Rank #1: Jeff Warren (Ep.36): You are what you repeatedly do
My happy place is interviewing a high energy meditator who curses like a sailor. Jeff Warren is a meditation teacher and the co-author of Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics (alongside Good Morning America’s Dan Harris). We talk a lot about mental health and Jeff’s longtime struggle with ADD, which to this day impacts his sense of acceptance and belonging. This conversation is nothing like what you’d expect from two meditators – it’s high energy, very personal, and pragmatic. We cover the daunting long game (i.e. lifetime) of meditation, how the stories around us can shape our reality (à la Sapiens), and how meditation is one of those small habits that unquestionably improves our happiness AND stops the endless and draining mental chatter.
LOOKING FOR A COACH? Whether you need to get unstuck or are committed to uncomfortable introspection but don’t know how to begin, the #radfam has got you covered. We’ve handpicked a group of talented coaches over at http://rad.family/coaching.
Rank #2: Tiago Forte (Ep. 1): Rewriting the Rules of Productivity and Knowledge Management
Tiago Forte is the founder of Forte Labs. He’s an incredible thinker on productivity for knowledge workers. In today’s information-driven economy, legacy frameworks such as to-do lists or inbox zero may no longer be relevant. Tiago draws from principals ranging from Design Thinking to Lean Manufacturing, and helps me answer the simple question: is it possible to be too productive?
Rank #3: Fred Ehrsam (Ep. 4): Why leaving with no plan, is the best plan
Fred Ehrsam is an “OG” in the crypto world. But we barely talk crypto – instead, we talk about his journey. Fred joined Goldman as an FX Trader because it was “the cool kids” job, only to find an industry suffering from the classic Innovator’s Dilemma — one focused on extracting rents, instead of innovation. Fred’s such a crisp and honest thinker and we discuss chasing objective achievement to define self-worth, the power of executive coaching (“I thought it as armchair therapy for the weak”), the naïve algorithm of life (“getting stuck at local maximums of happiness”), and how we humans are wired to be pleasure seeking, pain avoidant.
Rank #4: Introducing FWD: Thinking, a podcast about recreating your career
RadReaders!!!! I’m excited to announce FWD: Thinking, Quartz at Work’s new podcast about bold individuals who have challenged the status quo to create meaningful careers. Most of us in the workforce have felt that itch, that yearning to do something different at one point or another. But then come the inevitable questions: What would I do? Do I have the skills? Is it risky? Learn the playbooks and strategies to drive your own career reinvention.
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Rank #5: Shirzad Chamine (Ep. 2): The Big Lie of Fear and Achievement
“Do you need to beat the crap out of yourself to succeed?” Today’s guest, Shirzad Chamine, has helped countless CEOs answer that question. He breaks down the big lie of fear and achievement. Shirzad’s work really helped me realize how much I self-sabotage and how to harness that energy to tap into our creativity. He’s coached countless executives and has no time for the “woo woo.” This is all about leveling up your mastery.
Rank #6: Tiago Forte (Ep.52): The privilege of sharing knowledge
Our first guest Tiago Forte returns to close out the first season of Rad Awakenings. Tiago’s the founder of Forte Labs, an education company focused on productivity and learning. He believes that technology has fundamentally changed the way we work – as entrepreneurs or as knowledge workers. With new multi-billion dollar industries being created each year, there are countless opportunities to create new “lanes” of expertise and ultimately “product-ize” that knowledge. This is a pragmatic conversation where he breaks down how to identify these new pockets of opportunity, become a full-stack freelancer, and create a distributed digital company – all because sharing knowledge is one of life’s greatest privileges.
+ SHOW NOTES: https://radreads.co/tiago-forte3/
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Rank #7: Caroline Webb (Ep.22): Behavioral science and your best self
I often get listener pushback when we discuss happiness and introspection – this skepticism comes from the fact that the learnings aren’t grounded in data and they lack the pragmatism and relevance to our daily jobs. Today’s guest, Caroline Webb bridges that gap. She’s a former McKinsey partner, leadership coach, and economist and is used to C-Suiters pushing back on topics that are too “woo-woo.” She’s the founder of SevenShift, where she uses insights from behavioral science to help executives improve their working life. We discuss humans’ natural tendency to scan our environments for threats and how this impacts our brains. Are these threats real? How do we stop negative thought spirals? Is technology a source of threats? And a reader favorite, is fear a good motivator?
+ SHOW NOTES: bit.ly/radpod22
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Rank #8: Venkatesh Rao (Ep.27): The stress that makes you come alive
Venkatesh Rao defies labels – he’s a blogger, thinker, consultant whose ideas span the digital economy, science, philosophy, and the zeitgeist. Rao is the creator of Ribbonfarm and Breaking Smart and we discuss “paycheck addictions” and the wave of transformation that’s going to hit the economy. Is becoming a free-agent a way to stay ahead of the curve? How should a mid-career executive prepare? An immersion in the technology conversation is a must – but so is the ability to emotionally self-regulate.
