CBNationHuman CapitalI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1727 – Chief Purpose Officer Helps Clients Develop Strong Career Brands

Podcast Interview with Olympia LaRose

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: Olympia has great experience and perspective on the most impactful part of business. We spoke about the “career endemic” and what leaders need to be aware of and armed with to make sure they are ensuring their organization has talent and they are creating a great culture. We also spoke about knowing your “gift” and how you can have “purpose” in all you do. It was also powerful to hear her mission and how powerful it is to get to truly know “yourself” and your power.

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Olympia LaRose Teaser 00:00

We value purpose to understanding that you were created to solve a problem. What is that problem you were created to solve? And we wanna help you and help our clients solve that problem and understand that there is fulfillment beyond your working. You just need to connect that and then you really achieve what you really wanna achieve in life.

Intro 00:23

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 00:50

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. And if you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories or topics or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on our greatest asset talent management and hiring. Think from great resignation to great renovation. And if you disagree with me, maybe these episodes might be especially for you. Life and especially business has changed. It has forced those that are within organizations to look differently at talent, and how it's being managed. When we talk about change, think about it, we have to realize that business as usual is no longer here, and that's evident and attracting and retaining clients, but also in setting up people within organizations to succeed. Think onboarding, think DEI- diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. How it is working from home and even going back into the office.

Things are different in this month. We are going to explore these topics by featuring CEO hacks and CEO Nuggets, but also interviews that focuses through these changes that organizations can make sure they care for and attract the most valuable asset, their people. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO 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 02:21

Hi. Yes, thank you. Thank you for having me. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity to interview with you.

Gresham Harkless 02:28

No problem. Super excited to have you on. You're doing so many phenomenal things, and before we jumped in, I wanted to read a little bit more about Olympia so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Olympia is a woman 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, a strategic career marketing firm headquartered in Atlanta.

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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 futureproof their employment against the tech disruptions. Olympia, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Olympia LaRose 03:19

I am, I am. Thank you.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 03:22

No problem. Let's do it. So, to kick everything off, I wanted to hear a little bit more about your background, what led you to co-found and lead this organization.

Olympia LaRose 03:31

Sure, sure. So, 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. What I realized in co-founding Piahrose 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.

What 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 Piahrose is really the impetus for that to really solve that problem and help people achieve a much more sustainable lifestyle through their careers.

So with my background in engineering and my expertise in the future of work, we're really integrating that concept of helping people prepare. And like you said in my bio future-proof their employment through a strong career brand.

Gresham Harkless 04:43

Nice. I absolutely love that and I appreciate you for doing that. I didn't realize the number was that high. I've heard a lot of people, but 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 business leader definitely does, is not just seeing that there's a problem, but actually creating and solving and being at the forefront of an organization that helps make that happen.

Olympia LaRose 05:07

Yes, yes. Thank you. And, Gresh, it's interesting because when you think about it, 85% is a large number, but those are the recorded numbers statistically. But there are many others we are not accounted for. Again, that number is not just stagnant, it's progressively growing each day because of not just the pandemic, but because overall of the workforce and the job displacement that is going on and now technology is another aspect of that displacement.

Gresham Harkless 05:40

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to hear a little bit more about what you're doing with Piahrose. Could you take us through that and especially learn more about the phrase you said before and I said, when I read your bio, the future-proofing their employment. Can you talk a little bit more about that as well?

Olympia LaRose 05:54

Yes. Yes. I love it. Future-proofing employee employment. This is the vision and the mission of our CEO, Lyndon Millwood, who is very much involved in our day-to-day process in ensuring that we meet not just the bottom line, but that our clients are successful in their endeavors.

When I say future-proofing our employment 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. What Piahrose focus on is primarily helping people to understand their gift. So, commonly, we have this tendency to say, do your nine to five and go home and do your five to nine. For piahrose we changed the narrative of that, we 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.

The purpose is inside of what you do. It's who you are. You just need to identify what your gift, your talent, and your human capital are, and you'll be able to sustain your career in that way. So although you may have been laid off or furloughed or even fired, you're not abandoned because your gift, you know what you were created to do, would've placed you in a position to sustain any of those inconveniences.

