Podcast Review: Wisdom From The Top

Style: Discussion - Business/Entrepreneurial

Average Episode Length: 1 hr


This week’s podcast recommendation is Wisdom From The Top. From the “Guy” (ha! get it??) who brought us How I Built This, Guy Raz brings us another podcast with important lessons from today’s most visionary leaders from top global brands. In Wisdom From The Top, Guy interviews leaders who share their stories of crisis, failure, bouncing back, triumph, and the valuable lessons regarding how to survive (and thrive!) in business or your chosen career.


I believe work is not something we have to do, it’s something we’re designed to do. Work can bring a lot of fulfillment to our lives. I also believe “work” can be defined in different ways for different people - I’m not just talking about the 9-5 desk job. The formal definition of “work” is an activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result. I consider myself someone who loves to achieve and therefore, like to work. My husband actually gets a little annoyed with me because I have a hard time “doing nothing” (it’s something I’m working on). I always feel the need to be doing something. Maybe that’s why I started a small business whilst maintaining my 9-5 job. Anyway, I’ve always been pretty career-driven so I gravitate toward work and entrepreneurial podcasts like this one.


This podcast has a very similar sound and tone as Guy’s other business focused podcast, How I Built This (which is one of my all-time favs), but Wisdom From The Top differs in that it’s less focused on entrepreneurship, although there are some elements of that in this podcast, and more focused on the enduring qualities of a good leader. Guy is a masterful interviewer and true to form, he asks the most thought-provoking questions of his guests. It’s pretty inspiring to hear the experiences of some of today’s most powerful leaders and understand that their journey to the top wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I particularly enjoy listening to the episodes where Guy interviews a female CEO or executive.


Here are a few of my favorite episodes:

  • PepsiCo: Indra Nooyi - This woman is a badass. In the episode she recounts some really challenging moments in her career at Pepsi and how she overcame barriers.

  • Gatorade: Sarah Robb O-Hagan - Sarah’s journey to the top is anything but linear. She got fired (multiple times) and shares how her lessons-learned helped her succeed.

  • Machiavelli for Women: Stacy Vanek Smith - Stacey is keenly aware of the barriers bloacking advancement for women in the workplace so she decided to write a book giving women some tools to overcome these barriers. If you’re negotiating your salary, time-off, or anything else, listening to this episode first!

You can listen to Wisdom From The Top anywhere you listen to podcasts. However, some episodes are only available for Luminary subscribers. If you like WorkLife from Adam Grant, you’ll dig this podcast. Let us know what you think in the comments!

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