Show cover of Getting Unstuck – Cultivating Curiosity

Getting Unstuck – Cultivating Curiosity

Curiosity sits at the intersection of creativity, effective human interactions, problem-solving and purposeful change. Unfortunately, the pace of life — at home, work, and school — often sidetracks our natural curiosity. So, let’s see the familiar from a different angle or something new as a possibility to consider.


277: How Do They Do That? Behinds the Scenes at the Museum
Guest Jeanne Gutierrez is a Curatorial Scholar in Women's History at the New-York Historical Society. She is a Ph.D. candidate in History at the CUNY Graduate Center. Jeanne is the co-curator of the NYHS “Women’s Work” exhibit. Summary In this episode, Jeanne takes me behind the scenes at the New-York Historical Society to understand the collaborative thinking and effort that goes into curating a major museum exhibit, in this case, “Women’s Work.” From the Museum’s exhibit program description: “What is “women’s work?” How have broad trends in American economic, legal, and political history encouraged women to take certain jobs and restricted them from “men’s work?” How have race, ethnicity, social class, legal status, sexual orientation, and gender presentation impacted these distinctions? In a new exhibition, the Center for Women’s History showcases approximately 45 objects from New-York Historical’s own Museum and Library collections to demonstrate how “women’s work” defies categorization.” Listen for: • What story the curatorial staff is trying to tell about the nature of women’s work. • Why collaboration between curators, scholars, and designers is essential. • How the limited number of artifacts were selected and challenged the team. • Why the staff had to limit the artifact captions to about 100 words. • How the intentional organization and display of artifacts contribute to the story and visitor experience. Social Media / Referenced • • Missionary Rag Baby, 1893–1910
45:32 9/26/23
276: Creating the Secure Place for Home, Heart, and Head
My Guest Born in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer Lang lives in Tel Aviv, where she runs Her prize-winning essays appear in Baltimore Review, Under the Sun, Midway Journal, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is an Assistant Editor at Brevity Journal. She is a longtime yoga practitioner and instructor. She has two unconventional books forthcoming, Places We Left Behind: a memoir-in-miniature (9/5/23) and Landed: A yogi's memoir in pieces & poses (10/15/24), both with Vine Leaves Press.  Summary In this episode, Jennifer and Jeff explore Jennifer’s memoir, Places We Left Behind: a memoir-in-miniature. They delve into Jennifer's deliberate choice of format, which serves to craft emotional impact through a concise narrative of only 13,000 words. The memoir encapsulates Jennifer’s family life in New York, California, and Israel and explores themes of conflict, commitment, belonging, and the meaning of home. Therapy and yoga emerge as Jennifer's anchors, aiding her in marital challenges. Philippe, her husband, gains insight into her journey through her memoir. The main takeaway for readers is to hold onto their voice and remain true to themselves in the midst of the partnership of marriage. Social Media Links  
42:43 9/19/23
275: Learning About Leadership and Life from a Fly Fishing Guide
My guest Spencer Seim (rhymes with “time”) lives a life devoted to fishing, environmental issues, and serving people. Since he was 8 years old, Spencer has been obsessed with fly fishing. Spencer has been guiding northern New Mexico and southern Colorado for eighteen years. Eight years ago, he founded ZiaFly, a guide service that focuses on a personalized fishing experience with access to some of the best trout fisheries in the Rockies.  Spencer is also very well-versed in fly tying. He’s tied flies commercially, for art, for competitions and of course, for his guided trips. Spencer’s flies have been featured in The Drake magazine, New York Times, Kirk W. Johnson’s book The Feather Thief, and America’s Favorite Flies. Spencer has been mentioned in This American Life, Smithsonian Magazine, and Outside Magazine.  The Takeaway Life typically moves along at a fast pace for most of us. By the end of the day, activities we’ve been engaged in are often a murky blur in our rearview mirror. What, then, might be the payoff in slowing down, observing, and reading the environmental water, say, like a fly fisherman? And how do we give ourselves the ability to hold onto and make sense of those moments of pure serendipity? As you listen What is it that drew Spencer to the water and fly fishing? What life lessons can we take away from the fly fisherman’s need to observe and immerse him or herself in the trout’s environment? How did Spencer get involved in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of almost 300 rare bird skins that could be used to tie salmon flies? What is the underlying story of The Feather Thief? How does Kirk Johnson’s decision to write the story rest on one of those rare moments of serendipity in life? How does Spencer distinguish himself as a guide? How does he demonstrate differentiated servant leadership? How does he view guiding as being part of a team? Connect with Spencer ZiaFly website   Referenced Home Waters by John Maclean A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean The Element by Sir Ken Robinson Finding Your Element by Sir Ken Robinson
44:18 9/12/23
274: Aligning Organizational Values and Employee Behaviors for Improved Results
