Mixergy’s interviews with more than 1,500 business leaders are compelling stuff: everyone from Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales to Shark Tank star Daymond John share their wisdom here. The Mixergy mission is to ‘introduce you to doers and thinkers whose ideas and stories are so powerful that just hearing them can change you’. You can sign up to hear the interviews as podcasts, or simply listen to them as streaming audio via the Mixergy website. If you’d rather read them, there’s a full transcript for each one; learn to speed-read with an app such as Spreeder and you can soak up business gold in no time. mixergy.com
Best for: Big-thinkers
Lewis Howes’ School of Greatness
New York Times bestselling author Howes is an entrepreneur whose podcasts span a pretty broad church that would give a boost to any career-minded individual who wants to excel. The Power Of Innovation, Become Emotionally Fit and Mastering Body Language and Confidence are three recent episodes – and give a good flavour of where Howes is coming from. He regularly hooks up with interesting individuals to plug any gaps in his own knowledge, and with more that 600 episodes to choose from via his easy-to-navigate website, Howes could well become your best new business buddy. lewishowes.com
Best for: Serious careerists
How I Built This
A brilliantly simple concept, How I Built This features an interview with a different business founder each episode, and delves into how they created their enterprise. As a result, it is a must for anyone with an entrepreneurial bent, and there are currently more than 80 business owners who share their story – everyone from Instagram’s Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger to Virgin’s Sir Richard Branson. Find it on the iTunes store.
Best for: Anyone with an idea for a startup
99 Percent Invisible
Widely regarded by creatives as a brilliant source of inspiration, this weekly podcast has been running for eight years and is great for anyone who is interested in innovation. The founders describe it as ‘about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about’ and there have been more than 250 million downloads to date. Recent episodes include a look at chair design and the construction of a life-saving lighthouse off the coast of America – both far more interesting than they sound. 99percentinvisible.org
Best for: Free-thinkers
Well worth a listen if you’re thinking of creating a startup in Dubai, this podcast follows the journey of local businessman James Anderson as he sets out to build a nightlife and entertainment app named Brunchy in the UAE. His thoughts span from bootstrapping to shorter working days to the future of entrepreneurship. Find it at the iTunes store.
Perfect for: Would-be UAE entrepreneurs
The gaps between episodes for this long-running series have become worryingly large, but don’t let that put you off as each episode of this lightning-quick series (recordings are a mere two minutes or less) is available on the ProdPod website and are a great way to get some speedy inspiration about how to overcome procrastination, develop an end-of-workday routine.... Caution: host Ray Sidney-Smith talks pretty darned fast! prodpod.net
Best for: Time-pressed execs
How To Be Awesome At Your Job
Each week, host Pete Mockaitis sets out to probe thought-leaders and results-getters to discover specific, actionable insights that boost work performance. That’s his manifesto in a nutshell, and he delivers on this with tips on everything from how to be more persuasive to making meetings meaningful. His website articulately explains the content of each podcast and is full of useful links. awesomeatyourjob.com
Best for: Anyone who wants to up their game at work
Time management expert Mike Vardy helps people filter out unnecessary overthinking of problems so that they can get more done, and his lively podcast sees him chatting with other productivity wizzes. Vardy describes a productivyist as ‘a productivity enthusiast who dives deeper into the realm than most people’; if you want to shave wasted minutes off your day, craft more effective emails or create a winning morning routine, then his podcast (and blog) are just the ticket. productivityist.com
Best for: People who know there has to be a better way to do things
Dirhams and Dollars
Gulf News’ foray into the business podcast arena is regularly updated (typically around eight episodes per month) and brings listeners up to speed with all things business news related. The topics are varied (from Canada taking on the US to Apple wanting people to use their iPhones less) and it’s perfect fodder for the next time you need something to talk about over the water cooler. Find it on iTunes and at gulfnews.com
Best for: Taking office chit-chat to a higher level
Hosted by self-confessed ‘personal development junkie’ Jeff Sanders, this well-regarded podcast is designed to set you up for the day before you’ve even had breakfast. Sanders covers topics such as fitness, goals, personal growth and productivity. jeffsanders.com
Best for: Early risers
With more than 1,200 articles (they call them ‘tools’) aimed at making you more productive, more capable and generally just better in the workplace, MindTools (mindtools.com) is well worth bookmarking. Some articles have an interactive element, such as the one about How Good Are Your People Skills in which there are 16 statements to answer before you are delivered a personalised verdict. You can read three articles for free, then it’s $1 for a month’s trial (rising to $19 if you sign up) – but you do get access to a coaching and career forum, and the site is authored by genuine experts.
