April 12, 2023

Gautam Mukunda | What Presidential Elections Can Teach us About Leadership

Gautam Mukunda | What Presidential Elections Can Teach us About  Leadership

Drawing on insights from his book Picking Presidents, which examines the qualities that make for successful leaders, Mukunda provides a fascinating analysis of filtered and unfiltered presidents alike.

In this podcast episode, we sit down with Gautam Mukunda, a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Center for Public Leadership, to discuss what we can learn about leadership from presidential elections. Drawing on insights from his book 'Picking Presidents', which examines the qualities that make for successful leaders, Mukunda provides a fascinating analysis of filtered and unfiltered presidents alike. Whether you're a political junkie or simply interested in the qualities that make for effective leadership, this episode is sure to provide plenty of food for thought.

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Gautum Mukunda: All life wisdom is, in fact, contained in the Simpsons, right? And Marge Simpson once said it's true that one person can make a difference, but they usually shouldn't. And that is a thing we need to keep in mind, right?

If I have ten options and everyone in the world would pick one of those 10, and I pick the other one, I might be right. But the odds are not in my favor. Yeah. And, if I pick the one that is something that no one else would do, I will have had an impact, but probably not a good one once in a while.

Srini: Srinivas Rao, and this is the Unmistakable Creative podcast where you get a window into the stories and insights of the most innovative and creative minds who have started movements, built driving businesses, written best-selling books, and created insanely interesting art. For more, check out our 500th episode.

Gautam Mukunda: archive@unmistakablecreative.com.

Srini: Welcome to the Unmistakable Creative, Gotham. Thank you much for taking the time to join us.

Gautam Mukunda: Thanks so much for inviting me. This is something I've been looking forward to for a while, and I can't wait to get started.

Srini: Likewise. You have a book out called Picking Presidents, which I just finished reading. And even though I'm not particularly interested in politics, the book was fascinating because I think it was about far more than just how we choose presidents but how we choose leaders in general. But before we get into all of that, I wanted to start by asking you: What did your parents do for work and how did that end up influencing what you've ended up doing with your life and career?

Gautam Mukunda: Wow! So, my father, they're both retired now. But my father was an engineer for most of his life with the government, with the first Department of the Navy and the Department of Energy. And he focused on the Department of Energy working on nuclear waste reprocessing.

So building facilities that take care of, say, nuclear power, the nu, the waste from building nuclear weapons and reprocessing to make them safe. So that was what he worked on. And so my mom is a nuclear physicist who spent her entire career consulting for NASA. Wow.

Yeah, so she got her Ph.D. in nuclear physics when she was 22. And did you ever see The Martian? Yeah. The Matt Damon movie. Yeah. The Matt Damon movie. Yeah. So there's a scene in The Martian where he goes and grabs a space, like an old Mars rover, and uses the power source to heat his vehicle.

And so that was my, the, my mom's last mission. She helped to design that. And in fact, we flew down to see the launch because that was her last mission. And when, so I

Srini: Wow, okay.

Gautum Mukunda: Amy, so glad to see you! How have you been?

Srini: Many questions come from that alone. I would imagine, just based on what I know from your background, where you've been to school, what you've done for work, that the narrative was like a typical Indian kid narrative: doctor, lawyer, engineer - failure. Correct me if I'm wrong. But more importantly, your parents have pretty impressive credentials. I wonder, did you ever feel that there was just an incredibly high expectation of living up to?

Gautam Mukunda: Yeah. Like my parents were great about not, not pressuring me in such a way, I occasionally joke about that, but my psychology makes sense if you realize that I'm like the only member of the Harvard faculty who thinks of themselves as the dumb one in the family. But but but, so what did I say is the doctor, lawyer, engineer thing? No, in my case, definitely not a lawyer. Doc, Dr., engineer, and physicist were definitely the like you should do one of those three. Yeah, and I started out in the hard sciences, right? And when I was in high school and, I'm a sort of got, when I went to Harvard, the expectation was that I was gonna be a physics guy.

And I had always been interested in other things, but I had never liked them. I did physics research in high school at MIT and things like that. I never like realized that there was another option. So my first year, the head advisor for the physics department at Harvard actually took me aside and said people with your background, they burn out sometimes, right?

So I think you should take a year away to do other stuff that you seem that seems curious about and that you seem.

Srini: We'll come back to that. One thing that I think is really fascinating is that you had somebody who actually told you to go and explore your curiosity. And I was just talking to a friend of my parents last night. I was having dinner with her. She's an English professor at a community college. And I was telling her I, as an undergrad at Berkeley, never took classes based on what I was curious about. It was always like, what do I think will get me a job?

