When you find a leadership podcast you love, you suddenly get a dream team of mentors to whisper in your ear as you go about your day. You can find a clever strategy or stumble across an entertaining story from one of the greats in your industry.
We’ve compiled ten podcasts *not in order of preference* for leaders and sales executives who want to develop their own leadership skills, build better relationships, and design high-performing teams.
1. Leadership Lab
Patrick Leddin PhD is The Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Five-Week Leadership Challenge and an Associate Professor at Vanderbilt University. Leddin not only points out the things you should be doing as a leader, but breaks them down into practical, common sense steps. Past guests include Patrick Lencioni, Karen Dillon, Atlanta Braves Shortstop Dansby Swanson, Stephen M.R. Covey and many others.
Sample episode: Learn The Rules of Power
Why we like it: Leddin’s approach to his subjects goes beyond exploring their philosophies of leadership to probe the details of how, in practical ways, listeners can apply those principles to their own lives.
2. Thirty Minute Mentors
If you’ve ever wondered about how a corporate or cultural icon became who they are, Adam Mendler’s Thirty Minute Mentors will spill the beans. Guests run the gamut from celebrities to athletes to military leaders and CEOs.
Sample episode: General David Petraeus
Why we like it: Mendler’s interviewing style is flexible, and he likes to draw out his subjects patiently, searching through their backgrounds for the forces that molded them and their approach to leadership. He then turns up the microscope and examines how their habits and practices affect those they lead, and how they can be translated into action. While many podcasts focus on business leaders, Mendler broadens the focus, examining leadership in the arts, athletics and politics as well as business.
3. The Leadership Habit
Especially for those who’ve recently become leaders, developing effective behaviors is a habit that can be learned and practiced. The Crestcom Leadership Institute draws on the lessons learned developing leaders in 60 countries worldwide to facilitate the growth of strong, ethical leaders.
Sample episode: Scale Up Your Business
Why we like it: Each episode is a mix of high-level principles and ways to apply them, often with business leaders who aren’t often heard from in other media. Yes, it’s interesting to hear from the CEO of a global enterprise, but getting a step-by-step recap of how an entrepreneur grew from a tiny business to a medium-sized enterprise conveys a lot of information you can use today and tomorrow — not once you’ve reached the pinnacle.
4. The Leadership Hacker
This podcast comes from the summitteers who’ve reached the peaks in their respective fields. Interviewer Steve Rush expertly guides his guests through a discussion of a focused topic unique to them, such as the chief of Allergan and GSK on how diversity strengthened his organizations, how to make leadership sustainable with Eddy Badrina and Dr. Benjamin Ritter on how being promoted to management almost ended his career.
Sample episode: Be Yourself First
Why we like it: The choice of guests brings variety and differing viewpoints, examining the topic of leadership from many angles and many points of view.
5. Boss Files
CNN’s Poppy Harlow conducts in-depth interviews with global entrepreneurs, CEOs and innovators, uncovering their insights and the “secret sauce” that led them to sustained business success. Harlow’s insightful questions get at root truths that helped these high achievers rise from the ranks.
Sample episode: Delta Airlines CEO On Surviving the Pandemic
Why we like it: First, Poppy Harlowe is an excellent interviewer as you’d expect from a CNN anchor. Second, this podcast has the resources of CNN, producers and engineers and researchers, giving it a depth and polish not found in many other podcasts. Third, the guests are all A-listers from Salesforce king Marc Benioff to YouTube’s CEO to the CEO of 3M.
6. Coaching for Leaders
Each week Dave Stachowiak talks with a different leader. His insightful interviews have led to 20 million downloads of conversations with bestselling authors, expert researchers, and everyday leaders, and is the #1 search result for “management” on Apple Podcasts.
Sample episode: Leadership In Chaos: General Jim Mattis
Why we like it: Not only do you get a weekly dose of reality from leaders who have performed at the highest level, but Stachowiak also distills his conversations and gives listeners the key takeaways in a concise written summary on his website.
7. The Radical Candor Podcast
Leadership is about far more than the Xs and Os of getting the right people into the right positions. Kim Scott focuses on how to be effective while also staying human, being compassionate, empathetic, and clear. The Radical Candor Podcast shows you how to provide praise or criticism as soon as the person earns the right to hear either of them.
Sample episode: Bob: A Tale of Ruinous Empathy
Why we like it: There are plenty of podcasts that deal in the what and the why, but Kim Scott takes it in another direction, exploring the effect that emotions and personal interaction have at the leadership level. Managing your team’s emotions — how they react to you, to each other, and how you react to them — can have a bigger effect on productivity than any other single thing you do
8. Team Anywhere
Remote work has radically changed how teams work and interact. These new norms require a new kind of leadership. Team Anywhere taps into the insights of leaders who are building teams where the majority of members are remote. Topics include how to increase engagement with remote workers, how to connect with remote teams and how to inspire those teams to compete in an economy where your competition isn’t down the block or across the state, but around the world.
Sample episode: Giving Memorable Recognition to Hybrid Teams
Why we like it: The choice of guests focuses more on bottom-up than top-down. Instead of interviewing generals, politicians and CEOs the hosts focus on innovators who are developing new techniques and new tools for leaders to cope with the changing workscape.
9. Accelerate with Andy Paul
Three times a week, global sales authority Andy Paul records candid conversations with revenue leaders thoughout the world, getting their perspective on current events, money and markets. He’s already 900 episodes in, so maybe start listening to him before you get any further behind.
Sample episode: Develop Extraordinary Sales Abilities
Why we like it: Host Andy Paul is author of two award-winning sales books and is ranked #8 on LinkedIn’s list of Top 50 Global Sales Experts. His interviews with revenue leaders are brass tacks, detailed and focused on things that will work for you and for your sales team.
10. Dare To Lead
Dare To Lead
Brené Brown’s book Dare To Lead debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. Here’s how she describes her podcast: “A mix of solo episodes and conversations with change-catalysts, culture-shifters, and as many troublemakers as possible. Innovating, creating, and building a better, more just world, requires daring leadership in every part of our daily lives.”
Sample episode: America Ferrera on Identity and Integrated Leadership
Why we like it: Brown takes a wide view of leadership, giving context from outside the world of business and bringing new perspectives in. Besides, any podcast that promises to interview “as many troublemakers as possible” is a must-listen in our book.
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