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About Chris LaVictoire Mahai

Chris is the managing partner at Aveus. Her career includes more than 25 years in leading, developing, and implementing business and marketplace strategies. Through Aveus, Chris has worked with over 100 organizations from large global enterprises to family-owned businesses and start-ups, non-profits and other service organizations. She has served on the board of several businesses and non-profit organizations, and is an active investor in women-owned and led businesses.

Know Thyself: A Bold Leader Interview with Maureen Spivack

By | Monday, January 30, 2017|

The ancient Greek aphorism “know thyself” was on full display as we visited with the very self-aware Maureen Spivack. Maureen is one of those folks that immediately establishes instant credibility. Some of it is from her 30 plus years of investment banking [...]

Bold Leaders Change the World for the Better: An Interview with Glen Gunderson

By | Wednesday, November 2, 2016|

Has anyone reading this post NOT heard of “the Y?” The YMCA? How many of you have a story about how “the Y” in some small or great way touched your life? I’m guessing most, if not all, of you. Glen Gunderson [...]

Alignment, Not Sameness: An Interview with Mary Brainerd

By | Monday, October 3, 2016|

Don’t you just love those moments when someone says something so simple, so clear and therefore so brilliant, light bulbs literally go off in your head? I sure do and it happened to me in a recent conversation with Mary Brainerd, CEO [...]

It’s About Strategic Positioning, Not Strategic Perfection: An Interview with Doug Stark

By | Monday, August 29, 2016|

I asked a former work colleague and friend, Sandi Schmiesing, if, in her current organization, she knew of a bold leader based on our Aveus definition: someone who thinks and acts beyond the existing organizational limits, is imaginative, and is willing to [...]

What is the Truth? An Interview with Jay Coughlan

By | Monday, August 1, 2016|

Jay Coughlan – successful former Chairman and CEO of XRS Corporation, President and CEO of Lawson Software, convicted felon, husband, father, board member, speaker, coach, and now the CEO and Managing Director of TruBalanced – and I reconnected after several years for [...]

Nurturing Boldness: An Interview with Diana Rehnberg

By | Wednesday, May 18, 2016|

Once upon a time (well, actually many times over decades!), I was a mentor in a national program that paired experienced executives with up and coming business leaders. My first mentee in that program, Colleen Larson, and I have stayed in touch [...]

Thinking of Great Ideas AND Making Them Walk, Too – An Interview with Becky Roloff

By | Wednesday, March 30, 2016|

Becky Roloff is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the YWCA of Minneapolis.  As their website describes, the YWCA serves over 30,000 annually with a budget of $23 million through a dedicated staff of over 600 full and part-time employees.  I’ve [...]

Optimistic. Empathetic. Curious. An Interview with Carly Broderick

By | Friday, March 4, 2016|

Let me start this post where Carly Broderick and I ended our bold leader conversation. Optimistic, empathetic and curious were three adjectives Carly offered as the best descriptors of herself. I don’t know her well but in our few exchanges, all three [...]

Never Satisfied and Always Moving Forward: An Interview with Dr. Nicolas Guggenheim

By | Wednesday, February 24, 2016|

I’ve known Dr. Nicolas Guggenheim, the President of Heraeus Medical Components (HMC) and worked with him and his team for a couple of years now. We have (hopefully he agrees!) a strong, positive working relationship and yet I find him a bit [...]

Learn Out Loud: An Interview with Nancy Dahl

By | Thursday, February 18, 2016|

I remember the day I met Nancy Dahl. It was 1999 and I was in a small fishbowl conference room at Lifetouch where she was at the time Senior VP of Sales and Marketing. It was a small group, discussing the implications [...]

Connect the Dots Through What and Why: An Interview with Steven Guida

By | Tuesday, February 9, 2016|

  My bold leader interview with Steve Guida picked up after a 15 – 20-year gap. Neither of us could remember exactly the last time we saw each other. As so often happens when you haven’t seen someone in a while, you [...]

Beyond the Usual Limits of Conventional Thought or Action: An Interview with John Hoskins

By | Friday, January 8, 2016|

One of the things I ask everyone I meet through these bold leader interviews, especially those who have been referred to me so I’m meeting them for the first time, is: “Why do you think (referring person) sees you as a bold leader? And, do you think of yourself that way?” John Hoskins’ response was one I loved: “I originally thought no. Then I looked up the word [bold] for fun and there were 8 definitions. The one that I liked was from Dictionary.com: (adjective) beyond the usual limits of conventional thought or action; imaginative.” I knew I was in for a great conversation because John had in an instant put his finger on a very simple description of the kind of bold leaders we are looking for:  Unconventional. Action oriented. Imaginative. […]

Are you leading or ‘just out taking a walk?’ An Interview with LTG (Ret) Benjamin C. Freakley

By | Wednesday, August 5, 2015|

Ben Freakley, Lieutenant General (Ret), is the first military leader I’ve had the opportunity to interview for this bold leader series, and boy did I get lucky. Now Special Advisor to the President of ASU for Leadership Initiatives, a Senior Advisor to The McCain Institute for International Leadership and former Eagle Scout, one of the first things Ben said to me when I asked him about his path to bold leadership was, “I think it started when I was about 11 and joined the Boy Scouts. I have learned to be a leader, and by your definition of bold leader, yes, of course I have gotten things done.” As we discussed development of leadership skills, Ben commented, “I once heard someone say, ‘If no one is following, you’re just out taking a walk.’” That set the tone for our whole enjoyable conversation. […]

Do you know your personal brand? An interview with Phil Soran

By | Friday, July 17, 2015|

Phil Soran is a bold leader who knows himself very well. Not in a braggadocios way but in a confident, warm, and engaging way. Before committing to the actual interview, Phil wanted a conversation and asked me more questions than anyone I’ve interviewed to date. I thought that was great! And interesting. Through our two conversations, I met a leader who is curious and confident and has a clear point of view. And he has a marketing orientation to the way he sees the role of a leader. This culminated in a statement he made near the end of our interview: “I tell people that come to me all the time, ‘Figure out your differentiators, name them, brand them.’” Do you know your personal brand? Can you name it? […]

Sam Yagan Interview: Fail Because You Are Trying…

By | Wednesday, May 20, 2015|

The latter part of the title is the beginning of a quote from my conversation with Sam Yagan, CEO of Match.com.  The whole quote is: “Fail because you are trying, not because you are not trying.” It is probably a good example of why Time Magazine in 2013 named him one of “the 100 most influential people in the world, from artists and leaders to pioneers, titans and icons.” People hesitant to act for fear of failing accomplish little. All of my bold leader interviews to date have reinforced this fact. […]