And that was a huge mistake because I did terribly in all those classes. I told her, I was like, I don't think I have one. Maybe I have one memory of a class that I was really enjoying while I was there. But then, in addition to that, I was talking to my niece the other night. She's a freshman at UCR, and she was telling me about the classes that she has to take, and she's like, "Yeah, we have these required classes for graduation."

I was thinking about, again, you're in the education system, and anytime I talk to educators, I have tons and tons of questions because I consider myself a failed

Gautam Mukunda: A lot of things, but the first thing I say is I question the assumption underlying your question, right? Which is a customer service model of education. So there's an old line at Harvard Business School about an MBA student who was, like demanding something from one of them, from one of the staff, from one of the faculty assistants, right? And you said, and I'm the customer. And the customer is always right. And the faculty assistant, who, as in any educational institution, are the people who actually run the school, said back to them, "You're not the customer; you are the product." And that is actually something to think about from the perspective of the school, right?

That when you are coming, it's true. You're paying money, but yeah. But when you're coming there, you are coming, like, literally, to be educated, right? And the assumption there is that there are things that you don't know, and you're in an institution that is about taking people who have the things they don't know and...

So I'm not opposed to graduation requirements or distribution requirements because I think institutions, and in the case of a lot of these institutions, are

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Yeah, I think that the thing that I appreciated about that was because I was a Pepperdine MBA, and I just felt like I was going through the motions. But I remember watching a Harvard lecture, and I thought, look, this is an interesting way because

Gautum Mukunda: So I'm an only child, so no siblings. Okay. I would say my parents were not thrilled when I decided to; put it mildly, when I decided to do political science. I occasionally teased them that they did not forgive me for deciding not to be like a "quote-unquote" real scientist until I ended up on the Harvard faculty, which, in the baroque status competition that is the Indian American community, my son is a Harvard professor. It's worth like 2 billion points. Yeah. Like then, it was okay. But try your son as the

Srini: Host of a podcast and an author who graduated with a C average from

Gautam Mukunda: Berkeley, author in Berkeley that, that works well for you. Yeah. No, they were not. I would say they partly like the same thing that I did not know political science existed as a profession until I went to college.

I think they were like, "What is this?" And that continued for the rest of my career. Then I went to McKinsey, and it turns out that if you try to explain to someone who doesn't already know what McKinsey does, it's really hard. It's like, "We you solve problems for businesses. Like, what?"

And so I think there's this culture it's starting to erode, right? We start to see Indian Americans who are, who have branched out in lots of different ways. We see Indian Americans, like Indian American actors. What, we see, I'm blanking. I'm gonna, and I'm gonna kill his name...

Kumail Nanjiani, right from, yeah. Yeah. Who was on the cover of Men's Fitness, and I was like, "I've never hated another person so much in my entire life." For, "You and other

Srini: So did Trevor Noah. And speaking of Indians in the media, Kal Penn is hosting The Daily Show this week.

Gautam Mukunda: Week.

So this is awesome. And like fantastic. And I, as a member of the c, could actually talk more about that because even when I got married, my wife was Swedish.

Srini: Yeah, I was gonna ask you about that. I remember seeing that in the book. So

Gautum Mukunda: Yeah, we have a, we had both a, like, a Western ceremony and an Indian one. The Indian ceremony was we talked about why we did it and why it was important to us that we did it. But okay, so let's, let me split out. You brought out several points, and all of them are cool and taking a break in curiosity, right? So the biggest mistake I have made in my professional career was not taking a year off after high school.

Like I, any time I talk to a high school student who's about to go to college, I'm like, if there's a way for you to take a year off, take a year off, you will benefit from it so much that you cannot even imagine. And they're like, the whole question is, what should I do? And the answer is you should do something. There are lots of options, but if all you do is work at a restaurant, you will still be better. Yeah. Like the value of that is just incalculable.

So first, second is in the curiosity thing. So I am con. I am like, I guess, a pathetic lack of

Srini: It's funny you talk about this idea of not taking a year off after high school. Cause I feel like that's quite common in other cultures, but it's not in the United States. And I wanted to bring a clip back from an old episode that we did with David Epstein, who wrote the book Range, which I think is very relevant to what you just said. Take a listen.

Gautam Mukunda: Underestimate future change at every time point, even when we're very old.

