There’s no use hiding the fact that I am a huge fan of TED Talks.
I love the way they strip away all the distractions and focus on the essence of one idea.
And how that one idea can change things.
They’re great sources of:
- wisdom, and
- outside-the-box thinking.
Even better: They’re short.
What follows are five TED Talks that I think every leader, executive and manager should watch.
These five challenge conventional thinking about leadership and management. And while I don’t expect you’ll run out and blindly do what they say, there’s a good chance you’ll be adopt some of their ideas and apply them.
I know I have.
Get ready to have your mind expanded.
1) Ricardo Semler: How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules
You may not be ready for this one. It’s pretty darn radical, but there are lessons that can be learned for any company, even if you don’t go as far as Ricardo Semler, the chairman of Brazil’s Semco Partners.
His company pretty much runs itself.
Thirty years ago, Semco Partners, began radically transforming.
They shredded most of the traditional rules and formed a kind of corporate democracy.
One of Semler’s goals was to create a company that would run without him. And at every turn, work-life balance was in the forefront of his thinking.
Over time, Semco Partners created an environment where employees design their own jobs and subordinates select their own leadership.
More frightening to most companies: Employees set their own pay levels and decide what office to work from.
The vision is to reward the wisdom of workers. And for Semco Partners, they think it has worked.
Watch the video: It’s only 21 minutes long.
2) David Grady: How To Save The World (Or At Least Yourself) From Bad Meetings
If you’re like most of us, you attend too many bad, unproductive meetings.
Well, David Grady, an information security manager, has a few simple (and humorous) ways to fix the problem of “others stealing your time” with their boring, overcrowded and inefficient meetings.
Take a quick listen, the video is only 6 minutes long.
3) Roselinde Torres: What It Takes To Be A Great Leader
Everywhere you look there are leadership programs you can attend. And most of them are really expensive.
But if you believe Roselinde Torres those programs are teaching a traditional leadership approach that is not only antiquated, but can kill your career and your business.
Torres is a senior partner and managing director BCG,
She’s observed truly great leaders at work for more than 25 years and believes there are three simple but crucial things great leaders do that allow them to thrive.
- Great leaders are not head-down. They see around corners, shaping their future, not just reacting to it.
- Great leaders have a more diverse network because people who think differently than them allow you to identify patterns at greater levels and therefore solutions.
- Great leaders dare to be different. They are courageous enough to abandon practices that have made them successful in the past.
Watch the video, it’s only 9 minutes long.
4) Margaret Heffernan: Dare To Disagree
While Roselinde Torres dares you to be different, Margaret Hefferman, a former CEO and author, dares you to disagree.
Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but in Hefferman’s Ted Talk she demonstrates (counterintuitively) how healthy disagreement is key to progress. And that the best collaborators aren’t echo chambers or “yes men.”
She starts by telling you the amazing story of a doctor named Alice Stewart.
Watch the video, it’s only 13 minutes long.
5) Tom Wujec: Got A Wicked Problem? First, Tell Me How You Make Toast
How do you solve the biggest and most completed problems at work? Some companies spend weeks and months of endless meetings trying to solve some problems – and never succeed.
Well, Tom Wujec has a process anyone can do. He’s an an innovative practitioner of business visualization.
Not only does he show you how to do it, he provides some very surprising insights along the way.
And it all starts with how to make toast.
Watch this video, it’s only 9 minutes long