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Transformative Leadership, a guest post from Jethro Jones

posted by Joshua on July 21, 2017 in Education, Leadership, Stories
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Jethro Jones is hosting the Transformative Leadership summit. I know him because he hosts the Transformative Principal podcast. Here’s my conversation with him, “How You Learn Is As Important As What You Learn.”

I’m participating in the summit. We recorded part of my session, and if you want to improve your leadership, you’ll benefit from the summit. I recommend signing up! There are many short recordings of what you’ll hear at the online event so you can learn and find out more.

Longtime readers know I barely promote anything that isn’t my book or courses, but I’m promoting Jethro.

Jethro is guest posting the following:

Leadership, education, and you

When a principal cares

Jonathon was a 7th grade student who moved from Florida to Alaska. His family towed their camper all the way across the country and parked it in a campground in Kodiak, Alaska, a few days before school started. While sitting in his camper one day, there was a knock at the door.

Surprised to see visitors, Jonathon opened the door to see who was there. He was excited to meet his new principal and another teacher from his school as they were out doing home visits, welcoming all the students back to school.

Nearly everyone in the country has a connection to a K-12 school, either by virtue of a friend or relative that works there, a son or daughter that attends a school, a business that serves the same community, or some other connection. We each have someone who has a school experience. But what does that school experience look like?

If you were to move across the country and live in a camper, what would the school experience be like? Would you have a school team that came and visited you at your home to welcome you to school? Would your students have an experiential education? Would you be involved and aware as a parent about what kinds of things were happening in the school? As a business leader, would you be engaged in the education at the school?

Ask yourselves these questions about the schools around you right now, too.

These are important questions to ask, and they tell a lot about a school and the experience they provide for students, parents, teachers, and the community.

The Tranformative Leadership Summit

July 31st through August 8, I am hosting an online summit where we will discuss these questions of how to improve the school experience for the different stakeholders, and it is free. I’d like you to join me.

July 31 and August 1, we will talk about how to improve the administrator experience, by helping leaders in schools understand how they can support students, teachers, and the community in a very effective manner.

August 2nd and 3rd, we will talk about the student experience. Discussions will focus on experiential learning (with Josh), helping kids have a growth mindset, and we will even explore the story of a superintendent who had students investigate and expose a principal he hired.

The next two days will be about the teacher experience and how to empower teachers to be the best they can be.

Finally, the last two days are all about engaging with the community and parents and engaging them in meaningful ways. Not just asking for stuff, but getting them enrolled, as Seth Godin calls it.

Please join us as we learn about how to improve the school experience.

The principal who cares

I’d like to go back to Jonathon at the beginning of this post, and share some side benefits of visiting his home.

First, he was living in a camper trailer, and he and his parents knew from that moment on that he was important enough to be found and visited.

His first impression with the school was that they cared. This made future interactions based on that belief, which means that he was able to believe that the first intention of his teachers and principal was to care.

Jonathon’s school also gave him a lot of choice as he went through his school year. Jonathon was able to choose many things that helped him learn in a way that benefited him because he was personally enrolled in the experience.

Finally, Jonathon’s principal was an active member of the community and found ways to serve the community while engaging them.

Jonathon’s school experience was better because a few adults were intentional about what his experience would look like. Come, join us as we discuss how to make Jonathon’s school experience more common across the county.

Thank you, Jethro!

I hope to see you all at the summit!

Leadership and the Environment podcast overview and flow

posted by Joshua on July 20, 2017 in Audio, Leadership, Nature, Podcast
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The podcast is on leadership and the environment. I plan for each guest to connect with leadership, the environment, or both.

I’m asking you to two conversations.

The first will introduce you and showcase your connection to leadership, the environment, or both, and then ask you to commit to a meaningful challenge not to solve everything tomorrow, but that measurably improves your effect on the environment. We’ll also schedule the second conversation after the personal challenge.

The second will review your experience of the challenge.


Personal challenges can be things like

  • Avoiding packaged food for a week
  • Not flying for a year
  • Not eating meat for a month
  • Not turning on the air conditioner for a week if it’s summer


The general flow of conversation 1 will be

  1. Introduce you
  2. Show you off: what makes you valuable to listeners
  3. Connect you with leadership, the environment, or both. I won’t ask fixed questions, but they’ll be like these:
    1. What are your earliest memories about it?
    2. What did it mean to you then?
    3. How has your relationship to it evolved?
    4. What does it mean to you now?
    5. How do you work on it?
    6. With whom do you work on it?
    7. What would you like to change?
  4. Invite you to commit to a personal challenge with the following properties:
    • Doesn’t have to solve all the world’s problems overnight
    • Meaningful to you
    • That you choose
    • Makes a measurable improvement
    • Relevant to at least one of: global warming, pollution, resource depletion, overpopulation, etc
    • You haven’t done before or aren’t doing already
    • Challenges you
  5. Schedule a second conversation for after the challenge

Conversation 2:

  1. The facts: what you did and the results
  2. The social and emotional results: how you felt about it, how it affected your relationships
  3. Values and personal change: how it affected you
  4. The future: will you keep it up?

An example

To illustrate what a second conversation may cover, here is an email from Jay, who challenged himself to pick up ten pieces of litter each day for a month and put them in a trash can, which I wrote up in this Inc. article. Your experience will be unique, but maybe something like his.

Hi Josh,

Today is the last day of my challenge, and I didn’t think I’d feel this way before I started, but I feel “weird” if I walk by a piece of trash and don’t pick it up now.

