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From the creator of How I Built This, host Guy Raz invites you to listen in as he talks to leadership experts and the visionary leaders of some of the world's biggest brands. Along the way, you'll hear accounts of crisis, failure, turnaround, and triumph, as the leaders reveal their secrets on their way to the top. These are stories that didn't make it into their company bios, and valuable lessons for anyone trying to make it in business.

Episodes

Never Stop Improving: Lowe’s Marvin Ellison

Free Episode53 mins

Marvin Ellison is one of the few Black CEOs leading a Fortune 500 company. In this episode he shares his remarkable journey from retail security guard to CEO of two major corporations. Known for taking on the toughest jobs that...

Why Some Never Break Through: Greg McKeown ('Effortless' and 'Essentialism')

Free Episode45 mins

Leadership strategist, business speaker, podcaster, and author Greg McKeown (New York Times bestsellers Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and Effortless: Make It Easier To Do What Matters Most) writes about ideas and strategies that explain, at least in part,...

Leadership for Innovation: Bill George (Medtronic)

Free Episode44 mins

Initially reluctant to go to Medtronic, his time at that company ultimately became a life changing experience for Bill George. Not only did he usher the company into the Fortune 500 and grow the enterprise value of the company by...

The Solution to Overthinking: John Acuff of 'Soundtracks'

Free Episode45 mins

Author, podcaster and speaker Jon Acuff, known for his humorous approach to leadership and goal-setting, is the author of seven best-selling books. The son of a Baptist minister, Jon worked as a copywriter throughout his twenties. His blog “Stuff...

Leading From "We," Not "I" -- David Novak (Yum! Brands)

Free Episode53 mins

David Novak has been a driving force behind brands like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and he co-founded YUM! Brands Inc., one of the biggest players in the quick service restaurant industry. He's written bestsellers including Taking People With You,...

Failing Forward is Key: Andrea Jung of Grameen America

Free Episode34 mins

One of the things Andrea Jung remembers Steve Jobs saying was "fail forward." If you don't fail you're not risking enough. For over a decade as CEO of direct-sales giant Avon, Andrea Jung was one of the most powerful women...

Do Less to Work Better: Morten Hansen

Free Episode52 mins

When he was a young management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Morten Hansen put in long hours–up to 90 a week, regularly. The highest performer in his office, however, was a colleague who clocked significantly less hours and rarely...

How to Succeed Using Empathy: Maria Ross

Free Episode53 mins



When Maria Ross was trying to teach her son that empathy was a way to success, the world around them seemed to be sending the exact opposite message. So Ross took her years of experience as a management and brand...

Don't Waste Your Failures: Erling Kagge

Free Episode42 mins

Explorer, writer, and publisher Erling Kagge came from a childhood enriched by an artistic household (the likes of Chet Baker and Eubie Blake once visited his home) and by ready access to nature. He was the first person to...

Mastering Crisis is Everything: Jeff Jones of H&R Block, Uber, Target

Free Episode44 mins

Jeff Jones has had a few front row seats to crisis. From the 2013 Target data breach to a tumultuous period at Uber, he’s helped navigate companies out of some tough situations. So, when Jeff became the President and CEO...

Back to Center: Target's Brian Cornell

Free Episode40 mins

There was a devastating data breach, a failing foray into Canada, and they were losing US customers fast. In 2014, Target seriously needed a win—Brian Cornell was that win. He’d turned around plenty of other retailers like Safeway, Michael’s, and...

How You Win by Failing: Sarah Robb O’Hagan

Free Episode70 mins

Sarah Robb O'Hagan is brutally honest about the many, many times she messed up on the way to transforming Gatorade. She was a rabble-rouser at Virgin, which ended with her getting fired. She took a job at Atari, even though...

Jacqueline Novogratz (Acumen): When to Listen, When to Lead

Free Episode37 mins

When the COO of Chase Bank told Jacqueline Novogratz that she had the potential for a high level career at Chase, she knew she had to quit her job. She continued to use the skills she learned from investment banking,...

Channel Confidence: BET's Debra Lee

Free Episode52 mins

Black Entertainment Television launched in 1980--at a time when MTV didn't play Hip hop or "urban music. Not only did BET fill a vital programming void, it was the first Black-owned business traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and...

The Hardest Decisions, ft. Leena Nair

Free Episode34 mins

Growing up in a small town in India, Leena Nair overheard her mother say it was too bad Leena was born a girl, because it meant her smarts and talents would go to waste. But Nair went on to join...

