Rank #1: First Quarter Review - Joey Torkildson Interviews 12 Geniuses CEO Don MacPherson
Joey Torkildson, host of The Grind Podcast, interviews 12 Geniuses CEO Don MacPherson about the first quarter of 2019. They discuss what 12 Geniuses followed, where Don traveled over the last three months, what was learned, who was interviewed, and what Q2 of 2019 will look like. The two friends cover technology advancements in the areas of AI, robotics, wearables, and virtual reality. They discuss the limitations government has when it comes to climate change and the importance of innovation in solving the world’s biggest problems. Don shares his experience speaking and meeting students at Yale University and the challenges of traveling to France with two young children. Finally, Joey and Don discuss what is ahead for the 12 Geniuses podcast. New interviews on the topics of the cannabis industry, climate change and corporate sustainability, and creativity and innovation are coming soon. They also talk about the upcoming “12 Geniuses Leadership Moments” - three minute profiles of historic leaders - that will be released as mini-podcasts over the summer.
Rank #2: A Story of Self-Disruption and Reinvention - Catherine Carr of Doctors Without Borders
The world is better than ever. We have access to life-saving medical technology, sanitation, and technological advancements in energy and other resources. Despite these developments, there are still parts of the world challenged by natural disasters, diseases, and war. Fortunately for many of the people facing these challenges, there are organizations like Doctors Without Borders (also known as Médecins Sans Frontières) that provide assistance and heroes who leave the comfort of their careers, families, and the lives they have created in order to save lives and give hope to strangers a world away. Nearly a decade ago, Catherine Carr had the nagging feeling there was more to life than the way she was living. It’s a feeling many people feel after a couple decades of adulthood and work experience. Most people don’t heed it though. Catherine is not most people. She wanted more meaning in her work and Doctors Without Borders was the answer. She applied, was hired, and sent to Kenya on a six-month assignment. That one-time assignment turned into more than nine years with Catherine being stationed in 13 countries. In this interview, she shares her experiences working for Doctors Without Borders and the lessons she learned in the field that can be applied in business. Catherine also talks about overcoming the fear she felt as she embarked on her personal reinvention. Anyone interested in expanding their own comfort zone, cultural adaptation, and pursuing a greater sense of meaning from work will find this interview with Catherine Carr interesting. Catherine is currently on a four-month assignment in South Sudan.
Rank #3: The End of Retirement as We Know It - An Interview with Economist and Journalist Chris Farrell
Each day more than 10,000 Baby Boomers reach age 65. Traditionally, turning 65 meant senior discounts, occasionally socializing with friends over a game of bridge, and trips south for warmer weather. Today, retirement is being redefined. Nearly 60% of employees over 60 plan to continue working, but on their terms. As economist, journalist, and retirement expert Chris Farrell explains in this episode, taking on a job after retirement can have great health benefits and improve quality of life. Many people who reach traditional retirement age are reinventing themselves because they know they still have a great deal to contribute to society. Others continue to work because the extra income is helping them live the kind of life they want. This has significant implications for organizations that are interested in engaging and retaining their most experienced people. Shifting careers later in life may seem daunting, but with the right tools and advice, changing careers is possible. Another topic Chris addresses in this interview is FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early). Many young people, particularly in well-paid technology jobs, are choosing to amass large sums of money and opt out of the workforce in their 40s, or even 30s. Chris shares his thoughts on what that means to organizations that lose these people and the prospects for someone who ends their career prematurely. Chris Farrell has studied retirement and the shifts in our aging workforce extensively. An author of five books including "Unretirement" and "Purpose and a Paycheck," Chris is an expert on how we can find happiness, health, and security in our later years.
Rank #4: The Future of Energy in America - An Interview with Energy Expert Lauren Azar
The world today is better than ever and one of the foundational reasons for this is because of access to energy. We have gas to power our cars and planes, electricity to run our appliances, natural gas, and other sources to control the heat in our homes. Dubai and Las Vegas don’t exist without cheap energy to power them. Conversations surrounding energy sources, energy consumption, and ways to use energy efficiently have been on the rise. Alternative sources to coal have emerged with solar, wind, and hydroelectric as front runners. As America strives to optimize energy use, innovations such as battery storage, the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence will be disruptive. In this interview, Lauren Azar draws on her 25 years of experience working in the energy sector. She talks about why coal is not a viable, long-term source of energy, how new technologies will make energy consumption cheaper, and where America’s energy is most vulnerable from security threats. Lauren also candidly discusses how to get more girls and young women involved in energy and other STEM careers. Over the course of her career, Lauren Azar has worked at the federal government level as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Energy, at the state government level as Commissioner at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and in the private sector as an attorney representing utilities and utility customers.
