5 TED Talks for Leaders

Ted talks on female leadership

Ready to get inspired for your career? Take a listen to these 5 Ted Talks to learn more about topics ranging mindset and grit, to power poses and creativity. With advice from women leading in industries such as science, technology and entertainment, their insights can help you refine your leadership style and prepare your next career power move.

Ted talks on female leadership
Original Photo of Angela via Character Lab

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth began gathering insights on the power of mindset during her time teaching 7th grade math. She noticed that the smartest students weren’t always the ones to succeed. Instead, it was those who chose to embrace the challenge and persevere with grit. Angela continued studying success as a PhD student and scientist and continues to teach us about grittiness. Her TED Talk offers an overview into the idea of grit and its relationship to growth mindset. 

“When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.” 

Watch Angela's TED Talk here.

Ted talks on female leadership
Original Photo of Carol via Schools Week

The Power of Believing You Can Improve by Carol Dweck

Carol Dweck has been studying mindset and the brain for years. Though her studies often work with children, they apply to people of all ages. She discovered that people who are willing to make mistakes, learn new things and continue trying after failure are using growth mindset. Instead of being limited by a fixed mindset that stays in the present, people with a growth mindset are more willing to invest higher levels of effort and will thus achieve better outcomes. Hear about her studies and how growth mindset lights up the brain in her TED Talk. 

“Becoming is better than being...” 

Watch Carol's TED Talk here. 

Ted talks on female leadership
Original Photo of Amy by Bob O'Connor via The Boston Globe

Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are by Amy Cuddy

What is your body language right now? In any given moment, our bodies are always talking. Our body language is constantly communicating through nonverbal cues to people around us. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares how power is communicated through body language. Not feeling very powerful? Amy shows you how to create your own power pose (like the one in her picture above) to prepare for your next interview, meeting or performance review. Hint: You can even “fake it until you become it” when it comes to power. 

“Authenticity doesn’t just mean you’re not filtering what you’re saying, it’s about being able to know and access the best parts of yourself and bring them forward.”

Watch Amy's TED Talk here. 

Ted talks on female leadership
Original Photo of Shonda via Hollywood Reporter

My Year of Saying Yes to Everything by Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes brings hours worth of TV to our screens each season. This writer is not simply hiding behind a computer screen, she is running the world of entertainment working, creating, collaborating and producing. In her TED Talk she discusses the volume of work she balances, with her drive for success and the need for self-care during a season of burnout. What do you do when the work you love suddenly loses its sparkle and the joy of producing evaporates? Shonda describes how sometimes it takes saying “yes” to something out of the routine to reopen the door to creativity and love.

“Say 'yes' to what scares you, even if it's saying 'no' to work.” 

Watch Shonda's TED Talk here. 

Ted talks on female leadership
Original Photo of Sheryl via Facebook

Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders by Sheryl Sandberg

Though women represent 50% of the US population, they are only in a fraction of the C-suite and board level positions. Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, points out a variety of factors that impact this, including the fact that success and like-ability are negatively correlated for women and that women underestimate their own abilities. During this TED Talk you’ll hear from the woman who has broken barriers in tech and served at the highest levels of business. Sheryl outlines three guidelines for success that can help you lean in to whatever comes next in your career. 

“Sit at the table.”

Watch Sheryl's TED Talk here.