starts our focus on the connect fundamental of the PureReinvention process. We can't think of a better person who personifies connect like this month's co-host, Erin Patten, Director of Retail and Marketing, Pony Ride. Listen as Mike and Erin discuss this month's interviews and how Erin uses the connect fundamental in advancing the mission of her organization.


“Part of the connection is intentionality.” (7:25)


(3:04) The energy behind connect.
(5:49) The importance of patience.
(7:12) Sustainable energy.

Tip of the Week

Building a vibrant network takes patience. Don't be discouraged if you're not getting immediate results for your efforts



Direct download: Episode_144_October_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The end of September brings to an end our focus on the simplify fundamental of the PureReinvention process. We thought we would leave you with a short episode with our co-host Anita Quillen, CEO of Quillen Holdings, talking about tips she uses to simplify her management and personal life and how she balances both of them.




“Control your fear so it doesn’t consume you.” (8:18)






  • (0:28) Next generation thought for employers.
  • (8:56) The culture of growth.
  • (10:04) Use time for yourself to enhance.



Tip of the Week

Rarely can you perfectly balance work and personal obligations on any given day. One or the other demands more attention. Give yourself permission to focus on one that needs your immediate attention and then make up the other so that they even out over time.


Direct download: Episode_143_-_Anita_Quillen_Simplify.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Melissa Butler is a dynamic person. We met her when touring Pony Ride with our spring STARTERS program. She is the founder and CEO of The Lip Bar. She was on Shark Tank and although they didn't get funded, they got tremendous exposure and Melissa had the ability to take advantage of the added interest in her product. Her marketing shatters all traditional molds for beauty products and she knows her target audience so well that she's named her and knows what she does on any given day. We got so much from Melissa that we broke the interview into two parts. The second part will be released later this fall. Both podcasts are inspiring!



“You’re not just selling products, you’re selling yourself. You’re selling a story.” (4:52)

“People don’t buy what you sell, they buy what you believe.” (10:45)



  • (4:52) Basics of brand loyalty.
  • (6:40) Craft a compelling story (The Why).
  • (14:20) How to tell the story.
  • (15:41) Build a profile of your customer.


Tip of the Week

Simplify your marketing by developing a persona of your target market. Think about that person when creating your promotional materials.


Direct download: Episode_142_Melissa_Butler_Part_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mark Denson, director of business attraction at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, gives a unique perspective on Detroit's current resurgence and its roots in the planning that led to Detroit hosting the Super Bowl in 2006. Listen as Mark shares his observations of the Detroit story from his unique perspective. 


“Our problems were great and in that we needed great and creative solutions to move the city forward.” (4:53)

“Completing projects, making a difference in a visible way and creating partnerships to make these things happen.” (7:45)


(4:24) Dig out the hope factor. Sell the vision and make believers.
(7:29) Manage expectations by delivering.
(8:26) Invest in deep thought and think into the future.
(12:31) Shake the trees.
(16:31) Creating a sustainable growth cycle.

Tip of the Week

A "can do" attitude and patience can make all the difference.


Direct download: Episode_141_-_Mark_Denson_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We kick off September with Anita-Marie Quillen, CEO Quillen Holdings. In this episode, Mike talks with Anita about how she uses the simplify process in PureReinvention to effectively communicate with employees.



“A thoughtful reduction to solutions.” (3:13)

“[The responsibility of a boss or leader] Continue growth from all the individuals underneath you.” (12:15)




  • (2:52) Shifting culture and measuring performance.
  • (5:17) Responding to behaviors.
  • (7:02) Transparency in communication.


Tip of the Week

Clearly communicate expectations and follow up regularly with staff.



Direct download: Episode_140_-_September_Introduction_wAnita_Quillen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mike Bills of Team PureReinvention and Bonnifer Ballard, this month's co-host and Executive Director of the Michigan Section of the American Waterworks Association discuss the main take aways from our August episodes.


