Developing Your Leadership Brand with Dr. Lori Baker-Schena

Developing Your Leadership Brand with Dr. Lori Baker-Schena


Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, is for anyone interested in being a better Digital + Content Marketer. Hosted by Ross Herosian (a Marketing coach, content creator, and entrepreneur) episodes are a mix of helpful Marketing tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to promote and grow your business.

In this episode of TriPod, Ross talks to Dr. Lori Baker-Schena. She’s an entrepreneur, educator, professional speaker, and leadership coach whose devised something called “the leadership brand”.  We’re going to learn about the leadership brand and how you can get started in building yours, why effective and efficient communication is YOUR responsibility when you’re a business owner, why it’s ok for you to fail, how to deal with clients when they don’t know what they want, and a fun random question.

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What You Don't Want To Miss:

Dr. Lori Baker-Schena is currently on a “three-chapter life” with an amazing story to share. She believes leaders and business owners and entrepreneurs need to think: “Who am I? What will people think of me? What value do I bring to them so that they’ll use my products?” Because entrepreneur should know, people are not just buying a product, they’re buying the person behind the product.

  • The “Leadership Brand”
  • Communications is YOUR Responsibility
  • It’s Okay to Fail
  • Power of Positivity in Business

The "Leadership Brand"

You may notice that certain leaders, celebreties, and politicians have a “look” or something about them that anyone can distinguish the instance they walk into a room. Just like a business, people can brand themselves, too. It can be visual, like Mark Zuckerberg’s gray t-shirt, but what we want to emphasize is character. Who are you? What value do you bring to make someone want to use your products/services? What do people think of you when you walk into a room?

These are all valid questions that consumers ask themselves when choosing a product of services. Sometimes your product or service is you. Photographers, artists, realtors, plumbers, etc. You’re not just buying a product, you’re buying the person behind the product. When you are your product, your brand is how trustworthy you are. We really need to be mindful of where/who we are, what we offer, and what our strengths are.

These days, there’s a new generation getting jobs and making money to spend on (potentially) your products and services. Gen Z is slowly moving into the workforce and therefore a new mindset to start appealing to begins. People are starting to buy more from “real people”. They research who they’re buying from and care more about the people behind a product (sometimes even more so than the product itself). That’s where “leadership branding” can also play a major role.

Communication is YOUR Responsibility

One common mistake in business tends to root from one seed. Communication. When you are in a leadership position, it is your responsibility to communicate what your expectations are. If you don’t communicate properly or you don’t provide enough specifications to your team, you can’t be surprised if the end result is lacking. An employee is there to fulfill expectations.

It’s not always your fault that you can’t communicate properly either. With how things are in the middle of this pandemic, we are losing touch on how to communicate. The incidental water cooler or break room chat has disappeared and we are losing touch. On top of that, it is twice as hard to communication with these virtual meetings sometime since we’ve also lost all body language communication for the moment. So don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you’re lacking in this area, but it’s everyone’s responsibility to strive be better. Communicate the big picture and maybe even the application of a task in this big picture. If you want someone to take care of something you’re knowledgeable in, show them how to do that task.

It’s not only communicating as a leader of your team, but also communication your brand! Do you show up on time? Do you reply to emails promptly? Are you TRUSTWORTHY and by extension your business trustworthy. How many times have you tried to communicate with a business or service provider and they were so hard to communicate with that you just took your money somewhere else? Exactly.

It's Okay to Fail

It’s okay for entrepreneurs to fail. Read that again.

“Fail fast and fail often.” Failing is part of the “entrepreneur package”, almost like a bogo deal at Payless. It’s not the end of the world even though some failures do feel like that. When you’re going through failure, ask yourself this: Will it matter in 100 years? Will even matter in 5 years? Can you fix it? If not, can you adapt?  Of course you can. So soak it the failure because you will feel it regardless. Failing was already part of the plan, you just didn’t know where it would fall. Still, everything is going according to plan.

Now you’ve failed and felt, what’s next? Find the malfunction(s). Find a solution and implement it so that it never happens again. Monitor the change and see if you still need to improve upon in. This change may be the smallest change in procedure that can turn a failure into a success.

Power of Positivity in Business

“Nothing ever moves forward with negativity.” Negative things may happen, but luckily, being positive is a choice and it’s the first step to moving a needle to a good or crappy day. There is no point in waking up and making the conscious choice to not try to be happy. This is the beginning of focusing on what you can or can’t do. The best sports teams, the best companies to work for, the best cultures that companies create. All are based on positivity, and that can-do attitude.

