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Top 10 Leadership Podcasts To Listen To In 2019

Top Leadership Podcasts

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. Even if you’re just commuting or working out, 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 for leaders and sales executives who want to develop their own leadership skills, build better relationships, and design high-performing teams. The list has something for everyone, with hosts and guests who draw their leadership expertise from a range of backgrounds, from business to design to the military. We’ve included a sample episode to try and marked the ones that have transcript show notes.

Happy listening!

Jump to podcast (in no particular order):

  1. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman
  2. HBR IdeaCast by Sarah Green Carmichael
  3. The DesignBetter Podcast with Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery
  4. The Global Leadership Summit Podcast
  5. The Leadx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse
  6. Recode Decode by Kara Swisher
  7. The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
  8. Leaders in the Trenches with Gene Hammett
  9. The Tim Ferriss Show
  10. Jocko Podcast

1. Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Visit the show on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Typical episode length: 45 minutes

About the show: Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and investor at Greylock, investigates how companies grow from “zero to a gazillion” by speaking with legendary founders. The show’s star-studded guest lineup includes Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg & Sheryl Sandberg, Netflix’s Reed Hastings, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Spanx’s Sara Blakely, and they discuss topics like hiring early employees, pivoting, staying healthy as a founder, and leapfrogging competition. Masters of Scale won the 2018 People’s Voice Webby for Best Business Podcast.

Why we like it: Masters of Scale is the first American media program to commit to a 50-50 gender balance for guests, and Reid Hoffman has attracted quite the guest roster. The show has high production value—it’s more of an entertaining, well-edited radio program than a simple recorded conversation. And, if you prefer reading, the episode transcripts are available on the show’s site.

 

Try an episode:

Reid Hoffman Masters of Scale Podcast

The Elusive Formula for Great Hiring

Featuring Workday’s Aneel Bhusri and a cameo by Arianna Huffington

Your first hires are cultural cofounders. And it’s worth your time to get every one right. “In five to ten years, your first employees will continue to uphold your company’s culture and value system” says Bhusri.

 

2. HBR IdeaCast by Sarah Green Carmichael

HBR IdeaCast

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Typical episode length: 25 minutes

About the show: Sarah Green Carmichael, an executive editor at the Harvard Business Review, hosts this weekly podcast for conversations with leading thinkers in business and management. Recognized experts, executives, and scientists discuss almost every aspect of leadership on this show.

Why we like it: IdeaCast is long enough to thoroughly explore its topics, but not so long as to become rambling. Sarah Green Carmichael is an engaging presenter and easy to listen to, and, along with her guests, presents truly unique and inspiring ideas. If you’re a student of business, podcasts don’t get more enriching than this. Transcripts of episodes are available at the show’s website.

 

Try an episode:

Sarah Green Carmichael HBR podcast

Avoiding Miscommunication in a Digital World

Featuring Dr. Nick Morgan, communications expert, speaking coach, and author of “Can You Hear Me?: How to Connect with People in a Virtual World”

While email, text, and Slack may seem to make communication more efficient, they actually have the opposite effect. Dr. Morgan offers tips and tricks to bring the benefits of face-to-face communication back into the digital workplace.

 

3. The DesignBetter Podcast with Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery

The DesignBetter Podcast

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Typical episode length: 45 minutes

About the show:  Hosts Aarron Walter and Eli Woolery speak with design leaders from companies like Shopify, Google, Pinterest, and Johnson & Johnson to explore how design teams create great products at scale. But even if you’re not in design, you’ll benefit from its wisdom. Shows often delve into the ways leaders can use design principles to improve themselves and their teams. The show is produced by InVision.

Why we like it: Aarron and Eli draw on many years of experience in design leadership, and they attract top-quality guests who aren’t just setting trends in the world of design; they’re rethinking what it means to be a great leader. Learn from the people who crafted the world’s most interesting contemporary companies, technologies, and design processes—like Jake Knapp, creator of Google’s Design Sprint or Mia Blume, a leadership coach who was a former design leader at Pinterest, Square, and IDEO.

 

Try an episode:

Aarron Walter Podcast

Mia Blume: design, or be designed

Featuring Mia Blume, design leadership coach and former design leader at Pinterest, Square, IDEO

Mia explains how to navigate the intricacies of being a great leader, particularly during the transition from an individual contributor role into a managerial or executive position. She discusses prioritization, vulnerability, imposter syndrome, and how she used her design skills to become a better leader.