That’s not to say I pick up every single piece of trash I see, but that now it feels natural to want to reduce the waste I produce or the waste I can try to produce. When I see other people walk by trash or drop cigarettes in the middle of the street, I can’t help but think that they’re marginalizing their agency and the impact they can make in their community by just implementing one mundane action.

The first few times I stopped in the middle of the street to pick up a piece of paper and a plastic food container, I felt that same “weirdness” as I feel now if I don’t pick up a piece of trash. But that quickly went away once I reminded myself that I was acting on my values.

Just yesterday, as I picked up a piece of paper napkin someone had dropped 10 feet from a garbage can, I mused over how I’ve heard people say they wish they witnessed live MLK’s deliverance of his “I Have a Dream” Speech, or how they would have denounced the Holocaust had they lived in Nazi-occupied Germany and been non-Jewish Germans.

But if people can’t act on their values when the stakes aren’t high, then how can they expect to act on them when the consequences of their inaction affect not only themselves, but an entire group of people?

This thought wasn’t an indictment of people as being hypocrites, but more so that people either don’t truly believe in the values they purport to have, or know them but don’t challenge themselves to act on them more consistently/broadly.

Since starting the challenge, I’ve started using my A/C less without consciously thinking about it. I’ve started cooking more frequently again since finals and reduced the meat I consume from the meals I make from ~1.5-2lbs a day to ~1lb a day, using legumes to supplement for the deficit.

I like the fact that this challenge was ‘just right’ in that it caused me to consider my own waste production instead of managing other’s waste.

I’m heavily inclined to try going a week without buying any food that comes packaged. I just found a bulk store 5 minutes from my apartment so have no reason to not try it.

Plus I think trying a challenge of this nature is the next step in my first challenge, particularly for testing what ultimately could become a whole lifestyle change or, at least something that changes core parts of my current lifestyle.



Nelson Mandela on sidchas

posted by Joshua on July 19, 2017 in Exercises, Fitness, Freedom, Leadership, SIDCHAs
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Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. I’ve waited to share something I discovered reading his autobiography a few months ago.

First some context.

It’s the day of your release.

You’re a revolutionary, fighting Apartheid, imprisoned for 27 years, much of it in an 8 foot by 7 foot cell or, if outside, breaking rocks.

Meanwhile, you’ve become a global celebrity. Over 200 million people watched your London birthday event in absentia.

Meanwhile, you’re a 72-year-old man, recently recovering from tuberculosis and have barely seen your family for decades.

On the day of your release, what do you do?

Quoting Nelson Mandela’s autobiography:

I awoke on the day of my release after only a few hours’ sleep at 4:30am. February 11 was a cloudless, end-of-summer Cape Town day. I did a shortened version of my usual exercise regimen, washed, and ate breakfast. … I did not dwell on the prospect of my release, but on the many things I had to do before then. As so often happens in life, the momentousness of an occasion is lost in the welter of a thousand details.

Nelson Mandela did his sidcha, the same sidcha he’d done for decades.

There were many matters to discuss and resolve with little time. Yet he did his sidcha first.

Nelson Mandela’s sidcha

What was his sidcha?

You can pick many types—aesthetic activities like drawing or painting, mindfulness ones like meditation, social ones like talking to a new person, business ones like writing a new business idea, and so on.

Mandela chose fitness, based on his boxing and running habits of his youth. Here he is boxing as a young man:

Nelson Mandela Boxing

Here he is boxing as an old man:

Nelson Mandela on exercise

Quoting his autobiography again,

I attempted to follow my old boxing routine of doing roadwork and muscle-building from Monday through Thursday and then resting for the next three days. On Monday through Thursday, I would do stationary running in my cell in the morning for up to forty-five minutes. I would also perform one hundred fingertip push-ups, two hundred sit-ups, fifty deep knee-bends, and various other calisthenics.

And again,

I have always believed exercise is a key not only to physical health but to peace of mind. Many times in the old days I unleashed my anger and frustration on a punchbag rather than taking it out on a comrade or even a policeman. Exercise dissipates tension, and tension is the enemy of serenity. I found that I worked better and thought more clearly when I was in good physical condition, and so training became one of the inflexible disciplines of my life. In prison, having an outlet for my frustrations was absolutely essential.

And again,

Boxing is egalitarian. In the ring, rank, age, colour and wealth are irrelevant… I never did any real fighting after I entered politics. My main interest was in training; I found the rigorous exercise to be an excellent outlet for tension and stress. After a strenuous workout, I felt both mentally and physically lighter.

Note that he did his sidcha independently of breaking rocks.

Nelson Mandela on leadership and exercise

People who don’t exercise might make excuses, suggesting somehow being in prison made things easier for him to exercise. On the contrary, the government used prison to try to break his spirit. It was also not common in his time, as he states below, but he used it in part as a leadership tool:

Exercise was unusual for African men of my age and generation… I know that some of my younger comrades looked at me and said to themselves, ‘if that old man can do it, why can’t I?’ They too began to exercise.

Lesson: Create a sidcha and do it.

Create a sidcha and do it. Arts, social, mindfulness, exercise, etc… you have plenty to choose from.

I recommend starting today and continuing until you can’t do it any more, like when you’re 80 or 90.

