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Business
Health
Management & Marketing
Self-Help

The Art of Excellence

Updated 12 days ago

Business
Health
Management & Marketing
Self-Help
Read more

The Art of Excellence is an in-depth interview-style podcast about people who have accomplished great things in their lives. The goal of the show is to deliver inspiring stories from ultra-successful entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, authors, thought leaders and anyone doing something extraordinary. We will explore the backgrounds, talent, work ethic, sacrifices, mental outlook and serendipity that led to their success.

Read more

The Art of Excellence is an in-depth interview-style podcast about people who have accomplished great things in their lives. The goal of the show is to deliver inspiring stories from ultra-successful entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, authors, thought leaders and anyone doing something extraordinary. We will explore the backgrounds, talent, work ethic, sacrifices, mental outlook and serendipity that led to their success.

iTunes Ratings

27 Ratings
Average Ratings
27
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Excellence

By Kingmiw - Jun 16 2019
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Glenn does a tremendous job interviewing exceptional people. Fun, thoughtful and inspiring.

Well done!

By epeca84 - Sep 14 2018
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Thoughtful. Insightful. Compelling content. Interesting variety of subjects and personalities

iTunes Ratings

27 Ratings
Average Ratings
27
0
0
0
0

Excellence

By Kingmiw - Jun 16 2019
Read more
Glenn does a tremendous job interviewing exceptional people. Fun, thoughtful and inspiring.

Well done!

By epeca84 - Sep 14 2018
Read more
Thoughtful. Insightful. Compelling content. Interesting variety of subjects and personalities
Cover image of The Art of Excellence

The Art of Excellence

Updated 12 days ago

Read more

The Art of Excellence is an in-depth interview-style podcast about people who have accomplished great things in their lives. The goal of the show is to deliver inspiring stories from ultra-successful entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, authors, thought leaders and anyone doing something extraordinary. We will explore the backgrounds, talent, work ethic, sacrifices, mental outlook and serendipity that led to their success.

Rank #1: Eduardo Strauch: Andes Mountains plane crash survivor

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Eduardo Strauch is an architect and painter living in Montevideo, Uruguay.  He is also one of 16 survivors from a 1972 plane crash in the Andes mountains which was charted by an amateur Uruguayan rugby team.  He survived 72 treacherous days trapped high up in the mountains.  He wrote a book about his experience called Out of the Silence: After the Crash.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Learn how he and 15 others managed to survive for over two months with minimal provisions, subzero temperatures, and thin air which was very difficult to breathe. 
  • Learn how spontaneous meditation helped free his mind and save his life. 
  • Mental strength was as important as physical strength for survival. You had to maintain hope and continue to have positive thoughts and believe that things would eventually work out. 
  • You had to learn how to control your mind in order to do what was needed to survive. “It was essential to strip away the deep associations of the past from our actions and maintain that strict separation to be able to act.” 
  • Once they ran out of food, they had to get past age-old societal norms and resort to cannibalism to survive. 
  • “We all occasionally fell into bouts of deep depression, but then the group would notice it and act in support of that person, like a living organism trying to rebuild its own weak cells.” 
  • From the very moments following the crash to this day, Eduardo has learned to appreciate the value of life. 
  • “Excellence is to be in peace with oneself and ensure that you are living the life you must live.”
Aug 06 2019
38 mins
Play

Rank #2: Jerry Colonna: VC-turned executive leadership coach

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Jerry Colonna is the founder and CEO of Reboot.IO, an executive coaching and leadership development firm whose coaches are committed to the notion that better humans make better leaders. Previously he was a successful venture capitalist with JPMorgan Partners and Flatiron Partners focused on technology startups. His new book is titled Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.  He lives in Boulder, Colorado.   

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Growing up in a chaotic environment with an alcoholic father and mentally ill mother drove his associating money with safety. 
  • There was a dissonance between the way he felt internally and the way he was perceived in the world which led to a deep depression. 
  • You can’t be a better leader without being a better human and you can’t be a better human without going through radical self-inquiry. 
  • Radical self-inquiry is the process by which self-deception becomes so skillfully and compassionately exposed that no mask can hide us anymore. 
  • We all have psychological baggage – our inner demons – which hold us back as leaders and we must confront those demons in order to grow. 
  • It is a fallacy to think that leadership is all about having all the answers and not having any fear or any doubt. Authentic leadership is about accepting your imperfections. 
  • Learn about the important difference between grit and stubbornness. 
  • “We have to be willing to accept life as it is, not as we wish it might become. To live in the reality of what is today, not what might be in the future.”