Take Risks, Break Barriers: Shellye Archambeau

Free Episode61 mins

Shellye Archambeau knew as a teenager she wanted to grow up and become a CEO. But when Shellye started as an undergraduate at the Wharton School of Business in 1980, there were just two female CEOs of large corporations, and...

Amex Change Agent: Kenneth Chenault

Free Episode46 mins

When a mentor, and now friend, told Kenneth Chenault during a hiring process at American Express that he was "looking for catalytic agents of change," it struck a deep chord--because it's exactly what Chenault wanted to be. Kenneth Chenault learned...

The Gospel of Slow Growth, ft. Jason Fried

Free Episode38 mins

Jason Fried, the CEO and co-founder of 37signals (maker of Basecamp) doesn’t want you to come to meetings. He insists that you work no more than 40 hours a week; 36 in the summer. He doesn’t really want you coming...

Lead Más: Taco Bell's Mark King

Free Episode71 mins

On taking what you learn shaking up one industry and applying it to an entirely different industry: Mark King has a reputation for turning businesses around by moving fast on innovative, and sometimes expensive, endeavors. Before his current tenure as...

Finding Work with Meaning, ft Ken Coleman

Free Episode49 mins

Ken Coleman calls himself “America’s Career Coach.” In his syndicated call-in show, and in books like The Proximity Principle and One Question, Coleman helps people think about what kind of work they would find meaningful, and how they can connect...

How to Build Confidence via Strangers, ft. Joe Keohane

Free Episode45 mins

Joe Keohane is a longtime journalist and editor who believes that talking to strangers can not only help people feel happier and more empathetic, but can actually make the world a better place. In his first book, The Power of...

Why Generalists Succeed: David Epstein

Free Episode60 mins

David Epstein is a science writer and investigative reporter. His articles have spanned a wide range of topics, from crime and violence, to athletes using steroids, to the intersection of science and the Olympics. And, he’s the author of the...

Tiny Habits, Big Rewards: BJ Fogg

Free Episode45 mins

What does it take for a person to change? BJ Fogg, founder of Stanford’s Behavior Design Lab, says the key to behavior change isn’t what we’ve always been taught. In Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything Fogg draws...

Machiavelli for Women: Stacey Vanek Smith

Free Episode49 mins

Stacey Vanek Smith has reported on business and the economy for over 15 years now, first for public radio’s “Marketplace,” and as the host of Planet Money’s daily podcast “The Indicator.” Over that time, she’s seen the same barriers blocking...

Black Magic: Chad Sanders on Black Leadership

Free Episode50 mins

Throughout his life, Chad Sanders found himself having to navigate white culture; at school, in the tech industry, and eventually in his career in entertainment. He learned to cope with the frustration of having to do that by writing, and...

No Animals Were Harmed: American Humane CEO Robin Ganzert

Free Episode41 mins

To Win, Tell a Story: Foot Locker w/ Ken Hicks

Free Episode45 mins

When Ken Hicks became CEO of Foot Locker in 2009 the company didn’t have a leg to stand on: the economy was in a recession, sales were down almost a billion dollars, and the brand was widely expected to collapse...

Etsy: Josh Silverman

Free Episode43 mins

Josh Silverman built Evite and turned around eBay. Then, in 2017, Etsy came calling. The online marketplace for creative goods was in deep trouble. Growth had plateaued and the company was on the verge of being sold. Josh stepped in...

Cultivating a Culture of Candor: Kim Scott

Free Episode52 mins

Since 1992, Kim Scott has worked in almost all levels of management—from a diamond business in Moscow to startups in the Silicon Valley to leading teams at Google. Along the way, she developed a management philosophy called “radical candor” that...

A New Way to Think: Roger Martin

Free Episode42 mins

Over a career spanning four decades, Roger Martin has been a management consultant, an influential  business strategy thinker and author, as well as the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto. He advises CEOs of global...

Marvel: Peter Cuneo

Free Episode45 mins

When Peter Cuneo joined Marvel as CEO in 1999, it was a struggling publishing house teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Ten years later, Disney bought Marvel for $4.5 billion. Cuneo tells his unlikely origin story and how he became...

The Campbell Soup Company: Doug Conant

Free Episode58 mins

In 2001, Campbell's Soup was in freefall: the company's value had halved and employee engagement was at an all-time low. Doug Conant knew he could salvage the iconic company, but first, things were going to have to get worse. How...