Bill Clinton on Nelson Mandela, for His 100th Birthday

posted by Joshua on July 18, 2017 in Freedom,, Leadership, Nonjudgment
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My Inc. story today, “Bill Clinton on Nelson Mandela, for His 100th Birthday,” begins

Bill Clinton on Nelson Mandela, for His 100th Birthday

The father of his nation was born 100 years ago today. Bill Clinton’s anecdote reveals the change he created in the world.

Nelson Mandela was born on this day in 1918. Few people become the father of a nation.

He was imprisoned for 27 years beginning at age 45. Where most people would give up, he persevered.

Eventually he negotiated from prison with the presidents of his country. He later got their job.

Think about that the next time you have reason to complain about your boss. It puts things in perspective.

Bill Clinton on Nelson Mandela

Bill Clinton told a story in the introduction to Mandela’s autobiography that reveals the character of the man, as well as the changes of in the world he helped create.

Bill Clinton wrote

A friend of mine once saw Mandela in a South African airport and told me this story. The president had noticed a lady who was walking with her daughter, a beautiful five- or six-year-old girl, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Read the rest at Bill Clinton on Nelson Mandela, for His 100th Birthday.

My podcast interviews and reviews

posted by Joshua on July 17, 2017 in Audio, Podcast
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This page is a work in progress, collecting the podcasts that have interviewed me plus links and my reviews of each of the podcasts.

For now, I’m still adding the images and some of the reviews.

Join Up Dots with David Ralph

The recordings:

A Man Who Thrives One Step After Anxiety,” January 2015

Finding Passion Through Leadership,” February 6, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Dave is a master

I’ve had the honor and pleasure of David interviewing me twice and listening to more. I loved the first interview because he was funny, well-prepared, and personal. Some podcasters sound like they’re going through the motions. Dave loves what he does!

By the second interview, he had matured and developed yet more skills as an interviewer. He makes the guest feel comfortable to share, even vulnerabilities.

Princeton Tech Meetup podcast by Mathew Passy

The recording:

How To Think and Act Entrepreneurially (even if you never have before),” May 12, 2016

My review of the podcast:

Professional and effective.

Mathew got the job done so I could focus on my talk. When I gave my talk at Princeton, Matthew took care of everything, even things I didn’t realize got done until after. He enabled me to speak calmly and confidently.

I recommend working with him if you broadcast or podcast.


Outlier Magazine with Ever Gonzalez

The recording:

Joshua Spodek Interview–Finding Your Hudson River,” May 20, 2016

My review of the podcast:

Ever Gonzalez is friendly and professional

I’ve had the honor of Ever interviewing me and listening to many other of his interviews. He’s both friendly and professional, meaning you get to hear the person behind the marketing. He’s not there to promote himself but to learn about his guest, and to showcase the guest. It makes each episode interesting and engaging. You care because he cares, and because he chooses engaging guests.

The Unmistakable Creative podcast with Srinivas Rao

The recording:

The Power of Experiential Learning,” June 2016

My review of the podcast:

Srini Rao is friendly, cares, and it shows in every interview

I’ve had the honor and privilege of Srini interviewing me, as well as reading his books and becoming friends. Unlike some podcasters, he’s there for the guest and audience, not just himself. He makes you comfortable sharing, thinking, and revealing what you care about, even vulnerabilities. That’s talent, experience, and caring about others.


The Art of Authenticity with Laura Coe

The recordings:

Leadership, Meaning, Passion,” July 26, 2016

Joshua Spodek: Becoming The Person Others Follow,” February 14, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Laura embodies the art of authenticity

Laura cares about her audience and guests, which is clear from every episode. Few podcasters exhibit such empathy, listening, genuineness, authenticity, and openness. Other podcasters wish they had her skills in finding interesting guests, making them feel comfortable, and engaging them so you want to listen.

Laura is one of the great interviewers and will only keep ascending.


Success Through Failure with Jim Harshaw

The recordings:

Josh Spodek on the Four Steps to Real Leadership (and what’s missing from most leadership training),” July 31, 2016

Absurdly Useful Leadership Tactics That You Can Use Today,” March 26, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jim reveals how success happens

Jim is the salt of the earth—rare for someone who has succeeded as he has, which means he’s felt the sting of failure too, and learned from it. Even while putting his guest in the foreground, he shows through as an experienced interviewer, businessman, athlete, coach, and well-rounded person. His passion is to enable listeners to learn how to succeed from people who actually have succeeded and his experience in life and podcasting led him to excel at it.

The Better Human podcast

The recording:

Self-Imposed Daily Healthy Activity – SIDCHA with Joshua Spodek,” September 7, 2016

My review of the podcast:

David finds and shares the underlying simplicity

So many people and podcasters prefer showing themselves off to enabling a guest to share his or her story with an audience. With David, there’s no clutter. It’s just him talking with a guest, openly, simply, honestly, which makes the conversation engaging and personal.

Other interviewers could learn from him.


The Eternal Leader podcast with John Ramstead

The recording:

Experiential Leadership: A New Paradigm,” December 30, 2016

My review of the podcast:

John speaks and interviews with experience

John has experienced more than most, and he’s interviewed more than most. He speaks with experience, listens with sensitivity, and asks with curiosity. As a result, it’s one of the top podcasts to meet thought leaders and action leaders—really to meet them and learn their values and what makes them effective so you can learn from them.

The Boss Level podcast with Sami Honkonen

The recording:

Joshua Spodek and Seven Years of Burpees,” January 17, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Sami Honkonen: focus and quality

Sami gets interesting guests and has genuine, authentic conversations, not just running down a list of questions. As a result, he gets intimacy and honesty from people you wish you could hear such openness from—generals, hackers, and more.