Links:

Book: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up

Reboot Website: www.reboot.io

Jerry Colonna Bio: www.reboot.io/team/jerry-colonna  

Jul 16 2019
43 mins
Play

Rank #3: Scott Jurek: Ultrarunning Legend Conquers the Appalachian Trail

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Scott is widely regarded as one of the greatest runners of all time.  He has won most of ultrarunning’s elite events including the Hardrock 100, the Badwater 135, and the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run, which he won a record seven straight times. His most recent accomplishment is his 2015 Appalachian Trail speed record, averaging nearly 50 miles a day over 46 days.  He is a New York Times-bestselling author and his latest book is called North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • He averaged nearly 50 miles a day for 46 days to set a new Appalachian Trail speed record. 
  • Watching his mother suffer with multiple sclerosis at a young age gave him the fortitude later in life to fight through the pain and suffering during long runs. 
  • Humans were built for extreme endurance. If you want it badly enough and are willing to endure the suffering, you can run an ultramarathon. 
  • Being adaptable and being able to adjust his mental state on race day was a key ingredient of his willing so many ultra races. 
  • He had lost the passion and drive to really push himself and test his boundaries. Running the Appalachian Trail gave him the spark he needed to rekindle that fire in his belly. 
  • Learn how he fought through excruciating injuries in both legs to keep moving on his way to setting the record. 
  • “Excellence is being the best that you can possibly be. There is no end point. It’s something we’re always striving for.”

 Show Notes

Scott Jurek’s book: North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail https://www.amazon.com/North-Finding-While-Running-Appalachian/dp/0316433799/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528762039&sr=8-1&keywords=scott+jurek

Scott Jurek’s website: http://www.scottjurek.com/

Jun 12 2018
47 mins
Play

Rank #4: Ben Saunders: Extreme Polar Explorer

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Ben Saunders is one of the world’s leading polar explorers, and a record-breaking long-distance skier who has covered more than 4,300 miles on foot in the Polar Region. His accomplishments include skiing solo to both the North and South poles, and leading The Scott Expedition, the longest human-powered polar journey in history, a 105-day, 1,800 mile round-trip from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Hear the remarkable story of how he traveled the equivalent of 69 marathons, the distance from Maine to Miami, in frigid temperatures in near whiteout conditions, over the course of 3.5 months. 
  • Preparation entailed both extreme endurance and extreme weight training. He was able to run a 2:55 marathon and deadlift 485 lbs.  
  • The key to staying motivated was to shorten the focus from the ultimate goal to something that felt achievable whether the end of the day or even the end of an hour. 
  • One of his proudest moments on the journey was to make the call to have food delivered during their return. That moment calling for help was when he matured as a leader as he learned to get priorities straight. 
  • In hindsight, he made the mistake of often living too much in the future, thinking that success was defined by a finish line. 
  • The cliché holds true that the journey is way more important than the destination. 
  • Learn how he evolved from needing external validation to having more of an internal compass driving his motivations. 
  • “Self-belief is a malleable human quality. The more time you spend outside your comfort zone, the stronger it becomes.” 
  • “Excellence is having the internal drive to make tomorrow better than today.”
Jan 02 2019
38 mins
Play

Rank #5: Joe De Sena: Founder and CEO of Spartan

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Joe is the founder and CEO of Spartan, the largest obstacle racing series in the world. He is also a New York Times bestselling author of multiple books including Spartan Up, Spartan Fit, and most recently The Spartan Way.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • The most grueling endurance event he’s ever done is running a business. 
  • “Death is the price we pay for life so make it worth it.” 
  • Learn how he built the largest participatory endurance sport in the world with over a million annual participants and 275 events spread across 42 countries. 
  • It took over a decade of losing money and tweaking the product until he finally figured out a formula that worked. He stuck with it for so long because he knew it was his true north. 
  • Branding matters. They’re probably 10x more successful because of the name Spartan. 
  • Intermittent fasting can make you feel better and it increases performance. 
  • The best way to physically train is to focus on flexibility and mobility. 
  • The ambitious mission of Spartan is to change 100 million lives. 
  • “Excellence is giving it everything you’ve got. When you’re up against a wall and you refuse to give up, that’s excellence.”
Apr 09 2019
37 mins
Play

