Recently, I wrote about leadership and management mistakes leaders make. Invariably, along with these tips, leaders can rely on experience and intuition. One of the most common follow up questions to my piece was, “Ok, so I’m an aspiring leader, what do I do to improve my leadership skills?” Now, this is a tough question to answer. There’s a lot one can and cannot do to improve leadership skills. There’s a wonderful reading list for aspiring entrepreneurs, there’s also classic characters one could take leadership lessons from. But, if I had to focus on a slehort on an all-encompassing Do’s and Don’ts of leadership, I’d choose the below. A short list of three inspiring TED Talks for aspiring entrepreneurs.
How Great Leaders Inspire Action, by Simon Sinek
Great leadership starts with the communication of one’s vision, mission and communicating the same to the world to make a difference. Most leaders, however, do not have a vision. As a matter of fact, what drives most leaders, is the same – ‘I think, I’d like to be tad rich’.
Business 101 is a vision statement. It could be a barely-thought-out perfunctory, or something visibly accurate. But, what is essential is the art of communication.
Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action is shining the spotlight on an effective communication method for the quasi-effervescent salesman. In other words, communicate from inside out. When you choose to communicate ‘inside out,’ you’re directly appealing to why people should take action. It also allows people to rationalize the action outward with the tangible things they say and do and see whether it is morally viable or not.
Different people are motivated differently. Some, for money. Some, for the fun. And some, by making the world a better place. Simon Sinek, in his TED Talk, is presenting a cynical perspective. Sometimes, being a leader equates to inspiring action by supplying people with a compass, at a linguistic level.
As Work Gets More Complex, Six Rules to Simplify, by Yves Morieux
Leadership is a confounding subject. As Work Gets More Complex, Six Rules to Simplify, by Yves Morieux, is my favorite one on the list of inspiring TED Talks for aspiring entrepreneurs and it’s because it answers a lot of unanswered questions.
How to motivate people? How to promote effective teamwork and cooperation? How to connect with people and lead?
Leadership comes down to two words: understanding and connection. When you want to make work better for people and business, you have to follow one simple rule. UNDERSTAND WHAT OTHERS DO.
Try to go beyond job titles, job descriptions, beyond the surface, and understand the real content. Sure, old school corporate leaders choose to resort to boxes, but that school of thought is obsolete. This isn’t the way things work with the Generation X and Millennials. To improve metrics such as performance and satisfaction at work, leaders need to remove the common root that hinders both. Key Performance Indicators are a really good way of keeping track of one’s performance. But, at the end of the day, one must remember that it’s a people’s business and they’re dealing with people, all around them. Only when people are treated the way they want to be treated, they start valuing what you care about.
The TED Talk sends a very hopeful and optimistic message because it ultimately puts people at the center of the solution. After all, real change starts with people.
What It Takes To Be A Great Leader, by Roselinde Torres
Being a leader is not a set characteristic. Great leadership isn’t something you can define. Being a great leader means being someone who works by the heart, and not just by commanding people around to do the work. During the TED Talk, Roselinde Torres proposes that the first step to great leadership is to think about how effectively one is able to use their time. Is the time you’re using, directly impacting a certain objective with a reachable goal?
Torres proposes another question, which is a real head-scratcher. “Are you willing to drop familiarity in order to face success?”
Leaders, often, stick to familiar practices, even when they are expected to take risks and be daring to be different. “Great leaders dare to be different. They don’t just talk about risk-taking, they actually do it.” Don’t just talk about risk-taking. Do it.
One more thing: Until we get clear about what it means to be a leader, we cannot change what needs to be changed.
So, what are your picks? Apart from the aforementioned inspiring TED Talks for aspiring entrepreneurs, are there any others you would like to propose? Share it in the comments.