“You can not begin to embrace what's happening today if you stay in your own little world and your talk to the same people about the same things." (6:35)


(2:49) Openness to disruption.
(4:04) Selective use of trends.
(5:03) Learning how to think differently.
(8:30) The environment to practice simplifying.

Tip of the Week

Gain a different perspective by talking with people who think differently from you.


Direct download: Episode_139_August_Lessons_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

If you want to see someone who lives the "what's next?" mantra, look no further than Dan Gilmartin of the Michigan Municipal League. The Michigan Municipal League has received national attention for its placemaking approach to community building and isn't resting on its laurels. Listen as Dan explains how he's given license by his board and stakeholders to think big and how he's building the team to execute on this expanded vision.


“You’ve gotta leave time for people to reflect a little bit.” (7:21)

“Innovate . . . Standardize . . . Optimize. (7:55)


  • (5:12) Pioneering thought on your 2.0.
  • (7:21) Identify your singular role.
  • (13:25) Expand your rolodex.

Tip of the Week

Make sure you're executing on your current mission well before expanding your part of the pie.

Direct download: Episode_138_-_Dan_Gilmartin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Summer Minnick has achieved high levels of success through drive and planning. Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans can't prepare you for everything. Summer shares her experiences on how several unexpected turns of events affected her and how she turned these situations into positive outcomes.


“Everybody likes an element of control (5:56)"

“You know you can finish. You've done this a bazillion times. Just go do it. When you have to walk, just walk and get through it." (14:47)

“I had let go of all my expectations and preconceived outcomes and just decided I would just run." (15:42)


(3:11) The importance of the unexpected.
(3:28) Doubling up bundles of joy; adjusting to disruption.
(6:24) Running the distance to break the 4-hour barrier.
(11:52) Alternative goals.
(15:15) Crossing the finish line at 3:53:11.

Tip of the Week

Adjust and relax if your plan isn't working out.

Direct download: Episode_137_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We have a couple of exciting interviews lined up in August and a new co-host! Join Mike and Bonnifer Ballard, Executive Director, Michigan Section of the American Water Works Association, as they discuss how simplifying the message is important in securing support for a cause.


“Being able to tell a story in a very simple and clear way is very important.” (1:38)

“Embracing change: Learning to be flexible and deal with chaos.” (10:01) 


Lessons Learned from the Michigan Municipal League:

(2:38) How they tackle really big ideas in a simple way.
(3:01) Their one word: place making.
(5:15) Bringing the board along.

Tip of the Week

What’s your word? What is your very simple phrase to help people understand why you’re in business?

Direct download: Episode_136_-_August_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The PureReinvention team wraps up July discussing lessons learned from our guests this month. Simplification is very important in messaging and in serving customer needs. Organizations that focus on the customer experience and successfully communicate that are better positioned to thrive in this new economy. Listen as PureReinvention team members Mike Bills and Will Carlson discuss these lessons and reflect on how taking time to simplify complex issues is vital to advancing your mission.


“The simplification concept, for most people, becomes the pivot point.” (3:29)


(0:44) Getting ready to simplify.
(3:29) Lessons learned from simplification.

Tip of the Week

Successful solutions are almost always the simple ones.

Direct download: Episode_135_July_Wrap_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Grand Rapids has had a vibe for some time and has become a prime Midwest destination in spite of not having a major sports team. This week’s guest is chief experience officer of Experience Grand Rapids, Doug Small and is the promoter in chief of this gem of a city. Doug shares his thoughts on how team building and thinking differently has built Grand Rapids to the destination it is today. Doug also shares a personal story that was a life changing event that provides a valuable lesson to all of us.


“A Collaborative pioneering smart.” (4:01)

"Attitude, character and enthusiasm.” (8:05)

"We’re willing to do differently.” (18:30)


(4:21) Handsome growth.
(5:35) Stay true to brand pillars.
(13:51) The responsibility of a leader to listen.

Tip of the Week

Listen to your body. Don't ignore subtle persistent pain. It could be a signal of a bigger problem.

