Here is another episode of our special series featuring perspectives from journalists and editors in the media.

In this episode, you’ll hear about Wendy Bounds’ journey into journalism, how she was captivated by the storytelling bug from an early age, and how inspiration from family members in journalism paved the way for her career. She also provides insights into the evolving landscape of journalism, the importance of storytelling, and the integration of passion into professional life.

Wendy Bounds is Vice President of Content and US Media Partnerships at SmartNews. SmartNews is an award-winning news discovery app downloaded by over 50 million readers in over 150 countries. She shares her fortunate break right out of school, landing a job at the prestigious Wall Street Journal, which served as a launchpad for her career at other high-profile media outlets. Alongside her leadership story and valuable advice, Wendy discusses how her passion for obstacle course racing influenced her work-life integration perspectives.

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SDL Media Team


  1. What lessons in leadership can be learned from competitive athletics?
  2. How does AI meet human conscience in news discovery?
  3. What factors contribute to leadership and high performance?
  4. What is the importance of balancing innovation and responsibility?
  5. How can information anxiety be reduced through news consumption strategies?

People have become somewhat disillusioned by the negativity they see running through their feeds.”

Wendy Bounds

VP of Content & US Media Partnerships, Smartnews


[04:54] From Boardroom to Barbed Wire: Leadership Lessons from Obstacle Racing

[06:58] A Journey through Journalism and Media Tech

[08:56] Smart News: Where AI Meets Human Conscience in News Discovery

[10:51] Smart News’ Quest for Quality and Balance

[14:00] Balancing Innovation and Responsibility

[15:55] Breaking Barriers: A Female Leader’s Perspective on Leadership and High Performance

[18:35] Lessons in Leadership from Competitive Athletics

[20:23] Signature Segment: Wendy’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: Balancing Personal and Professional Priorities

[23:25] Signature Segment: Wendy‘s LATTOYG Tactics of Choice: Leading with Courageous Agility: Classroom Wisdom to Professional Resonance

[26:31] Learn about Wendy’s Books

[32:42] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


Wendy Bounds is a prominent media, journalism, and content strategy figure. As Vice President of Content & US Media Partnerships at SmartNews, she plays a pivotal role in shaping the direction of one of the world’s leading news and information curation platforms. With a blend of machine learning and human insight, SmartNews stands at the forefront of delivering quality content to its vast audience.

Before joining SmartNews in 2022, Wendy was Vice President & Chief Content Officer at Consumer Reports. During her tenure from January 2014 to August 2022, she spearheaded editorial strategies. She oversaw content creation and operations across various platforms, including magazines, websites, social media, podcasts, and video/TV endeavors. Also, her leadership was crucial in maintaining Consumer Reports’ reputation as a trusted source of consumer information and advocacy.

Beyond her professional endeavors, Wendy leads an active and engaged life. As an avid Obstacle Course Racer, she has competed in prestigious events such as the Spartan Race World Championships in Lake Tahoe and Abu Dhabi in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Additionally, she dedicates her time and expertise to several nonprofit organizations. She serves as a board member for American Public Radio’s Marketplace franchise, UNC Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism & Media, the Highlands Current nonprofit community news organization, and the Constitution Marsh Audubon Center.




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Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:

Episode 67 | The Antidote to Doom Scrolling and Negative Newsfeeds with Wendy Bounds

Wendy Bounds  00:00

The way I like to think about it is, is it’s human conscience powered by artificial intelligence. Right? So we’re using AI to personalize the algorithms and the feeds that we’re sending to people. But we also have a great team of journalists and editors, and people in our trust and safety and excellence and Operations Division, who are really mining the store, minding the store, so to speak, and making sure that what is sent out is appropriate, you know, meets our quality standards. And you know, so we have that human conscience on top of the AI.


