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Imagine overhearing a stimulating conversation that dispenses wisdom (not mere platitudes or clichés). That’s “10 Lessons It Took Me 50 Years to Learn” an international podcast imparting insight about business, life and career to an international audience of rising leaders.

Don’t think of wisdom as something you get via epiphany or even a couple years of graduate school. No, it’s something you accumulate day by day—action by action over the course of a lifetime.

Lessons from some of the worlds leading executives, celebrities, academics, leaders and ordinary people.

October 12, 2021

Julian Zelizer – Just START! You don’t need all the answers to begin


Julian Zelizer is a professor of political history and an author at Princeton University and the co-host of the podcast Politics & Polls. He speaks with us about how ""Life is a marathon not a sprint, why we should "Accept imperfection", and why you should "Just start". Hosted by Duff Watkins.

About Julian Zelizer

Julian Zelizer is a professor of political history and an author at Princeton University.

Julian E. Zelizer has been one of the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the author and editor of 19 books on American political history. His latest book Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, the Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party was published in 2020.

Zelizer is also a frequent commentator in the media. He has published over nine hundred op-eds, including his weekly column on CNN.Com. He is a regular news commentator on radio, television and in print He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, New America, and the New York Historical Society.

Julian is also the co-host of the podcast Politics & Polls

Episode Notes:

Lesson 1: Use your momentum 03m 00s.

Lesson 2: Accept imperfection 06m 10s.

Lesson 3: Just start! 09m 00s.

Lesson 4: Don’t be scared to throw things away 12m 40s.

Lesson 5: Both sides don’t always have a good point 17m14s.

Lesson 6: Life is a marathon not a sprint  26m22s.

Lesson 7: Never do early tomorrow what you can do ridiculously early today 29,40s .

Lesson 8: Nothing is free, it’s just included 34m 28s.

Lesson 9: Today is the most important day of your life 37, 53s.

Lesson 10: Prepare for unexpected opportunities 43m 16s.


October 5, 2021

Mary Labrie - To lead you have to learn to follow


Mary Labrie is a writer and producer of radio, podcast and film. Mary is Director and Principal of strategy consulting firm, Clear Advantage.  She discusses why "We all respond to incentives", why "You need to ask", and that "To lead you must learn to follow". Hosted by Jeffery Wang.

About Mary Labrie

Mary Egan nee Labrie is a writer and producer of radio, podcast and film. She is producer and host of a podcast and radio show, “Women of a Certain Age,” that first aired in California in June 2020.  Mary is host and producer of ‘The Shiver Show,’ a 30-episode radio program that showcases ‘golden era’ radio plays in the genres of Horror, Crime and Science Fiction. The Shiver Show is in its fourth year in California on KPPQ-FM.  She also produced ‘How to do Improv,’ a 13-part video series for TV.

Mary is founder and director of Women of a Certain Age, a digital media company that creates  radio, podcast, video and web content for women over 50. It is the aim of Women of a Certain Age to inform, inspire and entertain women travelling beyond 50.

Mary is Director and Principal of strategy consulting firm, Clear Advantage.  Since 1999, she has consulted to blue-chip enterprise and government clients on matters of strategy, marketing and digital transformation.

She has been a university instructor in Canada (University of British Columbia), Australia (University of NSW), and the United States (University of California – Santa Barbara), teaching management, leadership and marketing. 

Mary is a certified ‘English as a Second Language’ instructor (CELTA). She set up and offered a free ESL clinic in Ventura, California for newly arrived immigrants and refugees. She is a volunteer rescuer and carer for Australian wildlife.

Mary has an honours degree in Forest Biology and a Master of Business Administration from University of British Columbia.   Mary is a Canadian and an Australian. 

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: We all respond to incentives 01m 31s

Lesson 2: Be strategic with your suppliers 05m 26s

Lesson 3: You are the brand 08m 43s

Lesson 4: Channel like a babysitter 13m 50s

Lesson 5: Don't Panic, Just think 17m 37s

Lesson 6: You need to ask 21m 51s

Lesson 7: To lead you have to learn to follow 25m 32s

Lesson 8: Embrace those who think different to you 28m 09s

Lesson 9: There's always something you can do 33m 22s

Lesson 10: Develop a side-hustle early 36m07s


September 28, 2021

Siebe Van Der Zee - Get Over it- Don‘t create mental barriers.


