Steve Campbell on The Ascent

November 8, 2017

Today we chat with Steve Campbell, who is co-founder and CEO of The Ascent.

Prior to breaking off on his own, Steve was the 10th employee at Vayner Media where he helped that company grow to what is now a 700 person company. Steve is a personal brand consultant and he helps people build communities. He has also walked the walk, as he has built an only community of over 34,000 people on Medium where people document their personal journeys (stories, experiences, life lessons, etc.).

In this episode Steve goes into greater detail about his journey, the lessons he's learned from being around some of the top social media experts in the world, and his decision-making process that led to him taking massive risks in his career. Steve is a caring guy who really values helping people. He wants to make an impact on the world while still cherishing the things he values most.

If you didn't know by now, Steve is also very active on social media.,,,

Make sure to give him a follow and share this episode with your network.

Thanks to Steve for coming on the podcast!

--Brian (@brianlevenson)


Chris Nowinski on Making an Impact

November 1, 2017

Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. is co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. He is also co-founder of the Boston University CTE Center and the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank, a collaboration with Boston University and the US Department of Veterans Affairs, where he currently serves as the outreach, recruitment, education, and public policy leader.

Chris has quite a story to tell. He was an elite athlete in high school, but that certainly was not his only identity. He excelled in the classroom, theater, and also participated in academic competitions. 

Excelling in football and school led him to Harvard University where he was an All-Ivy defensive tackle. After college, he tried out and ended up breaking through as a professional wrestler with WWE. It was during his time at the WWE where he experienced a concussion that ended his wrestling career. That concussion sparked his journey into finding out more about concussions and learning everything he could about them.

Chris is interested in psychology, sociology, and neurology, and how all three  impact human life. He's a risk taker and purpose-driven person, who believes in hard science and data to make decisions. It’s clear that his curiosity and persistence has helped him change how we view concussions. For that, I know I am grateful for all of the work that he has done and continues to do.

You can read Chris' book Head Games and he's active on social media:

Twitter: @ChrisNowinski1 @ConcussionLF

Facebook: @nowinski.christopher @ConcussionFoundation

Instagram: @christophernowinski @concussionfoundation

You can also check out the work that Chris and his colleagues are doing at the ConcussionFoundation.

Thanks to Chris for coming on the show and hope everyone is now a little bit more informed as a result of this conversation. 


Bob Bordone on Mastering Negotiation

October 25, 2017

Today's intentional performer is Bob Bordone.

Bob is the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the Founding Director of the Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program. He teaches several courses at Harvard Law School including the school’s flagship Negotiation Workshop. Bob also teaches in the Harvard Negotiation Institute and the Harvard Program on Negotiation’s Senior Executive Education seminars.

As a professional facilitator and conflict resolution consultant, Bob works with individual and corporate clients across a spectrum of industries. He specializes in dispute systems design and in assisting individuals and groups seeking to manage conflicts in highly sensitive, emotional, or difficult situations. His corporate clients have included Premera Blue Cross, Health Net, Gap, Inc., Fidelity Investments, Nestlé, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Exelon, and Microsoft. In addition, he has worked on projects with nonprofit, educational, governmental and cultural institutions such as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts General Hospital, Princeton Regional Schools, Dartmouth College, Fort Wayne, Indiana Schools, the U.S. Department of Justice, the United Way, the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Seeds of Peace, and the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration.

His resume is obviously impressive, but in this conversation you will get real insight into how Bob sees the world and how he thinks about negotiation. He is authentic and curious. He's a teacher at his core, but he also is a learner. He is constantly searching for how he can impact the world. We get into the art of negotiation, we find out his journey to Harvard, and we learn about how he integrates other fields into his process for negotiation.

He believes it's essential to be intentional throughout the negotiation process and he is certainly an intentional performer.

Twitter is the best place to connect with Bob so make sure to give him a follow there: @bobbordone.

Thanks to Bob for coming on!




