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


John Smoltz

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz relished the big stage. The only Atlanta Braves player to be part of the franchise’s historic run of 14 consecutive division titles, Smoltz helped the Braves to five World Series appearances and the 1995 title. In his 21-year career, Smoltz shifted between starter and closer, making history as the only player in big league history with at least 200 career wins and at least 150 saves. On this episode, we talk about how he dealt with adversity throughout this career and the importance of embracing discomfort as a pathway to growth.

Show Notes

  • On why his career in baseball was unique (1:44)
  • Learning to adapt so that he could extend his career (3:16)
  • How he taught himself to pitch as a kid (4:30)
  • Embracing the pressure of the biggest moments (6:37)
  • The 1987 trade to the Atlanta Braves that changed the course of his career (8:36)
  • Finding teaching moments in adversity (10:54)
  • “There is one vowel change between the words bitter and better.” (12:00)
  • The three things he learned about leadership from Bobby Cox (12:56)
  • How his relationship with teammates Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux pushed them all to be better (16:32)
  • The keys to the Atlanta Braves team chemistry and sustained success (19:00)
  • How he turned around a 2-11 start to a 12-2 finish in 1991 and his experience working with a sports psychologist (22:02)
  • His pre-game routine (26:05)
  • The shift from starter to closer… and back to starter (31:58)
  • Embracing his faith and learning to separate himself from the outcome (36:50)
  • The importance of self-awareness and not letting others define who you are (42:00)
  • The importance of getting out of your comfort zone(43:18)
  • John’s advice for leaning into discomfort (47:02)
  • The practical jokes inside the Atlanta Braves clubhouse (50:45)

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Ryan Holiday

The New York Times calls him “a sought-after guru to NFL coaches, Olympians, hip-hop stars and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.” Ryan Holiday is a marketing expert who made a name for himself as the director of marketing for American Apparel and has gone on to work with clients like Google, Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss. He’s the bestselling author of The Obstacle Is the Way and Ego Is the Enemyand his books have sold more than 1.3 million copies. On this episode, Ryan shows us how to turn even the most insurmountable obstacles into advantages. We talk about what we can learn from the ancient philosophy of stoicism, the power of staying present, and why most of our failures are self-inflicted.

Follow Ryan: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • How he decides what book projects to pursue (2:00)
  • The core principles of stoicism (3:18)
  • How Ryan first embraced the ancient philosophy of stoicism and how it applies to our world today (4:25)
  • Ryan Holiday’s following in the sports world and the hunger to gain a mental edge (6:02)
  • The relentless focus on improvement as a wall against ego (9:06)
  • Fearlessness stays present (11:57)
  • The discipline of managing your energy (13:00)
  • How to turn a setback into a pathway forward (14:30)
  • The discipline of perception: “it’s not things that upset us; it’s our judgment about things.” (19:28)
  • Why purpose is a more important driver than passion (22:33)
  • Purpose is passion at a directed level (24:18)
  • The things we control: our reactions, our thoughts, our emotions, the ability to change direction (26:25)
  • A defining moment in Ryan’s life (29:23)
  • A reminder he uses to stay present in the moment (33:10)

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Ron Clark

Ron Clark is more than just an educator. He has been featured on Oprah and the Today Show, and his school, the Ron Clark Academy (RCA) in Atlanta, is known around the world for its innovative teaching methods. Nearly 50,000 educators, teachers and administrators have visited the Academy to learn the “out-of-the-box” methods for student success, and you’ve probably seen some of the viral videos of students singing, dancing and bringing joy to the classroom. Ron is the 2000 Disney American Teacher of the year, the subject of a TV movie, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Essential 55 and Move Your Bus. On this episode, we talk about how to really motivate your people to effect change, embracing a fearless mindset, and how to lead with love, passion, and high expectations.

Follow Ron: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • The unexpected way Ron Clark got started teaching (1:49)
  • When and where he got the idea to start the Ron Clark Academy (3:52)
  • How he combines love, energy and passion with discipline, structure and high expectations in the classroom (6:04)
  • The most important thing you can do as a leader is hire the right talent (9:03)
  • Running your organization like a bus- are your people drivers, runners, joggers, walkers, or riders? (10:32)
  • How to create unforgettable moments as a leader (15:23)
  • The success of The Ron Clark Academy (17:10)
  • How leaders can embrace fearlessness and risk taking in a way that fosters innovation and creativity (18:37)
  • A mistake Ron made as a leader professionally that he learned from (20:56)
  • What he’s learned from his friendship with Oprah (24:03)
  • How he re-charges and maximizes his energy (27:06)
  • The future of The Ron Clark Academy (29:03)

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Emily Giffin

Dubbed a “modern-day Jane Austen,” byVanity Fair, author Emily Giffin has touched the hearts of millions of readers with her bestselling novels. Her books have been translated into 31 languages and sold more than 11 million copies worldwide. Her latest book, All We Ever Wantedis out now. On this episode, Emily talks about the creative process and finding the courage to pursue your dreams.