Rank #5: How a Futurist Sees the World - An Interview with Rebecca Ryan
For nearly two decades America has been in “Winter” – a time of stagnation, conflict, and disruption. During this time, we’ve asked ourselves “who are we and what do we stand for?” We’ve grown contentious politically, racially, across generations, and about the best way to proceed into the future. Many now wonder how American society will find stability and cohesiveness in the years to come. In this interview, Rebecca Ryan explains the changes our nation is going through and how these changes can be harnessed for a positive future. Rebecca explains the concepts of “Winter” and “Spring” as well as the “browning” and “graying” of America. She also shares her insights about how America will respond to these changes and how you too can practice futuring. Rebecca has spent her career consulting with large and small organizations to prepare them for the changes to come. Rebecca has authored a book, "ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Next Leaders," detailing these changes and how we can ready ourselves to remain relevant and competitive in the world to come.
Rank #6: A Look at the Year Ahead with 12 Geniuses CEO Don MacPherson
In this special edition podcast, Devon McGrath interviews 12 Geniuses CEO Don MacPherson. Don shares what he learned in 2018 and where the focus of the podcast and company will be in the new year. While reviewing 2018, Don and Devon talk about learning Arabic, the art and science of podcasting, fatherhood, entrepreneurship, futurist camp, technologies that are changing the way we live and work, the threat of technology addiction, and why change is so difficult. Then they shift their focus to what is on the horizon for 12 Geniuses in 2019. They discuss changing demographics and an aging population, cryptocurrency, the ethics of gene editing, global governmental cooperation, the economic opportunity of cannabis, prison reform, and immigration reform.
Rank #7: From Active Addiction to CEO - Jim Geckler’s Story of Recovery
Do you know someone with a drug or alcohol problem? About 20 million people in the United States have substance abuse problems and 72,000 Americans lost their lives from drug overdoses in 2017. The chances are you have a family member, a friend, a work colleague, or neighbor who struggles with addiction. Seeing someone battle substance abuse can seem so crippling. Many people crave hope as they watch their loved one enter the abyss of addiction. That hope is just what this episode of 12 Geniuses provides. Jim Geckler, the CEO of Harmony Foundation in Estes Park, Colorado, bravely and candidly shares his personal story of drug use and recovery. Starting at the age of 13, Jim abused alcohol and drugs until his 30s. An arrest began Jim’s sobriety that has lasted nearly 20 years. Not only does Jim tell his story, he provides guidance for addicts, their families, friends, and co-workers.
Rank #8: Developing Financial and Emotional Competence with Doug Lennick
America has a money problem. It isn’t just the $20+ trillion in national debt. It’s also individual debt. One in five Americans don’t have a single dollar set aside in the event of an emergency and 30% don’t have $500 in a rainy day fund. US household debt exceeded $13 trillion at the end of 2017 with over $800B of that coming in the form of credit card debt. Half of all US employees are anxious or fearful about their financial well-being. Imagine the risk that this poses for your organization. People stressed about money are more likely to steal from their companies and stay even if they are disengaged. Doug Lennick has spent his career developing leaders in a wide variety of industries and exploring how people can make better financial decisions that align with their core values. Doug has authored six books including his most recent - “Leveraging Your Financial Intelligence: At the Intersection of Money, Health and Happiness.”
Rank #9: Fighting the Fear of Failure: An Entrepreneur’s Journey with Ryan Estis
Do you ever think about walking into your boss’s office and quitting your job? Have you ever dreamed about starting your own business? Have you wondered what it would be like to strike out on your own and see if you could make it in the business world today? This is exactly what Ryan Estis did at the height of the recession in January 2009. Today, Ryan is a writer, speaker, and consultant who quit his job as a well-paid executive in advertising to start his own company. His only regret…that he didn’t do it sooner. The road wasn’t an easy one, though. As most entrepreneurs will tell you, there are a lot of sacrifices that need to be made if you want to succeed. In this episode of 12 Geniuses, Ryan discusses the sacrifices he made, the discipline he put into place, and the results that he has experienced over the last 10 years. Starting a business isn’t for everyone and Ryan shares the advice he has given to hundreds of people interested in going the entrepreneurial route about what it takes to begin and sustain a successful business. Ryan is one of the most coveted professional speakers in the United States. He delivers keynote presentations to nearly 80 companies and associations each year around the world. That gives him keen insight into what individuals, leaders, and organizations are doing to stave off disruption and thrive in a highly competitive business climate. Ryan shares what the most innovative organizations are doing to invest in their people, handle failure, drive innovation, and pivot from soon-to-be obsolete business models.
Rank #10: Leadership, the Brain, and Managing Lasting Change - An Interview with Dr. Robert Eichinger
What makes a leader great? Is it a big personality with a compelling vision? Or is it the combination of intelligence and integrity? Our guest for this episode of 12 Geniuses is Dr. Robert Eichinger. For half a century he has studied and researched the competencies of leaders – the good ones and the bad ones. He has authored more than 100 articles and books on leadership, while coaching thousands of leaders from first-time managers to Fortune 500 CEOs. In the first part of our conversation we talk about leadership myths, how leadership has evolved over the last fifty years, and the competencies leaders need to master in order to become great. The second part of the interview focuses on leadership in a world of artificial intelligence. We will also discuss the importance of change readiness, learning agility, and whether or not new technologies will enable leaders to be more effective.