In business, there’s always room for improvement. Every great business leader knows that.
So how do you become a great business leader?
Typically, business leaders have mentors. They also belong to groups like the EO network, and have a serious crush on continuing education opportunities such as conferences, meetups, books, group or one-on-one coaching, and podcasts.
This article takes a look at the latter opportunity – the podcast – in relation to their ability to help you become a more capable, dynamic, over-achieving leader for your business, employees, and customers.
The 12 Best Podcasts for Building Leadership Skills
All of the business leadership podcasts featured below are professionally produced and edited, which means the listening quality will be on par with the quality of the speakers.
1. Office Hours
Host Daniel Pink describes the Office Hours podcast as "Car Talk for the human engine." In these podcasts, you'll hear from some of the best business and leadership thinkers and writers in the world. Predominantly, Daniel interviews authors on a range of topics that will inspire you to greatness.
Extra bonus: Daniel is also the host of The Pinkcast, which features short, informal, low-fi videos that offer tips, and recommendations that pertain to business development and leadership.
Back in 2012, host Jonathan Fields launched the Good Life Project (GLP), which boasted a weekly web series featuring in-depth, unscripted, extremely candid conversations with acclaimed artists, entrepreneurs, makers and world-shakers. The web series quickly grew to more than 1,000,000 minutes of video a month, with viewers in over 150 countries.
So in 2013, Jonathan expanded the reach of GLP by tapping into the intimacy of the podcast format. Much like the web series before it, The Good Life Podcast quickly became a top-ranked show on iTunes, stitcher, and SoundCloud. Thath's no surprise, since the podcast interviews a range of different leaders about their challenges, with a particular focus and interest on entrepreneurship and professional growth.
Dave Ramsey’s national bestseller of the same name is a business playbook that teaches you everything you've ever wanted to know about building and growing a business. So it goes to follow that his podcast would be of the same ilk.
Dave interviews leaders that are handpicked for being “hard-charging and passionate, encouraging and motivating” with a “pioneering spirit of an entrepreneur and the humble quality of a leader.”
There's something for everyone in these interviews, with guests ranging from country music legend and The Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich (of Redneck Riviera) to Kat Cole, the Group President of Focus Brands (parent company to well-known franchises like Cinnabon, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel, and Moe’s Southwest Grill).
Learn More: 4 Goals Every Growth-Driven Managers Should Have
Hosted by bestselling author and mentor, Michael Hyatt, this weekly podcast focuses on what Michael calls “intentional leadership.” Much as Prialto provides virtual assistants to busy, high-earning business owners and executives, Michael’s podcast provides business professionals with a “virtual mentor” that will help them “win at work and succeed at life.”
So what do “win” and “succeed” mean in this context? Hyatt believes that with conscious focus and actionable determination, business professionals can learn to lead with intention. Talk about a secret sauce! That has kept listeners coming back again and again for nearly ten seasons.
5. CEO Exchange
This podcast is brilliant, which is to be expected from a unique PBS series of conversations with today's most dynamic and visionary chief executives.
Now in its fourth season, each one hour program (taped live at a prestigious business school) brings together two of the most interesting and innovative CEOs in the world for a lively discussion about themselves, their companies, and their passions in life. Host Jeff Greenfield is a highly respected CNN television journalist known as a conversational interviewer whose wit and insight bring out the best in his guests, which means that he focuses on the human side of the CEO.
Each interview is designed to be timeless by emphasizing the lives and careers of its guests instead of focusing on the latest quarterly earnings reports of their companies. The themes of each program highlight the achievements and challenges shared by both guests.
Fun fact: our company was started not long before Tim's productivity bible, "The 4-Hour Workweek," was published. If you've never read it, go out and get yourself a copy asap. There are many actionable nuggets in that book, including how to hire a virtual assistant to 10x your productivity and grow your business.
In his podcast, Tim talks to world-class business professionals (from Arnold Schwarzenegger to investor Peter Thiel to director Robert Rodriguez) about what makes them so effective, and how they leverage habits and best practices to beat your competition and rise to the top. He digs deep to find the life hacks, tools, tactics, and tricks that we can all use to get ahead.
This podcast touts itself as "Business Explored: the podcast that inspires tens of thousands of entrepreneurs each week." This podcast has several co-hosts (Joelle Goldman, Matt Goldman, Michael Sacca) who interview startup founders of successful companies.
And while each episode isn't specifically focused on teaching you how to build leadership skills, I've put it on this list because it's literally crammed full of incredible content relevant to business owners at every stage of the game. They discuss everything from funding to growth to culture to sales...and everything in between.
Jill Geisler is the host of these two podcasts. She is the author of the book, Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know, holds a masters degree in leadership studies, and is Loyola University Chicago's Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity. Jill also teaches and coaches leaders and managers worldwide, so you could say she definitely knows a thing or two about leadership.
Her popular "What Great Bosses Know" podcast has seen millions of downloads from business professionals like you who are looking for quick, practical lessons for busy leaders. She launched the Q&A podcast in February of 2016 to build on her "What Great Bosses Know" series in a more granular way. Each Q&A episode is focused on one question that challenges leaders and managers in today's workplaces. There's a special focus on leadership, communication, and trust.
Throughout her career as a leadership educator, Jill has earned a reputation for bringing humor and humanity to her teaching, and for bridging the world of research and theory into practical, useful advice that managers can put to work immediately. Listen to the first episode of the Q&A podcast, How Can This Podcast Help Me Be a Better Leader?
Only have 5 minutes? Host Nathalie Lussier packs loads of information, advice, and tips into each five minute episode of her Off The Charts podcast, giving special attention to giving listeners something actionable they can do right away to be better business leaders.
Stanford University’s Technology Ventures Program hosts talks from leading entrepreneurs and innovative thinkers every semester. This podcast offers a tremendous opportunity for business professionals to learn from some of the world’s top entrepreneurial thinkers and one of the world’s best universities. Thanks to this podcast, you don't have to attend Stanford to benefit from their advice.
Want to learn how to be a leader from the world's most inspirational women? This podcast is for you! Host Angie Mezzetti has a background in journalism and broadcasting, which gives her a great perspective from which to explore the challenges her female guests have faced as they've climbed their way to the top.
Whether you are male or female, every episode of the Women In Leadership podcast speaks to those that want to see more women represented at every level of decision-making. She interviews women in business, politics, science and technology, academia and education, sports, banking, entrepreneurship, philanthropy and more to discuss how they balance the demands of private and family life with the reality of their career paths.
John Lee Dumas is the founder and host of EOFire (Entrepreneur On Fire), an award-winning Podcast where he interviews today’s most inspiring entrepreneurs 7 days a week!
With over 1500 episodes to date, John has shared a massive amount of great content through the intimate listening experience that his podcast provides. EOFire has featured incredible Entrepreneurs such as Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Barbara Corcoran, Tim Ferriss (mentioned above), Brian Tracy, and so many more. Check it out, today!
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