Happy birthday to The TalentGrow Show podcast! Three years in and going strong! In this celebratory 3rd anniversary solo episode, I recap the highlights of the first three years of the show, give a taste of what’s to come, and draw three big leadership lessons that you can use, too! Plus, check out our gorgeous makeover – new logo and cover art, woot woot! Would love your feedback and requests, as always. Thank you for helping us reach this milestone! Listen now, subscribe, and share. P.S. What’s your favorite episode or moment?
Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us! TalentGrowers, the TalentGrow Show has turned three. I guess we’re a toddler (but hopefully we’re not in the terrible threes) :P .
I thought that I’d take the time in this episode to recap our first three years and to think about what’s coming ahead.
I’m so grateful that you are listening to this show. And if you have been listening to the show all along, you’ve made it possible for me to reach this important way mark, and thank you for that.
We’ve covered a lot of ground over the last three years
Over the three years and 77 episodes of the TalentGrow Show's lifetime, the topics that we’ve focused on have been pretty wide-ranging, but always related to how to develop yourself as a leader and how to develop yourself in general.
We’ve talked about…
- leadership (in various forms and angles), whether you’re leading on the C Suite, in a high level position, all the way to how to be an effective first-time manager
- communication skills and speaking
- networking and strategic relationships
- feedback (how to give, how to receive) and how to have difficult conversations
- organizational culture
- learning and mentoring
- emotional intelligence
- the future of work
- generational perspectives
- mind hacking and changing your habits
- workplace politics
- decision making and thinking tactics
- career development
- having a side hustle
- courageous leadership but also courageous followership
- and more!
We’ve had all kinds of guests:
- Leadership experts, authors, consultants and coaches, but also
- a top banker
- a chef
- a philosopher
- actual managers working on their management skills
- best-selling authors
- coaching gurus
- mentors of mine
- and lots and lots of interesting guests
Also, of course, we’ve had some solo episodes that feature yours truly sharing some of my insights, and recently, we launched the new format called Ask Halelly, where I respond to listener questions or questions that I’ve received from audience members or workshop participants or members of the media.
Favorites and Standouts
The top most downloaded episode in the whole lifetime of the The TalentGrow Show is episode 47: Business Negotiation Tips from an FBI Hostage Negotiator with Chris Voss. Have you listened to that one?
My favorite episode? This is very hard. It’s like asking a parent who is their favorite child. No can do. I have 77 episodes that I’m very, very proud of (this is the 78th).
But I would say my top proudest moment is definitely with episode 51: Leadership Advice from America’s Top Banker & CEO with John Allison. It started when I landed this guest: John Allison, who is the former CEO of BB&T Bank and was even a top candidate for the role of chairman of the Federal Reserve! So just having such a high-level person who is very, very busy, has lots of people trying to get time with him, agree to be on my show and give us some of his time was a huge achievement.
Furthermore, he’s a person I’ve held in really high regard, a personal hero/a business hero of sorts. He’s also one of my dad’s heroes. So being able to talk to him on the show and share his incredible wisdom and insights with you was a wonderful proud achievement.
And although I don’t always want to call my dad and tell him about every guest that I’ve had – I’m proud of all my guests – this was one guest that I really wished I could have called my dad to share about. I think he would have been really proud.
I hope if you haven’t listened to it yet that you’ll go check it out: episode 51.
We also did an interesting episode in episode 50, which I named The Flipped Episode, in which I my friend Margarita Rozenfeld interviewed me about why I started the show, what I do in my work here at TalentGrow, some of my goals, and things like that. If you want to learn a little more about me, that’s the episode to catch.
I’m excited about some upcoming big name guests like Daniel Pink. I cannot wait to share that one with you. He’s one of those guys that I really look up to. He endorsed my book, actually, which I’m pretty proud of as well. And lots of other interesting guests, of course!
Psst... Who would you be interested in hearing from? Drop me a line or click over there on the right and send me a voicemail! --->
My favorite listener feedback is definitely a young woman who wrote me to tell me that she was listening to the show, getting lots of value, and there was this one really difficult conversation she needed to have with someone at work, and she was dreading it. She was actually going to just brush it under the carpet and ignore it, until she heard episode with Susan Scott (Ep036: Fierce Leadership, Radical Transparency, and Deeper Human Connectivity with Susan Scott) where we talked about how to have candid, difficult conversations. She listened to that episode on her way to work and then she went ahead and engaged in that fierce conversation, and she said that it went so much better than she would have ever expected. She credited that episode with helping her a great deal.
I’m really proud of that. That’s exactly what I shoot for! I create this content for free so that I can share it with as many people as possible and help them in their own workplace communication and leadership situations.