Rank #6: Roger McNamee: Tech investor, musician, activist

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Roger McNamee has been a successful Silicon Valley investor for thirty five years.  He co-founded Silver Lake and Elevation Partners, two very successful private equity funds.  He also plays bass and guitar in the bands Moonalice and Doobie Decibel System.  He holds a BA from Yale and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School. He has written 4 books, the latest one titled Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook Catastrophe.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Roger had a very unusual approach to tech investing which allowed him to be highly successful. 
  • Learn why he started Elevation Partners with U2’s Bono. 
  • Hear how one pivotal meeting with Mark Zuckerberg would forever alter the course of Facebook. 
  • It was Facebook’s lack of anonymity that Roger felt was key to bridging the gap to a much larger mainstream audience that prior social media companies had failed to reach. 
  • While they are technically a platform, Facebook acts more like a media company by using sophisticated algorithms to control the content that users see on the site. 
  • Social media manipulates us by exploiting the weakness in human psychology. 
  • Learn what filter bubbles are and why they’ve contributed to our accepting and spreading false information. 
  • “Technology has changed the way we engage with society, substituting passive consumption of content and ideas for civic engagement, digital communications for conversation.” 
  • “Excellence is an outcome that reflects mastery of an activity in a time and in a place.”
Jun 25 2019
46 mins
Play

Rank #7: Seth Godin: Marketing Maven

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Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker.  He has written 19 best-selling books, publishes one of the most popular marketing blogs, and speaks to audiences around the world. He also founded two companies, Squidoo and Yoyodyne which was acquired by Yahoo.  Seth has been inducted into both the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and the Marketing Hall of Fame. His latest book is called This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • In the old days, money bought you attention and you could use that attention to grow your business. Today attention is too precious for you to buy at any cost.  
  • Being an effective marketer in this day and age means having the empathy to see what the other person dreams of and what they fear. 
  • Since 1997 not one significant brand has been built with consumer advertising. 
  • There’s no longer any advantage to being a mass marketer. There’s only an advantage to being a very specific marketer.  
  • If you build a network effect, if you understand people’s status roles, if you engage with people where they need to be, with a product or service that helps them get to where they want to go, that is marketing. 
  • Marketing is about how human beings are going to interact with what you make and whether or not they will talk about it and miss you if you’re gone. 
  • The mistake most marketers make is to sell average stuff for average people in an attempt to appease everyone. But what’s most important for brand building today is to find a “minimal viable market”. The idea is to pick the smallest possible group of people that can sustain you and delight them so they will then tell their friends and spread the word. 
  • A brand is not a logo. Rather, a brand is a promise, an expectation of what you’re going to get. 
  • People don’t generally know what they want. It’s our job to watch people, figure out what they dream of, and then create a transaction that can deliver that feeling.
Feb 26 2019
43 mins
Play

Rank #8: Beth Comstock: Disrupter, Innovator, Change Agent: The Former Vice Chair at GE

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Beth Comstock spent over 25 years at GE where she was a vice chair, CEO of Business Innovations and Chief Marketing Officer among other roles. She has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune and Fast Company and has been named to the Fortune and Forbes lists of the world’s most powerful women.  Her new book is titled Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Risk taking is a skill that can be learned. 
  • “Most of us fear losing what we have more than we desire winning something we don’t have.” 
  • Due to her risk taking mentality, Jeff promoted her to Chief Marketing Officer, a role that hadn’t existed at GE for over two decades. 
  • She had to overcome a lack of self-confidence along with her introversion in order to speak up, challenge others and be effective in her role. 
  • Success correlates as closely with confidence as it does with competence. 
  • Much of the success of Hulu was attributed to hiring an entrepreneur from the outside and keeping him independent vs hiring someone from the inside. 
  • She led GE’s disruptive green initiative called Ecomagination which pushed an aggressive clean energy agenda throughout GE’s multiple business lines. 
  • GE executives often struggled to see parallels from developments happening in other industries due to a common cognitive bias called Functional Fixedness. 
  • She pioneered a new program at GE called Fastworks which leveraged the lean methodology to experiment with new product ideas, increase innovation and accelerate time to market. 
  • “Excellence is a never ending journey of learning and trying to get better.”
Sep 19 2018
52 mins
Play

Rank #9: Doug Bernstein: Founder and CEO of toy company Melissa and Doug

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Doug Bernstein is the co-founder and CEO of Melissa and Doug, a several hundred million dollar toy company focused mostly on simple classic toys for children up to 5 years of age.  He and his wife Melissa started the company together about 30 years ago.

