Behind the Brilliance is the go to podcast for the intellectually curious and relentlessly ambitious. The show features weekly long form interviews with innovative and culture-shaping leaders in art, culture, technology, business, lifestyle, and personal development along with Lisa's inspiring and funny advice on life, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
250 - Defying the Odds - Season 14 Recap
Lisa summarizes Season 14, Defying the Odds, with reflections on the strategies shared and helpful recaps.
240 – Dr. Andrew Newberg
241 – Cin Fabre
242 – Tyler Denk
243 – Jim Fielding
244 – Dr. Valerie Daniels-Carter
245 – Simone Stolzoff
246 – Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
247 – Andrew Barnes
248 – Jamila Souffrant
249 – Kevin Kelly
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Kevin Kelly on Living and Working at the Intersection of Passion, Purpose, and Profitability and Working at the Intersection of Passion, Purpose, and Profitability
THE SHOW Kevin Kelly is a modern creative pioneer. He was a polymath before it was cool. His career as a writer, founder, photographer, and editor extends across industries and continents. A world traveler and lifelong learner, Kevin’s ideas such as 1000 True Fans have inspired a generation of builders and artists to exercise full agency over their creative pursuits.
Kevin was on a short list of dream guests I’ve long held for Behind the Brilliance, and our conversation did not disappoint. He was candid and thoughtful as we covered a wide range of topics including career and life design, religion, decision making, unpopular opinions, and much more. This is an excellent listen for the dreamers, doers, and builders who want to hear the embodiment of integrating passion, purpose, and profit with thoughtful optimism.
Behind His Brilliance: Luck + Not caring what others think
Say hi to Kevin on X (Twitter): @kevin2kelly
THE GUEST KEVIN KELLY | AUTHOR + CO-FOUNDER, WIRED
Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first seven years. His newest book is Excellent Advice for Living, a book of 450 modern proverbs for good living. He is co-chair of The Long Now Foundation, a membership organization that champions long-term thinking and acting as a good ancestor to future generations. And he is founder of the popular Cool Tools website, which has been reviewing tools daily for 20 years. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a subscriber-supported journal of unorthodox conceptual news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. Other books by Kelly include 1) The Inevitable, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller, 2) Out of Control, his 1994 classic book on decentralized emergent systems, 3) The Silver Cord, a graphic novel about robots and angels, 4) What Technology Wants, a robust theory of technology, and 5) Vanishing Asia, his 50-year project to photograph the disappearing cultures of Asia. He is best known for his radical optimism about the future.
TOPICS COVERED -the decision making framework Kevin developed over 5 decades of his career
-the inception and growth of WIRED
-why pursuing a range of interests can be more valuable than specializations (with important caveats)
-Kevin’s religious conversion and how it changed his life
-important reflections on leveraging and time management
-how a trip to Asia changed Kevin’s life
And much more!
248 Jamila Souffrant on Redefining and Achieving Financial Freedom
Jamila Souffrant’s expertise in personal finance is informed by her own experience turning financial uncertainty into financial freedom. She and her husband saved $169,000 in 2 years and redefined their future with smart money decisions. Now she’s guiding people from diverse backgrounds to more fulfilled lives through her personal finance podcast, Journey to Launch, and her new book, Your Journey to Financial Freedom.
Jamila’s work has been featured in Money Magazine, CNBC, and more. The Journey To Launch Podcast was listed by the NYTimes as a podcast to help you get better with your money.
We covered a wide range of topics at the intersection of lifestyle and personal finance including creating financial independence, decoupling time and money, how to approaching spending vs saving vs earning, the specific mindset work that’s critical to the personal finance journey and much more. We touched on FIRE which stands for Financial Independence Retire Early which is a movement that targets building a nest egg and retiring to do what you’d prefer to do with your time whether that’s work that earns less, more time with family, or something else.
This episode is penultimate installment of our season long discussions around integrating work and life. Money is obviously a hufge part of that so this conversation helps to frame up our motivations for how much we work, what we work on, and what we do with our earnings.
JAMILA SOUFFRANT | PERSONAL FINANCE EXPERT + AUTHOR
Jamila Souffrant is the author of Your Journey To Financial Freedom: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving Wealth and Happiness ((Hanover Square Press December 5, 2023) shares and the host of the Journey To Launch podcast. She is a go-to thought leader in the personal finance field and her work has been featured in BuzzFeed, ESSENCE, Refinery 29, Money Magazine, CNBC, CBS, Business Insider and more. The Journey To Launch Podcast has over 4+ million total downloads and was listed by the NYTimes as a podcast to help you get better with your money. Jamila and her husband saved $169,000 in two years. They live in Brooklyn, NY with their three children.
-the difference between financial independence and financial freedom and why it matters
-redefining luxury in non-monetary terms
-the necessity of simplicity on the journey to financial freedom
-age, regret, and keeping the journey in context
-how to create an effective spending plan
-Jamila’s hardest money lesson learned
-finding the balance between productivity and punishment
And much more!
