2020 is coming to a close.
For many, this year has been one to forget. We’ve faced unprecedented challenges, dealt with a worldwide pandemic, saw many people affected, businesses lost, and if that wasn’t enough, let’s add a contentious presidential election. Despite that, I believe that crisis creates opportunities. And as we say goodbye to 2020, we can’t forget all the doors that opened for many.
Podcasting has been a rewarding experience, profitable, too. We had one of our best years ever on my podcast, All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett. We had some great guests, saw our downloads increase 541% (!), and began ‘livecasting’ on Facebook and LinkedIn daily, with two guests a day, back in March. With all this momentum, I had the team pull the numbers and take a look back at some of our top performing episodes of 2020. There are some recognizable names and some that may surprise you. The insights they offered were unparalleled and the business advice top-notch.
Here are some key lessons and our top 10 episodes for 2020:
I’ve known Julie for years and she was kind enough to join us for the C-Suite Network High Stakes Leadership Forum back in April. In the spirit of 2020, we were planning to host this event in Las Vegas. The pandemic forced us to hold it online, and it delivered!
While all business leaders saw our fair share of change this year, Party City was no exception. The company turned over most of its c-suite just before the pandemic hit. In fact, Julie had barely gotten her company computer when the corporate office shut down. Julie said that wasn’t a bad thing because they were all so new, there was no pride of ownership or office politics, they were all “in it to win it.”
Julie and I had a great conversation about company culture, how Party City pivoted early on in the pandemic, and the company’s response to Black Lives Matter.
- Carey Lohrenz– First U.S. Navy female F-14 Tomcat pilot
Carey spoke during our C-Suite Network Battleship Forum in June. She made history in the early 1990s as the first woman to fly a Navy F-14 Tomcat. During our talk, Carey shared key principles she learned in the cockpit that could be applied to the business world. She talked about why it’s OK to feel fear and why debriefs are important to every organization.
There’s something in this episode for everyone at every level of any company.
- Alyssa Rapp– CEO, Surgical Solutions and Author, Leadership & Life Hacks
Alyssa Rapp is a CEO, accomplished businesswoman, and best-selling author. While Alyssa and I spoke months before the pandemic hit, the overarching theme of our conversation involved pivoting. Alyssa is an expert in changing business models on the fly. She also offered a theory on who survives tough economic times and becoming lean carnivores. If you want to find out what she meant, listen to the episode.
- Mike Abrashoff– Retired Naval Commander, NY Times Best-Selling Author
Mike offered his expertise during our C-Suite Network Online Battleship Forum in June. He is best known for turning around the worst ship in the U.S. Navy to the best using the same crew. How did he do it? Not only does Mike tells us in this podcast, he also leaves us with what he believes are traits all great leaders should have.
- Gender Parity Gap Digital Discussion
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote, the C-Suite Network hosted a special Digital Discussion on gender parity in the workplace, specifically in the upper echelons of business. We invited three highly accomplished leaders to speak about their experiences in the workplace and politics. The panel included:
- Barbara Franklin– President & CEO, Barbara Franklin Enterprises, 29th U.S. Secretary of Commerce
- Melyssa Barrett – Vice President, Visa, Vice President/General Manager Jali Enterprises, Co-Chair, C-Suite Network’s Diversity Council
- Evelyn Sanguinetti – Executive Director, HOPE Fair Housing Center & Former Illinois Lieutenant Governor
Pat is a nurse by trade, but has become a prolific ghostwriter and book writing coach. In fact, she’s credited with penning 49 books. Pat and I compare notes on our very different writing processes — she thinks mine is kind of crazy. Pat says many of us have a book trapped inside of us, but don’t know how to get started. If that’s you, don’t miss our conversation.
- Arianna Huffington– Founder, Thrive Global
Arianna Huffington almost needs no introduction. She’s a best-selling author, TV personality, namesake of The Huffington Post, and founder of Thrive Global. Arianna’s latest project is stressing the importance of sleep and for everyone to take care of themselves in the chaotic world we live in. While there wasn’t much “pillow talk” during our conversation, Arianna and I addressed the behaviors that are killing us and what silver linings will come out of the pandemic.
- Jim Rowley– CEO, Crunch Fitness
Jim was another guest from the C-Suite Network High Stakes Leadership Forum. He is the CEO of Crunch Fitness and a former U.S. Marine, who served during the Persian Gulf War, and a 27-year veteran of the fitness industry. Despite his Marine Corps demeanor, Jim assured me during our interview he’s “not a hard ass all the time” and left our audience with some inspiring leadership lessons during the pandemic and beyond.
- Andrew Zimmern– James Beard Award-Winning Personality, Chef, and Activist
We’ve all seen Andrew Zimmern on TV eating some truly strange foods, but there’s more to this TV chef than eating. Andrew is on a mission to bring to light the food insecurities many Americans face and the inequalities in our food supply chain. He says there are truly two food Americas and COVID-19 is making that more apparent than ever. My conversation with Andrew was enlightening and gave a different perspective about how we think about food. He also told me what he won’t eat – and, spoiler alert, it wasn’t all that bizarre.
- Anthony Scaramucci– Founder & Co-Managing Partner, SkyBridge Capital
Since 2020 was the most politically-charged year in recent memory, I wasn’t surprised that “The Mooch” was the most listened to All Business episode of the year. Most people remember Anthony Scaramucci as the one-time White House Communications Director under President Donald Trump. He may have only lasted 11 days in the job, but he continues to be a go-to for quotes on the Trump Administration. The Mooch didn’t pull any punches in this interview and it shows.
This show wouldn’t be possible without you – our listeners. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to bring you quality content that’s engaging, timely, and relevant. I’d like to thank all of my loyal and new listeners for downloading All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett this year. We’re seeing some of our best numbers to date and keep growing. Let’s keep the momentum in 2021!
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