Good business models and practices are central to both local and global economics. Below are 10 of the most popular TED Talks on business and business education, many focusing on how personal self-improvement will reflect professional success.
#1. Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action
Author and ethnographer Simon Sinek researches patterns in great leadership and successful companies. Watch this illuminating TED Talk on the Golden Circle, Sinek’s theory of how top leaders, both in the business world and in the political or civil rights arena, are able to accomplish what may seem impossible from the outside.
#2. Amy Cuddy – Your body language shapes who you are
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy goes over body language, its importance in communication, and how it can shape lives. In this TED Talk she describes not only how body language can affect our success in the business or political world, but how “faking” certain confident behaviors can lead to increased confidence both from others and even in the how we feel about ourselves.
#3. Tony Robbins – Why we do what we do
Tony Robbins specializes in life coaching and motivation. In his TED Talk he goes over why people make the choices they make, and how leaders can motivate employees to certain behaviors by understanding these invisible forces. In this twofold talk he not only examines how to guide ourselves and others to better contribute, but also how to understand what shapes current behaviors.
#4. Dan Pink – The puzzle of motivation
Dan Pink teaches viewers in this 20 minute TED Talk how to motivate employees, and lectures that the carrot-and-stick way many employers structure incentives actually leads to below par results. In this fascinating talk, he goes over how contingent motivators are surprisingly ineffective in complex tasks, and how to find alternate methods that really do work.
#5. Susan Cain – The power of introverts
Author and attorney Susan Cain highlights the difficulty of being an introvert in an extroverted world. After setting up the convincing argument that the modern scholastic and career world favors extroverts, she turns around and drives home the value of an introvert, pointing out the myriad ways that they excel and provide value to businesses. From Darwin to Steve Wozniak, she reminds viewers of introverts who have changed the world.
#6. Shawn Achor – The happy secret to better work
Expert in positive psychology Shawn Achor describes how the lens through which you see the world shapes reality. His TED Talk focuses on how to adjust that lens and reverse the presumed formula of success equaling happiness, and instead realize that happiness leads to success.
#7. Barry Schwartz – The paradox of choice
Psychologist Barry Schwartz uses his TED Talk to discuss choice and the excess of options in today’s world. He breaks down the myth that the more choices people have the more freedom they have, and instead makes the argument that all the options available in today’s world can lead to paralysis and decreased satisfaction. This encompasses everything from health care to grocery shopping. He argues that the key to happiness is lowered expectation and finding the correctly sized “fishbowl.”
#8. Richard St. John – 8 secrets of success
Author and analyst Richard St. John shares the secrets of becoming successful in a lightning fast three minute TED Talk. After seven years of research and countless interviews with successful people, he has been able to distill the formula of success down to eight basic tenants, and in his TED Talk he shares those tenants with viewers.
#9. Amanda Palmer – The art of asking
Musician Amanda Palmer talks about the changing face of the music industry and how, with the advent of the internet, the relationship between fan and musician should become closer and more direct. Relying on personal anecdotes, she documents the story of her musical rise and her decision to give her music away online for free, rather than through a record label. That decision led to subsequently crowdfunding $1.2 million directly from her fans, at the time the biggest ever music crowdfunding.
#10. Jamie Oliver – Teach every child about food
World famous chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver focuses on the food industry and the cost of bad eating in his TED Talk. He makes an impassioned argument for teaching children about food and breaking the obesity cycle. While recognizing personal accountability, he also puts a good deal of the blame on the fast food and supermarket industries.