“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
The Ted-Talks series which turned 30 in 2014, began as a one-time event and has evolved into a platform of sharing and receiving for professional and personal development, indeed a “star making factory”, by those who have been there, done that. Motivation and inspiration cannot get more real-time than this. With technology at our fingertips, we are now able to view these tremendously powerful talks, sitting miles away from the real venue and without any cost. We have written about must-read books on leadership, must-watch inspirational movies and now it is time for TED – a fantastic source for life-long learning, something that we at Oorja Biz Ops deeply believe in. To be a great leader, you have to be ready to evolve continuously, to learn and grow every day. We have picked our favourites here for the top five Ted talks on leadership. Read on and make sure you watch them, because they are all ‘real’ leaders, in the ‘real’ ‘world of work’, therefore trust what is coming straight from the horse’s mouth!
- Rosalinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader – http://www.ted.com/talks/roselinde_torres_what_it_takes_to_be_a_great_leader
Leadership expert, Rosalinde Torres summarizes 25 years of her work experience of leading people, and seeing great leaders at work in 3 succinct questions for aspiring company chiefs, which are potentially questions they might as well lives their professional lives by. Indeed, “The world is full of leadership programs, but the best way to learn how to lead might be right under your nose”! 
- Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe – https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_why_good_leaders_make_you_feel_safe
“I try to find, celebrate and teach leaders how to build platforms that will inspire others.” — Simon Sinek. Which is exactly what he does in this brilliant talk. Sinek speaks about the qualities that make a good leader, the most essential quality being the ability to create trust in employees, or as he says, “being able to draw staffers into a circle of trust, especially in an uneven economy”. He talks about the importance of making your employees feel secure, and how it is directly proportional to their personal and professional productivity.
- Stefan Sagmeister: The power of time off – http://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_sagmeister_the_power_of_time_off
The great poet William Henry Davies couldn’t have summed it up better – “What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.” Designer Stefan Sagmeister speaks exactly of this, only connecting it to our professional productivity and how “time off” affects our leadership skills. He speaks about how it is important to step back every now and then, take stalk, re-assess and re-plan. He talks about how every seven years he closes his New York studio for a year-long sabbatical and how this break re-ignites his creativity and helps motivate those working with him.
- Derek Sivers: How to start a movement – http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_how_to_start_a_movement
And entrepreneur Derek Sivers shows you how to do that in just 3 minutes and 9 seconds with the help of the video of a funny man dancing in a park. He speaks about how important it is for a leader to be uninhibited, which is possible only if he believes wholeheartedly in his own idea and is ready to face ridicule and sarcasm. More than that, it also teaches us about the importance of the “first follower” and the importance of treating the follower more as an equal, and the idea then becoming about “them” rather than “his”, or “hers”. A brilliant talk to start your day with!
- Kare Anderson – Be an opportunity maker – http://www.ted.com/talks/kare_anderson_be_an_opportunity_maker
For someone who was diagnosed as “phobically shy” in her childhood, Kare Anderson has sure come a long, long way. In this incredibly powerful talk, Anderson talks about how she helped herself develop by helping other people. How she discovered her talents and passions by helping other people discover theirs. A truly noble and symbiotic insight into how more people should understand the concept of “leadership”.
Have your own favorite talks to share which we’ve missed? Do let us know what they are so that we can listen to them too! Happy Leading!