Covey Leadership Center: Stephen M. R. Covey

Free Episode31 mins

Back in the 1980s, Stephen R. Covey anticipated a new kind of leadership with his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It wasn't the table-pounding, charismatic kind of leadership, but an empathetic one, which prioritized listening and collaboration....

Autodesk: Carl Bass

Free Episode66 mins

Carl Bass, a renegade and reluctant executive, took the helm at Autodesk and steered the company out of the global economic crisis. At one point, he was so sure it would fail that he was desperate to find a buyer....

United Talent Agency: Jeremy Zimmer

Free Episode48 mins

Jeremy Zimmer was not supposed to be heading one of the "big four" talent agencies in Hollywood. As a child, he struggled in school and eventually dropped out of college to become a parking lot hustler, making money running schemes...

Macy's: Terry Lundgren

Free Episode40 mins

Terry Lundgren, former CEO of Neiman Marcus and Macy's, has been instrumental in shaping the American retail landscape, but the road to bringing two notoriously competitive retail giants together wasn't easy. How he merged famous department rivals, double-downed on retail,...

Carnival Corporation: Arnold Donald

Free Episode51 mins

How a New Orleans native turned around a cruise company sinking from a public relations disaster... to one of the most valuable brands in its industry. When Arnold Donald took over Carnival Corporation and the nine cruise lines it operates,...

PayPal: Dan Schulman

Free Episode41 mins

Mixing business and social justice isn't a strategy most companies are willing to adopt, which is why Dan Schulman's actions as CEO of PayPal have garnered so much attention. In 2016, he canceled a plan for an operations center in...

GE: Beth Comstock

Free Episode42 mins

Beth Comstock is comfortable with change. In college, she wanted to be a doctor, but organic chemistry wasn't her strong suit, so she shifted to journalism. When journalism didn't work out, she started working in publicity. So, when GE bought...

Lego: Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

Free Episode62 mins

For years, it was a secret: the family that owned Lego was actually losing money on the company. The man who built the company back up into one of the biggest toymakers in the world, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, reveals his...

General Stanley McChrystal

Free Episode52 mins

General Stanley McChrystal was born into a military family: three generations of men in his family were officers in the armed forces. He followed the family tradition and eventually rose up the ranks to become a General in the Army....

NASA: Ellen Ochoa

Free Episode59 mins

After one of the most deadly disasters in the history of space flight, Ellen Ochoa was a leader in NASA's recovery. She fixed the technical things that went wrong, but the most critical changes, she says, were human. Why she...

Avon: Andrea Jung

Free Episode34 mins

For over a decade as CEO of direct-sales giant Avon, Andrea Jung was one of the most powerful women in the cosmetics industry. During her tenure, Jung saw striking success, but also faced daunting challenges with a failed product rollout...

Built to Last: Jim Collins

Free Episode79 mins

It's not an understatement to say that Jim Collins is one of the most influential business writers in modern history. Collins, however, thinks of himself more as a researcher than an author. Each of his books, which includes Good to...

PepsiCo: Indra Nooyi

Free Episode71 mins

After becoming the CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Indra Nooyi became the first woman and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company. From Chennai, India, to Yale's School of Management, Nooyi worked her way up from The Boston Consulting Group,...

Best Buy: Hubert Joly

Free Episode67 mins

In 2012, to say there was a crisis at Best Buy — is an understatement. In January, Forbes published an article with the headline: WHY BEST BUY IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And then, in March, the company...

BET: Debra Lee

Free Episode52 mins

Black Entertainment Television helped make the first Black billionaire in the US and was the first Black-owned business traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Debra Lee, a young lawyer drawn to the company's mission, was pivotal in turning the...

Continental Airlines: Gordon Bethune

Free Episode42 mins

Gordon Bethune took an unlikely path to becoming a leader in the airline industry. A self-described "hoodlum," Bethune dropped out of high school, joined the Navy, and became an airplane mechanic. With that experience, he gave Continental Airlines a tune-up,...

Mastercard: Ajay Banga

Free Episode39 mins

How Ajay Banga ran one of the world's largest companies with an unusual leadership philosophy... something he calls "the decency quotient." And how he turned Mastercard from a credit card company into a company that's known for technology, innovation, data,...

