TED Talks: 10 Most Inspirational Videos on Leadership (2023)

Being a leader in any capacity can be very humbling. Gone are the days where the leader is seen as the boss and “what the boss says goes”. Employees, no longer look at potential jobs as careers where they will retire but as a medium to add value, feel valued, and stay engaged. Leaders must drive results not through their actions but through empowering their teams. One quality that every inspirational leader needs to have is to be “growth conscious”. The willingness to stretch one’s current abilities to sustain results and support future growth.

Some are born leaders, and they start showing leadership traits and skills already in school. These are the students who eagerly take charge and lead group projects. They are the ones who help their classmates be better and succeed, whether by supporting them or giving helpful tips like where they can buycheap research papers from native authors or find a good essay writing service to get help with the assignments. But it doesn’t mean that one can’t learn to be a leader.

Leadership is a journey. It is an ongoing discovery of self-awareness, self-growth, and emotional intelligence. What was great yesterday, may not work today, so you need to find new ways to keep your employees engaged, inspired, and invested in their ongoing development.

You can set goals and reward employees with custom medals when they complete them. Or set up group play activities during team building to increase cohesion, such as wearing uniforms, wearing custom logo pins, and playing in small groups for team games. In addition to that, you need to keep learning.

To begin, it needs to start with you. If you want your team to become better, you need to become better. One great resource is found in TED Talks. It holds a library of information on a variety of topics. Take some time to add personal development to your calendar and invest in yourself.

Below are some great TED Talks on the topic of Leadership. You can find a summary of each video below. The videos and summaries were written by Sarah Pritzker and first appeared on Youtubetomp3shark.com.

A leader is a dealer in hope – Napoleon Bonaparte

What does it mean to be a leader? How does one become a great leader? What does it really take? These are questions that the best leaders of all time ask themselves constantly, and that’s probably part of what makes them great.

But, the recipe doesn’t end there. So much goes into being a good leader, including constantly striving, working to improve, and most of all, always learning. There has never been a better time to be a leader than today because we’ve got thousands of resources at our fingertips, hours upon hours of inspiring talks from the best of the best, right in front of us, ready be to utilized if we dare.

Being a leader in any capacity can be very humbling. Gone are the days where the leader is seen as the boss and “what the boss says goes”. Employees no longer look at potential jobs as careers where they will retire but as a medium to add value, feel valued and stay engaged. Leaders must drive results not through their own actions but through empowering their team. One quality that every inspirational leader needs to have is to be “growth conscious”. The willingness to stretch one’s current abilities to sustain results and support future growth. This and other traits, however, need to be reflected by your scholarship essay writer to introduce your leadership skills. Knowing how to present yourself is a crucial capability for a future leader. And of course, you can learn how to present yourself in the right way.

If you’re ready to be the best leader you can be, check out 10 of the most inspiring and motivational TED talks on leadership today.

(Video) Great leadership starts with self-leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #1 Listen and learn from everyone around you

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other. – John F. Kennedy

General Stanley McChrystal is a decorated four-star general in the United States armed forces, and in my book, those are pretty good credentials for leadership training. He gave a great TED talk (Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn Then Lead) that’s just around 15 minutes long. Yet in the video, McChrystal gives over an essential value of leadership: don’t be too proud or full of yourself to learn from others because, at the end of the day, we all need one another to get through life. Short, poignant, and incredibly relevant to anyone in a leadership position. Salute.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #2 Self-leadership comes first

One of the most important things that a leader can do is to lead by example. If you want everyone else to be passionate, committed, dedicated, and motivated, you go first! – Marshall Goldsmith

Lars Sudmann gives a quick TED talk about the number one rule in leadership: self-leadership. He quickly goes through some important exercises you need to be doing constantly as a leader to ensure that you are being the best leader and that includes periodic self-character trait checks, asking self-reflecting questions, and continuous self-regulation. In short, Sudmann shows that if you want to lead others, you have to start by leading yourself.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #3 Value each employee for what they have to contribute

The role of a creative leader is not to have all the ideas; it’s to create a culture where everyone can have ideas and feel that they’re valued. – Ken Robinson

A good leader appreciates and understands the value of each employee. The obvious truth is that no great empire was built single-handedly. Instead, it’s the combined efforts of several individuals. And the great leader understands this principle, cultivates a culture in which each individual knows they have what to contribute, is given the tools and the space to make those contributions, and is appreciated for their contributions towards the finished product.

