I’ve been listening to podcasts since podcasts were invented. You may be surprised to learn that I don’t like most of them. It’s so easy to start a podcast these days that just about anyone can—and many do. This does not result in the level of quality that leads to a So Good recommendation.
However, there are a small number of absolutely amazing podcasts, and today I’m here to tell you about one of my favourites: The Knowledge Project. There’s just so much goodness here that I hardly know where to begin.
The Knowledge Project is run by Shane Parrish, a fellow Canadian, and the formula for the show is simple:
“Helping you master the best of what other people have already figured out.”
Pretty cool concept, no? Shane does this by interviewing fascinating people who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. There are tons of interview-based podcasts out there, and I can tell you The Knowledge Project is much better because of the people interviewed, and the quality of the questions. Shane consistently asks questions that allow guests to really get to the root of what they know, and the long-form format gives them the time to move beyond the surface and explain things in detail. You really do understand what the guest has already figured out.
I have learned so much from The Knowledge Project, not only from the interviews themselves, but also by reading books written by the guests and getting to the next-level of detail. There are few limits to the subjects covered, but there are some common themes: how to make better decisions, improving the way you think and learn, and techniques for improving many aspects of your work and life.
“We go below the surface to root out the big ideas, timeless lessons, and robust principles that you can use to think better, perform better, and live better.”
Here are four of my favourite episodes:
Putting Your Intuition on Ice with Daniel Kahneman: Psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman reveals the actions we can take to overcome the biases that cripple our decision-making, damper our thinking, and limit our effectiveness.
Keeping the Flywheel in Motion with Jim Collins: Luck, leadership, and business longevity are the topics, but there are many gems in this one that will help you think differently about how to thrive at work and in business.
When Good Intentions Go Bad with Jonathan Haidt: Jonathan Haidt is an author, social psychologist, and one of the world’s leading experts in moral psychology. Topics include helicopter parenting, the rise of the “call-out culture,” and the dangers of social media.
Decoding Difficult Conversations with Sheila Heen: Two time NY Times best selling author, consultant, and lecturer at Harvard Law School, Sheila Heen makes the tough talks easier by breaking down the three layers that make up every difficult conversation
The podcast is free, and there is a premium version that includes transcripts, special episodes, and no ads. Shane also runs a learning community that you can join for $149/year to interact with other fans of his work, and learn together.
As Shane likes to say, it’s time to listen and learn.