10 TED Talks on How Leaders Inspire Others

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1. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.

 

2. Fields Wicker-Miurin: Learning from Leadership’s Missing Manual

Leadership doesn’t have a user’s manual, but Fields Wicker-Miurin says stories of remarkable, local leaders are the next best thing.

 

3. Itay Talgam: Lead Like the Great Conductors

An orchestra conductor faces the ultimate leadership challenge: creating perfect harmony without saying a word. In this charming talk, Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders.

 

4. Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

According to Drew Dudley, leaders inspire through the little everyday acts that improve lives.”
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We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

 

5. Tim Harford: Trial, Error and the God Complex

Because the best systems are built through trial and error, Tim Harford sees the key to leadership as encouraging people to try things and risk making a mistake.”
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Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems — and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. In this sparkling talk from TEDGlobal 2011, he asks us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.

 

6. David Logan: Tribal Leadership

How do leaders lead? They influence action based on the worldview they radiate. And a great leader radiates something very specific…”
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David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form — in schools, workplaces, even the driver’s license bureau. By understanding our shared tribal tendencies, we can help lead each other to become better individuals.

 

7. Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn … then Lead

To inspire others and create a shared sense of purpose, General Stanley McChrystal says its essential to listen first. “
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Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.

 

8. Sheryl Sandberg: So we Leaned in … Now What?

Sheryl Sandberg isn’t just a leader for the Facebook office, but for women around the globe. She inspires by being honest about how difficult it can be.”
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Sheryl Sandberg admits she was terrified to step onto the TED stage in 2010 — because she was going to talk, for the first time, about the lonely experience of being a woman in the top tiers of business. Millions of views (and a best-selling book) later, the Facebook COO talks with the woman who pushed her to give that first talk, Pat Mitchell. Sandberg opens up about the reaction to her idea, and explores the ways that women still struggle with success.

 

9. Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement

The key to inspiring a large group? Getting that single first follower.”
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With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)

 

10. John Wooden: The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding

With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father’s wisdom.

 

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