TED started in 1984 as a conference that sat at the intersection of Technology, Entertainment, and Design. In the many years that have passed, the organization has grown to encompass so much more than that and is dedicated to the sharing of ideas around the world. In recent memory, TED is known mostly for the TED talks, short presentations where influential experts speak passionately about ideas and advancements in their field. At this point, giving a TED Talk is a hallmark of being a thought leader. For you fellow entrepreneurial leaders out there, here are some of the best TED Talks to help you inspire and lead.
This presentation is led by Lorna Davis, the former president of Danone, Kraft, and Mondelez, and in it, she talks about sustainable leadership. It may be tempting to be a hero or a lone wolf when you’re a leader, but Lorna has found from her experience trying to lead alone that interdependent leadership yields the most success. Contrary to what you might expect, she says that it’s harder to work as a group instead of being a hero because the former requires transparency and vulnerability. How can you apply this to your business? As you work on innovating and expanding, it’s worth it to be open to collaborative leadership.
Researcher Elizabeth Dunn specializes in happiness in that she studies the what and the why of the things that make us happy. She discovered that helping others makes people happy on a fundamental level and that it matters not just that we help, but how we help. Giving blindly to charity, that is, not seeing where it goes or who it impacts, doesn’t actually encourage people to give more. Dunn’s advice is to create opportunities that enable people to connect with the communities that they’re helping. Through this shared humanity, Dunn says, is how we will experience the most joy from helping others. Take this advice with you if your company holds charity events or volunteer opportunities so that you can create an experience that will spark happiness for everyone.
All too often, entrepreneurs feel compelled to believe that they’re superhuman. Truth is, like everyone else, you have limitations to what you’re capable of doing. It’s tempting to avoid sleep to make time for your daily grind, but ultimately, this is futile. Sleep researcher Matt Walker explains in his presentation the science behind sleep loss and the direct association that the lack of sleep has with chronic diseases, brain function, and more. As someone who studies the impact of sleep on the brain, Walker explains that sleep isn’t a luxury: just like food, it’s a biological necessity that everyone needs to survive.
If you need some inspiration or perspective, be sure to check out these presentations.