How to Be Awesome at Your Job: A Podcast for People who Love Learning Improvement Tools for Happier Work, Career & Achieving

If your job requires substantial thinking and collaboration, this podcast will help you flourish at work. Each week, Pete grills thought-leaders and results-getters to discover specific, actionable insights that boost work performance. These practical nuggets sharpen the universal skills every professional needs. Pete has coached world-class thinkers from 50 countries, every Ivy League university, and many elite companies to work brilliance. Now, let his VIP guests guide you to becoming a better thinker, doer, presenter, and leader. More career fun, wins, meaning, and money await. Transcripts, show notes, and handy resources available at
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How to Be Awesome at Your Job: A Podcast for People who Love Learning Improvement Tools for Happier Work, Career & Achieving



All Episodes
Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 29, 2016

Popular productivity blogger Ben Elijah of fame teaches how to form effective habits and provides pro-tips on determining optimal contexts to rock your to-do list.

You’ll learn:

  1. The importance of context in your day-to-day to-do list, and how you can use it most effectively
  2. How Ben jots captures ideas while in the shower (and now I do too)
  3. How to ingrain new habits by using the habit loop 

About Ben
Author of The Productivity Habits, Ben studies how our relationship with information affects the way we live and work. As a writer who straddles science and the arts, Ben has a uniquely analytical approach to problems such as information overload, life goals, and well-being.

View transcript, show notes, and links at


Jul 27, 2016

Legendary speech coach Dr. Nick Morgan shares verbal and nonverbal keys to making a powerful impression.

You’ll Learn

  1. How to hook audience attention in presentations
  2. What vocal cues can unconsciously undermine how your peers see you
  3. Keys to cooperating with the adrenaline that speaking produces

About Nick

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America’s top communication theorists and coaches. He has spoken, led conferences, and moderated panels at venues around the world. Nick is a former Fellow at the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He founded Public Words Inc, a consulting firm specializing in communications, in 1997.
Nick has been commissioned by Fortune 50 companies to write for many CEOs and presidents. He has coached people to give Congressional testimony, to appear on the Today Show, and to deliver an unforgettable TED talk. He has worked widely with political and educational leaders. Nick helps people find clarity in their thinking and ideas, developing thought leaders – and coaches them to deliver their ideas with panache. 

View transcript, show notes, and links at

Copyright © Optimality

Jul 25, 2016

Business communication guru Casey Hawley shares tips and tricks for delicate conversations around the office.

You’ll learn:

  1. How to deal with your ‘dragons’
  2. Key words and phrases for dealing with a bad boss
  3. How to enroll others in mentoring you and championing your ideas

About Casey

Casey Hawley teaches at Georgia State University and has consulted clients such as the NFL, Department of the Interior, and over a dozen Fortune 500 corporations on communication. She conducts workshops on writing and speaking for professionals. View transcript, show notes, links, and more at

Copyright © Optimality

Jul 22, 2016

Author William Poundstone discusses the importance of knowledge in your head in the modern era.

You’ll learn

  1. Why it’s important to still have general knowledge in the era of Google
  2. Why those who listen to podcasts tend to be the most informed people of all ;)
  3. It’s nearly impossible for humans to be unpredictable.

About Bill

William Poundstone is the author of 15 books, including Fortune’s Formula, which was named Amazon Editors’ pick for #1 Nonfiction Book of the year. He has written for The New York Times Book Review, Village Voice, Esquire, Harpers, The Believer, The Economist, and Harvard Business Review. Poundstone lives in Los Angeles.

Show notes, transcripts, and more available at

Copyright © Optimality

Jul 20, 2016

Author Greg McKeown expounds the idea of essentialism--the disciplined pursuit of less, but better.

You’ll Learn:

  1. The meaning of essentialism and why to eliminate non-essentials.
  2. How to use extreme criteria to determine priority.
  3. The power and importance of having some buffer time.

About Greg
Originally from London, England, Greg McKeown is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” and the founder of THIS, Inc, a company with a mission to inspire millions of people to design their essential mission in life. Their clients include Adobe, Apple, Airbnb, Cisco, Google, Facebook, Pixar,, Symantec, Twitter, VMware and Yahoo!

View transcript, show notes, links, and more at

Jul 18, 2016

Professor Michael Marquardt explains how great questions make for great leadership. 

You’ll learn:

  1. How to use questions to solve problems and build relationships
  2. What makes a question great
  3. How to avoid “dis-empowering” questions


About Mike

Dr. Michael Marquardt is a senior consultant with Aspire Consulting, Professor of Human Resource Development and International Affairs, and Program Director of Overseas Programs at George Washington University. Mike also serves as President of the World Institute for Action Learning.

He has held a number of senior management, training, and marketing positions in major organizations. Dr. Marquardt has trained more than 100,000 managers in nearly 150 countries. He’s consulted many major organizations such as Microsoft, United Nations Development Program, Samsung, Singapore Airlines, and the governments of Indonesia, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Honduras, Swaziland, and many others.

Mike is the author of 24 books and over 100 professional articles in the fields of leadership, learning, globalization, and organizational change. He has received the International Practitioner of the Year Award from the American Society for Training and Development.


View transcript, show notes, and links at

Jul 15, 2016

Old friend and Team Clock originator Steve Ritter shares his experiences on the key differentiators of toxic vs. healthy teams...and key steps for making the leap.

