Updated date:

55 Motivational Leadership Songs

FlourishAnyway believes there is a playlist for just about any situation and is on a mission to unite and entertain the world through song.

Boost your self-motivation or rev up an entire team you’re leading with this motivational leadership playlist of pop, rock, and country songs!

Boost your self-motivation or rev up an entire team you’re leading with this motivational leadership playlist of pop, rock, and country songs!

Songs for Leaders to Inspire and Motivate

You're that lucky leader of a work project, sports team, or local organization who has the unenviable challenge of transforming a mild-mannered, self-doubting group into an invincible force to be reckoned with. Doing so requires that you do the following things well:

  • build their confidence
  • inspire them to work hard in the direction of challenging goals
  • strive for excellence and
  • encourage them to rely on each other for support.

Music can play a key role in kicking motivation into high gear, whether you're inciting one individual, a small team, or an entire nation to act. Select songs that fit your occasion, specific message, and organizational culture. We have a long list of pop, rock, and country motivational leadership songs that will do just the trick.

Reader Perspective

1. "Unstoppable" by The Score

Embrace your mission and go crush the competition. The pulsing beat of this 2016 indie rock song plus its esprit de corp lyrics make it the perfect mantra for a sales meeting (or any situation in which a leader needs to galvanize the troops to positive action). The song encourages the rest of the team with the message that they "can be heroes," "have all that we ever want," and that nothing can keep them down. The 2017 World Series of Poker featured "Unstoppable" as its theme song.

2. "Brave" by Sara Bareilles

Unleash your inner power. The message of this pop ballad from 2013 is uplifting and encouraging. One person provides the needed motivational push to another to be their best by inspiring them to cast fear aside, start speaking up and sharing more of their amazing selves with the world. That's bravery!

3. "Dog Days Are Over" by Florence + The Machine

This powerful, pounding survival anthem from 2008 is a resounding "woo-hoo" that one has made it through the worst of times and now faces a brighter future. Come on, who wouldn't want happiness to smack into them like a freight train or to hit them like a bullet in the back? Hello, better times!

The dog days are over
The dog days are done
Can you hear the horses
'Cause here they come!

4. "Confident" by Demi Lovato

If you need to rev yourself (or your team) up before a big presentation, then make listening to this commanding 2015 pop song part of your preparation strategy. It's your game, and you run this show. Own your confidence then drop the freaking mic.

5. "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree

How adept are you at adapting to change? This catchy pop song was an international hit in 1994 and made Des'ree one of the many one-hit wonders of the 1990s. (Hey, it's better than being a no-hit wonder, am I right?)

The song upholds the value of interpersonal agility the quality of being tough and strong in some situations and cool and calm in other situations. Change happens. Leaders champion flexibility as a coping mechanism.

6. "Get'cha Head in the Game" by Zac Efron

If you're gonna win big, you can't expect success to just fall in your lap. You have to make it happen, and that will require concentration.

Get your head in the game. This pop song is from the 2006 High School Musical motion picture soundtrack, and it gives the supremely useful advice to focus on the task, minimize distractions, and take appropriate chances. Go ahead and unleash your effort and energy in the name of winning!

7. "I'm Gonna Be Somebody" by Travis Tritt

Successful people know that it often takes years of striving before you're finally at the top of your game. This 1990 country song will motivate you to continually work hard and pay your dues so you can achieve the accolades you deserve.

The song describes a young singer who aspires to stardom even though his dreams are a long shot. When others try to dissuade him, he doubles down, relying on the confidence that all of his hard work will be worth it one day:

Late at night you could hear him say, he'd say
I'm gonna be somebody
One of these days I'm gonna break these chains
I'm gonna be somebody someday
You can bet your hard-earned dollar I will.

"Don't give up. Don't lose hope. Don't sell out." - Christopher Reeve, American actor

"Don't give up. Don't lose hope. Don't sell out." - Christopher Reeve, American actor

8. "Hey, Look Ma I Made It" by Panic! At the Disco

Hey, look Ma, I made it
Hey, look Ma, I made it
Everything's comin' up aces, aces
If it's a dream, don't wake me, don't wake me
I said, Hey, look Ma, I made it.

Are you living your dream? Brendon Urie, the lead vocalist for Panic! At the Disco, describes how challenging it is to make your mark on the world and stay true to your passion, especially in a competitive industry. Distractions, hardships, and people who don't want the best for you can easily trip you up. Don't let them mess with your mojo.

This contagious 2019 pop song is ultimately about resilience on the uneasy road to success. Strong leaders demonstrate that both failures and triumphs can be valuable. It's the struggle and what you learn along way that make you who you are.

