Podcasts might be to best educational investment of the modern era, and the future looks bright for them as well. They cost only the time it takes to listen to them, and they take you inside the mind of world-class authors, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs. As a podcaster myself, I'm biased to the shows that blend the latest social science research with practical applications that can help you grow your business, lead your team, or even think more creativity. Toward that end, here are my top 5 science-based podcasts for growing your leadership, in no particular order:


1.     The Art of Charm

Hosted by Jordan Harbinger, this podcast blends social science and cognitive psychology with networking and relationship advice. The main weekly show interviews a diverse collection of thinkers and doers, from the top academic minds to world-class entrepreneurs to best-selling authors. They also feature two shorter mini-episodes each week that reinforce or complement each week's main lesson.


Hosted by Sarah Green Carmichael, this long-standing top podcast started as interviews with the authors of Harvard Business Review articles but has expanded to interview prominent business thinkers, senior leaders of Fortune 500 companies, and disruptive entrepreneurs. The interviews are shorter than your average commute, but packed with more knowledge than some business school classes.


Hosted by Ryan Hawk, a former professional football quarterback turned star pupil in a leadership school of his own making. Each episode features long-form, in-depth interviews with some of the smartest, most creative, and always-learning leaders who share their successes, struggles, failures, and lessons learned along the way.


4.     Hidden Brain

Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, this show is about something broader than just leadership: our own mind. However, this NPR podcast is a deep dive into the unconscious patterns, biases, and behavior that shape our decisions and affect our relationships, including relationships with and as leaders.


5.     The Pinkcast

Technically, this one isn't even a podcast, but it's so jam-packed with great information it ought to be. Hosted by New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink, these are short (2 minutes or less) videos posted every other week with tips, recommendations, or fascinating pieces of advice. Each episode draws from a well-researched phenomenon, but with Dan's talent for simple, practical application.


These are the best blends of empirical data and practical application to help you become a better thinker and a smarter leader. In the interest of full disclosure, I should add that, as longtime podcaster some of these shows are run by colleagues I now consider friends, but this list is based on their work, not our relationship. Also, if you're looking for a 6th show to add to your podcast player, I'd be remiss not to mention Radio Free Leader, my own show. Down an episode from each show today and get started learning.