35 Best Songs About Leadership & Great Leaders

Trying to come up with a song list about leadership and leaders truly makes you think of the qualities you look for in a good one. There are not many tracks out there about how a president or general leads, but there are plenty that describe the bravery, intelligence, and people skills it takes to make or become a great leader.

Here are 35 songs about leadership and the qualities of great leaders, so you know the things you need to have in order to become one or to help you find the motivation to lead your team to success.

1. Brave – Sara Bareilles 

Sara Bareilles - Brave (Official Video)

Pretty much any song from Sara Bareilles is going to make you feel empowered and motivate you to overcome whatever situation you’re facing. Brave is an incredible track about leadership because it describes the bravery needed to make tough decisions in life and be confident enough to exist in your own skin.

Leaders don’t get it right 100% of the time, nobody does. But making a decision, even if it’s unpopular, takes a certain level of bravery that some people just don’t have. A great leader has no issues with that, which is why this is one of the most important qualities of being a good one.

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2. Man in The Mirror – Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror (Official Video)

Some songs just hit all the right notes. The real beauty of Michael Jackson’s Man In The Mirror is that he comes to terms with himself in the track, learning to love himself despite his shortcomings and resolving himself to become the best version of himself possible. Leaders need to be able to look in the mirror and evaluate themselves objectively from time to time, keeping their egos in check despite their position and always maintaining the standards that they expect from others. 

3. All Star – Smash Mouth 

Smash Mouth - All Star (Official Music Video)

All Star by Smash Mouth might not be the first song you think of when you think of an effective leader. For me, the first thing that comes to mind is its use in the film Shrek. However, that doesn’t keep it from being a track about leadership. A great leader judges people based on their abilities, not prejudices.

This song tells listeners that anyone can have the ability to become the best as long as they stay humble and work hard. It’s exactly the sort of thing a leader would want to instill in their followers. 

4. Unstoppable – The Score 

The Score - Unstoppable (Lyric Video)

Unstoppable is ridiculously motivational, to the point that it will make you feel like you can run through a brick wall. This is exactly the kind of motivation and belief a leader should be able to instill in the people they’re trying to lead. The song itself is a great indie rock track that talks about overcoming tough times and remaining optimistic in the face of overwhelming odds. Leaders should be able to make people feel like they can achieve their goals, even when things aren’t going their way.

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5. Fearless – Jasmine Murray 

Fearless - [Lyric Video] Jasmine Murray

One of the things that help leaders draw people to them is their confidence. They should be oozing confidence, to the point that their confidence can make up for the lack of confidence in others, inspiring them to achieve great things. Jasmine Murray’s Fearless describes exactly the kind of bravery and confidence a good leader needs. It tells us that conquering the things that make us doubt ourselves comes with an incredible feeling of accomplishment, something that on its own can help motivate you on a down day. 

6. Run The World (Girls) – Beyoncé 

Beyoncé - Run the World (Girls) (Official Video)

Beyoncé’s Run The World (Girls) is as iconic a pop song as you’ll find, but it still contains some great messages about leadership. Stepping into a leadership role takes confidence, and this unapologetic anthem of female empowerment might just be the thing that helps you do it. It’s all about the things women can do for themselves, messages that a great leader would be instilling in their female followers. 

7. I’m Gonna Be Somebody – Travis Tritt 

I'm Gonna Be Somebody

It’s hard to achieve big success in this world. Scraping by is something just about everyone can do, but making something of yourself is a challenge. In spite of the bad odds and the hand you’re dealt, the people who make it are the ones who believe in themselves. Travis Tritt captures that belief perfectly in his song I’m Gonna Be Somebody, a track that acknowledges that the chances of him reaching fame are low, but he still believes that he can do it through hard work and perseverance. 

8. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself – Jess Glynne

Jess Glynne - Don't Be So Hard On Yourself [Official Video]

Failure is a stepping stone on the path to success, but many give up when they’ve failed enough times. It’s always important to remember that nobody is perfect and that mistakes will be made, even when you’re in a leadership position. Jess Glynne’s song Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself is the perfect reminder to not take your mistakes too hard, instead, use them to inform your decisions on the next chance you get. It’s the perfect track for those who feel like they’ve taken on too much. 

9. Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys 

Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire (Official Video)

Girl On Fire was an international hit single for Alicia Keys thanks to the empowering nature of the lyrics and the unique production value of the song. The track is all about self-discovery and new beginnings, eventually finding the power within yourself and using it to help others improve themselves as well. 

10. Heal The World – Michael Jackson 

Michael Jackson - Heal The World (Official Video)

We’re running it back with another amazing song from Michael Jackson. Heal The World is one of his most heartfelt tracks, describing that we can lead better lives as individuals, and the culmination of that can heal a lot of wounds in the world. When we come together as communities, we’re able to improve the situation of others, but it takes a great leader to make that happen. Be bold, act with intent, and always do right by others. 

