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The Secret Podcast Stash!

Included in the secret podcast stash are these 147 episodes:

Residue: Lack of Trust
A simple way to increase your level of trust for others and of others for you.
Topics: mindset , Teams

Residue: Fear
Fear can be paralyzing, but it’s sometimes based on illusory data.
Topics: Assassins , mindset , Teams

Residue: Anger
When anger builds, it can create a kind of paralysis inside of creative organizations.
Topics: mindset , Teams

Selective Ignorance of Feedback
Know who it is you’re serving, and focus on moving the needle with them.
Topics: feedback , Focus , growth

Decisions and Action
What have you already decided, but haven’t acted upon?
Topics: career , courage , Focus

Begin and End
Find the edges in your work to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success.
Topics: Focus , Time

Timing Isn’t Everything
Some things to consider when launching a new product, initiative, or business.
Topics: art , business , shipping

Safety vs. Comfort
Some thoughts based on Seth Godin’s new book The Icarus Deception.
Topics: comfort , Focus , growth , hours

Your Comfort Zone
Are you waiting for something to push you out of your comfort zone, or are you initiating it yourself?
Topics: Focus , growth , mission , purpose

Goal setting versus growing in competence and influence.
Topics: Focus , goals

Expectation Peril
A reminder about the perils of expectation escalation.
Topics: Assassins , expectations

Take Permission Slowly
The importance of interdependence. Walk toward your objectives while simultaneously seeking the blessing of others.
Topics: leadership , Teams

Tool: Morning Pages
An easy way to lower your inhibitions and unlock free creative thinking.
Topics: creativity , stimuli , Time

Legacy To Noose
Are you allowing legacy investment to become a noose? Don’t fall prey to the trap of “sunk cost”.
Topics: Energy , Focus , Time

Beginner Mindset
Assuming a posture of learning, and fighting the curse of familiarity.
Topics: growth , study

Adjacent Skill Development
What are you doing to prepare yourself for your next role?
Topics: career , growth , skills

Mapping, Making, Meshing
There are actually three types of work that you do on a daily basis, but if you’re like many people, you probably ignore one of them too often.
Topics: Focus , Productivity

Insecurity Work
How much work do you do that’s out of insecurity rather than purpose?
Topics: Focus , hours , stimuli

Design or Default?
These are the only two ways to respond to uncertainty. How do you respond?
Topics: practices , systems

Executional Blocks
Breaking through blocks related to execution, systems and mechanics.
Topics: blocks , Focus , ideas

Conceptual Blocks
How to get “unstuck” when facing a conceptual block.
Topics: blocks , Focus , ideas

Free Write!
How a chance conversation with Julien Smith and a fantastic book by Mark Levy kickstarted me out of a creative dry spell.
Topics: ideas , Stimulus

Your Tech Detox Zone
Life and the stimuli that are thrown in our path each day can be a tad – shall we say – overwhelming. It’s important to have a bulwark against the madness. Today, learn about a simple practice and three critical questions that can help you stay focused and be immediately effective.
Topics: Focus , stimuli

Study Time
A brief overview of my study time and habits, and how you can apply them to your own process.
Topics: Stimulus , study

Find A Problem To Solve
The key to brilliance and fulfillment is finding interesting problems, not identifying passions.
Topics: Focus , purpose

What’s preventing you from being prolific? Have you considered it, or are you just accepting your circumstances?
Topics: Focus , Time

Crisis Phase
There comes a point when we need to make a break and learn new skills instead of relying on our existing ones.
Topics: growth

A few ways to step off the well-worn path and find your voice.
Topics: growth

We learn skills by first imitating others.
Topics: growth

Discovery Phase
Skill development is crucial. Knowing which skills to develop is where it all begins.
Topics: curiosity , growth

Phases of Growth
If we want to succeed, we must be continuously growing. Here are the phases of growth that we can recognize and leverage to our advantage.
Topics: growth , innovation

Using focus to generate and leverage creative momentum.
Topics: Focus , goals , Time

Lead Up
Leading up in an organization is critical to your personal success. In this podcast we discuss some ways to ask for what you need.
Topics: Relationships , Teams

Your Playground
Setting up your improvisational playground.
Topics: hours , play , stimuli

The experience of fiction can significantly enhance our creating by helping us create new neural pathways and ways of thought.
Topics: Focus , stimuli

Victim Mind
Ways to stamp out the victim mindset in our creating.
Topics: mindset

