Women standing up for other women remains a crucial part of a healthy, productive, supportive work environment. We all have something to learn from each other and if we listen to those around us, we have the opportunity to develop ourselves not on a professional level but also on a personal level.
We wanted to share six of our absolute favorite Ted Talks on leadership and leadership development. These Talks are given by incredible women – strong leaders, successful business owners, intelligent scientists, and authentic artists. We hope that you can listen and learn from them, continue your education for how to live confident, successful, and fulfilling lives.
Ted Talks on Leadership
Margaret Heffernan’s talk might be the most difficult for women to implement because when women openly disagree in the workplace, they are considered bossy. Men, in these same circumstances, are considered confident.
Heffernan explains how dissention leads to a strengthening of ideas. This is what happens when you are exposed to new concepts and inspiration, rather than just having your ideas resonate in an echo chamber.
Everyone experiences stress, but perhaps the way we perceive that stress impacts the way the stress impacts us.
Health psychologist Kelly McGonigal cites a study, which shows that those who experienced high amounts of stress had a 43% increased risk of dying. However, those numbers were only that high if the stressed individual believe that the stress was harmful.
If we change the way we perceive stress, it could change the way we understand and handle that stress.
Reshma Saujami’s talk is best explained by this quote: “Most girls are taught to avoid risk and failure. We’re taught to smile pretty, play it safe, get all A’s. Boys, on the other hand, are taught to play rough, swing high, crawl to the top of the monkey bars and then just jump off headfirst… In other words, we’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave.”
Watch to listen and learn more about what roadblocks come with the female experience.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, delves into the crisis of creativity and maintaining mental health.
Gilbert specifically talks about how people seem especially concerned about the mental health of artists and with good reason. Norman Mailer, in his last interview, just before he died, said, “Every one of my books has killed me a little more.”
Brittany Packnett reframes confidence as a necessity for success, rather than a perk. She explains that “confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows. Confidence is the difference between being inspired and actually getting started, between trying and doing until it’s done.”
Stacey Abrams speaks out about her experience of being told she didn’t belong, because of the way she looked and the poverty she came from. She knew she had earned her place.
According to Abrams, the three steps to achieving your goals are these: “first know what you want. Second, know why you want it. But third, know how you’re going to get it done.”
How do you become a great leader? Through experience, trial and error, taking risks, and caring about your team. You don’t have to start a movement or give an inspirational talk to inspire those around you. You just need to learn from life’s lessons, share that wisdom with others, set good examples, and support your team however you can.
Do you have any important lessons you’ve learned from the women around you? Have you watched Ted Talks on leadership that have impacted you? Or Ted Talks on any subject that have inspired you? List them in the comments below!
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com