Game Changers with Molly Fletcher is our podcast designed to help you maximize your influence and unleash your potential. Each episode, we take you behind the scenes with peak performers to learn what makes them tick and discover how you can apply their lessons to your life. Join Molly each week to hear from her special guests— top athletes and coaches, transformative CEOs, brilliant thought leaders, and entrepreneurs and trailblazers from around the world. Subscribe now on iTunes or Google Play.

Recent Episodes


Maria Taylor

From the college football sidelines to the basketball court and beyond, Maria Taylor has all your sports coverage for ESPN. Maria has quickly become a star broadcaster known for her versatility and drive. She is a co-host on College GameDay, sideline reporter for ABC’s Saturday Night Football, and is expected to be added to NBA Countdown this season. Passionate about paying it forward, Maria is the co-founder of The Winning Edge Leadership Academy which helps young women and minorities get opportunities in the sports industry. On today’s episode, we talk about the hustle it required to break into the industry, the lessons in failing fast, and how she got comfortable using her voice.

Follow Maria: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • How she broke into the sports industry (2:20)
  • The power of saying yes (4:34)
  • Pushing through doubt and discomfort early in her career (7:28)
  • Be so good they can’t take you out of the game (9:42)
  • How she builds trust with high-level coaches and athletes (11:13)
  • The life lesson she learned from Nick Saban (13:04)
  • How she prepares (15:54)
  • How she manages her energy to avoid burnout (17:56)
  • Learning to say no and don’t try to prove anything (19:33)
  • The on-air mistake at the Rose Bowl she had to learn from (21:18)
  • How being a two-sport student-athlete prepared her for her career (23:23)
  • How she has navigated being a woman in a male-dominated industry (24:54)
  • The advice she gives young women on pulling your seat up to the table (25:55)
  • Why she started the Winning Edge Leadership Academy (28:58)

 

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Kim Scott

Every leader has to know how to get, give and encourage feedback at work. Former Google and Apple executive Kim Scott’s book, Radical Candor: Be a Kick Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanityis a New York Times bestseller and inspired a management revolution. Radical candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to care personally and challenge directly. On this episode, we talk about how to create a culture of feedback, build a great team, and get results. This simple framework will guide every conversation you have and help you build better relationships.

Follow Kim: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • Radical Candor = Care Personally + Challenge Directly (1:46)
  • The three responsibilities of a boss: create a culture of feedback; build a great team; get results (2:58)
  • The difference between caring personally and getting personal (3:43)
  • The four quadrants: radical candor, obnoxious aggression, manipulative insincerity, and ruinous empathy (6:53)
  • The difference between the culture at Google and Apple (11:00)
  • The guidance Sheryl Sandberg gave Kim that illustrates radical candor (15:30)
  • The four steps to solicit feedback (27:01)
  • How to handle feedback that you disagree with (33:12)
  • Why the best feedback is usually impromptu and immediate (34:46)
  • How leaders can create trust in moments of guidance (37:55)
  • The difference between rockstar and superstar mode and why we undervalue rockstars (40:06)
  • The difference between talent management and growth management and the problem with labeling people as low or high potential (42:05)
  • Tips to start implementing radical candor (47:50)

 

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John O'Leary

At age 9, John O’Leary suffered burns to 100% of his body after a gasoline explosion in his family home. He was given a 1% chance to live. John not only survived, he made it his life’s mission to inspire others. Today as an author and keynote speaker, John shares the lessons he learned through his experience and celebrates the everyday heroes who stepped into his life to help him on his journey. On this episode, we talk about tackling challenges with joy, owning your story, and living with intention.

Follow John: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • The accident that changed John’s life at age 9 (1:46)
  • The hard truth his mother gave him in the hospital (4:15)
  • Choosing joy and gratitude in moments of adversity (8:13)
  • The everyday heroes that changed John’s life (10:59)
  • How he masked his reality for years before making a change (17:28)
  • How his parents’ book forced him to confront and then take ownership of his story (20:45)
  • How to say yes to life (22:48)
  • How to lean into adversity with perspective (26:22)
  • Leading with brokenness (36:30)

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David Epstein

Our culture today is all about getting a head start. Start early, focus intensely and rack up as many hours of deliberate practice as you can. But what if that’s actually not the best path to success? In his new book Range, author David Epstein argues going broad—not narrow—is the best route to success. On this episode, we talk about the dangers of early specialization, the value of breadth of experience, and how this all applies to the way you think about your career, your hobbies, and even the way you parent.

