58 episodes

Our mission on this podcast is to help people like you to find and do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people and communities, and is fun to do. Here, you will meet and be inspired by amazing people who overcame great odds. You'll discover what sparked them, how they explored work opportunities, the strategies that they employed to ensure career success, and the actions that they boldly took to make it all happen. You'll also meet esteemed and nationally recognized thought-leaders who are helping people like you to develop work skill, experience, and leadership, and seize opportunity from a changing world, so that your beautiful work dreams turn into reality. Together, let's turn work meaningful, for meaningful work IS the future of work.

The Tightrope Podcast Dan Smolen

    • Careers
    • 5.0, 12 Ratings

Our mission on this podcast is to help people like you to find and do work that is profound, protects the planet, empowers people and communities, and is fun to do. Here, you will meet and be inspired by amazing people who overcame great odds. You'll discover what sparked them, how they explored work opportunities, the strategies that they employed to ensure career success, and the actions that they boldly took to make it all happen. You'll also meet esteemed and nationally recognized thought-leaders who are helping people like you to develop work skill, experience, and leadership, and seize opportunity from a changing world, so that your beautiful work dreams turn into reality. Together, let's turn work meaningful, for meaningful work IS the future of work.

    Virtual Professionalism and Meaningful Work

    Virtual Professionalism and Meaningful Work

    Virtual professionalism is critical to doing meaningful work.

    About this episode:



    "Not only are we at an inflection point, what [it feels like to me] is an acceleration of catch-up, because the world is moving in this direction, anyway."



    - Adrienne Shoch, Workforce Engagement Expert

    Workforce engagement expert Adrienne Shoch of five to one takes The Tightrope Podcast's listeners through a crash course in virtual professionalism, which is important to doing meaningful work.

    A key driver to virtual professionalism: it's all about being present.

    Adrienne discusses how we can match our new-found skill using Zoom, Skype, Webex, and other platforms, to be more present with, and gain more understanding from, co-workers.

    Virtual professionalism matters. because many of us now work from home, permanently.

    In this episode, Adrienne:



    Expands on the inflection point and the acceleration of "catch-up." Starts at 2:15

    Describes generative listening and its importance. Starts at 5:50

    Offers how to use virtual professionalism skills. Starts at 12:23

    Elaborates on the importance of intent. Starts at 17:07

    Relates to the value of time. Starts at 23:07



    About our guest:



    Adrienne Shoch is the founder of five to one and an expert on workforce engagement. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Towson University and studied at University of Paris – Sorbonne, and, the Neuroleadership Institute. Adrienne lives and works in Washington, D.C.



    EPISODE DATE: July 3, 2020



    Social media:



    Website



    Adrienne Shoch LinkedIn Page



    Photo credits: Virtual professionalism, fizkes on iStock Photo; Adrienne Shoch portrait, five to one.

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 31 min
    Student Leadership and Meaningful Work

    Student Leadership and Meaningful Work

    Student leadership and meaningful work go together.

    About this episode:

    "We're all leaders in some way, shape, or form."



    -Courtney Owens, Assistant Director of Student Leadership; Ithaca College Office of Student Engagement

    Student leadership leads to meaningful work. Coincidentally, leadership programming prepares college students for success doing work that protects the planet and empowers people and community.





    People who develop student leadership skill in college enter the workforce as agile participants who are able to pivot to changing circumstances.



    So, as colleges and universities welcome back Fall 2020 semester students, Ithaca College will resume its student leadership programming. Undergraduates in the program will learn how to start careers doing meaningful work.

    The pursuit of meaningful work is a big driver for Ithaca College.

    Courtney Owens, the Assistant Director of Student Leadership at Ithaca College's Office of Student Engagement, helps students enter the workforce to make a positive difference in the world.



    We recorded this podcast episode during December 2019, soon after I addressed the Ithaca College's Student Leadership Forum.



    In this episode, Courtney:



    Summarizes Ithaca College's student leadership program. Starts at 3:43

    Explains the "WE" aspect of student leadership programming. Starts at 5:45

    Offers her description of meaningful work. Starts at 9:03

    Discusses the generational differences affecting meaningful work priorities. Starts at 18:33

    Offers listeners advice for seeking and doing meaningful work. Starts at 30:34



    About our guest:



    Courtney Owens earned a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Western Kentucky University. She lives and works in Ithaca, New York.



    EPISODE DATE: June 26, 2020



    Social media:



    -Website



    -Twitter



    Image credits: Leadership, Bulat Silvia for iStock Photo; Courtney Owens portrait, Ithaca College

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 36 min
    Is Police Work Meaningful Work?

    Is Police Work Meaningful Work?

    About this episode:

    "What I do, on a day in and day out basis, is that I am there for them [and just build] relationships and become a trusted companion."



    -Mike Shochet, Lead Chaplain of the Fairfax County, Virginia Police

    We are well into June 2020, a month informed by the grotesquely shocking death of George Floyd—under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer. That shockwave has led many to call for defunding police departments across the United States.

