Podcasts For all types of Managers

Here at Tolpagorni, we usually focus on Product Managers. However, today’s blogpost will be relevant for all types of managers. All managers have a few things in common with each other – managing a team of people and ensuring the project/product is completed. The podcast that I will be sharing below aren’t podcasts where they give you a list of how-tos, but rather they give examples using real situations faced or inspiring people who have made a change.

This American Life

This American Life was suggested to me by my friend when I had first started looking for some good Podcast content. This American Life focuses a lot of it’s content, as said in the name, on America. However, they come up with some fantastic podcasts on variety of things.

They have done a podcast on how once in the Air Force, a junior had almost set off the nuclear missile by mistake and how no one knew how to deal with the situation. Also, they have looked upon how the Inflow of Mexicans in the one Alabama town during the industrial revolution. And how the corporate companies had taken advantage of cheap labour and integrity, resulting in a creation of divide in the society. (Hence, possibly creating an anti-immigrant society, for justified reasons)

By face value, you might ask, how on earth is this helpful to a manager who is responsible for Smart Grid in Volvo?

Well, the podcast on how the junior almost set off the nuclear missile will show you that even the most guarded and well-planned place is not 100% full proof. Therefore, in your time as a manager, you juniors and you might make some equally deemed catastrophic mistakes too. Listening to a bunch of men saying they didn’t know what to do and they went with their gut feeling will give a perspective to your own work. At least as a manager you might not end up killing tens of thousands of people and leaving many more suffering from radiation! :D

Every podcast from This American Life has a soft learning that will help broaden your views on the world and give you a different perspective to not just your work but personal life as well.

Go to This American Life

TED Talks and TED Technology

Unlike the previous podcast where you learn from what went wrong in the world, Ted Talks are very inspiring. I love Ted Talks because I learn something new and valuable in under 30 minutes! The variety that you can find is almost endless.

Which is why, if you are more interested in technology, there is a whole subsection called TED Technology where they focus on, of course, technology. I highly suggest Success stories from Kenya’s first makerspace, How we’re using drones to deliver blood and save lives and The single biggest reason why startups succeed.

The third one is particularly good not just for start-ups but for larger companies as well. Although I have suggested only 3, I assure you there is an abundance of knowledge and inspiration that you can bring into your workplace every day!

Go to Ted Talks and TED Technology

Freakonomics Radio

This is a new addition to my list of podcasts, but I have already listened to 5 in the last week. It is more financially driven than the other 2 but still the content is very good listening to. They also go beyond the finances and bring many human topics as well. Such as Make Me a Match is about how Al Roth made organ transplant donors easier to be found and redesigned the market to make the process more efficient.

Similarly, How to Be a Modern Democrat, where Gina Raimondo, the governor of tiny Rhode Island, has taken on unions, boosted big business, and made friends with Republicans. For a manager, this podcast has several learnings on how to work with people who do not share the same views as you. Gina Raimondo is also very inspirational in how she speaks to people who are not willing to listen to her and change their views on the topic she is passionate about and herself.
Go to Freakonomics Radio

All the podcasts that I have suggested above are how a manager can become better at managing his/her team by looking at what went wrong and what people did that was right. A change of perspective or a new idea sometimes goes a much longer way than reading an article on how to be better at your job. I hope these podcasts help you and motivate you as much has it as to myself.
Until next time, cheerio!

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About Sneha Barman

Background in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Product Management. My professional roles have ranged from a design engineer, product development engineer and product manager where I primarily worked on commercial products to make it market ready. I am constantly curious and intrigued by technological advancements in all areas and the impact it has in the world and our lives. It’s a good era for me to be in!

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