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Connect with Dr. Lori Baker-Schena

Ross Herosian  00:00

Welcome to TriPod, the Tricycle Creative podcast, where I mix digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and content creation into one show to help creative business owners. I have an exciting show today with Dr. Lori Baker-Schena – she’s an entrepreneur, educator, professional speaker, and leadership coach who devised something called “the leadership brand”. She’s on a mission to help people move their careers (or their businesses) forward through positivity and a solution-oriented mindset.  In this episode, we’re going to learn about the leadership brand and how you can get started in building yours, why effective and efficient communication is YOUR responsibility when you’re a business owner, why it’s ok for you to fail, how to deal with clients when they don’t know what they want, and a fun random question.  If you’re new here, remember to subscribe and rate TriPod wherever you get your podcasts and be sure to go to the show notes for this episode at tripodpodcast.com where you can download a FREE guide courtesy of Dr. Lori, 10 questions to ask yourself when developing a leadership brand.  

Introduction  01:14

You’re listening to Tripod, a podcast produced by Tricycle Creative to help safely navigate creative business owners through the worlds of digital marketing, strategic content creation, and business growth. Host Ross Herosian is a marketing consultant, content creator, and entrepreneur who brings you helpful tips, social media updates, inspiring interviews, and his own unique perspective on how to tell your story and grow your business. So if you’re interested in being a better marketer, business owner, or creator, sit back, relax, and let’s get peddling.

Ross Herosian  01:49

What I’ve started watching recently, what I really got into Anthony Bourdain, no reservations,

Lori Baker-Schena  01:57


Ross Herosian  01:58

I never watched it before, but I love to travel. And since I haven’t been able to travel, it’s like living vicariously through it. And it’s, I don’t know, it’s made me feel okay about not traveling, I guess.

Lori Baker-Schena  02:16

And why is that?

Ross Herosian  02:17

I mean, it’s like I’m still seeing different stuff. It’s not the same. I’m not experiencing it. But at least it’s like, I don’t know somehow scratching a tiny itch that I’m seeing different places.

Lori Baker-Schena  02:31

Absolutely. And I trust you like food then because that’s what he really focuses on. I’m a huge foodie myself.

Ross Herosian  02:38

I do. I love traveling just to see new places. But the food also is I mean, I’m not gonna lie, huge component,

Lori Baker-Schena  02:48

Huge component. When I travel the food is I think probably the number one component and the restaurants and the local places where you can’t find, you know, too many tourists. That’s always so great.

Ross Herosian  03:00

Anyways, you’re not here to hear about all the food stuff. Well, maybe. Maybe you the listener are and welcome. This is Tripod, the Tricycle Creative Podcast. I am here with Lori Baker-Schena. And thank you for joining me today.

Lori Baker-Schena  03:17

It is so great to be here, I can’t even begin to tell you.

Ross Herosian  03:21

I’m really excited because we connected and you talk about and created this concept, if you will, that I wanted to share with my listeners, I was really intrigued by it. But before we kind of jump into that, why don’t you just tell people a little bit about yourself, and even your business?

Lori Baker-Schena  03:46

Okay, well, I’ve had a, what I call a three chapter life so far. And I think it’s gonna be three chapters. I can’t see a fourth, but you never know you never never say never. My first chapter was starting my own marketing and public relations business. And I did that in my late 20s after going through several jobs and realizing I couldn’t work for anybody, so I had to work for myself.

Ross Herosian  04:09

You realized that early! Good for you!

Lori Baker-Schena  04:11

Yes. And Ross, I have to tell you, young people need to use their 20s to figure out what they want and what they don’t want. Because you don’t want to get stuck in a job that you’re miserable in. And in your 20s it’s easier to move around than when you get more established in your 30s or 40s. So I learned that pretty early on that I couldn’t be micromanaged. I was a hard worker, but I needed my own terms. And I wanted my own place and bandwidth to do it. So about three years later, so I’m going strong. I really loved it. I got a call from my university where I had gone to school from my BA in my MBA and they needed an emergency hire for a professor. And I have to tell you, I never taught anything in my life but they needed someone to teach regarding reporting. And so a couple lessons there. Number one, professors don’t need to know how to teach. There’s no credential program for professors. So those of you who have some really phenomenal professors and universities and not so wonderful, a lot of them never were taught how to teach, or how to motivate. So there’s that. Anyway, I was so nervous that first day, I remember shaking, just taking role. But I ended up loving it. And that ended up becoming a 25 year career in teaching, as well as the marketing and public relations business. So I was doing both things. And then I decided, you know, what I really am very interested in in organization. So I got a doctorate in organizational leadership. And I’m cooking along and all of a sudden, as many happens to many of us, I’m sure people in your audience can relate to this, I had got struck by a cancer. And that was when I was 55. And it really woke me up to the fact that, you know, I really want to be a motivational speaker. And I really want to take my leadership expertise, and expand upon it beyond the university setting. And I’m just kind of done with it. I’m still doing marketing and public relations, I love it. But I really wanted to expand that. So I left my tenure track University job. And I started a Baker Center communications, the leadership part of it, and I haven’t looked back, it’s been seven years, and I am loving every second of every day, because I’m doing what I love. And so my hope is that people who I coach and people I speak to love their jobs as much.

