The 10 Best TED Talks On Leadership

Leaders come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing remains the same – they all have inspiring stories to share. This article will explore the 10 best TED Talks on leadership and how these talks can help inspire and develop leaders of tomorrow.

From understanding what it takes to become an effective leader to ways to motivate teams, each talk explores a different aspect of leadership that can be implemented into your own life or business.

Whether or not you’re already an experienced leader, you’ll indeed walk away with new insights after listening to these riveting talks.

1. Drew Dudley: Everyday Leadership

Drew Dudley, an author and keynote speaker, discusses the importance of recognizing everyday leadership moments. In his TED Talk “Everyday Leadership”, Drew Dudley encourages us to identify and celebrate the power of our everyday leadership. He explains that even small, seemingly insignificant acts such as a smile, a kind word, or a deed of appreciation can immensely impact someone else’s life.

2. David Logan: Tribal Leadership

In his riveting TED talk “Tribal Leadership,” David Logan dives deep into the five distinct varieties of tribes that we, as humans, form. He uses examples from countless settings such as schools, workplaces and even a driver’s license bureau to illustrate how these tribal dynamics can shape our lives—and, more importantly, how understanding them may help us become better leaders.

3. Sophie Williams: The Rigged Test of Leadership

Sophie Williams enlightens us on how the glass cliff phenomenon affects leadership roles. She explains why some leadership roles have an unfair disadvantage and how this can set up people for failure before they even start. Sophie Williams encourages us to recognize the biases and behaviors that lead to the glass cliff and look for ways to make the path to success in leadership better for

4. Lorna Davis: A Guide to Collaborative Leadership

Lorna Davis highlights the contrast between heroes and leaders, emphasizing that we should abandon our hero-worshiping mentality in lieu of radical interdependence. She believes that collective leadership is vital to making a meaningful impact on persistent issues while also stressing how to become an influential leader within this type of setup.

5. Gitte Frederiksen: Great Leadership is a Network, Not a Hierarchy

In Gitte Frederiksen’s TED Talk “Great Leadership is a Network, Not a Hierarchy”, she explains the concept of distributed leadership and how this type of leadership can help teams do more and do it better. Gitte Frederiksen provides an in-depth explanation of the idea and how it requires collaboration, creativity, and communication to be successful.

6. Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

In this insightful talk, Simon Sinek emphasizes the vital role that trust and security play in building a successful team. He stresses how critical it is for leaders to prioritize cultivating trust with their teams and making sure they feel safe so as to cultivate an effective working environment. According to him, the most prosperous teams are not composed of only talented individuals but rather composed of those who have a secure enough space where everyone can take risks without fear and be open about themselves.

7. Roselinde Torres: What It Takes to Be a Great Leader

Roselinde Torres shares insights from her 25 years of experience observing truly great leaders. She introduces the “Three Simple Questions” that would-be company chiefs need to ask themselves in order to thrive in the future. Roselinde Torres provides a candid look into the leadership traits and mindsets required to be an effective leader in today’s world.

8. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

In this TED Talk, Simon Sinek explains the importance of starting with why. He demonstrates how great leaders and organizations focus on their “why” – the purpose, cause or belief that drives them – to inspire their teams and customers. He argues that focusing on why instead of what or how is the key to motivating teams and engaging customers.

9. Rick Warren: A Life of Purpose

In this thought-provoking talk, Rick Warren reflects on how the triumph of his book The Purpose-Driven Life started his own crisis of purpose. He encourages us to recognize our abundant blessings – wealth, creativity and talent – as a way to end spiritual emptiness within ourselves; while utilizing those gifts to positively impact the world.

10. Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn … Then Lead

Stanley McChrystal is a renowned leader, and his TED Talk “Listen, Learn … Then Lead” is no exception. He discusses relationships as the “sinew that hold a force together.” He argues that leaders should learn before they lead, strengthening both themselves and their followers. With his experience in the military, McChrystal offers valuable insights into what it takes to be a successful leader.


The TED Talks about leadership provide valuable insight into the complex and ever-changing world of leadership. Each speaker offers a unique perspective that helps to shape our understanding of what it takes to be an effective leader. By considering the different points of view, it is possible to better understand how best to lead in any context.

Through these talks, we can appreciate the importance of relationships, collaboration, trust and purpose to succeed. Ultimately, they encourage us to be humble and open-minded in order to become the best leaders we can be.