Community. Support. Vision. Resilience. Experience.

We believe these elements of leadership turn feeling alone and complacent into action.

We turn despondence to resolve, confusion to confidence.

We bring leaders to the environment.

They share what works. Less facts, figures, doom, and gloom. More reflection, self-awareness, connection, support, and community.

Upcoming guests include

  • Steven Kotler, #1 bestselling author and leading expert on Ultimate Human Performance

Hear my editorials: Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3 | Vol. 4 | Vol. 5 | Vol. 6 | Vol. 7 | Vol. 8 | Vol. 9 | Vol. 10 | Vol. 11 | Vol. 12 | Vol. 13

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Episode 000: the back story:

322: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, part 1: Rock and Roll

April 7, 2020
These episodes are a podcast-within-a-podcast: Joshua's solo unique views on relevant topics. Volume 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12
Editorials, volume 13

322: Sex, drugs, and rock and roll, part 1: Rock and Roll

Growing up in Philadelphia in the 70s meant Bruce Springsteen was a part of my life. I’ll always remember a fan in a promotional radio b-roll clip from one of the classic rock stations saying excitedly, definitively, “He’s the best, he’s Bruce. . . He’s the Boss!”

One of the earliest albums I bought was Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ. My high school girlfriend’s older brother saw every show of his he could. I loved the Beatles most as a kid, but I’ve come to appreciate Bruce more over the years. I don’t know anyone else who does anything like him, so raw, open, and honest, yet able to fill stadiums for weeks on end—not in music anyway. Maybe Muhammad Ali. If Woody Allen kept making movies at the Annie Hall level? Fellini? Malcolm X? I’m sure there are others that did the same but didn’t speak to me as personally. Billy Holiday?

I didn’t know his show Springsteen on Broadway was on TV. I watched it and couldn’t believe what I saw—how touching, personal, and meaningful a rock star could make a show. He spoke and sang so personally, the performance defied what I could imagine anyone expecting.

The New York Times review, ‘Springsteen on Broadway’ Reveals the Artist, Real and Intense, described it well so I won’t try. Besides, you can watch it.

Wikipedia summarized critical reactions:

The New York Times said “as portraits of artists go, there may never have been anything as real—and beautiful—on Broadway”.[19] Rolling Stone noted “it is one of the most compelling and profound shows by a rock musician in recent memory”.[20] The Guardian observed “there’s a fragility and a new light cast on the songs and his relationship with Scialfa, as if he stands in her emotional shadow”.[21] Variety reported the show “is as much a self-made monument to its master’s vision and hurricane-force ambition as it is to his life and career, and it bears the mark of a self-made man who’ll write his own history”.[22] On June 10, 2018, Springsteen received a special Tony Award for Springsteen on Broadway.

In his words:

I wanted to do some shows that were as personal and as intimate as possible. I chose Broadway for this project because it has the beautiful old theaters which seemed like the right setting for what I have in mind. In fact, with one or two exceptions, the 960 seats of the Walter Kerr Theatre is probably the smallest venue I’ve played in the last 40 years. My show is just me, the guitar, the piano and the words and music. Some of the show is spoken, some of it is sung. It loosely follows the arc of my life and my work. All of it together is in pursuit of my constant goal to provide an entertaining evening and to communicate something of value.

The Joshua Spodek Show


Why the title of this blog post: The Joshua Spodek Show?

I’m writing in the throes of inspiration to stop holding back important parts of my life. People keep asking more about me, what motivates me so much to what they see as extreme, but seems normal to me.

My paychecks from NYU and the corporate world kept me from sharing about the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Meanwhile, the more I shared, in drips and drabs, the more people appreciated what I shared. Sharing intimate parts of my life led to more coaching clients seeking more rebirth and growth. I haven’t considered these hidden parts meaningful since I thought everyone lived their versions, but I loved hearing Bruce share his on Broadway and realized I loved hearing him share himself his whole life.

Meanwhile, the virus decimated my speaking and workshop business despite it revealing the world’s catastrophic lack of environmental leadership. NYU’s culture of academic, theoretical, compliance-based education increasingly clashes with my active, experiential, project-based way of teaching they give lip service to but don’t practice.

What have I got to lose?

Restoring nature requires change on his scale. Can I do it? I don’t know, but not by holding back.

Last year a couple volunteers who helped with my podcast persuaded me to change the podcast name to the Joshua Spodek Show. I held back because I considered the overlapping topics of leadership and the environment the foreground and myself the background.

For that matter, I sat down years ago to tell my mom, sister, and others close to me about my partying, the girls, and how influential they were in making me me. Nobody had a problem. I still held back.

Springsteen on Broadway led me to say fuck it and share myself. I’ll follow the advice of people who believed in me and the mission that’s swept me up and change the podcast name. I have to figure out how in WordPress and the podcast hosting site so it might take a while. I’m not sure if I’ll try to figure out how to start or just dive in and scuttle my ships like Cortes.