Ross Herosian  06:35

There’s so many things there that I love, right? I love that the three chapter because I feel very similarly, I’ve gone through my career, and done dramatically different things started in broadcasting, went into recruiting, that built into kind of like collegiate marketing, which led into digital marketing, which led into video, which led into I also then went into education, similar like you, and and now I find myself an agent, agency owner. And I don’t know how many chapters that is, I think they are combined into them, right? Don’t get me wrong. But I love your point about when you’re in your 20s. Or at least when you’re starting your career, you need to explore. And I think the one skill that I got better at along the way is figuring out when I was done.

Lori Baker-Schena  07:36

Yes, that is so true. That is so profound.

Ross Herosian  07:41

I mean, I was so much faster. I think it took me my first job out of college. A couple years, but then my next one, I was probably in it for a year, two years too long. And then as time went on, as I took new jobs, I think I really got better at recognizing I’m, I’m not as passionate about it, as I used to be, I need to move on. And, and that’s okay. And it’s scary. But that’s okay. Because when, for me, and I think you’re very similar. If I don’t give a crap, I’m not gonna give my 100. And I think that’s been something I’ve even struggled with. But now recognize better. My wife helped me do this. I can’t, I can’t give less than 100% to things I do. I used to think I could, I can’t, I can’t help myself, probably like you. I’m a type A, I can’t give. I don’t know what 50% effort looks like. I just don’t know. So I have to say, Can I give 100% to this? And if I can’t, I just probably shouldn’t do it.

Lori Baker-Schena  09:04

That is absolutely so right on. And I’ll tell you something, it takes energy to give 100% and you learn as you grow older, where and you only have a certain bandwidth of energy Ross, you know, you only you only get so much, alright, so where to put it. You don’t want to waste your life, putting your bandwidth and energy into something that you’re miserable with or something you don’t you just can’t get behind. And you’re not going to do as well as something that you really enjoy. So I think you’ve discovered that. And you’ve also discovered how you’re using your energy which is, you know, equate to that 100% you’re talking about. And that is where your passion is. And that’s why you’re so good at what you do. Because you’ve recognized that

Ross Herosian  09:49

And let’s talk about energy. You talked about the cancer scare for lack of better word. I think people understand that. They only have so much, hours, energy in a day. But let’s even blow that out further. There’s a finite amount of energy that you have in your life. And, and so I think that’s something to think about. When you are a new entrepreneur, when you are a small business owner, when you’re thinking about starting a side hustle or a business, these are things and I know, it’s super scary. And I cannot sit here and say, Hey, give up the cushy job for this. But I think that it’s something that you need to like incrementally build towards. And you need to be aware that, listen, sometimes you do got to jump in, and jump all in, because you’re just going to be straddling the fence otherwise. So that brings me very nicely to something that you’ve kind of come up with, or you talk a lot about. And that’s the leadership brand. Talk to me, what is the leadership brand?

Lori Baker-Schena  11:02

Well, Ross, you know, being in your field, that companies use branding, so that they can be recognized. Alright, so you’ve got and everyone has their favorite brand, you know, from Nike to Apple to whatever their brand is. But people also, who are successful and are strong leaders, also have a brand. So if you think for a minute about the leaders who you admire, whether it’s celebrities, or political or personal leaders in your life, they have a brand when they walk into the room, you know who they are, and what you can expect from them and their value. And that’s something that just doesn’t happen overnight. People create that brand, create that it takes a long time. I think some of the people that are really good at it, like Michelle Obama, she’s got her own brand, you know what, what she stands for, and where her heart is, right. Some other celebrities, politicians, even the people coming up at Kamala Harris, she, too is starting to create a vice presidential brand, but she brings her own brand into it. So interestingly enough, a brand is not your reputation, because your reputation is what’s behind you. Your brand, is what you are today, and what you and where you want to go tomorrow. So leaders and business owners and entrepreneurs need to think, “Who am I? And when I walk into the room? What will people think of me? And what value do I bring to them so that they’ll use my products” because entrepreneur should know, especially in these days and age, you’re not just buying a product, you’re buying the person behind the product. And those of you who are our speakers, or who are photographers, or who do things that aren’t products, but services, that is even exaggerated, because they are buying YOU as that brand. So we really need to be mindful of where/who we are, and what we offer, what our strengths are, and that sort of thing. And that helps you figure out Ross how to show up in the world.

Ross Herosian  13:21

I think it’s all the more important when you are a small business owner. Listen, I’m not saying that you need to be some multi millionaire. And I don’t think you are either to have your leadership brand. I think it’s incredibly important when you’re a small business entrepreneur, because more so than with a corporation, people are buying into you.

