The 10 best podcasts for aspiring leaders

/ 6 min read
Vivian Tejeda

It’s estimated that about 424 million people around the world listen to podcasts. It isn’t surprising when you consider how portable, accessible, and informative podcasts can be on just about any topic imaginable. And thanks to AI, creating a podcast is easier than ever.

However, when it comes to growing your skill set as a leader in order to lead teams, ship projects, or simply optimize for efficiency and greatness in everything you do, there’s no shortage of valuable podcasts from some of the top business leaders around to choose from.

Below, we go over some of the best leadership podcasts you can add to your podcast roster. Whether you listen to them first thing in the morning or while working out, each soundbite contains valuable nuggets of wisdom worth learning from.

1. Dare to Lead with Brene Brown

Spotify Rating: 4.8 stars rated by 2k listeners.

Based on Brene Brown’s New York Times best-selling book Dare to Lead, the podcast by the same name caters to leaders at all stages of their journey. Brown doesn’t hold back in relaying anecdotes from her own findings as a researcher who studies courage and vulnerability.

If you’re looking for something other than the same old leadership advice, Dare to Lead is a worthy addition to your listening list from a master in the field.

2. The Jocko Podcast

Spotify Rating: 5.0 stars rated by 7.3k listeners.

Created from the perspective of retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink, the Jocko Podcast discusses leadership within the context of life-defining scenarios, including war, business, and relationships.

The podcast features a wide range of topics, including working hard, toxic productivity, personality types, making excuses, influence and ownership.

The Jocko Podcast might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for a more head-on approach to leadership discussions to glean insight from, consider giving his podcast a go.

3. The EntreLeadership Podcast

Spotify Rating: 4.8 stars rated by 79 listeners.

If you prefer podcasts that host all-star guests that are masters of their respective fields (Mark Cuban, Seth Godin, Simon Sinek and Marie Forleo just to name a few), then you’ll need to add The EntreLeadership Podcast to your list.

The podcast covers a wide list of discussions on things like creating moments your customers won’t forget, offering excellent customer service, or the breakthrough formula for leadership.

As a business owner, it helps when information is relayed through real-life experience and scenarios as opposed to strictly sharing research. In that case, The EntreLeadership Podcast delivers.

4. Ask a Manager

Spotify Rating: N/A

Each week, Alison Green takes calls and gives expert advice on difficult workplace dilemmas. There are lots of puzzle pieces that need to come together to create a functioning business, and handling workplace dramas can (unfortunately) be one of those pieces.

Ask a Manager takes a candid approach to leadership advice by discussing toxic bosses, terrible employees, and over-the-top clients. Ask a Manager is a solid podcast for business leaders that constantly manage and work with people and everything that comes with it.

The best part? Ask a Manager is a weekly show. So you’re never left hanging for the next episode.

5. HBR's IdeaCast

Spotify Rating: 4.7 stars rated by 315 listeners.

This list couldn’t be complete without Harvard Business Review’s HBR IdeaCast, whose podcast covers everything spanning business and management.

If you’re a business leader that enjoys and leans toward an academic approach to management, IdeaCast is your podcast. It discusses the relationship between government and business, dealing with procrastination, finding joy in a job, and defining the true role of a manager.

Every now and then, IdeaCast will host unexpected guests like comedian Sarah Cooper to offer a different perspective on all things leadership.

6.  Coaching Real Leaders

Spotify Rating: 4.9 stars rated by 76 listeners.

Why pay for coaching when you can get immense value from podcasts like Coaching Real Leaders?

Leadership coach Muriel Wilkins publicly coaches real-life leaders in each episode through business dilemmas like holding a team accountable, navigating senior roles, managing managers, and growing your confidence as a leader.

As a Managing Partner and Co-founder of Paravis Partners, a C-suite advisor and an executive coach, Wilkins discusses a wide range of applicable leadership development topics with a track record to show for it.

You can get a lot out of listening to Coaching Real Leaders if you're specifically looking for actionable advice from a leadership expert and you want to learn more about key topics like emotional intelligence, professional development and authentic leadership.

7. The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

Spotify Rating: 4.9 stars rated by 708 listeners.

If you’re familiar with the name Shane Parrish, chances are you’ve read Farnam Street, a blog that can best be described as a repository of timeless lessons and advice on a variety of disciplines.

The good news? You don’t have to stop to read the blog posts when you can multitask and listen to The Knowledge Project.

Now, the podcast isn’t made up of your usual business leader-centred episodes. Rather, it’s a place leaders can go to learn more about high-level topics including heady subjects like the science behind the efficacy of small changes, the power and benefits of sleep, and practising stoicism.

While the podcast might not focus on more granular leadership content, it’s definitely a powerful listening experience full of insight on setting the foundation necessary to keep doing the work of a leader.

8. Masters in Business

Spotify Rating: 4.7 stars rated by 201 listeners

Everything from global macro investing strategies to Arnold Schwarzenegger's secret weapon is discussed on Masters in Business, a podcast hosted by Bloomberg Radio host columnist Barry Ritholtz.

With a track record as a critic of the financial industry and a specific focus on behavioural economics and data, Ritholtz distils his hard-earned knowledge in each episode by sharing the ideas that influence markets, business, and investing.

If learning more about institutional bond trading, managing ETFs, and longevity risk management are your areas of interest, add Masters in Business to your podcast roster.

9. Leadership and Loyalty

Spotify Rating: N/A

The Leadership and Loyalty podcast hosted by Dov Baron features guests like Guy Kawasaki, Jordan Harbinger, Tom Bilyeau, and Carly Fiorina.

Instead of discussing the specifics of running a business and finding success, the Leadership and Loyalty podcasts focus on leaders, their stories, and the nuggets of insight that come with it.

You can expect lessons on personal growth, marketing, shifting your perspective, serving and giving value,  and living out the life of a leader that garners results. Tune in every Wednesday and Sunday for a healthy dose of motivation from some of the most brilliant business leaders.

10. WorkLife with Adam Grant

Spotify Rating: 4.9 stars rated by 590 listeners

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant hosts WorkLife with Adam Grant and focuses on distilling the inner world of some of the most uncommon professionals in the world. The goal? Sharing actionable ways of creating a better work-life.

On WorkLife, you’ll get insight from the likes of Jon Batiste, Dolly Parton, Indra Nooyi, and even Lin-Manuel Miranda. If you prefer podcasts in the style of intelligent conversations with leaders from unusual industries, this is a podcast worth saving.

11. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Spotify Rating: 4.8 stars rated by 327 listeners

As the name suggests, this show features guests from giant brands like Starbucks, Meta, Slack, and Netflix just to name a few.

Hosted by Bob Safian, past editor in chief of Fast Company, these episodes cover topics ranging from diversity and inclusion, responding to crises, dealing with change, and more.

Each episode is short, too, generally ranging from 38-40 minutes, making them perfect for your lunch break. Masters of Scale is a fitting podcast for business leaders interested in taking their startups from a growing business into a global brand.

Level up your leadership now

Today, instant access to some of the brightest minds in business is possible with a simple (free) podcast download.

Without a doubt, the leadership journey is long and full of lessons, challenges, and insights. It’s also a journey in which you never stop learning.

As valuable soundbites, podcasts are a great “hack” that can add insight to your busy day without having to rearrange your schedule.

It’s simply a matter of sorting through the best options to pick out the ones that speak to your journey toward being a better leader.

About the author
Vivian Tejeda
Paperform Contributor
Vivian Tejeda is a B2B SaaS and marketing writer.

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