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9 Empowering TED Talks That Will Zoom You Towards Success

9 Empowering TED Talks That Will Zoom You Towards Success

Want to find out how successful people become successful? Actually, they share common qualities that have allowed them to do well in their particular field.

While the major ingredient for success is following your passion so you can enjoy what you do, there are many other factors that you can work on to emulate the successful.

TED Talks are easy to listen to and feature speakers who are entertaining, experienced in a particular field, and inspiring.

Listen to these 9 empowering TED Talks, take notes, and then start working on these things in your life. Soon, you too, might find yourself listed among the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.

1.You’ll zoom towards success if you know who you are and what you’re passionate about.

Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk tells how passion led him to starting a new company at the age of 30.

To be successful, he suggests you first need to decide who you are and what your passion is. What do you really want to do with your life? Caring about what you do and doing what you care about are essential for success.

2. You’ll zoom towards success if you know what will motivate you.

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Career analyst, Dan Pink, discusses what motivates people and how necessary it is to understand just what motivates you, if you’re seeking success.

He argues that a new type of motivation – not monetary – is needed. to solve problems in a right-brain, creative way.

Are you intrinsically motivated? Self-motivation is crucial to solving problems in an innovative way. According to Pink, knowing what motivates you is essential for success.

3. You’ll zoom towards success if you make stress your friend.

Health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, tells about a study that changed how she viewed stress.

Do you believe that stress is bad for your health? McConigal discovered that by changing how you feel about stress, you can change your body’s response in a positive way. When you think positively about stress, you make your stress response healthier.

Find out why the way you think about stress matters, particularly when you convince yourself that “This is my body helping me rise to this challenge.”

4. You’ll zoom towards success if you possess true grit.

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Psychologist Angela Duckworth, a seventh grade teacher, learned from student work and observation that IQ was not the only factor separating her most and least academically gifted students.

What she found as the most important element for success was unexpected. Grit was the surprise element. She discusses why grit is so important and why it is an essential ingredient to build up in yourself if you want to be successful.

5. You’ll zoom towards success if you understand that when you’re happy you work better.

Positive psychologist, Shawn Achor, discusses his view of happiness as it relates to work results. Instead of seeing happiness as something we receive when we reach a goal, he aims to encourage us to start out with happiness.

Do you believe you should work hard to be successful so that you can be happier? Or does positivity in the present produce happiness which then inspires you to become more productive?

Achor suggests techniques that help us rewire the brain so we can change our understanding of being happy. “When we’re happy and positive, our brains work more optimistically and more successfully.”

6. You’ll zoom towards success if you expand your creativity.

Writer and radio producer, Julie Burstein, uses her favorite forms of art to show how to be creative.

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Burstein shares 4 lessons in creativity. She explains that “experience, challenge and limitations are all things we need to embrace for creativity to flourish.”

She vividly illustrates the life cycle that we all live – the cycle of creation and destruction, of control and letting go, of picking up the pieces and making something new.

According to Burstein, creativity allows you to see things in a new way. It is an essential part of being successful in your own area of expertise.

7. You’ll zoom towards success if you deal with procrastination as it arises.

Vik Nithy was founder of 3 companies by the age of 20. In this video, he explains why people procrastinate and how it becomes a battle between two different parts of our brains.

Vik recommends that to overcome procrastination, we need to plan the process by visualizing it. When you see the task in your mind, the brain is convinced that you’ve done it before. This means that visualization can help you eliminate procrastination.

This talk provides a few effective ideas for you to deal with procrastination, in order to expand your productivity and level of success.

8. You’ll zoom towards success if you make videos that go viral.

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YouTube’s Trends Manager, Kevin Allocca, shows various videos and explains exactly why they went viral.

Another string to your success bow could be the creation of your own viral videos. Allocca shares the three key ingredients he has discovered to help you become famous on YouTube.

Watch this video for ways that you can also reach the masses in creative ways, thereby building your success.

9. You’ll zoom towards success if you schedule time off for yourself.

Graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister talks about the importance of taking time off work for rest and recovery. However, his idea of “time off” is out of the ordinary.

Instead of waiting for retirement so you can relax, he inserts his holidays into his yearly routine, and takes one year off in every seven. While this might not be the type of holiday you’d be planning on taking, his reasons for doing so should motivate you to ar least take “time out” for yourself on a regular basis.

That is his road to success. You might be surprised at the benefits he finds from taking regular “time out”.

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The above TED Talks contain many actionable ideas. I hope you’ve been inspired and motivated to take action on some of them, and move you forward on your success journey.

Featured photo credit: TED talks via ted.com

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

How to Motivate Employees and Boost Team Productivity

These days, in a world with cognitive, AI, and extraordinary advances, we have failed at the most basic stimulus: motivation. Why do I say so? Just take a look at these statistics:

58 percent of managers said they didn’t receive any management training as per a CareerBuilder.com survey. Only 12% of employees leave their jobs because of more money. Research indicates that around 80% of employees leave their jobs due to “lack of appreciation”. Due to fear of failing, more than half of American workers don’t take their paid vacations. 53% of Americans are unhappy at work (not engaged). And 1 in 3 are working in a field they don’t like.[1]

Archaic people management and HR structures are the root cause.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

So how to motivate employees and boost team productivity?