Lori Baker-Schena  13:43

Absolutely. And I started my leadership brand, right when I started my own business, some of the value I brought to people, I always gave 100% like you do, I was always there on time, I was always willing to go where I needed to go to get a project done, I wasn’t afraid to work hard, I returned phone calls on time, I really tried to give really great copy (I’m a writer). So and I continue to build on that. And so people started to depend on that brand, that brand of Baker-Schena Communications. And the same holds true when I give a speech out in the you know, out in the world. I haven’t been out in the world, Ross, in a year. But when I’m actually speaking to an in person, virtual, I have a wonderful virtual practice, but you know. When I walk on that stage, people know what they’re gonna, they’re gonna get. They’re going to get the energy, they’re going to get the positivity, they’re going to get really practical practical advice from me. And that brand is what really sells me. So that’s what we’re talking about and entrepreneurs no matter what you’re selling it whether it’s you or a product, you need to build that sense that there’s value there, and that you are doing something for the client that is special. And, and, and really you care about the client, all these things go into becoming your own person in the entrepreneurial world. It’s just not, you know, opening up a website and starting to, you know, try to do business it, there’s a lot more to it.

Ross Herosian  15:25

Well, I mean, I think you have to know you, if, if you’re a solopreneur, entrepreneur, very important. But if you then become a small business owner, where you are hiring people, you know, you you want consistency, you you want to convey even some amount of expectations of this is what we believe, how we believe work should be done, that is kind of encapsulated or lives under or within the leadership brand? And how can you expect to convey that and work with clients? If you haven’t figured that out for yourself?Right, what is important to you? 

Lori Baker-Schena  16:12

Exactly. And it’s really hard to do that. Yeah. It’s very difficult to look inside you, and figure out your strengths and your weaknesses, and what you bring to the table. You know, it’s not only an intellectual thing, but it’s, it’s an emotional thing. It’s how do you build trust, all these things that you, you know, when you’re working so hard to build a business to start a business or to get ahead in a career in a corporation? You don’t think about these things yet? These are the most important things that you need to think about. And I call it mindfulness. How do you show up? And how do you want people to see you show up? And once you wrap your head around that, and you start getting control of that, it really elevates you and makes you feel strong and confident because you show up with a brand that you believe in? And that people will believe for you. Very important.

Ross Herosian  17:10

To be fair to and this is something I’ve learned now. I think I’m three years in, it’s also blurry, I’m not really sure. All right. I’m enjoying the ride, it’s just blurry along the way and see your hair. Okay. It’s, oh, I lost my train of thought when you said that. I’m sorry, my hair got whipped back, okay. When you can start to figure out who you are, who your business is, what you do, the types of people you work with, even. It starts to make that easier to work with and attract clients. And, and it makes it okay, when you lose a client, because they weren’t a good fit. When I started, you lose a client because that is this. It’s your, your destroyed. “Ah, that’s money I could have had.” But now when I sit here, if I don’t get a client, because we’re just not a good match. That’s good for both of us.

Lori Baker-Schena  18:20

Absolutely. But Ross, it takes time to get there. I remember my first couple of years, I took every person who came through my doors, and I was writing, I was writing I was so out of my element. It was just, you know, I ended up being in healthcare, but I remember doing a brochure for a software company. And I think…

Ross Herosian  18:39

To your point, to your earlier point about being young, and exploring, that’s also why it’s good. Because like so you’re saying being out of your element, you’re more nimble, you got more energy, when you’re young, you’re gonna you could, you could probably figure it out.

Lori Baker-Schena  19:00

Yes, absolutely. And then I’ll tell you, you know, I think if you’re able to let go of that fear. There is a lot of fear surrounding people, people who actually are doing you know, being an entrepreneur, at any age, if you can let go of that fear and, and try those things and see what works and what doesn’t, that’s just going to add. Not only to your bottom line, but to your own personal happiness. And Ross, that’s where I am I mean, you can there’s a ton of business coaches out there who can tell you how to make more money and how to streamline your production and this sort of thing. And I have an MBA, I probably could do that too. But that’s not… my big thing is having you enjoy this journey. Enjoy, be happy while you’re building, be happy while you’re falling. Be happy while things are going really bad. Be happy when things are going good. Just enjoy the entire journey. Because I know when I work with entrepreneurs just starting it’s fun being on that journey and once you get really well established and things started kind of humming along, you lose a little bit of that joy. Because you it’s become humdrum almost. So really enjoying those early years of screwing up and learning and working all into the night and, and going crazy and all that, because at the end of the day, you are going to be successful. And then you’ll have different joys. But it’s not that early joy.

