As a lifelong student of self-improvement, I remember a statement by personal development icon Earl Nightingale that has always stuck with me.
“An hour a day is all it takes; one hour of study in your field will put you at the top in 3 years, 5 years of learning and improvement will make you a nationally recognized expert, and 7 years makes you one of the very best.”
While some may question the specifics of Nightingale’s formula, the point is that committing to a daily habit of intentional learning will, over time, produce profound results. One of Nightingale’s contemporaries, author Brian Tracy, puts it this way: “If you read just one book per month, that will put you into the top 1% of income earners in our society.”
I can hear your reaction: “I don’t have time to read.” When you consider all the time you spend driving, cooking, or working around your house every month, there are two great alternatives — audio books and podcasts.
For me, since I intentionally create time to read books, I use podcasts to supplement my learning and make great use of otherwise idle time. There are thousands to choose from on i-Tunes. And while I’ve discovered that many are glorified promotions for someone’s book or other products, there are also many excellent podcasts that will help you take your personal brand — your ability to present the best version of yourself every day — to another level. And they’re free!
Here are my current top five podcasts that will up your game, build your personal brand, and take your leadership to the next level:
1) This is Your Life – Created by former book publishing CEO Michael Hyatt, this podcast is dedicated to intentional leadership. Michael’s goal is to help you live with more passion, work with greater focus, and lead with extraordinary influence.
2) Read to Lead Podcast – Each week, host Jeff Brown interviews what he calls some of the brightest minds of our generation — today’s top-selling nonfiction authors. Jeff is a former radio broadcaster who brings a high level of energy and insightful interviewing skills to this meaty podcast.
3) EntreLeadership – Dave Ramsey leads lively discussions with tips on leadership from some of the best minds in business, sports, ministry, and entertainment.
4) Underground Wellness – Sean Croxton’s energetic weekly broadcast features the latest breakthrough research in nutrition, fitness, and enhancing your overall vitality, plus live interviews and caller questions.
5) Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast – Along with being one of the most recognized pastors in America, Andy Stanley is an author, communicator, and founder of North Point Ministries in Alpharetta, GA. His podcast delivers practical advice and breakthrough strategies to help leaders go further, faster.
If you are searching for ways to better use your time to grow and develop, try listening to podcasts. To download my recommendations and browse through thousands of others (like Amazon.com does for books, iTunes provides a list of other podcasts with similar themes and content for each podcast you search for), go to the iTunes Store and use the “search” bar. I’d love to know more about what you’re listening to and what you’re learning.