back to school for business, Ted Talks, Growth, Communication, Listen, Persistence, Innovation, Productivity

Back to School for Business – Six Ted Talks to Inspire You to Be Better In Business

As we wind down summer activities, the nation gets ready to send our children “back to school” which euphemistically means, back to learning, studying, and progressing.

I’ve found that this time of year is an excellent time to ramp up my own learning and focus on business growth – both to finish the year with an excellent 4th quarter, but also to set up the next year with new initiatives, ideas, and energy.

So in plotting my own Back To School studies, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite learning resources – especially for busy people, “Ted Talks”.

These brilliant videos showcase some of the most idealistic dreamers, radical thinkers, thoughtful sharers, and shocking presenters – most you have most likely never heard of.

These are great to listen to when you’re in the car, on a walk, or, like many busy parents now, waiting on Jr. to finish up practice/lesson/tutoring/et cetera. And, as a brief departure from our normal lesson track on business and sales, these are packed with stories and lessons to get you thinking and moving in a new perspective.

Six Ted Talk picks from kooky, inspiring, and incredibly smart presenters to help you challenge your personal growth, alter your business practice, and inspire you to make changes.

Another take on the hard work leads to happiness equation: What if we have this backward? Psychologist and CEO of Good Think Inc., Shawn Anchor reflects on how our positive or negative thoughts and attitudes impact our productivity. In this humorous talk, you can reset or reframe our educational and business opportunities – like to the tune of 31% more business productivity and 37% improved sales.

Understand the two reasons why businesses fail: Business strategist Knut Haanes shares how successful businesses strike a balance between exploration and exploitation. I found this perspective particularly poignant as both a business owner and a sales professional – there are traps for both in being too complacent or for having “shiny object” syndrome.

Become better at having conversations: NPR radio host Celeste Headlee introduces us to the ideas of “Conversational Competence” and her 10 rules to have inspired and engaged conversations. With technology, devices, and social media becoming larger pieces of our communication infrastructure, how do we get back to effective and meaningful communication when we are more polarized and divided than ever before? She shares her 10 rules for interviewing people that help you be a better listener and have profoundly improved conversations.

The key to a more productive, joyful, and healthy worklife: Arianna Huffington learned the hard way how profoundly lack of sleep was affecting her. After collapsing from exhaustion and breaking her cheekbone, she began a journey that uncovers how we can transform our lives and our work by getting more sleep. Just how much better can we be if we create a sleep routine and recharge our batteries with consistent and persistent focus?

What do successful startups have in common: Founder of dozens of startups and the incubator, Idealab, Bill Gross surveyed hundreds of successful and failed startups to discover the one surprising factor that was the lead success key in 42% of the businesses surveyed. If you’re struggling with a new business idea or the timeliness of innovation in your organization, this talk may shine some light on your focus.

What are you really capable of: How many times have you tried and failed and wanted to give up? At age 64, Diana Nyaid achieved her goal – her 5th attempt – at completing the 100 mile swim from Cuba to Florida. In this funny recount of her final trip, she talks about her mindset and her team and how she got through it. It makes most of our excuses for not finishing, not persevering seem small in comparison.

With thousands of Ted Talks and Tedx Talks out there free for consumption, it’s not hard to find inspiring and insightful experts to learn from. These quick and concentrated sessions can be great brain boosts to add to your daily learning practice.

What are your favorite Ted Talks on personal development, inspiration, or business?

Until next time, stop hoping, start SELLING!


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Straightforward, practical and perhaps slightly cheeky, Shawn Karol Sandy's innate gift is helping people find new ways to solve old problems, unique ways to approach new problems and helping businesses re-invent themselves and their sales strategies. With Bold and Brave thought leadership and Clear Action Plans, her impact on business is Measurable and Meaningful and will lead your sales revolution to growth and revenue goals.

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