Ross Herosian  20:27

You had mentioned, obviously, it takes some time to develop this leadership brand. But just like anything that takes time, you got to start. And you have been incredibly generous. You have given me and by extension, the listeners, kind of a Starter Guide. Right? And you can find this guy in the show notes at TripodPodcast.com. I have the document there, you can grab it, it’s 10 questions to ask yourself when developing a leadership brand. Do you want to talk just a little bit about that document? And what people can kind of expect from that?

Lori Baker-Schena  21:03

Absolutely. So we Ross we talked about, we have to get to know each other, know each other and know ourselves and everybody. We got to know you got to know yourself. Right? So how where do you start? It’s really tough to figure it out. So some of the questions that I use, and I do a lot of workshops on this are some questions that will help get you started. So one of the most important one is “What do you do better than anyone else?” There’s 20 people selling tennis, tennis balls? Why are your tennis balls the best? What are you doing? And how are you doing that so that you are the best, but what do you do that’s the best? So figure that out. And “what is the unique way that you achieve results?” For example, I am very much before I do any kind of brochure writing, when I was in my marketing business, I would insist on speaking to the highest level person I could in an organization. And that always helped me because I got the top person to tell me what their vision was. So I didn’t have to keep rewriting it as it went up the ladder, that was a unique way to achieve results.

Ross Herosian  22:23

I love that just that even singular piece of advice for creatives out there who are listening to this, because oftentimes, they will be afraid to ask that, and I’m going to tell you, you’re going to regret not asking it. Because in my own experience, and this is why we have my program called the Roadmap Sessions, you could be dealing with clients, and the clients themselves are not aligned. And when you are working with them, it is your job almost as the outside are to do the due diligence, and to even bring them together. If you walk away from that project, and you’ve made them better. Because they now understand where they’re at, they’re each other’s positions, that is an added super extra value. In addition to like you just said, a brochure, a tangible product

Lori Baker-Schena  23:20

Absolutely. And that is where I started kind of getting interested in leadership too, because I’d be talking to people and realizing some of the dysfunction in organizations and the lack of communication, which is a big thing for me. And in helping to clarify that and crystallize it. And now as a leadership coach, I go into corporations and try to, you know, minimize the corporate dysfunction in the corporate you know, in order to enhance the communication. And it really helps them to have a marketing person and a PR person with an because communication, you know, in our business is so important. And so bringing that into the corporate setting. So that’s just the first question. “What do people come to you for?” And really, what did they come for? For me? That answer is that I am always pivoting to the positive. Even when I give a very intense training on how to run a team or how to conflict management, I always end with an upbeat several slides on how to be positive in a negative world. I mean, that’s not even they weren’t even I wasn’t even hired to do that. And but I do it, it’s my signature. And I started it when I started and when I was a college professor, you know, I taught my subject matter and I love my kids but they needed motivation. They never said you know you can do this, you go out there and do that. So I found that the end of the class period, let’s get some positive energies and positive motivation. So that is my brand, that positivity brand it’s in my in its and that’s what In my logo and, and in my slogans, but it really comes from deep inside because I’m a really positive person. And I believe in positivity to move you forward. So bringing it back to the leadership brand workshop and worksheet. I think of my workshop worksheet. You really need to think about who you are when/how you show up. So these kind of questions, once you get this, then you can start creating habits and a look and a communication that you can communicate who you are. And it’s looking at how long does it take to build up your core in the gym, when you are allowed to go into the gym? I’m in LA, we haven’t been to a gym in….

Ross Herosian  25:44

My core has…..seen better days.

Lori Baker-Schena  25:50

But it takes a long time to build up your physical core, right? Same thing with this, it takes time to build a brand. But by giving it a shot and thinking about it, it’s really going to not only elevate you but also elevate your company.

Ross Herosian  26:05

You had mentioned for, lack of better words, communication failure, right or dysfunction, maybe is a better word, because unfortunately, it doesn’t always fail. It limps along, in a terrible condition, totally broken. And people just keep duct taping together. I’ve been there been in the corporate worlds. Now in the in the in the as an entrepreneur working with clients and things like that. Do you think that that is the most common mistake that people who come to you or creative business owners is? Is that a common thing you hear or even discover?

Lori Baker-Schena  26:49

Yeah, I think it all boils down to communication. I really do. I think people you know, let’s talk about giving someone an assignment, a project, a lot of leaders just give you a project to do without giving you enough specifics so that you can do it. So that lack of communication about what that leader wants, what that supervisor wants, and what the end product should look like. Just that basic thing is enough to throw an employee off the you know, off the deep end, because they not quite sure what is expected of them. So we don’t know how to speak so that other people that we need hear us because I’m speaking to you, Ross, I’m going to speak differently than I’m not going to talk to high school kids use you we communicate to different people on different levels. So just the fact. How to assign thing or when you speak with each other on a team, the respect or you speak to talking over people. And it’s doubly hard now because we’re working from home. So I’ve done a lot of work on keeping, you know, virtual teams engaged because it takes twice the energy to communicate, to pick up the phone even and say, you know, how are you doing? How’s your day? What can I help you with?We’ve lost that we’ve lost, you know that it’s such it’s so hard. 

