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Top 10 Leadership Podcasts

September 14, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Leadership and Management

Top 10 Leadership Podcasts

Podcasts have been around for several years now and in the leadership realm have brought with them the chance to access some of the best and latest thinking available from a variety of people. This includes academic researchers and professors, authors of popular business books, management consultants and coaches who work with organizations of all kinds, and CEO’s of companies both small and large. In practical terms this means that any individual can now gain interesting insights from a diverse population of people at any time on their computer at home, in the car or on an iPod or smart phone just by plugging in his or her earphones and listening.

Although most podcasts are free (including the increasing number of video-podcasts that are available) the quality varies considerably and a list of some of the better or more interesting ones is therefore called for. As a result, the list below represents a very personal view of the 10 best leadership podcasts around today. In all cases the criteria for inclusion is that they offer regular and varied guests and content, they are well produced and edited and they aim to genuinely increase listener knowledge. This last criterion is particularly important as many podcasts are often just a vehicle for the unsubstantiated opinions of a presenter or have a self-serving commercial agenda as their main purpose.

The Top 10 Podcast Programs

This list that follows is in no particular order but all have many listeners and are free to listen too. It is possible to subscribe to most of these podcasts on iTunes.

1. The Bottom Line with Evan Davies (BBC) – A discussion podcast where the host interviews 3 UK based CEOs (although often from different countries) at a time on a chosen topic about business leadership or life.

2. MIT Sloan School of Management – An interview or presentation based podcast which talks about broad management type issues in a semi-academic format.

3. CEO Exchange – PBS sponsored podcast of short interviews with CEOs of leading companies in the US.

4. Cranfield University – A magazine type podcast which explores topical issues in Business Leadership.

5. Harvard Business Review IdeaCast – A weekly podcast that discusses the latest business trends.  This podcast discusses lessons learned from leadership successes and failures.  It does not focus only on leadership, but on business as a whole.

6. Daniel Pink – A magazine type podcast which showcases some of the best business and leadership thinkers and writers in the world.

7. London Business School – A podcast that discusses leadership and current business trends that can impact a leader’s decisions.

8. DuctTapeMarketing – A podcast with a marketing bias but with some very useful leadership insights regularly included.

9. What Great Bosses Know – This podcast interviews managers and business leaders on practical skills they learned to become great bosses.

10. Jonathan Fields – This podcast interviews a range of different leaders about their challenges. Much of the focus and interest is in Entrepreneurship and growth.

Individual Leadership Podcasts

Apart from the 10 podcast programs above, a further list is provided below of single podcasts that are interesting and provide individuals with a useful sample of what is available. Depending upon how much time is available just find these by searching in the iTunes store or in any online search engine.

# Who/What Distributor Length When issued Comments
1 The 5 Leadership Essentials Harvard Ideacast 15.12 2009 Sarah Green interviews Professor Dave Ulrich
2 The Dark Side of Leadership Cranfield University 7:17 2011 Steve Macaulay interviews Professor kakabadse
3 Building Leadership Capability for Change CIPD 29:22 2009 An interview with Professor Gary Hamel
4 A Devotion to New Ideas Stanford University 56:45 2010 An interview with successful entrepreneur and CEO Bill Gross
5 Are Balanced Leaders Better Performers CCL 8:34 2011 A tips and techniques podcast based on a book by Joan Gervis


Podcasting presents a wonderful opportunity to hear many interesting and useful insights for those looking to increase their knowledge in the leadership and management area and who want to “tune in” when they have the time (and not when a programmer schedules it to be heard). In many ways podcasts are still in their infancy, so we will see even greater quality of output in the future. To this end, any comments on what is on our list and on what might be added that is of equal or better quality is most welcome.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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