My Guests Wade Bruffey and Zoltan Sarda are the co-founders of, a partnership-driven software company that helps organizations build and optimize their employee development program. They bring 30 years of experience working with teams and individuals to help people grow and succeed. Organizations using’s frameworks build systems that foster clarity, empower high performance, and help team members take aligned actions. With, organizations create transformation that lasts. Summary Wade and Zoltan discussed the importance of cultivating curiosity, empowering individuals, and creating collaborative relationships to improve decision-making, strategy, and company culture. They also emphasized the need for organizations to hire individuals based on their thinking abilities rather than just their skills, use data-driven approaches to identify the right candidates and align core values with organizational goals and the well-being of customers and employees. Additionally, they discussed how their software helps guide employee development conversations and the importance of leaders investing in training and creating a culture of innovation within organizations. Finally, they talked about their work in helping organizations create supportive, collaborative, high-performing environments by focusing on leadership ownership, people, and core values. Key Points Curiosity: Wade and Zoltan believe that it is important for people to be curious and ask questions. They said that curiosity leads to innovation and problem-solving. Empowerment: They believe that employees should be empowered to make decisions and take initiative. They said that this leads to a more engaged and productive workforce. Collaboration: They believe that collaboration is essential for success. They said that organizations should create a culture where people feel comfortable working together and sharing ideas. Data-driven decision-making: They believe that organizations should use data to make decisions. They said that this helps to ensure that decisions are based on evidence, not on gut instinct. Training and development: They believe that training and development are essential for employee success. They said that organizations should provide employees with the skills and knowledge they need to do their jobs well. Culture of innovation: They believe that organizations need to create a culture of innovation. They said that this requires a supportive environment where people feel comfortable taking risks and trying new things. Social Media Links Website: LinkedIn: Register for our free weekly management workshops: Sign up to be a part of our software launch:
43:05 9/5/23
273: Getting to Know Your Inner Cave Dweller
Guest Annette Taylor is a part-time researcher of evolutionary psychology who works to understand how our common biology, which evolved from our days as cave dwellers, may help explain various social and antisocial behaviors today.  Summary Jeff and Annette discuss the concept of the "cave dweller" inside each person, which refers to our instinctual, psychological, and biological tendencies. Annette shares her personal experience of discovering her own cave dweller, “Claire,” and how it influences her behaviors and interactions with others. Listen for • the inner critic's relationship to the cave dweller • the need for human connection and understanding • the presence of our inner cave dweller in the workplace, highlighting behaviors such as ranking, fear of change, and resistance to new ideas • how inner cave dweller concept can clarify in group/out group conflicts Social Media / Referenced Facebook: X (formally known as Twitter;) LinkedIn: Medium: Website: Spotify:
51:40 8/29/23
272: Embracing the Healing Powers of Nature and Community
Guest Scot Simmons is a husband, father, and fly fishing guide. He is 12 years in recovery from addiction and doing well managing depression and anxiety, which started at a young age. Fast forward decades, and he is able to walk and talk in his truth and make purposeful change. Summary Jeff and Scot's conversation delved into their mutual love for fly fishing and the connection it fosters with nature. They emphasized the significance of savoring the process and environment over fixating solely on catching fish. Amidst shared fishing dreams and destinations, Scot revealed his struggles with mental health and how fly fishing served as a therapeutic outlet. He spoke about breaking unhealthy patterns, seeking help, and healing for the sake of his children. The discourse touched on the impact of a viral fishing moment, self-doubt, witnessing George Floyd's murder, and the healing power of community engagement and mentorship. Social media / Referenced Instagram LinkedIn
37:29 8/22/23
271: The Empty Library
The Takeaway In this episode, I travel to Berlin, Germany, and the Bebelplatz, a large square in the city's heart. A university borders one side, a church another, and the opera another. Behind me is one of Berlin’s main libraries.  Sitting atop one of the buildings is an outdoor bar with large colorful umbrellas to shield the patrons. As calming as the setting is today, it was anything but on the night of May 10, 1933. There, a mob of Nazis, Nazi-leaning students, and citizens gathered to burn an estimated 20,000 books the Nazi regime had deemed culturally and spiritually unfit. The only visual evidence of that event is a subterranean memorial with enough empty library shelves to hold an estimated 20,000 books. Social Media / References,Germany%20on%20May%2010%2C%201933.