Direct download: Episode_134_-_Doug_Small.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Direct download: Episode_133_-_Jim_Knight.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Simplification of the message is vital to enlisting support and/or selling the product. Most successful endeavors end up being a simple solution to a complex problem. Complicated messages get lost and confuse customers and stakeholders. PR firms make a good living condensing messages to brands and slogans. However, in order to get to the simple slogan or elevator pitch, you have to thoroughly understand the issues and the problem at hand. Join team members Mike Bills and Will Carlson as they discuss simplifying the message and learn what's in store for our July podcasts.

Quote it

“What the hell does this mean?” (1:49)
“Be thoughtful about the bullet points.” (2:54)

Dig in

(2:32) Condense your hour long speech to ten minutes.
(3:33) Moving our passion and knowledge to a takeaway message for the listener.
(6:57) The power of illustrating to solve problems.

Don't be overwhelmed by the daunting task. Take a big problem and break it down to small parts.

Direct download: Episode_132_July_Intro_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT


“[Detroit bankruptcy story] 170,000 creditors … 18.5 billion in debt … a pension system that was $3.5 billion underfunded … a service delivery insolvent city.” (0:46)

"[Company rebranding] So many things about it branding wise that were difficult.” (3:29)

"Our plan now drives how I spend everyday.” (5:48)


(1:10) Mining the daunting task and knowing where to start. Identify and reduce one single thing to a picture that others can understand.
(3:47) Less is more. Simplify your message.
(6:22) Streamline expectations with targeted focus.

Tip of the Week

Simplification is vital in your mission and your internal and external communications.

Direct download: Episode_131_Intro_To_Simplify_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

A successful life or career is rarely made from one dramatic event. It usually is a result of a work ethic developed over a series of small experiences and successes along the line. Listen to this week's episode as team members Mike Bills and Sonya Robinson discuss how you can develop a sense of ownership in your journey through taking small manageable steps to advance yourself both professionally and personally. 


“You have to own the work you want to do so you can get the work you’re destined to do.” (3:59)

"Create basic success first.” (7:10)


(4:15) Identify personal values.

(5:19) Start with small things to create a pattern of success.

Tip of the Week

Ownership starts with the small things. If you act responsibly you will get more responsibility.

Direct download: Episode_130_Ownership_Quarter_Recap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

The relationship between a board of directors and a CEO is often undefined and can change based on the management style of the leadership. This week we explore a successful case of board leadership working in tandem with their new CEO as we talk with Cindy Bowen, Chairperson of the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association board of directors and Deanna Richeson, President and CEO of that organization.


“The association has to change and evolve ahead of its members to provide value." (6:11)

"Be a listener. Engage your industry stakeholders. Have vision. Look for opportunities. Put that into an executable plan.” (9:07)


(3:50) Being the differentiator.
(5:18) The importance of continued quantum growth.
(6:18) Seeing ahead of your members.
(9:35) Unique value and characteristics of a sustainable board.

Tip of the Week

Do the board of directors and the chief executive have defined roles? Constant friction between the board and the chief executive may be an indicator of undefined roles.

Direct download: Episode_129_MLTA_Deanna_Richeson_and_Cindy_Bowen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Deanna Richeson has accomplished a lot in her first year at the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Association. The association's annual conference set a record for attendance and she initiated a workforce development job fair that attracted over 400 attendees. That's quite a bit for a first year at the helm, but it sounds like she's just getting started. Listen to team member Sonya Robinson as she gets Deanna's thoughts on how she intends to work with her board of directors to move the association forward.


“The role of the board is to help create the vision from the industry’s perspective about where the organization will grow.” (4:36)

"It’s critical that the board shows up.” (5:50)

"Quantum growth: Big growth in a short time.” (9:16)


(5:42) Diversity of contribution.
(8:18) Quantum growth vs incremental growth.
(9:44) The importance of executive listening.

Tip of the Week

Sustainable growth can only be attained when you respond to the needs of your customers. Take the time to listen to your members/customers.