I hope I don’t fuck up. Wish me luck.

Here's the Risky Business scene on video.

Show Notes

321: Marni Kinrys, part 2: Making Stewardship Normal

April 6, 2020

Before we recorded, Marni humbly said what she did wasn't that big of a deal, just a bit more than she normally did. She wondered the point of sharing it. So this second conversation with Marni was short and we talked as much about the podcast as about what she did. Which is to say, the episode narrated itself.

I look forward to where it's mainstream for stewardship to feel second-nature, for people not just to say they care but act that way naturally. I don't feel that everyone doing little things adds up. I don't argue that it won't, but I believe that if leaders don't, then most others will follow their inaction with inaction of their own. Actually, I think I described the past 50 years or more since global warming was predicted. Plus plastic, deforestation, mercury, and nearly every other form of pollution.

The exciting part of Marni and my conversation, for those interested in dating, attraction between men and women, and my past, is referring to my appearing on her podcast, The Ask Women Podcast: Dating Advice For Men.

I can't mention here what I mentioned there, but you might be able to figure it out from the title. Here's the description:

Ep. 326 How To Be A Leader With Women | The BJ Technique

Want to know the most attractive thing you can be with women? A LEADER. Now I don't mean a man that bosses women around and tells them what to do. Leading women means gently guiding them towards something and requires the man to know who he is and what he wants.  Being a real leader with women is easier than you think and doesn't require you to be a jerk. Guest: Joshua Spodek PhD MBA

By doing what others don't, Marni is swimming upstream so everyone else can swim downstream

Environmental action doesn't have to be a big deal. On the contrary, one day it won't be a deal at all.

Sometimes I think of the first women to wear pants. Can you imagine the vitriol and scorn they may have faced? Now it's normal. Soon stewardship will be too. The sooner each of us acts, the more people will see us as leaders of the movement we create.

320: Confronting doof

April 4, 2020

I got a taste of what I believe leads people to tell me they can't avoid packaging or buying fresh, local produce.

Living in a semi-rural area led me to shop in a large supermarket for the first time in a year or two. They carried only doof and stuff shipped from across the country and world.

I share the story and the uplifting results.

Here are the notes I read from:

  • When I talk about taking over a year to fill a load of trash, people often say "You can but I can't."
  • I'm staying outside the city and shopped with my stepfather in a supermarket for the first time in at least a year
  • Onions
  • Everything packaged, almost nothing loose
  • Produce out of season, can't tell from where
  • Pears from Argentina
  • Bulk food section
  • All doof
  • Realized why people say they can't do it
  • But I don't accept
  • Plan to talk to manager about bulk foods
  • Researched farmers market
    • June start
    • Emailed people, they responded
    • Mom and stepfather knew one
    • Visited
    • Learned about Hub
    • Ordered Hub yesterday
  • Living by environmental values always leads to joy, community, connection
  • If you just accept what they offer, you're bull with ring in nose
  • Result is obesity, dependence,

319: Avoid doof

April 3, 2020

Food is fundamental to our environmental problems.

Most of what American restaurants and supermarkets sell looks like food but isn't by my definition. It makes us obese, diseased, fatigued, poor, dependent, and such, whereas food, like fruits and vegetables, bring us together. Many of us are addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience.

Yet people addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience can point to addicts to other things, like alcohol or cocaine, and say, "they don't need their thing but we need to eat." But no one confuses Doritos with broccoli. But the terms "junk food," "fast food," and even "frankenfood" have the term food in them, leading people to confuse them with food.

I introduced the term doof---food backward---to distinguish between doof and food. Doof is all the stuff sold to go in your mouth refined from food, usually designed and engineered to cause you to crave more of it, usually through salt, sugar, fat, convenience, or other engineering.

Here are my notes I read from:

  • What motivated the problem: reading about food, nutrition, health, and the environment
  • My favorite food writers, and podcast guests, Drs. Joel Fuhrman and Michael Greger
    • Their books Eat to Live, Junk Food Genocide, How Not To Die, and How Not To Diet
    • Their videos
  • The problem: the term "food" in junk food, fast food. Other addictions, like tobacco or alcohol, people say you don't need them, but they need food.
    • Beer versus water versus Doritos versus broccoli
  • Solution: New term
  • One that isn't sticking as well: craving-oriented mouth filler
  • One that people like: doof
  • Sounds like doofus. Helps you not confuse doof with food, like you don't confuse poppy seeds with heroin.
  • Next episode I'll share my story of shopping in a supermarket for the first time in years, nearly all doof.
  • Michael Pollan's "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much." Doof clarifies.
  • Won't confuse McDonald's, Gatorade, Starbucks with food since they don't serve it.
  • Enjoy food. Avoid doof.
  • Spread the word!

