From Court To Screen With Toni Ann Marcolini And Dealing With Cultural Situations In Business With Angel RIBO

Imagine a couple in the middle of a divorce forced to stay in the same house until the divorce was over. It sounds like an interesting plot to a movie, but it also sounds like many family law cases in reality. Toni Ann Marcolini has had the good fortune to be able to try her hands in both. As a lawyer, Toni has had more than two decades of experience in family litigation before moving on to a more transactional role as a general counsel to the United States Presidential Culinary Museum. As a creative, she co-produces the legal family drama web series, Surviving Sam. Listen to this episode as she shares with Dr. Diane Hamilton how such a unique combination of roles played into her interesting life. 

We tend to think that everything is global, that the way you do business works as well in one area as it does in another. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the course of his international career as an influencer, TV host, public speaker, consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Angel RIBO finds that cultural differences are a crucial component of business relationships that often gets overlooked. Known as The CEO Confidant, Angel has empowered more than 1,500 CEOs in 33 different countries. He is not only fluent in several languages; he is also proficient in the different cultural languages used by the people he encounters daily. Listen in as he shares how he handles cultural situations in business and how perception plays into it with Dr. Diane Hamilton. 

TTL 792 | Family Law

I’m glad you joined us because we have Toni Ann Marcolini and Angel RIBO. Toni is an author and producer. She’s also a General Counsel to the United States Presidential Culinary Museum. Angel is The CEO Confidant, international TV host, public speaker, CEO, consultant and philanthropist. This is going to be an interesting show. 

Watch the episode here

Listen to the podcast here

From Court To Screen With Toni Ann Marcolini

I am here with Toni Ann Marcolini who has been practicing law for more than 28 years. She got her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. John’s University and her JD from Seton Hall. This is going to be an interesting difference because I don’t get a lot of lawyers on this show, so I’m looking forward to this. Toni, welcome. 

Thank you. It’s great to be here. 

I was looking forward to this. Our good friend, Marti Mongiello, introduced us. I want to get a backstory on you because you’ve argued cases before the Supreme Court in New Jersey. You’ve done all these interesting things. How did you get interested in law and how did you meet Marti? 

In terms of law, it’s a weird little story. I was in the fifth-grade and I watched a movie with my mom that had a great female lawyer in it. Back in those days in the ‘70s, you didn’t see too many female lawyers depicted in entertainment. 

What was the title? 

I don’t even remember, but I remember that I saw this female lawyer and I said, “I could do that. I want to be that.” I remember talking to my mom, I was like, “I want to be a lawyer.” It was in the fifth grade so I’m sure she didn’t take it too seriously. She was like, “You can do it.” She’s encouraging, but I never deviated. In high school, people would say, “What do you want to be when you get out?” I’d be like, “I want to be a lawyer.” I never wanted to be anything else. 

[bctt tweet=”To write something on paper and then see it in action is a great experience. ” via=”no”]

That’s interesting because I had Ginny Whitelaw on and she has told me a story that she wanted to work for NASA as a kid. She saw it on the television and she ended up working for NASA. The impact that can make is amazing. You ended up going and becoming a lawyer. What kind of law did you practice? 

When I started out, I was more of a general practitioner, but then I slowly began focusing on family law, and then I went even more specifically into family trial law. I did a lot of complicated matrimonial trials. The family bar is probably the most underestimated set of lawyers out there because people don’t think much of the ones doing the family divorces and custody battles, but those guys are in court every day. They’re the best trial lawyers because everything is fully booked. Five days a week, you’re in court. You’re the most familiar with the rules of evidence. You’re on your feet arguing all the time and sometimes, multiple cases a day. They’re the ones in the trenches. 

I always think of that as more depositions and things like that. Do you do a lot of depositions in that line? 

Of course, but you’re never stopping because it’s all litigation. No one’s ever happy. 

Is that hard for you around that though with everybody fighting? How do you get over that sense that everybody hates everybody when you get into that realm? 