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: Cheryl Bachelder

Free Episode50 mins

Cheryl Bachelder decided to go into business after an early setback derailed her potential career in music education. She became President of KFC years later, but a job that started as a major opportunity wound up being a massive failure....

General David Petraeus

Free Episode34 mins

General David Petraeus took on a uniquely complex leadership challenge in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war there. He oversaw the training of a new and entirely Iraqi army. He says that the key to leadership is first...

Peloton: Dara Treseder

Free Episode57 mins

As a child growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria, Dara Treseder was often told to get her head out of the clouds. But her mother encouraged her to dream big and to follow her ambition if it would lead her to...

Marvel: Peter Cuneo

Free Episode45 mins

Today, Marvel is one of the most substantial forces in American media, but when Peter Cuneo joined the company as CEO in 1999, it was a struggling publishing house teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Ten years later, Disney bought...

Lowe's: Marvin Ellison

Free Episode53 mins

Marvin Ellison took the tough jobs nobody wanted, and it got him from retail security guard all the way to CEO of two Fortune 500s. Now, when things are precarious, companies like JCPenney and Lowe's call him in. Marvin Ellison...

Gap: Mickey Drexler

Free Episode57 mins

When Gap was failing, Mickey Drexler didn't just increase sales. He made it into a pop culture staple of the 80s and 90s. But that wasn't enough to keep him from getting fired. At his next job, he was not...

Uncharted: Margaret Heffernan

Free Episode39 mins

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, executive leadership coach, and author of six books. Her often counter-intuitive insights on collaboration, consensus-building, and decision-making have earned her a reputation as a smart thinker who challenges conventional business wisdom. In her latest...

Zelnick Media Capital: Strauss Zelnick

Free Episode38 mins

Strauss Zelnick has a real knack for saving companies in crisis. A Hollywood wunderkind, he's led major film studios, record labels, and gaming companies since his early 30s. How he turned a small, self-financed Zelnick Media Capital into an industry...

Biogen: George Scangos

Free Episode36 mins

How do you get from the cubicle to the C-Suite? George Scangos started out doing scientific research, but he says his people skills got him all the way to the CEO's office at one of the biggest biotech companies in...

Docusign: Keith Krach

Free Episode47 mins

When Keith Krach first heard of Docusign, he knew it could be huge. He was convinced it would capture one of the biggest markets ever seen. He also knew exactly the play he needed to run to get it there,...

Zenefits: Jay Fulcher

Free Episode40 mins

Why growth isn't always good, and how to infuse integrity into a toxic company culture. Zenefits was on its way to a multi-billion dollar valuation but, behind the scenes, it was all about to come crashing down. When Jay Fulcher...

Harvard Business School: Bill George, author of 'True North'

Free Episode44 mins

When Bill George was a kid, he didn't dream of becoming a pro-athlete or an astronaut or a famous musician. Instead, he imagined the Fortune 500 companies he would lead as CEO. He achieved the dream when he took a...

H&R Block: Jeff Jones

Free Episode44 mins

Jeff Jones is no stranger to crisis. From the 2013 Target data breach to a tumultuous period at Uber, he's helped navigate companies out of some tough situations. So, when Jeff became the President and CEO of H&R Block in...

Qualcomm: Steve Mollenkopf

Free Episode40 mins

Steve Mollenkopf started working as an engineer at Qualcomm right out of college. After ascending to the top of the Engineering division, Mollenkopf thought that he'd reached his peak promotion in the company — that is, until he became CEO...

Dave Ramsey

Free Episode46 mins

Dave Ramsey learned about debt the hard way: he'd made money, lost money, and declared bankruptcy, all before his 30th birthday. How he went from selling books out of his trunk to becoming a best-selling author and financial advisor to...

Foot Locker: Ken Hicks

Free Episode45 mins

When Ken Hicks became CEO of Foot Locker in 2009, the company didn't have a leg to stand on: the economy was in a recession, sales were down almost a billion dollars, and the brand was widely expected to collapse...

Basecamp: Jason Fried

Free Episode38 mins

Jason Fried, the CEO and co-founder of Basecamp, doesn't want you to come to meetings. He insists that you work no more than 40 hours a week; 36 in the summer. He doesn't really want you coming to the office...

Graeter's (Ice Cream): Richard Graeter

Free Episode34 mins

There are a few dirty little secrets about the way modern ice cream is made, but Graeter's ice cream is different. They use a process that's well over one hundred years old, even though that means the company has to...

