122 episodes

Discover the best bits of the best books read by people you admire. Michael Bungay Stanier hosts the podcast where brilliant people read the best two pages of a favourite book. Listen as authors, leaders, activists, academics, celebrities, and entrepreneurs dig in with MBS to explore the insights and ideas within. Whether it’s books that inspire leadership, change, self-development and growth, power, strategy, ambition, productivity, or creativity and innovation - this is hand-curated wisdom from people who know. These are the books that change minds, shape lives, and inspire great work and worthy goals.

2 Pages with MBS Michael Bungay Stanier

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 25 Ratings

Discover the best bits of the best books read by people you admire. Michael Bungay Stanier hosts the podcast where brilliant people read the best two pages of a favourite book. Listen as authors, leaders, activists, academics, celebrities, and entrepreneurs dig in with MBS to explore the insights and ideas within. Whether it’s books that inspire leadership, change, self-development and growth, power, strategy, ambition, productivity, or creativity and innovation - this is hand-curated wisdom from people who know. These are the books that change minds, shape lives, and inspire great work and worthy goals.

    Wrestling with Your Monsters: Richard Winters, author of ‘You’re the Leader,’ [reads] ‘The Heart Aroused’

    Wrestling with Your Monsters: Richard Winters, author of ‘You’re the Leader,’ [reads] ‘The Heart Aroused’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    Atul Gawande is a top-notch surgeon, a champion for healthcare reform in the U.S., and an outstanding author. One of his books, The Checklist Manifesto, discusses the power of using a checklist to create better outcomes in hospitals–specifically to stop unnecessary deaths during surgery. It was fascinating to learn about the resistance, from surgeons in particular, to this seemingly minor change. I, for one, love wrestling with how to make people in systems change, but it appears that trying to make changes in healthcare is one of the stickiest challenges of them all. 

    Richard Winters M.D. is a practicing emergency physician at the Mayo Clinic, but also the director of leadership development for the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a healthcare executive coach, and–like Atul Gawande–an author. His new book is You’re the Leader. Now What? Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ 

    Richard reads two pages from ‘The Heart Aroused’ by David Whyte. [reading begins at 17:05]  

    Hear us discuss: 
    “Leaders are not individuals who create followers, but rather those who create other leaders.” [8:24] | Identifying and integrating the fears that may be limiting us: “When you shine a light on these monsters, you begin to see that they are sometimes not so real.” [21:09] | Finding the balance between changing yourself and trying to change the system. [29:39] | What organizational culture truly means. [32:07] | “The process of writing is a process of reflection.” [34:25]

    • 39 min
    How to be Alive: Madeleine Dore, Author of ‘I Didn’t Do the Thing Today’ [reads] ‘Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life’

    How to be Alive: Madeleine Dore, Author of ‘I Didn’t Do the Thing Today’ [reads] ‘Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    I still remember reading my first Nicholson Baker book, The Mezzanine. This extraordinary book slows down the pace of life to one where all the details are able to be noticed. For someone like me–a little bit in my head and moving too fast–reading the book resembles bullet time from The Matrix movies, only with the detritus of everyday living zipping past, instead. 

    Madeleine Dore reminds me of myself; both a great author and a great asker of questions, though they differ a bit from mine. She’s made a career out of asking obvious questions to important people, with all of the answers she’s received ending up in her best-selling book I Didn’t Do the Thing Today: Letting Go of Productivity Guilt.  Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ 

    Madeleine reads two pages from ‘Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life,’ by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. [reading begins at 12:12] 

    Hear us discuss: 
    Making more generous assumptions. [16:24] | The relationship between playfulness and routine. [17:15] | Knowing what’s essential vs transitory about yourself: “It takes a long time to become who you are.” [20:12] | “Things are just experiments and projects—we’re not tied to anything forever.” [25:28] | The complexity of awaiting your next project. [26:35]

    • 34 min
    Your Hero-Making Brain: Will Storr, author of ‘The Status Game’, [reads] ‘Incognito’

    Your Hero-Making Brain: Will Storr, author of ‘The Status Game’, [reads] ‘Incognito’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    I’m working on a new book about how to strengthen working relationships, so I’ve been consuming a lot of content around the subject. I can divide the teachers I’ve been learning from into two different camps. First are the mechanics; the people laying out what to do. They’re okay, but I prefer the storytellers; the people who realize that stories, not rules, are what change people. It is both an extraordinary and a learnable thing to know how to tell a good story. 