(Video) How great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek

In her talk, Forgetting the Pecking Order, Margaret Heffernan contests the usual business model of competition, dog-eat-dog, you’ve got to step on each other to climb to the top ideology, and suggests a different type of mentality. My favorite line from the talk is this: “If the only way the most productive can be successful is by suppressing the productivity of the rest, then we badly need to find a better way to work.”. So well put, Margaret.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #4 The definition of leadership is making someone’s life better

A leader is someone who helps improve the lives of other people or improve the system they live under. – Sam Houston

This is one of the best TED talks about leadership out there because it turns the entire definition we’re accustomed to on its head. Drew Dudley shows us in just six minutes how each one of us can be and is a leader without even knowing it. By doing the smallest thing, we can change someone’s life, thereby becoming a leader of people.

Dudley contests the superhero image of a leader who changes the world through massive feats of strength and superhuman powers. Instead, Dudley says we change the world, we lead the world, by the small things that make an impact on a single person at a time. Watch it, you’ll be amazed.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #5 Motivate properly

Everything is hard before it is easy. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Part of the job of a leader is to motivate their people to succeed. One of the most common methods society generally uses to get people moving is an incentive, whether it’s positive or negative, internal or external. But motivational speaker Dan Pink is teaching us some fascinating findings on motivation. Turns out that most of the time when we use rewards to motivate people, they end up doing more damage than good! Listen to Dan Pink’s The Puzzle of Motivation, and learn that at the end of the day the greatest motivation is feeling like we’re doing something that matters.

There are many other studies and speeches on the subject including two of the best from Dan Ariely and Tony Robbins. These two go deep into explaining the motivation of people and how to work with our internal mechanisms for greater productivity and greater workplace happiness.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #6 A little encouragement goes a long way

If you are a leader, you should never forget that everyone needs encouragement. And everyone who receives it – young or old, successful or less-than-successful, unknown or famous – is changed by it. John C. Maxwell

Simon Sinek has got a ton of great inspiration and advice for anyone who wants to be a great leader (and I highly recommend you check them all out). One of my favorite TED talks Sinek gives is the one about how leaders inspire action. In this talk, Sinek shows that your mission statement motivates and that your “why” is more important than your “what” or “how.” Learn from the master.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #7 Lead fearlessly, love hard

(Video) Why good leaders make you feel safe | Simon Sinek

A true leader not only cares about their success but the success and empowerment of others. – Warren G. Bennis

Linda Cliatt-Wayman might be the most motivational speaker on this entire list. She is a powerful, driven, and successful leader, and she is a school principal. That’s right, she is a school principal, but not just any school principal. Cliatt-Wayman goes into seriously troubled school districts and turns their situations around in incredible ways.

In her TED talk, Linda tells people that if you want to be a leader, you have to do three things: lead, i.e., get up off your butt and do things. That includes, of course, the big jobs that nobody else can do, but even the little, menial jobs that nobody else is interested in doing. Second, don’t focus on excuses or problems, focus on solutions. And thirdly, do it with love. No matter what kind of organization you’re leading, a little concern and respect go a long way.

Also a shout out to Angela Lee Duckworth’s Key to Success? Grit speech. Check it out if you want to hear more like this.

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #8 Female empowerment

And one day she discovered that she was fierce and strong, and full of fire and that not even she could hold herself back because her passion burned brighter than her fears. – Mark Anthony

In her incredibly inspiring TED talk, Sheryl Sandberg explains why there are too few women taking leadership roles. I think this is an invaluable talk that every girl needs to hear. Sandberg talks about the right self-messaging, that the workforce isn’t the right place for every woman, and that if it is, make sure to always “be at the table.” Look at and treat yourself as an equal, and others will too. Try it!

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #9 Learn how to make waves

This is a three-minute video that shows some key points about being a good leader. In How to Start a Movement, Derek Sivers shows the importance of nurturing your supporters and also of not being afraid to be a follower sometimes too. Seth Godin goes further into this concept with his talk about How to Get Your Ideas to Spread. In a word, it’s about being remarkable. Check it out.

