We are big believers in looking for ways to improve ourselves professionally and personally. It’s good for our work, and it’s good for our souls.
It also means we’re big fans of podcasts. And, apparently, we’re not alone.
Podcasts have seen an enormous surge in popularity this year. Each week 42 million Americans, about 15 percent of the population, listen to these digital audio programs. (In case you’re wondering, about 3 percent of Americans go to the movies weekly.)
We understand why podcasts have become so popular. They’re easy to listen to when you’re driving, working out, or even needing a short break from the work day. Depending on the program, you can learn something interesting or be inspired to do better.
As more and more podcasts get produced, it can be challenging to narrow down what programs to listen to. Below are some of our favorites. Some of these are more work-focused, while others expand our horizons in other ways. Either way, we’ve found these all worthy of our time and hope you will enjoy them, too.
What’s your favorite podcast?
The Kindness Podcast: I love to support friends who have delved into the world of podcasts. Nicole Phillips is a champion for kindness who has shared her message in a weekly newspaper column, as an author, and as a public speaker. She recently took her message to a new platform as she shares stories about how kindness has transformed individual lives. Every time I hear her, I am reminded that being kind is simple, yet not easy. – Anita
I find deep wisdom in the words of authors Brene Brown and Danielle LaPorte. Any podcast host who books these women as guests gets my full attention (and adoration!) – Anita
Personal Growth Podcasts
Good Life Project: This project (and its accompanying podcast) is the brainchild of Jonathan Fields, who wears numerous hats including those of author, entrepreneur, community-builder and teacher. In his own words, he sits down with some of the “wisest, most-accomplished teachers, creators and leaders, learning at their feet, then sharing their wisdom …” I have to agree. Every time I listen, I’m inspired to grow and do better. – Anita
Professional Development Podcasts
Zenger Folkman Leadership: I’m a fan of a produced show where there is little banter and opinion, and the topics are well-researched. This podcast fits that definition. Dr. Jack Zenger and Dr. Joseph Folkman created leadership training and development programs based on research for their best-selling book, “The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers into Great Leaders.” I always learn something from them. – Rachel
Read to Lead: This podcast came highly recommended by members of the Chamber’s Business Training Committee that I volunteer with. Host Jeff Brown interviews successful and inspiring business book authors. He believes intentional and consistent reading can help to hone leadership skills and advance personal growth. I’m subscribing. – Anita
The Allusionist: This is a podcast about language, and it’s delightful. Expect to learn about topics as diverse as the role played by hyperbolic numerals (zillion and kajillion) and how we use terms that apply to humans on the move. This podcast always stretches my understanding. Bonus: the host has a cool British accent. – Rachel
99% Invisible: This podcast gives us a glimpse into all the thought that goes into the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. It makes me think about things like “what would happen if we got rid of road signs?” and the role of the U.S. Postal Service. Fascinating listen. – Rachel
On Being with Krista Tippett: I’m new to podcasts, but have always loved examining new concepts and theories. “On Being” explores the big questions: What does it mean to be human, and how do we want to live? Nothing excites me more. – Sean
Wow in the World: I’m diving into this podcast for my math- and science-loving daughters. The team behind it strives to tell stories that inspire families to use their imagination and follow their curiosity. We love the podcast because it helps us look at the everyday world around us while reinforcing our daughters’ interests in STEAM concepts. – Sean