Brainset, Mindset, and Skillset with Ellen Petry Leanse: Episode 273 of the Action Catalyst Podcast

Leadership coach and tech pioneer Ellen Petry Leanse has spent 35 years driving innovation at Apple, Google, Facebook, and with dozens of tech startups. Her current role as Chief People Officer at Lucidworks positions her to help humanize the face of AI through forward-looking leadership and a commitment to “Honor People” through ethical technology.

In her nine years at Apple, Ellen served on the Macintosh launch team (1984) and led the company’s pioneering work with digital communities (1985). Her work since then has spanned entrepreneurship, investing, and strategy consulting. Today, combining decades of perspective with insights from neuroscience, design, and mindfulness practice, Ellen guides companies and individuals to “think different” about design, impact, and using business as a canvas for positive change.

An author, Stanford instructor, and respected Silicon Valley influencer, Ellen is passionate about intentional living and how our brains can shape or interfere with our sense of purpose. She’s been featured on CNN and in publications including Time,, Forbes, and Business Insider, where her essay on the world “Just” has received nearly five million views. Her book, The Happiness Hack, shares brain-aware paths to focus, connection, and life satisfaction. She frequently speaks on inclusion, equality, neuroscience, and the future of innovation.

Show Highlights:

  • There’s always fear of rejection or starting something new, but the pain of regret is worse. -Dan Moore
  • The brain is an ancient technology that we use to navigate the modern world. -Ellen Leanse
  • The brainset is about survival, keeping us safe and alive. A mindset is a form of intentional thinking that points us in the direction we want to go. -Ellen Leanse
  • Preparing the brain is not enough. We have to practice so that the brain actually begins to encode a new behavior and make it part, with time, of a new brainset. -Ellen Leanse
  • Skillsets are small things we do to enact the mindset. -Ellen Leanse
  • Any skillset or practice that acts on the mindset will ultimately change things in our brainset in a virtuous cycle. -Ellen Leanse
  • Honor people. -Ellen Leanse
  • A person’s job is what they do to generate money but their work is why they’re on earth. -Dan Moore

Ellen’s closing thoughts: Make yourself vulnerable to someone whose opinion you deeply value. Stay diligent with your process. Try journaling. Let yourself feel the discomfort of the situation. The discomfort is information; it’s telling you that you want something more. Trust the process.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Dan Moore, President of Southwestern Advantage, the oldest direct-sales company in America, and Partner with Southwestern Consulting. With more than 45 years in sales leadership and marketing management, Dan has a wealth of knowledge to share on how to make better use of time to achieve life, sales, and other business goals. Each week, he interviews some of the nation’s top thought leaders and experts, sharing meaningful tips and advice. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

One Response

  1. Sylvia Moore, PCC says:

    FABULOUS podcast!!! Thank you for sharing this!

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