He interviews most people in person, face-to-face, which adds more openness. Sami gives what podcasts are for.

The Becoming Your Best podcast with Steve and Rob Shallenberger

The recording:

The Passion of Leadership | An Interview with Joshua Spodek,” January 26, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Professional and valuable

I’ve had the honor and joy of Steve and Rob scheduling and interviewing me. They were professional and prepared, which makes being a guest easy, which makes it comfortable to share. They know their audience and they researched me, so I could just talk.

When I listen to other guests on their show, that preparation results in the guest speaking openly and sharing what he or she cares about, so I’ve seen how valuable that caring about the audience experience is from both sides. A great podcast to listen to to improve and to enjoy.

Write With Impact with Glenn Leibowitz

The recording:

Joshua Spodek’s Strategy for Developing a Daily Writing Habit,” January 28, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Glenn cares and it shows

Many podcasters just want to show themselves off. Glenn is confident and secure. He shows his guests off in ways that help the audience, especially related to writing.

If you just want to be entertained, some other podcasts may do. If you also want to be engaged and to learn ways to improve from successful writers, listen to Glenn.


Impact Makers Radio with Stewart Andrew Alexander

The recording:

Joshua Spodek, Founder,” January 30, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Stewart is a professional

Being interviewed by Stewart is a professional experience with professional results. He explained the process and walked me through it every step of the way. He made sure he understood me to create a meaningful message. If you want quality conversations with important people, listen to Impact Makers Radio. If he invites you to be interviewed, I recommend doing it.


The Leadership Podcast with Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos

The recording:

What An Ivy League Degree Can’t Teach You,” February 1, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jan and Jim are engaging and thorough

The Leadership Podcast is well-named. That’s what they cover and they deliver. They aren’t there to show themselves off, though they interact with each other effectively. They are there to get top leaders to share about themselves so their listeners can learn from them. That’s what they do. If you want to improve as a leader, the Leadership Podcast will help you.


The C Method with Christina Canters

The recording:

Authenticity, Leadership & Finding Your ‘One Thing’,” February 1, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Christina Canters will help you improve, and laugh

Christina shares her growth and gets her guests to too. I’m honored for her to have interviewed me and enjoyed how she made me feel comfortable to share vulnerabilities from my growth too. Her goal isn’t to show off, it’s to show the guest off for the value of her listeners. And for everyone to laugh about it. What better way to grow than having fun with people who are also growing?

Better Leaders Better Schools with Daniel Bauer

The recording:

Joshua Spodek: Great leaders aren’t superheroes,” February 8, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Education is life and Daniel Bauer helps you improve yours

While others podcast to meet people or show themselves off, Daniel Bauer is clearly there to improve our educational system by improving us as educators. He chooses interviewees who make a difference (I’m honored that he chose me) to share their experiences for listeners to learn from. His passion shows through and he engages his guests to share theirs. The experience is fun and enlightening. It builds community. It helps students. He cares. If you care about education, I recommend listening, learning, and acting on Better Leaders Better Schools.

Small Business Advocate

The recording:

Joshua Spodek,” February 13, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jim Blasingame is a professional for professionals

If you’re a professional and you want to improve – to get promoted, to get funded, to take on more responsibility, to lead, and so on – you want a professional who knows your world and brings guests who do too. Jim Blasingame isn’t just a podcaster having fun. He’s a professional who values your time and rewards your investment with quality guests interviewed to share what made them successful so you can learn from them.

One Way Ticket Show

The recording:

Josh’s one way ticket is back to this historic time in American history,” February 13, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Steven Shalowitz, his show, and his guests are unique and fascinating

Steven brings you world-class, intriguing guests with world-class experiences you almost never hear about otherwise, but he makes educational, engaging, and fun. You get to hear from global leaders from many spheres—their stories and the person behind the story. Steven also makes the stories fun and human. His One Way Ticket premise isn’t a gimmick, but an effective way for the guest to show through.

Mitch Henck Show

The recording:

Joshua Spodek, Leadership Step by Step,” February 16, 2017

My review of the podcast:



The Innovation Ecosystem podcast with Mark Bidwell

The recording:

Benefits of Experiential Learning for Leaders with Rocket Scientist Joshua Spodek,” February 21, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Mark Bidwell is driven to help you lead better

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mark. One-on-one as well as interviewing his world-class guests, he is driven beyond just bringing you interesting conversation to helping you connect with his guests and learn from them. He has big corporate teams and small entrepreneurial ones. He’s innovated and he’s worked with bureaucracies. That experience comes through in making his guests comfortable to share vulnerabilities and experiences we can learn from.

Thrive Global livecast *

The recording:

What Great Leadership Looks Like,” February 22, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Inc.’s The Playbook

The recording:

How to Get Your Employees to Work With Passion,” February 23, 2017






Amacom’s Edgewise podcast with Dave Summers

The recording:

Josh Spodek on the Steps to Leadership,” February 27, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Meet the authors: honestly, openly, directly

Meet the authors directly, with no agenda from the media. Here they can speak honestly and openly so you, the listener and reader, can hear them how they want to be heard.

