32 episodes

The Serve to Lead podcast focuses on today’s extraordinary leadership opportunities in business, government, and politics. In a time of intense polarization, this includes advancing our shared American identity and narrative. James Strock is an independent writer, speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, and reformer. His most recent book is 'Serve to Lead 2.0: 21st Century Leaders Manual.' Strock writes ‘The Next Nationalism’ at Substack.

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Serve to Lead James Strock

    • News
    • 4.8 • 18 Ratings

The Serve to Lead podcast focuses on today’s extraordinary leadership opportunities in business, government, and politics. In a time of intense polarization, this includes advancing our shared American identity and narrative. James Strock is an independent writer, speaker, entrepreneur, lawyer, and reformer. His most recent book is 'Serve to Lead 2.0: 21st Century Leaders Manual.' Strock writes ‘The Next Nationalism’ at Substack.

jamesstrock.substack.com

    Meenakshi Ahamed | Podcast

    Meenakshi Ahamed | Podcast

    The India-US relationship is one of the most significant and fascinating among great nations. In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, historian and journalist Meenakshi Ahamed discusses her new book, A Matter of Trust: India-US Relations From Truman to Trump.

    Ahamed combines analytical rigor with a storyteller’s gift for narrative. The book has garnered critical acclaim, and is a finalist for the prestigious Arthur Ross Award of the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Seventy years of India-US relations has shown that despite the two countries being democracies, not only are they far apart culturally but the intersection of their critical interests is relatively modest. Therefore, the only time when the relationship has developed any real momentum is when one of the leaders has been willing to make a leap of faith.

    —Meenakshi Ahamed

    India’s world role continues to evolve amid the kaleidoscopic changes underway with the rise of China and other challenges to the so-called liberal international order that has prevailed since the end of the Second World War. Ahamed illuminates current issues—such as India’s decision not to join the United States in support Ukraine’s struggle against Russian aggression in 2022—through her understanding of India’s history of non-alignment during the twentieth-century Cold War. She also has a keen understanding of the unique contributions of Indian-Americans in US business, which may continue to pull our nations ever closer in the decades ahead.

    Critical Acclaim

    'Meenakshi Ahamed has brought us a brilliant, important, sparkling and definitive study of a part of American history that is growing more crucial by the day. A Matter of Trust is essential reading at a moment when the United States and India are all the more central to each other, and when valiant democracies around the world are in danger.'
    —Michael Beschloss, New York Times bestselling author and NBC News Presidential Historian

    'Meenakshi Ahamed has given us an authentic, thoughtful and accessible account of a relationship characterized by paradox and progress. She tells the tale of the highs and lows of that relationship in all its drama, with strong and idiosyncratic personalities on both sides. Today's transformed India-US relations could determine the future not only of one-fifth of humanity but of the Asian Century. This is a book with a serious message—one to read and savor.'
    —Shivshankar Menon, Former National Security Advisor, Ambassador to China and Foreign Secretary

    'In this world of growing great power competition, the Indian-American relationship has become one of central, strategic importance to the two nations. In her history of the relationship, Meena Ahamed has given us a timely, lively and captivating account of the road India and the United States have travelled and a compelling insight into what lies ahead.'
    —Frank G. Wisner, Former United States Ambassador to India

    'Meenakshi Ahamed's labor of love is a real tour de force covering the long tortuous history of the often-troubled relationship of the world's two largest democracies since India's independence. The book is at once scholarly, deeply researched and yet down to earth. It brings to life the prickly personalities on both sides, and their sensitivities, that often bedeviled the evolving bilateral relationship. As a new era of competitive geopolitics pits West versus East, what lies ahead for this unusual relationship? To prepare ourselves this book is a must-read.'
    —Dr Rakesh Mohan, Former Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India

    About the Author

    Meenakshi Narula Ahamed was born in 1954 in Calcutta, India. After finishing school in India, she obtained an MA from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 1978. She has had a varied career as a journalist and prior to that as a development consultant. She has worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C. as well as for the Ashoka Society. In 1989, sh

    • 47 min
    John Halpin | Podcast

    John Halpin | Podcast

    Nationalism has become a word of opprobrium among many in polite society. It’s often associated with right-wing populists or authoritarians—with a provenance stirring unsettling memories of Hitler, Mussolini and other fascist dictators of the twenty-century, interwar period.

    Even the more anodyne formulation, patriot has become fraught in today’s hyper-partisan moment.

    John Halpin, co-editor of The Liberal Patriot, is working to expand our visions of these notions. He argues for the possibility of a center-left, liberal-leaning national identity. He offers the model of Franklin Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms.

    In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, Halpin discusses his thinking and writing on patriotism, nationalism—and how Americans can overcome our polarized politics.

    The Next Nationalism is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support the work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    About John Halpin

    John Halpin is a renowned expert on campaigns and elections, political ideology, and public opinion analysis.

    His popular Substack newsletter, The Liberal Patriot, declares its mission:

    a new site, newsletter, and community for political analysis and debate on elections, public opinion, policy, and ideology by co-editors John Halpin, Ruy Teixeira, Peter Juul, and Brian Katulis.

