The 2024 Guide to Leadership Podcasts for People-First Managers

A comprehensive list of the best leadership podcasts to follow in 2024 with detailed reviews. Tune in to elevate your leadership skills today!
Kamely Vo
Kamely Vo
Content Writer
An empathetic Employee Experience Expert with a passion for positive changes, to create rewarding, engaging workplaces and shaping the future of work through unique perspectives.
December 22, 2023
min read

If you're a leader of a fast-growing team and need podcasts to improve your leadership skills, finding the right one can be challenging.

Search filters are nowhere to be found on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, so you end up checking out many shows before you find your favorite. 

I have handpicked 16 leadership podcasts and provided detailed reviews to save you time and effort. 

Another great way to boost your leadership is by attending one of the top 2024 leadership conferences. Check out our complete guide.

No matter your needs, these are resources that I personally find extremely valuable:

  • Leadership podcasts backed by research: HBR IdeaCast, McKinsey Talks Talent, Think Fast Talk Smart.
  • Leadership podcasts for a happy work, happy life: The Anxious Achiever, WorkLife with Adam Grant, REWORK.
  • Leadership podcasts about the future of work: Future Work by Daan van Rossum, HBS Managing the Future of Work.
  • Leadership podcasts for women who lead: Women at Work, the Art of Speaking Up.
  • Leadership podcasts for wisdom from leadership experts: At the Table with Patrick Lencioni, Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast.
  • Leadership podcasts for small daily advice: Founder’s Journal, the $100 MBA Show
  • Leadership podcasts for founders: How I Built This with Guy Raz, Masters of Scale

Let's dive in and find the perfect podcasts to take your leadership skills to the next level in 2024!

The Best 16 Leadership Podcasts of 2024

Leadership podcasts backed by research

1. HBR IdeaCast

Leadership podcast HBR IdeaCast

Hosts: Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch, editors at Harvard Business Review.

Focus: Latest business insights from renowned researchers and leaders 

Style: Interview

Episode length: 20 minutes 

In short, most HBR IdeaCast episodes are Harvard Business Review's articles turned into audio interviews. 

You will find answers to a wide range of questions, from the big ones, like how hybrid work is changing cities, to the “smaller" ones, like how to give feedback in a diverse team.

They come from prominent professors, researchers, and business leaders. 

And I mean really prominent. Think of Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichar and NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang. Or Harvard professors and McKinsey researchers.

Their insights are backed by rigorous research or experience in running world-class companies. 

Of course, if someone is looking for compelling storytelling or witty jokes, I wouldn't recommend HBR IdeaCast. 

But for us busy executives, these podcasts will help you make better decisions and stay ahead as a leader. 

Click here to tune in for HBR IdeaCast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

2. McKinsey Talks Talent

Leadership podcast McKinsey Talks Talent

Hosts: Bryan Hancock and Brooke Weddle, global leaders of McKinsey's talent work.

Focus: Updates on key trends in talent management

Style: Interview and roundtable

Episode length: 30 minutes 

McKinsey & Company is one of the Big Three, long-standing and prestigious management consultancies. 

Powered by McKinsey’s research and consultant’s expertise, the podcast will keep you up-to-date with how the business world is shifting and what it means for you as a leader. 

Whether you face resistance when integrating AI in your team or find it hard to work with Gen Z, McKinsey Talks Talent will surprise you with their findings (Hint: Gen Z is not that different after all).

The only drawback about the podcast is that it's only on a bi-monthly schedule. 

But you know what they say, good things take time!

Click here to tune in for McKinsey Talks Talent on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

3. Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

Leadership podcast Think Fast, Talk Smart: Communication Techniques

Host: Matt Abrahams, a Strategic Communications lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

You may recognize him from the 34-million-view YouTube video the podcast was named after.

Focus: How to communicate more effectively

Style: Interview

Episode length: 20 minutes 

According to a 2023 FlexOS study among 200 remote hybrid and remote workers, 30% say they are frustrated about their managers' communication.