Follow Emily: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • Why Emily left her career in law to pursue writing full-time (4:34)
  • The danger of living in your comfort zone (6:55)
  • Her advice to people who are stuck in a job they don’t love (9:17)
  • How Emily’s move to London after September 11 inspired her hit book Something Borrowed (11:30)
  • Her creative process as a writer (15:49)
  • Why she starts first with character development (18:19)
  • Getting over writer’s block (21:49)
  • The feeling of putting a new book out into the world (27:45)
  • How long it takes her to write a book (29:32)
  • Learning to listen to your gut (30:23)
  • How she manages her energy (34:10)
  • TV series coming soon (37:12)
  • Finding joy in the work you do (39:42)
  • The best advice Emily has ever received (44:34)

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Gus Malzahn, Auburn Football

Under the leadership of head football coach Gus Malzahn, the Auburn Tigers are back in the national conversation. In five seasons as head coach, Gus has led the Tigers to a 45-22 record, a SEC Championship, and an appearance in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. On this episode, we talk about how he was able to orchestrate one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history, what it takes to change a program’s culture, and the importance of setting big goals while embracing the little details.

Follow Gus: Twitter

Show Notes

  • Gus Malzahn’s leadership style (2:08)
  • How he structures his time and daily routines (2:38)
  • What he learned in his first year as a head coach at Arkansas State (4:04)
  • The keys to Cam Newton’s success (5:30)
  • On leading Auburn to one of the biggest turnarounds in college football history in 2013 (6:18)
  • Laying the foundation of a championship approach (8:50)
  • The importance of setting the standard, clear expectations, and consistent consequences (9:38)
  • Defining the culture of Auburn Football (10:44)
  • How he approaches the hiring process (11:48)
  • The best advice he’s received (15:52)
  • What he wished he knew earlier in his career (17:33)
  • How his leadership has evolved over time (19:27)
  • How to deal with high expectations and the pressure of competing in the SEC (20:10)
  • The importance of keeping big goals in front of you (21:16)
  • The approach after tough losses… and big wins (23:05)
  • What he looks for in players during the recruiting process (26:28)

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Juliet Funt

An overflowing email inbox. Pointless meetings. An endless to-do list. Does this describe your life at work? It’s time to shift your mindset from busyness to thoughtfulness by embracing whitespace. Juliet Funt is the CEO of WhiteSpace at Work, a training and consulting firm that helps organizations, their leaders and employees reclaim their creativity, productivity and engagement. On this episode, she talks about the big difference between activity and productivity, the four thieves of productivity, and the huge cost of our culture of busyness at work.

If you enjoy this episode and want to experience The WhiteSpace Digital Learning System for yourself, our listeners get 20% off by using the code MFGCP (offer expires December 31, 2018).

Follow Juliet: Twitter | Website

Show Notes

  • Get 20% off the WhiteSpace Digital Learning System by using the code MFGCP (offer expires December 31, 2018).
  • What is whitespace? Whitespace in corporate culture is a strategic pause taken between activities. (1:40)
  • Shifting the mindset inside of organizational cultures to embrace whitespace (2:42)
  • Understanding the cost of overload and busy work (5:10)
  • The four thieves of productivity: drive (overdrive), excellence (perfectionism), information (information overload), activity (frenzied) (8:25)
  • Turning the perfectionism switch off/on (11:13)
  • The difference between whitespace and meditation / mindfulness (16:29)
  • Two sides of whitespace: recuperative and constructive whitespace (17:14)
  • How whitespace correlates with energy management (19:43)
  • Implementing whitespace inside of an organization’s culture (22:01)
  • These are the things you control that you should focus on to create more whitespace: email, cell phone, to-do list, impulses, communications, boundaries (25:47)
  • The 50-50 rule: half of everything that bugs you at work is 50% your fault until you’ve asked for what you want (27:45)
  • Advice for how not to lose your time to unproductive meetings (28:43)
  • “Shouldn’t be here” (SBH): building awareness about what meetings you should / shouldn’t be part of (31:29)
  • Three ideas to get your company to care about whitespace (34:05)
  • Get free access to your team’s WhiteSpace digital course (39:16)

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Shannon Miles, BELAY

The nature of work is shifting. More people do their job virtually or remotely than ever before, the gig economy is booming, and more companies are using freelance and contract workers. Shannon Miles is the co-founder of BELAY Solutions, a virtual staffing solutions company that is ranked #1 on Entrepreneur’s Top Company Culture list in the small company category. She’s also the author of The Third Option which explores how you can live and work on your own terms without sacrificing career or family. On this episode, we talk about the shift towards a virtual workplace, practical tools for teams working remotely, and advice for leaders who want to create a more flexible work environment for their employees.

