The Podcast

Episode 163 – Sean Mann – being the host, not the life of the party

Posted by on 12:12 AM in Behavior, Bottom Up Reinvention, Connect, Customer Expectations, Detroit, Growth, Lead by Action, Ownership, Passion, Podcast, Reinvention, Stakeholders | 0 comments

Sean Mann, Detroit Football Club


The Detroit City Football Club was founded in 2012 and is one of the most successful minor league soccer teams in North America. The team was founded as a vehicle to organize the community and regularly sells out its 7,000 seat stadium in Hamtramck. Listen as Mike talks with Sean Mann, CEO and co-owner of Detroit City Football Club about the club’s founding and how they earned a loyal fan base.




“A gathering place in the city at a time when there’s only a handful of restaurants and bars.” (6:39)


“Being the host of the party instead of the life of the party.” (11:03)



  • (4:03) Soccer as the vehicle for being active in the community.
  • (5:19) A growth spurt.
  • (7:16) A small neighborhood activity generates a large amount of enthusiasm.
  • (18:58) Creating a stronger financial footing.


Tip of the Week

Ask yourself: Is your customer experience being driven top down or bottom up?


Episode 162 – bringing the leading edge to your people

Posted by on 12:12 AM in Behavior, Change, Collaboration, Education, Executive Coach, Lead by Action, Leadership, Move, Ownership, Passion, Podcast | 0 comments

We continue discussing the move fundamental in PureReinvention with our February co-host, Shari Milliken, finance director with Michigan Municipal League. Mike and Shari discuss executive development and the importance of listening.




“You have to continue to better yourself.” (1:42)


“Bringing the leading edge to your people.” (4:28)



  • (1:23) Importance of continuous movement in executive development.
  • (1:55) Executive awareness.
  • (4:02) Pursue change.
  • (4:39) Nurturing individualism.


Tip of the Week

The best listeners are also keen observers.


Episode 161 – Connect: Detroit – A professional development opportunity like no other

Posted by on 12:12 AM in Connect: Detroit, Creating Space, Detroit, Education, Growth, Leadership, Learning Laboratory, Making Space, Podcast, Professional Development, Reinvention, Reinvention Laboratory | 0 comments

We are so excited to announce the launch of a professional development opportunity like no other. Connect: Detroit will be a one day experience in Detroit on May 22. This experience is designed for high functioning executives who are interested in rolling up their sleeves, feeling a little uncomfortable and experiencing the reinvention that is happening in Detroit. With Connect: Detroit, you’ll have an opportunity to immerse yourself in the many success stories that Detroit has to offer and learn how you can take those experiences home with you and apply them to your personal success story. This week’s podcast is a discussion between Mike Bills and Bonnifer Ballard (Executive Director – American Water Works Association – Michigan Chapter) on how Connect: Detroit came to be and what excites them about sharing this experience with others.




“Be all in.” (2:14)


“The best things happen when we’re a little uncomfortable.” (5:43)


“Reflection is a part of professional development.” (7:13)




  • (2:14) The role of empathy.
  • (3:45) The value of unpredictability.
  • (8:02) Creating accountability.


Tip of the Week

If you do the same things, you get the same results. If you’re not happy with those results, try something different.


Episode 160 – the Impression 5 case study, part 2

Posted by on 12:12 AM in Behavior, Board Leadership, Board of Directors, Board President, Change, Collaboration, Connect, Customer Expectations, Fundamentals, Leadership, Market Relevance, Move, Podcast, Reinvention, Simplify, Stakeholders | 0 comments

This is the second part of the Impression 5 reinvention case study with Noah Smith, Partner, Capital Services, Inc. (Listen to part 1 here.) Part 2 covers how the I-5 team used the PureReinvention fundamentals simplify, connect and move to attain the incredible growth they have enjoyed in recent years.



“We got away from distractions.” (5:10)



“The catalyst to bringing everyone else on board.” (10:37)



  • (3:41) Create a focus to simplify.
  • (7:32) Connecting networks in the community.
  • (14:40) Doing what’s impactful and necessary.



Tip of the Week

You can’t move a plan forward without a focused, simple message.


Episode 159 – the Impression 5 case study, part 1

Posted by on 12:12 AM in Accountability, Association Culture, Board Leadership, Board President, Change, Collaboration, Disruption, Fundamentals, Growth, Market Relevance, Move, Passion, Plan, Podcast, Purposeful Disruption, Reinvention, Risk, Simplify | 0 comments



The Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing, Michigan has seen a tremendous turnaround over the last few years under the leadership of Noah Smith. Listen as Mike and Noah discuss how I5’s board applied the PureReinvention fundamentals to position the organization into the growth phase that it has enjoyed in recent years.



“People were actually ready for a change … but there was nobody who was willing to spark it.” (7:00)


“I want to do this. Train me.” (16:18)




  • (5:33) Disruption is an option.
  • (11:38) Demonstration of ownership.
  • (14:45) The brain trust parallels with mutual mentorship.


Tip of the Week

Moving from “wouldn’t it be nice” to “let’s do it” is the key to any success story.