A Bit of Optimism

A Bit of Optimism

The future is always bright…if you know where to look. Join me each week for A Bit of Optimism - I talk to inspiring people who teach me more about life, leadership and general interesting things.


December 5, 2023 28 mins

All business leaders want to make a lasting impact, but very few have the scale and tools to change the entire planet.  

Doug McMillon has the scale and the tools. He is the CEO of Walmart and employs over 2 million people across the world. But it is Doug's commitment to leading Walmart based on its core values that makes him so important.

So I sat down with him to talk about his 33-year career, in which he went from packing truc...

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Authenticity is exceedingly rare.

Yet Brian Grazer embodies it with an unparalleled zest and refreshing innocence. 

Though Grazer might not be a household name, his tv shows and movies (like "A Beautiful Mind" and “Apollo 13”) have earned him 242 Emmy nominations and 47 Oscar nominations. He believes in the power of asking endless amounts of questions to shape stories that resonate on a deeply human level.

Grazer is an unparalle...

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When did we get so disconnected from the world around us? How can we find our way back?

Aza Raskin thinks the answer might lie in humanity's greatest adversary - listening.

As co-founder of the Center for Humane Technology and of the Earth Species Project, Aza and his team are using Artificial Intelligence to decode the language of animals, from whales to crows, while remaining dedicated to ensuring the accelerating rise of A.I. ...

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We have lost trust in almost everything. 

Yat Siu has a clear vision for how we can solve our large-scale trust issues and enhance human coordination. 

For every problem technology creates, technology also has a solution. 

This is…A Bit of Optimism. 

For more on Yat Siu and his work check out: 


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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November 7, 2023 38 mins

We used to care about beautiful architecture. 

Luckily, Thomas Heatherwick still does. He is on a quest to make the world less boring.

You may not know Thomas yet, but you know his work.  He's designed iconic buildings and experiences and he says our cities have become dreadfully unhuman and our lack of beauty is negatively impacting our physical and mental health. 

He's a truly original thinker with great insights into how to i...

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High-performing teams require more than just a leader. Great teams come from great teammates.  

Shane Battier won't be in the NBA Hall of Fame, but he was one of the greatest teammates to ever play professional basketball. He won back-to-back NBA Championships with the Miami Heat and was named the league's Teammate of the Year during their second championship run.  

His insights into trust, discomfort, and "teammateship" are essentia...

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When we want wisdom, we turn to people older than us. But there is a lot to be learned from younger generations too.

Elizabeth English knows this. She’s the head of one of the most innovative schools in the country, The Archer School for Girls and has spent her career working with -- and learning from -- younger generations.

We sat down to talk about: the problems facing parents today, why kids need and thrive from rules, boundary se...

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October 17, 2023 29 mins

We are told from a young age to pursue love—romantic love, self-love, divine love. But how do you actually define love? And once you do, how do you find it?

Cleo Wade is the right person to ask. She's a poet whose latest book is called “Remember Love: Words for Tender Times.” Our conversation about love led down many paths: we talked about appreciating pain, staying present, and the resurgence of poetry.

This is... A Bit of Optimism.


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How do you run a thriving company that cares more about impact than about profit and margins?

Karissa Bodnar is a genius CEO who dedicated herself to building a cause-based company. Thrive Causemetics started out of her one-bedroom apartment and now it’s a massively successful brand that has donated over $139 million of value to those in need.

We sat down to talk about finding your purpose, leading younger generations, and so much mo...

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How are you? It’s a question we get asked everyday, but we hardly ever answer it honestly.  

When Diego Perez — also known under his penname, Yung Pueblo — started asking himself that question and answering honestly, his entire life changed.

In this conversation, Diego opens up about his own struggles with addiction and shares hard-earned wisdom about conflict, spirituality, and so much more.

This is...A Bit of Optimism.

For more of Yu...

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September 26, 2023 37 mins

How do people become powerful? Can understanding power protect us from those who wield it too strongly?

When Robert Greene first set out to write about power, he didn’t have much of it. He worked odd jobs and was largely at the mercy of other people’s power. Now, his book “The 48 Laws of Power” has given him the power he wrote about. He sat down with me to share what he’s learned on both sides of that spectrum.

This… is a Bit of Opti...

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Failure is the secret to success. Our failures are agents of inspiration, iteration, and innovation.  

Dr. Amy Edmondson is the Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School and her newest book "Right Kind of Wrong" is all about how we can change our relationship with failures and start “failing well.”  

This is…A Bit of Optimism.

For more on Dr. Amy Edmondson and her work check out:


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September 12, 2023 42 mins

You’ll never achieve perfect happiness. This might sound like bad news, but it’s actually a good thing. Because being happy is not a final destination, it’s an ongoing practice. In short, it’s happier-ness.

That’s a term Arthur Brooks and Oprah Winfrey coined in their new book “Build the Life You Want” where together they lay out a blueprint for a better life. And they would know: Arthur has studied the science of happiness for over...

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When should we trust our gut and when should we depend on logic? 

Liv Boeree can actually answer that question.  She won the World Series of Poker before retiring from the game to explore big questions about game theory, competition, and how we can all find more win-wins.

This is…a Bit of Optimism.

For more on Liv and her work check out: 


See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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When should you quit a project and when should you persevere?

As one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, Steven Bartlett has thought deeply about this problem.

Steven is used to getting people to open up on his podcast, but it turns out he’s just as insightful when the focus is on him. 

This is…a Bit of Optimism.

For more on Steven and his work check out: 

His new book: https://smarturl.it/DOACbook

His website: https://stevenbartlett.c...

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How you do anything is how you do everything.

Steven Bartlett embodies this old adage.  His high standards and focus on the finest details launched him from a broke university dropout to one of the world’s most influential entrepreneurs.

At 30-years-old he has already founded multiple companies, starred on Britain’s hit tv show Dragon’s Den, and he is now the host of one of the planet’s most popular podcasts, Diary of a CEO.  

He is a...

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Great businesses often look a lot like social movements.  

Sharmadean Reid knows this from experience—she has combined technology and culture to create multiple businesses around strong communities. She started her first business at 24, creating a nail salon that changed the beauty industry. Now she runs a media network for the next generation of women in power.  

This is…A Bit of Optimism.

For more on Sharmadean and her work, check o...

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What does it mean to live a long and happy life?  

David Von Drehle has spent 40 years covering big stories and important figures as an award-winning journalist. But the best lessons turned out to be right next door. David’s latest book, “The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109 Year-Old Man,” is a best-seller about resilience, American history, and what it means to live well.

This is… A Bit of Optimism.


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For this 4th of July, I wanted to do something special to celebrate the birth of our nation. So I invited Air Force Chief of Staff General CQ Brown, Jr. to join me on the podcast. 

General Brown is the head of the Air Force and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is also the current nominee to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. If he is confirmed as Chairman later this year, it would make him the most senior-ranked memb...

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Change is inevitable.  And yet fear, anger, and confusion are often our first reactions to changes. 

Cassandra Worthy experienced the negative emotions that stem from change so many times that she now sees them for what they really are: signals for opportunity. Now, she helps companies and individuals thrive during times of major change. 

This is… A Bit of Optimism.

For more on Cassandra and her work check out: 

Her book Change Enthusi...

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