Inipi Radio with Jared Angaza

The recording:

Do the Thing,” February 27, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jared Angaza: beyond interviews

I’m honored to have been a guest of Jared. Most podcasters just interview. Jared connects with his guests, allowing them to share passions, vulnerabilities, dreams, hopes, and what most interviewers dream of achieving in an interview. If you want to meet the person behind the book or pubic persona, listen to Jared. His interviews are two friends talking about important things in life—things you wish people talked about more but don’t because it takes someone like Jared to bring them out.

The Stop Riding the Pine podcast with Jaime Jay

The recording:

Joshua Spodek: Leadership Step by Step,” March 10, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jaime Jay gets off your butt and into life

Jaime Jay goes beyond bringing you active, interesting, accomplished people. He brings out in them what made them successful for you to connect with. Listing to Stop Riding the Pine takes you from listening to a podcast to acting on it in your life with confidence.

The Transformative Principal podcast with Jethro Jones

The recording:

How You Learn Is As Important As What You Learn,” March 12, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jethro Jones is transforming educational leadership

Jethro Jones brings you more than transformative leadership principles and principals. He brings you the person behind what you read about. He cares about education and leadership, as do his guests, so you learn about the motivations and passions driving them. That’s what inspires you to act, not cold reporting of facts but warm, friendly, professional connections with people.

The Matt Townsend Show

The recording:

Leadership Step by Step,” March 17, 2017 (click here to download)

My review of the podcast:




The Engaging Leader podcast with Jesse Lahey

The recording:

How to Find Your Authentic Voice,” March 17, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jesse Lahey is an engaging leader and brings you more

Jessy Lahey is himself an experienced engaging leader, so when he talks with others, he talks as a peer, which makes the conversations friendly and warm, not formal. He brings out the human behind the bestseller or public persona. It’s the conversations you wish you could have with world-class leaders.

A Fierce Focus with Ryan Ross

The recording:

Sidcha to 90,000 burpees,” March 17, 2017

My review of the podcast:





The Creative Success Show with Tanner Gers

The recording:

How to Turn the Knob of Leadership and Your Life,” March 21, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Tanner brings out the best in amazing guests

I’m honored to have been Tanner’s guest. The conversation went beyond just talking about a book or leadership in general. It was about the passions, motivations, emotions, and vulnerabilities that drive me. Tanner cares about his guests and audience. He brings out the best in the guests to bring value to the audience. And he has fun too.

Tim Laskis Show

The recording:

Astrophysicist turned media wiz tells listeners what leadership is all about,” March 22, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Radio Free Leader with David Burkus

The recording:

Becoming the Leader Others Follow,” March 22, 2017

My review of the podcast:

David Burkus is friendly, professional, and helpful

David Burkus offers more than top-notch guests. His experience leading, coaching, and speaking enables him to speak with them as a peer, which makes the conversations friendly. He brings out the person behind the book or public persona so you can relate to them and learn from them. Most podcasters can’t make the connection that David does naturally.

Smashing the Plateau with David Shriner-Cahn

The recording:

From Astrophysicist to Leadership Coach To Bestselling Author,” March 28, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Compassion, passion, experience, and support

David Shriner-Cahn speaks with experience and brings in guests who do too. He cares about his audience and the challenges everyone faces reaching success so he brings out from his guests what got them through their challenges. You don’t get to hear these things often, but they help us overcome our challenges. David treats them with sensitivity and compassion so guests can share vulnerabilities. We can all learn from them.

Mindfulness Mode with Bruce Langford

The recording:

Experience Less Stress By Being Aware of Your Emotions,” March 29, 2017

My review of the podcast:

A mindful break from regular life

Bruce Langford listens and gives you what’s important for you. When he talks to guests, he gets out what’s important and valuable. He doesn’t rush. He doesn’t talk over. No agenda. He lets people share. When people can just share, they share what’s valuable. What more could you want in a conversation?

Fast Leader with Jim Rembach

The recording:

Josh Spodek: had to force my friends to read it,” April 12, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Fast leaders. Engaging, helpful, calm conversation

“Fast” in the podcast title describes your growth, learning from successful guests, but fast leadership doesn’t necessarily mean fast conversations. On the contrary, I find Jim’s conversations calm and comfortable, as I find successful leaders. So if you want to learn, grow, and rise fast, the Fast Leader Show delivers, with enjoyable, engaging conversations with successful leaders.

So Money with Farnoosh Torabi

The recording:

Josh Spodek,” April 12, 2017

My review of the podcast:

So Awesome!

Farnoosh has one of the big podcasts you’ve already heard of, for good reason. I’m honored to have been a guest. While the title says “money,” the show is not just materialistic. On the contrary, Farnoosh speaks about life and values with sensitivity, empathy, compassion, and humor that get beyond “just” money. Worth listening to!

Moving Mountains with Sasha Laghonh

The recording:

Meet Joshua Spodek: Author, Academic & Entrepreneur,” April 16, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Sasha Laghonh goes deep

I’m honored to have been a guest on Moving Mountains. Sasha goes beyond just talking and interviewing. She creates an environment to talk openly about topics few podcasts do—the passions and motivations driving the writing and self-expression that put you in the public eye. She brings more than just talk, which you can hear in the richness of the conversation.

Business Building Rockstars with Nicole Holland

The recording:

Becoming Successful by Doing What You Love,” April 19, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Nicole Holland is a rockstar’s rockstar

Nicole Holland builds rockstars. She is passionate and dedicated to making you the best interviewer, guest, and person you can be. She’s incredible. If you want to learn about making yourself better, especially in the domain of podcasting, in any part, listen to her podcast. Then find her in other podcasts where she is a guest and listen there. You will be inspired. You will find barriers you once considered insurmountable fade away.