06:05 8/17/23
270: Rediscovering Oneself Through the Keyboard
Guest Tammy Hader, with a BBA in accounting from Wichita State University, her professional history resides in numbers. In 2018, after a 30-year accounting career, Tammy reinvented herself as a writer. She is an essay writer at Medium, BizCatalyst360, The National Association of Baby Boomer Women,, and WebMD. Tammy is also a contributing author in the Daily Gift Book Series. Walking Old Roads is her first book. Summary Tammy and Jeff discuss her book Walking Old Roads, reflecting on her journey to rediscover her personal sense of kindness and overcome a feeling of disconnection in the current world. She also explores the impact of her corporate career on her withdrawal and the role of role models and faith in regaining a spirit of benevolence. Tammy and Jeff also share insights on trust, genuine connections, and the value of in-person interactions versus technology. Social Media / Referenced
43:45 8/15/23
269: Why We Need to Protect Our Last Remaining Wilderness
Guest Doug Peacock is a Vietnam veteran, author, filmmaker, and naturalist – and none of those words do him justice. He is a relentless protector of our physical wilderness and its creatures. Here’s a link to the full bio of an extraordinary individual. Summary Doug Peacock's lifelong fight for American wilderness and grizzly bears began after witnessing the devastating impact of industrialization in the West. He emphasized preserving wilderness for human evolution and consciousness, discussing climate change threats, and advocating for protecting grizzlies from trophy hunting while recognizing the positive impact of wolves on the environment and expressing concern for future generations amidst climate change. Social Media Website Referenced The Monkey Wrench Gang Hal Herring interview on Getting Unstuck
33:47 8/8/23
268: Getting the Best Revenge Standing Inside the Room
Summary In this episode, I travel to Wannsee, Germany, a suburb of Berlin, where on January 20, 1942, 15 high-ranking Nazis gathered in a villa to resolve various aspects of the “final solution of the Jewish problem.” I need to stand where terror and genocide were launched on a continental scale.