9."The Champion" by Carrie Underwood (featuring Lucacris)

You may be a 9-to-5er, but I bet you're not just another guy (or gal) in Accounting, Sales, or Maintenance. Nope. Look in that mirror and tell yourself that you're a badass who was Born. To. Win. Then drop and give us a couple of push-ups because you, my indomitable friend, have "CHAMPION" written all over.

When leaders want to pump up the troops and motivate them to exert extra effort, it helps to inspire them to believe that the power of the possible resides deep within. This 2018 pop song will do just that:

I am invincible, unbreakable
Unstoppable, unshakable
They knock me down, I get up again
I am the champion.

10. "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us" by Starship

And we can build this thing together
Stand this stormy weather
Nothing's gonna stop us now.

Whether you're a part of a married couple, a sports team, or a workgroup, people who line up on the same side have to stick together against the odds if they want good results. Use this 1987 rock song to reinforce common goals and the importance of a shared vision.

11. "Go Big or Go Home" by American Authors

What began as a sales mantra in the 1990s has become a life philosophy for some people, and this 2015 upbeat rock song celebrates it. "Go big or go home" means to either abandon all self-control and invest your maximum energy and effort into attaining a goal or don't attempt the goal at all. Does the all-or-nothing strategy motivate you?

12. "Unwritten" by Natasha Bedingfield

The very dead Greek philosopher Epictetus famously said, "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters." This uplifting 2004 pop tune encourages you to "live your life with arms wide open" starting now by embracing the opportunities of life. You have the power to write your own story, and a great leader will help you to become your best.

13. "With My Own Two Hands" by Ben Harper

What have you done to make the world a better place? Leaders can stir each of us to make the world a better place than how we found it—brighter, safer, kinder. This up-tempo, reggae-infused tune from 2002 features a narrator who is using his own two hands to build a better future. He advocates that you do the same. Are you up to the task?

14. "You Can Make It If You Try" by Sly & The Family Stone

Who wouldn't want an extra boost of confidence in the form of this buoyant message? The 1969 funk-tinged tune reminds you that yes, you can make it if you try. Go get what's coming to you in this world by extending your best effort. The rewards will be worth it.

15. "Whatever It Takes" by Imagine Dragons

We live in a dangerous world full of negativity, according to this 2017 pop song that is filled with adrenaline. Even so, if you maintain steadfast commitment to your goal, then you can overcome obstacles and naysayers that threaten to hold you back. Be bold and don't be afraid to go all-in. Break those chains that encumber you because you were born for this.

16. "You've Got To Stand For Something" by Aaron Tippin

Taking a stand on important issues—especially high stakes and controversial ones—is sometimes necessary. The man in this compelling 1990 country song recounts his father's moral leadership in standing up for what he believed in. There were certain values he'd go to the mat for, and the narrator wishes that more people demonstrated his father's honorable refusal to comprise his integrity.

The narrator's father left him with this sage counsel:

You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
You've got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything.

17. "Dream On" by Aerosmith

We are each driven to make our mark on the world, and I bet you are no exception. This classic rock power ballad from 1973 encourages the listener to pay their dues in life and to passionately chase after their dreams, particularly since there's no guarantee of tomorrow. "Dream until your dreams come true."

Although lead singer Stephen Tyler wrote the song when he was only 17 years old, it became the band's signature song and Aerosmith's first major hit. "Dream On" is one of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is listed on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

18. "Hall of Fame" by The Script featuring will.i.am

Motivate yourself to go further or psych up the whole room with this invigorating pop hit from 2012. The tune saw worldwide success for both its energy and upbeat message. It spurs listeners to set a personal vision, master the skills needed to achieve their goals, and never give up. Do it for a genuine reason, whether people, pride, reputation, or country, but do it NOW rather than waiting for luck and the perfect moment. If you apply yourself you can accomplish mindbending feats and go down in history.

19. "Never Give Up" by Sia

One of my favorite sayings is a Japanese proverb about dogged determination, "Fall down seven times, stand up eight," and that refusal to give up is what this 2016 inspirational pop song by Sia is about.

Although the narrator is haunted by failure and suffers setbacks on her quest, she understands that she holds the power to triumph in the end. Leaders encourage others to work through great difficulty. They also model the behavior themselves by demonstrating a passion to succeed in the face of challenge.

20. "Get Along" by Kenny Chesney

We are all unified by similar goals to enjoy our lives as well as our relationships with friends and family. Great leaders can find common bonds and bring people together. This folksy 2018 country song urges listeners to find some way to connect with others in a positive way amidst strife and find common ground. In the end, all we have is each other.