GE: Beth Comstock

Free Episode42 mins

Beth Comstock is comfortable with change. In college, she wanted to be a doctor, but organic chemistry wasn't her strong suit, so she shifted to journalism. When journalism didn't work out, she started working in publicity. So, when GE bought...

Macy's: Terry Lundgren

Free Episode40 mins

Terry Lundgren, former CEO of Neiman Marcus and Macy's, has been instrumental in shaping the American retail landscape, but the road to bringing two notoriously competitive retail giants together wasn't easy. How he merged famous department rivals, double-downed on retail,...

Marvel: Peter Cuneo

Free Episode45 mins

Today, Marvel is one of the most substantial forces in American media, but when Peter Cuneo joined the company as CEO in 1999, it was a struggling publishing house teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Ten years later, Disney bought...

Covey Leadership Center: Stephen M. R. Covey

Free Episode31 mins

Back in the 1980s, Stephen R. Covey anticipated a new kind of leadership with his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It wasn't the table-pounding, charismatic kind of leadership, but an empathetic one, which prioritized listening and collaboration....

Honeywell: David Cote

Free Episode44 mins

When David Cote started working in manufacturing, he was a self-described "wrench turner, the lowest on the totem pole." He worked his way up through the ranks of GE, and was eventually offered the helm of mega conglomerate Honeywell. At...

Sonic: Cliff Hudson

Free Episode38 mins

Cliff Hudson's childhood was marked by instability. At a young age, he watched his family struggle to recover after his father's roofing business collapsed. So, after college, he was determined to find a safe and stable job. In 1984, Cliff...

Dunkin' Donuts: Bob Rosenberg

Free Episode40 mins

In 1963, Bob Rosenberg became CEO of his father's company, Dunkin' Donuts, at age 25. About a decade later, after an overly-ambitious expansion put the company in jeopardy, the board almost threw him out. But Bob matured into his leadership...

Acumen: Jacqueline Novogratz

Free Episode37 mins

When the COO of Chase Bank told Jacqueline Novogratz that she had the potential for a high level career at Chase, she knew she had to quit her job. She continued to use the skills she learned from investment banking...

PayPal: Dan Schulman

Free Episode41 mins

Mixing business and social justice isn't a strategy most companies are willing to adopt, which is why Dan Schulman's actions as CEO of PayPal have garnered so much attention. In 2016, he canceled a plan for an operations center in...

Perdue Farms: Jim Perdue

Free Episode41 mins

Jim Perdue wasn't that interested in becoming a third-generation head of the family meat processing business. Still, he became CEO in 1991 and his leadership turned out to be pivotal for building Perdue Farms into a nationwide brand. How Perdue...

Gensler: Diane Hoskins

Free Episode34 mins

For as long as Diane Hoskins can remember, she wanted to be an architect. It began with Legos as a child, and eventually led her all the way to architecture giant, Gensler— an unusual company with two CEOs. One CEO...

Continental Airlines: Gordon Bethune

Free Episode42 mins

Gordon Bethune took an unlikely path to becoming a leader in the airline industry. A self-described "hoodlum," Bethune dropped out of high school, joined the Navy, and became an airplane mechanic. With that experience, he gave Continental Airlines a tune-up,...

Etsy: Josh Silverman

Free Episode43 mins

Josh Silverman built Evite and turned around eBay. Then, in 2017, Etsy came calling. The online marketplace for creative goods was in deep trouble. Growth had plateaued and the company was on the verge of being sold. Josh stepped in...

Cisco Systems: John Chambers

Free Episode43 mins

Cisco was growing at breakneck speed when the tech bubble burst in 2001. As an industry veteran, CEO John Chambers knew firsthand that no company was immune to failure. Anticipating the need to transition, and using a '100 year flood'...

Tiny Habits: BJ Fogg

Free Episode44 mins

What does it take for a person to change? BJ Fogg, founder of Stanford's Behavior Design Lab, says the key to behavior change isn't what we've always been taught. In Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, Fogg draws...

United Talent Agency: Jeremy Zimmer

Free Episode48 mins

Jeremy Zimmer was not supposed to be heading one of the "big four" talent agencies in Hollywood. As a child he struggled in school and eventually dropped out of college to become a parking lot hustler, making money running schemes...

