Must Listen to These TED Talks to Ignite the Leader in You



The best leadership talks and the best TED Talks on leadership are some of the most searched topics on the internet. Something that the great TED Talk leaders guarantee you is inspiration. They convey a unique essence of ethical leadershipleadership skills, and traits that anyone should not have to be born with but can cultivate along the way. If not all, but any of these TED Talk leadership speeches you listen to will push you to navigate today’s hybrid world of work. Yes, some of these talks are from years ago, but their essence proves relevant not only in today’s corporate world but also in the future.

How Great Leaders Inspire Action, by Simon Sinek

Known for being a visionary, gifted author, an inspiring speaker, and an excellent strategist accredited for changing the perspective of how leadership can be looked at today, Simon Sinek is the go-to person for inspiration to start your leadership journey. In his TED Talk, ‘How Great Leaders Inspire Action,’ he brought in the concept of the ‘Golden Circle’ that contains ‘why, what and how,’ arguing that the most successful companies and leaders start with the ‘why.’ This speech by Sinek has garnered nearly 63 million views on TED alone, storming a majority of motivation to keen listeners. The turning point of this talk is that Sinek points out that some people’s accomplishments weigh more than others, even when that person’s resources, goals and circumstances are the same as others. This is where he brings up the ‘Why’ factor, which indicates that you will find the most successful leaders at the center of the ‘Golden Circle.’ Take leaders like Martin Luther King to today’s Apple’s head. Sinek says that leaders tend to serve as a motivation for others, nudging them to believe in their ‘Why’ before their ‘What’ and to start with feelings rather than logic. This speech by Sinek serves as a clarification for those leaders questioning their true goal and has indeed inspired millions around the world in a new light.

Let’s hear it from a real life individual who drew inspiration from Simon Sinek’s TED Talk. Inner Voice Consultancy Private Limited’s Founder, Jaikumar Chandrashekar, shared how he realized his purpose and even brought life to that purpose as well. This is what Chandrashekar revealed during a recent interaction with CEO Insights India magazine.

“It really helped me dig deeper to discover my ‘Why’, which led me to define my true purpose in life. That is, to create space for people to learn in a way they enjoy it.” Simon Sinek’s talks helped me create learning spaces where people can enjoy the learning process.


He felt that " once that became clear, the ‘How’ and ‘What’ of whether it is the kind of programs you design, like leadership programs, people management programs or coaching programs, became very clear.”

Lead Like the Great Conductors, by Itay Talgam

When we look at the music field, a conductor’s job is basically the captain of the ship. A conductor interprets the music written by the composer, sets the tempo change and ensures every individual musician performs in unison. That sounds exactly like the CEO of a business company, right? That is, interpreting the business climate, setting strategies, determining the growth pace and getting everybody to work in harmony towards the goal.

In his TED talk, ‘Lead Like the Great Conductors,’ Itay Talgram draws attention to the ultimate leadership challenge, which is creating perfect harmony without uttering a word. He says that the joy of a conductor does not come from his personal story. Rather, it is the joy he/she feels when enabling others’ stories to be heard. From a business leader’s point of view, it can be taken as a leader experiencing satisfaction, success and fulfillment from enabling their people and expression. An employee’s success can be the leader’s success, but not in a ‘taking credit for their work’ kind of way. But by leaving it to your team to give their all.

Another point to note in his speech is that he described his style as ‘musical gesture’ that he uses to open room for interpretation by other musicians. What he does is, he creates a partnership with musicians. Meaning, he is present, but not as a commander. He creates an opening for others to join in and express without any restraints.

The lesson here that Itay Talgram draws is that exceptional leaders are the ones who find unique ways to highlight the abilities of those around them. This is a fun talk that will encourage everyone to think like a conductor—from CEOs to professors.

Everyday Leadership, by Drew Dudley

In his TED Talk, Dudley sheds the limelight on how amazing things, which are otherwise harder for everyone to do, are often celebrated, which has largely convinced the world that only such things are worth celebrating. However, he says that there are everyday moments that can garland you as a true leader. It means that every person who has changed someone’s life hasn’t done it by doing something extraordinary alone but by the simple everyday actions of being a leader.

Another important point Dudley made is that leadership can be defined in a number of ways, but according to him, it all comes down to leadership, which is the ability to inspire others. Whether done consciously or subconsciously, he believes that we all have the ability in us to inspire. We influence people every day through our actions, whether we do it consciously or not. These actions impact the people around us, as he believes that leaders are not just people who run countries or companies, but they are everyday people like every other person.

In his speech, he challenged the audience to think about the lives they touch on a daily basis. Drew reminds his audience, with a wicked sense of humor, that not everyone you want to influence will end up like you. He illustrates his point with a sweet story about a woman whose life he unknowingly altered by showing how small acts of kindness, like making someone laugh, may have a profound effect on someone else.

For leaders who are distracted by the big picture, this humorous address is essential listening. Drew emphasizes the fundamental idea that excellent leadership is made up of little, routine actions.

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, by Adam Grant

Best-selling author and Wharton professor Adam Grant shared what he called ‘originals’ of people who dream and execute new ideas.

He opened his speech by highlighting the significance of original thinking in a world that constantly demands innovation. His speech is on the creative side. He showed that original leaders tend to lie somewhere in between pre-procrastinators and procrastinators and how that leads to creative ideas. In his speech, he said that original thinkers tend to fail the most as they try the most. In the process, they learn to accept any outcome, whether good or bad. He revealed that most people may appear confident on the outside, but on the inside, they feel the same fears and doubts just like anybody else.

Throughout his talk, Grant humorously listed a number of traits that original thinkers possess. To state a few, they are late to the occasion; they are improvers and not movers, they have a lot of doubts, and they fear failing to try. Lastly, he stated that originality is not limited to a certain few, but anyone can cultivate it.

Being Human is the Most Fundamental Element in the Corporate Field - Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and in business. His most famed TED Talk on ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity’ garnered worldwide acclaim.

The characteristics of the new workplace, where a new skill set is necessary to succeed, are quickly taking form as the fourth industrial revolution takes hold.

Being tech-savvy is just one component of this equation. However, Robinson believes that fundamental human characteristics will be most beneficial to corporations. This comprises human abilities that artificial intelligence is unable to imitate, such as creativity, originality, and critical thinking. According to him, for enterprises to remain competitive in this uncertain future, they need to foster an innovative culture that utilizes the creativity of their workforce.

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