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I Wish They Knew

I Wish They Knew

By Joe Hirsch

Joe Hirsch hosts small conversations about big ideas that deserve more attention -- in about the time to takes to enjoy a cup of coffee.
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(Ep. 151) Tal Ben-Shahar: Happier ever after

I Wish They KnewOct 03, 2023

(Ep. 151) Tal Ben-Shahar: Happier ever after

(Ep. 151) Tal Ben-Shahar: Happier ever after


We all want happier lives, but the straightest path to happiness is the one that's indirect. In Episode 151, Tal Ben-Shahar shares why the pursuit of happiness often leaves us feeling unhappy and why seeking indirect forms of happiness makes us more fulfilled. Tal explores the "happiness paradox" that drains our joy, outlines five drivers of happiness, and offers practical and simple happiness interventions that can make an immediate difference in our lives. True happiness is the result of what we do for ourselves and others -- and after listening to Tal, you'll find ways to live happier ever after, too.


Tal Ben-Shahar is an internationally renowned teacher and author in the fields of happiness and leadership. He's taught two of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history: Positive Psychology and The Psychology of Leadership, then taught Happiness Studies at Columbia University. His books have appeared on best-sellers lists around the world and have been translated into more than 30 languages, including BEING HAPPY, HAPPIER, EVEN HAPPIER, and HAPPIER NO MATTER WHAT. Tal consults and lectures to executives in multinational corporations, educational institutions, and the general public and he's the co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy.
Oct 03, 202314:27
(Ep. 150) Vanessa Patrick: Know how to say no
Sep 26, 202312:40
BONUS: What WSJ readers got wrong about feedforward

BONUS: What WSJ readers got wrong about feedforward

In this special episode, I respond to the Wall Street Journal's front page story on feedforward and try to set the record straight.
Sep 19, 202309:34
(Ep. 149) Michael Bungay Stanier: Get your best possible relationship

(Ep. 149) Michael Bungay Stanier: Get your best possible relationship

IN EPISODE 149: Our professional and personal relationships can be better - but they don't improve by themselves. In Episode 149, Michael Bungay Stanier shows us how to get the best possible relationships by talking about the "how," not just the "what." You'll learn how keystone conversations promote relationships that are safe, viable and repairable; how asking five questions can reveal what's happening beneath the surface; and how make bad relationships bearable and good relationships even better. Relationships are too important to leave to chance. After listening to Michael, you'll get the most out of the relationships that matter most.

ABOUT MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER: Michael Bungay Stanier is a coach, speaker and author who is best known for The Coaching Habit, the best-selling coaching book of the century. He's been named a top coach by Global Gurus, was the first Canadian Coach of the Year and was also a Rhodes Scholar. Michael is the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company, and his latest book is How to Work With (Almost) Anyone.

Sep 12, 202317:19
(Ep. 148) Heather Hansen: Advocate to win

(Ep. 148) Heather Hansen: Advocate to win


It's not enough to share perspectives. We need to advocate for them. In Episode 148, Heather Hansen shows us how to advocate to win -- the act of getting something positive because we've earned it. Heather explores the three things advocates do to get more wins, how men and women approach advocacy differently, why feedback seekers make for strong advocates, and the surprising ways advocates get more of what they want. (Hint: They make it about others, not themselves.) From learning how to set your non-negotiables to specific actions advocates take to build credibility, you'll learn how to get others to believe in your positions as much as you do.

Heather Hansen helps leaders, sales teams and high powered individuals master persuasion and build credibility. She's is a former trial attorney who has worked with companies like Google, the American Medical Association and Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, NBC, Fox Business and CBS. Heather is the bestselling author of ⁠The Elegant Warrior: How to Win Life's Trials Without Losing Yourself ⁠and hosts the Elegant Warrior podcast. Her most recent book is ⁠Advocate To Win: 10 Tools to Ask for What You Want and Get It.⁠
⁠Instagram ⁠| ⁠LinkedIn⁠ | ⁠Website
Sep 05, 202310:34
(Ep. 147) Dan Simons & Christopher Chabris: You can't fool me
Aug 29, 202310:54
(Ep. 146) Hal Hershfield: Your future self

