IAM782- Chief Purpose Officer Helps Clients Develop Strong Career Brands

Podcast Interview with Olympia LaRose


Olympia LaRose is a Women in Tech Ambassador, Speaker, and Career Advisor for distinct leaders, managers, and executives. As a former engineering consultant, Olympia has worked with global 500 companies including the United Nations, PIMCO, and Paul Weiss law firm to solve complex technology challenges. Today, she's the Principal and Chief Purpose Officer at Piahrose (pee-ah-rose) a strategic career marketing firm headquartered in Atlanta. Olympia leads the career marketing and coaching development operations, ensuring clients find purpose in work, manage their human capital and develop a strong career brand to future-proof their employment against the tech disruption.

  • CEO Hack: I love work
  • CEO Nugget: Pursue your purpose
  • CEO Defined: Responsibility to humans






Intro 0:02
Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you’ve come to the right place, Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you’re in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29
Hello, hello. Hello, this is Gresh from the IAMCEO podcast. And I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Olympia LaRose of Piahrose. Olympia, It's awesome to have you on the show.

Olympia LaRose 0:40
Hi, yes, thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity to interview with you.

Gresham Harkless 0:47
No problem super excited to have you on you're doing so many phenomenal things. And before we jumped in, I want to read a little bit more about Olympia so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. And Olympia is a Women in Tech Ambassador, Speaker, and Career Advisor for distinct leaders, managers, and executives. As a former engineering consultant, Olympia has worked with global 500 companies including the United Nations, PIMCO, and Paul Weiss law firm to solve complex technology challenges. Today, she’s the Principal and Chief Purpose Officer at Piahrose (pee-ah-rose) a strategic career marketing firm headquartered in Atlanta. Olympia leads the career marketing and coaching development operations, ensuring clients find purpose in work, manage their human capital and develop a strong career brand to future-proof their employment against the tech disruption. Olympia, Are you ready to speak to the IAMCEO community?

Olympia LaRose 1:38
I am. I am. Thank you.

Gresham Harkless 1:41
No problem. Let's do it. So to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about your background, and led you to co founder and lead this organization.

Olympia LaRose 1:51
Sorry, sure. So, um, well, my background is engineering. And I've worked as an engineering consultant for over 10 years. And I love tech. I love all things technology. I love the future of work. I love solving problems. And what I realized in CO founding p arose, is that really translated to my background, because what we're doing right now is solving the career endemic for mid level and executive professionals. So what do I mean by that is 85% Okay, believe it or not, 85% of Americans are unhappy and dissatisfied in their job or their career. So P arose. piros is really the impetus for that to really solve that problem, and help people achieve a much more sustainable lifestyle through their career. So with my background engineering, I'm in my 40s, in the future of work, we're really integrating that concept of helping people prepare, and if you said in my bio future proof their employment, there are a strong career brand.

Gresham Harkless 3:10
Nice, I absolutely love that. And I appreciate you for doing that. And I didn't realize, you know, the number was that high. I've heard, you know, a lot of people I've never heard that number when you hear 85% that is definitely a startling number. So I appreciate you, as any true leader, or, you know, business leader definitely does is not just seeing that there's a problem, but actually creating and solving and, and being at the forefront of an organization that helps make that happen.

Olympia LaRose 3:36
Yes, yes. Thank you. And you know, Gresh, it's, it's interesting, because when you think about it, 85% is a large number, but those are the recorded, those that have recorded numbers, statistically, you know, there are many others where are accounted for, you know, and again, that number is not just stagnant. It's progressively growing each day because of, you know, not just a pandemic, but because overall of the workforce and the job displacements that are going on. And now technology's another aspect of that displacement.

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Gresham Harkless 4:13
Yeah, absolutely. And technology's always doing, you know, its fair share of disruption. In addition, as you said, to everything that's, you know, happened in the world. So I wanted to hear a little bit more on what you're doing with Peter rose, could you take us through that, and especially learning more about the phrase you said before, and I said, when I read your bio, the future future proofing their employment? Could you talk a little bit more about that as well?

