I am a ravenous consumer of podcasts.
Much of the political and sports commentary I consume comes from podcasts. I have go-to podcasts for entertainment, culture, and news. Even the traditional radio shows that had been appointment listening (This American Life and The Dan Patrick Show) are more valuable to me in their condensed, podcast format with no commercials and the ability to skip ahead.
The platform also offers an extensive collection of podcasts beneficial for the young professional, audio to be consumed on-the-go that highlights things like the traits of effective leaders, lessons to be learned from start-ups, the successes and failures of revered entrepreneurs, and the best approaches for productive team communication and collaboration.
As we enter the dog days of summer and are forced to endure the season’s bad box office blockbusters, the Bachelor in Paradise drama, and the monotony of marathon baseball games, these five podcasts offer reprieve that will simultaneously give you invaluable insight into building your brand, energizing your start-up, dealing with incompetent leadership, and more.
#1 – Masters of Scale
What’s the premise? LinkedIn cofounder and venture capitalist Reid Hoffman interviews entrepreneurs who have grown businesses and non-profits from tiny ventures to revered institutions. Hoffman’s first season has been loaded with big name guests including Nancy Lubin, CEO and Founder of Crisis Text Line, discussing grit and giving, and Airbnb Co-Founder and CEO Brian Chesky talking about the importance of customer relations for start-ups.
What’s the value? Hoffman talks to entrepreneurs not only out to make some dough, but who are constantly thinking about their commitment to the public good. Many interviewees are under 40 and understand failure and the social responsibility that comes with success. Plus, if you are someone launching or growing a small business there is plenty to learn from the conversations about what to do and what to avoid.
#2 – The James Altucher Show
What’s the premise? Reid Hoffman wants to know what makes businesses successful; James Altucher’s wants to know what makes people successful. In the same vein as The Tim Ferriss Show, but without the bravado, Altucher has conversations with interesting guests and tries to uncover what decisions and lifestyle choices got them where they are. Highlights from recent episodes include Ryan Deiss, Founder and CEO of DigitalMarketer, talking about the failing promise of college, and designer and podcaster Debbie Millman discussing how to persevere through rejection.
What’s the value? Life lessons. Altucher’s guests explain the little things they have changed or integrated into their lives that made success possible. Things like journaling or meditation are not business decisions, but life decisions anyone can make that prime the pump for creative thinking, idea generation, and productive collaboration.
#3 – Forbes Under 30
What’s the premise? Forbes’s “30 Under 30” list is an annual collection of young innovators and entrepreneurs often making a name for themselves through disruption. However, while the list is 600 deep with some names (ex. Kylie Jenner, Patrick Kane) triggering more cringe than intrigue, the podcast takes the best from the list and host Steve Goldbloom asks questions that get at what makes them tick.
What’s the value? Listeners get to delve deep into the not-yet-jaded minds of the future influencers of culture, politics, and technology. Sometimes what we hear is a little scary; sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air. Perhaps what is most interesting is the juxtaposition between the interviews from Masters of Scale and this podcast: Forbes Under 30 is like listening to conversations with Mark Zuckerberg at 22 when he was a genius, but still an unrefined codejockey (just listen to this interview with inDinero Founder Jessica Mah). There is plenty to learn from millennials trying to make their own mark, especially about how to communicate respectfully and how to become respected.
Where can you find it? All episodes can be streamed and downloaded via Apple Podcasts.
#4 – Stanford Innovation Lab
What’s the premise? On this podcast, Stanford professor Dr. Tina Seelig interviews innovators, researchers, and social scientists examining what works and what fails in the realm of organizational management.
What’s the value? Of all the podcasts listed this one is the most entertainingly educational as Seelig and her guests take complex ideas and make them relevant to environments of collaboration and organizations. For example, how to guide crazy ideas towards productive outcomes or how to preplan a brainstorming session are skills explained on this show that have value for all communication environments.
#5 – HBR IdeaCast
What’s the premise? Few of us have the time to sit down and read an entire issue of the Harvard Business Review, but all of us should be finding the time to listen to IdeaCast, which summarizes the highlights from each issue. This is a must-listen for anyone impacted by communication or leadership as host Sarah Green Carmichael talks with the best researchers on conflict management, collaboration, motivation, and productive team building.
What’s the value? Every HR department should be listening to this podcast; every professor should be assigning it for their classes; and every entrepreneur should be putting what they learn from this podcast to work as they build their personal brand or start-up. The Harvard Business Review is revered for a reason; this podcast is no different.