Direct download: Episode_128_Deanna_Richeson_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

PureReinvention team members Mike Bills and Sonya Robinson kick off June discussing how curiosity is a critical element of ownership.

Quote it
“Personal curiosity … drives the ownership component” (5:47)
“Use my curiosity to take things to the next level.” (8:40)
“What’s the little thing I can change that will make a difference.” (9:03)

Dig in
(6:24) The hunger for curiosity
(8:24) Pulling forward to understand

Tip of the Week:
Curiosity is the essence of ownership. Keep asking the "why"?


Direct download: Episode_127_-_Reach_for_the_Curiosity_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

PureReinvention launched the inaugural STARTERS event this month and we took a few moments to talk to some of the participants. STARTERS is professional development done the PureReinvention way. We immerse participants in the Detroit story, help put these stories into perspective, and help you to craft your personal and/or professional reinvention plan! Listen as we discuss first impressions of this big move forward in the PureReinvention program.


“Their [STARTERS presenters] passion and commitment is admirable.” (2:07)

"[The PureReinvention philosophy] The five steps are going to help me with all the projects, communities and individuals I work with.” (3:37)


(4:14) How STARTERS is set apart from other learning experiences.
(4:38) Two degrees of separation from someone to help individuals move forward. The collaborative approach.

Tip of the Week

Use the Detroit story to jumpstart changes in your personal and professional life. Need help? Enroll in STARTERS to get a head start in your reinvention story.


Direct download: Episode_126_STARTERS_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mike and co-host Dru Mitchell of the Clinton County Economic Alliance wrap up May’s topic of ownership at the personal level. Dru and Mike discuss Steven Covey’s principle of “start with the end in mind” and discuss how you can take this principle to advance you personal life and/or career.


“Owning what you want to accomplish drives the direction you go in.” (2:35)

“Professional and personal curiosity is huge.” (3:52)

“It is the diversity of individuals that you surround yourself with that will help guide you. You just need to listen.” (8:42)


(1:08) Confidence with knowing the end game.
(3:16) Leadership behaviors that encourage one’s ability to hit new marks.
(5:26) Questions to ask yourself if you’re not moving forward.
(8:15) You can’t be hesitant to try something different.

Tip of the Week

Identify where you want to be before moving forward.

Direct download: 125_Personal_Ownership_Month_Recap_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Entrepreneurs take risks - That's a given, but as we learn from Danielle Smith, owner of Detroit Maid, you can manage that risk. Listen to the steps she took to take control of her future, overcome her fears and make the entrepreneurial plunge.


“Fear of failure can be paralyzing.” (9:16)

"A combination of articulating that vision and putting yourself in a space to be around people that will support it is really crucial.” (14:06)



(6:03) Owning the idea and taking the methodical approach.
(11:15) At the tipping point.
(13:05) Leverage a robust support network.

Tip of the Week

Manage your risk by building a support network of friends who are knowledgeable and aren't afraid to tell you what they think.

Direct download: Episode_124_Danielle_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

It's no secret that participants in team sports often end up with an advantage when assuming leadership roles. Many of the skill sets learned on the playing field can be applied to leadership roles in the office. Listen this week as we talk to Kris Smith, director of the Detroit Sports Commission. He will share his love and passion for sports and how he and his team are working to maintain Detroit's stature as a great destination for all kinds of sporting events.

Quote It

“First in.” (5:19)
“Being accountable for not just yourself but for your teammate.” (5:39)
“We, as a team, can not win unless you do your job.” (5:44)

Dig in

(5:55) The basic fundamentals.
(9:12) Getting energy from the crowd.
(7:12) Two way trust to inspire ownership.
(12:28) Making space for what’s next.

Tip of the week: A team is only as strong as its weakest link. Build and nurture the whole team.

Direct download: Episode_123_-_Kris_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Taking ownership (responsibility) of your life is key to your personal success. Taking ownership of your role in your organization is key to your professional success. The PureReinvention Project will spend the month of May exploring how you can take ownership of your future, regardless of your current position in life.