No hard feelings here, managers! We all know it's hard, so here's a podcast to help you improve your communication.

Each Think Fast, Talk Smart episode tackles a day-to-day communication concern you may face. 

Whether you hope to improve your personal branding or small talk, the show has the right advice. 

You will love their concrete, evidence-based suggestions that you can apply immediately.

Matt Abrahams and his guests are like your friendly professors back in university.

They discuss enthusiastically and even drop a joke here and there, making it entertaining to listen to.

Click here to tune in for Think Fast, Talk Smart on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts for a happy work, happy life

I think we can all agree that a good manager makes all the difference at work.

Deloitte’s 2023 Wellbeing at Work survey echoes the importance of managers, as the study concludes that managers are the most influential factor in employee well-being and engagement. 

But managers are also humans!

The podcasts featured in this section may not always explicitly discuss leadership strategies.

Instead, they show you how to keep work humane and fulfilling for yourself and your team. By doing so, you can become the best type of leader. 

4. The Anxious Achiever

Leadership podcast The Anxious Achiever

Host: Morra Aarons-Mele, the author of The Anxious Achiever: Turn Your Biggest Fears into Your Leadership Superpower and Hiding in the Bathroom: An Introvert's Roadmap to Getting Out There.

Focus: Mental health at work and “how we can do both better"

Style: Interview

Episode length: 40 minutes 

The Anxious Achiever is the podcast we all secretly need.

Few people can be as brave as Morra Aarons-Mele in discussing mental health at work. 

Whether it is the loneliness epidemic, social class at work, or menopause, Aarons-Mele and her guests, including notable therapists, sociologists, and business leaders, never shy away from the conversations that matter.

As you listen, you will feel a sense of relief and comfort because you know you're not the only one struggling with your thoughts at times. 

And maybe you will even have that “Aha!” moment, realizing why you've been behaving the way you have all these years (I recommend checking out this episode about how family history causes tensions at work!)

Click here to tune in for The Anxious Achiever on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

5. WorkLife with Adam Grant

Leadership podcast WorkLife with Adam Grant

Host: Adam Grant, the famous organizational psychologist who teaches at The Wharton School.

He authored global best-sellers like Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know and Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

Focus: The science of making work not suck

Style: Interview 

Episode length: 40 minutes

In the podcast intro, Adam Grant states, “I study how to make work not suck.”

And with so much time spent at work, we all should want that.

In fact, Adam Grant even believes that work should be enjoyable

Given his love for unconventionality, you will find the most radical ideas to make that possible.

From convincing you to stop optimizing every life choice to taking a week off every seven weeks, prepare to be surprised and “never see your job the same way again.”

Joining Adam are world-class performers in various fields, such as business, psychology, sport, and art, including our previous guest, Stanford Professor Nick Bloom.

Filled with lively interviews and captivating storytelling, you will be hooked to WorkLife after the first few minutes!

Click here to tune in for WorkLife with Adam Grant on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!


Leadership podcast Rework

Hosts: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founders of 37signals, one of the remote-first companies famous for Basecamp, HEY, and the new ONCE.

Besides creating software that has served millions of users and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, these entrepreneurs are also influential authors.

They have written extensively about redefining our relationship with work.

REWORK the book is a New York Times bestseller, and they have been advocating for remote work since 2013 with Remote: Office not Required.

Focus: Exploring how work can bring us more fulfillment

Style: Roundtable

Episode length: 25 minutes

REWORK is about a different way of doing business that prioritizes sanity and sustainability, which can be a novelty in today's world.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson can be quite extreme in their beliefs. 

They will discuss why “meetings are toxic" or why they always try to do less than their competitors. 

While their ideas may be astounding at times, you will be amazed how they can see our “normal" way of work through such a different, and maybe better, lens. 

For example, their company has been remote since 2004, when it was not normal at all!

