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Five TED Talks to Make You a Better Leader

Advice on leadership is easy to come by. But if you want to hear innovative perspectives based on hard-earned insight from some of the world’s most influential thought leaders, TED is a great place to start. TED, which launched in 1984 as a tech conference, has evolved into an international wellspring of engaging talks on topics from science to business to global issues. Check out these five talks to hear what these experts have to share about great leaders.

Roselinde Torres
What it takes to be a great leader

Roselinde Torres, who spent 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, outlines a deceptively simple but rarely followed path to great leadership. Among the key recommendations — anticipate future changes, establish a diversity of thought in your inner circle and be unafraid to change processes that have worked for you in the past. 

Tim Harford
Trial, error and the God complex

Financial Times columnist Tim Harford analyses the effectiveness of the “God complex” in leadership practice, noting that its weakness is a tendency to oversimplify answers, especially regarding real-world problems. Trial and error — or “making the right mistakes” — is often proven to be the unsexy method to coming up with the best solutions.

Sheryl Sandberg
Why we have too few women leaders

Facebook COO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg illustrates the complex reasons women are not leading more companies and shares three rock-solid recommendations for women who want to improve their chances of achieving that goal.

Simon Sinek
How great leaders inspire action

People are automatically wired to think in terms of “why,” says marketing expert and author Simon Sinek, which means you have to create a message that resonates.  In leadership terms, he says, “if you hire people just because they can do a job, they'll work for your money, but if they believe what you believe, they'll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.”

Stanley McChrystal
Listen, learn ... then lead
Years in the military have taught four-star general Stanley McChrystal how to lead when everything around you has changed, and nothing has prepared you for what’s coming next. Whether on the battlefield or in the boardroom, building teams that work relies on a sense of shared purpose.