(Ep. 146) Hal Hershfield: Your future self

We know that the decisions we make today will determine the lives we lead in the future. The best way to get better outcomes? Get to know your future self. In Episode 146, Hal Hershfield explores the brain-based case for visualizing ourselves in the future. We discuss the benefits of prospection, ways to identify more strongly with our future selves, the value of "surrogates" and tapping the wisdom of elders, and why the future isn't as bleak as we sometimes make it out to be. We need to live in the present but look to the future -- and after listening to Hal, you'll know how to make tomorrow better today.
Hal Hershfield is a Professor of Marketing, Behavioral Decision Making, and Psychology at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. His work has been published in top academic journals and in the popular press in outlets like the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal. Hal has worked with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and numerous financial services firms like Fidelity, First Republic, Prudential, Morgan Stanley, and Merrill Lynch, and is the author of Your Future Self: How to Make Tomorrow Better Today.

Aug 22, 202313:26
(Ep. 145) Hesha Abrams: Holding the calm to resolve conflict
Aug 15, 202313:18
(Ep. 144) Bruce Feiler: Be the hero of your own story

(Ep. 144) Bruce Feiler: Be the hero of your own story

IN EPISODE 144: Have you ever experienced a sudden and significant disruption in your work life? It may not be the end of life as you know it, but the start of a new life you never knew. In Episode 144, Bruce Feiler explores the power and possibilities of "workquakes" and their impact on our happiness, meaning and balance. We explore the tension between linear expectations and non-linear realities, why the happiest people "dig" instead of "climb," and how the wisdom of others can help us discover our innermost truths. We can be hero of our own story -- and after listening to Bruce, you'll develop the script and strength to write a new narrative.

ABOUT BRUCE FEILER: Bruce Feiler is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including Life is in the Transitions, The Secrets of Happy Families, and Council of Dads. His three TED Talks have been viewed more than four million times, and he teaches the TED course, "How to Master Life Transitions." His latest book is The Search: Finding Meaningful Work in a Post-Career World.

Aug 08, 202316:48
(Ep. 143) Sara Canaday: Unlock your inner coach

(Ep. 143) Sara Canaday: Unlock your inner coach

We know that coaches help us do better. But did you know that anyone can become better at coaching? In Episode 143, Sara Canaday helps us hone our coach approach. We discuss why people have more coaching chops than they think, the difference between performance and developmental coaching, and five steps we can take to improve our coaching skillset. There's a coach inside each of us...and after listening to Sara, you'll unlock your inner coach to maximize better results and relationships.
Sara Canaday is a leadership consultant, speaker and author of three books. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Wall Street Journal, and she's a popular instructor for LinkedIn Learning and a member of the National Speakers Association. Sara's latest book is "Essential Coaching Skills for Managers: The Tools You Need to Ignite Greatness in Each Employee."

Aug 01, 202316:06
(Ep. 142) David Burkus: High-trust teams

(Ep. 142) David Burkus: High-trust teams

We know high-trust teams enjoy better relationships and results, but they also need a big helping of risk and respect. In Episode 142, David Burkus explores the beliefs and behaviors of high-trust teams. He explains why it pays to share small bits of self-disclosure, how to treat conflict as collaboration, why team failures should be recast as learning moments, and the benefits of "help time" and reciprocal support. The best teams have each other's backs - and after listening to David, you'll know how to create them.
David Burkus is the best-selling author of five books about business and leadership. His work has been featured in numerous print and TV media including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, USAToday, Fast Company, CNN and CBS This Morning, and he's been ranked by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s top business thought leaders. David
is a TEDx and international speaker and has worked with leaders from
organizations across all industries including Google, Stryker, Fidelity,
Viacom, and even the US Naval Academy. His latest book is Best Team Ever: The Surprising Science of High Performing Teams.
Jul 25, 202314:57
(Ep. 141) Mary Abbajay: Manage up without falling down

(Ep. 141) Mary Abbajay: Manage up without falling down

Jul 18, 202312:33
(Ep. 140) Dave Norton: A better way to evaluate customer experience

(Ep. 140) Dave Norton: A better way to evaluate customer experience


Ever get one of those customer satisfaction surveys asking you to rate your experience? Or whether you're likely to recommend a product to others? Even if you bother to respond, those type of measures don't provide meaningful answers -- or insights. In Episode 140, Dave Norton makes the case for measuring customer experience with modes, not "moments." By focusing on "time well spent," companies can peek inside the emotional decision-making process that guides consumer behavior. Dave provides three specific questions to measure "time well spent," how this framework can produce similar gains in employee experience, and why every company needs a strong point of view. After listening to Dave, you'll think twice about how you try to reach and retain customers.


