Top 15 TED Talks Every Leader Should Watch Now

6 minute read
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Ideas worth spreading.

This is the slogan of TED, a media organization which curates and posts influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, technology and creativity in 100+ languages.

TED Talks are best known for their short and thought-provoking presentations, all posted online, free and available for distribution and sharing

We listened to these TED Talks with a specific ear: What talks might help your company become more agile and innovative? How will your enterprise compete in a digital world? How do I look inside myself and become a better leader?

Then, we curated the best of what we heard and hand-picked 15 TED Talk videos for you: the leaders. Topics include the importance of body language, the power of motivation, and the secrets to innovation. We hope these talks uplift and inspire you. Enjoy!

15 TED Talks to Watch Today

1. Your body language may shape who you are

Who is the speaker?
Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist and Harvard Business School professor. She studies body language and the importance of changing body positions.

Why should you watch it?
Cuddy explains how our body language affects how others see us and how we view ourselves. For example, using a “power pose” can make us more successful because it improves our confidence.

Time: 21:02
Views: 41.6+ million

2. How great leaders inspire action

Who is the speaker?
Simon Sinek is a best-selling author and leadership expert. He explores how leaders can inspire cooperation, trust and change.

Why should you watch it?
Sinek shares a simple but very powerful model on how to become an inspirational leader. It starts with one question: why? He includes examples from Apple, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers to show why asking why is effective.

Time: 18:04
Views: 32.7+ million

3. How to speak so that people want to listen

Who is the speaker?

Julian Treasure is a sound consultant who advises businesses on how best to use it. He is the author of How to Be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening and he asks businesses simple questions like: do the sounds around us make us feel productive, stressed, energized, acquisitive? 

Why should you watch it?
Have you ever felt like nobody is listening to you? In this talk, Julian Treasure demonstrates how to speak powerfully. He explains the importance of doing some vocal exercises to help us speaking with empathy.

Time: 9:58
Views: 19.6+ million

4. The puzzle of motivation

Who is the speaker?
Dan Pink is a career analyst who is a former speechwriter to Al Gore. He sparked a right-brain revolution in the career marketplace.

Why should you watch it?
Pink talks about the puzzle of motivation and what social scientists know that most managers don’t. Traditional rewards are not as effective as we may think. Find out what really motivates people with Pink’s illuminating stories.

Time: 18:36
Views: 18.2+ million

5. Grit: the power of passion and perseverance

Who is the speaker?
Angela Lee Duckworth is a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies intangible concepts such as self-control and grit. She left her consulting job to teach seventh grade at a New York City public school.

Why should you watch it?
Duckworth explains why the most successful students have grit, not intelligence. She says IQ isn’t the only thing separating the successful from those who struggle. In other words, grit is a predictor of success.

Time: 6:12
Views: 10.9+ million

6. 8 secrets of success

Who is the speaker?
Richard St. John is a marketer, analyst and best-selling author. He is self-described as an average guy who found success doing what he loved.

Why should you watch it?
St. John condenses his book 8 to Be Great: The 8 Traits That Lead to Great Success into a little over 3 minutes, revealing the secrets to success. Why do people succeed? Is it because they are smart or just lucky? Find out.

Time: 3:30
Views: 10.4+ million

7. How to get your ideas to spread

Who is the speaker?
Seth Godin is an entrepreneur, author and blogger who thinks deeply about the marketing of ideas in the digital age.

Why should you watch it?
Godin explains why leaders should stand out. He talks about why—in a world of too many options and too little time—that when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.

Time: 17:01
Views: 5.4+ million

8. The real difference between winning and success


Who is the speaker?

John Wooden is a legendary college basketball coach. He coached UCLA to record wins that are still unmatched in the world of basketball. 

Why should you watch it?

Coach Wooden shares one of the most important lessons: success is more than just winning. He redefines success and urges us to pursue the best in ourselves. He shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA and he shares his fond memories of his father’s wisdom.

Time: 17:36

Views: 4.7+ million

9. What it takes to be a great leader

Who is the speaker?
Roselinde Torres is a leadership expert who studies what makes leaders tick and figures out how to teach others the same skills.

Why should you watch it?
After spending 25 years observing truly great leaders in action, Torres shares the three most important questions that every leader should ask if he or she wants to be a great leader. Hint: in a world full of leadership programs, the best way to learn is right under your nose.

Time: 9:19
Views: 3.5+ million

10. Everyday leadership

Who is the speaker?
Drew Dudley is a leadership educator who “believes leadership is not a characteristic reserved for the extraordinary.” He helps people discover the leader within themselves.

Why should you watch it?
Dudley shows us that we should celebrate leadership as the everyday act of making someone else’s life better: Dudley’s "lollipop moments."

Time: 6:14
Views: 2.9+ million

11. Lead like the great conductors

Who is the speaker?
Italy Talgam is an Israeli conductor, business consultant and leadership expert. He has reinvented himself as a "conductor of people.”

Why should you watch it?
Talgam explains why leaders should be like conductors, bringing in dozens of various instruments together through passion and respect to create harmony.

Time: 20:51
Views: 2.8+ million

12. Listen, learn … then lead

Who is the speaker?
Stanley McChrystal is a military leader and four-star general. He is the former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan. He is credited for creating a revolution in warfare that fuses intelligence and operations.

Why should you watch it?
McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership in the military and how you can build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets. Some key lessons he has learned include: the power of listening to others and addressing the possibility of failure.

Time: 15:38
Views: 2.3+ million

13. Want to innovate? Become a “now-ist”

Who is the speaker?
Joi Ito has a relentless mind and is the head of the legendary MIT Media Lab.

Why should you watch it?
Ito shares an original approach to innovation: build quickly and improve constantly, without waiting for permission or proof that you have the right idea.

Time: 12:31
Views: 2+ million

14. The era of open innovation

Who is the speaker?
Charles Leadbeater is a researcher at a London think tank who was early to notice the rise of amateur innovation.

Why should you watch it?
Leadbeater argues that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. It ia also for passionate amateurs who are using tools to create products and paradigms that large companies can’t.

Time: 19:01
Views: 1.3+ million

15. Tribal leadership

Who is the speaker?
David Logan is a University of Southern California faculty member and best-selling author. He studies how people communicate within a company and how to make change within organizations.

Why should you watch it?
Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form and how our shared tribal tendencies can help each other.

Time: 16:39
Views: 1.3+ million

What TED Talk Do You Like the Most?

Is your all-time favorite TED Talk missing from our list? Leave us a comment below so we can share it with others.

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