67 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 • 44 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.

    Jim McCloskey: Founder of Centurion Ministries and father of the innocence movement

    Jim McCloskey: Founder of Centurion Ministries and father of the innocence movement

    Jim McCloskey is the founder of Centurion Ministries, an organization devoted to exonerating wrongfully convicted prisoners who are serving life or death sentences.  To date, the organization has freed 64 innocent people. His new book is titled: When Truth Is All You Have: A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for The Wrongly Convicted.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Today there are dozens of innocence organizations but Centurion Ministries was the first one. Jim was the father of the entire innocence movement. He learned first-hand early on the unreliability of eyewitness testimony. He was able to leverage his consulting background piecing together market research to figure out how to solve these wrongful convictions. Building a relationship and rapport with key witnesses was just as vital to proving these cases and Jim had a natural ability in that regard. Not every case would work out. He sometimes had false positives – clients he was trying to help who he later learned were actually guilty.  When that happens, it’s important to just admit the mistake and move on.  “This is a story of how I learned what a cruel, mindless, mean machine the justice system can be. How, in trying to combat evil in the world, the system can become just as evil - more so, because it is evil done in the name of all of us.” To date, Centurion Ministries has freed 64 innocent men and women who collectively had spent 1,350 years behind bars. “Excellence is doing what you feel is right for you given your personality and makeup.”  
    Links
    Book: When Truth Is All You Have: A Memoir of Faith, Justice, and Freedom for the Wrongly Convicted
    Organization: Centurion Ministries

    • 46 min
    Sarah Frey: The Pumpkin Queen of America

    Sarah Frey: The Pumpkin Queen of America

    Sarah is the founder and CEO of Frey Farms which she founded at the age of 16.  The farm grows thousands of acres worth of fruits and vegetables.  Dubbed “the Pumpkin Queen of America” by the New York Times, she sells more pumpkins than any other producer in the United States.  She is also the owner of Tsamma, a bottled watermelon juice sold in over 1,500 stores all over the country.  Her new book is titled The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life – and Saved an American Farm.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Because she grew up poor and had to spend most of her free time doing chores around the farm, she learned to use her active imagination to escape. Growing up without means was a strong motivator to find the freedom to live a better life and to have more control over her own destiny. Her lack of scale and sophistication early on (no warehouses, distribution centers, extra drivers) became a competitive advantage, as delivering direct to the stores meant fresher and higher quality produce for the customers. A lot of her success was due to her ability to exude confidence, even when she really wasn’t sure what she was doing. Scrappiness is in her company’s DNA. A core philosophy from the beginning and just as relevant today is how to do more with less. Always make sure that the customer’s needs are met. “Take care of the customer today and they will take care of you in the future.” She doesn’t look for the polished, well educated, perfectly buttoned-up kinds of people but rather, the ones that have some imperfections. “Often the most imperfect people are the sweetest on the inside.” “Excellence is loving what you do.”  
    Links:
    Book: The Growing Season: How I Built a New Life - and Saved an American Farm
    Frey Farms
    Tsamma watermellon juice

    • 45 min
    Deepak Chopra: Medical Doctor, Spiritual Advisor, and Mindfulness Guru

    Deepak Chopra: Medical Doctor, Spiritual Advisor, and Mindfulness Guru

    Deepak Chopra is a world-renowned pioneer in integrative medicine and personal transformation.  He is the founder of The Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra, a modern-day health company at the intersection of science and spirituality.  Deepak is also a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego.  He is the author of over 90 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers, the latest one titled Total Meditation: Practices in Living the Awakened Life.  TIME magazine has described Dr. Chopra as “one of the top 100 heroes and icons of the century.” 
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Western medicine is necessary for acute intervention but for chronic disease, other than when caused from a gene mutation, lifestyle heavily influences the outcome. Sleep, stress management, exercise, breathing, nutrition, and self-regulation have a significant impact on the onset and management of chronic disease. Modern industrially produced food is ruining the body’s ecosystem which is causing inflammation of the microbiome which is causing inflammatory disease including chronic disease. Total meditation is the practice of bringing the mind into a meditative state whenever you want. So when you notice that you’re feeling stressed or anxious, you just simply return to the mind’s natural state of inner peace and quiet.  Total consciousness is pure knowing which is beyond perception and thought. You know without knowing. We’re “asleep” when we act unconsciously and we’re “awake” when we act consciously. Examples of being asleep include speaking without thinking, arriving at snap judgments, and acting out of habit. Examples of being awake include thinking before you speak, anticipating consequences of your actions, and not jumping to conclusions. If you had the answers to just three questions whenever you wanted them, you would achieve all your goals and your life would thrive. Those three questions are: What am I doing right? What isn’t working for me? What is my next step? “Excellence is the ability to actualize worthy goals, the ability to love and have compassion, and the ability to always be in touch with your deeper awareness.”  
    Links:
    Deepak Chopra website
    Total Meditation book
    Chopra Meditation and Well-Being iPhone app
    The Chopra Foundation
    Never Alone mental and emotional health resource

