Published on November 22nd, 2017
Not only is today Thanksgiving Eve -- it's time to prep those stretch pants for turkey, stuffing, and pie, y'all -- it's also one of the busiest travel days of the entire year.
I'll admit I'm pretty lucky, as my days of dashing through airports, racing to make trains, and wallowing in holiday traffic are behind me since I moved closer to home about 10 years ago.
But that doesn't mean I want to leave you brave Turkey Day Road Warriors without inspiration as you chart your own journey home toward family, friends, loved ones, and tryptophan.
To help you on your way, here are nine addictive podcast episodes across a wide range of topics: productivity, storytelling, leadership, UX, when life falls apart, time management, and everything in between.
Because, when life serves you a mile-high helping of never-ending traffic and flight delays, there's no better cure than to flip on your car stereo or pop in your earbuds to drop-in on insightful conversations and inspire moments of clarity.
When I first read the book Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything about seven years ago, it rocked my world. It moved beyond the all-too-present echo chamber of baseless assumptions with surprising truths validated by economic research.
So, when I found out there was an equally compelling and fun podcast based on the book, I about lost my mind.
This episode in paricular (part of their 2016 Self-Improvement Month Series) is one of my favorites.
It explores a lofty goal I think the vast majority of us are chasing -- no matter our role. We want to be more productive. But what does that mean? How do you get there, really? And what's the difference between being busy and being productive?
While the term "storytelling" has been overused by marketers to the point of abuse, the act of telling someone your story -- inviting them to go on that journey with you somewhere, anywhere -- is still one of the most powerful ways you can forge meaningful connections and persuade people.
It's why I get up every morning and do what I do.
It's also why I love this episode, featuring an interview with Joshua Spodek, Ph.D., the author of Leadership Step by Step. He addresses how leaders who are struggling to connect with team members can inspire action around a common vision through the act of leadership storytelling.
It's hard to pick one episode of MarketHer to spotlight, because this podcast featuring two of our principal strategists, Britt Schwartz and Angela Myrtetus, and our director of client services, Brie Rangel, is so relatable and fun.
But, since my own life has turned completely upside down in the past three weeks, I knew I had to share this episode specifically with all of you.
We all start the day, week, month, year with certain plans, right?
"I'm going to follow this particular path at work. I'm going to buy that house or condo within this timeframe. I'm going to start a family when I'm X age. I'm going to live life on my own terms."
But what happens when life says, "No no, I don't think so," and blows everything up? How do you cope when you're also balancing a family and your career? How do you solve for everything all at once? That's what this episode is all about.
Full disclosure: I know Melanie Spring -- the host of the Adventures in Branding podcast and the mastermind behind Branded Confidence -- and I will be an upcoming featured guest. But neither of those reasons is why I'm sharing this episode.
Melanie's passion for branding and storytelling is utterly infectious on its own, but what makes this episode special -- for me, anyway -- is that it takes me out of my usual thought processes and ideas that are so deeply rooted in content with a high-level discussion about the user experience in design and real life with Joe Natoli of Give Good UX.
Though their conversation is grounded in design, it's a great reminder to view the world differently -- I'll never look at a French Press the same way again -- and to always be thinking about how a user will react to the experience you create with your design, your blog post, or your product.
If you haven't heard of Simon Sinek, it's time for an intervention. Before reading another word, go watch Start with Why. I'll wait.
Okay, we all good? Wonderful.
I don't need to explain to all of you the value of a Simon Sinek interview. He's a master of creating lightbulb moments by connecting dots that were already sitting in front of you, so obviously related to each other -- you just hadn't put it together yet.
This one has stuck with me, however, since I first listened to it last year.
He talks about one of the most common failures of leaders and visionaries -- assuming the clarity of their vision of what could be is shared by others, or is as clear -- and how organizations too often fall into the trap of hiring for skills over fit.
It sounds straightforward as I type it out, but it's a powerful listen.
Yes, this is the podcast that I co-host with Jessie-Lee and Marcella -- two of our amazing designers. Still, it's probably one of my favorite recent episodes that we've recorded.
Think about it: When was the last time you complained about your calendar? Yesterday? An hour ago? Right now?
"Ugh, I have too many meetings." "My calendar hates me." "My job title says marketer, but I'm basically a professional meeting-haver."
Day in and day out, we all engage in this theatrical pantomime of being a powerless slave to our calendars. But is our calendar really the problem?
The three of us one day set out to tackle this very issue. We made a carefully planned outline with talking points and thoughtful questions for discussion. But then, as our conversation took an unexpected turn toward victim statements and control, we threw that outline in the garbage.
I am obsessed with TEDTalks. They challenge closely-held beliefs, they inspire, they educate, they transport me to a new place. And when I discovered NPR produced a podcast dedicated exclusively to TEDTalks during a road trip a few years back, I almost drove my car off the road.
Each week, TED Radio Hour host Guy Raz invites you to explore a broad theme from different angles and perspectives with TEDTalks and the "remarkable minds" behind them -- how art changes us, manipulation, and how failure is an option, just to name a few.
This episode explores "the meaning of work" with chickens (really), discussions around why we get up and go to work every day beyond money, motivation, the connection between our work and identity and fulfillment, and more.