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


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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Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee’s TED Talk “10 ways to have a better conversation” has been viewed more than 17 million times. She’s an award-winning journalist and the author of We Need To Talk – How To Have Conversations That Matter. On this episode, Celeste shares the simple communication tools she’s learned through her research and job as a public radio host interviewing hundreds of guests. Her smart strategies are a guide to have more effective, more meaningful conversations at work and in our personal lives.

Follow Celeste: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • What inspired her TED talk, “Ten Ways to Have Better Conversations”(1:43)
  • How fear is preventing us from meaningful conversation (3:15)
  • What’s wrong with the most common advice about communication (5:15)
  • What makes a good conversation (6:56)
  • The only four times email is an effective business tool (7:41)
  • The $73B price of poor communication in the business world (11:26)
  • Are smart phones and technology at fault? (13:09)
  • Setting limits on your relationship with technology (15:52)
  • Tips for how to have better conversations (18:37)
  • The Sesame Street model for conversation (20:18)
  • The communication hacks that aren’t effective (21:18)
  • The consequences of multi-tasking (23:11)
  • The power of the pause in conversation (27:02)
  • Her new book project (32:02)
  • The harmful effect the mere presence of a cell phone has on human connection (35:39)

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Inky Johnson

As a college football player, Inky Johnson dreamed of playing in the NFL to make a better life for his family. Inky was on the way to achieving his dream when an injury changed everything. What should have been a routine tackle led to a life-threatening injury that ended his football career and permanently paralyzed his right arm. Instead of being defeated, Inky channeled his hardship into a powerful message of overcoming adversity. As a popular motivational speaker, Inky empowers audiences to embrace the daily challenges of life to live with a greater purpose.

Follow Inky: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • Growing up in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta in a two-bedroom home with 14 people (2:15)
  • What football meant to Inky as a kid (5:18)
  • Falling in love with the process and the structure of football (6:50)
  • What Inky learned about the power of forgiveness from struggling to repair his relationship with his father (9:04)
  • How he was able to maintain perspective and a positive outlook in the tough times (10:35)
  • The life-threatening injury that ended Inky’s college football career and changed his life forever (11:45)
  • What the doctors told Inky when he arrived at the hospital (13:56)
  • “Worrying is a down payment on a problem that you may never have.” (18:25)
  • The transition from high school to college football (19:50)
  • “Courage is the ability to start something without any guarantee of success” (23:00)
  • A defining moment in Inky’s life (24:40)
  • His journey after football (27:32)
  • The story of going to meet Oprah Winfrey (29:26)
  • The moment he realized the power of his story (36:09)
  • His advice for someone going through adversity (38:35)
  • Learning to trust change (43:31)

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Jon Dorenbos

From the NFL football field to the stage of America’s Got Talent, Jon Dorenbos has captured the hearts of fans with his incredible story of perseverance. After the tragic murder of his mother by his father when Jon was 12, magic and football became his two outlets. He went on to play 14 seasons in the NFL- the majority with the Philadelphia Eagles- before a life-threatening heart condition ended his career. Jon also made it to the finals of the TV show America’s Got Talent, showcasing his skills as a magician. He is a regular on The Ellen Show and his book, Life is Magic, will be available in late 2019. On this episode, we talk about the trade that saved his life, embracing change, and showing up with a positive outlook no matter the circumstances.

Follow Jon: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Show Notes

  • The family tragedy that changed Jon’s life (1:54)
  • The power of forgiveness (3:21)
  • How magic became Jon’s escape (4:29)
  • The balance that football and magic provided in his life (7:28)
  • Performance under pressure (8:55)
  • Why his goal in the NFL was to be the oldest player on the team (12:53)
  • The best advice he received as a football player (18:38)
  • How he learned to accept change (19:25)
  • The coach that had the greatest impact on him (21:34)
  • The trade to the New Orleans Saints that saved Jon’s life (22:45)
  • Choosing to see the positive and changing your narrative (25:34)
  • Undergoing heart surgery (29:44)
  • Andy Reid’s words that inspired Jon (30:53)
  • What the recovery from heart surgery was like (32:02)
  • Getting a Super Bowl ring from the Philadelphia Eagles (36:29)
  • The similarities between performing as an athlete and as a magician (40:31)
  • Jon’s appearances on The Ellen Show(42:39)
  • How Jon’s show was inspired by Carrot Top, Garth Brooks and Mike Tyson (47:28)
  • Jon’s book, Life Is Magic- coming soon(53:15)

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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!