“That champion can be you.” (9:36)

"Select and move things forward.” (10:42)


(3:45) Knowing what to move forward first.
(6:10) Why own?
(7:46) Elements of owning.

Tip of the Week

Passion makes all the difference. If you're not passionate about what you're doing, take a step back and find out what stirs your passion.


Direct download: Episode_122_Ownership_at_the_personal_and_staff_level.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mike and Jodi wrap up April discussing ownership in the non-profit sector. Whether you're the CEO, serving on the board or have a staff position, it's important to the success of the organization that you own your role and take responsibility for the outcomes. Not only will this benefit the organization, it also will help you in advancing your professional journey as well!


“Putting your name on the line.” (2:22)

"Picking your head up. Charting your own course.” (6:59)

“Together we can.” (8:54)


(1:30) The paradox of owning.
(2:43) A key characteristic of emerging leaders.
(3:55) Rewrite the outcome.
(5:05) The excitement of ownership.
(7:20) Gaining buy in.


You will doom a project if no one is responsible for its progress and outcome.

Direct download: Episode_121_April_Wrap_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

If non-profits are to be sustainable, they need to run it more like a business where programs support themselves and the organization is in close enough touch with the public and the stakeholders to maintain relevancy. Sometimes that mission has to change. The March of Dimes is a great example where the original mission of eradicating polio was accomplished, yet the organization still exists as their mission evolved to combatting birth defects. In this episode, Dr. Truman Hudson, Jr. talks to Mike Bills about how non-profits need to start thinking more like a business in order to ensure that they are sustainable in the long run.


“People give to people. People give to people they know, they care for and they trust” (4:58)

"Leaders are leading from the heart and not necessarily through the business lens.” (9:43)

“Sustainability puts you in a position to pivot if necessary.” (10:51)


(3:55) The premise of going out of business.
(6:15) Owning relevance.
(9:50) Fiduciary responsibility of leadership to ensure sustainability.
(12:37) Characteristics of sustainable leadership.


Non-profit programs still need to provide revenue or member value if the organization is to be sustainable in the long run.

Direct download: Episode_120_Truman_Hudson_Jr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Ownership in the non-profit sector happens on many levels. Erin Patten owns her part of Ponyride's mission and connects the organization to the community. Listen as Erin and Mike discuss how the staff and board of directors can work together to accomplish great things.


“The breaker anointing” (2:31)

"All boards should be working boards.” (10:56)

“If there isn’t a connection to the community, then how will they know if you’re gone or if you're there.” (12:28)


(6:08) Ownership in a collaborative space.
(7:59) Board involvement.
(11:59) Collaboration + Community Partners = Sustainability.
(17:29) Vetting to attain a value added board.


Taking responsibility is a key to success. Ask yourself: Do I own the outcome of my work? Do I accept responsibility for my actions or do I pass it off to someone else?

Direct download: Episode_119_Erin_Patten_Ponyride_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

April starts a new quarter and a new focus for our podcasts. Quarter two is dedicated to the "own" step in the PureReinvention model. We've lined up some great interviews to demonstrate how you can effectively take ownership of the situation to address the disruptions we all face. In April we look at the non-profit sector and explore how staff, chief executives and board members can own their respective pieces of the puzzle to effectively advance the cause forward.


“We’re talking about the people who are behaving as owners” (3:29)

"Making money and being profitable in your programs should be an expectation.” (7:12)

“Thriving and looking forward to what’s next.” (8:40)


(1:25) What is ownership?
(3:59) Application.


Are you willling to be accountable in solving the problems your organization faces? Effective change happens only when people are brave enough to accept accountability for the results of the actions needed to be taken.

Direct download: Episode_118_Intro_to_Ownership_in_Non-Profits_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We all have set backs. It's what we do with those disruptions that define us in the long run. Listen to this inspiring podcast as PureReinvention team member Sonya Robinson talks with co-host Julie Owens about disruption on a personal level.


