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Career Advice

9 Inspiring TED Talks Every Manager Should Watch

Posted by Amy Elisa Jackson

Last Updated Aug 10, 2016
|3 min read

Got the Monday blues? We’ve got just the fix.

Whether you’re struggling with effective communication or leading change at your company, the battles may seem all up hill. Glassdoor has rounded up 9 TED Talks that will not only inspire you, they will help you tackle the unique challenges you face as mid-level managers.

Press play and take on the week with a new outlook.

David Grady: How to Save the World (Or At Least Yourself) From Bad Meetings
We’re all been in them: bad meetings. Long, unwieldy, unfocused meetings. "Every day we allow our co-workers, who are otherwise very, very nice people, to steal from us, and I'm talking about something far more valuable than office furniture," said information technology manager, David Grady. "I'm talking about time. Your time." This is a must-watch for anyone drowning in meeting invites and trying to improve how teams collaborate.

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Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes to Everything
The creative genius behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy opens up about the year she spent saying yes to everything. This may seem impossible for a workaholic, but in fact the word “yes” actually transformed her. Saying yes to playtime with her daughter reinvigorated her creativity and zeal for life. “It’s about joy, it’s about playing in general... Find what makes you feel good. Just figure it out and play in that arena.” The best takeaway? Rhonda reminds us all: “Work doesn’t work without play.”


Tim Harford: How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative
English economist and journalist Tim Harford has been dubbed the “undercover economist” for his unconventional approaches to finance, but when he told an audience that “frustration breeds creativity” the statement oddly made sense. Through a compelling narrative, this talk convinces you that while some challenges and problems can derail your creative process, they can also make you more innovative than ever.


Magda Sayeg: How Yarn Bombing Grew Into a Worldwide Movement
“Do what you love.” It’s a popular, and some would argue cliche, saying. However for artist Magda Sayeg, it’s at the core of her business. Magda creates large scale installations around the world using yarn and has been commissioned by companies like Mini Cooper, Gap and Absolute Vodka. She’s proof that doing what you love, no matter how unusual, can actually earn you international recognition and a thriving career.

Roselinde Torres: What It Takes To Be A Great Leader

A researcher in the field of leadership, Roseline spent twenty five years observing and traveling around the world to study different leadership programs. Torres formulated three essential questions to ask oneself to able to thrive as a leader at work. Here they are:


Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree
Quelling conflict in the workplace is a weekly task on every manager’s to-do list. However, CEO and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan says good disagreement is actually beneficial. In fact, she argues that great teams aren't echo chambers, but instead, truly great organizations encourage members to regularly bicker. Plus, if you haven’t read it, her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan is a must. It examines why businesses often ignore the obvious only to flounder in the face of grave consequences.

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Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
Motivation and perks are all the rage from summer Friday’s to Facebook’s All-Hands meetings. But what are tactile ways that managers can inspire and motivate? Dan Pink will explore why traditional rewards systems for employees aren't always the most effective. Plus, learn what else you can do to encourage your reports.

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Philip Zimbardo: The Psychology of Time
Ever considered how much of a role time plays in your team's happiness? Slow down and take a different approach to the 9-to-5 with guidance from renowned psychologist Philip Zimbardo. This talk provides powerful insights on how all employees can adjust their outlook to improve their well-being.


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