These five TED talks are the business!

Managing people in a work context is easy… You just tell them what to do and when to do it by, right? Wrong! Being a manager and running a successful business require a plethora of skills in order to spark creativity, boost motivation and increase productivity. These inspirational talks from experts in business leadership will hone your skills. Get ready to feel motivated.

1.How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek

https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

With his simple ‘what, how, why’ model, Sinek passionately talks about that fact that people aren’t particularly interested in what you do or how you do it, but why you do it. What’s your purpose? What’s your motivation? What’s your passion? He cites the work of Martin Luther King, the Wright brothers and Apple as examples of why the ‘why’ is such a powerful notion. If you employ people simply because they can do the job, they’ll most likely just be working towards their next pay cheque; if you employ people who have the same vision as you, and believe in what you do, they’ll offer you blood, sweat and tears.

2. Inspiring a Life of Immersion by Jacqueline Novogratz

https://www.ted.com/talks/jacqueline_novogratz_inspiring_a_life_of_immersion?language=en

Telling the stories of some fascinating people who have faced adversity, cruelty and sometimes unthinkable tragedy, Novogratz states that extraordinary leaders must live a life of immersion. It’s not enough to sit on the sidelines taking notes – you’ve got to get stuck in. Great leaders take resources and convert them to make a positive change in the world. She urges leaders to be wary of being manipulated by power, and encourages them to choose the right path – even though that may not be easy. When it comes to a life of immersion, she poses the question: what is the cost of not daring, of not trying?

3. The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor

https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work

Achor is a funny guy and gets his audience chuckling while making some very valid points about how we perceive the world. He notes that if we study the average, we remain average. If we study the exceptional – perhaps people who are highly intellectual, athletic, musical, creative, who have amazing energy levels, a cracking sense of humour, or who display resilience in the face of challenge – we can push the average up. He talks of positive psychology, a concept that saw him convincing his little sister that she was a unicorn when they were kids. He says that leaders need to focus on opportunities rather than struggles, and use the ‘happiness advantage’ in order to maximise productivity and creativity levels.

4. Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work by Jason Fried

https://www.ted.com/talks/jason_fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work?language=en

You’re at the office. You’re replying to emails when you get pulled into a meeting. An hour later, you’re back at your desk when someone pops by to ask you a question. You answer it. Half an hour later, your boss asks you to dig something out for a colleague. Oh, now it’s lunch. In this talk, Fried discusses the fact that there are so many distractions and interruptions at an actual ‘place of work’ that it’s difficult to get any meaningful work done. He likens work to sleep – how can you be expected to sleep well if you’re interrupted all night? How can you be expected to work well if you’re interrupted all day? What’s one solution? Companies should recognise the culprits of these interruptions (M&Ms – Managers and Meetings) and allow for allotted quiet time in the office.

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

https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford

Opening his talk with a story about a German prison camp during World War II, Scottish doctor Archie Cochrane and Marmite, Harford explains the importance of obtaining results through trial and error. He shows a photograph of a baby, stating that it was produced via trial and error – which is what evolution really is: variation and selection. He encourages leaders to rid themselves of the God complex, where they believe they are always 100% right. We need to systematically work together, making mistakes in the right direction, to achieve results. He acknowledges that it’s very difficult to make ‘good mistakes’ but one way to do this is to admit when you’re wrong.

We hope you enjoyed watching these!

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