I never expected to become a podcast host. Of course, when I started my career, they didn’t exist. But even as podcasts became a thing, I never saw myself doing it.
Fast forward to today, and I am now the host of Parent. Boss. Leader. What started as a bit of a casual idea is now well into its second season! I’m excited, amazed, and a wee bit proud of what we’ve accomplished. And I do mean “we.” While I am the host, this podcast wouldn’t exist without the team that helps me prepare and produce PBL. Equally important are my guests, the wonderful people who agree to spend some of their precious time talking with me. I am so profoundly grateful to everyone!
Looking back, I’m not sure what I expected. There were certainly a few moments of terror as I leapt into the podcasting universe, but it has been an overwhelmingly amazing and positive experience. I’ve learned from my talented guests, discovered new things about myself, and overall, had a great time.
After more than a year of podcasting, here are three of the most important things I’ve learned:
Everyone Has Amazing Stories
And I do mean everyone. But it’s especially true for people who think they don’t. One of my favorite parts of the podcast experience is learning about each guest’s journey. I’m thankful so many are willing to share their experience, opinions, advice, stories about their families, what they worry about at work, how they’ve dealt with failure and disappointment in their careers, and so much more. My guests are especially open about sharing the parenting aspects of their lives—this can take quite a bit of vulnerability, which leads me to my second lesson.
Being Vulnerable is a Superpower
I was unsure how much to share at first. I was worried about branding myself as a parent, something I’ve generally been taught not to emphasize as a businesswoman. I was afraid of sharing too much. I have a quirky sense of humor that I wasn’t sure would translate well, and my first instinct was to cover it up to protect myself. But my wonderful guests led the way. As they opened up and spoke honestly, I did too, and it got easier each time. Those moments are the ones where we learn and help each other the most. Understanding that we all face similar challenges, doubts, and concerns is helpful. Learning to be more vulnerable—and to be comfortable with it—has been powerful for me. But that’s not all I’ve learned.
Every Show Teaches Me Something New
I learn something new while recording every podcast. It has literally made me a better leader, a better colleague, and maybe even a better parent! Aside from the overall benefits of speaking to so many talented, successful individuals, my conversations with my guests lead to insights and advice that I’ve applied in my own life. One of my guests explained that they hold virtual open office hours to create the opportunity for casual conversations with their team—similar to being in the office, but in a remote setting. I loved the idea and implemented it myself to great effect. Another guest told me they schedule personal time in their calendar during the day to make sure they take time to de-stress and recharge. It might be a quick walk or a chat with their children after school, but it’s officially scheduled. I loved that idea, too. Oscar Wilde said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I hope my guests agree!
I’m excited to continue my podcasting journey and look forward to interviewing great new guests. I hope you’ll tune in. If you’re thinking of launching a podcast yourself, go for it! I think you’ll like it, and, please, feel free to reach out to me for advice!