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3 Podcasts That Will Inspire You to Grow

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

An inspirational podcast can set you up for success. Our team is constantly getting inspired by the podcasts we listen to. We have discussions on each podcast and highlight what we have learned from them.


Take a look at what HR Lab is listening to. We hope you enjoy our recommendations!


"Stop Being A Bystander in your Own Life" by Tracy Edwards, Ted Talks Daily

Tracy Edwards is a trailblazer, an ocean racing sailor, and a navigator. In this podcast, she takes the lessons she learned from navigating boats and applies them to life. She begins by sharing that her passion for trailblazing did not come from “her dream to sail;" instead, it came from a bump in her life. She was expelled from school, the school was not for her, and her mother luckily allowed her to go backpacking in Europe. While in Europe, a man asked her if she could navigate. Her answer was, “of course I can’t,” and his response changed her life. He said, “stop being a bystander in your own life, stop looking at what you are doing and start taking part” at that moment, her life began. She learned to navigate in two days! But as she began learning more about the world of sailing, she realized that no man was ever going to let her navigate. She developed a team of 12 women, and they entered the All Around the World Race with their boat, Maden. It was the first time in history that an all-female team was entering the race. It was incredible, but it also brought many challenges. No one wanted to sponsor them, and many did not believe they could do the race. Some even mentioned they would die at sea. However, those negative comments just made them stronger. Her team built Maden from scratch, held fundraisers for expenses, and was the first team to race with a message of peace and equality. They came in second place, and their results are still the best from British boats since 1977. Maiden changed the lives of so many women at the time, and they continue to do that.

Tracy wants girls to know that “you don't have to look a certain way, feel a certain way, behave a certain way, you can be successful, you can follow your dreams and fight for them.” Life does not go from A to B. It is messy. And most importantly, “if just one person believes in you, you can do anything.”

This stuck with me because you never realize how many opportunities we’ve probably all missed. After all, we refuse to believe that we can learn anything. I often tend to turn down activities I think are too complicated or require talent to pursue, although I find them extremely interesting. Tracy Edwards accomplished a fantastic achievement by just believing in herself and her team. This podcast reminded me that anything is possible as long as you keep believing in yourself and training your mind to keep learning until that goal is accomplished.


"The Power of Introverts" Susan Cain, TED Talk

Susan Cain begins her talk by telling a story about how she was sent to summer camp with a suitcase full of books. This situation was very normal for her and her family since they were all considered introverts. However, when Susan found out that sitting around and reading books all day long is not considered ‘normal’ behavior by society, she felt like she had to change herself to fit in. Susan mentioned that this was not the first, and certainly not the last time that society forced her to change her behavior in order to fit in. She goes on to say that there is a bias in society towards extroverted people. Our school systems and workplaces are designed for extroverted people, as they require group work and constant collaboration with others. Many believe that extroverted people are better leaders. However, introverts have been proven to be better at accepting that people work at different paces and are productive in different environments. Susan Cain also talks about how introversion and extroversion are not absolute. One does not have to be either-or, in fact, in most cases, people say that they have characteristics of both introvert and extrovert.

The main point of the TED talk is that society needs to be more accepting and understanding when it comes to people’s comfort zones. Susan Cain says that this issue is deep-seeded in our cultural history but it is never too late to change.


"Great Leaders Use Tough Love to Improve Performance" by HBR Ideacast

Another week, and, of course, another HBR podcast. This time, Alison Beard led the podcast, and the guest was Frances Frei, a professor at Harvard Business School and advisor to many companies. The podcast discusses how to be a great leader and some of the things we have to be aware of as leaders. Frances explains that instead of focusing on what individual leaders are doing, we need to examine their effects on the people around them. Do others trust them? Are they expanding their capabilities? Are they empowering others?

The podcast then discusses that trust is the starting point of leadership and consists of three components: authenticity, logic, and empathy. A leader needs to be authentic to be able to inspire others. They need to make sure that people feel safe to be their authentic selves because this is when they will shine. The next component is logic. Francis explains that leaders should not talk about things they do not know well because they could quickly lose trust and credibility. The last one is empathy, and the key here is for the leader to be present to the needs of others to express compassion and understanding.

This podcast was inspiring because it explains how to be a leader in the current world that we live in. As the head of the HR Lab team, I have to think very carefully about developing a strategy and culture that offers leadership in my absence. I want my team to feel empowered, so they can also empower others. I want them to feel supported. I want to be able to set the right conditions for them to thrive and grow. Frances states that it is a leader’s job to put those conditions, and I am gladly taking on that responsibility to support my team in their professional development. Thank you, Allison, for the informative podcast, and thank you, Frances, for sharing your knowledge.

Follow us as we put the spotlight on some of the most inspiring podcasts that we listen to at HR Lab - leaders, visionaries, business owners, and more.


About HR Lab: Formed in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, HR Lab is here to make a difference. At HR Lab, we work to strengthen workforce quality by improving the HR system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Our vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

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Disclaimer: The information in these materials should not be considered legal, accounting, or investment advice, and it should not substitute for legal, accounting, investment, and other professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. It is provided for informational purposes only. If you require legal, accounting, or investment advice, or need other professional assistance, you should always consult your attorney, accountant, or other professional advisor to discuss your particular facts, circumstances, business, personal finance, and investment needs.


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