I’m kicking off August a two-week vacation in Amsterdam, a city that effortlessly merges history with innovation, art with technology, and tradition with progress. As I wander through picturesque canals and vibrant streets, I find myself reflecting on the importance of lifelong learning, especially for leaders. In this fast-paced world, where the boundaries of knowledge are constantly expanding, it is essential for leaders to stay curious, adaptable, and open-minded. That’s why I’ve curated a collection of five captivating TED Talks that provide insights and inspiration to fuel our growth. I invite you to join me on this virtual journey of discovery and self-improvement.
1. The first 20 hours – how to learn anything, by Josh Kaufman. After Josh and his wife, Kelsey, welcomed their first child into the world, he feared that he would never again have the free time to learn something new. After all, it takes 10,000 hours to learn a new skill. Right?
In this humorous and insightful TED Talk, Josh shares the systematic approach he discovered to acquiring the basics of any new skill in just 20 hours.
2. 10 ways to have a better conversation, by Celeste Headlee. When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation.
In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”
3. The disappearing computer – and a world where you can take AI anywhere, by Imran Chaudhri. In this exclusive preview of groundbreaking, unreleased technology, former Apple designer and Humane cofounder Imran Chaudhri envisions a future where AI enables our devices to “disappear.” He gives a sneak peek of his company’s new product — shown for the first time ever on the TED stage — and explains how it could change the way we interact with tech and the world around us. Witness a stunning vision of the next leap in device design.
4. After watching this, your brain will not be the same, by Lara Boyd. Our knowledge of the brain is evolving at a breathtaking pace, and Dr. Lara Boyd is positioned at the cutting edge of these discoveries. In 2006, she was recruited by the University of British Columbia to become the Canada Research Chair in Neurobiology and Motor Learning.
Dr. Boyd’s efforts are leading to the development of novel, and more effective, therapeutics for individuals with brain damage, but they are also shedding light on broader applications. By learning new concepts, taking advantage of opportunities, and participating in new activities, you are physically changing who you are, and opening up a world of endless possibility.
5. Sleep is your superpower, by Matt Walker. Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep — and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don’t, for both your brain and body.
Question: What practices do you use to continuously learn as a leader?