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often." - Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker

"I've found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often." - Brian Tracy, Canadian-American motivational speaker

Even More Leadership & Motivation Songs

SongArtistYear Released

21. Girl on Fire

Alicia Keys

2012

22. I Won't Back Down

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

1989

23. Ain't No Stopping Us Now

McFadden & Whitehead

1979

24. Push It to the Limit

Paul Engemann

1983

25. When You Believe

Mariah Carey (featuring Whitney Houston)

1998

26. Fight Song

Rachel Platten

2015

27. Don’t Stop Believin'

Journey

1981

28. Keep On Pushing

The Impressions

1964

29. O-o-h Child

The Stairsteps

1970

30. Roar

Katy Perry

2013

31. Gonna Fly Now (Theme Song from Rocky)

Bill Conti

1977

32. Firework

Katy Perry

2010

33. Hero

Mariah Carey

1993

34. The Climb

Miley Cyrus

2009

35. Keep Your Head Up

Andy Grammer

2011

36. Eye of the Tiger

Survivor

1982

37. Marchin On

OneRepublic

2010

38. We Are the Champions

Queen

1977

39. You've Got Another Thing Comin'

Judas Priest

1982

40. Unstoppable

Sia

2016

41. Unstoppable

The Him

2019

42. The Distance

Cake

1996

43. Livin' on a Prayer

Bon Jovi

1986

44. The Middle

Jimmy Eat World

2001

45. (We Could Be) Heroes

Alesso (featuring Tove Lo)

2014

46. Stand

Rascal Flatts

2007

47. Fire Under My Feet

Leon Lewis

2015

48. Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Daft Punk

2007

49. Stamina

Sia (featuring Kendrick Lamar)

2016

50. Roll with It

Oasis

1995

51. You Get What You Give

New Radicals

1998

52. Hold Your Head Up

Argent

1972

53. Standing Outside the Fire

Garth Brooks

1993

54. Brave

Nichole Nordeman

2005

55. High Hopes

Frank Sinatra

1959

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 FlourishAnyway

Comments

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on June 25, 2020:

Anupam - Thank you for your kind comment. Have a wonderful week.

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 24, 2020:

This list I am going to preserve for ever. Lots of love dear. I am going through each and every sing in this list and a few might be my favourite.

Robert Sacchi on May 23, 2020:

A little dated but what about "High Hopes" by Frank Sinatra. It's completely different from the Kodaline song?

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on September 01, 2019:

Devika - I'm glad you are writing again. Thanks for stopping by to leave a comment.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 01, 2019:

You enjoy the song lists and i too from my perspective. I haven't been around a lot to leave comments. Glad you have created a bundle of song lists.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Genna - I love that one too. It can really rev a person up to face the challenge of the day or the challenge of their life. Have a wonderful week ahead!

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on August 11, 2019:

I just love this series, Flourish. I could read these and listen to the music all day. Imagine Dragons' song is my pic of the day. Happy Sunday!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on August 11, 2019:

Peggy - Thanks for stopping by. I hope you were able to find some that you enjoy.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on August 10, 2019:

The choice of music can definitely affect our mood, and it is interesting how it can be used to motivate whether in a work environment, shopping environment, religious environment as well as others. You have assembled quite a long list of songs in this post. Good job!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 31, 2019:

Billie - Thanks for stopping by! Have a great week!

Billie Raucci from Illinois on July 31, 2019:

Great list.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 30, 2019:

Nithya - I like that one a lot as well -- very motivating! Hope you have a wonderful week!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 29, 2019:

A great list of motivational songs. "Whatever It Takes" by Imagine Dragons is my favorite, it always gets my spirit soaring.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 29, 2019:

Kaili - Thanks for the suggestions. I put "Hold Your Head Up" on the list at #52. Great advice for anyone. Have a great week.

Kaili Bisson from Canada on July 29, 2019:

Great list as always Flourish!

May I suggest "Hold Your Head Up" by Argent and a Canadian content suggestion, "Rise Up" by Parachute Club.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 29, 2019:

Heidi - I'll be in line for Top Gun 2 as well! I sure hope it's not a disappointment. I love your twist on "me" in team. I've always preferred to be an independent contributor, too.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 28, 2019:

Eliza - High five and a huge THANK YOU for these suggestions, many of which I added! I'm so glad you offered these up.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 28, 2019:

Bill - Thanks for the nice comment. We can all do with a little jump start motivation from time to time. Have a great week!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 28, 2019:

Mary - Thanks for stopping by. We should all have a self-motivation playlist to pump ourselves up. There's nothing like hearing "We Are the Champions" before some high stakes presentation to give you confidence to go kick it.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 28, 2019:

Linda - Psychological studies show that even when we don't realize it music can make us hurry or slow down, impact our mood, and affect us in other ways.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 28, 2019:

Hi Flourish. Great list of motivational songs. We all need a little lift every now and then a good upbeat song will usually do the trick. Well done, have a great day.

