Love real world case-studies in leadership execution? Then you’ll love our bonus episode series, called LeaderSmarts, where Karan Ferrell-Rhodes curates examples of smart tactics exhibited by individuals and companies who trying to make a difference in our world as we know it. Learn from leadership-in-action, at it’s best!

In today’s episode, Karan features two brief case studies in the news – The CHIP Act of 2022 and innovation by Freshii, a health and wellness brand that makes healthy eating and overall wellness convenient and affordable.

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  1. An example of Leading with Intellectual Horsepower via the passing of the CHIPS ACT legislation.
  2. An example of Leading with Intrapreneurship by Freshii.
“And since global chip production is not expected to ramp up anytime soon, in my opinion, it has become really important for the US to hedge our bets by increasing our own capacity to service our own needs.”


[00:57] The CHIPs Act

[03:24] Freshii

[06:58] Info on SDL’s signature leadership development program


Karan is an organizational strategist who is obsessed with up-leveling leadership capability and optimizing workforces to do their best work. After years of witnessing the dark-side, chaos and trauma caused by bad leadership within organizations, she ditched her comfy job as a corporate HR exec at Microsoft, to commission a research study to uncover the critical success factors of over 10K high-performing leaders.

From her data, Karan was able to pinpoint the top tactics which accelerated their rise to the pinnacle of success that few others achieve. Listen in as Karan gives us an insider’s look into how to best sharpen your leadership acumen, so you can become a stronger leader who advances your career or makes a greater impact by doing big things in your profession or industry.

Karan is also the founder of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global human capital professional services firm that helps corporations execute business-critical People, Learning & Culture initiatives. She has worked with executive teams at companies such as Coca-Cola, Microsoft, British Petroleum, Meta, EY, Raymond James, Major League Baseball and the NFL.

Karan is also the author of Lead at the Top of Your Game, created the Leadership Tactics Diagnostic assessment and is a frequent contributor on leadership strategies with



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This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.
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Episode 5 | LeaderSmarts | Leadership Execution Case Studies on the CHIPS Act and Freshii
Voiceover 00:03
Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.

Karan 00:32
Hey there, everyone. This is Karan. And today I’m bringing you one of our leadership-in-action segments called LeaderSmarts, where I feature interesting case studies that are currently in the news of tactics that are used by individuals and companies who are trying to really make a difference in our world as we know it. And there are two brief case studies that I’d like to feature today.

Karan 00:57
The first is the CHIPS Act of 2022. And if you’re not familiar with the CHIPS Act, it is new legislation that Congress has passed to help empower US-based manufacturing of our own computer chips, versus relying on other countries such as China. And you know, this week I was really reflecting on how many products that we all use, that now require some type of technology-based chips. I mean, really think about it. I mean, we use chips and computers and phones and kitchen appliances and cars and manufacturing facilities and public transportation and so much more. I mean, you know, the list goes on and on. And I know that the current political environment frustrates us all. But I would like to give kudos to those who helped the CHIPS bill to pass. And the reason for this is because the pandemic really turned all areas of supply and demand on its head. And this was way more than for the fight for paper towels and toilet tissue, which I still don’t understand, but that’s a topic for another podcast. But I really don’t think supply chains will fully ever return to a pre-pandemic state, we just really have a new way of living around the globe right now. And since global chip production is not expected to ramp up anytime soon, in my opinion, it has become really important for the US to hedge our bets by increasing our own capacity to service our own needs as it relates to computer chips. So with the passing of the CHIPs Act legislation, you know, it’s really an example of what I call Leading with Intellectual Horsepower, which is all about spotting trends, connecting the dots and identifying new areas of opportunity to really take action. And by increasing our own production capacity for computer chips in the US, I do believe we’re going to have a great buffer against competition from abroad. When and if supply chains are reduced again, or cut entirely in the future, it really helps us to be more competitive as a country.

Karan 03:24
Now, the second case study that I really wanted to feature this week involves a company called Freshii, F- r -e- s- h- i-i. And then I’d like to say up front, I have absolutely no affiliation with Freshii. It was something that I was reading in my business news stream on my phone and I thought, Wow, what an interesting case study I made a note about it and thought I’d share it with you here on the podcast. But as I understand that Freshii is a company that was founded in 2005 by an individual named Matthew Corrin, who basically wanted to positively impact and scale the availability of fresh food restaurants in our country, and he recognized that a lot of restaurants who featured really fresh, I guess, farm to table foods for a lot of the mom and pop restaurants versus your chain restaurants, right? Which makes a lot of sense. However, that’s not why Freshii was in the news. Freshii was in the news because they had implemented a concept of virtual cashiers powered by a software called Percy and they may have renamed this software by the time you listen to this podcast, but in a nutshell, Percy is a video conferencing technology that was used to replace physical cashiers with virtual cashiers. And the virtual cashiers are based in countries such as Nicaragua, Pakistan and Bolivia. Now, it’s probably pretty obvious that in these countries, the competitive pay range is a lot less than the US. It’s my understanding that the pay range in those countries are around anywhere from $3.75 to $4.50 an hour currently, which is tremendously lower than the US minimum wage. Now, please, please, please don’t come at me around outsourcing because I, we could definitely debate the topic around the appropriate minimum wage in the US, which I personally do think needs to be raised. But hear me out here. Matthew’s solution came about because of a need during the pandemic, when the restaurant industries could not find enough workers who really wanted to come in-person to work. And now his idea and the technology have really gained a ton of traction amongst the technology and restaurant industries, I’m sorry, the hospitality, and restaurant industry. And the whole concept of implementing virtual cashiers in my opinion, is an excellent example of Leading with Intrapreneurship, which is all about building organization by identifying new opportunities to develop or improve operations, products or services. And Matthew’s technology innovation has really provided interesting alternatives for the restaurant and hospitality industry, especially as they evaluate their options to be more competitive in the global markets.

Karan 06:58
Leading with Intrapreneurship and Intellectual Horsepower are two of the seven leadership tactics that came from my research of the world’s most successful leaders and what tactics that they master that really increases their ability to impact and influence at an unprecedented results. And, you know, if you’re more interested in infusing these leadership execution skills within your organizations, just reach out and hit me up, and we can talk about how me and my team can help. You can get more information at Bitly. That’s And you’ll see our whole suite of services there. And we can also have a complimentary scoping session to see how me and my team can help your organization. But in the meantime, keep leading at the top of your game, everyone. Those that you exist to serve really depend upon it, and heck, I depend upon it as well. Have a fantastic rest of your day. Talk soon.

Voiceover 08:12
And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K-a-r-a-n. And if you liked the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives, on an on-demand, project or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Bye for now.

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