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


James Franklin, Penn State

James Franklin is one of the top college football coaches in the country. Since arriving at Penn State University in 2014, Franklin has led the Nittany Lions to three top-10 finishes and a Big Ten championship. His journey took him from Division II quarterback to college coach, where he found unlikely success at Vanderbilt before taking on the challenge of rebuilding the storied Penn State program. On this episode, we dig into how he built trust in a tough environment when he arrived at Penn State and the ways his leadership approach has evolved over the years.

Follow James: Twitter

Show Notes

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  • How his upbringing shaped the person he is today (2:21)
  • Why he got into coaching football while pursuing his master’s degree (4:32)
  • What fuels him more- the desire to win or the fear of failure? (7:28)
  • His approach to building community support and alignment when he took the Penn State job (9:00)
  • How he built trust and relationship in a tough environment (13:05)
  • Team building tips to enhance team chemistry (16:14)
  • The unique locker room setup designed to build connection (17:54)
  • The importance of consistency in rebuilding a program (19:00)
  • How to balance the need for structure with embracing change and flexibility (21:54)
  • Learning how to handle losses better (24:32)
  • The greatest leadership lesson he’s learned (27:22)

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Tony Gonzalez

Tony Gonzalez is an analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast WIDE OPEN with Tony Gonzalez. In 17 seasons in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Atlanta Falcons, Tony was a 14-time Pro Bowl selection. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns and yards by a tight end and is third-all time in receptions. Tony tackles all aspects of his life with the same drive and curiosity that helped him excel on the field. In this conversation, Tony shares what fuels him, the defining moments that shaped his life, and his powerful habits for success.

Follow Tony: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Podcast

Show Notes

  • What is the biggest misconception people have about you? (2:06)
  • How struggling in his second season in the NFL changed Tony’s approach (3:27)
  • Pushing through fear to find growth (5:45)
  • “There’s always a sense of urgency.” (8:46)
  • Greatness requires obsession and sacrifice (10:30)
  • Surround yourself with people who tell you the truth (14:27)
  • The power of visualization (20:11)
  • The keys to Tony’s consistency and durability (27:07)
  • Loving the process (30:13)
  • Did you think about your legacy? (32:20)
  • Tony’s approach to goal setting (33:38)
  • Transitioning to TV and the decision to leave CBS (36:46)
  • How to cultivate curiosity (43:26)
  • Why he started journaling and writing letters to himself during his NFL career (47:35)
  • A powerful habit Tony does when reading a book (48:28)
  • His tips for daily meditation (52:17)

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We all have stories we tell ourselves that define the way we live our lives. Stories help you make sense of your life, but they can also keep you stuck. How can you become the editor of your life? Therapist Lori Gottlieb is the author of the New York Timesbestseller Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and writes the Dear Therapistadvice column for The Atlantic. In this conversation, we talk about how to defeat toxic thinking, change our self-limiting narratives, and get unstuck. It’s about changing your narrative to change your life.

Follow Lori: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • Why therapy isn’t just self-work (1:51)
  • The biggest misconceptions about therapy (3:17)
  • Part of therapy is getting to “unknow” yourself (4:47)
  • Lori’s experience as a therapist going to therapy (5:43)
  • The root of why people go to therapy (8:35)
  • What happens when we avoid feeling (11:07)
  • “We are all unreliable narrators of our own lives.” (13:47)
  • The difference between “idiot compassion” vs. “wise compassion” (14:51)
  • The power of self-compassion + accountability (16:59)
  • Lori’s unique background (TV, medical school, journalism, therapy) and how it all centers around stories and the human condition (19:40)
  • Why people don’t change when they know they need to change (24:16)
  • The five stages of change (26:12)
  • Facing your own mortality (28:18)
  • What she’s learned about forgiveness from her years as a therapist (32:18)
  • The misconception that therapy is focused on the past when it’s really focused on the present (33:53)
  • How to deliver “loving truth bombs” (35:13)
  • Having the vulnerability to put herself out there (37:57)
  • Lori’s upcoming projects including a TV series and podcast (41:57)

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Dan Quinn

How do elite performers mentally train for success? Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and Vision Pursue founder Russ Rausch discuss the relationship between mindset and performance. As an NFL coach, Dan uses Vision Pursue’s performance mindset training with his team to strengthen their mental game. In this episode, we talk about how to develop mental toughness, focus through distractions and perform under pressure.

