Best Business Podcasts in 2020
Today we are going to talk about the best business podcasts. I was listening to podcasts well before it was popular. As many of you know, our company, FIRMSconsulting, was one of the first companies to go into podcasting and we published well over 500 free podcasts to date. And, thanks to our wonderful listeners, our 2 main channels are ranked top 1-10 for careers in many countries. And, obviously, I had to include them in the list here, as I believe they are some of the most valuable business podcast channels out there.
Why should you listen to podcasts?
So why should you listen to podcasts? Podcasting makes learning easy and convenient. I remember even at times when I had no free time to dedicate to learning, I would listen to podcasts on the way to work, on the way from work, and sometimes at lunch. I would listen to it while doing errands, doing things around the house or working out. And it allowed me to learn when I did not have any free time to learn.
Most of us are incredibly busy. Right? We have family obligations, work obligations, community obligations. And sometimes you don’t have enough time even to eat or sleep, but you still have to find time to learn and develop your skills.
You know, as I was saying in Lifelong Learning Mindset video, in life, like during my MBA, we are all marked on a curve. So we can’t just focus on how we are doing, we need to look around and see how our competitors are doing. If a few peers keep educating themselves they will raise the average for everybody. And, the truth is, a small group of your colleagues, your classmates, your competitors will always keep educating themselves. They will view their degrees as the start and keep developing new skills. And if they develop new skills, you have to develop new skills as well, or you will fall behind the curve.
So, if you are not listening to podcasts you are missing out on a great opportunity to keep on educating yourself at a very low cost. Low cost because many podcasts are free, but also because you can listen to podcasts while you do things you would be doing anyway, like doing dishes, walking the dog, working out, cleaning the house.
Another thing I love most about podcasts is the intimacy of listening to some of the most outstanding people in the world for long periods of time through your headphones. You start getting to know the person. You learn a lot from them.
So here are the best business podcasts to listen to, in my opinion. I separated them into 3 sections:
- General business
- Creativity and mindset
I have these 3 sections because I think you need a good balance. I don’t think it is good to listen to just sales podcasts or just social media marketing podcasts, or just entrepreneurship podcasts. I think you need a variety and here is what I selected to be the best business podcasts to pay attention to, at least for me at this point in time.
Best business podcasts: corporate
So we start with the best business podcasts that primarily cover general business. In other words, skills required if you work for a large company like McKinsey, Deloitte, Google, Amazon, a major bank, or a major state-owned enterprise.
Let me start this list with one of the best business podcasts in the world, ranked top 5-10 for careers in many countries, The Strategy Skills Podcast. The Strategy Skills podcast is a channel where strategy partners from major consulting firms, but also other top thinkers in the world, teach you the tools and techniques to solve mankind’s greatest problems.
You can learn some of the skills of McKinsey, BCG, et al. consultants without having to work at a consulting firm. And there are also guests from major companies outside of consulting, like Airbnb, for example.
The podcast teaches both technical analyses and soft skills like communication. Past guests included Tim Koller (head of Corporate Finance practice at McKinsey), Bill Matassoni (former McKinsey head of marketing),Kevin Coyne (former McKinsey worldwide strategy practice co-leader), and many other world’s leading thinkers.
And as much as I love episodes in an interview format, my favorite episodes are actually where Michael, the host of the podcast, teaches a specific topic, like how to run a strategy workshop or what is corporate strategy. Michael has a unique ability to teach a very complex topic in a way that is entertaining, insightful, practical, and easy to pay attention to and absorb.
So, if you are interested in business strategy skills and developing other business skills, and you are not listening to this podcast, you need to check out Strategy Skills podcast.
The next podcast channel is also hosted by Michael, the host of the Strategy Skills podcast. This channel is more focused on the skills required to join a consulting firm or to be a successful management consultant. This is a great podcast to learn how to present yourself in the best possible light, how to network, how to improve your critical thinking skills, how to build and maintain professional relationships, how to deliver value to clients, and much more. Even if you are not interested in working for a major consulting firm like McKinsey, Deloitte, BCG, this podcast will be incredibly valuable in terms of helping you develop problem-solving, leadership, decision making, critical thinking, and communication skills.
The next one is the HBR Ideacast. It’s Harvard’s channel, you can’t really go wrong with it. This channel is focused on bringing you the analysis and advice of the leading minds in management. As you know, the Harvard Business Review has long been known as a leading publication for business leaders. And their podcast channel is certainly one of the best business podcasts available. Past guests included Eric Schmidt from Google, Harvard professors like Clay Christensen, and much more.
And the last podcast in this category is Tim Ferriss’s podcast. I placed it in this category because he has a lot of guests from corporate America.
As many of you know, Tim Ferriss is well known for his #1 New York Times bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek. He is very passionate about productivity, optimizing your life, how you spend your time, how to be healthy. And, in the podcast Tim interviews “world-class” individuals and dives into their strategies, tactics, tools, and routines which listeners can emulate. Past guests included Peter Thiel and Malcolm Gladwell. The funniest podcast I ever heard was from Tim’s show, it is an episode with Brian Grazer.