08:20 8/3/23
267: The Argument for Giving Students More Voice and Choice
My co-host in this episode is a fellow podcaster and someone I am proud to call a friend – if only a virtual one at the moment, Steve Miletto, EdD. Steve has been an educator in Georgia(US) for 36 years. He has served public school families as a history teacher, assistant principal, high school principal, and RESA Executive Director in the Heart of Georgia RESA (8 years) and now with North Georgia RESA. In 2009, he was the Georgia Principal of the Year and a finalist for NASSP/MetLife National Principal of the Year in 2010. Steve is the host of the highly regarded podcast, Teaching, Learning, Leading K-12. Summary In this discussion, Jeff and Steve use the book Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam Jr. as the basis for their discussion on student agency: student voice and choice about what and how they want to learn. Listeners may know the book by its film name, October Sky. Jeff and Steve use elements from the book to explore the qualities and benefits of student agency, including encouraging student interest, support from adults and mentors, independent learning and critical thinking, overcoming obstacles, learning beyond the school environment, and fostering tangible effort towards goals. Recommendations for future schooling involve faculty connecting with students, understanding their needs, creating opportunities for exploration, prioritizing student interests, and promoting autonomy and project-based learning within the curriculum. Links/References Steve at LinkedIn
44:53 8/1/23
266: Combating Antisemitism – Standing Up to Jewish Hate
Guest Matthew E. Berger is executive director of the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism. He oversees the foundation’s programs to raise awareness about hatred against Jews and to monitor and analyze antisemitism on social media. As executive director, Berger is leading FCAS’ launch of “Stand Up to Jewish Hate,” a multi-platform advertising campaign to educate non-Jews about modern antisemitism and empower them to address hate in their communities. The campaign has introduced the Blue Square emoji as the national symbol for addressing antisemitism, encouraging people everywhere to speak out against intolerance. Summary In this episode, Matthew discusses the work performed by the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism (FCAS), which Robert Kraft launched in 2019. FCAS aims to raise awareness about antisemitism and build alliances to fight Jewish hate. We explored various strategies, including advertising, education, and symbolizing support through the Blue Square campaign. Points of discussion • The importance of recognizing and building partnerships to address all forms of hate. • The importance of uniting Jewish groups and building partnerships with other communities to address anti-Semitism and hate. • How to sustain interest and concern beyond Pride Month and how to increase the impact of the foundation's message. • Ways to combat anti-Semitism, including demystifying the Jewish community, education, and addressing anti-Semitism with the same vigor as other forms of hate and injustice. • The issue of increasing levels of hatred and anti-Semitism in society and the need to build a society that values quality and tolerance. • The role of social media in amplifying extremist views and the importance of addressing anti-Semitism as part of a broader societal problem. Social Media / References Facebook, Instagram and TikTok Twitter Website
36:51 7/25/23
265: Writing Life's Next Chapter as Innkeepers
Guests Kevin and Sue Harter are the proud innkeepers of Rockwell’s Retreat, the former residence and studio of Norman Rockwell in Arlington, Vermont. Summary Kevin and Sue began their dream and journey of owning an inn more than 25 years ago. Life intervened, and they got busy raising a family, working, and moving around the country. In the summer of 2019, they made an impulsive visit to the Norman Rockwell property in Arlington, VT, and from the moment they drove over the covered bridge, they knew they were about to write their next chapter. By the end of 2019, they became Vermonters and renamed the property “Rockwell’s Retreat.” Our conversation focused on • what it’s like to manage such a historic property • problem-solving and navigating COVID • the importance of building relationships with the local community • the collaborative nature of inn keeping in the Manchester/Arlington area • how to provide guests with a meaningful and relaxing experience Social Media / Links Instagram Facebook Articles featuring the Inn  
43:51 7/18/23
264: Confronting the Remnants of Hate on the Path to Remembrance
The Takeaway In this episode, I trace the mental and physical journey I took recently in the Netherlands to grasp the murder of more than one hundred thousand Dutch Jews during WWII at the hands of the Nazis. I wanted to move beyond the number and get to the human beings. Physically, the journey took me to several Holocaust-related sites in Amsterdam: the old Jewish Quarter, the Anne Frank House (Annex), the old Dutch Theatre, the Dutch Holocaust Memorial, and of high interest, the sidewalks of Amsterdam. And outside Amsterdam: the Westerbork transit camp. Part of my mental journey involved moving beyond the human tendency to see Anne Frank as symbolic of all Dutch Jews who were murdered. But the larger mental issue was confronting the remnants of hate I saw and how they drove me toward hate.
20:07 7/11/23
263: How Can Higher Education Better Prepare Today's Youth for Life?