Siebe Van Der Zee is President of Vanderzee & Associates, Executive Search & Coaching. For 28 years, Siebe has served as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Arizona. More importantly he is one of the hosts of 10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn!  Siebe talks with us about why we should "Get over it", Why it's important to "warm up the engine" and why you should "Be who you are". Hosted by Robert Hossary.

About Siebe Van Der Zee

Siebe is President of Vanderzee & Associates, Executive Search & Coaching. He has served as an international management consultant for over 25 years specializing in retained executive search, performance coaching and cross cultural consulting. 

His clientele includes business leaders in large multinational corporations as well as medium sized companies covering a wide area of industries including high-tech manufacturing, consumer products and life sciences.

Siebe started his career working for global financial institutions (Citibank and ING Bank) in Europe (London, Amsterdam), Latin America (Montevideo) and the United States (New York). Since 2002, he manages a successful retained executive search firm in Scottsdale, Arizona. The firm is focused on senior level executives (incl. Board of Directors).

For 28 years, Siebe has served as Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Arizona. He holds a Master's Degree in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management..

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Warm up the engine before accelerating 06m 53s.

Lesson 2: Energy gets you going, integrity keeps you in place 10m 28s.

Lesson 3: Be who you are; don’t try to be a different person to impress someone 14m 05s.

Lesson 4: Don’t stay quiet if you notice something unethical 18m 53s.

Lesson 5: Get over it! Don’t create mental barriers for yourself 24m 35s.

Lesson 6: We all have blind spots 29m 34s.

Lesson 7: In business development, start at the top 34m 11s.

Lesson 8: Bad news can knock you down, resilience will pick you up 36m 27s.

Lesson 9: Don’t accept finishing in second place 40m 11s.

Lesson 10: Empathy is the key element of successful leadership 44m 13s.


September 21, 2021

Peter Thornhill - Fear is based on ignorance; don’t be frightened, be smart


Peter Thornhill speaks to us about: why you “Don’t stay in jobs you don’t like”, why you should “Rent your lifestyle" and how to “Make money your slave” along with seven other lessons. Hosted by Duff Watkins.

About Peter Thornhill

Peter Thornhill’s career spans 40+ years in the Financial Services Industry.

Educated in Melbourne, he has worked for a leading Australian insurance company, in a London merchant bank as a private client investment adviser, as Director of one of UK’s largest Unit Trust Groups, before returning to Australia as a Senior Executive for managed funds. 


He continues to consult to Australia’s largest financial institutions and appears regularly in the media as a financial commentator because of his ‘assaults on popular wisdom.’


He is the author of Motivated Money a no-nonsense guide for investors (a self-published book that’s sold over 60,000 copies through his thousands of popular lectures and presentations.)  His website is www.motivatedmoney.com.au.


Episode Notes:


Lesson 1: You can succeed despite your education. 06m 31s

Lesson 2: Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability and you will be noticed 09m 05s

Lesson 3: Don’t stay in jobs you don’t like. 15m 04s

Lesson 4: Financial independence is easy to attain 25m 48s

Lesson 5: Spend less than you earn and borrow less than you can afford 29m 31s

Lesson 6: Make money your slave 31m 50s

Lesson 7: Rent your lifestyle 38m 19s

Lesson 8: Choose your partner carefully 43m 15s

Lesson 9: Fear is based on ignorance; don’t be frightened, be smart 45m 26s

Lesson 10: Envy no one 50m 07s

September 14, 2021

David Chalke–Become your own disruptor


David Chalke is one of Australia’s leading Social Analysts. He speaks with us about R E S P E C T, why we should "Build a shed" and why it's important to "Remember your core purpose ". Hosted by Duff Watkins

About David Chalke

David is one of Australia’s leading Social Analysts. A science graduate: his early career was in Europe with trans-national organisations such as Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes & Wilkinson Sword. On coming to Australia, David held the positions of Director of Strategy Planning with McCann-Erickson and Y&R Mattingly, until founding the independent consultancy, The Strategy Planning Group, in 1990.

Today, David focuses on measuring the effects of cultural change on Australians’ attitudes and behaviours and advising on the impact of these on the formulation of effective public policy and business strategy.

David’s “Real World” view of the mood of Australians has made him a popular speaker at national & international conferences; he is a regularly quoted social commentator, and an occasional writer and broadcaster.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: Look Upwards, sideways and downwards 3m 45s.

Lesson 2: Keep Walking 5m 56s.

Lesson 3: Keep Listening 7m 42s.

Lesson 4: Keep it plain 11m 07s.

