Leadership Podcasts You Should Be Listening To
My bedside table is almost completely engulfed with stacks of books - books of varying shapes, colors and sizes with one thing in common. To reserve its rightful place in the nightstand queue, a book must belong to a specific genre subset at the intersection of business and self-help. While dozens have graduated from the nightstand to the bookshelf in my office, dozens more wait for their chance to shine in twenty minute intervals between when I start reading and when I fall asleep. At the rate I'm going, my reading aspirations may turn to reality somewhere around my 80th birthday.
Like most professionals with busy lives to manage outside of work, reading ranks lower than we would like on the list of priorities. We often have to find other, more efficient, ways to pique our interests, learn something new and stimulate fresh ideas.
Podcasts are the primary method by which I stay engaged in my field and a reliable source for generating new ideas. I can't tell you how many times a week I furiously search for a stickie note to quickly write down an idea that has come to me during a podcast (and yes, I am a dinosaur that still uses stickie notes). Podcasts serve as the sparks that ignite creativity in my coaching process.
There are some terrific leadership podcasts out there that you may not discover when you google "best leadership podcasts," (and I know because I tried it). To qualify as "best" in my book and worthy of your limited time, a podcast has to speak to the human experience within the context of work. I believe you cannot separate the human from the job, so any worthwhile podcast about leadership has to create understanding of how humans work and provide insight about best practices to cultivate their potential.
Here are my top five leadership podcasts you should be listening to - give them a try and let me know what you think. Click on any title below find on Spotify.
How I Built This with Guy Raz
As someone who looks for pattern in human behavior, I am enthralled by the patterns revealed as successful leaders recount the trials and tribulations of starting multi-million dollar companies. In every episode, there is a great struggle to get started, shadows of self-doubt, a moment where the fledgling company hangs on the brink and a stroke of luck - without which all would have been lost. This podcast reminds me the difficulties are designed to prepare you for what is to come.
WorkLife with Adam Grant
Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist on a quest to explore "the science of making work not suck" and his podcast creates evidence-based recommendations on how to do just that. From the science behind hybrid work to identifying what makes a culture "toxic," his scientific perspective charms leaders who require data to make decisions. While his narrative voice betrays him as the academic he is, he won me over with his warmth and vulnerability that shines through during interviews.
How's Work? with Esther Perel
Give me a podcast with a famous couples therapist who focuses on relationships at work and I am completely fascinated. Esther counsels co-workers in therapy-like sessions where she invites them to discuss their issues. Her expert guidance provides listeners with the mental framework necessary to have more productive working relationships. Her guests are emblematic of the struggles we all face in working with others and her tools provide life skills that extend well beyond work.
The EntreLeadership Podcast from the Ramsey Network
OK probably not the best business decision to send you to a podcast provided by a leadership coaching company, but i have to give credit where credit is due. This podcast combines organizational trends, educational content and interviews to provide leaders with the tools necessary to lead in today's climate. The content is very high value and they spend almost no time promoting their own agenda. This podcast is a good one to stay abreast of the trends impacting leadership today.
A Bit of Optimism with Simon Sinek
Maybe its his lyrical voice I find so soothing or maybe its his attention to silver linings few others seem to see...regardless of the secret sauce, A Bit of Optimism is just what a leader needs to keep proper perspective. When so much in the world seems headed in the wrong direction, Simon reminds us there are good people out there trying to make a difference. He serves inspiration through interviews and compels leaders to be ambassadors of hope within the organizations they lead.