What are you doing to stay connected with like-minded people with so many meetups and conferences canceled this year? Losing those regular connections leaves me feeling isolated and stranded. I miss the face-to-face exchanges of shop-talk. I'm exhausted thinking about getting on yet another group video call.
Podcasts are my substitutes this year for hanging around other leaders and successful people who are going places.
A mentor once told me:
Never read a good book. There are too many great ones, and good ones are a waste of time.
Podcasts are the same. There are too many great ones to listen to, and good ones are a waste of time.
One of the best ways I’ve found great content, whether books, music, or podcasts, is through a recommendation from someone I trust. I’ll admit, I’ve not stuck with every recommendation, but they have introduce me to voices I would have never learned from.
When it comes to podcasts, I stick with ones that:
- Move in a positive, uplifting direction
- Cover a topic that interests me
- I personally connect with
Here are the few that check those boxes.
My Podcast Recommendations
If Disney Ran Your Life
Jeff Noel built his career at Disney. His podcast applies lessons he learned at Disney to every area of life, encouraging personal vibrancy. I first discovered Jeff while he was at The Disney Institute and have come to appreciate his positive outlook when it comes to raising the bar on excellence.
The Jody Maberry Show
Jody Maberry is a park ranger turned business consultant. I discovered Jody's podcast through Jeff's. Jody hosts Jeff's, and 2 other Disney related podcasts on this list, and is a big reason I listen to the others. He is down to earth, humble, and a captivating story teller. His, more than any other, is one I go through and listen to past episodes. He is full of insight and wisdom.
Creating Disney Magic
Lee Cockerell served as the EVP of Operations at Walt Disney World. His podcast is full of practical leadership, management, and customer service tips that you can put to work for you today. I enjoy the behind-the-scene look at what it takes to run such a large and impactful enterprise. I never miss an episode!
Come Rain or Shine
Dan Cockerell retired as VP of The Magic Kingdom, after 27 years at Disney. Dan's podcast focuses on how leaders shape culture. He shares stories from his time at Disney and has an occasional guest. Dan is a leader of leaders, and although he retired from Disney, he is still an entrepreneur. His drive is contagious. I look forward to catching him each week.
Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast
Craig Groeschel is the pastor of Life.Church. In this podcast, Craig laser focuses on developing leaders. Each episode is like taking a college class on leadership. You'll drink from the fire hose! Thankfully, his team also provides a helpful leadership guide that goes with each episode. The guide helps you apply the principles in each episode. It is a first-class resource, and honestly, I'm surprised it is free.
At The Table with Patrick Lencioni
Patrick Lencioni is a best selling author, speaker, and leadership coach. Gordon Food Service required leaders to read his book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team when I worked there. I loved it. It should be required reading for every leader. This podcast is an extension of his consulting group. He shares the mic with others on his team, and they discuss practical leadership tips to help you shape a healthy culture. Don't miss it!
Lead to Win
I first became familiar Michael Hyatt when he was CEO of Thomas Nelson, a large publishing company. He has since left publishing and has started a successful leadership consultancy with his daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller. This podcast focuses leadership, and is presented through a conversation between father and daughter. That unique combination is what makes it work. Although intertwined, they each approach leadership from their own perspective. I hope to have that kind of relationship with my daughter when she is off conquering the world.
3 Point Perspective: The Illustration Podcast
3 Point Perspective is hosted by Will Terry, Lee White, and Jake Parker, all which are professional illustrators. Each episode addresses an aspect of being a professional illustrator. Each member of the team shares his perspective and experience on the topic. I enjoy the banter and insight. I've always loved illustration, and listening to their podcast keeps me connected to that world.
The Bancroft Brothers Animation Podcast
This podcast is hosted by 2 legendary animators, Tony and Tom Bancroft. I fell in love with drawing as a kid and dreamed of animating for Disney as a grown up. Tom and Tony pull back the curtain on the animation industry, share stories, and have fascinating conversations with other animators. I have no ambitions to animate for Disney these days, but it sure is a joy to see that world through their eyes.
Robservations with Rob Liefeld
Rob Liefeldis a living comic book legend. Rob takes you through comic book history as it maps to his own journey from consuming comics as a youngster, to building a comic book empire. Rob is full of energy and his enthusiasm for comics is contagious. I've long dreamt of illustrating my own comic book some day, inspired in large part by Rob's work. This podcast is a gift to the comic book industry, and a treasure trove for anyone interested in an art form that has profoundly impacted culture.
These podcasts have been a huge blessing during these past few months. They’re a critical part of my self-development journey, especially while we’re not able to gather in other professional settings. I’m grateful for each one of them, and all their contributors.