11. Confident – Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato - Confident (Official Video)

Another trait of good leaders is finding new reserves of confidence as new challenges make themselves known. They don’t get knocked down or defeated just because something new pops up in life; they take it head-on. Demi Lovato’s song Confident is the perfect song to help revitalize yourself when it feels like life won’t stop throwing things at you. It tells you to take pride in how far you’ve made it and the abilities you have, always being positive that you can handle whatever comes your way. 

12. Get Up, Stand Up – Bob Marley

Bob Marley - Get Up, Stand Up (Live at Munich, 1980)

Get Up, Stand Up would go on to become an iconic standard of the reggae genre after it was written by Bob Marley in 1973. Seeing the tremendous level of poverty in Haiti, he was inspired to call for better leadership to help people find equality and a better standard of living. Sometimes, leadership calls for you to stand up to an established status quo to make a change, and great leaders are willing to do it for others. 

13. Not All Heroes Wear Capes – Owl City 

Owl City - Not All Heroes Wear Capes

Adam Young wrote Not All Heroes Wear Capes to honor his father. For him, his father was a hero in spite of not getting the public recognition he probably deserved. All leaders should be ready and willing to serve, taking on challenges whether or not they receive any accolades, awards, or even appreciation for their efforts. Overall, this is a great song that embodies the work a good leader is willing to put in and the impact it can have on the people looking up to them. 

14. Leadership – HoodratHippy 

Here’s a song that actually has leadership in the title. HoodratHippy describes the real purposes of a leader while calling out the people who exploit their leadership positions for personal gain in Leadership. A great leader uses their position to help others, not further their own agendas. 

15. The Champion – Carrie Underwood feat. Ludacris 

Carrie Underwood - The Champion ft. Ludacris (Official Music Video)

Carrie Underwood and Ludacris might seem like an unlikely pair, but when the two teamed up for The Champion, they produced one of the best songs ever about leaders. This one is mainly focused on athletes rising to the top of their sport, but the definition of a champion given in the track sounds a lot like a good leader. Never quitting when a task is challenging, always striving for greatness, and being willing to put in the work to achieve your goals are all classic traits of leaders. 

16. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Daft Punk

Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger (Official Video)

Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger might be the most danceable track on this entire list. It serves as an amazing confidence booster that tells listeners that they will continue to evolve and grow as time passes by. It’s a waste of time to focus on the negative, always keep looking forward to achieving your goals. That’s exactly the sort of message a great leader will pass on. 

17. You Gotta Be – Des’ree

The best leaders aren’t stoic, but they keep their emotions in check. I mean, who would want to follow someone who loses their temper when things don’t go exactly to plan or can’t work with someone they don’t like? Des’ree’s You Gotta Be embodies that kind of even-keeled personality, the ability to remain strong in the face of adversity and keep your cool in social situations that would otherwise make you blow your top. 

18. Unstoppable – Sia 

Sia - Unstoppable (Official Video - Live from the Nostalgic For The Present Tour)

We had a couple of different choices from Sia to put on our list, but Unstoppable is probably the best one we could have chosen. A great leader will make their followers feel unstoppable, able to take any challenge head-on without being torn to shreds in the process.

She talks about having an unbreakable armor that allows you to always push toward your goals, with the only person able to stop you being yourself. Even if you have moments of weakness, never giving up and instilling that feeling in others are amazing qualities of a great leader. 

19. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship

Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (Official Music Video) [HD]

Sometimes, you just need a good motivational song to make you or your subordinates feel unstoppable. Starship’s rock ballad Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now is exactly that. It’s all about joining together to achieve goals that would be impossible as individuals, a type of teamwork that any great leader should instill in the people working under them. 

20. Hey Look Ma, I Made It – Panic! At the Disco 

Panic! At The Disco: Hey Look Ma, I Made It [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Hey Look Ma, I Made It by Panic! At The Disco is the perfect song for anyone on the road to greatness who is troubled by their failures along the way. This pop-punk track is the perfect way to express how failures happen along the road to success, but they’re one of the most important things that will happen to you. Failure shapes who you are, but it’s your decision whether you let it defeat you or make you into a better person. 

21. Everyday Superhero – Smash Mouth 

And once again, we turn our attention to Smash Mouth. Their song Everyday Superhero is for people who feel like they aren’t special. It’s a track that helps uplift people and see their potential for greatness. Even if you’re average, you can still have a profound impact on others. And these kinds of lessons are exactly the thing a great leader will instill in the people following them. 

22. Roar – Katy Perry 

Katy Perry’s Roar is about standing up and announcing to the world that you can handle anything and you’re going to reach your goals. It’s exactly the sort of song that inspires others to conquer the obstacles laid forth in front of them and always get back up when they get knocked down. The track itself feels like a motivational speech coming from a great leader’s mouth, making it an amazing song about leadership and a great track for you to listen to when you need some added motivation. 