Dave Norton is the founder and principal of Stone Mantel, an insights consultancy focused on helping companies create meaningful experiences for their customers. Some of those clients include Coca-Cola, Marriott, Disney, Nike and Walmart, among other notable brands. Dave is also the founder of The Collaboratives, a subscription-based research program that publishes annual reports on customer experience and consumer behavior, and is the author of Digital Context 2.0: Seven Lessons in Business Strategy, Consumer Behavior, and the Internet of Things.

Jul 12, 202315:49
(Ep. 139) Andrea Pacini: Become a confident presenter
Jul 05, 202316:10
(Ep. 138) Things I Know, Part 4

(Ep. 138) Things I Know, Part 4

Part 4 in a special series: "Things I Know" // When it comes to feedback, what we show matters more than what we say. From facial cues to Post It notes and even subway maps, feedback signals who others are and where they're headed -- and reminds us that feedback is about a destination, not just a process.

Jun 28, 202308:36
(Ep. 137) Things I Know, Part 3
Jun 21, 202307:60
(Ep. 136) Things I Know, Part 2
Jun 13, 202307:03
(Ep. 135) Things I Know, Part 1
Jun 07, 202308:52
(Ep. 134) Sally Helgesen: Inclusion is a behavior, not a belief

(Ep. 134) Sally Helgesen: Inclusion is a behavior, not a belief


Inclusion isn't a belief - it's a behavior. To create a truly inclusive workplace, we need to act our way into new thinking. In Episode 134, Sally Helgesen shows us how our actions shape our attitudes and why trainings alone rarely bring desired results. Sally explores two triggers that get in the way of meaningful relationships, provides tactics that help us overcome divisiveness, and shares ways that well-placed questions can drive career development and growth. After listening to Sally, you'll walk away with specific ways to foster inclusion at work so that teams can rise together.


Sally Helgesen is an internationally best-selling author, speaker and leadership coach. She's been cited by Forbes as the world’s premier expert on women’s leadership, has been inducted into the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame, and has worked with companies in 37 countries around the world. Sally's latest book is Rising Together:  How We Can Bridge Divides and Create a More Inclusive Workplace.

May 30, 202317:39
(Ep. 133) Amantha Imber: Smart tips for saving time
May 23, 202312:48
(Ep. 132) Marcus Collins: Stay close to the culture
May 16, 202315:37
(Ep. 131) Sarah Noll Wilson: Curiosity cures conflict

(Ep. 131) Sarah Noll Wilson: Curiosity cures conflict


When it comes to conflict, avoidance is worse than aggression. We tip toe around the elephant in the room -- even as we continue to feed it with beliefs and behaviors that make conflict worse. In Episode 131, Sarah Noll Wilson explores the cost of conflict and why it pays to be curious  - first with ourselves (our feelings and expectations), then with others (their motives and behaviors). She shares specific strategies for engaging others in hard conversations, describes the importance of recovery, and highlights ways to frame the exchange. After listening to Sarah, you'll find the words and will to stay curious -- and make difficult conversations just a bit easier.


