Summer is the season for reading. Vacations and long days beg for a good read. At least mine do.
I've found that every successful leader and entrepreneur knows reading is a necessary element to their growth and success. Most even have favorite books they recommend to their employees and associates.
Reading is and will continue to be a major aspect of my daily career growth. I have also come to appreciate the world of podcasts. There's no easier way to get information and entertainment on any topic you prefer. I find myself listening to podcasts when I can’t read a book, such as when I am driving or walking. There are a variety of excellent podcasts that teach and motivate aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs. So rather than sharing my summer reading list, I want to share a few podcasts I have found useful to my businesses and my career.
I particularly love this group of podcasts because they offer unique perspectives with a great message. Each one features in-depth conversations with guests who have experience within a particular sector or industry. Each is worth a listen.
Sharpen: Kirby Green is a mother, a millennial, holds a full-time job with a large company, and yet somehow finds time to produce and host one of the best podcasts for the young professional. In fact, her podcast is geared solely towards young professionals. She explores the topics millennials face and struggle with every day. Her guest list varies and covers a wide range of personalities and advice. The typical Sharpen podcast is also the perfect length for a quick listen. I recommend Episode 38: “Life and Work as a Freelancer” for those considering a career in the freelance world.
Revisionist History: Malcolm Gladwell, the author of many books including The Tipping Point and Outliers created this podcast three years ago. Its self-proclaimed purpose is to “revisit the forgotten and misunderstood.” Gladwell looks at subjects that may have a different meaning or context than our widely held perceptions. The result can be an entertaining, yet probing, look at how ideas and opinions evolve. Many of these podcast episodes explore deep topics and give insight into the difference between fact and fiction. One of my favorite episodes is Episode 6 from Season 1 titled “My Little Hundred Million.” This episode addresses the concept of philanthropy, and how it can and cannot make a difference.
Freakonomics Radio: Steven Dubner, the author of the bestselling book Freakonomics hosts a podcast that looks at the business world from a unique perspective. He explores companies and ideas in depth by digesting and analyzing facts. And he does it all in an entertaining manner and with a commonsense approach. It’s difficult to listen to Freakonomics Radio without saying to yourself “I didn’t realize that.” One episode to check out is one of the latest, episode 397 titled “How to Change Your Mind.”
How I Built This: This podcast spotlights some of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs of our generation. Names such as Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and Blake Mycoskie are former guests. Lesser known names of individuals who run or founded some of the best-known companies in business today have also been guests. One episode I would recommend is “November 21, 2016,” with the late Herb Kelleher. Kelleher was the founder, former CEO, soul and spirit of Southwest Airlines. He tells his amazing story of the years it took to get his airline off the ground (literally) and the challenges he faced. It’s a great lesson in perseverance and the belief in a dream that most would consider impossible.
Entrepreneur Perspectives: Eric Kasimov, also known as “Kaz,” is a true entrepreneur and content marketer. He started his podcast in 2017 and has consistently put out insightful content, a mixture of intriguing guests, as well as his own perspectives on a variety of topics. He prefers engaging his guests in conversation, pulling out their ideas and opinions, while sharing his. I had the opportunity to recently appear on Kaz’s podcast, so check out my episode from April 23, 2019.
The growth and popularity of podcasts have made it easy for any young professional to procure excellent content. Podcasts will continue to be one of the best options to hear great business stories and insights. I encourage anyone interested in enhancing their career to build their own list to enjoy.