Coaching – Do You Want to Be a Little Smarter?


Content for this article came from Talk that Talk, Brandon Hall, Chief Learning Officer Magazine, July 2012.

Who doesn’t want to be a little smarter than the average bear? With the internet at your fingertips, you have ready access lots of smart people. Many great speakers and authors have stated that if you surround yourself with smart people, you become a smart person. Incredibly, this happens almost by osmosis. You absorb the thoughts and actions of those who you are around on a regular basis. So, the number one thing you can do, if you need to change some things in your life, is to make a change and hang around different people.

Where do you find these people? Let your fingers and your mouse do the walking.


Listen to some Interviews on PBS by Charlie Rose. Here are some examples:

  • Reid Hoffman – Co-Founder of LinkedIn
  • Ian Bremmer – President of Eurasia Group
  • James Gorman – CEO of Morgan Stanley
  • Malcom Gladwell – Author of The Tipping Point and Blink
  • Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg – They discuss the work culture of FacebookIbrahim Kalin – Islamic Scholar

Another source of very interesting interviews can be found on National Public Radio (NPR). On weekdays, Terry Gross interviews noted experts on her show Fresh Air. Typically, this show appears on your local NPR station or you can catch it on the internet. You can also access these interviews on iTunes as a podcast.


These global conferences showcase an amazing range of speakers. Most presentations are about 18 minutes or less. You can find a bunch on the topic of how we learn, the rise of collaboration, global predictions and warnings, and the impact of design.

TED Talks

You can probably also join a TED Talks group in your local area. Here, in Orlando, we have a few groups. They gather at a local restaurant and listen to a talk or two and have a lively discussion about it. This is an excellent way to make some friends that enjoy being a little intellectual. You should be able to find these events on their web site or through

If you have a smartphone, you can access a free app that puts these discussions right on your phone. Next time you contemplate playing Angry Birds, stop and think for a moment and increase your intellect instead.


This sounds really dull…but, it is actually not. It can be quite inspiring and valuable to you. Book TV airs on CSPAN2 over the weekends. Essentially, a non-fiction author discusses different topics and then they offer a Q&A session. These can typically be a three-hour discussion.

BookTV YouTube channel


Did you know that there are a ton of lectures and even complete courses available on iTunes? How about Stanford School of Business, The Drucker Institute, Harvard Business School, MIT, or Oxford? Yes, you can listen to the same information paying students have access to via a mobile device. We are talking about 500,000 video clips, books, and presentations. You name the subject and it is probably there.

To enhance your perspective on the world, all you have to do is surround yourself with people that think like you want to think. These few free resources will offer you more information than if you went for a paid MBA at Wharton. If you think differently, you will see things differently. By seeing things differently, you can change your world and make it better for those around you.


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One Response to “Coaching – Do You Want to Be a Little Smarter?”

  1. Barry Nadler Says:

    Here’s another resource that was missed when I put the post together. – College courses from Princeton, Stanford, University of Michigan, and University of Pennsylvania.

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