 

4. The Global Leadership Summit Podcast

The Global Leadership Summit Podcast

Listen to this show on iTunes, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Typical episode length: 35 minutes

About the show: The world’s top leadership experts share their insights and expertise in this podcast from the Global Leadership Network. Topics covered include self-leadership, vision, and organizational growth. The show releases two new episodes every month, with a revolving list of hosts who interview guests from world-leading companies and academic institutions.

Why we like it: GLS content is always fresh, actionable and inspiring, and the podcast is a great resource for active leaders interested in both theory and practical tips. Show guests are knowledgeable, the research is high-quality, and the conversations are informative.

 

Try an episode:

Chip Heath Podcast

Chip Heath with Craig Groeschel

Featuring Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business and co-author of “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Moments Have Extraordinary Impact”

Chip Heath and Craig Groeschel discuss what makes a moment memorable. Learn how to leverage meaningful moments to benefit your organization and improve company culture, staff motivation, and customer experience. 

 

5. The Leadx Leadership Show with Kevin Kruse

The Leadx Leadership Show

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Typical episode length: 20 minutes

About the show: Kevin Kruse, founder and CEO of LEADx, interviews some of the world’s top leadership experts for career advice and management tips, including high-profile figures like Dan Pink, Chris Ducker, and Dorie Clark. There is a new episode available every Monday morning to help you start your week. The show was recently named as the ‘Top Leadership Podcast’ by Inc.

Why we like it: This podcast has rich content, but it’s still succinct and easily digestible at about 20 minutes per episode. Kevin Kruse is an ex-professional sports player who brings focus, energy, and drive to the show, and guests range from CEOs to top authors to artists and other creatives—it’s been described as “having the world’s best mentors whispering into your ear on the way to work.” Transcripts are available at the show’s website.

 

Try an episode:

Kevin Kruse podcast

The Power of a Positive Team

Featuring Jon Gordon, author of “The Power of a Positive Team: Proven Principles and Practices that Make Great Teams Great”

This episode shows you why leaders should interact with one person from their team in a meaningful way every day. With this one-on-one approach, the whole team can become more connected.

 

6. Recode Decode by Kara Swisher

Recode Decode

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Visit the show on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn

Typical episode length: 60 minutes

About the show: Prominent tech journalist Kara Swisher hosts hard-hitting interviews every week for the latest in business, media, politics, and more. Guests include executives, politicians, and celebrities like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and many more. Produced by Recode and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Why we like it: Kara Swisher is a straight shooter who challenges her guests on controversial issues in business and media. She tackles timely topics you’ve recently heard about in the news, but provides much more in-depth, background access by speaking with influential personalities right at the source of the issue.

 

Try an episode:

Kara Swisher Podcast

Why nonprofits should think more like tech companies

Featuring “Social Startup Success” author Kathleen Kelly Janus

Learn how nonprofit leaders and social impact entrepreneurs can learn from how tech companies do business. Kathleen Kelly Janus explains the overlap between what works for nonprofits and for-profits.

 

7. The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

Listen to this show on iTunes, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Typical episode length: 20 minutes

About the show: Andy Stanley is a pastor, communicator, author, and founder of the North Point Ministries. His monthly podcast is designed to help leaders go further, faster with practical leadership strategies and illustrated with real-life examples.

Why we like it: These podcasts appeal to both established leaders as well as to a new generation of managers. Andy discusses current issues in contemporary language, with a clear, modern approach. Andy Stanley is widely recognized as a great communicator and he has a knack for clearly explaining complicated topics.

 

Try an episode:

Andy Stanley podcasts

Creating High-Performance Teams, Part 1

This is the podcast’s most-downloaded episode, originally released in 2016. Andy explains how the best leaders recognize talent, select performance-oriented “doers,” and position them for maximum impact. If you like the episode, you may also enjoy the recently released follow-up Revisiting Creating High-Performance Teams, Part 1, in which Andy and Lane Jones discuss how the issues affecting leaders have changed over last 10 years—and how they’ve also stayed the same.