HHS: Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Free Episode56 mins

When Sylvia Mathews Burwell was appointed Secretary of HHS in 2014, Health and Human Services — the agency responsible for administering Obamacare — was already under intense scrutiny. And the crises just kept coming: a government shutdown, unaccompanied minors at...

Effortless: Greg McKeown

Free Episode44 mins

Leadership strategist and business speaker Greg McKeown is the author of two New York Times-bestselling books: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less and Effortless: Make It Easier To Do What Matters Most. The core of McKeown's philosophy of "Essentialism" is...

Gates Foundation: Melinda Gates

Free Episode50 mins

Running the world's wealthiest charitable foundation is all about tough choices. During her meteoric rise at Microsoft, Melinda Gates never guessed she'd spend decades trying to solve global problems. Learning to give by asking the right questions and accepting the...

The Rise: Sarah Lewis

Free Episode41 mins

Dr. Sarah Elizabeth Lewis is Associate Professor of History of Art and Architecture and of African and African American Studies at Harvard. Early in her career, she became fascinated with what she calls "back-turned paintings"--the paintings which artists keep turned...

Intuit: Brad Smith

Free Episode47 mins

Why isn't Intuit dead? The key was transforming it into a "36 year old start up," says former CEO Brad Smith. Giving people the chance to make an impact, he says, is vital to energizing a workforce. How he lost...

College Board: David Coleman

Free Episode38 mins

In this special live episode, how David Coleman leveraged criticism to revamp the SAT, revive the College Board, and introduce new ways to battle education inequality. The ACT was fast becoming the college entrance heavyweight when he came in to...

Unapologetically Ambitious: Shellye Archambeau

Free Episode60 mins

Shellye Archambeau knew as a teenager she wanted to grow up and become a CEO. But when Shellye started as an undergraduate at the Wharton School of Business in 1980, there were just two female CEOs of large corporations, and...

Walgreens: Greg Wasson

Free Episode36 mins

Greg Wasson was an aspiring pharmacist with dreams of building his own pharmacy, but before he'd even finished his degree, he found himself climbing the corporate ladder at Walgreens. Bigger opportunities at the company opened up, and he continued to...

Autodesk: Carl Bass

Free Episode66 mins

Carl Bass, a renegade and reluctant executive, took the helm at Autodesk, and steered the company out of the global economic crisis. At one point, he was so sure it would fail that he was desperate to find a buyer....

YUM! Brands: David Novak

Free Episode52 mins

David Novak has been a driving force behind brands like Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC, and he co-founded YUM! Brands Inc., one of the biggest players in the quick service restaurant industry. He's written bestsellers including Taking People With You,...

IBM: Lou Gerstner

Free Episode46 mins

When Lou Gerstner became the CEO of IBM in 1993, he had never worked for a technology company, and IBM was in big trouble: competitors like Microsoft, Dell, and Compaq were eating up market share. Gerstner took the challenge head-on...

Silence: Erling Kagge

Free Episode41 mins

Explorer, writer, and publisher Erling Kagge was the first person to complete the Three Poles Challenge ⁠— reaching the South Pole, the North Pole, and the top of Mt. Everest ⁠— on foot. He talks about...

BET: Debra Lee

Free Episode52 mins

Black Entertainment Television helped make the first Black billionaire in the US and was the first Black-owned business traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Debra Lee, a young lawyer drawn to the company's mission, was pivotal in turning the...

Yahoo: Marissa Mayer

Free Episode57 mins

Yahoo had been churning through executives when Marissa Mayer became its 7th CEO in just over 5 years. She left a track record of success at Google to take on a floundering company faced with obsolescence. How she infused value...

The Empathy Edge: Maria Ross

Free Episode52 mins

In 2016, Maria Ross realized that she was trying to teach her son that empathy was a way to success, when the world around them seemed to be sending the exact opposite message. So she took her years of experience...

Sprint: Dan Hesse

Free Episode45 mins

Customers crave simplicity, Dan Hesse figured out early in his career, as he streamlined phone bills at Sprint. He saved 2 billion dollars, just by taking better care of customers in a few key ways. Plus, just how hard Sprint...

Tiny Habits: BJ Fogg

Free Episode45 mins

What does it take for a person to change? BJ Fogg, founder of Stanford's Behavior Design Lab, says the key to behavior change isn't what we've always been taught. In Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything Fogg draws...

