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Recommended Listening: 10 Expert Interview Podcasts to Inspire and Inform!

Simon Bell 

February 15, 2019

Did you know… ? Mind Tools has a huge selection of thought-provoking Expert Interviews with authors and leaders whose work shapes the modern business environment, and the wider world, too.

You can read or listen to almost 200 (and rising!) inspirational discussions covering subjects such as strategy, leadership, team management, and communication.

Often, our interviewees talk about the central ideas from their books. But these discussions are far more than just book reviews. We put the experts on the spot, and invite them to think aloud about issues they care passionately about, and to explain themselves in a conversational setting.

If you’re a Mind Tools Premium Club member or a Mind Tools Corporate client, you can listen to each 30-minute interview, or read the transcript, in full. And you can do it wherever and whenever you want: at home, at lunch, or on your way to and from the office.

Here, we highlight 10 of our most popular podcasts. (Each link is to the full experience, behind our paywall, but we include some free tasters, too.)

1. Margaret Heffernan: Beyond Measure

In this interview, respected influencer Margaret Heffernan sets out the case for changing the culture of a company by small steps – the previously unregarded actions which are literally “beyond measure.”

Heffernan’s vision of change involves a constant process of “constructive conflict” that questions groupthink and accepted norms. That process should be open to everyone in the organization, too. Organizations that change successfully, she says, are the ones that build strong bonds of trust between colleagues at all levels, and rank highly in “social capital.”

You can listen to an excerpt from this Expert Interview, below.

Install Flash Player to hear this and the following audio clips.

2. Fred Kiel: Return on Character

In his book, “Return on Character,” Fred Kiel emphasizes the central importance of ethical and behavioral values to successful leaders. He concludes that emotional intelligence is more important to an effective leader than drive or aggression.

Kiel’s Expert Interview is a practical guide, offering a series of steps by which leaders can improve their staff’s engagement, build trust, and develop positive reputations. It’s also a challenge to find out what your people really think…

Here’s a clip:

3. Christine Comaford: Power Your Tribe

How do we achieve success in a world of continuous change? This is the very modern problem that’s addressed by consultant, coach and author Christine Comaford in her book, “Power Your Tribe.” Her response is to advocate “emotional agility,” the skill of achieving inner calm, however challenging the circumstances.

It’s a skill you can share with others, too – the “tribe” of the book’s title. And it allows leaders to mobilize and energize their teams even in times of adversity, and to embrace change as an opportunity for growth.

4. Josh Seibert: Winning From Failing

Josh Seibert’s book, “Winning From Failing,” stands on what seems to be a paradox: the possibility of success offered by failure. But, Seibert argues, there’s actually so much that we can learn from failure.

Adults don’t learn effectively by taking in facts by rote. They learn by applying knowledge in the workplace, and by developing skills. Along the way, they sometimes fail – but no-one wants to admit to failure.

Building a learning culture, Seibert says, has to start with management that allows failure, and listens to the lessons it teaches us.

5. Natalie Holder-Winfield: Exclusion

Most leaders understand that a diverse and inclusive workforce brings many benefits. But how well do they understand the reality of discrimination and bias? This is the question addressed by Natalie Holder-Winfield in this Expert Interview.

Bias or discrimination is not always obvious or intentional. It can happen in many subtle ways, undermining performance and trust. The author explores 10 micro-inequities that can persist even in seemingly inclusive workplaces – and how to challenge them.

6. Daniel Pink: To Sell Is Human

How much of your time do you spend trying to persuade other people to do things? Well, when you do, you’re using the same skills as you would when you’re selling. And, says Daniel Pink, these skills are hardwired into all of us. But that doesn’t mean selling is easy. In an era when buyers can access huge amounts of information, sellers may be at a disadvantage.

In this interview, Pink reinvents the usual view of selling. He advocates a “more human” attunement to the needs of customers, and more clarity in the ways that sellers use information. He also offers lots of really useful, practical advice about how to sell more effectively.

7. Linda Fisher Thornton: 7 Lenses

Most people like to think they “do the right thing” in their work and personal lives. But for leaders it’s sometimes a tough ask. Sometimes even the best intentions come to grief amid uncertainty and lack of clarity.

Linda Fisher Thornton provides a framework to help define, develop and practice ethical leadership. She asks us to view problems from seven different perspectives, to help us to make ethically responsible decisions in any situation.

In the audio clip below, taken from our Expert Interview, Fisher Thornton explains how to apply her seven lenses to an everyday management decision: dealing with a complaint of unequal pay.

8. Tal Ben-Shahar: The Myth of Perfection

What makes someone a perfectionist? It’s partly the desire to experience continuous positive emotions. It’s also the rejection of failure, and the refusal to accept that life has both setbacks and triumphs.

Perhaps most surprisingly, it is also the rejection of success.

For perfectionists, nothing is good enough. Every success is immediately dismissed because it is not, and can’t be, perfect. In this Expert Interview, Tal Ben-Shahar, author of the worldwide bestseller, “Happier,” challenges the belief that we should all aspire to perfection, and points the way toward happier, more fulfilled lives and careers.

9. Sally Helgesen: How Women Rise

In “How Women Rise,” leadership expert Sally Helgesen and co-author Marshall Goldsmith outline a process that can help women to overcome the obstacles that prevent them from advancing in their careers.

In our Expert Interview, Helgesen pinpoints the habits that hinder women as they seek to progress. These may include behaviors that have helped them in the past, but which prove obstructive as their careers develop. And, having established what those behaviors are, she offers practical advice on how to change them.

In this clip from our podcast, Helgesen tells us where to start:

10. Daniel Goleman: Altered Traits

Daniel Goleman changed the way we talk about leadership and personal effectiveness with his 1995 book, “Emotional Intelligence.”

In our Expert Interview, he talks about his recent book, “Altered Traits,” written with psychology professor Richard Davidson.

Goleman finds the answer to greater awareness – of self, society and relationships – in meditation. He discusses the long-term personality benefits that focused meditation practice can bring, and highlights the important factors that can get lost along the way as meditation and mindfulness grow in popularity.

Goleman believes there’s a powerful business case for bringing mindfulness into the workplace. In the audio clip, below, he reflects on how organizations can introduce it to their people.


We hope you enjoy these podcasts, and go on to explore many more from Mind Tools. Sometimes, as our contributors often tell us, you just need to listen – so find out how to sign up your organization to Mind Tools today!

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