People Business w/ O’Brien McMahon

People Business w/ O’Brien McMahon


Every business is in some way a “people business”. Success or failure often comes down to how leaders manage the people dynamics of their organization. People Business is a weekly podcast focused on what it takes to build and lead a successful, profitable business by navigating the human element. The host, O’Brien McMahon, is a Senior Vice President in Lockton’s Total Rewards Group where he works with companies to build and manage their benefits, compensation, and retirement programs. Having met with 300+ companies in the last decade, he’s seen all manner of industries, business models, and leadership styles. He’s fascinated by what makes people tick and how they work together (or don’t).

Christian Espinosa is the Founder and CEO of Alpine Security, a cybersecurity firm now part of Cerberus Sential. He is an Air Force veteran, an Ironman triathlete, and a lover of heavy metal music.

Christian used to value being “the smartest guy in the room” but realized that to be his best and to win the fight against cybercriminals, he had to check his ego and build his emotional intelligence. He is now a speaker, author, and trainer in the Secure methodology, helping to make the smartest people in the room the best leaders in the field.

Mentioned in this Episode:

– The Smartest Person in the Room by Christian Espinosa .
– How the US Hacked the Iranian Enrichment Program
– NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming)
– Trimetrix HD assessment –
– On Writing by Stephen King
– Bear Grylls Survival Academy


(3:05) – What is Alpine Security and Cerberus Sentinel?
(5:15) – What is White-Hat hacking & Red-Teaming?
(6:25) – How did you get into the world of cyber security?
(9:39) – Can you pitch your book and why you wrote it?
(11:33) – Do you have an example of how these High IQ-Low EQ team members interacted with a client?
(13:18) – How did you address your team’s claims that the clients were “ just not getting it”
(15:10) – What was the process of changing your own story internally of not being good with people?
(17:16) – Was it as simple as flipping a mental switch or was it more difficult?
(20:24) – How do you help others become better with people?
(22:18) – How did you help your team identify if they have a growth mindset?
(23:35) – What did you see that told you the team was making progress?
(25:35) – Neuro-Linguistic Programming & EQ Training
(28:26) – What does this Neuro-plasticity training look like in practice?
(31:38) – Doing vs. Being
(33:40) – What does EQ training look like in practice?
(37:41) – Establishing Core Values
(39:27) – Were there any other elements that had an outsized impact on training yourself or your team?
(41:00) – How much of people & EQ skill needs to be screened for when building a technical team?
(44:41) – The problem with High IQ – Low EQ in Technical leaders
(47:56) – What are you most sick of talking about when it comes to this topic?
(48:41) – What are you most excited to be talking about?
(50:06) – What is the purpose of business?
(50:56) – How did you become an instructor at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy?

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