Sarah Noll Wilson is an executive coach, speaker and researcher who helps leaders manage real-world conflict, have more meaningful conversations, and create purposeful relationships. Her work has appeared in major outlets like Harvard Business Review and she hosts a great podcast, "Conversations on Conversations." Sarah's most recent book is "Don't Feed the Elephants: Overcoming the art of avoidance to build powerful partnerships








May 09, 202317:39
(Ep. 130) Laura Gassner Otting: Get out of Wonderhell
May 03, 202316:03
(Ep. 129) Pamela Slim: Find your watering holes
Apr 25, 202313:49
(Ep. 128) Stephen Shapiro: Invisible solutions
Apr 19, 202316:36
(Ep. 127) Todd Henry: Cracking the motivation code
Apr 05, 202314:17
(Ep. 126) Jonah Berger: Use magic words
Mar 29, 202315:32
(Ep. 125) Tara Renze: Be who you came to be

(Ep. 125) Tara Renze: Be who you came to be


We aren't the product of our thoughts and always get to choose who we become. In Episode 125, Tara Renze shares practical tips on how to develop and practice emotional intelligence in our professional and personal lives. From developing our self-awareness to filling our lives with the people who help us evolve, Tara provides a road map for becoming more complete versions of the people we are meant to be.


Tara Renze is an author, keynote speaker, emotional intelligence & positive intelligence practitioner. She built and led two multi-million-dollar sales teams and then went on to create a nationwide, multi-million-dollar social selling business. Tara is the author of "Be Who You Came To Be" and a wife and mom to her two boys.


Mar 22, 202312:02
(Ep. 124) Kim Scott: Radical caring
Mar 14, 202315:37
(Ep. 123) Chris Barton: Start from Zero

(Ep. 123) Chris Barton: Start from Zero


Shazam is the one of the most downloaded apps of all time, but the secret to its success wasn't being first in its category -- it was first principles. In Episode 123, Chris Barton, Shazam's founder and first CEO, explains why he chose to "start from zero" and built an app based on fundamental truths, not convenient tactics. We discuss creative persistence (and why most good ideas fail to get off the ground), how to apply "first principles" in other facets of life (like finding a coveted apartment), and how companies can bring this type of innovative thinking to their own ranks. 


Chris Barton is the founder and first CEO of Shazam, which has been downloaded over 2 billion times. He's a serial entrepreneur who pioneered mobile partnerships at Google and Dropbox and holds 12 patents, including one found within the Google search algorithm. Chris speaks about innovation to audiences around the world and is the founder of Guard, which uses AI to detect and prevent drowning in swimming pools.



Mar 07, 202313:14
(Ep. 122) Ann Hiatt: Engineer your career

(Ep. 122) Ann Hiatt: Engineer your career

IN EPISODE 122: We can have careers by design, not default -- so long as we position ourselves for change. In Episode 122, Ann Hiatt shares the lessons she learned from more than 15 years reporting directly to CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt and Marissa Mayer. We explore Ann's "ROI" model for upleveling your career, discuss ways to generate feedback from up, down and across your organization, and map out ways to align personal and professional goals. Ann shares her biggest surprise  while working side-by-side with Jeff Bezos and reveals the most important quality that is key  to his success. If you want a behind-the-scenes take from the power centers of Silicon Valley, you won't want to miss this episode! ABOUT ANN HIATT: Ann Hiatt is a bestselling author, executive leadership consultant, speaker, and investor. She's a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years experience reporting directly to CEOs like Jeff Bezos, Marissa Mayer and Eric Schmidt. Ann's work has appeared in outlets like Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, CNBC, the New York Times and Forbes. Her bestselling book is Bet On Yourself: Recognize, Own and Implement Breakthrough Opportunities. LINKS: Website: Ann Hiatt Book: Bet on Yourself  Podcast: Bet on Yourself  LinkedIn Instagram YouTube Twitter

Feb 28, 202314:11
(Ep. 121) Carmine Gallo: Simple is the new superpower
Feb 21, 202315:35
(Ep. 120) Chris DeSantis: Managing generational differences at work
Feb 15, 202314:38
(Ep. 119) Deb Mashek: Collaborate without the hate
Feb 08, 202314:49
(Ep. 118) Patti Sanchez: Powerful presentations that stick
Feb 01, 202308:55
(Ep. 117) Oscar Trimboli: Become a deep listener
Jan 25, 202314:02
(Ep. 116) Devora Zack: How thinkers and feelers can get along
Jan 17, 202314:12
(Ep. 115) Chester Santos: Mastering memory skills

(Ep. 115) Chester Santos: Mastering memory skills


Memorization isn't just a way to retrieve and recall - it's how we achieve and succeed. In Episode 115, U.S. memory champion Chester Santos makes the case for memorization and offers practical techniques to help anyone master memory skills. Using the power of visualization, we can remember dates and details, recall people's names with ease, and even repeat a long sequence of random words -- something Chester and I do in a live role play. Chester also offers tips on how to preserve memory as we age and deliver memorable stories that help audiences retain key messages. Whether you're trying to stand out from the stage, win more business, or just remember what to buy at the grocery store, this episode will help you sharpen your skills for success!