 

8. Leaders in the Trenches with Gene Hammett

Leaders in the Trenches

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Visit the show on Facebook, LinkedIn

Typical episode length: 15-20 minutes

About the show: Gene Hammett aims to help you develop your leadership skills through interviews with experts like Chris Brogan, Hal Elrod, Jeff Goins, and many others. The show focuses on growth and explores topics that span marketing, sales, growth, culture, and general leadership. The show has been featured as a leading podcast for leaders and entrepreneurs in Inc Magazine and Entrepreneur magazine.

Why we like it: Host Gene Hammett easy to listen to and the interviews give the listener actionable tips that are great for executives, consultants, speakers, and founders. The show’s website features transcripts of each episode.

 

Try an episode:

Gene Hammett podcast

Mental Toughness for Leaders

Featuring Colin O’Brady, pro endurance athlete and adventurer

Colin O’Brady shares the mental toughness strategies that helped him scale Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro (among many), and to reach both the North and South poles. In modern business, you need mental toughness to navigate uncertainty and obstacles—and when you have it, you can transfer it to others who need it.

 

9. The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Visit the show on Twitter

Typical episode length: 60-120 minutes

About the show: The New York Times describes Tim Ferriss as “a cross between Jack Welch and a Buddhist monk.” The bestselling author, entrepreneur, and self-experimenter attempts to figure out what makes world-class performers tick. He attracts the highest-profile guests from a wide range of domains, including figures such as James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Seth Godin, Sam Harris, Reid Hoffman, and Brian Chesky.  

Why we like it: Host Tim Ferriss is adept at drawing out fascinating and informative insights from his guests, who are never less than interesting and intelligent. The show is entertaining and educational, and listeners will always leave with practical tips, tools, and tricks.

 

Try an episode:

Tim Ferriss podcast

Seth Godin on How to Say “No,” Market Like a Professional, and Win at Life

Featuring marketing and leadership guru Seth Godin, author of 18 bestselling books

This episode explores how to deal with overwhelm, choosing projects, how to set boundaries, saying “no” to the unimportant, and the notion of “long work vs. hard work.”

 

10. Jocko Podcast

Joko Podcast

Listen to this show on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Player.fm, Stitcher

Visit the show on Facebook

Typical episode length: 150 minutes

About the show: This podcast is hosted by Jocko Willink, an author, retired US Navy SEAL, and former commander of US Navy SEAL Team 3’s “Task Unit Bruiser,” a highly decorated special-operations unit of the Iraq War. The show discusses discipline, drive, implementing change, leadership styles and strategies, and building relationships—with an emphasis on helping listeners to lead and win. The show is co-hosted and directed by former Navy SEAL and fellow martial arts practitioner Echo Charles.

Why we like it: Jocko is straight-talking and not everyone will agree with him, but he is a gracious interviewer who draws out inspirational and motivational stories from his guests. His insights into leadership were hard won, and he knows what the consequences of poor leadership can be, and he’s adept at demonstrating how these lessons—whether they come from the military, martial arts, or philosophical texts—can translate to your business.

 

Try an episode:

Jocko

How to Win in Battle, Business, and Life with the “36 Stratagems”. The Spirit of Wu

Featuring co-host Echo Charles

“Wu” is Chinese for “relating to war”, and the “36 stratagems”, are from an ancient Chinese essay on how to get what you want in business and life. In this podcast, Jocko and Echo discuss how these concepts might be applied in a contemporary setting, illuminating them in a fresh and inspiring way.

 

Did we miss your favorite leadership podcast?

We hope you find inspiration and motivation in these shows, and that the stories, insights, and discussions have a positive effect on your team and personal growth as a leader. Podcasts demonstrate the power that can be found in the simple act of listening to another person speak—and that’s a lesson we can all benefit from. Did we miss your favorite leadership podcast? 

Andrea Nellestyn

Candidate Marketing Specialist at Peak Sales Recruiting
Andrea spent her first few years at Peak as one of the firm's top headhunters before being selected to initiate and run the firm's candidate marketing division. A graduate of Carleton University, Andrea is a regular contributor to the Peak Sales blog.

Andrea Nellestyn

Andrea spent her first few years at Peak as one of the firm's top headhunters before being selected to initiate and run the firm's candidate marketing division. A graduate of Carleton University, Andrea is a regular contributor to the Peak Sales blog.

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