Back in the day, learning used to mean sitting in rows, staring at a blackboard and trying not to think about all the gum plastered on the underside of your desk. You just had to sit still, try to pay attention and hope that you found some relevant knowledge along the way.
Thankfully, the days of rote memorization are far behind us. But even so, the need for more knowledge will never go away. Today, the internet is our classroom, and podcasters are our new teachers. Now, without spending a dime, podcasts allow you to take a class in virtually anything that interests you. And you can listen anywhere, anytime.
The Power of Podcasts
All genres and styles of podcasts exist these days, and people from around the world are tuning in. According to Edison Research’s 2017 Infinite Dial Study, 15 percent of Americans already take advantage of this free wealth of knowledge on a weekly basis. But more importantly, the same study revealed that the total number of Americans who listen to podcasts grew 11 percent in 2017 alone.
I count myself among that 15 percent. Podcasts have become an essential part of my information diet. To get you started, or to expand your listening library, here are seven podcasts that I never miss:
1. SKIMM’D FROM THE COUCH
Join the founders of the daily newsletter theSkimm for energizing interviews with today’s top female entrepreneurs. Get honest, raw and powerful advice from leaders who have been there before.
2. REVISIONIST HISTORY by Malcolm Gladwell
Travel back in time with Malcolm Gladwell for a new, and often surprising, reinterpretation of the past. This podcast will change the way you look at history.
3. CREATIVE SLIDE with Jon Acuff
Your creativity will thrive with the help of Jon’s conversations with authors, artists, entrepreneurs and experts. Get an inside look at how to deal with criticism, find inspiration and so much more.
4. MASTERS OF SCALE with Reid Hoffman
LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman walks you through how huge companies grow from nothing. All-star guests include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Netflix’s Reed Hastings.
5. ANDY STANLEY LEADERSHIP PODCAST
As one of my favorite thought leaders, Andy’s insights are both profound and practical. Be a part of the conversation that helps leaders of all stripes go further, faster.
6. WHOLE HOG by Garden & Gun
Explore the best of Southern culture, from must-hear music to where to find the best fried chicken. Curated by the editors of Garden & Gun magazine, this podcast is a storytelling marvel.
7. THE ALWAYS FORWARD LEADERSHIP PODCAST
Join me, Ron Kitchens, each week as we journey to uncover cutting-edge leadership strategies that will unlock your potential. Yes, I know this is my own podcast but I gain a whole new perspective listening to each of my guests.
Think of all the hours you spend each year in the car. That time adds up. Why not start your day with an infusion of knowledge during your morning drive to work? You might also consider replacing an hour of television each week with a podcast. In my opinion, streaming one of your favorites while you do some work around the house is the best solution to continue to build your brain while killing boredom at the same time.
For a leader, learning never ends. But thankfully, all the tools we need to succeed are right there in front of us. I encourage you not to overlook the power of podcasts—take your classroom with you wherever you go!
Engage: Which podcasts do you love that others could learn from?