But at no time is that more true than from about 18 to the late twenties. That's when you undergo the fastest period of personality change. And so essentially, right at the start of that period, we're telling someone to pick now, which is really asking them to pick for a person they don't yet know.

And certainly, in a world, they can't yet conceive unless they have a crystal ball, most people don't. And so I think it's a particularly bad time to make ironclad long-term plans, and we should be much more oriented toward picking something. I'm feeling this idea from the economist and statistician Robert Miller, as we should orient people toward doing the thing that's going to give you a high information signal about whether it fits you or not.

Srini: Given what you just said about not taking a year off after high school, what do you make of that? And how would you convince Indian parents to accept the idea?

Gautam Mukunda: Just to let you take a year off? So first, I am such a fan of both David, who was on my podcast, and read both of his books, but I read that when any of my wife and mine's friends have kids, we send them a copy.

Wow. So could not phrase him and the book. Yeah. And so what my comment on it is, the only thing I say is, and I want is when I work with Ph.D. students, this is something I always question them about, right? As I always say that if you ask someone like me, was this a good strategy? It is like asking a lottery winner if it is a good idea to play the lottery, right? There's a selection of that. I adopted this bizarre random path where I did a Ph.D. in political science focused on leadership, which, when I did it, was considered career suicide. And then did a postdoc in biological engineering and a professorship at the business school.

None of those things make sense. And that worked out for me, but it had a lot of risks. Didn't have to work out. I think I was a pretty good graduate student. I ended up

Kevin: That's right, it's California. I'm amazed you got it!

Srini: I'm amazed I got it too!

Gautam Mukunda: Something tells me I'm wrong.

Yeah. Usually, people guess California and New York, Connecticut, and Missouri. Wow. Like Sweden would be a relatively poor US. That's how rich the country is. And when we put it, when you frame it in that way, that opens up lots of opportunities to do things that you just shouldn't, you don't; there's no reason to play it safe in a country with so many paths to success and so many safety nets if you try, if you fail.


Srini: No, I think that you made some really interesting points about why that makes sense in India because I, it took me a long time to recognize that my parents were giving me advice based on the context that they were raised in, where their outcomes were binary, it was poverty or security. The other thing, as I've talked to people on this show who've come from really disadvantaged backgrounds, like I, I thought it was fascinating you mentioned disadvantaged South Asian kids because, for the most part, based on how it sounds like you were brought up and how I was brought up, we grew up in fairly privileged circumstances. My dad's a college professor. It's not like we were filthy rich, but we were definitely not in a situation where there was any question as to whether we'd have to go to college or any of those kinds of things. Yes, indeed.

Gautam Mukunda: I mean that that's and that in my case, that's what I would say is we were not rich, but we, there was nothing. There might have been things I wanted but we didn't have, but there was never anything I needed. Yeah, totally.

Srini: One more question that has nothing to do with the book, and I promise we'll wrap up after this.

Gautam Mukunda: No, feel free. I've talked about the book enough. If you want to go in different directions, there's no pressure. Yeah.

Srini: No, I do want to talk about the book. 'Cause I, I think there's a lot to be, to learn there. But you mentioned that your wife is Swedish, and this is something I always wonder about people who marry somebody outside of their own race. It is how you think about preserving culture and heritage.

Because even my sister, right? We're from South India, we speak [Telugu], her husband is a Bengali, and they have this kid, and I keep thinking, I was like, what language is this kid gonna speak? And in my mind, I'm like, okay, if I even marry an Indian girl, the first thing to go is gonna be language.

I'm pretty sure. And so I think, I wonder, how you think about preserving culture and heritage?

Gautam Mukunda: heritage? So we do think about it. I'll say first is, like I am a perpetrator here more than a victim, right? Like my, my, my Tamil is awful, and my Hindi is nonexistent. My parents

Srini: I don't know about you, but my parents refused to teach us Hindi because when they wanted to talk about something that they didn't want us to know about, they spoke in Hindi. I said, "You morons, you could have taught us Hindi. You realized that would be a thousand times more useful than Bengali. What the hell can you do with Bengali if you're not an Odia?"

Gautam Mukunda: My grandfather, who was head of recruitment development in the Indian Army, refused to learn Hindi his entire life on the grounds that, and I quote, "I refuse to waste my time with a language that has the same word for yesterday and tomorrow." But, when I was growing up, my parents chose to speak only to me in English because they were absolutely terrified that I was developmentally disabled. And they were like, "Maybe we're just making it too hard on him with multiple languages, and we should just pick one language." In retrospect, they deeply regret this choice because once I started talking, I never stopped.

