9 Most Engaging Interviews of the Year | Photo courtesy of Depositphotos (36652329).My entire family was wiped out by the flu for the past week. During that time, I had a chance to review and reflect on the podcast interviews from 2013 that our listeners downloaded the most.

018: How to Have More Great Days at Work | with Chris Rice. Chris explains employee engagement in the simplest terms I’ve ever heard.  In this interview and the follow-up episode 019, Chris explains his X Model of Employee Engagement and shares not only how you can have more great days at work, but how as a leader, you can help your team have more great days at work too.

064: 5 Principles of Ultimate Influence: Turning Adversaries into Allies | with Bob Burg. I was surprised by how much I liked Bob’s new book – and him personally. Given how much I loved his bestseller The Go-Giver, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it had been a few years. Bob provides a clear reminder that leadership is influence for a common good, and ultimate influence only occurs when you communicate effectively.

056: Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day and 028: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice | with Todd Henry | with Todd Henry. Both of these interviews with Todd were hits with our listeners. Todd provides a thoughtful approach to tap your passion, maximize your creativity, and avoid burnout  in the face of the create-on-demand expectations of today’s workplace.

036: 4 Ways to Improve Face-to-Face Impact | with Stacey Hanke. After this interview, our sound engineer James Marler sent me an email: “FAVORITE. GUEST. EVER. That is all.” James isn’t alone; Stacey is a clear favorite among our listeners. Her tips are both powerful and simple, and I still remember her examples and stories all these months later. If you want to consistently influence people to take action, check out Stacey’s guidance to improve your face-to-face communication skills.

054: Humility and Leadership: How to Teach Confident Humility | with Karin Hurt.  Confident humility? That sounds like a paradox. But with her own unique blend of confidence and humility, Karin explains how these characteristics work together, why it’s so important for leadership, and how it can be taught and learned. One telling moment from this interview: after she answered a listener question, Karin then asked me, “What do you think?” It takes a humble-yet-confident guest to pose that question for the host.

 042: 3 Ways to Become a Resonant Leader | with Richard Boyatzis. When I interviewed Richard, his conversation style transported me back to my college days, enjoying seminar discussion with my professors. Richard is among the Who’s Who in business thought leaders, but he boils leadership greatness down to principles that anyone can apply. And when he addresses the question about how a leader can avoid “CEO disease,” he tackles a topic that every leader faces, in every position of influence.

030: Why Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Isn’t Enough for Superior Leadership | with David Burnham. Emotional intelligence is critical to great leadership, as David was one of the first thought leaders to point out. However, leadership training that focuses on EQ can actually have a detrimental effect if five key components of superior leadership are not taught as well. These principles from David have impacted me more than perhaps anything else I’ve heard or read in the last few years.

033: Leading Out Loud: Why Communication Is the Most Essential Leadership Skill | with Terry Pearce. Terry’s book Leading Out Loud: A Guide for Engaging Others in Creating the Future was quoted a few times in another book I’d read; the quotes were so insightful that I knew I had to read his book. This primer on leadership communication is packed with lifetime of wisdom for leaders. Even if you read just Part 1 (about 75 pages), you won’t be the same.

Thank you to all our guests and listeners over the past year. I hope the experience has been helpful to you!

What was your favorite interview of 2013 (from Engaging Leader or from any other show), and why? If you could interview anyone, who would you choose?

Jesse Lahey, SPHR, is the host of the Engaging Leader podcast and managing principal of Aspendale Communications. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn. If you know anyone who would benefit from this information, please share it!