The Best TED Talks For Leaders

As the owner of your business, your employees, partners, and colleagues look to you as their leader. They depend on you to step up to the plate when tough decisions need to be made, when they need someone to mentor or train them, and when they need inspiration. What kind of leader are you to your team? Do your employees trust you? Are they loyal? Do they feel comfortable coming to you with problems? Are they dedicated to helping you grow your business? Or are you afraid that your leadership style might be making your employees feel disengaged, underappreciated, and desperate to find another opportunity outside of your organization?

If you’re looking to become a better leader, there are a lot of great places to start. One of the best things you can do to become a more effective leader is to spend time learning from other leaders and business people who have more experience and knowledge than you might have at this moment in time. Luckily for you, there is a great amount of helpful information being shared on the web each and every day by people who have made the same mistakes you’ve made, been in similar situations, or struggled with similar challenges. To get access to this valuable information, all you need to do is be proactive. It’s there for you already—you just need to spend time searching for it.

I’ve made it easy for you to get started. In this post, I’ve collected a handful of the best TED talks you can watch in order to become a better leader. So what are you waiting for? Start watching the videos below:

Psychologist Shawn Achor argues that happiness inspires productivity

Many people think that in order to become truly happy people, they need to spend a lot of time (sometimes even their entire lives) working hard before they can get there. In this talk, Psychologist Shawn Achor actually makes a case for the opposite. He argues that by being happy first, you can be more productive and more successful.

Nilofer Merchant explains why you should be having more walking meetings

Nilofer Merchant didn’t have time for meetings, so one day she asked someone to meet with her while she walked her dog. It changed her life. In this talk she explains how getting out of the box can lead to out-of-the-box thinking.

Stanley McChrystal shares experience that can help you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets

In this talk, four-star general Stanley McChrystal describes why he decided to listen, learn about, and develop personal connections with the people on his team.

Management theorist Simon Sinek explains that in order to be a good leader, you have to make people feel safe

In this talk, Simon Sinek claims that remarkable things can happen when leaders decide to put the safety and lives of the people inside the organization first. He says, “When we feel safe inside the organization, we will naturally combine our talents and our strengths and work tirelessly to face the dangers outside and seize the opportunities.”

Roselinde Torres shares three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future

Roselinde Torres has spent 25 years observing truly great leaders at work. In this talk, she presents three key questions every person must ask themselves and be able to answer in order to be a successful leader.

Yves Morieux explains why people feel so miserable and disengaged at work, and offers tips on how to address the problem

In this talk, Yves Morieux describes why, despite all the tools that exist and technological advances that have been made, there so little engagement at work. He presents six simple rules leaders can follow to boost employee engagement.

Harish Manwani encourages business owners to look beyond the balance sheet and the bottom line

In this talk, COO Harish Manwani argues that focusing on value, purpose and sustainability in top-level decision-making is the only way to successfully and responsibly run a business in the 21st century.

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely discusses what makes most of us thrive at work (hint: it’s not always money or joy)

You might think that money and joy are what makes most of people thrive at work. In this talk, Dan Ariely disagrees and says that purpose, meaning, and progress are actually some of the most powerful factors that impact our success at work.

Nigel Marsh talks about why you and your employees need work-life balance

In this talk, Nigel Marsh explains that deciding to invest in work-life balance doesn’t have to be as dramatic or complicated as people think it has to be. Instead, it’s all about making small changes in order to radically transform the quality of your work, your relationships, and your life.

Arianna Huffington argues that more sleep can lead to more (and better) ideas

Arianna Huffington wants leaders to stop bragging about working well into the wee hours of the night. Instead, she wants people to brag about all the sleep they got the night before. In this talk, she claims that sleep can lead to not only increased productivity and happiness, but also smarter decision-making.

Analyst Richard St. John reveals the real secrets of success

In this talk, Richard St. John condenses a two-hour speech that he usually gives to people on the 8 secrets of success and trims it down to three and a half quick minutes of value.

Fields Wicker-Miurin shares three leadership stories that will inspire you and help you become a better leader

Fields Wicker-Miurin wants people to know that there is no such thing as a user’s manual for leadership. But there are stories. In this talk, she shares a few that can help you become a better leader.

Itay Talgam demonstrates the unique styles of six great 20th-century conductors, illustrating crucial lessons for all leaders

In this talk, Itay Talgam illustrates how leaders can create perfect harmony at their companies by taking a few lessons from six great conductors from history.

Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves

John Wooden wants you to pursue the best in yourself. In this talk, he shares the useful advice he gave his players at UCLA.


One of the best and most effective ways to become a better leader is by learning from others who have come before you. Refer to the videos shared above when you’re looking for some inspiration, motivation, or actionable advice on how to be a better leader for your company, your employees, and yourself.

Have a favorite TED talk that you think needs to be on this list? Leave a comment with the link or tweet us and we’ll add it!

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