Guest Mike Magee is President of Minerva University since April 2022. Prior to joining Minerva, he was the founding CEO of Chiefs for Change, a non-profit organization supporting leaders of many of the nation’s largest and most innovative K-12 public education systems. Previously, Magee co-founded and was CEO of Rhode Island Mayoral Academies (RIMA). As CEO of RIMA, he built a statewide network of regional, racially, and economically diverse public schools while successfully advocating for sweeping changes to stat education policy. Before starting RIMA, Magee taught American literature and philosophy for a decade at Haverford College, Wheaton College, and the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2004, his book, Emancipating Pragmatism won the Elizabeth Agee Prize in American Studies. He is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and for the past several years, has moderated seminars for both the Pahara Institute and the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Magee holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s in political science and English from the College of the Holy Cross. Summary In this episode, Minerva University president Mike Magee and I explore why the school has been ranked the #1 innovative university in the U.S., which is initially evidenced by its unique invitation to apply for admission where prospective applicants are challenged to complete a puzzle. The deeper answer lies in Minerva’s approach to education and people development. Listen for how its approach encompasses global cultural immersion, active learning, interdisciplinary curriculum, project-based learning, and a commitment to developing critical thinking, problem-solving skills, ethical orientation, and diverse perspectives for successful workforce preparation — and of equal importance, the social and emotional development of its students. Links/References Mike at LinkedIn
41:06 7/4/23
262: How to Nurture the Antidote to a Fear-based Organizational Culture
My guest Renée Smith, MSOD (she/her) is the founder and CEO of A Human Workplace, a global movement and consultancy committed to making work more human. She led award-winning culture work as a state executive and served in the Governor’s Office as Director of Workplace Transformation for the State of Washington. Smith is a researcher, writer, and speaker who’s reached hundreds of audiences worldwide, making the business case for a human workplace.  Summary In Part 2 of this episode, Renée and I explored the antidote to fear in the workplace: love. Love can manifest itself in various ways in professional settings: > Leaders providing genuine care for employees by showing interest and respect and by creating an environment of belonging > Workgroups functioning like a family – team building and acknowledgment of accomplishments > Supporting individuals during personal crises. Other critical considerations for a love-based culture include > Sustainability, as new employees join the organization and the challenge of leadership turnover. > Screening job candidates for their capacity for love. > Leading with human-centered messaging. Social Links Websites (Company) LinkedIn Instagram Referenced The Amari Wave
29:43 6/29/23
261: How and Why Does Fear Show Up in the Workplace?
My guest Renée Smith, MSOD (she/her) is the founder and CEO of A Human Workplace, a global movement and consultancy committed to making work more human. She led award-winning culture work as a state executive and served in the Governor’s Office as Director of Workplace Transformation for the State of Washington. Smith is a researcher, writer, and speaker who’s reached hundreds of audiences worldwide, making the business case for a human workplace.  Summary Renée and I discussed her journey into organizational development and why she started her organization, A Human Workplace, which aims to eliminate fear in the workplace. Through her research, Renée discovered various fear stories, including > uncertainty after a change initiative, > toxic experiences through betrayal and loss of trust, and > public shaming, harassment, and discrimination. These fear experiences can originate from leaders and team members and have significant physical and emotional consequences for individuals. Fear-based cultures can also have detrimental effects on organizations, such as reduced productivity and higher turnover rates. Social Links Websites (Company) LinkedIn Instagram Referenced The Asshole Survival Guide The No Asshole Rule
33:31 6/27/23
260: What I Learned During My Summer Vacation
The Takeaway In this episode, I share thoughts about a tour I recently took in the Hurtgen Forest World War II battlefield, which sits between Belgium and Germany. The Hurtgen Forest was the site of the longest battle the U.S. Army engaged in during World War II, and it is widely considered an egregious failure of strategy and leadership. I wanted to understand why the battle was fought, what elements challenged the U.S. Army’s progress, and what lessons we could take away from a battle that incurred 30,000 to 50,000 casualties (deaths and wounded).