Olympia LaRose 4:35
Yes, yes, I love it and future proofing, employees employment. What I'm and this is the vision and the mission of our CEO who is very much Linda Millwood, who is very much involved in our day to day process and ensuring that we meet not just bottom line, but that that our clients are successful in their endeavors. So So when I say future proofing our employment on the concept of that is helping employees to prepare for unemployment. Now, we know that unemployment can be a very shattering experience for anyone, especially if you're not prepared. And what what piros focus on is primarily helping people to understand their gifts. So you know, commonly that, you know, we have this tendency to say, you know, do your nine to five and go home and do your five to nine, for p arose, we changed the narrative of that. And you say, work your five to nine, all the time, which is nine to five. Because what we want people to understand is that you don't have to find purpose, outside of work. Purpose is inside of what you do, it's who you are, you just need to identify what your gift your talent your human capital is, and you'll be able to sustain your career through that way. So although you may have been laid off or furloughed, or even fired, you're not abandon because your gift, you know, what you were created to do would have placed you in a position to sustain any of those inconveniences.

Gresham Harkless 6:18
I wanted to ask you now for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for you personally, or for the organization, but what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Olympia LaRose 6:27
What sets heroes apart, um, is again, as we've mentioned before, its purpose. Purpose is what sets us apart. And, you know, purpose is a very common term, it's something that you've heard and millions of times, and I'd like to say purposes relative, because what you may find to be purposeful to you, and others may not be purposeful for me, or our organization. But we focus on purpose to the degree in which it affects our entire being. So whether you're doing a job that pays you half a million dollars a year, and you're not satisfied, you know, you don't you don't create meaningful work. You know, when you go home, you wonder, okay, I'm going to get up and go to work tomorrow. But I'm not happy, you know, I'm not sustained. And what really what we really focus on, is that purpose for our clients, you know, what is it that you do, that really creates a meaningful life and experience for you, and not just you, but also for your family, because that's what work life integration is about. It's about integrating everything that connects to us. And really embracing that and saying, you know, what, I don't have to work and say, you know, I'm going to go home and take care of this, or go home and take care of that. Everything that I do about work should include everything that I believe from my principles to my practices. So what really help us to stand out is that we value purpose, we value people, we value, purpose, to get understanding that you were created to solve a problem, you know, what is that problem you were created to solve? And we want to help you and help our clients solve that problem and understand that there is fulfillment beyond you working, you know, you just need to connect that, and then you're really achieve what you really want to achieve in life.

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Gresham Harkless 8:32
Yeah, absolutely. And as we kind of talked about, before you start to get to why we were sometimes even put here on this earth, when you're able to understand these are the salt, the the problems, I've kind of been put here to solve. So absolutely. Love that. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a hack. So this might be like an app or book or habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient

Olympia LaRose 8:55
Work! I love work. Um, and if you notice, I said work in the aspect of even though it's a verb, I speak of it as an adjective, because we have, I may say, you know, I love to work, but what happens when I'm not working? You know? So work is what really it's like the hack for me, like I love, love, love working. And I believe I do, because I identify what my purpose is, which is to help other people achieve career sustainability.

Gresham Harkless 9:30
I absolutely love that. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call a nugget. And this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It could be something you would say to a client or potentially if you happen to a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Olympia LaRose 9:44
For me it would be pursue, pursue your purpose and just answer the call. That is really the nugget that we provide to all of our clients. And it is also what I provide for myself and my family is to is to really pursue your purpose.

Gresham Harkless 10:00
Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition what it means to be a CEO. And I know you're the chief purpose officer. But I want to ask you, from your perspective, what does being a CEO?

Olympia LaRose 10:11
Yes, you said a CEO or CPO?

Gresham Harkless 10:13
CPO or CEO See, it could be a CPO.

