Popular business podcast on Voice of America comes straight out of Columbus

Katy Smith
Maureen Metcalf, Innovative Leadership Institute

Maureen Metcalf had been working with executives for years, coaching them through change and training them to innovate. But the CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute didn’t foresee becoming a sought-after podcaster. 

“I get to talk to some of the smartest people in the world on my topic,” she says. The podcast, “Innovating Leadership—Co-Creating Our Future” on Voice America, has attracted the likes of Ron Heifetz, who founded the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University and Kim Campbell, the only woman ever to have served as prime minister of Canada. Metcalf was selected as a fellow with the International Leadership Association. “So our partnership brings me access to all their top thinkers,” she says. “And for people in our community, this is all free.”

Metcalf got into it at the invitation of a producer. “I thought sure, I’ll do it for three months. I couldn’t have more than three month’s worth of content for people to listen to, and I don’t know that I have that many people to talk to.” 

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More than four years later, she’s done 250 shows with guests such as the founder of Travelocity and the former CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer. Local leaders are featured frequently, including Huntington Bancshares Chairman and CEO Steve Steinour and Greg Moran, COO at Columbus cybersecurity startup Aware who built a career leading large companies such as Ford and Nationwide through transformation. 

Looking at the metrics, the podcast is a success. It’s periodically in the top 50 on the iTunes business management channel, and conservative estimates show it receives 40,000 listens a month. Industry research shows only 20 percent of podcasts get more than 10,000 listens a month, Metcalf says. 

“Innovating Leadership—Co-Creating Our Future” airs at 2 p.m. Tuesdays and is syndicated through iTunes, Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Metcalf records at WCBE, where she is a board member.

“It’s creating exposure to Columbus as a leading place to live and work,” she says.