Check out this short podcast with the incredible Maya Angelo from HBR IdeaCast… if for nothing more than to be soothed by her beautiful, wise voice.

HBR IdeaCast Podcast with Maya Angelou on writing

My top take aways…

Build your courage muscle!

One isn’t born with courage, one develops it, just as you develop strong muscles. You develop it by doing small courageous things, things that cost you some mental and spiritual exertion.

Disciplined writing time and place

She keeps a hotel room in her town, wherever she is. She doesn’t work in her house. She arrives there at 6.30 in the morning and sets to work with a yellow notepad, Roget’s Thesaurus, a dictionary and the Bible. And that’s it. She gets to work. And she leaves at 1.00pm.

Overcoming writers block

Paraphrased: “I don’t know writers block. I just don’t call it a block. I’m careful about the words I use. I know my brain will remember things and tell it back to me. I play solitaire. It gives my little mind something to do. I keep the small mind occupied so I can more quickly get to the large mind.”

85 and so productive

Q: ‘Where do you get your energy?’
A: ‘Energy is what we all are, it’s in this wire connecting me to you. It’s all over the place, and I love what I’m doing, I have a passion for what I’m doing, so I owe it the muse, to the creator. I don’t mind working, the struggle.’


A leader sees greatness in other people. Can’t be a great leader if you’re only seeing yourself.