Follow David: Twitter | Website

Show Notes

  • Early specialization vs. generalist: what’s the most common pathway to success? (1:32)
  • The Tiger vs. Roger effect (3:38)
  • How David’s own generalist background led to a career as a sports science and investigative writer at Sports Illustrated (7:16)
  • The importance of match quality in navigating your career choices (9:26)
  • LinkedIn research: the best predictor of who will become an executive (12:20)
  • What we’re getting wrong about grit (14:42)
  • The dangers of early specialization (21:26)
  • The importance of breadth of experience (25:20)
  • Why generalists thrive in changing and uncertain environments (29:05)
  • Why leaders should drive accountability towards both outcome and process (34:23) 

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Beth Comstock

Navigating change is hard, particularly inside of organizations. Most people are resistant and afraid. Yet we all have to confront change- personally and professionally- and the pace of change is faster than ever. Beth Comstock led companies like NBC and GE through periods of transformational change. Her book, Imagine It Forwardencourages people to become change makers by leading with imagination. In this episode, we talk about embracing smart risks, challenging convention, and reinventing what’s possible.

Follow Beth: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show Notes

  • You have to give yourself permission to change (1:36)
  • The imagination gap (2:04)
  • How to deal with change that is forced on us (3:17)
  • Build on small steps to move forward (8:34)
  • The painful personal transformation that helped Beth learn to embrace change (9:06)
  • The advice she would give leaders who are trying to lead change inside of their organizations (11:18)
  • Using humility, vision and teamwork to overcome fear (12:24)
  • How her transition from NBC to GE sparked her creativity (16:04)
  • How she led the culture transformation at GE by bringing an outsider mentality (18:38)
  • Why you should invite conflict to spur innovation (22:20)
  • How story mobilizes people around change (26:10)
  • How to help people fail forward (27:24)
  • How she became a CMO with no marketing experience (33:20)
  • “Take the job no one else wants.” (36:01)
  • The business case for diverse teams (37:49)
  • Advice for leaders on how to manage introverts (39:06)
  • What she wishes she knew earlier in her career (41:49)

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Shawn Askinosie

Why would a successful criminal defense attorney leave a lucrative career to start a chocolate company? That’s the incredible story of Shawn Askinosie, founder of the award-winning Askinosie Chocolate. In his book Meaningful WorkShawn shares his insights into doing work with heart and creating a business with a soul. Named one of the 25 best small companies in America by Forbes, Askinosie Chocolate sources 100% of their beans directly from farmers and shares profits with them. On this episode, Shawn shares how to find your calling, what to consider when contemplating a career move, and why businesses thrive when work is meaningful.

Follow Shawn: Twitter | Facebook | InstagramWebsite

Show Notes

  • Why he decided to leave his career as a successful criminal defense lawyer to start a chocolate company (2:08)
  • How he discovered his calling (3:50)
  • The bridge between idea, action and plan (5:30)
  • Shawn’s advice for people who want to transition in their careers (6:18)
  • How to find meaning in your current work (8:45)
  • How Shawn was able to transfer his skills to a new career (11:33)
  • The biggest challenges in starting his own business (15:50)
  • What makes Askinosie Chocolate different (18:16)
  • The problem with making philanthropy and charity a silo within a company (19:16)
  • 2/3 of people at work are disengaged (21:46)
  • The problem with the one-for-one business model for giving (26:02)
  • The difference between direct trade and fair trade (28:40)
  • The impact Askinosie Chocolate has made on the communities they work in (32:40)
  • The value of reverse scale: “get better at staying small” (34:49)
  • The difference between being and doing (37:56)
  • The role faith played in Shawn’s journey (41:05)

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Carli Lloyd

Carli Lloyd is one of the most accomplished soccer players in the world. She’s a three-time Olympian, two-time gold medalist, and two-time FIFA Player of the Year. This summer, Carli co-captains Team USA in her fourth World Cup. But her journey to the top of the soccer world was hardly conventional. At one point, Carli almost quit the sport. On this episode, we dig into how she rediscovered her passion and developed the work ethic, competitiveness, and mental toughness that have defined her career since.