A new look for the show…
With this episode, you are also seeing the results of a ‘makeover’ we had for the show’s logo and art. We’re grown up now, three years old... Actually my business, TalentGrow, just turned 12 and I decided to update both of my business logo and the podcast’s logo and cover art. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it!
3 leadership lessons from the first 3 years of the TalentGrow Show
Now, I would share with you three key lessons, or insights, that I’ve had from my first three years. Each of these lessons is represented by three letters: 3 Ps, 3 Cs, and 3 more Ps:
- Pursue your passion and purpose
- Cultivate curiosity and connection
- Practice toward progress, not perfection
Let’s dive in a little on each of these.
Lesson #1: Pursue Passion & Purpose
A lot of people fall into work that is not that satisfying to them.
For others, we have a passion or maybe a sense of purpose around something, but we feel like we don’t have time for it.
I really, really encourage you to not give up on any of that and to continuously pursue ways to go toward your purpose, if you’re clear about it. And if you’re not clear about it, then I encourage you to work on clarifying your purpose.
I think that being clear on your purpose and passion gives you such an incredible sense of well-being. And it helps you orient your actions, whether your work is a work of passion (kudos!) or it’s something you do on the side. (Sometimes you start it on the side and then eventually figure out how to shift your work to be more aligned with your passion. It’s a good thing.)
For me, my purpose is clear: my work in the world is to help as many people as possible become aware of their strengths, their passion, and their talents, and find ways to optimize and maximize how they use those in their daily life, and especially in their work if possible.
A podcast is a fabulous way for me to help me achieve this purpose, right? What’s been amazing is I’ve been able to reach so many more people through the podcast than I can through my face-to-face work. For example, in my first year in podcasting, I was able to reach thousands of people. In the second year I was able to almost triple fthat number, and then in the third year of podcasting I was able to double the number of downloads I had in the first two years combined. So, we’re growing!
My goal this year is actually a very lofty goal: to 10x my downloads.
10x! That’s big, right?
I don’t know if I’ll reach it, but it’s always good to set a really hard goal, something that seems a little bit out of reach. It’s scary. When I say it, I feel really scared. But that’s a good sign. When you have a goal that kind of scares you a little bit (but not terrifies you to the point where you’re not taking any action), then that’s good. That’s exactly how it should be. You should move toward things that seem out of reach but not completely. That you can see it, on your horizon, and you can motivate yourself to move toward it.
I have fallen in love with this podcast. It is such a passion project. I love it. I hope to move it into what actually becomes one of the main avenues of my business. And guess what: you can help me reach my goal by sharing this podcast with other people. Just think: if you tell two people, and every listener does the same thing, we triple the downloads right there!
I really want to help you, so what is your purpose? And what passion project are you pursuing?
You are definitely encouraged to let me know: send me an email or say something in the comments section below. I’d love to know and support you!
So that’s the first three Ps – pursue purpose and passion.
Lesson #2: Cultivate Curiosity & Connection
The second chunk of the three lessons learned is the three Cs, which is cultivate curiosity and connection. I love to learn. I am a very curious person and I love to connect people and to connect ideas. The podcast really allows me to leverage those strengths.
Of course I get tons of pleasure from sharing what I’m learning with others because that’s the kind of work I do in my business – consulting, speaking at conferences and business meetings, and facilitating workshops.
And it helps me reach my purpose.
(My challenge, actually, is narrowing down my curiosity, because it is so wide ranging, and curating it down to what I’ve set out as the purpose of this podcast: to help leaders be the kind of leaders people actually want to follow.
So everything I share on this podcast is related in some way to your quest to improve your leadership skills. Sometimes I wonder if I’m overly-narrowing the scope. Maybe I don’t need to. Maybe I should broaden it to include more of my curiosity and not just leadership. I’d love your opinion on that, actually. I’d love to know what you think.)
Of course networking is another major topic of interest for me that is all about connecting: I connect with the guests (or reconnect, since many of them are people that are already in my network). But I am also connecting with listeners and expanding my network. It’s so much fun, I love it.
So my question to you is, what are you doing to cultivate your curiosity and to cultivate your connections? How are you pursuing those goals?
Lesson #3: Practice towards Progress, not Perfection
The third lesson I learned, and the other three Ps, is practice towards progress, not perfection. I definitely have a little bit of a perfectionist monster in me that I’m fighting. Do you?
Perfection gets in the way of progress, because when you get hung up on making something perfect, you get bogged down to a point where it no longer adds value.
There is a point at which there are diminishing returns for continuing to perfect something before just shipping it out. Definitely one of the things that I’ve been working on very much with myself is focusing on the progress I’ve made and not trying to make everything perfect, but making it always better.
