11 Podcast Episodes That Will Change Your Life

I admit to overusing the phrase “it will change your life.” Whether it’s Italian water ice , coffee , movies, books, or even pens , when I find something amazing, I love to share it with people.  Some people don’t agree that these kinds of things can be life changing, but if your obsession is like mine, to get one percent better each day,  you can see how immersing yourself in inspirational things that you love can change your life.

For the last seven years, one of the ways I have sought to change my life is to turn my commute into an opportunity to learn.  Frequently, colleagues comment on how my 45-minute commute to work is too far for them.  I can certainly understand their point, but soon after I began commuting, I had the realization that even while I drive, I can continue to grow.  Instead of listening to the radio, I tried podcasts, and they changed my life.  I cannot remember the first episode I listened to, but I also have not been able to forget countless others. They have inspired me, taught me, and made me think.  In the spirit of this blog and its mission of sharing ideas, I feel compelled to share them with you. Here is a list of podcasts episodes that have erased my commute, and changed my life. 

11 Life-Changing Podcast Episodes

For living a creative life.  “The Tim Ferriss Show” with director Robert Rodriguez. This episode offers an insider’s perspective on how to cultivate a life of creativity. His section on journaling makes you wish you could go back in time and write more things down. Episode here.

For building a winning culture. “ABCA Calls from the Clubhouse.”  Jeremy Sheetinger interviews Gary Gilmore, Head Coach of the 2016 National Champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.  His insight on building a winning culture transcends sports. This is a rare interview where the leader gives specific after specific on how he has created a juggernaut in South Carolina. Episode here.

For thinking about an issue you have never considered. Malcolm Gladwell’s  “Revisionist History” Episode 5.  After listening I had two immediate thoughts: I would sue Malcolm Gladwell if I were Vassar College, and I should have gone to Bowdoin . Both of these miss Gladwell’s larger point, but after you listen, tell me if you think I’m wrong. Episode here.

For the difference between goals and systems. Scott Adams on “The Tim Ferriss Show.” Scott is quickly becoming famous for something other than creating Dilbert –  his bold prediction that Donald Trump will win the election in a landslide.  But this episode has nothing to do with politics. Instead, Adams reveals the persuasion techniques that the best in the world use. He tells great stories that he details in his book  that I also highly recommend.  Episode here.

For learning the science of persuasion. Speaking of persuasion . . . here is the master of it, Robert Cialdini , on Jordan Harbinger’s “The Art of Charm.” Most people have never heard of Cialdini’s work, and it’s so good that I considered keeping this episode to myself. His science-backed strategies are so effective that they seem impossible to believe at times. Episode here.

For the value of relationships. “The Top Coach Baseball Podcast” with Jack Warren. My bias leans towards baseball, but every once in awhile you hear about a leader who has built such deep relationships that you wonder if you can ever measure up.  For instance, Head Coach Brian Shoop has attended 82 weddings of his former players. I’m speechless. Episode here.

For the power of simplicity in leadership.  The “The EntreLeadership Podcast” with former Notre Dame Head Coach Lou Holtz. Lou’s message almost seems too simple to work, except it has, time and time again.  Sure I was in my athletic prime at age 11 as a raving Notre Dame fan imagining I was Tony Rice, but that aside, the clarity of his message cuts through the clutter that can bog down today’s culture. Episode here.

For learning to make your own small dent in the universe. “The Moment with Brian Koppelman.”  Seth Godin episode. Brian is the most underrated interviewer in the world right now, which actually made it a difficult selection on which episode to choose. This is an artful conversation about what it means to create and give with generosity. If this is your first experience with two of my favorite creative people, prepare to take a deep dive into their work. Episode here.

For masterful storytelling.  “Mystery Show.” The Belt Buckle. I don’t know if Season Two will ever arrive, but this episode is incredible. No one I know goes looking for a podcast like this, but every one who listens to this story is amazed at its craft. Episode here.

For learning how to clarify your mission.  Ryan Hawk ‘s “The Learning Leader” with guest Donald Miller . Ryan is a marvel in the podcast game.  He recently released episode 159 and shows no signs of slowing down.  This episode with branding expert Miller has actionable takeaway after actionable takeaway. Episode here.

For learning how to give feedback. “Where there’s Smoke.” Stop, Look, Listen (Criticism) episode. This is a sneaky good episode from a podcast that is under the radar of many listeners. The exercise host Brett Gajda uses to demonstrate the difference between feedback and criticism is as useful an idea as I’ve heard this year. Episode here.

I created this blog as a place to share ideas.  Email me with the episodes that I have overlooked.

Happy listening.

Joe Ferraro  co-hosts a podcast that his immediate family thinks is life-changing.



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