076: CIA Rebel On Power, Curiosity, Empathy and Trump – Carmen Medina -Part 2

076: CIA Rebel On Power, Curiosity, Empathy and Trump – Carmen Medina -Part 2

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076: CIA Rebel On Power, Curiosity, Empathy and Trump - Carmen Medina -Part 2

Guest Overview 

Former CIA Deputy Director of Intelligence, Carmen Medina is a veteran of the Intelligence Community, she is also the author of Rebels at Work: A Handbook for Leading Change from Within.

Puerto Rican born, to a fun-loving father and an achievement-driven mother, Carmen excelled through an itinerant childhood to lead school debating teams. Her forensic debating skills and serendipity led her to a University scholarship and ultimately set her on her path to a 32-year career in the CIA.

In Part two we discuss her perspective on power, the current state of the world and her hope for the future. We also cover the role of curiosity and creativity in her work at the CIA, applying empathy to be heard by policy and decision-makers in today’s polarized political environment. And finally, we end with her life insights as she answers our quick-fire questions.

I hope you enjoy this refreshing and fun episode and learn from the kindness, reflective wisdom, and optimism of Carmen Medina.

Thanks to Munish Walther Puri for the connection.


What we Discuss 

The role of curiosity and creativity in her role as an analyst

Her curiosity in soft power over hard power

Her prediction that peace would happen without violence

The brittleness of power

The evolution of the CIA’s intelligence on how societies work

Embracing cognitive bias

Dealing With Trump

Her optimism and how reading a book called Complexity changed her perspective

Her perspective on the world

What if the Romans had discovered the Internet and Electricity?

Carmen’s view on talking truth to power

Respecting decision makers cognitive style and personality and providing a broader context so they listen, and in a framework, they appreciate

The role of empathy

Her Principles

Inequality of opportunity

Expecting and demanding failure

Taking ownership of your impossible


Social Links 

Rebels at Work



Links In The Show 

Olive Shriner 


Zero Dark Thirty 

Zanu PF 

Bob Gates 

Iran US Embassy

Complexity Mitch Walthrop

Browser Newsletter 

FW de Klerke 

Steve Blank 

James C Scott Two Cheers For Anarchism 

Don Burke CIA

Babylon Berlin 

Don’t Stop Here

More To Explore

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