The Hardware Entrepreneur podcast with Balint Horvath

The recordings:

Effective project-based learning from astrophysicist turned entrepreneur, professor, with Joshua Spodek of NYU, Spodek Academy,” April 19, 2017

Call for action to you – for a new path to reduce climate change,” June 7, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Balint Horvath: Passionate, engaging, conversation on science and entrepreneurship, especially its hardware aspects

Entrepreneurship and science are two of our times’ most intriguing and important topics, as well as sources of solutions to our most pressing global challenges. A few episodes in his podcast deal explicitly with sustainable product creation. Few people understand both entrepreneurship and science. Fewer still can speak about them in accessible, friendly, still intelligent ways. Balint does.

If you care about entrepreneurship, especially from a scientific perspective and from a physical product—that is, hardware—point of view, listen to Balint.

If you care about entrepreneurship, especially from a scientific perspective, listen to Balint.

Can I Pick Your Brain with Daniel Gefen

The recording:

90,000 Burpees: Becoming a Super Achiever by Mastering Consistency with Joshua Spodek,” April 28, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Funny, smart, insightful, great guests, … everything you want in a podcast

Daniel Gefen’s Can I Pick Your Brain stands out among podcasts. Daniel stands out among interviewers. He hosts tremendous guests (I’m honored to have been one) and prepares thoroughly. Most importantly, he listens and responds to what the guest says in the moment. The conversations are open, honest, fun, and funny. He guides the conversation to the most interesting and valuable messages from each guest.

Daniel’s show is already top notch and I expect it to keep growing.

The Art of Charm with Jordan Harbinger

The recording:

Joshua Spodek | Leadership Step by Step (Bonus),” May 7, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jordan brings out the best in the best guests

Jordan is engaging, entertaining, and brings out the best in his guests. Obviously, the Art of Charm podcast is the big one and has been since before podcasts were podcasts, so they get the best guests. What sets them apart is how natural Jordan is, even with huge celebrities, athletes, etc, so you get to learn about them behind the scenes. You can’t get access like that any place else.

Create Your Life with Kevin Y. Brown

The recording:

5 Ivy League Degrees and Still Kicked Out of My Own Company,” May 12 2017

My review of the podcast:

Kevin Y. Brown is a rock star who brings you rock stars

Kevin Y. Brown gets world-class guests who have reached the pinnacles of important fields. Unlike many podcasts, he meets face-to-face with them, creating intimacy and connection that makes the conversations more friendly, revealing the people themselves. Kevin himself loves learning what makes each person a unique individual, which he showcases. If you want incredible people in your life, and to get to know them, listen to Kevin.

12 Minute Conversation with Engel Jones

The recording:

The 12 Minute Conversation with Joshua Spodek,” May 16, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Thoughtful, fun, brief, and informative

Most podcasters would make a brief interview fast and frenetic, trying to fit in as much as possible. Ironically, they’d make it less interesting. Engel Jones does the opposite, making his interviews more meaningful and engaging. He’s calm, comfortable, and relaxed so the guest is too, and it’s easier to listen to. A relaxed guest shares more value, not just more words. He listens too, and guides the conversation to what listeners will care about.

The Inspirational Chronicles with Emilio Ron

The recording:

Become an Exceptional Communicator,” May 17, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Reinvention Radio with Steve Olsher

The recording:

Reinventing Leaders,” May 18, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Steve Olsher is a professional for successful people on their path

Steve Olsher and his team are pros. They get top guests and interview them on live radio, which makes the conversation more dynamic and spontaneous. If you want to learn from successful people, listen to Reinvention Radio. Every guest has overcome challenges that you’ll face. Learn to prepare before you face them.

The Entrepreneur Way with Neil Ball

The recording:

Take the Initiative and Start Acting on Something with Joshua Spodek, Founder and Owner of Spodek Academy,” May 22, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Passion, focus, and successful guests

Neil Ball loves entrepreneurship. He finds tons of guests who all love entrepreneurship. Everyone has had his or her ups and downs. If you’re thinking about starting a venture or just behaving more entrepreneurially, or even if you’ve started but want to learn from others’ experiences, listen to Neil’s show. You’ll face challenges. Put yourself in a peer group of people who have overcome them.

Tathra Street Tall Poppy *

The recording:

Teaching Leadership Practice,” May 24, 2017

My review of the podcast:






The Hidden Why with Leigh Martinuzzi

The recording:

3 Minute Thought–Starting Out & Improving With Practice,” May 25, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Leigh Martinuzzi challenges and enables you to learn and grow, personally

I’ve accomplished a lot and I think I’m good at motivating myself. Leigh Martinuzzi’s show inspired me to act (recording myself to be on his podcast) where I’d stagnated for years before. What more do you want in a podcast than to improve your life? Leigh shares how his life and views on it change. His podcast is personal and vulnerable. Hearing him explore life and views enables you to. Listen to Leigh if you want to create success for yourself.

World Business and Executive Coach Summit

The video recording:

Experiential Learning and Coaching,” June 2, 2017


Create Your Own Life with Jeremy Slate

The recording:

If You Can Do this in Leadership, Then You’ll Win in Business,” June 7, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Jeremy Slate is driven to help you improve

Jeremy Slate’s podcast is entertaining and engaging, but more than that, Jeremy is driven to help you improve your life. He finds great guests and brings out from them how you can improve. Create Your Own Life is exactly what his show enables you to do. Educational, actionable, enabling, and fun.