“Knowing when to hold on. Knowing when we need to walk away.” (1:29)

"When opportunity knocks … walk across the threshold to go and experience my next level of reinvention.” (2:23)

“Is this working for me?” (3:24)


(1:02) Being honest with ourselves.
(1:48) When opportunity knocks.
(2:56) Being honest even if it hurts.
(3:45) Acting on honest realizations.


Be an agent of your own change. Find your inner voice and listen to it.

Direct download: Episode_117_Sonya_and_Julie_Final_-_32517_12.47_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Direct download: Episode_116_Rochelle_Rizzi_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Being outgoing and a skillful disruptor is a learned process for most of us. In this episode Monica Ware shares with Mike how she embraces this learning process.


“If you don’t make incremental adjustments as you go, then things explode and are uncomfortable.” (2:44)

"Which path do you want to take?” (9:53)

“Controlled disruption” (12:51)


(2:23) To be a learned disruptor.
(5:13) The value of reinventing yourself first.
(10:01) Coaching others to move.


As you assess your professional life, consider questions such as: "Is this working for me? Am I happy, fulfilled? Am I being challenged?”

Direct download: Episode_115_Monica_Ware_FInal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

March's line up is dedicated to how we deal with disruptions in our personal lives. In this episode, Mike Bills discusses with Amy Frankmann how you can apply PureReinvention principles to disruptions in your personal life.


“Her personal life and her professional life met.” (2:30)

"What happens after five o’clock?” (3:03)

“After the disruption you have to own your own behavior.” (4:23)

“Use what we have done as the spring board of where we’re going.” (6:29)


(0:53) How to stay focused on the end goal.
(1:58) When personal conviction is lacking.
(4:00) Simplify and put framework around moving things forward.
(5:06) Take time to listen to yourself.


Build your self-confidence. Make a list of all the things you did today, in your personal life. Reflect upon what you have become and build on that.

Direct download: Episode_114_Personal_Disruption_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Would you drop everything to chase your dream? Even against advice of friends and family? That's what Antea Shelton and her sister did to chase their dream of writing a song for Beyoncé. Listen this week as Mike talks to Antea Shelton, vocal coach and owner of Aplus Music Group.


“Disrupt what was normal.” (5:25)

"Test the market with what you do.” (8:30)

“My role as a teacher has taught me not to disrupt somebody and leave them alone, but to partner with them so that we go together.” (9:58)

“You catch flies better with honey than with vinegar.” (14:04)


(5:56) Function in fear or love.
(7:49) Internal self-confidence.
(9:58) Co-leadership and collaboration.
(11:25) Become a vibe master.


Learn to be a vibe master. Listen and feel what the other person is feeling to determine the next best move.

Direct download: Episode_113_Antea_Shelton_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Why is Mike wearing the pink hat? Well you just have to listen to the episode to find out! We got so much from our talk with Julie Owens that we had to bring her back for a second interview. This time we talked about how to handle disruption in the office and use common sense to work out differences.


“Does a degree define who I am as a professional?” (3:02)

"Common sense is not so common, but we need to use it in resolving differences.” (5:28)

“Words are gifts and words are weapons.” (5:37)

“A scared man can’t win.” (15:17)

(2:29) Education comes in different packages.
(5:20) Disagreeing without being disagreeable.
(6:30) Tools for success.


Disagree without being disagreeable. Be conscience of what you're saying and how you're saying it.

Direct download: Episode_112_Julie_Owens_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Direct download: Julie_Owens_Interviews_Judge_Rosen_on_the_Doodle_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

You see a lot being a federal judge for over 27 years, but nothing could prepare him for the role he was to play in Detroit's bankruptcy. Join us for a fascinating interview where Judge Rosen shares some stories behind the grand bargain that saved Detroit.


