85 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
    • 4.9 • 51 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.

    Andre Rush: Celebrity chef and yes, that guy with the 24-inch biceps

    Andre Rush: Celebrity chef and yes, that guy with the 24-inch biceps

    Chef Andre Rush is a retired decorated combat Veteran known worldwide as the White House chef with the 24-inch biceps and for his advocacy for military service, as well as suicide prevention, which is why he does 2,222 push-ups a day: to bring awareness to the ongoing epidemic of mental health and suicidal ideation.  His new book is titled: Call me Chef, Dammit!: A Veteran’s Journey from the Rural South to the White House..   
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    “I don’t care what I have done. It’s what I’m doing right now and what I’m going to continue to do.” “You don’t decide your destiny. Your destiny decides you.” “Cooking is like art. You eat with your eyes. And when you see art, it draws you to it.” He was very determined and found a way to feed off the negativity and use it as fuel. He uses cooking as a coping mechanism for his PTSD. At one point he gave away all his money to help bring Ethiopian refugees to the United States. “Excellence is doing everything you need to do at your very best.” Show Notes
    Book: Call Me Chef, Dammit!: A Veteran’s Journey from the Rural South to the White House
    Meal Delivery Service: CHOW
    Website: Chef Rush   

    • 50 min
    Jack Garcia: Undercover FBI Agent

    Jack Garcia: Undercover FBI Agent

    Joaquin “Jack” Garcia is the former undercover FBI agent who infiltrated the Gambino crime family of Cosa Nostra in New York for nearly three years, resulting in the arrest and conviction of 32 mobsters.  He worked on over 100 major undercover investigations over his 26 year career.  He wrote a New York Times bestseller called Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family. 
     
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Being a good undercover is not something you can learn. It’s something you’re born with. Undercover skills include thinking quick on your feet, being comfortable around all types of people, knowing how to read people, being quick witted, and likeable. Sometimes he was juggling upwards of 6 different identifies and roles at the same time. The Gambino case led to the arrest and conviction of 32 mobsters. He worked on over 100 major undercover investigations over his career. “Excellence is being the best in what you set out to do. Look in the mirror and see if you’ve given it 100%. And if the answer is yes, then you have attained excellence.” Show Notes
    Book: Making Jack Falcone: An Undercover FBI Agent Takes Down a Mafia Family

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Robert O’Neill: Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden

    Robert O’Neill: Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden

    Rob O’Neill is a Navy SEAL combat veteran with decorations which include two Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars with Valor, a Joint Service Commendation Medal with Valor, three Presidential Unit citations, and two Navy/Marine Corps Commendations with Valor.  He is a public speaker, TV personality, philanthropist, and cofounder of the Special Operators Transition Foundation, a charity supporting special operations military personnel making the difficult transition from the battlefield to the boardroom. He is a New York Times bestselling author of The Operator and his latest book is titled: The Way Forward: Master Life’s Toughest Battles and Create Your Lasting Legacy.
     
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    You learn a lot more from failure than you do from success. Life isn’t about a big goal but having a series of achievable smaller goals. Whatever is going on in your life that’s not working, learn from it and get over it. It’s only dead weight and not helping to fixate on it. The worse thing you can say when you’re leading a team is this is the way we’ve always done it. There can always be a better way. If you’re worrying about something and your worrying isn’t going to change it, stop wasting your energy on it. Sometimes in life it doesn’t really matter why you’re here, you’re just here, so get over it. “Excellence is taking care of your family and teaching your children to be good people and then repeat the process.” Show Notes
    Book: The Way Forward: Master Life's Toughest Battles and Create Your Lasting Legacy
    Website: Robert O'Neill 

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Barry Sonnenfeld: Director, Producer, Cinematographer

    Barry Sonnenfeld: Director, Producer, Cinematographer

    Barry Sonnenfeld is a director, producer and writer who broke into the film industry as the cinematographer on the Coen Brothers’ Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, and Miller’s Crossing.  He was the director of photography on Throw Momma from the Train, Big, When Harry Met Sally, and Misery.  Barry made his directorial debut with The Addams Family and has directed several other films including Addams Family Values, Get Shorty, and the Men in Black trilogy.  His television credits include Pushing Daises, for which he won an Emmy, and Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.  His memoir is titled: Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker.
     
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Most movie directors use the camera as a recording device whereas he uses it as a story telling device. Lots of cinematographers have tried to become directors but have failed. Part of Barry’s success making the transition was hiring a world-class cameraman so he could focus on the actors and other areas as opposed to micromanaging the cameraman.  The key to successful directing is to hire people better than you, answer everyone’s questions to ensure a consistent tone, and feign self-confidence. He’s known to be very neurotic but neurosis is a superpower when directing a project. His philosophy about comedy is that nobody on the show should think they’re working on one. The formula is to have an absurd situation or an absurd character played for reality. “Excellence is being capable, responsible, and the willingness to make the tough decision.”  
    Show Notes
    Book: Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Monica Aldama: 14 national cheerleading championships and counting

    Monica Aldama: 14 national cheerleading championships and counting

    Monica Aldama is the cheerleading coach at Navarro College. She is one of the most successful athletic coaches in the country, having led Navarro to 14 national championships. She and her team are the subject of a hit Netflix show called Cheer which is now entering its second season. She has a new book out which is entitled: Full Out: Lessons in Life and Leadership from America’s Favorite Coach  
    Some interesting insights from this episode:
    Her lifelong dream was to become a Wall Street banker but something happened along the way She has learned how to acquire talent based not just on raw skills but on potential, knowing that some kids will grow and develop during the program To win championships, you have to have a championship culture which is as much about attitude as it is work ethic and commitment. Coaching these kids was not just about winning championships but about providing structure and discipline they would need during the program and throughout life. To become an effective leader, she had to learn to adjust her communication style and coaching approach based on how different kids respond. She encourages failure with her team. If you don’t fail, you don’t grow, and you become complacent.  “Excellence is carrying yourself in the way of a champion in all areas of your life.”  
    Show Notes
    Book: Full Out: Lessons in Life and Leadership from America's Favorite Coach

    • 48 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
51 Ratings

51 Ratings

Elena Eowyn ,

The navy seals episode is just amazing

I couldn’t stop listening. Sutton on the edge of the chair. Great job taking out his actual personal story and his reflections

ReedUSA ,

Terrific Navy SeAL who killed bin Laden interview!

As a Marine Special Operations Officer can say Glenn did a terrific job as a respectful but deeply inquiring layman with this interview. Like the rest of these podcasts, In Search of Excellence is excellent!

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

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