80 episodes

The Art of Excellence is an in-depth interview-style podcast about people who have accomplished great things in their lives. The goal of the show is to deliver inspiring stories from ultra-successful entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, authors, thought leaders and anyone doing something extraordinary. We will explore the backgrounds, talent, work ethic, sacrifices, mental outlook and serendipity that led to their success.

The Art of Excellence Glenn Zweig

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 50 Ratings

The Art of Excellence is an in-depth interview-style podcast about people who have accomplished great things in their lives. The goal of the show is to deliver inspiring stories from ultra-successful entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, authors, thought leaders and anyone doing something extraordinary. We will explore the backgrounds, talent, work ethic, sacrifices, mental outlook and serendipity that led to their success.

    Eileen Collins: First female pilot and commander of a Space Shuttle

    Eileen Collins: First female pilot and commander of a Space Shuttle

    Eileen Collins is a retired NASA astronaut and United States Air Force colonel. She was the first female pilot and first female commander of a Space Shuttle. Eileen has been recognized by Encyclopædia Britannica as one of the top 300 women in history who have changed the world.  She has been inducted into the National Women's Hall Of Fame and the United States Astronaut Hall of Fame.  Her new book is called Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Her father was an alcoholic and her mother was institutionalized but she didn’t let anything from her childhood define her for the rest of her life. She never shared her dream of becoming an astronaut with anyone until she got accepted into the astronaut training program. She didn’t feel anyone would be supportive.  It takes a tremendous amount of focus and discipline to fly a jet but she wasn’t always wired that way. These are skills that can be learned. When she gets nervous, to calm herself down, she would envision herself not as Eileen Collins but as the Commander of a spaceship. To be a good leader, you have to learn to listen to others and to be humble when you listen to them. People won’t respect you as a leader if you’re telling others what to do all the time. An investigation into the Space Shuttle Columbia accident revealed that a big contributing factor was NASA’s culture. People weren’t listening.  People assigned to safety were being intimated and weren’t speaking up.  And they weren’t thinking creatively.  “Excellence is about knowledge, communicating openly and having high integrity.”  
    Show Notes
    Book: Through the Glass Ceiling to the Stars: The Story of the First American Woman to Command a Space Mission

    • 49 min
    Katharine Hayhoe: Climate scientist and chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy

    Katharine Hayhoe: Climate scientist and chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy

    Katharine Hayhoe is a climate scientist and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy.  She is also the Endowed Professor in Public Policy and Public Law and Paul W. Horn Distinguished Professor at Texas Tech University. She has been named a United Nations Champion of the Earth and one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.  She holds a PhD in atmospheric science from the University of Illinois.  Her latest book is titled: Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    We would need only a square area of 120 miles by 120 miles covered with present day solar panels to supply the entire United States with electricity. We could cut carbon emissions in half through efficiency alone. “Our planet has a fever caused by our lifestyle choices since the dawn of the industrial revolution. If we don’t change our habits at a systemic level, the consequences for humanity will be enormous.” Climate change is not just an environmental issue but a serious health issue. Air pollution from fossil fuels is responsible for nearly 9 million premature death every year. Climate change disproportionally effects the poorest and most vulnerable and most marginalized people. “Excellence is your own standard of doing everything you can toward the goal that you’ve set.”  
    Show Notes
    Book: Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World
    Personal Website: Katharine Hayhoe
    Project DRAWDOWN

    • 52 min
    Maya Gabeira – Big wave surfing legend

    Maya Gabeira – Big wave surfing legend

    Maya Gabeira is a Brazilian big wave surfer. She is most known for having surfed a 73.5 ft high wave in Nazaré, Portugal in February 2020, recorded by Guinness World Records as the biggest wave ever surfed by a female.  It was also the biggest wave surfed by anyone that year.  She has received numerous accolades including the ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete and is considered one of the best female surfers in the world as well as one of the most influential female surfers of all time.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Both parents were well known in Brazil so she felt the need to leave the country at a young age to do something on her own terms and to find something that would be true to herself. She suffered severe asthma as a child which made her feel weak and vulnerable but as she grew older, she learned how to turn that weakness into a strength. “Surfing picks you up and also beats you down. It gives you everything but also takes everything out of you.” You have to train on strengthening your lungs so you’re able to hold your breath for extended periods. Maya is able to hold her breadth for up to 4 minutes. While there were plenty of women competing in small wave surfing, Maya was one of the first women to break into the dangerous sport of big wave surfing. She barely survived a near-fatal accident while surfing at Nazaré when a 160 ton wave collapsed on her and she lost consciousness in the water. She had to endure years of intense pain and rehab following three spine surgeries along with dealing with debilitating anxiety disorder to be in a position to surf again. She ended up setting two Guinness world records for big wave surfing.  “Excellence is not about perfection. Perfection doesn’t exist. Excellence is the greatest you can be.”