Voiceover  00:40

Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


Karan Rhodes  01:15

Hey there superstars This is Karan and thanks for joining another episode designed to help you better lead at the top of your game. As you know for season three each month we’re featuring leaders who have interesting roles in a particular industry. And today’s episode is part of our special series featuring the perspective of journalists and editors in the media. And on today’s show, we’re going to give you a taste of an expert who leads the curation of news with an eye on reducing information anxiety for the reader. We’re so proud to feature Wendy Bounds, Vice President of Content and US Media Partnerships at Smartnews. Smartnews is an award winning news discovery app downloaded by over 50 million readers and over 150 countries. I want you to hear how Wendy was caught by the storytelling bug early in life and was inspired by other family members in journalism and eventually got a lucky break right out of school and getting a job at the Wall Street Journal. And that helped to launch her career at other high high profile media outlets. Along with her leadership story and advice she sprinkles in how becoming a serious obstacle course athlete later in life, like competing in events like Tough Mudder, has propelled her perspectives of work life integration, it is an absolutely fantastic episode. Also remember to be sure to stay for just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment called Karan’s Take, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hey there superstars welcome back to another episode of the Lead at the Top of Your Game podcast. Well, as you know, we’re doing a special series featuring journalists and editors and experts in the media. And this is a connet this episode is a continuation of that series. And we’re so happy because we love to feature the perspectives of journalists and editors in the world of media because they are on top of their beats, they know the hot trends, and they see some of the best leaders in action. And so we are extremely honored to have as another episode in this series our guest today who is Wendy Bounds. She is the vice president of content and US media partnerships at Smartnews. And for those of you who don’t know, smart news is the award winning news discovery app that’s downloaded by over 50 million readers and over 150 countries. It is absolutely amazing. And Wendy, you got to hear her journey because she kind of started in the typical media space and then moved over to this cutting edge space and she’s gonna share her story with us. But she too is an award winning journalist and she’s also an author. And she’s worked at organizations such as like the Wall Street Journal, ABC News, CNBC, amongst others. So I’m gonna quit trying to tell her story myself and let her share with you in just a few seconds. But before we do that, I want to officially welcome Wendy to the episode.


Wendy Bounds  04:27

Hey there, Karan, so good to be with you.


Karan Rhodes  04:29

So wonderful to have you Wendy! Well before we pull back the layers of the onion of of your story and some of your thoughts on leadership and accomplishments and what it takes to lead at the top of your game. We love to get a little insight on you personally. So just as far as much as you feel comfortable will you share just a tad bit about me your personal life and your passions with this.


Wendy Bounds  04:54

Yeah, I love this question that you ask and I think I may be the first person on your show who will ever connect leadership to crawling under barbed wire and throwing a spear. And what do I mean by that I late in life discovered a sport called obstacle course racing. Some people may have heard of it. It is Spartan Race is a big brand of this type of obstacle racing Tough Mudder is as well, I’d never been an athlete my entire life. I was the kid sit on the bench, last picked for the team. But we can get into this later. You know, in my mid 40s, I discovered this sport and set off on this journey to become a competitive athlete, right at the point where my body was sort of like saying, hey, wait a minute, our prime was like a decade ago, you’re doing this now. But it’s a really adventurous is a sport that has running endurance running sprinting up and down mountains carrying heavy loads of rocks. And as I said, spear throws and barbed wires. I have learned some of the best leadership lessons I think I could have in my career through this journey. So that’s probably one thing most people wouldn’t know about me, even people who’ve known me for a lot of my career, because it’s pretty recent, but happy to share it.


Karan Rhodes  06:05

Oh! That just sounds amazing. I think typical to most people. I in my younger days. I’m a sports fanatic anyway, right now. But I mean, but I grew up a tomboy. And I grew up playing sports and I was sharing with you right before we went live that I need to get that piece of your DNA to be just as active of in my chapter of life now as much as as compared to when I was a teenager. So I totally get that you are my Shero.


Wendy Bounds  06:36

Take that. That is high praise. Yeah.


Karan Rhodes  06:41

Oh, that is fantastic. Well, thank you so much for sharing that. And so let’s dive in since we have limited time together, because I’d love to hear first of all a little bit about your story and how you chose the industry of media and journalism. What caught your attention?