It was stressful for me because that’s where you are. You’re at the lowest point in most people’s lives and you’re carrying that sense of misery and that stress with you. It’s a high-stress job and you don’t want to make mistakes in dealing with people’s lives. You want to do the best you can. You’re counseling them through this miserable time, so it was hard for me. I wound up leaving the field because I had ovarian cancer. The stress eventually did get to me, but that’s what made me want to focus more on transactional law. I’m a general counsel for the United States Presidential Culinary Museum and it’s how I met Marti Mongiello. Chef Marti’s a fantastic, funny, entertaining and intelligent guy. He was a chef to many presidents. 

A great guest with the show, too. 

He does a great Bill Clinton imitation. 

When you’re saying that, I was wondering, did you appreciate that first scene in Wedding Crashers? Did you see that movie? 

I did. 

“You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me.” I used to laugh every time she says that. 

I was a lot like that. The way I emphasize what family law looks like most of all when you try and negotiate it is once I spent 1.5 hours with a couple fighting over a rotisserie. The way they spent $1,500 in counsel fees fighting over the rotisserie and I’m like, “What kind of chicken does it make?” 

How many could you have bought for that much to replace it? That is the funniest thing. Did you have to learn any psychological counseling with that? You’ve got so much negotiating you’ve got to do. 

I minored in psychology at St. John’s University, so I had a little background, but to be honest with you, the rest is trial by fire. You get thrown into the middle and eventually, you figure out how to break up a fight. 

TTL 792 | Family Law
Family Law: The family bar is probably the most underestimated set of lawyers out there, but those guys are the ones who are really in the trenches.


They always say that when the police get called to domestic disputes, it’s the most dangerous thing. You probably got in the middle of a lot of that. You switched to being this prestigious, United States Presidential Culinary Museum General Counsel. What does that entail? 

I do a lot of corporate contract matters I handle and some intellectual property. As you know, Marti is always in the middle of something interesting. He’s got trademarks, copyrights and things that I handle and there’s always a contract going on that I’m negotiating and drafting. That’s the stuff I do and it keeps me entertained. Marti’s charismatic and there’s always something going on with him or at the museum. Additionally, I teach law at Middlesex College. I’m training a new generation to go out into the world. That’s interesting, too. I love both things. I’m happy with where my life is. 

The kids keep me young. They’re great, interested and eager. I don’t know what to expect when I started teaching. I had the impression that younger kids wouldn’t be interested in law at that age and that they would be taking classes like, “I don’t know why I’m leaving my home.” They got in there and they asked the most intriguing questions. They’re interested in the material and we get these great debates going sometimes in class. I like to do a great project where I do a little mini moot court in the classroom. They get into it. They want to win and they go all at it. I’m enjoying it. 

I teach several in universities and one of them is Thomas Edison State University in New Jersey, which is interesting because that’s where you are, right? 

I am. 

Maybe New Jersey students are super motivated, but I had one of my students go off and start a company and I’m on their board for that, LeaderKid Academy. Rishi Dixit was one of my students. It’s great to see your students go out and produce these amazing things. Speaking of producing, I saw that you were a writer and co-producer for web series. Was it a dramedy? 

Yes. It was Surviving Sam. It was a dramedy and it had Alicia Minshew from All My Children and a bunch of other projects. She’s a funny and charismatic woman. She was starring in it. Rob Magnotti, who’s a great impressionist. He was on David Letterman. John Duddy, the handsome former boxer turned actor who’s great. He was in the Robert De Niro movie and Jon Bon Jovi video. They did such a good job with the material. It was wonderful to watch. When you write something on paper and then see it in action is a great experience. 

How did you get involved in that? I had Sheila Barry Driscoll from Driscoll Foundation. She does a lot of producing and different things within the entertainment industry. She was talking about pitching these ideas and how she likes to see in a pitch. It was a great show. I’m curious, what got you interested in that? That’s a little different. 

When I was younger, I started writing a book. You start when you’re a kid. There was something in the back of my head that always nagged at me that I wanted to do some writing as well as the law. My career took me off on a path that always kept me busy and then eventually, I got this idea in my head because the show was about a couple in the middle of a divorce. It was funny and they were forced to live together. I saw so much of that where couples couldn’t afford to truly separate until the divorce was over, so during the pendency of the divorce, they stayed in the same house. That overriding conflict that was there, there was a lot of humor in it. I’m sorry to say. 