We need a set of “untouchable” disciplines to keep us grounded in our times of extremity.
Topics: Focus , practices

Have you considered the attributes of your heroes and how they apply to your work? Time to start emulating them.
Topics: Relationships , vocation

Resetting Priorities
The key to long-term creative success in the big things is small, moment-by-moment success in the small things.
Topics: Focus , Relationships , Time

Stay Positive
A negative environment can be one of the fastest and stealthiest killers of a creative team. In this podcast, we dive more deeply into the dynamics of a negative environment and how to prevent them from stealing our creative drive.
Topics: Focus , mindset

The line between a healthy dissatisfaction with our work and contempt for our work is a battle line we must watch. In this podcast, we discuss how to cultivate healthy dissatisfaction without destroying our ability to create.
Topics: calling , engagement , purpose

One of the greatest skills we can develop as artists is the ability to notice. It is critical to the “combustive” nature of problem-solving and it can be facilitated with a few simple disciplines and a little “list-making.”
Topics: Focus , stimuli

Trust and Respect
In this podcast we take a look at two critical components of healthy collaborating, leading and working: Trust and Respect. You can have one without the other, but do you want to?
Topics: leadership , Relationships

Paying close attention can help us determine where we should go next. Want to know more? Well…pay close attention to the podcast.
Topics: Focus , stimuli

Do you care about your work – even the mudane things? When we opt-out we are standing opposed to ourselves and to our own creating.
Topics: purpose , vision

What do you do when you have a creative idea? Do you act? Do you queue? Do you ignore? In this episode we discuss the importance of systemizing and acting on our creative impulses.
Topics: Focus , Time

Cause and Effect
What effects are you causing through your life, work, and art?
Topics: calling , purpose

The Treadmill
We need to have kinds of treadmill creating in our life to increase our capacity to do on-demand work.
Topics: skills , Time

Team and Hiring
The people you put on your team are the single biggest determinants of your ability to produce great work. How are you hiring?
Topics: leadership , Teams

Team and Fear
Fear can destroy a creative team (and your own creative engagement). Here are some signs of unhealthy levels of fear, and how to begin eliminating them.
Topics: leadership , Teams

Team and Accountability
Is your team accountable? If not, the entire team dynamic can begin to erode from the inside out. Today we talk about why, and how to stop it.
Topics: leadership , Teams

Team and Metrics
Metrics are essential to healthy, thriving creative teams. Do you know what you are aiming for?
Topics: leadership , Teams

Team and Culture
Healthy teams have certain attributes that help them sustain. Today we begin our look at the dynamics of healthy team creating.
Topics: leadership , Teams

Creative Limitation
True creative freedom has healthy boundaries. Here are a few ways to set boundaries that provide a springboard for your creative process.
Topics: Focus , ideas , Time

Tool: Circa
What kind of notebook do you use? Today I highlight a notebook that’s become integral to my workflow.
Topics: stimuli , Tools

Making A Break
What are the factors to consider before making a break in your life or career?
Topics: career , Focus

Having trouble staying on task? Maybe it is time for a little accountability.
Topics: goals , Relationships

Long and Short Arcs
Long arc projects can seem quite overwhelming, however they are really not much different from short arc projects. Here is why.
Topics: Focus , projects

Blocks and Focused Time
Does your calendar reflect your creative priorities? Are you using it to its max potential?
Topics: Focus , Time

Energy Boosters
You need to manage the flow and pulse of your week in order to manage your energy. One way to do this is through the strategic use of energy boosters.
Topics: Energy , meetings , Time

Psychic Vampires
Relationships are crucial to a thriving creative process, but we need to be purposeful about how we structure them. Sometimes, this means limiting access.
Topics: Relationships

Know Your Target
To create effectively, you need to know how to focus on and sell your idea to your target.
Topics: Focus

Unnecessary Creating: What Should You Do?
A core, effective practice for unlocking potential is unnecessary creating. What should you do?
Topics: Creating , Time

Stimuli: Skip, Skim, Study, Savor
How to get good at sifting through stimuli for just the best and most relevant stuff.
Topics: reading , stimuli , study

Pruning and the Art of No
If we want to be effective, we need to get really good at saying no. Here’s why.
Topics: Energy , Focus

Tips For Circles
Circles can be a powerful relational tool to help you be effective. Here are a few tips for how to make them effective.
Topics: circles , Relationships

Inertia For Good and Bad
Inertia can carry us along, whether for good or ill purposes. Let’s choose good, OK?
Topics: creativity , growth

