The most successful executives are in a constant state of learning. You should always be looking for opportunities to learn, listen, and think creatively. Not only will you become a better leader, but you’ll help foster creativity in the workplace, and set an example for the employees at your company.
Staying inspired requires time, which is in short supply, so business leaders are increasingly listening to podcasts—an ideal solution for busy execs. According to a study by Edison Research, 58 percent of podcast consumers listen in the car, 41 percent listen while walking, 34 listen at work, 29 listen while working out, and 28 percent listen while riding public transit.
According to that same study, the majority of podcast listeners have completed some graduate courses or earned an advanced degree.
A good podcast is easy to find. You can choose an episode in a pinch based on its topic summary and running time, or you can ask a colleague for a recommendation. Here are five of our favorites.
5 must-listen podcasts for business leaders
From keeping up with business news to keeping the wheels of innovation turning in your head, these five podcasts will help you stay on top of your game.
1. HBR IdeaCast
Harvard Business Review is a staple for business news and research, and its weekly podcast gives you the latest from leading thinkers in a variety of fields. Guests include Harvard professors, politicians, tech executives, scientists, among other thinkers and innovators. As a business leader, you should consider HBR IdeaCast required listening.
2. Unmistakable Creative
Unmistakable Creative offers hundreds of fascinating interviews with creatives. The podcast’s host, author Srini Rao, has earned praise for his approach to conducting interviews. Srini explained why he begins his interviews with offbeat questions in a Medium article: “[The interviewee] can’t reply with a canned answer, and it forces them to be completely engaged in the conversation they’re having with you.” Listen to this unique podcast when you need an extra dose of creative inspiration.
3. Stanford Innovation Lab
The best leaders always keep one eye trained on innovation, and the Stanford Innovation Lab podcast can help you do just that. The series provides a sample of what you might learn in a high-level class on innovation and entrepreneurship. Learn to look at almost anything from a new angle with host Tina Seelig, Stanford University Professor.
4. Hidden Brain
While Hidden Brain is a series nearly everyone can learn from, it’s a must-listen podcast for business leaders. In the NPR podcast, host Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to uncover the patterns that drive human behavior. Tune into Hidden Brain when you are looking for personal growth and reflection.
The Predictive Index President, Daniel Muzquiz, is a listener: “NPR’s Hidden Brain consistently provides a perspective on concepts or realities that shed light on deeper aspects of our being,” he said. “By shining a light on humans, whether as an individual or as a group, it helps me think through situations with wider eyes and a more open mind. Addressing nuanced and/or complex aspects of our nature helps me be a more thoughtful citizen, friend, and father.”
5. Leadership and Loyalty
Dov Baron’s long-running Leadership and Loyalty podcast is tailor-made for business leaders. A go-to resource for leading more effectively, the show advocates authenticity, honesty, and emotional intelligence. Dov challenges his listeners to be emotionally intelligent leaders—a message that dovetails nicely with the findings from our People Management Study (great managers are self-aware). Guests include authors, consultants, professors, and more.