247 Andrew Barnes on why (and how) a 4 Day Work Week is the secret to success at work
A dynamic and growing group of companies and organizations are moving to a 4 day work week. Andrew Barnes is the pioneer behind this movement. It all started with an experiment to see what would happen if his team worked 4 days instead of 5. The results were so breathtaking that he never looked back. Now there's an entire organization - including research, a book, and tools - dedicated to making the work world more efficient.
Through his company – New Zealand's largest corporate trustee company, Perpetual Guardian – Andrew announced a 4 day week trial, with staff receiving an extra day off work, on full pay, each week. The trial was an undeniable success, sparking widespread international interest and winning a number of global awards.
Today, Barnes is considered the pioneer and architect of the global 4 day week movement. As co-founder of 4 Day Week Global with his partner, Charlotte Lockhart, they are conducting the largest ever trials, currently taking place across the UK, US, Canada, South Africa, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. More than 250 companies around the world with over 100,000 staff are taking part in the trials to change their workplaces combined with a global research programme involving academics from leading universities.
Continuing our season long thread on creating work/life integration, this conversation is an excellent primer for both employers and employees on creating a 4 Day Work Week.
Andrew is the literal pioneer of this movement so I invited him to BTB to discuss how it was born, the concerns many leaders have, why the movement has picked up steam, and how you – whether you’re a leader or a team member – can use these ideas to create a more sustainable and effective approach to work.
We spent a lot of time at the top of this conversation exploring Andrew’s background because I think that context is important once he starts discussing the 4 Day Work Week. That said, if you want to skip to the topical portion, it begins around minute 25.
Behind His Brilliance: Finding opportunity anywhere
Say hi to Andrew on X/Twitter @andrewhbarnes
TOPICS COVERED -how Andrew built a career as an international entrepreneur
-Andrew’s reflections on betting on himself (and why you should too)
-the keys to navigating organizational change
-how and why the 4 Day Work Week became a thing
-the art and science of designing down time
-the counterintuitive ways less work powers more efficiency
-how to save your company from meeting culture
-how to trial a 4 day week in your organization
-addressing employee concerns about the 4 day week
-the 4 day week’s impact on wage expectations (spoiler: workers value their time!)
-the legislative activity around a 4 day work week
And much more!
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsbord on the Science of Effective Problem Solving
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg is the author of ‘What’s Your Problem?’ which was released by Harvard Business Press. He is also the co-author (with Paddy Miller) of Innovation as Usual, a Harvard Business Review Press book on the art of driving innovation in regular organizations.
Thomas has worked with managers in nearly all parts of the globe, including China, India, Russia, Singapore, Britain, France and his native country, Denmark. His research has been featured in Harvard Business Review, The Economist, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, BBC Radio, Bloomberg Businessweek and the Financial Times. His work on innovation led HR Magazine to recognize him as a “Top 20 International Thinker”.
This conversation is a continuation of a string of conversations about work and creating more effective life/work integration. I’m leaning in on this topic because most of us have experienced periods of persistent angst around work, frustration with recurring work problems, and difficulty managing work relationships. This series of episodes delivers practical advice that you can use right away to be more effective and derive more satisfaction from work.
This episode deep dives on problem solving which in my opinion is a universally useful skill to develop. As Thomas points out, most of us aren’t thinking about problems the right way – something he calls framing – which prevents us from being able to effectively talk about and solve problems. This is a winding conversation filled with useful insight on professional and personal problem solving so It’s worth taking notes.
Behind His Brilliance: Curiosity and seeking the odd things
Say hi to Thomas on X/Twitter @thomaswedell
Simone Stolzoff on the better ways to integrate work, life, and identity for more success and satisfaction
THE SHOW Simone Stolzoff is a designer, and workplace expert who is the former design lead at the global innovation firm IDEO. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many other publications. He’s the author of The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work.
This conversation is, in my opinion, among the most important in the history of the show. It’s not particularly dramatic, but it’s hard for me to overstate the importance of the ideas and practical applications we discussed around life design, work, the relationship between to work and identity, and why carefully curating these things instead of letting them happen is an absolute must if you want to create more meaning and satisfaction at the intersection of your work and life.
We covered a wide range of things including the Western tendency toward work as a status symbol, how to make a career pivot, questions to consider when reflecting on the context of your career in your life, how to recover from an achievement hangover, the joys and perils of being self-employed, and much more. No matter what your career or employment status is, there’s something for you in this conversation. It’s especially timely as we all start thinking about a new year and what we might want to change where our careers are concerned.
Behind His Brilliance: Amazing people who share their stories
Say hi to Simone on X/Twitter @simonestolzoff
THE GUEST SIMONE STOLZOFF | AUTHOR, THE GOOD ENOUGH JOB
Simone Stolzoff is a designer, and workplace expert who is the former design lead at the global innovation firm IDEO. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and many other publications. He’s the author of The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life from Work.
TOPICS COVERED The problem with tying personal identity to work
How to diversify your identity outside of work
How to stop chasing status at work (and what to do instead)
Rethinking designing life around work
How to avoid achievement hangovers
Simone’s advice on pivoting and taking risks
The gift and challenge of being self-employed
How to create structural protection against overwork
And much more!
This show inspires me on so many levels. I am so glad I found it.