    Some now ask: is police work meaningful work?

    Two years ago, we sat down for a conversation with Mike Shochet. Tightrope Podcast listeners discovered how Mike’s meaningful work career spanned three acts, as TV news reporter, Baltimore City cop, and now as police chaplain.



    Ordained as a cantor in Reform Judaism, Mike merged his experience as a beat cop with deep spirituality to become the lead chaplain of the Fairfax County, Virginia Police.

    By tending to the pastoral needs of law enforcement personnel, Mike Shochet does the meaningful work of his dreams.

    The vexing issues discussed in this episode, recorded in early June of 2018, remain untended. Going forward, we hope (and pray) that police work lives up to the motto: to serve and protect.



    In this episode, Mike discusses:



    The role of police chaplain. Starts at 2:26

    Why police officers often don't like uneventful days. Starts at 8:12

    His view on office candidate screening. Starts at 12:55

    How first-hand experience with pain and neglect informs his chaplaincy. Starts at 15:18

    The role of empathy in police work. Starts at 20:11



    About our guest:



    Mike Shochet received a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Sacred Music from Hebrew Union College. He and his family live in Fairfax County, Virginia.



    EPISODE DATE: June 19, 2020



    Social media:



    - Fairfax County Police Chaplaincy



    - Biography, Temple Rodef Shalom



    Earlier episodes with Mike Shochet:



    -Third Act By 28: One Man’s Unusual Journey to do Meaningful Work (Part 1)



    -Third Act By 28: One Man’s Unusual Journey to do Meaningful Work (Part 2)



    -Serving Those Who Serve: Finding Meaningful Work as a Police Chaplain



    Image credits: First responder with mask, kojophoto for iStock Photo; Ride Along, Michael Ventura; Cantor Mike Shochet Portrait, Temple Rodef Shalom.

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 26 min
    Alumni Communities and Meaningful Work

    Alumni Communities and Meaningful Work

    About this episode:

    "One of the things that [companies] haven't done that we start to see is tell you 'Hey, take a moment and take stock of your life. Where are you? Where do you want to be? And, how do we help you get there?'"



    -James Sinclair, Chief Executive of EnterpriseAlumni

    In 2020, a major inflection point in the future of work has emerged.

    Forward thinking companies that furloughed large numbers of workers are using alumni communities to engage their cast-offs through skill development, help finding work at other companies, and offers to return to the fold in new full-time employee or independent contract roles.

    Leading this alumni community and meaningful work revolution is James Sinclair.

    His company, EnterpriseAlumni, enables managers to communicate with their former employees in meaningful ways, keep the lifetime value of talent investment strong, and, to help their former workers build lives doing meaningful work.



    In this episode, James describes:



    The value proposition of alumni communities. Starts at 2:31

    Benefits associated with engaging former company workers. Starts at 3:31

    How the riots happening across the US are driving corporate social impact. Starts at 11:11

    Two interview questions managers are now asking hired talent. Starts at 17:38

    The benefits of an agile workforce. Starts at 26:50

    How to achieve meaningful work. Starts at 36:34



    About our guest:



    James Sinclair is the Chief Executive & Co-Founder of EnterpriseAlumni. James' background is in large enterprise innovation. He worked for companies including IBM, SAP & EDS. Outside of his day job, he contributes to media on future of work, large enterprise innovation, and entrepreneurship topics. James lives and works in Southern California. 



    EPISODE DATE: June 12, 2020



    Social media:



    -Website



    -LinkedIn



    -Twitter



    Media credits: Former worker facing Zoom screen, fizkes for iStock Photo; James Sinclair portrait, EnterpriseAlumni.



    Note: in the intro, we regretfully referred to the current events as “riots.” That was unintentional and we regret the error.

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 43 min
    Homes and Hops: A Realtor Becomes the Ambassador for Her City’s Craft Brewers

    Homes and Hops: A Realtor Becomes the Ambassador for Her City’s Craft Brewers

    About this episode:

    "Studies have shown that [craft] breweries have a positive impact on residential real estate sales. And over the past 5 years, we've had several breweries pop up in our area."



    -Lisa Resnick, Realtor, Craft Brewers Ambassador, and Host of Homes and Hops Podcast

    It’s the first week of June 2020 and, across the country, local businesses are reemerging to service a public that’s been homebound since early March.







    In Youngstown, Ohio, local businesses—especially breweries—are eager to reengage with customers, even with social distancing requirements.

    Meet Lisa Resnick: she is an ambassador to Youngstown, someone who tells the stories of craft brewers and the sense of place they create for people in the community.

    Lisa is a Realtor for residential properties and the host and executive producer of Homes and Hops, a phenomenal podcast about the fast-emerging craft brewing scene in the city.



    Back when she was a kid, Lisa dreamt about becoming a courtroom judge. Then, out of college, she produced direct mail campaigns for political candidates. When a recession hit, Lisa pivoted to real estate and a career that truly suits her passions. Moving back with her family to her native Youngstown, Lisa discovered that she could be an effective ambassador for Youngstown and its craft brewers. And that is how Homes and Hops got its start.



