TED Talks were conceived by Richard Saul Wurman in February 1984. If you’re not familiar with them, they are a series of short presentations/talks about a wide variety of topics. They are available for free and delivered by some of the world’s best speakers.
Each talk is limited to 18 minutes and speakers most often talk from memory as opposed to notes, which makes them more engaging. Talks can inform, inspire and entertain.
In this post, I’m sharing ten of the most relevant TED Talks for leaders in business, starting with one of my favourite speakers, Simon Sinek.
1. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
In the 17-minute video below, Sinek explores how leaders can inspire co-operation, trust and change. He discusses how successful people and businesses differ based on how they focus on the three questions: what, how and why. Most of us have the wrong focus when we try to promote new products or ideas.
2. Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
In this 18-minute talk, Dan Pink, a career analyst, examines how you can increase motivation and productivity in your company. He starts with the fact that traditional rewards such as money aren’t always as effective as you think.
3. Tony Robbins: Why Do We Do What We Do
Next up we have motivation speaker Tony Robbins. In his Ted Talk, Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions. Plus, watch out for his high five with Al Gore in the front row.
4. Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work
If you’re looking to do your best work, where do you go to do it? Jason Fried states that it’s probably not your workplace which is full of distractions. The two key ones are meetings and managers, or as he refers to them — the M&Ms. In his TED Talk, Fried offers three suggestions to help make the workplace actually work.
Related: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work
5. Seth Godin: How to Get Your Ideas Spread
Seth Godin is an award-winning blogger, entrepreneur and popular author. His blog is full of short but insightful posts on a wide variety of topics. In his Ted Talk, Godin explains why spreading ideas should be part of your winning business strategy. According to Godin, those who successfully spread ideas are the ones who can actually implement changes. Godin covers the effects mass media has had on the spread of ideas. Learn what causes ideas to spread and how you can use the spread of ideas for your own business marketing.
6. Susan Cain: The Power Of Introverts
Susan Cain is a speaker and author of the popular book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her TED Talk, Cain explains what it’s like to be an introvert and builds a compelling case for the contributions that introverts make. Susan Cain argues introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world and should be encouraged and celebrated. Some of the most transformative leaders in history have been introverts including Gandi, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt.
7. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Shawn Achor is a speaker and author of several books including The Happiness Advantage. In his Ted Talk, Achor uses humour to illustrate the importance of happiness in the workplace. He explores the outliers (people who are above average) and examines how happiness affects achievement.
8. Linda Hill: How to Manage for Collective Creativity
Linda Hill is a business professor at Harvard University and author of several popular books. In this engaging Ted Talk, Hill explains that the typical management style doesn’t work if you want to encourage creativity and innovation in your organisation. She also points out that true innovation is the result of teamwork and not individual genius.
9. David Logan: Tribal Leadership
David Logan is an author and teacher who studied tribes of humans for over ten years. In his TED talk, Logan discusses the concept of tribes and their importance in the world of business. He identifies five types of tribes that form and how they interact with society.
10. Simon Sinek – Why Good Leaders Make you Feel Safe
Our last post is from Simon Sinek who provides the bookends for this post. In this TED Talk, Sinek examines what a leader must do to build trust and co-operation into their workplace culture. Sinek gives a powerful talk on what it takes for a leader to do this successfully and why it can have such powerful implications for your company.
If you want more videos, check out the TED YouTube channel which features the best talks and performances from TED Conferences around the world. Missed out your favourite TED Talk for leaders? Let us know in the comments.
Trivia: What does TED stand for?
Answer: Technology, entertainment and design
Related: How to Focus and Get More Done!