+ SHOW NOTES: bit.ly/radpod27
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Rank #9: Eugene Wei (Ep.38): Be a novice
Eugene Wei’s career cannot be described succinctly or linearly. He worked as an analyst at Amazon in the late 90s, went to film school, worked as a product manager at startups including Hulu and Flipboard and most recently was head of video for Facebook’s Oculus VR. Eugene always “seeks to be a novice” and eschews traditional “career rules.” I was drawn to Eugene’s blog by his grasp of the written word and the fluidity of his interests, ranging from tech, sports, culture, psychology, media, and storytelling. We talk a lot about reading, writing and communicating – why it’s important for product managers to read fiction and how great leaders create leverage through compression – tiny, repeatable and memorable messages. We also discuss what makes Jeff Bezos a unique leader, how to use data to become an “expert” and what he’s learned by studying high performance athletes.
LOOKING FOR A COACH? Need to get unstuck? Ready to take a risk? Or are you committed to self-inquiry but don’t know how to begin? Look no further than the #RadFam. We’ve curated a group of talented coaches over at bit.ly/radcoaching.
Rank #10: Sam Polk (Ep. 10): I am Enough
Imagine getting a $3.6 million bonus at age 30? The dream scenario, right? This episode’s guest, Sam Polk made more money in that a single bonus than his parents had earned over their entire lives. Yet he still needed to repeat the mantra “I am Enough” to reaffirm his own self-worth. Sam was a senior trader at King Street, one of the most successful hedge funds in the world. But behind his rocket-ship trajectory was a story of rage, addiction, arrests, and loneliness – the result of a strained relationship with his parents, especially his dad.
Sam began his healing through regular therapy beginning at age 22 (over 400 sessions) to which he attributes some of his Wall Street success. Today, he’s a social entrepreneur and founder of Everytable, a mission-driven company delivering healthy meals affordable to everyone. Sam is truly an open book and we discuss masculinity, “the Number,” what he’d tell his 20 year old self, fatherhood, and how to forgive.This Week’s Sponsor: Skillshare
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Full Show Notes:
Rank #11: Kate Bednarski (Ep.7): Is This All There Is?
What is a life coach? What does life coaching consist of? Does it work?
In this episode, we’ll meet my coach, Kate Bednarski, one of the most impactful people in my life. I’ve asked Kate to throw out all patient confidentiality constraints and crack open all of her notes from our two years of working together.
We start with our first meeting, where I showed up “jacked up on caffeine” a 34 year old guy rife with many tensions. I had a messed up relationship with time – there was never enough, yet I wanted to accomplish so much that it was affecting my marriage and relationship with my daughter. I was also in the midst of a successful career in hedge funds, yet my “money madness” as Kate calls it made me constantly second guess myself, as I was anchored to the belief that things couldn’t be savored without delayed gratification and that it was a proxy for success. At the end, as many of our listeners will know, most of these anxieties emanated from a deep rooted fear of my own mortality. Kate coaches many hard-charging high achievers, many of whom reach inflection points in their career and find themselves asking “Is this all there is?
Full Show Notes:
Rank #12: Tiago Forte (Ep.17): First principles of workflow design (part 1/2)
Tiago Forte is our resident productivity and workflow guru and the founder of Forte Labs. This is part 1 (of our 2 part series) in which we geek out on our First Principles (i.e. building blocks) of workflow, productivity, and personal knowledge management. Tiago approaches these questions through the lens of design thinking and also reflects on some of the blind spots in his system.
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+ SHOW NOTES: bit.ly/radpod17
Rank #13: Ted Seides (Ep.25): Money makes you more of what you already are
Let’s talk Hedge Funds! Ted Seides is a long time hedge fund investor and the host of the Capital Allocators Podcast. He’s a kindred spirit and we overlapped during the go-go days of the hedge fund industry. While this industry has some of the smartest and hardest working individuals, it’s also got some perverse incentives, outright greed, and is a breeding ground for the Three Es (Ego, Envy, Entitlement – all of which I experienced). The industry is undergoing tremendous change and we discuss sussing out internally motivated individuals, the keys to growing wealth, and how money makes you more… of what you already are.
+ SHOW NOTES: bit.ly/radpod25
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Rank #14: Holly Rogers (Ep.26): The tiny compounding adjustments of mindfulness
Today’s episode should be called mindfulness for hyper-driven skeptics with no time. Holly Rogers is a psychiatrist at the student counseling center at Duke University and the co-founder of the center for Koru Mindfulness. Holly’s training as a psychiatrist provides a repertoire of research for the benefits of mindfulness, such as improving cardiovascular health, building a tolerance for discomfort, and my personal favorite: noticing tiny pain points with clarity and making adjustments that compound over time. We also discuss the “lowest effective dose” (10 minutes for 4 weeks), why today’s college students are way more anxious than in the past, and why mid-life crisis seem to be starting earlier.
+ SHOW NOTES: bit.ly/radpod26
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Rank #15: Mike Lewis (Ep.29): The unsexy steps to chasing your dreams
At age 22, Mike Lewis had his dream job as a young venture capitalist at Bain Capital Ventures, moving up the ranks all while having fun and learning. But there was a little nagging voice reminding him of a dream – to play squash on the pro tour, even if it meant couch surfing and eating into his savings to do so. Mike did it, peaked at 112 and went on to write When to Jump: If the job you have isn’t the life you want. We’re bombarded by sexy stories about people who made the jump, but this obfuscates the planning, safety nets, and ways in which you can practice your own “jump.”
This week’s sponsor: Looking to elevate your workflow? Join host Khe Hy for a free class on the GTD methodology and how to use the productivity app Omnifocus at http://omnifocus.guru .