Agency Audio: What We’re Listening to in 2021

Podcasts are on the rise. There’s a large debate right now as to whether or not spoken-word audio, such as podcasts, are on the decline since people aren’t traveling or commuting to work. Interestingly enough, podcast listening has increased since 2019––37 percent of Americans listened to a podcast in the last month, up from 32 percent in 2019. For the first time ever, more than 100 million Americans are listening to at least one podcast every month. While Americans aren’t commuting or traveling, there have been new opportunities for Americans to listen to podcasts––be it on walks or while cooking––40% say they’re listening to podcasts more due to quarantine restrictions.

Podcasts aren’t going anywhere, and some associations and nonprofits are leveraging the momentum to reimagine their content, shifting publishing efforts to podcast production. If the content is being created for a print publication, but readership isn’t there, shifting to a podcast format may be a replacement or supplement for some mission- and member-driven organizations. The great thing about podcasts? All you need is a high-quality microphone, some time for editing, and a hosting platform. Chances are you’ve got all the man-power needed in-house, and it’s time to think about how to reallocate resources (if your audience is listening to podcasts!)

We’ve curated a list of our favorite episodes from our favorite podcasts to help each and every one of us lead in 2021 and beyond. Each of these podcast episodes teaches us something different about what we can bring to better our contribution to our communities, teams at work, and life.

#1 Angela Duckworth | Why Talent Alone Isn’t Enough

Trained by Nike

In this conversation, Angela Duckworth, a researcher that’s advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs, unpacks the healthy habits in the sports and fitness world, and specifically, how they are applicable in all aspects of life––including career and leadership development. Micro goals, grit, situation selection, mental framing, and failure are all ingredients to the recipe for success long-term. In this conversation, listeners will learn how small goals are milestones essential for success, how grit allows us to control immediate gratifications for long-term solutions, how mental and solution-based framing shifts your perspective, how failure is a necessary component of growth. Duckworth teaches us everything there is to know about advancing both yourself and your team.

#2 Brené with Eric Mosley on Making Work Human

Dare to Lead with Brené Brown

Brené Brown, a researcher that’s spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, interviews Eric Mosley, the co-author of the best-selling book Making Work Human to pick Mosley’s brain on what it means to be a great leader. The answer? To be human. Listeners take away a better sense of how to create a human-centric workplace where emotion is not only important––but necessary––to employee development, team building, and client relationships.

#3 Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee and Netflix’s Dream Home Makeover

Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People

Guy Kawasaki, American marketing specialist, author, one of the Apple employees originally responsible for marketing their Macintosh computer line in 1984, brings a unique perspective on evangelist marketing. “Remarkable People” follows the stories of several entrepreneurs and thought leaders where they explore conversations around entrepreneurism, creativity, leadership, and more. In this episode with Shea and Syd McGee, lead innovators in the interior design industry, they unpack how they work together as a married couple, the grit and determination that’s required for successful entrepreneurs, and even some quick interior design tips to make your space more you. If you’re looking for inspiration on going outside of your comfort zone or pursuing a passion project, then definitely give this one a listen.

#4 Brené with Scott Sonenshein on Stretching and Chasing

Unlocking Us with Brené Brown

Brené Brown, a researcher that’s spent the last two decades studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy, has a second podcast “Unlocking Us” that launched in March 2020 during the pandemic––it focuses on conversations that unlock the deeply human part of who we are. This conversation is with Scott Sonenshein, researcher and psychologist that primarily uses field methodologies to examine questions around work and organizations, to discuss takeaways from his bestselling book Stretch. With the pandemic and the uncertainty that comes with it, this conversation is a reminder that constructive discomfort is how we grow, how we stretch and achieve greater, higher, goals with our new-found elasticity. Get inspired on how to turn adversity and uncertainty into growth opportunities.

#5 Rocket Fuel: Visionary vs. Integrator. Which One Are You?

The Product Boss

“The Product Boss” hosts, Minna Khounlo-Sithep and Jacqueline Snyder, have grown a community of high-achieving product-based small business owners and helped them scale their physical product businesses through masterminds, group coaching and digital courses designed specifically for product-based business owners ranging from start-up conception to multi-million dollar companies. In this episode, inspired by Rocket Fuel (Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters), the hosts talk about what makes a leader and question if it is being an integrator or a visionary. They explain the differences between a visionary and an integrator, including the framework behind how any business can be scaled with an entrepreneurial spirit. Want to know which one you are? Tune in. Once you know which category you fall into, you can bring someone else who personifies the other mindset to fill in the necessary gaps.

#6 On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

The Moth

“The Moth” presents recordings of storytellers who shared their true personal stories, without notes in front of a live audience. This lighthearted episode features stories from Steve Clark and Megan McNally and their respective struggles while running a marathon. Their specific running woes represent the importance of moving forward in a race, and in life. Listeners are reassured that the slightest of progress is still progress and that everyone, including leaders, has to start somewhere.

We hope this podcast playlist keeps you company, helps you embrace the uncertainty of the world today, and inspires you to be a better leader, a better you, and ready to take on 2021.

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Jenna Lally

As Marketing Strategist, Jenna crafts customized digital marketing strategies and cross-channel content to connect with diverse audiences.

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