Is Imitation Bad?
So if ‘cover bands don’t change the world’, is imitation bad?
Topics: creativity , growth

The Idea Landfill
How do you avoid duplicating your efforts, and take the three factors of “idea appropriateness” into consideration?
Topics: ideas , Stimulus

You, Structured
Blocking time for your self is not a selfish act, it’s a generous act.
Topics: Focus , Time , voice

The Stimulus Wall
Where do you go to seek inspiration? How about building a physical space to help stimulate creative thought?
Topics: ideas , Stimulus

You + Today
What will you do today to empty yourself and do your work?
Topics: purpose , voice

Platform and Voice
We need to develop both platform and voice simultaneously in order to be effective.
Topics: purpose , vocation

Relational Grunt Work
We need to ensure that we are doing the little, relational things that make us effective.
Topics: conflict , Relationships

Purposeful Experience
Feed your mind and your soul! Here are the three qualities of purposeful experience and how they yield insights and breakthroughs.
Topics: experience , hours , inspiration

Permanent Solutions
It’s easy to fossilize around temporary problems by creating a permanent solution. Have you done it? How will you change it?
Topics: Focus , Productivity , systems

Tension and Release
Growth results from alternating cycles of tension and release. Leveraging them to our advantage leads to lifelong growth.
Topics: Focus , growth

The Mediocrity Trap
Mediocrity is a trap we can easily fall into when trying to do uncertain, risky work. Are you aware of the pitfalls?
Topics: discipline , growth , practices , vision

The Book Of You
If a book were written about your life, based on today, what would it be about?
Topics: calling , Focus , purpose

Morning Ritual
How the day begins can set a tone for how it goes. Do you have a defined morning ritual?
Topics: Focus , priorities , Time

Much of the work we do on a daily basis is neither effective nor efficient. It’s rooted in our insecurity.
Topics: Focus , Productivity

Definitive Place
When working on a long-arc project, it helps to assign a definitive time and place to the work so that there is some predictability to your process.
Topics: Focus , hours

Moving Toward or Running Away?
When considering making a career move, it’s important to first consider your objectives. Are you hitting the eject button before considering next steps?
Topics: calling , career , purpose

Depth Diver or Skimmer
The demands of the marketplace can cause us to skim the surface of our problems and go wide and shallow, but brilliant work requires depth of focus and strategy.
Topics: Focus , stimuli

Countering Opacity
The opacity phenomenon can lead to dissonance and creative struggles. It is up to us to seek the clarity we need to engage our work. Here’s how.
Topics: Dissonance , Focus

Routine + Breaking
We need routines and practices in our life to keep us grounded, but we also need to avoid falling into rote and repetitive activity that doesn’t help us accomplish our goals.
Topics: Focus , practices , routine

Passions + Skills + Experiences
Passion alone is not sufficient to help us discover our voice. We need a combination of three specific elements to form an effective platform for self-expression.
Topics: platform , purpose , voice

One of the great challenges of creative work is the inherent complexity it poses. Because of this, creative pros must make certain to seek simplicity wherever possible.
Topics: challenges , Focus , projects , strategy

What Must Prove True?
We can carry assumptions with us that limit our engagement and effectiveness. Today we look at a framework described in Clayton Christensen’s new book that helps us analyze and neutralize these assumptions.
Topics: Focus , projects , purpose

How Will You Measure Your Life?
If you don’t have a good operating definition for greatness, you’re aiming at a moving target. Today we look at a new book by Clayton Christensen and how it can help us be more effective each day.
Topics: Focus , goals , purpose , stimuli

Finding The Edges
Doing great work over the long-term requires more than just skill. We need to learn to identify the “edges” and work our way toward a solution. Today, we discuss a framework for this process.
Topics: purpose , voice

The Fairness Myth
Certain myths can invade our life and prevent us from engaging fully in the work in front of us. Today, we look at the myth of fairness.
Topics: mindset , motivation , process , Teams

Contingency vs. Ownership
Waiting for…something? We need to take responsibility for the problems in front of us and of our career if we want to make effective progress.
Topics: Energy , Focus , purpose

Break The Glass
No matter how well we plan, the worst can (and often will) happen when circumstances converge and conspire against us. Do you know the “break the glass” moment, and do you have a contingency plan for dealing with it?
Topics: Energy , Focus