Megan Phelps Roper on Finding Empathy

October 18, 2017

Today's podcast is rich. Rich in nuance, dialogue, and amazing content. I am so excited to share it with you.

Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church, the Topeka, Kansas church known internationally for its daily public protests against members of the LGBT community, Jews, the military, and countless others. As a child, teenager and early 20-something, she participated in the picketing almost daily and pioneered the use of social media in the church. Dialogue with "enemies" online proved instrumental in her de-radicalization, and she left the church and her entire way of life in November 2012. Since then she has become an advocate for people and ideas she was taught to despise -- especially the value of empathy in dialogue with people across ideological lines.

In this conversation, we go deep into her story and the challenging decision to leave her family and the church. We also talk about the power of empathy, social media, and how we can get people to change how they see the world. Megan also shares how she set her mind when she was protesting and how she sets her mind today, as she travels the country speaking about her experience. 

Megan's a deep thinker. She is extremely well read. She's caring. And most importantly, she's a lifelong learner. I hope you can deeply listen to her message, and understand where she is coming from, and what she is going toward. 

Megan has an incredible Ted Talk that has over 4 million views. She has a forthcoming memoir and movie that is currently titled, This Above All.

She is extremely active on social media.....

Twitter: @MeganPhelps

Instagram: @MeganMarie

Thanks so much to Megan for coming on!


Kyle Maynard and Jeff Gum on Creating Awe

October 11, 2017

I am so pumped for today's episode. It's the first time we interview two performers at the same time, and I couldn't think of two people who would be better to chat with. Kyle Maynard and Jeff Gum are best friends. They travel the world together and have a cool attire company called Loud Mouth Patriot

Kyle is a motivational speaker, bestselling author, entrepreneur, and ESPY award-winning mixed martial arts athlete, known for becoming the first quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Aconcagua without the aid of prosthetics.

Jeff Gum had a ten-year career with Naval Special Warfare where he was a proven leader, mentor, and instructor focused on teamwork, innovation, and strategic planning within the NSW Community.

To be blunt, Kyle and Jeff are both awe-inspiring, friendly, thoughtful, bad-asses, who I am so excited to share with you. 

In this conversation, we talk about mantras, breathing techniques, and all of the different ways that Jeff and Kyle set their mind to perform tough tasks. You are going to love their friendship and their perspective on the world.

Make sure to follow Jeff on Instagram (@JeffGum) and Kyle on Instagram (@KyleMaynard) and Twitter (@KyleMaynard) and you can also check out his website:

Thanks to both of them for coming on and please make sure to share this episode with friends/family and your social media!

Talk soon,



Paxton Baker on Going toward Tough

October 4, 2017

Paxton Baker is an American businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who has served in the entertainment, music, sports and production industries for over 30 years.

He is a minority owner of the Washington Nationals Baseball club and currently serves as chairman of the Washington Nationals Founding Partners Group. In 2015, he became a partner in the ownership group of the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis League. He is also a governing Board Member of the Global Sports Summit.

For nearly 15 years, Baker was President of BET Event Productions, which produced music festivals, TV awards shows, specials and concerts throughout the world. While at BET, Baker produced several major award shows including the BET Experience (2014-2015), Soul Train Awards (2009-2014), The Source Awards (2006-2007) and Billboard Jazz Awards (2001).

In this conversation, we learn about Paxton's journey, what he does daily and weekly to be the best version of himself, and get insight into how sees the world. Paxton is also an athlete; he plays competitive basketball during the warm months in DC and canoes with a team in the cold months. He's extremely diligent and disciplined and intentional with his decisions. Paxton is rich with story, theory, and is extremely clear about how his thinking impacts his behavior.

To learn more about Paxton you can follow him on twitter @PaxtonKBaker and on Instagram @PaxtonKBaker and @PittWarrior.

Thanks so much to Paxton for coming on.

If you enjoyed this episode, please share on social media and write us a review on itunes.

Thanks for listening!


Chris Grant on Developing Teams

September 27, 2017

Chris Grant works as a scout for the San Antonio Spurs and was previously the General Manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Assistant General Manager of the Atlanta Hawks.

