Date posted: 10/05/2024 5 min read

Three timely TED Talks for leaders

From leading in a crisis to championing inclusion, these talks address some of the most pressing issues facing today’s leaders.

Quick take

  • Leaders today must navigate an ever-changing assortment of challenges and priorities.
  • Disruptive global events, the rise of artificial intelligence and greater demand for equity are transforming leaders’ roles.
  • These three TED Talks offer insights into these topics and explore ways for leaders to manage them.

All credit to leaders: they play a difficult game in which the rules are constantly changing.

Whether adapting to the different needs and working styles of a multigenerational workforce, taking on environmental, social and governance (ESG) responsibilities, or transitioning staff from the office to remote locations in the middle of a pandemic, they have had to adapt to the constancy of change.

Watch the below videos to learn about some of the most pressing issues facing those in the C-suite and why today’s leaders can (and must) learn to adapt.

1. How to lead in a crisis

Number of views: 860,794

Run time: 5 mins

What it’s about: The world has faced a number of crises in recent years. Financial uncertainty, a global pandemic, wars, the Great Resignation and quiet quitting: in these turbulent and uncertain times, leaders have adapted – some more successfully than others. In this animated talk, leadership expert Amy C. Edmondson provides practical advice to help leaders navigate future disruption. She cites examples from the COVID-19 pandemic of both business and political leaders who demonstrated the traits she says are essential for crisis management: transparency, acting with urgency, staying true to values and sharing power. According to Edmondson, leaders who can follow this new playbook will be well-equipped to face any challenge.

2. Leadership in the age of AI

Number of views: 580,740

Run time: 17 mins

What it’s about: Leaders can't be afraid to disrupt the status quo, says Sanofi CEO Paul Hudson. In this Q&A with TED’s Lindsay Levin, he touches on a range of topics that business leaders will (or should) be considering as artificial intelligence (AI) transforms the way companies operate. Though Hudson comes from a pharmaceutical background, his lessons are universal: how dangerous it is to hesitate or get caught up in the regulatory concerns associated with AI, and risk missing out on the opportunity to make work more efficient and meaningful. He also highlights how important it is for leaders to adopt a mindset that’s open to change, and to be willing to learn from younger ‘digital native’ generations – essential advice for leaders who are taking their first steps towards AI.

3. We need leaders who boldly champion inclusion

Number of views: 1,467,560

Run time: 14 mins

What it’s about: White, male entrepreneurs and corporate leaders such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates and Starbucks’s Howard Schultz have cemented their status as ‘rock stars’ who have disrupted business as usual and transformed their respective industries. But what if these same pioneers set their sights on disrupting inequity? That’s the question broadcaster and diversity leader June Sarpong asks in this talk. She draws attention to leaders such as John Landgraf, CEO of FX, and Gareth Southgate, the current manager of England’s men’s soccer (football) team, who are championing diversity and equity, in the knowledge that inclusion delivers many benefits – and not just to a business’s bottom line.


Viewing figures correct on 10 April 2024.