When we started Front and Centered back in 2014, our goal was to build a community of people who shared their stories about leadership through life experiences.  So far, we’ve fostered connections through client innovation communities, a volunteer board, a book club, and of course, this blog. But we’re always trying to think of new and interesting ways to drive more community involvement and keep people engaged. 

Recently, we were talking about our favorite podcasts and got the idea to create one of our own.

What makes a good podcast?

We were eager to explore the possibility of a new podcast, so in typical SEI fashion, a group of us met to talk about how we might develop one. Together, we considered issues like:

  • What podcasts did we listen to?
  • What interested us?
  • Why did we listen?
  • What kept us coming back (or subscribing) to certain podcasts?

After sharing our opinions and trading favorites, we noticed a few common themes. The most engaging podcasts, we realized, deliver:


  • New perspectives. We like podcasts that help us learn what other people are thinking and feeling, especially people with different viewpoints from our own. We want exposure to other perspectives, and to broaden our horizons
  • New topics. Between juggling work and family responsibilities, we don’t always have the time to research topics that interest us. A podcast from an expert in a field like behavioral economics, psychology or nutrition lets us acquire nuggets of knowledge that help expand our minds (and make us better conversationalists at meetings and parties)
  • Self-help education. We’re interested in podcasts with tips that help us improve our lives and careers, on topics like “how to get better at network marketing” or “building trust in teams”

Stories engage listeners

Whatever the topic of a given podcast, good storytelling seems to be the key ingredient for connecting with an audience. And those stories need to feel authentic and relatable -- in other words, human.

So we knew that when we created our own podcast, stories should be our focus.

We plan to interview a range of people on our podcast to discover their interests, learnings, successes and failures. So many people have shared their stories with us over the years: clients, teammates, friends and family.  We’ll continue to hear – and learn from -- their stories by:

  • Highlighting issues people are thinking about but maybe not talking about, especially in the workplace
  • Hosting discussions where people of different viewpoints debate an issue
  • Sharing stories about differences in gender, age or culture in the workplace, to help listeners understand the experiences of people different from themselves. For example, how do millennials approach work compared with baby boomers? How do introverts feel working in environments dominated by extroverts?

We’ll explore these topics and more.

We plan to launch our podcast, Front and Centered IRL (shorthand for “In Real Life”) before year’s end. As we build a library of interviews and stories to share with our community, please contact me if you’re interested in sharing your story with us.  We’d love to hear what you have to say.

Stay tuned – and then tune in. 


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Al Chiaradonna