Leadership Development Podcasts are a great way to get your daily dose of inspiration and ‘reading’ without having to sit down and read. I love listening to leadership development podcasts while I’m exercising, because I hate exercising, and a great podcast distracts me from the tedium of the treadmill…
They’re also brilliant for commuters, and anyone who finds they spend time on tasks that don’t require their full brain power (or more importantly, that don’t require the auditory processing circuits in your brain).
So here are ten leadership development podcasts you should be listening to if you’re serious about taking your leadership to the next level…
Not all leadership development is packaged up and labelled as such. So in this section you’ll find a few Podcasts that can inspire you to think about things in a new way, or might help you have new ideas, or fresh insights.
Hosted by the brilliant and incisive Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics Radio is one of the most polished and professional Podcasts I listen to (it also airs on public radio). But more than that, the variety of topics covered means it’s a great way to delve into things you otherwise wouldn’t. And while the focus has an economics spin to it, it’s target audience is the non-economist…
I read and enjoyed the books Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics, co-written with Steven Levitt. If you enjoyed either – or both – of these, you will enjoy this podcast.
One of my favourite episodes is all about whether or not it is possible for any one person on the earth to know how to make a pencil. It includes lines like this:
“Global pencil sales this year are expected to reach just $2.6 billion. That means that someone like, say, Steven Spielberg could buy up every single new pencil this year, around the world, and still have a billion dollars left, for popcorn, or pie, or a dozen Gulfstream G650s.” ~ Excerpt from “How Can This Possibly Be True?” by Stephen J. Dubner
What’s not to love?
Average Episode Length: Approximately 36 minutes
2 Guys on Your Head
Dr Art Markman and Dr Bob Duke share slightly whimsical but scientific insights into human psychology; from nostalgia to mindfulness, to why someone might not be super-grateful about the gift you’ve just given them… any why novelty is so important to our perceptions of the passage of time.
Delivered in lovely bite-sized chunks, this is a lovely weekly show, and well worth the seven minute time investment!
Average Episode Length: Approximately 7 Minutes
The Tony Robbins Podcast
As you’d expect from Tony Robbins, his Podcast covers the gamut of self-improvement, leadership and business topics – from biohacking to why people cheat on their significant other, to what we can learn from some of the most brilliant and successful leaders in the world.
My two favourite episodes are an interview with General Stanley McChrystal (I referred to it in an article I wrote about military metaphors being inappropriate for 21st century leadership) and a wonderful two part interview with legendary basketball coach, John Wooden.
Some of them are clearly ‘sales-focused’ but let’s face it, you don’t build a multi-million dollar life-coaching business without a bit of sales and marketing!
Average Episode Length: Approximately 60 Minutes
Then there are times when you need a bit of impetus – a virtual ‘kick-in-the-pants’ as it were. Here’s some podcasts that can serve that very purpose.
Achieve Your Goals
The Miracle Morning book is on my list of top five leadership books, and the podcast that sprang from it is also pretty great.
Hal Elrod, the author and founder, has been kicking cancer’s butt for the past year or so, but Jon Berghoff is doing a great job standing in for him – what are friend’s for, right!
The podcast format is largely interviews with young entrepreneurs who are doing amazing things, but it’s all focused around the concepts in the book. The team have a lot of fun, and there’s always a few actionable steps that can take your goal-achieving-self to the next level!
Average Episode Length: Approximately 50 Minutes
The Psychology Podcast
Understanding some basic psychology can really help us to gain insights into regular everyday things – like our relationships, our ways of coping with setbacks, and why some people really know how to press our buttons. The podcast is hosted by Dr Scott Barry Kaufman, and has the tagline: Stimulating your brain since 2014.
Largely consisting of interviews with experts from Dan Ariely to Dacher Keltner, this is a great way to dabble in psychology without going back to university!
I loved the episode with Dan Ariely, which is all about our relationship with money.
Average Episode Length: Approximately 45 Minutes
Science of Success
This was one of the very first leadership development podcasts I subscribed to, and as such, it will always have a special place in my heart!
Great episodes include interviews with Dr Carol Dweck author of Mindset, and former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss author of Never Split the Difference; but by far my favourite episode was Why Everything You Know About Time Management is Wrong with best-selling author Rory Vaden. It explains why effectiveness and efficiency are no longer sufficient in terms of thinking about time-management… instead you need to find ways to multiply your time – earning compound interest on it.
