In 2019, we brought you a list of the top books that inspired our portfolio company CEOs to be great leaders and build great businesses. Well, after 2020 – a year of endless screen time – our eyes hurt, so we’re turning up the volume on podcasts

Here are 28 podcasts that help the LLR team and our portfolio company leaders think bigger, think deeper, or help them take a break from thinking altogether. 

Wishing you good health and happiness in the new year.


28 Podcast Recommendations from CEOs and Investors

Private-equity backed CEOs and the LLR Partners team share the podcasts that have helped them learn about topics from the economy to music to racial injustice, as well as unwind from the grind of 2020.

See the list of links at the bottom to check out more details and listen to each podcast. 

Here is where you can find out more about each podcast and listen:


  • The Daily from The New York Times: Daily news podcast based on the New York Times’ reporting of the day with interviews of its journalists.
  • Up First by NPR: The three biggest stories of the day, with reporting and analysis from NPR News in 10 minutes. 
  • Robinhood Snacks with Jack Kramer and Nick Martell: Digestible financial news with an entertaining breakdown of the top 3 business stories in 15 minutes.

Business, Economy & Investing

  • Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy: Exploring the ideas, methods, and stories of people that will help you better invest your time and money. 
  • Think Like an Economist with Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers: Introduces you to the big ideas in economics, and show how you can apply them to live in your own life, uncovering the economic forces that shape the world around you. 
  • Business Wars by Wondery: The unauthorized, real story of what drives the biggest brand names and their leaders, inventors, investors and executives to new heights — or to ruin. 
  • How I Built This with Guy Raz: The stories behind some of the world’s best known companies, weaving a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs and idealists—and the movements they built.
  • Secrets of Wealthy Women by the WSJ: Women executives, workplace pioneers, self-made entrepreneurs, industry trendsetters and money-savvy experts reveal insights on how to get ahead, reach your goals, and achieve professional success.
  • The #HCBiz Show! with Don Lee and Shahid Shah: An exploration of the business of healthcare.


  • Uncivil by Jack Hitt and Chenjerai Kumanyika: Gimlet Media’s history podcast telling untold stories of the Civil War, connecting the forgotten struggles to today’s political battlefield.
  • Seeing White by Scene on Radio: Explore the history and meaning of whiteness, the construction of race and how racism continues to function in American society.
  • MEN from Scene on Radio: Deep dive into issues central to American society, including exploring the past and present of sexism and patriarchy. 
  • Against the Rules with Michael Lewis: The author of Liar’s Poker and Moneyball looks at what’s happened to fairness, from lending practices and college admissions to sports and or psychological well-being. Who are the people trying to level the playing field, and are they making an impact? 
  • Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard: Celebrate the messiness of being human by exploring celebrities and other people’s stories, focused on the challenges and setbacks that ultimately lead to growth and betterment. 
  • American Scandal by Wondery: From business and politics to sports and society, a look at the corruption, deceit and ambition that brings down heroes and celebrities, politicians and moguls.

Arts & Entertainment

  • Broken Record: Top musicians talk about their life, inspiration, and craft. Then play.
  • Dissect: Examines a single music album per season, forensically dissecting the music, lyrics, and meaning of one song per episode.
  • Fresh Air from NPR: Weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, featuring intimate conversations with today’s biggest luminaries.
  • Literally with Rob Lowe: Actor Rob Lowe talks with guests from the world of movies, TV, sports, music, and culture for fun, wide-ranging, free-wheeling conversations, including growing up in Hollywood in the 1980’s.
  • Conan O’Brien Needs A FriendA weekly opportunity for Conan to hang out with the people he enjoys most and perhaps find some real friendship along the way.
  • From My Home To Yours with Bruce Springsteen: Springsteen selects songs from his personal collection, speaks to the artists and shares his thoughts about the times we’re living in.


  • The Lowe Post from ESPN: ESPN’s Zach Lowe talks to various basketball people about various basketball things.
  • The Bill Simmons Podcast from HBO and The Ringer: HBO and The Ringer’s Bill Simmons hosts the most downloaded sports podcast of all time, with a rotating crew of celebrities, athletes, media staples and others.
  • The Old Man & the Three: Launching from inside the NBA bubble, New Orleans Pelicans Guard JJ Redick and co-host Tommy Alter offer unprecedented access to the league while telling the stories of an eclectic rotating group of guests.

Science & Legal

  • Sidedoor by The Smithsonian: With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers, and astrophysicists, Sidedoor sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else.
  • Radiolab’s More Perfect from WNYC Studios: Exploration of how cases inside the rarefied world of the Supreme Court affect our lives far away from the bench.
  • Case in Point by the UPenn Carey Law School: An in-depth look at how law, society, and culture and how the law touches every part of our lives.
  • WSJ’s The Future of Everything: In-depth look at how science and technology are revolutionizing the way we live, work and play.