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer write in their book The Progress Principle about research that shows that people experience a much greater sense of happiness and well-being when they notice small steps of progress towards a goal and celebrate them rather than only celebrating when you reach the goal, which is often very demotivating for people. Turns out that arriving at the summit – reaching the goal – doesn’t yield the kind of happiness that we expect. In fact, we often feel deflated or surprised by that end-game let-down.
So focus on progress.
Make baby steps.
Look for the small wins and recognize them and celebrate them.
We are all on an ongoing journey of development.
I love the work of Dr. Carol Dweck, who wrote about having a growth mindset (rather than a fixed mindset) where we view ourselves as a work in progress. Everybody around us is a work in progress, and we always have to just keep challenging ourselves to grow and to learn and to adapt.
And the way that you grow is by pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. That's where we stretch, that’s where we grow, that’s where real progress is made.
If you’re in your comfort zone, then you’re just doing the things you already know how to do, and you’re doing the things the way you’ve always done them. And in that way, you become complacent, and stagnant, rather than making progress.
So if you want to maximize your gifts and grow, and challenge the people that you are helping as a leader do the same, definitely push yourself and them outside your/their comfort zone. But caution: do not push into the panic zone! Just push into the stretch or learning zone.
(We have an episode coming up about this, actually, in a couple of weeks, so be on the lookout for that - it will be episode 81 with Prof. Andy Molinsky.)
Here’s my question to you about this leadership lesson – how do you notice and celebrate progress in yourself and others?
Those are the three lessons that I’ve learned in my first three years of podcasting.
(Well, I’ve learned a million lessons. But those are the three lessons that I wanted to share with you in summary.)
One of the other achievements I’ve had as a podcaster is being asked to be a guest on other people’s podcasts, and it’s something I plan to pursue doing more of in the near future. So if you have a podcast that you like to listen to in addition to the TalentGrow Show that you think I would be a good match for and a good guest for, drop me a line! And if you know someone who is the host of such a podcast, please make an introduction, okay? Hey, cultivate connections!
So I am excited that on March 10, 2018 I’ll be the guest on a podcast called Entrepreneur on Fire (EoF) with host John Lee Dumas. JLD is one of the most successful podcasters out there. He has a daily show, seven days a week – can you imagine? Did you know that in 2018 I decided to move from twice a month to every week? This is a huge, huge progress step for me. But that by itself, doubling my output, has been a great challenge and I'm loving it. So I cannot even imagine doing this seven days a week… Wow. Anyway, EoF is a super-competitive podcast, with thousands of people applying and auditioning for the 365-ish episodes he does each year, so I’m really proud that I was selected. Go check it out on Entrepreneur on Fire on March 10!
I look forward to taking this podcast to the next level, 10x-ing my downloads, bringing you even greater, bigger, more interesting guests, giving you more types of shows with the Ask Halelly format and more, and to reaching even more people and helping make a positive impact on more lives.
I thank you for listening. You make a very positive impact on my life by listening, and I am really, really grateful to you.
By sharing this show with others, you’re going to help me make an even bigger impact on more people, help them develop their leadership skills, help me achieve my purpose, and for that, in advance, I am also very grateful. And if please subscribe on Apple Podcasts (formerly known as iTunes).
In the meantime, I’m always here to listen to you: I’m always open to your feedback, and I’d love to know what you’d like to hear about.
I’m Halelly Azulay, your leadership development strategist here at TalentGrow. Thank you for listening to the TalentGrow Show.
Make today great!
About Halelly Azulay
Have we met? I'm Halelly Azulay. I'm an author, speaker, facilitator, and leadership development strategist and an expert in leadership, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. I am the author of two books, Employee Development on a Shoestring (ATD Press) and Strength to Strength: How Working from Your Strengths Can Help You Lead a More Fulfilling Life. My books, workshops and retreats build on my 20+ years of professional experience in communication and leadership development in corporate, government, nonprofit and academic organizations.
I am the president of TalentGrow LLC, a consulting company focused on developing leaders and teams, especially for enterprises experiencing explosive growth or expansion. TalentGrow specializes in people leadership skills, which include communication skills, teambuilding, coaching and emotional intelligence. TalentGrow works with all organizational levels, including C-level leaders, frontline managers, and individual contributors.
People hire me to speak at conferences and meetings and to facilitate leadership workshops, but what I love most is to help fast growing organizations create a leadership development strategy and approach.
I'm a contributing author to numerous books, articles and blogs. I was described as a “Leadership Development Guru” by TD Magazine. I blog, publish a leadership podcast (um, hello?!), and have a popular free weekly subscription newsletter – so you should definitely sign up at www.tinyurl.com/talentgrow.
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