“Get out of the river nile … and confront the realities.” (13:26)

"Resolve the underlying structural problems." (14:19)

“The real core is about creating more heros and less villains.” (20:40)


(4:54) Recognized a different approach was needed.
(7:50) The binary equation.
(11:54) Creativity when obligation exceeds the revenue stream.
(15:31) Be tenacious and persistent.


Leaders are tenacious and persistent. Ask probing questions from stakeholders and customers. Leave no stone unturned when searching for solutions.

Direct download: Episode_111_Judge_Rosen_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

February's line up focuses on how people handle disruption in their professional lives. Listen to Mike Bills and Sonya Robinson of Team PureReinvention as they discuss professional disruption.


“All next generation success as a leader … comes first from us.” (0:50)

“(Professional disruption) The ownership of your own professional destiny.” (3:54)

“Close the door behind them as they move forward.” (6:32)


(0:20) Professional disruption defined.
(4:04) Tools to navigate an aggressive and upward mobility journey.
(6:03) Recipe for sustainable change.


Always move forward. If you've decided to move on, going back is not an option.

Direct download: Ep._110_Professional_Disruption.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Mike Bills and Monica Ware, president of Association Management Solutions, summarize what we’ve learned from this month’s episodes. We can all learn lessons from the disruption that has happened in Detroit in recent years.

“What happens when things go too long?” (4:29)

“The savvy businesses will look for the gaps and fill in.” (8:17)

“Through disruption the wise leader is able to navigate and forge next step opportunity.” (9:24)

(2:43) Disruption defined.
(5:03) Defense for major disruption.
(7:00) Balance with minor disruptions.
(8:28) The importance of the entrepreneurial thought process.

Major disruption is often a product of years of neglect. Asking the tough questions early and often can avert disaster.

Direct download: Episode_109_-_Lessons_From_Detroit_Final_-.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

There are tremendous changes going on in Detroit and self-described "misfit" Regina Gaines, co-owner of the House of Pure Vin, shares with us her observations of what's happening in downtown Detroit.


“You can move mountains if you can find a crack.” (8:16)

“Our resurgence is something to really discuss because its home grown.” (10:27)

“The innovative mindset is a misfit.” (14:41)


(7:32) Economic, psychographic and demographic change.
(8:10) Defining the crack.
(9:09) Formula for business success.


Be true to yourself and your passion. If something feels wrong where you are, take the time to find the place where you feel right.

Direct download: 108_-_Regina_Gaines_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

This week's guest is Julie Owens, case manager for the Honorable Gerald Rosen. Through her position with Judge Rosen, Julie had a front seat in witnessing the bankruptcy proceedings. Join us as we hear Julie share some stories and her thoughts on this historic event.


“Failure was not an option.” (6:26)

“In finding a new solution . . . put in a new process.” (9:34)

“Don’t go for the obvious. Don’t be afraid to do something that’s not obvious.” (12:52)


(3:55) The role of a visionary leader to reach an unprecedented resolve.
(5:49) Lessons learned from the largest municipal bankruptcy.
(10:14) Grand bargaining defined.


When major disruption happens, take the time to take a hard look at your assets. Connect to your customers and stakeholders to be sure you're listing the right assets and that they are properly valued.

Direct download: 107_-_Julie_Owens_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

We're tweaking the podcast format in 2017 to help organize our content to better align with the five fundamentals. The first quarter will be dedicated to the disrupt fundamental. January will be dedicated to how Detroit embodies disruption.


“[Key strategic leaders] Always stay a little unsettled in their responsibility in moving their organizations forward.” (3:32)

“How impressive it is when we have leaders who are putting unlike things together to create new opportunities.“ (5:20)

“Disruption isn’t what takes you to your knees” (7:56)


(3:42) Identify opportunities for reinvention.
(4:58) Leadership behaviors that drive a rainbow of opportunities.
(6:18) Disruption as an opportunity, not as a threat.


Detroit is the reinvention learning laboratory. Pay close attention to what is and isn't working to help you in your reinvention strategy.

Direct download: Episode_106_Detroit_Disruption_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30am EDT






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