    Will Storr is a storyteller, and the award-winning author of 6 critically acclaimed books including Selfie, The Science of Storytelling, and most recently, The Status Game. The Times called him, “One of our best journalists of ideas.” Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ 

    Will reads two pages from ‘Incognito’ by David Eagleman. [reading begins at 11:58] 

    Hear us discuss: 
    “You’re not living a story, you’re playing a game.” [5:37] | The danger of writing yourself as the hero: “You’ve got to accept that you might be wrong about things.”  [16:47] | The positives of the hero-making brain: “I would argue that a certain amount of comforting delusion is good.” [21:05] | How to manage your status: “Status isn’t about being rich or famous, it’s about feeling like you have value.” [23:59] | The connection between the ‘I’ and the ‘we.’ [29:36]

    • 35 min
    Explore or Expire: Tom Wiese [reads] ‘I’m Scarred’ from ‘End Malaria’

    Explore or Expire: Tom Wiese [reads] ‘I’m Scarred’ from ‘End Malaria’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    I am a charming man. It’s an optimistic view of who I am. But like everyone else, I also have my faults. This means that one of the great gifts of my life are the people who are on my side but aren’t likely to fall for my whole schtick. Do you have people who, in the nicest possible way, hold you to be the very best person you can be? 

    Tom Wiese is the co-founder of Studio/E, and he’s spent the past few decades designing tools and teaching people how to explore, launch, and navigate their lives and businesses. 

    Tom reads an essay written by Michael from the book ‘End Malaria.’ [reading begins at 14:05] 

    Hear us discuss: 
    How a scar became a source of strength. [19:02] | Gaining the courage to recognise your scars. [22:07] | The myths of leadership: “Self-leadership is creating a vision that you desire for your life, then holding yourself accountable to it.” [24:45] | “When you’re in the unknown, you don’t know what’s going on unless you take some action.” [29:34] | Finding the balance between courage and safety. [31:34] | Knowing when to stop exploring and start making use of your discoveries: “Exploring alone is really hard; you need to have support.” [35:06]

    • 40 min
    The Power of The Underdog: Bobby Herrera [reads] ‘The Gift of Struggle’

    The Power of The Underdog: Bobby Herrera [reads] ‘The Gift of Struggle’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    Bobby Herrera, author of The Gift of Struggle, is the co-founder and CEO of Populus Group. He is also a proud U.S Army Veteran, an unwavering champion for the underdog, and, most importantly, an all-pro dad to three amazing kids. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/ 

    Bobby reads two pages from his book, ‘The Gift of Struggle.’ [reading begins at 5:47] 

    Hear us discuss: 
    Being an underdog, but not disempowered: “One of the most important questions we can ask ourselves in leadership is, ‘Who am I becoming?’ and staying on that journey–imperfectly, but consistently.” [2:33] | How intimidating struggle can be when coupled with inexperience: “We all have a PhD in struggle.” [8:25] | “The long way is the shortcut.” [14:54] | Renewing the commitment to struggle: “Asking for help is a sign of strength.” [15:30]

    • 19 min
    A Beginner’s Guide to Ambiguity: Andrea Small, author of ‘Navigating Ambiguity,’ [reads] ‘The Book of Eels’

    A Beginner’s Guide to Ambiguity: Andrea Small, author of ‘Navigating Ambiguity,’ [reads] ‘The Book of Eels’

    Recommend this show by sharing the link: pod.link/2Pages

    I’m writing a new book that’s due for release in the middle of 2023, and I was just sitting at a coffee shop reading my editor’s response to the first draft. She’s been reviewing it for about three weeks, and those three weeks have been nerve wracking. I’ve released something into the world but not yet grasped what’s next. Anything is possible right now. In other words, I’m sitting with the ambiguity of it all and trying not to freak out. 

    You know how sometimes products just seem perfect for the task at hand? The reimagination that goes into creating them is the work of a product designer, and those individuals are taught by people like Andrea Small. She started out studying architecture and metalsmithing at Miami University, but later moved into product design after it was recommended to her. Andrea now teaches strategy and design research at the Stanford d.school, where people use design to develop their own creative potential. Get‌ ‌book‌ ‌links‌ ‌and‌ ‌resources‌ ‌at‌ https://www.mbs.works/2-pages-podcast/  

    Andrea reads two pages from ‘The Book of Eels’ by Patrik Svensson. [reading begins at 16:15] 

    Hear us discuss: 
    “Being open to anything is both good and bad.” [6:57] | How to release control when navigating ambiguity. [7:53] | Is ambiguity truly synonymous with uncertainty? [21:33] | Learning to sit with the discomfort of ambiguity: “It’s physically active to navigate ambiguity–that’s why it seems so exhausting.” [23:19] | The relationship between ambiguity and individuality. [30:54] | “There is no perfect solution to navigating ambiguity.” [40:26]

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

sassygirl10 ,

A source

Wisdom and inspiration abound

Monkeybalz ,

This podcast will change your life.

Michael’s way of looking at the world has improved my business and my life. Let him enhance yours too.

Qby4 ,

Insightful and relatable

Michael provides a space for guests to share what moves them and to share their insights. The conversations help me make connections to my own thinking and help me think how it relates to my work. Thank you!

You Might Also Like

Apostrophe Podcast Network
Apostrophe Podcast Network
CBC Radio
CBC Radio
CBC Radio
CBC Radio