But, anyway, we had two weddings - a sort of untraditional Western ceremony and a very traditional Indian ceremony. At the Indian ceremony, the priest went rogue and kept going for about 45 minutes. Even the bride and groom gave a little talk, and I said, "Look, why are we doing it this way?" And the answer is the Indian community in the United States has benefited enormously - Indian Americans are probably the wealthiest single ethnic group in the United States, which is astonishing.

So, I listen to podcasts too, and there's one in which the person being

Srini: It's one of those things that can be incredibly time-consuming, but at the same time, eating well impacts virtually

Gautam Mukunda: Every area of your life. What you put into your body, what you put into your mind, how you spend your time, how you spend your money, how you spend your energy, how you spend your attention, how you spend your love.

Srini: It is as important as what you put into your mind. Factors in America's number one success are hard work, good education, and innovation.

Gautam Mukunda: One ready-to-eat meal kit can help you fuel up fast with ready-to-eat meals delivered straight to your door. You'll save time, eat well, and tackle everything on your to-do list.

Srini: List. You can skip the trip to

Gautam Mukunda: The grocery store and skip the chopping. And cleaning up too. Factors fresh. Never frozen. Meals are ready in just two minutes. All

Srini: All you have to do is heat and enjoy. Then get back outside and soak up the warmer weather.

Gautam Mukunda: You can try. Delicious dietitian-approved, calorie-smart meals with fewer than 550 calories per serving. And with 34+ prepared dietitian-approved

Srini: Weekly options; there's always something new to try. Plus, you can round out your meal with an array of sides.

Gautam Mukunda: Fill your meal and replenish your snack supply with an assortment of 45+ items.

Srini: Add-ons, including breakfast items like egg bites, smoothies, and

Gautam Mukunda: More. Not only is factoring important but so is understanding how to use it.

Srini: Cheaper than takeout, but the meals are ready faster than a restaurant.

Gautam Mukunda: Delivery in the public sector often fails because it is chronically underfunded.

Srini: Just two minutes. Head to FactorMeals.com/Creative50 and use the code "Creative50" to get 50% off your first order.

Gautam Mukunda: That's the code for Creative 50 at factorymeals.com/creative.

Srini: 50% off your first box. Let's get into the book. You'll see early on in the book that it says, "A leader's impact cannot be understood without understanding how they got the job. Consider what I call the paradox of leader selection: the more effort you put into picking a leader, the less it matters who you pick." Let's unpack that. The more people think leadership is important, the more effort they'll put into picking their preferred leader; the path to power will become so rigorous that it filters out outliers, and the remaining candidates will all resemble one another.

When a selection process is perfect, then which person it picks doesn't matter. Only the process does. So my immediate reaction to that is our selection process must

Gautam Mukunda: it would be a disaster. For, I mean for the presidency. Yeah. Considering what we've seen in the last few years, it is highly random. So even if you just back out from just the last few, the United States picks what I call unfiltered leaders, people who have not been evaluated by the process. About half the time. That is a higher frequency than just about any other major country in the world.

Yeah. So American presidents matter very often, much more often than, say, British prime ministers or Canadian prime ministers do. That, like that, can have advantages. Any country that its moments of three greatest crises got George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt.

There's a probably apocryphal quotation by Bismarck that God looks after children, fools, and the United States of America. And, you can roll the dice pretty hard on those, and somebody's looking out for you if you get, that's what you get when you roll those three critical moments.

And in a purely filtered process, one where everybody was thoroughly evaluated, that's not what would've happened. Yeah.

Srini: Gimme examples of unfiltered presidents. I think just to frame this for people because you say that if we're picking a president, we should understand that highly filtered and unfiltered presidents are different. Highly filtered presidents will generally be competent but unexceptional. Unfiltered ones are often remarkable, for better or worse. Unfiltered presidents, in other words, are a gamble. Unfortunately, they're generally a bad gamble, which I think you alluded to. They have a unique impact by doing what others in the same situation would not do. It's just a sad fact of life that there are many more ways to fail than there are to succeed.

The easiest way to be a high-impact president is to make mistakes that would never have been made by someone else or to execute your policies with far less energy or skill than a different president would have. I, I don't know if this is just me, but I feel like a lot of people in the United States feel that the actions of the government don't represent the interests of the citizens like it's just a giant dick-measuring contest.

