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


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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Michael Hyatt

Author and leadership expert Michael Hyatt shares his personal productivity framework in his new book, Free to Focus. Productivity isn’t about getting more things done at a faster speed; it’s about getting the right things done. On this episode, Michael shares how we can free up our schedules for the people and projects that matter most. Learn how to eliminate distractions, set boundaries that protect your focus, and redefine your work so it works for you.

Follow Michael: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Show Notes

  • Productivity is not about getting more stuff done; it’s about getting the right stuff done (1:31)
  • How the four zones of the “freedom compass” ensures you get the right things on your to-do list (4:12)
  • Focus on the desire zone activities- where passion and proficiency meet (5:30)
  • Productivity is not an end in itself; it’s a means to an end. (7:25)
  • Your ideal week and the power of mega batching (12:15)
  • How to manage email more efficiently (18:42)
  • Using Slack for internal communication (23:00)
  • How to use the Full Focus Planner and why paper is the new digital (24:00)
  • The power of a morning ritual (26:59)
  • With energy- you can be the thermostat (setting the temperature) or the thermometer (reading the temperature) (30:23)
  • The biggest mistake people make when setting goals (36:50)

 

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Marcus Buckingham

Called “the most inspirational data geek you’ll ever meet,” Marcus Buckingham is re-defining the future of work. After spending nearly two decades as a senior researcher at Gallup and then starting his own company, Marcus now guides the vision of ADP Research Institute as Co-Head and Talent Expert. In his new book, Nine Lies About Work, Marcus challenges our assumptions about organizations, talent and high performance. We talk about the myths behind many of our common beliefs about work and leadership, and explore how we can all become freethinking leaders who value our unique imprint on the world.

Follow Marcus: Twitter| Facebook| Instagram

Show Notes

  • What inspired him to study people and performance (1:57)
  • How he defines strengths and weaknesses (3:34)
  • The love it / loathe it exercise to identify unique strengths (7:33)
  • The message behind his new book Nine Lies About Work (10:18)
  • The nine lies about work (12:11)
  • People don’t care about what company they work for. They care which teams they’re on because that’s where work actually happens.
  • (14:03)
  • Teams are the defining experience at work (18:47)
  • The problem with cascading goals (20:05)
  • Why the best companies cascade meaning (22:19)
  • The importance of weekly one-on-one check ins (25:08)
  • People don’t need feedback; they need attention (29:34)
  • Feedback should be focused on facts, steps and praise when something works (33:33)
  • The best people aren’t well-rounded (34:30)
  • The problem with competencies models (37:44)
  • The only thing leaders have in common is followers (39:53)
  • Resources Marcus recommends for listeners (44:55)

 

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Nate Oats

Less than six years ago, University of Buffalo men’s basketball coach Nate Oats was teaching math and coaching high school basketball in Detroit. Fast forward to today and he is one of the hottest coaches in college basketball, leading the Buffalo Bulls to three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons as head coach. On this episode, we talk about his unconventional rise to the top of the coaching world, managing the expectations that come with success, and how he’s built a winning culture at Buffalo rooted in the core values of max effort, continuous growth and selfless love.

Follow Nate: Twitter

Show Notes

  • Nate’s unconventional route to Division I college basketball coach and how coaching high school basketball prepared him differently (1:30)
  • How success in the NCAA Tournament has prepared the Buffalo Bulls for March and validated the program (5:30)
  • The mentality it takes going from underdog to favorite (7:38)
  • How his leadership philosophy has evolved over his coaching career (8:51)
  • Buffalo’s culture playbook and core values: max effort, continuous growth and selfless love (15:21)
  • Defining the “above the line” behavior- focused, productive, and driven (21:15)
  • Cultivating the blue-collar mentality in every player (22:48)
  • His recruiting pitch to prospective student-athletes (25:12)
  • How his wife’s battle with cancer changed him as a person and a coach (29:16)
  • The most important leadership lesson he has learned in the last 5 years (32:29)

 

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Amy Trask

As the CEO of the Oakland Raiders, Amy Trask served as the highest-ranking female executive in the NFL. Today she’s a football analyst for CBS Sports and serves as Chairman of the Board of Ice Cube’s BIG3. In her book, “You Negotiate Like a Girl,” Amy reflects on her career in the NFL and the leadership lessons she learned on her journey. We talk about how she carved her own path from intern to CEO, her approach to negotiating, and why she never paid attention to gender despite often being the only woman in the room.

Follow Amy: Twitter

Show Notes

  • How her leadership style evolved over a 30-year career with the Raiders (2:16)
  • How Amy describes the culture of the Oakland Raiders (4:00)
  • The most important lesson she learned from Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis (6:40)
  • Understanding the importance of disagreement (9:04)
  • Why Amy says to stop thinking about your gender (10:33)
  • Define “work-life balance” how you want to, without judgment (12:09)
  • What went into her decision to leave the Oakland Raiders (14:13)
  • The story behind the book title “You Negotiate Like A Girl” (16:37)
  • Amy’s approach to negotiating (18:26)
  • Her role in settling litigation against the Raiders (24:05)
  • The biggest mistake people make when negotiating (27:06)

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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!