On Principle

Experience the decisions

On Principle, WashU Olin’s podcast, tells the stories of pivotal business decisions. What led to them? What were the choices? And what lessons can executives, entrepreneurs and other leaders draw from them?

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​On Principle, Season Four

Lisa Baron

Time to Dream Bigger

Episode 1, August 8, 2023

The facilitator at a strategic planning workshop sparked Lisa Baron’s nonprofit board into action with a question: “Grow incrementally or change the world—what do you want to do?”

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Akeem Shannon

Opportunity on the Line

Episode 2, September 12, 2023

Startups often operate on a razor’s edge. So, when opportunity strikes, founders have to be nimble, resourceful—and willing to ask for help to get what they need, when they need it. Is it a question of being innovative about how they innovate? Can our WashU Olin experts think of other examples of this sort of creativity?

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On Principle, Season Three

In this season's stories of management decision-making at pivotal moments, we go around the globe for a crash course in supply chain management, examine modern-day customer service in the century-old bourbon industry and learn how tackling mental health in the ranks can rattle a combat-hardened general. Join us for these stories and more.

Lauren Herring

Time to Take Ownership

Episode 1, August 16, 2022

Economic reality demands an updated business plan. How does the new CEO confront that challenge in the firm her mother founded?

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Mark Pydynowski

The Road to Reinvention

Episode 2, September 13, 2022

How often can you reinvent and pivot your startup before the walls close in? Was the advice Mark Pydynowski got—"If you're not dead, you're alive"—true?

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Ty McNichols

When the Kids Come First

Episode 3, October 11, 2022

You walk into a new role expecting to do big things. When the plan goes awry, how do you align your team and still get things done?

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Russ Flicker

A Career on the Line

Episode 4, November 8, 2022

“Believe in your idea even when everyone else tells you not to,” said Russ Flicker. But are you backing a fool’s errand or unleashing untapped potential?

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Gen. Mike Minihan

Warrior Heart, No Stigma

Episode 5, December 6, 2022

With one vulnerable tweet about mental health, Gen. Mike Minihan took a step toward normalizing workplace well-being. Did it work? And why does it matter?

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Jimmy Sansone

Supply Chain Crash Course

Episode 6, January 10, 2023

Jimmy Sansone's fledgling apparel brand faced a common concern: an opaque supply chain. When it threatened the business, he began a global crash course to save it.

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David Mandell

A Shot of Customer Service

Episode 7, February 7, 2023

David Mandell's startup bourbon brand quickly took off. Yet when hard-won experience clashed with customer service demands, a multimillion-dollar contract stood in the balance.

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Kendra Kelly

My Old Friend

Episode 8, March 7, 2023

Insecurity. Self-doubt. Kendra Kelly wryly refers to it as her “old friend.” How does an accomplished professional cope with imposter syndrome—and should she have to?

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The Oystar Founders

Learning to Balance

Episode 9, April 4, 2023

A round-table chat with four founders juggling their startup, their day jobs and four time zones. What epiphanies do they learn that apply both ways?

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On Principle, Season Two

Our fresh crop of stories about tough choices takes us from the slimy floor of an abandoned factory to corporate board rooms, from a fleabag apartment to the smoldering embers of a demolished golf club. Come inside the minds—and the stories—of these new decision-makers.

On Principle: Season 2

Season 2 Trailer

Episode 0, January 11, 2022

A handshake agreement gone bad. A multimillion-dollar mistake. A dive into crisis-driven strategy. Glimpse the pivotal moments we’ll explore in season two of On Principle.

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Alaina Macia

The $5 Million Mistake

Episode 1, January 25, 2022

Her business was booming, but based on an antiquated tech platform. How to maintain momentum, yet fix the problem? Alaina Macia found out. Then she found out again.

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Mike Isaacson

The Second Act

Episode 2, February 8, 2022

The curtain rises on our story as Mike Isaacson takes the stage to lead a St. Louis theater institution. Then he discovers what’s hurting the theater’s creativity—and attendance.

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Joyce Trimuel

Finding Strategy in Crisis

Episode 3, February 22, 2022

After George Floyd’s murder, firms moved to support workers and confront their record of inclusive leadership. What prepared Joyce Trimuel to counsel strategy in the midst of crisis?

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Steve Smith

The Inspiration

Episode 4, March 8, 2022

For commercial developer Steve Smith, three events converged to launch a $230 million project in St. Louis’ urban core—an effort that came within a hair’s breadth of dying.

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Ivan & Berto Garcia

The Handshake Deal

Episode 5, March 22, 2022

Berto and Ivan Garcia learned resilience early watching their immigrant parents make their way. It served them well when their nascent business teetered on a handshake agreement.

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Angel Likens

Rising from the Ashes

Episode 6, April 5, 2022

How do you balance the tug of tradition, the weight of history and the need to innovate when your business has literally gone down in flames? That was Angel Liken’s challenge.

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Jill Castilla

The Troubled Condition

Episode 7, April 19, 2022

Only her stepfather wanted her there. When Jill Castilla arrived at a community bank in Oklahoma, the dysfunction was rampant. How did she overcome staggering mistrust?

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Jason Wilson

In the Gray Area

Episode 8, May 3, 2022

A store failed. Employees sabotaged relationships. Checks bounced. Lending was tight. Advisors said quit. But if he hadn’t existed “in the gray area,” what would he have missed?

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On Principle, Season One

How do you put a price tag on a hall-of-fame ballplayer? How do you decide to throw away one career dream for another one? How do you survive an existential crisis in your business? The debut season of On Principle puts you behind the scenes for these decisions and more.

On Principle: Season 1

Season 1 Trailer

Episode 0, June 2, 2021

What do women’s handbags, salad dressing, home runs, cat litter and credit reports have in common? They all figure into the first season of On Principle. Get a sneak peek at the decisions we’ll explore.

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Gerard Craft

The Longest Winter

Episode 1, June 15, 2021

For Gerard Craft, James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur, the scope of the pandemic hadn’t entirely sunk in. Then he got a text from one of his suppliers in Italy.

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John Mozeliak

The Negotiation

Episode 2, June 29, 2021

The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2011 World Series glow faded fast for John Mozeliak, president of baseball operations. His toughest negotiation ever, with legend Albert Pujols, lay ahead.

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Lisa Hu

The Big Leap

Episode 3, July 13, 2021

How do you decide to toss aside one vision of your career for another one — especially when the new path is littered with failure? Lisa Hu's journey into entrepreneurship.

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Paulino R. Barros

Out of the Breach

Episode 4, July 27, 2021

Hackers pulled off history’s biggest data breach when they pierced the defenses at Equifax. Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. took the company’s reins soon after. Now what?

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Jason Wang

The Tarnished Dream

Episode 5, August 10, 2021

When should a company stand up for a cause? Jason Wang confronted that question before. And he did it very publicly after attackers beat two Xi’an Famous Foods employees.

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Dave Ciesinski

The Higher Purpose

Episode 6, August 24, 2021

“Why does your company exist?” That’s the question Dave Ciesinski, CEO of Lancaster Colony, faced when he realized there was more to becoming “the better food company.”

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Nina Leigh Krueger

Out of the Box

Episode 7, September 7, 2021

Cat litter isn’t sexy, but it can earn you some scratch—especially when you think out of the … um … box. Nestlé Purina Petcare CEO Nina Leigh Krueger tells the go/no-go story of a kitty innovation.

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David Karandish

Taking a Punch

Episode 8, September 21, 2021

David Karandish’s was a whopping success, but he was on the ropes 90 days after he began running it. How did his earlier startups teach him to take a punch?

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