12:38 6/20/23
259: How Asking Questions Can Be Your Guiding Light
Guest Kirk Wallace Johnson is the author of The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast, The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century, and To Be a Friend is Fatal: the Fight to Save the Iraqis America Left Behind, which covers his efforts on behalf of Iraqi refugees as the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies. Summary Our conversations explored several important topics in Kirk’s life: • Why Kirk became passionate about supporting Iraqis who helped America during the Iraqi war gain entry into the U.S. and how that experience led to creating the “List Project” and his first book, To Be a Friend is Fatal. • How he found solace in fly fishing, which led to meeting fly fishing guide Spencer Seim and his writing of The Feather Thief, the story of a million-dollar theft of dead rare birds from the British Museum. • How a Bruce Springsteen song led Kirk to research a conflict between Vietnamese immigrants and the Ku Klux Klan along the Texas Gulf Coast and how Diane Wilson, an environmental activist, took on the corporations that were polluting the water. • Why educational restrictions on certain content stand in the way of helping youth to develop critical thinking. Links/References Kirk on “This American Life” • 499: Taking Names • 607: Didn’t We Solve This One • 654: The Feather Heist • 745: Getting Out Interview with the fly-fishing guide, Spencer Seim
54:25 6/13/23
258: How to Understand and Benefit from Meaningful Coincidences
Guest Bernard Beitman, M.D. is the first psychiatrist since Carl Jung to systematize the study of coincidences. A graduate of Yale Medical School, he did his psychiatric residency at Stanford University. The former chair of psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Columbia medical school for 17 years, he writes a blog for Psychology Today on coincidence. He is the author of Meaningful Coincidences: How and Why Synchronicity and Serendipity Matter, and the co-author of the award-winning book Learning Psychotherapy. The founder of The Coincidence Project, he lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.   Summary Our conversation explored a number of questions: • Why it is beneficial to pay attention to coincidences. • The difference between synchronicity and serendipity. • Obstacle to acting on triggers • How telepathy works. • The nature of simulpathity. • How the psycho-sphere is likely to function. • The relationship between coincidence and prayer. • How agency – free will, making personal choices – is essential when it comes to understanding and leveraging meaningful coincidence. Links/References Website: Podcast: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram: bernardbeitmanmd   Trout Unlimited video:
42:43 6/6/23
257: One Woman's Journey From Trauma to Gratitude
Guest A veteran San Francisco radio broadcaster, Joanne Greene currently hosts two podcasts -  “All the F Words”, in which two writer friends nearly 30 years apart explore issues that begin with the letter “F” and “In This Story….” Joanne’s 3-minute essays, set to music. In June 2023 she publishes By Accident: A Memoir of Letting Go, her inspiring and growth-filled memoir through and emergence from life-threatening calamities.   Summary In this episode, Joanne shares her life before and after a traumatic accident where she was hit by a truck while crossing the street. Three key discussion points emerged from our conversation. • Firstly, Joanne reflects on her fast-paced lifestyle as a means of distraction and how her parents' upbringing influenced her need to prove herself and be a provider. • Secondly, she delves into her decision to write a memoir, exploring the process of discovering its focus, the challenges of transitioning from a career in radio to writing, and the lessons she learned along the way, such as patience and controlling one's response to challenges. • Lastly, Joanne discusses the universal takeaways from her memoir, emphasizing the power of gratitude, the support of her family, and the blessings in her life.   References/Links    @JoanneRGreene on Twitter 
37:45 5/30/23
256: How to Bring Some Zen into Your Life
Guest Mark Reid is host of the “Zen Sammich” podcast and a maker of traditional handmade Japanese paper, called washi, where he lives in Yamaguchi, Japan. Before that he was an attorney, beginning his career as an Assistant District Attorney in New York. He’s also been a professor of English at three universities in Japan and a graduate teaching assistant at Florida State University in Religious Studies.   Summary In this episode, we discuss • Why Mark left the practice of law and moved to Japan to make paper. • The origins and purpose of Mark’s podcast, “Zen Sammich.” • The importance of Mark’s morning ritual. • How to calm your mind in an anxious situation. • An easy way to cultivate patience.   References/Links
35:46 5/23/23
255: How and Why to Lead with Intuition
Guest Jennifer Jane Young is an Intuitive Business & Leadership Advisor and Founder of The School of Intuitive Leadership. She helps entrepreneurs and leaders find the path of least resistance, make the biggest impact and create sustainable, aligned success through intuitive leadership. Jennifer is also the author of the forthcoming book, Say Yes to Your Yes – How to trust your gut and take the leap in business (and life) Summary The conversation explored the concept of intuitive leadership, which involves tapping into one's inner wisdom and aligning it with personal goals. Jennifer highlighted the universality of intuition and the importance of practicing it through mindful reflection. We also discussed the “School of Intuitive Leadership,” which supports individuals in taking intuitive action within a community. Jennifer shared personal experiences of embracing the unknown and growing through creativity and mindfulness. Finally, we discussed following intuitive nudges and making meaningful connections in life. References/Links 
39:54 5/16/23
254: Why Should We Invest in Space Exploration?