Ross Herosian  28:12

So even those incidentals where if you work in an office, watercooler, vending machine, break room. Incidental touchpoints, you don’t have them anymore,

Lori Baker-Schena  28:24

it’s so important. And that, again, is communication, you’re not communicating. So there’s there’s answers to all that. But at the end of the day communication, if you can communicate with your employees, with your peers, with your clients, with everyone who you know, if you can do it clearly and with positivity, you won’t believe how successful you can be.

Ross Herosian  28:45

You know, I think what’s interesting there when we’re talking about communication, I think a lot of people think that’s someone else’s job. And throughout my career, that’s I, I would like to think where I didn’t allow that. Communication is everyone’s job. And the thoroughness, the explanation. To your point now, as a business owner who works with a team of creatives in a lot of cases, where they have tremendous creative abilities, but they’re not necessarily marketers. I need to take the time and say to them, here’s my initial thought. Here’s what the client wants or has expressed, here’s what we’re trying to accomplish. Coming at it from all those different approaches and explaining them because particularly, I have a marketing assistant who creates a lot of my content, and I take the time to explain to her, “let me show you and explain to you how this piece this, whatever is going to go into the machine”. And when she understands that it helps her to say, to problem solve, and to create the best thing, because she understands its application. And I think unfortunately, a lot of situations, people could be more forthcoming. But they’re not because they’re protective over their own jobs. I came from radio, where, trust me, people are cutthroat. Right? They, they, they, they get a job. And they hang on to it. They don’t, they don’t ever let it go. They cling on to that thing. And they go along for the ride as long as they can.

Lori Baker-Schena  30:48

Absolutely. And that knowledge is power. And when they don’t, they don’t want to give it away. And that’s not a good leader. 

Ross Herosian  30:57

There’s a difference between a manager, maybe not even a good manager, but a manager and a leader. You can be both. But really, just because you’re one or the other doesn’t necessarily mean it’s like a Venn diagram. You have manager, you have leader, and you have a little overlap. And and most people don’t fall into that overlap.

Lori Baker-Schena  31:21

Exactly, exactly. And that’s just, it’s just a sad, and that’s why people are miserable in their jobs. If you think about those of you who are listening out here that you’re the jobs that you’ve been most miserable at, how was the communication?

Ross Herosian  31:33

No, pits probably. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a big thing, whenever they talk about when people talk about is why they leave is because of like their manager, if you really probably dig into that. Communication is a big part. Exactly, exactly.

Lori Baker-Schena  31:55

So, absolutely. So we really need as part of that part of your leadership brand, not only becoming a good communicator, but communicating your brand. You know, it’s the way you write an email. It’s the way you show up at a meeting. It’s all those little things that add up to say, you know what, I trust this person, I want to do business with this person. And trust is big. And it’s all about the little things, for example, it’s speaking gigs, you know, zoom meetings, I am always on time. I just as my brand people can count on it. And they’re often surprised. But it’s really, really important. Especially if you’re like a speaker and you want to be on stage right on time. You don’t want people to wait. So these little things add up to people being able to depend on you. And feel confident because they feel confident about the work or the service you’re going to deliver. It’s so crucial. It’s so crucial for success.

Ross Herosian  32:56

Nothing drives me crazier, then consistent tardiness.

Lori Baker-Schena  33:03

Me too.

Ross Herosian  33:04

It drives me bananas, because I make a point to be on time early, almost everywhere. And I almost I feel like it’s a disrespect to me. But if it’s something for the client, to the client also into their time. So on that note, on that note of being a good communicator, and being on time, let’s take a quick break, and hear from my sponsor. 

Solo.to  33:39

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Ross Herosian  35:12

Hey guys, we’re back. Thank you for joining us this Tripod. And if you’ve already forgotten, I don’t know what’s going on with you. But our guest, Lori has been so incredibly generous and has given us a 10 questions to ask yourself when developing a leadership brand. You can find that TripodPodcast.com. So you talked about Lori. Your three chapter life? Yes. So I’m very interested to get your question or your answer to this question. Let’s start with this one. It’s okay for entrepreneurs to _______,

Lori Baker-Schena  35:56


Ross Herosian  35:58


Lori Baker-Schena  35:59


Ross Herosian  35:59

I failed them a ton of stuff. Fail every day!

Lori Baker-Schena  36:02

Fail often. Fail fast. Fail often. Fail often and fail fast.