23. Speechless – Naomi Scott

Naomi Scott - Speechless (from Aladdin) (Official Video)

Speechless was one of the best tracks to come from Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin in 2019. Naomi Scott’s song was a massive track of female empowerment, celebrating women’s abilities to speak their minds and have an impact on their surroundings. While people attempt to shut her out in the movie, she decides to be a leader, challenging the status quo and making her own dreams a reality through sheer willpower and ability. 

24. Whatever It Takes – Imagine Dragons 

Imagine Dragons - Whatever It Takes (Official Music Video)

Imagine Dragons have produced some inspiring songs in their day, but Whatever It Takes is the one that embodies a great leader the most. It illustrates the way a great leader commits to supporting the people following them and achieving their goals. No matter what happens, or what sacrifices the leader needs to make, they’re willing to do it to help the people following them. 

25. Keep On Pushing – The Impressions

Keep On Pushing might be a throwback from the oldies era of music, but it’s just as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1964. The song is a classic about always pushing towards your goals, no matter how small a step you have to take for now. A good leader is committed to a goal and won’t rest until they help their team achieve it, always pushing forward. 

26. You Can Make It If You Try – Sly And The Family Stone

You Can Make It If You Try

You Can Make It If You Try is an encouraging song that lets listeners know that they can achieve their goals if they actually start trying. Many people are paralyzed by the fear of failure, never attempting the things they want to do. A great leader helps people through that, calling them to action and assuring them that they can do it if they just try. 

27. Not Afraid – Eminem 

Eminem - Not Afraid

Eminem isn’t the first person you think of when you try to think of a great leader. You might not even think of him as a reasonable person. But his single Not Afraid from his Recovery album is exactly the sort of song a great leader should live up to. It describes his recovery from substance abuse and becoming a present father. The chorus of the track is all about taking a stand for the things he believes in, something any good leader will be able to do regardless of the consequences. 

28. Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed – Shania Twain

Shania Twain - Swingin' With My Eyes Closed

Taking a swing at something, even if you don’t know what your chances are is the only way to achieve your goals. Shania Twain captures this notion well in Swingin’ With My Eyes Closed, a song about taking chances when you can, because your time to act is limited. 

29. Big Boss Man – Elvis Presley 

What would a list of songs about great leaders be if we didn’t include any about the qualities that make leaders bad? Elvis Presley’s Big Boss Man talks about all the things that can go wrong in the workplace, mainly revolving around labor rights like working conditions, hours, and respect from leadership. The Big Boss Man in the track is everything you don’t want in a boss, so this song serves as a great reminder to leaders about who they should strive not to be. 

30. Stand – Rascal Flatts 

Rascal Flatts - Stand

Stand is one of Rascal Flatts’ best songs despite being vastly underrated even by their fans. It’s all about being able to overcome challenges and standing strong in the face of adversity. No matter how many times you fail and fall, a great leader is going to stand back up and rise to the challenge. It’s an uplifting track that’s perfect for anyone who’s struggling right now. 

31. Doubt – Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige - Doubt (Official)

Even the greatest leaders of all time had doubts, whether that was about themselves, the feasibility of their goals, or the people following them. Mary J. Blige’s Doubt is an anthem of confidence that addresses the unique challenges women and minorities face when trying to achieve their goals. It embodies the confidence and ability to press on that any great leader has, overcoming their own doubts to achieve a worthy goal. 

32. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees

Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive (Official Video)

Stayin’ Alive might have been meant as a club banger, but it still evokes incredible leadership qualities. Challenging norms and taking on challenges is one of the main things a great leader knows how to do. This song is all about taking on dynamic and changing circumstances, making sure to press on even when things get hard. 

33. Go The Distance – Michael Bolton 

We’re continuing the Disney trend here with Michael Bolton’s Go The Distance, appearing in the 1997 film Hercules. It’s about the narrator trying to find their place in the world, but knowing they’re going to face all kinds of challenges as they make something of themselves. The song relays that going the distance means finding the strength to never stop trying to reach your goals and to not accept defeat without trying again. 

34. Eight Easy Steps – Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette - Eight Easy Steps (Official Video)

Eight Easy Steps is a cautionary tale from Alanis Morissette. It describes plenty of things she’s done in her life that she warns listeners not to do, hoping to lead them to a better place in their relationships or their lives. All great leaders use their own experiences to relate to others, hopefully helping them avoid some of the same pitfalls they have fallen into on their own journey. 

35. Superheroes – The Script

The Script - Superheroes (Official Video)

A great leader reaches the status of a superhero to their followers. They’ll follow a great leader to the ends of the earth because of their belief in that person, knowing that they’ve overcome the very hardships they are now trying to help other people overcome. The Script captures this perfectly in their song Superheroes, embodying what makes an effective leader who can bring out the best in their followers.

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