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Productivity

Podcasts and TED Talks to make you a better leader

Reading time:  3 Minutes

As a business leader, the success of your organisation greatly depends on your qualities. Here are seven podcasts and TED Talks to give you the inspiration you need to excel

People who run companies have a lot of pressure on them, which is why they can start feeling depleted, so it’s important to inject new ideas that give a mental boost. Listening to a podcast or TED Talk is an efficient way to absorb information when you’re on the go, be it on your commute to your company HQ or local coworking space, or when cooking a meal at home. Here is our pick of the most thought-provoking to get you started…

1. PODCAST: How I Built This

How I Built This is hosted by journalist Guy Raz, who interviews founders from a wide variety of industries about how they set up their companies and the ways they have been navigating remote working by “building resilience”. Hear from SoulCycle, Dropbox, Lyft, Airbnb, Shake Shack and many others – and don’t dismiss episodes you might not think are relevant to you. There is something to learn from everyone.

2. PODCAST: The Tim Ferriss Show

Author of bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss hosts a fascinating podcast where he interviews some of the world’s most successful people – from Vitalik Buterin (creator of cryptocurrency Ethereum) to Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx – and goes deep into unpicking their tools, tactics and techniques for reaching the top of their game.

3. PODCAST: Big Money Energy

Hosted by American real estate mogul, author and reality TV actor Ryan Serhant, this podcast airs conversations with self-made millionaires (and billionaires) to shed light on their journeys to the top, how they overcame obstacles and what their biggest achievements have been. Guests include celebrity fitness entrepreneur Jillian Michaels and Scott Shay, co-founder of Signature Bank.

4. TED TALK: How to Design Gender Bias Out of Your Workplace

Equity expert Sara Sanford presents a tried-and-tested method for countering unconscious gender bias within companies. “Many businesses think they are addressing the problem because they provide training – $8bn of diversity training a year according to studies from the Harvard Business Review,” she says. “These same studies also conclude that these trainings often don’t work and often backfire.”

5. TED TALK: A Guide to Collaborative Leadership

“In a world as complex and interconnected as the one we live in, the idea that one person has the answer is ludicrous. It’s not only ineffective, but it’s dangerous because it leads us to believe it has been solved by that hero and we have no role,” says business coach Lorna Davis. In this TED Talk, she argues the case for why we need “radical interdependence” – which means working together more, and being more open, transparent and vulnerable.

6. TED TALK: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

Organisational psychologist Adam Grant has spent considerable time studying individuals who put dreams into action, and the unexpected habits that these nonconformist “originals” (such as Steve Jobs) share in common. How can you become a little bit more like them? Clue: if you are a procrastinator – you might be more of an innovator than you think you are.

7. TED TALK: The Anti-CEO Playbook

Hamdi Ulukaya is the founder of American yoghurt brand Chobani. In this TED Talk he calls for business leaders to prioritise people over profits. “Spreadsheets are lazy,” he says. “They don’t tell you about people, they don’t tell you about communities. But unfortunately this is how too many business decisions are made today.” There is a return on investment – and there is a return on kindness. “This is the difference between profit – and true wealth,” says Ulukaya.

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