You’ll learn:

  1. Why strategic planning is often a monumental failure
  2. The pillars of Ritter’s “Team Clock” model for successful teaming
  3. Common behaviors that cause dysfunction in teams --and how to correct them

About Steve

Steve Ritter has served as a human resources leader, teacher, author, and consultant. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Founder and CEO of the Team Clock Institute, the Managing Director of the Midwest Institute & Center for Workplace Innovation, and the author of Team Clock: A Guide to Breakthrough Teams and Useful Pain: Why Your Relationships Need Struggle. Steve is on the faculty of the Center for Professional Excellence at Elmhurst. He is the former Senior Vice President and Director of Human Resources at Leaders Bank, which won the #1 Best Place to Work in Illinois in 2006 the APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Award in 2010. Steve consults organizations including Kraft Foods, Kellogg's, Advocate Health Care, the Chicago White Sox, Northwestern Mutual, the Illinois Hospital Association, and Starcom Worldwide.

View transcript, show notes, and links at

Jul 13, 2016

Lee Caraher separates fact from fiction when it comes to millennials, and discusses how to work through intergenerational conflict.

You’ll learn:
1. Just what defines a millennial, exactly? And why do 72% of us reject the label?

2. What’s actually different about millennials vs. traditional generational bashing?

3. How to coordinate well cross-generationally.

About Lee
Lee Caraher started Double Forte in 2002 to work with good people, doing great work for good companies. Her friends and colleagues call her "The Millennial Whisperer."

After struggling with how to work well with Millennial clients and now staffers (more than half of Lee’s staff is under 35) and then working to figure out how to make that work, Lee has written a positive and practical book about the topic, “Millennials & Management: The Essential Guide to Making it Work at Work.”

She served as the Vice President of Corporate and Consumer Communications at the $1.6 Billion SEGA of America—their youngest US VP. She then served as Executive Vice President of The Weber Group and Founder and President of Red Whistle Communications, both Interpublic companies. Lee is active in the community and currently serves on numerous boards.

A graduate of Carleton College, with a degree in Medieval History, which she finds useful every day, Lee lives on the Peninsula with her husband, two sons, and their blind cat Al.

View transcript, show notes, and links at

Jul 11, 2016

Globetrotting trainer Kevan Hall shares how to minimize waste and frustration in work environments complicated by multiple bosses, countries, and priorities.

You’ll learn:

  1. The “stars vs spaghetti” perspective to minimize unnecessary meeting attendance
  2. Approaches to getting needed clarity at work
  3. Frameworks for quickly sizing up and adapting to cultures

About Kevan

Kevan is CEO of Global Integration and author of the books “Making the matrix work - how matrix managers engage people and cut through complexity and “Speed Lead faster, simpler ways to manage people, projects and teams in complex companies.” He is the author of the “Life in a Matrix” blog, videos and podcasts.

As an experienced corporate line manager he spent 14 years leading teams in manufacturing operations, HR, and strategic & market planning in the Telecoms & FMCG sectors. He has lived in the UK and France and worked around the world.

As an entrepreneur, he has founded, built and runs Global Integration, a group of companies based in Europe, USA and Asia and operating worldwide.

The companies have consulted with more than 300 of the world’s leading companies (including PepsiCo, GE, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Morgan Stanley, W. L Gore, Abbott, Samsung and Vodafone) around the world and delivered over 100,000 participant days of training in the skills of working in matrix, virtual and global organizations.


To view transcripts, show notes and links, visit



Jul 8, 2016

User Experience designer and recovering alcoholic Victor Yocco speaks about habit formation--good and bad.

You’ll Learn:

  1. Victor’s personal story and implications for forming effective habits and breaking ineffective ones
  2. The power of teaming up with others to achieve your ambitions
  3. How to use a design approach to construct and reach your career goals

About Victor

Victor is a Philadelphia-based research director, author, and speaker. He received his PhD from The Ohio State University, where he studied communication and psychology. Victor regularly writes and speaks on the application of psychology to design and addressing the design and tech culture of promoting alcohol use. He has written for A List Apart, Smashing Magazine, UX Booth, User Experience Magazine (UXPA) and many more. He is the author of Design for the Mind, a book from Manning Publications on the application of principles of psychology to design.

View View transcript, show notes, links, and more at Copyright © Optimality 

Jul 6, 2016

Chris Bailey’s extreme commitment in productivity self-experimentation has yielded a boatload of insight into channeling your time, attention, and energy for maximum achievement. He shares the best of the best with us today.

You’ll learn:

  1. What 35 hours of weekly meditation does to your productivity
  2. How to galvanize your daily attention using the rule of three
  3. The power of single-tasking and claiming the missing 47% of our attention

About Chris

When Chris Bailey graduated University, he received two full-time job offers, but decided to decline them both to dedicate a full year of his life to exploring his weird passion: productivity. For a full year he did anything and everything to become more productive. His work has received national and international media attention from outlets like The New York Times, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and countless others. The prestigious TED Talks blog said that he “might be the most productive man you’d ever hope to meet.” Recently, Fast Company called him a "productivity mastermind." You can read Bailey’s work at Bailey is on a mission to share the lessons of his year-long journey both with his new bestselling book, The Productivity Project, and in his lectures, where he offers insights and best practices that will help everyone from college students to CEOs accomplish more. View transcript, show notes, links, and more at

Jul 1, 2016

Executive coach Julia Atkinson shares her experiences coaching teams across three different continents, and provides insight into how to thrive when cultures collide.

You’ll learn:

  1. The differences between Eastern and Western styles of communication
  2. A quick rundown of the four different Myers-Briggs preferences, from ENFJ to ISTP
  3. What is “Guanxi”? A Chinese word that has worldview implications worldwide

About Julia

Julia Atkinson is an Executive Coach with more than 8 years experience of living and working in China before taking her business to the US, Chicago. 10 years of leading teams in Multinationals in IT and Telecommunication give her first hand corporate know-how. Julia uses an interactive coaching process to help clients attain awareness of deeply rooted beliefs and values and related behaviors. From that awareness, she helps them identify and implement shifts that will effect lasting change where they want it. View transcript, show notes, links, and more at