Dr. Alan Stern is an aerospace executive and planetary scientist with experience on 29 space mission teams, 14 of which he played a principal investigator role. Among those, he is the leader of NASA’s New Horizons, the first mission to explore Pluto and the Kuiper Belt—making the farthest exploration of worlds in history.  Summary Our conversation explored a number of questions: Why was the exploration of Pluto important? How does it remain so? What are the leadership lessons associated with the program? How can leaders encourage the identification of problems that could compromise the mission? Why is it essential to have a precise mission goal and sub-objectives? What qualities should leaders look for when hiring people? How can educators use space exploration to inspire students toward science and engineering careers? Why is the continued exploration of space critical? References/Links Instagram - chasingnewhorizons2018 Twitter - @AlanStern
36:34 5/9/23
253: How Can You Reframe Your Inner Story to Create a Healthier Reality?
Guest Valerie Gordon is a 10-time Emmy-winning television producer with over 20 years of producing and overseeing award-winning content for HBO, ESPN, CBS, and the Olympic Games. She knows what makes a story meaningful and memorable and the incredible power of stories to engage, educate and entertain. An engaging speaker with innovative programming, Valerie offers audiences and individuals the storytelling strategies to stand out, whether they want to land a job, secure a promotion, nail the presentation, close the sale, or plan their next chapter. Summary Valerie and I discuss the importance of storytelling in leadership and how to improve storytelling skills. We dive into her highly readable book FIRE YOUR NARRATOR: A Storyteller’s Guide to Getting Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, which explores the impact of our internal communications on external communications. Valerie shares her own internal voice, "Squash," and how it hindered her growth. We explore a few of the ten narrator archetypes and some strategies for reshaping personal narratives and achieving healthier perspectives. The book also combines personal stories, neuroscience, and humor to help readers improve their storytelling skills. References/Links Website: More on the book: (Available on Amazon and Connect with Valerie on LinkedIn: Follow The Storytelling Strategist on Facebook: on Instagram:
42:55 5/2/23
252: Who Owns the Land and Water and Access to Them?
Guest Hal Herring is an award-winning journalist and contributing editor at Field and Stream magazine. He is also the host of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Podcast and Blast. Summary The debate over public and private land and water in the United States has raised concerns over public access to natural resources. While large tracts of land are being bought up in the West, the major consequence is not raising real estate prices but rather a growing indifference to conservation and the environment. Politics plays a significant role in this issue, as policymakers tend to prioritize other issues, such as immigration and economic concerns. Public ignorance and indifference also contribute to this problem. There is a need for a more informed and less indifferent citizenry to address this issue, recognizing people's spiritual connection with nature's ecosystem. The three major topics discussed in this podcast conversation are: The debate over private and public land and water: The conversation delves into the issue of public access to public land and water, with a focus on the debate between private and public ownership. The Wyoming hunters' case is used as an illustration. Why environmental and conservation work is challenging: We discuss the challenges faced by environmental and conservation workers, including political lobbying, public ignorance and indifference, and the difficulty of passing conservation legislation. The spiritual connection, recognizing one’s place in nature’s ecosystem: We discussed the need for humans to recognize that they live in and are a part of the natural world – nature is not just a place they visit. This is especially important to recognize to broaden the discussion beyond what’s good for hunters and fishers. References / Links Hal’s website New York Times article Backcountry Hunters and Anglers BHA Podcast and Blast The Wilderness of Hope John Jeavons E&ENews Trout Unlimited
53:41 4/25/23
251: How Do Film Composers Help Tell a Movie's Story?
