In 2009, Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York. Two years later, he shared the 3 things that went through his mind as the plane went down, and what he learned when he thought it was all over.
As a lifelong learner, he believes there is growth in every experience, and from every conversation.
On the “3 Things” podcast, Ric shares private conversations with friends and remarkable people. Guests include an astronaut, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a former monk, CEOs, Hall-of-Fame athletes, and personal friends with inspirational stories.
Just as he did on the TED stage, he summarizes each episode with 3 things we can learn from the conversation.
Listen to all episodes of 3 Things here:
Episode 1: Leadership (Chris Hadfield)
Chris commanded the International Space Station, and I was honored to talk with him about our pace of progress in space exploration, and when humans can expect to start living on the moon.
Episode 2: Coaching (Larry Fitzgerald)
Larry is an NFL All-Star and a close friend. We spoke about competition at the highest level, and what it means to be “coachable.”
Episode 3: Purpose (Howard Schultz)
Howard, a dear friend and mentor, is the founder of Starbucks. We spoke about everything from his childhood, to servant leadership, and the one time Bill Gates (Sr) helped him stand up to a bully.
Episode 4: Revolution (Leymah Gbowee)
Leymah is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end a war and revolutionized women’s rights in Africa. We spoke about what it’s like to stand up to an oppressive President, and what it takes to start a movement.
Episode 5: Revenge (Bobby Flay)
Bobby is a world-famous chef, restaurateur, and TV star. We spoke about how he got his start, leadership lessons from the kitchen, and whether or not he’s ever cooked a frozen pizza. (No spoilers.)
Episode 6: Impact (Mark Tatum)
Mark stopped by during NBA Allstar Weekend in Charlotte to talk the future of sports betting, what the NBA is doing right (and the NFL is doing wrong), and Lebron vs MJ.
Episode 7: Awareness (Dandapani)
Dandapani, a friend and mentor of mine, lived as a monk for 10 years and now travels the world as a leading mindfulness expert. He shared tips for harnessing your awareness, and how to live a worry-free life.
Episode 8: Failure (Dan O’Brien)
Dan, a former decathlete and Olympic gold medalist, had one of the most dramatic moments in sports history – and then one of the greatest comebacks of all time.
Episode 9: Discipline (Jay Bilas)
Jay, an ESPN commentator and fellow Charlottean, shared his unique approach to parenting and the best advice he ever got from Coach K.
Episode 10: Becoming #1 (Andy Roddick)
Andy explained what it took to become the #1 tennis player in the world, and how to sustain greatness after reaching that “peak.”
Episode 11: Motivating Greatness (Ron Rivera)
Ron, a dear friend and NFL coach, discussed how to bring out the best in others, and how to motivate someone who’s already at the top of their game.
Episode 12: Training to Win (Luke Kuechly & Christian McCaffrey)
Luke and Christian, two star NFL players and fellow Charlotteans, shared the science behind improving focus, energy, and health.
Episode 13: Living Longer & Happier (Marshall Rauch)
Marshall is a close friend and at 96 years old – truly one of a kind. He shared his key to longevity and how we all can create our own luck.
Episode 14: Driving Success (Rick Hendrick)
Rick is the most dominant NASCAR team owner in history & owner of the largest private dealership in the US. He shared his take on finding competitive advantages to get ahead and keeping the grind, even after victory.
Episode 15: Pushing Limits (Jesse Itzler)
Jesse is a dear friend, a serial entrepreneur, and an ultra-endurance athlete who explains how to push past mental and physical barriers to challenge what’s humanly possible.
Episode 16: Leading the Pack (Abby Wambach)
Abby is a soccer legend with a fierce approach to peak performance and unique insights into female athletics and equal pay.
Episode 17: Sleep, Exercise, and Nutrition (Dr. Peter Attia)
Peter prescribes one thing we all can start doing now to help prevent dementia, how to get better, more restful sleep, and the core elements of a balanced diet.
Episide 18: Longevity and the Future of Medicine (Dr. Peter Attia)
Back on the podcast for a second discussion, Peter shared predictions about how we could cure diabetes and cancer in the next 10 years, his experience in ultra endurance athletics, and a sad truth about parenting.
Episode 19: Not Impossible (Mick Ebeling)
Mick founded Not Impossible Labs – a humanitarian technology incubator known for “doing things that can’t be done.”
Roberto, one of my dearest friends, is currently serving his 24th year in prison. I am honored to share his story (and the story of how we met), because I believe humanity is about seeing the best in someone; not judging them for the worst mistake they ever made.
EXTRA: “Earning the Gift of Life” (via The Drive with Dr. Peter Attia)
The Peter Attia Drive is a weekly, deep-dive podcast focusing on maximizing longevity, and all that goes into that from physical to cognitive to emotional health.
In this episode, Ric dives deeper than he ever has before into what it was like to survive the Miracle on the Hudson, how it impacted his life, greatly changed his perspective, and improved his relationship with his family and the broader community.
Episode 21: Learning to Love the Grind (Coach Calipari)
Coach Cal is one of the most successful college basketball coaches in history, leading 49 players to be drafted in the NBA – but he’s never had a former player WIN the NBA Championship. That streak is over this year, with Anthony Davis on the LA Lakers facing Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro on the Miami Heat. What’s his secret to building a great team? What does he really look for as the top quality in star talent? And what’s he doing to pay it all forward?
Episode 22: Hope and Progress (Harvey Gantt)
In a moment where politics and division feel relentless, and optimism feels scarce, here’s an encouraging conversation with Harvey Gantt – an iconic architect, a civic leader, and a pioneer for racial justice. Growing up in the segregated South, Harvey’s life experiences and his perspective on the progress we have – and haven’t – made are both a severe reality check, and a beacon of hope.
Episode 23: Rewiring Our Brains For Positivity (Neil Pasricha)
How is it possible to find happiness and positivity during one of the most uncertain, and devastating, years in recent history? Neil Pasricha is a New York Times bestselling author and a positive psychology expert who focuses on just that.
EXTRA: “Conversion with Ric Elias (via A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek)
Ric and Simon debate what really drives company culture (is it “Values?” “Beliefs?” …is there a difference?!), and unpack more about how surviving Flight 1549 has shaped Ric’s life.
Simon Sinek is a New York Times bestselling author, TED Talks legend, and host of the top-rated podcast, “A Bit of Optimism.”
Episode 24: Think Again (Adam Grant)
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who helps people find meaning and motivation at work. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers, and his new book, Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know, is out now. Adam discusses how to train your mind to pivot faster, how to have more productive debates and disagreements, and how the pandemic will continue to shape the future of work.
Episode 25: A Force For Good (Gene Woods)
Gene Woods is President and CEO of Atrium Health, one of the largest health systems in the US. Throughout the pandemic, Gene has been a vocal advocate for underserved communities – working to eliminate racial disparities in COVID testing and improving access to care for at-risk populations. In this episode, he shares how his teams on the front lines are coping, how the pandemic has accelerated innovations in healthcare, and how all organizations can be forces for good in our communities.
Episode 26: The Purpose of Business (Simon Sinek)
Simon Sinek is an optimist, a New York Times bestselling author, and the speaker behind the third-most-watched TED Talk of ALL TIME – “How great leaders inspire action,” where he popularized the concept of “Starting with your Why.” He’s advised leaders and organizations in almost every industry, from finance to fashion and even the US military. He’s fascinated by people and organizations that impact the world for good – which explains why he and Ric have become close friends. This is 3 Things, with Simon Sinek.
Rate, Review, and Subscribe here or wherever you get podcasts!