Follow Dan Quinn: Twitter | Bio

Follow Russ Rausch: Twitter | Facebook

Show Notes

Resources / People Mentioned

  • The partnership between Dan Quinn and Vision Pursue (2:37)
  • Developing his leadership philosophy in Atlanta (4:31)
  • Default mindset vs. performance mindset (5:48)
  • How he gets his players to embrace mindfulness training (7:17)
  • SEE- separate, embrace, evaluate (8:11)
  • The lessons he learned personally from a tough season (10:40)
  • How the team rallied around Coach Quinn (13:07)
  • A three-step framework to processing emotions (14:00)
  • A tip for high performance under pressure (16:15)
  • The leadership lessons Dan Quinn has learned from Arthur Blank (17:41)
  • “Tell The Truth Mondays” (19:39)
  • Dan Quinn’s leadership style (24:59)
  • What he has learned from coaches in other sports (26:23)
  • Training your brain to make thoughts and emotions more in sync (32:28)
  • How to change your thought patterns (36:43)
  • Visualizing yourself recovering from adversity (43:13)
  • How to change a team culture (44:16)

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Glennon Doyle Headshot

Who were you before the world told you who to be? That’s the question Glennon Doyle asks in her new memoir Untamed. Glennon is a speaker, activist and New York Times bestselling author. Her two previous books- Love Warrior and Carry On, Warrior were both #1 New York Times bestsellers and Love Warrior was an Oprah’s Book Club selection. Glennon writes about addiction, recovery, marriage and faith with no holds barred. In today’s conversation, we dig into becoming attune to our discontent, abandoning expectations, and learning to trust yourself. It’s about how sometimes we forget who we are… and how we find ourselves again.

Follow Glennon Doyle: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show Notes

 

Resources / People Mentioned

  • The story of how she met her now-wife Abby Wambach while on book tour to promote Love Warrior (1:55)
  • Why she stayed in her marriage and what changed her mind (5:05)
  • The hardest thing she’s written about (8:08)
  • What her recovery from addiction taught her about honesty (11:35)
  • Glennon’s definition of brave: Brave is listening to the Knowing on the inside and speaking that Knowing and acting that Knowing on the outside. (14:47)
  • What is confidence? (20:58)
  • Becoming attune to your discontent (21:31)
  • The fear of being too much (26:23)
  • Not defining your identity by the roles you play (30:40)
  • Learning to trust yourself (35:05)
  • Forgiveness is circular not linear (39:52)
  • How to face the fear of disappointing the people you love most (43:26)
  • The vision behind Glennon’s nonprofit Together Rising (45:37)
  • Glennon’s mantra: “We can do hard things.” (47:55)
  • Pain as a teacher (50:38) 

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Leonard Hamilton

Leonard Hamilton is one of the most successful coaches in college basketball and a trailblazer in the sport. The head coach at Florida State University, Hamilton is the Seminoles’ all-time winningest coach and the 5th winningest coach in ACC history. This season he won ACC Coach of the Year honors and led Florida State to the #4 ranking in the country and the ACC regular season championship. On this episode, Hamilton shares the moment where he thought he gave up coaching for good, the hurdles he had to overcome, and how he built a reputation as a program rebuilder.

Note: this conversation is updated with Coach Hamilton’s thoughts after the cancelation of the NCAA tournament, where Florida State was expected to be a top seed.

Follow Coach Hamilton: Twitter

Show Notes

  • The message he shared with his team after the cancelation of the ACC Tournament moments before tipoff (2:16)
  • Not having the opportunity to compete for a NCAA championship (6:21)
  • Finding his purpose in coaching (9:07)
  • Growing up in the era of segregation in the south (15:07)
  • The work ethic his father instilled in him at an early age (19:02)
  • Getting his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay (23:10)
  • The moment Leonard Hamilton walked away from coaching and took a job in sales (28:23)
  • How his persistence landed a job as assistant coach at University of Kentucky (31:13)
  • How he built a reputation as coach who could rebuild a program (38:03)
  • His approach to recruiting (43:01)
  • Creating a culture of accountability (47:59)
  • Developing selflessness inside of the team culture (49:12)
  • The importance of self-evaluation as a leader (52:38)
  • Give people the opportunity to learn and grow (53:15)

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Shawn Achor

Most people believe: if you work harder, you will be more successful, and then you will be happy. But if you think the key to happiness is success, you’ve got it backwards. It’s happiness that fuels success. Shawn Achor is one of the world’s leading experts on the science of happiness. He’s the bestselling author of The Happiness Advantage and Big Potential. More than a decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive first actually leads to greater success at work. On this episode, Shawn shares the four biggest predictors of happiness, how to spark happiness in your own life, and the simple steps you can take to embrace a positive mindset.