(Video) Everyday leadership - Drew Dudley

Leadership TED Talk Lesson #10 Difference between success and winning

Winning is fun…sure. But winning is not the point. Wanting to win is the point. Not giving up is the point. Never letting up is the point. – Pat Summitt

I’ll end off this inspirational roundup with one of the most important lessons anyone (but especially a leader) needs to understand. In a terrific talk, John Wooden explains that there is a world of difference between success and winning. Almost every time, the biggest success is putting in your effort and doing the best you can. Whether or not you win, i.e., accomplish the goal that you set out to do, is less important than what effort you put forth.

Liked what you saw? You can also check out Fields Wicker Miurin’s speech for some quick and uplifting inspiring leaders’ stories or Itay Talgam’s talk about using harmony to create a beautiful symphony.

The task of the leader is to get his people from where they are to where they have not been. – Henry Kissinger

Leaders have the untold potential to make significant changes, touch people, and shape the world, but they have to be good leaders to accomplish those goals. Luckily, we have some of the most successful, powerful, and influential leaders in the world as our teachers. With technology, today, we have nothing stopping us from learning these priceless leadership lessons. As Muhammad Ali said, “the only limitations we have are the ones we place on ourselves.”

Have a favorite video? Share your thoughts below.



What is the most inspirational TED Talk? ›

Motivational Talks: 5 Most Inspiring TED Talks
  • Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action. This is actually the first TED Talk that I ever viewed. ...
  • Shawn Achor – The psychology of positivity. ...
  • Elizabeth Gilbert – Your elusive creative genius. ...
  • Tom Wujec – Got a wicked problem? ...
  • Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome.

What great leaders do TED Talk? ›

Top 10 TED Talks on Leadership
  • "Everyday Leadership" Drew Dudley. ...
  • "Dare to Disagree" Margaret Heffernan. ...
  • "So We Leaned In…Now What?" Cheryl Sandburg and Pat Mitchell. ...
  • "Lead Like the Great Conductors" Itay Talgam. ...
  • "How Great Leaders Inspire Action" Simon Sinek. ...
  • "Trial, Error and the God Complex" Tim Harford.

What are the top 5 most viewed TED talks? ›

Explore This Post
#NameTotal TED talk Views
1Brené Brown67,874,050
2Simon Sinek68,562,075
3Amy Cuddy60,720,729
4James Veitch87,856,830
21 more rows

What is the highest viewed TED Talk? ›

The most viewed TED Talk is “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” by author and educator Sir Ken Robinson, from February 2006. He challenged the way children are educated, arguing for a radical rethinking of how schools cultivate creativity, and an acknowledgement of multiple types of intelligence.

What is TED stand for? ›

When it was founded, in 1984, TED (which stands for “Technology, Entertainment, and Design”) brought together a few hundred people in a single annual conference in California.

Is there a real you TED Talk summary? ›

What makes you, you? Is it how you think of yourself, how others think of you, or something else entirely? Philosopher Julian Baggini draws from philosophy and neuroscience to give a surprising answer.

What is the slogan of TED talks? ›

TED Conferences, LLC (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an American-Canadian media organization that posts talks online for free distribution under the slogan "ideas worth spreading".

What are some good TED Talk topics? ›

  • Activism.
  • Addiction.
  • Africa.
  • Aging.
  • Agriculture.
  • AI.
  • AIDS.
  • Algorithm.

Why do leaders inspire action? ›

Leaders inspire people to act

If you want to influence people's behavior, you can either manipulate it or inspire it. Manipulation may work in the short-term, but it's a losing strategy in the long run. Great leaders don't demand that people do things. They inspire them to care about something.

Do you get paid for TED Talks? ›

TED does not pay speakers. We do, of course, cover travel costs and provide excellent hotel accommodation -- as well as a covetable pass to all five days of TED. Most speakers stay for the whole conference, soaking up the talks and connecting with other attendees.

What makes a good leader? ›

Respectful: Great leaders treat their teams with respect, gaining respect in return. Transparent: Being open and honest makes work more efficient and enjoyable. Trusting: Leadership requires delegation–trusting their team to complete what they are assigned with excellence produces positive morale and mutual respect.