    Over a 20-year career in the fields of public opinion and election analysis, Halpin has written extensively on voter attitudes about domestic and foreign policy with research featured in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Boston Globe, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The American Prospect, and The Atlantic. He is the co-author with John Podesta of The Power of Progress: How America’s Progressives Can (Once Again) Save Our Economy, Our Climate, and Our Country, a 2008 book about the history and future of the progressive movement.

    Halpin received his undergraduate degree in government from Georgetown University and his M.A. in political science from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two children.

    Please note that the Serve to Lead Podcast has recently moved to Substack (and continues to repopulate in updated settings). It can be accessed in the usual formats, including:

    Apple Podcasts | Amazon Audible | Amazon Music | Google Podcasts | iHeart | Spotify | Stitcher | Podchaser | TuneIn 

    Image Credit: John Halpin

    Get full access to The Next Nationalism at jamesstrock.substack.com/subscribe

    • 47 min
    Theodore R Johnson | Podcast

    Theodore R Johnson | Podcast

    Johnson posits that a blueprint for national solidarity can be found in the exceptional citizenship long practiced in Black America.

    “Racism is an existential threat to America,” Theodore R. Johnson declares at the start of his profound and exhilarating book, When the Stars Begin to Fall. It is a refutation of the American Promise enshrined in our Constitution that that all men and women are inherently equal. And yet racism continues to corrode our society. If we cannot overcome it, Johnson argues, while the United States will remain a geopolitical entity, the promise that made America unique on Earth will have died.

    In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, Johnson discusses his timely, readable, and provocative book, which will be released in paperback in June 2022.

    When the Stars Begin to Fall makes a compelling, ambitious case for a pathway to the national solidarity necessary to mitigate racism. Weaving memories of his own and his family's multi-generational experiences with racism, alongside strands of history, into his elegant narrative, Johnson posits that a blueprint for national solidarity can be found in the exceptional citizenship long practiced in Black America. Understanding that racism is a structural crime of the state, he argues that overcoming it requires us to recognize that a color-conscious society--not a color-blind one--is the true fulfillment of the American Promise.

    Fueled by Johnson's ultimate faith in the American project, grounded in his family's longstanding optimism and his own military service, When the Stars Begin to Fall is an urgent call to undertake the process of overcoming what has long seemed intractable.

    Representative Reviews

    The Washington Post:

    An earnestly conceived road map for how America can achieve racial justice following centuries of white supremacy . . . A virtue of the book is his use of personal narrative to illustrate analytical points . . . Johnson writes with lyrical clarity, delivering tales that are by turns heartwarming and heartbreaking.

    Publishers Weekly:

    A passionate and persuasive exhortation to build a ‘multiracial national solidarity to confront the race problem [in America] head-on’ . . . Heartfelt and vividly written, this is a salient call for America to finally live up to its promise.

    Raleigh News & Observer:

    You can also be a patriot and still embrace the fullness of American history. Johnson believes one of the keys to realizing our country’s founding vision—the radical idea that all men are created equal, and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights—is understanding how our governing institutions have been warped by a long history of racial division. His new book, When the Stars Begin to Fall, is a call for reforming those institutions, for tackling systemic racism as an urgent threat to the core promise of our country.

    About the Author

    Dr. Theodore R Johnson is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Fellows Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law, where he undertakes research on race, politics, and American identity.

    Prior to joining the Brennan Center, he was a National Fellow at New America, and a Commander in the United States Navy, serving for twenty years in a variety of positions, including as a White House Fellow in the first Obama administration and as speechwriter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    His work on race relations has appeared in prominent national publications across the political spectrum, including the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and National Review, among others.

    Please note that the Serve to Lead Podcast has recently moved to Substack (and continues to repopulate in updated settings). It can be accessed in the usual formats, including:

    Apple Podcasts | Amazon Audible | Amazon Music | Google Podcasts | iHeart | Spotify | Stitcher | Podchaser | Podnews | TuneIn 

    Image Credits: theodor

    • 48 min
    Susan Berfield | Podcast

    Susan Berfield | Podcast

    A riveting narrative of Wall Street buccaneering, political intrigue, and two of American history’s most colossal characters, struggling for mastery in an era of social upheaval and rampant inequality.

    At the turn of a new century, the United States is in transition. Its financial and economic systems are being disrupted, amid cultural turmoil and political division. The periodic emergence of oligarchic power in the American political economy is occurring yet again.

    Such sentiments were front-and-center at the turn of the twentieth century, as they are today.

    In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, journalist and author Susan Berfield shares the history and outlines the lessons from her highly readable, well-received book, The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism. It will be released in paperback in May 2022.

    Berfield brings history to life through her focus on two titanic personalities: President Theodore Roosevelt and financier J.P. Morgan. The interaction of their lives and work illuminates significant trends and challenges that remain familiar and have acquired renewed urgency.

    Representative Reviews

    The Washington Post:

    Wonderfully detailed . . . [Berfield’s] story is about the past but also very much about the present, as our own Gilded Age raises old questions about inequality, plutocracy and what Roosevelt once called ‘that most dangerous of all classes, the wealthy criminal class’ . . . The book may make you both sad and mad, because it serves as a poignant, painful reminder of what a real leader does.