Lesson 5: Your world is not everyone’s 21m 30s.

Lesson 6: R E S P E C T 24m 54s

Lesson 7: Don’t deceive 29m 05s.

Lesson 8: Build a shed 37m 39s.

Lesson 9: Remember your core purpose 39m 14s.

Lesson 10: Become your own disruptor 46m 09s.

September 7, 2021

Dilip Jeste - Anyone and Everyone Can Become WISER


Dr. Dilip V. Jeste  is the author of 'Wiser: the scientific roots of wisdom' and speaks to us about how "If you think you’re WISE, you aren’t" and tells us that "Anyone and everyone can become WISER" along with eight other great lessons. Hosted by Duff Watkins.

About Dr Dilip Jeste

Dr. Dilip V. Jeste is Director of The Stein Institute for Research on Ageing, and Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego, and a neuropsychiatrist with particular specialism in successful aging and schizophrenia.

He is author of Wiser: the scientific roots of wisdom (and 13 other books).  His 625 published scientific papers are among most cited in the world (he’s in the top .5% of publishing researchers).  He is also a former president of the American Psychiatric Association. He was the first Asian-American elected President of the American Psychiatric Association in its 175 year history which has over 40,000 members.  He is listed in “Best Doctors in America.”

He has published a number of influential papers detailing the neural activity associated with wise behaviours and you can watch his fascinating TED talk Seeking Wisdom in Graying Matter by clicking here.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: If you think you’re WISE, you aren’t 04m 45s.

Lesson 2: Anyone and everyone can become WISER 08m 05s.

Lesson 3: Don't give up your accent 11m 50s

Lesson 4: Spend some time with people you DISLIKE 16m00s.

Lesson 5: Controlled PESSIMISM is better than uncontrolled OPTIMISM 21m 10s.

Lesson 6: ONEliness is good, LONEliness is not 26m 06s.

Lesson 7: Finding YOUR fault is harder than finding THEIR fault 30m 41s.

Lesson 8: Too much of a VIRTUE can be BAD 36m 05s.

Lesson 9: BALANCE:  Feel sad when happy; feel happy when sad 39m 19s.

Lesson 10: Act OLD when young; act YOUNG when old 44m 00s.

August 31, 2021

Special Episode - What is Wisdom?


In this special episode the four of us, Jeffery Wang, Siebe Van Der Zee, Dr. Duff Watkins, and Robert Hossary discuss the deep topic of wisdom. We ask the question “What is wisdom?” and try to answer that from the lessons learned from our guests and from our own experiences. We have been asking this question of ourselves since we began. So we thought that we would share this discussion with our audience. Let us know your thoughts on what you think wisdom is.




August 24, 2021

Niki Luijsterburg - Leaders are storytellers


LT COL Joost ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg speaks to us this week about how the best "leaders are story tellers", how there are "only two intrinsic motivators - Love or Fear" , the true nature of "Sacrifice" and seven other great lessons. Hosted by Siebe Van Der Zee.

About Joost ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg

LT COL JOOST ‘Niki’ Luijsterburg of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has become the first Dutch fighter pilot to achieve 4,000 flight hours on the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

After serving for a year in the Dutch Navy, Luijsterburg began flight training with the RNLAF in 1989. Two years later he graduated as the top of his pilot class and earned his wings, as well as the top formation pilot award. Luijsterburg completed F-16 training with the 148th Fighter Squadron at Tucson, Arizona in 1992. He moved to Leeuwarden Air Base, joining 323 Squadron, to begin his tuition with the Fighter Weapons School. He passed ‘cum laude’ and received further awards for best overall pilot and best airto- air pilot. On becoming the first Dutch F-16 pilot to pass the 4,000 flight hours landmark at Tucson, ‘Niki’ commented, ‘It’s also just a number a number that wouldn’t be possible without all the people that work behind the scenes to make every flight hour possible.’

Niki is a Senior Strategic Leader, Teacher and Diplomat. He has over 30 years of experience across a wide range of international and joint missions, teaching, test execution and 11 combat deployments in various roles.

He is a Keynote speaker. Military and technical advisor for various large movie and TV productions.

Episode Notes

Lesson 1: There are only two intrinsic motivators in life. Love or Fear 08m 42s.

Lesson 2: Be Effective 11m 57s.

Lesson 3: The most important part of communication is the receiving (listening) part 12m 29s.

Lesson 4: Have self-confidence. Know what you can and cannot do 15m 34s.