Click here to tune in for REWORK on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts about the future of work 

7. Future Work Podcast by Daan van Rossum

Leadership podcast Future Work Podcast by Daan van Rossum

Host: Daan van Rossum, the Founder and CEO of FlexOS. 

Daan is a recognized expert in the field with a wealth of experience in shaping the future of work.

His work has been featured in the New York Times, The Economist, Harvard Business Reviews, and more. 

Focus: The latest trends on how we’re moving to a happier future of work

Type: Interview and monologue

Episode length: 25 minutes

You have witnessed the drastic transformation of the work landscape in recent years, from the sudden shift to remote work to the rise of AI. 

You know the way we work will never be the same again. 

And you may be wondering, where do we go from here? How do you successfully adapt?

Future Work helps you answer such questions with clarity.

Every two weeks, Future Work brings an insightful conversation between our CEO Daan and a future work expert, including “America’s best work-from-home expert," Stanford Nick Bloom, Chase Warrington, the Head of Remote of Doist, and Happiness Researcher Tracy Brower (also the VP of Workplace Insights at Steelcase.)

In between, he keeps you updated with quick, sharp insights on recent developments like the launch of Google's Gemini AI model and how they're reshaping our workday realities.

Click here to tune in for Future Work on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

8. HBS Managing the Future of Work

Leadership podcast HBS Managing the Future of Work

Hosts: Bill Kerr and Joe Fuller are Professors at Harvard Business School.

Focus: The macro trends of the future of work

Style: Interview

Episode length: 30 minutes

If you want a more high-level update on the future of work, you’ll like this podcast.

The podcast is a part of the Managing the Future of Work research project at Harvard Business School, of which Professors Joe Fuller and Bill Kerr are the co-directors.

They focus on the forces redefining work globally: technological advancements, contingent workforce, middle-skills gap, and talent access. 

In recent episodes, they discuss how there can be a universal HR database and the growing irrelevance of an undergraduate degree (Interesting coming from Harvard!)

Click here to tune in for HBS Managing the Future of Work on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts for women who lead 

9. Women at Work 

Leadership podcast Women at Work

Hosts: Amy Bernstein, an Executive Editorial Director at Harvard Business Publishing.

Amy oversees all the content and the team of editors of Harvard Business Review. 

Amy Gallo is a contributing editor at HBR. She's also the author of HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict and Getting Along: How to Work With Anyone (Even Difficult People).

Focus: All you need to know to level up your career but from women's perspective

Type: Interview and conversational

Episode length: 40 minutes

In a sense, Women at Work seems like any other leadership podcast. 

How to deal with failures? How do you negotiate with your team? How to play office politics? All the essential how-tos of managing people, except the female experts are speaking this time.

Bernstein and Gallo reveal the nuances of being a female leader in those common themes. 

Maybe you're trying too hard to be nice, or people constantly question your decisions.

Whatever it is, the Amys are your allies and mentors on your journey to tackle all the challenges and become a superb leader.

Click here to tune in for Women at Work on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

10. The Art of Speaking Up

Leadership podcast The Art of Speaking Up

Host: Jessica Guzik, a a career coach specializing in helping professional women realize their full potential.

Jessica holds a Juris Doctor from Columbia University and over ten years of experience working for companies like McKinsey, The Walt Disney Company, and Marvel Entertainment.

Focus: Empowering working women to find their voice and inner power and achieve their “wildest career goals."

Type: Monologue and interview

Episode length: 40 minutes

“My ultimate goal is more women in leadership positions because it is still so imbalanced in the corporate space.”

Jessica Guzik’s career did not sail smoothly from the start. As an introvert who struggled with imposter syndrome, she often felt like a wallflower at work. 

Through her podcasts, Guzik shares with her listeners the valuable lessons that took her years to learn about thriving at work as a woman.

She touches on the most common “pitfalls" and challenges for women at work, especially regarding being vocal and confident. 

