The 4 Greatest TED Talks For Business Leaders

  • Where to get started on TED talks
  • The best videos for leadership
  • Happiness, introverts, vulnerability and more!

Michael Godsmark,

April 22, 2018

The videos that will change your way of thinking

The TED talk is now ubiquitous in business… and with great reason. Managers all over the globe have instant, free access to 20-minute nuggets of wisdom from the brains of some extraordinary people. But with thousands to choose from and a finite amount of time, where do you start? Here are our four favourite TED talks.


Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

What makes a great leader? People the world over have both made and lost a lot of money trying to find out.

From the Wright Brothers to Martin Luther King Jr to Steve Jobs, Sinek spotted patterns in the habits of all of the greatest leaders and brings us the idea of the ‘Golden Circle’. At its core, the premise is simple: people don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

These great leaders found success, he says, by doing what they believed in, rather than a deep longing for money or fame or success. Focus on what gets you out of bed on a morning, why people should care about you or your product and people will sit up and listen (or camp overnight outside your shop for a new iPhone).


Susan Cain: The Power of Introverts

The office can be a loud and hectic place. But sometimes, Susan argues, it’s nice to be quiet. Cain deftly makes the case for the introverted third of the population who don’t thrive on hustle and bustle, but who often get overlooked in the work place because they can’t be heard over the ruckus.

It’s a 20-minute celebration of introverts, their personality quirks and their talents, and how best we can encourage and nurture them – both in the work place and out.

A must for managers who want to be sensitive to the needs of all their staff.


Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

Achor makes his living as a ‘positive psychologist’. But far from being a happy-clappy Kum ba ya type, he believes we can start small and simple to create our own happiness.

In 12 minutes he outlines the steps everyone can make on your path to become a happier person. These include:

  • Writing down three things you’re grateful for every day
  • Random acts of kindness (like writing a positive email or surprising someone in a pleasant manner)
  • Getting some exercise

All of these things will make us happier, he says. And when we’re happy, we become more productive.

Not only that, Achor tells us, but energy levels rise, we sell more, we’re more likely to be promoted and we even live longer.

Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Brown has spent an awfully long time studying shame and vulnerability. It’s not the most orthodox of subjects to study, and certainly not traditionally ‘business-like’, but she knows her stuff.

Her talk is one of TED’s most popular to date, with over 34 million views. In it she opens up and shows her personal vulnerability – describing her own existential crisis, and how she dealt with it.

She works with entrepreneurs and advises them to ditch the bravado, and embrace the discomfort of shame.

‘That means being vulnerable and asking for help and admitting when they went wrong,’ she says. ‘We don’t need brave faces running businesses. We need brave people.’


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About The Author

Michael is an enthusiastic and cheerful individual who, when not hard at work, enjoys mountain biking, cooking curry and travelling to new places.


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