Wendy Bounds  06:59

That’s a good question. Happy to answer it. You know, when the thing that did come naturally Well, kicking a ball, I wanted to be a tomboy. And I wanted to be in sports that didn’t come naturally, what what did growing up was putting words together. And I was always sort of writing stories. As a kid, I had family members who were journalists. And as far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to have a role in life being a storyteller. And one of the ways to do that and to earn money was to become a journalist. And when I was in college at UNC Chapel Hill, I studied journalism there. And I was pretty lucky right out of school to get an internship with the Wall Street Journal knew nothing about finance, let’s just lay that out there like barely like balancing my checkbook. But it was fascinating, right? Because the world of business is really the world of stories. And I cut my teeth in journalism there, I was so fortunate to work with some of the best editors and other writers in the world, and really saw the digital age com through the Wall Street Journal, when we launched the first website there, and then video became huge, and then audio became huge. And during my time I got, as you mentioned, when you were doing your very, very kind intro, I got the opportunity to do some TV work with ABC News, and CNBC. So I learned about that side of it and talking to a camera, and then have branched my career. From there, I went over to Consumer Reports, which is one of the biggest advocacy and product testing organizations in the country and ran their media for a while. And now as you mentioned, I have transitioned into the media tech world at Smart news and am learning a whole different field. And you and I can talk about that later. But that’s the short version.


Karan Rhodes  08:43

Gotcha. Gotcha. Just for the listeners, let’s go ahead and have you share a bit more about what is Smartnews and how it is cutting edge? And how is it different from mainstream media?


Wendy Bounds  08:56

Sure. It’s a news discovery platform, it’s an app. So within the app, you can find stories and content from all from publishers all around the country in the world, whether it’s international news, national news, politics, Entertainment, Sports, breaking news, we’re sending push notifications to people who sign up for the app, it is a free app. And the way I like to think about it is is it’s human conscience, powered by artificial intelligence. Right? So we’re using AI to personalize the algorithms and the feeds that we’re sending to people. But we also have a great team of journalists and editors, and people in our trust and safety and excellence and Operations Division, who are really minding the store, so to speak, and making sure that what is sent out is appropriate, you know, meets our quality standards. And you know, so we have that human conscience on top of the AI. So that’s where I’m at now. And it’s been as I said, it’s like, you know, when you move from one industry to another in the middle of your career, it’s kind of like, I don’t know if you’ve ever done one of those polar bear plunges where you run to the ocean, you dip in, and now…they’re painful. Shock, right? So that’s what it was like coming into this industry. But it’s been amazing. So I, I’ve really loved every minute of it.


Karan Rhodes  10:17

And what are some of the biggest challenges with delivering news through a mobile app? Because a lot of the mean you name the generation in which where they go and at some look on their laptops, you know, some look on X or used to some have gone away, and they’ve different. What I’m trying to say is people get their news in different ways. Yeah. So what were some of the challenges that Smartnews had with its business model? Because it’s quite different than most of the apps out there?


Wendy Bounds  10:52

I think it’s a really good question. I think one of the things that actually has helped Smartnews recently, has been the fact that if you look at social media feeds, you know, people, you know, have become somewhat disillusioned by the negativity that they can see running through their feeds, people getting these filter bubbles, right? Where they only see the same thing from the same people. And then, you know, they get into this habit, sometimes of doom scrolling, and just, and it’s a very negative environment. And we’ve done a lot of research at Smart news about the sort of emotional and mental health impacts of this not just on young people, but on everybody, on all adults, right when that becomes a part of your life. So what we’ve tried to do at Smart news is we’re working on and we have been, we’ve launched at least one new feature that really tries to address this, we call it Smarttake, and it’s a tab within the app, where it really allows you to have a finite feed. So you finish that feed, you have a good sense of what that what’s happening in the world, you don’t have to keep scrolling and keep scrolling, we make sure there is uplifting news in there, as well as the hard news you need to know for the day, we’re really trying to, you know, Karen, there’s a word I think about a lot called information anxiety. And I think a lot of us have that out there just because we have so much coming at us. And what we’re trying to do in our ecosystem, is to be an antidote to that right? To really provide an environment where people again, can get curated quality information. And you asked about the challenges, ensuring that the information is quality is one of the biggest challenges, right? To make sure that what is coming through there is something that is going to be up to our standards. So that’s a little bit about how we’re different and some of the challenges we’re facing and and trying to solve both through humans and technology.