If you ever feel the pressure to have all the perfect answers (and are reluctant to raise your ideas if you're not 100% sure you're right) or face executives who intimidate you in a meeting, check out this podcast because Guzil offers some practical advice that you can apply right away!

Click here to tune in for The Art of Speaking Up on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts for wisdom from leadership experts

11. At The Table with Patrick Lencioni

Leadership podcast At The Table with Patrick Lencioni

Host: Patrick Lencioni, the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable, which has sold over 3 million copies and translated into more than 30 languages.

Focus: “Real conversations and practical advice for everyday leaders.”

Type: Roundtable

Episode length: 25 minutes 

Although his book is a classic, I love how the topics Lencioni brings to At The Table are always timely and refreshing. 

Have you ever thought healing is meant to happen at the workplace

Or that gossiping at work is good?

Lencioni and his leadership team bring such new perspectives to life, but not without humor.

As Lencioni tells us real-life stories from his consulting work and life experience, you may reflect on how you, as a leader, can make the workplace a better place.

Click here to tune in for At The Table with Patrick Lencioni on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

12. Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast

Leadership podcast Andy Stanley

Host: Andy Stanley, an author (of more than 20 books!), TV host, pastor, and North Point Community Church (Atlanta) founder. 

Type: Interview and conversational

Focus: Leadership development or, in Stanley's words, “to help leaders go further, faster."

Episode length: 25 minutes

When you look at his background, make no mistake that Andy Stanley will be a severe and rigid host.

I bet he is among the most energizing hosts you can find out there!

Scrolling through the episodes, you will find one about any type of leadership you can imagine, including self-leadership, openhanded leadership, moral leadership, and belongship, to name a few.

Influential authors like Adam Grant and John Maxwell often join Stanley, as do business leaders from companies like Apple, UPS, and Home Depot.

“I've had an unusual career. I’ve worked directly for some pretty heavyweight folks from whom I learned a lot about leadership. But I've learned the most from Andy - by a mile.” - Frank Blake, Chairman & CEO (retired) of Home Depot

Click here to tune in for Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts for small daily advice

13. Founder's Journal 

Leadership podcast Founder's Journal 

Host: Alex Lieberman, the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Morning Brew, a media company that Business Insider acquired for about $75 million.

Focus: Lieberman's reflection on his journey of running a business

Type: Monologue 

Episode length: 15 minutes

Lieberman says Founder's Journal is his diary made public to the world, which I think is a perfect description for the show.

In his short-and-sweet episodes, you will find real-time updates of anything interesting that Lieberman learned or stumbled upon lately.

From a tool that makes him 95% more productive to lessons he picks up from an interview featuring Jeff Bezos, you will feel like you have a friend from whom you can learn his daily wisdom.

Click here to tune in for Founder's Journal on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

14. The $100 MBA Show 

Leadership podcast The $100 MBA Show 

Host: Omar Zenhom, the Co-founder of WebinarNinja.

Focus: Answering the practical questions you may have when working for or on a new business

Type: Monologue

Episode length: 15 minutes

Promising to be your free coach at home, Omar Zenhom replies to all the questions you face at the beginning of your journey working for or on a start-up.

Questions that sometimes seem so fundamental and straightforward that you may even feel grateful when someone talks about them, such as:

Zenhom will show you the ABC of growing a business from scratch.

The best thing is that this show presents its bite-size lessons in a way that makes you feel like, “I can grasp this. I can handle this.”

In case you're interested in a deeper dive, he literally offers a business course for $100.

Click here to tune in for The $100 MBA Show on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

Leadership podcasts for founders

15. How I Built This with Guy Raz 

Leadership podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz 

Host: Guy Raz, an award-winning reporter, radio, and podcast host. 

Guy is considered one of the most prominent podcasters internationally. If you count all his shows, he has about 19 million monthly listeners!

Focus: Interviews with founders of impactful companies

Type: Interview

Episode length: 50 minutes

“Wow, this is brilliant. How did someone ever come up with this?”