Ross Herosian  36:06

And that’s hard. Because when you’re a creative business owner or entrepreneur, whatever, you I’m gonna tell you high highs low lows. If you can ride the plateau for a while it’s a dream. 

Lori Baker-Schena  36:22

It is it and it’s part of the package, that failure. It’s quite a ride and what when one of my early mentors, by the way, get a mentor, that’s really a great tip. But one of my early mentor said to me, when I there was a typo or something in this big, beautiful piece that we did. This is the day when we didn’t have the internet, right? So there were, you know, big beautiful pieces of brochures. But anyway, he said to me, what is going to happen? What is it going to matter? 100 years from now. And that little piece that just helps soothe my mind. But it also, it’s important to, you know, really be careful, but it really did help kind of take the edge off what’s gonna, what’s it gonna matter? 100 years from now.

Ross Herosian  37:10

So conversely, it’s not okay for entrepreneurs to _____.

Lori Baker-Schena  37:19

To not learn from the mistakes that they make, to play the victim and not take personal responsibility. Actually is two things, to not learn from it, but also to really not own it not take responsibility for what they did. That was part of that failure. And that is unfortunate.

Ross Herosian  37:42

It is and I think it will ultimately be a business’s demise. Yes. Like, I like to think I’m pretty transparent on this podcast. And in the past month, you know, I had a situation, we had a brutal client meeting, we came out of it. And there were some things that we just dropped the ball on. And that happens. And I could have just ran away and cried or blamed or made excuses. I didn’t do any of that. You got to go to work. That’s let me put it this way. This is what you stop, and you get sad and you get frustrated. But when you own a business, and those things come up, that is the time when you prove your worth to your business. If you are a CEO, if you are a founder, you are chief-problem-solver in charge, and that is your role. And so I had to step into that. So I talked with the client and talked with our team. Sat down, looked at what I got from both of them, looked at what the mouth, what the malfunction was, did we need a new process we did. Desperately I devised a new process I shared with my team and brought it to the client. Implemented it. Been what you know, monitoring it as we implement it, because it’s a brand new process for everyone. And I’m going to tell you, it is turned around that whole project in the course of two to three weeks. And that came out of a really shitty-mitty.

Lori Baker-Schena  39:28

Absolutely. That is you illustrated my point beautifully. You showed how you can learn from mistakes and from what you know failure you know, society shames failure. Ross it makes me crazy that you Everyone’s so afraid to fail. You know, we had a whole generation. I hate to tell you guys I love my millennials, but their parents never let them fail. And their parents never let them fail. And so and so that there’s no problem solving capabilities there. They you know, it’s Sad as a whole nother topic, but the fact of the matter is, I tell my clients, stop making excuses, do not make an excuse. Instead, figure out what you need to do, it’s crucial.

Ross Herosian  40:15

And let me say this, some of the best improvements to your business will come from the failures. This process I came up with, guess what, it’s the new process we’re using with every single client. And it makes a huge

Lori Baker-Schena  40:32

difference. And this really adds to your leadership brand, Ross, because it shows you as a problem solver, a solution oriented business owner, with a distinctive process for doing what you do. And that is how that works. That’s a beautiful, beautiful explanation. We didn’t plan this every one. But it really, really illustrates my point, beautifully that this is what it takes. This is what it’s all about. And this is the real joy, and happy. I mean, there’s deep lows here, but there is a lot of joy to figuring this stuff out. Otherwise, why are you an entrepreneur just go back to work for somebody else.

Ross Herosian  41:15

It’s true. I always said that, that if you’re not doing it your own way. Why even Why are you even doing it? Like go back? Like don’t take on all the stress that comes with owning a business? If you’re not going to do it your own way? What’s the point? 

Lori Baker-Schena  41:36


Ross Herosian  41:38

So we’ve talked you touched on a little bit. And and and I want to hit it again, cuz I made a note of it. You talked about positivity, how you ended how you end, your speaking sessions and your teach. When you were teaching with this positivity. Can you talk about the power of positivity in business? How that applies? 

Lori Baker-Schena  42:03

Absolutely. You know, nothing ever moves forward with negativity. Negativity never moves the needle at all. The only way you can move forward in life is by being positive. And being positive is a choice. We wake up every morning, and we decide, we’re going to either have a good day, or we’re gonna have a crappy day. And let me tell you something, those of us who have survived accidents and cancer and are living to tell the tale, we’re just happy to wake up. That’s the win, right? So everything else is it’s just fun, it’s frosting, but I choose to be happy, you know. There’s no point in not making that very conscious choice. And, you know, stuffs gonna happen to you, you know, craps can be flying at you all day every day. But figuring it out how to work with it. So you’re positive, so that your solution or so you know, what you can control and what you can’t and focus on what you can control. All these things add up to being positive. And the best sports teams, the best companies to work for, the best cultures that companies create. All are based on positivity, and that can-do attitude. And that’s what I try to preach to everybody I know, because you’re not going to get anywhere when you’re negative.

