Every single weekday, over 3 billion people commute to work and spend precious time travelling from point A to point B. On average, people from 26 OECD countries spend about 60 minutes everyday commuting to and from work. In Korea, the average daily commute is almost 120 minutes, whereas in Sweden the average daily commute is only about 40 minutes. (Source: OECD LMF2.6)
This adds up to about 200 hours every year that we spend commuting. Now imagine what we could achieve if we had these 200 hours to expand our knowledge or learn a new skill. This is now possible. I find that the podcast format is one of the most ideal to obtain valuable lessons while being on the move. What is so great about podcasts is that it only occupies your hearing, still allowing you to switch trains, pay attention to other pedestrians, keep your eyes on the road, etc. I am a great fan of podcasts on my daily commute and these are 5 of my favourites:
Stanford University eCorner
I still dream of being a student at Stanford University, on the world’s most prestigious institutions of knowledge and education. Luckily for me, Stanford University School of Engineering publishes one of its most sought after classes online for everyone to follow. For 13 seasons, the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader series has inspired and educated millions of attendees, with exciting lectures from Silicon Valley icons Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, former Google executive Marissa Mayer, Instagram founder Kevin Wiel, etc.
One of my favourite episodes is The Power of Not Knowing with Liz Wiseman. She speaks about the advantage of cultivating a rookie mindset in our rapidly changing world, and shares insights from her book “Rookie Smart”.
The BBC world service with Stephen Sackur brings you interviews with Presidents, Prime Ministers, World Leaders, Corporate decision makers and influencers from all walks of life. I like this show because of its to-the-point and often tough questions. I use HardTalk to expand my horizon on foreign topics, in particular Asian reports, that do not often get covered in the mainstream news.
One of my favourite episodes is with CEO of Air Asia, Tony Fernandes, one of Asia’s best known businessmen. Tony shares stories from his ventures as CEO of Air Asia, owner of a football club, and host of popular tv show The Apprentice Asia, spinoff of the original show hosted by Donald Trump. Listen to the episode here
The Tony Robbins Podcast
The famous author, self-help coach and entrepreneur Tony Robbins shares recordings and material from his events and seminars in this podcast series. The podcast is full of powerful interviews with top notch entrepreneurs, financial gurus, CEOs and influencers.
One of my favourite episodes is an interview with Jonas Kjellberg, former CEO of Skype. Jonas shares how one can innovate in zeros, or in other words cut costs to grow one’s business. Instead of investing in infrastructure like a classic telco, Skype used existing bandwidth and computer power from all its users and managed to reduce the infrastructure cost to zero. Listen to the episode here
Another good episode is with Sam Walker from the WSJ, who shares insights from his book ‘The Captain Class, The Hidden Force that Creates the World’s Greatest Teams’. This podcast introduced me to some powerful leadership lessons. For instance, how people feel about recognition, where some thrive when publicly celebrated and others prefer a shoulder clap in private. Listen to it here
Find the Tony Robbins Podcast on Spotify
FT Behind The Money
The Financial Times is a great source of high quality content, but majority of it is hidden behind a paywall. If you are not a subscriber to the FT you are in luck, as FT broadcasts a lot of free content on Spotify. The FT has quite a number of podcast series available that will give you a good news overview. I however, find that Behind The Money is one of the most intriguing shows, as it takes a proper deep dive on a hot news topic.
No particular show is my favourite at this point. However, take a listen to the shows going deep on Tesla, Softbank, WeWork and Danske Bank. They are all terrific podcasts and I am certain that there will be some eye opening insights you didn’t know before.
Find Behind The Money with the Financial Times on Spotify
Last on my list is yet another top tier university: Harvard Business School, the almamater for some of the world’s leading CEOs, executives and business professionals. The Harvard Business Review is known globally for being the leading authority for research in the fields of business, leadership, strategy, organisational change, negotiation and related topics. I enjoy expanding my horizon on the latest from the academic world of business and the HBR IdeaCast produces some really good material. Having access to the knowledge and ideas from this prestigious institution is a privilege and thanks to the HBR IdeaCast we can all listen in.
I recently listened to a great episode about how you can spot if your firm has identified you as a high potential candidate. A very good place to start if you are new to the HBR IdeaCast. You can find the episode here
Find the HBR IdeaCast on Spotify