The Conscious Millionaire with J V Crum III *

The recording:

How to Develop Effective Leadership Skills,” June 9, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Bare Naked Bravery with Emily Ann Peterson

The recording:

Leadership Lessons from Authoritarianism, and the Pursuit of Sustainability,” June 13, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Emily Ann Peterson lays it bare for her listeners

Life isn’t always easy. Do you want to give in to challenges or take them on? Emily Ann Peterson brings you people who took them on and speaks to them personally, with heart. If you are the average of the people you spend time with, fill your community with creative, bold, brave, and fun people in her community.

Less Talk, More Action with Erin O’Brien

The recording:

Less Talk, More Action with Joshua Spodek,” June 14, 2017

My review of the podcast:


The Anatomy of Living with Ashton Szabo*

The recording:

Leadership and Spirituality,” June 27, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Sustainable Success with Chris Salem

The recording:

What is Wrong with Leadership Training for Sustainable Success?,” June 28, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Chris Salem: About your success

I’m honored to have been a guest on Chris Salem’s Sustainable Success. He cares about helping his listeners succeed. From the start of our interaction, the focus was always on his listeners: how to help them create sustainable success in their lives. He loves what he does and is driven to help people succeed. That passion is refreshing and inspiring. Listen to Chris if you want to succeed in the long term.

The Manager Mojo podcast with Steve Caldwell

The recording:

Leadership Requires Getting in the Trenches and Doing, Not Just Learning,” July 4, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Lead better with Steve Caldwell

Steve Caldwell does more than lead an engaging and insightful podcast. There is a purpose to it, which is to give you tools and experience to improve your leadership—not just in business but in life. His experience makes him thorough and insightful. As a guest, I can tell you he made me feel comfortable with thoughtful questions that came from listening. That calm guidance lets a guest share vulnerabilities that don’t come out in typical media interviews. If you want to get to know the person behind the book or persona, listen to Steve Caldwell.

The Tribe of Entrepreneurs podcast with Soren Hansen

The recording:

SIDCHAs, self awareness, and “Do-ing”, are the path to entrepreneurship,” July 6, 2017

My review of the podcast:

Soren Hansen: the human side of enterpreneurship

Entrepreneurship isn’t just MVPs and elevator pitches. It’s emotional and challenging. It’s human. It’s community. Soren Hansen’s Tribe of Entrepreneurs brings you the personal side of taking initiative and responsibility. If you’re thinking about acting to start a project on your own or in an organization, start by listening to Soren. Or even if you’ve already started. Be prepared by putting yourself in a community of people who have succeeded and are taking on challenges like yours. He asks meaningful, incisive questions that make meaningful, engaging conversations.

The Business of Storytelling with Park Howell

The recording:

How to Step Up Your Leadership Game With Storytelling,” July 9, 2017

My review of the podcast:


Non-judgmental Ethics Sunday: When a Patient’s Mom Is Slipping Her Daughter Prozac

posted by Joshua on July 16, 2017 in, Nonjudgment
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Continuing my series of responses to the New York Times’, The Ethicist, without imposing values, here is my take on today’s post, “When a Patient’s Mom Is Slipping Her Daughter Prozac.”

I am a pediatrician with an adolescent female patient who has had some mental health issues over the last couple of years. She reported being molested and subsequently suffered a depression and engaged in self-injurious behavior requiring commitment to a psychiatric hospital. After her discharge, she was treated by both a psychologist and a psychiatrist. Some months ago, she refused to continue seeing either. Recently, her mother called me to ask if I would write her prescriptions for Prozac. The mother reports that she is doing well and that she has not been cutting herself. She then told me that she has been slipping her daughter’s medication into her orange juice every morning. I thought she meant that her daughter didn’t like to swallow the pill, but she confessed that her daughter is unaware she is taking the medication. She had refused to take it some time ago because she did not feel that she needed it anymore.

I told the mother that this did not feel right to me, but I am conflicted. If the daughter were thinking objectively, she might recognize that she feels better because of the medication. But if she found out her mother was slipping it to her, she’d be so angry that it’s unlikely she would continue to take it. I can understand the mother’s actions: She saw her daughter suffering for quite a while and feels that her stabilization and improvement are because of the medication. She wants her to stay well.

If I refuse to write the prescription, the medication has a long enough half-life that the daughter could self-wean without a taper, but if she got into trouble as she came off, she would need to know why she was feeling worse. I don’t think I can keep from discussing this with her. It seems wrong to medicate her without her knowledge; she is not yet 18 but she does not have diminished capacity. There are other factors (passage of time, talk therapy) that may account for her improvement. No matter how I look at it, I cannot come up with a scenario that ends well. Name Withheld

My response: Thank you for sharing this vignette and your perspective. It looks interesting. I can think of many relevant questions. I’m surprised you didn’t ask any, but you didn’t. I hope you’ll share with us what happens next.

The New York Times response:

One symptom of a mental health problem may be an inability to think rationally about your treatment. But the standard for overruling someone’s judgment is, rightly, high: The person would have to be a threat to herself or others. That doesn’t appear to be the case here. Your patient is, you say, capable of making decisions about her therapy for herself. Given that your first duties are to her, you must not knowingly participate in this ruse — you can’t continue to prescribe a drug that you know will be administered stealthily.

