DiscoverA Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world
A Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world
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A Geek Leader Podcast - inspiring technical and creative leaders around the world

Author: John Rouda: technical leader, author, speaker, educator

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The ultimate podcast for aspiring leaders in the creative or technology fields. John Rouda discusses leadership topics, interviews some of the greatest minds today and teaches you practical leadership tips, techniques, tricks and hacks to improve motivation, negotiation, and other much needed skills for leaders today.
95 Episodes
AGL 094: Beating Imposter Syndrome with Heather Downing
About HeatherHeather is a passionate coder and entrepreneur. She has experience working with Fortune 500 companies building enterprise-level voice, mobile and C#/.Net applications. She focuses on external thought leadership, encouraging fellow programmers to present on topics outside of the office and in the community. She is an international technical speaker and co-host of the YouTube channel "The Hello World Show" -- a weekly video series that interviews software masters and teaches the audience something valuable in less than 10 minutes. ​Heather encourages those with nontraditional backgrounds to enter the world of software development, as she changed careers at 27 and does not have a degree - yet has built a reputation as an early adapter of new tech. She is an advocate of women in tech, and part of Kansas City Women in Technology. When not coding, Heather spends her time as a competitive equestrian and learning the art of mounted archery.Today we talked about:Technology BeginningsImposter SyndromeOvercoming fearSpeaking internationallySurrounding yourself with people you respectNetworkingDeveloper PTSDGetting broad experiencePerspectiveIntroverts and networkingPassion and InspirationHow tied are you to what you do for a living?Tain people how to treat youThe value you provide is your outputConnect with Heather:LinkedInTwitterWebsiteImposter Syndrome TalkI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
AGL 093: Khalid Machchate on the Future and Digital Transformation
About KhalidKhalid Machchate is a Moroccan serial techpreneur, international consultant and speaker.As a Mobile and Embedded Systems engineer, consulting and capacity building for several EMEA multinational corporations and Governments in disruptive technologies integration, especially Smart Cities, AI and IoT solutions. He developed proprietary algorithms and designed hardware for his accident detection and automated medical assistance solution SOS Santé, and AI powered software for his blended learning platform Skillearn, winning 20+ international innovation awards. All under his privately owned technology group: K&W Technologies.In 2018, he was invited to speak in 4 continents, and 15 countries, in various summits, forums and seminars, earning him several global titles including Ashoka Changemaker, World Summit Awards expert, G20 special guest policy advisor...As a thought leader he works with multilaterals and development agencies such as G20, World Economic Forum, GIZ, World Bank, UN amongst others to promote equality in opportunity, advocate for Health, Education and Economic Wellfare SDGs, empower youth, and co-create policies around entrepreneurship, self-employment, technology adoption and future of work.Today We Talked About:Khalid's Tech StoryAIAI regulationsData PrivacySmart CitiesQuantum ComputingFighting Global CrisisMusicAnd much more! Connect with Khalid:LinkedInTwitterWebsiteTedX TalkI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
AGL 092: A.J. Jacobs – Thanks a Thousand
Today on the show we've got one of my favorite authors, A.J. Jacobs.  I first learned about A.J. when reading an article he wrote that was reprinted in Tim Ferriss's 4 Hour Work Week about outsourcing.  The humor and information contained in that article made me want to find and read more by A.J. We talked mostly about gratitude in this episode, and I'm grateful to have had A.J. on the show.  I hope you guys enjoy the conversation as much as I did, and be sure to tell A.J. thank you!About A.J.:A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor at large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine.A.J. Jacobs is author of The Know-It-All, which documents the year he spent reading the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z, uncovering both funny and surprising factoids but also poignant insight into history and human nature. In 2007 he released The Year of Living Biblically, in which he attempted to follow every single rule in the Bible as literally as possible for an entire year. His book The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment is a collection of numerous personal experiments, including living according to George Washington's rules of conduct, outsourcing every single task to India and posing as a woman on an online dating site. Jacobs recently released a new book, Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, which relates his life-altering journey to thank every single person involved in producing his morning cup of coffee.We Talked About:GratitudeHandwritten notesFace to Face Thank YousTake aways from the gratitude projectFamily TreeA-Z gratitude hackGratitude of LeadersManager need to appreciate their employees Connect with A.J. Jacobs:LinkedIn Article by A.J. JacobsBooksWebsiteTwitterFacebookLinkedInI hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
AGL 090: Fight or Flight with Dr. Andy Young
About AndyDr. Andy Young has been a Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Lubbock Christian University since 1996 and a negotiator and Psychological Consultant with the Lubbock Police Department's SWAT team since 2000. He also heads LPD's Victim Services Unit and is the director of the department's Critical Incident Stress Management Team.  He has been on the negotiating team at the Lubbock County Sheriff's Office since 2008, is on the team at the Texas Department of Public Safety (Texas Rangers, region 5), and has recently been asked to serve as the Psychological Consultant on the Amarillo Police Department's negotiating team.  He has written a book, mostly stories about his work as a crisis counselor and hostage negotiator at LPD called Fight or Flight: Negotiating Crisis on the Frontline (see and has published research on the callout experience, personality and decision-making styles of negotiators and SWAT operators, one of which was recently published in the National Tactical Officer Associations magazine The Tactical Edge, and in the International Association of Chiefs of Police online publication.  Since 2014 he has spoken nationally at numerous hostage negotiator conferences, as well as other professional and academic conferences on crisis intervention and hostage negotiating.We Talked AboutAndy's 1st NegotiationStories at Lubbock County Sheriff's OfficeNegotiation strategiesImportance of Negotiation for LeadersListen and start from their point of viewParaphrase to let them know you understandDon't try to fix the problemAsk if you can helpNon-verbal cuesVocal TonalityPatientWork together for a "win-win"Having a sense of humorConnect with AndyWebsiteLinkedInFacebookBook (Fight or Flight)I hope you enjoyed this show, please head over to iTunes and subscribe and leave me a rating and review, even one sentence will help spread the word.  Thanks again!
AGL 088: The 5th Why
Being that it is late January 2019 now, I'm sure most of you have already made and broken at least one new years resolution. There's nothing wrong with that... we all do it.  But let's focus on why you created that resolution in the first place.  Some common resolutions are to eat healthier, get in shape, be nicer, work harder, stop drinking so much, stop eating fast food, etc.  If you picked one of those, or something totally different, ask yourself why it is important for you to stop or start those things?   We'll dig more into the why in a minute...Ever wonder why we do resolutions and goals at the beginning of the year?  There is a good book about timing that digs into this by Dan Pink, called When.  It talks a lot about the best time of the day, week, month, or year to start or do certain things.  Its super fascinating, but basically our brains like new beginnings.  That can be a birthday, or the start of a week, or what better time, than the start of a new year.  We tend to have an easier time starting something during one of these new beginning times. But that doesn't necessarily equate to keeping it up.  Habits and motivations are important for that (check out the episodes with John Hitler on The Motivation Trap and Jeff Haden on The Motivation Myth to learn more about motivation).For me, when I start something and begin to struggle seeing it through to completion, I begin to feel discouraged.  I've found that it is helpful to ask "why am I doing this anyway?" So let's take the get in shape scenario as an example.  Why do I want to get in shape? To be healthier... to look better at the pool... but why do I want to be healthier?  Why do I want to look better at the pool?  If I keep going down this rabbit hole of ask why using something called the five why protocol, I will likely find that the end game is to be happier. When I change my focus away from the task of working out, and point it at the correct goal of happiness, I find its easier to stay on task and accomplish my goals.The Five Why ProtocolWikipedia has a really good breakdown of the history and rules for the five why protocol so I'll link to that instead of boring you with all of the details. But the basics are, ask Why, from the customer point of view, at least 5 times to find the true root cause of the problem you're trying to solve.  I'll read the rules on the podcast, but you can go find them at Wikipedia.S.M.A.R.T. GoalsI've spoken about, used, and stood by SMART goals for many years.  SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals.  When you're setting your goals, you need to make sure you check all of the boxes for these in order to make the goal useful.An example of one of my SMART goals for 2019 is: To increase 1st quarter podcast downloads by 10% over the 4th quarter 2018 download numbers. Let's break it down:Specific - Increase Podcast DownloadsMeasurable -By 10% over the 4th quarter 2018 download numbersAchievable - a 10% increase is doable with more marketing and/or more episodesRelevant - increasing downloads is a direct metric that relates to an increase in good content and more listeners to the showTime-bound - 1st quarter downloads means that it has to be achieved by end of the 1st quarter in 2019.I hope this information is helpful for you in 2019 and beyond.  I hope it helps you start back your failed new years resolutions or helps you keep them going.  Or maybe it helps you redefine better goals for the rest of the year. If so, please leave me a message on LinkedIn, on Twitter, through the website or in an ITunes Review. Thanks so much and have a great 2019!