Guest Jeanine Cowen is an active media composer and educator. She is the chair and professor of practice of the Screen Scoring department at the University of Southern California. Formerly the Vice President for Curriculum and Program Innovation at Berklee, she is an experienced and skilled educator and innovator. She is an active freelance composer, music producer, and sound designer focusing primarily on the intersection of audio and visual medias, with particular interest in the burgeoning VR/AR/XR worlds and video games.Cowen's compositions have been heard throughout film, television, video games and the stage in works which include the definitive documentary The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo.   Summary The conversation revolves around the music score of "The Night Window," a scene from the World War I film "1917." (See below.) The scene focuses on Lance Cpl. Schofield as he runs through the blazing ruins of a French village, dodging bullets and night flares. The haunting score, composed by Thomas Newman, begins softly and then accelerates to contribute to the scene's emotion. The episode delves into how film composers generate a movie’s score, including discussions with the director and film editor. The importance of how film composers help tell a film’s story in films is highlighted, as they speak with notes when actors and screenwriters speak with words.   Referenced / Links The Night Window Scene
31:37 4/18/23
250: A Life-Altering Event Can Still Mean a Rich, Fulfilling Life
Guest Rick Locke was born and raised in Erie, PA.  He earned a BS in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in finance from Rutgers University. Rick’s professional career in information technology spanned 39 years.  He completed his career as Chief Information Officer at his last two companies and retired in 2014.Rick became interested in photography around 1980.  He learned the craft through photo magazines and adult education classes.  Initially, family and career demands limited his photographic endeavors to family vacations.  By the early 2000s, with more time to devote to photography, he began to pursue his passion for photography more seriously. Summary What makes Rick unique and interesting is that he is now an outstanding photographer despite the fact that he is legally blind, the result of macular degeneration. He can still see out of the corner of his eye, which he wisely named his website, "Out of the Corner of My Eye." Following the theme of episodes 246 and 247, Rick’s story is a great example of serendipity. The universe puts situations in front of us. Sometimes we see them, and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we act on them, and sometimes we don’t. Rick created luck out of what others might have seen as a tragedy. While he was blessed with support from family, friends, doctors, and technology, Rick’s personality and strength of character encouraged him to look at his challenge from a different and more positive angle. Links / References Website: Facebook:
42:46 4/11/23
249: How to Become Mentally "All in" as a Solopreneur
Guest April Vokey is a fly fishing writer, fly-tyer, and speaker. After guiding in British Columbia for ten years, she now splits her year between camp in northern BC and Australia. She is an FFF certified casting instructor, forager, bowhunter, and mother. Summary April Vokey can’t help but look at life differently. From a very early age, April loved fishing and hunting. She’s decided to shun quote-unquote more traditional work and instead start a business where she would be “all in” as a fly fishing guide, provide instructional courses, write, be a keynote speaker, and host a podcast on all things related to her interests while being a wife and mother came. Her decision came with the expected challenges, but as a female in a male-dominated industry, she faced some challenges that men doing the same work would never have to face. April is also passionate about the environment and conservation, especially now that she is raising her daughter to be a steward of the Earth. Links/References  Interview with John Dietsch
42:37 4/4/23
248: Encouraging Student Curiosity Part 3
Summary In this podcast episode, my cohost, Steve Miletto, of the “Teaching, Learning, Leading K12” podcast, and I talk with Elizabethton, TN High School teachers Daniel Proffitt, Jason Clevinger, and Patrick Roberts. Elizabethton is an XQ Super School with a mission to build a culture for learners to think and act as changemakers. This episode discusses how the school actualizes this mission at the individual student level through its curriculum, school activities, and professional development. The school advocates for student agency, giving students a voice and choice in what and how they want to learn and promotes curiosity as a core determinant of academic achievement. The episode also explores how faculty members in traditional core subjects such as Math, English, Science, and History encourage curiosity. Referenced Teaching, Learning, Leading K12 podcast XQ Super School Elizabethton High School
57:08 3/28/23