Karan Rhodes  12:46

That makes a lot of sense. I remember when, I mean, quite honestly, AI has been around forever. In conversation last forever. I won’t say forever. While saying the last five years, 10 years companies have been talking about it. But it seemed so far off. And I say that personally, because I used to work at Microsoft before. I started my own firm and then launched our podcast. But we had hints that it was coming


Wendy Bounds  13:15



Karan Rhodes  13:16

And then it seems like maybe in the last 12 to 18 months, it’s become the biggest buzzword. And people have different associations with it. They’re fearful of jobs early and loss or their industry is going to be transformed. And I would say yes, check and yes, but there’s a place for humans and all of this. So I’m just curious on a new AI is an important piece in how Smartnews is, the way it’s run. Were there any fears by chance with, you know, any of your leaders at the company and that you’re fairly new? But were there any fears with the acceleration of the impact of AI, especially in news and media?


Wendy Bounds  14:00

I don’t know if I would say fear but I would say an awareness of responsibility. Being a tech company. I don’t know if you’re a movie fan or not. I think you are some of the podcasts I’ve listened to. So you know, they I think it’s Spider Man where they say with great power comes great responsibility, right? And that’s always stuck with me, particularly being in media. And now being in media in tech, I think there’s great responsibility that we have as a tech platform to try and use AI for the benefit of humanity and to be very hyper aware of what some of the negative impacts can be. And so far my experience with our company has been that that has been top of mind and the way we are trying to introduce some of the new technologies that I know your listeners are hearing about and probably using themselves, such as generative AI and large language models. People are hearing more about these things. And we’re trying to do this in again in a very respectful way with the publishers who are our partners and to be, again, very…to acknowledge how important their role is in this and to make sure that what we’re doing and how we’re curating and using their content and our app is not to harm them. Right, but for to advance both information delivery for all users and to keep the whole ecosystem healthy. So that’s, I think, responsibility and and a healthy awareness is what I would say is what we’re feeling


Karan Rhodes  15:32

Makes a lot of sense. And I’m curious when the, you know, you’ve had a lot of leadership roles, like I said, in mainstream media, as well as now in a high growth firm, still in the media space, but more cutting edge. Is it challenging to be a female leader in this space? And if so, in what ways?


Wendy Bounds  15:55

I think a lot about that question. And I’ll tell you why I have not found it personally, I’m just being very honest, it is not yet challenging for me. But I know that there is a real absence of female leadership, particularly in the tech space. It is true even at the company that I work with. So I have a lot of younger women, I’m one of the older people who work at the company to be quite honest with you, I’m 52 now and people there are in their 20s 30s and 40s. And so I’m never afraid to say my age, I’m just so like, so happy to be alive. Every time I have a birthday. I’m like, why are people scared? I’m like and I can throw a spear and climb up a 16 foot rope! I don’t mind saying no. But anyway, so I have a lot of young women who come to me through the company for advice. And I think it is hard. So I’m not negating that this is an element that we have to pay attention to, and that I have an obligation to pay attention to. And be aware of as a female leader, I have been really lucky in the places I have worked to be at the Wall Street Journal, or here at Smartnews, that they’ve been meritocracies in many ways. And so I have found that just trying to be really good at your job gets you a long way. I know that is not the experience that many women have had in other companies. And I feel fortunate that I’ve had that in my career. I also feel that and you I’m sure agree with this for all the leadership roles you’ve had, you know, there is as we use that word responsibility earlier, there’s a responsibility to be aware of what is happening, and to provide cover for people who may not have had the same journey that I have. And so I take that very seriously, I do think there needs to be more women in tech and more women in leadership positions in tech. And not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because we’re going to have better products for it. So I am, I’m happy to be one of those people at this company. Now, and to be a female.


Karan Rhodes  17:54

That’s amazing. You’re such a role model, I’m sure for not just the female staff, but all staff met smart news and beyond. And so I’m going to take a little bit of a pivot here and would love to talk to you a little bit about your becoming a competitive athlete. Because I know that you’ve, you know, it’s really impacted your personal life, your professional life, how you think about leadership, how to attain the audacious goals. And so I’m just curious how this huge achievement has impacted how you thought about high performance in the world of work.