General David Petraeus

Free Episode34 mins

General David Petraeus took on a uniquely complex leadership challenge in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war there. He oversaw the training of a new and entirely Iraqi army. He says that the key to leadership is first...

Carnival Corporation: Arnold Donald

Free Episode51 mins

How a New Orleans native turned around a cruise company sinking from a public relations disaster... to one of the most valuable brands in its industry. When Arnold Donald took over Carnival Corporation and the nine cruise lines it operates,...

Capital One: Sanjiv Yajnik

Free Episode50 mins

Sanjiv Yajnik is no stranger to taking risks and adapting to change. In fact, he was a marine engineer for more than a decade before deciding to move from India to Canada to pursue an MBA. Since leaving the open...

GAP: Mickey Drexler

Free Episode57 mins

When Gap was failing, Mickey Drexler didn't just increase sales. He made it into a pop culture staple of the 80s and 90s. But that wasn't enough to keep him from getting fired. At his next job, he was not...

When More Is Not Better: Roger Martin

Free Episode42 mins

Over a career spanning four decades, Roger Martin has been a management consultant, an influential business strategy thinker and author, as well as the Dean of the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto. He advises CEOs of...

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: Cheryl Bachelder

Free Episode50 mins

Cheryl Bachelder decided to go into business after an early setback derailed her potential career in music education. She became President of KFC years later, but a job that started as a major opportunity wound up being a massive failure....

American Humane: Robin Ganzert

Free Episode40 mins

When Robin Ganzert joined American Humane as it's new president and CEO, she thought she was helming one of the oldest and best known animal welfare organizations in the US. What she didn't know was that American Humane was $12.2...

Avon: Andrea Jung

Free Episode34 mins

For over a decade as CEO of direct-sales giant Avon, Andrea Jung was one of the most powerful women in the cosmetics industry. During her tenure, Jung saw striking success, but also faced daunting challenges with a failed product rollout...

Target: Brian Cornell

Free Episode40 mins

There was a devastating data breach, a failing foray into Canada, and they were losing US customers fast. In 2014, Target seriously needed a win—Brian Cornell was that win. He'd turned around plenty of other retailers like Safeway, Michael's, and...

Great at Work: Morten Hansen

Free Episode51 mins

As a young management consultant at Boston Consulting Group, Morten Hansen regularly put in long hours–up to 90 a week. The highest performer in his office, however, was a colleague who clocked significantly less hours and rarely came in on...

Uncharted: Margaret Heffernan

Free Episode39 mins

Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, CEO, executive leadership coach, and author of six books. Her often counter-intuitive insights on collaboration, consensus-building, and decision-making have earned her a reputation as a smart thinker who challenges conventional business wisdom. In her latest...

Verizon: Ivan Seidenberg

Free Episode42 mins

Ivan Seidenberg worked his way from splicing cables for the phone company, all the way to being the CEO of Verizon. During his career, he helped the company weather not one but two tectonic changes: the breakup of Ma Bell's...

The Campbell Soup Company: Doug Conant

Free Episode58 mins

In 2001, Campbell's Soup was in freefall: the company's value had halved and employee engagement was at an all time low. Doug Conant knew he could salvage the iconic company, but first, things were going to have to get worse....

Lowe's: Marvin Ellison

Free Episode53 mins

Marvin Ellison took the tough jobs nobody wanted, and it got him from retail security guard all the way to CEO of two Fortune 500s. Now, when things are precarious, companies like JC Penny and Lowe's call him in. Marvin...

Soundtracks: Jon Acuff

Free Episode44 mins

Jon Acuff is the author of seven best-selling books and the host of the podcast "All It Takes Is A Goal", becoming widely known for his humorous approach to leadership and Christianity. Son of a Baptist minister, Jon worked as...

Taco Bell: Mark King

Free Episode70 mins

Mark King has a reputation for turning businesses around by moving fast on innovative, and sometimes expensive, endeavors. Before his current tenure as CEO of Taco Bell, Mark served as president for Adidas' long-stagnant North American division, reinvigorating the brand...

Mastercard: Ajaypal Singh Banga

Free Episode40 mins

How Ajay Banga runs one of the world's largest companies with an unusual leadership philosophy... something he calls "the decency quotient." And how he turned Mastercard from a credit card company into a company that's known for technology and innovation...

Black Magic: Chad Sanders

Free Episode50 mins

Throughout his life, Chad Sanders found himself having to navigate white culture; at school, in the tech industry, and eventually in his career in entertainment. He learned to cope with the frustration of having to do that by writing, and...