 Chester Santos is the U.S. Memory Champion and is recognized as the world's leading memory skills expert. His tips on improving memory have been featured throughout the media and popular press, including Time, the Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle and New York Times, CBS, ABC, CNN and the BBC.  Chester is also the author, most recently, of Mastering Memory: Techniques to Turn Your Brain from a Sieve to a Sponge. He's the creator of the Memory School and is the personal memory and mind coach to notable celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, and high-powered executives.


Register for the Memory School (first 25 users are FREE with code JOE):




Jan 11, 202317:20
(Ep. 114) Kandi Wiens: How to achieve burnout immunity
Jan 03, 202314:24
(Ep. 113) Countdown 2022: Happiness

(Ep. 113) Countdown 2022: Happiness


In the second part of a special year-end series, we look back on some of your favorite episodes from 2022. In Episode 113, we explore why happiness is a matter of choice, not chance -- and what we can do to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. Featuring insights from Marshall Goldsmith, Keren Eldad and April Hansen.

Dec 27, 202205:20
(Ep. 112) Countdown 2022: Influence

(Ep. 112) Countdown 2022: Influence


In the first of a special year-end series, we look back on some of your favorite episodes from 2022. In Episode 112, we explore the hidden side of influence -- and how getting what we want is about giving others what they need. Featuring insights from Vanessa Bohns, Jonah Berger and Rene Rodriguez.

Dec 20, 202208:19
(Ep. 111) Scott Tillema: Lead like a hostage negotiator
Dec 13, 202213:58
(Ep. 110) Stacy Mayer: Women need to show their work
Dec 07, 202214:56
(Ep. 109) Bill Hall: How to simulate success
Nov 30, 202212:49
(Ep. 108) BONUS: Thankful for feedback

(Ep. 108) BONUS: Thankful for feedback

We're told that feedback is a gift...and who wouldn't be thankful for that? But feedback doesn't always feel like a gift, and depending on how it was shared, doesn't leave us feeling very thankful at all. In this Thanksgiving edition of the show, we confront the challenge -- and opportunity -- of being thankful for feedback. It's something we can all achieve...with a few helpings of "feedback math." Use this three-part function to accept feedback with grace, goals and gratitude, and you might even want seconds on the feedback you receive!

Nov 23, 202205:25
(Ep. 107) David Sylvester: How to be a fast mover at work

(Ep. 107) David Sylvester: How to be a fast mover at work


Why do some people flourish in new roles while others fail? Too often, transitioning managers and employees don’t live up to their organizations’ expectations. In Episode 107, David Sylvester shows how "fast movers" — the people who are the most productive, innovative, and engaged in new roles —  thrive through a combination of broad networks, beneficial relationships, and a bias for action. You'll learn the five behaviors of fast movers and how you can adopt these practices and ensure that your next career transition succeeds from the start.


David Sylvester is the Director of Global Executive Recruiting at Amazon Web Services, where he builds the mechanisms designed to hire and accelerate success for the top 1% of AWS’s executive leadership globally. Prior to joining AWS, he was the Director of Global Learning & Development at Booz Allen Hamilton. David is a member of the Connected Commons research consortium and has written about recruiting and onboarding for Harvard Business Review.

Nov 16, 202214:48
(Ep. 106) Tracy Holland: Female founders are a force
Nov 09, 202212:54
(Ep. 105) April Hansen: Decisions that matter

(Ep. 105) April Hansen: Decisions that matter

Nov 01, 202213:40
(Ep. 104) Amy Gallo: How to get along (even with people you don't like)
Oct 25, 202212:47
(Ep. 103) Rene Rodriguez: Claim the frame
Oct 19, 202214:54