Did you ever see The War of the Roses with Danny DeVito?  


My brother always laughed at the last scene. In her dying breath, she takes his hand and takes it off of her body. He’s trying to comfort her in her death. Is it that humor where they’ve got this issue, but you could still laugh at it? 

Yeah. There was a bittersweet quality to the show as well. Deep down, they still had feelings for each other, but it’s been convoluted with all this battling that they did because they were such different personalities. It wound up being a funny series. I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into trying to make that as accurate as I could. They did such a wonderful job with the material. I put something together and I wrote it with a part of my law partner, Maria Plinio. We started kicking around ideas one day and we put it to paper. One thing led to another. Once the rock started rolling down the hill, we kept going with it. 

How were you able to find people to put it on the air? That’s tough to do, isn’t it? 

It was a series. I had met a lot of people along the way in practicing law. It was a matter of connections. You start making one call after another and I wasn’t terribly shy about that either. 

You used your background to create this series, but you also are using what you’ve learned from two decades in family court to write a book. Is that what you’re working on? 

Eventually, I pulled it back from working in TV. I have one project cooking with a producer. I’m going to get back to focusing on that more after I finished the book, but I am working on a book about my years in family law. I put together a lot of observations about relationships because I kept seeing the same exact issues on almost a repeat loop, if you will. 

What kind of issues? I’m curious. 

The people who would come to you and say that this person that they wound up getting from when they were cheating with that person, and then that person cheats on them or the, “He’d never do that to meShe’d never do that to me.” “I sat by and watched him or her do these horrible things to other people, but I knew I was somehow protected.” I like to call that the Anne Boleyn syndrome. He didn’t say anything when he was tossing out the wife he was with for years. He was cutting her off for the child and he was doing all these horrible things to the wife. She went along like, “Yeah, but I’m good. He’d never do that to me.” I was like, “Yeah, he would do it to you,” and he did. She’s headless at some point. It’s things that went on repeat and I saw that stuff so many times in relationships. 

I compiled a list of what I saw most of how relationships fail and how you know you’re in a toxic relationship almost from the beginning. When I was sitting and I talk with whoever I had, male or female, wife or husband, they would tell me things and it would be like, “You didn’t see that before? That was just now?” There were always signs and then when you take them back far enough, they’re all the same signs. They all have these things in common. I put together what I think is an eclectic mix of, “These are my observations of practicing family law and relationships and why they fail most and how to know you’re in a bad one from the start.” 

That would be interesting. Some of it, you wonder how many people grow out of some issues that they had or how much does it repeat kind of stuff. You’re only seeing the worst cases that were coming to the lawyers. You never hear about the people who improved. 

[bctt tweet=”In criminal court, you’d see bad people at their best. In family court, you’d see good people at their worst. ” via=”no”]

It’s true. A judge used to tell me, “In criminal court, you saw bad people at their best. In family court, you’d see good people at their worst.” I did see you when you were in absolute ruins. Nobody came to me and said, “We went to counseling and we worked through our issues.” 

Did you have any of them get back together, that it worked out or did they always end up negative? 

I had many people get back together and come back two years later. 

It’s hard. Are you married? 

I’m not. 

That probably talked you out of it. 

It left a bad taste in my mouth. 

It’s challenging. I’ve been with my husband for more many years and we’ve only been married for more than 26 of them. You meet people and you think this is so challenging. It’s got to be an interesting book to write. Since you like the production stuff and the movie realm, have you ever wanted to be like Judge Judy? I had to see her in person. She was a tiny little thing. She’s half my size. I’m 5’8”. She can’t be 5’. There’s no way. She was good. She was cute and witty and interesting. Is that something you would ever even think of doing like something like what she does? 

I don’t think so. I’m more of an arguer. I spent so many years on the other side advocating and I couldn’t see myself in a judge role. Isn’t that odd? Because I knew a lot of my fellow attorneys that’s what they want it to be. I don’t think I ever saw myself in that light. 