General Stanley McChrystal

Free Episode52 mins

General Stanley McChrystal was born into a military family: three generations of men in his family were officers in the armed forces. He followed the family tradition and eventually rose up the ranks to become a General in the Army....

American Express: Kenneth Chenault

Free Episode46 mins

Kenneth Chenault learned early on to only worry about the things he could control, this helped him when life—and business at American Express—threw unpredictable events his way. He broke barriers as the company's first African American CEO and helped turn...

Range: David Epstein

Free Episode60 mins

David Epstein is a science writer and investigative reporter. His articles have spanned a wide range of topics from crime and violence to athletes using steroids to the intersection of science and the Olympics. And, he's the author of The...

Unilever: Leena Nair

Free Episode34 mins

Growing up in a small town in India, Leena Nair overheard her mother say it was too bad her daughter was born a girl, because it meant her smarts and talents would go to waste. But Nair went on to...

PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi

Free Episode71 mins

Listen again. After becoming the CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Indra Nooyi became the first woman and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company. From Chennai, India, to Yale's School of Management, Nooyi worked her way up from The Boston...

Peloton's Dara Treseder

Free Episode57 mins

Listen again. As a child growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria, Dara Treseder was often told to get her head out of the clouds. But her mother encouraged her to dream big and to follow her ambition if it would lead...

The Power of Strangers: Joe Keohane

Free Episode45 mins

Joe Keohane is a longtime journalist and editor who believes that talking to strangers can not only help people feel happier and more empathetic, but can actually make the world a better place. In his first book, The Power of...

NASA: Ellen Ochoa

Free Episode59 mins

After one of the most deadly disasters in the history of space flight, Ellen Ochoa was a leader in NASA's recovery. She fixed the technical things that went wrong, but the most critical changes, she says, were human. Why she...

The Proximity Principle: Ken Coleman

Free Episode48 mins

Ken Coleman calls himself "America's Career Coach." In his syndicated call-in show, and in books like The Proximity Principle and One Question, Coleman helps people think about what kind of work they would find meaningful, and how they can connect...

Best Buy: Hubert Joly

Free Episode67 mins

In 2012, to say there was a crisis at Best Buy — is an understatement. In January, Forbes published an article with the headline: WHY BEST BUY IS GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And then, in March, the company reported a...

Machiavelli for Women: Stacey Vanek Smith

Free Episode49 mins

Stacey Vanek Smith has reported on business and the economy for over 15 years now, first for public radio's "Marketplace," and now as the host of Planet Money's daily podcast "The Indicator." Over that time, she's seen the same barriers...

The Obstacle is The Way: Ryan Holiday

Free Episode47 mins

Ryan Holiday is one of his generation's most influential thinkers. Many people - from rappers to NFL quarterbacks to corporate CEOS and entrepreneurs - credit his writing for introducing them to the teachings of the stoic philosophers. Holiday's books like...

Gatorade: Sarah Robb O'Hagan

Free Episode70 mins

Sarah Robb O'Hagan is brutally honest about the many, many times she messed up on the way to transforming Gatorade. She was a rabble-rouser at Virgin, which ended with her getting fired. She took a job at Atari, even though...

PepsiCo: Indra Nooyi

Free Episode71 mins

After becoming the CEO of PepsiCo in 2006, Indra Nooyi became the first woman and immigrant to run a Fortune 50 company. From Chennai, India, to Yale's School of Management, Nooyi worked her way up from The Boston Consulting Group,...

Peloton: Dara Treseder

Free Episode57 mins

As a child growing up in Ibadan, Nigeria, Dara Treseder was often told to get her head out of the clouds. But her mother encouraged her to dream big and to follow her ambition if it would lead her to...

Built to Last: Jim Collins

Free Episode79 mins

It's not an understatement to say that Jim Collins is one of the most influential business writers in modern history. Collins, however, thinks of himself more as a researcher than an author. Each of his books, which includes Good to...

Lego: Jørgen Vig Knudstorp

Free Episode62 mins

For years, it was a secret: the family that owned LEGO was actually losing money on the company. The man who built the company back up into one of the biggest toymakers in the world, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, reveals his...

Trailer: Introducing Wisdom From The Top

42 seconds

From the creator of How I Built This, stories of crisis, failure, turnaround, and triumph from some of the greatest leaders in the world.