Finding the Opportunity in the Challenge: How I Became a Podcast Junkie
I am proud to say that I have turned into a Podcast Junkie. Yep — I am now fully addicted to my daily dose of podcast something. Next time you see me live in person (could be awhile) don't be surprised if I just shout out: "Hi, I'm Kathy. And I'm a podcast junkie." That's how keen I am about how valuable this new 'tiny habit' has become for me. In this challenging time of uncertainty and isolation, this daily dose of learning is 'sharpening my saw', keeping me connected and expanding my business thinking in ways that will help when things get back to normal. Well, our new normal anyway.
And it is all Kurt Theriault's fault. I have the privilege of connecting with Kurt (who is President of Allied Executives) on a regular basis. The 1:1 coaching I receive from him and my peer group leader, Tim Keran, is incredibly valuable and is just one of the many benefits I receive from my Allied Executives membership. I was honored to be a guest on Kurt's podcast series called 'Lessons Learned Along the Way' (check out the episode we did together: Lessons Learned Along the Way Podcast). During a recent coaching session, Kurt shared how he was revamping his life using micro habits (Kurt is a 'go big or don't go at all' kind of guy and had something like 35 new tiny habits in the mix.) So being the 'go big' kind of gal I am as well, I followed his lead and got one habit going: listening to a podcast every day during my 1+ hour commute to the office.
So while I don't have my one hour commute right now, I am still continuing this micro habit of listening to at least one podcast every day. Here are my top ten favorite podcasts that I am listening to right now:
- Built to Sell Radio — Based on the book, Built to Sell, host John Warrillow interviews business owners about their challenges and successes on improving the value of their company; and how they sold or exiting a company they built.
- Dose of Leadership — A leadership resource of inspiring and educational interviews with leaders and real-life experts across a variety of industries who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of truth, common sense and courageous leadership.
- HBR Ideacast — One of many podcasts available from Harvard Business Review, this one features leading thinkers in business and management.
- Work Life TED — Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the mind of some of the world's most unusual professionals in this podcast and explores the science of making things work and not suck (his words).
- The Goop Fellas — Stories about people who have experienced profound shifts in both perspective and well-being, with a focus on 'the catalysts that bring people out of the dark night and into their purpose'.
- By All Means — Alison Kaplan from Twin Cities Business sits down with entrepreneurs and leaders who make business work in Minnesota and beyond. We get to hear the stories behind some beloved brands (listened to a great one recently with John Puckett who founded Caribou Coffee).
- Unlocking Us — Researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brene Brown explores ideas, stories, experiences, books, films and music that reflect the experiences about being human.
- Tractionville — Coined as the podcast where everyone's welcome and Traction is the conversation, this podcast is for companies running on EOS.
- Feherty — You know I had to include at least one golf-oriented podcast, and host David Feherty is one of my absolute favorite golf personalities. His interviews of past and current PGA golf professionals are interesting and inspiring whether you play golf or not.
- In the Key of D: Using Digital to Tranform Your Business (coming soon) — Proud to be developing this podcast with Gino Giovannelli about how you can use Digital to transform a business of any size. Look for our first season to be released early this summer.
One added bonus about listening to podcasts is that many experts and guests have written books. One other tiny habit I have formed is to finish at least one business book a week, with many of the book ideas coming from a podcast I have listened to. Here are two recent ones that I thought were excellent.
The HBR Ideacast episode #724 featured Kim Scott entitled 'Defining Radical Candor and How to Do It.' I knew from the title of Kim's book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, that I was going to love the content and I did. Her idea is that you don't have to choose between being a pushover and a jerk. Using Radical Candor — avoiding the perils of Obnoxious Aggressive, Manipulative Insincerity and Ruinous Empathy — you can be kind and clear at the same time.
Her Radical Candor Framework walks the reader through approaches and traps that we fall into as leaders. We are at our best when we manage ourselves and others focusing on Caring Personally but Challenging Directly. Her principles dovetail nicely with many from the EOS system that we use to run Creatis, which is about right people right seats, open and honest conversations and leading + managing transparently which leads to accountability and results. It's an interesting and engaging read which I highly recommend.
Another great book referral came from an podcast episode of The Goop Fellas entitled 'Nir Eyal: Why To-Do Lists are Problematic.' The podcast referenced his book, Indistractable — How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your life, so I ordered a copy and gave it a read. He teaches us how to look at, and control, both our internal and external triggers which are cues that take us off task and keep us from achieving our goals. What is fascinating is that ACTION falls right in the middle of Traction (which pulls us toward what we want in life) and Dis-Traction (which comes from a latin word meaning 'drawing away of the mind").
Particularly today with many of us working from our homes that are teaming with distractions — kids, pets, spouses, laundry, the refrigerator — learning the art of focus so you can get more out of each days seems very important.