That would be hard thing I would imagine for your safety. Do you ever worry about your safety as a lawyer? The other side being so mad at you for helping the other side. Do you know what I mean? 

I did. I had an attorney that I knew of. I used to be in court with him frequently and he got run down by the angry spouse, the other spouse. He was representing the wife and the husband ran him down. You worry about that. I had another attorney whose building blew up. They didn’t know what happened or who was behind it. You worry. A lot of times, you are breaking up fights and nobody’s happy and the other side doesn’t like you. There isn’t a winning in Family Court, I used to always say. There’s a result. 

Are the men or the women more challenging do you think? 

It depends on how emotional the man was. Sometimes the men did look at it slightly more with a business mind than the women did. This is a gross generalization that people are going to hate but I found that often the men are more revenge-oriented. 

Is it more who was left is more revengeoriented? Male or female. 

It’s is whoever feels more wronged. 

I would imagine. You said you’re working on a new production. Is your production based on this thing too? 

No. I’m delving out into the murder realm on this one. I’m working on a true to life murder that we had here in New Jersey during the ‘20s. It’s a double homicide of a minister and his lover, I should say, not his wife. It’s an unsolved murder. That was a big famous trial of the century that happened. I find it a fascinating case. People still talk about it now. It was a New Jersey case. 

It was tried at the Somerset County Courthouse here. They did wind up arresting his wife and they had a big trial. There’s a lot of interest still in the story. It’s a famous double homicide and it was the first-ever case that created a media frenzy out here in New Jersey. The sense of the tabloid sensationalism and it’s the worst case that ever had that here that even the New York Times came in every day to the Somerset County Courthouse to follow this case when it came to trial. It’s exciting and that’s my next project up until I finished the book. 

Bob Crane got murdered here, the guy from Hogan’s Heroes in Arizona. That was our big one but it wasn’t as big a thing as this sounds. When you come up with this, do you have actors in mind of who you would like to play the two people, the husband and wife? 

You always get an image, but these people were real so I see the actual people when I’m putting in there, but I don’t have anybody in mind yet. Isn’t that weird? I don’t think they’ll have much of a say. This one I’m going to do old fashioned like. I’m trying to find a network, pitch it hopefully, get it on a more established platform. That’s the avenue I want to take this next one. It’s a much grander scale project so I doubt I’ll have any say in anything. 

Where did Surviving Sam air? 

It was a web series. 

TTL 792 | Family Law
Family Law: There isn’t winning in family court. There’s just a result.


I like True Crime stuff to watch. I had Dion Graham on the show. He’s the voice behind The First 48. He’s an actor in Hollywood. His on The Wire and a bunch of other things. The crime shows like that are interesting and now everybody’s binge-watching everything. It’s a good time to come up with these. Would yours be a series or one show? 

I easily could see this being a series, a limited series. It’s more like The Tudors. You could get a solid five years at how this involves. It has a finite ending and it couldn’t go on for too long, but you could get a certain amount. It’s enough material to get a certain amount of years even out of it. 

That is so interesting to look at what people are able to create and turn into a movie. I would love to do that thing. There’s so much to it and I’ve had so many people on the show who’ve pitched different things, coming up with the pitch decks and the business side behind it fascinates me, I should say. I always appreciate when something comes out that’s good, wellresearched, and put together with great acting and all that. I’m impressed by all the things you’ve done and I appreciate you coming on the show to share what you’re working on. I know a lot of people are going to be interested to find out more if they want to follow you, read your books, how to follow you on social media, or whatever sites you want to share. Is there something you could share so people can do that? 

I have my Twitter account. That’s @AMarcoliniLaw. That’s probably the best place. You can always go to Inn of the Patriots, which is Marti Mongiello’s site if you want to check out what the museum is up to. It is always a great site. I don’t have any other websites or the like. That’s the best place. 

They can always check out Marti’s show on here so they can learn more about the United States Presidential Culinary Museum. This was so much fun, Toni. This was interesting and good luck with your book and your next production. I can’t wait. 