    • 52 min
    Howard Shore: Academy Award-winning composer

    Howard Shore: Academy Award-winning composer

    Howard Shore is a musical composer and has won three Academy Awards for his score to The Lord of the Rings as well as four Grammys and three Golden Globes. He has scored over 90 films and collaborated with many well known directors including Peter Jackson, Martin Scorsese, David Cronenberg, and Tim Burton.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    He was in a jazz fusion band called Lighthouse and opened for Jimi Hendrix while touring with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. He was the first musical director for Saturday Night Live. When he was starting out, he went to the library and studied other scores to learn how to write music for the movies. He has wide range as a composer scoring thrillers like Silence of the Lambs, comedies like Big and Mrs. Doubtfire, dramas such as Philadelphia and The Aviator, and fantasy films, most notably The Lord of the Rings. “You’re trying to take the audience to the world. You want to transport the person and they may not be aware of how they got there and what’s happening to them.” He used to review Mozart’s symphonies in the morning before he would compose to tune his brain up and try to emulate that level of quality. The key to creating music is to not overanalyze but to keep writing and writing and figure out later how to revise and winnow it down to what you really want. “Excellence is respecting the art of the world that you’re working in.”

    • 51 min
    Erin Brockovich: Consumer advocate and environmental activist

    Erin Brockovich: Consumer advocate and environmental activist

    Erin Brockovich is the president of Brockovich Research and Consulting and the founder of the Erin Brockovich Foundation which educates and empowers communities in their fight for clean water. She was the driving force behind the largest medical settlement lawsuit in United States history.  She has a newsletter called The Brockovich Report and her latest book is titled: Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We The People Can Do About It.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Her mother taught her not to let other’s ideas or perceptions of who she was be hers. “Don’t be afraid to grab something even if you don’t know where you’re going because when you do, you’ll find your way.” The $333 million settlement awarded to the Hinkley plaintiffs was the largest sum in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history. According to a 2016 report by the Environmental Working Group, two thirds of Americans are drinking water contaminated with potentially unsafe levels of chromium-6. “Often times we think something’s standing in our way when the only obstacle is ourselves.” It’s important to know what you stand for, knowing your “why”. Erin’s is the following: “I am an advocate for awareness, the truth, and a person’s right to know. I believe that in the absence of the truth, all of us stand helpless to defend ourselves, our families, and our health, which is the greatest gift we have.” “Excellence is when we become the best we can be and it pulls out the best in others and we pull out the best in ourselves.”  
    Show Notes
    Book: Superman's Not Coming: Out National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It
    Newsletter: The Brockovich Report 
    Health data collection website: Community Healthbook
    Personal website: Erin Brockovich

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Ed Stafford: Extreme adventurer, explorer, and reality TV competitor

    Ed Stafford: Extreme adventurer, explorer, and reality TV competitor

    Ed Stafford is a British explorer.  He holds the Guinness World Record for being the first person to walk the length of the Amazon River. He has been one of the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year and was also the European Adventurer of the Year.  He has written multiple books on his quests and now hosts an adventure reality show on the Discovery Channel called Ed Stafford: First Man Out.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    His insecurity as an adopted child drove his ambition. He had to adapt his behavior in order to make people like him and prove his worth. He set the Guinness record for being the first person to hike the length of the Amazon. It took him 2 years, 4 months, and 8 days to complete the 4,345 mile trek.  “Imagine the thickest of bramble bushes, knotted with razor-sharp vines and spiky palms. Then imagine sinking the whole thing in a swimming pool full of muddy water and having to make your way through that swimming pool using just your 18 inch machete.” “I would start the day positive and upbeat and as each negative experience cropped up, I would set myself the challenge of laughing at it and not allowing it to bring me down. Each time I succeeded, I would give myself a pat on the back and it boosted my morale further to think I was gaining control over the way I reacted to external influences.” “I find myself in the pleasant position of being calmer and happier with the world about me. My confidence now comes from within rather than from the opinions of others. I now know who I am and what I am capable of.” “Excellence is always trying to become the best version of yourself.”  
    Links
    TV Show: Ed Stafford: First Man Out
    Books:
    Walking the Amazon
    Naked and Marooned
    Ed Stafford's Ultimate Adventure Guide   
    Personal Site: Ed Stafford 

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

Elena Eowyn ,

Excellent podcast

Excellent podcast, great content and crisp interviews. Very dense and thoughtful. Thank you Glenn!

Chappler ,

Great content and guests

Wow - just listened to the Erin Brockovich episode! Such an inspiring lady who continues to do great wirk. As and added bonus, I was taken by her story of her relationship with her father and mother! Glenn’s approach and his guests are perfect. I like the no frills, straight to point content / contributors and guests that Glenn brings to the show. Absolutely worth your time. Rob

Leader Maker ,

Insightful interviews of world class experts

Glenn has an insatiable curiosity and does an excellent job getting experts on the show and getting the best insights out of them.

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