New Ways to Look at Leadership: Top 4 TED Talks on the Topic

Posted by
Hollie Ellison
Senior Marketing Manager, Events
Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 10:52

Ever get caught up watching TED Talks? It’s easy to do. As our team reflects on the vision and culture that have gotten us to our 20-year anniversary within the tech industry, we thought it’d be fun to share some fresh TED Talks on leadership — a driving force behind everything we do.

Our CEO Rob LoCascio also revealed his favorite TED Talks about this very topic in his column in Inc.   Here are our thoughts on his picks:

1. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Simon examines the thought processes behind great leaders and innovators like Martin Luther King, Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright brothers. He concludes that it’s the opposite way of everyone else: They first focus on why they do what they do and why what they’re doing is important before moving on to the how and the what.

We’ve recently refocused on the “why.” We’re leaning into the vision and mission behind what we do and then how we do it. This vision (and culture) translates across all teams and into our platform.

We’re in the business of making meaningful connections. From a leadership standpoint, this starts with hiring, nurturing, and promoting the next generation of leaders. As Simon says (and as we wholeheartedly agree), “The goal is not to hire people who need a job; it’s to hire people who believe what you believe.”

2. Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work

LivePerson is all about fostering employee worth, health, and happiness. This is a top-down directive, as you can even watch our CEO participate in health- and connectivity-related retreats. We also encourage weekly group exercise sessions in the office; have quiet rooms for focus (or meditation)’ offer regular, office-wide lunches; provide extensive culture training; and more.

So, why is this so important? As Shaw explains, “[It’s] not necessarily the reality that shapes us but the lense through which your brain views the world that shapes your reality.” As such, LivePerson leaders have an invested in the wellbeing of all employees, as enjoyment of the present boosts brain functionality and, it follows, your drive to work harder. Shawn’s name for it? “Positive psychology.”

Related read:Teams That Sweat Together, Stay Together

3. Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good about Work

By our nature, LivePerson is a team of entrepreneurs, so it plays well into inspiring a culture of employees who love what they do. We also give employees a platform to share ideas and recent wins. Companies that develop meaning, pride, and motivation will foster productivity and overall workplace satisfaction.

We see two big takeaways from Dan’s TED Talk: First, when a person dedicates a lot of time and effort to a project, he or she will, more likely, feel a deeper connection to its outcome and success. The next lesson is for leadership: You must always recognize a team’s effort. Showing that you care about how much an employee or team put into a project works wonders on their confidence and self-esteem.

4. Derek Sivers: How to Start a Movement

As Derek explores in his brief but insightful TED Talk, what differentiates a leader from a lone nut? Answer: A leader has followers. And it’s not just the leader that shows courage in striking out on his or her own; it’s also those first few followers who believe in the mission so much, they’re willing to look a little nutty, too, at first. And, if the vision holds water, more will come.

Yes, our leaders have incredible vision, but it’s also our collective team and drive that’s moved us forward in building a sustainable tech company for the past 20 years.

Read Rob’s thoughts on these videos on Inc.!

What are your top TED Talks related to this subject? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Looking to be a part of a team that takes culture and employee happiness to the next level? Learn more about LivePerson culture — and consider joining us!

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