All Summaries for Wisdom From The Top with Guy Raz

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From the creator of How I Built This, host Guy Raz invites you to listen in as he talks to leadership experts and the visionary leaders of some of the world's biggest brands. Along the way, you'll hear accounts of crisis, failure, turnaround, and triumph, as the leaders reveal their secrets on their way to the top. These are stories that didn't make it into their company bios, and valuable lessons for anyone trying to make it in business.

United Talent Agency: Jeremy Zimmer
Jeremy Zimmer was not supposed to be heading one of the "big four" talent agencies in Hollywood. As a child, he struggled in school and eventually dropped out of college to become a parking lot hustler, making money running schemes as a valet and spending nights partying. But that all stopped suddenly one day when he was violently attacked on the job. When he got back on his feet, he found new focus and began his improbable rise to the top of the talent agency world.
Wed, September 13, 2023
Macy's: Terry Lundgren
Terry Lundgren, former CEO of Neiman Marcus and Macy's, has been instrumental in shaping the American retail landscape, but the road to bringing two notoriously competitive retail giants together wasn't easy. How he merged famous department rivals, double-downed on retail, and turned Macy's into the first nationwide department store in the United States.
Wed, September 6, 2023
Carnival Corporation: Arnold Donald
How a New Orleans native turned around a cruise company sinking from a public relations disaster... to one of the most valuable brands in its industry. When Arnold Donald took over Carnival Corporation and the nine cruise lines it operates, one of the biggest things he did was build a new leadership team. Seven of the cruise lines got new heads, including more women and minorities. He says that "diversity of thinking is a business imperative and a powerful advantage," and that you get better ideas and new growth opportunities when your leadership is diverse.
Wed, August 30, 2023
PayPal: Dan Schulman
Mixing business and social justice isn't a strategy most companies are willing to adopt, which is why Dan Schulman's actions as CEO of PayPal have garnered so much attention. In 2016, he canceled a plan for an operations center in North Carolina after the state passed its infamous "bathroom bill." Schulman champions his "employee first" strategy and has raised wages and benefits for PayPal's workforce. His leadership has proved that activism doesn't have to come at the cost of PayPal's bottom line.
Wed, August 23, 2023
GE: Beth Comstock
Beth Comstock is comfortable with change. In college, she wanted to be a doctor, but organic chemistry wasn't her strong suit, so she shifted to journalism. When journalism didn't work out, she started working in publicity. So, when GE bought NBC in 1986 right as Beth was starting her career in advertising, she was ready to adapt again. She worked her way to becoming CMO of GE and then, the company's first female Vice Chair of Business Innovations.
Wed, August 16, 2023
Lego: Jørgen Vig Knudstorp
For years, it was a secret: the family that owned Lego was actually losing money on the company. The man who built the company back up into one of the biggest toymakers in the world, Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, reveals his controversial plan that led Lego back to profitability. It leaned on something that has always been Lego's strength: the creativity and passion of the children and adults who love to play with Lego.
Wed, August 9, 2023
General Stanley McChrystal
General Stanley McChrystal was born into a military family: three generations of men in his family were officers in the armed forces. He followed the family tradition and eventually rose up the ranks to become a General in the Army. While serving as the commander of Allied Forces in Afghanistan in 2010, he was forced to resign after he was quoted making disparaging remarks about President Obama. It was in the wake of this moment that General McChrystal learned the value of leadership.
Wed, August 2, 2023
NASA: Ellen Ochoa
After one of the most deadly disasters in the history of space flight, Ellen Ochoa was a leader in NASA's recovery. She fixed the technical things that went wrong, but the most critical changes, she says, were human. Why she thinks it's important to make sure that naysayers always have a voice, and how to encourage employees to do something very difficult: disagree with the boss.
Wed, July 26, 2023
Built to Last: Jim Collins
It's not an understatement to say that Jim Collins is one of the most influential business writers in modern history. Collins, however, thinks of himself more as a researcher than an author. Each of his books, which includes Good to Great, Built to Last, and his newest, BE 2.0, requires five or six years of crunching data before the writing can begin. But what's even more remarkable about Collins is his own background, and how he built a career out of making unorthodox choices.
Wed, July 12, 2023
BET: Debra Lee
Black Entertainment Television helped make the first Black billionaire in the US and was the first Black-owned business traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Debra Lee, a young lawyer drawn to the company's mission, was pivotal in turning the small, revolutionary cable station into an industry staple. Growing BET and finding confidence as a CEO amid cultural controversy.
Wed, June 21, 2023
Continental Airlines: Gordon Bethune
Gordon Bethune took an unlikely path to becoming a leader in the airline industry. A self-described "hoodlum," Bethune dropped out of high school, joined the Navy, and became an airplane mechanic. With that experience, he gave Continental Airlines a tune-up, pulling it out of bankruptcy and guiding it through the deep uncertainty that followed the September 11th attacks.
Wed, June 14, 2023
Mastercard: Ajay Banga
How Ajay Banga ran one of the world's largest companies with an unusual leadership philosophy... something he calls "the decency quotient." And how he turned Mastercard from a credit card company into a company that's known for technology, innovation, data, analytics, and A.I.
Wed, June 7, 2023
Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen: Cheryl Bachelder
Cheryl Bachelder decided to go into business after an early setback derailed her potential career in music education. She became President of KFC years later, but a job that started as a major opportunity wound up being a massive failure. How Bachelder learned from her failures and went on to turn Popeyes into one of the biggest success stories of the past decade.
Wed, May 31, 2023
General David Petraeus
General David Petraeus took on a uniquely complex leadership challenge in Iraq in the aftermath of the U.S.-led war there. He oversaw the training of a new and entirely Iraqi army. He says that the key to leadership is first getting the big ideas right, then constantly refining them, and communicating them across the whole organization.
Wed, May 24, 2023
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