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • They never intended to build a company from the beginning but rather, were driven by their shared passion to do something good for children. 
  • They are a product company at its core. If they simply focus on making great products, everything else will take care of itself.    
  • Adversity can fuel motivation. When their supplier decided to compete directly with them, rather than sue or wallow in despair, they shifted their product development cycle and started to innovate with new products so quickly that nobody could keep up with them.  
  • If you look at an obstacle as something that will take you out of the game, then it will. But if you look at it as something that you have to figure out how to get around, then you will find a way. 
  • They’ve never been tempted to venture into apps and digital media despite external pressure because they feel it’s not good for children at that age and it’s against their corporate values. 
  • They grew to several hundred million in revenue without one dollar of advertising. It was entirely word-of-mouth. 
  • They don’t do any product testing but are still able to maintain a 75% hit rate with new product introductions. 
  • “Excellence is always bringing your very best to what you do and always having the inner pride to do things the very best way.”
Sep 04 2018
46 mins
Play

Rank #10: Ep 41: Albert–Laszlo Barabasi: Unlocking the formula for success

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Albert-László Barabási is the Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science at Northeastern University, where he directs the Center for Complex Network Research, and holds appointments in the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Central European University in Budapest.  He is the author of four books with his latest one entitled: The Formula: The Universal Laws of Success. 

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • The definition of success is the rewards we earn from the communities we belong to. While your performance is about you, your success is about us.  It’s what we as a community acknowledge and value.  
  • The first law of success is that performance often drives success but when performance can’t be measured, networks drive success. 
  • The second law of success is that performance is bounded but success is unbounded. Marginal differences in performance may lead to order of magnitude differences in success (fame, fortune, recognition, etc.). 
  • The third law of success if that prior success will increase the odds of future success. It is the law behind why the rich get richer and the powerful stay that way. 
  • The fourth law of success is that while team success requires diversity and balance, a single individual will inevitably receive credit for the group’s achievements. 
  • For performance oriented teams, diversity and empathy are the most critical success factors while for innovation oriented teams, leadership is most important. 
  • The fifth law of success is that with persistence, success can come at any time. Your ability to succeed neither declines nor improves with age.
Mar 26 2019
43 mins
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Rank #11: Clint Harp: Craftsman, TVman, Journeyman

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Clint Harp and his wife Kelly own their own handmade furniture design business Harp Design in Waco Tx.  He was formerly a regularly recurring guest in the hit TV show Fixer Upper and currently stars in his own television series called Wood Work. His new book is called Handcrafted: A Woodworker’s Story

Some interesting insights from this episode:

  • Sometimes we may hang on to a dream for too long. His original dream was to be a musician but eventually realized that he didn’t have the talent and had to accept that his life’s plan lay elsewhere.  
  • He quit a lucrative job in medical sales without any safety net to pursue his passion of building furniture.  
  • Only by being 100% honest with his wife and admitting that he was struggling with his new furniture design business was he able to earn her trust and respect which allowed their marriage to grow stronger as a result. 
  • Learn how a fortuitous encounter at a gas station would change the trajectory of his career and his life. 
  • He had a few lucky breaks along the way but everyone does. It’s what do you do with those lucky breaks that’s so critical to success.  
  • Learn how he became known as the dumpster-diving, reclaimed wood-loving carpenter. 
  • “Looking at a pile of wood on my shop floor might be one of my favorite things to do. What might appear to be a mess is really a beautiful creation just waiting to be put together.” 
  • “What I am is a journeyman. A dreamer. A kid who once sat at the base of a tree and imagined what was possible. A guy who now stands at the foot of the mountain trying to claw my way to the top, knowing there’s another peak right around the corner.”
Oct 09 2018
55 mins
Play

