Saturday, September 12, 2009

10 Free Leadership Video Sites

Once upon a time, in the “old days” of management development (it wasn’t even called leadership development), management training videos were often used in our programs. While some of them were good (classics like Meetings Bloody Meetings, The Abilene Paradox, Joel Barker’s Paradigms, anything Tom Peters, and of course the Muppet’s meeting openers), most of them were absolutely horrible.
The worst ones were the cheesy HR or OSHA compliance videos (i.e., harassment, office safety) featuring bad actors and completely unrealistic scenarios. It was hard not to laugh along with the audience. Although, I have to give Wendy's credit for at least trying to get creative with this 1989 training video called "Grill Skills".

They were also quite expensive, and still are. These aren’t the DVDs you purchase at Wal-Mart in the $5.00 bin - they can cost over $1000! But then again, you also get a facilitator guide and job aids so you can turn a 20 minute video into a 4 hour training program. (-:

Fast forward the wild and wacky world of Web 2.0 and free content. Sure, there’s still a lot of junk out there on Youtube, but there’s some pretty good stuff too. I tend to favor leadership videos that feature real leaders sharing their secrets, lessons learned, and best practices. Here are a few sites I’ve discovered and use now and then:

1. The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” videos
Well over a hundred good interviews with private and public sector leaders; about 4-6 minutes in length each.

2. The Wall Street Journal’s Lesson’s in Leadership
Similar to the Post’s platform, although many are less than 2 minutes.

3. BNETs’ videos
More of a “how to” collection, by trainers and consultants.

4. The Marshall Goldsmith Library Athena Online SmartBytes
While Athena is a fee based site, Marshall offers up his for free. Great for coaching!

5. Success Television
Hosted on YouTube, a lot of personal development, with some leadership.

6. American Express’s Open Forum
For business owners, lot’s of cutting edge expert interviews.

7. Harvard Business Review on YouTube
No need to spend $50,000 for a Harvard MBA… you can watch their star faculty for free!

8. TED: Ideas Worth Spreading
Very cool. Hi-tech, science, and business.

9. Fast Company TV
It’s, well, Fast Company… via video.

10. The Leadership Hub’s Hub TV
A leadership social networking site’s collection of leadership videos.

While I wouldn’t recommend any of these for a date night, they’re a great way to kill a little time at work, expand your own leadership horizons, or train and coach others.

Are there others that you would recommend? Or, what are some of the worst corporate training videos of all time?


Peg Rowe said...

Thanks for these resources. The funniest videos I remember featured John Cleese of Monty Python fame. The great thing was they were intended to be funny so laughing out loud was the expected response!

Debashish Brahma said...

Dear Dan,
Thanks for such a wonderful post.
With Warm Regards,

Halelly Azulay said...

I appreciate you sharing these! I am always on the lookout for these kinds of resources and how to avoid breaking copyright laws.

Terreeia said...

This is a great collection of sites thanks so much for posting this. TED and BNET are my favourites. I still haven't spent the $1000 for Who Moved My Cheese yet - it was timely and well done 'back in the day'
Great resource!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Saw another video over on the Barclays Commercial website called "Leadership in a recession"
Check it out:

Raj Sachde said...

Check this out.

INSEAD business School on YouTube.

Marvin said...

I love the TED videos -- Will definitely check out some of the other sites.

Anonymous said...

I will admit that I am part of generation why and I love shock value when I start to deliver a safety training and I use quick videos from worksafe bc (Canada's equivalent to Workers Comp)

I think they are a new take on safety videos... Scroll to the bottom of the page on the link to see the video... not sure why they don't pop up at the top of the page (maybe some technical difficulties on their end)

Andy said...

Hi Dan,

Thanks for these links, this is a really great resource. Especially love some of the stuff from Marshall Goldsmith.

The Fortune Group also offers some free clips from its leadership development and sales training systems on its website. You have to enter your name and email address to view, but we think that even these small pieces of content from our programs are still quite powerful.

Please have a look, would love to hear your thoughts.

Dean said...


Great list of leadership video sites - Open Forum is one my favourites...have you had a chance to check out MeetTheBoss.Tv?

They have a great set of Leadership videos - they recently interviewed Herbert Hainer CEO of Adidas. Worth checking out....

Jason said...

Hi. As an educator and trainer it is often a challenge to capture the attention of students or staff when commencing a course of training in management or leadership.
The distinctions between 'supervising', 'managing' and 'leading' are often difficult to articulate (and, in fact, seem to be quite blurry). People in, or aspiring to, leadership roles have to develop (and then juggle) many skills. Leaders have to be visionaries, motivators, planners, organisers, controllers, coaches, mentors....and all this while interacting with individuals - be they team members, clients....... or CATS!
I have used this commercial in the past as an icebreaker. It is useful to start discussion with a group.

Anonymous said...

Really insightful list, always love the TED talks!

just watched a really great video on leading the new generation with Rovio's(Angry Birds) Peter Vesterbacka
check it out:

Leaders In said...

Great list of video sites. Thanks.

As a company focused on providing free access to leadership videos we just couldn't help ourselves leave a comment here - please head to to watch free videos with the likes of Tom Peters, Daniel Goleman and Brian Tracy.

We hope that we make your great list one day - in the meantime very best wishes form the LeadersIn team.