Follow Shawn: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • How Shawn became a “happiness researcher” (2:07)
  • How small interventions can change your levels of happiness (4:40)
  • The definition of happiness: the joy we feel moving towards potential (7:53)
  • Success doesn’t fuel happiness; happiness fuels success (10:08)
  • The greatest predictors of happiness: optimism, gratitude, meaning and social connection (15:31)
  • A better way to use social media (19:16)
  • How to measure your happiness (22:33)
  • The power in choosing happiness (24:52)
  • The human capacity to change (27:14)
  • The 21-day gratitude challenge and other simple ways to increase your happiness (27:37)
  • The science of happiness (30:47)
  • The interconnection between happiness and success (33:06)
  • The one thing to do after you listen to this podcast (37:22)
  • What to teach your kids about happiness (40:12)

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Ryan Hawk Headshot

Wouldn’t it be nice if leadership came with an instruction manual? In his new book, Welcome to ManagementRyan Hawk is sharing the advice he wishes he knew when he transitioned into a leadership role. Ryan is the host of the popular podcast, The Learning Leader Show,which boasts millions of listeners in 150+ countries. On this episode, Ryan shares how to transition seamlessly from individual performer to exceptional leader. Listen in to discover the common qualities top leaders share and the three skill sets every leader needs to master.

Follow Ryan: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • Ryan’s personal leadership journey (1:23)
  • The common mistakes leaders make (5:01)
  • Transferring skills from sports to the business world (6:38)
  • Tips for leaders to prepare for one-on-one meetings with a direct report (8:56)
  • The power of using curiosity to connect (11:52)
  • Ryan’s “welcome to management” moment that inspired the book (15:50)
  • How to build relationships with people who are difficult to connect with (22:29)
  • Leading with trust and how to share vulnerability as a leader (24:29)
  • Why “player-led teams” are more successful long-term (26:48)
  • The three elements of leadership: coaching (for development and performance), managing, and leading (34:09)
  • Micromanagement is not scalable. (37:46)
  • Ryan’s favorite leadership resources (40:01)
  • Some of Ryan’s favorite episodes from his podcast (43:20)

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Susan Cain

Susan Cain got everyone talking about the power of introverts with Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talkingwhich has been on the New York Times bestseller list for seven consecutive yearsHer TED Talk has been viewed more than 30 million times and was named by Bill Gates one of his favorite talks. Introverts make up an estimated 50% of the population, but we dramatically undervalue introverts and in doing so, miss out on their immense talents. On this episode, Susan shares the biggest misconceptions about introverts, why we need more introverted leaders, and the shift she’s seen since releasing Quiet in 2012.

Follow Susan: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • What inspired Susan’s book Quiet (2:08)
  • How to define introversion and how it differs from shyness (4:20)
  • Half of the world’s population is introverted (5:47)
  • How to determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert (6:08)
  • The role of nature vs. nature in your preference (7:07)
  • How fixed a trait is introversion / extroversion? (8:15)
  • Why she changed careers from Wall Street lawyer (10:40)
  • Why introverts make powerful negotiators (12:24)
  • How the conversation has shifted since Quiet was released in 2012 (16:02)
  • Why companies should re-think open-office and meeting culture (17:31)
  • The value in chunking time to get things done (19:03)
  • How introverts and extroverts can work better together (19:38)
  • Tips to harness the talents of introverts on your team (21:35)
  • The creative process requires solitude (23:15)
  • The myth of charismatic leadership (24:39)
  • How introvert – extrovert relationships can be complementary (26:03)
  • How to engage intentionally on social media (28:18)
  • Managing your energy as an introvert (29:40)

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Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek has transformed the way we think about work. His TED Talk is the second most popular of all time and his book, Start With Why, sparked a movement to help people, teams and organizations discover their why. In his new book, The Infinite Game, Simon shares a bold new framework for leadership. Many organizations struggle because their leaders play with a finite mindset in a game that has no end. In our conversation, Simon shares why leaders who embrace an infinite mindset build stronger, more innovative, and more resilient teams.

Follow Simon: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • How falling out of love with his work inspired Simon to discover his why and help others to do the same (1:45)
  • An infinite mindset embraces uncertainty and sees opportunity in the unknown (4:42)
  • The difference between finite and infinite games (5:54)
  • Common indicators of a finite mindset (8:57)
  • The five ways to embrace an infinite mindset (11:10)
  • The value of a worthy rival and the problem with fixating on our competition (11:32)
  • The consequences of leading with a finite mindset: the decline of trust, cooperation and innovation (16:13)
  • The behaviors of a leader with an infinite mindset (18:22)
  • Make your goals in the context of something larger (20:34)
  • Be the leader you wish you had (26:00)
  • The relationship between trust and performance (27:30)
  • If you don’t blow it up, someone else will (30:14)
  • How to embrace an infinite mindset through curiosity (34:09)
  • The 2-3 mindset shifts to make (36:52)

Resources / People Mentioned

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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!