Wendy Bounds  18:36

I could never have imagined, you know, when I woke up probably six years ago now, after a dinner party and literally was Googling, I was so on edge. After a comment. I’d heard the dinner party, this little girl was there and a man had asked her he was well into his his Gen. He asked her, he said, What do you want to be when you grow up? And she had rattled off all these amazing things. And I remember hearing that and listening and then all of a sudden, about 10 minutes later, it struck me. Nobody’s ever going to ask me again. What do you want to be when you grow up? I’m at an age where they think you’re supposed to be fairly. You are, you are what you are. And that stuck with me. And the next morning, I got up and I Karan, I literally Googled what are the hardest things you can do. And that’s when Spartan racing and obstacle racing came up in the algorithm. And I had no idea about it not until I delved into it. I could never have known all the leadership things I would learn from that. I mean, I always heard competitive sports were good for leadership. But what I have internalized about discipline, about failure, risk taking, agile decision making, I think these were things I was aware of prior to getting into this sport, but having to make sort of split decisions when I’m in the middle of the race having to come to terms with again, like I said failing in a way is not only painful mentally, but sometimes physically taking risks when you don’t expect it. These are all things that have come out of my obstacle racing journey. And I think sports in general can teach us a lot about that and about ourselves. And I’ve carried that into the workplace.


Karan Rhodes  20:16

Wow, that is amazing. And so for you personally, what does it take for you to be on top of your game?


Wendy Bounds  20:23

Well, it depends on how you would define that, but I’m going to define it in two ways, right? One is, I think you have to be on top of your game with who you are as a person in your personal life, right you need, if you have family or people you care about, you need to make sure that you are that is a priority. So to me taking care of things at home and making sure that’s not a mess, like that is a top priority. I think health, you know, you and I were talking a little bit about you know, walking and exercise and the importance of in the beginning and your own journey there. I think as leaders, we to be on top of our game, we have to prioritize our own health, and the people that we work with and who work around and for us look at that and take their cues, I think too often you start to gain, you know, you get busier, you have more people who report to you have a bigger job. And so you start to like put off the doctor’s appointments, or you stop the exercising or insert your own, you know, version of what I’m talking about there, and it becomes a snowball effect. And if you’re not healthy, you can’t be at the top of your game. So I just want to underscore how important that is to me, and just in terms of having longevity in my life and career. And I would say then, you know, for work at all carries over into that. And to me being at the top of your game means being a leader, who can both be someone who’s macro, like see the big picture, but is never afraid to get your hands dirty, and get in there and do the micro work, right. And I think a lot of people get to a stage often where they’re like, I don’t do that. But tell you something, go back to work at a startup like I have, you know, you have to be willing to take on any kind of role. So those are a few things I would share for you just least how I think of it personally, Karan.


Karan Rhodes  22:07

That is amazing. And you know, even in our short time of you know, getting to know one or the other, like I said, Are you already one of my heroes here, but it makes a lot of sense of your submission for which one of the taxes really resonated with you because you have embodied it 110% And so for listeners, as you know, one of the things we love to ask our guests is, which is the top seven leadership execution tactic that I read about in the book really resonated with our guests. And so when he was so kind to share that leading with courageous agility really popped for her. And for those of you who are not familiar leading with courageous agility is all about having the courage and the fortitude to take calculated risk and do what you think is right, even when the features uncertain or unclear. And when these journey not only throughout media, and then I have in career pivots. But then also, you know, in the prime of her life, taking a pivot and, you know, deciding to be a competitive athlete takes courageous agility in spades. So I’m just curious, in your own words, Wendy, why courageous agility really resonated with you?