If you enjoy this episode and are interested in experiencing Belay’s services yourself, you can get 50% off the start up fees or one time implementation fee by visiting belaysolutions.com/mollyfletcher.

Follow Shannon: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • What is the third option? (1:51)
  • How Shannon and her husband Bryan started their company BELAY Solutions (6:04)
  • The shift towards working remotely (9:30)
  • How to structure working remotely (11:05)
  • How to build a culture when people work remotely (13:09)
  • Resources and tools to support a healthy virtual culture (14:48)
  • (17:35)
  • Her advice to leaders who have employees that more flexibility to work from home (18:56)
  • Characteristics of people who thrive working well from home (22:06)
  • The value behind assigning responsibility instead of tasks (24:37)
  • How to know if working from home is right for you (26:10)
  • How to negotiate for more flexibility at work (29:06)
  • What Shannon sees as the future of work (30:42)
  • More than half (59%) of hiring managers today are using freelance and contract workers, up 24% from 2017, and predict that number will increase by 168% in the next decade. – Fast Company
  • With the advancement of communication tools and apps, the remote work industry continues to grow. In 2016, U.S. employees worked an average of 3.13 hours remotely per day, an increase from the 2.64 hour average 10 years ago. – Simple Texting
  • More people do their job virtually or remotely and at various times of the day rather than between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and teams have fewer face-to-face interactions, communicating increasingly through email, instant messaging and conference calls. Gallup found that from 2012 to 2016, the number of employees working remotely rose by four percentage points, from 39% to 43%, and employees working remotely spent more time doing so. – Gallup

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Daniel Coyle

Why do some groups add up to be greater than the sum of their parts while others end up to be less? In his new book, The Culture CodeNew York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations to examine how great cultures are built and sustained. On this episode, we talk about the three skills that generate collaborative cultures and learn how leaders can use these tools to build strong cultures inside their own organizations.

Follow Daniel: Twitter |  Facebook | Website

Show Notes

  • The inspiration behind The Talent Code and The Culture Code (1:34)
  • Secrets to high performance from the San Antonio Spurs (3:52)
  • Here’s how to give magical feedback (6:32)
  • Lessons in building culture from the Navy SEALS (7:51)
  • The value of After Action Reviews (10:41)
  • How the vulnerability loop drives collaboration and trust (12:52)
  • Tips for building cohesion by boosting safety (16:22)
  • Tips for building trust by getting vulnerability (26:30)
  • Tips for defining purpose by sharing stories (31:25)
  • How teams with strong culture recruit and retain talent differently (37:02)
  • The problem with hiring for cultural fit (38:53)

 

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Herm Edwards

What can the game of football teach us about life and leadership? Everything. Arizona State University football coach Herm Edwards has experienced every facet of the game as a player, ESPN analyst, and coach. Herm has an incredible way of wrapping up decades of leadership lessons from the football world and applying them to our own lives. On this episode, we talk about the difference between people who are interested and those who are committed, what it means to lead with integrity, and why success is sometimes harder to handle than failure. This one is a playbook for leaders in any field.

Follow Herm: Twitter

Show Notes

  • On leadership (1:28)
  • His advice to new leaders on how to communicate a vision (3:18)
  • Embracing change (4:39)
  • The difference between rules and expectations (5:28)
  • The difference between interested and committed (7:52)
  • People don’t want to be treated the same; they want to be treated fairly (9:45)
  • Know your personnel- how John Lynch went from linebacker to safety (11:45)
  • Herm’s approach to recruiting (13:43)
  • Do they love football or do they love what football provides them? (16:48)
  • Integrity is everything (17:37)
  • The influence his dad had on his life (21:21)
  • The keys to executing at a high level (27:18)
  • Which is harder to handle— success or failure? (28:39)
  • The power of relationships (31:12)

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Bob Goff

Bob Goff is the New York Times best-selling author of Love Does. After practicing law for 25 years, Bob gave up his law firm to focus on writing, speaking, and his humanitarian work. He’s the Honorary Counsel to Uganda and the founder of Love Does, a nonprofit organization that works to provide educational opportunities in post conflict zones throughout the world. On this episode, we talk about his new book, Everybody, Alwaysand what it means to love without limits, live without fear, and dream big.

Follow Bob: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • The inspiration behind Bob’s new book, Everybody Always (1:47)
  • “People don’t grow where they’re planted; they grow where they’re loved.” (6:45)
  • The most important question—Who are you? (8:58)
  • The power in loving difficult people (10:17)
  • How to develop a positive mindset by inviting conversations (18:23)
  • Why he left his career as a lawyer to pursue writing and speaking (23:34)
  • The importance of who we are “becoming” (26:29)
  • How to be available while remaining present (28:25)
  • Bob’s advice for people who are afraid to go after their big dreams (31:35)
  • It’s not failure that kills us—“catch people on the bounce” (35:48)
  • Love without an agenda (36:35)

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