Gresham Harkless 07:28

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 sets you apart and makes you unique?

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Olympia LaRose 07:37

What sets the Piahrose apart is again, as we've mentioned before, is purpose. Purpose is what sets us apart. Purpose is a very common term. It's something that you've heard millions of times, and I'd like to say the purpose is relative because of 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 to 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 don't create meaningful work. When you go home you wonder, okay, I'm gonna get up and go to work tomorrow but I'm not happy, I'm not sustained. What we really focus on is that purpose for our clients. What is it that you do, that really creates that meaningful life and experience for you? And not just for 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, I'm gonna 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 helped us to stand out is that we value purpose, we value people, and we value purpose to the understanding that you were created to solve a problem. What is that problem you were created to solve? And we wanna help you and help our clients solve that problem and understand that there is fulfillment beyond your working. You just need to connect that and then you're really achieving what you really wanna achieve in life.

Gresham Harkless 09:32

Yeah, absolutely. And so I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to ask you for what I call a hack. So this might be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Olympia LaRose 09:44

Work. I love work. 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 I may say I love to work, but what happens when I'm not working?

So work is like the hack for me. 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 10:15

I absolutely love that. 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 hopped into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Olympia LaRose 10:29

For me, it would be 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. It's to really pursue your purpose.

Gresham Harkless 10:43

Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition, of what it means to be a CEO. And I know you're the chief Purpose Officer, but I wanted to ask you from your perspective, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Olympia LaRose 10:53

Yes. Did you say a CEO or a CPO?

Gresham Harkless 10:55

CEO or CPO, it could be a CPO.

Olympia LaRose 10:58

So what it means to be a CPO. It's a responsibility to humans. And I say humans because with the progression of technology and artificial intelligence, which is what we'd understand it to be, the future of work and the displacement that is occurring right now, my role as the CPO is to really get to the core of our clients being and ensure that they meet themselves.

So our philosophy at Piahrose is career marketing that introduces you to you. And as the chief purpose officer of Piahrose I have to ensure that our vision, our mission are to introduce people to themselves. So, as we've mentioned before, we talked about purpose. Who are you? And do you really know what you're called to do? Do you really know what problem you were 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 for themselves who they are.

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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 a family and the pandemic, despite all of those things which are natural because it's life, what are you born to do? What problem were you created to solve? Why are you alive and, if you die, what would be set of you? That's really the marker for me and the meaning and the responsibility I have as the CPO.

Gresham Harkless 12:39

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 CEO and everybody are doing.

Olympia LaRose 12:56

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, the future of work, and tech. I love it. It's really the only thing I can say I really enjoy talking about. So again, I wanna thank you and your team for having me and your audience.

I would say follow the path less traveled. And that would really be the path where no one is on as that is a path exclusive to you and your calling. Follow your purpose, and ask questions about what are you doing. Where do you need to be? Why are you not happy?

Look beyond happiness, because again, the purpose is not about happiness. A solution is not about happiness. It's all about sustainability and solving problems. That's what solutions are about. So look beyond your happiness, but also look and investigate your passion. Find out what is it that you love and if you love it so much how does it connect to something greater?

How does it Solve a problem, because their passion is there? It's not voided, it's there. Everyone has a passion. We all have passions and some people have many passions. But you have to identify what is that passion telling you. It's really a tug and a pull for you to fix something, solve something, or do something greater than what you're doing now if you're not already in pursuit of that purpose.

You can connect with Piahrose. We are a career marketing firm and we work with mid-level executive professionals to help them develop a sustainable career and identify their gift and purpose through work. So you can connect with us And you can follow me on Instagram and 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 to engage your services. You can also visit

Gresham Harkless 15:08

Awesome. Awesome. Thank you so much again, Olympia. We will have the links and information in the show notes that everybody can follow up with you and I definitely appreciate you, leaving us with that because I think and 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 race. 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 medal to make sure that you're putting the work into 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 15:42

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at 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 at

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.


Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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