Being a leader isn't a walk in the park—it means shouldering the direct or indirect responsibility for others' fates, which comes with immense accountability, stress, and the weight of trust in your own decisions. There are days when you feel on top of the world, exuding confidence, but there are also moments of self-doubt and reconsideration. And that's okay. What's crucial is moving beyond those doubts, transcending them to create something grander and more impactful, driven by motivation and the right mindset.
While seeking motivation from mentors, peers, or colleagues is helpful at times, there are moments when you crave something deeper—a spark of enlightenment. That's why we've curated a collection of TED Talks. These talks aren't just mood-lifters; they're a guide to help you evolve into a superior leader. As the new year approaches, it's time for fresh energy to tackle novel challenges, almost like a superhero or super heroine stepping up to the plate!
1. How to Rethink a Bad Decision - Adam Grant
In higher positions, the stakes are higher. Grant explains that when facing misery or a failing project, it's acceptable to alter the course of action. You don't have to remain stuck in the psychological trap known as "escalation of commitment."
2. What you discover when you really listen - Hrishikesh Hirway
A pivotal trait of effective leadership involves the art of listening. Hirway provides a roadmap for meaningful conversations, delving into the insights gained by actively tuning in and engaging in attentive listening.
3. The value of kindness at work - James Rhee
Being kind can initiate positive changes for both individuals and businesses. In his TedTalk, Rhee discusses the importance of leading with compassion and explains why it's beneficial for everyone.
4. Why great leaders take humour seriously - Jennifer Aaker & Naomi Bagdonas
This TedTalk challenges the notion that leaders must maintain a serious demeanor at all times. Behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker and corporate strategist Naomi Bagdonas explore the unexpected strength of humor. They discuss how humor serves as a hidden tool to foster connections, enhance influence, stimulate creativity, and boost resilience.
5. 10 ways to have a better conversation - Celeste Headlee
Effective communication is pivotal for leaders to convey their vision to the workforce. In this enlightening talk, Headlee presents 10 valuable rules aimed at improving conversations, highlighting the significance of this skill for leaders to effectively communicate their vision.
6. How great leaders inspire action - Simon Sinek
In this TedTalk, Sinek introduces a compelling model for inspirational leadership, centered around a golden circle and the fundamental question: "Why?"
7. How to make stress your friend - Kelly McGonigal
Every leader faces stress, and it's essential to manage and navigate it effectively. Psychologist McGonigal shares ways to view stress positively and introduces innovative methods for reducing it in her TedTalk.
8. How diversity makes teams more innovative - Rocío Lorenzo
In a survey of 171 companies, Lorenzo discovered a clear correlation: diverse companies are genuinely more innovative. In her insightful talk, she discusses leveraging diversity as a competitive advantage to foster fresher, more creative ideas and build a stronger company.
9. Great leadership is a network, not a hierarchy - Gitte Frederiksen
Imagine if leadership at work wasn't confined to a select few but was instead a shared responsibility among many. Management consultant Frederiksen introduces the concept of "distributed leadership" — dynamic networks of leaders that harness everyone's knowledge and creativity.
10. Efficient leadership in the digital era - Charlene Li
In today's business landscape, innovation and swift decision-making outweigh the previous emphasis on efficiency. Charlene Li highlights how this shift redefines effective leadership. It's no longer about exerting control but rather about empowerment—facilitating access to information for employees to autonomously make informed decisions.
We hope these insights ignite a transformation in your approach to leadership. Each talk offers a unique perspective, providing valuable tools and inspiration for your journey as a leader. Now, we're curious—among these talks, which one resonated with you the most?
Share your favourite TED Talk and the key takeaway that left a lasting impression on you. Your choice could be the catalyst for someone else's leadership evolution!