Best business podcasts: entrepreneurship
Next, let me share with you the best business podcasts focused on entrepreneurship. These podcasts are great to listen to not only to learn the technical side of things but also to learn about struggles entrepreneurs had to go through to get where they are now. This will help you stay motivated and understand that it takes time to build a successful business. For example, we have been building FIRMSconsulting for over 10 years now. And the first few years were very hard. So, you should not give up if things don’t go well right away. This is how it usually works.
The first podcast in this category is Smart Passive Income. SPI was one of my favorite podcasts to listen to when I just finished my MBA. While I was working in banking I was listening to it religiously on the way to work. By now, the content of the podcast is not advanced enough for me, but if you are just starting out learning about entrepreneurship, building an online business, this is a great podcast to check out.
It is hosted by Pat Flynn. Pat is an entrepreneur himself, and a family man, and in his podcast, he covers strategies and tactics on how to grow an online business and develop passive income streams. He also often interviews entrepreneurs. At the time when I was listening to it, he was primarily interviewing people in the early stages of building their companies so it was very helpful for somebody who was learning about the basics of building a business.
So, if you are interested in building a passive income stream or growing your online business, and you are a beginner, this will be a great resource for you to check out.
Another one in this category is an Entrepreneur on Fire. This is one of the most popular podcasts online today. It is run by John Lee Dumas. John started this podcast because he felt there were not enough podcasts for entrepreneurs. He wanted to listen to new podcasts every day but that was not available. So he started a daily entrepreneurship podcast. I remember he mentioned once he records all his podcasts on Monday and works on other projects for the rest of the week, and this is how he is able to release a podcast every single day. John, by the way, discloses his monthly earnings, same goes for Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, and, as you can imagine, many entrepreneurs who are just starting out find it motivating and helpful.
Best business podcasts: creative and mindset
And the last section includes podcasts focused on the world of entertainment, creativity, the right mindset. I think it is crucial to learn from people from other walks of life and not just limit yourself to people in the same industry or line of business. And, of course, having the right mindset is crucial to be successful. You can have all advantages in the world but, with the wrong mindset, you will fail. And you can start from literally zero, and build a successful life if you have the right mindset.
So the first podcast in this category that I wanted to share with you is The Moment, with Brian Koppelman. Brian is a co-writer of the show “Billions.” You probably watched it or at last heard about this show. He interviews about the pivotal moments that fueled fascinating creative careers. Basically, what was that one moment that changed everything. Past guests included Damian Lewis, Seth Godin, and Judd Apatow.
I find this podcast channel an important addition to my list of channels to listen to because it allows me to learn about successful people who are in creative careers like writers, songwriters, actors, and producers. And you can see that this played a role in inspiring me and the rest of the FIRMSconsulting team to expand the type of resources we create for our community. We stepped up significantly production quality for some of our courses. And, this year, we introduced educational novels. Turquoise Eyes, our first novel, was already released. And another novel, which is the most important book we produced to date, in my opinion, will be coming out later this year.
And the last one in this category is the School of Greatness. This podcast is hosted by former pro athlete Lewis Howes. I used to listen to it a lot right after my MBA. He focuses on helping maintain a proper mindset. It is a lot about wellness, the right mindset, motivation, success. Lewis is a New York Times best-selling author. And he interviews some of the most successful people on the planet, in business, entertainment, sports, science, health, and literature, with a goal to inspire people to be great. Past guests included Tony Robbins and Robert Kiyosaki.
So there you have it, 8 best business podcasts you should check out in 2020.
Succeeding as a Management Consultant
When people think about the business strategy we often think about the field of strategy consulting/management consulting and firms like McKinsey, BCG, et al. If you are interested in learning how to conduct a management consulting engagement, you will likely enjoy this book. Succeeding as a Management Consultant is a book set in the Brazilian interior. This book follows an engagement team as they assist Goldy, a large Brazilian gold miner, in diagnosing and fixing deep and persistent organizational issues. This book follows an engagement team over an 8-week assignment and explains how they successfully navigate a challenging client environment, develop hypotheses, build the analyses, and provide the final recommendations. It is written so the reader may understand, follow, and replicate the process. It is the only book laying out a consulting assignment step-by-step. (Published by FIRMSconsulting.) One of the best business books if you are interested in management consulting and strategy. This book will be very useful as well if you are a small business consultant. If you were searching for answers to questions about consulting, this book is a gold mine, according to many readers.
Marketing Saves the World, Bill Matassoni’s Memoir
Bill Matassoni’s (Ex-McKinsey and Ex-BCG Senior Partner) Marketing Saves The World is a truly unique book. Never before has a McKinsey partner published his memoir publicly. This book is a rare opportunity – a true exclusive – to see what shapes the thought process of a partner and learn about marketing and strategy. The memoir essentially lays out McKinsey’s competitive advantage and explains how it can be neutralized. (Published by FIRMSconsulting.) One of the best business books if you are interested in marketing, strategy, how McKinsey and BCG operate, and overall in management consulting.
Turquoise Eyes started off the groundbreaking new genre developed by FIRMSconsulting that combines compelling narrative while teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills. Set after a bank begins implementing a new retail banking strategy, we follow Teresa García Ramírez de Arroyo, a director-general in the Mexican government, who has received some disturbing news. A whistleblower has emailed Teresa with troubling news about a mistake in the loan default calculations and reserve ratios. The numbers do not add up. The book loosely uses the logic and financial analyses in A Typical McKinsey Engagement, >270 videos.
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