Ross Herosian  43:26

And I think that just so people understand. And I think you would agree. I think that’s not to say that bad things won’t happen. They will. They will. They absolutely will. Particularly if you’re a business owner, I promise you, they’re coming. They’re coming.

Lori Baker-Schena  43:44

But but you can either say seriously, you can either you could have ever walked out of that meeting that horrible meeting, and beating yourself up and said, “I’m no good. And this sucks and my business sucks.” Or you can say “You know what? That sucked to feel that it sucked to fail somebody because I want people to really be happy with what I do.” But I am going to flip the script and figure out what positive things can come out of this. And that’s how you do it. You can acknowledge the negativity, but flip to the positive.

Ross Herosian  44:18

I have one last thing I didn’t tell you about this. So I’m excited about revealing the people from my last couple podcasts and I’m going to start catching on to this but I have this set of cards. It’s designed. I think they’re called icebreakers. Yeah, Icebreaker, I’ll put a link in the show notes. anyone listening if you want to check these out? TripodPodcast.com. So I have a couple categories. And I just want you to pick a category. And I’ll pick one of the random questions from that category. So there’s six of them, so I don’t know if you need to rip but: life, random. Deep, I’m gonna warn you. I don’t If you should pick I looked at some of the deep cards. They are true to form deep. It’s a little heavy, but nonetheless: experiences, if you could, and would you rather?

Lori Baker-Schena  45:13

What was that first one?

Ross Herosian  45:15


Lori Baker-Schena  45:16

I’ll take life. 

Ross Herosian  45:17

All right. Okay, here we go. Life what was the first thing you remember buying with your own money? 

Lori Baker-Schena  45:26

Has to be books. 

Ross Herosian  45:28


Lori Baker-Schena  45:29

I was able to. They had these like scholastic things. And I wasn’t…I could buy books that…

Ross Herosian  45:38

You mean like a book fair.

Lori Baker-Schena  45:39

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, exactly. And, and I was and I could buy the book that I wanted versus the book that my parents wanted. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, kind of like, you know, your Captain Underpants? We didn’t have a Captain Underpants back then. But the Captain Underpants equivalent.

Ross Herosian  45:53

So that is handy. That’s good. So let me tell you what mine was in the book fair. All of us kids. We always wanted to get the Guinness Book. Right? 

Lori Baker-Schena  46:02


Ross Herosian  46:03

That was good. You know, or Where’s Waldo book? 

Lori Baker-Schena  46:07


Ross Herosian  46:08

I don’t want to take away from either of those books. But for our parents, those didn’t particularly have as much educational value.

Lori Baker-Schena  46:19

So I got the fun books. That’s exactly yeah. 

Ross Herosian  46:25

I remember the book fair stuff. It was good. You’re right, that that was one of the first instances where maybe you had some of your own money, or the parents said, “Yeah, we’ll give you money, but you can pick out what you want.” Yeah, my mom was always super supportive of me reading comic books, because at least I was reading,  Right.  And I still read comic books to this day.

Lori Baker-Schena  46:44

What’s the first thing you bought with your money?

Ross Herosian  46:49

Well, I mean, now you said your answer. I’m gonna say that, but I’m gonna think of something different. I mean, I’m gonna wager a guess, that it might have been like some sort of like, handheld video game thing. Yeah, not like a super expensive one. 

Lori Baker-Schena  47:06

But like a Gameboy thing. 

Ross Herosian  47:07

Yeah, yeah. Like even cheaper, like a tiger electronics. For those of you out there. They’re like a poor man’s Gameboy. But everyone had one. Yes. I think I probably bought something like that. Or maybe. Well, no, I was gonna say maybe a CD, but I didn’t get into music till later. Yeah.

Lori Baker-Schena  47:29

10 or 11? Yeah.

Ross Herosian  47:30

Yeah. Okay. All right. We’re wrapping up. It’s Tripod, the Tricycle Creative podcast. Lori, how can people find you? How can they connect with you please fire away.

Lori Baker-Schena  47:41

The best way to find me is on my website, www.loribakerschena.com and shoot me an email. Let’s chat.

Ross Herosian  47:49

Absolutely. I love having you and for all of you out there listening. Please remember for completely free. Lori has been awesome and created a 10 questions to ask yourself when developing a leadership brand. You can download it in the show notes TripodPodcast.com. I will talk at you next time. And as always, until then, I encourage you to keep pedaling.

Subscribe!  48:20

Thanks for listening to Tripod. Be sure to subscribe and rate the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, or wherever you listen. For show notes and past episodes, go to TripodPodcast.com connect with technical creative on social media @hellotricycle and learn more about how we can help you with your marketing at tricycle-creative.com


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