    • 47 min
    Scott Boras – Baseball Power Agent

    Scott Boras – Baseball Power Agent

    Scott Boras is a sports agent specializing in baseball. He is the Founder and President of Boras Corporation, a sports agency that represents roughly 75 professional baseball clients.  He has negotiated more than $9B in major league baseball contracts, with 11 of them worth more than $100 million—more than any other agent. Scott has been named the “Most Powerful Sports Agent in the World” by Forbes magazine. 
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    He felt it was important to have a backup plan. He earned his Doctor of Pharmacy and law degrees while he was playing baseball so if things didn’t work out, he would have another path to pursue. The hardest part of being an agent isn’t negotiating contracts. It’s figuring out how to optimize a player, both physically and psychologically.  To effectively represent a player, you’ve got to not just understand their skill level but to understand them at a personal level as well. You don’t go into a negotiation to win. You go into a negotiation to understand and build a bridge.  And you build that bridge with reasons which benefit the needs and wants of both sides. His firm employs NASA and MIT-trained research scientists and engineers to uncover proprietary player performance data that nobody else uses. His firm also has sports psychologists on staff whose ultimate goal is to increase the durability and hence value of the players. The key to success isn’t comparing yourself to others but just trying to be the best that you can be in what you’re doing. “My measure of excellence is how long can you stay in the game.”

    • 45 min
    Alain Robert: The “French Spiderman”

    Alain Robert: The “French Spiderman”

    Alain Robert is the world’s leading free climber and is known all over the world as the “French Spiderman” for free climbing skyscrapers. He has climbed 163 buildings in 70 different countries. He has a documentary on Amazon Prime titled My Next Challenge and is the author of a book With Bare Hands: The True Story of Alain Robert, the Real-Life Spiderman.
     

    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    His insecurity as a child was the early motivation to try something to build confidence and to stand out. He didn’t start climbing because he wasn’t afraid of heights. He climbed in spite of his fear of heights.  Alain used to do free solo rock climbing and was considered by many to be the best in the world. As climbing gained in popularity, he lost interest. “Climbing wasn’t about racing or competing but about freedom and self-expression.” Most people aren’t really enjoying their lives. They do what they need to do to make a living but are bored with their work and just live for the weekends.  They are wasting most of their lives away. “It takes a certain amount of energy to climb a building. If you have the energy, you’ll make it to the top.  If you don’t, you’ll die.” “What scares me the most is a boring life.” “Most people are dreaming their life but I was on the other side living my dream.”

    • 37 min
    Colin Follenweider: One of Hollywood’s top stuntmen

    Colin Follenweider: One of Hollywood’s top stuntmen

    Colin Follenweider is one of the top professional stuntmen in Hollywood. He has performed stunts in Spider-Man, Transformers, Iron Man, X-Men, Captain America, Avatar and Die Hard and has 86 total stunt credits to his name.

     
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    He is one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen and has performed stunts in dozens of blockbuster films. It’s good to know the direction you’re heading, even if you’re not sure of the ultimate destination. His motto was “Action, Inspiration”. If you always wait for inspiration to hit, you’re going to keep waiting.  But if you start doing something, you’re going to get inspired how to do it. He wasn’t necessarily the best at every kind of stunt but he could do most stunts well enough and unlike many stunt people, he was really easy going. People enjoyed hanging around him which made them want to work with him again and again. Stunt work is a highly collaborative effort. “Spiralling in” is when you start with lots of ideas around the outside and slowly tweak them on the way toward reaching a compromise that works for everyone. Even if you’re very confident in something, when you lose your nervousness about it and you take it for granted, that’s when accidents are most likely to happen. “The pursuit of excellence is more important than the accomplishment of saying ‘I’m excellent’. Being mildly disappointed helps the pursuit of excellence, as you’re always striving to get better.”

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

ReedUSA ,

Glenn Zweig is a master interviewer and the Sarah Frey interview was excellent!

In some ways. Glenn the Harvard MBA treated Pumpkin Queen Sarah Frey’s life story in that mode. Harvard Business School teaches using the case method where by theme (i.e. marketing, operations, finance) each day in class the students deal with an industry, a company in that industry, a person in all that, and a problem. But in this interview Glenn goes into Technicolor 3D, and he incorporates psychology and best of all Sarah’s meaning of life and family and challenges and joys and dreams and accidents and grit. Check out Glenn asking Sarah whether she sees herself as a farmer or entrepreneur. And also I challenge you not to tear up when she talks about dealing with and celebrating and helping to overcome the imperfection in life, fruits, vegetables, and people. Sublime and beautiful stuff! World-class all around!

loyda1 ,

Deepak: total Meditation.

Mind blowing interview. Thank you. Most interesting.

Al Lindseth ,

Stuntman one - Colin - was my favorite

I love these podcasts. Glenn does an excellent job at getting these interesting and exceptional people to really open up. My suggestion is to start with the oldest one and work your way forward because he gets better at his craft with each one and you learn more and more about this central theme. Very thought-provoking. Try them!

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