Actionable Advice to Improve Your Leadership and Life

An Accidental Seasons Leadership Podcast story

Debbie and I became podcasters by accident. After publishing35 episodes (in just our current season!) of the Seasons Leadership Podcast it seems odd to say we stumbled into this, but it is the truth. While a typical week finds us scheduling recording time with leaders from around the world that share our passion for leadership excellence or sharing actionable advice with listeners to improve their lives, what has become an integral part of our mission, started out on a lark.

Jim Auslander, CEO of Ascension Transformation Solutions, asked Debbie to be a guest on their podcast. Debbie had never been on a podcast but was willing to try. She, of course, nailed it with her compelling, approachable, and powerful presence, and following that initial podcast, they offered to sponsor the launch of what was then called the Women in Leadership podcast.

Pushing through the uncomfortable
Debbie and I knew nothing about podcasting, but we jumped in with the help of ATS and their podcasting crew. Even though I am an avid podcast listener, Debbie and I were on a steep learning curve that first season, and listening now to those first podcasts is a bit cringeworthy!

The focus was on us discussing leadership topics. With the help of the ATS team, we grew in confidence and realized that we liked this method to expand our reach and share information with leaders at all levels. And the feedback was encouraging! At the end of the season, we held a meeting with ATS leadership, and they suggested we keep going. Often in leadership, you need to push through the uncomfortable to get to your next level of development– we lived this lesson at the start.

Evolving the pod to align with our mission

In season 2, we modified the format and invited inspirational women leaders to discuss their unique approaches and actionable advice with us. This was the point where we fell in love with podcasting! Our conversations with leaders from across the globe elevated and accelerated our effectiveness and our ability to bring leadership advice to our growing group of listeners. Part way through Season 2, we transitioned responsibility for the podcast from ATS to Seasons Leadership.

Our journey with podcasting has been an evolution. When we decided to keep going with the podcast after Season 2, we didn’t realize how things would continue to evolve. Season 3 proved to be a step-function change. Our leadership conversations expanded in many ways, and listeners became more engaged. One way that our listeners were engaging was by suggesting fascinating leaders they wanted to hear from - and we wanted to hear more perspectives too! So, we renamed our podcast the “Seasons Leadership Podcast” and expanded our focus and guest list to include a diverse range of leaders, regardless of gender, leadership level, and industry.

The Seasons Leadership Podcast is a winner, with many great guests with actionable leadership advice and inspiring stories. We have interwoven our seasonal metaphor into the podcast rotation creating mini seasons within our ever-increasing episode count to help anchor the discussions on different leadership challenges experienced in the unique seasons of leadership – spring, summer, fall and winter.

Leadership Excellence and the Seasons Leadership Podcast
We made the decision to continue podcasting during our annual strategic planning meeting in Seattle last month. Debbie and I revisit our Mission, Vision, and Values and decide what we will “Start, Stop, and/or Keep” going into the new year. We decided to focus on “Leadership Excellence,” a specific skill that helps leaders successfully achieve high levels of performance. We bring this focus to our clients to support them in achieving their goals. We love doing the podcast, but had to ask ourselves, “Is the Seasons Leadership Podcast tightly aligned to this new “Leadership Excellence” focus?” We determined that it was as long as we ensured we were providing the best value – or excellent value – to our listeners during the 30-60 minutes they spend with us.

What to expect from the Seasons Leadership Podcast

Therefore, as we start our spring season in 2023, you will hear a distinct focus on leadership excellence. Our guests will continue to be diverse, global, from various industries, interesting, and entirely unique in their perspectives and advice. You will meet extraordinary leaders and will catch up with a few leaders who have been on our podcast in past seasons. They will talk about what excellent leadership means to them.

Also, it really helps us and makes a huge impact when you subscribe or follow – and comment - on our podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and YouTube. It boosts our ratings and visibility, which makes our podcast available to more people, helping us achieve our vision to make excellent leadership the worldwide standard. We hope you will join the conversation. Become part of the Seasons Leadership Community on Patreon and share your thoughts with us as we continue to evolve the Seasons Leadership Podcast.

Our podcast journey is a metaphor for leadership. Sometimes we stumble into a new role by accident, or it can feel like an accident (hello imposter syndrome) but the success of the Seasons Leadership Podcast is proof that if you push through the uncomfortable moments, tightly align your actions with your mission, vision and values and adjust, when necessary, you can make the most of the surprises in your own leadership journey. Thank you for listening.

Susan Ireland draws on 30+ years of leadership experience in corporations to help people positively impact the world. As an ICF-Certified Professional Coach, Susan works with executives, entrepreneurs and leaders at all levels to enhance their leadership and business acumen, encourage self-discovery and turn challenges into positive results. Her belief in the unique value of individuals and appreciation for the wonder and awe of their journeys inspires enduring, transformative change.

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