Guy Raz is the host, co-creator, and editorial director of three NPR programs, including two of its most popular ones: TED Radio Hour and How I Built ThisBoth shows are heard by more than 14 million people each month around the world. In 2017, Raz became the first person in the history of podcasting to have three shows in the top 20 on the Apple Podcast charts. Raz joined NPR in 1997 as an intern for All Things Considered and has worked virtually every job in the newsroom from temporary production assistant to breaking news anchor. His first job was the assistant to NPR’s legendary news analyst Daniel Schorr. Guy has interviewed more than 6,000 people including Richard Branson, Kelly Clarkson, Condoleezza Rice, Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Eminem, Taylor Swift, and many others.

To WATCH Guy’s reaction to seeing his book for the first time, CLICK HERE and watch on YouTube.

FORBES recently called WELCOME TO MANAGEMENT, “the best leadership book of 2020.”

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The Learning Leader Show

  • Excellence =
    • Ambition
    • Desire to produce for the sake of personal fulfillment — “It’s oxygen”
    • Bill Gates is constantly challenging himself… Having a growth mindset. “To survive means to grow.”
  • How has Guy become one of the greatest interviewers in the world?
    • “I’ve been shooting free throws for 25 years. I’ve gotten a lot of reps.” To be great, you have to be bad at the beginning… And keep going.
  • How to connect with others? “I interpret the non-verbal feedback.”
  • Purposeful Practice:
    • It’s a team effort — “I’ve worked with my team for twenty years. There is a strong bond and connection. They are very honest with their feedback. Constructive criticism is essential. We need outsiders to assess us.”
  • Guy thanks his mom and dad in the acknowledgement section of his book:
    • They came to America in the 1970’s. “Being courageous requires resilience.”
    • Guy has covered four wars, but he still doesn’t feel he’s as courageous as his parents.
    • “Without taking a risk there is no reward.”
    • When Guy is afraid to take a risk, he thinks of his parents.
  • How his fellowship year at Harvard impacted him: They teach through case studies and stories. It helped him understand business and storytelling.
  • Guy is inspired by Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey…
  • His ‘Must-Have’ qualities to get hired to work on his team:
    • Kindness – “We filter for kindness”
    • They have to “want to improve”
  • How Guy prepares to interview someone for one of his shows:
    • Contact them well ahead of the interview date
    • Do a deep dive on them and people around them (read, watch videos, listen to podcasts)
    • Do a background check
    • “All of us are imperfect… That’s what make someone relatable. We all have flaws. You need to hear the failures.”
      • “The interviewee must be generous with their emotions.
    • “The idea that I can learn from someone excites me.”
    • “I love transmitting the story.”
  • The idea for How I Built This came to him in 2008 when he took a class at Harvard Business School during a sabbatical year as a Nieman journalism fellow after nearly eight years as a foreign correspondent.
  • Guy demands that those who sit for an interview with him are completely open. “I ask them, ‘Are you willing to come to this interview and surrender?’”
  • Guy stared as an NPR intern and didn’t get the initial jobs he wanted…
  • I asked… “How much of your success can be attributed to luck and how much skill/hard work?”
  • Life advice:
    • Get a job in sales — All jobs have a selling component. Learn this crucial skill.
    • Be methodical about your experiences.
    • Keep your eyes open for problems all around you… Look for problems to solve. All businesses are built on solving a problem.
  • Here is WHY joining a Learning Leader Circle is a good idea…


More Learning:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 216: Jim Collins — How To Go From Good To Great

Episode #300: AJ & Keith Hawk – How To Instill Work Ethic & Curiosity In Your Children

Episode #303General Stanley McChrystal – The New Definition Of Leadership