Thank you, Diane, it was a pleasure. 

It was and you are welcome. 


Dealing With Cultural Situations In Business With Angel RIBO 

I am here with Angel RIBO, who is known as The CEO Confidant. He’s an influencer, international TV host, public speaker, CEO, consultant, board member and philanthropist. In the last couple of years, he’s empowered more than 1,500 CEOs in 33 different countries. It’s so exciting to have you here, Angel. 

Thank you for having me. The excitement is mine because I’d like to be able to have a conversation with you. Thank you to your audience for being here. 

This is going to be fun. I know that you and I do some similar things because consulting, speaking and hosting are some of the stuff that we do. I want to get a little backstory on you. I know you speak five languages. I know you have this international foundation, Wisdom for Kids. You’ve got all these different things that you’re working on so I want a little backstory on who is Angel? 

Thank you. I’m originally from Spain near BarcelonaNorth of Spain. Early on in my life, my mom and dad although they were originally not from an international background, they were grounded in their local communities, they wanted me to learn foreign languages. Don’t ask me why they did that but I was graduating from high school, knowing to speak French and English almost perfectly. Thanks to my mom and dad deciding that they wanted me to learn those languages for my future. That definitely defined the rest of my life in the ‘90s. After working with some local companies in Spain and knowing how to speak English, French, Spanish, Catalan language and I was learning Portuguese. I decided to start an international careerI moved out of Spain and they went to work in the UK. That was my first real employment outside Spain for a long period of time. That started my international career. 

[bctt tweet=”Whenever you start a business relationship with someone based on personal relationships, always set the right expectations. ” via=”no”]

While I was a student in college, I was always on those internships throughout the summer in other countries in Europe. That did represent for me starting an international career. I have to say that, after that, I moved from Europe to Mexico. I lived in Mexico for ten years and a few years ago, I moved here. Learning languages and you probably know that by experience. It opens you to other possibilities. It opens you to have direct conversations with people that you would otherwise wouldn’t have. That definitely defined my future. To answer your question on how ended up having the foundation, Wisdom for Kids, and how we founded it, it’s because when I was living in Latin America, I was going to all those countries in the continent conducting business. I was developing business for other companies and helping business owners at the same time. 

Every time it was going to deal with the company and we were trying to sell some services or products, I would meet with the CEO of the company or the C-level executives in order to close those negotiations and close those deals. They were manufacturing plants of any industry. Every time we would go to those places, I would talk to highly influential people, probably the most influential people in the areas where I was going. At the same time, before getting into those manufacturing plants, outside those places, as you can imagine, there was poverty. Those were the manufacturing plants typically are not in the middle of the towns. They’re in the outskirts of the cities and the suburbs. 

I would always meet with those underprivileged kids asking me, “Why do you all go inside? Why don’t you allow us to wash your car? We’re going to keep your car safe. Don’t worry. Nobody’s going to steal the car from you.” “Would you buy some gums or some candies from us?” I had a spiritual experience moving forward in 2015, in which one day, it was so clear that the reason why I had been so exposed to wealth and poverty at the same time, the same day, for so many years, there was a reason for that. That’s why I said I have the spiritual experience that I had to create Wisdom for Kids. I reached out to a couple of friends, and we created Wisdom for Kids, which we help underprivileged kids in Latin America become entrepreneurs using the local resources. 

That’s interesting. I’ve had a lot of people on my show who help the underprivileged in the US in different areas. Getting people ready for an experience that they would have never had is such a rewarding thing to do. I’m thinking of Year UpGerald Chertavian was on and he did that. There’s a great 60-minute piece of what he did to get kids out of poverty. It was a year of training to get them ready to get jobs. What age group are you dealing with? What are you preparing them to do? 

We have three age groups. We start at 6 or 7 years old. To your point, it’s funny, because what you said is so true. Every time we go to a specific community and we talk to the leaders when we start having a conversation about how we would like to come here and help the kids in your area in your community? Every time we talk to the community leaders, the first question they ask us is, “How much is it going to cost us?” We tell them that it’s for free and they say, “Why do you do it?” We’re like, “Because we think it’s our mission. That’s what we do.” 