Olympia LaRose 10:17
So what it means to be a CPO, um, it's, it's the responsibility to, to humans. And I say humans, because with the progression of technology and artificial intelligence, which is what we understand it to be the future of work, and the displacement that is occurring right now. My role at the CPO is to really get to the core of our clients being and ensure that they meet their meet themselves. So our philosophy of Heroes is career marketing that introduces you, to you. And as the chief purpose Officer of Heroes is, I have to ensure that our clients are key, our vision or mission is to introduce people to themselves. So as we've mentioned, before, we talked about before his purpose, who are you? And you know, do you really know what you're called to do? Do you really know what problem you're born to solve? That is really my mission. And that is really demeaning to everything that I do is to help people understand that and find out, you know, find out for themselves who are themselves like, what do you mean to yourself? And how do you contribute to the world at large, despite your day to day, despite your nine to five, despite, you know, family, in the pandemic, despite all of those things, which are natural, because it's life, you know, what are you born to do? What problem were you created to solve? You know, why are you alive? And, you know, if you die, what what, what will be said of you, you know, that's really the marker for me and the meaning and the responsibility I have as the CPO.

Gresham Harkless 12:12
nice, I absolutely love that. And I think one of the habits of side seven, Seven Habits of Highly Effective, effective people was kind of beginning with the end in mind, I think that is the question what you said, like resonated so well, so much with me about what will people say what after, you know, you may not be here in the earth, on the way that we think and I think when you understand that you can kind of reverse engineer as you might say, as well, and understand exactly how to get to there and what that looks like. And I think, when we understand that and you're able to kind of create that perspective, it becomes like a really phenomenal kind of high that you're on. And I love that you get the opportunity to really get to do that for so many people. Because I think it's we're all kind of searching for something and be able to find yourself is one of the most powerful things that you can definitely do. So I truly appreciate that definition, Olympia, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do was pass you the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about what you and your team and and CO and everybody are doing.

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Olympia LaRose 13:18
Sure, thank you, thank you again, Gresh. For this opportunity, I really had a great time. Again, I love talking about work, career sustainability, career marketing, future of work tech, I love it, it's really the only thing I can say I really enjoy and talking about. So again, I want to thank you and your team for having me and to your audience. Um, I would say Follow, follow the path less traveled. And that would really be the path where no one is on as that as a path exclusive to you and your calling, you know, follow your purpose, you know, ask questions about what are you what are you doing? You know, where do you need to be, you know, why are you not happy? And look beyond happiness. Because again, purpose is not about happiness. You know, solution is not about happiness. It's all about sustainability and solving problems. That's what solutions are about. So look beyond your your happiness, but also look and investigate your passion. You know, find out what is it that you love, and if you love it so much. How does it connect to something greater? You know, how does it solve a problem, you know, because your passion is there, you know, it's not void. It's there. Everyone has a passion. We all have passions. We have and some people have many passions, but you have to identify what is that passion telling you it's really a tug and a pole for you to fix something, solve something, do something greater than what you're doing now. If you're not already in progress Have that, that purpose. And, you know, you can connect with piros. We are a career marketing firm, and we work with mid level and executive professionals to help them develop a sustainable career and identify their gift and purpose through work. So you can connect with us at that is P I A H R O S And you can follow me on Instagram. Facebook, I can tell you right now, I am not the most social media savvy person. But I do have a social media platform that I can engage with you and it to engage your services. You can also visit

Gresham Harkless 15:46
Awesome, awesome. Well, thank you so much, again, Olympia, we will have links and information in the show notes that everybody can follow up with you. And I definitely appreciate you, you know, leaving us with that because I think I often say that. A lot of times, if you run your own race, you can't lose I think so many times we get caught running somebody else's right. And when you're able to do that you identify what your race is, you find yourself as you said, so well, then you really start to put the pedal to the metal to make sure that you're putting the work in to make sure that happens. So I appreciate you for reminding us of that. Appreciate you even more for helping so many people do that and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:22
Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO.CO. I am CEO is not just a phrase, it’s a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear a This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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