    The New York Journal of Books:

    A tale of greed, power, and accountability, an epic story of a clash of titans, one a political dynamo, the other unparalleled in business savvy. Out of their struggle, a new nation emerged, one that could flex its muscles and cause private enterprise to shudder, instead of the other way around as it had been before. . . Today, as the United States barrels its way into the 21st century, with business behemoths like Amazon and Apple treading in the footsteps of Morgan's Northern Securities, one can only wonder when and where the next trust buster will arise.

    About the Author

    Susan Berfield writes investigative and feature stories for Bloomberg Businessweek and Bloomberg News. Most recently, she's examined the dangers of generic drugs and the flaws in our recall system. She's revealed a company's years-long effort to misinform residents and discredit activists seeking to remove nuclear waste from a Superfund site outside St. Louis. Several months later, the Environmental Protection Agency reversed an earlier decision and demanded the company do so. Using confidential documents, she exposed how Walmart spies on its workers to prevent them from organizing. And she helped uncover a con man who talked a small Missouri town out of millions and was later convicted of fraud.

    She's won awards from the Newswomen's Club of New York, the New York Press Club, the American Society of Business Publication Editors, and the Education Writers' Association. She contributes to the Pay Check, named the diversity and inclusion podcast of 2019 by Adweek. A collaboration with WNYC about the secretive family behind the largest mall in the country was a Loeb finalist in 2017. Her story about honey smugglers was the basis for an episode of the documentary series Rotten, which premiered on Netflix in 2018. She’s appeared on National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour.

    Before joining Businessweek, she was a senior writer at Asiaweek in Hong Kong, where her story, "Ten Days that Shook Indonesia," won the Society of Asian Publishers’ Reporting Award and the Hong Kong Human Rights Press Award.

    She earned a master’s degree at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she was a Zuckerman Fellow. Her undergraduate degree is from Brown University; after graduating, she co-directed a documentary in In

    • 49 min
    Philip K Howard | Podcast

    Philip K Howard | Podcast

    Philip K. Howard is a longtime leader of government and legal reform in the United States. Amid the current political turmoil, Howard has set his sights on the remorseless increase in the power of public employee unions. This is a thread linking public sector pension shortfalls; local, state, and federal government bureaucratic dysfunction; outdated public infrastructure that costs far more to improve than in comparable nations; and the struggles between parents and teachers’ unions on issues from student masking to curriculum development. 

    Howard’s guiding star is to hold government accountable to the citizens it is intended to serve.

    In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, Howard discusses his efforts to reform public sector collective bargaining—including an innovative project to challenge its constitutionality. He also explores the evolution of the legal profession, including the decline of the lawyer-statesman ideal.

    Philip K. Howard’s latest book is Try Common Sense: Replacing the Failed Ideologies of Right and Left (W.W. Norton & Company, January 2019). His 2010 Ted Talk has been viewed over 650,000 times.

    Howard is also the author of the best-seller The Death of Common Sense (Random House, 1995), The Collapse of the Common Good (Ballantine Books, 2002), Life Without Lawyers (W.W. Norton & Company, 2009), and The Rule of Nobody (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014). He writes periodically for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications.

    In 2002, Howard founded Common Good, a nonpartisan national coalition dedicated to restoring common sense to America. His 2015 report “Two Years, Not Ten Years” delineated the economic and environmental costs of delayed infrastructure approvals, and has been endorsed by leaders of both major political parties.

    The son of a minister, Philip K. Howard got his start working summers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner and has been active in public affairs his entire adult life. He is a prominent civic leader in New York City and has advised national political leaders on legal and regulatory reform for three decades, including Vice President Al Gore and numerous governors. He is Senior Counsel at the law firm Covington & Burling, LLP. Howard is a graduate of Yale College and the University of Virginia Law School, and lives in Manhattan with his wife Alexandra. They have four children.

    Reference to Patrick J. Shiltz, “On Being a Healthy, Happy, and Ethical Member of an Unhealthy, Unhappy, and Unethical Profession,” Vanderbilt Law Review, Volume 52, Issue 4, 1999.

    Image: Covington & Burling LLP

    Get full access to The Next Nationalism at jamesstrock.substack.com/subscribe

    • 48 min
    William K Reilly | Podcast

    William K Reilly | Podcast

    William K. Reilly has achieved a consequential career in environmental leadership. He has served four presidents in high positions and sensitive assignments requiring notable judgment and disciplined discretion.  In this episode of the Serve to Lead Podcast, Reilly discusses the past, present and promise of environmental leadership in the United States and globally. He […]

    Get full access to The Next Nationalism at jamesstrock.substack.com/subscribe

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

Esty-Strock Podcast ,

Very thoughtful discussion of environmental issues

Conversation largely centered around the need to find local solotions to environmental issues. That's a refreshing change to most of the dialogue around this topic. Both the interviewer and Prof. Esty seem like guys who'd be fun to talk with over a beer. And there's some great advice near the end for any young lawyers listening in.

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