I understand that the mother is concerned that her daughter will harm herself if she ceases to take the drug. And as your patient’s parent, she has a duty to look out for her interests. But she shouldn’t do it in a way that denies her daughter any measure of autonomy. (Also, given the possibility of drug interactions, it can be dangerous to put people on medications they don’t know about.)

The serious issue is whether you have a duty to tell her what her mother has done. There are conflicting demands here, as you recognize. On the one hand, her mother spoke to you in confidence. And your patient will presumably be badly affected, as you say, by learning the truth. On the other, the young woman should not be medicated against her will, and she needs to be prepared for whatever changes may come as the drug and its effects clear her system. On balance, the right thing to do is to discuss it with her. (You might also tell her that managing her situation isn’t best left to a nonspecialist like yourself.) But you owe it to her mother to tell her what you plan to do so that she may inform her daughter first if she chooses to do so.

My supervisor at the nonprofit where I work is planning to apply to become its director. For years I have been subjected to sexist and racist treatment and comments from him. I have been told ‘‘Boys will be boys’’ when reporting other harassing behavior, heard countless stories about ‘‘dangerous’’ (i.e. ‘‘black’’) neighborhoods and been called ‘‘princess.’’ The lack of human resources channels, along with a fear of retaliation, has left most of these incidents unreported. The institution recently hired an H.R. person and installed an interim director with a sterling reputation. If my supervisor is being seriously considered for the position, do I have an obligation to report these behaviors? Name Withheld

My response: You have the option.

What is it with people writing this column asking about obligations? A few moments’ thought reveals that the question doesn’t make sense, at least on the face of it. If there were an obligation, who would enforce it? If you have to ask, doesn’t that imply people will disagree or at least not form a consensus? Isn’t it clear that the question must afford multiple answers, then? If there were an absolute right answer, why would anyone have to ask?

I think the point is not to look at the face of the question. It obviously has no absolute answer, but posing it that way leads the responder to support the perspective that there is. I conclude that the asker wants an absolute answer. Why? The best answer I can come up with is to absolve him or herself of responsibility, to be able to report these behaviors and then, if there’s blowback, say, “I had no choice, I was obligated.”

Instead of confusing the issue with opinions disguised as abstract obligations, if the asker looked at the situation in problem-solving mode, he or she could dispassionately find a solution based on how his or her actions would affect others. I find creating options and then choosing among them based on likely outcomes evaluated based on empathy and compassion for those affected works well.

This method yields no more universal or absolute answers, but enables and empowers the asker to resolve such issues in the future. It enables the asker to develop and refine his or her response to “What feels right to me?, also known as a moral compass, without which you are piloting a rudderless ship, if you’ll indulge me confusing the metaphor.

The New York Times response:

You are certainly entitled to file complaints about inappropriate behavior with your H.R. person. Any retaliation you suffered would be wrong; and, in response to allegations of sexist and racist behavior, it would most likely be illegal as well. I’m not sure you are obliged to report these past incidents, though. Your account leaves it unclear if you think this person has created a hostile work environment or if you think he’s just a jerk; but to dismiss reports of harassment, in the way you describe, is certainly a moral and managerial failure. Putting the question of obligation aside, it would be a good thing to report your experiences; your organization shouldn’t be led by someone with these habits. (I’m assuming that your characterizations of his speech and conduct are fair-minded.) Whether or not he’s appointed to the top job, he should be told to stop doing what he’s doing.

If the search for the new director is properly conducted, the board of your organization will get reports from subordinates and co-workers about any internal candidates, and you should be assured of confidentiality in this context. At that point candor would be required in the interests of the organization, whose aims I presume you share. You might want to encourage others to pass on what they know as well.

I volunteer at a thrift store in a large retirement community. Residents donate goods that volunteers, also retirees, take in, sort, process, price and put on the sales floor. All the money we make, which is substantial, goes to the wider community — to schools, animal rescues, local scholarships. I have seen several volunteers put donated items in their pockets when they thought no one was looking. They, like me, work for hours every week without pay. We are welcome to buy donated items, but it takes several days for them to be processed, and they can’t be held for anyone. We are a close, fun-loving team. What, if anything, should I do? Name Withheld

My response: Talk to them.

The New York Times response:

I am glad you’re a friendly, fun-loving lot. But — though it wouldn’t be very fun-loving or friendly of you to point this out — some of you are thieves. You could object when you see theft going on: These goods weren’t donated for the benefit of the thrift-store volunteers. Or you could leave well enough alone: You’re all volunteers; the objects presumably are of no great value; the sin is venial. I understand that you value your collective esprit; you don’t want to be a monkey on anyone’s back. One possible intermediate step, then, would be to ask the store managers to remind people that pocketing donations is against policy. Some of your co-workers, who may have been excusing their pilferage to themselves, will be encouraged to straighten out and fly right.

NYU Students Speak About Joshua Spodek’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership Courses

posted by Joshua on July 15, 2017 in Education, Entrepreneurship, Leadership
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I recently met with two groups of students who took my leadership and entrepreneurship courses at NYU, Charlie Rose-style. I believe the 9 students represent the experiences of the majority of students who took my courses and did the exercises conscientiously.

They included undergraduates who took my courses as freshmen and adult professionals founding or running successful businesses they founded and ran for decades.

These videos are the first of more to come from these conversations. Two are mostly edited. The third is still in progress. I think they speak for themselves so here they are:

Six entrepreneurship students

Focus on one entrepreneurship student: RJ

Three leadership students (editing in progress)