I love podcasts! Like you, I just wish I had time to listen to more of them.
As we wrap up the year -- and many of us hit the road over the holidays -- I thought I’d share three of my favorites. Each podcast connects to the theme of resiliency I’ve highlighted in recent blogs. Each inspired me, educated me, and entertained me. I hope they do the same for you as you work to put a solid “!” on your year.
How I Built This
Focus: Produced by NPR and hosted by Guy Raz, How I Built This “is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.”
Memorable Episodes: Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines); Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group)
Why: If there’s an industry where incumbent players hate new entrants—and will stop at nothing to squeeze the life of those entrants—it’s the airline business. The obstacles Herb and Richard (that sounds like a great name for a Vegas lounge act) encountered in launching their airlines were immense. And those obstacles kept coming, year after year. Their resiliency -- and creativity -- are inspiring.
Favorite Quote: “The best way of running a business is to throw yourself into the deep end, ask lots of questions, and then listen, listen, listen." Sir Richard Branson, who founded Virgin Atlantic in 1984.
Focus: A spinoff of RadioLab, More Perfect “dives into the rarefied world of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to explain how cases deliberated inside hallowed halls affect lives far away from the bench.”
Memorable Episodes: The Gun Show; Sex Appeal
Why: In our national discussion over guns, the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution looms large. Turns out, that wasn’t always the case. For most of our nation’s history, the Second Amendment was one of the least discussed -- and least litigated -- amendments. What changed? Start with the Black Panthers in Oakland, California nearly 50 years ago. Follow that up with a raucous NRA convention in Cincinnati. Then bring a case known as District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008.
Speaking of interesting SCOTUS cases, if you’re interested in the case that paved the way for women to have equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, be sure to check out Sex Appeal. That episode involves an Oklahoma State University fraternity full of wrestlers, a 100 year old state law governing the sale of alcohol, and a less-known (at the time) lawyer named Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Favorite Quote: “There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” Former California Governor Ronald Reagan speaking in May, 1967.
The Axe Files
Focus: The Axe Files invites listeners to “go beyond the soundbites and get to know some of the most interesting players in politics” with host David Axelrod, best known as the chief strategist for Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns and now the director of the University of Chicago Institute of Politics.
Memorable Episodes: California Governor Jerry Brown; Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr
Why: Regardless of your political affiliation or sports loyalty, you won’t meet two more interesting people with fascinating backstories than Jerry Brown and Steve Kerr. I could listen to both of them talk for hours on their experiences growing up with equally interesting parents.
Brown is the son of one of California’s most productive governors, Pat Brown (who definitely knew how to GSD). At age 79, Brown still has a curiosity about life -- and a desire to make an impact -- that I find inspiring. Steve Kerr was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and spent much of his life growing up in the Middle East. (Kerr’s father, Malcolm Kerr, was serving as president of the American University in Beirut when he was assassinated in 1984.) For the record, I like the Golden State Warriors. I love Steve Kerr. The humility with which he works with his players on and off the court on a range of topics is also inspiring.
Favorite Quote: "Immerse yourself in the things you love and the people you love, and keep moving." Steve Kerr, head coach of the Golden State Warriors since 2014.
I’ll hit pause here because I, too, am heading out the door shortly. Since one of my new year’s resolutions is to check out more podcasts, please drop me a note with your favorites.
All the best for a kick-ass year ahead!