AGL 088: The 5th Why


AGL 085: 2018 Retrospective
2018 has been a great year.  I rebooted the podcast with both solo shows and more interviews than ever before.  The number of listeners and total downloads have blown my mind.  The number of platforms where you can get A Geek Leader has grown remarkably as well. I learned a lot of valuable information that I can apply to my day job and my life outside of work.  I met and talked to some of the coolest people on the planet.  I suspect 2019 will be even better.  All good retrospectives usually answer 4 questions:What went well?What didn’t go so well?What have I learned?What still puzzles me?So let me tackle those now.What went well?The Guests and Interviews.  Interviewing people went way better than expected.  Several guest have not only heard of the show, but were regular listeners of the show, which was humbling and mind blowing to me.  My time management and scheduling got better since I started using Calendly to schedule my interviews.The Platforms.  This year we expanded past iTunes and Google Play Music on to I Heart Radio, Stitcher, YouTube, and Spotify.  The growth on new platforms made a big impact to the number of subscribers and downloads.The audio.  The audio got better after switching to Zencastr for recording.The downloads.  It may not seem like a lot for some podcast, but passing the 50,000 download mark and having nearly 500,000 youtube views were both big accomplishments in 2018.What didn’t go so well?So I missed an interview due to timezone issues on my end.  Totally my fault, but I still feel bad about it.  I didn't release episodes on a consistent basis.  Sometimes I rolled 3 a week, and other times I skipped a week. I need to be more consistent on getting out episodes. Sometimes I didn't feel as prepared as I should have been for some interviews.  There were a few times when I scheduled 3+ interviews in 1 week and had to bust my butt to get the work done for prep.  Sometimes I the material would run together and I didn't feel fully prepared at times. I'll do better on spacing out the interviews in 2019.What have I learned?The number 1 thing that I've learned (and correct me if I'm wrong) is that my listeners prefer the interview format over solo shows.  I feel as though I still need to do solo shows, but the stats don't lie. Another thing I learned is that people love to be interviewed on podcast.  Dozens of people I had never met before were willing to spend an hour talking to a total stranger about their life and leadership adventures.  People (at least my guests) are good and enjoy helping those around them, even at zero financial gain.What still puzzles me?How great will 2019 be?  Who are all of you listeners and downloaders of the show?  I did a survey a while back, but we have way more listeners and subscribers than we got responses back on the survey.  Who all are you guys and why do you listen to my show?  What do you love about it and what do you hate about it?  I can't change and make it better without feedback from you.  email me your feedback.

AGL 085: 2018 Retrospective


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