318: Why pandemics will keep increasing and how we can reverse the trend

April 2, 2020

I don't normally post other people's material, but 1) I found this video the most valuable I've seen on pandemics and 2) a previous guest, Dr. Michael Greger, created it.

It's an hour, so I summarize its highlights in this episode, but watch the whole video for the comprehensive view with full data and references. My summary covers

  • What current media coverage includes---the urgent, important
  • What it misses---the non-urgent, important
  • Long-term pandemics trends
  • Recent pandemics trends and why we are causing them to increase
  • How we can decrease them

317: My UN and UNICEF talk on COVID-19 and leadership

April 1, 2020

Attendees said my talks brought tears to their eyes.

Technically I spoke at the UN last week and UNICEF this week, but virtually not physically there, and to Toastmaster groups organized by UN and UNICEF workers.

Both talks were similar. I recorded the UNICEF talk. I spoke on

  • A past New York City crisis---the 2003 blackout
  • Lessons I learned from it
  • How we risk not learning from the COVID-19 crisis
  • How we can learn from it
  • What I propose we learn from it

Talks were limited to 5--7 minutes, so I could go to that depth.

316: Dr. Joel Fuhrman MD, part 2: Eat for Life

March 29, 2020

Joel talked so passionately about everything I look to bring out in other guests, I hardly spoke about his commitment with bringing bags. No problem, I loved hearing his views, history, and approach. I went with it.

He also approaches the environment from food, though from a medical background. I just kept learning from him. Sadly, we as a culture keep moving toward disease and pollution, however much we want to move toward health and cleanliness.

You and I can lead. This is our chance. Joel has been for decades. He's gotten results with the public through his books and his clients personally. You and I can build on what he started.

I can't say much more than Joel did, connecting food and the environment and the benefit to us. Who knows, maybe our conversation will result in a PBS show.

On a personal note, I'm glad to have heard his message of joy. Before these conversations I associated him mostly with medicine and nutrition. He covers those things, but with no lack of joy.

315: Diversity: Where are female deliverypeople? Or research on them?

March 27, 2020

An article I read about research into diversity asked about levels where different groups felt occupations became "sufficiently diverse." It looked at positions at tech companies, for example.

I support diversity. I came across the article from the newsletter from Heterodox Academy, started by previous guest Jonathan Haidt, which promotes diversity, particularly of viewpoints. I would promote diversity in many places, yet there are many places I don't see diversity promoted or researched.

Living in Manhattan, I see many doormen, building superintendents, building porters, takeout food deliverymen, construction workers, and so on. I know there are many people who work mines, deep sea fishing, and so on. I understand mostly men work these fields. I never see whites or women delivering food in New York by bicycle. Have you?

Maybe I'm ignorant, but where is the push and research for diversity in these fields? I'm not asking rhetorically or to poke holes. I expect diversity in those fields would promote a healthier society for many reasons, including

  • Physically dangerous fields dominated by men, when women entered them, became safer
  • The more opportunities for whites in fields like delivering food, the more they'll be pulled from other roles and the more the roles where they're underrepresented will change to appeal to executives
  • The more people promote equality in dangerous or low-paying fields, the more credibility they'll gain, so they don't just look like they're trying to help themselves only
    • They may receive support from groups from whom they don't, like manual laborers who likely feel slighted
  • People and society will rethink relationships between different workers and classes

Martin Luther King, jr sought equality between all, not just to help some. Nelson Mandela learned Afrikaans to understand his captors. How much do people today seek equality across the board versus helping some groups but not others?

314: Brent Suter part 2: A Major League pitcher and his farmers markets

March 25, 2020

If you love hearing people at the peak of the human condition behind the scenes, you'll love this episode with Major League Baseball pitcher Brent Suter. I think you'll also hear the subtext of food connecting his family already and his teammates soon.

Sports and food

I love sports, competition, and athletics. I love food, meaning fresh vegetables and fruit. This conversation with Brent, I felt like a kid in a candy store.

This is one of the shortest times between episodes. As I mentioned at the end of last episode, Brent decided to commit to shopping at a farmers market after we stopped recording. He knew of places near him that he had meant to visit. He did the next day, then again the next weekend, and made some vegetable stews of his own, which he loved---the result, the process, the learning, and more.

The mental game of professional sports

Prepare yourself for the future of athletics---eating delicious and healthy for himself as an individual, an athlete, a husband, and a human.

He also indulged me in sharing about the mental side of professional sports, what facing a batter feels like, how he trains, how he handles success and failure.

I hope you enjoyed our conversation even half as much as I did.

Covid-19 note: Is it safe to eat produce from farmers markets? Yes and please do.

Previous guest Marion Nestle is one of the world's top food experts and these posts of hers compile useful information:

Enjoy farmers markets, enjoy vegetables, and enjoy banding together as a national and eventually global team

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