TTL 792 | Family Law
Family Law: Learning languages opens you to other possibilities. It opens you to have direct conversations with people that you wouldn’t otherwise have.


The next thing they say is, “If it’s not for younobody ever will come here to do what you guys do. If it wasn’t for you, these kids will never have the opportunity to be exposed to your inspiration, knowledge, experience and wisdom.” We don’t talk to local governments ever. We go directly to the community. Often, they tell us, “Please don’t talk to X, Y and Z because we want this to happen. We want to help the kids in our community. We want that to happen and we don’t want to be entrenched in any conservation of any other kinds, which is not helping our kids.” We do that all the time. We go directly to the grassroots of all those communities. 

It helps to speak all the languages and have the background that you’ve had. You speak five languages. What are they? I’m curious. 

It’s Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Catalan. In the northeast of Spain, we speak a little language which is Catalan. 

I remember that and obrigado is, “Thank you for telling me,” in Portuguese. My daughter’s in Portuguese and obrigado is the only word I know. She speaks Portuguese. I tell her that she doesn’t even have an accent. I can’t believe that she does it. I can barely speak English. It’s good to get that experience. She studied in Spain so she speaks Spanish. She studied in Italy so she speaks Italian. She particularly likes Portuguese, but she likes Brazilian Portuguese. I found out better than Portugal Portuguese. When we went to Portugal, she said that they sound funny. It’s a little different. Are you Brazilian Portuguese or Portuguese from Portugal? 

It’s Portuguese from Portugal, because when I learned that I started learning Portuguese from an architecture student from Porto in Portugal that was studying architecture in Barcelona. She was my first ever Portuguese language teacher. I took lessons from many private teachers and everything and I moved to the UK. started calling into Portuguese accounts from the UK. It was interesting. That was a nice experience for me because the language you’ll learn with any teacher is different from the language that you speak in the real world. I know a few words here and there, German and Italian. I was forced to have business conversations in German. Also, I had to call into a German account using English. I started learning German. I dated a German girl for two years. I was going to Germany every other week for two years. It was a German experience. German is difficult. 

Once you know the Latin languages, they’re easier to get. My daughter studied Arabic. It was brutal. She tried to do that one and she can’t quite get that one. They’re all different and interesting. I’d like to learn another one. What’s important is to learn about the cultural differences in all these different areas. I know you do a lot of that. That ties into my work with my book on perception. I saw perception as a combination of IQ, EQ for emotional intelligence quotient, CQ for curiosity quotient, and CQ for cultural quotient to understand how to do business with different cultures in different areas of the world. What do you find are the top issues you deal with when it comes to cultural situations in business? 

That’s a fascinating conversation right there. Perception is reality. Every country in Europe and every country in Latin America, even if they speak the same language, they are different and they have different cultures. They approach things differently. There’s a concept called the secret contact, which is things that they think that you should know about them and things that think or hope that they know about me. That’s why managing expectations is important. Every time that you start being in contact with a specific culture, there are those things that are never been told but the other people expect from you and you expect from them. It’s all about managing expectations. That’s my number one source of conflict. 

The first thing that I always tell my clients and the people that work with me is to make sure that when they start a business relationship with someone based on personal relationships, it’s always be able to make sure that they set the right expectations. Regardless of the pieces of advice I might give them, regardless of their local partners that I might introduce them so that the landing in that country or in that specific geographic area is softer, I always tell them, “Don’t take anything for granted. Always have the tough conversation upfront because that’s going to make things much easier in the short midterm.” That’s often overlooked. We tend to think that everything is global. When you do business in one area, you can do business in another. It’s not true. 

I’ve worked a lot on expansion. Let’s say you have a thriving business here in the US and you want to open an office in Detroit, Michigan. You know that you have to have some local blood, local headcount, local people, to be able to be successful. It’s extremely complicated. It’s difficult even to adapt to the way that business is being conducted in another state of the same country. There are always those things that people overlook for not having the tough conversation. The most important thing is to be bold enough, to be willing to make that relationship work so that eventually you can conduct business with them. 