Wendy Bounds  23:25

Well, first of all, thank you for the term prime of your life. I’m going to use that I like that I’m going with that. When my book comes out about obstacle racing. Next year, I’m going to use a muse that I’m going to credit you. First of all, it’s really hard to pick from your leadership tactics. I mean, they’re all so resonant and important that you’re, you know, I was like, is it executive presence? Is it intellectual horsepower, but I, I really was, I think, attracted to courageous agility, for the reasons you mentioned, but I I’ll tell you a quick story. When I was in college, I had a professor named Phil Meyer, who was an incredible journalist. I idolized him at UNC Chapel Hill where I went to school and went to their amazing journalism school. And one of the first things he taught me when I was young, you know, young collegiate students, he preached to the classroom that you always needed to have and these were his words, go to hell fund. And those he said that he said, you know, you save your reporter making, you know, no money, you save $25 of your paycheck, because at some point in your career, somebody’s going to ask you to do something that is not going to align with your values and your soul and who you are. And you’re not going to be in if you don’t have a quote that fund you’re not going to be able to stand up for what you believe in and you’re not going to be able to take those calculated risks and do the right things. And that is really Karen it. This stuck with me my whole life that you know, you need to be able to do that you need to be able to do the right thing, whether you are a journalist or in any industry that you’re in so I don’t know if I I’ve always been able to meet the mark, but I’ve always at least hoped I would, would be able to try. And so that’s why that one stuck out to me.


Karan Rhodes  25:08

That’s amazing. What a great story. And it’s so funny. You have the name for it. My dad used to call it the get out of dodge fund very


Wendy Bounds  25:16

much never. It’s just a nicer version. Probably. He wants a journalist, you know how journalists are right Talk Talk. Right? So there you go. Get out of dodge. He’s right. You’re dad’s right.


Karan Rhodes  25:29

Get out of dodge. Well, yeah. And he meant by, you know, whatever situation you were in that you just whether it be personal or at work, or whatever, had the funds to carry you over, when you could just say no, you know, this is not in alignment with what I want to do. And I’m gonna look for my next great opportunity to kind of thing so


Wendy Bounds  25:48

Yeah, 100% 100%.


Karan Rhodes  25:50

Well, anyway, I want to thank, first of all, congratulate you on your current book. It’s critically acclaimed, and it’s called little chapel on the river. And I want you to talk a little bit about that. But then, the exciting news is that you’re like heartbeats away from your next book being published. And I want to give some airtime to both of those before we wrap up our episode. So can you first share a little bit about your current book, and then maybe give a teaser about what’s down the pike?


Wendy Bounds  26:21

Yeah, happy to do it. And you said heartbeats away. And that is a good descriptor for the other one. The first one I wrote after the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, I lived next to the World Trade Center towers, and the planes went over my head that morning, and the towers collapsed outside of the window of the apartment where I lived. And I’m very lucky to be here having this conversation with you. And in the course of the apartment building I was living in was damaged that morning. And in the course of looking for a new place to live, I happen to stumble upon this Irish Pub up in New York’s Hudson Valley. And it was run by this 80 something year old Irish proprietor, he had a country store in the front little pub in the back. And I was on my way back to New York City to look for a new apartment. And I had a beer in his pub, and listen to him talk and was so mesmerized by the place that I ended up moving there. And basically, it’s where I still reside in this small Hudson Valley town. But I took a leave of absence from the Wall Street Journal, and wrote a book, Little Chapel on the River that’s in reference to this pub, about this hub of community where people would come and this community struggle to save this place and keep it alive. And I worked behind the bar, and I worked behind the counter. And I got to know you probably heard of the term, the third, I think it’s called the third place, right? You have home, you have work, and then you have this third place where you go. And that’s what this was for a lot of people. So that was my first book was that first person story about ending up in this place. It’s a love story about a place really in this town struggled to save this place and keep it alive and what happens. So that’s book one. I’ll pause there for a second, see if you have any questions, but that’s what that one was about.


Karan Rhodes  28:08

You bringing tears to my eyes already. I’m a very emotional person. And those kind of stories are like perfect. So definitely have to check out that but


Wendy Bounds  28:15

please do. Yea, thank you. Let me know what you think.


Karan Rhodes  28:18

I will. Yeah.


