Here is what a selection of prominent CEOs enjoyed listening to in 2020, in their own words.
Shayne Elliott, CEO, ANZ Bank
“a16z: This is a podcast from Andreessen Horowitz, one of the world’s most savvy tech investment firms, discussing technology and cultural trends and news. It feeds off Marc Andreessen’s famous line that software is eating the world.
I have to confess I don’t always understand the detail but I find it keeps me current and stretches my own thinking on how we apply technology at ANZ. It has led me to pose many questions to my own team, many of them would prefer I hadn’t asked!
On the personal side, I have enjoyed listening to We Regret To Inform You, which tells the stories of amazingly successful people who suffered rejection for many years. It is really inspiring stuff, particularly for those with children. My daughter and I have listened to quite a few. Our special favourites include [author] Stephen King and [singer] Katy Perry.”
Andy Penn, CEO of Telstra
“a16z: It’s all around the fact that technology changes everything – every industry but also how we work, live, learn and play. We’re going to see more change in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the last 50, so I think no matter who you are, you have to become a technologist of sorts.”
Jake Klein, executive chairman, Evolution Mining
“My favourite this year has been The Tim Ferriss Show, where he has deep-dive, wide-ranging conversations with incredible people.
The Super Soul conversations that Oprah Winfrey releases are also great. Both these podcasts have made me reflect, think and often change my outlook on issues and priorities.”
Rebecca James, CEO, humm group
“I enjoy Follow My Lead with John Eades, who meets leaders around the world and distils his insights into a weekly podcast that is fascinating in its simplicity.
Sometimes you can be caught up in the minutiae and it helps to be reminded of the basic things. I also love The Daily from The New York Times and Stuff You Should Know for the general ‘what’s going on’ vibe.
As we expand overseas, I find Reid Hastings’ Masters of Scale insightful as he interviews innovative CEOs from around the globe who provide me with different perspectives.”
Deanne Stewart, CEO, Aware Super
“My absolute favourite podcast this year was Hope, Through History by Jon Meacham. It’s such an insightful series, highlighting significant moments in history where there was extreme crisis such as the Great Depression, the Polio Epidemic, the Cuban missile crisis.
The conversation delves into how the leaders of the time responded, how they dealt with the uncertainty, the immediate crisis at hand but importantly how they sought to provide people with a vision and hope for the future. Very powerful!”
Graham Kerr, CEO, South32
“One of my favourite podcasts this year has been the John Maxwell Leadership podcast which looks at different topics and people.
One episode that particularly resonated with me this year was based around COVID-19, looking at how to be an effective leader through communication in the virtual world. Talking to our people and stakeholders during the pandemic was more important than ever before.
I also regularly listen to podcasts from The Economist Radio, BBC World News and The Daily [from The New York Times]. For light relief and to make sure I keep up to date with the AFL, my go-to podcasts are The Hard Ball Gets AFL Show and Duff & Quarter.”
Simon Swanson, managing director, ClearView
“The diversity of topics and issues covered in The Economist is extremely broad, spanning geopolitics to economics to workplace relations. It is important to keep abreast of the real issues happening around the world so you don’t become so internally focused. This is probably the best publication for that because you don’t get the noise.
I also like Bludging on the Blindside. Ever since [Australian comedy duo] Roy and HG covered the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and, in particular, Steven Bradbury’s gold medal performance, I’ve been a fan. Sport is big business these days but Roy and HG don’t take it (or themselves) too seriously. Their humour and banter just lightens things up.
I am also a fan of Don’t Shoot the Messenger. Like me, [sports commentator] Caroline Wilson is a mad Richmond Tigers supporter while [columnist] Corrie Perkin barracks for Hawthorn and together they’re able to make every topic fun and interesting. They cover everything from politics and current affairs to cooking and, of course, footy.
As a Melburnian who resides in Sydney, I especially appreciate the Victorian flavour and references.”