With over 2,500 TED talks available online, it’s no wonder it’s hard to know which ones to watch first. As a leader within a business, TED talks can be a fantastic source of inspiration and motivation that can be accessed in a quick 10-minute break or even on your commute to prepare you for the day. So, to help you get started, we’ve picked out some of our favourites. Here are our top 7 leadership talks:
1. Jim Hemerling – 5 ways to lead in an era of change
As the title suggests, Jim talks about leading in an era of change, which is definitely something that all business leaders will face in the coming months with Brexit on the horizon.
Self-transformation is often a positive experience, however, when the company you work in announces ‘we are going through a transformation’, this doesn’t give you the same energising feeling that you get for your self-transformation.
With transformation in business, leaders often wait too long to act, which means that everything happens in crisis mode, and this is exhausting for everyone involved. They hope that by taking a ‘one-off’ type approach that they will be able to return to business as usual after the crisis. But we can’t hide from transformation and change is hard, so as leaders, we need to plan and make both change and transformation empowering. For this to not be exhausting, we need to focus on five key imperatives, all of which centre around putting people first.
Find out more in Jim Hemerling’s Ted Talk.
2. Rosabeth Moss Kanter – Six Keys to Leading Positive Change
Following on nicely from the previous talk, we have picked Rosabeth Moss Kanter for our number 2. Sticking with the theme of change, Rosabeth talks about how to lead positive change.
The Harvard Business School professor discusses the process of making a difference in the world. From the power of presence to the power of voice, Rosabeth uses the stories of great leaders and ordinary people to reveal the six success factors with the audience. From the gardener who was in the right place at the right time, to the student who waits to speak until they have something to say, watch Rosabeth’s TEDx Talk to learn more about the six keys to leading positive change.
3. Simon Sinek – Why good leaders make you feel safe
Creating trust and safety for your team will be essential in the uncertainty that is to come, with Britain leaving the EU and the uneven economy that is sure to follow. So, for some advice on this, let’s look to the great Simon Sinek.
In his talk, Simon compares the military to business. He suggests that businesses have it backwards when they award big bonuses to those who are willing to sacrifice others so that they can gain when in the military, people are awarded medals because they have sacrificed themselves so that others can gain.
So, what does this mean for businesses? What is it about the military who sacrifice themselves, that businesses can learn from?
Watch Simon’s TED Talk to find out.
4. Matt Beeton – What do all great leaders have in common
Moving on from Simon’s talk, our number 4 is from Matt Beeton. Matt has been in leadership positions for the last 20 years and has been conducting research on the ‘common denominator’ of great leaders and what defines a leader with the X Factor.
Matt’s starting point in searching for ‘what makes a great leader?’ was Google. The first page of results showed a range of well-known and respected leaders, from Barack Obama to Mother Teresa, Gandhi to Martin Luther King. So, he then sets out to question ‘what have all these people got in common?’.
Watch Matt Beeton’s TEDx Talk to find the answer.
5. Dan Ariely – What makes us feel good about our work?
So, after looking at what makes a great leader, our next three TED talks are all about motivating your team, which is not as straightforward as you might think.
Money, perks and a ping pong table in the corner – what more could an employee want to be motivated? There is so much more to it than that. Dan Ariely, a behavioural economist, shares eye-opening insights from two experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. It’s a fascinating talk about the importance of meaning and purpose at work. Find out more about the experiments and what makes us feel good about work in Dan Ariely’s TED Talk.
6. Dan Pink – The Puzzle of Motivation
After studying the science behind intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, career analyst, Dan Pink, states in his talk that there’s a mismatch between what science knows and what business does when it comes to what motivates people. Building a business around extrinsic motivators, such as carrots and sticks, is fine for many 20th century tasks, but it often doesn’t work for 21st-century tasks, and actually could do much more harm than good. Find out more in Dan Pink’s TED Talk.
And if the full talk isn’t for you, then this lively RSA Animate version might be more your thing. Adapted from Dan Pink’s talk, it illustrates the points made in the full talk, investigating the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.
7. Kerry Goyette – Stop trying to motivate your employees
Our final talk views motivation through a different lens. Kerry Goyette, the Founder of Aperio Consulting Group, believes that it’s a misconception that you can motivate your employees. She says that they’re already motivated but instead, the key to success is to unleash their motivation.
In her TED Talk, Kerry goes into depth on how to leverage motivation and the counterproductive motivations that could be holding us back from success.
We hope that you have enjoyed watching the TED talks that we have selected to share with you on being a great leader and motivating your team. At The Recruitment Network, we are one of the fastest growing support clubs for recruitment business leaders in the UK.
We have recently launched a brand-new platform called TRN World, which is an inclusive online platform for recruitment professionals to train, develop and network globally. It’s packed full of bespoke content from experts and industry thought-leaders suitable for all recruitment professionals.
Marketing & Sales Support Executive at The Recruitment Network (International)