Top 10 TED Talks on Leadership

In many cases earning a PhD means becoming a leader in your field or profession. Here are 10 of the most popular TED Talks about leadership to help you do that well.

1. “Everyday Leadership” Drew Dudley

Drew Dudley, the Leadership Development Coordinator at the University of Toronto, spoke to the TEDx audience in 2012 about the value of leadership in our everyday lives. Leadership, according to Dudley, is helping others make their lives better with a personal impact. This talk is a direct link to how to be a an effective leader.

2. “Dare to Disagree” Margaret Heffernan

In this talk, Margaret Heffernan explains how disagreements are the basis for progress and that individuals need forms of conflict to move forward. This video helps leaders see past the perceived negativity of disagreements and teaches them how to harness differences to create change for the better.

3. “So We Leaned In…Now What?” Cheryl Sandburg and Pat Mitchell

Best selling author and Facebook COO Cheryl Sandburg sits down with her mentor, famed journalist Pat Mitchell, to discuss the loneliness and struggles of being a successful woman in business. This talk shows the discussion about the journey Sandburg started with her book “Lean In” and how women in successful business positions still struggle.

4. “Lead Like the Great Conductors” Itay Talgam

Based on his illustrious 10 year career as an orchestra conductor in Israel, Itay Talgam gives a TED talk about the correlation between conducting a group of musicians with instruments and leading a group of people with ideas. A musical leader conducts his orchestra without words and yet is able to evoke harmony and emotion. Talgam reflects on 6 successful conductors and the strategies they used to make their performances great.

5. “How Great Leaders Inspire Action” Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek challenges his audience to ask the question “why” when looking to great leaders as role models. What makes people like the Wright brothers, Martin Luther King, and Apple so successful with inspiring people into action? Sinek simply breaks down an easy but powerful leadership model for anyone to follow.

6. “Trial, Error and the God Complex” Tim Harford

According to Tim Harford, mistakes in leadership are just as valuable and useful as successes. Harford suggests that some of the greatest successes are found through a system of trials and errors. His challenge is for leaders to start being intentional about the decisions they make and let their mistakes be a learning experience instead of a defeat.

7. “Listen, Learn…Then Lead” Stanley McChrystal

Individuals in leadership positions can be prone to dive head first into their roles without taking time to listen to the people they’re leading. Four star general Stanley McChrystal strongly indicates that leadership begins with listening to your followers and making your plan accordingly. After years of military leadership, McChrystal discusses the fact that strong communication among a unit of people inspires purpose to achieve a shared goal.

8. “How to Start a Movement” Derek Sivers

In this short but incredible video, Derek Shivers lets his audience in on a little secret: it takes two to start a movement. This founder of CD Baby explains this concept using a popular viral video that illustrates the power of inspiring one person to follow and how that follower deserves just as much credit as the initial leader. It takes guts to stand out among your peers, but the benefit is sparking the movement.

9. “The Difference Between Winning and Succeeding” John Wooden

This inspiring talk from legendary college basketball coach John Wooden explores how winning and succeeding are not necessarily mutually exclusive concepts. Having lead the UCLA basketball team to a record breaking (and still unbroken) number of wins, Wooden tells his audience about is leadership role as a coach and how he showed his athletes that being successful is so much more than winning.

10. “A Life of Purpose” Rick Warren

Best selling author Pastor Rick Warren sits down to talk about finding purpose beyond his book’s international success. As leader of his church and a leader through his pen, Warren shares how he has found intention in his life to do good for others with his God-given talents. Leadership is more than implementing ideas; it’s a lifestyle of service.