Ghost Rules
Are there invisible (but limiting) rules that affect your creative engagement on a daily basis? You need to eliminate these in order to do more effective work.
Topics: assumptions , Focus

Becoming Indispensible
What are you willing to do in order to become indispensible in the workplace? You need to start now, and you need to make it a priority in your life. Here’s how.
Topics: leadership , managing

Difficult Conversations
A question from an AC Engage subscriber: what do I do if I’ve vented to a co-worker and said more than I should about my frustrations with my role?
Topics: leadership , managing , Relationships

The Hard Line
When we compromise our values – the things that are deeply important to us – for the sake of productivity, we lose more of ourselves than we may at first think. Today, we draw a hard line in the sand.
Topics: purpose , values

Bad, Good, Great
How effectively do you spend your days, and how would you rate the quality of engagement you have with your work? Today we discuss the three types of work we engage in, and how to do more things that truly matter.

Your Big 3: Personal Too
The Big 3 can be a remarkably effective tool for helping you stay focused on your top creative priorities, and it’s important to ensure that your Big 3 is reflective of all priorities in your world, not just work ones.
Topics: Focus , priorities

Effectiveness or Efficiency?
When the pressure is on, we can easily default to whatever makes us feel like we’re making traction. But often those highly efficient activities steal time from our more effective work. Today we discuss how to determine the distinction between the two.
Topics: effectiveness , efficiency , procrastination , Productivity , Time

Study Time Best Practices
We need to fill our head with higher quality stimuli if we truly want to thrive over the long-term. In order to do this, it helps to have a trusted system for ensuring that these stimuli are at-the-ready and on the schedule. Today we discuss best practices for your “study time”.
Topics: Focus , stimuli , study

If we allow too much noise into our world, it can begin to suffocate our most critical work. The problem is that this noise isn’t always bad, it’s just distracting us from our main areas of focus. Today we talk about how to solve this with pruning.
Topics: Energy , Focus , priorities , Productivity , pruning

Over time, residue can develop within our relationships on teams and with collaborators. This residue affects our ability to fully engage with our work. Today, we take a look at that residue and how we can begin to clean it up so we have clear space for our best work.
Topics: collaboration , conflict , conversation , Relationships

Three Modes of Work
The three modes of work we do on a daily basis, and how to ensure that they are all finding a way into our life.
Topics: Energy , Focus , stimuli

Suffer Well
It’s inevitable that we will all suffer in some ways in our pursuit of brilliant work. Today we discuss how assigning meaning to suffering can help us endure and find a deeper sense of engagement.
Topics: Focus , purpose , Relationships

Your Sacred Spaces
Where are the sacred spaces in your life and world? We need three kinds: physical, psychological, and emotional/spiritual.
Topics: hours , space , stimuli , Time

Your Stimulus Syndicate
Where do you look for great, challenging stimulus? Here’s one way to leverage the eyes and ears of others to help you stay focused, inspired, and engaged.

The Existential Vacuum
Of his time in concentration camps, Victor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search For Meaning that “We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us.” The beginning of meaning in any […]
Topics: life , meaning , purpose

Pop The Filter Bubble
Are you seeking divergent opinions, or are you stuck in the rut of the familiar? Today we discuss a simple method for seeking insight and inspiration that’s “out of the norm”.
Topics: Focus , ideas , inspiration , stimuli

Ask Two Questions First
It’s tempting to dive into solution mode, but sometimes we need to pause for a moment and orient ourselves to what we’re really trying to do.
Topics: Focus , leadership , questions

Cancer To The Creative Soul
The single thing that we must be cautious to always – ALWAYS – avoid if we want to stay on a trajectory of being prolific, brilliant, and healthy in life and work.
Topics: engagement , Focus , mindset , purpose

What You Bring
Life is less about what you get from it than what you bring to it. What traits do you want to be true of you at all times and in all circumstances?
Topics: calling , purpose

Index Your Brilliance
Ever had an idea that you thought was unforgettable…until you forgot it? Yeah, me too. Here’s a simple, foolproof method for ensuring that this doesn’t happen as often and for helping you mine your archives for potential gold.
Topics: ideas , notes , stimuli

Copy and Leverage
What did Ben Franklin know that you might not? Well…probably a lot. But did you know that one of the main ways he developed his capacity to write was through imitation? You can do the same thing with your craft.
Topics: development , growth , imitation

Share Your Inspiration
There’s no sense in keeping your ideas under lock and key! Not only will sharing ideas add value to those around you, but it’s also the best way to ensure continued growth, learning and inspiration in your own life.
Topics: ideas , inspiration , Relationships