Part of why I created my Curiosity Code Index and my Perception Power Index Assessment is because I wanted people to realize they don’t know what they don’t know sometimes. When you’re talking about culture, a lot of it begins with curiosity, asking questions and listening to answers to develop empathy, which is a big part of emotional intelligence. EQ is a big part of this. To develop that empathy, you have to be curious about other cultures. Do you find that certain areas of the world are more curious than others? 

[bctt tweet=”As soon as you’re able to show consistently that you care about the other party, you not only have a relationship, but a partnership. ” via=”no”]

It depends on the country. Latin America is a huge territory, most of them speak English, some speak French and some speak Portuguese. Every single country is different. I didn’t know about your book or what you do. It’s funny how we think that IQ plays a key role there. EQ also plays a key role. In my experience, there are countries in which they are more open to saying okay and being complacent. There are cultures and countries which they are open to being more in a mode of confrontation in a positive way. The answer is yes. It’s more challenging to conduct business in places where the people are more complacent because it’s more difficult to know what they think and what they believe in. 

There’s a factor that plays a key role there. I have experienced, for instance, that depending on where you come from, it is easier to conduct business in particular areas with specific cultures. Let me tell you an example for instance. Historically speaking, both Spain and the US have played an important role in Mexico. Historically speaking, there was the Conquista a long time ago. The Spanish did a few good things and bad things with Mexico and with Mexicans. When we left the country a long time ago, there were a lot of asylum seekers from Spain going to live in Mexico. There was a re-encounter between both cultures. 

The economic importance of the US also makes Americans extremely influential. For different reasons, both Americans and Spaniards, we have an important footprint in the history of that particular country. That makes us more prone to conduct business there. I always have these conversations with sales when I was training in Mexico. I was able to work with gatekeepers much easier than other people from other countries or other cultures because as soon as people would realize I was from Spain, many doors would open. To your question, absolutely. It’s different to do business with an Argentinian or with a Colombian over the Chilean than doing business with a Mexican or a Costa Rican or a Peruvian. 

That was our goal. Dr. Maja Zelihic and I wrote the book The Power of Perception to help not just American businesses but businesses throughout the world recognize the value of understanding the perception process. You’ve got this evaluation and prediction that’s the interpersonal and intrapersonal part of emotional intelligence. You have to understand yourself but you also have to understand them. It’s all a vantage point to me. Many people have no idea that somebody else sees something from a different vantage point. In the business world, that is important. When you’re going into other countries to do business, you’re looking for good partnerships. How do you find the right local partners? 

To be honest, it’s trial and error. It depends on the expectations. Let me tell you an example. Everybody embraces the right type of partnership and the right type of leadership. That goes down to how in-depth you care about the other party. As soon as you’re able to show consistently and you care about the other party, things start to change. You not only have a relationship but you have a partnership. It takes time. You have to go through a process of learning. You have to go through a process of having success together and having failures together. It’s a matter of time. There’s no secret combination. There’s no secret sauce to do that. 

It depends on culture as well other than as an expectation. I used to be recruiting foreigners for different companies I was working with. Every single company that I was working with at different points in time in my career will have different sets of values and different expectations with our potential future partners. When I was going to the market, I would talk to other competitors’ partners in that area, depending on who they were working with, I will be more successful in building a strong partnership or not. 

Let’s say I would go and they wanted to recruit. I wanted to set up a partnership with a particular company that was working at that time with company A. I was representing company A in that geography. If the values of that company, if the culture of that company A was positive, it was a real partnership, it was caring about this company and wanted to partner up with, my work would be much easier. If the experience of my partner candidate with that company A was wrong and bad, their expectations were that their relationship, their partnership with our company, would also be bad. I would be rolling against the stream for months until I got their trust and we would be able to build a real trustworthy partnership among them. 