    In this episode, Lisa describes:



    Childhood dreams of becoming a courtroom judge and early jobs supporting political campaigns. Starts at 2:58

    Her successful pivot into real estate. Starts at 5:38

    How Homes and Hops got started and Youngtown's amazing renaissance. Starts at 22:49

    Being an ambassador for her community. Starts at 28:47

    Her philosophy for pursuing meaningful work and for living in a place like Youngstown. Starts at 36:05



    About our guest:



    Lisa Resnick earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Government from Youngstown State University. She is a Realtor with Burgan Real Estate and the Host and Executive Producer of Homes and Hops. Lisa and her family reside in the Youngstown, Ohio area.



    EPISODE DATE: June 5, 2020



    Social Media:



    -Website



    -Homes and Hops Podcast Page



    -Facebook



    -Instagram



    Media Credits: Craft ale on tap, zozzzzo for iStock Photo; Lisa Resnick Portrait, Homes and Hops.

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 41 min
    Summer Camp: Where Fun and Friendship Lead to Meaningful Lives and Careers

    Summer Camp: Where Fun and Friendship Lead to Meaningful Lives and Careers

    About this episode:

    "We see a lot of people do well in their [adult] careers who, coincidentally, did well in their careers at camp. I have no data, other than the anecdotal experiences of the time [we spent] there. But you see people who rose to leadership positions in camp and were viewed as successful staff members that have had successful careers in whatever they were doing after camp."



    -Stuart Katz, Founder and President of Elm City Communications

    The Memorial Day Weekend marked the official start of summer. Although this year, it felt like summertime started without the fun.

    Over 11 million kids and young adults attend summer camp programs. 

    But in 2020, some states—concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus—banned overnight summer camps from operating. For kids who worked hard in school ten months of the year for the reward of two months at summer camp, that loss is palpable.



    During August 2019, I recorded this podcast interview with my best friend Stuart Katz. Stu and I attended as campers, and later worked together, at Camp Laurelwood, a non-profit overnight summer camp located near the Southern Connecticut Shoreline. Last week, in response to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, the State of Connecticut banned overnight camps, including Camp Laurelwood, from operating this summer.

    At camp, fun and friendship often lead campers and staff to meaningful adult careers.

    In this episode, Stu describes:



    His first summer at camp. Starts at 3:29

    Trying activities beyond his comfort zone. Starts at 5:25

    The camp radio station where he and Dan were deejays. Starts at 10:40

    The spark of imagination and creativity in him that started at camp. Starts at 15:45

    How adult professionals benefit from camp-like experiences. Starts at 19:27

    Why it is important to send kids to summer camp. Starts at 23:06



    We remain hopeful that, in 2021, summer camps like Camp Laurelwood open on schedule. The camper experience most definitely shaped our adult lives and meaningful careers, and fostered hundreds of lifelong friendships.



    About our guest:



    Stuart Katz first attended Camp Laurelwood in 1968 as a seven-year-old. He later served it as a staff member and board member. Since his first summer there Stu had never, until this year, missed Camp Laurelwood's Opening Day festivities.



    Stu earned a Bachelor of Science from the Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, where currently he serves as an adjunct professor. He also received a Master of Arts in Corporate Communications from Seton Hall University. His company, Elm City Communications, provides corporate communications and video production services to the global healthcare community. Aside from his corporate work, Stu is deeply involved in many philanthropic efforts including his lifelong work for Camp Laurelwood. He lives and works in New Jersey.



    EPISODE DATE: May 29, 2020



    Social Media:



    Camp Laurelwood Website



    -Team Australia Cheer Audio Recording



    American Camp Association: Find a Camp



    Elm City Communications Website



    -Stu Katz LinkedIn Profile



    Media Credits: Happy campers, 2018, Camp Laurelwood; Stu Katz and Dan Smolen, July 4, 1976, Steve Lifshatz for Camp Laurelwood; Stuart Katz portrait, Elm City Communications; Team Australia Cheer audio recording, August 1972, Dan Garson for Camp Laurelwood.

    Please check out our most recent podcast episodes and blog posts on The Dan Smolen Experience website.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

JCReview17 ,

Exceptional Podcast

The Tightrope Podcast takes listeners on relevant journeys to meet thought leaders who share their methods for achieving ‘meaningful work’. In each episode, Dan poses thought provoking questions for the guest and the conversation flows from there. He’s an empathetic listener who guides the conversation to help us see the world through other’s eyes and how they navigated their own successful business ventures or supported others on their own career paths. I recommend that you tune into the Tightrope Podcast while driving to work!

USNA67 ,

Experience Shaper

Dan Smolen continues to find insightful guests and his interviews get to the core of issues critical to leadership, motivation and the continually changing workplace.
Thanks Dan and keep up the good work. You’re making me a better leader and manager...two completely separate topics!

Jewel-jd ,

Entertaining, thought-provoking and well produced

The featured guests are well chosen for their point of views and insights on career pathways. Thank you!

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