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on July 28, 2019:

Of course, Queen's "We are the Champions" is on my list.

And, as usual, going all 80s, we always thought Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" from Top Gun was motivating. Maybe it was because of the movie. You can bet I'll be going to Top Gun 2. :)

But you know which in the list runs through my head most? Roar by Katy Perry. Don't know why.

Also, in the poll, I'm a one-woman show. So leadership for me is "thought leadership" in my network of colleagues and friends. Maybe that's the ME in TEAM? :)

Another leading playlist! Happy Sunday!

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on July 27, 2019:

These songs are great. The one that never fails to me up when I am down is, We Are the Champions.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 27, 2019:

Some music can be very motivational. It's interesting that the right piece of music can improve our mood. Thanks for sharing the videos.

Eliza Day on July 27, 2019:

Again me, some more ideas here:

1. Europe - The Final Countdown

2. Sia - Unstoppable

3. The Him - Unstoppable

4. Flo Rida, Nelly Furtado - Jump

5. Kat Deluna - Unstoppable

6. Demi Lovato - Skryscraper

7. Betty Wright - No Pain (No Gain)

8. Fountains Of Wayne - Bright Future in Sales

9. Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance

10. Frank Sinatra - My Way

11. Janelle Monae, Big Boi - Tightrope

12. Cake - The Distance

13. George Benson - Never Give Up on a Good Thing

14. Dolly Parton - 9 to 5

15. Sister Sledge - We Are Family

16. Dave Mason - Let It Go, Let It Flow

17. Incubus - Drive

18. Bon Jovi - Livin' On A Prayer

19. Macklemore, Ryan Lewis - Can't Hold Us

20. Jimmy Eat World - The Middle

21. Alesso, Tove Lo - Heroes (we could be)

22. Rascall Flatts - Stand

23. Kodaline - High Hopes

24. Scorpions - No Pain No Gain

25. Demi Lovato - Skyscraper

26. New Radicals - You Get What You Give

27. The Offspring - You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

28. Oasis - Roll with It

29. The Greatest Showman Cast - Come Alive

30. Shakira - Try Everything

31. Florence + The Machine - Shake It Out

32. Sia, Kendrick Lamar - The Greatest

33. Fifth Harmony - Boss

34. AC/DC - It's a Long Way to the Top

35. The Pussycat Dolls - Takin' Over The World

36. Daft Punk - Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 27, 2019:

Liz - Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Liz Westwood from UK on July 26, 2019:

Motivational songs can have a positive impact on mood and determination to press on and succeed. You have collated an interesting playlist.

Robert Sacchi on July 26, 2019:

You're welcome.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

Dora - Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you found a song that resonated. Have a wonderful weekend!

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

Linda - It's so hard to believe the ages of some of the classic rockers like Steven Tyler, Elton John, and Rod Stewart. I saw Elton John in concert a few years ago and he still had it. Same goes for the other guys. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 26, 2019:

I like Carrie Underwood's lyrics. I could imagine passionate young people singing the song. Good for older folks too.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

Bill - Thanks for the suggestion. I added it. Hope you are doing well.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

Pamela - Thank you for your support. One of the most motivational leaders I had used fun ways to encourage the team and it worked.

FlourishAnyway (author) from USA on July 26, 2019:

Bob - Thanks for the Queen addition. The other song I added to the playlist of songs about survival and perseverance in the face of challenge. I appreciate you!

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on July 26, 2019:

Flourish, I love this topic and I'll be using these as my background music today (much needed).

When I read the title of this article, my first thought was Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." The lyrics speak of rebounding from a broken relationship, but the refrain shouts strength and survival. The Seattle Children's Hospital oncology unit created a music video a few years ago using that recording and it's very moving and powerful. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihGCj5mfCk8)

Believe it or not, I know almost every one of these. I'm a fan of the big-hair bands of old, so glad you put Journey in there. My absolute favorite though is "Dream On" by Aerosmith. (At the age of 71 Steven Tyler can STILL hit that high note).

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 26, 2019:

How about "We Are the Champions" by Queen? Does that relate? Kind of...it's the first thing I thought of.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 26, 2019:

As always, you found a large variety of good songs about leadership. I think we all want to succeed in one way or another, so maybe listening to this uplifting music our goals may be met. Very good article Flourish!

Robert Sacchi on July 25, 2019:

Another great theme and list. Consider, "We are The Champions" by Queen and "Faith of the Heart" by Rod Stewart.

Related Articles