Have you ever had that thought?

Guy Raz probably did, and he started a whole show about it.

Maybe you're not planning to start a business anytime soon, but I believe anyone can be inspired and learn from how these original thinkers saw an opportunity and built on it.

Besides interviewing leaders from world-famous companies like Wikipedia, Linkedin, Airbnb, or Bumble, whose early-day stories you may have heard several times before, the show also features founders of many rising and fascinating start-ups.

So tune in before Too Good To Go (leftover sharing platform), Yolélé (gluten-free African grain), or Spikeball (from toy sport to $10M annual revenue) become “the next big thing.” 

Click here to tune in for How I Built This on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

16. Masters of Scale 

Leadership podcast Masters of Scale 

Hosts: Reid Hoffman, Linkedin's Co-founder, and Bob Safian, Fast Company's former Editor-in-chief.

Focus: How leaders of global brands - the “masters of scale" - navigate through challenges

Type: Interview

Episode length: 35 minutes

With the mission of demystifying entrepreneurship, Masters of Scale is undoubtedly one of the best free resources out there for you to learn about business and leadership. 

The show is all-around with three formats that cover the most pressing concerns of leaders worldwide: 

  • The original one interviews business leaders to unfold their secrets to success.
  • Rapid Response offers “real-time wisdom" to recent business trends.
  • AI + You shows how you can integrate AI into your work.

Thanks to Hoffman and Safian's network, eminent leaders from top companies like Intel, OpenAI, Pixar, WPP, PwC, and so on have joined. 

In short, the people you don't get to see on podcasts so often make Masters of Scale even more of a gem!

Click here to tune in for Masters of Scale on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

What are Leadership Podcasts?

Leadership podcasts are audio programs that help listeners upgrade their leadership capabilities by providing them with the latest trends, research, and best practices in managing people.

To find the podcasts that best suit your taste, it helps to understand the variety of leadership podcast styles:

  • Interview podcast: A host interviews a new guest every episode, and listeners can learn from the guests’ expertise and experience.
  • Conversational / Roundtable podcast: Two or more hosts discuss a leadership topic and share their perspectives.
  • Monologue podcast: One host discusses a new leadership topic in every episode.

Benefits of Listening to Leadership Podcasts

Upskilling anytime anywhere

While you may find it hard to squeeze in the time for a leadership book or remote management training course, you can easily catch up on your favorite leadership podcast while doing daily chores like cooking or cleaning the house. 

Effortless learning

Listening to an episode of HBR IdeaCast certainly feels more effortless than reading the Harvard Business Review article on the same topic. 

Leadership podcasts give you valuable knowledge without the feeling of doing hard work.

Hear from the best

Just like you, the best leaders in the world are busy, so it’s easier for them to dial in and share their ideas on a podcast than to come to a full-blown video interview. 

One example is LinkedIn’s Co-founder Reid Hoffman. He has his own podcast, and in a recent episode, he interviewed Sam Altman - OpenAI's CEO. 

Leadership podcasts give you the chance to learn directly from the best leaders.

Real-time knowledge

This is the most significant advantage of podcasts. 

When there's a new development in the world of work, you can't immediately find a book or a course about it because creating them takes months.

On the other hand, leadership podcasts are executive briefings of the latest ideas to stay on top of your leadership game.

The Bottom Line

As I wrap up this comprehensive guide to the top leadership podcasts of 2024, it's clear that the world of leadership is constantly evolving, with new challenges and opportunities emerging every day. 

Whether you're a seasoned manager or just stepping into a leadership role, these podcasts offer a wealth of knowledge, insights, and actionable advice. 

By integrating the lessons from these podcasts into your daily leadership practice, you're not just improving your capabilities – you're building a more engaged, motivated, and productive team. 

So, grab your headphones, pick your favorite podcasts from this list, and embark on a personal and professional growth journey.

Here's to becoming the people-first manager who makes a real difference!

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