Gautum Mukunda: I think a lot of people do feel that way. So let's take out there a few points we can boil down. Yeah. So one is in terms of this question of impact, right? Why it's easier to succeed than fail. So should say, I say that all life wisdom is, in fact, contained in the Simpsons, right? And Marge Simpson once said, It's true that one person can make a difference, but they usually shouldn't. And that is a thing we need to keep in mind. If I have ten options and everyone in the world would pick one of those ten, and I pick the other one, I might, I might pick a different one. I might be right. But the odds are not in my favor. And, if I pick the one that no one else would do, I will have had an impact, but probably not a good one. Yeah. So if you think about give you examples, right? So a filtered president, the clearest one that springs to mind is George H.W. Bush, right?

So George H.W. Bush had been vice president of the United States. He'd been a member of Congress; he'd been an ambassador.

Srini: Yeah, let's talk about the personality traits that matter here. You mentioned this idea of intensifiers, charisma, and narcissism. So, talk to me about those ideas and the context. Let's just frame it so we have something concrete in the context of Joe Biden and Donald Trump because they're the most recent people in memory for most people. Talk to me about these intensifier ideas.

Gautum Mukunda: Intensifiers of this concept they're things that make, otherwise ordinary concepts, ordinary things big. So what I mean by that is charisma, right? So you are a really charismatic leader, and it's actually quite hard to define charisma when you see it when you see people who do research on it. And I say is, I think of charisma as the ability to persuade someone to do something through force of personality that you could not do through rational argument.

So I am not a Donald Trump fan. I'm not, I don't hide that, but I would never deny that by that definition, he's one of the most charismatic figures in American history, right? He doesn't have to be appealing to everybody to be charismatic. And when he said I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and everybody would still, and all my votes, the borders would still vote for me.

I'm not sure he was exaggerating. It genuinely seems that way; that level of hold that he has on people is the definition of charisma that we cannot understate. And what that means is if he, if you have, if you are highly charismatic and you have a good idea, you.

Srini: Narcissism

Gautum Mukunda: And sociopathy? Yeah. Okay. So narcissism and sociopathy are not positive traits, they are negative traits, but they are negative traits that help you get through the filters. And the reason for that is if you look at narcissists, right?

A narcissist is someone who thinks that they are the greatest person in the world, right? They're the most handsome, and they're the most, they're smartest. They are everything narcissists are; when you describe them, they're not appealing characters. But the funny thing about narcissism is that on initial encounters, they are very appealing characters.

When you meet a narcissist, you tend to find them to be incredibly charming and incredibly impressive. We do experiments where we put a bunch of people in a room and ask them to vote on who should be the leader. If they don't know each other, they tend to vote for the most narcissistic person in the room.

At some level, it's as if your self-belief is so great that it convinces other people. There must be truth behind it. The problem with that is that narcissists are, in fact, catastrophically bad.

Srini: It's funny you say that because, like I, I have friends who voted for Trump, and many of them, often for them, it was like, let's just throw a grenade into the system that sucks. That was their logic; let's just see what happens, roll the dice here. Because clearly, we're just gonna get more of the same if we have Hillary Clinton, is what their attitude was. And I don't like it; I can see why people would believe that. And then on, on the flip side of that, and I've mentioned this on the show before, I think that there is a stereotype of Trump voters that the media perpetuates, which is horrible and racist - they just showcase the worst things. Cause that's what media is good at doing - amplifying and basically finding the most extreme things and sensationalizing things. But I remember watching this documentary where this woman went to this pro-Trump town in North America, some small ranching town in Texas. And I remember watching this family explain why they were voting for Trump. And I listened to them. They seemed like perfectly nice people, and they're like, look if this estate tax goes through, they were ranchers. They're like

Gautam Mukunda: Shit.

Yeah. So let's step out. So in the particular case of the documentary, I have no doubt that these people, like honestly, having worked on the Clinton campaign's policy team, I don't think it's true. Like I have no doubt that they honestly believe that, and they were told that by people they trust.

But, like, the family farm exemption on the inheritance tax is really high, right? Like I actually would say empirically, I do not believe that their belief was factually correct, even though it was surely sincerely held. And it's important to make that distinction.

And second, it's it is definitely not true that everyone who voted for Trump was racist. That is not true. I have plenty of friends who also voted for Trump. I've spent a lot of my career working with the military. A lot of those guys voted for Trump, at least the first time. Many fewer.

The second they like, like it is just not true. It is true that if you were a racist, the odds were very high that you voted for Trump. You cannot understand the Donald Trump phenomenon if you do not.

