The 10 Best Leadership Podcasts of 2020

Ideacast presenter Sarah Green Carmichael Wistia

Among the many challenges facing today's entrepreneurs is the need to demonstrate excellent leadership skills. Yet with so many different styles to adopt, and so many techniques being espoused, it can be difficult to know which is the right approach to take. Therefore, it can be highly useful to keep up with the latest trends, developments and best practices.

Amassing a library of leadership books is one way to do this, but for more contemporary and up-to-date insights, it's an excellent idea to start listening to leadership podcasts.

Indeed, these shows have become a useful tool for many successful entrepreneurs, offering advice, guidance and even inspiration on a number of current management issues.

To point you in the right direction, we've compiled a handy list of the ten best leadership podcasts on the market right now, and why you should be listening to them.

1. Leadership and Loyalty

The long-running Leadership and Loyalty, hosted by corporate strategist and best-selling author, Dov Baron, is one of the best places to start exploring the world of leadership. The show regularly extols management techniques that emphasise emotional intelligence, honest communication and integrity, and is invaluable as a how-to manual for fledgeling leaders.

Baron aims his material at a wide swath of entrepreneurial figures, from startup millennials to Fortune 500 executives, and includes interviews with authors, business leaders and consultants that specialise in making their listeners better leaders.

2. Recode Decode

Hosted by acclaimed technology journalist Kara Swisher, Recode Decode boasts an impressive roll-call of high-profile guests, with Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk and Hillary Clinton all among her feted list of interviewees.

Tech entrepreneurs, in particular, will take a lot from her insightful and well-researched discussions, and enable you to gain a unique understanding of how these individuals have built some of the most prestigious companies in the world. The podcast also dedicates a good portion of its time to news, and Swisher's excellent reporting will give you an edge up on what's happing in today’s business world.

3. HBR Ideacast

Assured by the integrity and credibility of its producer, the Harvard Business ReviewHBR Ideacast is an innovative offering guided by Bloomberg editor Sarah Green Carmichael. As you would expect, it is an invaluable opportunity to hear a range of views on leadership from all across the professional community. 

Unsurprisingly, Carmichael sits down with her fair share of executives and politicians, but the real appeal lies in the diverse stories and thoughts of numerous scientists, professors and other innovators. HBR Ideacast episodes only last for half an hour, too, making it perfect for your lunch break. 

4. Entrepreneurs on Fire

Also featured on our extensive roundup of entrepreneur podcastsEntrepreneurs on Fire – the brainchild of former realtor John Lee Dumas – has been providing daily business content since 2012. It has received a wide variety of accolades since its inception and remains a must-listen for any prospective business owner.

As a former US Army officer, Dumas himself knows a thing or two about leadership, and his conversations with guests such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Tim Ferriss and Seth Godin offer a deep level of practical insight. With numerous business owners discuss their biggest successes, hardest failures and defining moments, Entrepreneurs on Fire has something to offer every leader, no matter where they are in their journey.

5. Masters of Scale

Hosted by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Masters of Scale is essential listening for any business leader who is attempting to achieve growth. Within its archives, you can find conversations with influential figures from the likes of Google, Facebook and Netflix, as well as many other business unicorns that have reshaped the business world.

It's recommended as a leadership podcast, as each episode attempts to trace that company's journey from the point of its founder. As such, it offers invaluable advice on how to lead a fledgeling startup, including initial hiring, achieving competitiveness, and knowing when and why to pivot.

6. Jocko Podcast

Excellent leadership doesn't only exist in the business world, of course. Therefore, for a different take on the subject, consider Jocko Podcast, the brainchild of decorated Navy SEAL veteran John "Jocko" Willink.

Willink has a straightforward way of examining issues that may not appeal to everyone, but, ultimately, there is a well-reasoned leadership analysis present and an ability to conduct intriguing interviews with his guests. The Iraq War veteran also has a credible business background to fall back on, too; as well as collaborations with the likes of Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan, Willink owns an MMA gym in California and a successful management consultancy firm in Washington.

7. The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

On the other end of the spectrum lies The Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, hosted by the eponymous author, speaker and pastor. Like the Jocko Podcast, it approaches leadership from a non-business viewpoint, but there are still plenty of lessons to be learnt and applied here.

A well-practised communicator, Stanley uses real-world examples to break down how leadership can be made more effective, offering plenty of food for thought. Indeed, his ability to condense complex issues and give actionable advice makes his podcast an excellent tool for anyone looking to improve their leadership skills.

8. The LEADx Show

A best-selling author and history professor at Princeton University, Kevin Kruse also dedicates his time and expertise to his own leadership podcast, The LEADx Show. In each episode, Kruse seeks out numerous industry leaders and finds out what they do every day to make their organisation better.

The LEADx Show clocks in at about twenty minutes per episode, but each instalment plays as a one-on-one meeting with a new mentor. This approach is compounded by the shows daily sign off, which challenges you to take one idea from that day's discussion, and implement it into your workflow.

9. Engaging Leader

Hosted by leadership consultant Jesse Lahey, Engaging Leader is centred around the argument that successful business leaders achieve change by engaging with others. This includes both clients and members of the media, but most importantly, Lahey claims, it is about better connecting with your team members.

With a background of over twenty years' leadership experience, and a current position as HR director of a Fortune 500 company, Lahey and his guests share extensive management and communication experience, and inspires listeners to connect with those around them to achieve the best possible results.

10. Accelerate!

While Accelerate! is primarily targeted at sales leaders, there are valuable lessons within the discussions here that can relate to any organisation. Host Andy Paul, a renowned best-selling author and sales expert, is humble about his journey to success and his podcast offers a series of refreshing takes on a wide array of leadership issues.

Paul regularly discusses specific business concerns, such as lead generation and cold calling, and portrays marketing in ways that will help you to understand the wider picture, which is particularly useful for leaders who want to develop their commercial awareness, too.

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By finding a leadership podcast that speaks to you and your business, you will find yourself with a replenishing well of new leadership insights at your disposal. Take in what's relevant, discard what is not, but most importantly, use these as just one tool in your unending pursuit of becoming the most effective leader you can be.

What leadership podcasts do you listen to? Let us know your favourites in the comment section below!