The good news, is that you don’t need to figure it all out on your own. There are plenty of thought leaders with insight and knowledge about what it takes to motivate others. We often turn to TED Talks for daily inspiration and advice – it’s a great platform for picking up new skills and tactics to take your leadership to the next level.
Here are eight excellent TED Talks on leadership to watch:
1.“Lead like the great conductors” by Itay Talgam – “Conductor of the people”, Talgam highlights six orchestra conductors in a beautiful video to illustrate that even small motions have big impacts. These leaders bring dozens of various instruments together to create a harmonious effect. Watch the video.
2. “Listen, learn … then lead” by Stanley McChrystal – Former commander of U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan, McChrystal speaks about what he learned as a leader in the military. He explains that effective leaders don’t just give out demands, but instead, they listen and learn from their team members to build a shared purpose. Watch the video.
3. “Build a Tower, Build a Team” by Tom Wujec – Author of Five-Star Mind: Games and Puzzles to Stimulate Your Creativity and Imagination, Wujec presents the “marshmallow challenge” in his talk, which challenges teams to build the tallest freestanding structure using dry spaghetti, one yard of tape and a marshmallow. He believes this game can generate ideas and build rapport, and speaks to the power of having an amazing team to be a successful leader. Watch the video.
4. “What it takes to be a great leader” by Roselinde Torres – Leadership expert with 25 years of observation, Torres points out the failings of many institutional leadership training programs that are still prevalent today. She outlines the three crucial questions each person must ask in order to be a forward-thinking leader in the 21st century. Watch the video.
5. “How great leaders inspire action” by Simon Sinek – Author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, Sinek shares a simple model on how to become an inspirational leader: Start with a circle, and start with “Why?” He looks to examples such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Wright Brothers and Apple. Watch the video.
6. “Everyday leadership” by Drew Dudley – Founder of Nuance Leadership Development Services, Dudley believes that leadership should be about the “lollipop moments,” or times when you’ve made someone else’s life better. He suggests it’s the small moments like these along the way define leaders. Watch the video.
7. “The Puzzle of Motivation” by Dan Pink – Career Analyst Pink describes in his talk what really motivates people, and it’s not the traditional reward system that many managers use. He suggests true motivation starts with illuminating stories. Watch the video.
8. “How to Manage for Collective Creativity” by Linda Hill – A Harvard professor, Hill pulls examples from Pixar and Google to illustrate how to exert creativity and innovation from your team. She suggests that employees are full of great ideas, but don’t always feel supported in the ability to share and develop their own visions and solutions. Watch the video.