Follow Carli: Twitter| Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

Resources / People Mentioned

  • The moment Carli almost quit soccer after being cut from the U21 team (2:05)
  • How working with James Galanis changed the trajectory of Carli’s career (4:47)
  • How she shifted her mindset and started to believe in herself (9:20)
  • How changing her work ethic re-built her confidence (11:35)
  • Carli’s “Empty the Tank” mentality (13:59)
  • Why she loves the big moment (15:43)
  • The missed penalty kick in the 2011 World Cup Final that changed her preparation (18:33)
  • How Carli works on her mental toughness (22:00)
  • “Be better than you were the day before.” (24:07)
  • The three characteristics of a great teammate (25:16)
  • How she manages her mental energy (28:53)
  • How playing sports shaped her as a person (31:10)
  • Carli’s advice to parents of young athletes (32:57)
  • Carli’s advice to young girls (35:10)
  • What she wants her legacy to be (35:49)

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Adam Grant

Adam Grant is the youngest tenured professor at Wharton and an expert on how we can make workplaces more collaborative, creative and productive. One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Adam has worked with clients like Google, the NBA, and Disney Pixar as a speaker and consultant. His TED Talks have been viewed more than 16 million times, and he’s the author of threeNew York Times bestselling books: Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with co-author Sheryl Sandberg. On this episode, we talk about how helping others drives our success and how we can build resilience and re-discover joy after setbacks.

Follow Adam: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Show Notes

  • Adam describes his work as an organizational psychologist (1:47)
  • How he designs his research (4:04)
  • How we de-value practice in the corporate world (5:51)
  • The lessons work teams can learn from sports teams (9:28)
  • Applying the principles from Give and Take to negotiation (16:35)
  • The one thing that the most effective negotiators have in common (19:41)
  • How givers can set boundaries and avoid burnout (23:01)
  • Why joy is a key component of building resiliency (26:47)
  • Three reasons why you should journal about your moments of joy (29:01)
  • Why teaching is his favorite work (31:50)
  • How he approaches work-life balance as “rhythm” (33:36)
  • Resources Adam recommends for listeners (35:34)

 

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Muffet McGraw

Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw is leaving a legacy on and off the court. In 32 seasons in South Bend, Muffet has led the Fighting Irish to two national championships, seven trips to the title game, and nine appearances in the Final Four. She’s a vocal champion for gender equality in the workplace and sparked an important conversation on the need for women in leadership. We talk about the importance of having visible women leaders, why she wants to use her platform for change, and how she’s built a championship culture at Notre Dame.

Follow Muffet: Twitter

Show Notes

  • Muffet’s viral comments on gender equality (1:54)
  • Why she says she won’t hire another male coach on her staff (3:23)
  • The importance of having visible women leaders (4:41)
  • How she prepares her players for life, not just the next game (7:28)
  • The reason why she feels a responsibility to use her voice (9:39)
  • When she learned to know her value and negotiate (11:27)
  • Her advice for women in leadership roles (14:58)
  • How she describes her leadership philosophy (16:56)
  • Fear of failure as a motivator (19:58)
  • Her approach after a loss (20:34)
  • Trusting her team to prepare (23:28)
  • Her approach to recruiting talent and the red flags she looks for (24:50)
  • Advice for parents of young athletes: let your kids fail (26:30)
  • Her advice to working parents (29:27)
  • What’s harder- building a championship culture or sustaining it? (31:53)
  • The difference between a good team and a great team (32:57)
  • How to get talented players to be selfless teammates (34:10)
  • The legacy she wants to leave (36:25)

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Angela Duckworth

In her wildly popular TED Talk, Angela Duckworth shares why grit- more than talent, IQ or luck – is a powerful predictor of success. Angela has explored the correlation between grit and achievement in settings like West Point, the National Spelling Bee, and New York City public school system. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for 34 weeks. We talk about how grit can be learned, how to discover what we are passionate about, and what makes gritty individuals different from others.  And if you’re wondering how gritty YOU are? Take her grit scale here.

Follow Angela: Twitter | Facebook

Show Notes

  • How a career pivot from management consulting to teaching in New York City public schools sparked the research behind grit (2:04)
  • The big idea behind Angela’s book Grit (4:07)
  • Misperceptions about grit (5:13)
  • Definition of grit: the combination of perseverance and passion (5:37)
  • The biggest mistake people make when trying to discover their passion (6:46)
  • How she measures grit with the grit scale (8:21)
  • Grit is not the only thing that matters (10:52)
  • Can teams or organizations be gritty? (12:25)
  • You can’t be gritty about everything (13:54)
  • How to hire for grit (14:23)
  • The relationship between grit and happiness (16:40)
  • Growing grit from the inside out (19:36)
  • What role does adversity play in the development of grit? (21:20)
  • How grit shows up in the sports world (25:16)
  • How to grow grit in those you lead (27:03)
  • How coaches like Pete Carroll create a culture of grit (29:24)
  • Parenting advice: the “hard thing rule” (30:36)
  • The biggest mistake parents make when trying to cultivate grit (32:49)
  • Angela’s nonprofit, The Character Lab (33:29)

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Thanks for checking out Game Changers with Molly Fletcher. Be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast app and leave a rating or review!