Talking about this secret contact, those things that you never talk about, you never speak about, they’re always there. The perceptions are wrong but, for me, the question was always, “How am I going to overcome those prejudices that they see on that perception? How am I going to make sure that they have all those conversations? How am I going to have an open conversation, upfront conversation with you guys so that we make sure that you understand me and I understand you? I want to understand you.” It’s in practice that you get to see this. It’s by doing business, it’s by contacting a business, it’s by having conversations that they would know who we are or who I am and I will know who they are. 

That’s critical. I remember when I first started doing this show many years ago and starting to have cultural quotients talked about for the first time back then. You didn’t hear about it too much before that. Since then, we see the value of this. There’s so much to understand in working with different areas of the world. Right when you think you figured it out, now we have this. You have to do it through Zoom. You have to do it through whatever tactics. The more we work on building our curiosity level to ask questions, to get that empathy, to understand other people’s vantage points, the more successful we will be. I know you do so much work as a speaker, consultant and philanthropist. What’s your international TV hosting that you do? I want to know a little more about that. 

TTL 792 | Family Law
Family Law: It’s more challenging to conduct business in places where the people are more complacent because it’s more difficult to know what they think and what they believe in.


Years ago, there was a TV network from Spain that hired me. I had never worked as a TV host. I had received PR training 2 or 3 times in my career. I knew how to deal with interviews myself. I knew how to reach out to the media and how to hold conversations so they will be meaningful and I was going to say what I wanted to say. When these guys came from Spain, they wanted me to help them expand their business here in North America first and then Latin America. What I did is I started to conduct interviews. Fast forward, I conducted more than 500 interviews both in English and Spanish and a couple of them in Portuguese and maybe one in French. I was in that position. The reason why I’ve done many hundreds already is because I love it. Every single conversation with a human being is exciting. 

It is one of the more rewarding things when you get to talk to interesting people like you and all the people I’ve had on my show. Many people probably learned so much from you. They could follow you and learn more. I was wondering if you wanted to share any link where they could follow you. 

It’s easy to follow me. You can go to LinkedIn, The CEO Confidant. If you go to LinkedIn and you look for Angel RIBOThe CEO Confidant, you will find me there. I have a team working with me. I guarantee you that I’m going to answer all the questions, all the messages that you send to me. The easiest way to connect with me directly is through my email, which is 

Angel, thank you so much for being on the show. This was fun. I love to talk about all these perception-based issues that impact culture. This was great. 

Thank you. The pleasure was mine. Thank you very much for having me and thank you to everyone reading. 

You’re welcome. 

I’d like to thank both Toni and Angel for being my guests. We get many great guests on this show. If you’ve missed any past episodes, please go to You can find out so much more there. You can get The Curiosity Code IndexThe Perception Power Index. You can read more books that we’ve written on perception or that I’ve written on curiosity. There’s so much content there in addition to this show. I hope you take some time to do that. I hope you enjoyed this episode. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.  

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About Toni Ann Marcolini

TTL 792 | Family Law

Toni Ann Marcolini has been practicing law for 28 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from St. John’s University and her Juris Doctorate from Seton Hall University School of Law.

Over her career, she has been named to the list of top 100 trial lawyers in New Jersey by The National Trial Lawyers, named a Rising Star on the Superlawyers list published by NJ Monthly magazine, was Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney and served as an appointed Panelist in Middlesex County for the court’s Early Settlement Panel program.

She has taught law at Wagner College in New York and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Business Law at Middlesex County College in Edison, New Jersey and at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. Ms. Marcolini has argued cases before the Supreme Court in New Jersey, the United States Federal District Court, the Appellate Division and has extensive trial experience. She presently serves as General Counsel to the prestigious United States Presidential Culinary Museum.

About Angel Ribo

TTL 792 | Family Law

Angel RIBO, known as The CEO Confidant, is an International TV Host, Public Speaker, CEO Consultant
and Philanthropist.
Both Established Entrepreneurs and Corporate CEOs hire Angel to bridge the Gap Globally for Expansion and Exposure because they have limited themselves to their immediate market, their own backyard, so Angel helps them understand, discover and design a plan to go into international markets. There is a Science and a Secret to taking things Global, and That is his Mastery.

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