Rank #12: Mark Tercek: The Nature Conservancy CEO

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Mark Tercek is the CEO of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization. He is a former Managing Director and Partner at Goldman Sachs and is the author of the bestselling book Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • We all have an inner environmentalist inside of us. 
  • His executive coach taught him some valuable lessons early on including how to listen better and how to not sweat out the details. 
  • In the nonprofit world, he had to learn how to understand employees’ psychic income and use that as motivation to drive behavior. 
  • Saving nature isn’t just the morally right thing to do, it’s also the smartest investment we can make. 
  • Learn how he pivoted his 4,000 employee organization from pure land conservation toward embracing climate change as a top priority. 
  • “Excellence is matching ambition with a good dose of reality.” 
  • We all have a tendency to overestimate risks in our lives. The returns are greater than perceived and the risks less that perceived.  More of us should just go for it.
Nov 27 2018
53 mins
Play

Rank #13: Scott Hamilton: Champion on and off the ice

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Scott Hamilton is a retired figure skater and Olympic gold medalist. He won four consecutive U.S. championships from 1981–84, four consecutive World Championships from 1981–84 and a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.  Since that time he has been a TV commentator, a motivational speaker, the founder of a skating academy, a cancer survivor and the founder of a cancer research center.  He is a New York Times bestselling author and his latest book is called Finish First: Winning Changes Everything.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Finishing first doesn’t necessarily mean finishing first. Accomplishing whatever goal you set for yourself is a finish first moment. 
  • “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” 
  • It was his mother’s passing that was the catalyst which woke him up and allowed him to take his skating to another level. 
  • He gave away all his medals and trophies because he didn’t want to let them be an anchor to prevent him from moving forward. 
  • All of the losing earlier in his career was actually great preparation for ultimately learning how to compete and win. 
  • “Excellence is leveraging everything we have to live the best life we possibly can.”
Oct 02 2018
36 mins
Play

Rank #14: “The Birdman” Jeb Corliss: Fearless BASE Jumper

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Jeb is one of the world’s best known BASE-jumpers and wingsuit pilots. He has made more than 1,000 jumps including the Eiffel Tower, the Golden Gate Bridge and Angel falls to name a few.  He is featured in a documentary called Fearless: The Jeb Corliss Story.

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Learn how he was diagnosed with counterphobia at an early age which made him want to confront his fears head on. 
  • “The only limits on you are the ones you place upon yourself.” 
  • Base-jumping saved him from a life of depression. It was the first time he truly felt happy. 
  • Getting over fear is like building muscle. You have to slowly build up a tolerance for fear so you can eventually do terrifying things. 
  • Hear about one of the most terrifying jumps he’s ever done. 
  • Hear how he was able to survive an “unsurvivable” crash. 
  • It took years of suffering following a near-death accident to one day allow him to derive more pleasure from the simple things in life than jumping off any mountain.
Mar 06 2018
54 mins
Play

Rank #15: Cat Hoke: Defying the Odds: Giving Current and Former Convicts, Herself, and the Rest of US a Second Chance

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Cat Hoke is the founder and CEO of Defy Ventures, a non-profit which creates personal and economic opportunities for people with criminal histories. She’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and a number of other publications.  Her new book is called A Second Chance: For You, For Me, and For the Rest of Us.   

Some interesting insights from this episode: 

  • Learn how she converts hardened criminals into entrepreneurial, hard-working, law-abiding citizens upon their release from prison. 
  • Ask yourself this question: “If I died today, why would my life matter?” 
  • Most people are unhappy with their work because they prioritize self-preservation over fulfillment. 
  • Hear how a former kingpin drug dealer became a very successful entrepreneur running a hugely popular fitness program called ConBody. 
  • Forgiveness is critical. If you want a better life for yourself in the future, you have to be willing to forgive yourself for the past. 
  • Many of us who have never lived in a physical prison are still trapped in our own personal prisons. 
  • “We feel most alive when we are investing sacrificially in the lives of other people.”

Show Notes

Defy Ventures website: https://defyventures.org/

 Cat’s book: A Second Chance: For You, For Me, and For the Rest of Us: https://www.amazon.com/Second-Chance-You-Me-Rest/dp/0999669508/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518990788&sr=8-1&keywords=a+second+chance

 Tedx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4J1pgxYTww

Feb 20 2018
53 mins
Play

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