Here are 3 key things that you can do to motivate your employees and boost team productivity:

1. Run Your Team/Group/Company like a Lean Startup

The Lean Startup phenomena by Eric Ries has been socialized across millions all over the globe. In a nutshell, it is a methodology for developing businesses and products, which aims to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable; this is achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning.[2]

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Encourage Your Employees

When you empower your employees (or family members) to do what they deem to be best for a particular roadblock, idea, or improvement, you create magic. You create genuine trust. You enable innovation. The result is happy, inspired employees who feel they have a say in the grand cosmic stage at work.

Note that increasing the competency level of employees and coaching and mentoring them along the way is key. You yourself, need to do the same. Nourish your brain – and get a mentor that will keep you at the edge of your game.

Offer Rewards

Motivation is also intrinsic. The startups I have worked at offered instant rewards — not just fat checks or equity increments, but Oscar-style nominations.

The non-monetary rewards were actually more coveted, and grandiose: lunch with the CEO, tickets to an Obama fund-raiser, horse-back riding with a world-class equestrian.

Compare this to a dodgy, corporate, white-cubicle dinosaur that had a “yearly performance review” where both parties dread the conversation. In a world of instant WhatsApp messages, having a conversation about performance, likes and dislikes cannot just happen annually in 60 minutes. Employees need to be rooted in the belief that their manager genuinely cares about them.

Give Autonomy

Another key attribute is autonomy. Most employees start brushing their resumes and cruising LinkedIn when their hands are tied in their current positions: approval forms, long meetings, escalations, and more meetings. In the world of agile and scrum masters, deliberating for the sake of deliberating is poison. You will choke the very employees that giddily accepted the job initially to “change the world”.

Within a reasonable realm of assessment and deep-dives, trust your employees to do the heavy lifting. Give them access to the knowledge, people and resources that help them directly make the choices that will shape the future of your team, and your company.

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Eliminate yourself as the bottleneck – and interject yourself as a benevolent, servant leader that is the symbol of high-performing organizations.

2. Apply the 90/90/1 Rule

I recently saw a video by Deepak Sharma (a leadership adviser) about productivity and this principle stuck with me. Here’s what it’s about:

Devote the First 90 Minutes of Your Day to Important Project

For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your day to your most important project—nothing else. Do this for yourself and your employees.

We usually get sucked into the most wasteful, operational activities in the morning which robs our focus, and steers us into an unwanted rabbit hole. So mute your notifications, avoid the temptation to check your exploding inbox, and scroll your Instagram feed later. Instead, focus on that ONE thing that will provide real value to you, your team, or your business/company/home.

Apply this rule to yourself – and your team. Your team will thank you. Note: If you’re feeling really stretched for time, you can always hack the rule by testing out a “45/45/1” version.

A To Do Scheduling System

Another version of this is to use the Kanban concept, developed by Taiichi Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota. Kanban is a scheduling system employing boards and cards.

The most basic version is a canvas with “To-do”, “Doing”, and “Done” boards (or columns). Each activity or task is a “card” that moves from one column to the other. I use Trello (a Kanban-inspired app) that is a key system for my personal and professional life. It allows me to understand my workload, their priority, and due dates.

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I use importance and effort metrics (scores) for each task to understand what is truly necessary in my life to work on. It negates the FIFO (first-in, first out) paradox that has plagued millions of people. Instead, it allows me to take stock of what is on my plate, and then bite on what truly will move the needle for me, my team, my life, and my company.

With a limited appetite (at least for some), would you eat the veggies, fries, mashed potatoes and leave the sizzling steak? No, you wouldn’t (unless you are a vegan and ended up in the wrong restaurant).

Approach your work with a weighted vengeance – and encourage your team to do the same.

3. Align Passion and Skills to Purpose

The heart of human excellence often begins to beat when you discover a pursuit that absorbs you, frees you, challenges you, and gives you a sense of meaning, joy and passion.

“The most fortunate people on earth are those who have found a calling that’s bigger than they are—that moves them and fills their lives with constant passion, aliveness, and growth.” — Richard Leider

An ace team-member once told me that while she enjoys working for the company we both used to work at, she really hated anything to do with technology. She was more of a “people” person, and did not want to sit behind a desk sifting through lines of code.

What struck me was that she was in that role for more than a decade and had just spoken up. The good thing is she spoke up. She expressed her desire and interests. And it allowed her to get into a role of her liking within 30 days.

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Ask If They like What They’re Doing

If you, or a team member is frustrated, demotivated, or not performing at their best – one of the questions you should ask is whether they like what they are doing. Then genuinely try to help them get to the role they should be in (whether in the same team/company or not).

There’s a reason why 53% of Americans (and perhaps more or same across the globe) are unhappy at work. A butcher cannot be an ace salad maker. Pursue your passion – and help pave the way for your team. Unlock your potential and theirs. You will command and lead a supercharged team.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

The Bottom Line

Sometimes, passion has to be ignited. It is dormant, clouded by busy-ness, buried by wrong career choices, and plagued by non-supportive eco-systems. Some will climb out of it, but we as society — and in the case of business teams — incumbent upon the manager/CEO/leader to foster, grow, and nurture the employee.

Teach her the ropes. Show her the path. Advise him as you would yourself. Let them lead, and make mistakes. Do not fear them, rather make them the leader you would want to become.

For your not-so-great team members, understand that it is not personal, it is just not a good fit. Help them move on to the pastures they would be fit to graze on. Hence, hire slow (and fire fast).

Your team is a reflection of you. Boosting their confidence and helping them achieve the impossible is motivation. Focus on that, and you will have a productive team that you and your company will be proud of.

More Resources About Team Management

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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