As a leader, you want to be constantly learning and keeping up-to-date with the latest business trends. But finding the time to do all that learning can be hard to come by.
It’s one of the reasons we love business podcasts. Episodes come in bite-sized chunks, and can be listened to while you’re commuting, cooking, working out… You name it.
Best of all? There are now hundreds of great business podcasts out there to help keep you learning and growing.
However, if you’re new to podcasts, sifting through the wealth of content can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our top five podcast episodes every deskless leader needs to hear. From covering current trends to sharing voices from the frontlines, these episodes will get you thinking, guaranteed.
Here are five business podcasts every deskless leader needs to hear:
Time investment: ~25 minutes
What this is: HBR IdeaCast is the Harvard Business Review’s flagship podcast. In this episode, host Curt Nickisch sits down with Debbie Cohen and Kate Roeske-Zummer of Humanity Works, a leadership coaching business.
Why you should listen: Now more than ever, keeping your employees engaged is the key to any deskless organizations’ success. While resignations and labor shortages can put you in firefighting mode, this episode is a reminder to focus on the employees you still have. Cohen and Roeske-Zummer share insights from their own careers and their work with clients that highlight how leaders and managers can support their teams through difficult transitions.
Our favorite quote: “People want to be seen for who they are and what they contribute and where they’re adding value. Those are all free things that managers and leaders can do to their people and it’s needed now more than ever.” – Debbie Cohen
2. Beyond Leadership: A Cleveland Clinic Podcast’s “Thank you for speaking up with Main Campus CNO Shannon Pengel”
Time investment: ~ 30 minutes
What this is: In Beyond Leadership, host Dr. Brian Bolwell sits down with leaders from the Cleveland Clinic to share insights on leadership in healthcare. In this episode, Chief Nursing Officer Shannon Pengel reflects on the importance of feedback and psychological safety in driving quality.
Why you should listen: We’re big fans of upward feedback here at Nudge. So, we love how this episode dives into how leaders can create a safe environment for feedback. Pengel talks about the importance of building a culture of mutual respect, and why emotional intelligence is critical for leaders. She also shares tips for how leaders can be more self-reflective in moments of potential conflict.
Our favorite quote: “I think that’s what we want: everyone to feel comfortable speaking up and then being able to come and work right next to each other the next day, and saying, ‘Thank you. Thank you for speaking up. Thank you for letting me know. I just didn’t think of that. I can’t believe I overlooked that.’ Those are the conversations we’d like to hear.” – Shannon Pengel
3. #WorkTrends’s “Work Culture Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle Columbia”
Time investment: ~20 mins
What this is: #WorkTrends is the bi-weekly podcast and twitter chat from talentculture. Hosted by Meghan Biro, it brings in leaders from across the business world to look at emerging trends. In this episode, she talks to Dr Phillip Meade, COO of management consulting firm, Gallaher Edge, about lessons from the Columbia space shuttle disaster.
Why you should listen: While you may not be making decisions on the scale of a space flight, as a leader, you are responsible for guiding your team through crises (like, maybe a global pandemic?). And in this episode, Meade shares his findings about how work culture contributed to the Columbia disaster, and the cultural and organizational changes needed to prevent future tragedies. Meade gives key insights into the difference between a good workplace culture and an effective workplace culture, and how your culture must be aligned with your strategic goals. It’s a fascinating conversation that gives a new take on the role of leaders in culture-building.
Our favorite quote: “The biggest problem that I faced, believe it or not, was that the organizational culture at KSC was by all accounts a great organizational culture. We had just literally been named the best place in the federal government to work right before the accident… And so when I was asked to lead the culture change, one of the things I struggled with was: how do you change a culture that by all accounts looks like it’s a great place to work?” – Phillip Meade
4. Essential Voices with Wilmer Valderrama’s “Coming Together at the Grocery Store”
Time investment: ~45 mins
What this is: Essential Voices is a podcast that shares the voices of workers on the frontline, followed by a roundtable with activists and leaders to discuss the issues raised. In this episode, host Wilmer Valderrama talks to grocery worker Ben Hess about his experience on the frontline, and then has a roundtable with actress and activist Sophia Bush and Jim Araby of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 Union.
Why you should listen: As leaders, it’s important to understand and know as much as possible about our frontline workforces. In this episode, Hess’ story is powerful, as he shares his experiences during the pandemic, including getting sick with COVID-19 and struggling with his mental health. In the subsequent roundtable discussion, the guests draw broader insights from Hess’ story, and reflect on how the pandemic should change how society treats frontline workers.
Our favorite quote: “It’s still hard to go and work in retail because there’s just so much coming at you. You’re given these rules from the government, you’re getting rules from your employer, you’re getting opinions that you’re forming yourself based on the news and you’re trying to figure out how to meld them together. And at the same time, you’re getting people who are competitive about it and you’re trying to just function.” – Ben Hess
Time investment: ~25 minutes
What this is: We couldn’t let you go without sharing one of the business podcasts our own COO Jordan Ekers has been featured on! HRChat is the leadership podcast from the HR Gazette. In this episode, host Bill Banham and Ekers dive deep into how technology can better serve deskless workers, boost productivity, and increase employee engagement.
Why you should listen: In this episode, Ekers shares some of the key insights and research that have gone into the development of Nudge, and gives clear examples of how Nudge can impact your business. This episode is a great introduction to the ideas behind Nudge and how the product works – all in one engaging podcast episode!
Our favorite quote: “One of the first things that we did was to try to understand what motivates a deskless worker. We’ve now conducted significant proprietary research, as well as dove into all the employee engagement data that all our customers have… And the three things that drive satisfaction of a frontline worker is how well a brand communicates with that worker; how well a brand or a manager recognizes that worker; as well as, how well a manager accepts feedback and closes the loop to drive better change.” – Jordan Ekers
Business podcasts are a great way to squeeze some self-learning into a busy work life. Looking for more ideas to brush up your knowledge? Check out our list of top TED talks for deskless leaders.