Best for: People who are dead-serious about being better at work. mindtools.com
As well as being an excellent place to search for new jobs, this website (themuse.com) has a comprehensive section named Career Advice that is full of well-penned articles that most career-minded folk would find interesting. As well as tips on how best to answer tough interview questions and other job-acing stuff, the writers’ remit is sufficiently broad to be able to cover rather more left-field things such as ‘3 better ways to say, It’s actually not my fault’.
Best for: Job seekers and anyone who wants a promotion. themuse.com
If your office is on the quiet side and you’re allowed to wear headphones at your desk, Coffitivity (coffitivity.com) could be your saviour: this quirky site lets you listen to the sounds of a bustling café. Why? Because research has shown that a gentle hum of activity is ‘conducive to creative cognition’, and freelancers from Dubai to Los Angeles have found to their cost that moving away from the free Wi-Fi at their local café and setting up office at home is often eerily and unpleasantly quiet. There’s an app with the same name, too.
Best for: home-based freelancers. coffitivity.com
Pick The Brain
Updated almost every day, this website (pickthebrain.com) is run by a Los Angeles-based Canadian named Erin Falconer who uses a huge pool of writers from around the world to bring readers an appealing mix of thought-provoking business and personal development-related articles. Regular podcasts – which can be listened to via the website – add an extra element.
Best for: People who like to learn something new every day. pickthebrain.com
Success at work doesn’t just come from smiling at the boss and knowing about the company share price: it’s equally important to arrive home from the office after another hard day in a state of relative calm. Zen Habits (zenhabits.net) is visited by millions who want to learn about mindfulness, breathing and finding an inner peace, but there’s much more on offer here, including tips on mastering time management and beating procrastination.
Best for: Anyone who needs to chill out. zenhabits.net
Social Hire (social-hire.com) is a business that specialises in helping companies master their social media, and their blog is full of free advice that helps business owners get up to speed with the latest trends. It can help you to avoid costly Twitter mistakes, turn you into a Facebook advertising expert and become a dominant force in your niche market. Articles are upbeat and full of insight.
Best for: Business owners whose social media skills are lacking. social-hire.com
A Sales Guy
Sales is something that some people are great at; for everyone else (and we all have to sell something in one form or another) it’s a dark art that can leave us cold. A Sales Guy Inc is a leading sales consulting firm and the writers on their company’s blog (asalesguy.com) know what they’re talking about – meaning that when they post a blog such as How to Sell Better: Build Your Own Processes you know it’s not going to be waffle.
Best for: Sales novices. asalesguy.com
Ask a Manager
When Alison Green launched this website/blog (askamanager.org), she was the chief of staff for a successful organisation and responsible for hiring, firing, promoting and running a team – so her insight into the world of management is pretty well-earned. Readers bombard her with questions like how to deal with employees who work late and awkward interns, as well as the ethics of using a job offer to squeeze a raise out of your existing employer.
Best for: Workplace worriers. askamanager.org
My favourite business website and podcast
By Ben Bengougam, SVP, Human Resources at Hilton, EMEA
Bengougam explains that Hilton has a partnership with Arianna Huffington’s Thrive organisation because the company is keen for team members to be able to effectively balance their work and life aspirations – enabling them to be focused and optimistic about their careers. ‘I regularly share pieces from the blog and podcast series with my team,’ he says.
Our favourite business websites and podcasts...
Jonathan and Militza Ashmore (founders of Dubai-based international architecture and design practice, ANARCHITECT) list their go-to sources
Jonathan often listens to Monocle radio podcasts, having been an avid Monocle magazine subscriber for years. Their podcasts usually have interesting interviews with SMEs and business owners which provide different angles on business, global affairs, culture and design. monocle.com
Given her interest in creative communications and the business of social media, Militza likes to follow the Mashable digital media website and app; she says it is her go-to source for tech, digital culture and social trends. Think daily updates on social media news, the latest digital platform capabilities, and advice that helps you to understand the tastes of a millennial audience. mashable.com
TED Talk Radio Hour
TED has firmly established itself as the very best destination for anyone interested in hearing interesting people talk about their business lives, and the Anarchitect creatives like to tune into TED’s Radio Hour, especially for its series of architecture and design talks from masters such as Shigeru Ban, Thomas Heatherwick and Renzo Piano. ted.com
This popular podcast is hosted by high performance psychologist Dr Michael Gervais, who speaks to inspiring guests varying from Olympians to chefs and musicians who all have one thing in common – they have reached mastery in what they do. Jonathan and Militza say that the podcast is an antidote to the ‘hack’ culture of finding quick ways of getting things done. findingmaster.net