Who is the youngest TED speaker? ›

Meet Kiara Kaur, an American citizen of Indian origin, who gave a nine-minute speech on a virtual episode of a TEDx talk organised by a TED community in India's Maharashtra state.

What is the difference between TEDx and TED Talk? ›

The only thing you have to decide is which to watch first, leading many first-time viewers to ask, “What's the difference between TED and TEDx Talks? Essentially, TED Talks are aimed at a global audience while TEDx talks are designed for smaller, local audiences.

What makes a good life? ›

Close relationships, the data indicates, are what keep people happy throughout their lives. The study found strong relationships to be far and away the strongest predictor of life satisfaction, and better predictors of long and happy lives than social class, wealth, fame, IQ, or even genes.

Why TED Talks are important? ›

TED Talks have an impressive overall outreach because they are open to everyone and thereby allow members of society to gain an understanding of social factors that influence their health.

Can anyone do a TED talk? ›

Who is qualified to give a TED Talk? Anyone with a great idea. The reason so many people enjoy these talks is because of the ideas, not the celebrity of the speakers. Ideas are the stars.

What was the first TED talk? ›

The first TED, which he co-founded with Harry Marks, included a demo of the compact disc, the e-book and cutting-edge 3D graphics from Lucasfilm, while mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot demonstrated how to map coastlines using his developing theory of fractal geometry.

What factors affect your composition according to baggini? ›

The factors that affect our composition according to Baggani are memories, desires, intentions, beliefs, experiences and so on.

How the World Works Julian baggini? ›

In this groundbreaking global overview of philosophy, Julian Baggini travels the world to provide a wide-ranging map of human thought. One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy flowered entirely separately in China, India and Ancient Greece at more or less the same time.

What type of speech is a TED talk? ›

A TED talk is a recorded public-speaking presentation that was originally given at the main TED (technology, entertainment and design) annual event or one of its many satellite events around the world. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks, often called "TED talks."

How much does it cost to attend TED Talks? ›

Once you find one you are interested in, you simply need to purchase a ticket. Tickets generally range in price from 75 to 100 dollars. Keep in mind that TEDx events often sell out, so try to purchase your tickets at least a few weeks in advance.

What are some good TED Talk topics? ›

  • Activism.
  • Addiction.
  • Africa.
  • Aging.
  • Agriculture.
  • AI.
  • AIDS.
  • Algorithm.

What is Brené Brown's most famous TED Talk? ›

Brown hosts the Unlocking Us podcast, and her 2010 TED Talk, "The power of vulnerability," is one of the most viewed talks in the world. She is the first researcher to have a filmed lecture on Netflix; The Call to Courage special debuted on the streaming service in April 2019.

How many TEDX talks are there? ›

More than 3000 events are now held annually.

How do I choose a TED Talk topic? ›

Choose a Topic That You Have a Unique Perspective On

You want your TED Talk to connect. Choose a topic that you have a unique perspective on. That doesn't mean you have to pick an idea that no one's ever discussed before. It just means that your take on it should be unique.

Why do leaders inspire action? ›

Leaders inspire people to act

If you want to influence people's behavior, you can either manipulate it or inspire it. Manipulation may work in the short-term, but it's a losing strategy in the long run. Great leaders don't demand that people do things. They inspire them to care about something.

Why TED Talks are so powerful? ›

Emotion and Passion.

TED speakers go beyond just reciting facts and know how to captivate with emotional influence and speaking passionately about the topic. These presenters touch the hearts of their audience, use enthusiasm, and inspire the audience to positive action.

How do I start a TED talk? ›

TED's Introduction Tips

Start with a reason that the audience should care about your main idea. For a well-known main idea, start by clearly stating it. For a lesser-known main idea or an idea in a lesser-known field, start by explaining a related topic or idea that is well-known.


1. What Makes the Highest Performing Teams in the World | Simon Sinek
(Simon Sinek)
2. Steve Jobs talks about managing people
3. Be The Leader You Wish You Had - Best Simon Sinek Motivational Speech (very powerful words!)
4. Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr
5. Top 10 Most Inspiring TED Talks That Will Change Your Life
6. Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth
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