Think of podcasts as gym for the brain. Selected wisely, they could even be described as CrossFit for the brain!
What are podcasts? They are basically audio files that can be freely downloaded. I usually listen to them on my phone when I am in the car or going for walk.
Why should you listen to them? They are free. They have great content. They help pass the time when you are commuting somewhere.
Where should I start? It totally depends of what you want! There are many genres that might be of interest. As a starting point, here are the podcasts I listen to regularly. All of these have many interesting episodes so I suggest browsing through all of them – there are some classics here.
Planet Money. These come out regularly every week and cover an array of business issues. Here are 3 great episodes to get you started:
DECEMBER 23, 2015 #671: An Insider Trader Tells All
Today on the show: A man who got caught insider trading explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why. Though he’s still struggling with that last one. (This was the Audit Partner for Herbalife and Sketchers.)
DECEMBER 2, 2015 #216: How Four Drinking Buddies Saved Brazil
Two decades ago, shoppers in Brazil would run ahead of the worker who raised prices every day. Inflation was crazy. Today on the show: How four economists –who were also drinking buddies– fixed it.
NOVEMBER 18, 2015 #416: Why The Price Of Coke Didn’t Change For 70 Years
Prices go up and down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. On today’s show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.
How I Built This has interviews with the people that started some amazing businesses – Airbnb, Zappos, Dermalogica, Lyft and more. I listen to it first thing every Monday. Get it here.
The Economist offers the best weekly publication you can get your hands on as a professional. If you have never done so, please give it a read and be prepared to learn more in a few pages than you have for the past week! They have a free podcast that looks at the week ahead, and this helps me to keep updated on world events. You can get it on iTunes here
Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast called Revisionist History. If you have enjoyed his books, you will enjoy his thoughts on a range of issues – like the high price of university fee’s. The latest episode I listened to involved the Toyota sudden acceleration case, which cost the company more than R20bn.
Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of a publishing company that decided to refocus his career and help others develop leadership and productivity skills. I use a lot of his productivity hacks and can recommend his “Shave 10 hours off your workweek” ebook, which you get for free if you register on his website. His podcast “This is your life” has had over 10 million downloads and the archive can be viewed here.
Tim Ferriss is an interesting character. Essentially he will interview a world class performer – authors, sports, military etc – and try to distill the big lessons that they have learnt. The podcasts are long – some over 2 hours – but if the interview is with someone you are interested to learn from, it is brilliant to really delve into their ideas. At the same time, if you aren’t interested in the content, you should quit quickly. I therefore recommend scrolling through the archive and starting with the episodes that contain people you know and respect. Here is it!
Andy Stanley releases a monthly podcast on leadership. If you are leading in any capacity, he does a great job of helping you get better. His interview with the former CEO of Home Depot, Frank Blake, is a great starting point.
Tim Keller was introduced to me on honeymoon – my sister gave us a wedding gift of an iPod with his talks on it – and I have not stopped listening. He leads a church in New York, a city with fascinating people, many of which are young professionals, and Keller answers many of the questions they have about the meaning of life. His podcast is here.
Which ones am I missing? Please let me know in the comments!