Srini: I feel like I could talk to you all day about this because it's a pretty deep rabbit hole. So, for the sake of time, I want to finish with my final question, which is how we finish all of our interviews at The Unmistakable Creative. What do you think it is that makes somebody or something unmistakable?

Gautam Mukunda: Sorry, say it again, please. I lost you there for a moment.

Srini: What do you think it is that makes somebody or something unmistakably unique?

Gautam Mukunda: Unmistakable? Now I have to ask, what do you mean by unmistakable?

Srini: I, since I wrote a book called Unmistakable, as having just written a book when you write a book with a publisher, you actually have to define your terms. Yeah. So I define it as something that is so distinctive that nobody could have done it, but you, and it's immediately recognized as your own work. Basically, you wouldn't even have to put your name on it for people to know it was yours.

Gautam Mukunda: your name on it. Oh, I love it. I love it. So the first thing I say is this is right. This is like, I, this is what impact is all about. It's someone who is unmistakable in their terms, someone, who has an impact in their field.

So can I tell you a story? Yeah. Have you ever heard of Judah Folkman? I haven't. Okay. So I got to meet him once before he died, just by luck, and spent a couple of hours with him and me, and then had no idea. But then I wrote about, I wrote about him in my first book.

So Judah was a scientist. He was a doctor. And he was a professor at Harvard Medical School, so he grew up in Ohio, and he went to Harvard Medical School at 20. They actually have to change the rules to allow someone that young to go to Harvard Medical School. He's the first graduate of Ohio State ever to go to Harvard Medical School.

Then, after his second year at medical school, he takes a year off to do research, which is normal. Most Harvard medical students at the time did

Srini: Wow. This has been absolutely thought-provoking and insightful, as I imagined it would be. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to join us and share your story, your wisdom, and your insights with our listeners. Where can people find out more about you, your work, the book, and everything?

Gautam Mukunda: What else are you up to?

Oh, thank you so much. Both of my books are on Amazon. The first was Indispensable: When Leaders Matter. The second is Picking Presidents: The Psychology of Leadership. You can find them anywhere books are sold. I host the podcast World Reimagine with Gautam Mukunda for Nasdaq. We are just about to start our fifth season, and you can find me on Twitter at @GautamMukunda or on my website, www.gautammukunda.com.

Amazing. And for

Srini: Everybody is listening. We will wrap the show with that. Cooking is one of those things that can be incredibly time-consuming, but at the same time, eating well.

Gautam Mukunda: Impacts virtually every area of your life. What you put into your body is

Srini: As important as what you put into your mind is a factor.

Gautam Mukunda: Eat meal kits can help you fuel up fast. With ready-to-eat meals delivered straight to your door, you'll save time, eat well, and tackle everything on

Srini: Your to-do list. You can skip the trip to the grocery.

Gautam Mukunda: Store and skip the chopping. And cleaning up too. Factors fresh. Never frozen. Meals are ready in just two minutes. All you have to do is heat and eat.

Srini: Do it, eat, and enjoy. Then get back outside and soak up the warmer weather.

Gautum Mukunda: You can try delicious dietitian-approved, calorie-smart meals with less than 550 calories per serving. And with 34+ prepared dietitian-approved weekly options, there's always something new to try. Plus, you can round out your meal with our selection of snacks.

Srini: Put your

Gautam Mukunda: Meals and replenish your snack supply with an assortment of 45

Srini: Plus add-ons, including breakfast items like egg bites, smoothies, and more. Not only is Factor cheaper than takeout, but the meals are ready faster than restaurant delivery in just two minutes. Head to FactorMeals.com/Creative50 and use the code Creative50 to get 50% off your first box.

Gautam Mukunda: The code "Creative50" at factorymeals.com/creative

Srini: 50

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Time to turn, Mom? Help keep drivers and backseat drivers safe with Les Schwab Tires. Doing the right thing since 1952.

Srini: Did you catch our recent pilot episode of how they met each other? If you enjoyed hearing the stories of how Couples met, then we've got some great news. We're working on making a full season of the show, but we need your help to make it happen. If you want to hear more episodes of how they met, just text the code "Love" to 33 7 70. By texting us, you'll let us know that you're interested in hearing more episodes, and that'll help us secure the support we need to bring you a full season of how they met each other. So don't wait. Text "Love" to 33 77 70 now, and stay tuned for more updates on how they met each other.

Thanks for listening, and don't worry, we're not gonna spam you, we promise. We just need your email address so we can gauge the level of interest in the show and keep you updated on our progress.