Lesson 5: Be responsible 20m 02s.

Lesson 6: Sacrifice 24m 47s.

Lesson 7: Language, rituals, Leaders are storytellers 27m24s.

Lesson 8: Be Honest 30m 12s.

Lesson 9: Be a shit screen 33m 56s.

Lesson 10: Keep your peoples lives stable 39m 57s.

August 17, 2021

Floyd Ormsbee – Never let them see you sweat


Dr Floyd Ormsbee shares some valuable lessons with us in this episode. Why you should "never let them see you sweat". That you can "disagree but learn from each other" and why "if it were easy everyone would do it. Hosted by Robert Hossary.

About Dr Floyd Ormsbee

Dr. Floyd Ormsbee, an Assistant Professor of Consumer & Organizational Studies and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs & Operations in Clarkson University's David D. Reh School of Business, and he is also the owner of Genaffex Training and Consulting.

He is a past recipient of the Clarkson School of Business Service Award and Beta Gamma Sigma's Ralph Janero Teaching Award, was selected by graduating seniors to present a “Last Lecture” presentation and was named the 2020 recipient of the Clarkson University Distinguished Teacher Award, an award given "in recognition of the importance of superior teaching" and selected from faculty nominated for the award by Clarkson alumni.

Dr Ormsbee is an annual keynote speaker for the St. Lawrence Leadership Institute and has delivered a variety of keynote presentations and talks on generational issues in the workplace, strategic issues, cultivating professionalism in the workplace, and managing organizational change to local, regional and international associations and organizations in both the United States and Canada.

A native of Heuvelton, N.Y. (USA), Dr Ormsbee worked in the insurance industry for a number of years before returning to school for graduate work. He joined the Clarkson University admissions office in 1998 and then taught briefly at The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Potsdam and SUNY Canton before starting his Clarkson teaching career in 2002.

Dr Ormsbee earned his Ph.D. in Management from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada), his Master of Science degree in Management Systems from Clarkson, his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics from SUNY Potsdam, and 2 Associate Degrees in both Business Administration, and Banking, Insurance & Real Estate from SUNY Canton.

Episode Notes

  1. Never let anyone tell you no 6m 32s.
  2. Never let them see you sweat 10m 51s.
  3. It’s not about the message. It’s about the delivery 16m 10s.
  4. Disagree but learn from each other 19m 29s.
  5. Tomorrow is not guaranteed 22m 29s. 
  6. If it were easy, everyone would do it 26m 38s. 
  7. Run your own game – not someone else’s 31m 58s. 
  8. You have to be the one who pushes yourself 37m 19s. 
  9. Live a real life – not a virtual one 43m 27s. 
  10. See the world, meet the people, and always learn more 46m 57s.
August 10, 2021

Andrew Bacevich - Never feel sorry for the people in charge


In this episode, Andrew Bacevich shares with us why "Ambition causes blindness", why you should "Never feel sorry for the people in charge" and describes the "Greatest sin of all".

About Dr Andrew J. Bacevich

Andrew Bacevich is Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. Retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of colonel.

Bacevich is the author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War (2010). His previous books include The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism (2008); The Long War: A New History of US National Security Policy since World War II (2007) (editor); The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2005); and American Empire: The Realities and Consequences of U. S. Diplomacy (2002). His essays and reviews have appeared in a variety of scholarly and general interest publications including The Wilson Quarterly, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Nation, and The New Republic. His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times, among other newspapers. He is also the editor of a volume entitled The Short American Century:  A Post-mortem, which was published in 2012. His newest book, Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country, was published in 2013.

In 2004, Dr. Bacevich was a Berlin Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. He has also held fellowships at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Council on Foreign Relations.


Episode Notes 

Lesson 1: The historian's duty is to REVISE history. 01m 24s.

Lesson 2: Thinking of yourself or your country as exceptional is the Big Lie that imprisons you. 08m 38s.

Lesson 3: War is Uncontrollable 17m:45s.

Lesson 4: To fear ideology is irrational. 21m 48s.

Lesson 5: Never feel sorry for the people in charge. 26m 56s.

Lesson 6: Greatest sin of all:  lack of empathy for others 30m 48s.

Lesson 7: Ambition CAUSES blindness. 33m 15s.

Lesson 8: Social media is inherently evil. 36m 37s.

Lesson 9: Money can't buy you love. 39m 39s.

Lesson 10: Want to stay married?  Take long walks together. 43m 25s.