<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2049049351998780&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Top 10 Leadership TED Talks You Need to Watch

Beth Thornton

February 22, 2019

If you’re serious about developing yourself as a leader, regardless of where you are in your career, it’s important to listen and learn from the experts in the field of leadership. This is a great way to continually explore and discover tested and evolving methods and leadership frameworks to use in your own organizations.

One great way to do this is through listening to audiobooks, speeches, and podcasts during your daily commute during the week. In an effort to help you develop new knowledge around the subject of leadership and improve your commute, the leadership subject-matter experts at Inspire Software have hand-picked some of our favorite leadership TED talks about how to change yourself, inspire others, and examine the latest trends and evolving narrative on 21st Century leadership. We recommend bookmarking this blog post and setting a goal for yourself to listen to or watch these talks as part of your commitment to continually improving your leadership capacity.

Love listening to #TEDTalks while you work or on your commute home? Check out these 10 #leadership talks from @InspireSoftware that will surely inspire you! Tweet this!

How Great Leaders Inspire Action

This TED Talk by Simon Sinek became an instant modern classic. Great leadership starts with helping people understand why they are pursuing their objectives. Sinek has become one of the most sought after thought leaders on the topic of leadership and inspiration through his practical, down-to-earth approach to leadership and the humanity it effects. This is a must watch, must listen to Ted Talk for anyone who is serious about getting to the heart of not just how we lead, by why we lead.

Fascinated by the leaders who make an impact in the world, companies and politicians with the capacity to inspire, Sinek has discovered some remarkable patterns in how they think, act and communicate. He wrote Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action to explore his idea of the Golden Circle, what he calls "a naturally occurring pattern, grounded in the biology of human decision making, that explains why we are inspired by some people, leaders, messages and organizations over others."


Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg describes the reasons we have too few women asleaders, the challenges they face compared to men and how to keep their foot on the gas pedal to stay in the game. This TED Talk is great for women who have lost their drive, have children, or are thinking about having a child. But it’s also relevant for any leader who needs to understand the importance of diversity and inclusion as it relates to better collaboration and implementation of strategy.

Sandberg’s experience navigating the complex and socially sensitive world of international economics has proven useful as she and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg work to strike a balance between helping Facebook users control privacy while finding ways to monetize its most valuable asset: data.


5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change

Jim Hemerling is a Senior Partner and Managing Director in The Boston Consulting Group's People & Organization and Transformation Practices. He is a BCG Fellow with a focus on high-performance organization transformation. He also leads BCG's global Behavior & Culture topic.

Hemerling introduces five strategic imperatives focused around putting people first. Hear his imperatives to learn how to make reorganization empowering and become a great leader for all! This TED Talk provides principles for leaders to follow when the environment and industry are constantly changing.


How to Speak Up for Yourself

Adam Galinsky is currently the chair of the management division at Columbia Business School. Galinsky has received numerous national and international awards for his teaching and research. He is only the second psychologist to ever to receive the two most important mid-career Awards in Social Psychology. In 2015, he was named one of the top 50 Thinkers on Talent by Thinkers50.

Galinsky shows us how to navigate the tricky situations where we’re either ignored for being quiet or punished for speaking up. Learn how passion enables you to be heard by others! This TED Talk is for those who have troubles speaking up and being heard by their leaders and organization.


Tribal Leadership

USC faculty member David Logan studies how people communicate within a company -- and how to harness our natural gifts to make change within organizations. He looks at emerging patterns of corporate leadership, organizational transformation, generational differences in the workplace, and team building for high-potential managers and executives.

Logan illustrates the five tribal stages everyone is a part of, what each stage looks like and how to move from one stage to another. His examples provide many lessons. This TED Talk is for leaders who are looking at their company culture and developing their organization’s middle and bottom line.


How to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

As one of only a handful of Black students on campus at Davidson College in North Carolina in the mid-80s, Janet Stovall witnessed racism and exclusion firsthand. Rather than retreating, this experience inspired Stovall to explore and initiate difficult conversations about race.

“Diversity is a numbers game. Inclusion is about impact.” Learn what these wise words mean from Stovall as she speaks about the importance of racial diversity in the workplace. This TED Talk is for anyone who doesn’t grasp the importance of diversity, leaders who want to diversify their teams and leaders who have uniform teams.

If you’re serious about developing yourself as a #leader, it’s important to listen and learn from the #experts in the field of leadership. Tweet this!

How to Build (and Rebuild) Trust

A professor at the Harvard Business School, Frances Frei formerly served as Uber's first SVP of leadership and strategy. Her work at Uber focused on building a world-class leadership team, fostering leadership at all levels of the organization and guiding the clear articulation of strategy and planning. Frei has been central to Uber’s cultural transformation.

Frei speaks about what leaders need to do to build and rebuild trust through her experiences. She shows us the key to creating a trusting culture for leaders through her experience at Uber. This TED Talk is for leaders looking to engage employees and learn more from their bottom line.


How to Turn a Group of Strangers into a Team

Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School, studies people and teams seeking to make a positive difference through the work they do. Her work sheds light on the related questions of why teamwork is so critically important in today’s organizations and why it is so challenging.

Edmondson speaks about “teaming” and what makes a team of strangers succeed versus what makes them fail. She explains what made Chile’s 2010 mining rescue successful compared to other team endeavors. This TED Talk is great for those working with people they do not know and leaders forming teams who are unfamiliar with each other.


Forget the Pecking Order at Work

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead organizations and managers astray. She currently blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET.com.

Heffernan defines the “superchicken model” and how it redefines social capital. Leaders need to evaluate how their employees are working together in order to produce more powerful results. This TED Talk reconsiders how we measure employees and their value, which is great for leaders who pay commission or only focus on results from employees.


The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

After years of studying the dynamics of success and productivity in the workplace, Adam Grant discovered a powerful and often overlooked motivator: helping others. Grant’s research has led hundreds of advice seekers (and HR departments) to his doorstep, and it’s changing the way leaders view their workforces.

Who said procrastination was a bad thing? Grant explains how procrastination if used properly, renders creativity. See how bad ideas are necessary in order to have good ideas. This TED Talk is great for last-minute delayers and early planners who want better results or anyone who wants more creative ideas.

What are your favorite Ted Talk Leadership Videos? Contact Us and let us know your thoughts. Considering ways to develop your leadership capacity within your organization? Check out our whitepaper, Why It’s Time to Invest in Learning and Development and what it can do for you!