Master or Student

Published on
March 17, 2014
Chris Taylor
"Ideas are only valuable when applied."
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I’ve been fortunate to have been featured on a number of podcasts recently.

I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to a lot of podcasts (or talk radio in general for that matter), so it’s a fairly new space for me and I’ve been curious to explore. I can appreciate that in a crowded market like Podcasting, there’s a desire (and really, need) to stand out in some way. Different interviewers have different styles, different themes, different lengths and different energies. When it comes to the actual content though, I’m seeing four distinct flavours:

1. Master – experts in their subject matter, using their show as a platform to teach.

2. Student – surrounding themselves with experts, using their show as a platform to learn.

3. Commentator – strong in their opinions, using their show as a platform to influence.

4. Connoisseur – of discerning taste, using their show as a platform to showcase new ideas, personalities or companies.

And you’re asking, “what does this have to do with professional development or leadership?

The podcasters who are making a name for themselves and are growing a following are doing so because they know how they show up in the world. They don’t jump around. They make a concentrated effort to stay in Student mode (for example), even when there might be temptation to move to Master. They’re deliberate in how they interact with the world around them. I don’t think any of the styles are particularly “better” than the others, but there is most definitely a better fit for some individuals. There’s an authenticity to an individual embracing their particularly appropriate style.

There’s a lesson in there, I’m sure.