Although it began as a onetime event 32 years ago, the annual TED convention has grown into a global enterprise that turned the spotlight on 70 memorable speakers this year. Were you unable to attend the sold-out event? Are you searching for brilliant advice that will make you a better leader?

These four TED talks will give you a unique and important view of leadership, with actions that you can begin using immediately.

Join these four remarkable experts and be inspired by their timeless wisdom.

1“My year of saying yes to everything”

Shonda Rhimes is known for her groundbreaking storytelling, her candor and humor that shines through in this 2016 TED talk. In her words: “When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling.” Rhimes has a name for this feeling: the hum.

The hum is a drug, the hum is music, and the hum is God’s whisper in her ear. But what happens when it stops? Join the genius that created ‘Grey’s Anatomy’, ‘Scandal’ as well as ‘How to Get Away with Murder’, and discover how she managed to get her hum back.

2“The happy secret to better work”

Does success make us happy? Or could happiness be the secret to a productive life? In one of the most watched TED talks of all time, psychologist and Harvard alumni Shawn Achor shows us that happiness actually inspires productivity.

3“Got a meeting? Take a walk”

Business innovator Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that can make a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, consider making it a “walking meeting”. The movement will let ideas flow while you walk, talk, and it can positively impact your health.

4“Everyday leadership”

In this inspiring and humorous talk, Drew Dudley shares a short story of his “lollipop moment” that will help you put leadership in the proper perspective. Dudley will also help you become aware of the little moments that impact others and define leaders in significant ways.

Looking ahead

The majority of TED talks are focused on the world at large and the ideas that power it. However, in 2017 the spotlight is shifting and the group at TED plans to make it more explicitly personal. They are planning a week of talks that can offer each of us (individually) a toolkit for personal learning, growth and empowerment.

If you are interested in applying for a TED talk, or want to learn more about the 2017 agenda, then set aside time to visit the site (link below).

TED 2017 application link here:


Do you have a favorite TED talk that has helped you in your leadership role? If so, thanks in advance for taking a moment to share your thoughts with our audience by adding a comment below!




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Kelly Isley is an international strategist, business leader, columnist, author, and pilot with more than 21 years of experience in the aerospace, finance, engineering, and healthcare industries. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and covers global workforce, workplace and leadership topics. If you have any suggestions for future articles please contact Kelly via email or twitter.