What Not To Do
Paralyzed by choice? Overwhelmed by ideas and options? Here’s a simple strategy for dealing with paralysis and stagnancy.
Topics: Energy , Focus , Time

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings
There is no greater drain on our energy, focus and time than ineffective meetings. Here are a few quick strategies for dealing with those pesky little last minute meeting requests.
Topics: Focus , meetings , Teams

Stuck in a rut? Having a difficult time staying engaged and focused? Take a tip from the wonderful book and focus on gratitude.
Topics: engagement , Focus , gratitude

Free Association Best Practices
Ever get stuck looking for an idea? Here’s a simple (but effective) method for getting potential insights out of your head and into the process.
Topics: ideas , ideation

Time Squandering
It’s tempting to engage in activities that “pass the time”, but we often don’t recognize the true opportunity cost of doing so. Today, a challenge to look at the true cost of mindless activity.
Topics: Focus , procrastination , Time

Travel Energy
Do you have to travel a lot for work? Travel can be one long series of obligations, but with a few purposeful rituals it can be much more enjoyable and you can stay much more energized.
Topics: Energy , Productivity , travel

Fan Letters
We grow by imitating others. It’s helpful, then, to know who our “rock stars” are. Calling out specific attributes of their “rock stardom” can help us understand ways we want to grow too.
Topics: gratitude , growth , Relationships

White Sheet It!
How do you get feedback from others on the work you’re doing? Here’s a simple practice from Benjamin Zander that will help you stay in a posture of growth.
Topics: growth , leadership , Relationships

Know Your Starting Point
Procrastination can get the best of us if we’re not careful. The trick to overcoming it? It’s not just where you leave off that matters, it’s where you choose to pick back up.
Topics: Focus , hours , procrastination , Productivity

Stimulus Junk Food Binge
Stimulus isn’t all about deep thoughts and study notes. Sometimes it’s OK to go crazy. Here’s how to allow for a stimulus junk food binge in your world.
Topics: practices , Stimulus

Quarterly Checkpoint Best Practices
It’s important to step back on a regular basis and check to see if you’re still “on the rails”. Here are some best practices for planning and executing your Quarterly Checkpoint.
Topics: alignment , checkpoints , goals

The Virtual Mentor Group
Feeling a little stuck? Maybe it’s time to call a meeting of your invisible friends. (Wait….conversations with invisible people? Yep.) Here’s how a virtual mentor group can help you unlock problems and gain traction on your projects.
Topics: mentors , Relationships

Idea Time Prompts
So…what do you do during that time you have set aside to generate ideas? Stare at a wall? Doodle? No fear, friends. Today we introduce three questions that can help you frame up your problems in a new way and generate insights.
Topics: Focus , idea time , ideas , Time

The Deeper Questions
Sometimes we can ignore the deeper questions in our work and it results in procrastination, apathy, and lack of effectiveness. Today we discuss a simple method for preventing this kind of “spinning out.”
Topics: curiosity , Focus , stimuli

Predictability Of Rest?
Regardless of how much sleep you’re getting, without a predictable schedule you may still be sleeping your energy into the ground. Here’s a short prompt on establishing predictable patterns of sleep behavior.
Topics: Energy , rhythm , sleep

Head To Head Best Practices
Ready to deliver a mini TED talk? That’s kind of what a “head to head” is like, and it’s one of the best ways to stay engaged and to deeply learn things that can make you more effective in your work.
Topics: learning , Relationships , study

5W, Then How?
It’s critical in our effort to do great work that we not abandon process. When we do, we get in trouble and get off the rails. Today we discuss the critical distinction between project strategy and creative strategy.
Topics: creative strategy , Focus , process , rails , strategy

Dedicated Focus
Setting dedicated times of focus can help relieve stress and prevent burnout.
Topics: Focus , idea time

The Elements of Rhythm
Todd’s talk from SXSW lays out the basic dynamics of creating for a living and the elements of Creative Rhythm.
Topics: create-on-demand , rhythm , talks

Tech Detox?
Do we own our devices, or do our devices own us? Thoughts on the importance of sacred spaces.
Topics: Focus , solitude

Firing Bullets
Are you firing bullets or cannonballs? Some thoughts from Jim Collins’ (fantastic!) new book “Great By Choice”.
Topics: idea time , ideas , study , unnecessary creating