Take no more than 22 minutes to learn something new. These 12 TED Talks will help you drive productivity, get inspired, lead, and be happy.
1. Margaret Heffernan – Forget the Pecking Order at Work
- Length: 15:47
- “Organizations are often run according to ‘the superchicken model,’ where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn't what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: ‘Companies don't have ideas. Only people do.’”
2. Kathryn Schulz – On Being Wrong
- Length: 17:51
- Why being wrong is ok and even beneficial. “Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? ‘Wrongologist’ Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.”
3. Nilofer Merchant – Got a Meeting? Take a Walk
- Length: 3:28
- “Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a ‘walking meeting’ — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.” Walking meetings can drive fresh thinking and help eliminate some of the abundant sitting that happens throughout the work day.
1. Dame Stephanie Shirley – Why Do Ambitious Women Have Flat Heads?
- Length: 13:39
- “Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by ‘Steve,’ how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women …”
2. Billie Jean King – This Tennis Icon Paved the Way for Women in Sports
- Length: 16:05
- Hear about the Leadership Initiative that encourages an inclusive workforce & being your authentic self. “Tennis legend Billie Jean King isn't just a pioneer of women's tennis — she's a pioneer for women getting paid. In this freewheeling conversation, she talks about identity, the role of sports in social justice and the famous Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs.”
3. Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
- Length: 21:02
- “Changing your body language can change how you think. Shape yourself to feel more powerful and successful. Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how ‘power posing’ — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don't feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.”
1. Sheryl Sandberg – Why We Have too few Women Leaders
- Length: 14:58
- “Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.” Changing minds & actions to pursue ambitions can get more leaders higher up in the workplace.
2. Drew Dudley – Everyday Leadership
- Length: 6:14
- Devaluing things we can do every day robs us from appreciating some of our leadership moments. Expect leadership every day from ourselves and each other. “We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.”
3. Julian Treasure – How to Speak so that People Want to Listen
- Length: 9:58
- “Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.” Speak powerfully to people who are listening consciously with these tips on how to talk and what to talk about.
1. Brene Brown - The Power of Vulnerability
- Length: 20:19
- People with greater vulnerability are happier & have greater successes with living a whole hearted life “Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.”
2. Shawn Achor – The Happy Secret to Better Work
- Length: 12:20
- “We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.” Find out how to focus on being happy before we achieve success and thereby achieve the happiness advantage.
3. Andy Puddicombe – All it Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes
- Length: 9:24
- We should treat meditation as a preventative measure for stress and unhappiness. “When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions.)”