Average Episode Length: Approximately 40 Minutes
When it’s time to get active and do something, these shows have practical advice, skills, tactics and strategics that can help.
Lead to Win
This is another of the earliest Podcasts I came across – although it’s had a complete rebrand and relaunch since then. Michael Hyatt has been a major player in the leadership development space for quite a while, and being a former CEO and Chairman of a major publishing house, he’s got a lot of insights to share. The new version of the podcast is co-hosted by his daughter, Megan Hyatt Miller. It’s warm and charming.
This tends to be more fire-side chat style, where Michael Hyatt is really the guest of every episode, but they do weave in quotes from interviews, books and so forth to broaden the scope.
Although I don’t agree with everything that Hyatt teaches, his approach is solid, and I am now a very happy subscriber to his Free to Focus Planner, which I also recommend if you’re serious about getting your goals achieved!
Average Episode Length: Approximately 40 Minutes
Kevin Kruse is a really nice guy. When I first started my Blog, he reached out to me quite early on and invited me to be a contributor to LEADx.org. Talk about a massive confidence boost! So I’m maybe a little bit biased.
Now the slightly frightening thing about this leadership development podcast is that Kevin releases a new episode every week day. Talk about a busy schedule!
So I’m not going to pretend I’ve listened to every episode – but I can tell you that my favourite two episodes were a series with actor and author Alan Alda – of M*A*S*H and The West Wing (my all-time favourite television show!)
Average Episode Length: Approximately 20 Minutes
The Learning Leader Show
This podcast is interesting – because although it started with just a guy doing some interviews, at the point that Ryan Hawk decided that the corporate world wasn’t for him, he reached out to some people he knew – they saw something in him, and ultimately he was ‘sponsored’ by a corporate to continue his podcast that would provide value to their clients. It’s kind of interesting in-so-far as it’s unconventional, but when you think about it, makes a lot of sense!
Hosted by Ryan Hawk, the podcast includes interviews with successful leaders, authors, speakers and a host of other interesting folks – pretty big names, including Seth Godin, Simon Sinek, Jim Collins, and Cal Newport. But for me, the stand-out favourite is the episode that explains how the podcast morphed into the ‘patronage model’ it is today.
Average Episode Length: Approximately 55 Minutes
The Speaker Lab
Somehow, I lucked out, and actually enjoy public speaking. But most people – leaders included – don’t. So this one is about honing the art of speaking, and in some instances, getting paid to do it (which is pretty cool).
The host, Grant Baldwin, is easy-going and down to earth, and he asks great questions without dominating the discussion, which is quite a skill all by itself!
Probably my favourite episode is an interview with Jeff Goins, author of Real Artists Don’t Starve, among many other successful books. But to be honest, there is so much useful, practical advice here that it’s hard to pick just one!
Average Episode Length: Approximately 40 Minutes
Leading From Within – Getting Started
Can you imagine what would happen if all the high achievers in the world actually stood up and were counted? Little problems, big problems, global problems, local problems… they’d all become things that could be solved. Not quickly, but gradually,
To whet your appetite, I’ve created a little sneak peak of the system I’ve created to do just that. It’s an ebook called Leading From Within: Getting Started.
You can get it in three different ways, depending on your preference:
- Subscribe to i3 Insiders
- Buy it
But whatever you do, don’t settle for another year of feeling unfulfilled. It’s a massive waste, considering your talent, skill and experience.
Let’s make a difference, and get something happening!
3 thoughts on “10 Best Leadership Development Podcasts”
Excellent job here! These lists are so important for helping all of us discover new podcasts.
For your future consideration, our Two Are Gathered Leadership Podcast focuses on the heart of a leader, exploring the unique challenges of an entrepreneur from a fresh new perspective. I hope you give it a listen: https://twoaregathered.com/
I’m really disappointed there isn’t more representation on this list. I would highly recommend searching out leadership podcasts by women and people of color to include in these lists.
Hi Shayanne, I’d love any suggestions you might have? This list is about two years old now, so a bit out of date anyway!
Kind regards, Rebecca