Wendy Bounds  28:20

And the second one, we’ve you know, we’ve alluded this a little bit in our conversations about sports and obstacle course racing. But the next book is called not too late. And the subtitle of it is the power of pushing limits at any age. And it’s really two books in one. And first, it’s a story about the power of reimagining our limits and doing hard things. And second, it’s a science based primer on how to make it happen, no matter what life stage you’re at. So it tracks my own personal midlife transformation from this very unathletic office executive into a competitor in this daunting sport of obstacle racing. And woven throughout the book are insights from scientists and longevity doctors and philosophers and performance experts about all the powerful benefits we can reap, physically and mentally when we push the boundaries of what we think is possible, and redefine who we think we are. I mean, you and I were, I think, touching on this a little bit a moment ago, which is inertia, right? You reach a certain point, as a leader, and in life, where again, you think, well, this is who I am. And this is what I’m good with good at, and this is what I can do. And so you will think there’s all these things you’re not and I certainly thought I am not an athlete. And yet, when you push through that you recognize, we all have a lot that’s untapped inside of us that we can be more than we than we thought we could. And that’s been an incredibly like it’s really hard to have a midlife crisis for me like when I’m slithering under barbed wire and climbing up a rope. Right? And so I think for anyone that there is no time for that, right? And so I think For anybody, whatever insert your passion there that you find, but pushing through those limits, no matter what age you are, can be highly meaningful and redefine whatever time we all have left to us.


Karan Rhodes  30:13

That’s right. All that’s amazing. Well, audience members that your tip for today, just, you know, is never too late in life, it’s a reach for the stars and achieve though, before we close, I just want to make sure we’ll have in our show notes, links to Smartnews, because you definitely need to download that and enjoy this customize app that is amazing. And then we’ll also have a link to Wendy’s current book. And I think by the time this episode comes out, the second book will be out. And so we’ll feature that as well. If not, then we’ll do a follow up email to make sure you all get those links as well. But when the Any closing words, before we close out our episodes,


Wendy Bounds  31:00

I just want to say thank you for doing what you’re doing. I think you have had so many interesting guests. It’s you know, I love the fact that you let people connect what they do personally to their work. Because I think sometimes we tend to think of ourselves as separate people in that respect. And one of the things I have learned is that the more you can merge your strengths, and understand your weaknesses in both worlds, you know, your personal and your professional, the more just to borrow your phrase and more top of your game, you will be in both disciplines. So I appreciate that you have figured out the formula for getting people to talk about that. And I’m, I’m just honored to have been a guest. So thank you, Karan.


Karan Rhodes  31:39

Oh my gosh, you’re so sweet. Those are such kind words. And thank you. But thank you for your gift of time, and sharing all these nuggets of insight with our audience members, we love you Wendy. Thank you!


Wendy Bounds  31:51

Thank you. Thank you hope you have a good rest of the day.


Karan Rhodes  31:54

Thank you, you too. And thank you also audience for tuning in to another episode of Lead at the top of your game. You know, my only ask of you is that you subscribe to the show and share with just one friend because by doing so you will also help them to better lead at the top of their game. Thank you again and see you next week. Bye. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Wendy Bounds, Vice President of content and US media partnerships at Smartnews links to her bio her entry into our leadership playbook and additional resources can be found in the show notes both on your favorite podcast platform of choice, and on the web at And now for Karen’s take on today’s topic of reducing information anxiety caused by negative news feeds. Most of you know that I am a news and movie junkie. And if I’m keeping it real, if I have to take a break from the news every now and then because it truly affects my mood and emotions sometimes. There’s so much sensationalism and doom and gloom, goodness. And you know, even a half glass full kind of gal like me, needs a breather sometimes. So I want to share some resources that may help you infuse psychological safety into your life as you keep up with what’s going on in the world. So if you’re a journalism professional, there’s an excellent guide from the American Press Institute called journalists and mental health and API resource guide. Now, while it’s written for the journalism industry, the resources and tips actually can apply to Andrew any industry. So please be sure to check it out in the show notes. I’ll have links to that in these other resources that I’m going to mention. It’s too much to summarize here on the podcast, but definitely worth a look. The next resource I want to highlight is from the American Psychological Association, and it’s called Media overload is hurting our mental health. Here are ways to manage headline stress. Yes, that is the full title. It talks about how you can establish your own media guardrails and processing strategies for yourself, you know, as you’re trying to stay on top of the latest news stories in your areas of interest. And then lastly, there is a great quick read from CNBC called five tips for maintaining your mental health while following the news. Check that out as well. As I mentioned, all links to all three resources will be in the show notes. So definitely put this on your reading list. Well, that’s all for today. Please remember to subscribe to the podcast and share the podcast with just one friend. Because by doing so you too will empower them to also bleed at the top of their game. Thanks again for listening and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled K a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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