Whether you’re new to being in management, or are a senior level manager to your team, being a supervisor means you have to acquire new skills in order to be successful and steer your team in the right direction. There are excellent resources to help those in leadership positions like books and videos, but TED Talks offer speeches given by experts in their field to give insight about specific topics. Many management talks exist on the site, but these are some of the most influential and educational to help you transform from manager to true leader.

Simon Sinek – Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

imgres-1Simon Sinek is a motivational speaker and author that travels the world to help others make positive steps in their lives. In this talk, Simon explains the difference between management and leadership, saying “leadership is a choice, it is not a rank.” He defines leadership as those who take it upon themselves to look after people. Even if your job title is CEO, unless you’re properly taking care of the employees under you, you’re not a true leader. Simon gives the example of a company who lost 30% of their orders overnight due to the recession. The CEO of that company needed to save $10 million as soon as possible, and the most obvious option was to lay off many workers, but this is not what he did. Instead of putting his people in the unemployment lines, he created a really easy simple way to save the money and made his workers feel safe.

Dan Pink – The Puzzle of Motivation

Helping your team get motivated can sometimes be a challenge, but a huge motivator that is used by companies is money. Dan Pink is a business thinker and author of books that focus on management, success, and behavioral science. In this talk, Dan talks about how cash bonuses seem like a great idea when it comes to rewarding those in the company who were motivated to take on that big project or who helped the company greatly in some way. Unfortunately, Dan revealed that research says that rewards for employees in the form of cash actually hinder creativity in their position. Instead of offering cash bonuses, Dan suggests that there are more worthwhile motivators that actually help to improve work performance:

  1. Autonomy – give the employees a chance to manage themselves and create their workload instead of dictating what needs to be done.
  2. Mastery – everyone wants to master the skills they have needed for the job. Help them attain better skills by offering education courses.
  3. Purpose – people want to believe that what they’re doing is worthwhile and meaningful. Help them to see how they fit in the big picture to give them a sense of purpose.

Tony Robbins – Why We Do What We Do

Tony Robbins is a well-known motivational speaker and executive coach to many CEOs. His speeches normally run for a couple hours and seminars are 50 hours long, so this TED Talk is brief in comparison but just as effective. Tony believes taking a hard look at your personal motivators will determine whether or not you are able to attain success. Tony believes that honing in on your emotions and motivators will allow you to add meaning to your work and thus become a more effective leader.