Chris is a learner. He's constantly studying the best organizations in the world to figure out how to develop culture, people, and leaders. He has a Masters in leadership and has spent time studying some of the best organizations in the world.

In this conversation, we talk about the importance of values and how values drive culture. We discuss leadership and what it takes to transform lives. He also shares why he thinks it's so important to develop "people" instead of just "athletes".

Chris will share his journey to the NBA and the different roles that he has had in the NBA. One of Chris' best qualities is his thirst for information and how curiosity has helped him grow his career.

Thanks to Chris for coming on the podcast!




Podcast Update: Intentional Change

September 20, 2017

Hi Everyone,

This episode is a little different. It’s shorter and it’s just with Brian. The purpose is to give a “State of the Union” in order to update you on the podcast. The first update is that we are changing the name of the podcast to "Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson". We have discussed this for some time now and think it's time to make an intentional shift. We are really excited about the change and think it will serve you, the listener.

We also are going to consciously sift each episode for great gems from guests where they share an intentional act that they did in their journey to help them get where they are today. The hope is that you can learn from these intentional performers and think about how you are, and how you can be, intentional with not just your performance, but your life.

You will notice a lot of changes coming to the podcast. We have gotten terrific feedback from you and we want to make the show as helpful as possible. I also recently hired a producer (Michael Yoder with Truth Work Media), who is helping me design and develop the best podcast possible.

I am truly grateful for all of you who are listening! It truly means a ton to me. As we continue to make the podcast as professional as possible, we need your help as well. If you could share episodes on social media and write us a review on itunes, it really helps us grow our community. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all of the guests who have come on the show and thanks to all of you for listening!

Look forward to hearing from you all as we continue to be intentional with the show!

Talk soon,

Brian Levenson



Jake Sherman on Competing for Stories

September 13, 2017

Jake Sherman is a senior writer for POLITICO and co-author of POLITICO’s Playbook, the most indispensable morning newsletter for the biggest influencers in politics. Jake is the top congressional reporter on Capitol Hill and has built a career on landing hard-to-get scoops. Since 2009, Jake has chronicled all of the major legislative battles on Capitol Hill, and has also traveled the country to cover the battle for control of Congress. 

In this conversation, Jake discusses his mindset, his journey, and how he thinks about the complexities of his job. Jake is a hard worker, a go-getter, and someone who has become an expert at the craft of reporting. 

Jake is extremely active on Twitter so make sure to give him a follow there as well: @JakeSherman and in the future check out his book A Hill to Die On, which will be out in 2019. 

Please share this episode on social media and remember to subscribe and write a review for the podcast on itunes! 

Thanks for listening. 


Rebecca Scritchfield on Body Kindness

September 5, 2017

Today, we talk with Rebecca Scritchfield. Rebecca is a well-being coach, registered dietitian nutritionist, and certified health and fitness specialist. Through her weight-neutral Body Kindness practice, she helps people create a better life with workable, interesting self-care goals. She has influenced millions through her writing, podcast, and appearances in over 100 media outlets including NBC Nightly News, CNN, the Today show, the Washington Post, O Magazine, Health, Shape, and many others. 

Rebecca also wrote the book, Body Kindnesswhich takes a holistic approach to nutrition. The book really reflects Rebecca's philosophy that health transformation occurs from the inside out. 

In this conversation, we discuss the mentality of an athlete, what it means to live a healthy life, and we explore Rebecca's journey and career. Rebecca's journey blends small town values with big city dreams. She is extremely hard working, very well educated, and someone who cares deeply about helping people be their best self. She also talks about the importance of being useful and valued to people and how that has influenced her career. You will enjoy Rebecca's energy, vulnerability, and creativity as she shares her knowledge on nutrition. 

Rebecca is also active on social media. You can follow her on Twitter: @ScritchfieldRD, on Instagram@Rebeccascritchfield, and her website.

Thanks to Rebecca for coming on and thanks to all of you for listening!